Jan. 2016 
          Vol 9, Issue 1              
Creative Coaching Group
LIGHT ON THE SUBJECT
 the Creative Coaching Group newsletter
  
It's a glorious new year! I hope yours is filled with laughter, new possibilities and exciting adventures.

Before you rush off to 'do' everything you plan to 'do' in 2016, take a moment to slow down, breathe, get present and open some mental space. You will be exhilarated by the clarity and creativity that result!

Cheers,
jan signature

 Jan Carley BA, CEC, PCC 
 
 Professional Certified Executive Coach     
 Creative Coaching Group e:jan@creativecoachinggroup.com  
Feature Article:  3 Easy Ways to Restore Your Mental Space 
Many of my coaching clients are already feeling overwhelm in these early days of 2016. They burst out of the gate January 1 running full tilt. Besides their regular work and the after-holiday-catch-up, they have added even more pressure with the numerous '2016 goals' they set.  

The get 'er done/start everything January 1st isn't necessarily a sustainable strategy for the New Year. One can reap significant long-term benefits by 'slowing down' in January. Giving yourself the time to reflect and be present  will ground you in a place of solidity for whatever paths or activities you choose to pursue this year.

'Taking it slow' doesn't mean slowing down to a plodding pace - nor does it mean stopping forward progress. It means intentionally building space for quiet time in your life. For 'mindful' time. For 'still' time. Call it what you will, just make sure that you consciously create space each day to ground yourself in the present. The benefits of clearing your mind and staying in the moment will be increased effectiveness, clarity and creativity.

The concept of 'mindfulness' has become increasingly embraced as we feel the adverse effects of our world running at about a Mach Ten Speed. Mindfulness means being in touch with everything in the moment, and paying attention with intention - on purpose - and without judgment. Incorporating mindfulness exercises into our daily lives will get us back in touch with ourselves and the direction of our own lives. Mindfulness frees up the space in our heads for insight. Have you ever had a creative thought when barraged with your 'to do' list? As well, focusing your mind to be present 'right here, right now' instantly reduces the overwhelming feeling of that inner chatter.   

Coach and author Michael Bungay Stanier [1] says that you have to actually slow down, stop, and be still - to get the perspective to work out what really matters. He likens that to the difference between beinh strategic or staying tactical. In the stillness we can find the answers. Stillness will bring you a new perspective.

The first step to any kind of shift is awareness and the first step to awareness is self- observation. Simply observe what is. Check in with yourself on purpose several times a day and do a 'mental check'.   How present are you? What's happening in your mind?
Do this self-observation with curiosity instead of judgment. And to bring yourself back to the present moment, read below for some easy first steps.
 
3 Easy Ways to Restore your Mental Space
 
1/Daily Intention Exercise:
When: As soon as you wake up 
Where: While lying in bed
Why: To start the day consciously and intentionally and add energy and purpose to your day
How:
Focus on your body lying in your bed. Feel the weight of each limb, feel the softness of the sheets, the warmth in your cocoon. As you breathe deeply, consider your daily intention. What will that day be for you? How will you be? (Stay away from the 'to do' list here, focus only on the feel of that day e.g. / This day is about connection. This day is about kindness. This day is energy.)
Take a minute to focus on that day's intention and breathe deeply as you recite it in your head. Return to that intention in your mind several times that day.

2/ Getting Present Exercises:
When: Anytime
Where: Anywhere
Why: Giving yourself space daily with 'still' time is the most valuable thing you can 'do' for yourself, your psyche, and your creative thoughts. You need to create the mental bandwidth to explore new concepts, to dream new dreams and possibilities. Both of these exercises will clear your thinking mind and return you to the present.
How:
EXERCISE #1   THE NOW EXERCISE [2] - Easy Breathing Meditation
1/ Count your breaths from one to ten. As you do this, mentally focus on the numbers and on saying to yourself IN - one, OUT - one; IN - two and OUT-two, IN -three and OUT-three, etc.
2/If you lose count before you get to ten (and pretty much everyone does lose count at first), simply begin again at one.
3/When you get to ten, smile down into your heart.
 
EXERCISE #2   ARMCHAIR FOCUS
Put your hands on your desk or the arms of your chair or somewhere that they are supported. Close your eyes. Focus all of your attention on your hands. You may begin to feel a warmth or tingling sensation in them. Now focus intensely on the inside of your hands, feel the energy moving through your hands, feel the blood coursing through your veins. Soon you feel the palms of your hands begin to tingle. This is the energy working. Continue to focus all of your attention on your hands and the energy being generated. Take a deep breath and open your eyes. You are present. [3]
 
3/ Stilling the Mind Exercise:
When: Anytime
Where: Anywhere
Why: The incessant chatter of the more than 50,000 thoughts we have daily can derail our ability to be mindfully present in each moment. Getting underneath those thoughts to the quiet and wisdom underneath the chatter will allow us to access those internal shifts and thoughts and experience the benefits of that 'quiet'.  It is really all about being intentional about taking the time to go within. "If you don't go within, you'll go without." - anonymous
How:
A quickie strategy for turning down your internal dialogue is the recitation of Mantras. Mantras are energy-based tools of power or phrases of energy that can change a state of consciousness. My favourite mantra, that I recite in my head several times to focus me on the present whenever I feel my mind start to race, is "I am Present, This is Now, I am Here."
 
Adding mindful moments to your daily life will restore the mental bandwidth so precious to our growth, insight and happiness. So let's slow down this January OK? And hey, here's a nutty idea - why not slow down a bit all year long?
 
Resources:
1 Michael Bungay Stanier  Coach/Author of Do More Great Work www.boxofcrayons.biz
2 The Now Exercise copywright Michael Neill from his book Feel Happy Now www.geniuscatalyst.com
3 Harmony from the Inside Out by Jan Carley p. 66

Lightbulb of the Month
 "Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally. To find our way, we will need to pay more attention to this moment. It is the only time that we have in which to live, grow, feel and change."  -Jon Kabat-Zinn, author  "Wherever You Go, There You Are"
Have you downloaded your free Reflection & Visioning Guide yet?
Your 15-page personal 2015/2016 Reflection and Visioning Guide is still available for download. 

I highly recommend giving yourself the gift of doing this important work to celebrate and complete 2015 and embrace the possibilities of 2016. 

Prize Winner Announced! 
Thanks to all who pre-purchased my new book, FINDING YOUR OVERTONE, or entered my pre-Christmas prize draw for a chance to win 3 months of free business or personal coaching with me. 
I am pleased to announce that Dale MacElwain of New Brunswick, Canada was the lucky winner.  Congratulations Dale!

You can still pre-purchase the book at a discount price and with bonuses at www.findingyourovertone.com   (Book release date: June 2016)
About Jan Carley  

Jan Carley is a Professional Certified Executive Coach credentialed with the International Coach Federation. Known as a high-performance catalyst, Jan specializes in coaching individuals and teams to focus and clarify their vision and leverage their signature strengths to open possibilities and maximize their performance potential.  

3rd edition of Jan's book  

Jan's book, Harmony from the Inside Out, has been acclaimed worldwide and is now in its 3rd printing. Her second book, Finding your Overtone, is due to be released June 2016.   

 

Jan is Associate Faculty of the renowned Royal Roads University Executive Coaching Program, a Professional Mentor coach and a certified facilitator of the Strength Deployment Inventory .    

 

Jan lives in Vancouver, BC, Canada, and is available for individual & team coaching, workshops and speaking engagements worldwide. PCC logo

Contact Jan at 604 873-1763    email: jan@creativecoachinggroup.com     

 
Quick Links
Jan' Coaching Company Creative Coaching Group
Jan's work with BarbershoppersInner Coach of Barbershop
Jan's popular bookHarmony From the Inside Out
Jan's new book (to be released June 2016)  PRE-SALES: Finding Your Overtone 
If you would like to reprint any part of this ezine in your blog or newsletter, please feel free to do so as long as you include the following credit information: Jan Carley inspires possibilities and leverages peak performance by coaching from the "inside out." Sign up to receive her free 15 page report, 5 Ways to Instantly Focus for Harmony and Success, and receive a free subscription to Jan's monthly coaching e-newsletter, LIGHT ON THE SUBJECT.   Creative Coaching Group www.creativecoachinggroup.com
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