Running for my mindfulness

Over the past 2 months I have been running a lot more frequently. I know try to run at least 5 times a week. I generally run 1 to 2 miles each time. Not far I know and to be honest I am painfully slow. I run mostly in the evenings during the week and in the morning at weekends. Sometimes I will mix it up and go to the gym where I will go on the treadmill and have a go at some weights.

As I said I have been doing this for a few months, in fact you may remember my previous blog posts on the subject. Naively I thought my body shape would change I would be all slim and lithe like by now. No chance I’m still a porker! I have discovered that you have to adjust you diet if you want to get slimmer, which is a shame, I am quite partial to a bag of crisps and the odd chocolate bar. Oh I will just have to be that fat bloke in sports gear.

Anyway I digress, the main reason for this blog is to describe how I now feel after running regularly for the past few months. I have mentioned before the mindfulness I experience when I run. Well now that has spilled over into everyday life. When I feel myself getting stressed out by events or thoughts I can now in most cases switch on this mindful state when I run. Even though I don’t run for long, so therefore I am only mindful for short periods everyday, that regular practice of mindfulness everyday allows me to employ the technique when I need to.

I will try to explain how it works for me. When I am running in generally hurts, mainly because I am in my mid forties and overweight, so my joints object quite strongly to moving this lump around at a greater speed. I also find that for the first couple of minutes my breathing is all over the place. So that is where I start I listen to my breathing. I don’t try to regulate it or slow it down, I just listen to it. I allow myself to be breathless for the first 2 minutes. I am then able to relax and work with my body rather than fighting it. After about 2 minutes my breathing settles down and gets into a regular rhythm. I can then use that breathing as a reference point along with the sound of my feet hitting the pavement. These are places I can bring myself back to say when my knees and ankles start hurting or when my thoughts wonder to unhelpful areas. I will also take in my surroundings, I notice the trees, the colour of the sky, cars passing by, the feel of the wind, rain or sunshine on my face. My mind quickly relaxes and allows me to experience what is happening to me now, rather than what has already happened or what might happen in the future. However if positive memories or positive plans of the future enter my head I do allow them to linger for a while, but I will always come back to the hear and now to help me through the run. (Remember I am only running for a few minutes so it does not take up big chunks of my day. Can you give up at most an hour 5 times a week).

Now I use that technique 5 times a week I find it so easy to bring myself into the moment when it all gets to much. As a result Foggy now has a much reduced impact on my life.

So if you are struggling with your mood, think about taking part in some exercise and employing mindfulness.

Don’t forget I am still offering free coaching sessions providing you contact be before 5pm on 1st August 2017

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Coaching to plan your journey

We all have a different path to travel, and only ourselves knows how best to navigate it.
Life is complicated and our sat nav can get knocked out of shape, and we find it hard to choose our best path.
Let me help you recalibrate your internal sat nav to get you onto the path you truly want to be on.
If you book your session before 1st August 2017 and you can have all 5 sessions for free no matter when they are booked for.
All I ask of you is to be open to being coached and recommend to your friends when you have had your sessions and are satisfied.
What do you have to lose, all you need to do is find an hour for each session.
5 hours could change your life for ever, if you choose to let it.
Either email me on matt@mattycoach71.com or message me via social media. We can get things started straight away.

Free Coaching

How often does someone truly listen to what you have to say? We all need to be listened to without having someone else’s opinion imposed on your thoughts.

A coach such as myself will listen to what you have to say on your terms in confidence.

A coach such as myself will help you put you thoughts into order, by reflecting what you say, asking clarifying questions, and simply paying attention to what you say, making you the most important person in the room.

We all have times when or thoughts and ideas come thick and fast and we need someone to be a sounding board to help us put our thoughts into a plan that will result in action.

This is the coaching that I offer, and currently I am offering 5 free coaching sessions if you get in touch with me before 1st August.

If you are not from Hull I can offer face time, watsapp or messenger coaching.social-listening-B2B

Chester

Over the weekend I went to Chester with my family, minus my eldest as he was working and rehearsing for a play, so Jack's girlfriend came instead.
In that first paragraph is a first already, in fact something I feel I need to discuss straight away.
Leaving Ben alone for 3 nights for the first time ever! He is 17 and very sensible but this was definitely a challenge for us. He was cool about it (of course he was). I was quietly terrified and Lisa was outwardly nervous. Lisa was worried about teenage drug parties and the total destruction of our house. My terror was the has being burnt down by a forgotten cheesy chip wrap left in a 200 degree oven with Ben asleep in front of the TV. I don't know about you, but my terror seems much more believable, especially if you have ever met my son. Thankfully none of these disasters materialised and the only drama was nearly running out of cheese.
Back to Chester. The reason we went to Chester was to celebrate my niece finishing her degree in Mental Health Nursing. Here is a message to all those teens that are either in 6th form or waiting to go and are worried that they don't know what to do in life. Don't panic, it is never too late to change you mind and succeed. When Katie first left school she wanted to embark on one career path, then quickly discovered that was not for her. She then started work in a care home and found her chosen career. After a lot of hard work Katie has now reached her goal. She has done incredibly well, that is down purely to the fact that she wanted it more than anything and was prepared to do the work. Once you find that desire you will succeed.
Thank you Katie for an inspiring weekend. And thank you to Ben for not burning our house down and showing us what I already knew, that you are a responsible young man.

Live in the moment and enjoy your journey through life


Many of you will have realised by now that I use this blog as some kind of therapy, to remind myself how to be to keep myself on an even keel. 

With that in mind I thought I would talk about the day I have had today.

It has been a good day, bordering on a lovely day. 

It started in the usual fashion with butterflies and that general feeling of inadequacy. That didn’t last however I was soon distracted by the sound of birdsong and a lovely bright summer morning. The kind of  morning that reminds you how wonderful the world is.

I arrived at work and started on writing a training session, something that I started last week. This early stage of writing a training session is my favourite part, this where I start bringing together all the current evidence and combine it with my existing working knowledge. I learn so much during this process about how much I know and don’t know. I always over write at this stage as I get so fascinated with the subject. This kept me engaged for the first hour. Then to stop me getting stuck I went to collect some paperwork from one of the wards. 

As a consequence of visiting a ward I ended up doing a coaching session with one of my coachees. Again I was completely engaged in what I was doing. We managed to spend an hour discussing her plans, and she gave me some very useful feedback. 

2 hours in and I am buoyant. I then meet a member of staff to sign off evidence for her competences, and then back to writing the teaching session. In the meantime I received an email from a colleague at the university giving me feedback from the students I taught on their last module. I was practically walking on air.

After lunch I must admit I got a little carried away on a particular part of the session and ended up doing a quick literature review. Now I have 15 articles to read through. They may not change the presentation dramatically but they are often good to provide more context when delivering the session, and provides a wider reading list.

When I got home the weather was gorgeous if not a little warm. I decided to go for my mile a day run before I relaxed too much and didn’t want to go.  Even though my knees and hips and ankles ached (my legs really object to carrying this fat lad around) it was worth it. I do keep telling myself it will get easier, I have to keep the faith. Anyhow just being out in this glorious weather was worth it the sunlight lit up the trees and the houses giving everything a majestic glow. 

Today has been so good, because I have concentrated on the moment and not over thought the past or the future. There is so much around us to embrace and enjoy. I don’t manage it everyday but when I open my eyes to what is happening and live it the moment I feel so much more fulfilled. 

Open your eyes to what is around you and start enjoying your journey through life.

Be Your Perfect Leader

great-leader

On Monday I facilitated a timeout morning for a group of senior ward Nurses. The subject soon got onto leadership. The discussion centred on how to encourage leadership in the team, to enable staff members to actively seek solutions rather than default to the ward manager, deputy manager or unit co-ordinator, and how to manage difficult situations themselves.

To try to help them answer these questions, I posed them a question. They did not have to answer the question at the time, in fact they could keep their answer private if they wished. The question was more an exercise on looking for the right answer from their own knowledge and experience.

The question was, do you have a person you admire, and look up to when it comes to leadership? What are the qualities that make them a great leader? How do they behave (portray themselves to others)? I asked them to create a clear picture of their perfect leader. In reality this perfect or great leader is actually themselves (or yourself if you are having a go).

I personally always like to project my ideal onto someone else other than me, I find it easier to admire someone else than think of myself in those terms. However if you find it easier to see yourself as the perfect leader then construct the image as the perfect version of you.

Once you have this construct of your perfect leader, then you can use them as your reference point. When you come to a difficult dilemma, ask your perfect leader what they would do in this situation. The answer they provide are based on the attributes that you admire so are worth listening to. Work through the problem answering how you perfect leader would, including the people the perfect leader would, asking the questions your perfect leader would. You will get to the answer you need.

In reality you have been the leader, you are your perfect leader. That is not to say you will be right all the time. This method gives you the confidence to think you actions through, and to give yourself a better chance of success.

Give it a go it works.

If you want to discuss how you can improve your confidence at work, and be the best you can, email me on Matt@mattycoach71.com or message me via my Facebook page. Changing your opinion of yourself will make a massive difference.

 

My week as a Coach

I was holding a coaching session yesterday afternoon at work. I know I have said this before but it was one of the best sessions I have held. The member of staff wants to be coached, and she is full of ideas. All I have to do is ask a few questions to help her with focus and clarity and watch her work out what she needs to do.

I know I have had a good coaching session, when I hardly speak. The only times I do is to ask questions to either open expand a statement further or move the conversation on when it loses focus. I always allow the conversation to wander a little as often the journey to bring the conversation back to the coaching subject can reveal other issues that the client/coachee really wants to give air time to.

Coaching as a process for this member of staff and at least 4 other members of staff I coach is having a dramatic effect on their practise and outlook on life in general. These staff are not failing or very senior. In my eyes they are exceptional, however they would not describe themselves as such. What I am trying to say is, that are like vast majority of people (hardworking, bright, and good at their jobs). All 5 have benefitted from having a coach in different ways. They all approach the coaching relationship for different reasons, the one thing they have in common was willingly entered into the coaching contract.

Getting back to the wonderful session I had yesterday. As I said previously the coachee did all the hardwork and came up with all ideas on how to evolve her practise to ensure she develops in the way she wants to. The coaching experience allows her to take control of her own career. All of her action plans are formed by her, therefore she has believes in them.

How many times have you completed action plans created by others or created action plans based on what you think you should do? Well coaching gives you the space to create your plans based on what is best for you, using the route that you decide. That is not to say that you ignore external influences, such as corporate objectives. If you work for an organisation where you are strongly disagree with their vision and objectives, then maybe you should consider changing your job if you ever want to be happy and successful. Most of us generally buy in to corporate objectives and values, and when we set ourselves professional goals they tend to be in line with the organisation as we want to be successful there.

That really is a long winded way of saying trust your own judgement, and set your goals on what you want to do and not what others tell you to do. Having a coach gives you that space.

Seek out a coach at work, a lot of organisations have them now.

If you have a senior position in an organisation that has yet to adopt a coaching approach, and the best place to start is to get yourself your own coach.

If you are self employed definitely get yourself a coach, for a relatively small investment you will have a dramatic effect on how you approach future business planning.

If anyone is interested in coaching, please e-mail me. I will either be able to offer you some coaching or signpost you to a coaching network that may be able to help you.

my email: matt@mattycoach71.com

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