Laying on the table with a needle sticking out of the middle of my forehead and another out of my crown, I was in no position to argue. So when my acupuncturist asked me if I would like to try some cognitive behavioral tools during my session, I agreed. (Truthfully I am a self-help junkie I would have said yes anyway, even without the needles.)
Knowing about my upcoming retreat in New Mexico (and that my excitement/stress were building) he suggested that I try saying to myself a positive mantra. Something like: “I’m doing my part to prepare. The rest is up to God, Karma, the Universe.”
Ah. I said. It is true– I am preparing. I have been printing up a storm this week as I gather all the various MindBody tools I’ll be sharing. Below Beatrix is supervising my progress. And I have had fun working with my colleague Katie, who is assisting me on the retreat, to create our “backdoor agenda” of all the things we need to do to behind the scenes to support the flow of the gathering and the care of the participants.
So that part of the mantra felt good. I know I can trust myself to prepare. But releasing the rest?!
Well, that is when I remembered I am a control freak. I have known this for a while, but I forget until my anxiety skyrockets and then I realize, oh wait! I’m trying to hold responsibility for the whole dang thing. For other people’s lived experiences. For the weather and the airports and many other things that are beyond my grasp. And this holding is overloading my circuits.
Sometimes instead of doing my part and releasing the rest, I turn on my body (traitor!) if it shows any sign of strain. I can even go so far as to blame the symptomatic part of me, headache, whatever. For causing the problem. And slowing me down.
If this sounds familiar I have created a custom meditation just for you/me to help us reorient our attention to our “weak link.”
It takes 10 minutes. I hope you will try it today. And make that choice to befriend your body and see it as your vehicle, your ally, your partner through life. Not your foe.
WeakLink (mp3 file for download)
The irony of the fact that I’m teaching on MindBody tools and have needed to employ all my tricks this week (visiting my chiropractor, acupuncturist and wearing my diffuser necklace nonstop with yummy anxiety-calming smells) has not been lost of me. This is why I love coaching as a field. It is all about authenticity. “Living it to give it.” Martha Beck calls this your original medicine. It is what you offer first to yourself (because you need it) and then share with others.
If you could use some one on one support this Spring in managing stress, supporting yourself with MindBody tools, or cleaning your “inner house” of some of that self-criticism, check out my Spring Cleaning Coaching Package with fresh bonuses + set up your complementary laser coaching session to talk more!
Courtney Pinkerton, M.Div & M.PP, is a holistic life and leadership coach and the founder of Bird in Hand Coaching. She holds dual masters degrees from Harvard Divinity School and Harvard Kennedy School, is the host of the Summer of Meditation Challenge and publishes a weekly e-newsletter on real-world mindfulness practices. Courtney teaches regularly on the Enneagram, meditation, and conscious approaches to leadership and parenting. She lives in Oak Cliff, Texas with her husband Richard Amory where they try to keep up with their three children and remember to water their garden boxes. Courtney can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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