Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Life Coaching and Truly Listening

One valuable gift a Life Coach can share with their clients is the gift of truly listening.

But.....not just listening to the words, it's more about listening to the tone of voice, the expressions of self-doubt, the "shoulds" expressed by the client during the coaching session.  If the session is face to face, be aware of the body language....feel intuitively the energy of your client, their mood.

This is what I call true listening and true connection.  Most of us humans are thirsty for connection, for someone to be present when we are sharing our feelings, fears and desires.  A Life Coach has the opportunity to be that to their clients.

Truly listening is about focus, presence, really hearing what is being communicated by our client (not necessarily "said"); this becomes a useful tool then:

  • to ask the appropriate questions 
  • to give the most needed support  
  • share/teach a healing tool
I hope this is inspiring for you.  

Monday, July 20, 2015

My Experience as a Prison Volunteer

Yesterday, for the first time, I volunteered at a prison for women.   I came in contact with Lawrence on Facebook a few months ago (he leads a group of volunteers at several Florida prisons teaching yoga, and other helpful tools to the inmates) .

I had no idea what I was going to experience, all I knew was that it sounded like something I wanted to do.  So I coordinated with Lawrence to try it out.

Yesterday we met in person for the first time at the women's prison parking lot around 9 am.  I had to leave all my "stuff" in the car (purse, notebook) and go through security.  Not a surprise at all.  Just standard procedure.  Lawrence brought along a cd player, and a whole lotta yoga mats which were inspected and counted before entering the premises.

I took some books to give away to the inmates....books I have already read and find uplifting.  They were so happy to receive these.

The inmates know the day and time of the group meeting; a small group was already outside the meeting room waiting eagerly for us.  After a few minutes more inmates joined us and we were a group of about 14.  I think the number of attendees is limited.

I was truly surprised and joyful at the welcome I received from all of them.  We sat in a circle, introduced ourselves, I briefly shared a bit of who I am, what I do, and why I was there.  I'm Dominican, a New Yorker, mom of three, a life coach and an ordained ministerial counselor.  Oh, I also shared I do Reiki.

Immediately I felt connected to all of them.  They were quite cheerful, open, and aware.  A diverse group, white American, Colombian, Mexican, African American, Indian.

Lawrence allowed me to guide the group in meditation....which I happily did.  Then we sat in peaceful silence for a few more minutes.  Just being, in stillness.  After that Lawrence and the group enjoyed an hour of hatha yoga to a really good dvd, while I, at the request of the inmates, did Reiki individually to 5 of them.....that took up the next hour for me.  But I was so happy!!!  I felt I was making a difference in these women's lives.  I prayed with some, listened intently to others share their stories after each Reiki session.  It was a wonderful and satisfying experience.

I'll be back for sure!!  This is a blessed opportunity to share, give, receive and touch lives.