Archives for the month of: August, 2015

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Recently I decided to have a couple of singing lessons.

Yeah, I know. It’s provoked quite a weird reaction in most people I’ve told.

Singing is something I’ve never been much good at and something I’ve always wished I could do.  One of my coaching clients is a singing teacher and I just felt that now was the time to have a go.  Moreover, it would be a great opportunity to do something that feels really vulnerable (cross ref The Daring Way™ which argues that vulnerability is the foundation of joy and connection).

It was so interesting to me being conscious of all my internal chatter in the run up to it.  Just booking the lesson brought up SO MUCH SHIT for me.

I vividly remembered the time at school being told that I wasn’t very good at being on the stage, and therefore stopping doing anything drama like.

I began thinking of all of the other things I had stopped doing in my life because I wasn’t very good at them, instead focusing on the things that I excelled in (mainly academia and hanging out in local car parks).  Sport is a great example – I was pretty average at running, hockey and netball and pretty rubbish at tennis (probably due to a recurring double vision issue I have!).  Weirdly I won my primary school badminton tournament but it didn’t turn out to be a premonition of great things for me.  Rather I remember trying again at University in an inter-hall tournament and literally conceded the game half way through when I realised how embarrassing the score was going to be.

I began to wonder why I couldn’t do these things just for the pure enjoyment of them, rather than having to excel at them.  And I felt really angry at myself for conceding the badminton game.

Then my husband started asking me about the “singing lesson” – it was almost as though he was making those annoying inverted comma things in the air.  He clearly thought I’d finally lost the plot – ‘aren’t you going to feel really, really embarrassed in there?’.  Well – yes – probably.  It was clear that he thought this was a mad idea, which then brought up further internal chatter for me.  ‘If people close to me don’t approve of this choice, maybe I shouldn’t do it’.

It ended up being a metaphor for so much.  For the things I had longed to do as a child and abandoned because of a fear of not being good enough. For going against the crowd and doing something that other people might think was odd. And then, finally, as I struggled to keep the appointment in my diary amongst other work and children pressures, its relevance became tied up with just how often I put my own ‘frivolous’ requirements at the very bottom of the pile.

The lesson was fine.  I enjoyed it despite it being hard.  Sue was very supportive and not at all judgemental.  We did lots of breathing exercises, posture and making of sounds rather than singing – perhaps because the teacher suspected by self-consciousness.  She asked about my objective for the lesson.  It suddenly became crystal clear.  I want to be able to sing loudly, and probably out of tune, in the car with my kids without being totally mortified.  But, more importantly, I don’t want to pass this avoidance of the mediocre on to the boys.  I want them to seize activities they love doing for the hell of it and not necessarily to need to be ‘good’ at them.  And I know enough to know that I can’t just tell them that – I need to role model it myself.

*Photo courtesy of http://all-free-download.com/free-photos/download/cool_microphone_picture_2_166367_download.html

Today I want to introduce you to another new associate coach here at The Hobbs Consultancy, Dorit Noble:-

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Dorit spent many years working as an opera singer on stage, before becoming a CTI-certified coach specialising in body and movement. She supports leaders in aligning with their body to access their intuition and to develop resilience.

It is my pleasure to hand over to Dorit to share her wisdom…

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‘Personal trainers say, ‘My body is my business.’ But that’s true for you too.

Everybody’s body is their business. Everybody’s body is intrinsic to their success.

When you can align what your body needs with what your mind and emotions want (money, career, security, success, family, friendship), you have real work-life balance.

Have you ever gone out and had a great time: ‘Yeah!!’ (Fists in the air!) You wake up, your body’s a mess?

The you that drives you to keep partying or working, the you that’s reading this article: that’s your mind. Your mind and emotions, can enjoy partying every night, can drive you to keep working. But your physical body will crash you.

Your body, mind, emotions are a delicately balanced self-sustaining eco-system. The body is the base – the foundation and support of that system.

What I’ve learnt in ten years of studying, and training others in body intelligence, is that in the struggle between what your mind wants, and what your body wants, your physical body wins. Hands down, every time, no exception.

It’s time to start paying attention.

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In the TED talk on power poses, by social psychologist Amy Cuddy at Harvard University; she uses test results from groups of Harvard students, to show its possible to rewire the chemistry in the brain using the body.

In 1995, Daniel Goleman wrote a book that changed business: Emotional Intelligence connected the dots for business between EQ – (our awareness of emotions and ability to manage them) – and the bottom line. He created a bridge between success in business and success in managing and understanding emotions.

And take the Iowa gambling experiment that Malcolm Gladwell talks about in his book, Blink. The Iowa experiment was created by the acclaimed neuroscientist, Antonio Damasio. It proves that you have a superpower brain – your unconscious mind. The unconscious mind is eight times faster at figuring out what to do when you don’t know what to do next.

The bridge between the importance of the body and business is not yet clearly spelled out. Neuroscientists like Antonio Damasio, social psychologists like Amy Cuddy; best selling books like Malcolm Gladwell’s Blink. They are all touching on the same thing: the potency of the body to access information from what Malcolm Gladwell calls ‘the brain behind locked doors’

Your body is the bridge between your superpower, unconscious brain and your executive brain.

When you need to make a snap decision, your unconscious is an internal beacon that illuminates the way, shining a cellular YES or NO response to you in bold body signals.

Body Intelligence coaching trains the ability to listen to those signals, understand them and respond in a way that aligns with that internal beacon.