Posts Tagged ‘Coaching’

One of the blessings of discerning new vocation, is the opportunities that arise. This was speaking notes from a quick teaching presentation I was asked to make. It is best as a full hour, but this was put forward for 8-10 minutes. It was fun.

Today we continue our series of applying the skills with the practitioner and the client. One of the greatest stumbling blocks ourselves, and our clients, will face in holistic health is resistance. We have already explored and practiced the POP strategy, Inclusion Lens, Rolling with Resistance and Powerful Questions to name but a few. Today we look at gremlins.

This is not about the cute critters that got wet or fed after midnight, but is an allegory from the myth of gremlins that would interrupt the performance of machines, in World War II mechanics would blame the Gremlins when they were asked to fix something that was unexplainable, or once brought to them the machine was no longer doing. But for us, what are gremlins?

It is the inner piece of us that holds us back. Now the gremlin is not just a negative soundtrack, it can be that, it is also the things that sound like safe gate keepers: my experience says this can happen; I need more data, what ifs? Anything else that rolls around that can make you hesitant or lead you to stop something that is beneficial?

Hold those voices/statements and feelings. The gremlin work arises when in conversation in the moment, or over time you note the same hesitancies or phrases arising from the client or in self-awareness yourself. It brings a full mind-heart approach as it is creative in how we root this out. Ensure you have a blank piece of paper, and a pen or pencil:

  • Centre yourself; take some deep breaths slowly counting up to 5, and then back down to 0.
  • On the paper in front of you, we are going to take 1 minute to quickly scribble out an image of what your gremlin looks like. This gives us a visual, around the visual write some of the things said from the voice of the gremlin.
  • Name your gremlin. They are a part of you, and as such should be given the honour of a name.
  • Now, take the time you need to contemplate if you are ready to move beyond the gremlin, or to let it remain. Some you work with may be ready right away, some may still struggle.

See the gremlin has kept us safe, even if unhealthy, and gotten us to this point in our lives.  If you are ready to say good-bye, and then thank your gremlin for the work it has done for you, but acknowledge it is time to be whole. I would suggest a destruction ritual of tearing up and the garbage, or burning. This does not mean the gremlin is gone forever, it may resurface, but you have named it, and now can tell it to go away when it surfaces again. If you are not ready, that is okay, share about your gremlin with a confidant, and set a specific time and place to revisit. Accountability is the key with doing this type of work.

When doing gremlin work, it may take longer than this short in-service, most likely will even for you, but it is healthy. Take the beginnings away with you. As you work your self-care journal which we already know is done in words and images not structured essay, spend time unpacking your gremlins, which one or ones are you wanting to challenge and confront. Do the imaging, scribbling and writing, make a connection with a trusted coach or mentor to sit with for accountability and process if you want to move beyond the gremlin. If so, discard, note in your journal what it felt like in the release.

We shall continue to revisit the impact of external and internal resistance for the practitioner and client on the healing and stability journey of addictions.

Any questions?


I always loved having students (regardless of age from grade school up to doctoral students) and bringing up the topic of self-care. Then asking them to brainstorm what it means. I loved it because it allowed for being an iconoclast (shattering of icons).  See, institutes of academia, even those that support human services fields, treat self-care as a per-functionary checklist. That is the goal is that the next day you can arise and provide your piece-Spacely Space Sprocket- in the industrial complex of helping or life.

The checklist to keep the sprocket going is such things as eating healthy, getting enough sleep, taking medications/supplements appropriately and as prescribed, walks, working out, being active and you can imagine the rest or probably can recite it from memory. See though, that is like saying regular oil changes, cleaning air filters, filling tires, and putting gas in are self-care for your car. NOPE, that is simply maintenance to keep the device going. True, you don’t do those things your body will eventually stop working, but self-care is more. And yes, remember basic maintenance can change due to your life experience, holistic health, and life span development. It is never static.

Self-care is like the full tune-up and detailing of your car. It is what removes the negative energy, and rejuvenates the positive within you. It takes your being beyond simply putting in time, to innovating with time left.

Why have we shrunk it down to a per-functionary checklist? Simple, it lowers the base line, but does not address the deep rooted issue. If we just keep maintaining eventually we find escapism that feeds the negative and perpetuates and untenable cycle within our own lives and society.

 Simple Daily practice: 1) 3 things you are grateful for 2) Something new you learned; 3) something you have done today to re-energize/renew yourself. #selfcare #lifelonglearner #gratitude

Change your thought pattern. When you enter into that which recharges the positive energy and deep cleans out the sludge, be present with it. Let your phone/tech go off line. Be in the moment. What is it that when you are done you feel like “YOU”?

Is it time in spiritual practice? Writing? Reading? Hiking in the mountains? Biking? Being with your family? Enjoying a crappy cup of coffee in a truck stop in a deep conversation with one or two good friends? wood work? Knitting? Crafting? Travel…but travel where you can immerse yourself not just raise around touristy…some say it is volunteering, but remember that too can need a recharge practice.

(Caveat: Remember anything we do to recharge can also if we are not doing proper maintenance cause us to slip into deeper negativity for it can feel like a burden, it is the balance).

Today is a day to celebrate self-care. Know that it is different for each of us. Some will discover what resonates with them through trying different things with friends, some may discover it through support of mentors, life coaches, spiritual directors or clerics in conversations, others may already know.

Regardless, the choice with our time in life, is like our money, sometimes sacrifices need to be made to become a better more present, content you and escape the wheel of life that makes even basic service maintenance a chore. Stop making excuses. Carve out for what is important. That is what self-care is about, creating regular time for that which burns out the energy sludge of our souls, and lets the light shine back in.

Ready to burn some sludge?

What will you do to ensure self-care is part of your life?


0-10 Scale: 0 at centre, 10 at outer rim. Self rank yourself and see how round/balanced you are. Then challenge what you can do to move up one point towards 10, and set a deadline, tell a friend who you can follow up with and will encourage it to be actualized.


We do not encourage being present in the moment. No matter the aspect of life we are existing in: personal, professional, membership clubs, etc. We are rushing most of the time. We want the next step, the next big thing. With our children we are constantly pushing them to thrive harder, take on more, what happened to that missing 5% from the 95/100. You have to know what you want to do with your life, you are after all 10 years old. What is your 5, 10, 15 year plan? What is the career path you see laid out before you?

What you can’t help with that now it does not fit the plan laid out. Oh, something came up, well it has to be put off until later, not what we want now.  Ridged. Scheduled. Planned out. No wiggle room. Must achieve what you say and do it exemplary.

Trace Adkins’ You’re Going to Miss this, watch/listen here 

Kenney Chesney’s Don’t Blink. Watch/listen here.

If you are not the person or parent preaching/planning like this there must be something wrong with you. Want to confuse a teacher at at CBE parent-teacher conference, ask about social things in the school, speak of holistic education, talk about the outcome being citizenry and zest for lifelong learning, not just a university entrance GPA. Talk about the child/student discovering who they are, their passions and interests and growing a path from that.

Want to confuse friends? Put out there that University or Technical school is not a must for your child. That your child may only have 1 extra-curricular they are booked into, that they want to just spend time in play with their friends. That the kids want to be kids.

It confuses folks, because it is the antithesis of the world we have created. Yet the world we have created has created an outcome that anyone could see coming– children with mental health issues most (if they experienced) would not see until middle age…yet we are talking those at one point in psychiatric history should not be labelled or diagnosed as such is now normative.

What happened? Listen to the two songs above. We have created a world that cannot be in the moment. Cannot be present to the experience that is now. Cannot find contentment in the now. Yes change happens, yet change needs to come from not wrestling with the current gremlin of felt insufficiency or drive to be seen with esteem.

Change comes from following your own interior compass of who you are.

And you have that interior compass, because you have had the time to discover who you are.

Be honest with yourself. In your rush in life up to this point to stick to the plan, to achieve:

What have you missed?

When you close your eyes and think of life, what was gone in a blink?

You cannot change the past, but you can live into the present which in the future will let you look back and know that you didn’t miss what was most important in the blink of an eye.

For your heart eye was on what mattered in life, not the shiny bauble before the magpie.

Bonus listen: Tim McGraw’s Live like you’re dying