Life Coaching: looking back on 2015

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In this blog I will answer some questions to reflect on my work and development as a life coach in 2015.

How have you lived and worked in alignment with your values and vision?

Keyword I had chosen for 2015 was simply to “be”. It sounds simple, but I believe for many people it’s life biggest personal challenge to just be who you are, including for myself. As a life coach this year has been a year full of amazing emotional growth for myself, my partner and all the people I have coached. In alignment of my vision I have started giving lectures on high sensitivity. I kicked the first one of in May in The Hague and received 22 participants.

My vision is that the world will be a gentler, nicer and more fun place to live in when more and more people come to appreciate their sensitivity in stead of surpressing or neglecting it. High sensitive people have many talents, but feel quite overruled by a dominant society with high expectations. With these lectures I have shared the challenges highly sensitive people face on the workfloor and in personal relationships. Only by sharing stories of the highly sensitive people I have coached I got feedbacked that people feel supported and understood. They even experienced the lecture as uplifting, yes, of course there are ways to feel empowered to do just that what you most desire in life.

I have been working as a life coach for 12 years and I have always worked in alignment of my values. People hire me to guide them with their emotional development and in the Netherlands it’s quite unusual to invest in hiring a life coach. First option would be a psychologist. This has much to do with the costs and how my guidance isn’t covered by insurance. However I have seen my coachingpractice growing, especially people who have had sessions with a psychologist or psychotherapist found my practice and have undergone many positive changes.

One of my core values as a coach and human being is to give my best, every second that the people are in my coachingpractice. I coach with genuine interest and empathy putting their matters of the heart on the front line. My open and genuine attitide feeds the coaching relationship in which the coachee is able to blossom and let go of limiting thoughts and emotions. I have noticed that I attract more people who turn to my guidance even before turning to a psychologist. I find this positive in many ways. One of them is that people take the lead in health care; they choose their type of guidance in stead of being controlled by society and insurance policy.

What were your most valuable learnings or take-aways? My most valuable learnings were the following:

When you process anger and sadness one is able to feel loving and compassionate again by forgiving the person who angered you, but also to forgive yourself for being too hard on yourself or for not having done the right thing. This doesn’t mean the wrecked relationship will be renewded again; it means that you won’t have to go through life with resentment towards this relationship. But it is also possible to put loving energy in the relationship to see it change for the better. It all depends on how you feel.

I’ve started to use rebirthing in my coaching practice. Through this breathing technique I’ve learned a lot about how body, mind and energy works. It’s a simple technique which leads to magnificent results. People are able to free themselves from negative emotions and physical pains. People will start to feel clear-minded, strong and flexible in the body and emotional more stable.

Another valuable learning was the power of sharing my vision and mission. It empowered me to think about the high sensitivity knowledge I’ve gained throughout the years. Many people who follow my work feel supported and empowered to accept themselves fully as high sensitive people.

Where did you show self-compassion, courage, and commitment (especially in the face of challenge)?

The most challenging work I’ve done which showed self-compassion, courage and commitment was to let myself be healed by rebirthing and to be of support and guidance for my husband who has been suffering a headache for six years. It takes a lot of patience and resilience to keep out heads up. On the other hand we don’t have a choice; it’s either doing nothing which won’t change anything or putting all of our energy in getting healthy.

How did you surprise yourself?

While I was pregnant I’ve worked all the way. I had much more energy compared to my first pregnancy. I’ve only felt off-beat the first three months, afterwards hormones regulated and I could eat whatever I wanted and felt lots of energy and motivation to work.

What impact (big or small) have you made through your work?

I’ve made people express their anger, sadness, hatred, disappointment, powerlessness and helplessness to process their trauma’s such as sexual abuse, dominanting relationships with parents, divorce, being surpressed my negative emotions of family and break-ups of love relationships. After having expressed these emotions they felt empowered again, they felt empty at first, but slowly it gave them the energy to take better care for themselves, acknowledge their talents and live the life they want.

For more information on my work, I invite you to visit my website Orchid of Life ~ Life Coaching. 

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HSP: live from your core and inner strength

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As a highly sensitive person we are characterized by traits such as kindness, good-natured, helpful, attentive, conscious, creative and with strongly developed senses for nature, the emotional side of human beings, babies, animals and spirituality. Based on these characteristics I am convinced that highly sensitive people naturally live more from their heart’s calling. I am not saying that they all have the perfect jobs and that their whole lives revolves around every heart’s desire they have. Some highly sensitive people are still wandering and stuck in a job which holds them back. Jobs which are able to drain them in such a way that they feel waisted and super tired from a day’s work.

Let’s get back to a highly sensitive person’s calling and the possibility of leading a live which suits you best in many ways. I would like to get your attention for a person’s calling in a sense which resonates completely with one’s soul. What makes your soul happy? Have you every wondered what it might be? How would it be like to live from your core and inner strength? I can imagine it’s not a daily life question. My experience is that this question mainly pops up when a person finds himself stuck in the life that they are currently leading. A life which doesn’t provide the deep pleasure and satisfaction which automatically puts a smile on your face.

That feeling of being stuck can occur when you are not happy at your current job, because of a business culture in which people are only thinking of themselves, getting higher up at cost of their colleagues. Perhaps even at cost of your performance. Or you are looking for a job, but the only thing that comes your way are rejections. No, you don’t fit the job, because you’re too highly qualified or your ambitions are too high. That feeling of being stuck can also be an indescribable feeling, a feeling unknown to you, because you were the person who was always positive-minded and pro-active when it came to your life. And that’s where I as a Life Coach come in.

My specialty is to guide people in a way they are enabled to see clearly through the emotions they are feeling. Some emotions have a blinding effect, such as fear, anger, sadness and guilt. It’s quite easy to get stuck in these emotions whilst thinking you are stuck in life. Life moves on, but life can be much more fun and a place where you want to be, when you are happy and calm from within. And let’s take a moment for mourning; this is a deep-rooted raw emotion which can tear someone apart. Our society doesn’t allow us the time to mourn in detail. This means it’s up to us to take the time to mourn.

And what does this emotion-talk have to do with getting to know your soul’s mission? Well, it has everything to do with your soul’s mission. One is unable to feel and act upon the soul’s mission if the soul is still covered with fear, anxiety, anger, sadness and guilt. Your soul needs you to be kind, attentive and loving to yourself. As a highly sensitive person we are more likely to be attentive to others, to act upon the needs of others. Well, it’s about time you stand up for yourself. Heal the thoughts you are having, heal the wound that you are carrying around. It’s time to feel and act upon your inner strength. From the first step you will take you will notice the joy from within. Are you ready for real change?

Are you interested in a session? Click here to read more about the introduction session! 

Life Coaching: my journey in rebirthing

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This year my summer holidays wasn’t only about going to the beach, eating ice cream, reading books, discovering new spots nor any arty farty stuff while a Summer storm ravaged the Hague. Lots of my attention went to rebirthing. Out of pure necessity.

Day in and day out I have guided rebirthing sessions. I’ve undergone rebirthing sessions as well and it has been an exciting and insightful journey inwards. It all started in February this year. My partner came back from a rebirthing weekend organised by an institute named AUMM. His rebirthing experience and stories about other people’s sessions made me very curious. As if my wish was picked up by the universe, I am enormously grateful that I was guided into a rebirthing session only one week later. I cried unstoppably and without a sense of time for an hour.

Let me explain to you what rebirthing does. Rebirthing consists of different breathing techniques, but the one breathing technique which activates surpressed emotional blockages goes as follows: while breathing we connect inhalation with exhalation and exhalation with inhalation, in doing so we create a circular motion of breath. In rebirthing this is called ‘connected breathing’. This connected breathing could activate different physical symptoms like feeling cold all over your body or the opposite super hot like fire, a tingling sensation in arms, legs, face or just about everywhere, itching and the sensation of wanting to curl your feet up or move your knees from side to side. Whichever physical symptom arises depends on who you are, what kind of emotional trauma’s you’ve had and in which stage of emotional consciousness you are in.

By the end of June I started using ‘connected breathing’ in my coaching practice in combination with coaching techniques such as Neuro Linguistic Programming and Social Panorama. The results were fenomenal. In this stage my experience was only based upon my and my partner’s rebirthing experiences and by reading the books written by the founders of the AUMM institute. Before I decided to put my knowledge and experience to practice I had been through a major personal development regarding my role as a professional life coach; I had eagerly watched Suzanne Powell on YouTube and it was the first time in years that I found myself a teacher, someone I wanted to learn from. Her knowledge and experience affirmed how I live and think as I guide others to discover themselves while letting go of emotional burden.

Parallel to this development I struggled a week long with different life courses I could run: shall I write my book on high sensitivity, attend a four-year study on rebirthing or go for our second child? Off course I discussed all of this with my partner. After some talk we decided to go for our second child. I am happy to announce that I am almost four months into pregnancy. So ‘rebirthing’ has another meaning to me; going for our second real-time birth experience! I have to say, this life changing decision has put every work-relation ambition I had in a broader perspective. Off course writing a book and study can wait, but I would have been enlightened If I didn’t struggle with the following: how can I continue my journey in rebirthing when my full attention went to family and working life?

Out of personal and professional interest I did find time to read the books on rebirthing. And somehow the answer to my question just appeared out of doing my work. While guiding sessions one day I used the rebirthing technique without a lot of thinking. As I guide intuitively I just do what I feel is needed to enable the coachee to let go of limiting thoughts, behavior and emotions. As I have mentioned before, the results were fenomenal. Rebirthing to me has shown it’s positive effects while guiding people who have a hard time talking about their feelings. The positive results took me to investigate the topic even more. Within a short period of time I have mastered this skill with help of books, YouTube video’s, pure practice and loads of reflection; writing down every single detail of the rebirthing process.

This blog closes off an insightful and breathtaking Summer holidays, but the journey continues! As I mentioned in the first paragraph, this journey was started out of necessity. Some people who follow my writings already know, but to the ones who don’t know, my partner is suffering a severe headache for almost six years. So embarking on this journey wasn’t because we were so thrilled to cry our eyes out, instead we had a goal in mind and this is ‘living a life in good and vibrant health’. Before I go, there is one more detail I would like to share: one tiny part of me questioned my professionalism in embarking our rebirthing journey without having done a four-year long study. At the beginning of this week I got hold of a book by Susanna Tamaro ‘Louisito’. On the back of the book I read that she acquired international fame by one of her books called ‘Follow Your Heart’. I went online to read some reviews and came across the paragraph below:

‘And when later many paths open for you and you are not sure which one to take, don’t haphazardly choose a path, but sit and wait. Breathe with full confidence as deep as you breathed on the day you came into the world, without being distracted by something, wait and keep waiting. Do not move, be quiet and listen to your heart. Whenever that speaks to you, get up and follow his voice.’ ~ Susanna Tamaro

These words took away my doubt. I am very happy and grateful to have followed the voice of my heart. The rebirthing journey continues while every cell in my body vibrates of professionalism and a strong motivation to live my life in good health and help others to live theirs.

Why would I need coaching?

Coach – Welcome Patrick, make yourself comfortable. What lead you to try coaching?

Patrick – Whoa! Nobody said anything about starting coaching, I am just here because someone else recommended it.

Coach – Relax Patrick this is just a conversation to get to know whether coaching is right for you, there is no commitment.
Patrick – Good! Before you know it I will probably be stuck with lifetime commitment, high monthly fees and extra penalties for when I can’t show up!

Coach – Actually Patrick, coaching is not some fitness-like institution where you pay regardless of use. Coaching is completely tailored to the client and you can have as many or as few sessions as you wish. You only pay for the coaching you receive and you can always reschedule an appointment in advance without penalties.

Patrick – Hey! I don’t need some quack telling me I’m crazy and locking me up in some asylum for the rest of my life!

Coach – Actually, that would be a psychiatrist. A coach does not judge or decide, a coach guides and brings clarity to those parts of your life that you feel need it.

Patrick – But what if my issues are not emotional, I’m not a woman after all, how can coaching help in other aspects of my life like my work?

Coach – Well, coaching is not about just emotions, its about your life. Your life is composed of so many influences, including emotional, work, experiences, goals too many in fact to mention here. The beauty is that you only need to focus on what is important to you, and that’s what we work with. Also Patrick, men deal with as much emotional conflicts as women, but are usually more introverted, and so benefit as much from coaching sessions as their female counter parts.

Patrick – Ahh, so you want me to open up and tell you all my secrets so ridicule me and tell all your friends about what a mess my life is!

Coach – First of all, a coach does not need to know every little aspect of your life to be able to guide you. Only that which is important to you will come to light. Secondly if you would want to share something with your coach, there is a strict code of client-coach confidentiality and so what is discussed in the session, stays in the session.

Patrick – Now I see! So you are just going to yak-yak-yak about who you think I am and what I should do, while I just sit here like some school kid and take notes!

Coach – Nothing could be further from the truth, actually a coaches most important job is to listen, pay attention and understand the client.

Patrick – Well why didn’t you says so? That sounds really easy, my cat is a good listener, I will just ask mittens to coach me!

Coach – It’s true that listening is the most important part of coaching, however it is not limited to that. Being a good listener is imperative to be able to coach properly, but listening alone is not the same as coaching.

Patrick – I don’t know…I still have the feeling that I coaching is for the mentally challenged, physically enfeebled, or emotionally weakened.

Coach – Patrick, coaching is not really for those people. It is for regular people from all walks of life. For anyone who wants to start taking steps towards achieving their personal goals or is just curious about what else life has to offer.

Patrick – Well I am curious, lets give it a shot!

Coach – That’s the spirit!

Written by David de Haas

Improve your relationships with Social Panorama

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Without being conscious of it, you have fixed your position in society and your social panorama. This means that you always continue to be who you are, even if you want it to be different. The social panorama model is a psychological instrument with which we can change our unconscious map of social reality. In this model, interpersonal relationships are explained as cognitive constructions in mental space; we project people onto a mental location, and that location determines the quality of the emotional relationship. Problems with intimate relationships, self confidence, conflicts, power, families, teams, and organizations can be relatively easily analysed and solved with the help of the social panorama model.

You are in the centre of this ‘social panorama’; all significant people are projected on their own locations around it. The exact locations where the images of others are placed in someone’s social panorama have proven to be extremely meaningful. This lead up to the social panorama’s maxim: relation equals location. Or more precisely: the quality of a social relation is to a great extend governed by the spot where the inner image of the person is projected in mental space. (by Lucas Derks, founder of the Social Panorama)

My Social Panorama experience in Hong Kong
In 2006 I went with Lucas Derks to Hong Kong to attend a training on Social Panorama which was given by Lucas himself. The training was organised for consultants who are working in business and health care organizations. During the training I have seen amazing results by using this method. There was a Chinese man dealing with self esteem issues and slowly small changes were visible in his facial expression and his standing posture became more steady.

Furthermore I noticed a cultural difference with the Dutch culture. The Dutch express theirselves more in comparison to the Chinese. The Dutch share their opinions and emotions can be read off their faces. Generally speaking, Chinese people, who are born and grew up in China, don’t have strong emotional facial and bodily expressions. This means that as coaches we need to be more aware and take the time to guide them fully through the process. It was very interesting to see how acting upon these cultural differences made such a huge difference in the results.

Social Panorama as one of my coachingtools
I have used this method in my practice to the great benefit of my clients. For example one of my clients struggled with authority issues on the work floor. She had problems facing her manager when it came to salary negotiations or simply when they teamed up to discuss projects. She felt she couldn’t meet the high expectations of her manager. After I had guided her through the Social Panorama she felt herself being on an equal level with the manager and the high expectations she felt earlier weren’t that high in reality. She felt less dominated and her own feelings of being ‘not important enough’ changed for the better so that she was capable of meeting the expectations of her manager.

Read more about Social Panorama & see films on how it works on the website of Lucas Derks, Social Panorama.