Watch your Language

People say that we have never been as bad at communicating as we are today, and yet we are communicating an awful LOT!

Not until, sometime between 12th and 18th of June this year, was this piece of information brought to my attention, to later investigate and analyse my linguistic habits. I was on the Stretch Therapy Teachers course where the lovely Kit Laughlin was teaching us things about stretching, and beyond. The lesson of using language to communicate was a big take home for me.

Photo credit: Pixabay.com

In 2010, I was living in Halmstad, Sweden, the home city of Eleiko (you may have heard of them, they make competition barbells for Olympic Weightlifting?). I went to university in Halmstad and after 3 years I had earned my bachelor of science from HH and my personal trainer certificate from Eleiko Education. For one reason or another I found myself doing courses with American coaches; Charles Poliquin and The Poliquin Group, which made me imagine myself training people in English. I wasn’t a great English speaker at the time but I had this feeling that I was born to coach in English (To be frank, maybe this was more a part of me dreaming about marrying a big muscly man with a thick American accent? Yeah that didn’t’ happen…). Fast forward 7 years, now I’m speaking English more than I speak Swedish, and I teach fully in this language they call “Australian English”. I got me muscly Aussie man, who can do American impersonations quite well!

As I became better at speaking fluent English I became worse at communicating in both Swedish, the mother language I now started to forget, and in English. My English developed into an exaggerated, long-winded, commanding and do-it-for-me-communication:

“I want you to do split squats next”

“I think that is so bloody awesome”

Photo credit: Pixabay.com

I’m sure this is not the full story of my linguistic habits, I am yet to dig deeper. What I have noticed so far, which I have come to realise by speaking to Kit and my mentor Dave Wardman, is that I tend to add redundant words like; really, very, a lot, much, freaking etc. These long-winded sentences ended up just short of the meaning or feeling I wanted to get across. However, I have realised now that they weren’t even close to getting the feeling across, the extra words made the sentence mean nothing.

Kit opened my eyes when he told me, that when coaching, the client is there for them not for you (doooh!). This means that all the times I’ve said; “Now I want you to move that knee further back…” it’s been all about me, not them. The communication should be directed to them; “Archie, move your back knee further back…”.  (Please give me a gentle slap on the head if you ever hear me say “I’d like you to…” in a coaching session ever again).

My communication has grown non-specific with zero meaning.

Photo credit: Pixabay.com

One or two years ago I would’ve felt intimidated when writing and posting this blog post as I every single day was concerned about getting my message across when coaching. I have improved my use of language the last 3 months. I feel confident in my ability to further do so and I know that the intention in everything I do comes from a good place, therefore I don’t feel intimidated today.

My linguistic learnings (Ha! “Learnings” is apparently a made up word):

  1. Skip the “extra fluffy redundant” words
  2. Direct the communication to be about the client, they’re not doing it for me
  3. Slow down and allow myself to think of how to communicate before I do. This has been a big help for me.

How do you communicate? 😊

Fx

I’m becoming a child!

Credit: Pixabay.com

On Monday, I came home after a full day at work and I laid down for 10minutes of meditation. It is truly wonderful to now be able to lay down and within seconds feel heavy and deeply relaxed (Thank you stretching)! The mind is another thing, often whilst meditating I have some epic ideas (or so I think), I think a lot during my meditation. I’m not always able to let thoughts pass when doing a lying, seated or standing meditation practice. It’s a work in progress…

 

This time I came to realise that I can turn into a child whenever I want to! If someone was trying to pick me up or move me I can quickly become REALLY heavy. If someone would tell me to hurry up I can move REALLY slow, probably so slow that no one would be able to see me move! If someone would ask me to stop bouncing on the blue mats at work, I would most certainly bounce there LONG after they’ve given up on me.

 

You see, this is a fantastic thing. Let me elaborate:

  1. To get into a deeply relaxed state, even if not quickly, is not a skill many people possess today. It is fundamental to have the skill of relaxing to avoid unnecessary tension in the body to move, breathe and sleep well.
  2. To move slow might not at first glance seem like the most useful thing in the world but let me explain. If you can move so slow that someone from the outside (who can’t feel it) can barely, if even, see it that means you can control your body, well. Many people move too quickly and aren’t even able to place a mug on the table without waking up the neighbours. Moving slow means You have control.
  3. To bounce is not just for fun and if you’ve seen Tony Robbins bouncing on a trampoline that is not just the next American fad, there’s something to this. Bouncing, or shaking as it’s also called, I’ve found is great to relieve tension in my body! Shaking is something that animals do to relieve stress. You’ll find plenty of people talking about this online and to be honest, I haven’t done my research on it (yet), I shake because shaking FEELS great. When you’ve shaken for a few minutes you’ll walk around “floating”. I can’t do it justice with words, you need to experience it. Watch Ido Portal and Conor McGregor shake in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lcJ8mCS5BN8

Watch me bounce at Lift (haha!): https://www.instagram.com/p/BVyRTbYFpUs/?taken-by=lucidhealthcoaching

 

I see these 3 skills as a form of “meditation”. When I do them I need to be present, I need to feel my body and I need to control it. For me meditation doesn’t always equal sitting down on a cushion and emptying my mind from thoughts. For me meditation is about focusing (being present) on something (feeling my body) in a controlled environment (deeply relaxed/moving slowly/shaking) and when I do I automatically don’t think of anything else than what I am currently doing, because it takes concentration!

Credit: Pixabay.com

Luke would likely say that he is in a “meditative state” when he’s playing guitar because his full attention is on playing guitar to the best of his ability. There will then be no room for other thoughts.

 

I’m not sure your kids are using the skills the same way 😉 What I do know is that they’re bloody good at them (to a certain age)!

Watch and learn.

 

/Fanny

 

Stress management strategies

Over the years of being stressed, ehm I mean over the years I’ve lived in this world, I’ve come to learn a few stress management strategies. If you take the time to really read through and understand them you might find one or two that is just what you need, at this moment in time.

1. Focus on the current task

Or I could say “Stay present”, but staying present is often one of those things you say but then what does it Actually mean? If you instead think about focusing on the current task that automatically means you’re not thinking of anything else and therefore you’re in the present. Use all your senses to focus on your current task; listen, smell, touch, see and taste. All that is required for you to do a good job on your current task!

2. Stop acting on your emotions

I read this book by Pema Chödrön called “Living beautifully: with uncertainty and change” and she was talking about that when something happens and we get an emotion inside of us, that will actually go away in about 90 seconds unless we act on it. So if you act on the emotion to the incident that happened your brain will sustain it as a feeling, for what might be a long time to come. Ex. If you have a chat to your boss who tells you there will have to be people made redundant at work due to financial issues in the near future and the emotion of fear arises in your body, then continuing thinking and acting on (entertaining) this emotion will make you feel worried. In that situation I would stop and just feel the emotion until it has passed. Following that; instead of repeating the incident and feeling worried you can think about what to do to prevent it from happening.

3. Breathe

Breathing through your nose will help the nervous system to calm down more than when you breathe through the mouth. The box breathing has helped me many times; Breath in, hold, breath out and hold again for the same amount of time. Ex. Breathe in for 3 seconds, hold it for 3 seconds, breathe out for 3 seconds and then hold it again for 3 seconds. Take 2-5 minutes to do this a couple of times throughout the day and you will feel a difference instantly.

4. Put things into perspective

Whenever you’re facing a situation that makes you stressed/nervous/anxious ask yourself; What’s the worst thing that can happen? Is this a life-threatening situation? If it won’t kill you in one way or another, it is probably not something you need or want to stress about. Things like speaking in front of people is not a life-threatening situation (even though most of the people probably would feel like it going into it! A few nerves could of course be good in this situation but maybe not feeling totally stressed out). Nor is being late to a meeting or a restaurant booking, you simply apologize and plan better next time. 

5. Act out of your good heart

Get comfortable with that not everyone in this world will take the things you say the right way. I experienced this last year and wow what a good lesson I learnt. I could sense the energy from a friend of mine and she was not in a good mood and I instantly started thinking of things I said and did, as if it was something that I had done. Without talking about it we went on with our day and after repeating in my head; what did I do to make her upset, I realized that whatever it might’ve been, it came from my heart. I never intend to hurt anyone with my words or acts and this time was not an exception so I changed my mindset and got over it. This realization was a great relief and step in the right direction for me. I now feel comfortable with my best efforts. Later on I found out that she was just having a bad day and it had nothing to do with me.

The thing is that if you are doing your very best to be a good person and all your actions comes from the heart then if those actions are not taken the right way at least you’ve done what you can. I don’t think you should be ashamed of your best efforts, rather think that you learn for next time.

These are a few strategies I’ve learnt the last few years and they’ve become staples in my stress management cup board!

What strategies do you have?

Peace

Easiest sourdough recipe

If you've done sourdough with a sourdough starter before this recipe is probably not for you! BUT if you're keen to get into the sourdough making OR if you've done breads but want to try something different TRY THIS easy sourdough recipe!

500g White premium bakers flour ​

1 tsp bakers yeast (dried yeast)

2 tsp Himalayan salt (pink salt)

Any herbs or fruit you want in it. My favourites are; ​Rosemary & salt or Goji & currants

​340ml filtered water

Mix all the dried ingredients + what ever extras you'd like (fruit or herbs) till it's well combined! ​Then pour in the water and mix at the same time. Mix for as long as you can but when it gets hard you will need to get your fingers dirty! A tip here is to only use one hand and knead the dough by pinching it then take a new grip, pinch then take a new grip, repeat, so that your hand doesn't get too "wet" from the dough and get stuck. You want to knead it enough for it to become a ball of dough then put glad wrap on top and let it rest. 

This is what I do to make it airy: I leave it on the counter until it's risen to about double the size then I push it down with my fingers and fold it so it looks similar to when I first made it. I repeat this 1-2 times/day for 2-3 days, depending on how hot the weather is (Hot weather=less days resting). When you can't wait anymore you make it into a loaf-like shape (don't put it into a tray) and put it on baking paper. Let it rest again for 30min - 2h, it might rise a bit more. 

Bake it: Put the oven on as hot as it gets. Make a cut at the top of the bread lengthways or however you fancy! When hot; place the the bread in the oven, lower rather than too high because it'll rise again, for 25min. Sometimes I put in a little jar with water in the bottom so it gets more moisture, try both ways and see what you prefer. 

I get all my ingredients from my local co-op Alfalfa House in Enmore, Sydney. It's a non profit shop with fresh local produce and organic all you can think of; powders, herbs, dried fruit, teas, oats, beans, lentils, GF pastas and so much more. 

Enjoy 🙂

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