Total Balance Coaching Melbourne https://totalbalance.com.au Life Coach | Kate James Wed, 30 Sep 2020 02:04:19 +0000 en-US hourly 1 7 ways to change how you work https://totalbalance.com.au/change-how-you-work/ Wed, 30 Sep 2020 01:58:13 +0000 https://totalbalance.com.au/?p=17436 As a career and life coach, I’ve noticed how people’s priorities have changed over the course of this year. As well as a shift in relationships, interests and lifestyle, what I’m seeing is that many of you are now seeing you can change how you...

The post 7 ways to change <span> how you work</span> appeared first on Total Balance Coaching Melbourne.

]]>
As a career and life coach, I’ve noticed how people’s priorities have changed over the course of this year. As well as a shift in relationships, interests and lifestyle, what I’m seeing is that many of you are now seeing you can change how you work.

Some are planning to start their own businesses, others are cutting back their hours, a few are preparing for a career change and almost all are thinking about how they can create a more balanced approach to work and life.

Your job is important but you don’t want it to become your entire world. Making time for outside interests, prioritising relationships and having boundaries between work and life are imperative to maintaining a sense of wellbeing.

1. Set boundaries between work and life

When you work from home it’s easy to blur the lines. It might be tempting (and even sometimes necessary) to jump back online after dinner but before you make a habit of this, think about how you’d ideally like to structure your days and weeks.

Working from home can be great for flexibility if it means you can get out for a walk during the day or share the homeschooling with your partner, but it can also mean feeling constantly ‘on’.

Create some personal rules about how many hours you’ll work each day and establish a time to switch off at night. Ideally, set aside a couple of days each week to completely disengage from work tasks and to take a break from your email.

If you don’t have the luxury of a separate workspace in your home, clear away your work things as a way of marking the end of your day.

2. Unplug sometimes

After recently watching the documentary The Social Dilemma, Chris and I have decided to be much more vigilant about our time online. We didn’t need the film to tell us how addictive our devices are, but it reminded us that it’s easy to let technology take over our lives.

Switch off as many notifications as you can and make a commitment to have certain periods of your day offline. You may like to try one ‘screen-free day’ every week and observe the difference this makes.

Allowing downtime gives you a greater opportunity to connect with yourself and the people around you as well as the chance to properly decompress.

3. Prioritise your health

Our mental, emotional and physical wellbeing should be our number one priority at all times.

If you’re predisposed to anxiety or low-mood, make sure you have support measures in place, particularly while you’re isolated from friends and family. Choose activities that genuinely restore your wellbeing and ideally, create a sense of routine around these habits.

Try not to be overly prescriptive about what constitutes healthy living – instead, consider a few ways that you can enjoy moving your life in the direction of greater wellbeing, rather than away from it.

Meditate upon waking. Get up from your desk and move or stretch on a regular basis. Finish work early to join an online exercise class. Set up a regular appointment with a psychologist or career coach for mental support.

4. Improve your relationships

When we let work take over our lives, our relationships generally suffer. Even the connections with colleagues can become strained when our sole intent is on driving results.

Take a step back and reflect on the most important relationships inside and outside your workplace. Are you making time to genuinely connect with those people? And if yes, are you being mindful in how you interact with them, taking personal differences into account?

One simple way to improve your relationships is to become a better listener. Tune in to what the other person is really saying, be curious about their point of view and ask a few questions before jumping in with your thoughts.

5. Play to your strengths to change how you work

In many workplaces, the focus is on trying to overcome weaknesses. One way to change how we work is to reverse this focus and build on our strengths, career and life satisfaction are likely to improve.

Your strengths are the characteristics and abilities that help you to perform at your best and overcome adversity. Each of us possess character strengths, which Positive Psychology groups under the six virtues of wisdom, courage, humanity, justice, temperance, and transcendence. Your particular collection of strengths is what makes you unique.

Research has found that when we play to our strengths we feel happier, we’re more confident, we perform our roles more effectively, and we are more inclined to find more meaning in our work.

Identify your strengths by observing the activities you enjoy and the things you do well naturally. Sometimes we downplay our innate strengths because it feels almost effortless to use them.

Take the free Positive Psychology VIA Character Strengths Survey to learn about your natural strengths and aim to engage your top strengths more regularly in your everyday.

6. Become more mindful with money

Often when we become aware of economic uncertainty in the wider world, we begin to pay more attention to our personal financial wellbeing. Taking good care of your finances will help you to feel that you have more control of your future and in turn, this sense of security will give you more freedom and choice about how and where you work.

If you feel you’ve been somewhat neglectful in your financial planning to date, now is a great time to start.

Set up a simple budget or establish a savings plan that supports the achievement of your longer-term goals.

If you feel overwhelmed about where to begin, grab a copy of Scott Pape’s Barefoot Investor.

7. Take your annual leave

A recent survey found that Australians currently have the highest level of accrued annual leave since 2012. Which means we’re missing the regular breaks that give us the chance to properly unwind and change how we work.

While overseas trips are off the agenda right now, a short stay-at-home break can be a great way to relax and replenish.

Set aside a few hours to plan your leave for the coming twelve months. You might like to include a few extended weekends for home-based vacations as well as longer breaks once or twice every year. If you can’t yet put dates to your dreams or made bookings because of COVID or work considerations, it will still be rejuvenating to plan what you’d like to do during your breaks.

Research has found that planning and researching your holidays have a positive impact on your wellbeing – even before you head away.

The post 7 ways to change <span> how you work</span> appeared first on Total Balance Coaching Melbourne.

]]>
Could this be a turning point in your life? https://totalbalance.com.au/turning-point/ Mon, 21 Sep 2020 04:54:28 +0000 https://totalbalance.com.au/?p=17413 If there’s one thing I’ve become most aware of over the past few months, it’s that many of us are reflecting and asking ourselves, “What is it that really matters in my life? And how can I be more true to myself?” For many, now...

The post Could this be a turning <span>point in your life?</span> appeared first on Total Balance Coaching Melbourne.

]]>
If there’s one thing I’ve become most aware of over the past few months, it’s that many of us are reflecting and asking ourselves, “What is it that really matters in my life? And how can I be more true to myself?” For many, now is a turning point in life.

Some of my clients have started projects or taken up interests they’ve been toying with for years. Ignoring their perceived lack of readiness, they’re taking steps toward their long-held dreams, big and small. One client is dabbling in watercolour painting and another has accepted her job loss as the opportunity to start the business she’s imagined for years. Another is exploring a side-project he has a deep personal connection with, and several are writing books.

This time is a crossroads for all of us and an opportunity to review our life choices. While you might not be able to change your outer world immediately, you can certainly begin by looking at the thoughts, behaviours and habits that are currently defining you and consider how you can be more supportive of your true self.

Your relationship with yourself

Over the next few days, tune in and catch the way you speak to yourself. Pay particular attention in the moments after making a mistake or feeling inadequate in some way and listen as you start thinking about your dreams. What do you notice? Are you kind in your self-talk or are you more inclined to self-criticism?

The turning point

Consider this a time where you will offer yourself a greater degree of compassion, support and kindness.

One easy way to do this is to remember that within each of us is a younger, more vulnerable part of ourselves (you might think of this as your inner child). What would you say to the five-year-old version of you? She or he is the one who experiences vulnerability and is often in need of support. This younger part of you is also the most playful, imaginative and creative.

Find some specific phrases

Think about how you would talk to a child who was feeling scared and uncertain or who wanted to dream, explore and find adventure.

Come up with a few phrases that feel helpful and natural to you, such as:

“It’s ok to feel lonely/sad/worried right now. This has been an incredibly uncertain time.”

or

“Be creative and enjoy the process without fearing the outcome.”

When you notice and take care of the more vulnerable aspects of yourself, you’re not being self-indulgent but rather, you’re taking ownership of your need for support.

If you’re able to nurture your desire to explore, you may find you can move beyond some of your self-imposed boundaries, which will help to grow your confidence.

Your relationship with others

If you live with other people, you may have discovered that being together for long stretches of time can strain relationships.

Emotions are running high right now, so we need to be more mindful than ever in the way we interact.

The turning point

As John Gottman says, it takes five positive interactions for each single negative interaction to keep a relationship happy and healthy. When we find ourselves slipping into the habit of turning away from our loved ones because of resentment or frustration, we can take small steps to recover our connection.

While it’s tempting to criticise or attack another person for their flaws, we need to also remember that every relationship is a dynamic between two imperfect people. As much as we might feel loathe to admit it, our own behaviour plays a part too.

While it’s reasonable (and in fact, essential) that you expect the people around you to treat you with fairness and kindness, this might also be a good time to bury the hatchet or forgive old wounds.

The practice

Forgiving people doesn’t mean condoning poor behaviour nor is it about reconciling with people you have wisely moved on from. It’s about recognising the burden of anger or resentment and choosing to let go for yourself. Forgiveness doesn’t need to involve interaction with the person you’re forgiving but you may find it helpful to create a ritual of some kind that helps you to release your old hurts.

If people in your life have been a bit erratic in their behaviour in recent times, consider how you can open your heart to their struggles. Are you able to offer greater empathy or feel more compassionate about their actions? At the same time, consider how you might have been shutting down or closing off connection with your own responses. What might you do or say in order to maintain a connection?

The post Could this be a turning <span>point in your life?</span> appeared first on Total Balance Coaching Melbourne.

]]>
Inspiring Clients Catherine Morey-Nase https://totalbalance.com.au/inspiring-clients-catherine-morey-nase/ Sun, 23 Aug 2020 21:00:15 +0000 http://totalbalance.com.au/?p=9441 Catherine and I first met over Skype when she was living in Switzerland. At the time, we were exploring her options for career change. When she visited Melbourne the following summer, we met for coffee at St Edmonds on a sunny December morning. Catherine had just...

The post Inspiring Clients <span>Catherine Morey-Nase</span> appeared first on Total Balance Coaching Melbourne.

]]>
Catherine and I first met over Skype when she was living in Switzerland. At the time, we were exploring her options for career change.

When she visited Melbourne the following summer, we met for coffee at St Edmonds on a sunny December morning. Catherine had just been for a run and she had a beautiful glow of health about her but what I remember most from that meeting is how readily she laughed – and what a lovely sound her laughter was.

We have worked together for several years now in various different capacities. I have called on Catherine to help me in my business when I’ve been busy and I have supported her in setting up her own small business, The Wellbeing Corner. These days, Catherine runs meditation classes and mindful hiking days  for women (which are hugely popular).

It’s an honour to feature her on the blog today. I know you’ll find her as humble and inspiring as I do. She’s one very special human being.

Can you tell us a little bit about your business?

Meditation and spending time in nature are both essential to my wellbeing. I couldn’t imagine life without either of them. I wanted to provide practical and accessible ways of learning meditation and mindfulness techniques, whether in a class or out in nature.

The Wellbeing Corner runs 6-week beginner meditation courses as well as ‘Mindful Hiking Days’ for women. While meditation and mindfulness have become widely accepted (which I think is fantastic) learning to meditate is not always easy and it can be hard to know where and how to begin. I aim to introduce meditation in a way that is gentle, practical, accessible and fun, as well as inspire people to spend more time in nature. There really are so many places of incredible natural beauty on our doorstep just waiting to be explored.

What do you love about your working for yourself?

I love the flexibility and variety it gives me. I love that I get to decide what I do and when, as well as the fact that there are no rules! Occasionally this can feel a little overwhelming but mostly it’s really fun and exciting. I also love that I’m doing something I really believe in and am passionate about.

image3

What does a typical day look like for you?

I tend not to have a typical day. The one constant, however, is my morning meditation practice, which I do first thing upon waking. After breakfast I usually treat myself to a coffee at my local café where I’ll plan out my day. Some days I’ll be reading, researching and writing course content, blog posts, newsletters etc. and others I’ll be out in nature researching a potential hike. Then there are the days when I’m running a Mindful Hiking Day and the evenings when I run my meditation course.

What’s one thing you would do differently if you had your time over?

That’s a tricky one! I want to say I’d do lots of things differently but also that I wouldn’t change a thing. Can I have it both ways? It probably sounds a bit clichéd but everything I’ve done, including the mistakes I’ve made, has made me the person I am today and I like to think that I’ve learned something from each and every experience along the way. I will admit, however, that I’ve had to learn the same thing over and over a few times!

Project_20140308_0277

Who are your role models?

You, Kate, are definitely one of my role models. I admire the passion you have for your work, your willingness to put yourself out there in the world in such an authentic way, and how kind and caring you are. I’m inspired by so many people but other role models that come immediately to mind include Ian and Ruth Gawler, Brene Brown and Roger Federer who, in my opinion, also share many of these same qualities – authenticity, determination, self-discipline, absolute belief in, and passion, for what they do, courage and kindness. I’m also always inspired by women, especially older women (my mother is one), who, in spite of life’s challenges, remain open-minded and curious about the world and who have an adventurous spirit.

What’s been the best thing you’ve done to grow your business?

I’m not sure I can name one particular thing. I consider myself a classic introvert so traditional marketing is not comfortable for me. I’ve tried to find ways of putting myself out there that feel true to me. I try to make my meditation courses and Mindful Hiking Days the best I possibly can in the hope that people love them and recommend them to others. I will probably need to think beyond this at some point but for now it seems to be working. Connecting with like-minded business owners and doing guest blog posts and other similar exchanges has also been extremely helpful.

How did coaching help you?

Coaching helped me enormously. I can honestly say there is no absolutely no way I would have started The Wellbeing Corner without it! It helped me break down pre-conceived ideas and barriers I’d subconsciously constructed that were holding me back and gave me the confidence to take that first step and then keep going.

Where do you go for inspiration?

I find inspiration everywhere – nature, books, art, radio, blogs (Brain Pickings), Ted Talks, magazines (Dumbo Feather, Peppermint), family and friends.

What are you reading at the moment?

A little while ago I noticed that since starting my business I’d been reading fewer novels and I love reading novels! I’ve been getting back into fiction lately and have just finished Haruki Murakami’s latest novel ‘Colourless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage’, which I loved.

How do you maintain a sense of balance while running your business?

I think this is something I need to get better at. Because I love what I do I find that it can be hard to switch off. On the days I’m working at the computer, I find setting a time to stop work and take a break to do something physically active such as go for a run, swim or yoga really helpful.

IMG_1914

What are you looking forward to?

I’m really looking forward to seeing how The Wellbeing Corner changes and evolves over the coming years!

What’s one piece of advice you’d offer to someone wanting to go into their own startup?

There is no one right way. Keep checking in with what feels right for you and do that. Also, you don’t have to buy into a definition of success that is based on profit alone. For me, a successful business is as much about the contribution it makes and how it makes people feel.

The post Inspiring Clients <span>Catherine Morey-Nase</span> appeared first on Total Balance Coaching Melbourne.

]]>
How to find your ideal role https://totalbalance.com.au/find-your-ideal-role/ Fri, 21 Aug 2020 19:05:00 +0000 http://totalbalance.com.au/2010/10/finding-your-dream-role/ As a career coach, the question I’m most often asked is, “how do I find my ideal role?” Many clients make the assumption that many people are working in their dream jobs and that those people have proactively chosen their career paths. The truth is...

The post How to find <span>your ideal role</span> appeared first on Total Balance Coaching Melbourne.

]]>
As a career coach, the question I’m most often asked is, “how do I find my ideal role?” Many clients make the assumption that many people are working in their dream jobs and that those people have proactively chosen their career paths. The truth is that many of us fall into our roles by accident and often we don’t always love what we do. While you may not need a professional career coach to help you find your ideal role, the following tips will move you in the right direction.

Most of us choose careers that we know

Research tells us that our career choices are significantly influenced by the careers we’re exposed to as children. If your parents were lawyers, you’re more likely to choose law. If they worked in government, you may be inclined to follow. And if they were entrepreneurial, you’ll be either start your own business (if their experience was positive) or avoid it at all costs.

Equally, if as a child, you had a meaningful encounter with a medical professional or a friendship with the son or daughter of an artist and you made a strong connection with one of those people, you’re more likely to consider a career in these areas.

In many cases, this means we choose our roles by default rather than accessing career assessments and evaluations that help us to find our ideal role.

If you’re currently working in a role you don’t love, don’t let these factors stop you from formulating your ideal role. It’s never too late to change – I’ve worked with clients who’ve begun new careers in their 60’s. I also know from my own experience that there’s nothing in the world that will make you happier than spending your days doing what you love.

Identify your strengths

Your strengths are most easily described as the characteristics, skills and tasks you perform well. Engaging your strengths in your ideal role will feel make your work feel more effortless. Most people say that they’re energised and motivated when they have the chance to use their natural strengths.

  1. Discover your strengths by taking the Positive Psychology VIA strengths test.
  2. Make a list of the things you’re naturally good at. Include anything that other people compliment you on or activities that you can spend hours on without feeling tired.
  3. Email five friends and ask them to list your top five strengths.

Once you know your strengths, think about whether you can use these more in your existing role or is there a role that you’d be better suited to?

What are your passions or interests?

The most interesting people I know are interested in something. While some people find it daunting to make a list of passions, most of us can at least identify some interests.

If you’re stuck to name your interests, answer the following questions.

  • What are the articles you’re drawn to when you open the newspaper?
  • What magazine would you subscribe to if you had your choice?
  • Who do you admire or envy and for what aspects of their life?
  • What activities do you enjoy when you’re working?
  • What do you look forward to doing when you’re not working?
  • What did you love doing as a child?
  • What do you naturally do well?

Once you have a list of interests, think about how these might impact the kind of work that you do or the type of organisation you would ideally like to work for.

Map out your values

Your values are the guiding principles by which you live your life. You might also think of them as the measures by which you can determine whether your life is currently going well. Unlike your goals, you don’t achieve a value but rather, a value is something that you’ll continue aligning with, right throughout your life and regardless of what you’re doing.

Most people find that their values stay fairly static across a lifetime. Many are influenced by our upbringing but some we don’t discover until later in life.

Once you’ve identified your values, you may find that there are times in life where you’re not fully aligned with them. My top value, for example, is ‘inner harmony’ while another is ‘achievement’. When I’m overly focused on the achievement value and working long hours, I can become less focused on taking good care of my mental and physical wellbeing, which is an important aspect of inner harmony for me.

If you’re unclear about your values, try mapping them out by following the instructions in this article. Once you know your values, make a note of how aligned you are in your current role and consider how your organisation’s values match with your own.

Review your career history

Look back across your career history and make a note of the skills, strengths and achievements you’ve engaged and look for any that are transferable (e.g. being a good negotiator, the ability to think strategically, customer service).

Consider how those qualities can help you to find your ideal role.

  • Which role did you love the most and why?
  • Who did you enjoy working with most?
  • What was the organisation culture you found most appealing?
  • What team size do you love?
  • Do you prefer working in teams or alone?
  • How have you felt about leading others?
  • What are the skills you’ve loved using at work?

Make a list of at least ten potential ideal roles

This might sound like a stretch but the purpose of this exercise is to push you out of your comfort zone and get you thinking a little more creatively. If you’re stuck for ideas, here’s a long list of potential careers to choose from.

Once you have your long list, choose the three most appealing roles and get to work researching them using Google, LinkedIn, job search sites and by talking to people who work in those roles.

Talk to people who work in your dream role

Reach out to people in the roles you’re interested in and ask them about the aspects of the role that they love. Find out which parts of the role were surprising or challenging.

If you’re keen to start your own business, listen to podcasts people who have taken the entrepreneurial path and learn about how they achieved this.

Start with the end in mind

Envisage yourself as a fit and healthy 65-year-old and think about the kind of life you would love to be living. As you engage with this question, imagine that confidence and opportunities aren’t barriers and importantly, imagine that you still love your work enough not to want to retire. You may want to work part-time to allow for other interests but equally, imagine that you’re in your ideal role.

Once you have clarity about this, write out your vision in detail, being as specific as you can. Visualise where you’d be working, what your days would involve, who you’d be working with and create a clear picture of yourself in this setting. Imagine the clothes you’d wear, the kind of person you’d be and how you’d feel if you were in that role.

If you’re still unclear about your ideal role

If you’re still unclear about your ideal role after completing the exercises above, save your answers somewhere and make a note in your diary to come back to them in a month’s time. Sometimes by just letting the idea simmer away in the background, you discover your unconscious mind does some of the work for you.

And if you still feel stuck, you’ll find some extra tips in this article. You may also want to talk to someone about your career aspirations (or your career confusion). If you’re not ready to engage a professional career coach or career counsellor, ask a friend if they can spare an hour of their time to let you run through your concerns. Often just hearing yourself talk it through out loud gives you some clarity.

The post How to find <span>your ideal role</span> appeared first on Total Balance Coaching Melbourne.

]]>
Change the way you think https://totalbalance.com.au/changing-your-thinking/ Wed, 29 Jul 2020 22:34:57 +0000 http://totalbalance.com.au/?p=9538 While life is such a long way from normal, it’s hard not to wish things were different right now. If you’re open to interacting mindfully with your more difficult thoughts and emotions, you may discover that mindfulness can help you to change your thinking. Most...

The post Change the way <span>you think</span> appeared first on Total Balance Coaching Melbourne.

]]>
While life is such a long way from normal, it’s hard not to wish things were different right now. If you’re open to interacting mindfully with your more difficult thoughts and emotions, you may discover that mindfulness can help you to change your thinking.

Most of us are doing whatever we can to keep our difficult thoughts at bay and much of it is imperfect. Almost everyone I speak to tells me they’re drinking more wine, eating more chocolate, spending too much time shopping online and scrolling mindlessly through social media.

Without any real sense of control, we’re all just doing the best that we can in order to manage our worries. The problem is that some of our choices create their own set of problems and they can even inhibit our wellbeing.

Soften into your thoughts and feelings

With practise, you may find you can soften into everything you feel. Even the most uncomfortable emotions and experiences become easier to bear as you work to change your thinking.

Mindfulness teacher, Jack Kornfield describes how to do this well. He says, “There is a deep joy that comes when we stop denying the painful aspects of life, and instead allow our hearts to open to and accept the full range of our experience: life and death, pleasure and pain, darkness and light. Even in the face of the tremendous suffering in the world, there can be this joy, which comes not from rejecting pain and seeking pleasure, but rather from our ability to meditate and open ourselves to the truth.”

It might seem a bit of a stretch to suggest that joy is an option right now but there really can be a sense of freedom – and even lightness – when we let go of the idea that we have control over anything.

Jack suggests that the path to inner peace involves changing the way we think. His approach is about recognising that there will always be the potential for suffering in our lives.  There’ll be a mix of wonderful experiences and painful ones too. When we have the courage to love someone deeply, we risk losing them one day too. When we attempt to pursue a new career path, we risk appearing inexperienced or potentially even failing. Even when we invite a new friend for coffee (or a socially distanced walk), we risk the uncomfortable experience of rejection.

A mindful approach means learning to go with the flow of life rather than fighting against it. This is not an easy thing to do, but what I’ve found when I do this myself is that it really is quite liberating.

Become aware

First, pay attention to the thoughts and feelings that stop you from feeling hopeful and positive about the future. Just notice them for now and if you can, make friends with them. Say hello to fear or loneliness and be curious about what it’s like to experience those feelings rather than pushing them away. Become aware of how your body feels when there’s fear, find out where it’s located in your body and just name it. ‘This is fear, I’m noticing fear.’ It’s enough to just do this for now. Soften into it, stay with it, don’t resist it

Don’t run away

Notice your tendency to want to numb the emotions that are most difficult. Learn about your habitual ways of dealing with pain. What do you feel like doing to get away? Instead of giving in to whatever you usually do, take another breath and keep making room for the emotion you feel in a mindful and open way. Keep naming what you feel. Stay with your emotions. You’ll be surprised at your capacity to bear discomfort when you stop fighting and over time, you’ll come to see how you can change your resistance when you change your thinking.

What really matters?

Once you’ve made room for the emotion and taken the time to sit with it for a while, you might want to think about what is within your control. What are your deepest desires about how you want to live your life? Even in the midst of this painful experience, who and what really matters?

Do one tiny thing

Rather than choosing your habitual behaviour, choose one tiny action step that is aligned with your values. For example, if you have a value of inner harmony and you know that mindfulness practice helps, make time to listen to a mindful meditation at the beginning or end of your day. If you have a value of connection, call someone you care about and talk with them. If you have a value of kindness, think of one small thing you can do to brighten another person’s day.

Don’t be afraid

Sometimes people worry that if they acknowledge and make room for difficult feelings, they’ll become consumed by them. In fact, the opposite is usually true. Fighting our fearful thoughts and pushing away our worries only serves to escalate them.

When you begin to trust that you can manage whatever life throws your way you come to recognise that within you is a great capacity for inner peace. From this place, you then have the opportunity to embrace the small pockets of beauty that can be found in the every day.

If you need support to change your thinking, our life coaching or online mindfulness workshop series may help.

The post Change the way <span>you think</span> appeared first on Total Balance Coaching Melbourne.

]]>
5 ways to increase your energy https://totalbalance.com.au/5-ways-to-increase-your-energy/ Tue, 30 Jun 2020 00:00:36 +0000 http://totalbalance.com.au/?p=9727 The uncertainty and stress of the past few months have left many of us feeling pretty depleted. With so much change in such a short time and a while to wait before our lives have some semblance of normal again, the only thing we have...

The post 5 ways to increase <span> your energy</span> appeared first on Total Balance Coaching Melbourne.

]]>
The uncertainty and stress of the past few months have left many of us feeling pretty depleted. With so much change in such a short time and a while to wait before our lives have some semblance of normal again, the only thing we have any control of right now is how we respond to this crisis. The following tips will help increase your energy levels and build your resilience.

1. Get the basics right

Listen to your body about the foods that energise you and the kind of movement that makes you feel grounded. Walking, dancing, yoga and qigong can help to bring down anxiety levels and help to reconnect you with your body. When you’re properly tuned in, you’ll find it easier to listen to what your body needs.

Energy is derived from your emotional wellbeing so make sure you’re taking care of your mind state too. Spend a few minutes in meditation upon waking. If you find yourself feeling flat, try a loving-kindness practice,  which has proven to be the most effective form of meditation when it comes to warding off depression.

If you have noticed your mood is lower than usual, which is not that uncommon right now, don’t leave it too long to reach out for support with a psychologist or personal coach.

2. Connect with nature, even while you’re indoors

If there’s one quick way to shift your energy quickly and create more inner calm, it’s spending time in nature. Patients in hospitals with a view of the outdoors heal faster than those without.

People who work in offices with windows get sick less frequently and a recent study of elderly people found that those who don’t venture outside are more prone to depression.

Try to get out into a beautiful natural environment at least several times each week. When you can’t get outside, brain scans have shown that even looking at images of natural environments can lower your stress levels. Use a screensaver of a natural scene or put a bunch of flowers or pot plant on your desk.

3. Stay up to date with the news, but take breaks too

Keeping abreast of the updates is essential right now, but it’s easy to slip into a state of overwhelm when you’re checking news sites too often.

Work out which time of day is best for you to be updated (preferably not right before bed) and make a habit of checking in just once a day. Consider taking one or two “news free” days in your week.

4. Spend time alone if you’re an introvert or with others, if you’re an extrovert

Tune in to your capacity for socialising. If you do better one-on-one, reduce your group gatherings – even if they are just online. If you share your home and workspace with others, negotiate some alone time every few days. And if you’re living alone and working from home, make an effort to connect in real life where you can.

5. Be kind to yourself

The biggest energy drainer of all is the pressure you put yourself under to be perfect. Try to catch the voice of your Inner Critic and counter it with a voice of Inner Kindness.

The greatest sense of emotional freedom is achieved when you can be more at peace with who you are, which includes making room for your flaws. Remember that none of us is perfect –some people might be better at hiding it than others, but at the end of the day we’re all simply doing the best that we can.

The post 5 ways to increase <span> your energy</span> appeared first on Total Balance Coaching Melbourne.

]]>
How to find your purpose in life https://totalbalance.com.au/find-your-life-purpose/ Sun, 28 Jun 2020 20:01:43 +0000 https://totalbalance.com.au/?p=15767 In my life and career coaching work, people ask me often, how do you find your purpose in life? For some of us, it feels completetly elusive. We read stories about people like the Nobel prize-winning scientists harnessing the body’s immune system to fight cancer or...

The post How to find <span>your purpose in life</span> appeared first on Total Balance Coaching Melbourne.

]]>
In my life and career coaching work, people ask me often, how do you find your purpose in life? For some of us, it feels completetly elusive. We read stories about people like the Nobel prize-winning scientists harnessing the body’s immune system to fight cancer or the seventh-generation farmer from Illinois who started a sustainable food movement or the enterprising mother of three, Jodie Harris who started local charity Mums Supporting Families in Need and we feel like our own lives are small and inadequate.

Finding your life purpose can mean a subtle shift

The problem is that we often frame ‘purpose’ as something that needs to be significant. We want it to be visible to others and we usually feel that it’s only truly valid if it’s connected to some external measure of success. We fail to recognise that a purposeful life that is humble and ‘small’ is no less significant than one that is lived out in the public eye.

For most of my introverted clients, the latter is actually more appealing and because it’s also authentic, it’s generally more meaningful too. We still need to remind ourselves that it’s equally valuable.

I was personally reminded of this yesterday after spending four hours with a lovely client (we’ll call her Olivia) who is currently not engaged in paid work, but who is still living a very purposeful life. Olivia has had a successful career but now that she’s not employed (and despite her earlier success) she feels that her life is lacking meaning.

In her early 50s, Olivia is keen to do something that will inspire and energise her and also contribute in some way. When we looked at her strengths and her values, we discovered that she’s engaging these on a daily basis. And to her surprise, we also discovered that she’s already making a difference in other people’s lives in ways that really matter to her, even if she’s not making a living from those efforts.

We spend so much time focusing on what we’re not doing, that we often overlook what is right in front of our eyes.

Like many of us, Olivia was so busy searching that she had failed to see how much purpose she already has in her life.

If you have the same concern, try the following tips to connect with the purposeful moments you already have in your life.

1. How do you find your life purpose?

One of the biggest mistakes we make is to only look to others for inspiration. Being focused outwardly is wonderful if it’s genuinely inspiring, but it can also mean you forget to tune in and listen to your intuition about what ‘purposeful’ might feel like to you.

One way to gain clarity about this is to think about how you’d love to be remembered when you’re no longer here. While it might sound morbid to write your own eulogy, it’s an excellent way to get clear about what really matters and to help you feel more connected with your life purpose.

2. Stop comparing yourself to others

In the same way that we look to others for inspiration, we often compare ourselves once we do find ways of being purposeful. The key is to find your own way of living with purpose and then to get out in the world and do that, regardless of whether someone else is doing it already or doing it in a way that looks more significant or more successful than you imagine you can be.

3. Stop measuring your success in quantifiable terms

Living with purpose is not about numbers. It doesn’t matter if you only make a difference in one person’s life on a single day in a given year – that’s enough.

It’s the intention that counts, not the number of people you help or the dollar figure attached to your efforts.

4. Stop being so hard on yourself

After listening to Olivia’s story, my experience of her was that she is generous and kind and I can see that she’s already making a difference every day. What she sees is all that she’s not doing (because, like all of us, her brain has a strong negative bias).

Remind yourself at the end of every day of the things you have done that were purposeful and if it feels helpful, at the beginning of each new day, think about one small action that will give your life purpose.

5. Get really clear on what matters

One of the main reasons most of us feel that our lives lack purpose is that we haven’t spent the time getting really clear about what our life purpose is. Here’s my simple methodology for doing this.

Get to know your unique strengths and your values; evaluate your life journey and think about the experiences that have shaped you most (both positive and negative). Then consider how you can use your life experience and engage your strengths and values to contribute to others in a way (or ways) that feel that they’ll align with you finding your life purpose. An extra tip here is that often we seek to give what we would love to receive ourselves.

Finally, write out a clear statement of your life purpose (see my example below) and do your best to bring this to life in your every day.

The post How to find <span>your purpose in life</span> appeared first on Total Balance Coaching Melbourne.

]]>
Inspiring Clients Lindy Lloyd https://totalbalance.com.au/lindy-lloyd/ Wed, 17 Jun 2020 20:58:42 +0000 http://totalbalance.com.au/?p=11986 Lindy Lloyd is actually one of my dearest friends. She was a client many moons ago but for over a decade now, our relationship has been just a personal one. We met through another lovely friend, Kate, who kindly shared Lindy’s details when I asked for...

The post Inspiring Clients <span> Lindy Lloyd</span> appeared first on Total Balance Coaching Melbourne.

]]>
Lindy Lloyd is actually one of my dearest friends. She was a client many moons ago but for over a decade now, our relationship has been just a personal one. We met through another lovely friend, Kate, who kindly shared Lindy’s details when I asked for a massage therapist recommendation.

At the time, Lindy was in the early days of creating her own skincare range alongside her thriving massage business. Eventually she decided that refining the skincare range would be more of a priority than massage (much to her clients’ disappointment – she’s not that easy to replace!).

Late last year, Ena was launched and within a couple of months, Lindy had stockists in Melbourne and Sydney. Have a read of her story and you’ll understand why I love her as much as I do. And jump across to her website and stock up on her beautiful skincare products – of all the gifts I give, these are absolute favourites among my friends and family.

Can you tell us a little bit about your business?

My business, Ena Products, is a range of body care products hand made from scratch by me.  Using all natural ingredients it is made with the love and care that we have come to expect from the food we eat.  I have this same philosophy with everything we put on our skin.  Named after my beautiful grandmother, Ena, it has been in the pipeline for over 10 years.  As a Massage Therapist I had been making creams and oils for myself, family & friends, and clients for the duration of that career.  Although it was an unusually long time to get a business off the ground, I knew the timing had to be right in order for me to enjoy it, and therefore be successful.  This time period also gave me the chance to test and change the recipes according to feedback from those I trusted. 

What do you love about your working for yourself?

I find working for myself completely empowering.  I can dictate when and where I work. Every day is exciting as I see my dreams realised.  Only yesterday I made a delivery to one of my favourite retail outlets – what a buzz!  But above all I have chosen something that I truly believe in – I’m creating a product that is beneficial to our wellbeing.  With so many chemicals and toxins in our modern world, every little effort helps to maintain optimum health.  It’s also a priority for me to do business with kind, like minded people – of which there are many!  I’m finding that there is an amazing support network in small business in Australia.

Ena_images_09_750px

What does a typical day look like for you?

6.30am.  My day begins.  Make my daughter’s school lunch and get her ready for school.  I try to get the house as tidy as possible so I can come back and start work at 9.15am (after school drop off).  I’ve made a rule, not to do ANY housework during my “work” hours.  It’s not easy!  If it’s a “cooking” day (generally twice weekly), I’ll set myself the goal of having the kitchen spotless and all the ingredients and utensils ready by 10am.  I’m not always successful at that one!  I can get quite a few batches manufactured in 3 hours.

1-1.30pm.  Break for lunch (I never skip a meal – I love my food too much). 

2pm  Meditate for 20 mins.

2.30pm  I head to my office, in the front room, and read/send emails and make phone calls.  But let’s be honest, emails and social media (for work!) are pretty much a constant throughout the day no matter what I’m doing.  I need to work on that! 

3.30pm  School pick up

On a non “cooking” day, I might be doing deliveries to stockists, or visiting potential stockists on my dream “hit list”.

4pm   After my daughter gets home, we’ll read her daily “reader” (she’s in Prep so it’s all still exciting in our house ) and talk about her day.

5pm  Dinner preparation starts, followed by all the usual night time rituals that I won’t bore you with.

8pm   If there are any orders that need to be posted the next day, I’ll prepare those.

10pm  Bed

Wednesday mornings are my exercise group, which I also do on a Saturday morning.  It makes me feel so much more energetic and alert, I really can’t do without it.

Ena_images_01_750_

What’s one thing you would do differently if you had your time over?

I tried to launch the business about eight years ago.  I was working full time as a Massage Therapist and trying to conceive.  It was unrealistic to think I could give the business the attention it needed to be a success.  It was definitely, at that stage of my life, priority number three.  I have since learnt that timing is everything.

Who are your role models?

My Mum is hands down my number 1 role model.  She raised four children on her own, while building a successful ladies tennis wear business, Salvado Sportswear.  She designed every piece herself and oversaw production and sales.  In it’s heyday (in the ‘70s), it was the “go to” tennis wear at all the clubs.  Her outfits were often seen on Centre Court at the Australian Open.  Beth (who’s middle name is Ena), was a kind and gentle, but determined woman.  I watched as she stoically juggled home life and work life through difficult times, but always found time for her tennis (her greatest passion), family and friends.  She had work/life balance worked out before the phrase was coined!

She’s not with us anymore, but I feel her presence constantly.  I know she’d be proud of my efforts so far.  In a way, I’m doing it for her.  There’s definitely some parallels between her business and mine!

(That was my favourite question to answer 🙂 )

Ena_images_23_750px

What’s been the best thing you’ve done to grow your business?

Given I only launched Ena Products in December 2015, it’s still very early days.  I’m being very careful not to grow my product range too quickly.  I have a number of products to add, but am still getting a feel for the market.  There needs to be a happy balance between taking that leap and good planning.  I think it’s important to have very clear goals.

How did coaching help you?

Working on my own it helps to be accountable to someone.  There’s also a constant supply of knowledge and resources, that a coach can bring through experience in the field.  A coach can calm my busy mind, and take the emotion out of the picture.  An objective view is, more often than not, a thoughtful and well processed view.   A coach can give you a pat on the back.  We all need those from time to time.

Where do you go for inspiration?

I love to hear other people’s stories.  Two great resources we have here in Melbourne is the Wheeler Centre and the School of Life.  Both groups have extensive calendars of speakers and events.  I strongly recommend subscribing to their email lists.  Oh and I can’t go past a good TED talk!

On a different level, watching the ocean at any time of the year, is definitely my happy place.

What are you reading at the moment? 

I’m currently reading “A Visit To The Goon Squad” by Jennifer Egan.  It’s this month’s read for my book club.  I’ve only just started it, but I think I’m going to really like it!

www.enaproducts.com.au

How do you maintain a sense of balance while running your business?

I remind myself of what’s most important in my life.  My daughter and husband are my priority.  If I put their needs first (particularly the small person) there’s a feeling of calm around us.  This creates the perfect headspace for when it is time to sit down and work on the business.

And good diet & exercise – this is a non negotiable.

What are you looking forward to?

Everything.  There’s so much to write here, I can’t even begin to list them.  You name it, I’m looking forward to it.  Life is pretty good right now actually.

What’s one piece of advice you’d offer to someone wanting to go into their own startup?

Do what you truly love and success will follow.  Don’t do what you think others want you to do – trust your intuition. 

The post Inspiring Clients <span> Lindy Lloyd</span> appeared first on Total Balance Coaching Melbourne.

]]>
Unlock your creative confidence https://totalbalance.com.au/unlocking-your-creative-confidence/ Thu, 28 May 2020 07:11:55 +0000 https://totalbalance.com.au/?p=17066 When I was growing up, my family moved to a new city every couple of years. Almost always being the new girl in school meant that my books, and the characters within them, were my most treasured and constant friends. During my teenage years, I...

The post Unlock your <span>creative confidence</span> appeared first on Total Balance Coaching Melbourne.

]]>
When I was growing up, my family moved to a new city every couple of years. Almost always being the new girl in school meant that my books, and the characters within them, were my most treasured and constant friends.

During my teenage years, I wrote poetry in my head to help make sense of the world. Later I scribbled those poems on scraps of paper and posted them off to my favourite magazines. A couple were even published.

As I wandered the bush tracks and climbed the gum trees around our different homes, I began to dream of oneday becoming a writer. I imagined my future career and thought about how I could blend my love of thinking deeply and writing to help people who felt like outsiders, as I had often been.

In my mid-30s, I finally realised that dream when I started my own coaching business. Now I had the opportunity to support other people and a legitimate reason to share my writing with the world. While I was truly excited to do both those things, writing for others to read suddenly felt far less exhilarating than I had imagined it would be. In fact, it was utterly nerve-wracking. I seriously contemplated giving it away before I’d even begun.

I struggled to get the right words on the page and when I re-read what I’d written, it felt clunky and unnatural. By the time I drafted my first short article, I had six people on my mailing list (and two of them were family). I can still remember my nervousness before I hit send on that first newsletter. I was worried that my work was a long way from good enough and because I cared so much about writing, this small act felt more important than any other step I’d taken in my professional life.

I’ve come to learn that apprehension like this is usually present for all of us when we set out to do what we love, and it’s almost always the case when we embark on a new creative journey. When we share our creative work, we’re sharing from the deepest part of ourselves –– it’s no wonder we have moments of self-doubt.

This is the time when your inner critic’s voice becomes the loudest, cautioning you to be careful and sensible and not to make a fool of yourself. Your critic might tell you it’s safer not to try at all or at least to wait until you’ve taken another class or had another few hundred hours of practice.

The reality is that even with another qualification or a solid bank of hours, stepping over that line to put your work in the hands of other people, not just for the first time but maybe even every time, is likely to make you feel vulnerable and possibly even flawed.

The irony is that it’s those very imperfections, the very humanness of you, that will make you most relatable and real.

Over the years, I’ve found that it gets easier to hit the send button and there are also practices I’ve embraced that help to quieten my inner critic and keep me feeling grounded and calm.

Be yourself, as much as you can

When I first started writing, I wanted to come across as intelligent, so I used bigger words and wrote more formally than I would ever speak. As I became more confident, I began to find my natural voice which made writing less effort and I suspect, easier for my audience to read. It has helped to remember that no matter how well I write, some people are still not going to like my work. I stopped trying to please everyone and instead, started writing from the heart.

Remember your purpose

If you haven’t taken the time to work out your ‘why’, do this now. What is the difference you want to make most in the world with your creative work? Stay true to this and always keep it top of mind. When you find yourself questioning whether to continue or having moments of self-doubt, come back to your sense of purpose.

Go gently, give yourself time

Take the pressure off. You don’t need to hurry. You can take as long as you need. If you’re under pressure to make an income from your creative work, it’s ok to take a part-time role while you build confidence with your creative process.

Be mindful, be present

Take a deep breath and come back to this present moment. Be grateful for what you’ve already achieved. Remember to celebrate the small milestones and remind yourself that the journey is often more important than the destination.

Be inspired by others, not deflated

Even when you’re on the right track, there will always be someone further along the path than you. Try not to compare yourself with others (as difficult as this can be at times) but rather, allow the people you admire to be your inspiration.

Reconnect with the real world

It can sometimes be addictive and alluring to spend time in the online world, but it may not be the place where you’ll feel most grounded. Block out chunks of time every day to be offline. Reconnect with your ‘real life’ relationships and spend time in nature to clear your head and to remind you that there’s so much in this world to be thankful for.

The post Unlock your <span>creative confidence</span> appeared first on Total Balance Coaching Melbourne.

]]>
Ten guided meditations for beginners https://totalbalance.com.au/ten-guided-meditations-for-beginners/ Thu, 21 May 2020 06:44:55 +0000 https://totalbalance.com.au/?p=16975 On World Meditation Day, I’m sharing my favourite ten guided meditations for beginners. Almost five years ago to the day, a thoughtful client of mine from Spain, Carmen, sent me an email to ask if I’d be open to sharing my meditations on the free...

The post Ten guided meditations <span> for beginners</span> appeared first on Total Balance Coaching Melbourne.

]]>
On World Meditation Day, I’m sharing my favourite ten guided meditations for beginners.

Almost five years ago to the day, a thoughtful client of mine from Spain, Carmen, sent me an email to ask if I’d be open to sharing my meditations on the free meditation app, Insight Timer. I was using the app myself and loved it, but hadn’t thought to reach out to ask if they’d be open to me contributing my own meditations.

Originally developed in the US, the app had been purchased just a couple of months earlier by a couple of Australian guys, Christopher and Nicholas Plowman, who were looking for a way to share their love of meditation with the world. After Carmen’s email, I emailed and later met with the lovely Maddy Gerard, who was head of new content at the time.

Over the ensuing five years, I’ve shared many of my meditations and a ten-day course on the Insight Timer app and it has been a joy to get to know the Insight community and work with the Insight team. In every way, this has been the most rewarding collaboration.

Now home to over 15 million meditators and sharing 45,000 free meditations, Christopher and Nicho are doing their bit to create a more peaceful and conscious world, one person at a time, by offering meditation at no costs.

Today is World Meditation Day so I thought it was the perfect time to share my favourite Insight Timer meditations for absolute beginners in the hope that maybe I can play a small part in continuing to spread the word. Please feel free to share this post on your own channels.

1. Compassionate Body Scan by Vidyamala Burch (15 mins)

A body scan meditation is probably one of the easiest ways to meditate when you’re a complete beginner. Vidyamala has a lovely voice and her guided meditations are spoken without background music. This track will help you to let go of physical stress and tension.

2. Mindfulness of Thoughts Meditation by Meg James (10 mins)

I’m a bit biased about Meg’s meditations because she’s my daughter. She has a beautiful, gentle voice and her meditation is backed by soothing music. This is a great meditation to help you to become more mindful of the unhelpful ways you think.

3. Breath and Awareness by Tara Brach (7 mins)

Tara Brach is a psychologist and mindfulness teacher, whose work is underpinned by her training in Buddhism. Her work in the self-compassion space has had a great impact in my personal life and also in the work that I do with my clients. This is an excellent introduction to breath meditation.

4. Quick Confidence by Andrew Johnson (6 mins)

Andrew is trained in clinical hypnotherapy so his meditations are both deeply relaxing and powerful in their capacity for helping cultivate mental change. This meditation will help you to feel more relaxed about yourself while also cultivating a newfound sense of confidence. Backed by soothing music.

5. Mountain Meditation by Andy Hobson (15 mins)

Andy is someone who truly embodies his work. He composes his own music which is introduced a few minutes into this meditation. Andy’s meditations offer patches of silence, which I personally really love. This is an excellent track to help you feel more stable, grounded and calm.

6. Healing Through Letting Go with Sarah Blondin (12 mins)

Sarah’s meditations are quite unique. Her voice is beautifully soothing and her writing is insightful, reflective, vulnerable and poetic. This track includes music that comes in at around the four minute mark. I think you’ll find this meditation deeply nurturing.

7. Mindful Awareness Meditation by me (10 mins)

I thought I’d include one of my meditations too in this collection. This one is a simple mindful awareness meditation to help you pay deliberate attention to internal and external experiences.

8. Yoga Nidra by Zoe Kanat (15 mins)

Yoga Nidra is one of the easiest ways to access a deep state of relaxation while maintaining full consciousness, making it a form of meditation truly rejuvenating for the body and mind. Zoe’s yoga nidra is a great length for someone starting out with this practice. It’s backed by a relaxing music track.

9. Yoga Nidra for Sleep Meditation with Jennifer Piercy (15 mins)

Jennifer is Insight Timer’s sleep guru and this deeply relaxing yoga nidra practice will help to induce sleep naturally. Use it as you transition into sleep.

10. Slowing Down Your Mind by Davidji (20 mins)

Davidji has the most wonderful deep voice and he uses a traditional Sanskrit mantras in his meditations, which makes them feel a little more spiritual. This track is maybe better practised after you’ve tried some of the others as it includes around seven minutes of silence while you focus on the mantra.

The post Ten guided meditations <span> for beginners</span> appeared first on Total Balance Coaching Melbourne.

]]>