One of the questions I get asked by prospective clients who are considering a coaching trajectory with me is:
‘Are you going to teach me how to meditate?’
The short answer:
Firstly, I am not a meditation teacher. To pretend I was would take away from the richness that is working with a truly skilled practitioner in that space.
In saying that, I can guide a really great meditation session and bring my clients to a very relaxed state. That is one of the skills I learned through my training as a clinical hypnotherapist. I will do this with some clients, but not all.
If you’ve worked with me before, you will know that I’m not the kind of coach who prescribes a one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to growing and developing ourselves. Each path is unique and as such requires different tools and skill sets, at different moments.
In terms of how meditation features in our coaching container, what I am far more interested in is whether the person sitting in front of me is able to connect to their own body, their own emotions, their own truth, and to a state of peace inside themselves.
What I suggest will be in the direction of that outcome.
Honing these skills is how you become your own CEO–that is Chief Emotion Officer—and that’s pretty badass.
Someone who is aware of and moves with their emotions in a productive way is someone with a lot of personal power.
So, if becoming the CEO all begins with connection to your own internal state...
But here’s the catch. I would argue that despite its profound benefits, meditation isn’t always the best next step in your personal development journey.
What I have observed in my own experience as well as anecdotally from guiding clients over the past years is that to truly benefit from any kind of formal extended meditation practice, we need to get a few other things in place first. At the very least, releasing ourselves from the guilt that we should be doing something else instead of meditating.
We must also detach ourselves from any outcomes or benefits we expect to realise directly from meditation.
I got both of these things wrong back when I was working peak hours in my financial consulting job and tried to squeeze in Transcendental Meditation, a practice that requires a time commitment of at least one hour per day, on top of my already packed schedule. Not only did trying to find that time in my day create more stress, but it also didn’t turn out to be the silver bullet I hoped it would be.
All meditation is designed to help us learn to use our minds instead of allowing our minds to use us. During meditation, we have a portal in which we can quieten or even silence the voices of self-doubt, rumination and negativity and allow ourselves to self-heal (as fluffy as that might sound), as well as access vast portals of inspiration and creativity.
There is no right or wrong way to meditate, and one might have a different experience each time they sit on the (metaphorical) meditation cushion.
If sitting down quietly and being with your own thoughts sounds painful, then I suggest to start with another form of creating some white space for the mind. This might include any of the following:
Earthing (walking barefoot)
As you start spending more time with your own thoughts, you might find that you feel called to try something a little deeper and more profound (you could try something like my Perfect relaxation meditation audio, which you can listen to solo in a calm and safe environment).
For me personally, I can’t beat an (almost) daily slow meditative walk in the park, where I turn off the podcast and reconnect to nature, often barefoot. I get my best ideas out there! And most importantly, I feel calm.
To leave you with a metaphor with which to think about meditation, whichever form that might take for you, imagine the process of creating space for your mind to be like cleaning your teeth. It’s something you do daily to keep up good dental hygiene.
And if something goes wrong with your teeth, you don’t simply brush harder. You see a dentist and have them help you get to the root so the issue can be solved at that level. Meanwhile, you carry on brushing each day.
Are you on the way to becoming your CEO? Maybe meditation is a tool that can help you, too.