Tag Archives: Mindfulness practice

Body + Mind + Soul Workout

by Vicy L. Wilkinson, MA, BCC, Certified Concept2/UCanRow2 Indoor Rowing Instructor

Rowing Machine and Yoga Mats - Creative Workouts for People with ADHDI am a professional life coach who specializes in transformational and integrative coaching methods, so I am all about living more authentically by embracing all aspects of yourself as thoroughly as possible.  By leaning on your strengths and values, while being aware of your weaknesses and triggers, you feel more whole and complete as you move through the world.  When you move through the world from a place of feeling whole and complete, it’s possible to be more vulnerable, open, and compassionate towards others because you’re actively working to embrace all your “stuff” instead of just the shiny bits. This year, all my intentions of what to cultivate more of in my life and experience can be summed up in three words:  health, wealth, and travel.  I know that part of the foundation of my intent is making fitness a priority even more than ever now because “fit over forty” is more challenging than fit under forty.  I have also developed a keen awareness that keeping my mind sharp is equally important for my overall health, whether we’re talking physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual.  I also know that none of these aspects is separate from the others, so I’m constantly seeking ways to integrate instead of compartmentalize.

On the inside looking out

On the inside looking out.

It’s the end of January and I live on the side of a mountain. It’s been raining for almost 48 hours straight and it’s cold, gray, foggy and soggy.  Many of my clients and friends experience SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder), and the older I get, the more I feel this affect as well.  My point is that even with the best of intentions, sometimes the motivation is hard to muster.  This rainy Sunday afternoon, though, I had an idea that felt so energizing that it motivated me to get up off the couch, turn off the Hulu, turn on some music (I chose my Pandora Madonna station today), pull out my erg (oh, Concept2 ergie, how I appreciate you!), and unroll my yoga mats.  I pulled up my InsightTimer app and made a 40 minute pre-set with a 5 minute warm-up, and set up bells at every 5 minute increment. I set up a pen and paper with two short prompts written on them for intervals #4 and #8.  I decided that I would be kind and compassionate towards the ADHD aspects of me that get a little frustrated with long haul workouts when it’s really all I kind do to light any kind of fire in me to work out.  I pushed start on the timer and off I rowed!

I started off slowly, just loosening up and warming up all the big muscles in the legs, abs, back, arms very loose and barely doing anything.  I did some short stroke drills:  legs, body, arms, arms, body, legs.  Woof! Mee-oww… Work! Rest. Rest.  That sort of thing, honing in on the rhythm of the rowing stroke while I was reminded that everybody wants to rule the world.  (What a great 80s song that seems to always roll through my Madonna station.) When that first bell rang, I picked up the pace and decided to find a stroke that felt like a bit too much to keep up for five full minutes, and then I backed off just a tiny bit from there and rowed hard for 5 solid minutes.  By then, I was feeling excited and also thinking that a good downward facing dog and ujjayi breathing was coming up right in time!

Spending the next five minutes on my yoga mat gave me some great breath work and allowed me to find all the tight spots in my hips, shoulders, and back that the erg had heated up so nicely for me.  Pigeon pose was exceptionally good during this brief yoga interval.  Ding!  Back to the erg for another round…  I repeated a similar hard row, but this time I felt more open, free, and joyful!  I could close my eyes, listen to the rain pattering on the roof, and feel a sense of swing over smooth water on a beautiful lake.  It was perfect.  My stroke felt strong, tall, and smooth.  I highly recommend visualization work while your muscles burn with lactic acid – it sure does help pass the time.  And those 5 minutes flew – ding!

Automatic writing with a word promptThis time I stood up, took a few sips of water, in between sips of nice solid air after rowing at a hard pace for those brief perfect-seeming minutes.  Nodding approval at the ~1150-meter distance covered over that flowing row time, I took a seat at the table that had the pen and paper.  “Ease – what would cultivating ease in all experiences of life look and feel like?”  (Thanks, Danielle LaPorte, as that was inspired directly from a Fire Starter Sessions group on Facebook from earlier this week.) To my surprise, all kinds of things came pouring out of my pen: open heart; looseness in my body – especially at my shoulders, around my heart, in my belly; pushing only with energy of mind; calmness and clarity in my thoughts; sense of rightness in the 8-fold-path sense; CHOICE not by default or leftovers or last standing standards but CHOICE by discernment of specific desire; abundance always; no clenching or tightening – only joy and laughter, even over challenges, through tears and the endless clouds of grief and pain that are part of being human; ease does not equal easy;  ease is a felt-sense inside – attainable through muscle memory and conscious awareness; freedom – love – joy.

I then repeated the 5 minute HIIT intervals, with a high energy Vinyasa flow piece my next time around on the yoga mat, and writing on the prompt “working at a distance” as I drank water and finished up the workout with my blood pumping hard and my pen writing furiously.  Even more poured out than before, and this time, I walked away with some really specific actions to take towards goals that I set at the beginning of the year, connected to those highest intentions for my 2018 experience.  I discovered that a physical workout that includes my 3 big habit-based strengths – rowing, yoga, and writing – I could get motivated to get my workout on and also tap into my own soul or higher consciousness or empowered self or God consciousness to get answers to the nagging question that always swirls around goals:  how do I get there?

Give it a try! (Quick start instructions below) Or create your own multi-aspect workout that includes whatever your strengths are!  I can’t wait to try this one out during swim season!

Mind + Body + Soul Rowing Workout

Vicy is a Concept2 / UCanRow2 Certified Indoor Rowing Instructor5 minutes – warm up row
5 minutes – row at a fast “cruise pace”
5 minutes – yoga (breathing and stretching) on a yoga mat
Suggestions:  downward facing dog until your breath slows and ujjayi breath comes easily, lower down through plank pose all the way to mat, stretch up into cobra three times, back up to downard dog.  Walk the dog, do some hip openers.  Then walk up into a long hold on a forward fold, stretching out and continuing ujjayi.  Repeat this or add lunges as time permits.
5 minutes – row a little faster, right on the edge of your pacing being unsustainable – “transport pace” in 2k race terminology
5 minutes – write for 5 minutes on unlined paper or line paper turned sideways on a pre-selected single word or phrase
Repeat!

Stretch for at least 5 minutes after the work out – all major muscle groups, including hands, wrists, and fingers.

Are you feeling too unmotivated or just plain stuck in general to get off the couch? Reach out to us and make an appointment for an initial coaching consultation call.  All you need is a phone to accomplish your first step.  Call or text 864-918-2914 or email info@completelifecoaching.com today.

February Events – Relax & Enjoy

Relaxing Cat

Cats Make Excellent Relaxation Coaches!

Just SHOW UP and SHINE!

You are invited to join us for one or all of our upcoming February events, which you can find on Meetup.com or just RSVP through Facebook!  Some events are free, others are $5-15 per person.  All events are here to help you focus on YOU!

Here’s what’s coming up over the next few weeks…

Complete Life Coaching: Connect, Collaborate, Create

Greenville, SC
1,849 Awesome People

This is a group for people who desire living life beyond just surviving.  The group is hosted by professional coaches who work with people who are interested in THRIVING: in t…

Next Meetup

RestShop Series – RELAX

Saturday, Feb 17, 2018, 3:00 PM
6 Attending

Check out this Meetup Group →

February begins our new “RestShop” Series, which are all events intended for you to enjoy through relaxation, renewal, restoration, and quiet focus.  We’re hosting Gentle Yoga, meditation time, tea time with focused conversations on manifesting your visions, group coaching around creating ABUNDANCE in your life, and more.  We are excited to bring people together for the purpose of making time to dream, and for taking time to turn our dreams into reality!

Featured February events include two awesome opportunities in just one weekend! 

Ally Karge, RYT 200

Ally Karge, RYT 200

On Saturday, 2/17/18 from 3pm – 4:45pm we will host our first Gentle Yoga + Meditation Class.  This is a class for ALL yoga levels, and there will be modifications taught so that anyone of any age can receive the healing benefits of yoga.

We will finish yoga about 4:15.  The extra 1/2 hour is for tea + talk time to get to know each other a little better, if you wish.

RestShop Series – RELAX

Saturday, Feb 17, 2018, 3:00 PM

Complete Life Coaching – GTP offices & studios
1801 Rutherford Rd. Greenville , SC

6 Awesome People Attending

We all work so much, even when we’re “off work”, so CLC created a RestShop Series to help you slow down and relax… This one is all about RELAXATION! Gentle Yoga with Ally, RYT 200 + Golden Light Guided Meditation with Vicy, MA, BCC *All ages and all levels of practice welcome & encouraged. Modifications for chair yoga will be available.* Even if …

Check out this Meetup →

The Abounding River GameAnd then on Sunday, 2/18/18 from 3pm – 5pm, we will be facilitating an afternoon game of The Abounding River, which is meant to inspire, ignite, and renew impassioned ideas and goals!

RestShop Series – ABUNDANCE

Sunday, Feb 18, 2018, 3:00 PM

Location details are available to members only.

7 Awesome People Attending

We all work so much, even when we’re “off work”, so CLC created a RestShop Series to help you slow down and relax… This one is all about ABUNDANCE!Please join us for an afternoon of discovering abundance, joy, gratitude, and love in your life as we group play The Abounding River game and enjoy abundance-manifesting sharing and conversation. Faci…

Check out this Meetup →

Got questions?  Give us a call or text (864) 918-2914.

Ready to jump into coaching right now?  Call or text today to set up a one-on-one appointment.  We coach clients around the world, but we see them in person in Greenville, SC.

The Power of Intention

Machu Picchu, Cusco Region, Peru

Overlooking Machu Picchu ~ photo by Sara

It’s time to change the way we think and speak about our dreams. Transforming a conversation, just like manifesting a dream, begins by setting an intention. Your intentions will assist you in taking greater control of your life.

A working definition for intention is: “to have in mind a purpose or plan, to direct the mind, to aim.” Lacking intention, we sometimes stray or wander aimlessly, without meaning or direction. But with intention, all the forces of the universe can align to make even the most impossible, possible. My intention is to transform the conversation around dreams from fear and doubt, to hope and possibility, followed by action and results.

Some might say this is not the right time to dream. The media and masses say, “It’s time to be realistic.” Consider this. without our dreams all we have is our present reality. Reality is not a bad thing necessarily, but I have to say that the current reality I observe in the bigger picture of the world is scary, and demonstrates a lot of the worst in people. I want to live in a reality that reflects the best we have to offer each other, not the worst.  We have to know where we are so we can design the appropriate strategy for getting to where we want to be. The challenge is our attitude around “reality” and being “realistic” and what being realistic has cost us. Often that’s our passion and joy, our hopes and dreams. I say no more.  I want to share a quick story about the power of intention.

I turned 40 in the spring of 2016 with very little fanfare, even though I am known among my friends & family as being a serious birthday brat.  So much so, even, that as a joke last year, one friend wished me a “Happy Birthday Year” on New Year’s Day… I tend to elongate my birthday as an excuse to spend more time with friends and family and “celebrate” as long as possible, both before and after the actual anniversary of my birth.  What can I say?  I just love to celebrate life!  And when one has experienced as much grief and loss as I have, one understands quite clearly that the next birthday is absolutely not promised.

Cusco Region ~ Ancient Agricultural Testing ~ photo by Sara

But the spring of 2016 was already jam packed with activity, including a week-long trip to Austin, Texas, during my “birthday month” to celebrate a friend’s wedding, and I definitely didn’t want anything to get in the way of the bride & groom’s spotlight.  Therefore, I told everyone way back then that what I REALLY wanted was for all of us to go on a trip together, somewhere magical that we’d never been.  I thought on it for quite a while before I landed on just the right adventure.  Then it struck me:  Peru for 42!  After all, I grew up reading Douglas Adams, so I knew that 42 was the ultimate answer to life, the universe, and everything.  I wanted to gather as many of my closest friends together and go to Peru to see Machu Picchu, and explore wonders of the world together!  That realization was some time near the end of 2016, and it was just an idea.  At that time, I set the intention that sometime around my birthday in 2018, we were going to Peru.

Meanwhile along the space-time continuum, one of those closest friends was navigating a long-distance relationship with the love of her life, who happens to be Peruvian.  As their relationship grew, so did their desire to be closer geographically, and it became apparent that due to family obligations and international relation nuances, the Peruvian partner could not relocate to the USA.  Eventually, my friend decided that moving to Peru was a real possibility.  Not terribly long after I set that first intention to travel to Peru with my friends, one of them made the decision that she was moving to Lima!  This move had nothing to do with my intent, yet it was perfectly in support of it, and the big group travel idea gained some serious momentum:  now we could go see Sara in Peru!

By the time the summer of 2017 rolled around, during which we did some annual big group travel down to Florida for a week of scalloping, snorkeling, boating, and swimming, more of the group was ALL IN on the Peru for 42 plan.  End of summer, I sent out a mass email with lots of information I’d pulled together about estimated costs for everything from flights to AirBNB’s in gorgeous places to side trip possibilities in Cusco, the mountainous region that is home to some of the most famous ruins on earth, Machu Picchu.  Today, we all have plane tickets to Lima in hand and our friend that moved to Lima is lining up our Machu Picchu tickets.  In May 2018, less than 2 weeks after my birthday, we’re all meeting up in Lima, Peru!  Peru for 42 is now more than intention, it’s a solid plan!

Peru ~ near Ollantaytambo

Peru ~ near Ollantaytambo ~ photo by Sara

So, what do YOU intend for yourself during 2018?
Given the unknowns and sometimes craziness of life, there’s never been a more important time to dream and take some time to set your intent.  Setting your intention is the first step to turning your dreams into current reality. When should you set an intention? You could set an intention every day. Your intention could be to work less and make more money, or to find a new career that you are passionate about. It could be to get healthy and physically fit, or to spend more quality time with loved ones or alone. It can be specific and about something in particular or more like a quality, such as to be more relaxed or involved with life.

Here are a handful of examples to help get your thinking started around ways to be more intentional every day:

  • Before you get out of bed, you can intend to have a relaxed or productive day.
  • Before you leave the house, you can intend to have quality time with your family or friends or perhaps even a roommate that day.
  • Before you start your car, you can intend to have a safe drive to work.
  • Before you enter your workplace, you can intend to learn something new or be helpful or to have a productive day with zero unproductive conflict.
  • Before the meeting begins, you can intend to stay focused and walk away feeling accomplished.

They key to setting intention involves clarity:  you have to know what you want.  After that, it’s just a matter of follow through.  Following are the first steps to using the power of intention in your own life:

1. Get clear about something you want and write it down or speak it aloud.

2. Share your intention with someone in a way that will supportively hold you accountable to taking action.

3. Do something today to demonstrate your commitment to your intention.

4. Acknowledge that you did what you said you would do and then, take the next step.

By setting an intention, you make it clear to yourself and others, just what you plan to do. Set an intention to redefine what it means to be serious about your dreams!

And I’ve found that a slogan seems to help… Peru for 42!

Need help figuring out what you want?  Contact us to set up a coaching call!  Coaching can help you clarify your values, your thinking, and what’s in the way of your dreams!  (864) 918-2914 or email info@completelifecoaching.com

Meditation: Presence

You’re invited to join us – in person – Thursday, September 7, 2017
6-7pm ET
RSVP via Meetup.com

Meditation is being fully present to one’s self and what arises out of the spontaneous flow of life.

In September we will gather and talk for a while to determine what kind of practice would best serve the people who show up to practice.  Part of the gift of presence is to be willing to act on what is happening RIGHT NOW, without a plan or a need to force an outcome.

Once we decide on a practice, Vicy will lead the group in ~20-30 minutes of meditation.

Afterwards, we’ll have a short sharing circle to honor each other’s experiences, progress, and discoveries, as each individual likes. This leads to excellent questions and interesting dialogue. We love to have new minds join us! We like to engage in what is REAL for everyone when we all show up together.

Donations of $5-15 appreciated greatly to help us continue to grow and serve, but is entirely optional.  Come as you are.  Let it be.

If you have questions about this meetup, please call (864) 660-3132 or text Vicy at (864) 918-2914.

*Namaste.

*For anyone who isn’t familiar with Namaste as a greeting or valediction, it simply means that the Divine in me bows and recognizes the Divine in you. May we all experience the Divine in each other, as often as possible. Namaste.

Meditation: Presence

Thursday, Sep 7, 2017, 6:00 PM

Location details are available to members only.

7 Awesome People Went

Meditation is being fully present to one’s self and what arises out of the spontaneous flow of life.In September we will gather and talk for a while to determine what kind of practice would best serve the people who show up to practice.  Part of the gift of presence is to be willing to act on what is happening RIGHT NOW, without a plan or a need t…

Check out this Meetup →

Cultivate Self-Compassion

Cultivate Compassion… Starting With YourSELF

Think Before You Speak, even to yourselfBy Vicy L. Wilkinson, MA, BCC

“I am so stupid.”
“I am so frustrate that I keep doing this even though I know it’s not good for me and I know it’s wrong. What is WRONG with me?”
“Why can’t I just let it GO?”
“When will I learn to stop letting people walk all over me?”

I hear a lot of comments like the ones above from my clients during our first few sessions. One aspects of my work as a transformational life coach is to help people hear their own language, especially with regards to how they talk to and treat themselves. I spend a lot of time carefully saying things like, “May I please repeat back to you what you just said to me?” I repeat what clients say with similar inflection and body language to their own. When I do so, I see the look of shock on their faces and I watch their bodies slump or tense or shudder or whatever the general modus operandi is for that particular person. People are initially scared of their own language, verbal and non-verbal.

Why is our inner dialogue and our outer talk about ourselves important?  Because we must first hear what and how we’re talking to ourselves in order to begin developing compassion.

Once a client has heard his or her language clearly, I ask a question like, “Would you say what you just said to [or about] yourself to a five-year old you were taking care of? Would you say it to your best friend?” The answer is always a resounding NO and a rather disturbed look. Usually that “no” is followed by some commentary on how much easier it is to be kind, objective, and compassionate towards others than it is to be kind, objective, and compassionate towards one’s self. I agree. It IS easier, but this is exactly why it is so important that we all learn to develop a deep compassion towards ourselves.

How do develop kindness & compassion towards ourselves?

It all starts with noticing. Noticing how we’re feeling during moments of frustration or anger or guilt or shame. Just like I ask my clients to pause and allow themselves the opportunity to “instant replay” what they just said by my repeating it to them, we must learn to do this for ourselves. When we are able to notice the shift in our language and behavior, whether we say it out loud or just say it in our own minds, it’s equally degrading and problematic. Once we are able to consistently notice our tendencies, we can begin to consciously change them through choice. If we never notice, we can never choose to change.

Following are three suggestions on how to start noticing:

1 – Allow yourself an extra two minutes in the morning and two minutes in the evening to sit still and quiet and just create some “breathing room” within yourself. You can sit and just breathe. You can sit and say kind things to yourself or affirmations of some kind. You can sit and just be quiet and allow your thoughts to float through you like fluffy clouds on a summer afternoon. You can sit and listen to calming music. What you do doesn’t matter as much as intentionally taking just a couple of minutes for “time in” with yourself to just BE for a moment. The purpose in doing it morning and evening is to start your day centered and end your day centered because doing so helps you develop your own inner observer. Your inner observer is the part of you that recognizes you are more than the sum of your parts. You aren’t just your thoughts or your job or your kids or your mom’s fears or whatever it is that you tend to over-identify with about yourself. When you stop over-identifying with one aspect of yourself, you instantly become more open and compassionate towards yourself and others.

2 – Take a moment to “check in” with yourself throughout your day, especially on busy days when you’ve scheduled yourself back to back to back and have that feeling that I call “the white rabbit” syndrome. (Do you remember the white rabbit from Alice in Wonderland? “I’m late! I’m late! I’m late for an important date!”) It’s amazing what three long, slow, deep breaths can do, and you can do them in the car, or at your desk, or even in the middle of a meeting. It’s just breathing. I assure you everyone does it. Taking a moment to do it consciously can help clear your head, your heart, and give you a centering energy boost to help you feel more peaceful within. When you feel more peaceful within, your ability to be compassionate expands exponentially.

Kids being silly3 – Laugh. Need I really say more? LAUGH AT YOURSELF. Are you really taking it so bloody seriously that you ate two cookies instead of just one? Is it really a crisis that you’re running 3 minutes behind schedule? Will someone die if you don’t say yes to every volunteer opportunity presented to you? Laugh at your human-ness. I assure you, we are ALL in the same boat. And oftentimes, when we really look at it, that boat is very funny. Laughter helps you gain perspective and it also gives you a solid boost of feel-good hormones that will help you recognize life is hard enough without your needing to make it harder on yourself by saying unkind things. You don’t deserve that. You deserve kindness, peace, and compassion. Give yourself some.

Give and Get

What’s really interesting about the journey towards constant self-compassion is that as we begin to give ourselves daily doses of our own compassion and kindness, we begin to notice that others are giving us more of both as well. When we treat ourselves with loving-kindness and compassion, our bodies, minds, and spirits respond to our treatment and we (seriously) begin to resonate at higher frequencies. Our energy levels are higher and more sustained. We begin to sense that we can TRUST OURSELVES. We begin to sense that nothing is inherently wrong with us, and instead we are simply perfectly imperfect creatures, every single one of us. We begin to realize that others are struggling with the same sorts of things that we are struggling with, and we begin to realize that by recognizing these similarities we build bridges that help us connect to others. We can see ourselves in others, and our empathy grows. We can see ourselves in the mirror and realize we deserve goodness, from ourselves and from others. The bottom line is that when we start giving to ourselves, we can give more to others and we can actively receive more from others. We can hear compliments and just say, “Thank you,” and smile. We can hear praise and accept that we deserve it. We can feel appreciation and we can reciprocate that feeling. We can RELAX and allow others to help us see our own greatness while we help others do the same.

It’s not EASY because it takes conscious effort and conscious practice. But it is very simple. Cultivating compassion for yourself helps you and everyone around you. The only change you can ever really produce is self-change. So, stop waiting. Take a deep breath. And just do it!

There’s Never Enough Time

There’s Just Not Enough Time – Really? 

By Vicy Wilkinson, MA, BCC

We live in a world ruled by what philosophers call the hegemony of the clock, which is a fancypants way of saying that we are dominated by clock-time, schedules, appointments, and other agreements that fall in line with our collective sense of time. On one hand, this sort of domination is almost inescapable, whether you’re a philosopher or a business owner or a customer service rep or a stay-at-home mom. On the other, this domination is escapable in the sense that you can become aware of exactly what it means to have 24 hours each and every day.

Sunrise Over Kiawah IslandThe bottom line, to my way of thinking, is this: no matter how you think about it or slice it up or analyze what’s happening, the ONE way in which every single individual on this planet is the same is that during the course of any given day, we have the exact same amount of time. Since this is the case, why is there not enough time for most of us?
I’ve been asking myself this question for years, and I’ve discussed it with many people. Recently, I was texting with a new friend in my world and I found myself writing the following: “If I had more time to grow more veggies in the dirt and get more critters, my mountain would be like a farm…” After I sent the text, I asked myself, “what do I mean about having more time? I know I will not get days longer than my standard 24-hour days, even as days “get longer” with the spring and then summer approaching now. Then I realized: I often say “time” when what I really mean is “energy,” or “help,” or some other specific resource that may actually be available but about which I’ve not thought.

This seemed like an important realization to me because it was very freeing. I started thinking past my own “time trap,” and saw something about my situation with a lot keener sense of the truth. I DO want to grow more veggies in the dirt and get more critters because I have the space for such things. What is stopping me from having this is not the time it takes to invest in gardening, because when it comes right down to it, I could juggle some things and make that time. What is really missing is that I need (a) energy to put in that direction on a consistent basis (b) some help getting started and (c) a plan for maintaining what I start that’s viable in accordance with my traveling-often lifestyle.

As I began thinking about what I wanted in terms outside of the time trap, a few things became “do-able” that before that realization were purely theoretically. This is what thinking beyond “not enough time” can open up for you: possibilities that you had not considered before because you quickly (saving time) dismissed them due to the time trap.

I’m going to continue experimenting with pushing back on the standard “not enough time” dismissal of ideas, dreams, and desires and I encourage you to do the same. I’ll let you know over the next few months what happens as I beg in questioning this in my own life, and asking my clients to do the same.

What’s in your bag of dreams or on your bucket list or part of your life vision that seems unattainable due to the time it will take to attain it? What can you look at without the hegemony of the clock for long enough to see through the time trap and on to possibilities that use resources more in your direct control?

May your 24-hours-a-day yield the manifestation of your boldest dreams! Namaste, y’all.