Inner Fitness Coaching ©LLS
As many of you know, I offer Reflexology as one modality or practice that helps to counter stress, give you time and space to be in and with your body, and help to reset and rebalance the body systems. I also offer "Inner Fitness Coaching." Let me tell you more about it by defining the words within the name. Coaching is a structured time where a coach utilizes motivational interviewing, goal-setting methods, and positive psychology techniques to break actions into manageable steps while removing resistance to success in various ways. In general, coaches motivate, support, and serve as an accountability partner. There is no diagnosing. The focus is more on the present than on the past and coaching is usually done for a shorter duration than therapy or mentoring (see below). Measurable and short term goals are generally defined to guide sessions. Coaching can be done with many different goals in mind such as life planning, organizing a space, weight management, or stress reduction. Wellness coaching, a type of coaching, facilitates healthy and sustainable behavior change by challenging clients to listen to their inner wisdom, identify their values, and transform their goals into action. It offers a holistic approach to lifestyle management, a liberal focus on mind/body self-care practices, and a goal toward improving quality of life. I use the term Inner Fitness Coaching rather than wellness coaching because I think it better captures my area of focus and expertise. Using the term Inner Fitness helps me to remember that my body really does have its own wisdom. Our culture inundates us with the idea that all the answers are "out there." We want the quick solutions, the right pill, the right book, the right expert to give us the right answer and make all of our problems disappear. We give up our power very easily in hope of answers. Stop doing that. Don't give away your power. It is healthy to seek support from others in our lives. We do and can learn from each other, but we also need to learn to listen to our own bodily cues, trust our gut and intuition, and use common sense about how to better manage our energy and health. While our bodies are masterful at adapting to all sorts of abuse, they simply cannot maintain the pressure most modern day lives demand without some supportive and nourishing measures. As we retrain our bodies how to relax, let go of old unhealthy habits, and develop new patterns, our bodies start to adapt toward the new skills we are learning. We have to work on our "inner fitness" as much as our outer fitness and physique. With repetition and consistency, we can create new neural pathways and new muscle memories. Over time it becomes easier to relax, interrupt stress, and change our mindsets. We may not be able to change the world but we can change how we respond to it and how we function within it. For my practice, most clients are interested in learning tools and techniques to help to reduce the impact of stress, to calm the mind and body, and to overcome negative habits and thoughts that inhibit their success. This kind of support might involve learning simple breathing techniques, crafting a guided meditation to use before bed, reframing negative thoughts, assessing needs, goal setting, doing some body mapping or creative journaling, using EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) for reducing anxiety and stress, and so on. When we talk about fitness of any kind we must acknowledge the reality that we forever are changing and growing and many of the things we do to stay healthy must become habits and involve practices that we employ on a very regular, sometimes daily, basis. We also face new challenges over time and must adapt to those changes in different stages of life. There are no quick fix solutions that are one and done. This is a lifelong journey. The amount of stressors we encounter in our daily lives require daily recovery measures to keep our systems in balance. We should find tools and practices that help us to achieve our goals and work within our life-styles.
Defining More Terms!
I thought it might be helpful to list some definitions, as general as they are, of other types of "helping professions. " How are these different than coaching? In some cases, the roles start to blend together but all of them have a place and bring value to our journey. Knowing what kind of help we are seeking, at any given moment, can help us to find the right kind of person for the job! What is consulting? A consultant provides expertise on a particular subject or in a given field to advise and inform a client/company how best to solve a problem or reach a major goal that is predefined. A consultant usually does not do the hands on work but checks in during a designated period of time for accountability to check on progress (measure success), make suggestions, and encourage. What is mentoring? A mentor engages in an unequal relationship where the mentor, the more experienced person, imparts his knowledge, skills, and experience to the less experienced person who is seeking to acquire the same knowledge and skills. This relationship may be more personal, involve more than one aspect of a person's life/career, and generally lasts over a longer period of time than consulting or training. The emphasis is on developing as a person and goals may be more loosely defined or change over time. What is training? Similar to mentoring, a trainer is usually an expert in a particular area and instructs or teaches a trainee to develop new skills. Training tends to focus on a narrower scope and specific task and may include hands on demonstrations and tests. Training generally takes place for a shorter duration and in a formal venue. What is social work/service counseling? I am going to include this because I am a social worker. This is how I spent much of my professional life. A social worker is usually a formally trained professional who works with the aim of alleviating the conditions of people in some kind of social need. They help individuals overcome obstacles that inhibit their ability to participate in life/society. They often help people to assess their needs and to find and get access to supportive networks, resources, and services. What is therapy? Therapy is directed by a therapist, usually trained in a particular style of intervention, for the process of healing past hurts, resolving personal crisis, and to “fix” what is often seen as mental illness or distress. Therapy generally is conducted one on one or in small groups for short durations of time on a regular basis as needed until problems are resolved. Therapy is often clinical in nature with diagnosis and treatment plans determined and designed by the therapist. Some types of therapy include more client involvement and positive psychology approaches.