Mini Episode

Episode 101: Mini: Balanced Breathing

The Curious Coach Podcast

Episode 101:
Mini: Balanced Breathing

This episode is something very different.  It’s a voice guide for doing an activity called Balanced Breathing.  Balanced breathing is where we focus on making our inhales and exhales of equal duration.  Ideally aiming for breaths of 5-6 seconds in duration.  When doing this activity, breath in and out through your nose.  Aim to make your transitions from inhale to exhale as smooth and gentle as possible.  Doing this for even a couple of minutes, causes our autonomic nervous system to reach a point of balance.  This balance creates the optimal state for us tap into our head, heart and gut intelligences.   If you’d like to know more about connecting in with your head, heart and gut intelligences, check out mBraining and work of the late Grant Soosalu.

 

Listen below or search for The Curious Coach Podcast on Apple podcasts, spotify or wherever else you normally listen to podcasts!

Audio Version

Show Notes

If you’d like to use this audio guide but without the podcast jingle and initial explanation, you’ll find a version a shortened version here.

Episode 100: Mini: Coherence

The Curious Coach Podcast

Episode 100:
Mini: Coherence

Welcome to the 100th Episode of The Curious Coach Podcast.  A massive thank you to all those loyal listeners for making this such a labour of love for me!    

This week’s reflective challenge is about coherence.   Given that the world is currently full of so much separation and division at the moment, where could have more coherence instead?

Listen below or search for The Curious Coach Podcast on Apple podcasts, spotify or wherever else you normally listen to podcasts!

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Transcript

Hi there and welcome to the 100th episode of The Curious Coach Podcast!  Before jumping into this week’s reflective challenge, I just want to say a huge thank you – to those I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing, to everyone who tunes in each week and also to those who take the time to reach out and leave comments – it really makes this podcast a labour of love for me!   Thank you for your continued support. 

This week I’ve been reflecting on coherence.   Coherence is about how parts fit together to form something whole. In fact, my reflection didn’t start with coherence, it started with division or separation – both of which seem to be rife in the world at the moment.  When it comes to politics and society, you don’t have to look far to find numerous examples of division, separation, repression or exclusion.   In fact, when you consider how far we’ve evolved, it can be quite disheartening to think about how incoherent we are as human beings when it comes to each other and the planet we live on.   

That thought brought me back to the 17th century and if we take something like, Cartesianism, which views the mind, body and spirit as separate parts, and we have seen how this has already significantly influenced areas such as religion, psychology, biomedicine and other areas of science.  Then you have rationalism, and the development of the scientific revolution, where logic is separated from our intuition, emotions and feelings.   And yes, thanks to the scientific revolution we have had some really amazing advances in our knowledge and understanding.

However, now come back to modern times, and take something like the separation of our work and home lives – something that’s been made much more challenging for many thanks to Covid.  Or how some leaders believe they need to make tough decisions based on facts, figures and separate out the emotion and human elements.  

Separation, division and exclusion seem to be more prevalent today than at any other time.   Which brought be back to coherence.  How can we have more coherence in our lives?  Take our work and home lives as an example – what would it look like for those two parts to be coherent rather than separate?  Or how would it be for us not to view mind, body and spirit as separate but to view and treat them coherently?  Or for us to live coherently on this planet we all call home?  Or to be fully aware and coherent to the embodied wisdom of our head, heart and gut?  Or our thoughts and feelings?  There are so many areas where having more coherence could be of real benefit.

I’m still reflecting and fully forming my thoughts, and that’s my challenge for you this week:  to reflect on what parts of you, or your life, are you separating out, dividing, or excluding and to reflect on the value of making a change to be more coherent.  What difference might that make?

Anyway, that’s it for this week.  Thanks always for listening and if you’d like to share your thoughts – please leave a comment beneath this video on LinkedIn or drop me an email to stephen@stephenclements.ie.  Thanks for listening and until next time – stay curious.

Episode 099: Mini: Purpose, Passion and Work

The Curious Coach Podcast

Episode 099:
Mini: Purpose, Passion and Work

Do you believe that your should find your passion so that you never have to ‘work a day in your life’?  Or is that something that works for other people?  In this mini reflective episode, my reflective challenge is about refraining how your view work, purpose and passion – so that you free yourself from the pressures of trying to align all these things. 

Listen below or search for The Curious Coach Podcast on Apple podcasts, spotify or wherever else you normally listen to podcasts!

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Transcript

Hi there and welcome to this week’s mini episode of The Curious Coach podcast.   This week’s reflective thought is about passion, purpose and well, work!   “Find what you love doing and you’ll never work a day in your life” and other such sentiments can sound inspiring and for some who are able to do it, may even be true.

However, how many people never truly connect in with their purpose?  And how many people confuse purpose with passion?   And in some ways, you might ask what’s the difference between them?  And why strive to align your work with either?

Imagine when you were starting out in your career, maybe full of ideas and ready to start working, were you able to say that you were honestly following your purpose or passion?  Or were you simply looking for a job that would pay you money so you could go off and enjoy life?  Or a job that might offer you a path towards something better – whether it’s about a path to promotion and more responsibility, a chance to travel or whatever it might be.  

Many years later, you might now find yourself in a good job, that you’re performing well in and  where you get well compensated but aren’t necessarily following your purpose of passion.    Other people might advise you to take something you enjoy doing such as a hobby and turn that into your work – that doing that will help you gain more fulfilment, where you’ll be following your passion and ultimately living your purpose.  Again, for some people, that might work and for others that might be a way to destroy their love of a perfectly good hobby.

So my reflective thought for you this week is about potentially reframing how we view work.  Does it matter if your work isn’t aligned with your purpose or passion?   For example, you might have a passion for creating music and your purpose is simply to make people smile through the music you create and send out into the world for free.   Work, in this case, might simply be an enabler – totally utilitarian – and not connected to your passion or purpose in any meaningful way.  It’s simply providing you the income you need to live off and fuel everything else that you do.

In this regards, reframing how you view work, now gives you freedom to experiment and experience life without the pressures of making everything align.  And for many, it’s those experiences and experiments that will increase the chances of you finding things in your life that you enjoy.  Which, may in turn, help you develop a passion that may eventually reveal your true purpose.  And who knows, through that process, you might also be able to find a job that aligns but if not, that’s actually ok.

Anyway, that’s it for this week.  And if you’d like to share any reflections or thoughts, please leave a comment underneath this video on LinkedIn, or drop me an email to stephen@stephenclements.ie.  Thanks for listening, and until next time, stay curious.

Episode 098: Mini: Driving and pitstops

The Curious Coach Podcast

Episode 098:
Mini: Driving Metaphor and pitstops!

Using the metaphor of a car… this week’s challenge is about reflecting on how you’re currently travelling the highways of life and inviting you to take a pit stop!

Listen below or search for The Curious Coach Podcast on Apple podcasts, spotify or wherever else you normally listen to podcasts!

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Audio Version

Transcript

Hi there and welcome to this week’s mini episode of The Curious Coach Podcast.   Let’s jump right into this week’s reflective challenge. If you think about your life in terms of a metaphor where you’re driving a car, what might you start to notice? 

Are you cruising along a motorway doing a comfortable and steady speed, where you’re getting great fuel economy?  Or are you racing flat out – burning gas and rubber and getting faster and faster?    Maybe you’re currently in a low gear heading up a massive hill and the engine whining noisily as it struggles with the effort.  Or perhaps you’re going over really rough terrain and being jostled violently about as the suspension tries to cope.  Or maybe it’s a smooth ride thanks to the superb off road capabilities of your car?  Or, maybe you’re coasting downhill?  Or flying downhill without brakes and feeling totally out of control!!!  Or driving around in circles – the possibilities with this metaphor are truly endless!

This is the first part of my challenge for you this week, use this metaphor to describe what’s happening for you right now.   Once you have built up a picture of the car you’re in, the terrain you’re travelling along, the speed, the feel of the car and so on, my next invitation is for you to take a pit stop.  

Find a metaphorical spot to pull over for a few minutes.  It be a service station, the side of the road, a viewing spot, the middle of nowhere and if none of those are available, simply pull in wherever you’re at and pause for a moment.     It’s so easy to spend all of our time, especially in the current climate, running flat out – always on the road to somewhere, that we forget to pull over, take a break and simply be.  To be with ourselves and our thoughts for even the briefest of period.  To take a break from all the doing.  And focus on just being.

As you pull the car or whatever metaphorical vehicle you’re driving over, switch off its engine, and step out into the stillness, what do you notice?  Not only, about the landscape around you, but what do you notice about yourself, your own internal thoughts, feelings and sense of being at this moment.   Connect in with yourself and choose two or three words to describe how you’re feeling at this time.

Once you’re ready, you can jump back into the car and drive off again.   And as you do, remember that you can choose how you want to drive, how fast you go, where you go.  All of these things, along with choosing when to take rest stops, and being observant to the landscape that passes by your windows, is all within your control. 

If you’d like to share any reflections or thoughts, please leave a comment underneath this video on LinkedIn, or drop me an email to stephen@stephenclements.ie.  Thanks for listening, and until next time, stay curious.

Episode 097: Mini: Photography

The Curious Coach Podcast

Episode 097:
Mini: Photography

In this mini episode, I incorporate one my hobbies into this mini reflective challenge – photography!  And no, my challenge isn’t about asking you to go out and take a stunning picture.  Rather, it’s about using the metaphor of photography as a model to reflect upon what’s going on for you.  

Listen below or search for The Curious Coach Podcast on Apple podcasts, spotify or wherever else you normally listen to podcasts!

Video Version

Audio Version

Transcript

Hi there, and welcome to this week’s episode of The Curious Coach podcast.  This week I want to talk about another of my hobbies – photography!  And never fear, there’s a reason why this is relevant!  Let me explain….

If you think about photography, it ultimately distils down to capturing images or memories of moments in time.   In the process of doing so, there are various phases involved.  Deciding on your camera setup,  composing the shot, processing the image,  getting the final image and then reliving the memory of the image.

And when you start to use these stages as a model for life, things get quite interesting.   Firstly, let’s talk about the photographic stages…

Are you currently gathering up the necessary tools and equipment to be able to capture that metaphorical picture?   If so, what equipment are you putting together?  Is it the camera on your phone, a vintage camera or something more complex?  When do you think you’ll have the right equipment gathered so that you’re ready to take that special picture?  

Now that you have the equipment and you’re ready to take a picture,  have you found the right location?  And as you compose your shot, what are you choosing to focus on?   What’s the main subject of your picture?  What’s in the background?  What are the lighting conditions like?  What’s the distance between you and the subject of your picture?  What settings are you using on your camera?  So many variables to potentially consider!

Having taken the shot, you now want to process the image.  In the old days, you’d process the film in a darkroom, now, you can do everything on your computer or with an app on your phone.  What do you need to change to get the picture to match the vision of what you were trying to achieve?   What colours are you enhancing? Or which highlights are you reducing or shadows that you are enhancing?  There’s any number of edits you can now make to change the picture you captured before producing your final image.

And now that you have that final image, what are you doing with it?  Are you putting it proudly on display so you can see if every day, do you print it out and put it into an album, or do you never look at it again?    And when you do look at it, what memory does it evoke?   Is it about the time, the place, the feelings or something else entirely?  How has that memory changed?  How does that drive you to take more pictures?

This is an interesting model to explore what’s going on for you in your life.  What stage are you currently at?  Are you still gathering the right equipment, seeking out the perfect location, actively editing the image to make it match your vision or looking back on past memories and experiences?    And taking it a little further, are you trying to capture your own photograph or are you trying to copy someone else’s?  Or are you looking at someone else’s photograph as if it was your own?  Or are looking at the past and working hard to hold on to it?

There’s so many levels to this!  And I hope you have fun taking a little bit of time to reflect this week on where you are withing this model.    As always, I’d love to hear how you got on so please don’t hesitate to get in touch, either by leaving a comment below this video on LinkedIn or sending me an email to stephen@stephenclements.ie.  That’s it for now and until next time, stay curious!

Episode 096: Mini: Force Fields

The Curious Coach Podcast

Episode 096:
Mini: Force Fields

In this mini episode, I invite you to do a force field analysis on a project or life goal, reflecting on what might be within your control to change or influence as well as gaining more insight into the forces at play! 

Listen below or search for The Curious Coach Podcast on Apple podcasts, spotify or wherever else you normally listen to podcasts!

Video Version

Audio Version

Transcript

Hi there and welcome to the latest mini episode of The Curious Coach Podcast.  This week’s reflective challenge is all about force fields.  And no, I’m not talking about going to ‘red alert’, battle stations and engaging our shields.  Rather, it’s about a force field analysis as conceptualised by change guru Kurt Lewin. 

This reflective exercise is best done using a pen and piece of paper.  Start off by thinking of a project, or life goal that you want to reflect upon.  Now, take a blank sheet of paper, and  draw a line that represents your path towards you desired goal.  Having done that first step.  Take a moment to stand back] and reflect upon the line you have just drawn.  Notice where you’ve chosen to put it on the page, the shape, thickness, direction and so on, and be curious about what you’re noticing.

Now it’s time to identify the forces that are at play and influencing your progress towards your goal.  And for this part, you might want to grab some post-it notes or pieces of paper that you can move around your page.  

Forces also have a direction and intensity.  If you think of a straight line going from left to right across the page, the forces acting from above, and those coming up from below the line, will ultimately cancel each other out resulting in equilibrium.  However, if there’s a mismatch, then there’s potential for the line to change direction.

So now, on each piece of paper or post-it, write down one of the forces that are influencing or affecting your progress towards your goal.  Put an arrow on the piece of paper to show the direction of the force.   Keep repeating this, until you have all the important forces captured.  

Now, start to place them on the page so that they start to act upon the line you drew.  Start with what you believe the current state of things to be and don’t worry about trying to over think it – simply go with your gut.

Once you’ve placed all the forces, step back and once again reflect on what you notice.  What stands out for you?  What do you notice about where you’ve placed each force? The distance between the force and line itself, the distances between other forces, what forces are above or below the line?  

Having reflected, now experiment with moving things around and changing the intensity of some of the forces.   What happens?  And again, what do you notice?  Start to become aware of what is within your influence to control?  What might happen to your line as a result? 

Finally, take a few moments to capture any learning or insights that you might have had about your project or life goal.  What will you now change as a result of this exercise?

Anyway, that’s it for this week.  Good luck experimenting with your own force fields and I really look forward to hearing how you got on.  So please don’t hesitate to leave a comment on LinkedIn, or drop me email to stephen@stephenclements.ie.  Thanks for listening and until next time, stay curious.

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