L I F E W O R K C O A C H I N G
I developed L I F E W O R K Coaching Services in order to combine techniques that help people bring sanity and balance to their lives. Life is the expression of our actions. Actions are the result of our mindset. When life is confusing, it is often because our mind is unclear. On the other hand, when we have stabilized the mind its natural clarity will dawn allowing an honest and authentic connection to the world.
With a mindful approach to life we can clarify the mind, take command of our actions and regain authority in our life. I believe that with the consistent manual application of mindfulness our life can become our own.
“. . . you are your life’s work.”
L I F E W O R K is a series of coaching techniques that bring out the strength inherent in our body mind and spirit. It is based on the premise that all beings have an innate awakened nature which, once recognized, can be developed into a natural seat of confidence, authority and leadership in life.
I am a natural motivator and a highly sensitive and intuitive guide. I am committed to a practical and personalized approach to helping people find sanity and stability in their lives. clients. My relationship to each is sacred, confidential and profound. My coaching is tailored to the individual, working with each according to their needs. I work via phone, Facetime, Google Hangouts and Skype with clients around the world. As well, I schedule appointments directly with clients and businesses in New York City and Baltimore.
I offer on going email and phone support, for all clients.
Meditation Based Coaching
Meditation based coaching allows us to explore, develop and coach the whole person in order to create an authentic approach to sanity and balance in life. I’ve synthesized an organic and accessible combination of techniques to help people understand themselves and their life path, creating a “deep synchronicity” with life and livelihood. This approach allows the work to unfold more organically than with a motivational system that treats only the “symptoms”. We can be blinded by the lights of our aspirations, but my coaching stops, and looks within to see what it is we really need.
A consistent meditation practice can help us develop an authentic life path that stems from a mindful integration of body, spirit and mind. This mindfulness based awareness speaks to our whole being. It allows us to uncover an unconditioned confidence not reliant on conditioned, comparative, compulsive criteria.
Habitual patterning, toxic philosophies and covenants of doubt rob us of present experience and steal our authority in life.
The stability, clarity and strength of meditation practice enables us to reclaim practical agency in our life by settling the mind, allowing an authentic direction to dawn and helping to develop the strength to continue.
Finding An Authentic Path
Many of us go in circles much of the time. We are searching for happiness. But, happiness is an acquired skill. It takes manual mental application, which we call mindfulness. We learn to manually develop the ability to be content with ourselves. I recommend employing regular practice of self-awareness and compassion. The best way I know to develop mindfulness is sitting meditation.
By resting in self reflection, and becoming mindful of our experience, we can align to an authentic path. As opposed to grasping for straws in an ever chaotic world, an authentic path is the outcome of a settled and self aware mind. It speaks to our complete experience, and is aligned with the world in which we live.
Listening To The Resistance
There is little value in heading in a direction that we think we want, only to be thwarted by our own fear based resistances. The reason we begin many projects, but complete so few, is that these endeavors sometimes speak to only a part of ourselves. The harder we push in a specific direction, the more resistance we might feel from aspects of our mind, life, emotions and body, that have been ignored – or even depleted – in the process.
And, while it initially feels rewarding to limit our mind to a singular task or goal at the expense of other aspects of our life, this highly authoritarian outlook is rarely sustainable. We find we are sabotaged time and again. In my work, I will ask you to LOOK at why you are defeating your goals. I will ask you to LISTEN to what those voices are imploring, and I will train you to FEEL what is right and what you truly want. In this way, we can align to an authentic path that actually opens before us, rather than push ourselves into situations that deplete us.
We might believe we want that job, or that relationship, but what are we doing to get there? We may be carrying along a whole bag of poorly wired obsolete equipment. We may, in fact, be actually sabotaging every step we make. Who’s running this show? Is it the mind that pushes you to get out of bed and begin the day with diet and exercise? Or the mind that sleeps in raising its mental middle finger in protest to the alarm clock? Which ‘me’ speaks to our true heart?
Before we know how to get what we want, we have to know what we want. And before we know what we want, we need to look directly at ourselves; at our minds and the life patterns our thoughts create. What are we creating in our world? What kind of world are we creating right now?
What are we telling ourselves? Is it helpful?
Starting From Square Zero
I always recommend we start at the beginning. Square zero. Before we even step foot on the path, we need to have a basic sense of looking into who we are and what we are actually doing. Are we creating the support for the life we want? Or, are we muddying the waters with cross currents of concern?
So, this is actually BEFORE the beginning, isn’t it? Before we formed all the ideas about what we can do, or can’t do.
Meditation master Chogyam Trungpa, Rinpoche used to tell students to begin at “square one”. To clear the mind of preconceptions, and enter life with inquisitiveness, interest and innocence. Sometimes, he told them to begin even before the beginning, Square zero.
Before we even step foot on the path, we need to have a basic sense of looking into who we are and what we are actually doing. Are we creating the support for the life we want? Or, are we muddying the waters with cross currents of concern?
Before we know how to get what we want, we have to know what we want. And before we know what we want, we need to know where we are, and even, who we are. We can start at the beginning, and ask who is scripting this life? It takes bravery to look directly at ourselves at our minds and the life patterns our thoughts create. But, this step is essential, if we are to follow a true path that is right for us.
So, what kind of world are you creating right now?
Our inner voice creates outer actions. And those actions are creating our life.
So, what are we telling ourselves? Is it helpful? Can we learn to accept our feelings and change the inner dialog?
So, beginning before the beginning is to sit, settle and see where and who we are.
The Four Foundations of Mindfulness
In Mindfulness training, we look at four categories of our human experience. Becoming aware of these spheres of experience, we gain a deeper understanding of our human nature and learn to work with ourselves on a practical level. These four foundations of mindfulness are the subjective triadic experience of our body, spirit and mind and how those interact with our life.
By learning to work with the body, on its terms, we can settle more deeply into our life. By acknowledging our feelings, we can liberate our spirit and open the heart to our felt experience. In this way, we listen to, and learn to work with, the areas that create resistances in our life. Only when the body is properly aligned, and the heart settled, can the mind rest in the present moment. Once at rest the mind can do what is does best: see. We can simply relax into our experience and synchronize with our life. Thus, the communication within distinct parts of ourselves allows for a clearer interaction with our world.
Becoming mindful of the needs of the body, the ways of the spirit and the power of the mind allows us to communicate directly with our world.
Setting an Authentic Intention
Our thoughts create actions. Actions create our world. In this way, we are scripting our life. With self awareness, we can begin to see who we are, where we are, what we need and what is possible. We can develop a sense of true confidence, based on awareness and self-respect. Once we see our basic goodness and our great human potential, we learn to trust ourselves and our world. In this way, we become responsible for ourselves and responsive to our world.
When we know ourselves, we can believe in ourselves. When we trust ourselves our world begins to trust us. Working with ourselves the world begins to work with us.
We can begin this process by noting how much time we spend developing the opposite. Are we sub-vocally speaking to ourselves in tones of defeat and discouragement? If our thoughts create actions, what is it that we are creating in our life?
So, the idea of mindfulness based coaching, is that we can learn to regain authorship of our life, which brings a sense of authority on our world.
Developing The Inner Guide
The purpose of coaching is to lead one to independence, which is actually non-co-dependence. We learn to fly be believing in ourselves first. We begin to believe in ourselves as we come to know ourselves. We come to know ourselves when we stop listening to all the static and begin to hear the signal. By knowing ourselves, the mind naturally settles and our world begins to clarify.
Then we can hear the music inherent in the noise that will lead our way.
Interestingly, the very practical application of mindfulness allows the realize of our intuitive wisdom. The wisdom to know. The wisdom that comes when we stop trying to figure it out.
Breaking the Patterns, Breaking the Cage
Living a liberated life does not imply lack of constraint, or personal irresponsibility. It is not about acting out, but about feeling in. It is about getting in touch with who we are, based on what we do and what we feel – in real time. This allows us to slow down, interrupt the patterns and set into motion a set of actions based, not on our theories or our reflexes, but on our accurate responses to reality.
From a middle ground of sanity, between hope and fear, we can navigate toward a creative and fulfilling life.
We do not have to settle for the belief that we are permanently wounded or impaired. We are what we have become, yes. But we are also what are still to become. Life is the conduit for our emergence.
While we must accept the reality of our lives, there is no reason to accept the mentally imposed barriers we’ve developed in response to our fear. But, we can learn to acknowledge our fear, open into the game of living and begin play with energy and passion. We can learn to be mindful of how we manifest our fear, and instead of hurting, or limiting ourselves, replace the imprisonment of patterned reactions with a tenacious application of kindness towards ourselves. In this way, we become mindful of our life. Mindfulness of the details brings awareness of life. And awareness offers us the ability to take a commanding presence in our life.
Redirecting the Impulse
Every time we have the urge to denigrate ourselves, we can simply open up and relax. Self-denigration and discouragement stem from fear. There is no point in getting angry at fear. Fear is the base nature of our existence. It’s pretty fundamental. It’s served our race well over time. We’re not getting rid of fear, nor can we ignore it for long, lest it manifests in half-thought patterns that keep us repressed.
We can learn to love the fear, though. We can actually retrain ourselves away from habitual fear-based reactions toward openness and responsiveness to situations. Every time we feel the body tense, we can wake up, and relax into the flow of the moment. We can learn to retrain ourselves away from hating the fear, into loving the fear and relaxing into its wisdom.
Developing Natural Confidence
Once we find ourselves, and admit where our intentions are leading us, we can begin to rest in the reality of the middle way between extremes of hope and fear. We recognize how hoping for the best, or living under the repression of an enraged sun, who inspires us only to guilt and repression. We live in fear of not getting what we believe we want. The truth is, we have to believe in ourselves first. When we look to a job, or status or a relationship to bring us confidence we are working backwards. We have to find confidence in ourselves, and see the goodness inherent in our mind, our heart and our journey, in order to believe we deserve what we want. Once we have confidence, the rest falls into place.
So, acting on fear is not the point, and acting on hope only leads us astray. Then we have no alternative but to look into the chaos of what is, and begin to move directionally, and determinately toward waking up and taking control of the journey.
In this way, we train ourselves to become continually engaged in life, and living becomes our life’s work.
Yes, and: Uncovering the Creative Response
Once we relax into fear, we can move past it with eyes open and feet balanced. A basic premise of improvisational theater is the idea of “Yes, and …” it is very akin to Mahayana Buddhist principles of giving openly and with a true heart. The idea of no giver, no gift, and no receiver means that the actual work of giving and receiving is itself the point and the power. It’s about opening and exchanging energy and information, about growth and response not about latching on to what we want. Or what we give.
Yes and is the practice of letting go energetically, not as a victim submissively accepting fate, but as an expression of strength. Opening to yes, and building a life based on yes, allows our life to be an expression of communication and growth.
Oh, and about the danger lurking out there? Well, opening up and paying attention is the best defense.
Once we redirect our impulses past the habitual reaction and open up into the reality of situations as they are, we can develop creative responses to an unpredictable universe simply by boycotting the usual defensive reaction and allowing the natural impulse to flow freely.
Meditation and Improvisation Creativity Training
I’ve taught meditation and improvisation classes in a variety of settings including at the Baltimore Women’s Correctional Facility, for the John’s Hopkin’s Women’s Rugby team, Chapman University, New York and Baltimore Shambhala Centers, Shambhala Mountain center and a variety of businesses and schools, employing vocal techniques of Pauline Oliveros, the theater games of Viola Spolin and Paul Sills, the improvisation works of Keith Johnstone, the genius of Del Close and the Mudra Theater of Chogyam Trungpa, Rinpoche.
My favorite workshop combines ensemble work with the present moment aesthetic of meditation training and the mindful spontaneity of improvisation for a fully sensory awake experience.
Authentic Gesture Actor Training
I have years of experience as an actor, director and coach. It is my great love to work with actors and performers to enhance their connection to the craft, the work and to themselves.
As a director I was taught to work from the inside, creating an authentic gesture and a natural response to stage stimulus. . Aside from an energetic, encouraging coaching style, I am well trained in theater games and techniques.
My view is to help the actor break from habitual patterns of ordinary reaction toward a true authentic gesture of creativity.
This training, designed for actors, musicians, poets or performers, is applicable to anyone wanting to share with their public and develop confidence in their presentational self.
Couples Communication Counseling
Saying how we feel without manipulation stems from the belief that we are essentially worthy and well deserving of our life. We believe in ourselves enough to trust ourselves and share our heart. Communication is about learning to break the patterns of faulty hearing and ineffective speech in order to listen and change.
In this way, we avoid the traps of habitual reactions that, in effect, force the other into the worst versions of themselves. When we believe in our basic goodness and self-worth, we can activate our partner’s great human potential. Then we are relating to the best in them.
My exercises allow couples the opportunity to talk in ways that break patterns and enhance real-time authentic communication.
The Living Voice: Developing Vocal Presence
Using mindfulness practices, theater training, movement and vocal techniques we develop an organic approach to grounding, opening and projecting the life of the voice.
I have helped professors, professionals, performers, authors and students learn to open their bodies to their spirit in story, song and lecture.
In our public speaking track we learn to organize a talk, engage the audience and present the appropriate material.
Developing mindfulness we become aware of four basic components of our life: Body, Mind, Spirit and Life. When we learn to hear and understand these often contrasting voices, we can work to balance them into a self-supportive, fully embodied whole.
Using techniques of mindfulness training, somatic awareness, yoga, martial arts and meditation practice, I have developed a practical and useful way of training toward balance and harmony in mind and body, which allows for an embodied presence in life.
Mindbody Balance is a comprehensive meditation training that relates to our inner spirit as well as our everyday life.