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The real key to emotional intelligence

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Are you able to deal with the stresses and strains of your life?


Ups and downs are a normal and natural part being human. Life doesn't travel in a straight line; it's not a plateau but a series of valleys and hills. But it can be tough, especially if you feel you’ve been stuck in the valley for too long. Sometimes we just have to tell ourselves a different story whilst continuing to put one foot in front of the other.





Sometimes, we have to stop and rest.


Sally


A little while ago, I wrote a guided meditation for Sally, a young woman who had lost touch with her inner resilience. At work, she felt bullied and, at home, was experiencing marriage difficulties. Sally was beginning to crumble under the weight of her worries and got signed off from work.She actually made fast progress as we worked together over 5 weeks using the Fusion Master Coach System and she'd started to feel much more positive and proactive but, just at the point of returning to work, she had a bit of a wobble. We started practicing meditation together. Like a kind of gym workout for the mind, it helped to re-build her mental muscles and reconnected her with her innate resources.


Surrender


Counter-intuitively, Mindfulness meditation is not proactive. It is about surrender rather than demand. It is not about forcing things to go our way. It is relaxing into the way things are. It’s about acceptance and letting go.Rather than focus on what we want, it’s a time when we can choose to just rest in the presence of our breath, our mind and our emotions and, in doing so, we befriend our selves at a very deep level. Yes, there is a time for goal-setting and positive mental rehearsal.


There is also a time when we need to step back and listen to our inner wisdom. Knowing what to do, and when, is the real key to emotional intelligence.Below is one of the guided meditations I wrote for Sally. It’s designed to be spoken or read slowly with periods of silence for introspection and insight.


Therapeutic suggestions are in bold as are the embedded seven pillars of mindfulness. I wrote a haiku for Sally too and that is at the end:


Mountain Meditation


Either close or half close the eyes, soft focusing on an area of floor about two feet in front of you:


Begin to notice the breath, saying silently ‘I am breathing in, I am breathing out.’As you follow the breath you might notice warmth or coolness as it passes over the upper lip


After a little while, the out breath may naturally extend as you begin to relax


Observe the breath as it moves down the diaphragm and then gently back up again


Set aside the focus on the breath and simply begin to notice the rise and fall of the abdomen allowing the attention to ride and rest where it willI


In your mind’s eye, bring up an image of a mountain


And, as you begin to pay attention to the mountain, you might notice its shape


It may be a small, wide mountain or a tall, narrow mountain.


It doesn’t matter for, as you look more closely at the mountain, you may have a sense of it being the most beautiful, graceful and elegant mountain you have ever seen


And this mountain has a secret; it has been here since time began and the mountain has been a witness to many things


As you observe the mountain, you might notice how the sun passes over it, creating pools of light and shadow and, as the sun sets, how it is gently illuminated by the soft glow of the moon


Each day passes in this way


The mountain does not judge the day or the night, does not prefer one to the other, does not cling to the heat of the sun or the coolness of the moon, does not pull or push


The mountain appreciates both sun and moon, day and night, with a simple yet immovablepresence


And, as you observe the mountain, you might notice how the green leaves on the trees, rooted in its crags and crevices, bathed in the full sun of summer, begin to redden and wither and fall to the ground.


In time, autumn transitions to winter.


Now snow caps the top of the mountain and cloud descendsAnd the mountain is silent and still with a wisdom that knows there is no need to fight the wind or repel the rain and in this way remains free from pain and free from sufferingtrusting in the rhythm of the seasons and waiting to emerge, like the sun, from behind passing clouds


Like the frozen earth, caressed by the first rays of early spring sun


The mountain is patient and present to each moment. It knows there is no reason to hurry.The buds on the trees will unfold in their own time


And isn’t it amazing how you can be an observer of the mountain in all its detail, moving in close to see the crags and crevices, the buds on the trees as they emerge, the little spring flowers bursting through the warming ground


And, if you wish, you can shift in your imagination, to the other side of the mountain and see it as though seeing with new eyes, perhaps noticing how different it seems from this new perspective


And you can, if you wish, drift up into the mountain, become the mountain and have a sense of the mountain, with its solid base, like your seated base of hips and legs that extend firmly to the floorjust as your spine and neck and head can extend like the lofty peaks of the mountain


And we can all be like the mountain with its patience, trust and acceptanceWe can be a witness to our experience and see with new eyes


We can choose to let go of attachment and rest from striving when it's right for us


We can set judgement aside 


We can accept a winter chill


We can stay strong and steady


And we can trust the sun to shine again


The mountain has a secret:

The air does not breathe

Water has no mind to swim

Snow is simply snow


 

The Fusion MBMM programme

 

The Fusion Mindfulness Based Mind Management Certificate is a self guided 8 week, experiential course (still £395) on completion of which you can purchase the full programme £325) to run with your 1-2-1 clients or with groups. Please note the cost of the MBMM programme is set to rise to £995 from next week.  


The 2024 Fusion Therapeutic Coaching Diploma and Master Coach programme is full but you can still access the NCFE accredited Skills Certificate at the reduced price of £455 (deductible from the cost of the Diploma should you later enrol) Follow this link for immediate purchase of your Skills Workbook.

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