The April PowerPoints newsletter is out! Take a moment to read about my upcoming events and how I can help your business and life through my coaching. A brief excerpt from my newest blog “How do you Plan?” will hopefully entice you to read more at my website. Have a great spring and remember, “It is not where you start that matters, it’s where you are going, who you become, and the positive impact you have along the way.”
“Mindfulness is the Secret to Success”
By: Marjorie R. Johnson, LCSW, PCC, President of Ascend Consulting, Inc.
“How do you stay present in the midst of your busy day?” asked a client, who is a successful executive. Through coaching, the client began to recognize the importance of staying present during day to day interactions. Acknowledging the need to listen instead of speak and ask instead of tell was the first hurdle. Now, the client wanted strategies. Staying mindful requires discipline in order to listen with openness, instead of being in your head, thinking up a response. Recent findings in neuroscience show that when we don’t fully listen, when we focus on telling, the other person will tend to become defensive and shut down. (see, Conversational Intelligence, by Judith Glasser) This neurological response is not in our conscious mind, but occurs at a hormonal, biological level. The reaction is based on a primitive fight, flight, freeze or appease response system deep in the brain. None of those behaviors are the response we want.
How did I finally answer my client’s question? I told them, keeping a present mindset is challenging! For me, and many of my clients, mindfulness is both the path and the practice that again and again, helps guide us back to the present moment all day long. As an executive coach and therapist, I see Mindfulness as the organizing force that helps us to establish high emotional intelligence, to be resilient in the face of stress and to lead and communicate effectively. Practicing mindfulness meditation is not some panacea- ask anyone who knows me! But, it is a simple method I use to calm down, be open and become more aware of my thoughts, emotions, choices and surroundings. A great benefit; Mindfulness helps us to manage common problems like anxiety, insomnia and ADHD.
So, where to begin? Start small! Allow yourself 10 minutes a day to simply be still, in a quiet place if possible, and focus your attention on your breath. A simple pattern to use is the 4-7-8 Breathing Pattern taught by Dr. Andrew Weill. Inhale for the count of 4, through the nostrils, hold the breath for the count of 7 and exhale slowly out rounded lips for a count of 8. The counting keeps other thoughts at bay and helps us stay focused. The body’s natural relaxation response begins to settle in after 3-4 rounds. What a nice, calm respite from the day! Then, simply try to keep your attention on the breath wherever you feel it in the body. Focus on the rise and fall of the chest or the belly. Even try focusing on the sensation of air flowing in and out of the body.
Your mind might wander. That’s ok! The mind is constantly thinking. Just the fact that you become aware of your mind wandering means you are aware, or mindful. Keep returning to the breath again and again as you sit for 10 minutes. Practice makes better, not perfect. As you expand your daily mindfulness to 15 , or even 20 minutes, a change is noticeable. You will begin to become aware as your mind wanders when simply speaking with someone, in a meeting or even leading a meeting. You will start to listen better, improving your relationships. All of these steps will allow the process of becoming present in the middle of your busy day.
The next Mindfulness Meditation group begins on January 17, 2017 at 7:30pm. I welcome you to join me and we can practice being more mindful together!
Do you want to achieve some big goals?
Not sure where to start?
Afraid you’ll get stuck or fall off track?
Register for this half-day boot camp, designed to provide clear, achievable action steps and follow-through to success!
If you are committed to achieve OUTSTANDING success in 2017, this program is for YOU!
• Tie your specific goals to action steps
• Anticipate and plan for obstacles
• Create milestones to track your achievement
• Get and stay unstuck!
Your investment includes:
• Initial individual coaching session and pre-work
• Half-day of formal presentations, group work, and on-the-spot coaching
• A solid plan with detailed actions steps and benchmarks
• Follow-up individual coaching to ensure success!
When: January 20, 2017, 8 am- 1 pm (lunch is included)
Where: Ascend Consulting, Inc.
101 Lindenwood Dr., Suite 225
Malvern, Pennsylvania 19355
Cost: $849 for 5 hours of group work, PLUS 2 hours of individual coaching!
Register by January 2, 2017 and get $100 off!
Don’t delay—boot camp is limited to 15 participants!
To register: email Marjorie@ascendconsulting.net or call (610) 696-4443.
Winter Meditation Group:
“Are you dealing with anxiety or depression or simply stressed by daily life? Learn Mindfulness and experience a quieter mind and calm approach to life’s challenges!”
You are invited to be: Still, Relaxed and be Present!
Tuesday, January 17, 2017
8 weeks ($240) includes CD “Come to the Quiet”.
937 Prichard Ave. West Chester, PA 19382
To register: Marjorie@ascendconsulting.net (or) (610)696-4443
“Mindfulness Mediation has been proven to improve focus, sleep and overall wellness. You will learn and practice simple to used skills to manage: Stress, Anxiety and Depression.” This Psycho-educational support group is facilitated by Marjorie R. Johnson, Clinical Social Worker and Coach. This group may be submitted to insurance.
Build Awareness Through Mindfulness
Learn how to practice mindfulness with our CD “Come to the Quiet: Meditation for Relaxation and Healing”.
Click here to receive a complimentary sample track.