everydaybalance

inspirational tools to create life balance in your everyday

everyday balance with life coaching

August10

Life coaching is a wonderful way to bring balance into your life. Often we make room for appointments in our lives to take care of what is going wrong with our life, but coaching allows us to make appointments to look after what can go right in our lives. Life coaching is a collaborative partnership where we take the time to identify our needs and values and where we have arrived to at this moment in our life. Once we have identified those needs and values, we set goals to meet those needs and values and the steps in which to achieve those goals.

Life coaching allows you to achieve clarity both on where you have arrived to and where you want to go. The supportive context of a coaching partnership allows you to stay motivated towards your goals and to continually assess your goals along the way so that they are achievable. In our fast pace lives, it is taking this kind of time out for reflection that allows us to accomplish the things we only once dreamed of. With life coaching we can find balance between the important building blocks that make up our lives. These building blocks often consist of friends, family, finances, physical health, work and play.

Life balance coaching can help you to identify the areas of your life that have become unbalanced and to learn ways to bring those areas back into balance. Whether you work with life coaching for one session or for several sessions, you will be able to begin to illuminate the part of yourself that is the key to your own unique balance. It is when we listen to this authentic self that our lives begin to be filled with ease and activities that feel balanced.

Working one on one together, will allow us to work with a combination of tools that include writing exercises, meditation, visualisation and goal setting techniques based on the most recent findings in the field of positive psychology.

Using a model of solution focused coaching and evidence based goal setting techniques, I will work with you to first identify the goals that resonate highly with your present circumstances and then generate ways to reach those goals within the supportive context of a coaching partnership. I am available for individual sessions in the San Francisco Bay Area or for phone sessions for interstate or international clients. I also work specifically with life coaching for first time moms.

Email: chrisadler@everydaybalance.net

posted under for life coaching

using a journal

August8

I cannot remember a time when I did not have at least one journal that I was using. As a child I preferred the tiny journals with pictures of flowers or my favourite cartoon character on it. These days I love journals that feel good and open to lay flat so that the pen moves across them with ease. Spiral ones are great as well because they turn over on to themselves. I love how thick paper soaks up the ink. Cheap spiral journals are great fun to decorate with pictures from magazines, light and easy to throw into a bag and good for a budget. Experiment until you know what works best for you.

When you use a daily journal they become like an old friend. You pull it out of your bag to sit down with a cup of tea and suddenly you are no longer alone. I have sat in comfort at cafes all around the world having magic moments, just my journal and I. I keep my journal with me everywhere. As a writer, you never know where inspiration will hit you. Not long ago, I wrote the poem under “poetry in august” at every red light between Artarmon and Narrabeen (not recommended for mindful driving!).

In your daily life you never know when you will need to pour your heart out on the page. The journal is always there. My journals are rarely re-read. They exist for the present moment and then line the shelves of my bedroom. The people that have lived with me know that there is a sacred confidentiality around journals. These days Peter and I both keep journals and they sit on our bedside tables, private unless read aloud. This gives you the space to let your hair down in your journal and dance with your thoughts, ideas and the mysteries of your emotions. Give yourself the freedom to play on the page.

Regular journal practice has had so many wonderful benefits for me over the years. I find that when I am journaling regularly I am less moody, I am clear about what I am feeling and I reach the goals that I set. I truly believe that when we are able to marinate our thoughts on the page, we move through our days with more ease and understanding of who we are in this present moment.

When starting a regular journaling practice it helps to set a time each day, much in the same way that you would approach a meditation practice. Find yourself a quiet place where you won’t be interrupted and make yourself comfortable. Enjoy the moment. Set your clock for fifteen minutes and begin writing. I was taught not to edit when journaling, allow your thoughts to flow across the page and don’t judge what comes out. It may surprise you! Let it out anyway. These are only thoughts, they happen and are changing all the time. By giving yourself time to air out your thoughts, you give yourself the freedom to feel all of your feelings. When you are finished writing, close your journal. Do not feel the need to re-read what you have written. Give yourself at least a few days and then you can look back.

When, and if, you choose to read over what you have written remember to not judge the writing. This is a safe place for you to make spelling mistakes and just get the thoughts to the page. Looking back on your journals can give you insight into the patterns in your life in regards to your likes, dislikes, struggles and joys.

Drawing support when you first start journaling is a wonderful way to support this practice. Checking in with a friend who is also journaling can be helpful to share your feelings or you can work with a life coach and use this tool as a vehicle for change. Reading books on writing can also be helpful. ‘The Artist’s Way’ by Julia Cameron is a wonderful resource when it comes to using a journal.

Most of all, enjoy your time writing. Your thoughts are a gift and your voice on the page is unique to you.

posted under using a journal

Meditation – What do I need to meditate?

August8

You can meditate anywhere, just with you and your breath. Some of my favorite meditations have happened in unexpected locations. I remember sitting outside my parents house in winter snuggled under a blanket when a wild deer walked by, in the green grass of a dear friend’s yard with her cat brushing her body against my back and then resting in my lap (cats love to meditate!), on the plane from Sydney to San Francisco during turbulence and in a tiny room with a candle and strangers around me in the middle of a busy New York City Tuesday. The wonderful thing about meditation is that you carry all the tools you need with you everyday.

But, of course there are a few tools that for your regular meditation practice may make you more comfortable. This is a list of the tools that I often draw upon:

1. A comfortable meditation cushion, bolster or meditation stool.

2. A blanket in winter to wrap around your shoulders.

3. Books on meditation by authors that will inspire you. My favorites are: Jack Kornfield, Sharon Salzberg and Thich Nhat Hanh.

4. A guided meditation CD or mp3 (this is good for beginners)

5. A sandalwood candle or your favorite incense.

6. A clock or timer with an unobtrusive sound.

7. Meditation music (this can be nice to have on in the background)

8. A journal for insights regarding your practice.

9. A bell to sound before and after practice.

10. The support of a regular meditation or yoga group.

posted under meditation

caught at the red light

August8

the red light

what a gift

three minutes alone in the car

stopped behind the small Toyota Celica

red glowing globes

like Christmas litter

and before me like a stage set

a tall old tree

so graceful in silouette

its branches black

against lilac light

like a doily

perfect in its imperfection

brittle in detail

lounging above

two chimneys

old fashioned and still

inky

like the black of branches

and beautiful

the street corner captured

at twilight

and all is quiet

except the hum of the car

and the sound of Mandarin

cold

between my teeth

from the winter fruitstand

cold touching everything

kissing even the skin of fruit

and yet summer rays

fill me

such a moment

held in time

by the red

of the light

copyright – christina adler – 6 August 2007- Artarmon, NSW Australia

posted under 2007 poetry

Meditation for Beginners

August8

Choose a place in your home where you can meditate comfortably. If you have space in your home to dedicate to your meditation practice, you may like to place a photograph of a place or person that inspires peace. You may also like to light a candle to signify the ‘illumination’ that you may reach through your regular meditation practice. I like to have books that support my practice nearby and read a passage before a meditation to set my intention.

You can use folded blankets, a bolster or a meditation cushion to sit either cross legged or in a kneeling fashion. If either of these are uncomfortable, use a chair or sit against a wall. Remember that the stability of your body will reflect the stability of your mind. You want to be as comfortable as possible and sit in a way that allows your chest to be open so that your breath can travel through the body with ease.

Choose a time of day that works well for you. If you are a morning person then when you first wake may be perfect. If you are an evening person, perhaps try the afternoon or shortly before going to sleep. Experiment with different times of the day to find what suits your schedule, home and body.

Start by meditating for a short period of time each day. A little bit often is much better than nothing at all. And quite often, if you intend to sit for five minutes, you may find yourself sitting for longer. Starting out with five minutes will help in ensure that you make your way to your cushion more regularly. Over time increase the length of time that you are meditating for. I enjoy twenty to thirty minute sessions.

Have a clock nearby or set a soft sounding alarm so that you aren’t constantly checking the time. Wear comfortable clothes so that your body can relax. Make sure that you won’t be interrupted. If there are other people in your home, let them know that you are meditating and for how long. Ask them to hold all phone calls or interruptions so that you can carve out this time just for you. If your family also meditates, this is a wonderful way to share time together.

When you are ready to meditate, close your eyes gently and take three deep breaths, imagining that all the tension is leaving your body. Come to focus on your inhale and exhale. In order to focus the mind, it may help to say the words ‘in’ silently to yourself on the in breath and ‘out’ silently to yourself on the out breath. You will notice that mind will become distracted, when this happens, gently bring the focus back to your breath. Let any thoughts fall away like Autumn leaves from a tree.

You may need to bring your mind back to your breath several times throughout your meditation, this is okay. Your meditations will change with everyday, depending on what is going on in your life and in your body. Be gentle with yourself. As you practice more and more, you will find that connecting with your breath will become easier.

When you finish your meditation, you may like to bring your hands into the prayer position at your heart centre and bow your head or your body. Take this moment to give thanks for this time of quiet and the opportunity to connect with your breath.

posted under meditation

Private Yoga in Sonoma County, Marin County and San Francisco

August8

I teach private yoga and meditation in San Francisco, Mill Valley, Petaluma, Santa Rosa, Windsor, Healdsburg, Sonoma, St. Helena and Calistoga by private appointment.  Private lessons run for one hour and are made up of forty-five minutes of postures and fifteen minutes of relaxation and meditation.  Private lessons can be tailored to meet your yoga experience and needs.  Please email me for an appointment.

I also teach meditative flow classes for all levels (including beginners!) at Solage and at It’s Yoga in St. Helena. I am at Solage on Thursdays from 11:00am-12:00pm and on Sundays from 9:30am-10:30am in Calistoga, California. This class is open to members of Solage and guests. I am at It’s Yoga on Wednesdays from 6:00-7:00pm. This class is open to the public. Please arrive at least five minutes before class so that you can arrive with ease and benefit the most from your class. You can treat these classes as your regular group practice or use them as a treat when you are feeling the need to connect with your most authentic self and relax.

posted under yoga
« Older Entries