Monday, October 29, 2012

Vipassana - What I hope to learn

This is not a 5 things I learned post but on Wednesday I'm leaving for Vipassana and I wanted to share my own spiritual development journey.

What is it? Basically Vipassana is 10 days of silent meditation.
Why am I doing it?  I'm doing it because I want to be even more peaceful and happier with myself and the world around me. I am doing it for my spiritual and emotional growth.

This note is serving as a journal for myself and a blog, a space to express my thoughts and fears about this endeavor and a platform to share why I feel it's important for me to do this at this time.

So what will I be doing? I will be going away for 10 days to a Vipassana Center in Jessup, Georgia where I will, essentially pause my extrenal identity, possessions and voice for 10 days. I will commit myself to the rules and times schedule. I will be completely reliant on the kindness of strangers who will feed me and provide me with a place to sleep with no expectation of any reward. (They are all volunteers and there is no fee for attending Vipassana.) I will have no contact with the outside world or the other participants. I will wake at 4am and meditate, according to instruction, for most of the day.
Just the notion of this process and set-up humbles me.

The premise of Vipassina is that through the process of meditaion, instruction and immersion I will develop a deeper understanding of myself. Vipassina means to see things as they really are. It is a method that has been taught for 2500 years in India.

I am nervous. I have listened to the reports of others who talk about leg cramps, tiredness and deep emotional releases. I am unsettled by the unknown. What will I find out about myself that I don't already know? Will I dissapoint myself and not make it to the end? Will I be starving hungry all the time? How will I get through 10 days without talking to my husband and children? I can hardly get through a couple of hours now.

And at the same time I am excited. I am so excited about the idea of being more free from mental addictions, which is what the process often produces. I am excited by the physical and emotional challenge of it. I am excited about the certainty it will give me about me - who I am at my core. I am very excited about expanding the space in my mind that is tranquil and content and bringing that more into the world on a practical, daily basis, into my relationship with myself and others, and into my work.

I, like anyone else, want more freedom from a crazy mind that is in a constant motion of noise and busyness - part of the time telling me about my faults in fantastic, painful detail contrasted by times of grandiose posturing about an I that is unrealistic and puffed up with an identity dependant on the ownership of titles, people and possessions that don't even really belong to me. I want to be free from it and although I know this will not be complete emancipation I am excited about the progress. This is one step towards it.

To learn more about me and my work please visit my website Nicky Roberts Coaching

To learn more about Vipassana here are some great websites that I've come across in my own searching:

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

5 Things I learned about self care this weekend

I teach and live by the idea that you can't give away (or teach) what you don't already have and this weekend, after a busy week of seeing coaching clients and presenting a Life Purpose by Design workshop, I could feel that self care was needed.

We've all heard the term "self care" but what does it really mean? How do you do it? How don't you do it? Here are some thoughts on what I've learned coaching clients and myself in self care:

1. It's not about buying stuff. I've heard people say to others who are having a bad day or who are feeling neglected, "you should go out and buy yourself something special." This is not self care. Buying stuff doesn't mean you're taking care of yourself it means you're spending money -  and sometimes that can even mean you're harming yourself. Buying yourself something to make yourself feel better only works for about 3 minutes. After that you're back to the feeling you started with.

It may be appropriate to buy something in the process of self care. For example if you've neglected your grooming and you need to purchase a nail polish to do your nails that is appropriate, provided you have the financial means to do so.

2. It's about listening to what you need. People usually become acutely aware of needing self care when they've been disconnected from hearing their own voice about what they need...for whatever reason. The first step in self care is to get quiet and listen  to the inner voice for what you need. It may be a nap. It may be a cup of warm tea. It may be being kind to yourself in your self talk and intentionally interrupting patterns of negative self talk. You may need to pray or meditate. Getting quiet so you can hear what you need is the place to start and then ask yourself, "What do I need to do for myself in this moment to feel better?" (If you hear "alcohol" you're listening to the wrong voice :))

One of my strategies is spending time in nature.
Here I visited my friend's horse farm in Florida.
3. Men and women experience different awareness of their needs. The more stressed a man gets the better he understands his needs and takes care of them. Evidence for this can be seen by the fact that most men have the ability to take a nap, in the middle of the day, on the couch with the kids all running around the house yelling and screaming. Most women can't. In fact, as a rule, women become more and more disconnected from what they need the more stressed they become. That is why it's important to get really quiet, sit down and refer to No 2.

4. It may take a while to feel rejuvenated. If you've gotten to the place where you're exhausted and craving self care you will probably feel depleted and weepy for no particular reason and maybe even physically weak. It's going to take a while to get back to your springy, vibrant self so be patient.

5. Consistency is key - again! Taking care of your needs is about taking responsibility for your emotional and physical health ...and not expecting others to. Having a consistent plan to do so is really smart. If you're like me with a lot of people relying on you, you should make sure to create some consistent times in the day to reconnect with yourself and ensure that you are emotionally and physically balanced and nourished. Exercise, prayer, meditation, connecting with good friends, herbal tea, healthy snacks, getting out of the office for a walk are all strategies that I use to keep myself in balance.

Do you need to learn how to care for yourself. Has this somehow gotten away from you? Are you completely at a loss as to how you might even start?
I can help you. Visit my life coaching website and sign up for a FREE CONSULTATION.