Posts Tagged ‘mental health’

Start within – the mindful roadmap to empowering mental health

This week is Mental Health Awareness Week and there’s never been a better time to begin a new wellbeing practice. Are you ready to create a self-caring and empowering relationship within you?

Last week, I wrote about the importance of creating powerful conversations within you, so today’s focus is practical and provides a how-to-do mindfulness roadmap, as well as an easy access heartfulness exercise to practice. (If you would like to know more about why it matters, you can catch up https://www.atribecalledwoman.com/category/blog/

Here’s my mini mindfulness roadmap on how to start a powerful inward conversation TODAY:

  1. Create a space to be with yourself and agree a time limit. Turn devices on silent and place the faces down – better still put them in another room.
  2. Check in with your perspective? How are you approaching this conversation and what needs to be in place for you to be fully present and mindful? (Top tip: adopt a beginner’s mind perspective and give yourself permission to explore).
  3. If stepping into your being feels strange, scary or you are in avoidance in any way, take a moment to loosen up. Play a song you love, close your eyes, breathe and feel the music in your body. Now you are ready to go deeper.
  4. Spend five minutes, simply breathing and listening to your own breath in silence. If unwelcome thoughts come along, simply breathe them out – breathe in peace, breathe out distractions. Remember you are not your thoughts, you are simply observing them. 
  5. Choose one question you would like to focus on? (Who am I? What’s my dream? What is my purpose? What do I need to let go of in my life? What do I currently not have in my life that I would like more of?) Hold the question and allow your inner knowing to rise – work with the same question for one week and see what wants to be revealed. Some questions can be lifelong companions. Learn to love these enquiry questions and their meaning and you will discover many ways to rise. 
  6. Remember, you are always at choice: What choices will you make today and from what place? Who will you be when you’re doing?

You don’t need to be a meditative monk to be mindful..

What I love about this work, is that it invites us to get creative and find new ways to work within. Some days there is a limit on time and focus, but that doesn’t mean you need to skip your inward conversation and journey. 

Here is one of my quick heartfulness recovery go-to practices:

Remove screens, close your eyes, put your hand on your heart and say silently to yourself, I am here. Keep breathing and saying, I am here and observe, how you relax into this moment. Spend anything from one minute to twenty minutes doing this simple, yet powerful practice. This exercise really works, so do yourself a huge favour and engage…

This blog is part of a Powerful Conversations series written by Karen Heras-Kelly, which includes the following articles: 

  • Building bridges one conversation at a time
  • Listen to reconnect
  • Now is the time for leaders to recover to self
  • When I say Powerful Conversation, you assume?
  • Make your dreams bigger than your limiting beliefs
  • Start by creating powerful conversations within you 

You can catch up on the full series at https://www.atribecalledwoman.com/category/blog/ Karen is a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach, Leadership facilitator, meditation and creative visualisation expert. Karen is the founder of A Tribe Called Woman and the Breathe Time at work project.

NOW is the time for leaders to recover to self

Creative leadership has never been more important and the leadership being called for is harmonious, connected, intuitive and empowering. 

But here’s the thing, harmony does not come naturally to us humans. Harmony certainly isn’t an easy sell because to create harmony we must be truthful, often speaking words that make us feel uncomfortable and naming the elephant in the room. Note to self: harmony is not people pleasing, suppressing your voice to keep the peace and so on, it is taking an active stance in the ongoing evolution of our lives, businesses, communities and planet. Stay true to your values, use your body, mind and spirit to embody them and you will always find a way to communicate what matters.

What I know to be true When you create space for your own evolution and travel within, you will know what is required and discover insights that support you and others, to find new pathways. Those seemingly difficult conversations emerge more easily from an awakened heart and mind. Please put the whipping stick down, get off the hamster wheel and create ‘breathe time’ in your day – over time you will emerge brighter.

To be connected we are required to be visible, to cultivate intimacy based on our interactions is a choice. To choose to stay open and look at life through different lenses and imagine what it is like for the other before we judge or critique them is a practice. It’s one that begins with being kind within yourself first and then expanding this olive branch out to others. To see people for who they really are rather than projecting your own issues or desires onto them. This requires you to be vulnerable and honest with yourself and each other.

A word about intimacy: True intimacy is created when we let go of the need to acquire. Although, we are still required to give and receive. It can be uncomfortable at first because it is not our primary language (secrecy is), but once we overcome our own fears of being seen and feel safe, intimacy brings us closer to life. It keeps us alive, vibrant and in wonder. 

Holding the space: Listening, sensing and then speaking creates powerful conversations that go somewhere – Karen in action pre Covid-19

Starting a new conversation: My conversation is always practical to start with and then elevation is required to tip the balance from surviving to thriving. There has to be time to recover, to reflect to reconnect within every workplace or else your teams will be adrenaline fuelled and working from their reserves. There is only so much the body can withstand, hence with the need to self-care and then share. The benefits of this are huge because when we unite together, transformation happens.

Companies with diverse, balanced and healthy teams perform better it’s that simple. But as a coach who specialises in supporting others, it’s unlikely that you will find leaders putting their hands up and asking for help – if this is not part of the cultural landscape already. Therefore, companies need to create the environment for well-being first.  

When good health is flowing, creativity, collaboration and problem solving takes on a new dimension. I’d go as far as to say that work becomes play, that fun is here to stay. Yes even in a global pandemic.

This blog is part of a Powerful Conversations series written by Karen Heras-Kelly. Karen is a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach, Leadership facilitator, meditation and creative visualisation expert. Karen is the founder of A Tribe Called Woman and the Breathe Time at work project.

Building bridges one conversation at a time

Karen Heras-Kelly, Certified Coach & Leadership Facilitator at A Tribe Called Woman

Change begins with a series of powerful (often difficult) conversations. Opening a new dialogue and speaking words that can feel uncomfortable will open the space for transformation and move you closer to your desired goal and outcome. 

It’s rare that a solution arises at the very beginning of a discussion, so leaders need to prepare themselves for the long haul. When it comes to many of the issues that are presenting themselves right now (race, sexuality, gender), wanting change isn’t enough, we have to be willing to pull up a chair and dig deep, together.

Part of the issue is that it’s hard to truly understand how it feels to be a woman today, if you are a man, because you are looking at the world through different lenses. However, by holding the desire to wish to understand more, you have already taken an important step. 

“You’re right, I don’t fully understand how it is for you, but I would love you to share your experiences. I really want to build a different reality alongside you, what do you need from me for us to create a resonant change?”

Then wipe the slate clean and get creative. What could sustainable change really look like, feel like, sound like? What is the end goal and what’s the next step? What is needed to stay on this new path, how will you know that your agreements are working? What will you do to realign when progress is halted?

I want to share a personal antidote here. After the death of Sarah Everard and the outpouring of grief that has happened in the UK, I went to a place of despair. I remembered my own experiences and envisioned a bleak future for my daughter. 

Our world needs to change, so I pulled up a chair, dug my heels in and began some difficult conversations with those I love. Starting with my husband and then my parents. To start with, I was (understandably) met with defensiveness. It seemed nobody wanted to really have this conversation with me, I held the space and I talked, sharing story after story. 

The energy changed and the conversations fell silent, I was wise enough to let things settle. The following day, I heard these words, “we are going to create a different reality for you, we are going to educate you and Mummy will guide you.” Hope landed in my heart and I added, “we are going to support you and talk to you together because both of us are needed in the creation of this new reality.”

My intention is for my daughter to know her worth and for her to be equipped to have her own difficult conversations, starting with “no.” And I plan to involve my husband in this vision because I want our discussions to be balanced and inclusive, for her to know that this is a conversation to be had with women and men.

I truly believe that the change we all seek is one of unification, one where we are educated and supported to listen, honour and create together. It may seem like a long arc, but by sitting down together we stand a chance of furthering change.

My top tips for furthering conversations in the workplace are:

  • Start at home, have difficult conversations with those you share your personal life with first and test the water, grow and share.
  • Meditate or practice mindfulness, connect to nature and get used to listening to your own inner wisdom.
  • Pull up a chair and listen, talk, reflect, listen, agree, create. 
  • Do not be scared to disagree and request space to reconsider and come back, and pull up your again, and start over. Often the answers we seek arrive after a good night’s sleep or while brushing our teeth!
  • Above else, be prepared to listen and then allow what people are saying to be heard, this will build trust.

Holding the space for ongoing conversations builds bridges and creates change

This blog was written by Karen Heras-Kelly, A Certified Professional Co-Active Coach, Leadership facilitator, meditation and creative visualisation expert. Karen is the founder of A Tribe Called Woman.

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