Areas of attention:
- being in the present moment versus being in the past or future
- being here versus somewhere else
- being present versus being absent
- holding one or some of the 8 fundamental attitudes versus unfruitful and defeating attitudes
- being present in the physical body versus being in the head (disconnected from the body)
- perceiving one’s experience versus being taken over by one’s experience (de-identification)
- observing mind content versus taking mind content as absolute reality (thoughts, feelings, emotions, beliefs, stories, images, ideas, …)
- owning opinions, feelings, interpretations and emotions versus projecting labels, judgments, blame and conclusions
- Embody mindfulness = living consciously what is, being in the present moment
- “Nice how you expressed you feeling nervous while thinking at that challenge. You named a present moment experience.”
- “I notice you explained that … event in the past to me from different angles. How does it affect your breath when you talk about that event?” And breath deeply and mindfully while asking that question.
- “And I notice that as soon as I asked that question, you took a deep breath. It looked as if you connected more with your own body.”
Useful phrases and gestures:
I ask this question to coachees and workshop participants: “What concrete action of your coach helped you to connect more with the present moment?” The below phrases and gestures regularly come up as a result. It is also clear that some action that work with one person would not work with another one. IP coaching will always be a creative craftsmanship that starts with embodiment and open-hearted willingness to help, try out present moment intuition and continuously adjust to the reality of the present moment.
- When you make that facial expression, does that show you feel some anxiety, or am I guessing wrong? – This question invites awareness to body (face) and emotions while staying in open inquiry. It is important to offer space to correct interpretations. We don’t want to define the other person’s reality. We only want to help increase awareness about one’s reality.
- “When you share that experience, I suddenly feel a surge of tender compassion inside of me.” – Expressing and showing compassion is a powerful invitation for the other person to also feel compassion towards him/herself.
- “I understand the ideas you have about that person. Do you remember the moment you started to generate that idea in your mind?” – After showing understanding, this question invites more space in a projection, reduces the absoluteness of the projected identification and encourages taking ownership and responsibility about ideas we have about others.
- “What an exciting story ! I need to breath a moment to take that in.” – Embodying staying connected with body and breath.
- “I hear you and I hear you’re worrying about what might happen. I understand the images that are coming up in your mind in this very moment when you speculate about the future.” – Besides offering a listening ear, showing understanding and empathy, this rephrasing reminds the person about the present moment reality. The naming of the speculation, which all future projections mostly are, takes the absoluteness out of the worry and implicitly suggests more open space for how reality will unfold towards the future.
- “It touches me what happened to you. How does it affect you in this moment when you rethink those memories?” – After showing empathy, this question proposes to connect with one’s feelings in the present moment. The wording ‘rethink memories’ is an allusion to the fact that the past actually doesn’t exist anymore in the present moment. What we call the past is in reality the present moment thinking of a memory. And what we call a memory is the present moment activation of an impression in the mind.
- “That glassy look in your eyes makes me wonder if you actually heard what I just said to you?” – A simple reality check if the other person is present here in the actual conversation.
- “We are not in a hurry.” helped to calm down and recenter.
- Some people like a direct approach: “I see you are leaving. Come back.”
- “Be aware of yourself.”
- Once when you accompanied me, I was rambling and you gently pressed your foot onto my foot, and I was drawn back into my body and into my grounding.
- “What part of your body you feel the most in this moment?”
- “Breath deeply.”
- “Presence is already there. Just connect with the presence that is already there.”
- Telling a joke.
- “I am here with you with my heart open.”
- Once someone took me by the arm and gently pulled my arm towards the ground.
- Snapping fingers.
- My helper took my hand and looked me in the eyes.