Tag Archives: mindfulness

At the pace of what is real

I’ve been travelling a lot over the past month – South of France, French Alps, London, Amsterdam, and now back in India…with a full heart, relieved to be home again, and grateful for all the soulful joyful reunions with friends and family in Europe. Also with a tired body, taking time to rest and get comfortable with the monsoon weather and crazy beloved India.

The need for rest has been appearing synchronistically in conversations with friends and coachees for the last few weeks. For example my GP and health coach cousin who works with women in their 30s that have developed a range of psychosomatic conditions, often because of a diary full of everything, but rest. A coachee saw her emotional eating habits transformed once she allowed herself proper rest. And my partner Shivi needs complete rest to recover from a viral fever – no phone, no movie, not even a book…

This – naturally! – comes at a time when I’m learning how to rest properly, for example deactivating after lunch and dinner, taking a break after every hour spent behind the computer, no phone 1hr after waking up and 1hr before sleeping…and the health effects are so clear. More peace of mind, clarity, ease, stability. Less stress, cravings and fewer outside events triggering annoyance or frustration.

Mark Nepo calls this state ‘At the pace of what is real’ in one of his poems in ‘The Book of Awakening‘. I love sharing it with my Joyful Living Retreat participants on Day 4 when we look at how to flow through life..

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In my search for rest, I’m facing a big saboteur – the one saying ‘you’re not working hard enough, you’re not productive enough, you don’t deserve rest, you’re not doing anything with your life.’ Or even ‘You’re already meditating and doing yoga every day, what more rest do you need?!’

Luckily my inner leader is telling me that I’m more productive when fully rested because the right things happen at the right moment, effortlessly. And that in rest and quiet we create the space to listen to our soul and where it’s guiding us. As Rumi puts it so beautifully:

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I’m curious to hear your thoughts and experiences with busy-ness, rest, going at the pace of what is real and listening to your soul. Respond to this post, email me or join us for the next Maitree Community – the Sangha of Joy’s monthly call where we’ll be exploring what INTUITION and GOING AT THE PACE OF WHAT IS REAL means to us..

The August Sangha calls are taking place on Sunday 14th August at 11am Central European Time/2.30pm Indian Standard Time and Thursday 18th August at 4.30pm Central European Time/8pm Indian Standard Time. Get in touch with me if you’re keen to join (julie@maitreecoaching.com)!

Ikigai or the reason you wake up in the morning

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IKIGAI

iki (生き) / Life
kai (甲斐) / The realisation of what one expects and hopes for

As a life and executive coach I’m intrigued and inspired by this Japanese idea that is said to contribute to the many healthy centenarians living on the islands of Okinawa in Southern Japan, where the word originates.

Having ikigai means that you feel fulfilled and have a reason to get up in the morning. Even if it’s a dark morning, you’ll feel purposeful and balanced. Like this 100+ karate teacher.

Karate Master Uehara Seikichi - A 26-yr old student spars 96-yr old Karate Master Uehara Seikichi

Ikigai is a key component of a long and healthy life in addition to a plant-based diet, daily exercise and a strong sense of community. Okinawa’s population counts 50 centenarians per 100,000, compared to 5-10 in the US. They are healthy, independent and happy.

In fact, people do not retire in Okinawa. Instead, they belief that one should make life worth living no matter how old you are. You help others and continue to express your ikigai.

“Our ikigai evolves and transforms with us, just as much as the knowledge and identification of our ikigai transforms us.” Goju Karate

Everyone has an ikigai. So how do you find yours?

According to the Japanese, finding your ikigai requires a profound search of self, a natural and spontaneous process of self awareness.

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The diagram shows how ikigai combines four key elements in life:

  • Passion
  • Mission
  • Profession
  • Vocation

Those four key elements in turn consist of the overlaps between:

  • That which you love
  • That which the world needs
  • That which you can be paid for
  • That which you are good at

Together these make up your ikigai, which evolves and transforms over time. All ikigai are equally important and powerful because by definition they are the reason of living for someone.

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It is vital to our health and wellbeing that we find our ikigai. Yet it can be a challenging process to identify, refine your awareness, and clearly communicate your ikigai to yourself and others.

Life coaching can help with just this. I’m offering ikigai sessions in which we explore your life purpose through guided visualisation and creative conversation.

Email me at julie@maitreecoaching.com if you’re interested in discovering your ikigai!

Unwind

What will be your summer holiday reading?

I’m looking forward to relaxing soon at this beautiful spot below in YogaOnCrete. It’s so important to properly unwind and allow yourself time to recover.

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It’s actually in relaxation that we find most alertness so we can face any situation in life skillfully and with awareness.

The fifth and last theme of the Joyful Living Crete Retreat (21st-26th June, http://www.yogaoncrete.gr/en/joyful-living-retreat) is ‘Unwind – how to close your day and prepare for sleep’.

Closing your day is as important as starting it. Some people list the things they’re grateful for. I always make sure to check out the night sky — watching the moon and stars connects me to the bigger picture of life.

At least 30 minutes before going to sleep, set your devices on airplane mode. Keep your bed for sleeping and only go there once you’re ready to sleep. Set your alarm for the 7-9 hours of sleep you need plus a little extra to account for falling asleep. The more regular your sleeping, the easier your body will unwind and rejuvenate.

My body’s natural rhythm is to sleep early and wake up with the birds when a fresh new day is about to start!

Wake Up Mindfully

How about waking up to this??

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Waking Up Mindfully is the first of the five themes of the Joyful Living Crete Retreat (21st-26th June).

When your alarm rings, take a moment to notice the blank canvas of a new day. I always feel mornings are freshly quiet as the day is still unwritten. Don’t check your messages yet, and get present to this particular morning. Is the sky blue or gray? Are your dreams still with you? Are you feeling rested or restless?

Slowly turn your attention to the day ahead and set an intention. What matters most to you today? An example could be “I want a loving relationship,” or “I want to deliver a flawless presentation.” Repeat it a few times, write it down or pick an object like a bracelet or picture to remind you during the day. Once you’ve made your intention clear, you’ll be surprised how often it comes true, usually in an unexpected way.

Want to know more about Joyful Living? Keep following the blog, every day we’ll be going through each of the five themes.

Joyful Living Retreat Crete, June 2015

JOYFUL LIVING RETREAT 

How to make ordinary days extraordinary

YogaOnCrete, Crete, Greece 21st – 26th June 2015

Do you want to:

  • Live with joy and ease?
  • Improve your work life balance?
  • Cultivate mindfulness and gratitude?
  • Enhance your health and wellbeing?
  • Find peace in a hectic life style?

Join life coach Julie for a 5 day joyful living experience at Crete, the inspiring and heart opening Mediterranean island paradise.

Julie used to have a busy corporate job in London. Once she learned to live her days mindfully, she noticed how she became much more relaxed. The days weren’t less stressful, but she wasn’t as stressed anymore. Instead, she was feeling grateful for her life.

She created the Joyful Living retreat to help participants to cultivate mindfulness and gratitude. The retreat’s five themes are designed to anchor your days in the things that matter to you and bring joy into your life. In a warm and supportive group of maximum eight participants, we will explore how to make ordinary days extraordinary.

Julie combines her management consulting background with a thorough understanding of personal growth and coaching. She has a keen interest in nutrition and eastern spirituality, which has led her to spend most of the last three years in India practicing yoga and meditation.

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This powerful retreat will give you:

  • Written positive outcomes about what Joyful Living means to you
  • An individualised roadmap on how to get there
  • Commitment to prioritise according to your values
  • A renewed sense of energy to optimise your life
  • A chance to soak up the magical Mediterranean

Each day at the retreat includes a yoga and meditation session to open your heart and body, and two interactive workshops on the Joyful Living theme of the day. You will also have plenty of time for relaxing by the beach, exploring the scenic village and countryside.

Julie facilitates the workshops using life coaching techniques to create insights and find your own answers, as well as get you committed and accountable to put them into practice and transform your life.

Monday | Waking up: how to start your day with awareness

Tuesday | Mindful routine: how to build a yoga and meditation practice

Wednesday | Eat joyfully: how to eat what your body needs

Thursday | Flow through your day: how to keep things simple and follow your heart

Friday | Unwind: how to close your day and prepare for sleep

Read more about the Joyful Living themes here.

To book, get in touch with Julie via julie@maitreecoaching.com or click here.

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Retreat highlights

  • Daily yoga, meditation and Joyful Living workshops
  • Professional and experienced life coach and yoga practitioner
  • Free 1:1 life coaching session
  • Warm and supportive group of maximum 8 guests
  • 5 nights accommodation in traditional guesthouse located near beach
  • 5 vegan breakfasts and lunches and 1 vegan dinner included Linen and towels provided

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Retreat programme

The week begins with a delicious vegan welcome dinner on Sunday evening at 8pm.

From Monday to Friday we will start the day with a lovely relaxed yoga and meditation practice (7.30am to 8.30am). Then it’s time for a refreshing detox smoothie before we start the interactive morning workshop (9.30-11.30am).

Each day we will take a closer look at the benefits of one of the five Joyful Living themes:

Monday | Waking up: how to start your day with awareness

Tuesday | Mindful routine: how to build a yoga and meditation practice

Wednesday | Eat joyfully: how to eat what your body needs

Thursday | Flow through your day: how to keep things simple and follow your heart

Friday | Unwind: how to close your day and prepare for sleep

Together, these themes give you a recipe for how to make ordinary days extraordinary and open your heart to joy and ease. The retreat programme is designed to put these themes in practice straight away so you will experience the benefits of Joyful Living first hand.

After lunch and siesta, the afternoon workshop (4.30-6.30pm) is dedicated to giving expression to your own commitments and creating an individualised roadmap for each theme.

We will take the sessions out to nature as much as possible so we can enjoy our connection with the sea, the trees and the hills.

In the afternoons, there’s the opportunity to do a free 1:1 life coaching session with Julie. Or you can relax, enjoy the beach and sunshine, get a massage, explore the village, take a walk in the countryside.

The number of guests is limited to 8 to create a warm and friendly atmosphere and to ensure that everyone gets a personalised experience. Beginners and experienced yogis are both welcome!

Five vegan breakfasts and lunches are offered at the house, while in the evenings guests can dine out in the village restaurants (not included in the course cost; approx. €15 for a full meal including drinks). Sunday night’s vegan dinner is included in the price.

Individual excursions (e.g., hikes, boat trips) can also be arranged during the week at an extra cost.

On Friday, departure can be arranged after the closing ceremony (3-4pm).

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More about life coaching

Coaching enables you to create real and positive change by dramatically increasing your levels of self-awareness. A life coach facilitates your journey of finding answers to your questions. The answers already lie within you and point you to how to realise your full potential.

The life coaching method is built on the cornerstone that we are all naturally creative, resourceful and whole and that we all possess the capacity for knowing what is best for ourselves.

In a coaching session, the coach creates for the client a safe place of authentic being, powerful listening and encouragement, to uncover the best in oneself and others. This way, the coach and client together create insights and commitment to action so that the client’s life is optimised.

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About Julie

Julie combines her extensive coaching, yoga and business consulting experience to help clients find a balance between thought and action, between being mindful and practical. She specialises in relationship and career coaching.

After quitting her strategy consulting career with Deloitte London, she retrained as a Certified Professional Co-active Coach with the acclaimed Coaching Training Institute, London. Living in India and Europe, she coaches a wide variety of clients internationally.

Her own experience has given her a keen understanding of what it takes to switch careers successfully. Transitioning from academia to corporate life to starting her own coaching practice taught her the importance of loving what you do and being authentic.

Julie loves her work which gives her the freedom to combine personal, professional and spiritual growth. A common theme in client feedback is that Julie´s coaching style is natural, bright and impactful. It is a natural extension of what she enjoys doing – creating a safe space, tracking down the real issue and challenging the client to move forward.

In addition to 1:1 sessions, Julie facilitates retreats, workshops and coaching training. She also does freelance business strategy projects. She loves her yoga and meditation practice, is learning to master tarot card reading, and can often be found in the kitchen making vegan desserts.

She blogs about spiritual and coaching topics on iliketothinkabout.wordpress.com.

Together with her partner Shivraj Bhullar, she runs Maitree House – a space for yoga, wellness and coaching retreats. Find out more on http://www.maitreecoaching.com.

“Julie taught me to acknowledge my values in my decision making which has made such a difference to my life. She is a joy to work with and I would recommend her to anyone.”

“Julie helped me a lot to accept myself the way I am right now. She has such a good energy and a very gentle and good soul. Her wisdom has a special grace that has an immediate effect when she speaks.”

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Prices

Prices (all inclusive) per person per week:

Early Bird Discount (€50 off displayed price) applies for bookings 3 months in advance (before the 21st of March).

€650 (£520) shared en suite accommodation (3 in a room) or single non-ensuite accommodation (with use of common bathroom).

€700 (£560) shared en suite twin or double room.

€730 (£580) single en suite accommodation (please note that single room availability is limited).

5 tips to make ordinary days extraordinary

Check out my article on online wellness magazine MindBodyGreen!

“Days come, days go. Some last an eternity, others fly by. Some are cheerful, others uneventful. Yet you can be sure that the sun and the moon will rise and set, that the birds will sing in the morning.

I used to have a busy corporate job in London. Once I learned to live my days mindfully, I noticed how I became much more relaxed. The days weren’t less stressful, but I wasn’t as stressed anymore. Instead, I was feeling grateful for my life.

I often help clients of my coaching practice improve their work-life balance. These five tips have helped them to anchor their days and have more fun. They gained time as they prioritized according to their values.

1. Wake up mindfully

[…] To read more click here.