My Selph health coaching journey - Week 7

In Week 7 we approached the theme of Calmness, which helped me to relax, rejuvenate myself on a retreat and find my calm place.

I’m going through Selph’s Coaching Programme and recording my journey as I go!

My name’s Sarah-Lizzie, and you might have seen my other articles on our Learn page! Like everyone, I have my own goals and challenges to overcome. I can admit my health needs improving. Holistic health coaching sounded like the right place to start. A few weeks later here I am - looking back on the seventh week of my Selph coaching journey. It’s hard to believe I’m past half way!

You can read about my first week to find out why I chose to start my coaching journey. If you missed last week’s instalment, you can read my thoughts on Week 6 here.

Week 7: Calmness

This week was like a little treat after making it past the half-way point of the course. A chance to take a pause and soak everything in, notice all the progress I had made and come back refreshed afterwards. The weekend prior, I had prioritised completing all of my tasks so that I could fully appreciate the week ahead and bring Calmness into each day.

I had planned some days off from work to spend time with and connect with my partner after his final exam. It just so happened that they fell during this week, which was perfect timing! We went on outings to make the most of the free time we had, but had plenty of downtime to relax and recuperate. The sun was shining and we were very lucky to have perfect weather, but thanks to my coach’s support and the course resources I knew I would have a lovely, calm week no matter what.

A retreat

I was planning to go out to stay with family in the countryside, which was (again!) rather timely. Being surrounded by nature and doing some gardening were on my to-do list. Living in the city and working from home or an office, we can forget how good it feels having green plants filling up our whole vision or getting covered in dirt like when we were children.

Tree canopy

I spent hours in the garden working, digging and creating new spaces of tranquillity, like a bird bath on top of a tree stump. Rather than being exhausted at the end of the day, I was rejuvenated and excited for the next. I found gardening to be a fulfilling and almost meditative experience, surrounded by the rustling and chirping of birds and occasionally kept company by my cats basking in the sunshine.

During the long evenings while the sun still hadn’t set, the entire surroundings felt serene and peaceful.

I made time to sit outside and read my book. Reading is very calming to me and I knew I wanted to prioritise it during this week of stillness.

I was able to go out cycling again, which I’d been missing while living in town. Despite my love for it, I hadn’t cycled in years, which had made going out on my bike again very daunting. I finally felt ready to pick up my bike because the course helped me feel confident that I did have the time and ability, even after my hiatus.

Countryside cycling

My inner calm place

Wherever I am, no matter how busy, could I visualise a place of inner calm? I had never attempted or even thought of this before. Then, while watching a video resource I felt a deep connection to the ocean. It instantly made me breathe slowly and feel at peace, so I found myself using it as my inner calm place. Visualising the gentle waves washing in rhythmically, the sound of the water moving over the sand and the sea foam bubbling. The whooshing of the wind. How it felt to stand in the surf with sand between my toes.

Magically, I got a chance to go to the coast this week to soak up all the different senses - how it smelt with the salt on the air, voices carried by the wind along the beach, dogs splashing in the waves. This helped fuel my calming visualisation with more details, so that next time it can be even more vivid and relaxing.

Gentle ocean

What Calmness did for me

Once again, the weekly theme of Calmness came at the best possible time. I had been in need of a break and a retreat. This week I could really focus on prioritising self-care and being present in my experiences. After the last couple of weeks spent noticing my tendencies to self-sabotage, this was a welcome opportunity to reward myself. Taking some days to prioritise having downtime, reflection and calmness really made me feel loved and looked after. I came out of this week feeling refreshed and ready to tackle the next theme!

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