During a recent coaching session, my client (we’ll call her Stacey) came to the realization that she had spent most of her life listening to what everybody else, anyone at all, told her to do.
She grew up in a strict religious home. Her father was the decision-maker for both Stacey and her submissive mother. Neither of them had a voice. Additionally, her father was an alcoholic. When he was drunk, he became enraged whenever Stacey or her mother did not submit to him.
Stacey learned early on, that her opinion was worthless and not to question authority. On the few occasions her mother stood up to her husband, Stacey saw it was pointless. Her father’s dominance invalidated anything they had to say. The message was, to be quiet, don’t talk back and most of all, do as you're told.
This pattern developed into a lifetime storyline for Stacey, creating a world in which she constantly sought advice rather than trusting her own ideas. Unaware that this behavior was giving her power away, it was not surprising that Stacey often felt as though she was just slogging through life.
Using the Body Wisdom Integration (BWI) process, I guided Stacey through a deeper inquiry that enabled her to tap into dormant feelings and emotions. She identified feelings of being unempowered to make decisions for herself that had been ingrained in her since childhood. For the first time, she recognized how every part of her life was influenced by others’ thoughts and beliefs. She rarely thought for herself or considered what would be in her best interest. She had become programmed and allowed this default behavior to run every aspect of her life.
As we continued coaching together, we focused on tools that would bring a greater awareness to her behavior and actions. Learning how to embrace herself with compassion, Stacey realized that she had choices. She had found her voice.
Stacey committed to her practices, taking time for herself, and exploring what brought her happiness, relaxation, and contentment. She began to really see herself, in all her strength, beauty, and full potential. Using guided meditation, creating self-empowering rituals, mirror work, practicing positive affirmations, a free journal, along with weekly coaching sessions, she began to open her heart and listen to her intuition and trust it.
We gather information from infancy as we experience our life, we absorb, we learn, and we develop our belief system based on these events. Over the years this all gets stored in what I call our, “conditioned mind.” This “storage unit” becomes the foundation of our thoughts, habits, and even our personality. It influences who we are, how we show up in our lives, and how we care for ourselves and others.
Signs of this behavior tend to show up in how we react to situations. Anger, frustration, and impatience are all strong indicators that our conditioned mind is running us. Other signals include a tendency to blame, self-judgment, and judgment of others.
This, “inherited” behavior is draining, and I refer to it as “basement energy.” It has little to no value as it depletes our vitality. It keeps us stuck in a loop of the same old story. There is little opportunity for growth or change.
In my Live Life Coaching practice, I focus on teaching clients how to shift out of their conditioned minds. Rather than hanging out in the dank, dark, cellar, I guide clients to recognize they have choices. Together, we identify coaching practices and tools which resonate as we create strategies for success.