The Science Behind How I Work

Some time ago I went through the official process of Certification with the Martha Beck Wayfinder Life Coach program. I owe a huge debt of gratitude to a select group of my Private Coaching clients who helped me along the way to this milestone. For privacy reasons I can’t name them here, but suffice it to say that no-one succeeds alone and I wouldn’t be here without their help. Thank you for your trust and your willingness to be coached. I truly loved working with each and every one of you.

I am also a Certified Mindfulness Instructor through the Search Inside Yourself Leadership Institute (SIYLI).  For this, I owe a debt of gratitude to the 50 or so students who went through my Practicums late last year, and my learning "pod" for a year of truly intensive co-study. You know who you are, thank you for your trust and attention and enthusiasm. Teaching and learning with every one of you has been a gift.

What does this mean, in real terms? Well, for one I get to put fancy logos and seals on my website and marketing materials, and you get to find me on Martha’s website — just type my name into https://marthabeck.com/find-a-coach/ and you’ll see my listing.

Far, far more importantly, what this REALLY means is that I’ve combined my knowledge with coaching skills to see the big picture, help you clarify your thinking and help you remove any roadblocks that you’re stuck on.

"A Wayfinder Life Coach is to a therapist as a personal trainer is to a physician. The therapist and the physician get you from ill to well. Coaches and trainers get you from well to very high performance." – Martha Beck

Just like an athletic coach helps the superstar athlete make the incremental small adjustments to their game and mindset to produce the results they’re looking for on the field of play I am equipped to help my clients make incremental small adjustments to their game and mindset to produce the results they’re looking for in work and life.

As a naturally divergent thinker I am attuned to seeing the big picture and analyzing blind spots, and this is just one of the ways in which I’m able to help my clients improve their thinking and actions.

Looking back over the months since I started my coaching certification, I have to say that what drew me to Martha originally was her ability to weave together social psychology and neuroscience with eastern contemplative tradition: Harvard science smarts and Taoist wisdom.

Martha’s tools and techniques are not numbered steps or pop-psychology recipes for success — they are deeply rooted in her scientific experience and understanding of how the human brain works and how we humans behave when experiencing the cycle of change.

Additionally, going through her training at the same time as studying the neuroscience of attention with the Search Inside Yourself Leadership Institute (SIYLI) allowed me a unique timeline in which to cross-reference the techniques, research and theories being taught by both, and what I found was a very comforting amount of scientific and contemplative corroboration and alignment.

What struck me most about my personal journey through the training, though, was the embodied nature of everything that Martha teaches.

In the Western world and in the business world in particular we are mostly taught that our bodies are simply the squishy bags of bones that move our brains from one meeting to another.

The reality is that if we ignore the signaling and sensing ability of our entire body we are missing the vast majority of the information available about any situation. Our brains can only process at a computing speed of tens of bits per second. Our nervous systems process information at a speed of tens of millions bits per second. We ignore it at our peril.

The first tenet of Martha’s training is "Live It To Give It" – that we have to practice the embodied techniques on ourselves regularly in order to be able to show up as effective coaches for our clients.

I first started investigating embodied leadership back in 2011 and since that time have found that the more I’ve been able to bring the whole body experience into business and personal decision making, especially where other people are concerned, the more accurate and positive my decision making has been.

A truly pivotal part of this learning has been working with Kasia Urbaniak of The Academy in New York City, where my whole-body ability to sense and test and influence skyrocketed, taking my aerospace career with it.

The SIYLI nine month teacher training also had a considerable requirement for whole-body contemplative practice - not just in the program itself but also in our day-to-day lives. For me this has included daily meditation, yoga, Ginastica Natural, training to become an S-Factor instructor and other modalities.

Along the way I'd also worked through the HeartMath Coach training program, which was another embodied decision-making tool which I now use daily, and use with my private coaching clients who report that it's enormously helpful. 

Embodied leadership is the key, and almost without realizing it I’ve aligned all of my training over the last 10 years along this principle.

What’s truly fascinating is that the best business schools in the country are also teaching this – Stanford GSB’s "Touchy Feely" class is the most popular in its MBA lineup, for example, and Yale and Cornell are also adding aspects of embodied management into their MBA curricula.

Embodied practice is also the underpinning to contemplative tradition: without it we run the risk of falling into "affluent narcissism", more commonly referred to as McMindfulness.

So what does all this weaving together of various traditions and learnings and trainings mean for you? In addition to 20 years of experience on the front lines of international business I bring richness of content, varied teaching styles, and much ongoing background research so that my coaching and teaching practice can reach all of you - not just your brain.

I so look forward to working with you.

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