Socrates is the Father of Coaching!

By Maria Koropecky, Wellness Coach

Have you ever wondered why all of a sudden, more and more people are calling themselves coaches these days? Where were all of the Life Coaches, Spiritual Coaches, Career Coaches, Leadership Coaches, and Health & Wellness Coaches even 20 years ago, back in the 1900’s?

While there are plenty of socio-economic reasons that address why we’re big into coaching these days (which I won’t get into in this blog post), would it surprise you to learn that coaching has actually been around for 2500 years?

Although the modern coaching profession is booming these days with many people throwing their hat into the ring, the roots of coaching, as practiced today, can be traced, in my opinion, all the way back to Socrates and his Socratic Method.

I said, “the roots of coaching” and not “actual coaching” as we know it today, because there is ONE BIG DIFFERENCE that I’ll get to in a minute. So stay with me.

This Socratic insight dawned on me while I was watching the BBC TV series, “Genius of the Ancient World,” a show where historian Bettany Hughes investigates three giants of ancient philosophy – Buddha, Confucious, and Socrates.

“By daring to think the unthinkable, [Socrates, Buddha, and Confucious] laid the foundations of our modern world. I’ve always been intrigued by the fact that these men, who lived many thousands of miles apart, seemed spontaneously and within 100 years of one another, to come up with such radical ideas. So, what was going on? I want to investigate their revolutionary ideas – to understand what set them in motion. This time, Socrates,” ~ Bettany Hughes.

I had my own aha moment while watching the episode where Bettany travels to Greece to learn about wise Socrates, a man who lived 2500 years ago in Athens, during a time of tremendous upheaval and transformation.

I realized that during my coaching training at the Rayner Institute in 2015, I was actually learning a version of the Socratic Method! So, in my mind, Socrates was the first Spiritual and Life Coach! To me, Socrates is the father of modern coaching!

A little bit about Socrates

The son of a midwife and stonemason, Socrates was born in 469 BC and grew up in the suburbs of Athens, Greece, during a time of great social unrest.

Socrates believed that living a virtuous, happy, and flourishing life was within reach. He emphasized the importance of caring about wisdom and truth and improvement of the soul, rather than seeking status and stuff.

He favoured oral communication over writing.

He was all about asking good questions.

He also “played the fool” in the sense that he didn’t pretend to know more than the person he was talking with, which allowed them to have their own insights.

Socrates also said, “The unexamined life is not worth living.”

Here’s a look at the Socratic Method in play

Fortunately, in case you missed the airing of “Genius of the Ancient World” on TV, you can still watch the whole video on YouTube.

The whole hour is very interesting but if you don’t have time to watch from beginning to end, I recommend starting at minute 24:42 when Brittany (BH) has a conversation with writer, Apostolos Doxiadis, (AD), who in effect plays the role of Socrates.

Here’s the 5-6 minute transcript:

Bettany Hughes narrating: “His Socratic method worked something like this – Socrates would engage someone in the street… He’d ask them an ethical question… The person would attempt to define the concept, but Socrates would find inconsistencies in their answers… They would be forced to withdraw their definition and to reformulate and refine their ideas… This process would spiral into a dizzying round of question and answer. Socrates likens his role to that of a midwife, who helps to nurture and deliver the thoughts of others. But it was never an easy birth.”

Minute 24:42. AD: “So, Bettany, I understand you’re here to do a documentary about Socrates.”

BH: Yes.

AD: Why are you making this documentary?

BH: “I can learn something more about Socrates and I can share that knowledge with the people who are watching it.”

AD: “These are big words – ‘knowledge’ and ‘truth.’ Shall we take one of them? What would it mean…? So what is this thing – knowledge – that you want to impart?”

BH: “In my book, knowledge is love of what it is to be human.”

AD: “So, knowledge is love?”

BH: “Yeah.”

A.D: “OK. So, if you wanted to have an operation for an appendicitis, would you go to a woman who was full of love, but knew nothing about surgery?”

BH: “No!”

AD: “OK, So I would say that the definition of “knowledge as love” is not good enough. So, let’s try it again. Is there one kind of knowledge, or many kinds of knowledge?”

BH: “Knowledge is one thing…”

AD: “Take your time. I don’t know the answers to this.”

BH: “Maybe knowledge is one thing, but knowing is many things.

AD: “To know how the stars move and to know how the liver operates is the same thing?”

BH. “No, they’re not the same thing.”

AD: “Does the person who possesses knowledge in the big way know everything? Between those two, who is probably the best stone maker?”

BH. “Er… The one who…I don’t know! I give up, I give up!” I have to say that the one thing you’ve proved to me is that I know nothing.”

AD: “Ah, no, no. That’s me! [LAUGHTER]. I am the expert at making other people know things, but I’m no good – I know nothing and that is the only knowledge I claim for myself.”

Labyrinth in the parking lot of Holy Trinity Anglican Church in North Saanich, BC.
Labyrinth in the parking lot of Holy Trinity Anglican Church in North Saanich, BC.

Coaching and the Socratic Method

As you can see, a question leads to an answer, which leads to another question, which leads to an answer, and so on, and so on.

There are many similarities between the Socratic Method and Coaching but again, there’s a big difference, which I’m getting to…

Here’s a continuation of the conversation between Bettany and Apostolos, essentially describing the Socratic Method, with some hints pointing to the coaching process as well.

BH: “That Socratic method is fascinating and stimulating, but it is also infuriating.”

AD: “Yes, because it’s in an oral context, the way we do it, and Socrates famously believed in the supremacy of the oral over the written and that also stirs up the emotions. First of all, in his pretence of being the fool, the ignorant man, of knowing nothing. Yes, and because that is his tool, that he turns, in fact, against his friends – or opponents, as you may take it – and makes them admit to things that they don’t want to admit to, by playing essentially the fool, saying, ‘I know nothing, I know nothing. I can only ask you to tell me, because I know nothing.’ So, he laid an emphasis on the definitions, then on what he called “diaeresis” – division – of breaking down a problem into little parts, analyzing parts, analyzing it. And then, attacking each one separately and then trying, inductively, to group them back together into a more general concept.”

Did you catch the big difference between the Socratic Method and Coaching?

While both methods start off with a blank slate, and use verbal communication to exchange ideas, and are about asking good questions and listening to answers, and breaking down the topic into smaller parts, observing them, and putting them back together again in a new way, the spirit of the conversations are much different.

With the Socratic Method, it’s more of an interrogation rather than a conversation. It’s more of an argument where eventually someone will paint themselves into a corner. It’s a handy technique that lawyers, and detectives, and journalists use all of the time.

On the other hand, with coaching, the spirit is much more convivial. From a coaching session, you’re meant to feel safe to express yourself, to take something away from the conversation, to have more clarity, and to feel stronger, rather than feeling more lost, confused, and frustrated than you were when you started.

So even though Socrates wasn’t intending to create the profession of coaching, he did get the ball rolling, and over generations, just as children build on the ideas of their parents, coaching has grown from it’s humble beginnings, and has taken the art of deep conversations and introspection, to a whole new level.

But still, where would we be today without Socrates and his Socratic Method?

BH: “So, Socrates uses that to make people become aware that things they consider simple, and elementary, and basic, and that they know – they in fact don’t know. And what about the modern world? Do you think we could have the modern world without Socratic debate, without questioning what it is to be human and what it is to be human in the world around us?

AD: “Well, I think that the best way to accept, to find Socrates’ place in it, is to see that the opposite of the Socratic method, essentially, is fanaticism and dogmatism. And in that sense, the modern world very much needs an antidote to those things, at every level.”

Bettany Hughes narrating: “The Socratic method was cathartic. It got difficult issues out into the open and defined concepts with much greater precision. Socrates’ tough questioning, with his trademark irony, was conducted in public, causing a stir wherever he went. He was inviting everyone to seek knowledge of the human good, to identify fundamental truths. But people could only do this for themselves by constantly interrogating their actions and most deeply held beliefs. “The unexamined life,” Socrates said, “is not worth living.” Minute: 29:37.

Enter, today’s Life Coach, Spiritual Coach, Wellness Coach…

“Socrates might have been infuriating, but his tenacious questioning of what it means to be human still has absolute resonance. By stating that the ultimate evil is ignorance and that a good life is within our reach, he challenges us all never to be thoughtless,” ~ Bettany Hughes.

So that’s why I think Socrates is the father of modern coaching. What do you think? Let me know in the comments.

Like Socrates in ancient Greece, we’re also living in highly charged times and we’re still wrestling with the same questions about the nature of life and death.

If you’ve reached a point where you’re interested in examining your own life and exploring life’s big questions, consider working with me, Maria, a Wellness Coach. Feel free to email today! Let’s talk!

What Eckhart Tolle Says About Crystals in A New Earth

By Maria Koropecky, Wellness Coach

Did you know Eckhart Tolle mentions crystals in his best-selling book, “A New Earth, Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose,” (2005)?

A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle.
Join me in a conversation about A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle.

If you had asked me before I started re-reading this ground-breaking gem, I would have answered, “no, I didn’t know” but I was delighted to read about his appreciation for the mineral kingdom in the opening pages.

There’s more to crystals and flowers and people than meets the eye and I’m inviting you to dig a little deeper and tune into the essence of all beings. By becoming present to the here and now, a whole new world will unfold and new possibilities will emerge — which is super amazing! — and crystals, among all natural treasures, can help open those doors!

The old me would have skimmed over these particular paragraphs but the new me, the more present and conscious me, gets the beautiful connection.

Of course!

In Chapter 1, “The Flowering of Human Consciousness,” Eckhart introduces us to the heart of his book as he describes a moment of transcendent transformation, the day flowers first blossomed on Earth,

“One day, however, a critical threshold was reached, and suddenly there would have been an explosion of color and scent all over the planet.”A New Earth, page 1

That “critical threshold” is related to the “evolutionary leap” that people experience when they finally let go of their ego and pain body and live from their essence, their true and authentic self.

Remember the expression, “Stop and smell the roses?”

Stopping to smell the roses at Butchart Gardens.
Stopping to smell the roses at Butchart Gardens.

Flowers have always been inviting us to relax, be present, and appreciate the beauty of life, and when we actually take a moment to pause, be still, and focus on the wonder of the present moment, peace emerges.

“Once there is a certain degree of Presence, of still and alert attention in human beings’ perceptions, they can sense the divine life essence, the one indwelling consciousness or spirit in every creature, every life-form, recognize it as one with their own essence and so love it as themselves.”A New Earth, page 4

Loving the essence. That was the clincher for me. That’s why I recently started re-reading a New Earth. I heard Eckhart explain this concept of divine life essence to Oprah on a recent SuperSoul Sunday. When Jesus said “Love your neighbour as yourself,” He wasn’t talking about loving people’s egos. Jesus was talking about seeing past the ego (which is just a costume), and loving someone’s essence, and loving your own essence, and recognizing how the essence of our beings are all connected as One in this great, big, living sea.

Oh, to live from my essence!

Crystal Clear Coaching.When I think of essence, I like to picture a pilot light, if that helps. From what I understand, when someone says, “Namaste” they are saying, “The divine in me bows to the divine in you.” In other words, the essence in me recognizes the essence in you. Essence is what you see when you look deep into someone’s eyes.

Isn’t that much better than dealing with someone’s ego? 🙂 Just remember that the next time someone annoys you.

The ethereal nature of flowers remind us about our true essence.

“…flowers would become for us an expression in form of that which is most high, most sacred, and ultimately formless within ourselves. Flowers, more fleeting, more ethereal, and more delicate than the plants out of which they emerged, would become like messengers from another realm, like a bridge between the world of physical forms and the formless…”A New Earth, pages 2-3

By the way, this way of being, is available to us humans and we can be like messengers as well.

What Eckhart Tolle says about Crystals in a New Earth.
Community garden in James Bay.

 

Eckhart continues to say, the flowers

“not only had a scent that was delicate and pleasing to humans, but also brought a fragrance from the realm of spirit. Using the word “enlightenment” in a wider sense than the conventionally accepted one, we could look upon flowers as the enlightenment of plants.”A New Earth, page 3

And flowers are just the beginning! Crystals are here, too!

“Since time immemorial, flowers, crystals, precious stones, and birds have held special significance for the human spirit.”A New Earth, pages 3-4

We as humans have been fascinated with crystals since pre-historic times. When the Greeks travelled and found dazzling quartz crystals in the Alps, they believed these beauties were actually a form of frozen water that would never thaw. They named them, “krystallos,” which means “ice.”

Hubbard Glacier 2012.
Hubbard Glacier, June 2012.

“The haunting beauty of the mineral kingdom is irresistible, so it’s no wonder that the human race has a long history of wearing and working with crystals. Historians and archaeologists have traced the use of crystals in healing and beauty rituals back to the earliest civilizations. And no wonder: They magnify personal and planetary vibrational energy. Our ancestors used crystals as mystical tools, energy generators, communication enhancers, and medical instruments. Archaeological digs show their use as talismans of good fortune and protection; as well as amulets, jewelry, and magnificent home showpieces.” ~ Excerpt from Crystal Therapy, by Doreen Virtue, Ph.D., & Judith Lukomski.

Perhaps you also have a fascination for rocks and minerals:

* Do you collect rocks and seashells whenever you go to the beach?

* Do you have fond memories of rocks and stones from your childhood?

* Do you have a piece of jewelry that has a special meaning for you?

* Do you by chance have a Himalayan Salt Lamp?

The Art of Contemplation

The next time you come across a crystal, sit with it and contemplate. Appreciate the stone without trying to own it. See past its outer form and tune into its inner essence. Let the crystal help you expand your awareness. Like a flower, it just might be a bridge on your journey of spiritual awakening and enlightenment.

“So when you are alert and contemplate a flower, crystal, or bird without naming it mentally, it becomes a window for you into the formless. There is an inner opening, however slight, into the realm of spirit.”A New Earth, page 5

What Eckhart Tolle says about crystals in a New Earth.
What Eckhart Tolle says about crystals in a New Earth.

Tuning into a crystal is not a crystal reading in the sense of fortune-telling. Once your ego is out of the way, it’s more about how the crystals reveal wisdom and a sense of calmness, through timeless intuition.

“In the case of a flower, a crystal, precious stone, or bird, however, even someone with little or no Presence can occasionally sense that there is more there than the mere physical existence of that form, without knowing that this is the reason why he or she is drawn toward it, feels an affinity with it.”A New Earth, page 4

Is Enlightenment Possible?

“Any life-form in any realm – mineral, vegetable, animal, or human – can be said to undergo “enlightenment.””A New Earth, page 3

But Eckhart asks,

“What could be heavier and more impenetrable than a rock, the densest of all forms?”A New Earth, page 3

What Eckhart Tolle says about crystals in a New Earth.
I love collecting rocks on the beach.

Yet, even rocks can lighten up and transcend their nature!

“And yet some rocks undergo a change in their molecular structure, turn into crystals, and so become transparent to the light. Some carbons, under inconceivable heat and pressure, turn into diamonds, and some heavy minerals into other precious stones.”A New Earth, page 3

In each case, enlightenment requires,

“a discontinuity in its development, a leap to an entirely different level of being and, most important, a lessening of materiality.”A New Earth, page 3

Enlightenment is just a matter of shedding the dark and heavy density (the materiality, including the ego) and moving towards lightness.

What Eckhart Tolle says about Crystals in a New Earth.
Red leaves in the sunlight remind me of Enlightenment.

Ultimately, that’s how the Universe works!

We live in a dynamic universe and everything is always moving from formless to form to formless and from slow to fast, density to space, heavy to light, and from dark to light, through the ever expanding cycle of:

1) Creation * Birth * Beginning -> …

2) Maintenance * Middle * Preservation -> …

3) Destruction * Expiration * Ending -> …

4) Transformation * Resurrection * Transcendence * Critical Threshold * Evolutionary Leap -> …

1) Rebirth * New Beginning (on a whole new level) * A New Earth! -> …

And on and on it goes from one age to the next. You can see this spiraling cycle of life as it’s constantly moving toward enlightenment, playing out everywhere! There are no beginnings and no endings and because everything is always moving and changing, there’s no sense in identifying with or being attached to any of it. The ego has nothing to cling to and so it dissolves, creating space for the present moment to arise. This is true, happy-go-lucky freedom.

So, yes, enlightenment is within reach and as we’ve seen with flowers and rocks, it’s part of the natural progression of the Universe!

Are you ready?

“Can human beings lose the density of their conditioned mind structures and become like crystals or precious stones, so to speak, transparent to the light of consciousness?” ~ A New Earth, page 5

We seem to have reached a time where more and more people are starting to awaken.

“What can you do, if anything, to bring about or accelerate this inner shift?”A New Earth, page 6

Wherever you are on your spiritual journey, at the beginning, somewhere in the middle, or at your tipping point, and if you’re reading, have read, or would like to read, A New Earth, and want to talk about your insights and ideas with someone who is open and present and a good listener, please feel free to contact me, Maria. I’d love to connect with your essence.

And if there’s enough interest, maybe we can start a book club!

10 Ways to Nip Gossip in the Bud in the Workplace

by Maria Koropecky, Wellness Coach

“Gossip is the Devil’s radio,” ~ George Harrison

Gossip is as old as the hills.

Gossip is a negative, malicious, and damaging conversation about someone else behind their back.

Gossip is not friendly banter, idle chit-chat, or a productive discussion about work-related issues.

To illustrate my opinion, let me tell you a little story about Cytisus scoparius. Chances are you’ve seen these stunning yellow flowers, otherwise known as Scotch Broom, in the spring, in open meadows and along roadsides, in British Columbia.

10 Ways to Nip Gossip in the Bud in the Workplace.
Charlie the black cat near Scotch Broom.

On the one hand, this tough and pretty plant improves soil, is a good erosion-control plant, and it can be used to make brooms, hence the name.

On the other hand, Broom is invasive, it prevents other nearby plants from thriving, it’s a fire hazard, it’s toxic to livestock, and its pollen is considered an allergen to some.

Did you know that this species is not native to North America? It was imported here in 1850 with the help of a Captain who planted it at his Sooke farm, just outside Victoria, B.C., to remind him of home.

Little did the Captain know, once established, Scotch Broom is stubborn and difficult to remove. On top of that, it’s an aggressive, invasive species that is well-adapted to spreading: a single plant can produce 18,000 seeds per year! It’s also drought resistant and is able to survive in harsh conditions. Since the 1850’s, with the help of human hands, Scotch Broom has spread across British Columbia and beyond and has caused considerable damage along the way.

You may be thinking, “What a jerk! That Captain had some nerve bringing Scotch Broom to North America! Now, I have allergies!

You may also be thinking, “What does Scotch Broom have to do with gossip?”

Well, ironically, to make my point about gossip, I’ve just told you a story that maligned the character of a person who isn’t here to defend himself. It just goes to show how easily gossip can find its way into any conversation. I know the Captain was not malicious in his intent when he brought these flowers across the pond and I don’t want you cursing his name every time you see Scotch Broom on the side of a road. Instead, what I want you to think of, is gossip!

I told you this story because I really want to illustrate how gossip is just as invasive and destructive in the workplace, as the Scotch Broom is on the North American landscape.

Although gossiping may seem innocuous and harmless at first whisper, it plants the seeds of disrepute and negativity in the workplace.

No organization is immune from it but tolerating gossip in the workplace leads to a stressful work environment.

One little, not-so-innocent story about some unsuspecting person can travel quickly from person to person and group to group. That little story can hang on for years and can seriously damage the reputation and livelihood of the victim.

I don’t know if you can think of anyone who has missed out on promotions or has lost a job because of gossip, but I do. Me. I know gossip was a factor (among others) in the decision to let me go from a government job I had years ago. Aside from the on-going office politics, one of my co-workers belittled me behind my back, to anyone who would listen, and that gossip changed the climate in the office and my manager’s opinion of me.

Gossip in the workplace can also create productivity issues. It’s a huge time waster. If employees are talking about each other and are running to the supervisor to settle their differences, nobody is getting any work done. If gossip is running your office, you can almost guarantee that productivity is suffering also.

Gossip also breeds distrust among co-workers, staff, and managers. People will start to second-guess each other and strained relationships don’t make for good teams. The distrust will lead to low morale which will then lead to staff turnover issues. Your employees – the ones you have invested in – especially the top performers who don’t have time for this nonsense – will find jobs elsewhere. Who wants to work in a place where everyone is unhappy and doesn’t get along?

10 TIPS AND STRATEGIES FOR A GOSSIP-FREE WORKPLACE

Keeping gossip to a minimum is one huge way to reduce the tension and negativity among your employees.

Whether you’re a business owner, manager, supervisor, co-worker, or the reigning office gossip, here are some tips and strategies for a gossip-free workplace:

Tip # 1. DON’T PARTICIPATE IN GOSSIP – EVEN AS A BYSTANDER.

By participating in negative conversations, you perpetuate gossip and you also discredit and dishonour yourself by association. Any participation in gossip will be viewed in a poor light and may cost you a promotion down the line. It also shows that you’re not a “team-player” like you said on your resume.

Tip # 2. HOW TO RESPOND TO GOSSIP.

If you’re constantly hearing gossip from one of your co-workers and you really don’t want to hear the on-going saga, here are some things you can say to get off the hook, out of the conversation, and stop the gossip in its tracks:

  • I feel uncomfortable talking about “so-n-so” in this way.
  • I don’t think it’s appropriate to discuss “so-n-so” while s/he’s not around.
  • Hearing you talk about “so-n-so” makes me wonder if you tell any stories about me like this when I’m not here.
  • If you don’t have anything nice to say about someone, don’t say anything at all.
  • Or, say something positive about “so-n-so” to turn the tables.

Tip #3. ASSESS THE CONTEXT

If you by chance catch wind of some gossip circulating around the office, assess the context. The gossip may be pointing to a weakness in the workplace that may need attention. Maybe employees are worried about a big change coming down the pike, for example. If that’s the case, having open communication, where everyone is in the loop, is the best way to handle the situation.

Tip #4. IF YOU HAVE AN OFFICE GOSSIP ON YOUR PAYROLL, talk to them in a closed-door meeting to find out what’s going on with them. Give them some attention and listen to what they have to say, so they feel heard. Forcing gossipers to explain themselves may shed some light on the situation. Once you hear their side, let them know that you will follow-up with anyone else involved, especially the person they are talking about. That alone may curb the gossip to a certain extent. Be sure to make it clear that at this point, the gossip must stop and that it is not tolerated at work.

Tip #5. DON’T LET YOURSELF BE THE SUBJECT OF GOSSIP.

Stay professional at all times, especially during office holiday parties because you never know who might be listening or watching. Keep your personal business to yourself and don’t confide in just anyone.

Tip #6. COMMUNICATE DIRECTLY.

If you have an issue with someone at work, tell them directly in a professional way rather than talking about them behind their back.

Tip #7. IF YOU’RE THE OFFICE GOSSIP.

If memories of past conversations in the office are floating in your head right now and if it’s occurring to you that you may indeed be the office gossip, think about why you feel compelled to talk smack about other people.

  • Are you trying to make yourself look better?
  • Are you trying to vent some frustration to feel better about yourself?
  • Do you enjoy the attention you get when you tell your stories?
  • Do you feel insecure about your own job?
  • Do you think you’re doing someone a service by exposing a flaw?

I’m hoping that once the gossiper sees how hurtful their behaviour is to others around them, they’ll change their tune to a more positive and supportive one in the world.

Tip #8. HAVE AN OFFICIAL NO GOSSIP POLICY TO DISCOURAGE GOSSIP.

Brief new employees on your no gossip policy when they are first hired and include “gossip” as a topic for discussion in a staff meeting. Let your employees know that gossip is not tolerated in this place of business and consequences of gossiping may include a written warning in their personnel file, a demotion, or they may even lose their job entirely.

I first came across a no gossip policy when I went back to school at the Aveda Institute and I must say, I was really impressed by their pro-active stance. I really felt respected by the school’s administration, like they had my back, and I really made a point of not engaging in gossip from then on.

Tip #9. FOSTER A SPIRIT OF COLLABORATION AND INNOVATION.

“Be less curious about people and more curious about ideas,” ~ Mary Curie

Ideas drive business. You’ve opened your business to solve a specific problem in the world and hired your staff to come up with ingenious ideas to deliver on that promise. Getting caught up in petty gossip prevents your staff from flourishing and from coming up with those amazing, out-of-the-box solutions that will put your business on the map. Let your employees feel safe to be creative, do their jobs, and wow your clients instead!

Tip #10. HIRE A LIFE COACH FOR YOUR STAFF.

A good life coach provides a safe place for people to express themselves. Instead of taking the passive-aggressive route of gossiping, employees can voice their concerns to a neutral professional who will help them work through their challenges in a constructive way.

Also, gossiping may demonstrate a talent for communication that has been mis-directed up-until-now and this person may in fact have the potential to be a great leader. Working with a life coach can really help staff members develop their communication skills in positive ways.

Allowing mean-spirited gossip to run rampant in the workplace can lead to a culture of distrust which will negatively impact productivity, morale, and loyalty. Managers should act quickly and not let gossip get out of hand. Pervasive gossip can be like Scotch Broom, and as it spreads, it will wreak havoc throughout a department, then the whole company, and will ultimately affect profits.

I’m sure you don’t want your company to be taken down by gossip, so make sure you nip it in the bud and refuse to tolerate it from here on out.

Have you Thought about Hiring a Wellness Coach to Manage Stress?

by Maria Koropecky, Wellness Coach

Because April is National Stress Awareness Month, I thought I’d talk about stress.

Most people report that they experience varying degrees of the following symptoms of stress:

Signs of Stress.
Signs of Stress.
  1. Headaches / Migraines
  2. Muscle Tightness/ Back Ache/ Stiff Neck
  3. Insomnia or Sleeping Too Much
  4. Sleep is Disturbed or Unrefreshing / Nightmares
  5. Lack of Concentration / Fatigue / Lethargy
  6. Proneness to Errors
  7. Acne Breakouts
  8. Nail Biting / Hair Chewing
  9. Significant Hair Loss
  10. Depression / Anxiety
  11. Anger / Resentment
  12. On the Verge of Crying / Can’t Stop Crying
  13. Confusion / Memory Loss
  14. Desire to “Run Away”
  15. Chain Cigarette Smoking
  16. Drinking too much Alcohol / Drinking Alone / Abusing Drugs
  17. Poor Judgement
  18. Menstrual Irregularities
  19. Overeating / Under-eating
  20. Diarrhea / Constipation / Nausea
  21. Rapid Weight Gain / Weight Loss
  22. Swearing / Irritability / Impatience
  23. Feeling Overwhelmed
  24. No Sense of Enjoyment / No Sense of Humour
  25. Problems in Relationships
  26. Over-Indulging
  27. Reckless Behaviour
  28. Often Get a Cold / the Flu / Allergies
  29. Accident Proneness / Clumsiness

Not surprising.

I’m noticing that most people, including me, tolerate their stress symptoms and keep going as if “not feeling great” is normal. It’s like we’re used to our headaches and sleepless nights and allergies and tense relationships and irritability and however else stress shows up for us. It’s just the same old, same old stress everyday.

I believe high levels of stress are lurking behind the scenes of many, if not all, illnesses, and chronic stress can lead to illness and disease.

The good news is, relaxation is the antidote to stress and practicing self-care is a big part of living a healthy lifestyle.

We can all make small lifestyle changes today – like quitting smoking, exercising more, fueling the body with more nutritious food, getting regular massages, establishing healthy sleep habits, speaking our truth, and working with a wellness coach – that will save everyone tremendous expense and suffering and can prevent chronic illnesses from showing up in the first place.

If you’re noticing how stress is affecting your own health and you want to do something about it before it gets any worse, please email me, Maria. I might be able to help you.

As a coach, healer, and author, I show people who are struggling with stress, how to relax and have peace of mind and I’d be happy to be of service to you. We have options!

Consider Hiring Me As Your Wellness Coach

Coaching allows us to become the best version of ourselves. It’s also a safe place for people to express themselves which is highly restorative.

Expressing your feelings out loud to a coach can help you attain catharsis and release.

“When you air your feelings, you lessen their pent-up energy. It’s like releasing air from a too-full balloon. Discussing your feelings gives you insights into the reasons for your upset, and can trigger epiphanies about solutions,”
~ Doreen Virtue & Grant Virtue, Angels of Abundance.

The above quote sums up the beauty of coaching in a nutshell.

With my thoughtful questions and active listening skills, I’ll help you, either in a group or one to one,

  • get clarity about where you’re heading,
  • uncover what matters most to you so you focus more on your goals and not distractions,
  • clear out the blocks that may be in the way,

    Have you thought about hiring a wellness coach to manage stress? Contact Maria today.
    Have you thought about hiring a wellness coach to manage stress? Contact Maria today.
  • get to a place of acceptance,
  • become more self-aware,
  • trust your intuition, and
  • take action steps,
  • so you feel OK, safe, enough, and above all, empowered to move forward.

Ultimately, I will deliver results including peace of mind.

Let me know by email if you’d like to release your stress. Ask me about booking your complimentary *Release Your Stress* Coaching Session and Consultation Appointment today!

I’m open to hearing from you. Please email me. Let’s work together to take stress out of your future.

 

Best Gemstone to be a better Leader

by Maria Koropecky, Wellness Coach

Today’s question is: What makes a good leader?

Leadership is a very hot topic these days and unless you have been living under a rock, you’ve probably talked about this in some way, quite recently.

Lead from Love

Saint Mother Teresa 3rd class relic.
Saint Mother Teresa 3rd class relic.

Over this past weekend, I attended a lecture about Saint Mother Teresa of Calcutta (1910-1997). Although she came from humble beginnings, she became a world class leader and now she’s a Saint. Her message was about love. She lead from her heart and she let love lead the way. It was all about love for her and love just poured out from her, making the people around her feel truly loved in her presence.

So, leading from love is a quality of a good leader.

Create a Safe Space

Creating a safe space and a safe environment for other people to be able to do what they need to do is another quality of a good leader.

Think about it, if you don’t feel safe around your leader, you’re going to have a hard time working with them. It’s like getting into a car with a driver that you don’t trust Visit Your URL. Something is telling you that it’s going to be a bumpy ride and chances are you’re not going to get where you want to go.

Maybe the driver doesn’t know where they’re going, maybe they’re texting while driving and are distracted, maybe they’re yelling at other drivers on the road. Being in the car with someone like that doesn’t feel safe does it? And maybe it would be better to take the bus instead.

When people don’t feel safe around their leaders, they start acting up. They show up late, they leave early, they create drama, they gossip, they’re distracted, they make excuses, they sabotage efforts, and they don’t do their best. They’re not inspired.

A good leader makes people feel safe

We’re all called to be leaders in our lives. Opportunities for leadership are everywhere including in your family, in school, in clubs, in religious organizations, on sports teams, at work, and in your community.

The great leaders are the ones who lead from the heart and help people feel safe.

Rhodonite is the best gemstone to be a better leader.
Rhodonite is the best gemstone to be a better leader.

There’s a stone that ticks both those boxes! It’s called Rhodonite. You can find Rhodonite on the beaches around Victoria and it’s easy to spot because it’s pink and black.

Rhodonite helps remind us to be more loving towards ourselves and each other. It’s also the stone for Self-Actualization — which is all about being OK, safe and enough, no matter what’s going on around us. In order for leaders to create a safe environment, we have to feel safe ourselves. We have to be at peace with ourselves first. And that’s where Rhodonite comes in.

Right now, during these uncertain times, we really need people to step up and be good leaders. If being a better leader is your intention, please contact me about my coaching services. I guarantee working with a coach on a weekly basis will definitely make you a better leader.

Thank you so much for reading. Please leave me a comment below and tell me about your ideas on what makes a good leader.