Becoming a healing presence: reflection

04/28/14-08/09/14 Semester at MUIH:

Discovering my own personal source of health and wellness has been an interesting journey. I have learned that I have the power to change myself, my interpersonal relationships as well as help society as a whole into making better life choices concerning their own well-being. Based on my new found knowledge and understanding there has been a personal shift for myself from within. I believe my internal shift began from the very beginning and believe me, it has been a very interesting week while reflecting upon all the changes that have taken place in the past 13 weeks.
As a beginning practitioner and educator there have been numerous shifts towards becoming a healthier me but not just for me but also for my classmates and my family too. I know I will have many more shifts in my lifetime along with those around me but even at this early stage in my journey, I am continuously grateful to know that there are so many amazing possibilities available, to a person, whom desires to achieve a healthier mind, body and spirit. Health and wellness is ever unfolding but there are ways to monitor the changes from within along with others too. I have found clarity comes from various sources such as the three assessments taken throughout the class- the Healing Presence self assessment, the Freiburg Mindfulness Inventory and the Emotional & Social Competence Inventory along with my personal journal entries and lastly through the challenges I see for myself now and in the future.
The first area of reflection comes from the three assessments that I have reviewed pertaining to the original results along with any internal and/or external changes that may have occurred since taking them plus how these inventories will help with becoming a health and wellness coach.
I started my review with the Healing Presence self assessment-(2006) which is also a development action plan too. Basically, it is an incomplete list of healing presence attributes that describe attitudes and behaviors that can comprise the healing presence when it surfaces in relationships and within oneself. It was interesting to see what I thought were my strengths (empathy, integrity and respect) and my challenges (patience, centered, lighthearted and courage). Today, I still believe in my strengths as being my strengths, but my challenges are where I believe there has been some change. Through my mindfulness practices (breathing, meditating and QiGong), I have seen a peaceful calm start to engulf me to the point that I am able to be more patient in my life along with being more centered, lighthearted and courageous. I have seen more laughter in my home in the past few weeks than I have in the past few years. It takes time for change to happen and based on the original assessment to now, things have been progressing into a new direction. As a health and wellness coach I need to know and embrace all of my attributes so that I embody the ability to be a healing presence for someone else. I have to know where I am in my own health and wellness journey before being able to provide the healing another may need.
My next review was the Freiburg Mindfulness Inventory (2014), which characterizes a person’s experience with mindfulness. This inventory takes a look at a person’s ability to be present in their daily lives. It’s interesting to look back at this assessment and wonder where I was when taking the assessment. I wish I had notated more about certain things such as: how I was feeling or what was my thought process. However based on the original results I can see that there has been some change such as “occasionally I am friendly with myself when things go wrong.” Well, through my mindfulness practices I have noticed that this isn’t as accurate anymore because by just breathing or meditating when something goes wrong I am allowing myself to be friendly towards myself. I also noticed with being more present minded it doesn’t allow for me to wallow in the nastiness that can come into play when something goes wrong. Also by being present in every minute of every day there is just no time to be unfriendly towards oneself. By taking this assessment a person can see how truly in the present they are. As a health and wellness coach being present minded is something that is needed most. By understanding my own present mind allows me to be where I need to be for my clients and not off thinking of other things.
My last review for the assessment was on the Emotional & Social Competence Inventory (2014), which from my understanding measures the effectiveness of a person’s ability to be a strong leader or just an average one. This was created by Daniel Goleman PhD, Richard Boyatzis PhD and the Hay Group Inc., as a way to measure performance, innovation and teamwork, while also ensuring motivation and trust for coaches. For this assessment, I wasn’t 100% sure what I was looking at. I know my scores ranged from 3.0-4.6 with my lowest being 3.0, Emotional Self Awareness and my highest being 4.6, Achievement Orientation. Other than that and even with doing all the reading for week 7, I didn’t quite follow what I was looking at. I guess I can see how the results came to be and I somewhat can figure out where there has been some change within me pertaining to the lowest score but other than that I feel at present to really see the change would be by taking the assessment again. While reviewing this assessment I felt very limited and unsure of the results but then again I was never one for tests and this felt more like statistics to me. However as a health and wellness coach I can see how this may be effective in learning more about a person and where they may be in their journey to self awareness and healing.
The second area of reflection comes from my own personal journal entries, which reflect not only my own growth and changes but also of those around me too. Everything discussed here is based on my thoughts, my ideals and about the way I see things developing. In the beginning of my journal entries there is a lot of learning and surprises occurring along with a sense of a reawakening for me and my family. However, as the weeks have moved on there haven’t been a lot of entries pertaining to learning and surprises occurring, but more about exploring old and new things which I guess is kind of learning and creating surprises in a sense. In the beginning there is a sense of wonderment and excitement and a desire to try to push through new doors to fulfill the mindfulness that I apparently so needed. I tried yoga for a full month and started acupuncture again. These activities did not last pass the first month and at some point I hope to reincorporate them into my life but I came to the thought that adding more to an already very busy schedule was not feasible and actually more hindering than helpful. I loved my yoga but I work full time 40 hours a week, having a family and going to school full time traveling 30 minutes one way to fit in a yoga class or acupuncture just wasn’t making me feel less stress but more stress as time moved on. Through my mindfulness practices and journal writing it was noticed that things needed to be re-evaluated and re-worked in my life into a way that I could give my all to my family, these courses and work. I have also noticed in my journal entries that I have eliminated things that were on my to-do list that weren’t so important or how I have re-worked things out to make it slower paced in an attempt to relearn what is most important to me. I am excited with the changes I have seen in myself, along with my family and classmates. However, with all the wonderment and excitement there are also the challenges to be faced too.
In this last section of reflection, I will write about my challenges that I have been facing which is a big one– time! Yes, the main theme for me through out my journal entries was about not being able to juggle the time concept. Time plays a big part in making everything happen in life from getting to work to going to a doctors appointment to getting in a homework assignment done along with various other daily activities that I may have to do. Time for me right now and in the future will be a challenge. I know that when I graduate I will have more time back in the sense of no longer having assignments to do which will allow for other things to get done and/or completed. My only hope is that when I graduate I continue to learn and not let time get away from me either. So I will have to make sure that this challenge does not overwhelm me or cause to many issues by making sure my time is prioritized through my calendar and/or lists that I make on a somewhat consistent basis so that I know what is most important and what isn’t a necessity. Keeping a calendar and/or lists also keep me as organized as possible too. Another avenue to overcoming this is with the support of my family because with their understand and willingness to help, will allow me to be able to accomplish more without hindering anyone’s life. It’s a wonderful feeling to know that I have a husband so willing to help me out and I do the same for him in return. To have that connection makes life so worth it.
In conclusion, how will all of the above help with becoming a coach and support me with future clients? This reflection has reminded me that everyone has their strengths and their weakness and that it’s okay to be vulnerable and open to others because it allows for the incorporation of human connection within myself along with others. I need to know where I am along my own journey to health and wellness so that I can embrace my own healing presence attributes as means to not only be balanced but to also provide the balance and support to a client. I lay no claim to being perfect because I am just as human as the next person but this reflection has laid the foundation that I can provide an environment of trust, understanding and kindness while connecting and being a healing presence for myself and others.

References:
Goleman, D., Boyatzis, R., & the Hay Group Inc., (2014) Emotional & Social Competence Inventory. Retrieved June 7, 2014 from https://surveys.haygroup.com/pr.asp
Maryland University of Integrative Health (2014) Healing presence self-assessment. Retrieved April 30, 2014 from http://muih.learninghouse.com/mod/assign/view.php?id=11552
Walach, H., Buchheld, N., Buttenmuller, V., Kleinknecht, N., & Schmidt, S., (2006) Measuring mindfulness—the Freiburg Mindfulness Inventory (FMI). Retrieved May 7, 2014 from http://muih.learninghouse.com/pluginfile.php/22662/mod_resource/content/2/Module %202%20Freiburg%20mindfulness%20inventory%20article.pdf.

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