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3 Ways to Ground Yourself in Nature and Come Alive!

Nature inspires something in us. It energizes and opens us to possibilities. If you put yourself in nature and call upon her, see what you get back.

When was the last time you laid on the ground and looked up at the sky? Walked barefoot in the grass? Walked through the woods and took in the smells? If it’s been awhile, what are your memories of it? Why don’t we do that more often?

Nature inspires something in us. It energizes us and can answer our questions. If you put yourself in nature and call upon her, it can help us in ways we may not imagine. Maybe it’s idea creation and clarity, working out a problem we’re pondering, or just getting our minds off of everything and just being present with her.

*Use your own discretion to make your outside experience enjoyable for you with sunscreen, bug spray, shade, length of time, etc.

Here are three ways you can tap into nature and notice what she gives back to you:

Walking Meditation in Nature
This one is close to my heart and one of my daily practices. It fills me with deep gratitude for this beautiful world we live in and all she offers us. It also energizes me while I tap into my body sensations to notice all I’m feeling. I take time to notice all my senses: I take in the colors I see, the smells of trees or grass or the seasons in the air, the feel of the wet or warm grass beneath my feet, the cool breeze on my skin, and the crickets and birds chirping in the distance. In the wintertime here in the Midwest, I’ll go outside if it’s tolerable; otherwise, while gazing through my windows at the beautiful trees and sky.

Try it for yourself:
Start by standing and grounding into the earth– Shoulders back and down, feel the weight on your feet on the ground and let your shoulders and arms drop with gravity, your feet are rooted into the earth. Feel the earth’s energy beneath your feet fill your body. After a minute or so begin walking at whatever pace you prefer, using all of your senses to notice the nature around you and what it feels like in your body. Remember, be patient and gentle with yourself. The main thing is to have fun with it while in gratitude. Perform for 10 minutes daily or work up to it.

Sun Sits
This one is simple and feels so wonderful. If you’re sensitive to sun and/or heat, do this in the morning when the sun is less intense.

Find a cushion or chair and just sit in the sunshine with your eyes closed and take in the warm sun. Maybe there’s a breeze you occasionally feel. In winter months, if you can handle it, bundle up and sit outside. Otherwise sit in a window that gets good sunlight. Sit and take it in for a few minutes not thinking about anything but how good it feels on your skin. Relish in the moment. The vitamin D you’ll receive from the sun improves your mood and has many other healthy benefits. All you need is 10-15 minutes a few times per week.

Lie in the Grass
Be a kid again. Remember when we laid in the grass and looked up at the sky seeing shapes in the clouds or finding constellations in the stars? Bring that kid back to life in you. Lie in the grass and stare up at the sky, day or night. Enjoy the peace and calm not thinking about anything but appreciating the moment. Just listen to your breath and watch the clouds go by or notice the shape of the clouds as you did when you were a child. Get curious about constellations and watch for shooting starts – don’t forget to make a wish!

On the flip side, quite literally, flip around in the grass. Look closely at the earth, what do you notice? The bright green and details in the blades of grass? The dirt beneath it? Little ants or bugs scurrying around? How does it smell and feel to the touch?

You can do this in the winter too! Just put on your warm clothes and make a snow angel and take the time to look up at the sky. Flip around and look at the crystals in the snow.

Do this on a weekly basis and notice what this does for your spirit. Give yourself permission to be a kid again!

Nature provides a natural stress reducer, recharging us through earths energy. It’s benefits are countless! We’ll notice our moods uplifted, our health improved, reduced stress and anxiety, and many other noticeable benefits we feel and scientifically proven. So get outside today!

Try one of these out and let me know what comes up for you! Do you need more sense of adventure in your life? Reach out and let’s talk about it to see how I can help you get there!

Coaching + Yoga = Embodied Confidence

Last year I completed a 200 hour yoga teacher training focused on a therapeutic form of yoga called SomaYoga. It’s a great complement coaching for helping aid the client in sensing and feeling what is coming up in their bodies and getting out of their heads. Our bodies are also a place where we manifest trauma, emotions, pains, and disconnect body and mind. SomaYoga helps us get us back into our bodies to free us.

SomaYoga can be used in coaching and professional development work in helping to reconnect mind and body and learning to tune in to what our bodies are telling us. Integral Coaching along with SomaYoga will help you not only feel better in your body but also give you ways to work with your body to reduce stress and embody more confidence. For groups and organizations I have a yoga class for cultivating Embodied Confidence.

Some ways that SomaYoga is used in my Integral Coaching work is to offer you ways to work through:

Getting more in-tune with our bodies and emotions
Freeing pain (physical and emotional)
The way you carry yourself to embody a more confident stance leading to more self confidence
How others perceive you
Developing new competencies in your body
Recognizing the power you already possess
Reducing stress through breath and working with your triggers to reduce reactionary responses
Changing your mood
Improving self image
Improving the ways you use your body during the day
Aches and pains caused by sitting at your desk, in meetings, and in your car
and oh so much more!

Practice

Channel your inner Wonder Woman!

Power Pose Practice

The way we sit, stand and take up space affects the way we feel about ourselves and how others perceive us. There are many studies on this and Amy Cuddy had a great Ted Talk on her research about this topic.
Going into an interview, meeting, or stressful situation? Before you go in, maybe in the bathroom stall (if you don’t want anyone to see you), for two minutes stand in a way that you take up space and open your body. Channel your inner Wonder Woman!

I hope you enjoyed my post and reading about how SomaYoga can enhance how you feel in your body and mind. Integrating mind/body practices into coaching helps you become more self generating and aware for long term growth.


Salute to the Sun

Many cultures have traditions of appreciation to the sun.  In the upper Midwest, we REALLY appreciate the sun.  On a cold winter day, we long to feel the sun on our faces or to brighten our cabin fever. In the Spring when the sun gets a little closer to the earth, we start to feel it’s warmth as it melts away the winter snow and ice.  On warm summer days we rejoice in the sun’s rays as we play on our beautiful lakes.  We each have our own versions of appreciation to the sun in our personal ways.

In yoga traditions, Sun Salutations is a morning yoga practice to quiet the mind, energize the body, and show deep appreciation to the sun.  It’s a sequence of movements where you flow from one movement to the next rhythmically linking the poses with full deep breathing.  It coordinates the body, mind, and breath and can be a spiritual experience. Any ability can practice sun salutations and it’s a great way to warm up the body to start the day, while saluting the morning sun.

Sun Salutations can be done inside on your yoga mat, in a chair, or outside.  When possible, I prefer to do my yoga practice outside in the grass with natural surroundings, the sunshine and fresh air.  Being outside adds to the awareness of our five senses creating even more benefit to this grounding practice while quieting our minds.

Sun Salutations take just a few minutes and are a great addition to your morning routine. To learn how to do Sun Salutations find a yoga class at a local studio, search on YouTube, or work with me to help you build your Sun Salutation practice that’s customized to your ability using modifications and somatic movements for added personal benefits.

yoga mat outside

My Approach to Coaching

I use an Integral Coaching approach, working with clients from a whole person perspective from all domains of their lives.  This approach helps the client achieve long-term excellence, the ability to self-correct, and become self-generating.

My coaching engagements start with an intake session where I spend time talking with the client and inquiring about all of their domains to get a deeper understanding of who they are.  From there I create a coaching plan that we use as the foundation of our coaching.  The plan includes a purpose and outcomes (similar to goals and objectives) as well as practices to help them embody a new way of being in the world.  Our coaching sessions continue by deepening the conversation, learning more about the client, offering and discovering distinctions, guiding them to uncover these distinctions and see a new way, discussing progress in their practices, challenge them, help them build self-awareness and see a way forward.

I’m a Certified Integral Coach through New Ventures West and also hold an ACC (Associate Certified Coach) designation from the ICF (International Coach Federation). As part of these certifications I am regularly participating in continuing education to deepen my learning as a coach and to bring new things to my clients.

If coaching sounds like what you need to help you step into life a new way, please contact me today for a time to talk and learn more.

What I Bring to the Discipline of Coaching

I recently wrote this essay as an assignment for my year-long Professional Coaching Course (PCC) with New Ventures West (NVW) and wanted to share it because it tells you what led me to coaching.


I was drawn to NVW because of the depth of the program and the first-hand experience we go through in our training of being coached and coaching others.  What I’ve learned and now appreciate is the scientific and philosophical foundation of the methodologies we use in our coaching. Coaching and working with the whole human being in their inner and outer world.

This year has been a journey of deeper understanding and self-awareness of myself, it’s deepened some of my relationships, strained others, has me asking more questions and putting more thought into easy to complex things, while deepening my compassion for self and others. Helping and empowering people, listening and understanding them, wanting them to succeed, empathy, pride in my work… are part of who I am before I even started coaching and it’s what led me to do this work.

It’s important to me be certified because it’s the credentials of the hard work I put in over the last year in my own personal transformation and developing the skills, knowledge and effectiveness as a coach.  It shows the integrity of the program and encourages long-term learning and practice to re-certify every year while deepening our knowledge to be a better coach.

I want to help reduce people’s suffering, see them succeed, be happy, empower them, and help them learn more about who they really are as a human being. I’m idealistic, but it’s what keeps me positive and have faith in this work I now do.

What I bring to coaching is a warm, comforting connection with the client.  This builds mutual trust and openness.  I’m also genuinely invested in my client’s success. Perhaps this is a reflection on my Enneagram 3 personality that if my client’s succeed, I’ve done a good job.  I’m aware of that and have noticed it when I’m working with my clients then reflect on it. I begin most coaching sessions with a short centering practice and my clients like this. It’s also beneficial for me to get centered in order to focus solely on my clients and this has been very helpful. I’ve noticed it’s much easier for me to stay connected to my client giving them my full attention and I attribute this to my sitting meditation practice.

I look forward to ongoing education and deepening knowledge of what we’ve been exposed to in our PCC.  Particularly, somatics and the body/mind connection has really been fascinating to me. I’ve also found it helpful in my own development and understanding of what’s going on inside.  Leadership Embodiment, SomaYoga, and the Enneagram I will continue to explore and take more in-depth classes.  Improving communication using Language Action is another area I will further explore and intend to take a course from Fernando Flores. 

It was my intent from when I started the PCC to bring in a nature element to my coaching.  I’m still exploring how I can do that and I do this when I see opportunity in coaching my client.  Currently I add some elements of nature into various practices depending upon the client. Walking in Nature practices or Walking in Nature meditation.

I look forward to this evolution of my coaching and deepening my own experience.

caterpillar to butterfly

Curious what Integral Coaching is all about and if it’s right for you?  I’m offering a free coaching session for you to try it on.  Contact me now to set it up. amy@amyklous.com