The Power of the Pause

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A Space for Stillness in Being Outside

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If you’re reading this post, you probably know that I offer coaching held outside on trails. I coach clients around professional growth and fulfillment, confidence, and whatever else will help them to move forward and make change. These discussions tend to flow more naturally in a park setting or along one of Pittsburgh’s three rivers.

With clients, I’ve discovered caterpillar nests, listened for woodpeckers, been awe-struck by hawks, and amused by passing dogs. All of this has been along city trails. While these trails have been great, I hope to go deeper into nature with my clients as I build the business. I plan to offer more nature-based coaching and workshops: snowshoeing treks, mindful bike rides, and wilderness weekends, to name a few.

I have witnessed the magnificence of walking alongside someone as they dream their big dreams. It seems every few days I see a new article that supports the notion that time spent outside is good for us – articles on how walking in nature changes the brainthe calming effects of trees and purposeless walking. This from the article on purposeless walking: “Your senses are sharpened…I’m far more likely to find a solution by going for a walk than sitting at my desk and ‘thinking’.”

But as much as I am in movement with my clients, there is power in the pause.

I was walking with a client recently and having a session that was, well, average. There was a moment in which we had digressed and the discussion no longer felt in service of my client. This had manifested itself physically. She had become rigid and tight and small in her voice and posture. And then I stopped walking. She stopped. We stood and watched a flock of Canada Geese. And we breathed. Some would say we did nothing. We refocused and, slowly, we resumed walking. We went on to have a dynamic and powerful discussion that got to the heart of why we’re working together in the first place. It was the best part of my day, hands down. Hopefully she would say the same.

But here’s the thing…this isn’t the first time that my coaching sessions have had their most powerful, most awesome moments borne out of stillness. While Cycle Forward’s premise is that nature takes us outside of ourselves and that there’s power in moving forward with clients (one step, one pedal stroke, one glide at a time), there is power in the pause.

Any time that a session needs refocusing or a client feels emotional, anxious or distracted, we stop and breathe. We look at the river. We smell fresh mint. We pick a mulberry. We slow the heck down and get centered and create a space for stillness and experiencing the present moment.

Here’s to more nature-based coaching throughout 2016 and to any time that you might find to slow down and surround yourself with nature!

Learn more about Cycle Forward coaching services here.

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