Breathe Yourself into Presence

breathe into presenceI’m wondering what happened when you read the title of this article?

Did you notice your breathing change in any way? Was there any change in where you notice your breath coming from in your body? Was your breathing deeper? Different? Shallow?

For me, I notice that I took a deeper breath when I read the word, “breathe” and I noticed my stomach region as well. It’s as if my breath is coming from my belly!

This is a most fascinating phenomenon; that simply saying a word can bring about a physical shift. It’s similar to when someone yawns (in this moment, as I wrote the word ‘yawn’ I couldn’t help but yawn!)

Breathing is an incredible bodily function. If we had to consciously pay attention to breathing each breath, there would be little else we could put our attention on. Yet by simply paying attention to how I’m breathing in this moment, I can instantly affect my physiology, and my thoughts, and how I’m feeling.

Many of us live in our head, mentally processing all that occurs. Some people live more in their body and process their thoughts through a feeling or kinesthetic process. Whatever your preferred ‘processing’ modality, your breath is a very powerful mechanism that you can embrace in any moment.

Newsflash! A mentor coaching group starting June 13, 2016 has just been opened! More details here.

Coaching starts from the first breath before the first breath!

I often say that ‘coaching starts from the very first breath’ which means from the moment you and your client are speaking. However, coaching starts before that; it’s the breath you take before you speak with your client!

I know that by taking some deep breaths immediately before I start coaching, mentoring or teaching, I can bring myself into the present moment. – instantly! You don’t need to take 5-10 minutes, or to do some special process to become present. Just consciously take a slow breath in, and a slow breath out. If you can take more than one slow breath in and one slow breath out, that’s a bonus!

Your stress levels are likely to decrease as well, because the deeper you breathe, the more oxygen you get into your lungs, which means more oxygen in your blood flowing through your body. Deeper breathing positively effects your sympathetic nervous system, which is the ‘fight or flight’ response. By breathing more deeply, you can slow your heart rate down and lower blood pressure. Your “Way of Being” can have a positive impact on you, and on your coaching client too.

There are many books and articles written on the power of the breath. Just by doing a Google search, I found two psychiatrists, Dr Patricia Gerbarg and Dr Richard Brown, have written a book, “The Healing Power of Breath.”

If you search ‘breathing’ on Amazon, there are a range of books that might interest you about the power of the breath to improve the quality of your life. There’s also the concept of “Mindfulness” which is another practice in becoming present. Simply by noticing how your breath comes in and out of your nostrils – the sound, the coolness, or the warmth – you can become more conscious or aware in the present moment (mindful).

Coaching Presence is the central competency…..

In our individual and group mentoring programs, we focus on the ICF core competency of “Coaching Presence” which is also the central competency in The Target Approach. The first part of the ICF definition of Coaching Presence says, “Ability to be fully conscious…..”

We can literally breathe ourselves into being present.

When we are present in the moment, we are also modeling presence to our client. Being centered and present allows us to hear and sense more because we are engaging our brain, and our body more fully.

You can consciously breath at any time – in a coaching session, in a training session, in a meeting, literally anywhere! I invite you to take this simple breath ‘tool’ and experiment with it over the next few days.


Are you preparing for your first or next ICF Credential?

Do you want to “Sharpen the Saw” as a Coaching Professional?

Our next Group/Individual Mentoring Program commences June 13, 2016 and carries 23.5 ICF Core Competency CCE units!

Start your mentoring requirements or to obtain CCE units for credential renewal!

You can learn more here

Carly Anderson and Karen Boskemper offer an awesome mentor coaching group and individual program that has many exclusive offerings for our participants. Both have been trained by the ICF to assess using the new PCC Markers.

One of those offerings is an extensive library of MCC, PCC and ACC coaching sessions for our participants to listen to, evaluate, debrief, and learn from, along with The Target Approach to demystifying the ICF core competencies. These are incredibly valuable learning tools, and will accelerate your understanding of competency distinctions.

Here’s where you’ll find more about The Mentor Coaching Group