Are you your mind?

A coachee was recently lamenting how technology controls humans these days.

One thing to definitely ponder is how our mind controls us. Our thoughts, beliefs, labels, judgments control and use us every day. The more we identify ourselves with our minds, the more this gets reinforced.

Instead, we should use our mind as an instrument for our progress. In the process, worries like technology controlling us may automatically go away.

Photo by Norbert Kundrak on Unsplash

What does a coach do?

“What does a coach do?” asked a friend yesterday.

I was reminded of this parable that Eckhart Tolle once narrated:

A beggar had been sitting in a place for many decades. One day he saw a stranger and asked him for some money. The stranger said he had nothing to give but asked him what he was sitting on. The beggar replied that it was just an old box that he had been using as his seat for as long as he could remember. The stranger asked him if he had ever looked inside the box. The beggar said nothing would be there. When the stranger asked him to look into the box again, he took the effort to open the lid and found that it was filled with gold.

A coach is like this stranger. (S)he may have nothing to give. But (s)he is helping the coachee to look within. (S)he is helping the coachee discover hidden treasures. Discover true potential.

Photo by Roman Kraft on Unsplash

Being in the present moment

What does it mean to be in the present moment? Is it relevant to work?

Being in the present moment means we stay as we are. In each moment. We allow whatever comes to appear and disappear.

What comes could be:
* thoughts in the mind
* sensations in the body
* perceptions about the world around us.

These keep changing. We remain a witness to the same in the moment and allow them to flow. We do not get entangled or let these own and dictate terms to us.

When we have to act, we act from this position of awareness. From who we are. From what we want to do. At home. At office. Wherever we are.

Photo by Scott Graham on Unsplash


“The pandemic has intensified again. My friend goes to office on alternate days. I doubt if he does any work. I go to office every day and slog it out” said a coachee in a coaching session a few weeks back. He also added that he was getting severe headaches in the past few months.

This coachee is a very strong advocate of working from office. He believes that people who work from home are “vetti” (Tamil word for “idle” or “jobless”).

One thing usually happens in coaching sessions. The beliefs/ preconceived notions we have get exposed. Once exposed, they are found to be either true or false. In either case, doubts that arise from the belief get dissolved. This is at the mind level.

At the body level, beliefs cause certain feelings or patterns of behavior. What happens to them when the beliefs get exposed? They dissolve in due course of time, since they no longer get their nourishment from the beliefs.

In the coaching sessions, the coachee and I worked on this and a few other beliefs of his. The headaches were gone in a few days.

What are the beliefs that are holding you back? Giving you headaches or other physical/mental/emotional trouble?

Photo by Dollar Gill on Unsplash

Birthing ideas

One of my coachees quit work a year ago. He is setting up something he has been wanting to do for a long time. He feels deeply connected within. He loves what he is doing.

The people close to him worry that nothing much is showing up as an outcome on the outside. They want him to move back to his old job. Or take up a new one. Their worry has started to enter into him now.

What he is doing is akin to giving birth. There is a gestation period. A lot happens within during this time. The changes outside may not be commensurate. It is important to not give in to voices of doubt. It is important to persist. Which is what we had a conversation about yesterday.

Photo by Jack Ray on Unsplash


One of my coachees is transitioning.

From a senior leadership role in an area he knows like the back of his palm. An area where he is well respected.

To a role in an area he has wanted to work in for a long time now. An area he has enjoyed connecting to whenever he has got limited exposure in the past. An area that is new to him.

He is feeling uncomfortable and is evaluating whether to go back to the familiar old area.

The zone of transition may be a difficult one for many. The old is coming to an end. The new is not yet fully within reach. It’s like being in a tunnel not fully knowing what is in store at the other end.

The key is to persist. To stay connected to the present moment. To open the mind to new possibilities. To new light and learning. To creative ways of manifesting.

The future is bright!

Photo by Guillaume Bolduc on Unsplash


One of the big mistakes I often repeated in the first 20 years of my life was not asking for help when I was stuck. A few key people in the early years of my life pretended to “know everything”. Not knowing “what to do” or “how to do” was not an admirable position to be in. I did not know what to do when the knowledge I possessed did not have the answers. I hesitated to seek help. I suffered silently.

One big enabler of my journey in the next 20+ years of my life has been asking for help when I was stuck. I no longer feel ashamed to seek help.

When you ask for help, you do not fail. Rather, you refuse to fail. It took me 20 years to realize that. Better late than never.

Photo by Craig Philbrick on Unsplash

Equity and Equality

Last week, I was doing a workshop for the manufacturing division of a large conglomerate. The topic was Diversity, Inclusion and Equity.

During the afternoon session, we were discussing equality and equity. Two similar sounding terms. Yet, so different in what they mean and the impact they can create.

Difference that could explain so many things in your work and in your life. Difference that could help you solve so many challenges. Like why some employees or some students perform better than the others. Despite the best of your efforts. And what you can do to make everyone perform to their potential.

Equality – People have or get the same things.

Equity – People get what they need to be successful. Not the exact same thing.

Because the starting point is not the same for everyone.

Illustrated in this picture by City for All Women Initiative (CAWI), Ottawa.


“Humans are more capable than other animals” said my son yesterday after reading one of his books.

“I am bored. I am not happy with what I am doing” said a coachee in a coaching call a few minutes later.

I couldn’t help but notice the irony of it! Though we are more capable, we seem to be much more discontent.

What I have learnt over the years is that boredom or discontent is great sign. Something within is telling us that things are not fine. That we are not aligned with who we are. That what we are doing is not aligned to what we want to do.

These are great moments to introspect. To use our capabilities to change things and bring ourselves joy.

Do you feel bored during the day? What do you do then?

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

Feeling lost?

Do you feel lost in this journey of life? Are you looking for a navigation system to help you?

Look no far. Your emotions/feelings are trying to help you. Do not resist them. Listen to them. Understand the message they convey.

The Guest House

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
As an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

— Rumi

Photo by Dinuka Lankaloka on Unsplash

I statements

Do you want to have fewer fights at home or at work?

Notice what you start your statements with.

Do you start with “You”? “You” statements are like pointing a finger at the other person. And they feel like accusations or blame. No wonder they often get a reaction from the other person. They fuel arguments.

Ex: You are always on your phone. You do not have any time for me.

Do you start with “We”? “We” statements often make assumptions about what others do, think or feel. And they may not help much either.

Ex: We all think you spend too much time on your phone.

Do you start with “One”? “One” statements are unclear on who is being spoken about. You? Someone else?

Ex: One should not always keep looking at one’s phone.

Start with “I”. “I” statements help you speak from your experience. They help you put in words what you experience within. They increase the probability that the other person will hear you. They help prevent misunderstandings and conflicts.

Ex: I feel unheard and not cared for when you keep looking at the phone.

Practice this with your statements.

Share this post if you think it may help someone.

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

Ting – Are you listening?

The Chinese character for listening is Ting.

What can we learn from it about listening?

1) Use your ears to hear what the other person speaks.

2) Maintain eye contact. Use your (10) eyes to pick up any non-verbal messages conveyed. The body language. The facial expression.

3) Focus. Be one with the other person. Give the other person your ‘one’ undivided attention.

4) Treat the other person like royalty (king). Make them feel valued.

5) Use your heart. Show genuine empathy.

I learnt about “Ting” thanks to Janaki Sabesh who spoke about it in one of our Parenting with Depth sessions.

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