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#4 Flow with Felicity, June 2024

The one in which I cover: Paddle Practice | Skills Bridge to I CAN | Time ≠ Trust | Body Brain Memory


Take some time out to read and reflect. Extend and stretch your self-awareness. Knowing yourself is a key building block to creating a fulfilling life & thriving work relationships.




Welcome to June Flow with Felicity. I kick off with what the month has been like for me along with an invitation to reflect on how you're flowing. I offer an insight, pass on a quick tip which has proved useful, and share a quote that inspire me.


This is written for you. You may be a #leader #entrepreneur #businessowner and/or a #coach. You are committed to evolving your self-awareness; knowing it helps support the flow of your work, relationships and life.


4 months in and I'm still on the learning curve of writing this, so I'd love for you to help me improve. Keep the messages coming.



How are you Flowing?

Paddle with Purpose: Flowing Through May with Practice


May felt more spacious and expansive compared to April's intensity. My intention to focus on practice this month brought a welcome calmness to my body. It's like a broad river, with grassy banks, calm but gently rippling. Metaphorically, it beckons me to launch my paddle board and explore the scenery, listening and taking everything in. The image of the paddle board comes to mind as it’s about balance and a repeating gentle but purposeful movement.


At the beginning of the month, I playfully named it "Magic May," and it truly has been magical to experience the power of practice. Sure, I'm still falling - off the board while trying to wingfoil and off my gravel bike on muddy & sandy patches. But I can feel my skills developing, giving me the confidence to push myself further and explore my limits.


A major breakthrough was conquering a short steep gravel decline that had intimidated me for two years. It wasn't magic that allowed me to ride down it; it was the result of consistent practice. A few weeks earlier, I received a helpful tip for handling downhills, and I practiced it on easier slopes to get comfortable with my bike.


Where can knowledge, skill development, and practice bring you ease and calmness?

This month reminded me of the joy & ease of doing something I know & of improvement.


What about you? How are you flowing? What bodily sensations, thoughts, and feelings are you attuned to? What messages are they sending you? I encourage you to listen deeply.

If there was a river or canal that captured your month, what would it look like?


Practicing skills connects to the theme I've chosen for the Insight section this month.

 

The Insight

The KASE Framework: How Skills Build Confidence

In this month's insight, I'm reflecting on the importance of skills and how they contribute to confidence. When I think of skills, I always think of the KASE framework: Knowledge, Attitude, Skills, Experience.


This framework was a big part of my coach training. At the end of the year, I had to create a file demonstrating my growth as a coach against the KASE framework. Here's an outline of the evidence I gathered:


KASE: Building Blocks of Confidence

  • Knowledge: I had to show I had learned the fundamentals of coaching. For example, what differentiates coaching from everyday conversation or therapy? Or what gives a coaching session a beginning, middle, and end?

  • Attitude: I was required to express my coaching philosophy, which involved exploring my beliefs about coaching.

  • Skills: I had to demonstrate that I had acquired the core skills of coaching: listening attentively, asking insightful questions, providing constructive feedback, and responding with intuition and care.

  • Experience: Here, I showcased what I learned and what I would do differently by applying knowledge, attitude, and skills with specific clients.


The KASE Framework in Action

I find the KASE framework useful with clients who experience a lack of confidence or are hesitant to take action.

It helps break down the "I can't" into manageable chunks and gives focus to areas for development.

I've been using the KASE framework to help myself improve my gravel bike riding skills. By breaking down the process into specific skills and then practicing them regularly, I've learned valuable techniques.


For example, I now know that to cycle through mud or sand, I change down to an easier gear, pedal slowly and steadily, and apply a little bit of brake pressure at the same time. This approach seems to prevent the bike from skidding and reduces the chances of me sliding sideways. Success!


Skills: The Bridge to "I Can"

A skill is the ability to apply knowledge effectively. Practicing skills creates new muscle memory, which, with repetition, rewires our neural pathways to anticipate a different outcome. This is why skill development is so powerful in bridging the gap between "I can't" and "I can."


Here are some questions to consider for yourself or to use with others:

  • Knowledge: What are some key know-how tips to improve in this area? What don't you know yet? Who can you ask for guidance? Where can you learn more? What are the key skills, attitude and experience you need?

  • Attitude: What mindset or belief will support you as you develop your skills in this area?

  • Skills: What are the essential skills that will help you improve or get started? (Tip: Break it down! For example, the key skills for speaking effectively in meetings could be listening, questioning, connecting with others, observing, taking breaths to stay calm, structuring your thoughts, and projecting confidence.)

  • Experience: What did you learn by putting your skills into practice? What would you do the same or differently next time? Ask for feedback.


I'd love to hear what skills you've recently learned and how much practice it took for you to feel a shift in your confidence.


PS - learning is not a linear practice. Expect to have set backs. Not every day is the same. Allow yourself some compassion. And find yourself a cheerleader!


 

The Quote


>>> Whilst the KASE framework is logical and functional, this quote reminds us of the power of our body. The simplicity of closing our eyes to awaken all other senses, our imagination and our internal belief around what is possible. We choose what we see.



 












The Tip 

Time does not build trust in relationships.

It may help it grow but there are no guarnatees. It’s too important in relationships to risk it and leave it to the fate of time.


Trust can be built QUICKLY with our conscious attention and intention towards understanding the other, and sharing our key trust needs. Take time to explore and discuss what makes and breaks trust for you, for the other and in each particular relationship context.


Don't asume that what makes you feel trusting and trustworthy is the same for eveyone!


 

I'm Pondering...

Have you ever stopped to wonder why you can't forget that embarrassing moment from years ago, but struggle to recall what you were doing on Tuesday? It's a paradox: the things we desperately want to forget cling to us, while the things we want to remember often slip through our grasp.


I constantly experience this with regard to my writing. I'll stumble upon something I wrote years back and be amazed, thinking, "Did I really write that?" It would have been incredibly helpful to remember writing it before spending hours recreating it, not once, but twice!


On the other hand, my body has a strong fear memory. It would be fantastic if it didn't go into a full-blown panic mode every time it saw something it didn’t like.  That feeling of having limbs disconnected from the instructions of my brain is not exactly helpful when I’m facing a physical challenge. Similarly, I have a client who longs to overcome the mental freeze during meetings so she can clearly recall work details and participate effectively.


So, what's the science behind this? While I wouldn't claim to be a neuroscience expert, here are two key concepts to consider:

  • Building new habits requires rewiring the brain. This involves intention, focus, and repetition. By consistently practicing a new behaviour, it becomes ingrained and requires less conscious thought. Essentially, our brains favour the path of least resistance, so they solidify frequently used information. If I'm constantly forgetting things, it's likely because I'm not actively using and reinforcing new information. Remembering is helped with conscious attention.


  • Emotional overload hinders our ability to think clearly. When our bodies are flooded with emotions, be it fear, sadness, or even joy, we enter a state of hypervigilance. This significantly reduces our capacity to respond effectively to everyday situations and hinders access to critical thinking, flexibility, and presence of mind. In these moments, we literally forget ourselves. Our brain's priority is to keep us safe by shutting down non-essential functions, including memory access. To access our knowing, we need to first calm our nervous system. This is why breath work is regularly encouraged.


You might have noticed that during our Flow with Felicity sessions, I focus on bringing awareness to my body sensations. Rather than thinking about the month that’s been, I’m feeling into the physical sensations of the month. This practice emerged from my realisation ten years ago that my mind was constantly spinning, seeking answers or struggling to recall information. I've learned that my body holds immense wisdom if I choose to listen to it. It remembers my clients, their priorities, their emotions, and how they impact me. This sensory memory is far more potent than my cognitive memory.


Regularly bringing awareness to my body sensations helps me tap into both of the two concepts:


Firstly, it helps me form a habit of memory. By consciously incorporating body awareness into my monthly reflections and associating it with an image, I enhance my recall. It becomes a multi-sensory experience, combining physical sensations and visuals. This is vastly different from simply writing something down, which can be enjoyable in the moment, but remains a cognitive process. For you, the emotion of a situation may play a significant role in memory, but this is less prominent for me.


Secondly, by being tuned into my body, I can more quickly recognise when something is shifting in me and to practice self-regulation, in order to be able to access my full knowing & body mobility in the moment. Whilst, it’s still work in progress, it has made such a difference to how I experience life. It shifted me from an eerie, vacant, stillness within my body towards a calm, quiet, spaciousness.


So, I pose the question to you: what enhances your memory and or your access to your knowing?


I find these resources useful to dip into when I want more info on the brain-body relationship:

 

Want a more reqular top up?

If this monthly email flow is not often enough for you, follow me on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/felicityhodkinson I post 3+ times a week so you can get a regular top up of what's new, life lessons & knowledge nuggets. Check out:


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So, what grabbed your interest?

Thank you for joining me this month. For all rave testimonials, typos, helpful feedback, conversations about working together, message me on LinkedIn or drop me an email: felicity@bendtheriver.org


What's resonated / helped with your current situation?

And, if this prompts you do something different and 'bend the river', I'd love to celebrate and support the changes you are making. Keep me in the loop :)



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