Jennifer* recently moved to Toronto and was faced with building her counseling practice all over again.
She had many systems in place but never felt like she was doing enough to build and manage her business effectively.
In addition, Jennifer had a lot of family issues pulling at her that tended to disrupt her focus on her own priorities.
During our first few sessions we reviewed and clarified the systems Jennifer was using to track her to-do’s. We discovered that while many things were getting done they were almost all immediate or short-term tasks.
The longer-term items like building out a marketing plan and organizing her financial affairs always seemed to take the back burner. There was always something more immediate that needed to be done first.
Being a counselor Jennifer is steeped in the world of self-development. She was willing to go deep. Together we used a number of body-centered techniques to shift away from her mind so she could better listen to her body.
During one such visualization exercise Jennifer found herself in the middle of the ocean swimming furiously. When she stopped to take note of her options she looked back and saw a lovely congregation of people on the shore. They were enjoying themselves. She started to swim towards them.
Her body wanted her to collaborate with people. That was the shift she needed to move toward her marketing goals. She began to initiate business partnerships and build a new community in Toronto that moved her out of her comfort zone.
Jennifer was able to make this shift because she was willing to stop and listen to her body. To step away from her busy mind and go within.
Over the months, Jennifer became more determined to protect her time. Not only from family distractions that were taking too much energy but also for the sacred time she needed each week to re-energize and rejuvenate her spirit.
We revamped her weekly schedule to consolidate her client appointments and leave her with larger blocks of time for focused work on her projects – including moving forward with her financial affairs.
Jennifer continues to use her body as a resource to guide her through decisions and to keep her energy in check.
Here is what Jennifer said about her experience:
"Having experienced many transitions in work, family and relationships over the last few years, I was feeling excited about the future, but also very tired and drained.
Even though I was already beginning to identify what I wanted my future to look like, I found I was not taking the actions needed to move forward. I felt stuck. Working with Julie provides me with the structure I need to focus more clearly and effectively on how I want my life to work, and to find the courage to work with (rather than ignore) the obstacles that keep me from making positive, and authentic choices.
Julie gently leads me toward noticing what holds me back, and then practically and with empathy helps me take steps toward changing my thought patterns, my emotional reactions, and my behaviours.
Personally, I have loved the visualisations that we have practiced. They have helped create a real shift in my perspective. I have stopped going round in frustrated circles, and now practice time boundaries regularly. At times I resort to old behaviours, but now notice when that happens: As Julie says, it is not about creating perfect systems, but about how quickly and effectively we are able to get back on track when that happens."
Clearly work around productivity, organization, and time management goes much deeper than you might imagine.
*Name changed at the request of my client.