SHANE HENNESEY – LIFE IS A VERB

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I first connected with Shane Hennesey on Twitter when I had just qualified as a coach. When I was scanning various coaching profiles, he stood out to me, not only because he was an LGBT guy in his 40's, but because his branding was particularly unique. Originally he was known as Rising Tides Coaching. This is in reference to the zen teaching that rising tides lifts all boats. Also, one of his hashtags was #lifeafter40, which I liked, as turning 40 can be such a pivotal moment in our lives and not everyone is fortunate enough to have been given the support and opportunities to find their true selves in the run up to this point.

From a young age, Shane always knew that he was helper, a listener and attracted to healing of some kind. Residing in Houston, Texas, he studied psychology and trained as a counsellor. He spent a number of years in a non-profit organisation, working with addicts and victims of child abuse, as well as the gay community and those with HIV.

Although this was very satisfying, after a while he felt a bit burned out and so decided to go into the corporate world. However, once there, he found that people still wanted to talk about their lives holistically and this was when he shifted to become a life coach. There was something more satisfying about taking people in their present moment and helping them to move to where they want to be.

Shane's approach to coaching is about changing your relationship to stress and focussing on feelings in the body and then examining it. How big is that feeling; is it hot or cold; what colour is it; how does it feel; what happens when you touch it? The theory is that by paying attention to it gives it positive energy and this is the beginning of the healing process.

I can relate to this, as my coaching style tends to focus on feelings. Our feelings often inform our actions and by understanding them we can become conscious of the consequences of enacting them and therefore make more informed, and hopefully more positive, decisions.

Shane recently changed his coaching practice name to 'The Stress Dojo' as he felt the original name and branding was fractured. A dojo is a place for immersive learning and meditation, which is what Shane wants to achieve in his coaching. Clients come to the Stress Dojo to work, get stronger and challenge whatever is holding them down.

One of the techniques is to help people shift their thinking away from the unhelpful and non-productive story that they have created for themselves inside their minds by examining the negative energy source that has generated it and re-aligning to a more positive energy.

This is not always easy as it requires a significant amount of flexibility. But like practicing something physical like yoga, you initially get into the pose and learn what your limit is, then you rest. This is repeated, but each time you get a little better. In coaching you are expanding your internal story rather than your body and actually doing something to make that happen. The question is, what needs to happen to improve your situation by 1%, and then what needs to happen next, thereby building momentum and strengthening that life muscle.

Before you know it, you are not just alive, you are living. Really living. And that is why Shane reminds us that life is a verb, a process; and it's all about learning yourown unique process, so make sure you own it.

What are the negative stories you harbour that generate negative experiences in your life and how does it make you feel in your body on a day to day basis? Perhaps a trip to The Stress Dojo can help you answer this question!

For more information about Shane Hennesey and The Stress Dojo website, click here.

And of course, Coaching Earth (me!) is always open for a confidential chat on how coaching can really transform your life!

Take care everybody.

Oliver

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