The Grace School Coaching Model - Transformational Self-Reflections

The Grace Coaching model is an integral part of the Grace School curriculum. It has been designed to guide and support students during the 7 week positive health experience. Each session consists of a pre-session assessment, a main topic open for exploration, a take home message and a homework.

Each main topic includes acts of Being and acts of Doing – tools/activities enabling our outer actions to attune to our inner being. Aligning "doing" with the "being", encourages our receptivity to flow through our responsiveness so that we engage the world around us with increased attentiveness both externally and internally.

MAIN TOPICS 

  1. Begin With Grace And Gratitude

  2. Redefine Your Priorities

  3. Find Your Authentic Resources

  4. Cultivate Love And Compassion

  5. Tell A New Meaningful Story

  6. Create, Contribute, Thrive And Flourish

SESSION 1

BEGIN WITH GRACE AND GRATITUDE

In this session we want to explore the value and meaning of gratitude in a context of our basic need for certainty. We want to highlight the imporatnce of including gratitude as a daily practice/ritual no matter how little time (1 minute) or effort (3 simple words of gratitude) it takes. Baby steps serve the purpose of building up momentum to be able to feel how gratitude transforms our lives. 

Key Points

  1. Gratitude as a daily practice

  2. The human need for CERTAINTY  

  3. Giant steps vs Baby steps

 

GOALS

A daily gratitude practice

Start your gratitude journal

 

 

Pre session assessment review

Students were asked to fill in the gratitude questionnaire and do at least one of the gratitude exercises described below. Briefly discuss the answers and proceed with the main topic of the session. 

Exercise

Gratitude exercise.
Read the following beginnings of sentences, and see what words seem to naturally follow. It is worth devoting a few minutes or more to each sentence. Whenever you are not sure what to say, come back to the beginning of the sentence and see what naturally follows – it may be different each time you do this.
 

Some things I love about being alive on this planet are…

A place that was magical to me as a child was…

My favourite activities include…

Someone who helped me believe in myself is or was…

Some things I appreciate about myself are…

Baby Steps exercise. 
A recent step I have taken that I feel good about is…….

 

If you are facing a fear like…. I don’t believe I will achieve my wellness goals… create a list of priority  ‘steps’ in the order you intend to achieve them  - then aim for the step you feel most comfortable taking  - with each step (or in mini victory) your confidence grows – but if you find yourself stretched too far, take a step back and get familiar with doing well at the previous step

Each time you take a step that supports the change you want to make, find a way of acknowledging that. Congratulate yourself. When you feel good about what you have done, you’re more likely to continue doing it.

Take Home Message

Daily gratutude practice. 

Homework

Inspired Action

  1. Starting a gratitude journal. 

  2. Practicing gratitude during daily meditation or simple daily activities. 

  3. Expressing grattitude openly and sharing it with others. 

Explore a few ideas how a student can practice daily gratitude over the course of the week.

 

Ask a student to download and fill in the forms for Session2 (see below).

Downloads

values worksheet

life purpose worksheet

self evaluation form

SHARE YOUR THOUGTHS

Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments below to inspire others so we all can learn and grow.
Let me know what you think. I'm curious. 

SESSION 2

REDEFINE YOUR PRIORITIES

In this session we want to focus on student's core values and explore/find a life purpose in a context of a human need for variety. Our values change over time and what was helpful in the past may not serve us in the now. We want a student to explore what values are important at this stage of his/her life and most importantly to find the "why."

This process may trigger some negative emotions/resistance/denial related to change, therefore it may be useful to highlight the importantce of focusing on progress rather than on change. Change happens naturally, often with no effort whatsoever. Progress however is a conscious, positive and empowering process which we can control and influence along the way. 

Key Points

  1. Explore your values and find your life purpose

  2. The human need for VARIETY

  3. Change vs Progress

GOALS

Redefine your priorities based on your core values

Write down your life purpose statement  

 

 

Pre session assessment

In the beginning of the session briefly review the progress and thoughts on the previous session. Explore potential concerns and challenges with implementing daily gratitude practice. 

 

Students were asked to complete at least one of the following exercises as an introduction to Session 2. Ask for feedback and proceed with Session 2. Discuss client's values (worksheets 1 and 2 are attached below).  At the end of the session ask a student to write down a clear purpose statement based on attached worksheet (life puprose worksheet)

 

1. Clarifying purpose

  • Complete the following open ended sentence:

“What is really important to me is……”.

  • Keep repeating this; see if you can fill the page

  • Identify the five purposes that matter to you most

 

2. Opening to your deeper purpose

  • If you could act for a deeper purpose in your life, what would it be?

  • Identify a step, no matter how small, that moves this purpose forward

  • Take a step

  • See if you can repeat this process every day

  • Notice how this improves the quality of your life

Take Home Message

A sequential list of 10 most important values.
Clearly defined, written life purpose statement. 

Homework

Students will be asked to fill in the VIA survey for character strengths.

Downloads

SHARE YOUR THOUGTHS

Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments below to inspire others so we all can learn and grow.
Let me know what you think. I'm curious. 

SESSION 3

FIND YOUR AUTHENTIC RESOURCES

In this session we want to focus on student's natural strenghts and things he/she loves doing. The purpose of the session is to find the strongest point (based on a well validated VIA survey) and explore the best ways how to put it in to practice. We want a student to experience the feeling of getting in the flow, the feeling as if time had stopped for them when they do what they truly love doing exercising the one strongest point. 

 

We get in the flow when the ability is aligned with the challenge. When the ability is bigger than the challenge we tend to get bored. On the other side, when the challenge is bigger than our ability, we get frustrated and overwhelmed. In both cases we tend to give up as the process is neither enjoyable nor fulfilling. 

 

In Session 2 we want to point out the need for significance. Getting in the flow means that we have found our unique "gift" (talent, passion, skill, etc.) and are genuinely, wholeheartedly involved in the process of mastering it. This process, by definition brings fulfillment and meets our need for significance. 

 

Getting in the flow by doing some random activities which are not aligned the strongest point may be destructive - spending a few hours watching TV, eating junk food may feel like being in the flow and bring a temporary pleasure, but it doesn't serve us, therefore this kind of practice (a superkiller) can be replaced with a more self aware, conscious pleasure that adds value to our health and wellbeing (a superhero). 

Key Points

  1. How to get in the flow and stay in the flow 

  2. The need for SIGNIFICANCE

  3. Superkillers vs Superheroes

GOALS

Find your strongest point based on VIN survey
Experience the feeling of getting in the flow by doing what you love based on your strongest poin. Try it for 2 hours a week  

 

Pre session assessment

In the beginning of the session briefly review the progress and thoughts on the previous session. Explore potential concerns and challenges with updated values and newly designed life purpose. 


Students were asked to complete at least one of the following exercises as an introduction to Session 3. Ask for feedback and proceed with Session 3.

Exercise

Practice Activities That Facilitate Flow

Intentionally setting out to create a state of flow helps enhance the chances of entering into it.

What are the activities that enable you to get into this state? (eg running, painting, dancing, walking in nature,)

Doing these activities regularly help to intentionally create that state of flow. Expect it and practice activities that enable you to access this state. The more used to entering this state you become, the easier it is to enter it again.

 

Giving yourself a challenge or something new to learn is a great way to get yourself into a state of flow. When you are fully engaged in an activity time seems irrelevant. Your mind rises to the challenge and focuses on the matter in hand. Regularly push yourself out of your comfort zone and try something new, whether it’s fitting a new light bulb or learning a new hobby.

This helps you to keep an active mind and be fully engaged in the activity at hand.

Take Home Message

The experiene of getting in the flow by practicing various activities aligned with student's strongest point. 

Homework

At the end of the session ask a student to dedicate 2 hours during the next week to focus purely on their one strongest point to experience the feeling of getting in the flow. Ask a student to download and fill in a self compassion test, before the next session.

Downloads

SHARE YOUR THOUGTHS

Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments below to inspire others so we all can learn and grow.
Let me know what you think. I'm curious. 

SESSION 4

CULTIVATE LOVE AND COMPASSION

We want to explore compassion and self-compassion as a form of a human need for connection.

Compassion is linked to kindness and gratitude as opposed to judgement which creates a sense of separation rather than connection. In other words, being thankful is the opposite of being judgemental. Compassion has a healing power and it could be the first step towards forgiveness. It also helps empathise both with the self and with others. Self-compassion is fundamental to the ability of giving compassion to others. Once we stop judging ourselves, we stop judging others. In time and with practice, c
ompassion becomes a way of being. 

 

Love and connection are the basic reasons why we are here on the planet for. In this session we want to explore what love and connection mean to a student and how this need can be met in a healthy way. Some students may struggle eg. with emotional eating, getting depressed, having problems with codependent relationships or practicing other forms of an unhelpful behaviour to feel loved and connected. We want to explore and challange these issues to help find healthier ways.

 

Finally, we want to emphasise the value of delayed gratification and pay attention to the consequences of an instant gratification. How we feel tomorrow largely depends on the decisions we make today. Making challenging decisions often requires strength, resilience and self sacrifice, but it builds up our self respect, self esteem and confidence. We want to empower a student to make conscious choices and decisions based on self awareness, 100% responsibility and the ability to use imagination to predict potential consequences. 

Key Points

  1. Cultivating self-compassion and compassion for others

  2. The need for LOVE AND CONNECTION (with self/others/life/the planet/the Universe)

  3. Instant Gratification vs Delayed Gratification

GOALS

Gain more clarity around the concept of self-compassion
Find three simple ways to practice self-compassion daily 

Start your self-compassion journal

Pre session assessment

In the beginning of the session briefly review the progress and thoughts on the previous session. Explore potential concerns and challenges with the experience of getting in the flow. 


Students were asked to complete at least one of the following exercises as an introduction to Session 4. Ask for feedback and proceed with Session 4.

Exercise

Connection
Your listening post

Is there a place where you feel most connected …with nature/life/others? It can either be somewhere you go physically or somewhere in your imagination. Each time you go there, make yourself comfortable. Think of yourself plugging in to a root system that can draw up insights and inspiration as well as other ‘nutrients’. To receive guidance, all you need to do is ask for it, and then listen.

 

Mapping your support network

  • Write your name in the centre of a sheet of paper

  • Around your name, write down all the people you feel supported by, and draw an arrow from each name to yours. The more support you get from them, the thicker the arrow you draw.

  • Write down the names of people you play an active role in supporting. Have an arrow from your name to theirs, and the more support you give, the thicker the arrow.

  • Who are the believing ‘mirrors’? These are the people who reflect a positive belief in you and what you do. Put a circle by their name.

  • Looking at your network as a whole, how do you feel?

  • Are there any changes you would like to make?

  • Are there some relationships you would like to strengthen, perhaps others you would like to back away from?

Take Home Message

Practice of self-compassion and letting go of self-judgement
The importance of feeling connected to the self/others/higher source

Homework

Explore a few ways a student can practice self-compassion over the course of a week.

Ask a student to download and fill in a meaning questionnaire before the next session.

Downloads

SHARE YOUR THOUGTHS

Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments below to inspire others so we all can learn and grow.
Let me know what you think. I'm curious. 

SESSION 5

TELL A NEW MEANINGFUL STORY

In Session 5 we want to focus on an unhelpful story one may carry for years. It could be a simple identification with a thought, a mental concept or a self limiting belief; it could also be a past event or trauma such as illness or an accident. 


It is important to mention, that an "unhelpful story" is defined as a story with negative or no meaning behind it, a story that keeps a student stuck in the past preventing from moving forward.

Healing happens faster when we add meaning, not when we search for meaning. We want a student to understand that he/she has the power to add meaning to an event and to interpret what had happened in a new, empowering way. We also want to help a student create a new story with a new meaning by silverlining and seeing the bigger picture. This process may help transform a postraumatic stress into a postraumatic growth which brings joy, peace and a sense of fulfillment and moves aways from a victim identity. 

 

This session has a context of growth both as a basic human need and as a way to focus on helping others . We help ourselves by helping others. 

Key Points

  1. Changing the old story and adding meaning as opposed to searching for meaning

  2. The need for GROWTH

  3. Go through it vs Grow through it

GOALS

Change your old story and add meaning to past events
Embrace your past with grace and gratitude for the opportunity to grow

 

Pre session assessment

In the beginning of the session briefly review the progress and thoughts on the previous session. Explore potential concerns and challenges with the experience of self-compassion, self-love, self-acceptance and non judgmental approach. 


Students were asked to complete at least one of the following exercises as an introduction to Session 5. Ask for feedback and proceed with Session 5.

Exercise

Breath for Stillness

As you breathe in, you say to yourself “Breathing in, I know that I am breathing in.” And as you breathe out, say, “Breathing out, I know that I am breathing out.” You don’t even need to recite the whole sentence; you can use just two words: “in and “out.” This technique can help keep your mind on your breath. As you practice, your breath you become peaceful and gentle as will your mind and body. You become present, still. Thich Nhat Hanh approach.

Meaning
What happens through you? 

Write you reply in a notebook. Whenever you finish a response, imagine being asked the same question again. And again. See if you can respond a different way each time, writing down whatever answer feels right, and then repeat the process. Aim for at least ten different responses. If you are feeling curious…see if you can fill a whole page.

Take Home Message

The power of choice - silverlining and adding meaning to past events. 

Homework

Explore a few ways a student can focus on the silverlining and add meaning to current events over the course of a week.

 

Downloads

SHARE YOUR THOUGTHS

Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments below to inspire others so we all can learn and grow.
Let me know what you think. I'm curious. 

SESSION 6

CREATE, CONTRIBUTE, THRIVE AND FLOURISH

In this session we want to explore the value self awareness and self consciousness. We define a positive health as an applied self awareness backed up with an evidence based medicine. Self awareness is therefore the first step towards a new way of approaching health and a healthy lifestyle which is aligned with an individual model of the world. 

 

Instead of numbing feeling of stress, overwhelm or frustration with a drink, junk food or other temporary pleasures, we may consciously choose to feel alive by putting some of the lessons from previous sessions into practice eg. gratitude, mindfullnes, kindness, forgiveness, connection, compassion, growth, sharing, helping or contributing. Although these techniques require a far bigger effort, these bring a genuine and lasting sense of joy and fulfillment which in combination with simple pleasures such as a drink or good food, creates a true sense of aliveness and feeds the spirit. 

 

Self awareness is a learnable skill which can be mastered by taking baby steps and paying more attention. After having completed 6 sessions, students have the tool box which allows them to live a healthier and more fulfilling life. 

Key Points

  1. Self awareness and consciousness

  2. The need for CONTRIBUTION

  3. Numbness vs Aliveness

GOALS

Commit to something larger than yourself
Gain more clarity around contribution as a way to fulfill the need of your spirit

 

Pre session assessment

In the beginning of the session briefly review the progress and thoughts on the previous session. Explore potential concerns and challenges with the experience of adding meaning and changing the old story. 


Students were asked to complete the following exercises as an introduction to Session 6. Ask for feedback and proceed with Session 6.

Exercise

Stream of Consciousness

Try this for one week - Keep a stream of consciousness Journal, beginning as soon as you wake up. Write things down exactly as they occur to you, without editing or censoring them. Write as quickly as you can, to shortcut your internal critic. What you write does not have to make sense. As you review your journal at the end of the week, sense will surface.

Take Home Message

To summarise all 6 sessions and to acknowledge the value of committing to something larger and greater than ourselves. 

Homework

Explore a few ways a student can find ways to contribute to reach a sense of a true fulfillment and to make the world a better place for themselves and for others. 

Downloads

SHARE YOUR THOUGTHS

Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments below to inspire others so we all can learn and grow.
Let me know what you think. I'm curious. 

DOWNLOADS

Inspiring questions on self limiting beliefs
Tony Robbins

Lecture on Coaching Experience

Robert Holden

Learn how to Thrive and Flourish

Get a FREE Class 
from The Grace School programme
with worksheets and infographics 

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