Do you need help breaking through blocks such as fear? Do you need help creating and sticking to a success plan? Have you started and stalled several times? Maybe you need a success coach to help you break through these blocks, create a viable plan and to help hold you accountable to this plan so you can achieve ultimate success and joy in your life.
Contact me TODAY to get started! firstname.lastname@example.org or 202.669.5777
A word on overcoming societal challenges…
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First presented by: Nicole Cutts, Ph.D. June 12, 2019 at the American University Key Leadership Conference in Washington, DC.
session draws on somatic coaching techniques: utilizing theory and practice
from Ashtanga Yoga, neuroleadership, cognitive psychology, and leadership best
practices to help participants learn how to fully embody their leadership
presence and catalyze their followership.
a more powerful leadership presence that is able to stay open, present,
flexible and connected under difficult conditions such as stress, complexity,
deep self-awareness and increase emotional intelligence by accessing the
intelligence of the mind/body system
somatic practices you can use for your continued leadership development and the
development of others.
benefits of participating in this session include learning methodology and
Reduce stress and increase resilience
Increase your influencing skills and ability to
motivate and engage others
Focus your talents into purposeful action,
creating the capacity to produce even more valuable results
Increase your self-confidence in new ways, e.g.
greater balance, endurance, strength, agility, and flexibility
is Embodied Leadership?
be an embodied leader means your ability to lead comes from deep inside you. It
also means literally staying fully connected to your body and centered on your
core values and truest self even during times of pressure.
to Pete Hamill, author of Embodied Leadership (2013), “The concept of embodied leadership, derived from somatic coaching,
brings the body forward as an advocate in creating a place for change and
transformation.” And, “Embodied learning is a level of learning where you can
learn to do something differently, consistently and when under pressure.”
leadership is the optimal leadership presence. It combines power and strength
with flexibility and ambition with humility. It increases your ability to be
influential, flexible (adaptable) and resilient.
The Connection Between Emotional
Intelligence, Brain & Body
A simple and familiar framework from which we can understand the importance of being an embodied leader is the concept of emotional intelligence. Emotional Intelligence (EQ) is the ability to understand one’s own state of mind and one’s capabilities, to manage oneself to respond constructively to situations and to engage successfully with other people. Emotional Intelligence is not necessarily about what to do, but HOW to do it.
Would you believe that over the past 9+ years I have had hundreds of successful coaching relationships with people I have never laid eyes on? To be honest, I don’t know what 95% of them look like! Incidentally, I have also been coached successfully by a woman living in Australia that I also never saw!
Now before you go thinking I do some sort of work in the spiritual world let me explain. The clients and coach I mention are quite real. We just never met face to face.
While I have worked effectively with many people in my various roles ofexecutive/leadership coach, success coach and clinical psychologist over the telephone and in more recent years via some form of video chat, i.e. Zoom, Skype, Facetime, many potential clients balk at the idea of not conducting coaching and therapy sessions in a face-to-face environment.
While I understand the assumptions behind people’s bias toward in-person sessions, research does not support this thinking. I worry that some people may be missing out on the many benefits of coaching and or therapy by limiting their options to face-to-face relationships. I’m writing this article for those folks.
Please consider the following top five advantages of virtual coaching and therapy and the supporting data before engaging an executive coach, success coach or therapist.
According to Kimsey-House et al. in the book Co-Active Coaching, “An effective coaching environment is safe enough for clients to take the risks they need to take and two, it is a courageous place where clients are able to approach their lives and the choices they make with motivation, curiosity and creativity.” Data suggests that this environment can be achieved with ease via telephone and video chat.
Top 5 Advantages of Virtual Coaching and Therapy
I. Cost: Without travel and office overhead, many practitioners (myself included) are able to charge lower fees for virtual coaching and therapy. Clients also save money by not having to travel.
II. No Time and Distance Barriers: When choosing coaches and therapists most people look for someone in their area but when engaging in virtual practices clients have a wider range of practitioners from which to choose. It is also convenient for those who travel because appointments can be kept no matter where the client is. The hours for appointments are also usually more flexible. For example, I will see a client after regular working hours virtually but not in person. Additionally, it may be easier for clients to meet virtually during their lunch hours, whereas that would be impossible if meeting face to face.
III. Comfort: Clients appreciate having sessions in the comfort of their own homes or offices. Without the burden of appearances, they usually choose to sit somewhere quiet and comfortable and to dress comfortably (something they usually can’t do in an office setting).
IV. Modeling: For leaders and others who work in an increasingly virtual world, virtual coaching and therapy provide an additional benefit of modeling great virtual conversations.
V. Diverse Group Sessions: Clients who participate in group coaching sessions may be energized by working with people from diverse locations, backgrounds and cultures. Virtual coaching allows coaches to bring together people who might not normally work together, and who have the potential to create unique and impactful experiences through their distinct ideas and perspectives.
research literature has acknowledged telephone coaching as a way of enabling coaching
on-demand, providing access to expertise, serving geographically dispersed
individuals, reducing cost (Frazee, 2008) and promoting follow through and
accountability (Charbonneau, 2002). In addition to recognizing these benefits,
clients’ and coaches’ personal experiences with telephone coaching have been
to the International Coach Federation (2019), a study found “no difference in
the reported level of problem resolution for face-to-face and distance
clients.” The strength of the working alliance was found to be
significant for problem resolution in distance coaching, and “coaches
self-reported strong levels of working alliance in both conditions
(face-to-face and distance).”
Another study (Day
& Schneider, 2002) compared selected process and outcome variables across three
modes of psychotherapy: face-to-face, real-time video conference, and 2-way
audio (analogous to telephone). This study found very little difference in
outcome and in some cases advantages to distance modalities. In fact, the major
difference they found could be construed as favorable to the distance modes: “Statistics
indicate that Client Participation scores were higher when clients were not facing
to face with their therapists.” (Day & Schneider, 2002)
Please don’t get me wrong. I still very much enjoy in-person
coaching and the hybrid of coaching/therapy that I offer and when a client is
not comfortable with virtual coaching and I want to work with them I meet with
them face to face, but I don’t want people to miss out on the value of coaching
and therapy by not availing themselves of virtual modes.
What is your experience? Have you had virtual or
in-person coaching or therapy? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Also, if you
have any questions about the coaching or therapy services I offer, feel free to
drop me a line,
visit Cutts Consulting, LLC or
visit Vision Quest Retreats
Are you a woman interested in Group Coaching? Click MASTERMIND
Below are a smattering of recent media appearances. I’ve been honored from time to time to offer my expertise and commentary on a variety of topics ranging from matters related to psychology, success, diversity, gender, politics and most recently celebrity gossip turned serious as in the cases of R. Kelly and Jussie Smollett! (click images to view videos)
As you may know, I’ve been a staunch (and perhaps solo) proponent of Human Hibernation, touting its benefits all Winter. It’s been great planning my next big moves, getting more rest, sleeping late, carb loading and just generally living in “power-save mode.” BUT, with Spring 30 Days away it’s time for this little brown bear to prepare to emerge from her cave! Spring is a time when many of us experience a surge of renewed energy (I KNOW I do) and it’s a perfect time to BREAK OUT and put our winter planning and stored energy to good use. This is why I’m having a Spring Break (Through) Beach Retreat for Women March 22-24 at The Bellmoor Inn & Spa in Rehoboth Beach, DE. And, this is why on Feb. 19th I’m officially launching the Thirty-Day Spring Breakthrough Challenge! My challenge is dedicated to physical health, weight loss and improved eating habits but your challenge for the next 30 days is up to you! (Please follow this post and tell us about what you are doing to improve your life in the next 30 Days!)
My company Vision Quest Retreats has teamed up with The Worx by Maia and MindBody 360 for the next 30 days and guess what even if you don’t take the 30-Day Challenge you still get to benefit! Mention me, this challenge or Vision Quest Retreats and get 2 Weeks Free Membership or a FREE full-service consultation from The Worx by Maia!
Thank you so much to the small business sponsors (below) who supported this project! If you are interested in future sponsorship opportunities they start as low as $20.00! It’s really easy! Just click on the yellow “Buy Now” button, select quantity and don’t forget to fill in your business name. Please email me your logo (or whatever image you would like used) and links to your website and social media accounts to be posted on this website and across my social media platforms!
Some of the young women at Ballou S.T.A.Y.
What is the Cross-Generational Reading Project? Vision Quest Retreats presents cross-generational readings and book discussions of The Adventures of Isabelle Books I and II in which young women and older women and all ages in between meet in senior centers and homes to learn from and support one another.
Benefits: These events provide a unique opportunity for elders and young people (especially women and girls) to enjoy and learn from one another. Because of the literacy component they also provide learning for the young and intellectual stimulation for the elders. The life events and challenges presented in the story of Princess Isabelle of Xamayca are used to spark discussion of the real-life challenges and joys of those in the group. Both the elders and the young have an opportunity to share their stories (experience, strength and hope) and we all learn from this sharing. Learn More…
CHERYL A. LOFTON & ASSOCIATES ALTERATIONS & TAILORING
Check out the series “Trials, Tribulations and Triumphs of The Heroine’s Quest” that STREAMED LIVE on my YouTube Channel, TheSuccessDoc. We discussed significant triumphs and many common challenges that women encounter when we heed the call to adventure and embark on the heroine’s quest to live our Vision of Success!
To Participate LIVE in future events and stay up to date on all events, Join the Tribe on The Vision Quest Retreats FaceBook Page. When we have a YouTube Live you will, 1) Go to TheSuccessDoc on YouTube 2) See vid with RED sticker saying “LIVE” or “NOW LIVE” and click that vid. 3) Comment as you would on FB. 4) Please subscribe and share!
4) Watch the movie Finding Joe (an inspirational movie that takes you on the ultimate hero’s journey: the journey of self-discovery. As you slay dragons and uncover treasures, you just may find that the holy grail you seek is closer than you think.)
An integral part of being on the heroine/hero’s quest to live your Vision is taking stock of where you are on the journey and celebrating your successes! It’s also important to take some time to rest and reflect. Approaching the end of one year and the beginning of a new year is a great time to do this: to look back assess your growth, revise your goals and plans as necessary and make decisions about how you want to move forward.
I love taking time out between Christmas and New Year’s Eve to do this! I look at what I had set out to accomplish in the year ending (Did I accomplish my goals?), take stock of losses and gains (grieving and celebrating appropriately), reflect on and record major events and highpoints and celebrate what I’ve accomplished.
I read last year’s journaling from around the same last year and I usually make some interesting discoveries about myself; what’s important to me and who I want to be going forward: always growing and getting better.
My yearly ritual also helps me transition from the past year to the new one. Somewhere between Dec 27th and 31st you will often find me bundled up by a fireplace doing this so I can also burn a list of things I wish to be rid of going into the New Year. I have found these exercises most helpful and illuminating and that’s why I’m sharing them with you. Even if you are reading this after January 1st It’s not too late to take stock of the past year and look toward to this year: what you want to accomplish and decide what you want to bring with you from the past and what you want to leave behind.
Give some or all of these exercises a try:
1) Take some quiet time to reflect on the past year making a list of losses and gains (this can be on any level) pay attention to what you learned from these experiences and journal about it.
2) Look at your goals from last year and assess how you did (remember to be compassionate with yourself) noticing where you might have been unrealistic and where you could have done more.
3) Make a list of what you want to focus on in this year. This should include goals but may also mean what behaviors and thoughts you want to continue from the past year.
4) Make a list of things you want to/are ready to let go of then write them on a piece of paper. On my list were negative states of mind and self-defeating patterns. You may also choose to keep a copy of this list in your journal for future reference.
5) Take the list of things you want to be rid of and either burn them, bury them or place them in a G*ddess/G*d Box with a prayer to help you to release them. Check out my vlog on G*ddess Boxes:
6) If you have not done one or at least not in the past year you may also wish to do the Ideal Life Scenario exercise where you write down the ideal scenario for each area of your life. You can then use this to define goals and complete an action plan. Download Lesson Here: Ideal Life Scenario Exercise
While the human animal was not made for true hibernation, science suggests that there may be certain metabolic changes that take place in our bodies during Winter that affect our mood, energy level, motivation, appetite and sleep cycle. These metabolic changes include insulin resistance, helping our system be more fuel-efficient and go for long periods of time with a smaller amount of food; and a decrease in dopamine which affects our mood. I’m choosing to call this Hibernation Light (no pun intended).
While many people report feeling depressed in the Winter, there is evidence that Winter Depression or Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) differs from clinical depression. According to this article in The Daily Mail, “Clinically depressed people usually lose interest in food, finding it tasteless or even unpleasant. They often shed weight and have great trouble sleeping. Sufferers of seasonal depression are just the opposite, eating and sleeping with gusto. While SAD affects just a few percent of the population, many researchers believe that most of us are susceptible to seasonal overeating, oversleeping and a general bodily go-slow.”
How to Leverage Hibernation:
Instead of fighting against the body’s need during the dark cold months of Fall and Winter to slow down and rest why don’t we just go with it?! Having Spring/Summer energy expectations of yourself in Winter will just lead to you feeling frustrated and possibly more down. Winter is a natural time to go inside, both indoors and into yourself. Why not leverage this natural tendency? Go ahead and get some rest and perhaps use this time for reflection. I find that Winter can provide the perfect atmosphere for contemplation. Maybe you’d like to look back over the year that’s ending and start to contemplate your plan for next year. Just don’t expect yourself to execute on this plan immediately (more on this below)!
In keeping with nature’s cycle expect to become more energized, active and ready to really execute on your plan in the Spring when sap rises in the trees and the rivers start to thaw. I don’t know about you but I’m looking forward to a Spring Breakthrough when I will see the seeds that I’ve been planting all Fall and Winter come to fruition! If you want to join us for this breakthrough stay tuned on the Vision Quest with Dr. Nicole Cutts facebook page!
Top 10 Tips for Beating the Winter Blues:
While Winter can be a great time for contemplation and preparation these cold dark months can get your mood down and for some truly bring on Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). This may be exacerbated by Holiday Blues. Symptoms of winter SAD usually begin in October or November and subside in March or April. Some folks begin to slump as early as August, while others remain well until January. Depressions are usually mild to moderate, but they can also be severe. Even if you don’t suffer from SAD gloomy winter months may leave you flat and our desire for serotonin often leads us to overeat in an effort to elevate our moods. Some of this is ok as mentioned above but we don’t want to let this get too far. No one likes feeling depressed so you might want to check out my top 10 tips for beating the winter/holiday blues below!
#1: Exercise. Exercise is crucial in combating depression, staving off Alzheimer’s and keeping off unwanted pounds. Do some kind of physical activity you enjoy at least three times a week for 30 mins each time. Exercise can release endorphins and reduce stress. Vary your routine and have fun with it. I keep it simple with walks in the woods and my yoga practice.
#2: Get Light. Get outside when you can in the sunshine even if it’s cold the sun’s rays can lift your mood. Being in nature lifts the spirits of many. I’m lucky enough to get out during the days but some people get relief from phototherapy using light boxes and now they even just have single bulbs ranging from about $4-$10. The light boxes range from about $30-$150. Not all light boxes are effective for treating SAD. Before buying one you may want to read this article from About Health.
#3: Laugh and Have Fun. Do me a favor. Smile. Just smile right now for no reason and see if you don’t feel better. When we laugh and smile this action sends a message to our brains that we are happy. Laughing can release endorphins. Watch funny movies, listen to comedy (I have many comedians plugged into my Pandora station) get together with friends, play games. Just do stuff you enjoy with people who make you laugh. When down you may feel like isolating…DON’T!
#4: Be of Service. Nothing lifts the spirit like getting outside of yourself and doing something for someone else. There are so many ways to bring joy to others. Think of things you can do then DO THEM! Volunteer at a soup kitchen or just do some favors for friends and family. The opportunities are endless. If you can’t come up with anything check out Simple Ways to Give Back…
#5: Lower Your Expectations. Holidays are often stressful because so many people are striving for a Norman Rockwell type of holiday. Stop it! Don Miguel Ruiz has the right idea with his fourth of his Four Agreements; Always do Your Best. But this isn’t an invitation to perfectionism. It means do your best then leave the rest. Stop trying to control, to be perfect. There is no such thing as the perfect family, party or anything. Don’t compare your experience to anyone else’s. High expectations lead to stress, disappointment, and often resentment. Lower your expectations and watch your serenity and happiness rise.
#6: Practice Gratitude. Holidays are also a great time for people to compare their lives to others and feel lacking. Single people may feel lonely because they don’t have anyone to kiss under the misletoe. Divorced parents may stress about splitting holidays. Kids with divorced parents may be unsure of who to spend time with. Holiday time may also remind you of loved ones who have passed away. All of these situations can lead us to feel a sense of lack. The antidote for this is GRATITUDE. Focus on what you do have and give thanks for it. Accept and bless YOUR circumstances. When I feel down I write a gratitude list of at least 10 things for which I’m grateful. A roof over your head? A job? Food? Friends?These things are pretty awesome!
#7: Get in the Holiday Spirit. Instead of being a Grinch or old Ebeneezer and trying to hide from the season, get into it. Much of our suffering comes from resistance and peace comes with acceptance so do something that’s connected to the season. Decorate the house, go see decorations, have a holiday gathering. I personally like to go visit my favorite Christmas tree every year. I skip the national xmas tree in favor of the one set up in front of the US Capitol. It’s gorgeous and one of my holiday traditions to visit it.
#8: Exercise Your Spiritual Muscle. Many people draw strength and happiness from a spiritual or religious life. If you have a spiritual or religious practice increase it at this time. Consider increasing attendance at spiritual and religious meetings. If you pray and or meditate, up it. If you are a member of a 12-step program be sure to increase your meeting attendance and stay in touch with others in your program. The holiday season is NOT the time to slack off or isolate.
A special note to food and substance addicts: Holidays can be tougher because of the increased use of food and alcohol by those around you. Surround yourself with people who don’t overdo it and better yet with others in your program who practice sobriety and abstinence. If you think you have a problem with alcohol and want to check out a 12-step program visit Alcoholics Anonymous and if food is an issue check out Overeaters Anonymous.
#9: Self Care is Key. This may seem like common sense, but it’s important to take care of yourself to combat depression and the blues. Don’t overdo it, get rest and eat properly. People tend to crave carbs in the winter and when down because eating carbs can boost your serotonin levels. This can lead to winter weight gain. It’s okay to indulge in a bit of comfort food, like pasta and noodle soup but just don’t over do it and remember to exercise too. If you take medication for depression stick to your regimen and be sure to consult your psychiatrist or general practitioner before making any changes.
#10: Be Creative. This tip is kind of a free for all. If you have a creative outlet like painting or cooking or making jewelry (like I do) then get into it. Doing things you enjoy will lift your spirits. If your creative talent means you make things then share these things as gifts. This tip also means come up with your own creative ways to spend the holidays. If you don’t like traditional holiday happenings then do something you enjoy. This may mean getting out of town. Do whatever makes you feel good as long as it’s healthy.
I hope you found something you can use here. Maybe you have your own tips. Share them here or feel free to leave a comment. Wishing you a joyful and peaceful season!