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Coaching to Flourish Season 3 | Episode 16

April 28, 2023 by Coach Training EDU

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In Coaching to Flourish Season 3 Episode 16, host Raj Anderson and guest Ashley Scott discuss how we connect with our own energy, having a healthy relationship with rest vs productivity, and the importance of incorporating play into our lives and into our connections with others.

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[Raj Anderson] Hi, and welcome everyone to the Coaching to Flourish podcast. I am your host, Raj Anderson. I'm executive life coach and coach assessor, and I am super excited to be here live with Ashley Scott again. Hey Ashley, how are you? 

[Ashley Scott] Hey Raj. I'm doing so great. I'm so excited to be here. 

[Raj Anderson] It's exciting to have you here. And I know most people know who you are, but for those that don't, will you introduce who you are, kind of your background, what you do, that kind of thing?

[Ashley Scott] Yeah, so, um, I am the Associate Provost with Coach training EDU, which is just, I love my job so much. I have the incredible opportunity of community development, um, partnerships, um, really helping the team in any way that is needed. So I just have a really remarkable JOB that allows me to connect with people and care for people, and celebrate Coach training edu and the people within the community. And so it's pretty remarkable. I've been with Coach Training EDU for five years now, a little over five years, which is amazing. And I'm so thankful to be here. I live in Kansas City, Missouri, and it's been one of my favorite places I've lived. So, um, that's a little bit about me. 

[Raj Anderson] You do coach as well yourself, Ashley, you are a coach and you're passionate about, kind of, women in leadership. What, what would you share around that? 

[Ashley Scott] Yeah. So, um, I do coach, uh, it's funny, there's just so much happening in life. So I, I primarily work with women, and the focus is on autoimmune wellness and self-worth. And so I, my heart just beats for women to know their value and their worth, and to, um, live life with their intentional design. Um, and for women to just know how remarkable they are, and be able to walk that out confidently. And so I do, um, I do have clients, we work on that. I'm currently working on a group coaching program and, um, so I'm really excited for that. Just, the community and relational, collaborative piece I think that we need in our community of women, and what group coaching could offer that, to an individual and to that community piece, I think would be really neat. 

[Raj Anderson] Thank you for sharing that, Ashley, and I love, any time I spend with Ashley, I always feel recharged and refreshed, and I know what an advocate you are for people. But you talked about women and this niche that you have around autoimmune and, and self-worth and, before we came on, I was thinking about the theme for today and, and the topic. And I think all of this is connected as you talk about the people that you coach as well, and self-worth. 

I ran a workshop, uh, a couple of weeks ago, which was around managing your energy. So I get a lot of clients that I work with are often stressed about a number of things, and they are particularly stressed around, um, managing their time. And I work with a lot of women too, who can have a lot of pressure on themselves to think that they need to do it all right, and they need to do it all, and they've got to fit it in, and it's jumping from one thing to the next. 

And as you and I both know, when you're exploring in coaching, often the presenting topic is time management. Yet when we get to the root of it, it could be energy, or it could be self worth. So, what are your thoughts on themes around energy? Kind of what shows up for you when you're talking to people? 

[Ashley Scott] Yeah. That's wonderful. Um, well, I do think, you know, culturally we have this emphasis on productivity, or completion of tasks, or just movement constantly or filling our schedules as an, uh, piece of our identity. It, it somehow fuels and adds to our self-worth when we have one thing to the next to go to. And, um, you know, there's, there's been seasons of life where that's been really fun to do that. And, um, I've really enjoyed that, just the connection piece that happens, and sometimes it can, for me provide more energy. But then there hits a point for me personally when I am operating in that way where, um, I get burnt out. 

And so, the lot of the last couple years is how to incorporate rest, into every day. Uh, and so that looks like individually, but how to also bring rest into productivity, and rest into the things in, you know, the space in between one thing to the next and not overload in that way. And how that actually produces more energy over time to be able to do more, which is kind of, you know, an interesting thing.

Um, so that's what it makes me think of right off the bat is, um, just the, the connection between our value and our worth, and energy and productivity. What does that bring up for you Raj? 

[Raj Anderson] Well first I just wanna acknowledge that powerful statement that you, you made around, actually rest increases productivity. And I think we miss that sometimes. Um, and, and one of the tools I did in a workshop was an energy review. So it was a weekly energy review of just looking at your day-to-day activities. So, what gives me energy and what is kind of taking my energy. And then really thinking about, you know, how you know, where do I say no? Where am I saying yes too much? 

And, when I was actually doing it - so this kind of speaks to your question, what does it mean to me - and I, I did the energy review and I was thinking about - and I, and I had some self-awareness, you know, these are the things that charge me up, this is my, what might be draining me. But it also helped me to have a real awareness of where I wasn't resting as much as I should be.

Um, um, where I was perhaps leaking some energy as well, or where might I not be setting the boundaries that I should be setting? And one thing that was really evident and has occurred to me, and maybe this is a tip for coaches to, uh, reflect on as well, is that actually when I am coaching, and I mean when I am really coaching, I am not drained. I am actually charged and energized after a coaching session. 

And if I am not energized or charged - and I've learned a lot from experience, so it doesn't happen as often - is when I am more in a consultant kind of role, or I am over helping. So my core motivation really at the center is helper. So I have this desire to help and I have a desire to make an impact, yet when I am too invested in an outcome, and when I am owning something too much, that is more draining for me. 

So I encourage you, coaches, if you are listening and you are coming out of a coaching session drained, observe yourself in terms of what are you carrying. Because when you're a coach, you detach from the outcome. You don't need to carry it. So you are no longer responsible for the weight of that. 

And, and I think for me, that has been connected to energy all my life. You know, I feel energy, I connect with people. It has been incredible for me to leverage, because it's meant, meant that I have been able to be surrounded by great people. Like yourself, Ashley. Yet at times it's also left me too open, which has meant I've been drained or I have given away too much of my energy. What's jumping out to you there as I talk? 

[Ashley Scott] I'm curious. This is, that's so good Raj, when you're, when you're in that space of realizing you're giving too much, how do you check that meter? How do you check in with yourself, even presently? Because I know you're so self-aware in that way. And not always do we catch it right away, but in those moments that you realize, ooh, I'm exerting more energy than I need to, what is that dialogue for you or that shift for you? What helps you in that moment? 

[Raj Anderson] What a great coaching question. Thanks, Ashley. Um, I like to journal as often as I possibly can, so, um, and I like to do a bit of a stock take. So, and this is where the tool helped me as well, the energy in energy out. So I, I did a stock take, and I've done that before on mind, body, spirit, you know. So what part of me is drained, right? Is it physically? Am I physically drained? So there's that check-in. And if I'm physically drained, uh, is it because I stayed up too late the night before, right? I wanted to create Pinterest boards or whatever I was attempting to do. Or binge watching something on Netflix or deciding to read something much later than I had anticipated.

And there is learning in that for me as well. When I'm staying up much later than I probably should be, it's because I'm not getting enough time in the day for myself, right? So even that is awareness right there. But I, I think to simplify it, for me, it is that connecting of, is this a physical energy drain or physical heavy energy heaviness, is it mental, or is it emotional? Because then if I'm connecting with body, I'm like, okay, so I'm tired. Or maybe I didn't nourish myself as well as I would've liked or didn't drink enough water. Or really wasn't paying mind to what I was putting into my body. Um, and I, myself, and I'll talk about it some other time, have had a journey with some surgery last year and different kinds of medications, and I'm connecting with my body more and more to see where am I feeling that and what's happening.

And then it's also connecting with that mental energy and the emotional energy. So emotional energy might be for me, where I am getting impatient, right? Or I am being triggered by something, or I am misaligned with my values. And often that happens - well, no, actually, more likely than not, I've figured out when I've journaled it's happened because I’m not taking care of myself. Or I'm not putting myself first, and then I'm getting angry or frustrated. Or I'm not actually living in full purpose, okay? So I might be doing things that don't truly fulfill me. And we all have to do those. I run a business, right? I had to do my taxes, finished them last week. I would not say that that was the biggest boost of energy for me, but you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do.

[Ashley Scott] Thank you to the people that that is energy giving We love you. We're grateful for you. 

[Raj Anderson] Yes, thank you. Thank you to my CPA who never seems to be drained when I speak to him and he's like, we got this.

[Ashley Scott] It’s so true. 

[Raj Anderson] What about you? How, how are you aware about your own energy? 

[Ashley Scott] Yeah, I really love what you just shared, and I think the holistic approach to it is incredibly important. Because sometimes we do, we can automatically go to, okay, this is a mental, like this is something emotionally or mentally that's happening for me, but really it's, it's physical. And it's just that we have not been taking care of our bodies. Like sleep and food and movement are incredibly important, and the basics are sometimes what we need in order to be able to do everything else. They're so foundational. And, but often we can negate that because one, maybe we operated in one way in the physical when we were younger that we no longer can and it doesn't service anymore. So there's an evaluation in different seasons and different life stages that we go through as well. 

I also really, when you're talking, what it reminded me about a lot is we even have to have boundaries around what rest looks like too. So I think a lot of times we can think, well, I rested all last week, but I watched 20 hours of TV. That's not actually restful or energizing. Typically for anybody I've met would, would not say if they really took, um, a, like really looked at their meter last week and if they spent 20 hours watching TV that they felt rested. Maybe the first couple hours - like, that was really needed to just unwind, not think about anything.

But I think sometimes what we can do when we've hit the point of exhaustion or we don't have energy, we just keep going with that thing and then it actually ends up draining us more. Um, and so, you know, looking - and that could be too, if, you know, for me alone time can be incredibly energizing. And at first it can be beneficial. But if I'm doing it on weeks at end and I'm not saying yes - I'm saying no to the things I should be saying yes to as well, I will feel that in a few weeks where I'm like, oh, I'm kind of like lonely and I actually haven't really laughed with somebody in a while. 

Or, you know, and then it's like, okay, so initially yes, I was doing the right thing for what I needed emotionally and spiritually. But then I made, I stuck in that too long or didn't balance it out well, that the pendulum went, you know, one to the other instead of finding that little, that healthy middle space. So that, you know, I loved everything that you said and I'm so there with you. And it brought up that for me too, just the intentionality with rest as well. And, um, yeah. It's just so important. And, um, it just fuels, fuels everything else. 

And rest can look like various things. It doesn't have to be something specifically, like journaling is remarkable, and I would encourage everybody to journal. One, just to get things out because - I can't remember, there's some science behind what that does for us, uh, that I had read about. But it's also incredibly impactful for us to be able to go back and read a process that we've gone through, um, or an aha, or even to see our growth and be like, what? Like, I'm so proud of myself. And you know, there's so much to that. 

And so I would encourage, encourage that, but, but you don't have to journal 10 hours a day. You could take five minutes to journal. Or, you know, I've heard of the journaling three pages a day. Just journal, just write your heart out for three pages. Usually that only takes a few minutes, like, you know. 

And so just the figuring out what gives you energy and gives you life. And that might look different for you than it, than it does for somebody else as well. Or it might be a little taste of this little bite, and then another little bite over here, or you know. That reminds me of like tapas. Have a little bit of tapas in your life every day. Have small little plate of it all. 

[Raj Anderson] That's such a great metaphor, Ashley. A bit of tapas, little bits and pieces, isn't it? And, and you use the word when does it, might become unhealthy? 

And as I was listening to you as well, what I've learned to observe in myself is the things that I need to eliminate, as you said, even with what I'm watching and the times that I'm watching them. I am fascinated by human behavior and psychology, right? So I do like to watch, like murder documentaries and those kinds of things. Yet it's not great to be watching them at certain times of the day. Right? Bedtime, for example. Or, where is this too much? 

And I was actually watching something. We were watching a series, my husband and I, and I said to him, right, I've had enough of this for today. And he's like, oh, why? What's wrong? And I said, I can feel that this is putting me in a bad mood. Because I was so invested in the outcome, and the energy of the people that were actually in the show. So I love what you said around kind of this tapas approach, um, observing yourself, when might it be unhealthy. 

And you also talked about checking in with yourself - oh, and it's been such a long time since you’d had a laugh with anyone. Or when was the last time I kind of played? What does play mean to you, Ashley? 

[Ashley Scott] Yeah. Play is actually really important to me. Um, I've been through seasons in my life that have been incredibly difficult and I think that some of the, some of what's helped me get through that is some play. So experiencing joy in whatever it was that I was going through. Um, but man, laughter is just so good for the soul. 

And I recognize when I am not playing, when I don't have some sort of creative outlet or some way to play in my life, um, my creativity is not as, it's not there as much. Um, I find, I'm gonna be more apathetic in the day or a little bit more sluggish. And, so it's just, and it's sometimes it's small little things. Like, play can look so different.

So part of it could be making silly videos with my best friend, to, I just went on a walk for my lunch and there's a butterfly bush, and there's just tons of butterflies on it. And so I just stood there and watched the butterflies, and I just laughed. And I was taking a video and one kind of came up right in front of my camera and you could hear me laugh on the camera. And it was just like taking a moment to just enjoy, and just allow myself to laugh at, yeah, just the, I don't know, the connection of with nature and that is a form of play, I think for me. 

Um, so there's a, we talked about this before, Brene Brown - and this kind of connects with what we were talking about before.

She said, “If we want to live a wholehearted life, we have to become intentional about cultivating rest and play, and we must work to let go of exhaustion as status symbol, and productivity as self-worth.” That's so good. What is it - I'm kind of all over the place with this cause there's so, there’s so much with play and I'm like, oh, I know we only have so much time.

But what are you, what are your thoughts around that and what, what kind of comes up for you with play? 

[Raj Anderson] So the one thing there, um, Ashley, when Brene Brown talks about it as a status symbol. And I've talked about this before, we wear it as a badge of honor, don't we? 

And I used to be that person in the corporate environment as well. Used to say with pride. Oh, I just remember saying, oh, I, I hadn't had a day off sick in seven years. Oh, I don't take a lunch break. Right. Um, oh, it's fine, I'll work through my vacation. As though it meant that I was better than, in a sense. It was my ego as well that, oh, if I work myself to almost death, right, I am attempting to prove something to the world. And I, you know, the listeners, if you are listening to this, I'm curious how many of you have badges of honor, what does that badge of honor look like for you in terms of that? 

And also, I mean, I play more now than I probably did in my twenties and thirties. Because as adults, it's almost as though we think that we can't play, isn't it? Right. And everything's so serious and the corporate world's so serious and, and life is so serious and, and then we can't laugh at ourselves. Or it, it's play isn't for adults. 

And I was joking with somebody the other day and I said, I've moved around a lot and I'm, I live in the US and I've lived in different places, and I am lucky to stay connected with a lot of people in life, but I am always in situations where I'm meeting new people. And I was like, how do you say as an adult to someone, will you be my friend? Because as kids you just go up to somebody in the playground and there's no stigma to that. Yet as adults, there seems to be a stigma around kind of fun and play, and I do think the world has evolved and changed. 

And for me, anyone who knows me at all is going to know that I'm gonna say I'm a huge Disney fan. Right? And there are different components of Disney that I'm a fan of. One, it's the leadership principles of Walt Disney himself. But the fact that he created somewhere, which wasn't just for kids, but for adults to go and play. And for me, it is that disconnection, it's being able to be a big kid, judgment free. You know, judgment free in terms of, just as you said, having fun, being able to laugh. Being able to laugh at myself, right? I, I know when I laugh at myself, energy shifts, doesn't it? 

[Ashley Scott] Absolutely. Yes. I mean, you should see me two stepping. It's hilarious, but I do it anyway. Because there's moments of feeling free and laughter and just playing. Um, I love that so much, Raj. What it makes me think of for everybody is like, how can you play this week? And it doesn't have to be going to the park or dancing like Raj and I are talking about. These are, those are wonderful things to do, but it can be as simple as getting a paintbrush and a piece of paper this week, and just allowing yourself to be creative. 

Or, um, there's a group of us that went and did a Pottery Wheel class, and we got to create - I, I mean, the things that we came up with, they, they were fired and sent back to us, I don't even know what we're gonna use 'em for. Right? Like they're, they're not real pottery. It's not, I mean, yes it is. Sorry anybody that I loved dearly that went with me and created these, but they like shrunk in fire. Anyway, we had so much fun doing something different. We, none of us, I think only one person out of the eight of us knew how to actually do it. And it was just, we just played together and we laughed together. 

And so it's like, how can you play this week and who can you invite into that play? Like your question of like, will you be my friend? It's like, yes. Like, let's break as adults, it's so important. Community is so important. Play individually for creativity and just health is, is vital, but playing with others is so important. It's so important. And if, I think a lot of us too, if we just broke that wall and we're like, Hey, you wanna come like, you wanna come play with me? Another adult probably be like, yes, I've wanted to for a long time! Yes, ask. And if they don't, then they're not the person to do that with, and just go ask somebody else. There will be somebody else who will wanna do that. So I love that you brought up that point. That's, that's so good. 

[Raj Anderson] Yeah. So there's that question, and I'm gonna think about. How else am I going to play? And I like the idea of coloring or creating something, or painting something. Yeah. Actually I had a great time. I did a um, a paint and sip class. You don't have to drink wine, but you know, I did that last year and, was it the best piece of art? Is it gonna go up in a museum? Probably not. But it was so much fun. Just this laughter is a release, isn't it? It's the same as having a workout or like going to the gym, what it releases in in your body. And I know we're on time. The final thing I might share is if you haven't checked out Laughter Yoga, check that out online as well. And my sister and I did it once, and it was absolutely hilarious. And I was very uncomfortable at first, yet, and I did it myself in the safety of my own space. Um, but it just, that laughter lifted so much weight off of me. 

[Ashley Scott] I have never heard of that. I'm gonna have to check out Laughter Yoga. 

[Raj Anderson] Yes. Check out laughter yoga.

Um, we are on time. Thank you so much, Ashley. It's been a pleasure and so much fun and laughter with you, and you've lifted my spirits today, so thank you. 

[Ashley Scott] Same Raj, thank you so much. I always love hanging out with you. 

And thank you everyone so much. If, if you go and play this week or the next, like let us know and share what you've been up to. Um, comment on this video on Facebook or send us a note. Um, and encourage the community to play, show people what you're up to. Um, it's contagious when we start to see somebody else having fun and, and experiencing joy. It, it really ripple effects into other people's lives, so I encourage you to share it as well.

[Raj Anderson] Yeah, give us some ideas. Alright, we'll see you next week. Thank you everyone. Bye.

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