What you need to be free, happy and at peace is a lot simpler than you probably believe, and guess what – it has nothing to do with driving a better car or reaching your goal weight. You’ve probably heard this before, but listen again: everything you need you already have. It’s just about understanding it. To help people reach this fundamental (and very freeing) realisation, Kåre Landfald, founder of Zen Coaching, is offering workshops and courses for the first time in South Africa, which aim at bringing people back to themselves.
Most of us live a life of ‘layers’ where we deny our deepest feelings and only show certain aspects of ourselves for fear of being judged and ridiculed. Think of the following scenario: your friend buys a car from a guy she thought she could trust, but it turns out to be a wreck. She phones you and rants, ‘That guy was such an a-hole! Why didn’t I trust my instincts? I’m furious!’ Admitting and feeling emotions, such as anger, is a step away from judgement towards truth. While expressing judgement is easy (‘He is a crook!’), owning our anger is less easy.
Says Kåre, ‘There are actually four steps: seeing that I am judging and that it is not helping me or anybody else; feeling the anger; feeling the vulnerability under the anger (i.e. need), and relaxing into the clarity and power that come with allowing, accepting and feeling.’ To help us sift through the layers and get in touch with who we really are, and what we need to make us happy, Zen Coaching recommends asking some simple, but important questions. In the context of the workshop, the exercises are done with a stranger, but you can do them with a friend, your partner or even alone – though the last three are best done in pairs.
The most important part of self-knowledge, explains Kåre, is being present, so ask yourself what is happening right now, both physically and psychologically. Take a moment to be still and feel your body. Do you have an ache or a pain somewhere? Where? How does it feel? What is happening in your head – are you annoyed, energised, tired? How do you feel right now?