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Are you closing the gate behind you OR opening it in front of you?

This morning as I started out on a #walkingandcoaching session I passed through a metal gate. Now I pass through this gate most mornings when I walk my dog. I love to hear the clank and clang of the metal gate fastener as it shuts behind me. The noise of the gate shutting behind me brings me an almost immediate sense of #joy - this morning I paused and wondered WHY? As I am sure most of you know #pavlov #conditioned dogs to salivate when they heard a bell - this is called a #conditionedresponse Pavlov’s Dogs Experiment and Pavlovian Conditioning Response - Simply Psychology

It made me think today that I feel #joy when I hear the gate clank because I know that the I am going to feel relaxed and refreshed after my walk through the beautiful fields. I have #conditioned myself!

The reason I was also more aware of the gate today was because I was thinking about where to walk and how where I walked might affect the #coaching session. I was also thinking about how where the client was walking might impact them - they were also #walkinginnature but not with me.

Where you do your #thinking will impact on what you think, how it affects your #body and what you can use to remind yourself or use to hold yourself accountable for #actions. Walking in nature and thinking means you have access to a whole lot of material to use as #metaphors - trees growing, paths diverging, flowers blossoming, logs piling up, weeds proliferating, rivers moving quickly or sluggishly, plants dying and wind blowing leaves around our feet.

So back to walking through the #gate. After the #coaching session I re-walked through the same gate and I thought - what does it mean to walk through a gate? Are we walking through the gate to the other side - closing the gate #behindus? Or are we walking through and #opening the gate #infront of us.

Now you could say - this is semantics but …. opening and closing are two different ways of #thinking about a situation. So here's a few #coachingquestions to ask yourself next time you see a gate and are wondering whether (physically or metaphorically) to walk through it.

What does the gate represent?

How do you feel as you approach the gate?

Is the gate closing behind you OR are you opening it in front of you?

How could you alter how the gate closes or opens?

What would it feel like to open it fully?

What would it feel like to close it completely?

What do you notice as you open or close the gate?

Where in your past have you opened or closed a gate successfully - what did you do and what can you learn now from that experience?

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