AIMPOINT: Interview with Life Coach and Spiitual Counselor Pamela Aloia - PART II







By Mick Michaels
  
Furthering our look into new perceptions, we continue our talk with Life Coach, Spiritual Counselor and author, Pamela Aloia from Sol Angel.

There are many ways up the mountain. The following interview series is designed to offer insight, options and perspective to being the best “us” we can be...thus becoming better artists and ultimately, better individuals.

MM: Is how many of us handle stress a product of hereditary or genetics or more of a societal or environmental conditioned response that can be broken and reprogrammed? Can we change it? And if so, how do we start to do that?
PA: Again, I believe our upbringing and social environment play a large role in developing our stress coping abilities. Absolutely it can be changed…again with self-reflection, meditation, coaching, and other methods. A lot of times it's a simple shift in perspective - changing our beliefs and we change our perspective, and, in essence, we change our reality. We may be carrying around limiting or false beliefs about ourselves or life that may have been handed down to us by our parents or our friend's perspectives.

For example, a common belief is that people don't like us or don't respect us…so many times we already have an attitude brewing close to the surface. What would change if we believed everyone liked us? How would our conversations shift? Other examples are if we believe we have to work hard to succeed, or that we are always being judged, or we have to know all the answers, or that life doesn't work out for certain people - our outlook is already tainting our experiences. Our world unfolds based on the beliefs we have. Our beliefs tend to be our lenses that we see our world through. If we make a shift on a specific belief…say someone thinks they are worthless and they start to see how much value they bring, their mindset shifts, therefore, new experiences start to occur and life starts changing for them.

There are so many other ways to change the stress response, including self reflection, trial and error, meditation, and talking with others. Sometimes working with a life coach, therapist, or other mentor can be invaluable.

MM: Artists most often express their true selves through their craft; music, songwriting, performance. It's a version of communication. When words fail, their creative expression is their voice. But is that enough? Could an artist benefit from speaking to someone such as a mentor, a coach or even a spiritual counselor?
PA: Again, this depends on the individual. If someone has life goals, or self development and self growth as a priority, certainly a mentor, coach, or spiritual counselor is beneficial. When we talk about spiritual counseling, in my mind, it's dealing with the person's overall being - helping people become more aware and assisting them in addressing physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual health altogether. The spirit piece can include our connection with a higher being but it primarily focuses on our inner spirit…are we taking care of our inner spirit? What lights up our heart and what closes it down, or tires us out at the core?


Coaches and spiritual counselors help a person manage their life goals…regardless of how small or big…and identify their own inner strength, balance, and accountability. What this looks like can be different for everyone, although there can be similarities, and it is quite personal. What I find though, is when people decide to invest in themselves with genuine coaches, mentors, and spiritual counselors, they are usually very happy to have done so as their growth and focus expand. It's fascinating and inspiring to see.

MM: When choosing someone to talk to or work with, what should we consider or look for? Are there certain questions we should ask?
PA: The first questions to ask are of ourselves and if we're willing to a) recognize that we can change for the better,
b) determine if we want to change for the better and
c) are we willing to invest the time and physical, emotional, mental and spiritual energy to do so?
We all have room for improvement, and sometimes it's a lot of work to do so. If someone can answer the above three questions honestly as yes, then progress is on the horizon. Once we have that commitment to ourselves, it's then important to find a coach or mentor who works well with us and is able to challenge us too.
When someone requests to work with me, I have a discussion with them to be sure we are a good fit for each other and we understand each other’s goals and roles. I highly recommend having a conversation with a coach, spiritual counselor or mentor and see which one feels the best to you. Do you feel comfortable and safe with that person? Do they seem to meet you where you are? Do they respect you and your goals? Are they relatable? Do they try to change your goals to match their strengths or do they make the conversation about them instead of you?

Through a conversation you can get the feeling of whether the match is good or not. To me, it is an honor to share in someone's inner world, and help them open up to their own potential and greatness. The connection that is developed is truly heartwarming and I find, quite sacred.
            
MM: Since we are all unique and what resonates with me may be different from someone else, are there other avenues artists can explore, whether on their own, or with a guide, that could be beneficial?
PA: Yes, that is so true - what works for one person may not be on point for another. There are so many options out there for people to explore, it seems they are endless. I first introduced myself into more alternative methods when I found roadblock after roadblock with my then current lifestyle. I went down a number of paths before I found something that worked for me. I didn't figure it out overnight…it was a lot of trial and error and consistency.
So be open to trying several new things until you find what works for you. It may be beneficial to work with a coach to help explore viable options, or you can experiment with things that seem to interest you or that you feel drawn to. Although one thing may not work…it may lead you to something you weren't even considering.

MM: What would you say to someone who is looking to find meaning or purpose in their life or who has lost motivation?
PA: This is a deep question. When you say lost motivation, my mind translates that to depression, anxiety, and thoughts of taking one's own life. If that wasn't your intent, I apologize, but it is a real and in our face kind of topic these days. I have personally been impacted by people who have decided to leave this earth on their own accord, as well as had friends and many clients who are dealing with the loss of a family or friend a bit earlier than expected in some sort of tragic death. There is no silver bullet answer to this question - we all have personal and diverse relationships with ourselves and how one finds meaning or purpose in their lives can change over the course of time.
With that said, based on my personal experience and in working with my clients, I whole heartedly believe that developing a support group is essential. The support group begins with you - you know yourself, you know your triggers…and you also know what might help you get to a better space mentally and emotionally. Take the responsibility and when you can, make a list of all the potential triggers that you have. Notice when you notice that you're in a downward spiral. Make a list of all the things you can do to pull yourself out of it…play music, exercise, call a friend, volunteer, attend a group meditation, bake, garden, knit…whatever it is, make a list. That way you can pull out that list and motivate yourself to try anything and everything on that list when you feel the lack of motivation lingering.

Then you have your external support group…friends, family, coaches, therapists…other avenues, who you can turn to, to either help maintain your balance or help you in a more urgent situation. Of course, there are hotlines and emergency mental health avenues to take as well. That is what they are there for…use them if you need to.

Planning, like the above, is really helpful. Know you aren't alone, even if you feel it. We are all going through something, even if we don't openly talk about it. We all want to be heard and loved…find the people and places where you are safe to be you and be open to being the same for someone else. You never know when you're making a huge difference simply by being kind or understanding. As we know this is a huge issue in our world today, we need to take responsibility individually for ourselves and collectively where it makes sense to…in an effort to shift the balance from downward spirals to motivation and inspiration…one step at a time.



MM: Like everyone else, artists are faced with decisions everyday and are no strangers to regrets…should’ve, could’ve, would’ve... Hindsight is always 20/20 as many of us know. Regret can be a powerful feeling, even crippling for some. We all make decisions and not every decision will go the way we hope…but is there something we can do to help minimize how we feel about the decisions we make to possibly alleviate or minimize the regret experience regardless of the outcome? Can we be happy with our decisions and move on?
PA: Regret is tied into wishing things turned out differently or that we reacted differently. Usually in this case, facing our own perceived shortcomings and forgiving ourselves for certain moments, actions, or reactions in the past is quite healing. And it’s not so much that we need to be happy with our decisions but more that we accept them for what they are.

Each moment is a learning experience. When we make a decision and it resulted in something that doesn’t feel good emotionally…what did we learn from that? We need to parse out the gem of that experience and carry that with us. And sometimes this is a process…and certainly not always easy. Sometimes we can’t see the potential blessings in a situation that we regret. It may have saved us from something far worse down the line.  We don’t always get to see the bigger picture.

Again, this is where we need to be sure we address those emotions so we keep ourselves above water, allowing ourselves to be in the moment…creating or seeing new opportunities that we are now more equipped to take advantage of, and maneuver successfully, despite, and in some cases because of, those past decisions we regret.
                           
MM: How have you personally found to maintain centeredness and a regular state of calm?
PA: I have found that with regular exercise, meditation, sleep, reflection, energy work like Reiki, decent eating habits, helping others, and spending time with family, I can maintain balance for long periods of time. I know that sounds like a lot but once you know what helps, you can prioritize what's needed. Life throws curve balls no matter who you are and we all get knocked off balance. Years ago I ignored some crucial physical symptoms for a bit too long and was forced to make the time to get better and explore what that entailed. I'm still learning for sure, but feel as though I have a fairly full toolbox and support group to help me along.

It's a constant monitoring of self-awareness and open communication. Seeing the higher perspective and trusting that things will work out. It's a work in progress every moment of every day. I have had the opportunity to grow from life's challenges and I feel honored to have the chance to impact others positively along the way. That's part of what we're here for…to help each other get through this life…with hopefully some smiles, joy, and heartful connection along the way.

MM: Thank you again Pamela for spending some time talking and sharing some of our insight and experience with our readers. I wish you all the best and continued success.
PA: Thank you Mick, and you as well. 


Check out Pamela and her services at:
Official:
www.solangel.com



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