Come with me on an imagination journey. You are the artist, the builder, and the designer. Imagine creating the most spectacular home in your mind — a sanctuary. Space and time become friends as you build from the empty void. Build your house from the ground up within your mind. Can you envision its exterior? What do you see? What colors did you choose? Where is it located, and how big is it?
Let’s play with this idea further. Imagine waking up in your dream house with your favorite morning beverage — a cup of coffee, tea, or whatever delights you. Who’s with you, and what feelings are evoked?
Fly through the home, swooping in and out of rooms. Take note of what you see. Walls can appear or disappear at your will. Rooms can be made larger or smaller simply with your mind making them this way. What’s in the attic? And the basement? Is there a roof, or is it in the open air? Make it as magical as you choose.
Become intrigued with the space you create. Lean into your curiosity. Follow your lead and trust what you build. Let this exercise unfold at your pace.
You have discovered a sacred haven. Take a deep breath and thank your mind for this playful journey.
This exercise combines childlike imagination (which we all could use) with neuro-linguistic programing to decompress stress and regain focus. Now, imagine doing a creative exercise like this with your client. As the builder, your client can discover so much about themselves during this exploration with you.
Together, you can uncover problematic points to work on or simply let the stress decompress at the beginning of a session to achieve laser focus for the remaining time.
Try the same practice from different angles. Build an island instead of a house. Create a planet. Have a superpower. Explore the ocean. There are no limits. Let creativity, married to ecology, be the guide as you explore together with your client. Creativity may be the tool that leads to your client’s next breakthrough.
As a coach, it is easy to stay focused on results and lose authentic connections with clients. While “result-based coaching” is a common term in the coaching field with an expectation of an agreed-upon outcome, sometimes clients come with unknown outcomes, which can be uncovered through the art of creative exploration. If a client starts a session with, “I’m feeling heavy, but I don’t know why,” or “I’m just too stressed to know what to work on today,” this is an opportunity to get creative and encourage the client to become an explorer of their mind. For fun, let’s call this approach a “reframed interior paleontologist.”
The tool of creativity can expand the client-coach experience, allowing both parties to visualize and charter new territories together.
Studies show that cortisol levels reduce when people engage in a creative practice by 75%. For a stressed-out executive seeking result-based coaching, working with them could be like trying to relax a muscle while bodybuilding. This can lead to ripped muscles and unwanted outcomes. First, the weights need to come off and then massage. Engaging in a creative method may be the antidote to imposed stress.
Creativity can reframe tension, redirecting focus to the core of problems. Just as a chiropractor treats other areas than the expressed hurt body part. If there is lower back pain, the chiropractor may focus on upper back tension. Shift focus to the right areas, and relief is sure to follow.
Clients may find solutions to their original issues within their creative journey with you. The “sideline hustle” of creativity often becomes the daily mantra that causes long-term change. For example, in the house creation exercise, your client may build a room for relaxation and never put stock in the important exhale before. They may uncover the significance of relaxation and integrate a daily mantra of “I will take a moment to exhale and find peace.” That alone is power and can change a life. And why do we coach? To change lives!
Be inspired to use your inner creative brain and bring your clients on an adventure. You have the training. You have tools — now let us splash in wonder and play with design! A little rain makes a good puddle. Put your rain boots on, and jump in.