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Anna Donald
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“Awareness is like the sun. When it shines on things, they are transformed.” Thich Nhat Hanh
Awareness, often also called consciousness, is an innate capacity that we as human beings all have. Working skilfully with the mind, we can strengthen our capacity to step in to a place of alert, spacious awareness. This place, a place where we have freedom and choice, is where transformation becomes possible.
“Awareness is the greatest agent for change.” Eckhart Tolle

“Happiness can exist only in acceptance.” George Orwell We can choose to resist or accept our experience. When we learn to work with the mind, it is our attitude we train. We train our capacity to approach our experience with an attitude of non-judgement, or acceptance. This is where happiness lives. “Accept – then act. Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it. Always work with it, not against it… This will miraculously transform your whole life.” Eckhart Tolle When you welcome and accept life as it comes, each and every situation becomes an opportunity to fly higher and higher.” Osho “A moment of radical acceptance is a moment of genuine freedom.” Tara Brach

“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space lies our freedom to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our happiness.” Viktor Frankl

Through the cultivation of mindful presence, we can create space in our lives, internally – and, flowing from there – externally. We can move beyond blind reactivity, in to a place of wise and skilful choice. We can also choose how to relate to our experience. This is our mental attitude. This attitude is exceptionally important because it determines whether we are happy or unhappy.

“Action without vision is only passing time, vision without action is merely day dreaming, but vision with action can change the world.” Nelson Mandela

If we want to see positive change in our external experience, we need to work with our own internal world first. As we develop our capacity for awareness, choice becomes available to us. And through choice, skillful action becomes possible. This is where true freedom resides, and the capacity to change our world from the inside out. This is how we can powerfully become who we really are.

“Personal power is the ability to take action.” Tony Robbins

“It has been found that personal change is facilitated when the psychotherapist [or coach] is what he is, when in the relationship with his client he is genuine and without “front” or façade, openly being the feelings and attitudes which at that moment are flowing in him. We have coined the term “congruence” to try to describe this condition. By this we mean that the feelings the therapist is experiencing are available to him, available to his awareness, and he is able to live these feelings, be them, and able to communicate them if appropriate.” Carl Rogers

In order to invite clients in to awareness and acceptance of their feelings, my commitment is to create a space of authenticity and congruence, through the acknowledgement of my own. Feelings can feel frightening, and unmanageable, but through the supported process of allowing them space, acknowledgement and gentle acceptance, we can begin to work skilfully with them. We can begin to tame the tiger.

“Being listened to by someone who understands makes it possible for persons to listen more accurately to themselves, with greater empathy towards their own visceral experiencing, their own vaguely felt meanings.” Carl Rogers

Seeing with you, walking with you, feeling with you, I commit to entering the world of your felt experience. Opening to your own depths in this way, imagine what is possible.

“Warmth is the vital element for the growing plant and for the soul of the child.” Carl Jung

We all need safety, support, warmth and appreciation to grow. When we feel safe, understood and valued, we can access the courage we need to venture in to the unknown, often frightening, territory within us.

“When the therapist [or coach] is experiencing a warm, positive, and acceptant attitude toward what is in the client, this facilitates change. It involves the therapist’s genuine willingness for the client to be whatever feeling is going on in him [or her] at that moment, – fear confusion, pain, pride, anger, hatred, love, courage, or awe. It means that he cares for the client, in a non-possessive way. It means that he prizes the client in a total rather than a conditional way.” Carl Rogers

When you are allowed to be exactly who you are, to feel the feelings moving through you in any moment, acceptance can begin. Building a relationship of acceptance towards yourself and all that arises in your field of experience is how real change becomes possible.

“The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change.” Carl Rogers

“The most precious gift we can offer anyone is our attention. When mindfulness embraces those we love, they will bloom like flowers.” Thich Nhat Hanh

My commitment is to offer you a space of full, conscious presence. I will listen deeply and intuitively, with all of myself. Listening in this way, actively and with deep, appreciative interest, can allow space for your innate intelligence to find the answers already in you.

“The quality of a person’s attention determines the quality of other people’s thinking.” Nancy Kline

In a space of full presence, together we can “dance in this moment” (Co-Active Model). Being fully present to what is happening in this moment, there is spontaneity, there is meeting whatever is showing up – a multi-layered, hard-to-articulate feeling; a roar of laughter or a giggle; a deep sob – with an open embrace.

“People are, by their very nature, creative, resourceful, and whole. They are capable: capable of finding answers; capable of choosing; capable of taking action; capable of recovering when things don’t go as planned; and especially, capable of learning.” The Co-Active Coaching Model

This is the attitude I will hold in relation to you: One that carries a deep appreciation of your wholeness, a heart-felt fascination for how you uncover your own truth, and wonder at how you connect to your own innate wisdom.

“…our first duty to each other as human beings is to help each other fulfil our nature.” Nancy Kline

It is through gentle challenge that asks us to open our eyes to what might be hidden from consciousness that we can begin to truly wake up to our true nature. It is through questions that challenge assumptions, that illuminate shadow parts of ourselves, that we can explore unknown territory, make brave discoveries, open to new possibilities, and flourish in to our full, whole being.

“I am not what happened to me. I am what I choose to become.” Carl Jung

This process is a call to action. It is an adult call to take responsibility for our self-actualisation. It is a call to make skilful choices that take us towards growth. Taking a deep breath, holding the process gently, in our hearts as much as our minds, we will begin this journey inwards.

Anna Donald

Anna is passionate about the cultivation of mindfulness and integrating that in to a way of being in the world. She is a committed meditator, regularly attends retreats, and believes in the full-hearted liberation that can be achieved through learning to work skillfully with our minds, through remembering we always have a choice, through reconnecting to our innate capacity for kindness, and through learning to open to the present moment, in its fullness, with deep acceptance.

Contact Details

Mobile: +(27) 833550022
Email: anna@annadonald.co.za
Skype username: anna.c.donald