In this blog, Rachel Pointer tells us how she uses photos to help her clients.
Rachel pointer is a professionally trained and experienced life coach, she has the tools and understanding to help you to create the life you imagine and get a renewed sense of self. Her passion is to give women the experience of what a clean inner space feels like!
Tell us about you and your work
I’m a life coach. I call myself a clarity coach specialising in rapid change work. Most of my clients are middle-aged mums who have some mental and/or emotional clutter to clear. We work on everything from mindset to healing trauma, goal setting, clarity on values, etc…
How do you use photos in your work?
I ask clients to make a ‘highlight reel’ in a specific album. I ask them to use this when they are feeling down or discouraged. It’s a way for them to remember some of the amazing things they’ve done, people in their life that they love, and adventures they’ve taken.
How does it work?
When I begin working with a client, it is natural for them to have a list of goals they want to achieve and elements in their life that they want to change. I ask clients to make a photo album, or “highlight reel”. I customise each client’s specific desires or goals to act as an anchor to their end goal.
Here is an example:
Because I understand how our brains work, I acknowledge the desires and goals while shifting them from focusing on what they don’t want to what they truly desire. A common goal is – “I want to lose 15 lbs”. I would shift a client to remembering a time when they felt incredible in their body.
I would pair this with creating a fitness album using many of their own pictures from a time when they felt amazing in their body. The photos do not need to be just pictures of how they look, but moments where they felt incredible confidence, joy, or contentment. I ask them to choose photos that embody all the emotions that they believe being “fit or their ideal weight” will cause them to feel.
I then ask each client to not only review this album daily but to really feel how they would feel being inside the experience of those pictures. I ask them to engage their 5 senses and even put a favourite song in the background as they experience this mental visualisation. This process is so much more than just visualisation and feeling good. This is rewriting a program in the client’s brain and body of what these end goal experiences are like! Because our brains do not know the difference between a real experience and a simulated experience (think of how you react to a snake or spider in a movie… or maybe that’s just me!) This is wiring the client’s brain that this is part of their reality.
How do clients benefit from looking at photos?
Because our brains are wired to notice threats or danger, we often focus on what is not going the way we would like in our life. This is a natural function of our brain so when clients are frustrated that they focus on the negative aspects of their life, I love to remind them, “It’s not your fault!”
However, when we focus on a problem rather than the solution, it acts like a magnet drawing us over and over to experience the “problem”.
The more my client spends in moments savouring the experience of those pictures, the more their brain focuses on ways to feel that way again in their current life. It seems like a subtle shift, but I have experienced the power in my own life as well as with each of my clients that when we focus on how we want to feel, do, be, this becomes the focus of our inner navigation system. It begins to shift our identity and we begin to choose actions in life that support that vision. This is a much different approach than “work harder” “tackle the problem” or “no excuses”. I like to say, this is a process that goes with the current of how we function rather than paddling upstream to reach our goals.
How did you come up with this?
I used this myself as I struggled with anxiety for several years. It was a way to shift my focus from what I was fearful about. It was a distraction as well as a form of gratitude. I also used it to remind myself of things I had done that boosted my confidence (speaking, videos, classes or certifications I had accomplished) I also used this as a way to encourage myself with goals. If I wanted to make progress with fitness or piano, I would make a folder of photos that reminded me of times in my life I was most successful in that area. It served as a vision board with my own photos.
As I worked with clients, I felt that there was a lot of deep work that goes on. Over time I have switched my process from starting with points of pain or “starting at the beginning” with clients because that can be a heavy or daunting feeling. Instead, I begin with what clients desire to feel on a daily basis. What goals do they want to achieve and we discuss why those goals are important. Focusing this way, automatically brings up resistance in the form of childhood memories, traumas, and disempowering beliefs.
I guide clients through rapid process of reframing and healing this type of resistance which allows us to continue on the journey of moving toward their compelling future.
What is the client’s reaction to using their photos?
Clients like this idea! Especially now, we have a plethora of photos! Oftentimes these photos get buried so this is a fun and nostalgic project for clients to work on.
I use many other tools with clients to reinforce new patterns in their brains, body, and life. However, a photo album experience is one of my client’s favourite processes! It is fun to create and the power is measurable! Depending on my client’s various goals, sometimes we will create an integrated album for all their goals. Other times it’s helpful to create separate albums for different goals. My clients are as unique as their goals, so I love to understand what is important to a client and tailor my approach to what speaks to them and makes them feel supported.
What quick and easy task people can do right now to improve their mood with their photos?
I would ask each person, “ What is one goal you would like to achieve in the next 3 months? What is the feeling you will have when you’ve achieved that goal?
Look back through your photos and select any photos that give you that same feeling. Put those photos in an album and set a reminder on your phone to look through that album at a certain time of day. Right when you wake up or right before bed is ideal! Have appreciation that you think about as you look through the album such as, “thank you for these beautiful moments where I felt so__________ I feel this way again as I replay these memories. Thank you that I will have more and more of these moments where I feel _________I will notice this emotion in myself and others and appreciate the power of this emotion/feeling. I can sense momentum building towards moments that make me feel this way. I can sense that I am choosing more carefully what I do and who I am around because this is so important to me and I feel so amazing when I feel _________
As I mentioned above, if you pair looking through the photos with as many of the 5 senses engaged, it multiplies its power. Have your favourite candle or scent in the room, put on your favourite music, and any other element that can further anchor your mind to want to come back to this feeling over and over.
Where can we learn more about your work?
I love to work one on one with clients! There is something magical about being in that space and seeing the beauty and unique gifting with each client. You can sign up for a free session with me on my website so we can discover if working together is the right fit!
I am launching a subscription coaching program which starts May 1st 20211! This is a community where I guide busy mamas to become crystal clear on what they desire in their daily experiences. Without mental and emotional clutter keeping them stuck, they soar with confidence, knowing they have the tools, guidance, and clean inner space to achieve their specific goals.
You can find out more about me and my coaching at the following places!
I look forward to interacting with many of you. Your life can be just as exciting and beautiful as the photos that you hold so precious!