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Vulnerability for breakfast

How to do morning life coaching with a friend

Peter Jacobson
Apr 2, 2017 · 6 min read

I’ve been doing daily life coaching with Chloe Waretini for eight months. It has become one of the most empowering and grounding elements in my life.

Why I do it:

  • To start the day with service.
  • To start the day with a laugh or a cry.
  • The explicit space to be vulnerable with a friend in the morning helps me be open and honest with friends, family, colleagues and strangers throughout the day.
  • To talk through unclear decisions and vague feelings — helps me get clarity to make decisions, rather than worrying and sitting with dis-ease.
  • I learn heaps about life hearing Chloe talk through the challenging parts of her life.
  • I learn how to ask great questions and approach uncomfortable topics from the way Chloe asks and helps me.
  • I find it more helpful than therapy for day-to-day personal challenges and growth, life navigation, clearing and energising. We’ve both been lucky to have experience with therapy, so we bring that experience to caring for and supporting each other. I’ll still see a therapist if something big comes up, but I’m increasingly finding resolution for big challenges within our coaching sessions.
  • Through these checkins with Chloe I feel confident to navigate the inevitable life challenges of injury, sickness, death, tension and conflict.

How we do it:

  • By phone
  • Every weekday morning 7:30–8am
  • Starts with “How are you this morning?
  • Zero judgement
  • Navigating and enquiring, not fixing
  • Challenging negative stories
  • Celebrating and focusing on the positive
  • With balance
  • With humour and lightheartedness
  • Weekly reflection and intention setting

By phone

Normally over facebook messenger, or cellphone call now that minutes are cheap.

Every weekday morning 7:30-8am

This is flexible if we need to shift it, but we’ve found the routine/cadence/ritual really helpful.

Starts with “How are you this morning?”

Or, “How did you sleep?” — Sleep is important!

Another good one is “What’s on top?” — referring to whatever is foremost in mind, could be a big work deadline or a tasty breakfast.

Zero judgement

It’s a safe space to say ANYTHING.

“My close friend is doing really well at work and I resent them for it”.

“I just ate a whole bag of chips and feel like total shit”.

“I’m nervous about seeing my partner”.

We are not our thoughts. It’s ok. We’re just humans with minds that make up crazy stories about everything — like everyone else. The solution is often in exposing the often hilarious made up story beneath the stress and worry.

Navigating and enquiring, not fixing

We ask each other questions. She helps me find curiosity in my difficult and painful places. I help her shine her own light on her darkness. Some good questions recently:

“What is it important for you to hold today?”

“What aren’t you taking care of at the moment?”

“What are you looking forward to today?”

“What does integrity look like in this situation?”

“What is possible here? What are other possibilites?”

“Have you had enough exercise?” “Are you hydrated?”

“What do you need right now?”

Challenging negative stories

we share and learn each others negative thought stories, then when things are shit we can help each other notice and let go of these stories.

“I’m feeling really shit about feeling lust for other people — I love my partner, I don’t want to hurt them!”

“Oh, this sounds like you rejecting feelings that are out of your control? You’re not acting on those feelings are you?”


“So you’re having natural feelings, and acting with integrity?”

“Ah, yeah, you’re right!”

“Could you talk to your partner about that? Something like — I love you, and I’m having these feelings of lust. It made me nervous, but I want to be honest with you — what are our agreements about this? It’s important to me that I navigate this without breaking your trust or overly suppressing myself.”

“Yeah, actually, I really want to be open and honest with her — we need to clarify our agreements, I trust her to hold my natural feelings without judgement”

Celebrating and focusing on the positive

often we skim over successes, and don’t see the positives when we feel shit about ourselves or are in a stressful situation. Chloe and I help each other notice when ARE acting in alignment with our values, when we give wonderful gifts, and when we gracefully navigate the chaos of our lives.

“Blah blah blah.. My ex is with his new girlfriend in Canada this week — I just feel happiness for them. But I’m so tired this morning I’m worried I blah blah blah…”

“Woah what!!! You’ve been feeling so much pain and stress about that relationship, and now you feel clear and happy for him and his new love? Wow!! Let’s talk about that!”

With balance

For Chloe and I the energy seems to flow both ways, which makes it sustainable. Some mornings we just talk about my stuff. Some mornings just about her stuff. Some mornings we talk about The Bachelor. I learn from her talking about her challenges. She learns from me talking about my challenges. We normally both find our check-in energising. If it often wasn’t energising, that’d be a big problem for sustainability

With humour and lightheartedness

Finding the humour in our challenges lightens our lives. We get really wound up on some silly things.

“I feel crap because I don’t know what to do with my two extra weekend days — I don’t feel like I’m giving enough”

“I slept two hours in two nights, broke up with my partner, am coordinating a huge underfunded public event and I feel really shit because I cried in the workshop I hosted”

Weekly reflection and intention setting

Every Sunday we each set 2–5 intentions for the week, and reflect on how the last week’s intentions went.

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Want to try it?

I’d suggest:

  • Commit to doing it daily for a week.
  • Let go of any desired outcomes, let it be whatever it is. Be ready to let go of it after the week if it hasn’t been energising, beautiful and helpful overall.
  • It actually works well with someone out of town — nice outside perspective, feels safer to talk about friends etc without compromising the other person’s relationship with them (not that we are negative towards other people — we help each other always be kind and understanding about others).
  • It’s important you care about and can put a lot of trust in the other person.
  • It might be wonderful in totally different ways to what I’ve described here! Keep an open mind — you might discover some different wonderful thing…
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What works for you?

We’d love to hear about what works for you — I’m sure we still have so much to learn!

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Mindfulness for Change Stories

Stories from a network of people collaborating to co-create…

Thanks to Chloe Waretini

Peter Jacobson

Written by

Coach, mindfulness guide and entrepreneur

Mindfulness for Change Stories

Stories from a network of people collaborating to co-create mindful change in the world

Peter Jacobson

Written by

Coach, mindfulness guide and entrepreneur

Mindfulness for Change Stories

Stories from a network of people collaborating to co-create mindful change in the world

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