The Castle Coaching Mindset: Castle as a Metaphor PART 9

Within the Castle Walls

Your Inner Environment

Reading Part 1 Part 8 is useful to understand the overall idea

How you treat your self is reflected in the warmth of your castle interior, your mind. Cold and damp is something we may endure from time to time but that is not what a strong castle represents.

A strong castle can appear cold and uninviting, sure, perhaps not ideal, but the outer appearance is far less important than the interior.
The ideal interior should be a relaxed atmosphere of self-acceptance, of reflection, a place where you can sit in front of a crackling, roaring fire and relax when needed, somewhere that allows you to realise your true personality without judgement.
To begin with, the indoors of your castle may well be a place to allow a judgement of your self, but in an amiable way that is constructive and not unduly harsh.

There are enough people on the planet who will judge you without even knowing you, that to fill that role yourself is truly a tragic part to play. We are all judgemental of ourselves until we think not to be, and it is a process, not a set destination, indefinable on a map of the self.

Ensure the heating is warm enough that each room you enter is a pleasant temperature for you: there are no bills or payments in your meta-castle. And open a window now and again for fresh air (if you have windows. I really hope you have some windows).

How you treat your self speaks volumes about your estimation of your own worth and dictates how you will treat others. Your castles interior should reflect your personality, and if you wish to extend the idea, you can create a virtual place of safety and peacefulness through visualisation, so that the castle of your imagination is a place you can visit to collect your thoughts, to think on life, to assess your emotions and mood.

A Natural Connection

Nature is necessary for a healthy mind, to see greenery is a proven mental health benefit. To have a garden or something similar within your territory of rule is a recommendation not a prescription.
A space for connecting with the natural world is something many are lacking. You lose the connection to your food and where it came from, to the very place you inhabit, to senses, to animals and wildlife which add a vibrant and essential dimension to our environment, providing a very real representation of a life outside of your own. It is both humbling and empowering.

Connecting with nature isn’t some flowery hippie-dippy notion. It’s a very real element of human existence, it’s about as real as it gets.
It’s looking beyond the self to see that we’re not as special as we (sometimes/often) think we are.
Recently, I awoke in the morning and pulled the blind up then lay back in bed. A starling alighted on the guttering, looking in at me, the sun illuminating its feathers. I was able to appreciate the beauty of that moment by appreciating it as it happened.
A quote from Bruce Lee in Enter the Dragon illustrates this way to ‘think’, of appreciating the simple, so that you may fully appreciate the complex. He is admonishing a pupil for thinking instead of feeling:

“Don’t think, feeeeel.
It is like a finger pointing away to the moon. Don’t concentrate on the finger, or you will miss all that heavenly glory.”

The nature at your castle can represent and contain whatever you wish. If you have no want for any greenery then perhaps that indicates a need to connect with nature that you’re unaware of. People who live in cities with little experience of animals often have a disconnected perspective through no fault of their own. Not in a woo woo tree-hugging way, but in an understanding of the whole beyond the individual parts of life. City living in particular can exacerbate the disconnect between living and life.

Castle life coaching is about helping you to pull down the curtain that others installed, to reveal the illusions that people have used to try and limit you whether intentional or not. Illusions often then become internalised and part of who we think of ourselves as. Accepting the labels of others is a dangerous act against the self.
The inner work area of life coaching is about instilling your confidence, boosting your self esteem and powering up your self acceptance. The happiness of your future depends on it.
Once you have those three facets firing freely, you’ll be able to spit in the face of the past, it’s only function will be to serve as a bank of lessons.

The Castle Coaching Mindset: Castle as a Metaphor PART 8

Personal Boundaries and Self Worth

Reading Part 1 , Part 2 , Part 3 , Part 4, Part 5, Part 6 and Part 7 is useful to understand the overall idea

An utterly crucial aspect of your mindset and life satisfaction is your regulation of personal boundaries. I’ve covered this already, but it is such a crucial area I think it justifies further exploration.
To be too vigilant is to restrict living, to be porous is to invite chaos. A balance is needed.

Now – a castle with an open door is great. When you want to welcome people into your life. Otherwise, it is a gaping hole in your self regulation, allowing people to enter at will and do as they please – and they will when they’re allowed to. Even people you think wouldn’t, will test you for weakness and use you if they can. And it is your role as crown wearer, of castle ruler, not to allow that to happen.

But being social creatures who can be adversely affected by lack of human contact, from a physiological and mental health standpoint, being able to socialise is a key part of the human experience. So, please have a door on your castle. And be mindful of who you let in, while having no qualms about who you kick out.

With age, we become acclimatised to various personality types. It is our judgement and intuition that dictate those people we allow to be in our lives when we have strong boundaries. Having strong boundaries means you will not tolerate unreasonable behaviour from the gamut of possibilities; ranging from jealous people to disrespect, to more overt actions that are mini declarations of war on your castle.
You have and will encounter many types of people in life, but how you deal with them is entirely on you to decide and learn. Operating from a strong base, with values, principles and virtues, with self respect, you enable your self to regulate how people treat you and how you react.

How are your boundaries?

Being unable to say no is the stereotypical example of a weak boundary, of feeble castle walls, of an inability to self regulate.
Or feeling that you have to answer every call and text immediately.
If people can waltz into your castle unchallenged, there are no guards in place. It’s like welcoming a burglar into your home, knowing they intend to rob you (and can feed into self sabotaging behaviour).

The castle doesn’t need to be a cold dreary place, or impenetrable either, or overly protective, the point isn’t to create an Alcatraz, because overzealous security systems leads to wasted resources and problems – and no one can truly get in in a healthy way. And policing with unreasonable attention and focus leads to a totalitarian kingdom that doesn’t like its self let alone anyone else.

A metaphorical Alcatraz, a monastery carved into a Himalayan mountainside – those may be ideal when we need space four ourselves, but is not a full time policy that will reap benefits unless the hermit life is what you think you would like (which I did once upon a time, until I realised the joy of socialising and exchanging ideas and experiences are critical to enjoyment of life).

Strong boundaries dictate that you will act in your own interests and will not be unreasonably pushed or harassed in any situation once you reach that stage.

People like to influence and some like to play with people’s minds. If there was to be a forensic examination of your mind, your castle, make sure your fingerprints make up most of the prints found.

Castle Coaching life coaching and personal development works on strengthening boundaries for all clients, starting with an assessment of the walls to see where they’re at. This pays dividends in terms of self confidence, reducing anxiety and boosting self esteem. Ultimately, self acceptance can not be reached unless boundaries are in place, in the right place.

Free 30 minute life coaching consultation

The Castle Coaching Mindset: Castle as a Metaphor PART 7

Past Masters

Reading Part 1 , Part 2 , Part 3 , Part 4, Part 5 and Part 6 is useful to understand the overall idea

For a Scottish person, the idea of looking inwards, of self reliance and mastery has a strong Oriental association, and given that the Tao Te Ching by the legendary Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu is 2000+ years old there’s good reason for it.
Asian philosophy and thinking seems to have been far ahead of future European countries in terms of relating psychology into recorded formats. There are few if any equivalents of compiled wisdom in the UK that I’m aware of until much more recent history. Druids for example, would only pass on their wisdom verbally, so it was difficult for information to be passed on over many generations.

While the various bible’s, common texts at certain points in history, certainly contained some advisory tales and directives, much of it was pilfered versions of Greek myths and other religious texts with little if any direct application of something akin to positive psychology, the general thematic being control rather than empowering the individual.

Of course, we cannot forget the Ancient Greeks and Romans who certainly added volumes of incalculably valuable thoughts, ideas, and inventions, laying the groundwork for future generations from Aristotle to Epictetus, from Aurelius to Seneca.
But there was a dark era for hundreds of years prior to the Enlightenment that provided meagre inspiration for any one to improve their mindset through written texts or recorded knowledge of any kind. Even Guttenberg’s printing press invented circa 1440 didn’t do much to change that in the following centuries.

Beyond Descartes, Kant and Voltaire, Hume, it wasn’t until Nietzsche, Freud and Jung really spearheaded the very foundation of psychology in terms of externalising the internal, in trying to find a way to tame our thoughts and make sense of them without being labelled a heretic, witch, traitor or suffering some awful outcome.

It is a truly monstrous tragedy that ways of thinking from other civilisations have been wilfully ignored, suppressed, forgotten, or simply not been passed on. But it is great that forgotten concepts and ways of thought are now emerging once more in the mainstream, from stoicism to mediation.

Manage Your Castle

The idea of self mastery relating to you:
Within your castle, you may feel that you need to be rescued, either from attacks by others or because you feel incapable of operating independently.

Alongside independence, but not incompatible: forging alliances is an essential part of forming a well run castle, and never be too proud, or too arrogant to ask for help when it is needed. We also need support from time to time until we reach a point where we can live in certainty that no matter what we will survive.
That is reached when we are on some level self-actualised, heading towards the peak of Maslow’s much referenced hierarchy of needs.

A castle is not a place to cut off social elements. Rather, from your strengthening base, you can form stronger alliances and form better friendships with people, and learn which people to maintain links with and which to cut off. Kingdoms thrive on good links and sharing resources.

If the idea of running your own sovereign state seems daunting, you’re not alone. It’s a matter of maturing towards that state of confidence and competence, and every one develops at a different pace. However, any trepidation you feel at being totally responsible for your actions gives an indication of where you are in terms of self perception, of how capable you feel at this moment in time.

The most important concept here is that nobody is going to save you – really. I hope this really hits home. And hard.

Sadly the idea of a saviour is an oft repeated wish fulfilment bounced from one story, movie or cartoon to another from religious texts to fiction. You are not going to be rescued from your self. That is your job. People can assist you on your path but your mind is yours to control and give direction to.

It is impossible to have any semblance of self mastery, of feeling ready to take on challenges if you are in any way caught up in the notion of being rescued because consciously or subconsciously you are waiting for a saviour that is not going to arrive. You’ll be waiting until your last breath.
Yes, that can be a scary concept to think on until you realise that that is the challenge, a beautiful part of your life story is to be independent and capable of surviving by your own means.

I think the most easy exemplar to illustrate the rescue fantasy, is that of the person who’s walking down the street and the next thing they know, someone approaches and says they’d be perfect for a movie…and they go on to fame and glory. It has happened. But it’s fluffy bullshit.

Regardless of your gender, don’t be the Disney version of Rapunzel, sitting all sorrowful in your castle tower wishing to be saved. Family, friends, strangers – none of them are going to do it, and they shouldn’t have to, and beyond some naïve fantasies of youth you shouldn’t want to be. It is on you to take charge of your life.
Own it. Relish it. Take action.

It may seem paradoxical after what I mention above, but life coaching is about helping you to discover your superpowers and inner strength, and seeking guidance is not weak despite some threads in society that suggest otherwise.
Many people – there’s probably some you can think of right now – go through life too egotistical to seek guidance and they are severely flawed individuals who could have tried to improve themselves but didn’t (and it’s never too late).
I sure as hell wish I had more guidance through many steps of my life. I would be further ahead in many areas of my life now if I had.

At certain points I’ve been too proud to ask for help. And regretted it. At some stages I’ve given up on people and tried to do it all myself. And regretted it. Part of me had been so conditioned not to seek help from those with more knowledge and perspective, that I didn’t even think help was a possibility. Think of it in this way; every high performing athlete has multiple coaches, and it is never framed as a weakness, only a prerequisite.

Life coaching is about revealing your ability of self mastery. If you want high performance try personal development coaching. It certainly doesn’t have to be me, it does need to be one that is best suited to your personal requirements.

Free 30 minute life coaching consultation

The Castle Coaching Mindset: Castle as a Metaphor PART 6

Diet Like a King/Queen

Food for Thought

Reading Part 1 , Part 2 , Part 3 , Part 4, and Part 5 is useful to understand the overall idea

Like water, food is necessary for survival. Within your sovereignty, within your castle, you need to maintain a steady supply of energy so you can give your self the best chance to rule optimally.

Be good to your self. How you feed your self and provide nutrition speaks of your self evaluation. Those who reign in their castle as the devouring, lazy despot chomping through chicken legs and grapes have lost respect for themselves in some way. Banquet’s are rare celebrations, not routine.
Those who are kind to themselves and provide balanced nutritious foods as a regular part of their existence show a sound respect of the self, provided food is readily sourced.

And there are those who treat food as an enemy, to be consumed only through necessity, the kitchen mentally locked and only approached with anxiety, eating an onerous chore with little joy and thoughts of disgust at the more extreme end.

I previously mentioned that the inner world is the most important and dictates the outer. And although food is external initially, it becomes an inner element. Any one prepared to make consistent bad choices in this area can exhibit signs of happiness and stability, but are lacking discipline and have been too used to instant gratification. Body and mind is a simple saying but says a lot with little: they are part of the same structure and neither should be neglected.
Poor discipline and an inability thus far to delay gratification, will create an exterior that people may not be proud of and through cognitive dissonance and ill formed ideals may con themselves into thinking that all is OK.

Be wary of over-reliance* on outside help for your food supplies which may hinder your development, while leaving you in a state of dependence. And if you’re not having much if any input on the food supply, then it’s time to assess what you eat. Maybe you’re well balanced, but if not there may be oversupply, or simply supply of the wrong types of foods. Your diet is a critical element of feeling good.

The inner dictates the inner world, and life satisfaction, but also establishes the exterior. Beyond genetics, we have the power to influence our outer appearance, how our castle looks. And there is no point in blaming any one else if you’re not satisfied.

Well, Well, Well: Drink

Water is essential to life. Much more than three days without it and you can hear death approaching.
But as with anything, if you’re used to a ready supply it doesn’t even occur to you not to have it.

A traditional Scottish castle would have its own water supply in the form of a well, perhaps in the courtyard. In the meta-castle the well is not needed for survival of course, but it is a useful concept in terms of your current mindset.

Be careful to spot when the water is poisoned with toxic elements of your life. The longer you keep drinking it, the sicker you get. There may be few obvious external manifestations but look closer and be patient if necessary.

Without your own clean supply of water, of energising ideas and thoughts, how can you repel attacks? How can you go on raids to conquer new challenges? You need inner strength to do those, a pool to draw from. Outer strength is another conversation, but inner strength of mind and character is the root of all achievements. Nobody built a strong body with a weak mind.

When you find the water tastes stale, reassess your state. Something, somewhere is out of kilter and wants your attention, because it needs to be resolved. Don’t push troubles away. Or ignore them. Don’t drop the bucket in without the rope, because eventually you’re going to have to go down into the damp, dark, depths and get it, when you could have addressed an issue directly instead and saved your self the effort and sacrifice.

In life, be honest, but don’t be punishing. Life coaching is proactive and aims to help you in your quests, based on who you are and where you want to go. Drink well, eat heartily, be grateful, and you give your self a foundational element on your journey towards a tougher you.

*Working with and being social with others is a key element to being human. With personal development it can seem that to be totally self involved is the way, to be independent totally, to be fully self sufficient. While those are admirable aims, they are to deny being part of civilisation and any obsession with doing things on our own, without help, without influence of others is not what Castle Coaching is about.
Drawing from your own resources is great, to continue to do so over long periods of time is an energy suck.
Don’t forget the balance in the equation: without others our existence becomes relatively meaningless and even for the most hermit-like person, lack of human contact is a slow death.

The Castle Coaching Mindset: Castle as a Metaphor PART 5

Kingdom

Reading Part 1 , Part 2 , Part 3 , and Part 4 is useful to understand the overall idea

Your mind is like an operational castle. War is certain, peace is not.

People have raided it and will try to raid it again and again and again.* That—is life. They will try to make alterations to the design. Maybe with trebuchets, battering rams or arrows. Or they may opt for subtle Machiavellian tactics that leave the walls intact, but destroy from within. Psychological warfare is rarely declared, it just happens. And as subtly as that may be, the effects can be devastating, reducing the mind to rubble, if permitted to proceed unchecked over an extended period of time, such as in the case of emotional abuse.

In the worst scenarios, you can be trying to defend your castle on multiple fronts. And even darker still, are the sustained attacks that are so devastatingly normalised that a person is no longer consciously aware of them such as in Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (CPTSD).

You want a peaceful, sovereign, balanced mind. Don’t you?!
Actually, not necessarily. As if the above was not enough to contend with, self sabotage is very common and can be a manifestation of various psychological mechanisms which add yet more layers of complexity. Self hatred and the resultant low self esteem can be triggered in us like lit fuses which we must find and stop before serious damage occurs or re-occurs.

Assess Your Kingdom

Reflect on your kingdom this way: There are people who have lived beyond 100 who did not find inner peace through self acceptance, which are utterly essential components of a strong castle. And there are those unusuals who manage to find them at a relatively young age.
Ultimately, the aim is to be free from neuroticism, from self defeating thoughts, from ill judgement, from control by others, from anxieties, from fears, from attacks on your self by your self.

Beyond the shackles of youth, how your castle develops and has developed, is your responsibility. Totally. Entirely. Absolutely. Yours.

Accountability is a huge part of a mature outlook. Account ability – the ability to be accountable. Who to? You.
Your life decisions are made by you, and you have to own them, no matter the outcome. To do otherwise veers into the murky forests of blaming others, and deeper still lies the winding river of denial.
Only bad consequences arrive when we do not take responsibility.

Having compassion and accepting our self as it is, are the tools to keep those elements at bay. Running your kingdom effectively with a progressive mindset requires attention, your attention and nobody else’s, a key part of personal development.
Don’t be the doctor whose own health is bad; the builder whose own house is in disarray; or the teacher who doesn’t learn. Accept the responsibility.

* If this seems negative, it is not the intention. It is reality. The world is not a soft play area where everyone is nicey nice, carefree in a weak minded ‘why can’t we just all get along?’ way. If anything a more accurate description is; life has the pretence of a soft play area where the others have knives behind their backs.
Not enough is mentioned about the undercurrent of competition, of the savage in us all, of the rawness of existence, the fact we
are animals. Media and other elements have anaesthetised many into thinking that the world is far less brutal than it really is, a kind of Huxley-an visual soma.
Every day is something to be grateful for. Naivety to your own mind and those of others will hinder your progress. Castle Coaching is about empowering you to reach new heights and charting a better life quality by adding tools to your toolbox.

The Castle Coaching Mindset: Castle as a Metaphor PART 4

Architect of Your Success

Reading Part 1 , Part 2 and Part 3 is useful to understand the overall idea

Continuing the castle as mind metaphor and boundaries, whatever vision you have of your meta-castle, and I fully encourage you to envision it, I will keep using some terms that relate to a typical Scottish castle for illustrative purposes.

Firstly, you need to have a solid foundation to build strength. You also have zero choice in the foundation. Because being alive is that foundation – your body and everything in it.
What gets added to that foundation is not your choice to begin with. Other people are plotting the general direction, where the stones for the walls go, the quality of the materials, their opinions cementing them in place and so on.
There will also be secret tunnels and pathways yet to reach the conscious, therefore still unknown, for good or bad, such as experiences that you are not yet capable of utilising or understanding because they lacked context when you had them.*

Your experiences are influencing the build too, every day is. Without really knowing it, as we grow up and learn, there’s a ghost architect busy working on the castle, adding to the construction day by day. The library of knowledge expanded rapidly at first given the exposure to novel stimuli when younger.
The mind is a place where we can figure out what relation things have with each other, if any. Categorisation forms with finer and finer search results.
Our neurons actually reach a finite number typically around our early 20s, and the architects role is to then adjust the file storage and design in order to help us take in new knowledge.

Dungeon?!

Emotional experiences are leaving their mark too.
I will note here, there’s an unwritten castle law: Every one gets a dungeon. There’s dark matter that we are not ready or not capable of dealing with in there. Cleverly, the mind stashes some memories in there, like a black box for later recovery. It’s a necessary self protective mechanism so we can continue to live with as little disturbance as possible to our relative equilibrium but you will need to face your demons at some stage if you want to live as fully as possible, free from neuroses, anxieties, false beliefs, self hate and any other thought process that does not serve you well.

I don’t want to be prescriptive of your castle construction but low castles are not ideal, and in fact how you pictured your castle initially can reveal quite a lot about your psychology and perception of self. It’s worth investigating, and I’ll go into more depth on this very topic at a later stage.
As an example, a castle that reaches into the sky and provides a view of our surroundings is suggestive of a curious mind, while one that towers into the sky above the clouds can reveal elements of grandiosity and egotism.

Regardless of your castle architecture, with perspective and outlook we gain powerful insights. More stories are added in time. Our views shift and we become capable of reaching new heights and observations.
Only with maturity can we have the expertise to build higher, or more complex and technical structures.

Life coaching is really about having a word with the architect (you) to understand the castles history, how it operates, what functionality it has, and what problems there are. From there a mission can be formulated to improve the way your mind works, to find personalised ways of making things effective and productive for you and your kingdom/queendom.

*If the mention of the subconscious sounds like woo woo piffle and nonsense, I strongly advise you to at least read a little into some basics on that theme. Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung paved the way and many more have expanded on it. There are detractors that dismiss the subconscious without further consideration. There’s irrefutable evidence that our brains operate on the conscious and subconscious levels. It’s not something to be feared, but understood.

The Castle Coaching Mindset: Castle as a Metaphor PART 3

Self Serve

Reading Part 1 and Part 2 is useful to understand the overall idea

Throughout history, stories both fictional and real, are replete with the concept of mastery. How do we achieve it?

A recurrent theme is of people given powers that they are not capable of handling. Or of learning a secret they should not be privy to, because they do not have the psychological capabilities to utilise it justly.* Those stories are not necessarily restricted to children or adolescents either.

The child you once were, went on to become king or queen of your realm but when younger you’re in the position above exactly; one of naivety in how to handle your own mind, in wonder of your powers and powerlessness, investigating the world to establish the possibilities.

Children are incapable through lack of experience to rule, while at the same time they are manipulated by those with unfairly advantageous life experience by comparison: often for self interested reasons, and just to confuse thing, not always consciously.

Once a semblance of independence was established you became ready to serve the republic of you. A belated congratulations!
But who you serve… well – that’s not necessarily a choice you could make initially. Because you have to disentangle your self from the self of others and be selfish without any of the negative connotations of that word.
RD Laing and Jung called this process individuation, when you begin to wrestle against the net of ideas and concepts that others and society have created in order to discover your true self.

All of your theories, ideas, experiences and what you know of the universe have led you to that point. Self actualisation may occur, but is often never reached which is where life coaching and therapy can play key roles.

Now, assume that you serve your self and are master of your castle.
So life should be easy. Right? It’s what we strive for as youngsters. But how you treat your self is paramount to how the castle runs. And how you have been treated will also have a (not always) rational, but alarming influence.

When serving your own interests in a healthy way, you have self compassion and respect your self as you are, as well as mirroring those attributes in others that deserve it.

When you are not serving your self in a healthy way, and many aren’t, you leave your castle open to manipulation. And you may be unaware of manipulations that are ingoing as they can be insidious, relics of our formative years when we were programmed (yes programmed) by our care givers and people of influence.
It’s like to build your castle on a haunted ground (strictly illustrative), on a network of tunnels that you didn’t even know existed which are the subconscious part of our self: which can launch attacks seemingly without leaving a trace, like treasonous secret agents.

Critical Assessment

One of the first tasks – even if you think you’ve been a rolling independent empire for some time – is to look deeper. Unfurl a cartoonishly large unwieldy blueprint of your life on your grand desk and have a look.

Are you really in charge of your own mind and future? If being honest, you might find you were not really in charge, or were/are not in charge as much as you assumed. Actually, you may even have been tricked into thinking you were independent regardless of your current age.
At this stage a critical reassessment is needed and if you’re brave enough to do it, it may produce a destabilising effect, your castle experiencing some earthquakes and tremors.

While life coaching does not typically delve into elements requiring the attention of a therapist, there is inevitable crossover at times.
In order to strengthen boundaries some examination of the self is needed in order to grow and to establish what the weak boundaries are. Only then can you know how to fortify them.
When we feel secure in our self, and cultivate a mindset of liking our self, then we can more easily identify and kick out unwelcome visitors, ideas, beliefs, and serve our self with respect.
Your castle can become a place of peaceful tranquillity. Acceptance becomes security, while self rejection destabilises and creates a domain of chaos with unfavourable ramifications not just for ourselves but for others too.

How you get rid of your unwelcome guests is up to you. Maybe they can walk freely out the main entrance with a good bye, or perhaps an ‘accidental’ fall-from-the-castle policy is more fitting…

While self serve in a super market is not ideal, in your territory, your castle, it is the only way to achieve lasting fulfilment and no bags are needed.
Many are raised with the idea that thinking of our self is selfish, or wrong, something to be guilty for. It’s actually the opposite. People with strong boundaries, serving their self are more content and do not seek to destroy others. Those with weak boundaries have inner turmoil that damages them internally and exhibits in negative behaviours and actions towards others.
Don’t be overly attentive, but do run passport checks on people and ideas and see if they are helpful to your kingdom and what you wish to build now and into the future.

A final note: it is easy to confuse serving the self with a notion of a despotic toddler hell bent on doing as they please due to the bad rap that the word selfish has. Healthily acting in your best interests is not about hedonism or acting with impunity.

*A common test is that of several siblings who must go on a quest to prove they are worthy of becoming a king/queen, or of marriage, or a unique gift. Typically, the fairest and most virtuous succeeds where others have failed in a common tale of morality. I suggest you read or reread some children’s stories particularly ones that have not been modified to pacify, nor cleansed versions of old classics. Don’t dismiss stories for children easily, they can teach us a lot in adulthood too and even remind us of simple concepts we’d forgotten.

The Castle Coaching Mindset: Castle as a Metaphor PART 2

No Game of Thrones

Reading Part 1 is useful to understand the overall idea

A castle needs some one to run it.
Let’s continue with the concept of ruling your mind, your castle.

Who owns your mind? You do. Your body is also yours. You are on the throne in your castle, or at least should be.
Nobody else should be anywhere near your throne. Beyond basic survival, one of the aims of life should be to prevent any one from stealing your throne, let alone dominate or severely impede rule*. Your throne is your unique personality and entity housed in that flesh suit you wear.

However – as we will get into later – remember this: you can be on your throne, yet be a puppet to the will of other people. A very dangerous position to be in which can only have bad consequences, to be avoided as much as possible.

I don’t say if possible, because as we grow up we are ruled by others. We have to learn to adopt to our environment. No one has independence from the beginning. We earn it through our actions, by proving we can survive without direct support. It is impossible not to be influenced for good, for bad or indifferent by our primary caregiver(s) and extended social circle. We are also undeniably influenced by meta-influences such as media.

Ruling your throne is not about (unhealthy) ego, grandeur, royalty, or vanity. It is about your stability, your integrity, what influences you, what is unable to do so, what you stand for (and sit for), what you tolerate and what you do not. Your very core should look to evolve into one that is unwavering, so no matter what, the thoughts (real or hypothesised) and actions of negative influences become irrelevant in terms of deciding your path in life and decisions made.

Own your throne. Rule your mind. Because if you don’t, someone will.

Castle life coaching addresses weaknesses in your boundaries, as well as assessing the strengths. Essentially, strengthening your boundaries is a structural assessment of your current mindset to see if your castle passes the inspection: which will then form guidance strategies on how to go about reducing negative influences and improve your quality of living.

*I understand some of these ideas may seem self centred – they are. But the life coaching concepts and references are not about becoming a dictatorial regime that manifests as an outward behaviour in which every one must obey you and the world is your toy. At the foundation is this concept: if you are secure in your castle, you won’t give a shit about stuff that doesn’t matter and you’ll be happier, and happiness is contagious.

The Castle Coaching Mindset: Castle as a Metaphor PART 1

Castle Coaching: The mind as a castle

The idea you have of a castle will be influenced by your culture. Perhaps you picture a stereotypical one to the United Kingdom*, Germany, or Japan. Or an equivalent like an Incan pyramid.

Irrespective of your mental image, societies throughout history have had to evolve strategies to attack, and also needed a place of safety to defend from. The castle represents that. The extended metaphor I’m going to discuss is of your mind as the castle – your castle.
To navigate life you need to have a mind that is capable of defence, of repelling attacks – whether they are justified or not is dependent on many things. You also need the balance of being able to attack, or at the least to hold fast without giving in to the will of another person or persons.

One key principle is if you have a weak mind you will not live as fully as you could have. I’m starting with that assumption, because although we all have individual strengths of some kind, every one has some weakness in their mindset, even if it is just relative to their own high standard.

A weak mind can manifest in countless ways. For a start, you should know if your mind is weak and be honest with your self. Even if you have great toughness of mind in multiple areas, any overriding weakness will dictate your course still. So there is always work to be done.

A respectable castle is not built in days but in a lifetime. A mind and all it contains is built continually. Day by day there are new additions. Like the Barcelona basillica, some 130 years after initial construction began, work is ongoing. Of course we do not live that long (yet?!) but you understand the idea.

While there are always new additions and alterations to be made, there are also elements to forget. There are dropped ideas that are no longer useful and we adopt new ways of thinking as we go, just as Lao Tzu wrote several thousands of years ago, an idea extended by Bruce Lee in that we should be our own experimental researcher, examining life and continuing only with the parts that serve us well.

Our brains are capable of brilliance.
They are also capable of delivering our doom. Little reference is made to our thinking power as we grow up. But the brain is not unlike a wild animal that we need to learn how to break in for optimal results. The human brain has breath taking potential, and as we mature we have to learn to calibrate our knowledge and experiences in line with the reality as we know it, which is defined in the concrete world by immutable laws of physics: and those have to co-exist with our more fluid imagination and creativity and of course our emotions.

Given the computing power within our bodies it’s no wonder we are one of the slowest animals to reach maturity.
There’s so much to learn within the complexities of our society the mind is like an unpredictable kicking wild horse that we can:
a) simply tolerate and learn to live with
or
b) we manage to learn how it works, calm it, feed it logical inputs, meta-sugar lumps, and we can make it work for us to the best of our potential.

There is at least one 30 day money-back guaranteed major obstacle to allowing a maximal operating threshold to be reached: our ill defined egos. To make this all clearer without tangential roadblocks; consider the ego that is not grounded in reality or reason; which prevents attacks on you, the owner, from being made, as in; criticism or realities you do not want to hear about that are treated as pathogenic, to be ‘cured’ with a vaccine of denial. More on this later.

Through the process of life coaching sessions the aim is to guide clients to create a better, tougher castle launching them into confidence and self acceptance, foundational elements of personal success.

The first series of posts will be extending the idea of the castle as mind and going deeper into the metaphor with practical illustrations. There will be no fluffy, empty, softly-softly useless psychology, or marketing of self help cure-all-fixes, or fauxspirational nonsense.

*I’m aware that being British, a castle has historic links and association to royalty. References that are made that share similarities to royalty are merely to help enhance the metaphor, the process of fortifying the mind. The ideology of royalty in terms of rule has historically rarely been a good one given that it is not a meritocracy in any way, but a blood line inheritance.