Khalid Abdullah, Emotional Intelligence Life Coach, will be running a Storytelling Corner at GIANT. Here is his story…

I first really became interested in emotional health and wellbeing on a subconscious level many years ago whilst working as a professional actor. My job was to analyse character, motivation and interpret feeling from the written word. I remember performing some short Chekhov plays where all the characters were hypochondriacs, always becoming ill because of their overflow and mismanagement of emotions. Can the way you feel affect your health? You bet it does, would have been my answer if you had asked me back then. What I didn’t know then was how to make myself feel better on a consistent basis… every day.

Fast forward a few decades and my interest in this subject has deepened considerably as my perspective is now that of a relationship life coach, someone whose job it is to guide people away from suffering toward happiness. Considerable healing in between times brought the innate life coach in me into being.

In this role it’s all about relationship. Your relationship with your mind, your relationship with your body, with others, with the environment. These are the key relationships and of course in the context of GIANT your relationship with your health and wellbeing.

In my kind of life coaching this begins with emotional wellbeing since on the spectrum of illness to wellness dis-ease begins in the mind and emotional body prior to manifesting in the physical body. Of course many will disagree but that is the foundation of my philosophy and methodology as a coach.

We can go deeper and delve into the spiritual body however I prefer to translate many of the messages from that realm to meet the purpose of the one to many coaching model I have adopted for sharing learning on the emotional body. This involves sharing learning on emotional intelligence (EI).

This focus on feelings and enabling people to feel more …to feel more alive, comes from my acting days. Feeling more alive is not just about the experience of your six senses but the feeling of connection with and empathy for other living beings. I had to develop a taste for this empathy to be true to the characters I played as an actor across the spectrum from comedy to tragedy and every emotion in between.

Historically there has been and is a dearth of this feeling among human society, hence man’s inhumanity to man. I certainly noticed this in myself as a human being particularly when undergoing healing. I was able to reconnect to my core feelings by letting go of much of the fear that I had grown up with.

This process is about gaining freedom of expression, finding your inner voice and ensuring that it’s heard in the appropriate way in a timely manner. It’s not about pouring your emotions over others which means if you are British you can keep your stiff upper lip! Finding this way enhances ones emotional health and wellbeing leading to improved mental and physical health.

Many people still have difficulty in realising that just as a flesh wound will heal so will emotions and feelings, not just with time, but with method. As it happens the acting school where I trained, East 15, took their method from the Actors Studio in New York which produced such prodigious talent as the likes of Brando, Newman and Eastwood. So what about my ‘method’ of healing? It’s integrated seamlessly into my curriculum for EI for what is an educational agenda.

As the global awareness of our inter-connection with our environment grows through the emergence of climate change issues, so must our ability to feel empathy for each other and for all the other living beings on the planet over which we have a duty of care. This argument is…. having a healthy attitude to the environment enhances one’s personal health.

So as an ex-actor and creative artist, key to my method for teaching EI is storytelling. It had to play a part….please excuse the pun.

At GIANT I’ll be, looking for passionate people who are willing to share their experiences on the following topics;

  1. Start-ups where did you get your ideas from? Can you recall the moment and story? How have you coped with rejection, trial and error to make your ideas happen despite endless hurdles
  2. Corporates how can you the individual break the mold in big companies to get heard, get things done amidst corporate bureaucracy?
  3. Investors the human element – you invest in people ultimately not business …any particular juicy episodes to share…alternatively painful lessons learnt?
  4. How we all cope with our life journey through sickness and health – what motivates us to keep healthy (or not!!)?

What I do is guide you into making your personal experience into a short story. What victories and successes have you had over defeat? Maybe this can inspire others on the same path? Individual experiences invited. Anonymity ensured (audio recording) if required.

Here is your opportunity. Tell your story.