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Using Mobile Phone Technology for Personal Reflection

During lockdown, many of us have ended up with more time to reflect on ourselves, our lives and what’s important to us. For me, with the prospect of having no contact with family and loved ones far away, no work for potentially a long time, and drastically reduced physical time with friends, I turned to making podcasts, initially just for myself, selecting tunes from my old record collection. Each podcast included a range of tunes with anecdotes reflecting on and describing their importance to me, recorded onto an MP3 file.

The experience was quite emotional and reflective, bringing memories to the surface of who I am and who I used to be – both in the sense of my teenage and early adult years, and also in the sense of ‘Lockdown Carol’. Listening back to the podcasts brought about a deeper learning around my mood at the time of creating them. The very act of being able to go back to the podcast, in my own time, to have the choice of listening repeatedly to certain parts, or to skip over those parts that felt too difficult to hear, and to fast forward to the parts that felt comfortable and reassuring, all helped to create a snapshot about how I felt at a certain point in time. By taking a further step of making the podcast public, I also found a way to connect with others: a basic human need and one that is particularly crucial for me in my professional and personal worlds.

And so these podcasts inadvertently became powerful ways of creative experimentation to raise my own awareness of both ‘Lockdown Carol’ and ‘Carol’ and to reflect on what is going on for me right now. I found the process engrossing, enlightening and emotional leading me to recognise the potential in this medium for raising self-awareness for the coach’s self-development, or with a coachee in a coaching context or for online training, which could be created using a mobile phone voice recording and CD player or other suitable option for playing music. Alternatively, a video clip could be used instead of the voice recording.

Much has been written about the importance of reflection in coaching for self-awareness for both coach and coachee, and for developing a greater understanding of practice, “… making the familiar strange and ultimately the strange familiar” (Gillie Bolton: Reflective Practice 2010). By knowing what’s important to us and who we are, we are more open to accepting who we are, and conversely, more open to choices and changes in ways of being, key cornerstones of a Gestalt approach that has helped ‘Lockdown Carol’ find her way to consider who ‘Carol After Lockdown’ might be. Carol After Lockdown is an unknown, but adding this layer to the ‘podcast’, or as an exercise in its own right can easily be achieved by posing the questions such as:

  • How are you feeling right now?

  • How do you want to feel when Lockdown has ended and the virus is no longer a threat?

Of course, you may have a different focus for the questions and clearly there are many other questions that can be raised to deepen learning and create actions.

To illustrate how this might work, I have included a short ‘podcast’ of two music clips with commentary from me, which you can listen to here.

Carol Bushell

Song Credits:

Track 1: Los Amigos Invisibles and Dimitri from Paris - Glad to Know You (Ray Mang's Flying Dub)

Track 2: Paperstreet Soul on Sprechen Music - True (Hard Ton Remix)

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