RUTH EIRA JONES - KAIFLOW COACH, REALITY BENDER, FUTURIST
There are a few people who step so far from convention that their very presence makes you question all that you understand about the world. Ruth Eira Jones is one of them.
She is a minimalist who could pack all her worldly possessions into three suitcases. She is a coach who has no interest in "improving" you. Her presence feels raw and elemental, but her practice is grounded in neuroscience and decades of experience.
Ruth's life has been turned upside down on more than one occasion, and she continues to turn it inside out. And that power to rewrite one's personal script is precisely what Ruth's work is intent on sharing. Having trained everyone from Olympic athletes through to senior financial directors, Ruth is now primarily focussed on making her work available through group coaching to change-makers, NGOs, charities and social entrepreneurs who are committed to social wealth creation.
How would you describe what you do?
"KaiFlow Coaching is reality bending to change the world! I coach a very specific programme and philosophy; it's never about "coaching for success" or achieving the next promotion or material possession. It's about connecting people to their authentic self, whatever that means for them, and how to have the biggest impact through their life.
"The principle at the heart of KaiFlow is that you are able to separate the narrative and meaning of your life from actual reality. If you change your story, you change the world.
"We embrace "loser" culture: lose your beliefs, lose unneeded possessions, lose a predictable future (sounds like Fight Club!). These things get replaced with purpose and authenticity within KaiFlow. We clear space so that anything is possible; people move into flow and create unimaginable projects. Although the practice will work for anyone, I now only work with Mavericks, Outlaws and Change-Makers - by whom I mean people who are looking to interrupt societies standards and ideals and really create new thinking and new models of the world, new narratives and new futures."
What has led you down this path?
"My Mum died when I was three. I was physically abused and grew up rebelling through a personal narrative of ‘I must be bad’ for this to happen in my life. I was involved in petty crime as a teenager.
"My recovery and career involved turning to hard physical training and it was on this journey I discovered a secret training school with the Shaolin Monks and practised Kung Fu. In one training session, I experienced my brain patterns completely separating from my mind. I saw how my story and past could easily define the rest of my life unless I interrupted that narrative.
"My life became about exploring how to interrupt that predictable path. The practices I developed are so powerful because they had to be in order to work for me.
"And then, at a point when I had built up a very successful coaching practice, two people who were very close to me committed suicide within a few months of each other, and I suddenly saw with a really clear lens the absolute truth at the centre of what I had been teaching. I realised how the model of striving to meet external values was bankrupt. External validation is meaningless.
"It was then that I chose to commit my work to making the biggest difference in my lifetime."
What did that mean in practice?
"Up until that point I had been coaching people at a very high end, and I realised that many of the people who could benefit couldn't afford me. I began exploring ways of redesigning the business model so that we can offer high quality services at an accessible price to more people.
"And I gave away pretty much everything that I owned, let it all go and started to explore how far I could create a sense of value that was purely internally driven.
"For about a year I moved from place to place trying to find ways to offer value that wasn't financial. I became a coaching-travelling-surfing-gardener! And I noticed how the strength of the relationships I was building along the way reminded me of my childhood, when all that mattered was the connection. That brought me back to what home really meant.
"At the same time, It's definitely something that I'm still trying to balance. I like nice things! I don't want to wear cheap clothes! And I don't want to compromise my style simply because I have elected to follow a minimalist, sustainable path.
"I've also had to accept that the extremes of my lifestyle are quite confrontational to a lot of people. And I recognise that there is nothing wrong with other, more material models if they work for you, which depends on your value system."
What are the values that you most prize?
"Authenticity and originality."
What common misconception would you most like to correct?
"I am not a life coach!
"And KaiFlow is not like any other coaching company. We're not turning you into a better, more improved version of yourself."
What's the best piece of advice you've received in your professional life?
"Anything you already know is from the past. Give up everything you already know."
...And what advice do you most regularly give your clients?
"Ha! Anything you already know is from the past. Give up everything you already know. Then you can truly create yourself from the future..."
How does your morning start?
"By remembering if my girlfriend is here. If she's not, I turn to Thoughts to Flow and Sense Stream.
"Thoughts to Flow is an exercise where you jot down your stream of consciousness on some paper. It helps you to become an observer of your own mind, to get some objectivity, so you know what you're taking into the day. It's amazing what comes up.
"And Sense Stream is a practice that's like visualisation on steroids! We used it when we worked with elite athletes: it's like a mental rehearsal of the way that you're going to experience what you're working on. So you close your eyes and imagine every sensory aspect of whatever it is that you're going to do: how it will look, what people will say about it, the emotions you'll experience, maybe how it will taste or smell. This helps to ready your senses to take in that model of the world.
"Then it's an outdoor swim and sauna."
How could The Hot Breakfast community help you?
"I would like to find that out from you. You will all have a new view that I cannot see yet."
To find out more about Ruth's group sessions or to enquire about one-to-ones, please contact Ruth directly via firstname.lastname@example.org.