I believe that many of the significant events that happen in our lives are serendipitously guided into being. An exquisite combination of timing and mystery usually leaves us querying the what’s and why’s of these happenings. The fundamental point to remember is to stay open to everything. By virtue of remaining conscious of all of the encounters (good and bad) we move through during our days we allow there to be possibility and movement. This has proven to be of utmost importance to me over the past year during some tough circumstances. I have found myself in these situations, struggling against them and essentially draining every bit of energy from my body and mind. Ironically, the more you resist what is, the bigger and more unmanageable it grows in your mind. When you start to relinquish some of the control (by realizing that many events are entirely out of your control), you are then able to see things from different perspectives. It took me a LONG time to finally get this point…and I had some help.
I have had the opportunity to work with a life coach over the past year. Our pathways crossed in a very random manner (as important life altering relationships often do). The timing of our encounter was absolutely providential however. Before diving into this coaching relationship, my awareness of life coaching was limited to Dr. Phil. My belief was that this coaching was not unlike the typical counselling dyad wherein I would have the chance to hash over my dilemmas for prompt and professional analysis and resolution. This was appealing to me as I have always been a proponent of analyzing and fixing. Because I am not one to bottle up thoughts, I was energized by the notion that I would be able to clean up some of the outstanding “mental clutter” in my life. By the end of our first coaching session, I was thrown off to see that my expectations were quite off target.
In retrospect, it is so pleasing to have discovered that I have an abundance of preconceived ideas about things that have turned out to be quite inaccurate. It is pleasing because it brings hope that things can be different. Over the past year of telephone coaching I have developed a substantial relationship with someone who lives in another province and whom I have never met personally. I have divulged many musings to her that have come from the greatest depths of my soul. In trying to explain the role of a life coach I would use the analogy of a camera and lens. I am the one taking the pictures and absorbing all of my life’s events through my own eyes and my own perspective. My life coach has acted as the zoom and filter. Several of our dialogues necessitated redirection for me to “zoom out” from situations (to see the bigger picture), to zoom in closer (when the bigger picture is too overwhelming) or to filter out the extraneous. Instead of dissecting why things have happened, I have been empowered to view MY role within the situation. This is a huge shift in thinking for anyone familiar with “traditional” counselling frameworks. The locus of control is put back in your grasp.
The time spent on introspection and self-development over the past year has been life-changing. I dug up parts of myself (such as my love of writing) that I had buried under many years of junk and pitiful excuses. I no longer feel like the wimpy little kid cowarding among the action in gym class horrified at the thoughts that I might be called upon to…actually do something!! Instead I am the captain of my own team hollering at myself when things get off track. It’s incredible that a stubborn, Type A personality can be taught to change their thinking…but what a payoff!