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Join me for a virtual cup of tea, to share and discuss points of interest as you journey through life and discover the unique brilliant treasure called YOU.
I can't promise days without pain,
laughter without tears,
nor sun without rain.
What I can promise is strength for the day,
comfort for the tears,
and light for the day.
- author unknown
A person comes to coaching because something is not working in their life. They aren’t happy. Something needs to change. As a life coach, when I am presented with this, I wonder “What would bring them joy?” Finding joy sounds so simple. I wish it were. For some people, finding their joy is easy. They know what they want to do and they do it. They are on their path and never get off. How lucky. But for many, creating a happy life is more of a challenge.
Finding real joy is a treasure hunt. I’m not talking about the joy we get from grabbing a cappuccino or having a laugh over a good movie. I’m talking about the joy that comes from waking up each day and knowing what we need to do that makes us feel whole and happy. Does that sound like a tall order? It can be and we shouldn’t settle for anything less.
When seeking the happiness that is true for us alone, we are looking for the treasure that will make our heart sing, that will make our lives “feel right” to us.
In her book “Big Magic” Elizabeth Gilbert says:
“We are all walking repositories of buried treasure.
… the hunt to uncover those jewels – that is creative living.”
“We are all walking repositories of buried treasure.” I love that. It is the map for finding our personal gifts, skills, and interests. It’s about finding our personal joy. The treasures that will bring us joy are inside us. It’s like each of us have been given a gift, a treasure that is uniquely ours. As we find our expression through our uniqueness we feel whole, we feel joy, we live a creative life.
Elizabeth Gilbert illustrates this point with a true story about a man who made his made his living as a common worker and who wrote poetry. His poems were published. He was honored with fame and public acclaim. And he turned his back on all that. He found it boring. He went off to live a simple life in Europe and continued to write his poems. After awhile, he published another book with the same appreciative response from the public audience. After this success, he agreed to teach at the University of Tennessee.
His students described him as “not quite of this world.” He would teach them “why” to write instead of “how” to write. He encouraged them to write from delight and gladness. Once while conversing with a young, aspiring student who expressed her desire to become a writer, he counseled “Do you have the courage? Do you have the courage to bring forth this work? The treasures that are hidden inside you are hoping you will say yes.”
How about you? Do you have the guts, the strength, the fearlessness to turn your attention to uncovering your treasures, that which wants to be expressed from within you?
I hope so. When we commit to making our life right, happiness and many other good things follow. When we make our lives right, we make our little corner of the world right. Making our lives right is a gift to ourselves, our community, and to the world.
Say yes! to your treasures and your happiness.
Go within. Find your treasures. Make them a part of your life.
I went on a visit today. My path led to a nursing home, a modern construction, designed to be airy and breezy, pleasing to the eyes and senses. One might have thought I stepped into a motel chain. As I sat with my friend. her body and face spoke of the grim journey she’s been on.
She looked like a scare crow. She was skin and bones. Except for the incision which was pink and swollen. She still radiated the happy openness of a hippie flower child. But her face had aged with pain and disease.
She told me the story of her collapse on the side walk in the parking lot. In her semi-conscious state, she could hear and see (?) the tap tapping of her friend’s pink stiletto heels as her friend left her job at the nearby bank and rushed to her side. And then she felt the hands that picked up her head and placed it into the lap of a little pink skirt that went with the pick stiletto heels. The voice wearing pink told someone “Call 9-1-1.”
My friend had just vomited blood that was a bright, vibrant red. A voice in the ambulance asked her questions. She was weak and could barely talk. But the gruff voice said ”I can’t hear you. Louder. Louder.” He was fighting to keep her conscious. He was fighting to keep her alive.
Later, a surgeon removed one whole organ and pieces of four others, touting success at removing the cancer she never invited to live with her. The cancer that grew despite the chemo. The cancer the oncologist said was inoperable.
My friend, led by her disease, walked though hell. And my friend is fighting to take back her life. As we sat together, she talked about traveling to Hawaii, camping and walking in the forest along the river. I believe in Miracles. I find myself wondering and arguing with myself; do her present, hopeful thoughts feed her cells providing an instruction guide for how she wants them to evolve? But her cells became cancerous. She had never provided them with that instruction.
She is home now and on the long road of healing and returning to Life. Her painful journey, her brush with death reminds me that Life is way too short. And we should use our time to Love. Love each other. Love Life. Love our selves. We live on this beautiful planet and every day we live, death comes a little bit closer. Pursue Love, my friends. Appreciate every day, every moment of your life. It’s just too damn short.
One of the biggest challenges I face every day is time management. Tic Toc goes the clock. I always have so.o.o.o.o many things to do. And I never know how to fit them all in. It can all feel so random, like I am chasing down one creative thing after another. And please, don’t ask me to clean the house, do the laundry or deal with the garden. Oh and by the way, I have a physical therapy appointment and if I don’t get some exercise today I will have another sleepless night.
My coach suggested to me that I set a schedule for myself. “Good idea” I said. So, at first, I looked at my schedule and put office hours in and around all the other appointments and things to do and then worked in time in my art studio as well. It didn’t work. It was implossible for me to follow, even when I had it strategically mapped out. So next I tried a much simpler plan: business office in the morning, art studio in the afternoon and let all the other pieces fall around that. And, I am trying to have fewer outside appointments and schedule them strategically. And then, there’s just some things I have to let go of.
Being a Coach and building a business is a path I am called to. Being a Creative is a necessary way of life. So I am exploring, what is it like to show up for the important things of my life at scheduled times, instead of following the Muse whenever She shows up. First of all, it is very calming. Instead of living every day on the frantic edge of “I have to” I am living with “Well, here I am. Now what?” My business and my creative self feels cared for. And I am better able to mark my progress. It’s like, in my previous way of doing things, I would be making tracks but they were all over the forest. I was getting somewhere but it was hard to mark my progress. With a schedule, my tracks are lined up. I have more focus for my work. I can see where I’ve been, where I am and where I am going. It’s as though making a schedule has deepened my commitment to myself, my crafts, my progress, my goals and, I will also include, the Muse.
Lining up my time and my creative flow appears to be the secret formula to my success. In a measured way, step by step I have a clearer path to the top of my mountain.
The secret of change is to focus all of your energy,
not on fighting the old but building the new. - Socrates
When I was young, I was aimless, a leaf blowing in the wind. Goals seemed elusive to me like clouds in the sky that form and disappear. It was easy to blame it on others, like my parents. But when I decided to stop the blame game and become accountable for my actions, I changed. I took life in my own hands and started working with it to craft my own course. I went from powerless to sovereign, from victim to creator.
The struggle you are in today is developing the strength you need for tomorrow.
Having a goal, starts with a dream, a desire, a wish, perhaps a tickle in the back of one’s mind. And some people, see their goal and know without a doubt, that is what they are meant to achieve and put all their muscle into making it a reality. Other people, need to discover their goals. It’s a little trickier for them. I am one of those people. I had been told “No” so many times while growing up, I had to learn as an adult to say “Yes” to myself.
Success is no accident: it takes perseverance, learning, sacrifice
and most of all, love of what you are doing. - Pele
Deciding on a goal is an affair of the heart. I say this because it takes a lot of work and time to achieve one’s objective. So one needs to stay motivated, even when the chips are down. A goal needs to be meaningful to you. Your goal needs to be aligned with your heart, your passions, and your values so that you will very naturally want to overcome obstacles as you work towards your Dream Come True. When our goals are aligned with our integrity, that which makes us whole, then moving towards them becomes something we are willing to be engaged with, even when the going gets tough.
Coaching facilitates change.
Change happens all the time. Change is the only constant in life. Sometimes, we are the creators of change within our homes, our careers, our relationships. And sometimes, change just happens, like when someone we love dies, or decides to break up with us, or our jobs suddenly disappear. Changes that come from outside of us, can feel really devastating. Some changes can feel exciting, especially in the beginning and it’s pretty common that before too long the demons of fear, self doubt, the challenge of “how to make this happen” creep in and one is rendered frozen, not knowing how to move ahead.
Coaching helps clients overcome challenges.
Coaching is typically thought of as getting help in reaching a goal. But sometimes one doesn’t know what that goal is. Sometimes the goal doesn’t align with the desires of the heart. During the Martha Beck Life Coach Training, I learned how to find and follow the compass of the heart. Moving forward is a lot easier if mind, heart and body are aligned.
Coaching facilitates growth.
We don’t grow when things are easy. We grow when we are challenged. Sometimes, it’s hard to see the steps we need to take to make our dreams come true. Figuring out those steps are part of the process. And then, as we try things out, they don’t always work out. Things don’t go as planned. Nobody tells us that this is common, this is normal. That having failures is part of our growth, part of our story of success.
Having a coach is having a guide, sometimes a cheerleader to take us through the labyrinth of the journey forward in one’s life helping one to determine one’s goals, one’s steps as well as being supported in the struggles along the way. Coaches are partners in the journey of life. And you, the client are center stage.
Today I emptied three boxes of journals and a few sketchbooks from an earlier era of my life and gave them a place on some shelves in my studio. I made space for my past. Perhaps the only way I can climb the ladder of my dreams and my goals is to take my past with me. Giving my journals a place in my studio is like breathing life into what I have accomplished, or not accomplished, into my angst, my hurts, my healings, my passions. Some journeys are filled with outer accomplishments that are easy for the world to recognize. Other journeys, despite being hidden away in boxes, bear rich rewards that are not often seen or recognized by the world at large.
Life is a journey in which we are propelled forward on the trajectory of time.
The trajectory of time does what is is programmed to do. It moves forward in a steady measured way as our lives play out upon it. So what is our role upon the pathway of time? How does free will or choice shape our lives?
A thing I’ve noticed about time is that along with locomotion is evolution. Life is always changing. And the future can be shaped by what happens within our thoughts, beliefs and emotions. How you meet this very moment determines how you will craft the next many moments of your life’s journey on this pathway of time.
As you change your thoughts, you will change your actions,
creating a new story, a new reality, a new life for yourself
on the pathway of time.