Friday, February 18, 2011

Dancing Side By Side

The most challenging work during a coaching session is managing the pace.  When I first started, I was pushy and had an agenda to get the client to achieve all the goals they had set out to achieve.  As a more seasoned coach, I have learned that you have to be truly present every step of the way.  If the client does not want to go where they set out to go, you have to honor that decision.  Just like a dance partner, you have to be aware and alert to where your companion is going, how they are moving, and what their needs are every step of the way.  This has been an invaluable lesson for me not just in my spiritual coaching sessions, but in life.

I have learned to listen to the rhythm of the dance with my kids and with a teenager and another one who thinks she is a teenager, the rhythm changes constantly!  If you think you know what the dance is, and you may even think that you can predict what your partner’s next moves are, you may be surprised.  Preparation is not about reading your notes and remembering what worked last time.  Preparation is about being present and listening to what is unfolding without any judgment or expectation.  Then and only then can you be of the most value and completely satisfied with your work.

The dance is also about how you interact with the rhythm of life itself.  We suffer when we are impatient and want things to happen before they do.  We suffer when we give up because we didn’t get what we wanted at the time that we wanted it.  We suffer when we don’t do our best and short change the opportunities that show up in our lives.  We suffer when we don’t listen to the neon blinking messages that are repeated throughout similar experiences.  These all have to do with not keeping up with the pace of life.  When you are present, not attached to something that happened yesterday, not hoping for something to happen tomorrow, but present here in the now, can you dance the ultimate dance of life. 

The dance does require some preparation.  You do need to know the steps, be prepared physically, have the right attitude, be flexible, and trust yourself.  If you try to pull it along or be an unwilling participant, then it won’t feel like a dance. 
Here’s to you dancing all the way, every day!

Questions To Ponder:
1)    When did you last experience the “dance”?  What were you doing?  How did it feel?
2)    Generally speaking, are you the one who is leading or are you being lead?
3)    When was the last time you experienced resistance in life?  How did it get resolved?  What changed?

If you are tired of leading or being lead, it might be time to consider spiritual life coachingSpiritual life coaching is about becoming more aware of the dance of life and how you participate in it.  Once you recognize your moves, you can decide to change them if needed.  Please contact me if you are interested in pursuing spiritual life coaching to facilitate a life that flows and moves to your own rhythm.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

How Do You Break Up?

Break-ups are traditionally used in the context of ending a romantic relationship.  Lately, I’ve noticed a lot of another kind of break-up going on.  It’s the breaking up of friendships.  These break-ups are not because of some terrible event, betrayal or anything like that.  They are break-ups of two people parting ways.

Perhaps you now choose to have different friends and start pursuing different interests than those you had when you were friends with your old friend.  Perhaps it is a gradual parting that happens over time.  Perhaps after your friend has talked to you for a good 20 minutes and you find yourself bored to tears and inattentive to what was being said, that you decide it has to end.  Perhaps you are going through different stages of life, she might be going through early motherhood and you might have chosen not to have children.  And who knows, things might change again.  Years from now, you might find yourself hungry for that old friendship again. 

We don’t have language or etiquette for this type of break-up.  We don’t have pop culture or the media showing us different TV or big screen versions of it and so when it happens to us, we are at a loss for words.  Typically, we ignore the person, avoid their phone calls, cancel out on them with hopes that they eventually give up.  Sometimes, we might actually want them in our life, but at a distance.  Perhaps exchanging holiday and/or birthday cards is all we want.  But how do we communicate our need to terminate or slow down?

I have seen many a heart breaks over broken up friendships.  These types of heart breaks are sometimes even more devastating than those involving the breaking up of a romantic relationship.  If it has been a long and meaningful relationship and if the break-up is not due to anything dramatic, it is a loss that most of us don’t know how to deal with.  There has been a lot of sharing and time spent together.  The friendship has expanded to families and other friends and so in a sense it is like a divorce.

Yet, unlike a divorce, there is no one word or sentence description that defines it for those in the break-up and those around it.  We can tell our friends and family that we are going through a divorce but to tell them that we are divorced from another friend is actually more awkward.  Whatever we call it or describe it to someone else, it is important to have closure with the person involved.  The more important the person has been in our life, the more important it is to find the words to say goodbye or express as best as you can what is happening.  Break-ups are hard to do regardless of the language, but closure is imperative in order to not drag around old pains and guilt.

So, if you are in the middle of a break-up or are considering one, please think about a proper goodbye for your own sake.  If you have already walked away from a friendship without closure, it is not too late to write a letter or send an email to clear things up.  Happy clearing!

Questions to Ponder:
1)    Have you ever ended a friendship that was important to you?  How did it happen and what did you say?  What do you now wish you had said?
2)    Have you been put aside by a friend?  How was the break-up communicated or was it?  How did that make you feel?  What would you like to have heard from your friend?
3)    How do you move on without holding any grudges or bitterness from a break-up?

If you would like to further explore how your break-ups may have affected your life or if you feel stuck as a result of a break-up, you might consider working with a spiritual life coachSpiritual life coaching is a process where you are the driver and the destination is yours to determine.  Please contact me if you are interested in a no strings attached consultation.