Becoming!

I don’t know about you, for me, the word “becoming” hits me in the gut. It references who I am today, that I got myself here, for good and for bad and that who I become is up to me. It’s a choice who I become and it may mean I need to be ready to let go of some things about me. I get emotional thinking about that.

I started with a client just before the new year and at the time she was in a challenging place. Wanting to divorce, wanting some new experiences in her life. By the time we were finished with six months of work together, she had a new, exciting man in her life, they were living together in a penthouse apartment, completed the divorce and decided what she really wanted her already successful career to look like going forward while taking some steps to get there.

When I review our early emails, what stands out to me was that in our first session she gave herself permission to have, to grab a “hot, sexy life”. Those were her own words. She knew who she wanted to become and it was so real even without the evidence showing up yet. It was juicy and easy to want that for her and to partner with her to make it so.

Her request of life reminds me of Rumi’s words – “Life is a balance of holding on and letting go.”

Life still happened for her, daily life, ups and downs, but who she decided to become was a form of letting go. Letting go of the idea of who she thought she had to be, from years of lessons from family, society and religion. Letting go of that peculiar inertia that exists tempting us to make today and tomorrow so similar to yesterday. Letting go to herself, the spirit inside and the games she wanted to play with this precious time on earth.

Being a coach in this playground is like surfing and trusting the next wave will always come. A mishap in dating, some emotions, some trepidation, but we return to who you are becoming. Some setbacks in the divorce process, again emotions and other impact and she gets support to get back on the board and paddle out. The next wave comes, a better ride but still bailing because it and we weren’t just right.

Becoming has grown stronger in her, though, more of a part of her. She truly is becoming now. Then someone enters her life, is drawn to who she has become and continues to become. Now that wave and the rider are one. There is intention there, sure, but the letting go is complete, the dance is truly happening and beauty is made that could come about no other way. Not only did these results come, but now she was a different person. Still much like herself, but  now this new life was just a part of her. Fully integrated. She became.

Having an audience to your becoming, someone who is a big, fat “YES!” to it can be very helpful. Especially if they are willing to come along on the ride with you. Sometimes there is fear and trepidation about who we want to become. Oftentimes, it’s a secret (shhh!) and we’re barely comfortable thinking of it, let alone saying it out loud and creating plans and taking actions to bring it about. The more we feel it in our bodies, feel this acceptance of what we want our life to look like, an excitement for it with an ability to taste it no matter how far it seems from here, the more likely you are to take ground and get there and the better a tool a coaching relationship will be for you. If you’re not there yet, I know the feeling. It can be built, too.

The best part for me as a coach (other than the joy of seeing my client transform and succeed) is that I’m expanding, too. I’m becoming right along with my client. The wave is so real and pungent and you need to be able to ride it too to grow that energy and have it lead to actions. It’s a trip that is so great to be on with my clients.

Who are you ready to become? An even better leader? A woman who has it all? A mother and a lover? A success on your terms? Truly happy with yourself? I’d love to hear. Just telling me (or anyone ready to be that big, fat yes! for you) will be the start of it coming true. Let’s make it real.

Slap Some Truth on ‘Em

proverb

I told the truth yesterday to a former client who is six weeks away from her wedding and called me for some support around her fears and concerns.

I asked her how many great marriages she sees around her.

I told her that being married may be the most challenging thing that most people do in their lifetimes. You’re signing up to partner with someone on EVERYTHING in life, where each of you are far from expert in most things you will deal with.

I told her that love is wonderful, it helps, but it is not enough on it’s own to ensure a happy marriage.

I told her that trying to make everyone happy will jeopardize her happiness on her wedding day.

I asked her to share with me what she sees in the two of them that convinces her that they have a chance to make this work.

I told her she may wind up letting some people down and not be perfect and instead need to be human, for her own happiness.

I asked her why she was doing this at all.

These are the things we are often afraid of saying, of hearing, of dealing with. We cross our fingers, we let love leave us in an ambiguous state, we deny reality sometimes, we get caught up in belief. Love is wonderful, I encourage its growth all the time, but do we really need to be blinded by it and not look more closely? The only harm we are protecting ourselves from is that we may see we’ve built a house of cards and that can just be a starting point if you’re willing to look at it, a place to build from.

By the end of the call, with no prompting from me, she was reborn in her commitment, felt clear and more sure that she was with the right man, more trusting of herself than she was when she called me in a near panic and in breakdown. She felt the impact of her fears, shed some tears, saw that she could handle all of this and knew why the man she chose is the man that can take this on with her (and she thinks he’s cute as heck, too). Before we even finished the call, she texted her fiance to apologize to him, explain her recent behavior and let him know how ready she was. Of course he needed no explanation.

She was ready to lead her way into marriage. I had no idea how this conversation would go and no attachment either, but this is the way it went.

It’s not the truth that hurts us so much, it’s the not dealing with it. We are much more courageous and able than we give ourselves credit for. We create longstanding patterns where we let our fears run away with us. When we see more clearly, we give love an even greater chance to find it’s way deeper into our relationships and into ourselves.

Gotta love that Russian ethos… Slapped, huh?

What It Takes

Working with a couple right now and it’s a challenge. Supporting two people who have experienced a ton of hurt, who are not trusting out of fear of more hurt, who have a young child together, who, underneath the fear probably love each other but the old wounds and the fear makes it hard to say out loud.

Sometimes it can be hard to outright choose to support them in a possibility that at times I see more clearly than they do. I know the triggers, I know how to support people getting past them, but maybe they would just be fine being apart. Probably stuck in the same patterns in new relationships, but at least not having to face all of this fear right now and what it puts us through, the ravages of the thoughts and reactions, how exhausting it can be, what it really takes to grow out of them.

It really all hinges on how much you want something, what you’re willing to face to get there. I’ve seen courage and love grow as patterns subside, as people realize that they can handle their own feelings, but it doesn’t make it any less of a challenge to support until we get there.

Thanks for listening.

I call this post Loving Zombie Freakout Bitch

This is what I love about coaching conversations. People keep it REAL. A client of mine today was looking at her cycle around disappointment and called her own reaction Zombie Freakout Bitch (ZFB moving forward) with zero regret or self-consciousness. We were laughing and enjoying every bit of it. IT WAS FIERCE.

We took an unfortunately unconventional approach to working on this. Unfortunate, I think, only because it is not more widespread. We let ZFB just be. We looked at how natural this feeling is and just let it be, without making it wrong in any way. We also looked at the consequences. So many men, especially, get scared of this way of being. I was afraid of every version of it (quiet and withdrawn, raging fury, side eye, saboteur…) for years until I saw how useless that was. I was trying to control my friends, family and wife. It was all around me and in the end the person that couldn’t hang was me. I made up a meaning to it that I was no longer loved and that was terrifying, pervasive and WRONG.

What we looked at was what would it take to leave ZFB to be what it was and incorporate this way of being without needing to control it. What would it take of her partner? What information would she give him so he could, from a connected place, wait it out and not need to have a negative reaction to it and where would that leave them if they were successful. Because at the end of a ZFB moment she saw that there was usually creativity, partnership, clarity and eventually love, as long as it could take it’s course. It would take this understanding of the cycle and some practice to get there.

In the end, is ZFB here to ask us to expand? Are we infinitely more capable when we are not scared of this way of being, when we can stay present and open and not be triggered into fear? What does that bring to the rest of our lives and relationships if we have gotten that far?

My mind and heart opened to this the more I read about Hindu spirituality (I’m no expert, here). The value and understanding placed in energies we normally judge as wrong, as embodied in some feminine deities. It helped me embrace what I may have originally pushed away as wasteful or damaging. It helped me start to add the title “awesome” to energies I would formerly cower in front of. There is a lot of possibility here in being able to embrace energies as cosmic realities instead of thinking we can judge and control our way out of them. And I found that when I put this into practice and after a while my appreciation started to truly come through, it really worked, for everyone.

Personally, I’m sick of the “bitch” title (unless we are using it playfully like my client was, devoid of self-judgment). We so rarely look beyond it or at the potential value of a woman’s reactions to our own growth in ability to allow these energies or even the truth in whatever the cause of the reaction is. If we pass this test and can become masters amidst this energy, think of what we become capable of (moving towards fearlessness) and how we can really welcome women’s contribution and whole being more fully. Not every woman would be comfortable with or warrant the title ZFB (and we sure as hell better not give it to them!), but we all have our own picture of what upset looks like. When upset is no longer a threat, when we can bring the kind of empathy and true appreciation to it that is not self-serving and designed just to make it end and our misery along with the behavior we are judging, then we may be unlocking something very creative and powerful.

Oh, and men (like me) can be ZFB’s too. Where my bitches at? 🙂