Serve the Separation (between us)

Our heads and stomachs hurt from so much talking at.

Not with, barely even to.

We’re doing the talking and we’re on the other end, feeling dunned, bludgeoned.

So are “they”.

In the end, there is always a separation, whether it is your parent, friend, child, peer, boss, “opponent” or with the divine. We can’t be inside each other’s experience. We can’t fully empathize without some self-protection being present. At least most of us, most of the time. Being truly connected really is the promise, the great opportunity of being alive, whether that’s with a mountain range, a blue sky, a song or with each other.

And if someone doesn’t serve that separation, if someone doesn’t own it as their territory and address it with either their words, their listening, their surrender of protection or defense, in a way that really connects us to each other, the separation remains or grows. This may be one definition of love. We really need to receive someone fully, as they are, to cross that divide between us. It breaks the spell. We stop fearing each other, overtly and in that way that’s always there, at least for a moment and that magic is present.

The greater concern than who wins is this gulf growing between us, whether that’s your wife or husband, or your fellow citizens. If we really touch it, we sense that the distance is heartbreaking.

I hope we turn towards healing, listening and serving that separation. It’s there in all our relationships, at least some separation exists. Be the one who owns it as your loving responsibility. We may truly hear each other and care for one another if we can do it. We may come back together, closer than ever.

I remember the extraordinary family members of the people lost at the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, who forgave Dylann Roof and shook us all. They know how to serve that separation. They listened as deeply as they could to who Dylann Roof might be and how he might have wound up there and wished him all of god’s grace, the most precious thing they value, which flowed through those they lost. They gave him that love for any pain he may face. They gave him their wish for his pain to subside in the light of Christ. And just to say it, no religion or faith is required, but it can certainly be employed.

Our fellow Americans face pain, we sense great separation, don’t we? If that gulf is not crossed, how do you think this will go?

I promise you that serving separation, before making our point, before needing anything to change, is a worthy practice. It plants seeds. It can bring any two (or more) people together. It can open up everything.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2015/06/19/i-forgive-you-relatives-of-charleston-church-victims-address-dylann-roof/

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.

Success Has Failed – Osho

Osho was a controversial seer. He stirred the pot and gave people a lot to look at and consider. I pulled this quote from listening to one of his talks, probably from the 80s. It provides an excellent example of how insight is born. Insight is the opportunity for freedom.

Much like the scene in War Games where the computer discovers the futility of global thermonuclear war by playing the game over and over and over again, leaving no “winner”, the futility in this statement – Success has failed – gives us a chance to truly examine what we are up to. Living inside of a futility, of a pattern in our lives that exists without true satisfaction, is like a death, a small death, an abdication of the possibility of our lives. Our life examined may sometimes look like a collection of these small deaths, which is why this investigation can be so freeing and perhaps even necessary. For a moment, we can put how we live our lives aside to investigate what else may exist outside of how we are defining success, happiness, the purpose of our individual and collective existence, even.

Is the outcome of our 401Ks truly success? Is the promotion? Is consumption, the next gadget, the next day meeting your fitbit goal? Is the down payment, the next client? Is it the next win over whomever you feel is in the wrong? Is the next escapist binge the thing?

We get caught up in the day to day. If we let our definition of success drop for the sake of discovering our own definition, testing each new thought for futility as well so we keep ourselves from the next trap we can fall in, we give ourselves a chance to redefine and reframe our lives. To get off the hamster wheel. Is the life we are working towards or even admiring truly what we want?

I think the Kardashian thing (not sure what else to call it) is our own creation designed to help us get the message that some of what we have been idolizing, like fame, celebrity, obsession with ourselves and wealth for it’s own sake is absolutely futile, is not an attractive destination.

This is just a nudge to look for ourselves and drop out of our collective trance born from societal conditioning, media, our own reactionary ways (wanting something better than what we have or have had to deal with in the past), etc. A chance to investigate what truly moves us and how we would create our lives straight from our hearts.

I just want success, on your terms, from your own experience, for you.

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? 🙂