It's 11:51am and I just ended my session with my life coach. This was our final one-on-one session. As we discussed the now of my journey, she interjected that I had changed quite a bit in the three months we had been working together. “How so?", I asked. She clarified that, when we began, I was like a person in the honeymoon phase of marriage. “You were infatuated. " she said. We revisited the vigor with which I pursued my career as a life coach. Every time we talked I was energetic and excited. At break-neck speed, I established my business, quit my job, focusing on my dreams, put up my website in record time, met with a financial planner to get my finances in order, and began E-Publishing to market my business. I was the do-it-yourselfer and darn proud of it. I was full of ideals and optimism, reveling in the pride of accomplishment. Then it happened.
I got stuck. I cannot tell you how it happened. I was mosying along, doing my thing and came upon a mushy place in the road. I struggled to maintain movement but to no avail. I couldn't go forward and I couldn't go backward. Has this ever happened to you? I've heard this is the way dieters feel. They've changed their lifestyle-are eating right, exercising and getting sufficient sleep-and are steadily losing weight. Then there's this plateau where nothing else comes off. It is at this point that many lose heart.
My life coach recalled that point in my journey. Old wounds resurfaced and painful issues required resolution. The discomfort was overwhelming. Feelings of hurt, disappointment, entitlement, anger and depression threatened my security and confidence. My life coach responded with joy, illuminating me to the gift of this moment. The universe had brought these issues up, not to harm me, but to offer me an opportunity to resolve them. “It must be time, " she explained, “else this wouldn't have come up. "
"Remember the four steps, " she said. “Yeah. " Whenever you arrive at a point in your journey where intense emotion is evoked, it is an opportunity to reclaim a more powerful you. Ask yourself four questions:
(1) What is this situation telling me about what I want?
(2) What is this situation telling me about what's ready to be healed?
(3) What is this situation telling me about what part of me I am ready to claim?
(4) What is this situation telling me about what part of me I am ready to let go of?
Like a pouting child with arms tightly folded across my chest and a defiant look in my eyes, I resisted the work. After all, I had left a full time job to pursue my dreams and life owed me more. I wasn't suppose to struggle. Struggle is optional, remember? I had put it all on the line for this dream. I had left a secure job for this dream. I wasn't going to budge until things started happening for me again. It rehearsed the injustice of the moment and past failures began to torment me with ghastly irreverence.
My life coach compared this to the post-honeymoon phase where the husband and wife start having conflicts. The differences escalate into arguments. Now the intimate touching is overcast with competition. They conflict about money, jobs, household management and other emerging differences. What was ookey bookey love is now a tug of war over who's right and who's wrong and who's going to get his way.
My coach reflected on how I navigated those challenges. My battle wasn't with another person, it was with myself. The social self that says, “you need to do it this way" and the essential self who conflicts. These parts of my being were entrenched and at war.
There's a funny thing about life. When opposing forces see a common enemy, they will forge an alliance. Interestingly, the more difficult the path, these components of my personality knew that in order to survive, they had to work together. It wasn't until this morning that I finally understood that; yet, my life coach recognized it right off. I had come to a place of balance. A place of Selah (rest). Both sides had started working cooperatively. No more yanking the blanket from side to side but distributing it so that both remained warm.
We reviewed my more defined life goals and evaluated how my plan was more honoring-not discounting either side. Continuing with the metaphor, it's that point in a marriage where both parties come up with a plan that validates both. Many refer to this as compromise, but I prefer to call it negotiation. For to compromise signifies minimizing what's important to you while negotiation offers a win for both people. “This is the road to commitment, " she said. “It's no longer honeymooning but doing what is necessary to keep the husband and wife together. "
This ends the individual sessions with my life coach. A part of me feels the hollowness of detachment but the whole feels equipped to finish this journey alone. I know that she's out there if I need her. But for now, one phase of life has ended and another phase of life has just begun. Selah.
Suzette R. Hinton, SAC-I, Certified Life and Mentor Coach, Counselor and Mother. Graduate of CANA, Inc. (http://www.CoachingInstituteofNorthAmerica.com ) and Founder of Purposeful Connections (http://www.purposefulconnections.com ). Suzette believes that purpose is not only a destination but it is the energy that pushes us toward its fulfillment.