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It took me exactly one year to come full circle.
When I started coach training, something miraculous happened toward the end of the first, three-day training. I had been on a roller coaster of uncontrollable fear and anxiety for two years by then. Though I had been working in the same academic-type job for 10 years and was fine all along, it is a fine line between a “good enough” life and a miserable one.
My two miscarriages probably didn’t help, but I was starting to have a hard time enjoying the wonderful husband and daughter I had been so grateful for. Something was burgeoning stronger underneath the surface.
When I volunteered for a demo coaching session in front of my training group, I felt I had nothing to lose and was sick and tired of that roller coaster of fear and anxiety.
The miracle happened through the “divine intervention” of lead trainer, Cindy Gardner. I’m using quotation marks because it was hard for me to admit, at the time, that that’s how I felt about it — divine. So… if these words make you scream, I ask you to bear with me for just a few more paragraphs. After you let out that scream, if you will, defer judgement for just a few minutes.
Cindy asked me to describe the roller coaster in my gut — and I did. In fact, I was almost literally throwing up all the pain I felt one could have.
You could have heard a needle fall whenever I took a breath. The whole class was suspended in time and space, deeply listening, and feeling it.
Cindy then asked: if that’s not what you want, then what do you want?
My first thought actually was: I want to be dead — not to be confused with a suicidal thought — just dead. But, I couldn’t say that out loud. The tension and anticipation was palpable.
In desperation, I saw this picture here (one way to describe coaching is as a boat from Pain Island to Pleasure Island) and finally answered: “Pleasure Island”! Cindy made me describe Pleasure Island and my description was rather brief: “It’s PEACE. I have seen glimpses of it, but I can’t seem to be able to stay there very long.”
And she asked me who was with me on Pleasure Island. As I started listing the people it became a strangely long list and I said: “When I’m on Pleasure Island, anyone can be there… it’s Pleasure Island”!
It took me six months to be able to articulate what happened that day.
That day, my belief shifted from “Peace can only be had in Death, alone” to “Peace can be had in Life, with anyone”.
And so my journey to Peace…
To being at the cause of my life, connecting head and heart…
Approaching life with nothing but love and unleashing true power by letting go of force…
Surrendering and yet being purposeful about it… began.
And if you want to read more about it, I invite you to follow my weekly blog for the next few months.
Fast forward one year.
I was planning to attend that same training weekend as a volunteer. But the Tuesday before, I severed a tendon in my pinkie finger trying to save my favorite mug. Before, I would have wallowed and cancelled everything, feeling sorry for myself. But now, I refused to cancel even my coaching session because that was one of the few opportunities to live my true Self at Peace.
I felt I needed that space. The next day I had surgery and the day after that I flew out to the training in spite of everything.
Throughout the training I felt calm, no drugs, yet, no pain in my pinkie. Anyone who knows me can attest to the fact that my threshold level of pain is rather low. But not this time… And there it was: three days of space to just “Be mySelf”.
At the end of the training, three students took me up on the offer I had made in my introduction the first day, to share more about my transformational journey. And I told them about the shift in belief described above. And one of them said: “That’s what you radiate. You radiate PEACE. You are fully present and radiate PEACE.” And there I was… full circle.
In that moment, the pendulum came to a complete standstill. After a one-year journey of looking inside, walking the talk of what I discovered and slowing it down, I was ready to swing into my life purpose which includes my coaching business.
It now takes me one deep breath to get back to Peace when life leads me astray. All I have to do is remember to take that breath.
Forget “fine” and the fine line! We’re in the spacious and gracious business of shooting for phenomenal!
Curious? Stay tuned!
Credit: The concepts inherent in this article are the author’s interpretation of materials issued by the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC).