The Home-Stretch into the Next Chapter
I just finished the final read through of my book to complete the notes for edits and additions. Before receiving the test copy of the book, I felt 80% confident that it was powerful and ready for the world. And now, I am now 98% sure. I don't know what it would take to get me to 100% - perhaps I am too realistic to believe in anything 100%.
It was such an amazing moment when I opened that package and held the first real copy of my book in my hands. What a surreal experience. The test copy was exactly what I needed to see the book with fresh eyes and ensure the thread that weaves the book together is seen and felt throughout the story.
It was also really neat to read my own words and receive some insight that sparked positive change in my current mindset. Our lives are complex, and our minds are even more complex. Some of the great lessons and ideas that have improved many areas of my quality of life continue to show up to instill the wisdom of their simple and adaptive power.
While this blog post is intended to shed some more light on my book and it's upcoming release, I also want to share more about where I have learned and grown the most in the last few weeks. So read through the next few paragraphs if you would like to go on a journey with me, otherwise, scroll to the end to find a short video with an excerpt from my book.
I have been working with a really amazing coach recently. She is a good friend that I coached a couple years ago, and now that she is almost done a year long coaching program, I thought it would be a great synchronistic relationship to invest in. I have been hesitant to engage in a coaching relationship as I have been quite motivated on my own, love to coach myself, and am surrounded by coaches and inspiring individuals that elevate me daily. I wasn't sure what I would get out of engaging with another coach as a coachee. But I am so glad that I went for it. In three sessions over a couple of months, I feel like I got the tune-up and redirect that I didn't realize I needed.
While I have been quite successful in adopting a growth mindset in many facets of my life, there are bound to be some angles or ways of being that are a little stickier as the navigation from fixed to growth mindset can be a bumpy ride.
I have been in the conversation with many people - for months - about the process of protecting your own energy as you engage with clients, friends or family members that are living with more darkness or are deep in struggle. I have been gathering anecdotal experiences and tools to try from many different people. "Here is what works for me" is a common way we offer learnings and engage in these types of inquisitive conversations.
I have heard ideas like,
- "take some time to meditate before stepping into these difficult conversations to ensure you are grounded and protected"
- "zip up an energetic cloak before stepping into those environments and zip it off after as you step out of the situation"
- "rub your entire body off gently as if to dust off the energy that is not yours to carry"
- "wash your arms up to the elbows"
- "allow yourself to be a vessel as the conversation moves through you but does not become a part of you"
I found all of these suggestions to be fascinating and creative, and while my intention was to try them out, none of them felt like me - it felt inauthentic to engage in any of them - and I was left struggling with my own resistance and feeling like I was not a good enough coach if I didn't possess this "self-protective" skill.
In comes my lovely unicorn of a coach. The first two sessions we had together she invited me to participate in an exercise to discover my "essence." Different than core values, your essence is the energetic experience others have while in your presence. It is discovered through vulnerable and real conversations with those close to you, as you record the answers to a couple succinct questions.
While your core values are concepts you strive to live by and create the foundation from which your choices and feelings of success, value and purpose come from; your essence exudes from your being and leaves a lasting impression on those around you.
I love stuff like that, and while I truly appreciated this exercise, I also do very similar activities with my clients and with myself. It was great to receive another tool of exploration, but for me to really commit to a coaching relationship that I will need to invest money and time into I want something bigger, deeper and more growth-inducing.
Our third session I was asked what I was curious to explore and wanted to talk about. I responded that I am very curious to talk energy, how to protect it from others influence, and how I can use this to be a better coach. Great. It's on.
I picked up her call on Thursday night, sitting in a cafe with my notebook ready to take some notes. She started by asking me what value I want to get out of this call; what do I want to walk away with? My response was that I wanted more tools and more ideas of ways to protect my energy and be more confident in how I show up with clients.
She repeats it back to me and I agree that is what I want. We begin to get into a conversation around this request and what has brought me to this point. I explain my predicament, the compounding self-talk that results, and my attempt at trying different techniques but not feeling good about any of them.
She begins asking me question after question that moves my focus to different aspects of the situation that I had not been paying much attention to. She repeats back my responses to ensure she is hearing me correctly and then offers some insights in what she is hearing from me. What assumptions have I made? What have I made that mean? Is that true? Where else do I notice this pattern? What is becoming more clear here? Sounds like you are in the practice of trying to be perfect, is that possible? What else is possible?
The journey these Qs - and many others - took me on was brilliant. I was supported to pull insight and learnings from other areas of my life to find wisdom in this current struggle. I had been so fixated on the concept of protecting my energy I had lost sight of some of my core operating principles. I am an improviser, a perfectly imperfect compassionate and creative person, and I enjoy having a positive impact on others. When I had been noticing my energy being influenced by others or when I walked away from conversations and didn't feel like I had really impacted that person as much I wanted to, I was allowing myself to sit in limiting beliefs and judgement around what it needs to look like to be a coach. Because I thought I needed to protect myself, anytime I felt my energy get depleted or drawn into someone else's struggle, I would judge myself for being wrong or weak. This judgement would seduce me down a rabbit hole and shunt off my ability to rise above and access my higher self, which resides in my consciousness. When we are triggered or stuck in thought patterns, we are in our subconscious habits and limited to our naive experience rather than the vast openness and connectivity that we access in our conscious mind. I want to be in the vast openness! But because I was fighting my reactions, looking for protection, and judging myself for not being able to protect myself, I was simply getting in my own way.
I realized that while I am great at pausing after my initial reaction to allow space for my higher self to respond, I was limiting myself by looking for the silver-lining, trying to create the positive upswing, or basically, searching for my next quick hit of happy chemicals that would get me out of this low vibration feeling. My coach helped me realize that my need for control was getting in the way of my equal need and desire to be an improviser. And my desire for positivity was skewing my ability to be neutral and content.
One of the things I say all the time, "we need to be content with our discontentment." And I had been so fixated on trying to find ways to "protect" my energy, I had lost sight of my bigger need and want to be collaborative, vulnerable, open, trusting and strong. I can feel the emotion at hand, I can be in the struggle and feel the pain of myself or those around me, and I do not need to control the situation. I need to trust more in my ability to learn, guide, lead by example, and fuel up by being neutral instead of seeking elation or avoiding depression. This is intimacy without attachment, something I abide by in so many other areas of my life.
Timing is such a magical and wonderful thing. I love that I am in the home stretch of getting my book out into the world. I love that these coaching conversations happened in such a powerful way while I finished editing my book and could see these same lessons and realizations had happened for me already and just needed to be relearned in the relatively new territory in my life as a coach.
Now I am that much more attuned and ready to grow and flow through the next several months that I am carving out to be big and bold. I am more aware to notice my pattern of judgement, my desire to feel good, and my tendency to get rattled when I want control and don't have it.
I am ready to practice neutrality and teach myself that I can be open and connected while also remaining neutral as the witness behind the scenes. From this space of neutrality I have access to the space for improvisation and my higher level of thinking and being.
Another layer has been shed. Another level of awareness has been accessed. Another chapter to embark on. This Fall season has me feeling grateful and excited for what is and what is to come.
Now, back to my book. With the last few edits now sent off to my graphic designer and a conversation in process to get a well-known and inspiring yyc entrepreneur to write a foreword, we truly are in the home stretch. My goal is to have the final copy sent in before the end of this month, and then the book will be ready for purchase by mid October.
I will be planning and promoting workshops and a book launch event once the dates for publishing are more clear. So stay tuned, and thank you for all of your support and love. xoxo