I had a coaching session on Monday ( life coaching, I have it twice a month) and my coach said something interesting to me. “Lyn, it’s time to stop living in the context of survival” and then at some point added “no more emergencies”.
We had been talking about finances, business practices, random expenses that had come up – you know; The Business of Life (it’s what I like to call it). But Karen was talking about something else. She was talking about ‘being in front’ of life. Actually, her exact line was “Being in front, rather than having to react”.
It was a powerful statement. One that is only having it’s full impact now, days later. I keep repeating this statement – ‘being in front’….’am I in front of my life?’ It’s an interesting question to ask, consiously.
It’s true. For a lot of my life, while I have celebrated living in the ‘moment’, in actual fact I was probably just reacting to a situation. Which isn’t always a bad thing, it can lead to phenomenal stories, ‘cept when ya wanna grow up! Or, maybe, stop being broke.
Some will disagree and say it has been part of my charm, the stories, the silliness….the drama. Brilliant. My drama is someone else’s entertainment.
But keeping this question at the front of my conscious thoughts, as I move through the day, adds another dimension. It actually widens the possibilities because what I am in fact doing is driving my life in a way that puts me in control. “Puts me in the drivers seat” as my life coach tells me.
I took up with a life coach almost a year ago. Ironically, while I pursued things like yoga and massage and natural medicine, I was quite adverse to stepping in the ‘self-help’ aisle at the bookstore. It wasn’t always the case however. In my early 20’s I had doggedly navigated toward that kind of learning; finding my inner voice, celebrating my ‘succulent wild woman self while smoking spliff’s and dancing naked in the moonlight ( I still do all of that!). It was while working at the Hypnosis center that I was thrown right in and it seemed that everyone around me was ‘finding their issue’. After 2 years, I was burnt out. I couldn’t empathize anymore and I couldn’t take another quote from another guru, or celebrate another rung on the personal development ladder after completion of a new course, or faked another compliment of a terrible painting that was a message from a spirit guide. I was craving for some good old fashioned ‘fucking up’ and calling it a day with too many cocktails. Why did every day have to have a meaning?
So – I completely (almost…I still kept my copy of the alchemist) abandoned that path in life and went into corporate. I wanted money.
Skip to 10 years later. I am 33, I’d quit the life of regular income and benefits, moved home to Australia for 6 months and then back again to the U.S within the year, to start my own business. More specifically, I was single, living in the basement apartment of my friends house and working the front desk at a friends business. My new business wasn’t working as I had wanted it too. I was broke. Most tragically, I wasn’t inspired by much. This wasn’t where I wanted to be in my life at this age. One morning I woke up and cried, and then didn’t stop crying for 3 weeks and I couldn’t figure 0ut (or maybe admit) why.
It came time for me to admit that maybe I needed some help. Maybe I had an ‘issue” – gasp! – and needed to find it. My friends gave me support and hugs but what I needed was some emotionless direction. I needed someone who didn’t have a story of my life to tell me where in myself I needed to look. So, I took up therapy, which felt like the first step. It was great (another blog on that later). Six months later however, I felt I needed more concise direction and so, from a conversation with a friend, I decided to seek out life coaching.
I would say, it’s been one of the best decisions I have made. As much as I have come to accept that I seek spirit in life, I like to keep my feet on the ground. I am too practical to stay in an emotional world for too long, I get overwhelmed and confused. However, I am also so invested in the spiritual and emotional side of life so I know I need a balance of conversation.
A good life coach sees your spirit and guides you practically through the world. I was not taking care of my life business matters very well and, as a result, I kept finding myself chasing up, cleaning up and always in survival mode….reacting too. So, it meant that so much of the fun in my life had white noise. And, I just wanted the fun.
More importantly, I wasn’t clear on what it was I really wanted in my life. Knowing what I wanted, I had come to discover, is a lot different to knowing what you want to be – as we have been so trained to find out. I can be anything I want – but that desire stems from knowing who I am and what kind of life (style) I wanted to live. I had a vague idea, but I hadn’t ever taken the time to get specific or to create a little plan.
So, what does it mean to be always at the front of your life or, not living in the context of survival? For me, I take it at the basic level – it just means that doing the dishes before I go to bed, instead of leaving them for the next morning, doesn’t feel so taxing. I move it out of the context of a ‘chore’ and into a place where doing it means I am honoring myself by taking care of my life business.
It means that I put away extra money for certain things that I want, I don’t drive with my check engine light on for 3 months before deciding to get it fixed, or wait until the day of a dinner party to get things organized. I post my mail when it needs to go out, I organize my finances on a regular basis etc. It just means that I think a little bit more about what I need to do to give me more space in life, and then act a lot quicker.
On an emotional & spiritual level, I ensure I to practice yoga, to meditate, and make kinder decisions for my body. I work to stay clear and focussed on my goals and keep them as my conversation rather than self-defeating prophecies that are sure to come true if I continue to repeat them.
This is what I love most about having a life coach, it’s putting the practical side of life into effect, which gives so much more room for my spiritual self to shine. I know why I have a hard time asking for what I want, I know why I chose men who I make a deep connection with, but can never get into a relationship with, I know why I wasn’t saving money……it’s great to know why – but I needed to move on from the knowing and start moving into the doing.
My life coach is hard. She shakes me up, and makes me work for my life, work for the life I want (and have) and I love it. I listen to her, I do my ‘homework’. Every 2 weeks, just like you would if you were in a sport team I report to my coach and she coaches me in my dreams! Can you believe that? I have someone whose soul purpose is to see me win…..in my own life.
That’s really fantastic. Go Me!
If you’re interested in finding out more about having you’re own life coach, I would highly recommend mine! We work mainly via Skype and occasionally on the telephone – she has coached me from many parts of the world. I will be writing a lot more on this topic and offering more resources based on personal experience and people I trust. Feel free to get in touch if you would like Karen’s information unless she allows me to publish it here.