“People want you to be happy.
Don’t keep serving them your pain!
If you could untie your wings
And free your soul of jealousy
You and everyone around you
Would fly up like doves.”
I have a massage therapist friend who says she only has two thoughts when she’s giving a massage. It goes back and forth between, “I’m the greatest masseuse in the world!” or “I totally suck at this!” Her choice of work is giving her both a challenge and a chance to learn self-worth.
This all too familiar dynamic might also account for the fact that the most mentally screwed up of my classmates in college became shrinks, the ones with the craziest relationships became counselors or even Tantra teachers, or me, challenged by close relationships, became a star on TV where I could be known by millions without having to get to know anyone. 😉
One of my favorite humans (I did come to like some), the town manager when I was Mayor of Los Gatos, CA, said we are wise to remember that our greatest strength is also our greatest weakness.
I’m good at helping others, but the coach needed a coach this morning… A friend posted a piece about struggle and it set me off on a spin of noticing the struggles of living. My life’s been what’s now 43 years of practicing yoga to counteract the human tendency to contract from physical and emotional trauma. I watch people grieving losses, see childhood idols age and die, realize there is no totally protected harbor, or that we’re really alone whatever we pretend otherwise.
Of course life just is as it is, but as a coach is it OK to reveal how much I struggle or should I do as Rumi says and just be happy?
Looking out into the world, I ask myself, is struggle just what is true about living? Am I coaching others because I want to (was born to?) deeply explore, perhaps even find an antidote for the struggle I feel is so much a part of even my blessed life. You too? Let’s have a conversation?
Looking in, I ask myself, if I were my own coach what would I say?
I’d want to know the following:
Were someone to see your life as a movie, would the boldness with which you have embraced your struggle be inspiring?
Have you embraced the fact you’re on a hero’s journey? Are you behaving like the hero of the movie? Are you willing to face danger and/or death to win the girl, save the world, to triumph? Would your favorite actor jump at the chance to play you in the movie of your life?
What steps are you not taking to make your movie inspiring and why not?
Do you wake up every day imagining how to enact your plan?
Do you even have a plan for how to take care of your body, mind, spirit, relationship and economic potential?
Can you stick with the plan despite the voices inside, or outside your head making excuses for giving up, just today?
Can you wait for results that might be slow in coming? (Remember, in the movie the hero only prevails at the end.)
Can you be OK during the tough parts of the journey?
Do you have hidden beliefs stopping you, beliefs like:
- It shouldn’t be so hard
- Life’s not fair
- I’m not smart enough
- I don’t like confrontation
- I’m not strong enough
- I’m not good enough just like (XXX) said
- It’s weak to ask for help
- It’s not my responsibility
- Nobody understands my (XXX)
- I already tried…
…and the rest of a long list that usually is spoken as; “I want to, BUT”…
You might enjoy reading this article written by my insightful bride: How To Find Your True Voice: Recipe Beyond Styles or Personal Brand. Open Your Pandora’s Box, Discover the Urge Underneath Your Repressions.
Look around. Wake up, I’d say. Reality cries out that the time is now. You have everything you need to be magnificent.
Is it simply a matter of allowing your full self to emerge?
Could you let yourself act like (pretend to be) the you who is 10 times as enthusiastic, strong, confident, able, aware, prosperous, healthy, loveable, loving, fulfilled, at ease, resourceful in the face of challenge, courageous in the face of fear, etc.?
Is your dissatisfaction with life the result of your resistance?
Pay attention to when you feel sad, angry, upset and rather than project those feelings out onto the world, such as shouting and giving the finger to the idiot in traffic. Instead turn your attention to what’s really going on in you (or not going on) under the protective anger that you’d like to change.
If so, how and why are you choosing to continue to feel dissatisfied?
Was it the way you were trained to behave in your family of origin and you’ve never broken the habit?
Does it provide a convenient excuse for being lazy? Staying small? Safe?
Does it give your ego a chance to blame everything on someone or something “out there” and not face the struggle required to change “in here?”
Since you’ve experienced fulfilling moments of fully letting go, and felt the joy of watching musicians and others do it, why do you instead choose to remain dissatisfied?
Are you not willing to put in the long hours of practice?
Is a comfortable place you know and you know changing will be initially uncomfortable?
If you’ve read this far ask yourself:
- What beliefs hold you back?
- What patterns drain you?
- Do you trust that releasing yourself will result in success? or…
- Do you fear you won’t be accepted and you’ll be alone or be attacked?
- Are you intimidated from being yourself by the “system” or someone in your life?
Describe in detail the ideal fully emerged role you’d love to play in life….
Start, right now, playing that role, with gusto!
At about his point I remember I do coach because when I coach myself like this it works, and it works for those I work with when they do it, and that’s enough reason to keep struggling… to learn… So, Let’s have a conversation?