Comment

Holy Water

This is a True Story ... Let me tell you what happened this week. 

My friend, a true Ragamuffin in the flesh (he's a saint with an incredible capacity for mischievousness) blessed me with holy water from the holy land. His father brought it back to the US about 20 years ago (a miracle happened upon its' first use and he wants a miracle for me). I was afraid to put it on my forehead (you know, considering I'm allergic to everything). But I decided not to reject the blessing. I closed my eyes and right there in the cubical of his office he prayed a prayer and made the sign of the cross on my forehead. It dripped down to the tip of my nose and he ended his prayer with a tap there, "I end my prayers on the nose." We laughed and then he continued, "God, where the cosmos collide in her head - heal her." I could sense the secretary was staring at us - witnessing a miracle I suppose. He was praying over me because of my migraines and because I had an MRI to see if they can detect what is happening in my head. I'm convinced that they won't find anything medical - they will find a book. 

I'm more convinced that sometimes it's the truths I want to speak building up in my body like the fizz in a Mountain Dew bottle that's been shaken all the way to the beach and back with no escape. Not speaking my truth creates a lot of pressure. Drip by drip. Word by word. 

Anyways, when he prayed over me it felt like the New Testament. I'm hesitant to share this with you - that Jesus might have healed me with holy water someone has kept in their freezer for 20 years because it's too sacred of a story to tell and you'll want a bottle too or even worse ... you will dismiss it.  But I'm more like the Lazarus type. If Jesus brings me back to life EVERYONE will know even if you don't want to. If I am healed, I'm going to drink that water like whiskey from the south and then write a book about it.  And if I don't get healed, you'll continue to hear about my suffering. My guess is that you have your own bottle of that too. Either way, the healing will come if not by water then by love on earth as it is in Heaven. Find your Ragamuffin or accept that you are one. Then find some holy water.

Comment

Comment

Dig

At some point, you're going to have to get low enough, close enough to the ground that you'll need to start digging for a reserve.  Where there is dust, you will need to find a well.  I don't care if you have to claw at the ground with your fingertips, start digging.  That's when you'll know that you're ready.  When you're thirsty enough to ruin your manicure.  You'll be a** up, face down in the sand and you won't give a sh*t. 

Everyone else will.  You can't.  You need to get better.  This means sidelining the spectators who have mastered "likes" and "comments" and little else.  Their quick wit and thumbs up mean nothing unless they are helping you dig. 

Layer upon layer will get uncovered.  Answers will come slowly, one day at a time or no days at all.  Nothing will happen for a long time, but then something will.  It's not up to you to bring the water to the surface.  You can't manufacture the mechanics of this.  You can only accept, then dig and then hope.

In that order.

Somehow, knowing that it's going to be this gritty makes it better already.

Comment

Comment

Our Greatest Fear

it is our light not our darkness that most frightens us

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.

Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.

It is our light not our darkness that most frightens us.

We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous,
talented and fabulous?

Actually, who are you not to be?

You are a child of God.

Your playing small does not serve the world.

There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you.

We were born to make manifest the glory of
God that is within us.

It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone.

And as we let our own light shine,
we unconsciously give other people
permission to do the same.

As we are liberated from our own fear,
Our presence automatically liberates others.

—Marianne Williamson

Comment

Comment

You Asked...

I was recently asked if I would coach a friend. The answer to that is, "Yes...but, only if they're willing to lose the friendship." The response across the table was one of shock that was mixed with a bit of disbelief and, "That seems extreme."

It is...but, here's why: even with your deep friendships you're not getting to where you want to go - because that's not their job, it's yours. If I switch roles and become your coach you've given me the permission slip to say what I wouldn't have otherwise said at happy hour. Being honest as your coach means I have nothing to lose, you're actually paying for the clarity. But as a friend, I might have everything to lose should I offend you. It's about managing expectations. The tightrope of tenderness isn't violated in the coaching relationship but it is challenged. Without tension how are you going to walk across to the other side? Our friends have good intentions but they are going through their process and will only toe the line with you in as much as they are willing to be toed (which by the way may or may not be a real word).

This isn't about having an accountability partner (as some friends are) this is about you inviting someone to assist your (let me emphasize YOUR) process. There is a difference.

Another friend asked, "So, do you have a coach?" And I responded (after laughing) I have a coach, a therapist, an acupuncturist, a chiropractor and reflexologist. In other words, it's takes a village." A recent Instagram post said, "Yes, I'm high maintenance but that's okay because I maintain myself." Ha! So good. So true. So expensive.

This phase in my life has been met with challenges I never anticipated but it has also given me a tribe of women and men that are my lifeline - I reach out for energy and support but don't put the responsibility of my personal growth on them. In fact, only one friend has an all-access pass. Meaning, if she attended any of the above appointments - nothing would come as a surprise. My friendships, like partnerships are equal give and take, ebb and flow, taking and giving. They aren't experts, they are support systems (incredible ones - because they too are doing their own work).

Asking someone to assist your process is brave - scary - awesome - enlightening - WORK. As a coach, I don't take that invitation lightly. It causes me to pause and say, "Are you willing to lose the friendship, because I am willing to if it means getting you over to the other side."

Are you following me?

Give your friends, spouses, children, employers and dog a break. Start to invite the right ones into your good, bad, ugly and interesting process. In other words, "Leave it to the professionals!" and return to your relationships with renewed strength and energy.

Maybe Rumi said it better...

Comment

Still Not Clear?

Comment

Still Not Clear?

I started Life Coaching a year and a half ago, officially.  I think I’ve been one unofficially for most of my life.  My friend Chuck says, “Jesus made you to be a Life Coach.” He is mostly kidding, but he is mostly right. A lot of wonderful things have come from coaching, particularly the transformation within my own life. There hasn't been a client who hasn't been my teacher. Henri Nouwen refers to that as being a "Wounded Healer." Yes, I am that. With deep pain comes deep understanding and from there I can go places with people in their own life. Nothing is wasted (except me - when it's necessary). But seriously, it's true.

I met another coach, Steph Jagger through Instagram (of all places) and I touch base with her to compare notes and help make the muddy waters a bit more clear. Tonight she said something I liked a lot, "Being a coach simply means that I'm an expert in exploring. We are quick to hire people to help us improve our golf game, guitar skills and artistic ability, why wouldn't we hire someone to help us communicate, relate and connect with ourselves and others? Isn't that the end game?"

My friend Jonny Rodgers called me out on that back in 2008 during our Groundworks Training hosted at Yale University. We were split into groups of three and instructed to tell the others how their personality changed the room. He said to me, "Shea, you walk into the room and it’s all boarded up. There isn't any light, sheets are covering the furniture, dust is piled high and you just yank the curtains back and expose everything. And instead of being afraid, you just say, 'Let's clean this up.'"

That's it. If you're unclear about what coaching is, it's simply yanking the curtains back and shaking off the dust. There is so much there, it's just a matter of discovering and I have the curiosity to go there with you.

It may not feel concrete. Or objective. It may feel unsettling and too therapeutic. I get that. All of it. But I also have seen how incredibly brilliant people are.

To all of my clients from ages 13-73, from business professional to just getting started, from worn out mom to got-it-together dad, from millionaire next door to pulling the pieces together, from knowing who you love to figuring that out, from homebody to social butterfly, from landing to taking off...you are the big news this year. The one making headlines. I just wanted to say out loud how thankful I am for you.  

Comment

Comment

A 7-minute Transformation Experience

It’s a snow day in April. Taxes are due in a few weeks. I haven’t even started them, until now (literally). I’m looking at what I do for my day job as the CXO (Chief Experience Officer) in a financial firm and I'm trying to reconcile that with who I am as a Life Coach. Does it translate in a culture that is obsessed with identity? Am I allowed to be more than one thing?

Who gives that permission slip?

The rabbit trail of self doubt took me away from the balancing sheets and onto my own website. As I combed the content, the comments and the blogs, I started to refine a few things. Simultaneously I got a new message in my inbox. A client sent a podcast link and says, "She reminds me of you." I finished publishing my SEO update (not my taxes) and then I started to listen to the Award-winning product designer Ayse Birsel describe her process as a coach...

"Look, I'm not a psychologist, I'm not going to be able to solve your challenges and your problems. But what I can do is give you creative tools to think about your life creatively."

BAM! That’s it. That’s where the reconciling happens. A designer has applied the same principals that have made her successful in her day job into a process that applies to how she coaches her clients.

I get it. That’s what I do.

As a Life Coach, I have the questions, not the answers. I’m not handing out maps to places I’ve never been. After all, you are your greatest resource. As a CXO, my "job" is simply to assist you in that discovery. I create experiences that allow you to go to places within your own story that may otherwise be terrifying.

Listen, if you doubt me...know that I doubt myself first. Also know that the seemingly disjointed parts of your life, aren't. There is a connection, a reconciliation - we have to give it time.

My taxes aren’t done. However, the unexpected appointment to get clarity on my own “identity” was welcomed. The 7-minute interruption might be worth it for you today.

 

Comment

1 Comment

HOW TO STAY STUCK

Fellow coach and friend, Greg Mutch said it best this week when describing coaching, "Yes, it is DEEP work. And sometimes that is surprising to the client. They think it's going to be solution focused consulting. But we don't coach the problem, we coach the person. And the WHOLE person."

Let me give you an example:

This week I was having lunch with a dear friend. She, like most of us has a script running in her head. It's usually a familiar struggle, a place we always get stuck. She ran the "lines" with me (as they say in theatre). As I listened to her I watched her face contort. It had been a while since she had actually spoken these words out loud. The pressure of ruminating without resolve demanded release. She stopped and I said, "How did those those words sound coming out of your mouth?" She didn't have to answer - her expression said it all.  

When we accept the script, we have chosen to stay stuck. 

A sign of acceptance is when we have isolated ourselves, running the same lines in our heads - our thoughts measured against themselves become true. When we invite others into the story, we are giving them permission to help us rewrite the script, to get unstuck.   

Here's how:

1. Expose your SCRIPT for what it is - a lot of half truths written together creating a convincing and somewhat charming lie (perfect for the stage). 

2. Invite another person over and read them the "lines" and ask them to be curious for you. Those lines would be the things that make; your face contort, your stomach ache, your head throb, your throat close, your eyes shift, etc.  

3. Start to replace the lies with truths. One by one. Day by day. Moment by moment. If you're someone who believes in a higher power, this would be an opportune time to ask for help.

My friends, where I end and where you begin is how we gain momentum in this life. This is DEEP work and there isn't a good reason why anyone should do it alone. There is great POWER in partnerships. 

Do you believe that? 

1 Comment

2 Comments

YOUR PAIN IS SAVING YOU

Is there a circumstance in your life that is forcing you into a little corner? Making you small? 

Is it painful?

Does it feel like punishment? 

I would like to suggest that your pain is saving you.  That perhaps the physical ailment, the relational breakdown, the fallout is in fact an act of grace on your behalf - saving you from things unseen. Who you are now is not who you will be on the other side of it.  You will walk with a limp.  You will remember how tight the space was - the space where the walls met.  You will remember how it felt to be made small.  And you will be thankful. 

The pain will make you, but first you have to embrace it.  

Sit with it.  Don't beat yourself against it.  Join the bigger work and instead of throwing your fist, say "thank you."

You aren't being punished, you are being loved.  

That's what it takes to become big. 

 

 

 

2 Comments

1 Comment

GET NEW HEROES

I wanted to be Chuck Swindoll when I was 12.  In my pre-teen world, he was the most influential person in the evangelical church.  I confessed this to friend in college and she burst out laughing. I did too. Then she said something I will never forget, "To be him, you're probably going to have to go through a lot of shit." Meaning, wisdom and the gift of influence will come with a cost.  

Fast forward 23 years and I have found myself wondering who in fact, have I become? I'm certainly not Chuck Swindoll.  I am most certainly more me, but my heroes had to change because I have.  

What about you? Are you still reaching for the future while relying on old visions? Have you outgrown your heroes? 

More importantly, what price are you willing to pay in order to become more "you"

My friend Johnny Sertin said it best, 

The question is not, 
"Can the change be done?"
It's what it will cost you.
In that price God honors 
our choice and brings life."

 

 

 

 

 

1 Comment