Mary Oliver, my personal favourite poet, wrote a beautiful poem titled The Summer Day (Click here for a link to listening to the complete poem or click here for just the poem itself). The poem ends by asking you a few deep questions, with the last two lines being “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” … Well, what would you do?
Coaching to me, is similar to this question in that it reminds us how precious our life is; it reminds us to stop and listen to what our heart, head and body is saying; it challenges us to be brave; it allows us to be afraid and most of all it reconnects us with ourselves without judgement and with love and acceptance.
And no, this doesn’t mean …
we necessarily continue our same patterns. If one uses the analogy of illness – you can choose to heal the symptom or the cause. Let me use an example, lets say you have an allergic reaction, probably the most wisest first step would be to treat the reaction (symptom), however if you don’t figure out the cause (e.g. nut allergy) you will continue to have the reaction.
Going back to our discussion on how coaching reconnects us with ourselves without judgement. Lets take an example here too, as this is a process of becoming aware of one self, you might start to notice that when you perform a particular action you don’t get the reaction that you want. Instead of reacting to the fact that the result isn’t what you want and perhaps blaming externally for this, you start to examine the whole picture and allow yourself to explore more options such as:
(1) what if I change the action, will the result change;
(2) what if I change my expectation of the result, will this change my frustration? Can I change it? Should I change it?;
(3) What if I accept that the action and result can’t change? Can I accept it? What are the implications if I do;
(4) What is causing me to want to control the results?
(5) … and I think you get the idea 🙂
The focus becomes not on who is wrong or right but exploring possibilities; understanding cause and effect; seeing the bigger picture; focusing on what you can control and understanding your own assumptions.
By allowing oneself to pause, reflect and then move forward, allows for a whole new world of possibilities that became possible because you paused to explore.