“You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. ” Plato
Several years ago I was working with a couple. The couple were both hard working professionals with successful practices. and dedicated parents to their 5 children. Managing life was truly an art in and of itself for them. As in many marriages, as life became busier work, and children often took precedence over the couple spending time with each other. Sound familiar?
During one coaching session one partner said to me, I know, I know we need to make more time to WORK on our marriage. The word WORK just hit me wrong. These were people that needed less work, not more. So gently I said, “You both work so hard at your practices, and at making life work for your children, maybe what you need to do is have more FUN in your marriage.” We all laughed. They thought that was a tremendous idea, and began to discuss how they could have more FUN together, instead of working on the marriage.
This small change of perspective made all the difference for them. They began to surprise each other, take unexpected trips, do fun and silly things together. They began to laugh together again. If your marriage or partnership isn’t what it once was think about how to make it more fun, not more work.
Needs some ideas? Contact me!
Think Them So!
The surest way to make a man is, to think him so.
James Russell Lowell
As a professional coach I have conversations with many people from all walks of life. Time and again I have seen miraculous changes in people’s lives sometimes within days.
The man that ran a very successful business but lived in a rundown dump, and was afraid to purchase a house. Takes his foot off the brakes and puts the wheels in motion, and within few months finds and buys the perfect house.
The twenty-year old afraid to date signs up on match.com after finding out she could make it fun. She finds that in fact she is date-able!
The chronically depressed client that has had years of treatment and traditional therapy, suddenly takes flight.
The guy who always wanted his own business but couldn’t quite get all the pieces in place, launches his dream venture.
Why did coaching help them change their lives? Why did coaching help them move into the reality of their dreams when other things had not?
I have pondered this question a great deal as I have marveled at the effectiveness of coaching in people’s lives. This is what I have decided:
They were ready.
They found support that believed in them without doubt or hesitation, me, their coach.
They felt empowered, and thus could persevere.
Who can you believe in and support today?
Who believes in you and can support your dream today?
Sitting in the Denver airport waiting to board my plane for Phoenix on Sunday, I observed a little girl petting a companion dog in training. The little girl said, “I think he loves me.” What a wonderful projection, I thought,” the little girl thinks she is loved.” As I reflected on my internal response to the little girl’s statement, I wondered if that was a wonderful projection to “think” one is loved? Would it be more wonderful to “know” one is loved? For many of us adults a dual awareness exists, which means we understand that when we are speaking of someone else there is a reflection, or projection of ourselves occurring at some level in that dialogue. So as I reflected on the little girl’s projection of herself into the dialogue that she thought she was loved I considered the difference between “knowing” and “thinking”.
“I think” a lot of things, but what “I know” is very different. My sense of “knowing” lives inside my body about 2″ below my belly button and back a bit toward my spine. It is the internal place I am centered from both physically and emotionally. I am centered when I am grounded, and present in this moment. I find it on the top of a horse when I am perfectly balanced with an independent seat! “Look Mom, no hands, no legs,” so no matter what the horse does, my center stays in balance with his center. It is a connection and oneness with myself “to know” to be grounded and centered. It is a balanced connection with my horse when I ride. It is a true connection with others when I am grounded and centered, and come from a place of knowing what is true for me.
Perhaps the little girl “knows” she is loved, and her use of language is not that precise, or perhaps her “knowing” is not clear, or possibly she is already losing her groundedness, her center, and beginning to distrust her sense of “knowing,” and like many of us her sense of self-knowledge, or “knowing” is becoming eroded. For most of us our sense of “knowing” and our trust of that sense of “knowing” ourselves has become vague, it has been reasoned out of us from an early age by our parents, our peers, our educations, and our careers.
What would it be like for that little girl to “know” that dog loved her? What would it be like for her to “know” she was loved?
What do you “know”? What do you “think”? Which do you trust? Where do you make your decisions from your “knowing” or your “thinking”? Consider challenging your thoughts. Consider listening to your knowing. What is different? What do you “know” to be true for yourself? Where are you not living in your truth of knowing today?
I own a beautiful bay Andalusian stallion who’s nicknamed Fin. Riding him today I was acutely aware of when he was listening to me, and we were communicating clearly versus when he was anticipating my request, and thus the lines of communication were marred. We could argue that he was in fact picking up cues based on his past experience with me, and thus my body language was communicating with him before I was actually aware that I was making the request. However, what in fact he was doing was remembering a previous session or pattern of exercises that we completed and was anticipating that we would do the same routine or dance today as well. So although he was correct about the previous pattern, he was incorrect about what I was asking today. So I checked the clarity of my cues, slowed down the rhythm of the process, and allowed him to return to listening by ignoring his anticipation, and staying clear on communicating my current goal.
“Wow,” I thought, “that’s it, we get use to a pattern of communicating with others, we respond to the previous communication patterns with them. We anticipate their words, agendas, or needs. Sometimes we get it right. but sometimes we really screw it up, because we have failed to truly listen, because we were too busy trying to anticipate the other person’s world.” Instead of just waiting, being curious, and wondering, we were being self-protective, defensive, people-pleasing, or afraid instead. Fin anticipated because he has a strong desire to please.
Why do you anticipate when communicating with others? Where do you fail to truly listen? Where could you slow down, listen, and truly have a conversation with someone today?