“We’re all just walking each other home.” ~ Ram Dass
I’m a life coach and—on a good day—my job is to help my clients relax into passion, purpose, connection, and fulfillment by uncovering the deep truths they already hold within.
Sometimes advice from coaches is helpful. But sometimes external advice is unhelpful—a distraction from our inner compass. We have to do our own inner investigation to discern what’s best for us.
From years of experience, I’ve found a single guiding question consistently helps determine if a life coach is a good or bad idea at this juncture in one’s life:
Is this happening to us? Or for us?
This is a trick question; both answers are true. In any situation, we can perceive that things are happening to us, or that things are happening for us. Both human experiences are valid, but often we make the tragic mistake of getting stuck in a victim mentality, believing things are merely happening to us.
When we live in the dark eclipse of “to me,” we miss the beacon of light that “for me” offers. We’re blind in our own story.
What’s possible when we start choosing to focus all our conscious attention on this question?
How is this happening for me?
A time in my life when I fell deeply into the victim mentality of “to me” was after the birth of my first daughter when I entered a string of miscarriages.
It didn’t make me feel better that I had one beautiful, healthy child. It didn’t help to see the best doctors and experts around. It didn’t help to have the sweetest support people I could ask for.
I was deeply sad, and things got really dark.
I could not see my own life anymore. I was blind to my abundance. But I sure could feel the scarcity. The void became my whole experience. My thoughts were consumed with questions: “Why did I keep losing these pregnancies? Why couldn’t I hold onto these babies? Why could so many people easily give birth to lots of children, and I could only have one? Why couldn’t anyone understand my pain? Why was all this happening to me? When would all of this stop happening to me?”
It did eventually stop. I could say discovering meditation saved me. I could say yoga saved me. I could credit a lot of books, articles, and even diet changes for saving me. I could credit the doctors who listened to me and asked good questions.
But what really made the suffering stop screaming was surrendering to it. Loving it. What finally made the suffering stop altogether (albeit slowly) was time, hindsight, perspective, and asking the question: How is all of this happening for me?
Some ways the experience of miscarriage were for me include:
>> I learned my body will support me, surprise me, and amaze me.
>> I learned my body will fail me, disappoint me, and let me down.
>> I learned being a mother is a role I deeply desired and was lucky enough to experience.
>> I learned being a mother is a role, but it’s not my soul. It’s not who I am.
>> I learned nothing is (actually) in my control.
>> I learned how to soften, surrender, and be vulnerable.
>> I found my faith.
>> I finally felt God.
>> I learned how to trust.
In life coaching, sometimes less is more. Ask the right questions. Plant the seeds. Then simply let the question be. Let it reside in our nurturing darkness, germinating until it naturally unfurls in the form of a divinely-inspired answer!
There’s no rushing nature—she knows what she’s doing.
Pause now. Take a breath. Check-in.
It feels good to stay with the questions for a while.
“Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves. Live the questions now.” ~ Rilke
Here is a guided meditation to help answer questions by “turning on” the primary intelligence centers of our bodies.
In your head:
Not the crazy, incessantly talking, annoying inner roommate headspace. Drop back behind the chaotic thinking brain and into the calm space where you can simply observe your thoughts. Feel yourself holding the question with a conscious observer mentality.
In your heart:
Allow your mind to surrender the question to your heart, and feel your heart naturally expand to hold it. The heart is designed to hold loving space. Don’t seek answers yet. Don’t employ thinking. Just feel the question being lovingly held in your heart space.
In your core:
Feel for your gut, your core, or your womb. Whatever word resonates with your body. Feel your heart hand-off the question to this area, and feel the core of your being receive it. Allow the creative energy of that space hold the question. Keep practicing feeling over thinking.
In your entire body:
Let a natural, fluid breath create a free-flowing conversation between all three intelligence centers in your body. Invite all of them into the conversation. Feel each intelligence center infuse the question with its own powerful, wordless wisdom. Enjoy your breath, enjoy the questions, and trust your body’s wisdom. Feel all your intelligence centers wake up.
Everything—every millisecond of every day—is happening either for us or to us. When we’re ready to step out of the eclipse of victim into the spotlight of our inner hero, we are (finally) ready for fulfillment. We’re ready to wake up, and begin living in the light.
So how do we know if we’re ready to work with a life coach? I can only give advice from my own perspective—we will feel our own true answer—but here’s my best advice, for now:
>> Genuinely believing your experiences are all happening for you is the perfect place to begin with a life coach! You’re poised for growth and transformation!
>> If you still believe your experiences are happening to you, I wouldn’t waste your time. You’re not ready for change yet.
You may have mentally just said, “I wish I could change my answer.” You can! Readiness can change in an instant. When we let go of our limiting beliefs and let the rush of divine creativity, love, and abundance flow in, we are ready for change.
When you are perfectly ready in your imperfect-unreadiness;
When you are ready to confront your own resistance to change;
When you are ready to trust;
You will see.
How all that old resistance was happening for you.
Are you ready to work with a life coach? I’m here to affirm that there are so many good ones out there, ready and waiting, for you.
Author: Lorna Bennett Samatas
Image: Roy Blumenthol/Flickr
Editor: Danielle Beutell