After a difficult summer, which included the unexpected death of my father, I have struggled to write in my life coaching blog. What happens when I can’t be inspiring to others because I can’t inspire myself? How can I lead when I don’t know where I am or where I’m going?
Where am I? Much of life coaching is about where you are going. In fact most clients come to me because they are stuck and want to get moving. They want to get from where they are to somewhere else. So human of us. Always looking at what’s over there. Very rarely, I find, do we actually clock where we are. If we do, we don’t spend much time thinking about it.
When I used to have a cottage I ’d entertain guests and we would laugh how one meal was barely done before you were planning the next one. Breakfast became the chance to think about what we’d have for lunch and then at lunch we’d be planning afternoon appies with wine and supper was on our mind all day. Even meals were more interesting in the future than the one we were enjoying.
When I remember that, I realize why it feels so strange to be where I am. I’ve been stuck here for a few months. I’m not moving forward in my mind. I can’t seem to plan or imagine the future and I don’t seem to really want to. I’m becoming a real expert of what’s here now.
For me this was predicated by the sudden death of my father this past July. Maybe it is the richness of now that has made me linger so. Loss really is the wake up call to appreciate what you have. I know seems like a hallmark card sentiment, but I gotta say, it was true for me.
Since my dad died, life seems to be here. It seems to be now. It is in every stupid loud crow that perches on the wire by the coffee shop I’m at-croaking like wild. It is in the color of the light at about 7:20 at night. Sort of a pink hued shape that shows up on the bark of the tree in the back yard. It’s in the irritation I still feel at my son for his rather withering turn of phrase “What’s for dinner? He makes it sound like something he hates and he doesn’t even know what it is.
Grief has acted on me like an anchor. Not allowing movement. I’ve come to feel like grief is a huge boulder that showed up in the living room one day, and because it is too big to move I keep trying to go about my day like it’s not there, but it is there, and I keep bumping my knees and elbows into it. It hurts and it makes everything take more time. It’s in the way. Undeniable.
But rather than fight the boulder, the pain, the discomfort, the hard bit of life, I’ve chosen to let it slow me. Life is at a slower tempo right now. And for once in my life, I’m just going to dance to the speed that’s there instead of grabbing the baton from life and setting the tempo. Permission to slow down? I’m granting it.