Post 5: Fear, The Life Coach
Updated: Sep 1, 2020
It's been awhile since my last post. A long while. I could probably come up with any number of excuses, there are a few kicking around in my head. Instead, I'm going to own it and just pick the 'ball' back up.
I brought on a life coach. Single greatest thing I have done for myself in a long time. Crossing that threshold was not easy. Fact, I somehow almost convinced myself to not do it, I looked for every and any sign that the endeavour would be a waste of money and time. I even tried to get offended that the life coach would try to 'close' me, a guy who sells for a living, laughable (not really a sales guy), who was I kidding? Naturally, you would then ask, "why did you push forward?" I decided to do it because nothing was changing after 35 years of doing the same things, there was minimal growth happening, sure everything is pretty good in my life, but not as harmonious as it could be. And so I looked at my push back as THE reason to push forward. Story short, glad I did.
"Chocolate or Vanilla, choose." I love this. It is one of the most simple statements to illustrate a point, the point that the choice is ours to make, and no one else's. The excuses and rationale we make to justify our decisions are silly, at best, because at the end of it all, we make the choice to do, be, feel, independent of external data or stimuli. Still, as far as rationale goes for choosing to bring on a coach, I was told a great analogy, that helped nudge the choice, and that was about Roger Federer being the greatest tennis player out there, yet, not really winning anything until he got a coach, funny, I heard Hugh Jackman use the same analogy recently on a Tim Ferris podcast , great minds and all that.
Today marks six weeks of doing this work. The first four were blissful, I was guzzling from the fountain of knowledge; my thirst for answers and spiritual growth was immediately getting quenched, and then came the gap, when my coach contracted Dengue Fever and I was left alone again, in the dark world, to find my way back to the light! The light which exists within us all, deep down, camouflaged by all our past experiences of happiness and hurt, all our cultural and familial conditioning, is there waiting to be acknowledged. A coach helps sift through all that muck, to point out where it's hiding, so that we can all CHOOSE to follow what we know to be true - it's called gut instinct, because that's where it lives - all the memories of the head are what makes it hard to trust.
Now, its worth describing the other changes happening in parallel. I started my meditation practice back in November, which has increased to at least two 20 minute sits per day, once in the morning, once after the kids go to bed. I cannot stress the importance of meditation for awareness and visibility of self. During the first four weeks of coaching I noticed how good I was feeling during the week when I was meditating, eating healthy, exercising, and not drinking alcohol; I also noticed how awful I felt when I woke up Saturday and Sunday morning with a hangover. This had to stop, and so I'm no longer 'drinking.' Two weeks in on that and I have only had a couple glasses of wine on a date night out with my wife, the happiness and well being factor is up big time from that alone. Another change, generally hard for most people to stomach, pun intended, is I have been predominantly vegetarian for the past two years. I still eat the occasional seafood, and plenty of cheese, point is though, I ate some meat last week and I felt almost as bad after that as a night out drinking. Because of meditation and the work with my coach, I am now able to clearly see what is working and not working for my body and mind, and going forward doing more of the former and almost none of the latter.
The past 6 weeks have been vastly different to the previous 1,820 and today, I woke up feeling really good, physically and mentally. I have so much gratitude for that, and owe that gratitude to my self, for making the right choices for my mind and body to thrive. My relationships are improving across the board, with friends, with my kids, with my wife, with my co workers, with my community, and most importantly with myself. Growth is happening, it's as clear as a sunny day, though, I wouldn't be feeling this way today, had I let fear influence me in a negative way. And so, embrace the fear, it is most likely the one thing stopping you from reaching your next great height.