Someone who lives from a place of abundance — all of what you are and already have — no matter what life throws at you? Or are you someone always with an eye out for what’s missing and absent in your life? Someone who acknowledges their wins by saying, “That’s good news, but….”
A month or two ago, I was telling my coach that the prior week, three people I didn’t sought out had contacted me about possibly getting some coaching. Three new leads in a week was my best week in seven years! …
On a warm summer afternoon the year I turned thirty, I was a cocky young man helming a speedy new catamaran off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard. On board with me was a woman I’d just met who didn’t know how to sail. She had been a little reluctant to join me, so to reassure her, I showed her two life jackets strapped to the deck and promised her she would be safe.
Then, about a mile from shore, merrily skimming over the afternoon chop in a stiff breeze, my foot slipped out of the safety strap that held me…
Lolling and bobbing down the coast towards Stinson Beach, David and I are trolling for salmon and savoring a late summer morning. I inhale deeply — the air is a delicious cocktail of ocean vapor stirred with summer heat, with a whiff of beach grass around the edges. And no smoke….
I did it! I escaped.
The boat is on autopilot and there are two rods with sardine-baited lines trailing in our wake. David and I are lounging in reclining chairs, feet propped up on the engine cover like two vacationers on a cruise ship.
In the half-dozen times David…
“I know I’ll be okay,” my client said, breaking the silence that hung between us.
He was wearing a smile I hadn’t seen before; as he spoke, the worry lines on his forehead seemed to melt away.
“I know somehow that I’ll be okay,” he declared a second time, referring to the possibility that his recent illness might prevent him from ever returning to a job which he enjoyed, and which supported his family.
It’s true, I thought. I understand what he’s found. I know the truth of that feeling.
In the silence that encircled us, our eyes met and…
The fear that you feel would not even exist but for your own creation of it. Being free does not come from awareness of your story, it comes from being aware of your creation of the story…. Dr. Jack Pransky
On a stainless-steel tray, Dr. C is preparing the biopsy syringe which he will shortly deploy into the tumor in my right tonsil. I’m already a few seconds ahead of what’s coming, arching my back in anticipation.
Wearing a blue surgical cap and a clinically reassuring smile, Dr C turns to face me. …
“Do you think you’re broken?”
Her question hits me like a bolt from the blue. She sees things I cannot see, has a knack for touching the invisible.
“What? No…” I reply. “But a part of me used to…”
“Hold on,” she says, cutting me off. “Can you give me a yes-or-no? No buts, no explanations?”
I smile and nod. We’ve played this game before: “Top of Mind”, an inquiry into what is present for me in this instant, nothing more, no explanations, qualifications, or defenses. Just what I see in this moment.
“Do you think you’re broken?”
A pair of turtle doves coos on the shimmering ridge-top above me. Down here, in a shaded cocoon of redwoods, on the steep narrow trail, it’s cave-quiet and pleasantly cool. I feel attuned to the life that holds me.
There’s a faint tap on my hiking cap, followed by the sound of something rustling below me.
I touch the bill of my cap and stop. My sunglasses are gone. I peer downhill into a shadowy pile of redwood needles and leaves.
There. A glint of black.
I cautiously climb down the slope. Squatting, I reach down and grab the glasses.
A few years ago, I interviewed a young mother with stage 4 melanoma about the nature of wellbeing. She had discovered her cancer during the birth of her first child, who was three years old when we spoke. While her ongoing treatment had been grueling and her prognosis uncertain at best, she told me that she knew she was fine and would be fine. Even if she died.
She said that when she first learned of her cancer, she saw herself standing on the precipice of the moment, facing the dark, ominous face of her future. …
The story went something like this.
I told my coach about a recent session with one of my clients — a man dealing with anxiety and emotional issues following a serious illness. Partway through his session, when I thought I understood what he was up against, I shared with my client my understanding of how a person’s thinking and state of mind distorts their perception of the world.
When I finished, I asked my client if he heard anything helpful — if he now saw his recent struggles with mood swings in a different light?
He reflected quietly for a…