Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Grit, Moxie, Vulnerability

"The windows of my soul I throw
Wide open to the sun."
~John Greenleaf Whittier, My Psalm

Recently, I started talking to a life/business coach who's trained with Tony Robbins and Martha Beck. I'm lucky that my circle of influencers is filled with people who are well-connected, people who live on an elite level of accomplishment and consciousness. As such, the conversations I've had with Jesse are wonderful, to say the least. He does an incredible job of shifting my perspective, so that something automatically moves from being a challenge to becoming a blessing.

Like when I started talking about love, and how I've felt extremely challenged in meeting a healthy partner for me. 

"Do you feel you've ever been with someone who loves you unconditionally?" he asks.

"No," I say immediately. "Not at all." 

"Rather than seeing it as you sabotaging yourself or making these bad decisions," he encourages, "what if you understood that it's simply a lesson your soul is trying to learn, and that your soul loves you so much that it will continue seeking experiences and relationships that will help you grow until that lesson is learned?" 

"I like that way of looking at it so much more."

The moment Jesse and I chatted on the phone, I knew instantly in an energetic way that this man is the right person I'm meant to work with. His soft voice conveys so much unconditionally genuine care, which my previous business coach was the antithesis of.

Halfway through our first conversation, Jesse asks me to pause. 

"Can you reframe what you just said, but using 'I' instead of 'you' or 'people'?"

I'm confused, silent for a moment. "What do you mean?"

"Well, you'll notice that when people are proud of something they've done, when they feel good about it, they'll use 'I' in how they reference the situation. Yet, when it's something uncomfortable, they'll use 'you' or 'they' or 'people' as a way to create a bit of distance. I want you to own your experience and not give away your power, so can you reframe what you just said, using 'I' instead?"

I think about it for a second, then respond, "I feel like I get close to what I want, then I get cold feet and push away from it." 

Three-quarters of the way into the conversation, he reminds me about it again. "Can you reframe that to use 'I' instead of 'you'?" 

I don't even realize that I'm doing it as often as he's showing me I am. 

"I know, I've wrecked you," he says to me. "The first time that was pointed out to me, it shifted everything. Now, I notice it all the time." 

And, he's right. I do. 

If I were to put all of my experiences onto a sheet of paper, and divide it by a vertical line running down the middle, I could title the left side, "Shitty things that have happened to me," and then the right side could be, "What I've gained from my experiences." Because in the two conversations I've had with Jesse over the past couple of days, I've already started to see how I can look at everything in ways that serve me. 

"Y'know, everything is an illusion, right?" Jesse asks. "Like, we interpret all of our experiences in our way. How can we know they're really true? We can't. So, everything is a lie. But, most people tell themselves lies that don't serve them, they make themselves the victims of their stories. If we're living a lie anyway, why wouldn't we want to tell it in a way where we're the winners?"

I could see that my childhood, filled with abuse and rage and fear, was horrible. Or, I could choose to see that it's taught me compassion, tenacity, smart wits, and the ability to improvise immediately with whatever I have on hand. I could see that it's given me grit to persevere no matter what.

I could see that as the eldest child of two immigrant parents, I had to go at everything alone, working two jobs since I was 16 to pay my own way through every element of my life — including my most basic needs. Or, I could see that it's given me moxie, the independence to try anything and everything, especially to go after the things that many people are unwilling or too afraid to do. I'll face it. I'll do it.

And, I could see how needing to always be vigilant and "on" in order to find some semblance of safety has been exhausting all of my life. Or, I could see that it's given me the depths to be so vulnerable that I can relate to anyone and everyone for my willingness to be candid and open, which lends to unforgettable connections. 

Intuitively, I already knew that things were shifting to prime me for this upcoming journey ahead. I haven't officially made up my mind about whether or not Jesse and I will work together, but at the end of our conversation today, we both acknowledged that we're the kind of people who simply know. And when we know, we go with it. There's no need to question, no looking back, just divine timing. 

"When I was in therapy," I tell Jesse, "my therapists would often tell me that they'd have to be on their toes with me. That my intelligence meant I did such a good job of making it sound like I was healing, that they'd have to catch themselves to see if I really was progressing or just telling them what they wanted to hear."

"I'm glad you brought that up," Jesse responds. "That's actually something I noticed and wanted to chat with you about. I'm not worried that I won't catch myself, but I do want you to feel okay being no matter however you are with me. You don't have to be 'on' around me."

Initially, Jesse asked himself what he could bring to the table, because on the outside looking in, it seems that I'm already moving in every direction I want to be. I'm self-aware, I'm a powerful manifester, I've got amazing opportunities unfolding every day. But what I need Jesse for, and what he can provide in abundance, are all the ways that I can't fill in the gaps. 

I need someone who will be my rock, someone who will be my champion and advocate, someone who I don't have to worry about pleasing or serving in any way. I need him to be all about me. I need him to help me feel safe, so that I can begin to cultivate this in every other relationship and interaction in my life. I need him to help me plant solid roots, to find my sense of hOMe, because only then, can I flourish in the ways I believe I am destined to. I need Jesse to catch me when I fall, to be kind and gentle with me, to let me cry and get angry and be worried. I need him to help me learn how to say 'no,' to teach me how to set healthy boundaries and clear agreements and even clearer conversations. I need him to show me what love is, so that I can finally experience it in a safe realm in order to recognize real love in every other instance in my life. 

As always, I've found non-traditional solutions on how to thrive in my life and they've served me well. I've defined my own rules for living and continue to soar higher and higher on my own truths. Jesse is not a conventional life or business coach, and for that, I am abundantly grateful.  

"I love serendipity more than anything else," he tells me at the end of our two-hour conversation today. Towards the end of our dialogue, we both recognize that the Universe is absolutely revealing Its support of us, and we acknowledge it with one another. 

Jesse asks me hone down what I really want to accomplish in the year commitment we'd form with one another, because my initial scope is large. "I know that once I start shifting things in one area of my life," I tell him, "it'll start to trickle to every other." 

Because in addition to writing my manuscript and living my dream of traveling around the world, speaking and teaching, I want to find good and lasting love, a partner for life. I want to find my home in the world. I want to be truly connected. 

"Would you be willing to do it, to risk it all, without knowing the outcome?" he asks. "What would you be willing to invest $100,000 in today, if you knew you'd get what you wanted in the end?"

I knew the answer.

"Do what you're brilliant at," he reminds me. "You're good at so many things, and that's awesome, except that it also makes it harder for you to choose. It'd be easier if you were only good at one thing. You have this energy that is so attractive that it's no wonder people want to partner with you, that they want to ask you for help. And, you're used to doing rather than being. But, choose the thing that you're brilliant at." 

"If you were to draw a line down a sheet of paper, and on the left is titled 'Me,' and on the right is titled, 'Service,' anytime you live on the right side of that sheet, life will be okay. I can't promise you that you'll make this amount of money or that your manuscript will be picked up by an editor and make the bestsellers list. But I can promise you that if you live in service of even yourself and others, that life will always turn out all right. Now, the question is, are you willing to take that risk, because you just feel you have to do it? Or, are you doing it because you want the results?"

"I have to do this," I tell him, emphatically. "I have to get this out." 

"Good," he says. "That's a good start."

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