"So what you're telling me is, that I can just stop being so hard on myself, quit beating myself up for not being perfect, allow things to just happen, feel my emotions, and not feel guilty about eating massive carbs for breakfast today?"
"Yep", I cheerfully replied. "And if you feel like garbage, don't tell yourself you should feel better. Allow yourself to say, I feel like garbage. No wonder I don't feel like changing the world today. I can choose to eat what I want and right now I'm choosing to eat this to feel better."
Photo Thanks to Tomas Tuma
Literally the opposite of the toxic positivity our culture equates coaching with these days, this conversation was lifted and paraphrased from my latest coaching session. And you know what? This client is amazing. Has done so much for others, and will continue to do great things in their lifetime. They are having a rough go of it right now, and things are feeling crappy, mentally, physically, emotionally. And that's ok. It's when we bury it all by saying, "I've got this," or, "I am amazing," parroting affirmations without feeling that we bypass our natural feelings and end up distrusting ourselves.
The breakthrough in our session came on the heels of this permission. In fact, I'm certain that this next week will be filled with epiphanies, realizations, and thoughts of, "I'm going to be ok" for this client.
When was the last time that you had space held for you and actually allowed yourself the room to say, this sucks. I don't have the answer. I don't know what to do! Rather than challenging your mind with fixing the issue, or buffering with wine, Netflix, online shopping, crystals, sage, oracle cards, or something else? It can be a bear to sit with our stuck feelings, but sometimes, it is the gift that we give to ourselves to let ourselves free forever. That we can acknowledge the feelings, circumstances, patterns, and see we aren't truly stuck, that they won't last forever, and we didn't die in the process after all. It's going to be ok, we can have a pity party for a little while, and then pull ourselves up by the bootstraps and ALSO be productive members of society.
We can feel bad and hopeful at the same time. We can be in an area of growth or desired change in progress, without consciously being aware; life is always in transition, and the more we resist our feelings, the more they persist. The more we cognitively bypass and say "I don't wanna!" The more our bodies will fight and do the buffering activity and our brains cause all this muckety fuss and we get tied up in the stuckness.
The art of allowing, allows the feelings to pass, the storm to form, and then we can feel it and not truly fall apart but begin to normalize our thoughts, our emotions, and approach the rest of life with hope and desire again.
This my friends, is what coaching is truly about. It's rewarding, it's lovely, and it's what I enjoy the most about transformational life coaching.