I was sitting with a friend the other day and she asked me, "Heather, what exactly is a life coach? What do you do?" And I figured maybe she wasn't the only one who was uncertain...
A few weeks' back I discovered an incredible resource by Peter Walker. Okay, it was actually just a simple list, but as I read it through I realized that even though I loved all of the things on this list, I had never accepted that they were true for me. Which was brain-boggling for me. How had I gotten this far into life without realizing that these things could be true for me?
Last week we talked about how our values should be used as the basis for our parenting plan. How we need to figure out where we're trying to get to before we can create a plan for how to get there, just like we need a destination before we can plot a course of travel on a map. But once we have the destination how do we create the plan?
In an ideal world, we would be leaning into our values, with so much love and compassion and excitement and joy that our children would gladly follow us forward into these places and spaces.
I was sixteen when I first got my driver's license, and as a driver, one of the earliest things I learned how to do is to park. That's because knowing where and how to park your car is essential to coming back to your car where you left it, in one piece, and in a drivable condition - ready to go on to your next destination. I was taught rules about which way to angle my tires when I parked on a hill - one way for when I had a curb to butt up against and a different way for when there was a soft shoulder. I was taught rules about how much space I should leave between myself and other vehicles. I was taught how to tell if a place was a fire route or otherwise designated as a no parking space. And someone even attempted to teach me how to parallel park, although that lesson clearly didn't stick very well! But the more life I live, the more I realize that we should probably also be teaching our teens about how and when and for how long it is safe to 'park' ourselves in life.
On Wednesday we talked about 'Otherworld' and the idea that the world revolved around more than just me. And we talked about the fact that this kind of thinking makes it easy for us to misinterpret people's motives and intentions and end up assuming that people are being 'deliberate and malicious' far more frequently than they actually are. Having identified the problem, now we have to figure out how to get to a solution. And I think that the solution is to assume that there's probably an explanation for the behaviour, and then get curious and see if we can figure it out!
We might never admit it to anyone else, but we sometimes like to believe that we live in a twisted Otherworld. This Otherworld (also known as 'Solipsism') is often seen as an issue just for people who are on the Autistic Spectrum, but the more I talk to people the more I think it's there for most of us unless we have consciously made a different choice. In this Otherworld, the world revolves around me: people exist to make me happy and their negative responses are deliberate and malicious attacks against me. And while most people don't take it all the way to it's logical conclusions, it does seem to show up more often than would be strictly speaking helpful.