I have recently joined two powerful group coaching programs. Each coach has, (at the very outset) opened with a masterful stroke of genius. (Yes I drank the kool-aid). Now that we have that bit of silliness out of the way, we can carry on with the story I am about to tell. They each opened the program with a distinct and powerful question.
“How does this usually go for you?”
“What are you avoiding?”
Two different coaches, two different programs. I also had a session booked with a powerful and gifted coach this morning. A man that I am coming to consider as a solid and close friend. So now there are three coaches, two questions and one powerful, life changing conversation on the table. This point of collision is something that I call convergence. I didn’t coin the term, but I have co opted it for my own purposes. So what happens in the soul of a man who is relentlessly aligning with his higher purpose. Under uniquely convergent circumstances? A subperceptual shift. One that ripples throughout eternity. In all directions. One that I am sharing the barest of understandings with you here today. That is the exciting thing about the unknown. Our understanding evolves in real time. It’s so much fun when things like this start to come together.
The question “How does this usually go for you?” was posted in the Facebook group after the first call. Now one thing that often helps is context. What does the question mean? How does it apply? I am so glad you asked. When an individual starts down a new path, there is a way that things go. They get the promotion and lose the job. Or are super excited for 3 days before signing up for something new. Maybe they show up to every call but don’t do any homework. Maybe they do all the homework, but only understand intellectually. Whatever the path is, at some point the conclusion is drawn that this is bullshit, I’m not playing this game any more! This bloke sucks, I quit! Now the magic of opening a group program with this question is simply astonishing. The power is subtle and almost possesses a magical quality. Which is why I am ethically stealing this question and integrating it into my own coaching practice. Here is where the magic lies. Everyone has a pattern that kicks in from the time they start something. The pattern plays out predictably, often until they quit or sabotage their success. It’s predictable, and covers more territory than just the period of time they spend enrolled in the course. Frontloading the group and “providing” the opportunity to each individual to be forthcoming is committing. Everyone’s secret is out. Most of us, myself included, have never made this pattern conscious. If you are like me, you will begin to obsess about this question. It like fractured my consciousness open. Giving the universe the opportunity to pour wisdom into my soul. The experience of this question was a profound and life altering experience for me. Especially happening in tandem and conjunction with the two events that followed. Yet I am getting ahead of myself.
The question that you should be asking of me right now is something like “Great, thanks for sharing all of this”, “but without actually telling me how this usually goes for you”…. “It sounds like a pile of bullshit.” And right you are, so this is how it usually goes for me….
Right now, in these current times I am all like….
yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah yeah yeah yeah, yeah
let’s do it. this is going to be amazing.
I’m all in…
THREE DAYS LATER….
My business partner is going..
I thought you were stoked
and I’m over in the corner
Honestly, drive and motivation have been huge challenges for me this last year. I am putting myself on the stand here and publicly declaring that I have been a giant bed shitting commitment breaker. To both myself, and everyone around me. I am putting my feet in the fire here. Because this matters. Because I need help. It’s why I signed up for this program. Because whatever it is I am carrying, I have been carrying it by myself. The fastest way to break this pattern is to be vulnerable. To invite other people into my world. It has been frustrating for me. Shitting the bed sucks. So I am learning to welcome any and all support from the stellar individuals surrounding me.
Which segues perfectly into the next question. By an equally brilliant coach. We were one hour and fifty five minutes into a two hour call. This ruthless and relentless human called on me to sit in the hot seat. We had FIVE minutes left. I don’t know if you have ever been in a hot seat. It’s usually a longer process. The facilitator invites someone into the hot seat. Asks them the hardest, most on point question of their life, and then let’s the group have at it. So I thought great, I got off easy. And this is where the masterstroke plays out. The coach dropped the question like a Sunday morning sermon. Dropped it like it ain’t no thang. “Curtis, what are you avoiding?” Just like that. My world shattered. Something jumped into my head. Gosh, it was probably something about relationships. I mean if I was going to be honest. Cleary, on this day… That was not the plan. So I said nothing. I mean I said “there is probably something, but I have no idea what it is”. *cough*cough*bullshit*. My grandpa probably rolled over in his prairie farmers grave. I am certain that he was looking down on me howling. He knows that I know better than that.
Anyways, after that the coach said, “Great. We’ll just end the call here. Curtis, you can think about this for the next two weeks. We’ll start the next call with what Curtis is avoiding. Have a great day, and I’ll see you all in two weeks.” What a fucking dick move. You know that I can’t turn off this brain. Now I have two powerful, lifechanging conversations rocking around inside my brain. It feels like roller derby up this old pumpkin patch. You call it a brain, but it sure feels like a garden full of squash right now.
The big mystery now, is what is that one word. So on point. The word is intimacy. And it is so true. See I formed a belief in childhood that being alone is easier than being in relationship. My parents relationship was emotionally volatile. It wasn’t their fault. They were just playing out patterns that they learned as children. Those patterns did NOT mesh well. The result is that they consistently shattered one another's hopes and dreams. I watched the chaos swirling around me. No, I FELT it. It was real, and it was alive inside me. One day, I was stopped in my tracks when I realized that I was destined to recreate the same relationship my parents had. Unless something changed. I was 15. That is when I took a vow. I vowed to be single until the cost of staying single was greater than the cost of being in a relationship. Looking back, I can see how the language that I used reflected the beliefs that I held. I can also connect to the feelings that I desired. More deeply, my desire to give and receive love. My entire journey through life as a single person has been an expression. An expression of my desire to be loved. This lead me into a deep journey of personal work. As I am writing I am savoring the irony. My choice to be single was actually a deep expression of my desire to be loved. It’s beautiful transitioning out of that understanding. If one is familiar with the chrysalis, that is very much where I feel I am. In the between. Between the caterpillar and the butterfly. Wrapped in a shell. Insides liquified. No longer a caterpillar. Not yet a butterfly. Cocooned. I am connected to the power of aligned relationship. Harmonized vibration. In layman’s terms, being on the same page. The power to create on a whole new level. That the whole is greater than the sum of it’s parts. To name the shift that I am embodying, it is this. I am shifting from counting the cost of everything to seeing the benefit of everything. I see clearly in my minds eye the benefit of relationship. Unencumbered by the perceptions and experiences of my youth. The freedom to tell my own story.
For so long I have lived in a world where every relationship had a cost. I also idealized many people that I had feelings for. Coming out of this energy means to hold a balanced perspective. To see where I am gifted and observe where I have work to do. Also, to observe where someone’s gifts and flaws lie. It means to not villainize or glorify myself and others based on what I see in or experience in the moment. Through creating a new world for myself, the relationships I am experiencing are different. Uplifting, energizing, supportive and engaging. The magical thing is that it is not only the new relationships reflecting a different reality. Every relationship that is still in my life has changed. Because I have changed. I am finding myself connecting to the best in the people around me. I am ruminating less on things that feel prickly. Focusing on the good does not mean ignoring the bad. It does mean that I don’t let one moment spoil the batch. It means trusting that the people I have surrounded myself with love me. Trusting that I love them, and regardless of what I am experiencing in the moment, that growth, love and trust will be a part of whatever the outcome may bring.
Today I am still in the warmth and security of my cocoon. That hot, sloppy, mess of a life that is in the between of places. And! I am loving it. I have created so much in this cocoon. I can feel the solid, stable and vibrant world that I have created. 2021 is the of emergence. The year where what I have seen, sensed and trusted my entire life comes into a fully expressed state of being. In 2021 I am unfolding my wings and learning what it means to fly.