I used to sail a 12 foot Laser sailboat. It gave me challenges at times on local Kansas lakes when it got windy or choppy. Once it “turtled”; three young children and I were overboard far from shore with a boat upside down. We had to scramble but survived unhurt. Even a happy day at the lake can sometimes be disrupted by forces out of our control.
Sailing reminds me of life. Sometimes you get “blown around” by a disruption like your own or your child’s illness, a divorce, a job change or layoff, or the loss of purpose and income that comes with retirement. These disruptions can be very much like those stormy times in a small boat. Disruptions can rip away the old safety nets and life preservers we use to fend off change; we may lose friends, family, community, health, and financial security. You have two basic choices how to respond in the moment. You can 1) fight the wind, trying to sail straight ahead with anger and determination to not change your life or lose anything you have had; or you can 2) begin to tack back and forth, being flexible and transforming yourself and your journey into an adventure.
How do you usually manage the winds of life? I am honored to support my clients’ transformations through some of these stormy times. They have improved their careers and their relationships, become healthier and found new meaning in life. I am impressed by their ability to be resilient, clear, and hopeful when I assist with these coaching actions: 1) identify barriers to positive change and plan how to eliminate those 2) empower new vision with deep conversations within the safety of the coaching relationship 3) encourage the client to build on their essence to construct new actions 4) celebrate breakthroughs!
I hope to spend the rest of 2017 being a guiding wind in the sails of special people who are willing to unfurl their sails to the winds of transformation. I hope you get on board for your own transformation.
Jeanne Erikson, PhD, PCC, BCC