BLOG: An Unexpected Success
by Patricia Cavanaugh
I had a new coaching client come to me last year. She just couldn’t seem to get focused about her next steps. She felt that something needed to change but she didn’t know what. Her 60th birthday was looming; she wanted to be able to truly celebrate it and not dread it. She felt over-whelmed and unfocused. Her thoughts were spinning; she wasn’t able to sleep at night.
At first she wasn’t sure she wanted to commit to the time required by coaching. I put the amount of time we would spend (1 1/2hour every two weeks) in perspective. How much time was being used up to worry? When we added up the “worrying” hours, she was spending more time worrying than the 3 hours a month of meetings.
She was also concerned that I would not really be able to get her focused because none of the self-help books she had read had been helpful. I spoke about the difference it makes to be accountable to someone else rather than just herself. She made the commitment to 12 sessions.
Every session built on the previous one. As we broke open each issue we began to build a plan step
by step or as Annie Lamott recommends in her book
“Bird by Bird”
( http://www.amazon.com/Bird-Some-Instructions-Writing-Life/dp/0385480016 ) .
By the end of our work together my client had created a room of her own in the room her youngest child had vacated. She began to design a sacred place for her daily prayer and reflection. This daily process was critical to the changes she wanted to make in her life.
From this quiet space in her own home, she clarified what part of her professional work she wanted to take forward with her into her new life and what part she wanted to leave behind. She began to develop marketing materials that fit her new inner image of her self. She also started to change her exterior presentation for a new and updated appearance.
The bi monthly guidance meetings (www.the3rdact.com/coaching ) helped her to stay focused and to see her successes. We were able to use her dreams, which had always been a powerful tool for her self-exploration, in a way that supported her new life. We interpreted and integrated what her dreams were telling her about her new retirement plan
By the time our work was complete, my client and her professional life were transformed. She was amazed at how much she had accomplished and was delighted with the new energy she had that fueled both her professional and personal life.