Lately I’ve been worried that I’m forgetting to do something. That thought would come like a sneak attack during an otherwise happy day or peaceful night’s sleep and set my heart racing.
It turned out I was right, but not in the way I feared.
Getting to the Answer
“What’s going on?” I ask myself. The answer is, I feel at capacity in my coaching practice. It is full of clients – and now Wayfinder Life Coach trainees – who I adore working with. But have I taken on too much, and the quality of my work is slipping, and that’s why I’m feeling anxious?
That conclusion does not feel right in my body (it feels heavy). If the answer is not to do less, it must be to do more, well.
How do you do that?
This is the question I brought to my coach this week. I figured she could tell me, because not only is she one of the most energetic and productive people I know, she is also a truly amazing coach.
In truly amazing coach fashion, she didn’t answer my question. Instead, she asked me to answer it. “How do you?” she said.
This is what I learned.
Allow, Get Curious, Ask for Help
Step 1: Allow
Don’t pretend you’re not struggling. I did this for a while, because I was so happy to have this “problem.” I thought I could talk myself out of it (I couldn’t) or that it would just go away (it didn’t). Notice your low feeling tone (anxiety, pessimism, irritation) and allow it.
Step 2: Get Curious
Judgment is our default, but it’s just not helpful. The solutions that judgment comes up with – such as, “Work harder, you big baby!” – tend to be fear-based, punishing and, if they work, work only for a short period of time. In contrast, curiosity feels safe and playful and generates creative solutions.
I allow and get curious every morning in my journal and as-needed (usually) during the day. However, in my experience, there is no more fruitful place to allow and get curious than in a coaching relationship.
Step 3: Ask for Help
This is the solution to my “problem” that curiosity led me to in my coaching session.
This is the thing I have been forgetting to do: to ask for help.
But I don’t simply mean asking a person to do something for me, though that can be part of it.
I mean, make a request on an energetic level.
I mean two things by this.
Set an Intention
Quantum physics tells us we are not what we think we are. A vanishingly small percentage (.0000000000001%) of us is material. The rest is empty space: energy, clouds of possibilities, mysteriously but undoubtedly entangled particles that are influenced by thought.
Work with that by setting an intention: identify and feel into what you yearn for and know that it’s coming to you. It can be as simple as that. (I offer a more detailed discussion of intentions in New Year Intentions.
Request help from the non-material realm: God, saints, guides, the universal consciousness.
If your beliefs don’t allow that, that’s fine. Intention is powerful enough. But if you’re agnostic, I invite you to experiment. A friend approached me to say that I have a departed ancestor who is trying to help me and suggested ways we could communicate. I have always been spiritual, so I was open to hearing that. I have been astounded at what has happened since then.
“This Is So Much Bigger Than You”
Applying these two aspects of requesting on an energetic level to my own case, what I yearn for as my practice scales up is greater capacity.
In my coaching session, once I identified that desire, I had an image of a large, ethereal hand reaching out to touch my clients.
Then I remembered: “This work is so much bigger than me. I am a channel for and a collaborator with the mission.”
Since then, I have been stunned by the help that has flowed in from unexpected sources, delivering more and better than I would have dared to hope for – and with a wink. One of my helpers, who knew nothing of my insight, delivered verbatim my own words back to me: “This is so much bigger than you, Allison,” she said as she told me what she’d done.
These astonishing results have quelled my anxiety and alleviated the burden of sole responsibility. The world feels alive with helpers now. All I need do is ask.
How about you? Do you ask for help? What’s your favorite story of receiving it?