Coaching is about learning to tune into what you want and clearing out the voices that tell you you can't have it. I have one client with whom I mainly discuss career, but one session, she decided she wanted to talk about finding a new lover. So we switched gears for a session, only to find that everything is connected. What we discovered in her approach to looking for a lover helped us understand how she is approaching moving forward in her career.
I asked her what she wanted in a lover, and what had worked in the past to find one. Dancing, she said. When she lived out west, she would go out dancing and amaze her friends with her ability to reliably pull in men. She had a sensual shrug in her shoulders (she showed me over Skype and I could believe it). Now she lives in New York and she had not been able to find the right kind of club to go dancing. The only places where people danced, she said, were filled with people who were drunk and out to score or grope, and the dancing did not have the natural, uninebriated quality that she likes.
I asked where she did feel turned-on in New York City. "Good question," she replied, and listed some possibilities, though none seemed to be the answer. We hit a wall familiar to single men and women: Where to find that person? I asked her to sit into herself and breathe deeply and then to think of the first words that came to mind. Anything.
She said, "Plants, stars and pizza."
What does this have to do with anything?" she asked.
"This is your intuition!" I said. "Follow these words and see where they lead."
Between coaching sessions, I give my clients homework. The most important part of coaching happens between sessions, when they explore what we have talked about and then report back. Her homework would be an art-life project, following plants, stars and pizza.
She texted me two hours later: "Just met a guy in front of a pizza place!"
I texted back, "No way!"
I was so excited by my client's quick success that I tried this method myself. That afternoon I went to Trader Joe's. When I got out of the car I took a breath before opening to door to leave and decided my word would be "pumpkin." The word itself gave me a sly feeling as I shopped. I felt more friendly, too.
As I finished up in the produce aisle, a man turned to me with his shopping list and asked, "Squash?" He wanted to know if Trader Joe's sold squash, and where on earth was it? I told him Trader Joe's sells cubed butternut squash and pointed him to it. He asked, "What kind should I buy?" I said, "There's only one choice, that's the only kind they sell." He said, "Thank you, and by the way, you are beautiful."
I said goodbye. It was kind of intense. What to do now? I went on to the grocery line where I spotted a box full of whole butternut and acorn squash. I left my cart to go tell him. I felt obligated, having given him misinformation! I showed him the squash, and we chatted. This was the pickup conversation in the grocery store that I always imagined would happen as an adult. He seemed great with one exception: he had a strong alcohol breath at 2 pm on a Wednesday.
As I checked out, I felt energized. This squash guy is not for me. But how cool, I thought pumpkin and got squash! It is amazing that my client and I could set an intention with a simple, intuitive word. What a mystery life can be when you tune in to your intuition! Life can take on a magical, unexplainable depth. Choose a word, believe in its power and see what happens.
How has my client applied her adventures in intuition to her career? She wants to transition from the work that she's tired of doing to expanding her own business. She is accessing her intuition in the transition and open to letting the unknowable emerge without demanding perfection. She recently emailed me, "As I reach a new step in my work, I find myself wanting to create the 'perfect' way to transition. I realize I have to just let go and allow perfection to arise in the imperfections. It's a big lesson for me and I only cease to control my life and its outcomes when I stop trying to create a known thing in the unknowable. I keep practicing and I am fortunate to have many people to play with me in this game of life."
The story of this session was published with the permission of my client. Her intuitive words were not changed. I'm sharing juice stories from coaching that I think will benefit others. To learn more about me, my writing and my coaching, click here.