This weekend I visited my sister in Charleston, SC. It was an amazing, super fun, last minute trip and I’ll write about that another day. My dogs also had a fabulous time. They love a good road trip and they got so excited to see their Anna, Nick and Jackson. On the way home in the car, they were still pretty excited. I think they wanted to stay awake to be a part of all of the action. My small dog, Gizmo, was really tired, but kept moving around on my lap, and standing up so he wouldn’t go to sleep. He kept shifting and moving and going back and forth between my lap and the back seat. Then, finally, there was a moment when he got on my lap and his whole body relaxed. He gave in. He let go, and fell asleep. And then he snoozed for a few hours. You could see his whole body go from tensed to relaxed in a matter of moments and as he fell deeper asleep his legs and head just splayed out and drooped.
I told my husband how touching it is to be with someone when they finally let go. It is a beautiful thing to be a part of that process. For my dog to feel safe enough in a moving vehicle, to trust that I would keep him safe and he could let us take over. And he could just relax. And as I was thinking about this, I realized that this is something I love about life coaching and therapy as well.
When someone makes a decision to come into your office for the first time, or make that first phone call, generally they have let the stress and frustration and anxiety and anger build up for a long time. American humans have a tendency to hold on to what is bothering them for a really long time. We don’t ask for help. We don’t want anyone to see how weak we are. We want everyone to think that our lives our perfect, that everything is great, that we have got it all together. Sowhen someone has gotten to the point to finally tell me their story, to admit that things have gotten tough, that they could use a little guidance, or a little motivation, or just a little nudge in the right direction, I always get this amazing experience. Someone starts out talking fast, or in spurts, there are high emotions, there is a story about how they got to where they are now. And at some point in the conversation, there is always a release. There is a moment when they pause, take a breath, and let go. That moment in an interaction with others is something I absolutely love. It’s a necessary process, a turning point, when someone can let go of the story they’ve been telling, and start to build a new one.
I have the pleasure of being a catalyst for that process, I am there in the moment, I offer someone the space to relax, but it is not about me. If you are feeling that kind of stress that knots up your whole body, that you feel like you can’t relax, you can’t sleep, you can’t breathe really deeply, then find someone to talk to who will just listen. It can be a friend, your partner, your parent, a sibling. Or maybe it’s a therapist, a life coach, a masseuse, your crossfit coach, a psychic, a doctor. It’s such a healing experience. Find someone who you feel comfortable telling that you are having a hard time. When you can release that story, when you can finally pause, and take that deep breath, it allows room for you to start something new.