There are three types of coaches in the world and they are all headed in very different directions in our industry.
The first group is what I would call coach hobbyists. A hobbyist is someone who spends more money on their "business" than they make and have been doing that for a long time. This coach may be a great coach, but they aren't full in. It still feels like side-hustle, even if there isn't much hustle going on. Even is that side-hustle is full time the hobbyist isn't full in.
The hobbyist coach likes saying they are a coach because it's like a membership card to an imaginary coaches insider circle and they like it. They dig personal development. They like playing with the cool kids. They may even like the one or two clients they have. However, practically speaking they still treat their business like a hobby.
On the other end of the spectrum, there are the Fame and Fans coaches. These coaches talk a lot about big money. They want big money with the least amount of effort. They package everything in shiny online boxes and have price tags that require a second glance. These coaches like their photoshoots and high-pressure sales funnels.
There is nothing wrong with big money for the least amount of effort. We all want that. But the Fame and Fan coaches don't think a lot about value in that equation. They might know the value of every single subscriber they have, but they aren't pondering the value they bring to those tribe member's lives nearly enough.
Patty Lennon recently wrote this article about whether or not the bubble is about to burst in the coaching industry. There is a lot of wisdom in that article. It's worth reading. It's particularly worth reading for coaches in the Hobbyist or the Fame and Fans category.
However, there is another group of coaches who fall in between Hobbyist and Fame and Fans. That group might be called the Professionals. The Professionals are working coaches who treat their clients with respect and their work like a business.
Pros don't treat their clients like ATM machines. They show up for their clients and community on the regular with a heart for service. They are good at what they do and they put as much attention on growing their skills as growing their audience.
And here's the thing: Professional coaches make money. In fact, lots of them make big money. But they are investing time, energy, and love in their businesses. They aren't trying to shortcut their way to success. Professional coaches aren't on that bubble. There will always be clients who are happy to throw money at a Professional coach who's good at what they do.
We are not worried about the coaching industry. It's strong. It's growing. It's evolving. It's profitable. However, for Hobbyists or Fame and Fan coaches, it's going to be a bumpy ride - in fact, if you pulled the curtains back, you'd probably see it already is. Just because someone has a banging sales page with a high dollar program doesn't mean they are making money.
Professional coaches don't work in a bubble. They work in the real world where there are an unlimited number of clients and potential clients whos lives will be better because they have a coach. Professional coaches are and always will be able to make big money.
1. Do not start a coaching practice in 2018 because you need big money now.
We're not saying you can't make big money. You can. But honestly, big money right now is a longer shot than it should be if you're desperate.
We're not saying money in and of itself is always a bad motivation. Money is a beautiful thing, but NEEDING money repels it.
Coaching takes more heart than you will ever know.
Coaching is a thing you do for the love of doing it.
Coaching is not for the faint of heart, or the in it to "get rich quick" crowd.
Coaching is craft. It's a calling. It will break you if you aren't called to the work in a purposeful and passionate way.
2. Do not start a coaching practice in 2018 because you're good at giving advice.
Coaching will teach you faster than you can imagine that your advice isn't worth nearly what you thought it was. Coaching will show you that you know less about everything than you thought you did. Coaching isn't isn't about selling what you know. That's consulting. If that's what you want to sign up for, start a consulting practice in 2018.
Coaching is about shining a light in the dark. Sometimes it's about being comfortable saying nothing for long periods of time. Coaches don't advise they uncover. Uncovering can be very messy work that requires a lot of bravery and vulnerability for the client and the coach.
3. Do not start a coaching practice in 2018 if you want to be internet popular or famous.
Yes, coaches may work a lot in online social spaces.
No, that's not as easy or as glamorous as you think and even if you succeed at getting attention, that won't make you a great coach.
There's not a shiny new headshot out there that will sustain a thriving practice. The pictures of your European vacation or fast car might get you noticed, but they won't make people love you.
Coaching is not a profession for anyone looking for validation from the masses. If you're doing your job well, you will work yourself out of a job over and over again. If you're doing your job well, you will be behind the scenes while other people thrive.
It's not about you. It's about your clients, and it always will be, no matter how good you look online or how good looking you are.
4. Do not start a coaching practice in 2018 if you just got a divorce and sailed through it, lost a hundred pounds on the Keto diet, or burned down your life and moved to Paris last year - and you think you can teach others to do what you just did.
A recent win, no matter how life-changing, or big it might be doesn't make a coaching practice.
Weight-loss clients will bring all their insecurities to the work. They need more than a Keto expert. Soon to be Parisian expats might need help finding themselves before they learn to find the best bakery in Le Marais.
Coaches need to be agile, versatile, and well trained. You are playing in someone's soul and working in their dreams. It can get complicated up in there. A coach needs to know how to do more than the big thing they just conquered to be of service in a sustainable way.
You don't need to know everything about everything but you do need to know how to lead a client to discover everything they already know about themselves. That requires skill AND experience.
DO start a coaching practice in 2018 if you hear the call and can't shake it.
If you feel like a dog on a bone you can't let go; coaching might just be for you.
If you'd do it for free because you love it so much, coaching is definitely your gig.
If you're willing to give it what it takes, even when it's demanding more than you thought it would, this may be the year for you to start a coaching practice.
Coaching is a high calling to service.
It's a way of life.
It's an identity more than it is a profession.
It's one of the most rewarding careers you will ever choose, and here's the thing:
Do not ditch your day job unless coaching is calling so loudly you know it's chosen you.
What is the one thing that might count more than anything else in a coaching session?
The energy we curate for our sessions.
Energy management might be more important than training, skills, or even the relationship we've built with our client. Even the most experienced or LOA savvy coach can often forget that the energy they bring, the vibrations they anchor, and the energetic experience we hold space for can make all the difference for our clients and for ourselves.
We are going to talk about the four pillars of energy management and hygiene for the most effective and magical coaching sessions.
Listen to the Episode HERE .
By: Nikky Dhillon
There was once a little girl who was very sad. She cried a lot and felt very unloved and unappreciated but what was wonderful about her was she always knew deep down that one day she would receive the love that she wants and craves for so badly. As she grew into a teenager, she fantasized about a prince who would come on a silver horse and rescue her and then love and protect her forever.
And then when she was 16 years old, things became really bad for her, her family brokeup, there was stress and emotional turmoil everywhere in her life and through all that mess her Prince showed up. He rescued her on his silver horse and then loved her and protected her forever and ever.
That little girl was me , and I met my sweetheart in school when I was 16. And we have been together since then.He had a silver scooter those days , I always wondered at the synchronicity of that. Of course there was much more to the living happily ever after than what most people see.
You see if I continued to look at my sweetheart to give me love and keep me safe which meant that I didnʼt believe that I loved myself enough or that I was enough or that I was safe in this wonderful world, then our beautiful love would have choked and died under the unhealthy pressure of keeping me happy and loved.
Fortunately , I learnt to love myself, heal myself and complete myself on my own. Of course it was so much easier to do that with the loving and caring support of my sweetheart.
We got married 12 years ago and have two beautiful children.
Blog post for January 2016
( Rampage alert !! )
He is the sort of man who calls me beautiful every singe day, we kiss and cuddle everyday, we still miss each other when we are not together, we have grown and learnt immensely but together.
He is the sort of man who supports me yet gives me space. He comes back from work and makes me a cup of tea knowing that I have taken care of the house and kids all day long and would love a moment by myself.
He is generous and down to earth. He is a super amazing dad. He is my favorite client to coach, I have seen him shift his energy too often not to believe that he is magical. He can bend reality to work for him.
He has seen me through thick and thin …. ha ha …. thats really true.
And I am so very grateful for having him as my partner.
And I know that focussing on whats amazing about him and being grateful for all the love
that he showers on me creates more of the same for me.
I also know that loving myself and being responsible for my own happiness makes our
relationship light, easy and full of harmony.
In this new year I wish you more harmony in your relationships as well.
Sending you all lots of love and my best wishes for the new year.
by: Jamie Goins
Ahh the American dream: for the purpose of this article, we will generalize that is a well-paying job, white picket fence, nice car in the garage and 2.5 kids. Obviously I know that isn’t everyone’s dream- stay with me here mr. sassy pants. Let me go a step more general- the American dream is security and usually that equates to some accumulation of wealth.
What are the stories that our society praises? An immigrant who starts with nothing but the clothes on his back and now 35 years of grind later and he can afford to put his kids through college- a luxury he never had. Or someone is born into poverty and claws their way up from the bottom of the barrel to a top executive position. Let me be clear- I am so happy for these people that have these stories and hope only the best for them. I love and applaud success in any form. But more than I love success, I love it when people are BOTH successful AND happy. And that is what this article is about.
Sure, you could try the “work as hard as you possibly ever could” approach to success: By working 80-hour weeks, persevering through blood, sweat and tears to accomplish your interpretation of the American dream- Some people achieve success that way, right? Sure, no doubt that wealthy people exist like this. But what is the price they often pay? How happy are these people? How tightly do they hold on to their money? Do they have a home life? Are their relationships solid or do they have estranged relationships with family? Do they suffer from absentee parent syndrome? Maybe they found out they had an illness or disease in that time. Perhaps their body ages to match the stress it is feeling from lack of sleep or poor eating habits. You work and work and work yourself to the bone saying, “just a little longer and I will be able to slow down.” You save and invest and then retirement age comes (maybe later) and you FINALLY decide ok, now I can start living. If that is your cup of tea, more power to you. It’s not mine though. I relish in all that life has to offer. I like free time. I like stopping to smell the roses. I like traveling for pleasure. I like spending time with my children and family. I like going to bed with a smile on my face and waking up refreshed.
The key issue I see over and over again- the critical misstep 90% of people make- is many people first say “I want to make a lot of money” and then they chase after whatever society has shown to be profitable. Maybe that is a career as a lawyer or doctor. Maybe that is to go into IT or to become a start-up entrepreneur. Maybe that is just putting in more and more hours doing something you have been trained at and doing the past 20 years. More often than not, it is working to the point of extreme exhaustion, putting in very long hours.
People stick to this pre-determined path because it is “safer” than pursuing something unknown. Instead of letting their passion drive their decision-making, they blindly follow the pre-paved, well-traveled money trail. Those people are going to have a much harder time finding happiness and satisfaction in their careers, indeed most likely in their lives in general because they don’t actually love what they do- they just want them money that comes from doing it.
Now listen- I am an All-American girl and I love money. Money and I are best friends. I have always been (and continue to be) very motivated and driven to be successful and to have money. In fact, for the longest time, I was making this same mistake as everyone else. I would search job boards for the next step on the corporate ladder of success. I would tolerate conditions that I hated hoping things would get better. Like the Wilson Phillips song, I would tell myself, “hold on for one more day,” and “pretty soon I will be one step closer to an executive position.”
But I have since had my revelation- call it an early mid-life crisis (only hold the crisis and just add the burst of enlightenment and the shift in my perspective)- and I am hoping you will benefit from it too.
What if I told you that you can be successful- however you interpret that to mean (e.g. wealth, fame, relationships) – and you can also ENJOY yourself too.
You can enjoy the ride.
Sure you work hard, but it doesn’t feel like work because you are doing what you love. And most importantly, your hard work is NOT at the sacrifice of your health, well-being or balance. What if I told you that was possible? Not only possible, friends, but THAT should become your new definition of pursuing the quintessential “American Dream,” in my humble opinion. Please don’t tell me it is too good to be true. It’s not. I’m living proof. And I have many colleagues and clients that will back me up.
So how do we do that? A great first step is to identify your core values- the things that mean the most to you- and then after that, you hone in on the things that bring you the most enjoyment. Start THERE…and abundance, wealth, relationships, and health can all very easily follow suit. In pursuing your passion, your love and delight for what you are doing will open up new avenues to you that you never thought or knew to be possible, resulting in the abundance you have dreamed of.
Don’t be surprised if you have a hard time narrowing your list down to 2 or 3 but keep at it. I’m pretty sure it took me 5 rounds. I think I literally started with close to 100 words (and clearly decisiveness is not one of them- Hah!). My core values are Mastery, Entertainment and Connection – but to put it in perspective, the runner’s up that hold meaning for me are: Accomplishment, Authenticity, Balance, Peace, Playfulness, Curiosity, Being Helpful, Meaningful Interactions, Freedom, Beauty, Creativity, Music, and Nature.
Ok so get working on your top 3. It may take some time- don’t rush through this. It is super super super valuable to drill down this list and find the absolutely perfect 2-3 core values. Got that? Good.
Now make a list – 20, 50, 100, the sky is the limit- of things that you enjoy- hobbies, people, whatever. I like chocolate and gooey desserts and helping people. I like being handy and fixing things. I love technology. I also love peace, quiet and nature. I love sunsets, beautiful skies and full moons. Catch my drift? Good.
When we integrate more of the things that feel good, the things that we enjoy and the things that allow us to access those core values- THAT is when magic can start to happen. For real. Stay tuned for more tips on pursuing your passion and living the life of your dreams!
There is a whole sub-industry in the coaching field of coaches and experts teaching other people how to market and make money. At times, it seems as of that sub-industry is a bigger pool than people who are actually coaching regularly clients. Marketing is a big deal.
However, it is possible to do a coaching practice in a way where clients flow, business grows and you thrive by doing stuff you love without having to focus on marketing.
We are going to talk about three ways to set up your coaching practice without having to market.
by: Lisa Cavallaro
Last month’s response from the Huffington Post wasn’t quite what I’d expected. It was the tenth blog I submitted and a little different from the prior ones they published for me. I couldn’t wait to see the online results.
Only thing is I’m still waiting. Yep, the article I was so proud of got a very sweet “we’re going to pass on this one” from Huff Po.
So after sitting with the rejection for almost a full month, I decided today would be the day I’d get back on that saddle and ride.
Wait! Did I just say that?
I call myself a deliberate creator yet there I was trying to figure out what someone else wants me to write? Talk about jumping out of alignment!
With all due respect to Huff Po, scratch that question about what they’re looking for.
I don’t want to change the article. I just want to get it out there.
I wrote it for parents who’d rather not put their kids on ADHD medication… and although Huff Post is a great place for some of my material, certain articles are better suited for a different audience.
It’s already on my own blog and I’ll get it out on Facebook too. Maybe others will even share it.
My intention is that the information WILL get out there and I feel really good about that.
What was disguised as a sweet rejection notice proved to be just the wake-up call I needed. My article was written from a place of alignment and once rejected, without even realizing it, I jumped right out of that alignment by wanting to please someone else.
Not very productive! (A total waste of time spinning my wheels.)
Nothing compares to aligned writing.
For me, it’s freeing.
It flows smoothly and each word inspires the next.
It feels genuine.
No internal chatter about what someone else wants.
No fear of rejection.
By: Lisa Hayes
I recently talked to a woman who was bombing a lot of first dates. She is gorgeous. Her online dating profiles get a lot of attention. She gets a lot of first dates but almost never gets a second one. She's been single and dating for more than three years and has never gone on a third date.
She thought it was all about the men. She had a lot of stories about how unavailable or unreliable men were. Not too surprisingly, she started attracting a lot of unavailable and unreliable dudes. In fact, the men in her life that had always been there like her brothers or her friends started behaving really dodgy.
I know this woman, and I know she's been on some first dates with some incredible men who made amazing partners for other lucky women. The truth is, the men aren't her problem. She is the common denominator on all those first and only dates.
Here's the truth: She is a very nice person. However, she isn't very likable, especially at that first impression. While I know she has a heart of gold, she comes off as cold and demanding a lot of the time. It's probably a defense mechanism. She works in a very male-dominated profession. However, that all business, somewhat harsh demeanor is eclipsing her beauty, on the inside and the outside.
There is a difference between being nice and being likable.
We've all met people who were very charismatic but not that nice under the layers of likability. However, it doesn't matter a lot how nice you are on the inside, if people don't like you, they probably won't bother to get to know you much past that first impression.
There is a science to likability. A lot of it has to do with chemistry. However, there are a few basic tweaks we can all make to be more likable and engage with people more openly.
1. Smile and make eye contact.
I am an introvert through and through. This one isn't always easy for me. However, it's required for connection, especially early connection. People subconsciously gauge approachability by eye contact. Very scientific studies have proven we find people who smile more attractive and more interesting.
Unless you're a super extroverted open book, chances are high you will probably benefit from smiling and making more eye contact than is naturally comfortable. However, once you get into the swing of it, it becomes more natural and gets easier because connecting happens more naturally.
2. Listen to the other person talk like you actually give a crap.
Learn people's names and use them. People like the sound of their own name.
Start every encounter curious. Make a point of learning something new from everyone you talk to.
Ask questions that indicate you're paying attention.
Make the person you're talking to feel like the only person in the room.
3. Be willing to share something about yourself.
We all know it's not sexy to make any conversation all about yourself. However, it's also not sexy to be a closed book.
A certain amount of vulnerability is required for connection. You want to give people something to remember you for.
If you focus all of your conversation on the other person, it starts to feel a bit like an interview or an inquisition.
4. Think about what you like about the person you're interacting with.
Focusing on what you like about a person changes the energy of a conversation. That energy is palpable. The person you're communicating with will subconsciously feel more liked. Everyone wants to be liked.
Additionally, stating the obvious, you will enjoy the interaction more if you're intentionally focused on what you like instead of defaulting to being critical or disinterested.
5. Reach out and touch someone.
A little bit of touch goes a long way.
The amount of touch that's appropriate will obviously vary based on the situation. However, even at a first encounter, a little physical contact increases likability. That's why either a handshake or a hug is almost always socially appropriate.
A touch on the arm, or the shoulder subconsciously creates a connection. Studies have shown people are 70% more likely to remember the names of people who hug them.
I live a mere 60 minutes from the majestic Rocky Mountains. Its a picturesque view from many areas in the city. I enjoy visiting the mountains, however I am less than enthusiastic about driving through them in the winter .
On a recent road trip, I left the nearly snow-free city in a dense fog, and travelled for 6 hours in variations of heavy snowfall, sleet, rain, complete with icy patches, snow covered lanes and high probability of hydroplaning on my journey.
Throughout the trip I practised mindful breathing and intentional gratitude. Every time I was presented with less than ideal conditions, I would breathe in deeply and exhale, while purposely feeling the relief of arriving at my destination safe and sound.
In preparation for my return trip, I really dialled into the pre-paving of my journey. Having just recently done the trip I could see the route, in reverse.
I decided that I couldn’t wait to get on the road, to take in the scenery and arrive home refreshed and relaxed!
Mindset preparation was the critical component for my return trip. I had more information coming back than going, since I am relatively unfamiliar with the actual route. Having the experience of a fairly white knuckled drive there, it was easy to find and focus on a better feeling experience for the trip back.
The first half of the trip I engaged my mindful breathing and gratitude and the second half was filled with being able to appreciate seeing ten mountain goats, waterfalls, and blue skies!
And admittedly my favourite was gratefully seeing the majestic mountains in my rear view mirror.
by: Jamie Goins
I was doing my best to finish up my work when I heard the clomping of my preschooler’s boots.
The kids were home and we all know what that means, right?
I love my kids more than anything else in this world. I cherish them. My heart literally aches with how much it bursts with love for them. But I think a lot of parents know what I mean when I say, in the few hours you have with them prior to bedtime, they can be somewhat trying on your patience…even when you haven’t been with them most of the day.
Tonight was a different flavor of strange, bad choices to say the least. As my husband and I tag-teamed dinner, playtime, and my 3-year old’s acutely-timed pooping routine, I noticed that our 5-year old was nowhere to be found. Now, this is pretty normal. I don’t need to go into the stinky details, but when kid poops in our house, it’s like a chain reaction…So I assumed he must be in the bathroom. As I called out to him, I realized he was in ourbedroom. Hmm. That’s odd. As I enter the room, I notice that our son is sitting on our (carpeted) closet floor with his pants and underwear off, dressed only with a sheepish grin.
“Tell Mommy what you did please.”
He giggles. Shit, this can’t be good. “Nuphing mommy, it’s nuphing.” Luckily I don’t smell anything (please don’t be poop, please don’t be poop). Then he points to the wall and a puddle beneath it. Sigh. Deep breath. Non-existent impulse control.
5 minutes later, Nolan is in the kitchen asking for a cookie. Before dinner. After peeing on our carpet. In our closet. Mom said no and Dad said no yet 2 minutes later, he is hiding under the table eating a cookie. Non-existent impulse control. Okie dokie, first time out of the evening- check!
Then during confession time, he outs himself for hitting his little sister when she wouldn’t give him his toy. Non-existent impulse control. ::shaking my head::
I will tell you that my kids are good kids. They typically have an incident here or there, but some nights are just very surprising in what they have in store for us!!
Needless to say, while Nolan was in time-out, I decided that he wasn’t the only one who was on the precipice of a rapid downward spiral.
I needed a change in perspective and to upgrade my attitude- and quick.
So tonight I wanted to share with you one of the fastest ways that we as humans are able to quickly upgrade our moods: Create a gratitude list.
A gratitude list is a list of all the things I appreciate about a person, a thing, my life in general or whatever I want the focus to be. Tonight it was my kids- my 5 year old in particular:
As I ramp up with more and more appreciation, I can feel the cloud lifting over my head.
Now don’t get me wrong: bedtime got moved up, it was non-negotiable and the sleepover was cancelled. There were consequences, but you know what there wasn’t? There wasn’t shouting. There wasn’t a mommy meltdown. There wasn’t anger or bitterness or a terrible end to the night. No, it was a firm but peaceful and loving conclusion to our night. I call that a win.
Next time you find yourself having to somehow coexist with your children’s inexplicable lack of impulse control despite the last 5 years of you teaching them right from wrong, do everyone a favor and give yourself a few minutes to center yourself, re-focus and choose a perspective of appreciation and an attitude of gratitude. J Gratitude lists can be so powerful in shifting your vibration from a negative energy to a positive one.
By: Christina Hayes
I had fallen into the proverbial trap. The one that says that I am far beyond those mere mortal lessons of listening to intuition, relying on gut feeling or using the skills provided me as a coach. But alas, there it was in front of me in all of its glory. He was a great lesson and I his student.
The gold trimmed white ceramic cup and saucer provided me at the local coffee shop illuminated under the golden toned retro light above. The smell of cinnamon and nutmeg filled my nares as it wafted upward from my cup of Chai. My stomach was slightly uneasy and my spidey senses left me feeling ungrounded, but I moved past this sensation and carried on with my meeting.
It was within moments of his arrival that I realized he was drunk. Not the falling down making a fool out of one's self kind of drunk; the more dangerous kind. The kind of drunk that says I am still able to communicate, drive and function, none of which should have been happening. It was less than 5 minutes into our awkward conversation for me to know I did not want to be there.
Had there been warning signs and if so did I just ignore them? What on earth did I just manifest and shall I learn the lesson once and for all?
Being a coach allows one to see the tiny stitching in the fabric that our clients call life. Coaching allows us to unweave patterns longtime past. So why is it that this innerworkings can be so easy to see externally and yet they remain amiss internally.
It took less than ten minutes for me to excuse myself. When arriving at home I laid down my piece of fabric and I began to untangle the hidden messages of my story.
Coaching is the ebb and flow. We teach and we are taught, we guided and we are guided, and we expose just as we are exposed. It is most important to remember that the art of pre-paving, adjusting alignment and mediation works for us just as profoundly for us as does our clients.
May you be blessed. -
By: Joy Zalzala-Soyka
I am traveling long-term with my family. Our first destination was a small beach town in Thailand and on day three of our trip, I had my arriving moment. The moment that let’s me mentally arrive in a new place and reassures me, everything will be ok.
The first days of our trip were filled with so many contrasting impressions and emotions. From being truly happy about a swim at the beach, to being absolutely terrified by palmeto bugs in the bathroom at night. From adoring our kids, to getting into huge fights with them. From loving our temporary home, to realizing many things are inconvenient during low season.
So how do we cope with that?
We do what we know best – we go for a walk. GoogleMaps says it’s a 54 min. walk to the grocery store. Yes, we could ask our host to organize a cab. And while the busses don’t run frequently, there is probably one we could catch, but we actually really like walking. Unlike everything we have read about traffic in Thailand, right here where we are, the road feels really safe, there is somewhat of a walkway, and we switch between walking along the beach, the road, and a bumpy dirt path. With the Kids fast asleep in our hand cart, it’s a smooth walk.
Yet by the time we are done shopping, the kids are awake and we realize our cart is full of groceries and it’s actually quite late already. The thing is, we didn’t really make a plan of how to get back. We had no idea how to get a ride and possibly we were hoping that magically a bus would show up. The mood is tense, and the kids demand snacks, which we ironically missed to buy. We sit down by the beach, improvise with peanuts and soy milk, and decide: we can walk back.
It was one of those moments, where against all odds, you just make a decision to go for it. “It’s not the most sensible decision” I tell my wife – “It doesn’t have to be sensible”, she replies. We jointly decided to turn the tension into enjoyment. And luckily for us the kids joined us.
I rearranged the groceries, so the kids each had a small spot to sit on, on top of water bottles, and boxes. And we headed home at 6:19pm, singing songs at the top of our lungs, and praying for the saturday evening drivers to see us on the side of the road, as it was getting dark already. We went down to the beach, walked barefoot with our feet in the water. The scenery was gorgeous.
It’s fascinating to me how emotions can be so close to each other: while we were extremely happy about the beautiful setting and family adventure, fear was also walking beside us. I literally took off my 2 year olds shirt, because I could not see him anymore, and was scared he would run off into the ocean. Four year old Eliasz was getting scared to step onto dead catfish (we had seen one the previous day), it was physically exhausting to pull the fully loaded hand cart and of course there is the nervousness of being out at the beach in the dark as two women. I consciously acknowledged and accepted my fears, and decided to still enjoy our adventure – I mentally arrived in our new place.
We all felt there was something magical about this 1,5 hours of walking back. The kids decided they should get extra special desserts for being so good (and keeping up with our decisions). My wife and I decided, if we could do this, we can take on the next steps ahead of us.
You can learn more about our adventures of traveling the world as a multicultural queer family at www.traveltheworld.family
By: Thomas Wells
It was sometime in my late 20’s, (actually on my 29th birthday), when I started to realize I was aging. It seems almost comical now to think that I would even bother to call it “aging” at that young age. But I guess it was some kind of existential realization that I was no longer going to be “endlessly young”. Finally, I was an “adult”, whatever that was. I remember taking on some sort of added weight, or responsibility, and it was a bit sobering, but no big deal.
Since then, my milestones of aging have been many and frequent, always weighing how I was feeling against the number of years I had reached. These days, in my late 60’s, I feel it’s as if the many chickens of aging have come home to roost. Feeling “old” is still present in my awareness, but it has calmed down quite a bit, and there’s a lot of new, fresh eggs gently dropping. The once clucking chickens sit quietly now, on their eggs of possibilities, content to allow the process of ongoing life to silently and slowly incubate and hatch into eternal life.
I’m letting aging be an afterthought. Oh well, aging happens. But Life, with a capital “L”, now that’s where the juice lies! My frontiers of exploration lie in the fertile valley’s of what may now be revealed, imagined, chosen, embraced. I hold myself with careful tenderness, relying increasingly on my relationship with what IS eternal to guide and inform me. I’m not interested in putting any obstacles in my path, but rather in clearing as many supposed obstacles as possible, all the while being as gentle with myself as I can. After all, I have eternity to enjoy this incubation and the raising of my newly hatched small chicks of realization and enjoyment.
Just knowing that what I have always called “Me” is never going to die, never going to cease to exist in Beauty and Passion and Fun and Happiness, gives me ample Faith and Trust to take on the raising of so many young, fragile ones, all my hopes and dreams and ideas and beginnings of learnings, of apprenticing, of spreading my little almost non-existent wings to take on my fresh career aspirations, my excitement to learn to play other divine musical instruments, to learn to be an accomplished partner dancer, to commit to speaking Spanish or Portuguese or both, to begin a new relationship to a delicious new lover and friend, even if I’m still a novice at it all at twenty years from now.
Knowing that I will never really get it all done, and that I can never really get it wrong, is so reassuring, and still something I am learning to embrace. There is a lot of freedom in being an Infinite Being, and in accepting that the Universe is fully Benevolent and fully Benign, though at times it may be hard to see it all as so very beautiful. But it is. I know that, I trust that, I believe that, I love that, and I’m learning to LIVE that a little more every day.
In fact, that may well be the most stimulating and exciting part of my whole journey these days. Accepting that I am just now really beginning to wake up to how profoundly beautifully all of this is orchestrated by Source. I feel now that all my exciting learning is on this very creative leading-edge of peering into the realm of the Divine. Beginning to glimpse the magnificent halls and palaces and “Shangri-La” valleys of a perfectly functioning Universe, where trillions of cells comprising the bodies of humans, plants, animals, and all Beings of every sort, from stars and planets, to black holes and bacteria, atoms, waves and quarks, caterpillars and sparrows, all function with such precision and amazing synchronicity that we could never grasp it all.
Or could we? Consider how we conscious beings peering into it all, engaging with it all, have the opportunity, the chance, the privilege, to witness it all from a seat of ever deepening appreciation, gratitude, love and excitement, as we gently let go of fear and worry and mistrust, and begin to see through the eyes of our Source Self.
It’s too much fun, isn’t it!