Casey is a Senior Partner in a successful, very busy accounting firm. She not only has her own portfolio of clients, she is also supervisor over several junior partners and company staff. She’s been steadily moving up the company structure for 15 years. In that time Casey has married and given birth and is raising 2 children. She is president of her kids’ school PTA and volunteers for various community projects throughout the year.
When Casey comes to see me, she is on medication for high blood pressure and taking prescription anti-depressants, she wants me to, in her words, “Help figure out what’s wrong with me? My life is perfect, but I’m too tired and sad to enjoy it. What am I doing wrong?”
What I Want to Say;
Casey, you are rightfully exhausted.
In order to accomplish all you’ve listed, requires high blood pressure meds and anti-depressants.
These are the symptoms of your buried beliefs about your value. Are you ready to find out what they are?
Monica, a retired, empty-nester comes to me because she feels rudder-less. Her time is now her own after years of attending to the schedules her kids and her job dictated. She truly believed she would be happy to relax and sit around enjoying peace and quiet. Instead, she can’t sit still and is constantly driven to just ‘do’ something. In fact, sitting still and relaxing causes her anxiety because of her racing thoughts.
What I Want to Say;
Monica, this anxiety and these racing thoughts have been there all along, you just never noticed because you’ve been so busy and it felt ‘normal.’ The reason you kept yourself so busy was so you wouldn’t have to face them. Guess what? They are messengers trying to get your attention. Now is the perfect time to investigate them. Are you ready?
Instead, I ask questions. I introduce ideas. I present techniques and tools and I encourage steady practice of the tools. Sure, a good amount of ‘just tell me what to do’ occurs and sometimes Casey and Monica quit. They go in search of someone or something that will give them a “Change Your Life in Five Easy Steps” list. Eventually they return, resume practicing and bit by bit Casey and Monica discover what is lying beneath the surface of their ‘problems,’ and slowly implement lasting changes.
When the Shift Happens
True personal growth does not come from outside, it comes from within. It comes from first self-awareness–going in and under and then self-direction–going over. The ‘ah-hah,’ the ‘eureka,’ the ‘lightbulb’ moments are where the shift happens. When the shift happens, then true change and growth can and does occur. It also lasts.