Life has no meaning, each of us has meaning and we bring it to life. It is a waste to be asking the question when you are the answer – Joseph Campbell
WTF? WTF? WTF?
Ask better questions. The f**k is your life. Answer it – Cheryl Strayed
Transformational coaching for people who are asking: WTF?
What is the answer to my life? Many of us have a moment where we decide once and for all we are going to answer this. The trigger might not be a “cement shaking” experience – near death, life-threatening illness, loss of a loved one, a job, a marriage – it might be that we’ve simply realised our ladder’s been against the wrong wall. More often than not though it takes something big (maybe the wall left or fell down?) to awaken us, to force us to go there – we know we can’t avoid facing into this question any longer. That’s when courage matters.
Why courage? Because “the most fundamental harm we can do to ourselves is to remain ignorant by not having the courage and respect to look at ourselves honestly and gently” (Pema Chodron) and many of us struggle to be honest and gentle with ourselves.
Glennon Doyle suggests there is a system for telling the truth that splits us in two: on the outside we say what we’re supposed to say – “I’m fine” – when on the inside we are scared and lonely and confused a lot. The challenge is that, innately, we are all “truth-tellers”. So, unable to reconcile the words we say out loud with our inner truth, we tell the truth in other ways. We say “I’m not fine” through alcohol, shopping, drugs, sex, even working too hard: “Dutch courage”.
When we integrate the outer and inner, through telling the truth with our words, we step into our power. This is the place from which we can bring our meaning to life. It takes courage to stop saying “I’m fine”. It takes courage to say the words that do justice to the complexity of what it means to be me. It take courage to be honest and gentle. It takes courage to say “I have a successful life as a lawyer/accountant/IT project manager, but you know what? It’s not me“
When we do this we start to live intentionally, not by “shoulds” and logic (or to be someone we thought our parents wanted us to be). We take different actions – this clarifies our thinking further. We create the dots we need to discern a pattern. We live life with all our intelligence and we speak with our authentic voice. Life flows.
In Ernest Hemingway’s Pulitzer prize-winning The Old Man and the Sea, raging fisherman Santiago says “courage is grace under pressure”. What did he mean by that? Well, he meant that often we are unable to trust that we are not alone on our chosen path. Grace, is the experience of the universe’s life force flowing through you, it is recognising that we are part of something greater than ourselves. When we do not feel this, or trust this, we need courage; it is grace under pressure. I would dearly love everyone to experience life flowing through through them, until then courage matters.
I hope the articles and resources on this site inspire you to find the courage that exists within you to bring your meaning to life.
However, if you would like a partner to help grow your courage muscles, I offer face to face sessions in Edinburgh, London and throughout the Universe via phone and Skype.
I am a certified professional coach and explain my approach to coaching in detail here.
If I can’t help I will suggest who can and alternative avenues to explore to ensure you bring your meaning to life.
From time to time I also run workshops.
Get in touch:-
Telephone: +44 7787 105515
In a previous life I was a Finance Director (but don’t let that put you off). For corporate work find me at www.capitalconversations.co.uk (website live March 2017). Capital Conversations: inspires better business by unlocking the value in people through better conversations and better thinking. We integrate insights into what inspires people to work at their best with class leading expertise in finance. We spring you from the numbers trap, inspire you to make better decisions which adds up to better performance and better business.
You’ll find my Capital Conversations partner Michael Cahill over at Market Matters. Michael is one’s of the world’s foremost experts on the financial markets and company valuation. He is also the best coach I know.
I am also an executive coach and leadership consultant with TPC Leadership
Thank you to Heather Bond for her invaluable support in bringing the Courage Matters website to the world.