The further I waded into coaching waters, the more sense it made. It felt familiar - like something I had always known in my bones. It felt like a homecoming.
What does it mean to come home to yourself? For me, it means becoming comfortable with who I am (warts and all), clarifying and living into what is important to me (values) and learning to listen to the wisdom of my inner self. Heading down this path of homecoming has given me permission to slow down, to not try to be all things to all people, to show up just as myself.
It’s so easy to disconnect from ourselves with the pace of the 21st century; the busy-ness of managing a household full of needs, running around from here to there in a culture that celebrates a “better, faster” mindset and worships at the altar of “do more, have more.”
The metaphor that comes to mind for me is that of living my life as a car racing arcade game. It’s the hustle and bustle of our fast paced world, and I’m trying to increase my speed, zip around corners, pass people and keep from spinning out. I can sense the intensity of my gaze, the tight grip of my hands on the steering wheel, the tension in my shoulders and belly as I practically hold my breathe and don’t dare look away from the video screen. And because it’s an arcade game, I’m not actually going anywhere, even though it’s having a huge toll on me.
What if the metaphor changes to riding in a hot air balloon: being lifted high up into the air, looking out at the vista of my life, noticing the varied landscapes, the feeling of cool air on my skin, taking in all the magnificence and allowing the balloon to carry me along. Now, granted, I’ve never actually been up in a hot air balloon, and there are probably some technical things to attend to…but in my imagination it is a scene of expansiveness and freedom.
The perspective of the car racing arcade game portrays living as a holding on, as a feat of will. The hot air balloon, on the other hand, calls forth the imagery of allowing, of trusting and being led. In one, we have our face pressed against the screen – with no ability to truly see what we are looking at. We are simply needing to react in order to keep going. In the other, we can see the topography of our lives, understand the connections between different landscapes, different parts of ourselves, and make choices based on a well-informed understanding of our personal terrain.
Choosing that hot air balloon ride is part of coming home to ourselves. Being able to work with the unfolding of our lives, not by the force of sheer will but rather by being in deep and intentional relationship with ourselves.
In his book, Anam Cara, John O’Donohue articulates it this way:
Too often people try to change their lives by using the will as a kind of hammer to beat their lives into shape. If you work with a different rhythm, you will come easily and naturally home to yourself. Your soul knows the geography of your destiny. Your soul alone has the map of your future, therefore you can trust this indirect, oblique side of yourself. If you do, it will take you where you need to go...
I signed up for a year long coach training program because I trusted this “oblique side” of my inner knowing. It was that part of myself that had known all along that I was meant to do this work – to help others make that journey homeward, to a closer relationship with self, authenticity and a life of resonance.