Things look different around here, I know. By its definition, 'identity crisis' is an apt description of what I'm going through, but I'm embarrassed by how dramatic that sounds, so we won't call it that.
Truth is, I’m a little lost right now. Thankfully, not in my travels—those are going swimmingly (I begin this missive from a pleasant, grassy rest stop in rural Illinois, an 18-wheeler parked on either side of us and an official sign straight ahead that reads: AFTER 11 HRS DRIVING YOU NEED 10 HRS REST)—but in a bigger picture sense. There’s so much out there for folks seeking life coaching. And a lot of it is really good. The blogs, the podcasts, the e-courses and e-books, the retreats. Now that I’ve gotten my sea legs in the actual art of coaching, I have to ask myself: What do I want to offer and how will I offer it in a way that reflects who I am?
From the beginning, those questions stumped me big time, but I pushed through. I wrote an offerings page and a bio for my website and kept things simple. This is what beginner coaches do, I reasoned. Start with all the things you're supposed to do, the things everyone does. I tried my hand at conventional coach-y type blogging, writing a few posts that felt safe and good, and I made corresponding graphics for Instagram and Pinterest. This will feel like 'you' soon enough; just keep at it. In a drought of inspiration or energy, I played with fonts; I moved things around on my website; I added and subtracted backgrounds and rejiggered the layout, satisfying myself for short bursts until I got restless again and needed to change something else.
This is what we do when our clothes don't fit. We fidget and adjust, pulling and tugging at the thing, unable to sit still. Sometimes, we even decide it's our body's fault that the garment doesn't look or feel right.
A few weeks ago, I waved my white flag. I didn't want to do it anymore. It didn't feel like 'me' and I didn't suspect that would change, no matter how long I kept up the act. So, I scrapped the website and strategy that felt like someone else's clothing, and I tried to listen. (That was after I cried and fretted and read a book on finding your life's calling, because, you know, I was pretty sure I'd gone down the wrong path in thinking I could start my own coaching business, i.e. something was wrong with my body, not the fit of the clothing.)
And then I remembered curiosity.
Curiosity is magic because its success depends only on the act of seeking (and an openness to the findings). It’s what I do when coaching: I wonder, I ask questions, I guide another in considering overlooked possibilities. Almost everything else in life is tied up in results. Striving. Arriving. Achieving. But curiosity is more open-ended and easeful, and it allows plenty of room for digging deeper and playing with variables.
So, a curiosity coach? Yep. That's what I'm aiming for now. I'm not so sure what it means, but stay tuned; I'm finding out a bit more with each passing day.
Notes from the week of August 23
CAMPED AT CUIVRE RIVER STATE PARK
+ blue-tailed skinks
+ owls (one was standing in the middle of the road when we drove back to camp one night; others, we heard in the night)
+ far too many large spiders (one is hanging on the driver's side mirror at present)
+ tick (tweezed off my belly)
MEALS PREPARED & EATEN
+ summer veggie omelette (turned into more of a scramble when I messed up the flip and decided to just roll with it)
+ roasted vegetarian tacos w/ avocado cream and feta (feta seems strange, I know, but it's perfect)
+ spinach & black bean quesadillas (we pulled out the George Foreman for these)
+ older couple from Missouri with a dog named Hank
+ camp host with a dog named Watson
+ mom and son from Wisconsin, Christine and Matt
+ middle-aged couple from Missouri, Sarah and Joe
+ Blazing Star
+ Mossy Hill
+ 118 stairs down to the lake and back up
+ whiskey sours
+ French roast
+ rum jumbie
+ lime pomegranate iced green tea
+ salted caramel cold brew coffee with almond milk (tried on a whim when spotted in the grocery)
ATTRACTIONS BOOKMARKED FOR NEXT TIME
+ Mark Twain's boyhood home
+ Phobius Haunted House
+ City Museum