Bryce Canyon, Under the Rim Trail (May '15)
In a couple of weeks, I will celebrate my first anniversary as a graduate of the Georgetown University Leadership Coaching Certificate Program.
When I reflect on the thousands of words written, read and spoken in the past year, I can only say it has been a journey in learning and the journey continues. Many wise people have said in some form or another "you never arrive." As I continue to learn on my own, with coach peers and in relationship with my incredibly talented clients, the truth of this statement becomes more and more obvious.
What's incredibly interesting to me is that despite the many accomplishments we list on a resume or CV, the path we took to get where we are today, may not be the path we need to take going forward. How can this be? Some might ask with irritation, "What I've done in the past has always worked so why change course now?" Then a cool reality sinks in and a clearer picture emerges. We are stuck. How do we know what's next or what needs to happen to get to what's next?
In my coach role, I recommend moving out of comfort into a place of risk and newness. This can be done in a number of ways. Working with a coach who can serve as a provocateur, a cheerleader, and sometimes an accountability partner - you can discover what's lying beneath, inside of you just waiting to come forth. It's through powerful, intentional conversation, experiments and new practices that we all find our answers within. I know this because I have been working with an incredible coach for over three years. She has helped me discover new ways of thinking, connecting to my spirit and heart, navigating and making sense of my world.
Finally I leave you with this source of constant inspiration, the words of poet David Whyte. His writing never fails to resonate and almost supernaturally connect on a deep emotional level, giving me the license and permission to be a vulnerable human, alas on a never-ending journey. He celebrates the human condition in all its beauty, joy, bitter disappointment, and rebirth. Here is a favorite poem, The Journey . The above photo was taken while hiking alone under the rim in Bryce Canyon (May 2015) during my own personal leadership journey, where I confronted my most vulnerable self. If you enjoy this Whyte poem, I encourage you to search out his other writings and take a look at his TED Talk from April 2017.
Now find those comfy hiking boots and get moving!