Funny how synchronistic life can be. Lately I have been thinking a lot about processing or what I refer to as “the journey”. Even though I have lived a considerable number of years, this territory is fairly new to me. I was raised in a home that focused on results – the goal – the end of the game. My dad was a gifted athlete and my mom was also someone a bit driven – she was a businesswoman when that wasn’t fashionable. Subsequently, I came to believe that what counted most in our household was the outcome of any endeavor.
My brother was challenged in that area and earned the title of “difficult child” – for the most part, he didn’t disappoint – he managed to secure most of my parent’s attention as they tried to figure out how to raise him. I, on the other hand, felt the only way I could receive any real attention was to “be the best” at whatever I attempted to do – so my strategy was to work hard, keep my nose to the grindstone and excel – first in school and later in business – after all, wasn’t this their strategy? Thinking about it as an adult, I rationalize that it was like killing two birds with one stone – relieving my parents of dealing with more disappointment and having an end game that was successful. As a child, I just wanted some attention.
That strategy was (and probably still would be if my parents were alive) a complete failure – I don’t really ever remember getting many “atta-girls” while living in my parent’s home. There wasn’t much praise in our home – mostly looking at what was wrong trying to make it right. Never praising for fear that the compliments would “go to our heads”. I think, from talking with a lot of my peers, this was just the style of parenting at the time – exactly how my parents were raised themselves.
I suspect that is why I gravitated to psychology when I attended college. Still driven to succeed – a lot like crazy must be – doing the same thing, hoping for different results. Wondering why – even with each success – and I was fortunate to have some – after a short exhilaration, I felt empty again.
When I got into personal/wellness coaching I was introduced to a number of different techniques to help others and myself ” live our best lives”. It was the first time light finally found a “crack” in my strategy – and what a gift. While I still find myself anxious and stressed at times over potential results, I have a lot of strategies to cope and one really great one is “mindfulness” – to stop, take a breath and remember this is a journey and will always be one – to step back and take in the mystery and wonder that each moment potentially holds. It truly is a jewel and can change your life in ways that will surprise and delight. May it be so for you and yours – Ashay and Amen
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Linda was raised in the Midwest, graduated from Saint Louis University and hired into a corporate position with Reynolds Aluminum. She met, married and traveled with her husband for a number of years before moving back to his home place – The Shoals in Alabama. There Linda was introduced to life coaching and took to it like “duck to water”. Her empathetic nature coupled with a desire to help people help themselves; led her to and through a number of certifications, in different modalities. Linda currently practices as a Wellness Coach plying her trade in Florence, Alabama.