IT'S STILL INSIDE
I love it when a conversation brings a new way of seeing things or reminds us of something we feel we knew all along - but had long forgotten!
I'm grateful to have had such a conversation recently with a coaching client. The truth of the experience she described really resonated with me and reminded us both of an insight that came to her in another coaching conversation we'd had some months before.
We all 'hear' more, when we're quiet inside, and this it appears is what is happening with her.Our conversation added to my intrigue around the perfect non-correlation between mood and psychological well-being! I was again reminded of what lies beneath, always, to our moment to moment experience.
My client, (I'll call Joanne) first worked with me several years ago, and has recently, on a work promotion, returned for monthly coaching.
Prior to our appointment, Joanne had emailed warning me of her low and anxious state. In our conversation, she described how Sunday night she was tossing and turning with troublesome (and tearful) thoughts, really fearful that an old anxiety was returning - that is was 'still there' - and worrying that she just wasn't up to the demands of her recent promotion. After several hours of this, she got up to make a warm drink and settled just enough to get 2 hours sleep before attending a team day at work.
The team day was held off-site in a very tranquil setting - with their room overlooking beautiful gardens. As Joanne listened to how involved everyone was in their various projects, she had conflicting thoughts. Thoughts about how she felt alone, unsupported - and frustratingly, having recently joined them as their new team manager, not having her own lead on anything. All of this was overwhelming her. And yet, at the same time, she loved the warmth of the people on the team and respected her manager.
At lunch break, she was able to walk in the gardens, her mood naturally lifting. Then as they rounded off the team-day, and without thinking, to her amusement, Joanne found herself approaching her manager to tell her that she wanted to lead the ambitious 18-month £multi-million project mentioned during the day. Her manager was delighted, saying to her that she was hoping to find the right moment to ask her; that she indeed had all the expertise and ability, even if to date, not the experience that some others in the organisation would expect.
Joanne was thrilled at the prospect of leading the project, confident that as it unfolded, she would find her feet and be able to use her talents to the full.
In describing to me her experience, she suddenly paused, remembering a previous conversation we'd had some time back when in a low unresourceful state she had proclaimed 'It's still there!', meaning initially, an old anxiety - and then in the next wonderful moment being able to see this differently, as 'It's STILL(ness) INSIDE' ... seeing instead, her constant innate psychological health (well-being), which we had been discussing earlier in the conversation.
This well-being is always available to us, regardless of what we're thinking or doing. As our well-being is built-in for all of us, it's constant. Only our thinking and doing fluctuates, creating the illusory experience that we're losing it! As we take our personal thinking less seriously, we can't help but drop back into the stillness, the deep infinite well of Being inside of us.
The gardens, to Joanne, had been merely a reflection of this constant stillness inside, available to us all, from which she could always draw inspiration. The gardens had not created the inspiration - rather her perception of their beauty had come from her being still enough to notice.
Through genuinely reflecting from this internal place of stillness, as opposed to analyzing the rough (messy!?) waters, she was able to rejoin the team day from a very different perspective of being herself, and set sail again with the full wind in her sails!