As a coach, I have the insane privilege of working with adventurous, tenacious, and truly alive individuals, so much so that I often come out of my calls in what my partner calls my “coaching high”. I’m in a daze of fulfillment, synergy, and fierce courage and am always left humbled, inspired, and creative. Today is one of those days. After my two calls from this morning, an image started to take shape. We had just processed some of the disappointment, the sadness, and the pain of dealing with the uncertainty of our times, the halting of plans, and the fear that can creep in when our hopes and dreams are seemingly on pause. But collectively, we discovered that though it felt that our goals were out of reach, they were less a mirage or a disappearing finish line, and more of mountain caught in a storm. Our dreams haven’t disappeared. They were never an apparition or a mirage. They were always a formidable mountain, probably one of a vast mountain range of longings, that we’ve always known in our hearts we were meant to climb. But like any mountain climb, it’s already been hard. We’ve already had to leave some of our loved ones or Saboteurs at home, shaking their heads at our “crazy plan”, hoping to be proved right when we come home wet, tired, and defeated. We’ve already had some navigation issues because we’re establishing a whole new route. We’ve already gotten blisters and maybe even had to cut a few “safety” ropes because instead of pulling us up, they’ve actually been pulling us down. And now, we’re hunkered down in our bivvy (bivouac), forced to take shelter on our mountain because the clouds rolled in much faster than expected and the storm of the century is unleashing everything it has, causing landslides, torrential downpour, and chaos. Some of us have had to retrace a few steps and find an alternative, safer route for the time being, even if it doesn’t feel fully authentic to who we are. Some of us have had to find shelter, resupply, and find safety in old habits, routines, and opportunities. However, what’s important to note, is that though the mountain may be entirely socked in by the clouds and though you may not even be able to see beyond 1 meter in front of you, whether you’re moving or not, you’re still on the mountain. You still committed to the climb. Even if you walk all the way down to the base, you’re still on your journey to getting what you truly want. If this was an easy process, you probably wouldn’t even be interested in this journey because it is your sense of adventure, your need for challenge, and your resiliency to hardship that makes you want to reach the peak with every fiber of your being. So while you’re taking a pause, take a moment to think about what alternatives may be to the path you were thinking about taking. What is possible now that you’re hunkered down? What has become available to you? What can you do now that you would have never had the time to commit to before? Who can you be at this time? What can you do? Because I’m sure you’ll find that along with playing UNO and taking long distance calls, there’s some thinking already taking shape in your mind, illuminating another way forward up your mountain.
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