I've just completed a round of 6 Mother & Daughter Coaching sessions (where I was the coach). It was quite something. Having never had this type of coaching myself nor facilitated coaching to this type of duo before I wasn't entirely sure how it was going to flow. As always, I was totally up for the challenge and trusting in what would unfold. I couldn't be happier as I reflect back over our shared journey.
I was the first option as a third party because the mother (who had never received coaching before and to a degree resisted it up until this point) accepted that an intervention was necessary and felt she would be comfortable with me due to a certain sense of familiarity and safety with me. I personally know this duo so this in part made sense to me AND I made sure to ensure I would bring a really professional approach which might call upon my historical knowledge of both parties AND where I would approach everything with fresh eyes and ears, to be open to what would be brought up and let go of the need to mentalise what I know about each of them personally. A professional relationship and a personal relationship are quite different. It took me sometime to get my head around this, years in fact. When my pal Dr Sarah Madigan used to teach me I thought it would be all fun and games because of our shared history. That had its uses at times AND what we covered in Coaching sessions would never cross over into our personal/friendship space. A former version of me might have resisted saying yes to coaching folk I know so well, AND I've developed the tools and skills to know how to create the right kind of space for both types of relationships.
Me being me paid attention (to what they were asking, what they needed support with, my instinct to 'already know/predict what was going to come up', and get clear about why they chose me). I took immediate action and arranged a private 1-2-1 call with the mother for her to get a taste of what coaching with me would be like before committing to ongoing sessions together. That felt like such an intuitive and potent move, it offered a beautiful and open space for the mother to practice being open and honest about where she was at (which isn't always an easy thing, especially when you haven't done it before in a coaching/therapy type setting). The session went amazingly, I felt connected and trusted that our sessions together would be valuable. And we 3 engaged in a 3 way coaching arrangement.
ALL IN OR YOU'RE ALL OUT
For coaching to work, all parties involved need to be ALL IN. If a party gets involved because they feel they 'should' it never works. Doing something because we 'should' just breeds room for resentment, either of another (who may have suggested/insisted on coaching), the process or that things are not working (usually because there are specific expectations which leaves no room for the natural unfolding of insight, growth and transformation).
What have I done?
We shared 6 sessions together, 3 1hr zoom sessions where mother and daughter were in the same space together, 1 x 2hr online session (that was a WHAMMY!), at times it felt like too much, it brought up triggers, there were tears, having to leave the screen (room) and rage, there were a couple of points where I questioned what I'd gotten myself into. By the end we were all exhausted and had returned back to stable ground (I incorporate a lot of grounding and nervous system regulating exercises to draw energy out of the sympathetic fight or flight nervous system, it always always helps and works, which is always the basis of why I am so passionate about movement - getting out of the mind and into the body). Reflecting back now, that session was long and powerful, and my favourite thing of all - it was HONEST - all the rage, the snot, the tears, the pain - the truth underneath why we were even working together in the first place. Result! We were getting into the silt, the grit, the murkiness, the dirt that needed to be dug into to discover what lies deep in the core. It was entirely perfect and brave and beautiful.
The pleasure in the pain of truth telling...this potentially belongs in another blog post...maybe it will
I'm feeling called to share this here because in these mother and daughter sessions (and all sessions), I invest a shite load of time and energy empowering folk to speak up and say what needs to be said and to trust that everything is going to be ok, if not better. I want to share a little of how that looks for me and in my life.
I'm not afraid to go to places of pain, don't get me wrong its not like I enjoy it, I do however honour the importance of truth. In fact, recently I've found myself in many situations where truth has rattled the living daylights out of my sense of self. The 'great unfolding' that follows a moment of truth is not for the faint hearted. I've regretted the way some truths have come across, I've wished I had 'prefaced' or explained more (because without this my truths may have been taken in the wrong way and then I get caught up in explaining myself, which can be a whole world of pain because at this point immense and intense emotions are also in the ring). I've wished I'd said something sooner. I've wished I had paused and thought a little more before speaking, I've wished I had done more to take care of myself before and after (*FLAG* before proceeding 'soothe nervous system') and reminded myself that I had my own back and its entirely ok to speak my truth and that 'what someone thinks or says about me is none of my business'. I always spoken up and out and more often than not found myself in a world of mental and emotional turmoil. I've generally only ever regretted the way I've said something, not what was said AND I've learned valuable lessons along the way. Call me bonkers but I have this belief that this is how its meant to be for me, I'm meant to say these things, I'm meant to say things that take both sides to the ring of fire and trust that something more meaningful, honest and beautiful will flower as a result. Something I say in most coaching sessions is 'it's meant to be this way, if it were meant to be different it would be different, AND its this way'. No regrets, we're exactly where we're meant to be. More than anyone I know, I have a greater rate of interpersonal challenges. I've spent WAY too many hours (decades even) questioning if I'm a bad person, if I am too rooted in my own agenda and ego, if I'm too ruled by my mind, if I have devious ulterior motives - its a right laugh (sarcasm) in my mind at times! My quest for peace of mind, understanding myself more, why I am the way I am and deepening into my own truth and an almost desperation for seeing the truth and beauty in all things is FIERCE. I had a thought recently (amidst feeling like I was in the ring of fire of truthful confrontations) that I might just stop speaking up, because as a MASSIVE empath, the aftermath of truth telling in terms of how I was able to cope with being in my mind was almost too much to cope with. I can have a tendency to make the way I am feeling bad, ugly, evil, heartless and all manner other other unkind ways of relating to myself. This stuff takes work.
remembering what's real
Much time our sessions were focussed on:
Why my clients signed up for coaching in the first place
Reminding them of the goals they shared before starting
Checking in with how they felt we were doing in terms of their goals and how the sessions were going/working
Reflecting over any changes since working together, paying particular attention to habits and patterns to do with common frustrations/triggers.
And I feel the most important aspect of all is remembering all that is good. To take the spotlight off the 'frustrating this or that' and actually turn the dial up on what this duo actually really like about each other. This approach ALWAYS feeds into something really spacious and beautiful in the way communication and energy flows.
When coaching is over
Something that has plagued me for most of my life is this business of 'yeah its all well and good when I'm paying for the course, having the sessions, being accountable to someone/something', and what about in-between times, what happens then?
I'm a latest and greatest HUGE advocate for getting support where it's needed. We take our teeth to a dentist and our phones to a power source to charge. We're no different. We are not a bottomless pit/infinite source of commitment, will power, self control and discipline.
This shit takes work, and we're not meant to do it alone. Support is needed in order to Thrive in this life, we were never meant to do it alone. I am always always always banging on about the importance of being equipped with whatever support is needed to stay afloat. Be it a regular walk/catch up with pal. Arranging a babysitter once a month in order to prioritize date night. Pay a therapist if it helps. Commit to that bodywork you need in order to feel better in your body. Join a club/group where there is a common interest. Get a mentor/coach.
WHATEVER!!!!! ACCEPT THAT YOU ARE WORTHY OF ASKING FOR AND RECEIVING SUPPORT AND DO WHATEVER IT TAKES TO MAKE SURE YOU GET IT.
Its only your life you're supporting. I also mentioned being an empath at heart, which means that I can't not keep in touch with ex clients and check in on how they're doing, it just feels good and right in my soul AND I'm always always inspired by what I hear back.
If it feels difficult to come up with the money, to say/ask/do the difficult thing then here's a wee tip
STOP MAKING IT ABOUT YOU AND START MAKING IT ABOUT WHAT WILL BE POSSIBLE AS A RESULT TO DOING THIS!
And that brings me to the end of this Blog post that has gone in every direction unimaginable to begin with AND its entirely perfect.
Sending love from my heart to yours. Be you a mum, a daughter, a dad or a son - I think you're awesome and I thank you for being here and soaking up this share.
If you'd like an honest conversation someday or to discuss some mother and daughter coaching contact me here.