“Find what you have lost …”

With deepest gratitude to Kelly Rae Roberts for this enchanting graphic!

With deepest gratitude to Kelly Rae Roberts for this enchanting graphic!

I am a counsellor and a life coach and, in both jobs, it is ethically essential that I protect my client files in order to maintain their confidentiality.  I had a crazy dream the other night that I had misplaced a client file.  In my dream, as I scrambled to relocate the lost file and retain my professional integrity, I was ruthlessly berating myself for being so careless.  How could I have so recklessly compromised my client’s privacy?  As a recovering perfectionist, it simply is not like me to lose things … precious things … important things!  I am usually too darned anal to lose stuff!

However, in this nightmare, I looked in all the predictable places for it, but was feeling increasingly more exasperated when I still could not find it.  As with most dreams, there were a lot of things going on simultaneously.  For example, my client was STILL waiting to be seen and in my hunt for the lost file, I realized that someone else had used my office and left it in complete shambles.  It was a mess of equipment and electrical cords and there was a small child (I’m not sure who) sleeping in a bed in my office.  Not that my office has ever had a bed in it (but you know how dreams are) and, as a result, I not only had to find my client’s file, but I would now need to find another office to see him in!

At the same time, my cell phone was ringing with important concerns from two family members and I remembered I had failed to return several other calls. I was trying to eat my lunch… and … I couldn’t find the light switch!  I was overwhelmed by all the confusion and chaos but, in the midst of all these competing calls for my attention, I knew that my priority in that moment was to find my client’s file!

I was beyond relieved to finally awaken and realize it was just one of those crazy dreams that we often find ourselves curiously analyzing.  I was trying to find the message in it when I heard the still, small voice inside of me whisper “Find what you’ve lost”.

It was such an ‘aha’ moment!  Although I have never lost a client file in real life, I recognized that my life is much like my dream in that I have a countless cacophony of distractions, diversions and dilemmas clamouring for my attention as I make my way through each day.  I realized that if I am not vigilant, I might unwittingly get lost in the chaos and lose sight of the really important things in my life.

As I continued to unravel the wisdom woven into my nightmare, I found myself reflecting upon what I might have already lost … and … I noticed a number of possibilities.  Whatever happened to my ability to relax? When did I lose my courage to ask for what I need? How come I no longer record my 5 daily gratitudes during my morning solitude?  Will I ever ‘run’ again?

This crazy but wise dream alerted me to the fact that the most important task for me right now is to ‘find what I lost’.  I sense that, in an effort to do so, my life will have less breadth, but certainly more depth.  I sense that my spirit will be enriched and my heart will be more nourished. I trust that I will have more space to enjoy the miracles tucked into each of life’s ordinary moments.

So, it is with a humble heart that I invite you to join me in considering what you may have lost that needs to be found.  Could it be:

  •  your sense of purpose in life?
  • a connection with an old friend?
  • a feeling of well-being?
  • your ability to trust yourself or others?
  • your childhood dreams?
  • your energy and enthusiasm?
  • your sense of humor?

Take heed of whatever you notice … and … commit to making some time to ‘find what you lost’!  I intend to do the same.  In that sacred space of allowing ourselves to see what we often step over, let’s listen to our hearts, and allow that wisdom to awaken our spirits in the most remarkable ways.

Who knows, we might find something precious that we didn’t even realize we had lost …

Sweet dreams,  Karen

Better … Because of You Debbie Ford!

everything-shapes-us-kelly rae robertsWith gratitude to Kelly Rae Roberts for this lovely graphic.

The first time I heard the chorus in Kelly Clarkson’s hit single  Because of You  I caught a tear sliding down my cheek as my thoughts were high-jacked from  whatever I was doing in that moment to my less than Hallmark childhood. 

Because of you
I never stray too far from the sidewalk
Because of you
I learned to play on the safe side so I don’t get hurt
Because of you
I find it hard to trust not only me, but everyone around me
Because of you
I am afraid

As I tried to dodge the discomfort brought on by hearing those heart wrenching ‘truths’, I knew exactly who I’d been holding accountable for my ever cautious and hyper-vigilant approach to life. I credit blame my dad the most … but … my mom gets nailed quite often as well.  The shame and neglect of my early years has shaped my overly ‘anxious mind’ and unfortunately, it takes a whole schwack of energy to manage the various worries, uncertainties, reservations , doubts, qualms and fears that persistently and unpredictably pop into my awareness.  When uttered in the past, my husband would shake his head in stunned disbelief as my neurotic ramblings effectively sucked any potential for joy out of the moment.  Pretty soon, I just quit sharing them out loud …

As long as no one could hear the alarm bells going off in my head … I think I appeared pretty capable, confident and successful.  Most people who know me would probably be very surprised to hear this. I managed my fears as inconspicuously as possible but, it wasn’t until I was introduced to the remarkable work of Debbie Ford about 12 years ago that things really changed for the BETTER!  I had no idea how powerfully this would shape me …  

I have been so profoundly shifted and transformed by the last dozen years of training and learning with/through The Ford Institute for Transformational Training.  Who would have thought that this journey would invite me to make peace with so much!  Yes, we are undoubtedly shaped by the negatives in our lives, but we are also shaped by the positives! (Not that it always feels so positive in the process of tackling this kind of personal growth!) 

As I write this now, I am aware of another tear sliding down my cheek.   Debbie Ford transitioned on February 17th, 2013 … but … my amazing mentor, teacher and guide touched so many lives in magical and miraculous ways!  Fortunately, her body of work is vast and her legacy will live on in the hearts of so many!!  Thank you Debbie for loving me enough to hold me in my highest … to bravely risk my wrath and call me on my s*#t … to hold me through the ugly cry … to laugh with me as I finally surrendered my need for control and learned to lean in. 

Thank you for inviting me to stray from the sidewalk … to trust myself  enough to step out of the fears that have caged my soul and courageously reach for the untold possibilities beyond my self-limiting beliefs.  Because of you, I have learned to embrace my vulnerabilities with love and acceptance rather than trying to resist and suppress my fear-filled mind chatter. Because of you …I am now a part of an amazing, loving, supportive family of Certified Integrative Coaches. Thank you, thank you, thank you Debbie Ford.  

If I could sing like Kelly Clarkson, I’d write you a song, because I have been profoundly shaped by knowing you!  I truly am so much Better … Because of You !

With deepest gratitude, Karen

 

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