A big part of coaching is accountability. You have all these ideas and big plans and then you have to actually take action to make them happen. There is a popular book called The Secret which is about believing your dreams into coming true – which is all well and good, but without action dreams are not going to manifest themselves into reality by you sitting on a meditation cushion willing them to happen.
So each day, I make a plan, it starts with meditation most mornings and me asking “who can I be of service to today?” amongst other things. And then at some point, I think about where I want to go in hopes of connecting with someone.
Today started the same way. And for some reason, I was filled with gratitude. I walked the kids to the school bus and then took Grover (our dog) for a walk, we are fortunate to live in Seattle and I'm just the bottom of the hill away from gorgeous views of the Puget Sound and some mountain ranges and I kept stopping and thinking how grateful I was to live here, how grateful I am for a schedule that allows me to walk my dog in the morning without rushing to an office, that we are all healthy, that we have friends and family that we love, that we have a roof over our heads and money to buy food that we like and is plentiful, and I was grateful for feeling grateful, as this is something I'm not nearly conscious enough of – though it should be as it was quite nice. Then I started thinking about where I would end up today and I told myself that I would keep going until I found someone to connect with. So I left, later than I wanted because I always do, and on a whim I stopped at a thrift store... This is not an uncommon thing for me to do because as much as I love connecting with people, I also love browsing through the things that people once owned and gave up. And as I was checking out, the man in front of me didn't have enough money for his purchases. The cashier was frazzled, the manager was looking over her shoulder and told the man he would need to put some things back – and as he put a bright pink kids sweatshirt back onto the counter from his basket, I offered to cover the difference in what he owed. It was only a few dollars, but he was so grateful and went on about it being for his granddaughter and it being so cold outside – at least I think that's what he said, as he was a few sheets to the wind and English was not his first language, but none of that mattered... as he hollered Merry Christmas at me as he left the store and the cashier told me I was kind, I didn't think much of it, I was grateful that I could help and that some little girl was getting a pink sweatshirt.
And then I made my way to a coffee shop to see who I was “meant” to connect with. And as I sat down and looked around, I felt no connection. Some people walked in and I made little bets with myself, if they sit down at that table, then I will talk with them, if that man is still there when I am done writing, then I will talk to him.... and none of it happened. I was hungry, I had one more errand to run and so I left. I didn't go to another place like I promised myself, I went home, ate lunch and decided to take a rare nap. It was delightful.
And here's the thing with accountability, it's just as important to celebrate the accomplishments as it is to understand why you failed... sometimes, in regards to bigger dreams (I'm looking at you creating a woman’s group...) it's procrastination based on fear, the unknown, pride, knowledge, having “the right” and a host of other reasons that you need to work out and conquer and push past in order to accomplish what you want and other times it's because the task doesn't really resonate or you found another way to accomplish it; or sometimes you realize your hungry, tired and done for the day. And that's OK. As a coach, I don't want to be your taskmaster to make sure you are doing your homework, I want you to understand why, or why not, you are, or are not, doing it.
And much later in the day, I realized that maybe I had made my connection. Did I discuss passions, fears, dreams, or balance? No, I connected with another human who had a need that I was able to fill. A Course In Miracles says that Miracles are healing because they supply a lack; they are performed by those who temporarily have more for those who temporarily have less.
And I think, though it may be small, I was of service to someone today, and I did what I set out to do, connect with someone and see them for who they are, someone who is just like me. Sometimes it's deep and meaningful and sometimes it's about a couple extra bucks and knowing that we're all in this together. Sometimes we're in need of a miracle and sometimes we're able to give it.
Plus, I also got this cute basket.