Monday, October 20, 2008

Where we are today

I have been meaning to start a blog for a while now. Today is the day. It will evolve. The name might change. The fonts and settings will adjust. I will learn this blogging thing. It is a work in progress. So am I.

I am enormously enriched by each of you sharing so openly your past, present and future with me. My (immensely rewarding) job is to be there for you as I take myself out of the mix. In order to be coach, I have to ensure that my ego, preconceptions and experiences are dealt with elsewhere so that I remain open to the unique opportunities and challenges that each of you face. When you articulate a win or a stumbling block, I often wonder if I should share similar experiences and my own lessons learned. Sometimes I do. Most times, I listen and meet you where you are instead of bringing me into the conversation unnecessarily. That's what my coach training tells me to do.

Then there is this tricky thing called subjectivity. The qualitative researcher in me (past life) knows that subjectivity - my worldview - is relevant. It impacts how I perceive everything including our coaching work. You might need some disclosure on my part, not necessarily full disclosure, but surely at some point it would serve us all well for you to know something about my journey, my life, lessons being learned, where I am stuck, where I am working on evolving myself... After all, as I often say, we are all works in progress.

These are some of the reasons why I am starting a blog. Consider it a heart to heart, soul to soul conversation with you.

Change is upon us. Like many of you, I have been following the elections closely. The economist/ policy analyst in me (a former life) has been paying attention for months, remarking how nobody is immune to the hardships going around. I need only look around our neighborhood. I listen to clients, strangers, friends and neighbors' woes. Change is truly upon us. Life has taught me that change isn't always enjoyable or good. There is a lot of change going around nowadays. Something is fundamentally different about the way we are thinking, doing and being right now. All these external factors impact the depths of our beings in ways we can not begin to even acknowledge or understand. I'm going to try.

On one level, change is about growth. Personal growth. As coach (friend, sister, teacher, mentor, colleague), I am mindful to walk the talk, so to speak. How can I call anyone to a place I can not reach myself? So much of my life's work is about my own commitment to personal evolution. You, each of you, call me to rise to the self I have come to understand myself capable of being. Calm, restrained, thoughtful, patient, resilient, confident, self-assured, authentic, radiant... To be this self, there is always more growth to be done.

Life sends us plenty of opportunities. Blessings in disguise?

On Thursday, my partner was laid off. Within a hour of this, we also learned that we are being sued in the amount of $35,000 per year (details of who and why I choose to omit). We were already facing one of those ARMs and wondering, like much of America, how we will survive. We knew change was coming. We were prepared that times would be hard. But now we know it's real. In exactly three months (or less), we will have nothing but the income from my coaching practice. No health insurance. No savings. Hmmm. There's more. I won't go into it.

All this can be the making of worst case scenarios that we try not to think about, but here we are. You might be wondering how I reacted in the moment. Did I get scared? Worried? Panic-stricken? Sad? I suppose on some level yes. Maybe for ten seconds. And then I shifted gears consciously.

I was probably honoring my commitment to one of you when I did this. I was on a coaching call. I noticed what was happening. I took some deep breaths. I said a prayer.

Then, I consciously decided: I will respond, not react. I will see this seeming crisis as a blessing rich with opportunities. I will act out of courage and not fear. I will plan instead of worrying. I will give even more freely. I will trust the Universe, God and my support network. I will count my blessings. I will shower the children with more love and patience than ever before. We will figure it out. I will be creative. I will share my process so that we can all learn from it. At the very least, it will be an interesting experiment. Nothing to lose.

A crisis does not have to be a crisis unless you make it one.

So, here I am. And here you are. As one of you said to me today, we are on some level responsible to one another.

Stay tuned. If you are willing to listen, I will think out loud in the weeks ahead as Charles (my partner) and I prayerfully, calmly, systematically think through how we can honor our values and vision while taking care of our collective needs. A life plan. Not for one, but for all five of us. We're in the same place as many of you: Trying to make our way in uncertain times. Potentially fearful times. We choose otherwise. We don't have the answers yet. We may stumble. We might fail. But, we are going to figure it out.

Let us figure it out together. What are your thoughts?


  1. Just wanted to say this is a beautiful post showing a beautiful life perspective and incredible strength. I throw my heart and support behind all five of you.

    xo xo

  2. Thanks for your honesty in this posting. How wonderful of you to take control of the situation instead of just feeling helpless.

    Good luck

  3. i just read your first entry in your blog... an wat i can simply say is wow..

    today was a hard day for me also.. as i got a B in a class.. an i wanted to cry.. being the overacheiver that i am.. wow... i def understand you when you say that you are not going to let whatever happens bother you, but rather instead of simply reacting doing you are going to do something about it.

    these words touched my core today: I will act out of courage and not fear. I will plan instead of worrying. I will give even more freely. I will trust the Universe, God and my support network

    i cried after i saw the grade...cause i no that i could do better.. an shoudl be doing better.. . so i too am beginning on this journey to make things better an be better as a result.

    thanks much for the encouraging words.. it came just when i needed it..


  4. I am in awe of you. I have never seen you this open and honest and real, its a beautiful thing. I found myself, as I read each blog, heart getting full of emotion. I didnt know what to think, however I felt something I havent felt in a while, you know when feel a energy in the air you know something is going to happend but you dont know what, but you feel it. Im anxious, fearful, excited, we are all of us on the verge of a climax of some sort. Gayatri your example of how to be honest and open, in so many ways allows others to let their light shine, to parapharse my favorite Mandela poem. When times are hard and stifling all we can do is give, reveal, love, real be vulnerable, its makes us stronger, cause you can shed those maskes as you talked about. I love it. Again I am in awe. My Grandmother told me one time "When a women does something that is needed in this world, it is as if she is walking across water, the lotus leaves will appear and provide the pathway for her steps." I love you... and thank you for sharing yourself.