It’s Good Friday today, this year of 2017.
I woke up slowly, dreaming the day ahead…
Now there are things to celebrate and things to plan for. Then there are things to fret about and things to be scared of. So to counteract them I try to smash the uncertainty – by making arrangements, tying down time and filling my thinking hours.
But still there is the unknown of the next few moments, days and years to be anxious about…
And I am anxious… The anxiety sits in my body like a tightly wound coil, right where my solar plexus used to be. My heart was used to resting there; but now sits in the centre of the coil, constricted and beating its’ bloody rhythm, alone in the darkness…
In the everyday transactions of life I can forget the grip of this anxiety, and the hold it has – there at the centre of me, temporarily. But always it usurps and rewinds…
But in between, there’s the doing of life. Already I have cooked my celebration breakfast; I’ve meditated; I’ve spoken with a coaching client and had a business meeting. Now I’m writing a blog and it isn’t even 11.00 am yet…
And I laugh at my perception that so often I’m lazy; but this anxiety drives me – it jangles through my senses, urging me on; keeping me awake and busy. It drives me to impose structure and exert control, because fundamentally I feel that the powers that created this current craziness, can also stop it – but they are elsewhere, outside of me.
So I’m still again and thinking my thoughts.
‘Be still enough for long enough’, so it is said and the answers will come to you.
Or… instead a thousand answers may come back to flagellate and torture you…
But in the stillness I reflect on my day so far. It’s Good Friday – a sacred day in the Christian calendar, when the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and his death are commemorated. In my own life Good Friday is sacred too – my father died on this day, 31 years ago.
He didn’t have an easy death. It was messy and ghastly. He had a fatal mental breakdown and his mind and body conspired to give up on life.
That sudden remembrance scares me. How long can I take this pain and this continued tight torture? Is this me now, writhing in my own anxious death throes?
No… I’m not ready to give up on life.
Instead my stubbornness to have things only the way I want them is keeping me locked within this coil of hellish anxiety.
I cannot change the fact of my father’s death, but I can evolve beyond it. I can heal it and I can choose the hope of new beginnings; because as well as death, Easter is also about resurrection – a new start and an ascension to greater things.
As a coach I was taught to distrust the concept of ‘hope’. A hope that things will work out suggests that there is also a strong chance that they will not… This is in the sense of wanting something to be the case, rather than believing it to be so. As a coach, lack of certainty is certainly not what I want to be giving to my clients.
But for me the fascination of language is the history and variety of the nuances of interpretation, and how these embellish my interpretation of the world; so I dig deeper into my psyche and vocabulary – then see that in history, hope is also a feeling of trust.
Now trust, yes, we coaches thrive on that word. Trust is a more implicit commitment to the fact that everything will be alright, not that it may be. In an uncertain world though, the strength in trust is the fact that we don’t necessarily have to know how things will resolve, evolve or move on. But there however, lies the anxious rub – I crave certainty, I want answers; but I’m not getting them right now. It’s as if nearly every area of my life is on hold, waiting for someone else to pick up the phone and explain to me whatever is going to happen next.
God, it’s galling. It feels like an appalling waste of my time and emotions, whilst I sit here and listen to the muzac of my untidy mind, waiting for the questions to be answered.
But still life goes on. Still I coach others. Still I’m a killer in business meetings. So on the surface it’s business as usual and I’m still working in my role as go to support.
But to underpin that, I need to have support, and despite the fact that I haven’t wanted to, I have felt that I have had to share my current stress. It’s a vulnerability because I don’t want to be perceived as weak. But I can’t hold it in. And I can’t support others if I can’t take care of myself and show that I struggle too, and how, at this moment – I struggle mightily.
As a coach I know that this goes deep with me now. It goes deep into my living history and along the family tree even beyond my birth, to the influences and influencers who have passed their trials and fears back along the trunk and branches, to me.
The patterns of history I had long tried to tame are coming back to torture me; so there needs to be a deeper level of knowledge and healing that has to take place. I just know that as this happens, it is going to be one of the biggest evolutions of my life; a huge break through and a re-birth into things I can only currently glimpse or grasp at now – because I’m not simply ready for them.
So as it turns out – this hated, hurting time, is the time of my life.
I don’t want to live in the grip of this anxiety – which is fundamentally a fear of what happens next; so I am choosing to focus on the now. And I do that despite the tightly wound coil in my chest or whatever negative stories my thoughts are telling me.
So this morning I sat in meditation and the mantra that came to me was this:
“Every moment I’m born into a universe of infinite possibilities.”
So I breathed the words in and spoke them with my soul, over and over…
In fact I’m reborn and renewed constantly, every second of the day. And each new second brings with it a whole plethora of distinct and dreamed of possibilities.
And it’s Easter, heralding Spring – the cyclic and constant new start I see in every year I live on this barren and beautiful planet.
So I will share my anxiety and my vulnerability with whoever is listening, and that includes my cherished clients. I’ll admit to the world that I don’t have the answers yet.
But I also acknowledge that whilst this is painful now, I relish in the opportunity to grow and change in ways I can’t even begin to imagine and that in doing so, I allow the whole world to expand with me…
It is Easter after all. Time to commemorate and celebrate.
Time to die and be reborn.
Time to stop, rest, heal for a while.
Time to stop and smell the daffodils.
And so all I have to say now, is this:
A very Happy Easter and Birth Day to you.
Sandra Peachey – Born Again Egg
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My external plaudits include the following – being:
* The Director of LifeWork Consultancy & Coaching;
* The Author of Peachey Letters – Love Letters to Life and Co-Author of The F-Factor.
* A 2015 International Book Awards Finalist, in the Women’s Issues Category;
* The Winner of a Women Inspiring Women Award in 2013;
* Being shortlisted for Women’s Coach in the APCTC Awards 2014, also nominated in 2012 & 2013; and
* Being nominated for a Networking Mummies National Recognition Award in 2015.