Last year at this time, I’d sent in my tapes for certification and was winding down, ready for the Big Wait. These past few days, I’ve been looking back over what I’ve done with my home life, my coaching and my writing since then, taking stock of the year’s unexpected joys and challenges as well as the dreams I’ve had to let go of. You may not be a Christian or even celebrate at this time of the year, but please bear with me, stay open and join me in a coach’s exploration of a well known story, especially if you’re still recording and planning to submit tapes before we say goodbye to the Proficiencies at the end of this month…
Thinking about my abandoned goals usually leads to me moodling about George Bailey from the film ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’; this time I found myself wondering about Joseph. Were his dreams of a simple family life turned upside down when he heard the momentous news about Jesus? How quick was he to recognise the perfection in the situation or was he simply stunned for a while, following his own instincts as well as trusting the guidance given to him by a greater power? What we do know is that he was supportive and loving and that he didn’t give up and walk away when things got tough and scary. But in this story, it isn’t just Joseph who embodies the coaching qualities that we can use to strengthen our coaching and enrich our lives.
Imagine in the dark, frosty crispness of night, a bright band of angels bursting into glorious song, the most perfect example of matching the radiance, joy and vibrational energy of the occasion. And what a triumph of clear communication and channelling too! In any choir – even the angelic kind – it takes all kinds of unique voices and a love of synergy, resonance and harmony to create the kind of soul music that fills you from your heart to your toes with amazing Aha!‘s.
Imagine too the humanity of the shepherds, their hearts and minds filled with a tumult of human thoughts and emotions as they grapple with shock, overwhelming panic, awe and hope in the face of an astonishing new reality. Then there’s the little shepherd boy, bringing his gift of childlike innocence, wonder and curiosity to the tableau in the stable.
And while the shepherds remind us to love the simple dignity of our humanity, it pleases me to think of the hardworking ox and ass instinctively providing warmth with their bodies and their breath, standing there powerful yet still in the silence, breathing, looking on, listening, understanding…
I also like to think of the innkeeper (and his wife?) contributing practical solutions and resources – shelter, blankets, food, a jug of fresh water and directions to the well – all of this while bustling around, tending to an innful of guests, reminding us that people still need to have their basic needs met, no matter what life changing events are taking place.
And imagine, silhouetted against the starry night sky, gliding along on camels, the three mysterious magi, following a shared dream, a vision, never stopping till they reach their destination and deliver their gifts. Gifts which remind us that value is subjective and that our skills and senses are to be cherished: gleaming gold, bringing with it the power to do great good if it’s used wisely and with compassion; frankincense, its heady, smoky fragrance evoking the power of holy places, prayer and contemplation; myrrh, the balm that reminds us to treat our bodies with love and respect and to tune in and enjoy and them while we can. The three kings also bring the gifts of magic and mystery, wisdom and knowledge, intuition and synchronicity. They travelled together, sharing support, solidarity and resources on their long journey towards the unknown, reminding us that if we remain open, alert and responsive, we have a lot to learn from the wisdom and experience of others, from people of all cultures and faiths.
But behind this rich tapestry and the birth of one special child, let’s not forget the tragedy that arose from Herod’s terrible personal agenda born of power and fear, his quickness to judge and his conviction that he was right. We all have the power to hurt or help each other, to react or respond, to forgive or let ourselves be consumed by fear, pain, bitterness, anger and overwhelm, but we, as coaches, have the power and skills to ask the right questions.
And the answer to them all, the simple answer that glows like a hallelujah in the silence? Mary, serenely holding the greatest gift we’ve ever been given. Love. Pure, unconditional love.
Wishing you a season filled with miracles and love, wherever you are, whatever you believe in…