“Do you ever STOP?” he asked. And I couldn’t STOP… crying [008]

fashion-person-woman-handDo you ever stop? Because I don’t.

Back in June this year I had a session with a Life Coach through work.

“What’s a Life Coach?” I hear you ask.

Effectively it’s someone who is trained to listen to you and help you address certain personal or business areas of your life and guide you towards your own specific goals.

They never tell you what to do, but they help you through a process of going from now to a point in the future, to achieve something in particular.

This was a free session, and my main reason for having it was to help me focus on some developmental objectives specific to my job.

I asked for the session in March and eventually got to meet the Coach about three months later. By the time I sat down with him, I had A LOT going on in my mind.

I had already had the bus accident and realised I needed to start leading a more mindful life. I was also re-evaluating both my work and my current childcare options. Asking myself ‘big questions’, and that had an impact at work too. And I was really struggling to find meaningful objectives for the year ahead.

So at the beginning of the session I literally talked at the Coach (a very experienced businessman with his own coaching firm), for about 40 minutes. He listened and made some notes but essentially didn’t say a word.

When I finished he asked, “Do you ever stop?”

I started welling up then, and I didn’t stop for several hours. And in fact, I was a bit of a mess for a few days afterwards.

No, I don’t stop. Ever. I don’t feel that I have the time to. I don’t feel that I can. (Well, that was then anyway).

He told me I reminded him of a pinball machine, just going from one direction to the next, not being able to stop on anything because there is so much going on that I can’t dedicate enough time to anything. The next thing comes along and I’m off again.

We were not talking about work anymore. In fact, there was very little talk about work.

He was right – that’s exactly how I felt.

He asked me if I felt stressed, and I said no. But I said I always feel rushed, on the back foot and often overwhelmed by my all-encompassing life to-do list. I now look back and think that’s pretty much what stress is…

Then he did something that I felt was really powerful – he asked me to stand up and imagine that the spot where I was standing was my life as it is now, with my children being at the age that they are.

He then asked me to walk a few steps towards the office door, towards an imaginary point in the future 15 years down the line, with my youngest son just about to go off to college.

I walked a few steps and stopped.

He asked me: “How was the journey?”

And I said: “It was quick. It was very quick. And I was so focused on not tripping over [these wires or the chair] that I didn’t even notice how the journey was”.

He didn’t even say anything.

He was just looking at me, and even 4+ months down the line I can still remember the expression on his face in that precise moment, as if he wanted to say: “You said it, not me. Now take it in, girl”.

And the crying really didn’t stop after that.

It’s really hard, to cry in front of a stranger. It’s awkward, really awkward. I wasn’t sobbing, mind you, but the tears from my eyes just weren’t stopping.

Before I went back to my seat he also asked me what my life looked like then, 15 years in the future, and I wasn’t sure.

“Do you see yourself working for this company?”

No.

“Do you see yourself in a similar job, elsewhere?”

Not really.

“Where then? What are you doing for a living? How is the relationship with your husband? With your children?”

He let me off the hook eventually, but he left those questions with me – something to definitely figure out.

I then sat down again, and he told me that if I keep running around like that, without ever stopping, without ever a moment to care for myself, I’d run out of batteries, like the Duracell bunny (did he just compare me to a pink rabbit?!)

“I’m doing Pilates and started swimming again…” I said, hopeful.

“But you’re still filling your time with Pilates, with something”.

I couldn’t understand. I thought Pilates or exercising could count as ‘me time’. And I thought ‘me time’ was good. Everyone says you need ‘me time’ as a mum…

“If you think about a Buddhist monk who spends his whole day in meditation, you are at the opposite spectrum, whatever that looks like”.

A bit harsh and judgemental for the first time we meet, but how does he know I’ve been thinking about the fact that I need to be more mindful? How can this man, who has only just met me and only knows very little about me (40 minutes’ worth of me yapping at him), know that I need to make a change in my life and live more mindfully?

Is this The Universe sending me signals again?

I left an hour and a half later feeling completely drained. I apologised a million time for not being able to stop crying in front of a stranger – “It’s because you care. And it’s good that you do, because this is your life”.

Exactly.

It’s my life, and I’ve been so focused on not tripping over that I haven’t been paying attention to the journey.

It was time for big decisions. Time for big change.

10 Comments

  1. 6th November 2016 / 2:30 am

    This is fascinating. Ive been in therapy for 7 months and have had similar conversations with my therapist. Its a process but Im learning so much from it. Thank you for joining us at #SundayBest, hope to see you again tomorrow x

    • Sara Bussandri
      Author
      6th November 2016 / 12:26 pm

      Thank you Hayley – will definitely join again 🙂 I learned so much from just this one session, but it surely is draining! I’m sure we’ll all slowly get there 🙂 x

  2. 7th November 2016 / 11:46 pm

    Wow this is so much like the way I feel – I always feel rushed and stressed and can’t stop. Definitely something for me to think about. Thanks for linking up to #SundayBest x

    • Sara Bussandri
      Author
      8th November 2016 / 4:08 pm

      I know this happens to a lot of us (if not all of us really!) – this year has made me realise it’s not right though! But change is hard! Thank you for sharing my post! 🙂 x

  3. Alana - Burnished Chaos
    11th November 2016 / 10:34 pm

    This has definitely given me something to go away and think about. Even when I’m not doing anything I have this rushed feeling. Good luck with your big decisions x

    • Sara Bussandri
      Author
      16th November 2016 / 11:01 pm

      Thanks Alana – I have a feeling there are a lot of us who just have too much on and are juggling too much! Good luck to you too – it’s not nice to have a rushed feeling ALL THE TIME. Hope you find some time to just relax 🙂 x

  4. 16th November 2016 / 4:44 pm

    What a powerful post. I think society has taught us Moms to be that way…and we let them/it direct us…that and the constant battle that is having little ones. Here’s to taking things down a notch. Thanks for the eye-opener. The taking steps is a very REAL way to remind us we only have so much time with our kids before they’re off. #Momsterslink

    • Sara Bussandri
      Author
      16th November 2016 / 10:50 pm

      Thank you Rachel – yes, indeed, it felt very powerful. It might be a ‘trick of the trade’ for coaches (I don’t know), but it’s one that really makes you stop and think!

  5. 19th November 2016 / 6:10 pm

    I can relate to everything about this post. The only time I ever really STOP is if I get so sick that it’s pretty much my body making me stop. I recently started seeing a therapist. I have been dealing with horrible mood swings for the past couple years now and recently it occurred to me that I need to get to the bottom of why I have become this way. I am going through a bunch of tests to see whether it’s my female parts, my thyroid or the chemistry in my brain. Hopefully I will have answers soon. I had an appointment the other day with her and I had been feeling pretty good the days prior and had thought about cancelling. Now I wish I would have because the session was very draining and now for the several days after, I too have been feeling drained. But I will continue to do what I need to do to get to the bottom of whatever it is going on with me. Thanks for such an honest post and sharing it with #momsterslink :))

    • Sara
      Author
      19th November 2016 / 10:41 pm

      Thank you Trista, I hope you get to the bottom of it very soon. A week or so after that session I had a chat with my then manager, and I was still crying! She suggested I saw another life coach that she’d recommend, and I just didn’t want to put myself through all that again! So you have all my admiration for going – keep at it, and I’m sure you’ll feel better for it afterwards! Keep us posted please and good luck! x

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