Tara, CEO of a late-stage software startup, was talking with Samantha, her coach.
“I’m pretty freaked out,” Tara related. “I’ve built my reputation as a CEO who knows where to take the company before anyone else. Everyone relies on my guidance and vision. Right now, however, I don’t have a clue.”
“No wonder you’re freaked out,” Samantha said. “What else are you feeling?”
“I’m feeling guilty. That I’m letting everyone down. Afraid to talk about this with anyone.”
“Isn’t that enough?”
“Whatever you’re feeling is perfect,” Samantha reminded Tara. “I’m checking that we have the whole landscape.”
“That’s everything I can tell right now,” Tara said. “What do I do?”
1) Scan your self for missing pieces
“All these feelings seem to be disrupting your cool,” Samantha said. “You’re feeling unstable, where you’re used to feeling in control. Your usual 50/20 vision is feeling completely fogged in. Do I have that right?”
“Mostly,” Tara agreed. “I wouldn’t say I’m used to feeling in control. However, I am used to feeling I can handle everything I see coming. And, I seem to see a lot more than most people. So, I’m rarely surprised. Now, though, I do feel mired in fog. That’s a perfect analogy.”
“Great. Glad I have that straight. Now that we’re working from the same understanding, let’s start with how you’re feeling about yourself.”
“What do you mean?”
“How are you feeling about your inability to see everything you’re used to seeing?”
“Frustrated. Scared, a little. Mostly, though, I’m worried I’ve lost my touch.”
“You’re afraid that you’ve lost your magic?”
“You said you feel mired in fog. Does this fog feel like you are generating it?”
Tara considered this. “No. I feel like it’s flooding in from outside me.”
“OK. Now, scan through your self. Does any part of you seem to be missing?”
“You mean, have elves stolen my toes or belly button?”
“Not just your physical body. Your entire self. Every part of your being,” Samantha explained.
“Oh. Well, let me check.” Samantha settled back in her chair and scanned through her self, top to bottom.
“My confidence is a lot lower than I’m used to,” she reported after a few minutes. “Nothing else seems to be missing, though.”
“So, your magic is still in place?”
“It is. Oh—it is,” Tara exclaimed. “That’s a relief.”
2) Check in with your heart, body, spirit, and mind
“So, you’re all there. Your confidence is understandably depleted. Let’s tackle this fog next.”
“OK,” Tara said uncertainly. “How do I do that?”
“Do you discern any source for the fog? Is it coming from one or more discrete locations?”
Tara moved her head around as though peering through a physical fog. “No, I don’t perceive any specific location.”
“If you had to give the fog a name, what name would you pick?”
“You mean, would I name it Sally or Joe or Jorge?”
“Proper names are fine, or any other word. If you were labeling it, what would you write?”
“Umm, well. Nothing is coming to mind.”
“OK, no worries,” Samantha reassured Tara. “Put your hands over your heart.”
Tara put her left hand over her heart and then her right hand over her left hand.
“Now,” Samantha continued, “check again. What name would you give the fog?”
“Still nothing,” Tara said after a minute.
Samantha had Tara try placing Tara’s hands in several other locations: Tara’s knees, forehead, and back of her head. “Still no dice,” Tara reported after each of these.
“Why am I putting my hands all over my body?” Tara asked. “What is this meant to do?”
“Placing your hands in specific locations can help you focus your attention on specific parts of you. Heart for your heart; knees for your body, forehead for your spirit, and back of your head for your mind.”
“Well, that makes sense, I guess,” Tara said. “Talking with them has helped me figure things out sometimes.”
“Your heart, body, spirit, and mind each sense your world differently,” Samantha continued. “By focusing your attention on each of them, you tap into their perception. Then, they can help you see answers you have missed.”
“I get it,” Tara nodded. “And, they didn’t have answers for me either. So, now what?”
3) Accept what is
“Let’s recap what we’ve learned so far,” Samantha suggested.
“Sure,” Tara said. “I’m overwhelmed because I can no longer see where to go. My ‘magic’ sight is still working normally; however, a fog is blocking it. I’m not sure what’s causing that fog. Nor do my mind, heart, body, and spirit have any information about its cause.”
“Now, how are you feeling about all that?” Samantha queried.
“Angry,” Tara said without hesitation. “I need to lead my company, and I can’t do that.”
“Well, it’s melting away now that I’ve voiced my anger. As it disappears, I feel calm. I don’t know what’s happening, and that’s just how things are. There’s nothing I can do about it.”
“Great,” Samantha celebrated. “You’re accepting what is. Rather than fight your anger, you let it be and let it go. Then, you decided to let what is be as well.”
“So, maybe I am seeing my way, after all,” Tara said thoughtfully.
“You may be,” Samantha agreed. “What feels right to do next?”
Tara mulled Samantha’s question over. Then, after a bit, she said, “Go back to tiny steps. Although I’ve built my career on knowing where to go, I have always experienced stretches where I haven’t known how to get there. When that happens, I take one tiny step after another. Soon, I’m through the blind patch and see a clear path again.”
Tara fell quiet. A short while later, she said, “I checked in with my heart, body, spirit, and mind. They agree that tiny steps are my best way forward.”
“How do you feel about that?” Samantha asked.
“Excited,” Tara declared. “Excited that I have a way forward, excited that it’s a way I’m already used to, and excited that my parts all agree.”
You always have a way forward
“Thank you for an illuminating session,” Tara told Samantha.
“I started out feeling overwhelmed,” Tara recounted. “I felt so out of control. A fog blocked my usual clarity of vision.”
“Scanning my body helped me recognize my magic is still present and accounted for. That was a big relief,” she continued. “Placing my hands on different parts of my body helped me focus as I checked in with my heart, body, spirit, and mind. That confirmed no part of me understands where the fog is coming from. Talking about what I was feeling helped me let go of those emotions and accept the way things are. And that let me find a way forward. This is just another blind patch, albeit a bigger one than usual. I know how to handle those,” Tara finished, happiness evident in her voice.
“Anything else on your mind today?” Samantha asked.
“Just being excited to get to work,” Tara exclaimed.