Monday, November 17, 2008

Soul Coaching Day 16: Taking Risks

No, it's not snowing in Toronto. Well, a little, but not this much. It's just somehow this picture suited where I ened up on the Soul Coaching journey today. I did have fun today (level 1) and I stretched outside my comfort zone (level 2). But the learning today came as a little sidestep on the risk theme.

In separate conversations recently, I've been asked whether I get negative feedback or pressure from friends or family in response to my non-traditional choices or my choosing to venture out and do my own thing. This is often a huge challenge to following your own path. As you step off the well-travelled road into the forest, many people try and bring you back, sometimes out of love and concern for your safety and sometimes with a vigour and vehemence that comes from somewhere else.

The funny thing is that my life feels really normal to me. I mean, it's my life. Sure, I dance barefoot weekly and can be heard saying things like, "What do you think the Universe wants you to hear?" and "What are your shoulders telling you?" But that just doesn't seem weird to me, lol. I just love what I do and truthfully I haven't had much of that judgment come my way. Until today.

Check this out. This is a comment left on my interview at Life Dev:
"A life coach, Nia barefoot workout instructor and life enthusiast? Perhaps you'd also like to interview me, I'm a yoghurt weaver, leprechaun and something else made up."

Ouch! When you put yourself out there, sometimes you will get pushed back. When I read this today, here's what I noticed.
  1. I did not take this personally.
  2. I believe in what I do. I know to my toes the value of what I do.
  3. I bring myself with me wherever I go, including to this discussion.

Here's my response.

"Okay, I did make up the life enthusiast part but the other two are recognized, certified professions that make a real difference in people's lives. One of my favourite things about being creative is that more is possible than you might at first believe. I'd love to hear a leprechaun's job description!"

I figure these questions and this comment showed up for a reason. I'm trying to find words for what I believe it's about. Yes, I was challenged. I saw that as an opportunity to stand up for what I believe in. Not to get into a fight or to be defensive but rather to declare with all certainty, "Yes, it is amazing, isn't it? It's fantastical. It's so good that it's hard to believe. I believe in life coaching, life enthusiasts and Nia. I believe in myself and what I'm doing. And yes, I believe in leprechauns. I believe in you."


Kavindra said...

What a great authentic loving response you gave to Dr Congo. That's why you are the life coach!

(And I think that comment may be a little bit o envy peeking through somebody's mask....)

Melba said...

The comment from Dr.Congo really made me pause because I just don't get why someone has to be mean spirited...and I got that from the comment. and in this cyber world I notice that most of the people who leave mean spirited comments don't leave a link. This has happened before on my blog too. I believe everyone has a right to their opinions, I just don't understand why they have to hide...I guess I do understand, poeple are in pain and when they are in pain or they themselves are experiencing fear from something that is new or they don't understand...well those circumstances sometimes lead to unkind words.
Thanks for sharing yourself with us Jamie.
You shine so bright.
You are the example!

Genie Sea said...

Awesome! A leprechaun listened to your interview! :)

It's funny, when I read the comment, I bristled a bit. The street fighter in me came out for a second. Then I read your response, and nodded. "Yeah, that's RIGHT! Good one!"

Thank you for showing me a different way to respond. Defensive action is not always appropriate. :)

Danette said...

You handled that with grace and integrity Jamie. Clearly this Dr. Congo person is fighting in a life where possibilities seem scarce.

You do not deserve to be the target of his/her misery. I wonder what they wish they could "make up?"

Your fellow life coach, barefoot dancer and life enthusiast,

Danette said...

That was a perfect response. It showcased the best in you!

Anonymous said...

Oh, I wish I could hug you right now! I almost want to cry, not at what was written to you but YOUR RESPONSE!! You are brilliant and I applaud your ability to stand in your power without taking away someone else's {{hug, hug, hug}}

Fatma said...

When you stand in your authentic truth what others say will not pull away your foundation. You are standing in your authentic truth. Bravo! Here's to the fire in you.

frustrated artist said...

Good on you for taking the high road!! I'd love to hear about a leprechaun's job too! I think it would be pretty cool.

Sacred Suzie said...

What a totally sad and pathetic jerk of a human being made that comment. And I mean that, SAD. They're one of the grumpy unmagickal crab-in-the-bucket kind of people that just like to rain on people's parades.

You handled it with much more grace than I would have! It does remind us that not everyone understands our free and spiritual pursuits. How sad for them.

I'm glad you didn't take it personally Jamie! That definitely was all about them.

whenigrowupcoach said...

You're a better woman than I. I would have said "You're a yoghurt weaver, leprechaun and something else made up IDIOT! Jerky." And I'm the When I Grow Up Coach!

But honestly, I love the way you handled that. I think that a strength that performers/creative types have is the ability to be rejected and not take it personally! It's something positive that comes from the negative. Bravo!


Mr. Lady said...

Okay, first of all, I have been meaning to tell you that I am officially addicted to your blog, Jamie. It's like my version of crack. I read it every day. And I'm wondering why I feel so compelled to read it every day (not because it doesn't deserve to be read every day--just that I don't read anyone else's every day). So there's something there.

Second, I'm really interested in this discussion about whether people criticize your way of life and/or try to bring you back to a more conventional/mainstream path. I feel this pressure all the time. I used to feel like I was unconventional and now not so much. And it makes me feel like I'm becoming less and less of the "authentic" me. Hmm.

Third, I've also been meaning to tell you that I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE all of the photographs you take and your Project 365 weekly photo display. It makes me appreciate photographing the every day (not just special occasions). And it makes me want to carry my camera around with me all the time--which maybe one day I will start doing if I'm brave enough to take random photos of stuff in the city with people watching.

Yay you!

creativehealinggoddess said...

A great interview and I didn't see the comment from Dr whatever until today.

"I figure these questions and this comment showed up for a reason" Your right about this 'divine timing'
the comment was posted around 21 hours ago. So we were well just coming into fire week. Today is about Judgements and Shadow nothing is random. I Salute Dr Congo poor man his leprechaun ears must be on fire! he is a gift as he presented you with the opportunity to give your answer in the cleaver way you did. I used to cringe when people asked me what I do (which is so many things). But now I say it depends what day your are asking still a work in progress I just love expansion. I would'nt mind being a barefoot Nia instructor or a yoghut making Leprechaun either ....