I signed up for life coaching after receiving some great writing coaching from Jen Laffin of TeachWrite (https://www.teachwriteacademy.com/). At the beginning, I didn’t really know how life coaching would help me, but I knew there was work I could do to become the person and writer I want to be. I was willing to try.
The last few days I started to spiral into my annual mid-summer funk. Not pleasant. Typically, my funk accelerates in July when there is more unstructured time than I am used to. I become overwhelmed with the possibilities of what I could accomplish. The long-awaited “free time” in the summer becomes a curse. There are so many possible directions that I end up sitting on the couch with a book or my ball of yarn and knitting needles. Those are not bad ways to spend time, but this is the time of year for. . .
I began to write in my journal to process some of the thoughts that kept swirling around in my head. As I wrote, I saw a familiar pattern. I was engaging in the “luxury of confusion!” If I stayed in a state of indecision, I wouldn’t have to commit to a goal or specific project.
I realized that in my coaching sessions I’d been taught some pretty powerful writing practices to work through times like this. Practices such as writing by hand without any judging or comparing to others, asking a few simple questions:
WHAT IS THE STORY I’M TELLING MYSELF?
WHAT ELSE COULD BE TRUE?
WHAT ADVICE WOULD I GIVE A FRIEND?
Working through thoughts has power to change feelings. I learned that there is a recursive process at work in our brains all the time. We have a thought (which may or may not be true). The thought produces a feeling which leads to an action. The actions we take lead to results. If we don’t like the results, we can work backwards. What result do I want? What actions will that require? What will it feel like? How are the thoughts different when you begin with the end in mind?
These are not new concepts, but practicing them in a focused, intentional way has brought about change. I’m now writing my way out of my mid-summer funk. I know that it will be worth it to put these few words on the page. If only to enjoy the fact of having done it.