June did not go as planned.
On June 1, I worked out really hard (because I am a badass.) The next day, I sat in the car for 9 hours. The next day, we moved Brooke out of her 3rd story walkup in Boston ALL DAY LONG. The next day, I sat in the car for almost 12 excruciating hours.
And the next day, I went to the chiropractor and cried HELP!!
The rest of June, I have been recovering from an extremely annoying back injury (because I am really only a badass SOME of the time.) If nothing else, I have renewed respect and admiration for my friends who deal with chronic pain and illness all the time. You guys are my heroes!
In the midst of icing my back and long stretches stuck on the couch, we managed to enjoy family visits, warm weather and the slightly less structured routine summer often brings. For the last several days, my back is starting to feel almost normal, so I am a few days late with my monthly wrap up post as we run around in preparation for company this week.
June’s Four Something centers on asking more powerful questions:
I am MADLY in love with my new office! Despite the need to take it a little slower, with a little help from some friends, I achieved my primary goal for June by completing the transformation of our study. Since I began my coaching business almost two years ago, I have been meeting with clients down in our basement. I promised myself once I completed my certification, I would create a more welcoming space for the people I meet with in person and a more inspirational place to be when I coach online or on the phone. I am thrilled with how it turned out and I am excited about the learning, growing, dreaming space it allows me and the people I serve. I especially love that I have two pieces of original artwork on the walls by women who have attended my Being Brave retreats. If you are interested in coaching, summer is a great time to start, because I will be raising my prices in September.
My pastor is doing a sermon series called Good Questions, highlighting some of the most powerful questions Jesus asked in the gospel of John. As God incarnate, Jesus already knew the answer to the questions He asked. Although Jesus knew the answer, He also knew that exploring the questions was the path to healing for the people with whom He was speaking. Jesus asked the question not to gain knowledge, but to invite the person in front of Him on a journey of exploration and listening.
As a coach, my work is all about asking powerful questions. One question I always ask my clients early in our work together is “What do you want? What do you REALLY want?” This week in church, we talked about a similar question that Jesus asked some of His first disciples, “What are you looking for?” Our pastor invited us to consider this question from Jesus in our own lives by spending some time getting quiet enough to look within and listen for Spirit. As I spend some time this summer planning, dreaming and imagining the way I want to spend my time this fall, I plan to use this question and the follow up questions to direct my exploration.
Would you like to join me? I’d love to hear what you discover!
I’m still in the process of learning this lesson, but my experience this month with my back is bringing it into clearer focus. Let me see if I can encapsulate the lesson in one sentence:
“Better” takes time and happens in stages.
While recovering from my back injury, I longed to be “better.” I would think I was “better,” but then I would experience some kind of setback and be frustrated because I thought I was “better” and now, it seemed, I was not actually “better.” I soon realized I was using the wrong word. What I was wishing for was to be back to normal, to be like I was before, for the injury to go away completely. Although I was indeed “better” than the day before, it turns out “better” wasn’t what I really wanted after all. Progress wasn’t enough, I wanted perfection.
But that isn’t how healing usually works, is it?. Healing is more often measured in baby steps forward, periods of seemingly minimal change, another lurch forward, a falter backwards, and finally a realization that the hurt doesn’t hurt quite so much as it once did. And I think healing includes an understanding that healing encompasses the hurt, it doesn’t erase the hurt. Healing encompasses the hurt, it doesn't erase the hurt. Click To TweetWhether dealing with an old, tired back, a broken spirit or a wound deep in our heart, healing take time and happens in stages. While we can participate in our healing- in fact, we MUST participate in our healing- we usually can’t dictate the timetable. All we can do is follow doctor’s orders and trust the process is working. Do the next right thing, step forward bravely, and leave the results to God.
Am I better? Yes.
Am I completely healed and can my back handle everything just exactly like it once did? No.
Perhaps “Am I better?” is an incomplete question.
My friends and family are SO tired of hearing me talk about about this month’s book recommendation! I read this book in less than 48 hours and think it should be required reading for all twenty-somethings and anyone who loves them. I could tell you one million things I like about this book (or you could ask Brooke who has had to listen to me go on and on about it for 3 weeks) but trust me, just read it.
“The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter and How to Make the Most of Them Now” was written by psychologist Meg Jay and combines fascinating scholarship about adult development, up to the minute sociological insights about the unique challenges and opportunities for THIS group of twenty-somethings, and inspirational stories about the work she is doing with her twenty-something clients.
Here is one quote from early in the book, to give you an idea of what it is about:
“Our 20s are the defining decade of adulthood. 80% of life’s most defining moments take place by about age 35. 2/3 of lifetime wage growth happens during the first ten years of a career. More than half of Americans are married or are dating or living with their future partner by age 30. Personality can change more during our 20s than at any other decade in life. Female fertility peaks at 28. The brain caps off its last major growth spurt. When it comes to adult development, 30 is not the new 20. Even if you do nothing, not making choices is a choice all the same. Don’t be defined by what you didn’t know or didn’t do.”
And this one:
“Twentysomethings who don’t feel anxious and incompetent at work are usually overconfident or underemployed.”
“Our twenties can be like living beyond time. When we graduate from school, we leave behind the only lives we have ever known, ones that have been neatly packaged in semester-sized chunks with goals nestled within. Suddenly, life opens up and the syllabi are gone. There are days and weeks and months and years, but no clear way to know when or why any one thing should happen. It can be a disorienting, cave-like existence. As one twenty-something astutely put it, “The twenty-something years are a whole new way of thinking about time. There’s this big chunk of time and a whole bunch of stuff that needs to happen somehow.”
Bottom line, I walked away with these three overall impressions:
- My children and most of their brave friends are doing great!! They are slaying their 20s: building identity capital, choosing their tribe, and setting goals that move them closer to the person they want to be in their 30s and beyond.
- I can do a better job of offering them support and cheering them on by asking better questions and responding differently to requests for advice.
- I would love to coach more twenty-somethings, so I need to reach out to them as I build my business.
That’s it for June, friends!! Thanks for dropping by on this HOT summer day 🙂
- Call me if you know someone looking for coaching.
- Reach out to me if you know a church or community that is ready to host a Being Brave retreat. I’m sending out Being Brave good boxes to interested churches after the July 4th holiday!
- Purchase Being Brave for your summer devotional book because the price is down on Amazon again.
- Go deeper by asking more powerful questions to yourself and the people you love this holiday week.
- And as always, join the rest of my amazing Share Four Somethings friends HERE. I always get the BEST suggestions from their posts!!
Heather Gerwing says
Always look forward to your link-ups! So sorry to hear about your back, but glad it is “better.” Love the question your pastor wants you to ponder! I need to think about that too.
Better is such a tricky word. Working through that one myself. It was nice to hear that I’m on my way, even if it looks like I’ve only made a bigger mess.
Cindy Wilkins says
Love all four of these! “What are you looking for.” Boy! I’m going to have to ponder on that one. And I feel that I could have used some help guiding my kids through their 20’s. I have determined that even though people talk mostly about terrible twos and the throttle your thirteen year old, parenting adults is the most challenging! I hope your back continues to heal, Cindy