Life’s big events (part 1)

Image Credit: baby jacket and booties knitted by Great-grandma

The birth of a baby is one of life’s big events.  The roller coaster of emotions that have been building through pregnancy come hurtling at breakneck speed at the new parents and those closest to them at the time of birth.  The acute pain, anxiety, relief and joy are breathtaking and heart wrenching.

This week we welcomed a new baby into our family.  The outpouring of love for this little bundle was palpable.  As he took his first breath he created new roles for each generation.  We have all moved up the family tree.  I’ve been contemplating my new grandparent role and observing my various family members grapple with their new found identities. We are all in a period of transition and need to find our way.

Most of all I have been hit with such clarity about what matters.

Life’s big events (LBEs) provide us with an open door through which we can choose to clear away the deitrus of the past, heal wounds, and find a sense of purpose, or renewed hope and vigour for the future.

As coaches we sometimes find ourselves working with people who are in the midst of their own LBE.  Perhaps it was an LBE that sparked their interest in working with a coach, or maybe their LBE just crashed right into one of your sessions. When this happens we must question whether coaching is the right support at this particular time.  The coachee needs to be open to challenge and this may not be appropriate, particularly if the LBE is about significant loss. Be prepared to work with your coachee to end their coaching agreement.

If we do continue to provide coaching we need to allow for a new set of possibilities to emerge, the original action plan may seem irrelevant or pointless to your coachee now.  Encourage an exploration of new and different priorities.  Support your coachee to clarify their values, beliefs and purpose in this new territory they are navigating. Hold the space for your coachee, this means providing an emotionally safe space in which your coachee can work through the emotions that are surfacing.

Be aware of any emotions that surface for you too and take time in supervision to identify where they belong.  Are they yours or do they belong to your coachee?

We all need a good support network to help us through one of LBE.  Sometimes the event brings with it an entry ticket into a new and exciting group of lively individuals, all swapping stories and photos.  Yep, I’m officially in the Granny club and it’s fabulous!