A few weeks ago I received a string of tweets from a dear friend of mine, someone who I only met for the first time this time last year & who I have only met twice ever, but a dear friend non-the-less.
This friend is a twitter friend – someone I connected with on twitter to the extent that when I was travelling around New Zealand for a month last summer (UK summer) we met up. I consider him to be one of my spiritual guides… helping me on my journey.
So, the tweets I received were regarding his impromptu visit “home” and how it had been such a great experience, and, reading between the lines… how it had allowed him to put some demons to bed.
I was moved (see My Tears are my Soul’s Truth) by his description of time spent reconnecting with his best friend who had “lost his way” in the past few years and of how my friend Andy had struggled with how to “be” with him… wavering between lecturing, inspiring and rescuing when he was away from him but being “really present” during their time together – laughing, crying, sharing memories, walking and talking.
So there I was, already moved, reading how the two had arranged to meet at the airport for breakfast before Andy’s flight left to return to New Zealand… the other side of the world. Andy’s tweet revealed that instead of meeting as planned, his friend called to cancel… and then died an hour later from a brain haemorrhage. Wow, that hit me hard & I was only the onlooker, the observer. Andy’s string of tweets finished with the statement: “Now I guess I know the true reason I had such a strong drive to get on a plane so quickly 10 days ago.”
So, why am I blogging about this? Two reasons…
1) I was inspired by the story of how Andy had not only listened to his intuition when it told him to fly to the other side of the world, but how he had acted on it…
2) Andy’s ability to be present which I also read as “authentic” during (what turned out to be the last) few days he spent with his old friend
His use of the word ‘present’ made me remember a set of principles I wrote for myself at the start of 2009 – principles, or ways of being, that I thought at the time would further develop me as a coach…
|P||“Plucky”||Courage to go outside of the comfort zone
To probe where it’s tough for the ‘prober’ or ‘probee’!
|R||“Reserved”||Not giving advice
Not expressing opinions
Able to keep judgement out
|E||“Egoless”||Not concerned about impressing people
Being self aware
Able to relinquish control of the conversation and ‘the answers’
Happy to unlearn preconceived beliefs
Acknowledging and accepting other peoples’ pieces of the truth
|S||“Spacious”||Allowing space between thought for insight to occur
|E||“Empathic”||Genuinely interested and caring about people
Having fierce affection for
Filling people’s emotional bank accounts
Recognising the value of people is not in their performance
Appreciating peoples’ differences
|N||“Nowhere else”||Having a ‘fierce resolve to be with each individual, prepared to be nowhere else’
So focused on the other person that our usual mind chatter disappears
|T||“Trusting”||Being open and honest
Humbly admitting own mistakes and weaknesses to build trusting relationships
Trusting and believing in others
Trusting and believing own instincts
As I think about what Andy shared with me; about his conversations with his friend; about what I already know of him… I believe he was really living these principles.
He was courageous enough to ‘go there’ and to probe – often something which is harder with people we’ve known ‘for ever’.
His comment about not knowing whether to ‘lecture, inspire or rescue’ I think speaks of his internal struggle with keeping himself (his advice, opinions and judgements) out of the conversations and his success in that when he talked about being ‘really present’. If we are not really keeping ourselves out, there is no struggle!
From conversations I’ve had with Andy in the past I know of his fight with ego and certainly think he’s winning battles there – letting go of control, unlearning preconceived beliefs.
I know that Andy had fierce affection for his friend – a friend who lived on the other side of the world but who he was interested in, cared for and recognised the value of.
I think when Andy talked of being ‘really present’ that’s what I was talking about in my “Nowhere else” principle… quoting from Susan Scott’s book Fierce Conversations “fierce resolve to be with the individual, prepared to be nowhere else”
And trusting… yes… trusting that although he and his friend had ended up living very different lives that there was still a relationship… a relationship that would grow and bloom if the barriers were broken down. And as I’ve already said trusting his instinct which told him to fly to the other side of the world!
So, what am I taking from this?
…a reminder that being present is so very important. That the principles I wrote 3 ½ years ago are still very important for me to live today and in a much wider context than “as a coach” – they’re principles for all aspects of my life.
…that I want to live my life from the heart… listening to; trusting in and acting on my intuition and insight. I think I am getting better at this, but still have a long way to go. I think the key to ‘living from the heart’ is clearing, getting to the void, emptying so that listening to my intuition is so much easier and clearer.
My path to clearing? At the moment (as I explained in my blog Mirror of the Soul) meditation, saying the Ho’oponopono Prayer, taking total responsibility and being present.
- What does being present mean to you?
- How often do you listen to and act on your intuition?
- How do you ensure you hear your intuition/insight/instinct or your soul/spirit/source?
I’d love to hear your thoughts… either by leaving a comment here or on twitter @ThePensiveCoach
PS. Thanks Andy @TheTranquilKiwi, for your ‘present’ (which came on my birthday by the way!) – your guidance on my journey & these reminders of how I want to be – I appreciate you.