Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Prayerful Undercurrents


Whether we are coaching children (ie: parenting), or reaching out to family, friends, and clients, I find that there is always an undercurrent of prayer running in the background of the exchange. Both parties are whispering (praying) Help! or Thanks! or WOW!!

In the coaching roles, we have a deep desire to be helpful and effective without being preachy, patronizing, or annoying. In the recipient position, as a student, client, or patient, we believe that the coach has a tool or piece of wisdom that may be useful to us on our journey.  As a recipient, I have to allow myself to be vulnerable at that given moment and trust the process.  Both coach and recipient benefit by allowing the prayer for "Help!" to attract the universal resources that surround us.

It's important to recognize that the coach and recipient need each other - the recipient has the inner knowledge and wisdom to grasp truths, make adjustments, and help themselves.  The coach has tools, gems of knowledge and the advantage of experience.  He/she can see the bigger picture.  Together, they can begin to see the end in the beginning, build the vision, define the baby steps, and experience the desired transformation.

Navid meets his cousins
In my baby catching days (I am a retired Nurse Midwife), I was keenly aware that I could not give birth for my client ... but I was able to be truly helpful as she made the birthing journey.  And I was most effective when I stayed a little detached, when I trusted her to take the next steps, when I looked beyond her distress and nakedness, when I really focused on her strengths and power.  In those deep moments, if I had not been reaching beyond myself, shouting "Help!" to the Divine, I doubt that I would have made midwifery a 28 year career. If I didn't know how to say, "Thanks!" I might have skipped to "Wow!" and egotistically thought that I had much to do with it!

Anne Lamott, in her new book, Help, Thanks, Wow: The Three Essential Survival Prayer, says:
Prayer is not about saying, 'Oh, I think I'm going to pray now.' Or, 'Oh, I see I've made a notation here to pray at 2:15.' It's about getting outside of your own self and hooking into something greater than that very, very limited part of our experience here — the ticker tape of thoughts and solutions, and trying to figure out who to blame. ... 
If you're in the habit of praying - see if your personal prayers fall into these categories.  If you haven't been in the habit of praying, see if this simplified view is helpful in anyway.  Either way, shouting "Help!" seems much more effective than shouting, "Oh you-know what!" when faced with the demands and frequent chaos of life!!!

You can read more about Anne Lamott and hear her interview with NPR by Clicking Here.

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