Gazing at the very early morning southern sky last week, my winter friend Orion was watching me back. The earliest commuters were still in bed. There’s magic in the stillness of moments like this. The stillness, though, is just a story that I’ve made up. The truth is that the night sky is the story of an unfathomably massive amount of energy in flux. And so it is with each of us.
As I sat in that "stillness," a shooting star appeared then was gone in an instant. Alone in space, some meteoroid that had been moving through our solar system for eons encountered Earth’s gravity and was pulled into our atmosphere. In an instant, what was once a cold, hard, rock became a blaze of heat and light. It was glorious, tumultuous, ephemeral. I had witnessed a massive transformation. Energy in flux. It happened in an instant!
People come to coaching when they feel this flux in a way that begs them to understand it and act. Sometimes, it’s for reasons they may not understand, such as a feeling that “There must be more than this.” Sometimes, it’s because of a very clear inflection point, like a promotion, the birth of a child, job loss, or a desire to just be better. Regardless of the reason, the goal of the work is transformation, a complete change in how they think. Coaching helps them find enlightenment about who they are, who they wish to be, and clarity regarding what that implies. Everyone, of course, wants results now.
So it was with me. Having gone through the process, I wondered whether my shift happened instantaneously or if it was more gradual. The answer is both. There were surely epiphanies. But these magic moments in time when everything becomes clear don’t change a thing. It’s what we do with that awareness that makes the difference. It’s the practice of using a new awareness that brings about lasting change. The work is what does the work, not the idea.
Like many who develop an awareness of their place in the Universe, I once viewed myself as a tiny. Insignificant. Recognizing now how each of us is an energetic extension of the same thing, inextricably connected, my view of what I once called “myself” totally shifted. This all happened while working to put food on the table, grow professionally, be a husband, father, son and friend, and give back to my community. What caused my transformation took daily practice. Gratitude. Meditation. Leading others while intentionally striving to bring them closer to understanding themselves. Failing – then trying again.
We are all that shooting star. Energy in flux. Works in progress -- if we choose to do the work. Practicing. Ready to fail so we can learn and practice again. Transformation is an endless process of doing the work. The epiphanies just help us write the job description.