Today is my birthday.
I am 49 years old now. I used to like getting presents on my birthday. And I think I've finally reached the age where it's more fun to give them out*.
This morning I woke up on the tail end of a head cold, happy to find that I'm feeling more like me than I have the past two days. I decided to sleep upstairs in my youngest child's bed last night, both for the firmness of the mattress and the extra warmth of the upstairs in my house. And perhaps I am feeling rejuvenated from connecting, in some odd way, to a more childlike time when being present was easier, and receiving presents was the best.
Life has not always been easy in these nearly five decades. Child of divorce, parent of divorce, long stretches of pushing myself through uncomfortable circumstances as I strived to live up to what I thought my life should be like ... all of that, and more, took a toll on my happiness. And yet, I have gained so much from the hard places, as well as the easier ones. So here I am today, happier than ever. I have so many presents, gifts.
And here's my birthday wish.
The one thing I would love more than anything right now, at this wonderful turning point in my life, is to share my gift of helping people find more joy and harmony in their lives.
I've had that gift for as long as I've lived, but I never realized it was mine to share. More to the point, I didn't understand that it is what I'm meant to do. And now, thankfully, I do.
Even unwittingly, I have been able to use that gift to maintain peace in times of conflict. I have often used it to bring people together to accomplish more than they could before. I have also used it to fill a room with laughter, dozens, even hundreds of people experiencing simultaneous joy and release. It's one of those "best gifts" - the kind that everyone benefits from.
But here is a hard honesty for me: As I continue to learn how to support myself with this gift, as I learn how to build a business around it, I find that I'm often confused as to where to start. I tend to make it more complicated than I need to because I think there's some set of business/marketing rules I need to follow. Since it's my birthday, I'm throwing those out the window and doing it my way! Here is what I want:
I want to coach more people.
When I coach people ...
I get to use my gift of calm and centered presence to create a space for honest reflection at the deepest level. From that, my clients get to experience an uncommon gift of "being listened to" that allows them to be heard and helps them gain clarity on what matters most to them.
I get to share the gifts I've collected around how to gain clarity of one's vision and values and life purpose. Clients in turn receive permission to do work that gets to the core of what they really want from life, as well as guidance on how to use a set of tools to uncover that.
I get to ask powerful questions ("What is it that you really want that you aren't saying?") and listen to the response without judging or fixing anything. My clients receive the powerful gift of being free to say what they really mean deep inside, their clearest truth that opens them up to their next stage of growth.
I get to take all that I've learned about the courage needed to make meaningful changes and watch my clients blossom in front of me! My clients are able to receive multiple gifts. They enjoy the support they need to grow in ways that bring more joy into their lives. That "joy reservoir" they build up helps the relationships with people around them become more harmonious, since they are able to draw regularly from a place of deep satisfaction.
I want to do more improv workshops in businesses.
When I do improv workshops for businesses ...
I get to take the gifts that have unfolded over several hundred hours of training in improv comedy and blow people's minds with how relevant they are to "the real world". Clients get to see how a playful interaction can trigger profound changes in team dynamics, communication, creativity, and so much more.
I get to more fully enjoy the gifts of acceptance and agreement, central tenets of improv that are so important to me. My clients get to share in those gifts, seeing how easy it can be to build good will when those principles act as a foundation in their relationships.
I get to have a super fun time with my clients, and watch how a joyous couple of hours can lift the spirits of a group of people, energizing them around an important area of development in ways that other training simply cannot.
In case you wondered, or not, that's what I want for my birthday. I realize that what I just wrote probably sounds "life coachy". If you had that thought, you're not wrong. I coach whole people, not just "business leaders" or "men going through a period of growth" or "people going through a career change". I especially love coaching in those categories because I have tons of experience to share in them. But ultimately, I want everyone to experience the joyful harmony that comes about when we align all parts of our life with what is true inside us - presents, challenges, and everything in between. With presence.
Would you like share a gift, one that will enrich both of us?
If not you, who do you know that would like to share this with?
The gift shop is always open at email@example.com!
* Ok, I'd still like some presents... Dark chocolate is best. Then pie.