I met my dear life coach and confidant in 2010 right around my 40th birthday. A friend of mine invited me to a full day retreat and it was there that I first met her. I was drawn to her spiritual energy which was effervescent and grounded, all at the same time. I began individual coaching with her a few years later.

Since we used to meet at the church where she also taught a morning exercise class, we would move from a large, open space into a more private consultation type room. I remember noting the words labeled on on the door. They read: “Transformation Room.” I said them out loud as we giggled a little at the “name” of the room but I literally had an awareness that I was in fact moving toward a transformation. I was right where I needed to be.

Coaching is a bit different than other forms of “talk” type engagements, therapy or psycho analysis. In my experience, there is less emphasis on history (what happened in our lives that resulted in this or that habit that we want to snuff out) and more focus on goals and accountability.

When first becoming a coach myself I loved the mantra “What do you want?” (See 1/30/21 post for more). Essentially, coaching is about closing the gap between how we are showing up and who we are capable of being. (Visit optimize.me for more on that…)

The first time my coach and I sat in the transformation room, I went down my long list of grievances, and challenges that I was facing on a daily basis. In essence, I was legitimizing for her, and myself, all the demands “placed” on me and the utter suffocating strangulation of my own spiritual energy, as I struggled day to day to try and attend to those demands. I won’t bore you with the details of the list contents, as I imagine you probably have one (or several) of your own lists so this may resonate.

Then the question arose: “Lisa, so you have illustrated all the many roles you play and the requirements of each, but my question for you is, “Where are you on your own list?”

Huh?” I had no idea what she was talking about.

Me? On my list? Was that a thing? If so I hadn’t gotten the memo. Not sure what she meant, so I asked her “What do you mean?” She replied, “What do you do to take care of yourself?

Now, she was really speaking a foreign language. I paused and had to think more about it…”Well, I come to see you is that what you mean?” We moved into a conversation that forever changed me. Paraphrasing, my “transformation room” leader explained that we can’t give what we don’t have. “If we don’t fill our own vase, we can’t pour anything out.”

We’ve all heard the metaphor “Put on your own oxygen mask before assisting someone else” but this infused my senses with something different.

I am forever grateful that my coach jumped right to the heart of the matter. It ignited a small flicker of light inside me where the light had been out for years. I have been working on iterations of my “list” and where I am on it ever since, and like all worthy efforts it is a work in progress.

For today, I invite you to ask yourself the same question: “Where are you on your own list?” If this seems as odd a question to you, as it did to me, awesome. It means there is a “transformation room” all your own that you might just be able step into. At the very least, get curious. When is the last time you were at the top of your list doing something that was uniquely, lovingly and totally just for you?

I don’t mean getting 10K steps because its good for you, or mediating at the designated time, getting your nails done or going to get required mammogram. What have you done, or can you think of to do, that brings you Joy, for its own sake, that feeds you and ignites that flickering flame? Or better yet, fans it so it grows like a wild fire?

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