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One Creative Client’s Update: Be affirmed, Be inspired, Remember what works…

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 While I’ve been healing, I have stepped back from coaching. My clients, and clients currently inquiring, do make (or wish to make) a very powerful, empowering and life changing commitment to themselves when they choose personal coaching. My role in that is to truly be there with them, fully present,  committed to them in consistency and ‘on top of my game’ in my ability to support them as they discover and take actions while creating their lives.  During my healing, surgeries and treatments.. my coaching practise was understandably set aside. However, my long time clients do keep me updated. And I’m here to share an update, with permission and a rewrite by the client for anonymity. 

There’s so much to notice in what she shares.  She is the epitomy of both moving forward successfully and in enjoying where she is now. She does this now with compassion for herself, with the ability to understand her thinking processes, her barriers, her way past them.. not only in her musical career but in all aspects of her life.  (Some of the life aspects are removed… again, to keep anonymous) 

You might notice.. 

  • how she goes back to things that worked before,
  • the way she notices but does not let the ‘hard on self’ talk stop her,
  • how she connects an experience that gave her strength to an experience where she needs strength, 
  • and how she notices the synchronicities that are affirming.. and even magical.

And one other thing that I’d like to tell about her: one of her strengths is knowing when she needs support, not hesitating, simply connecting for support. The great thing about this is that now, after our longtime coaching relationship, once she contacts me for coaching with the concern, she usually resolves it before we speak, simply by thinking through the coaching process!  I do love that.. it says both her and I are doing our ‘work’ well.

Here’s her update! Enjoy. I suspect you’ll be inspired, reminded, and affirmed by her sharing.

My “musical tinkering” sessions have been going rather well this past week or so. I hadn’t done any tinkering in a while, and decided to get back to it about a week ago. It felt really good. Just giving my creative muscle a workout after a period of inactivity. Kind of like the endorphin boost you get when you exercise for the first time after a long stint of inactivity. This allowed me to enjoy the process without really caring too much about the quality of what I was producing. I wasn’t expecting to create a masterpiece after having been away from the process for so long. Kind of the way you wouldn’t expect to do splits or run a marathon after exercising for the first time in weeks or months. So since then I have been showing up to the process quite regularly. Not imposing any time limit or anything, just doing it for as long as I want, letting whatever comes out naturally just come out and appreciating the wellness I experience from feeding my soul, taking care of my creative needs. This approach has been doing wonders to silence those nasty inhibiting voices.

So Wednesday night I was heading over to my music rehearsal space (which is now a rock’s throw away from where I live) for one of these sessions. Initially, my intention was to go and experiment with some aggressive growl screaming stuff (which I don’t really feel comfortable doing in my apartment because my neighbors might call the cops or something). But when I walked into the room, I wasn’t in the mood for loud and crazy stuff. I had another interesting breakthrough on my way to the space (that is the subject of a whole other email) and felt light as a cloud and I just wanted to sit at the piano and play touchy feely songs. I started playing this song I wrote a few years ago. It is one of a very small handful of songs I’ve written on piano which I feel pretty good about (I find most of the other ones really cheesy… and a lot of them never get finished). I’ve only performed it in front of small gatherings of friends and family (and I’ve always found the experience to be 3000x times more scary and intimidating than walking on a stage in front of thousands of people). So anyways, when I was finished playing the song that night in my rehearsal space, a little voice came into my head: “Why don’t you play that song at Andrea’s tribute show this Saturday? It seems perfect for the occasion.”

Andrea is a singer-songwriter who is in my circle of artsy friends and acquaintances. We’ve performed at one event together and I’ve had the chance to hang out with her a few times. Unfortunately, she committed suicide in August, right before my summer vacation. Although I did not know her well, her passing affected me. Several of my friends were close to her and deeply pained by the loss. I thought of her as an inspiring, generous person and I wish I had gotten the chance to know her better.

Nicole, a visual artist and close friend of Andrea (whom I also happen to know because I did some work for her in exchange for some of her artwork) organized a tribute concert for Andrea happening outdoors. Twenty or so artists were to come out and perform songs in memory of her. Initially, I intended to go as a spectator. Until that crazy little voice popped into my head.

Of course no sooner had I come up with that wonderfully crazy idea that the monkey chatter began chiming in. “Why should you go perform at a tribute show for Andrea? You barely knew her. Oh my God, over a hundred people have clicked “Attending” on the Facebook event.” I also noticed that this talented songwriter named Robert, whom I dated for awhile and to whom I actually played that song of mine once or twice, was amongst the artists performing on the bill. “Oh great. He’s going to think it’s the only song you know.” Etc. Etc. Etc…

During my summer vacation, I had the amazing opportunity to go white water rafting down a pretty wild river. Truly, one of the best days of my life. I never imagined I would have been able to paddle down those kinds of challenging drops and dives… and enjoy it as much as I did.

Suddenly, another voice popped into my head. “You’ve paddled your way down a roaring river and came out just fine. You should be able to handle playing a little piano in front of a bunch of people.” Thank you, river.

Next thing you know I was writing Nicole asking if it was too late for me to join her tribute concert and perform one of my songs. Moments later, she replied saying “Yeah cool, there’s a little spot left just for you.”

That same night I checked the Facebook event again. My name had been added to the list of performers.

So at that point I figured “I guess I am really going to do this.” I had butterflies. But they were the happy kind.

The concert was certainly an emotional affair. I was a bit nervous on my way to the event, but I soon forgot about my own little issues upon arriving there. Everyone was standing teary-eyed, listening to the various people who stepped up to pay tribute to this magnificent and well-loved woman. “Okay, this isn’t about me. This is all about her.”

My contribution was welcomed by everyone present and I got some positive feedback on my singing voice. The organizer even bugged me to go up again and sing something else, but I hadn’t prepared anything. Interestingly, another friend of Andrea organized a higher profile tribute about a month later and asked me to perform in it… and there was no connection with this one. Life can certainly be interesting and mysterious.

Funny also what I wrote earlier about butterflies. Right before I went up to sing my song, they had a “butterfly flight ceremony”. Literally. Everyone was given a little butterfly in a box, and we were told to free all of them, as a symbolic gesture.


About Janet

Artist/writer with a tall ship and mystical twist, Certified Professional Life Coach (ICA), Master Creativity Coach (KMCC), Curator/owner of Writerly Kits, workshop leader and creativity group facilitator trainer. Outdoor enthusiast and Tall Ship sailor. Been through breast cancer and found her own tools of play, lightness, creativity, nature, thinking differently and visualization assisted healing through and after treatments. Ever ever so grateful for all the wondrous people she is surrounded by.

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