I have begun the seemingly insurmountable task of sorting through the "stuff" of my parents' lives. As I stood in the living room last night I caught a glimpse of myself in the big mirror that has hung there since before I was born. It struck me that this was the very mirror I have been looking into over the years. It has been in the background of so many family photographs.
This mirror has silently held the space for us and watched us watch ourselves our entire lives. From baptism to first communion to first days at school, first dates, graduations, proms and my wedding day. It saw me practice my school speeches and learn to dance and sing. It saw family gatherings for birthdays, holidays and in moments of joy and grief. It hangs over the sofa both my parents spent so much time on when they both were ill and dying and witnessed the stream of people who cared for them. It even witnessed my father's very last breaths on earth.
And it has been just that… a witness and reflector of our lives. It passes no judgement. It keeps no record of rights or wrongs. It simply shows us one dimension of what it sees and lets us do the rest… We are the ones who judge ourselves in the mirror. We like what we see and sometimes we don't. In the end, we are the ones who must make peace with ourselves and gather the courage and confidence to get out there.
While life does not happen in the mirror, it can be a place for us to begin to see ourselves. One of it's greatest gifts is to offer us the chance to look deeply into our own eyes and confront ourselves. To say our truths to ourselves and even if we are daring enough to say to ourselves: I forgive you, I love you… or at least like you very much (if this is where you can start). This is ultimately someting we can learn to do without this tool, but indeed as a tool, the mirror is a powerful thing.
As coaches we are LIVING MIRRORS for others. We hold that same space, without judgement, for our clients. They eee themselves in us and we too see ourselves in them. We see more of who we are, where we have been or hope to go. There is such healing power alone in this. There is no need to fix because when a client truly sees themselves, can speak their truth, can learn to love, accept and forgive themselves even just a little, then they are on the path to wholeness.
When we go into fixit mode, we fall out of mirroring mode. When we drive the agenda for our clients we take away their power and vision for themselves.
As ooaches, job one is always to be the mirror and reflect, reflect , reflect — In your listening, in your coaching and your follow-up. This is home base for us.
So now as I gaze into that mirror and the flood of memories rushes over me, I know it is so many of those very events that led me right here to this moment today and to being the coach, witness and mirror I have become. As it is decided what is to be kept, sold or given away, you know that old mirror is coming with me wherever I go.
Going Quantum With You–
PS. For more specific direction in reflective listening and coaching, be sure to read my new book: Quantum Coaching Questions