Jon Bon Jovi says, “I want to live while I’m alive!”
Well I say, “I want to be alive while I live!”
What’s the difference?
A life full of “intensely purposeful fun,” is how Martha Beck, well-known life coach, describes aliveness. One way she helps people find their version of this kind of fun is to take them on retreats to Londolozi, Africa…the idea being that once in the wild, people reconnect with their passion, strength and purpose.
In one exercise on the retreat, participants are taught to track animal footprints. Beck draws a parallel between finding “hot tracks” recently left by a wild animal and the “hot tracks” leading to moments in your past of pure joy.
It’s an apt metaphor because our animal nature so often leads us to the fulfillment of our deepest desires. We also tend to neglect this part of ourselves in favor of more practical, linear pursuits.
When I work with clients who are under pressure from their bosses, bill collectors, or family members, the first thing they forego is their physical desires. For example, a particular client may love the sensation of walking through the woods with her dog, or singing a song in a karaoke bar, or cuddling with her children at bedtime. Once the pressure hits, they give up these small pleasures…thinking they ‘don’t have time for that.’
A good coach will always lead you back to this primitive part of your nature, encouraging you to make time for that! Your greatest joy is what gives you the strength and clarity to make decisions to earn the money you need, face your boss’s expectations or set boundaries with a family member.
If you continue to follow the threads of your joy, adding to them, you will increase your aliveness. Each step in the direction of your ‘hot track’ means you are in action. A coach in sports is hired to bring players into high performance. A business or life coach brings you into action, into a game.
Martin Sage, another pioneer in the coaching profession, says, “When you have enough of these threads you can bundle them together to form a clear action step, project or business venture. When you take a step into action, you are in the game. Games bring out the player in all of us..bringing us into high performance. Action leads to movement, movement of money, movement of people.”
I have had the pleasure of working with this philosophy for the last 11 years when I first met and started working with a coach trained in the Sage Method. Now, my life is full of pleasurable projects, games and partnerships.
During a recent seminar I attended at a client’s office on stress management for the holidays one of the exercises was to choose from a list what are the things that cause you stress. None of them applied to me. The leader asked me,
“Doesn’t anything stress you out about the holidays?” I said, “the only thing I don’t like about the holidays is I have to take a break from my life, and I love my life!”
I am alive while I live. Are you?
*To learn more about Martin Sage’s Coaching Transformers, click here.