As 2020 comes to a close, I have consciously made time to reflect and journal the bizarre occurrences that I have endured this year.
I know that I am not the only one who has experienced stress, loss, death, grief and pain but through it all there have also been miraculous moments and profound experiences that could not be ignored.
I cannot ignore the fact that so many have endured so much more than I have and like most folk I know, we have attempted to make a difference wherever we could. This has not always served me well. I say that because I broke one of my own rules “we must care but we must not carry” but carry I did and ill health and struggles was the result.
This may sound selfish and arrogant but allow me to explain.
I often invite my clients to remember what flight attendants instruct us to do should an airplane experience technical difficulty. “Please put the oxygen mask on yourself FIRST before helping your child” is repeated on every flight. When I first heard this, I felt insulted that a stranger would think that I would save myself before I saved my child but as I listened further, the next sentence made perfect sense. “Parents you are of no good to us dead, so please save yourself first so that you can then save your child.” I stopped listening to those instructions this year.
Circumstances like the death; the struggles of our loved ones; the crashing economy; the pandemic and the ultimate fear of the future has affected us all. I innocently took on all the struggles and the pain of my loved ones and some of my clients as my own and of course I almost lost myself in the process.
As a life coach, you may say “surely Sharon you preach this, why did you ignore this?” Today I would respond that I am human. As spiritually strong as I often feel I am, I am humanly weak when it comes to feeling the pain of those around me. I have often claimed that those that have endured many difficulties and struggles make the best coaches, I have come to understand that coaches teach what they most need to learn.
I once heard a coach say that coaches are the most fucked up humans on the planet (tongue in cheek) and I found that funny and silently sniggered to myself that I couldn’t possibly be one of those. Yet here I am today, having come through yet another health challenge which scared me (I know, I should know better). But here I am today to tell the tale. “All’s well that ends well” we say but what does that mean?
“Everything will be ok in the end, and if it’s not ok, it’s not the end” someone once said but I have found this to be untrue for me. There are so many of these sayings that we take on as a rule for how we live our lives, but this year I have started to question so many of these silly statements. “If it is to be it’s up to me” is another crock of shit that I just cannot believe anymore. And yes, lately I tend to use more strong expletives than I usually do, and quite frankly, I don’t give a damn.
A beautiful friend shared a meme with me that said ‘the unexamined life is not worth living” and that one I find to be true, again for me. A truth is one that makes sense to me. It’s my truth. It’s not your truth. There is no such thing as “the” truth. Living an inspired and fulfilling life takes courage. It takes ‘listening’ to the subtle nudges and messages that are the truth for me. This takes awareness and consciousness. What I see in the world today is a rising of consciousness and that excites me. Can you examine your life and notice how conscious and aware you are?
On the 25th of November I experienced something that will never leave me. My daily walks often lead me to the beach where I like to sit and rest and simply notice. On this particular day, as I walked along my favourite stretch of beach, I noticed a couple walking a Labrador puppy and being a dog person, I quickly walked across to them to make friends with the black Labrador, which reminded me of my black Labrador Jack, whom I adore.
As I bent down to pat the puppy, I noticed out of the corner of my eye something flying in, at a very low range and I ducked slightly to avoid it. You can imagine my surprise when a kingfisher bird landed on my shoulder, and gently sat there unperturbed by the jostling of the puppy, who now found another dog to play with, right at my feet. The adult dog had come from the other direction with his owner whom I know.
Shocked and surprised I turned to look at the now three people standing there, with wide eyes at this unusual occurrence.
Fortunately, Jessica, the lady I know, was ready to snap a few pics of this beautiful kingfisher perched on my shoulder. It just sat there for what seemed like a long time but was probably about a minute. When the gentlemen mentioned that perhaps there was something wrong with the kingfisher, I immediately feared the worst and asked what I should do and the advice was, perhaps I should take it somewhere to help the bird.
Fearful that his concerns were correct, I gently folded my hand around the kingfisher and placed it onto my free hand and stroked its body and beak and it just sat in my hand without budging. Then I felt its tiny body fluff out so I opened my hand and it puffed itself up and spread its wings and took off into the sky in the wavy type of flying motion that kingfishers do.
We all just stood there mesmerized by what just happened and then said our good-byes and went on our way.
A short while later, Jessica sent the pictures and a reference from an animal spirit book, describing the meaning of a kingfisher and this is where it gets really interesting.
When the global pandemic was announced, the series of tragedies and difficulties that I heard about, got me thinking about how I could help more people. In fact, on the eve of my sister’s death on the 10th of April, I could not speak to her as I was presenting a free zoom call to anyone that felt fearful, in an attempt to allay their fears and encourage them with hope.
At 7 am the next morning, I received the call from my niece that her mom had passed on and the rest of the day is a blur. Shortly thereafter I heard of a suicide in our community and then another one a few weeks later, and the nudge I had received that people need help really played on my mind and I wanted to find a way to help. I had this nagging feeling that if I could just help more people, who in turn could help more people, that at least would make a small difference.
Fast forward to a few months and I’ve experienced a few health setbacks and it becomes clear that I must forge ahead but I am fearful and concerned about how this will work.
Enter the words of one client in the US who speaks of how he might be an ambassador for the work I do with the Three Principles (more about that later) and the idea begins to unfold. I continue to be concerned about my loved ones and my clients and again another health setback and then the penny drops. I must pass on the baton.
After more than three decades in the personal development industry I begin to feel that, perhaps I already have what I need to begin this journey and so engage with a few people to help me get the ball rolling.
Being human the questions begin “who am I that I feel qualified to start a coaching school? How will it work? Who will help me? When should I start? What if I fail? Blah blah blah… And all the time as I sink into wondering, the answers come “It’s time. You already have everything you need. You are not alone in this.” And finally, on the 8th of December a clear message comes through “take up your bed and walk.” Whaaat?????
I hadn’t heard that since I was in Sunday School. More questioning until finally just last week, I end up in hospital for a digestive issue that has me worried and the news comes, there is nothing major wrong with you and you will have to manage this challenge with diet and STRESS MANAGEMENT!
Me? The coach who preaches peace and stillness?
So, I sink. I sink into stillness and I listen. I have an image of me floating in water. An image I “saw” with my first Dr Joe Dispenza meditation called “Water Rising” many years ago which deeply impacted me. Each time I feel ungrounded I get still and I sink and each time I get the same message. “It’s time.”
You can imagine my absolute shock when I pick up a book at a book store and I open it to a page that speaks of sinking in the same positive way that I felt all those years ago. That book is Glennon Doyle’s “Untamed” and I quote “Whenever uncertainty rises, I sink. I sink beneath the swirling surf of word, fear, expectations, conditioning, and advice – and I feel for the Knowing.” I stand there motionless as I acknowledge the Universe has thrown another confirmation at me, through the book I’m holding in my hands.
So, I have decided to listen and I feel quite sure that all my little health issues will clear up because how else can God let me know that this IS what I must do. I was struck down again and again. I must now take up my bed and walk. That I must help people who want to help people.
Hello Mindfit Life Coaching Academy. A place where people who want to help people learn how to help people.
So, what was the message that the kingfisher brought? According to many sources, books, research and beautiful friends the message is crystal clear. When a kingfisher shows up it means “Take the plunge into this project with confidence and alacrity, and let go of all doubt and fear, because it will be successful. I heard “dive in!”
So, I’m diving in. I’m sinking.
I know there will be those who will roll their eyes back. Heck some of my family members even did that. “It means you should take up fishing.” Perhaps the kingfisher thought you were a tree.” All said in jest, I know. I don’t give a shit. I’m taking it.
I now know more than ever, that it’s not up to me. I more fully understand that there is very little that I need to control. I am here to trust that what unfolds for me is exactly right for me. I can live the life that comes to me and not the life that I have struggled to make happen. “It’s all in divine right timing” is something I often say. I have seen this to be true in 2020 more than in any other time in my life. It’s not required of me to do any more than what’s in front of me to do, if I listen! There is nothing more to do than walk the path I am shown, if I am aware.
This blog post is starting to get extraordinary long, so I will stop now and continue to reveal how it will work. I await the promptings and the nudges that I have learnt to trust completely. And I will sink. I will sink into Knowing. I have faith in the unknown. It’s never let me down yet.
Have you had any similar experiences? I would love to hear them. Let me know on email@example.com. Who knows? Perhaps we will sink into knowing together.
All my love
PS Mindfit Life Coaching Academy will launch some time in February. If you feel you want to help people and you’d like to know more, please mail me on firstname.lastname@example.org
I am taking a break from the 19th of December until the 19th of January so expect a full response once I return. If you feel the call, respond now!
We have some exciting workshops, events and a very special retreat next year so stay tuned by following me on FB on Sharon Castle Lifestyle and Wellness Coach and on Instagram on coachsharoncastle A newsletter will go out in January 2021 and if you’re not on the mailing list sign up on my website www.sharoncastlecoaching.com
WISHING YOU AND YOUR LOVED ONES
A BLESSED CHRISTMAS AND A SAFE AND HAPPY NEW YEAR