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Counting Omer 5780, Day 23

Gevurah ShebeNetzakh Limitations; Spiritual, Physical, Emotional Strength, and Boundaries corresponding with Awe within Eternity, Forever, Splendor, Perpetuity, Endurance, Long-Lasting, and Spiritual Victory.

Quality: The Discipline of Practice

In the wake of devastation, it can difficult to impossible to figure out what to do. Similarly, the desire to make a thoughtful change in one’s Life can also lead to difficulty as to what to do first, if anything.

How does one know what to do first? Not the most difficult because immediate failure could be discouraging. Not the easiest because quick success can be deceiving.

Yet, there is an exception: Whatever step you take should be the one that will keep you motivated and aid you in building the spiritual muscles of awareness and resilience.

Periodically, a coaching client will show-up for our meeting and declare that their homework was not done. Occasionally, the reason is a variation of "I believe I know myself better than you, and - after thinking about it, I decided that these practices were not going to be of service to me."

ME: Oh! That’s interesting. It sounds to me that you got (scared, angry, anxious).

CLIENT: Oh, no! I’m not (scared, angry, anxious). Why would you think that? (I pull out a sheet of paper from the client’s file and have them read some variation of) “It seems like every time I’m on the cusp of doing something important or great, I rationalize my (fears, anger, anxiousness) and talk myself out of taking the steps I need to move forward.” (Looking shocked) Oh, my God! How could I not have caught myself!?

Returning to the assignments, we identify and discuss the first one that caused fears and anxieties to rise; listening to one’s mind as a disinterested observer. We drill into the thoughts and feelings that arose that led the client to forego the assignment. Then, we identify the story running the show and take apart the resulting feelings of shame, discouragement, frustration, fear…

When we unravel the rope that wraps around the client and drags them to “proper” behavior or response, some clients enthusiastically up the ante on establishing new practices to move themselves toward thriving.

The cautious voice is still with my client. The difference is they are onto themselves in a new way. They leave with practices to enable them to unpeel the onion of the past and grow to recognize the many guises and mindsets that push them to "change back." The intent of the work is to notice, then to practice choosing differently until choosing differently is the practice.

Through the discipline of practice, the client relates to fears, anxiety, pain, disappointment… as feelings instead of taking on the identity of being fearful, anxious, suffering, disappointing... Shifting from identifying with our feelings to experiencing our feeling allows us to be present to what is occurring in this moment. With the discipline of practice comes experience that both tells what more needs to be done and tells what is changing, strengthening the spiritual muscles of awareness and resilience.



© Sabrina Sojourner 2020

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