Yesterday I witnessed a tiny kitten, no bigger than the palm of my hand, take her last breath. I was not meant to be there at that time, it was me trying to help a friend uninvited. And that is how I got to be in her house when the maid told me about the kitten. I offer to drive her to the vet on the spot, but while my friend was changing her clothes, I sat with the maid holding the kitten in her hand and witnessing death.
Needless to say, the ocean of emotions rushing through me at that moment was too much to handle as I heard the maid weeping to declare that the kitten is gone, that there was no pulse and no movement. That she has just taken her last breath never to meow again.
I couldn’t help but wonder if it was my negativity that morning (and for the past week or so) that brought doom to this kitten. Or should I be happy that at least she died in the hands of the maid instead of alone in the towels in the little basket she was sleeping in? I had feelings of anger that it was neglect that might have been the reason this kitten died.
Who is to blame? Is there anyone to blame? Or is it just time to go?
If I did rush her to the vet, would she have lived? Would they have been able to do much at that stage?
I had a phone conversation later in the evening with someone I care about and it made me connect the dots. I have come to realize that I cannot and should not expect to be able to inspire or transform or motivate everyone I know towards change. It is their decision to make, not mine, no matter how much I love them or care about them. I cannot take it upon myself, it is not my responsibility. And I should not push myself into it when I’m not ready to face the consequences like I was not ready to witness this kitten die.
Being the coach I am, I need to chill I guess. During training, my instructors’ comments were always that I’m a strong coach but that I work too hard, and that I need to relax while coaching. Easier said than done, let me tell you! I’m so invested in my clients and in the people I love. Most of my life coaching sessions are through Skype and with no video, so I can be chilling, lying down in my bed while coaching but no, oh no, instead I’m at my desk, leaning into my laptop like I’m about to touch the person for real, full engagement.
Sometimes I close my eyes so I can have more focus on what I hear. That’s how I am, even when having coffee with friends and we are deep in conversation, I’m leaning forward wanting to be there 100%, and hardly ever just rest in my seat or sofa.
Being like this a blessing or a curse? I don’t know.
All I do know is that life and death happen around us all the time. We do whatever part we can. But there comes a time when one needs to let go. One of the very first self-development retreats I attended had one major lesson for me. One huge takeaway… and was to Release and let go. This kitten crossed my path to remind me of that lesson. True story.
Way at the beginning of my path to becoming a coach, I remember being in class learning that one of the tools of a good coach is her ability to evoke transformation. With her permission, this is a story of one mom’s transformation through coming to a few of my group coaching sessions.
A few months ago, Dalal walks into one of my sessions. She walked in with a bit of an attitude and a strong opinion about everything … reminds me of my own mum… The session was about the power of this moment and the thoughts we choose to believe … she put her hand up to volunteer. Within a few minutes, she comes to realize that her thoughts and actions always revolved around fear. This woman’s fear of failing has stopped her from following her own dreams AND is making her take a stubborn stand in the way of her teen daughter’s dream. She goes on to tell me how great her daughter is at football (a very unconventional thing for the typical Arab girl in this part of the world which is the cause of the drama with mama). Her daughter’s dream is to go pro encouraged by her father, her coach, and her school team… but discouraged by her mom.
We dig deeper and more is self-revealed to this woman but there’s only so much I can do within minutes with one individual in a group setting… however, I left her with this one thought; There are people who spend a lifetime trying to find what it is they are passionate about but fail which they live unfulfilled lives… and then there are people like her daughter who at such an early age knows exactly what she is passionate about and needs to actually fight her mom to be able to live it.
A few weeks later, Dalal comes to another one of my workshops and shared with other moms her story of how she was gripping strongly to her opinion out of fear and how she has now loosened up a bit…she was very open-minded and laughed at herself as I picked on her for being the example of a dream-crusher! And last night she sends me this picture and an article that mentioned her daughter as the star who led her school into the finals of the under-17 competition!
She assured me that she will not be in the way of her daughter’s dream (or else that would ruin my story) and the cherry on top, is that mama is now going to class to improve her English… something she’s been very fearful of doing.
I just love happy endings and stories like this. Stories of evoked transformation!