Provision #809: Be Your True Self

Laser Provision

So my unusual seizure disorder has kicked up again, as you know if you have been reading my recent Provisions, and it has led to numerous challenges and interventions, including an upcoming trip to the Mayo Clinic – where one of the world’s experts on this rare condition hangs out. Along the way, I have had the opportunity to be my true self. Being my true self has made a difference and things have a way of working themselves out. Intrigued? Read on!

LifeTrek Provision

This is a crazy season of my life with lots of zigzags forward and back. My brain inflammation settles down, only to flare up again, before settling down again. So it goes in the process of healing the human brain.

That said, through all the ups and downs, it’s clear that I have not lost many of the core elements of my true self, not the least of which is my persistent initiative. Through all my ups and downs, I still have a hard time taking no for an answer. When I have my mind set on doing something, even a mind that tends to forget things, it’s hard to derail my efforts to get what I want.

Indeed, it’s easy for me to embarrass – or at least to evoke a chuckle in and an eye roll  from – my family and friends in my at-times outrageous efforts to get from here to there. But I don’t do it for selfish reasons; indeed, I usually do it to benefit others rather than myself. I’m simply willing to push the envelope a bit more (OK, a lot more) than many people. And it usually works out, all for the good.

These qualities have stayed with me through the ups and downs of my healing and recovery process. In even the worst of times, I have been my true self. I am who I am and I expect I will always be this way, at least in some sense of the word, until the day I die. You could say, if you believe in God, that that’s just the way God – or at least Life – made me. And I am at my best when I live from a place of integrity around those qualities.

That’s true for all of us. Until and unless we know who we are, our values and our best traits, and live from that place, we will not be at our best. And such living has to be encouraged and cultivated from an early age. When our son Evan was little he was constantly exploring and getting into things. For a time, these qualities were not only exhausting but at times exasperating his mother. She found herself exclaiming multiple times a day “Oh, you little stinker!” Alarmed to be hearing herself providing such negative feedback, Megan decided it was time to sit herself down and had a little talk with herself.

“Look,” she said, “Evan has boundless energy, endless curiosity, and he won’t take no for an answer. These are the same qualities that have made his dad a success. So rather than to try to squelch them, I’d do better to work with them.” The strategy paid off. Evan has grown into a wonderful man who works as a computer programmer where energy, curiosity, persistence, and initiative pay off, big time, on a daily basis. What goes around comes around and we are blessed that it is so.

That’s true regardless of whether or not we are being true to ourselves. When we fake our way through life, imitate others, put on airs, or in other ways fall out of integrity with our best selves and our true character, then that’s what comes back at us. When we honor our way through life, be ourselves, carry ourselves with honesty and humility, and in other ways rise into integrity with our best selves and our true character, then that’s what comes back at us.

So what sounds better to you? What do you want to come back at you? If you want integrity, humility, honesty, truthfulness, honor, and wisdom, then the message is clear: hold those values in your heart and live from that place of wholeness; put those divine attributes out into the world and see what magical things begin to happen.

That’s not to say that you have to put out those things perfectly into the world in order for things to work out well. No one ever does. I’m saying you have to hold those things high and strive for those things to the best of your ability. That’s all anyone can ask or do. Do that and you may be surprised as to the wonderful things that begin to come your way, often in the most strange, curious, and mysterious of ways.

Of course being “strange, curious, and mysterious” does not preclude having strategies on how to get from here to there. Developing strategies is what coaches work on with our clients all the time. But no journey, no coaching relationship, and no organizational change process ever starts without an intention. Apart from the intention to get somewhere, journeys never happen at all. Then and only then, after we set our sights, do we begin to brainstorm, develop, and roll out the strategies.

I love all aspects of the process. Brainstorming ideas on how to get from Point A to Point B is one of my fortés. I enjoy and have proven to be especially good at seeing new ways, other ways, different ways, unusual ways, unheard of ways, even outrageous ways – creative ways of all sorts and kinds. It is a fun, challenging, and delightful project that to brainstorm ideas.

But having the willingness and ability to brainstorm ideas is just the beginning of the process. The journey continues, with creativity and effort, when we move from the idea to the action phase of the process. And that’s where coaching comes into the picture. It’s just not possible to get from here to there alone. Without partners on the journey who hold the same, high values and who challenge us to be our true, best selves, partners such as coaches, it’s just not going to happen.

So I encourage you to find such partners and to form circles of influence where you help each other discover your true selves and then support each other to live, to the best of your ability, from those places of integrity. That’s all anyone can ask and that’s really what LifeTrek Coaching International and the Center for School Transformation are all about.

Coaching Inquiries: What do you look like when you are acting from a place of integrity? What is your true, best self? How can you call out and evoke that self from in our own life and in the lives of others? What’s stopping you from getting started today?

To reply to this Provision, use our Feedback Form. To talk with us about coaching or consulting services for yourself or your organization, Email Us or use our Contact Form to arrange a complimentary conversation.

LifeTrek Readers’ Forum (selected feedback from the past week)

Editor’s Note: The LifeTrek Readers’ Forum contains selections from the comments and materials sent by the readers of LifeTrek Provisions. They do not necessarily reflect the perspective of LifeTrek Coaching International. To submit your comment, use our Feedback Form or Email Bob.

Just want you to know that your Provisions are wonderful! I wait for mine to come and have forwarded your recent ones to a friend who is going through a rough patch and she is finding them helpful as well. I coincidentally, saw Queen to Play a few days before reading your reflections on the movie in Provisions. Small world!

Your last Provision, Over the Rainbow, was beautiful. When I was a little girl, I would lie in the bathtub and sing Somewhere Over the Rainbow to my heart’s content. Thank you for bringing back the memory and asking us to reflect upon a land where our dreams really do come true!

I have followed your amazing journey since I first learned of your illness, and although I have not been in touch, I have often prayed for you and your family and thanked God for many prayers answered regarding your recovery.

This past summer, I read (actually I listened) to a recently published book called Proof of Heaven. It was written by a neurosurgeon who had a devastating brain condition…his story reminded me of yours, he was in a coma (actually brain -dead) for days and given little hope for recovery. His book chronicles the parallel time experiences of his family and doctors, and those of his own – which were quite vivid. His “vision” and his recovery were, according to medicine, impossible. 

It gave me chills to hear his recollections of heaven, his scientific explanation of what was going on medically, and what he should not have been able to accomplish…but did.. His faith journey was intertwined with his medical training as he recounted all of his recollections from his time “in heaven.” I found it fascinating and encouraging and hoped that you might enjoy it – and perhaps compare some notes.

I hope your recovery continues to amaze us all. I am so thankful that you have been able to resume many of life’s daily tasks and pleasures. It makes me appreciate every day and every small thing even more when I read your musings. Such a positive attitude and message for us all – I read your Provisions with great interest.

You have been a blessing to me – on many occasions – I pray that God continues to heal you and make you whole.

Being able to continue writing Provisions, through this illness, is an incredible gift. The song, Over the Rainbow, brings back wonderful memories of how you worked with my board of directors. You worked so hard all day inspiring them to think about what was needed for our students and staff. In the end, you helped them to reflect on the good work they were doing and that they could yet achieve together. This song will always have special meaning for me as a result as well as the good work I was able to do with you over the years. There is so much more to do!

I have no idea why, but when I was reading your Provision, I thought of a song that my dad loved dearly. When I was little, I heard him preach a sermon on this verse (below) and it struck such a chord in my wee little heart.

Could we with ink the ocean fill
and were the skies of parchment made.
Were every stalk on earth a quill
and every man a scribe by trade.
To write the love of God above
would drain the ocean dry.
Nor could the scroll contain the whole
Though stretched from sky to sky.

The love of God
how rich, how pure.
How measureless and strong
It shall forever more endure
The saints and angels song.

I pray for you (and Megan) every day, my friend!

I love that song, Over the Rainbow, and I loved listening to IZ sing it again, love it that you are well enough to write such a beautiful Provision!!! Hang in there!!!

So good to read this! I LOVE this song, Over the Rainbow, and the most amazing thing now is that my daughter (at 9 yrs) can play it on her Ukelele and sing at the same time! It’s beautiful and makes me smile from ear to ear.

Thank you for putting this Provision out there; it reminds me that I need to continue refining my dreams and bringing others into the picture to help realize them.

May you be filled with goodness, peace, and joy.Bob Tschannen-Moran, MCC, BCC

President, LifeTrek Coaching
CEO & Co-Founder, Center for School
Past President, International Association of
Author, Evocative Coaching: Transforming Schools One Conversation at a TimeOnline Retailers

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