The Game of Life

In the previous post we explored the power of curiosity in neutralizing the fear-fueled, judgmental, discouraging, self-sabotaging and downright cruel voice in our heads. Here’s a brief recap before diving into today’s real life example of curiosity in action.

Fear festers in dark and isolation. The moment you expose fear to examination in the light, you begin to dissipate its power. Nowhere is this more true than when fear shows up as its relentless ugly cousin, judging.

When I talk about judging or judgment, I’m not referring to having good or bad discernment. I’m talking about judging yourself, other people, and situations in dualistic terms such as good or bad, right or wrong, okay or not okay. When we judge things by such simplistic, restrictive polarities, we limit our options, get stuck, and block ourselves from the highest good. When we can neutralize the judge, we get unstuck, expand our possibilities, and increase our ability to grow and move forward.

Judging is a prison of our own making. It is downright miraculous how even a small change in your perception can dramatically expand your perspective. To illustrate, here’s one of countless examples from my own life.

Judging is a prison of our own making

However unconscious the process may feel at the time, I am manifesting the world I choose to see. This is the reason the game of golf can be perceived as any or all of the following, depending on your lenses:

  1. a delightful afternoon immersed in nature,
  2. an exhilarating and rewarding competitive event,
  3. a fun way to exercise with friends, and/or
  4. an endless day of humiliation and torture.

Let’s look at my own experience with golf to access this insight more deeply. When we lived on the East Coast, my husband and I owned a vacation home in the Blue Ridge Mountains. When my son, Matt, was eleven years old, we enrolled him in kids’ camp to help him enjoy his time there even more by spending it being active outdoors with his peers. One weekend in August, he signed up for a daylong sports camp that provided tennis instruction in the morning and golf in the afternoon. He returned home at the end of the day utterly smitten with golf.

We were so thrilled by Matt’s enthusiasm that we enrolled in a family golf clinic so the three of us could learn and play together. We were all beginners, out there to have fun and enjoy the beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains. We passed many a delightful afternoon playing nine holes. With a tee time late in the day and no one behind us on the course, we could take our time, observing the privilege of unlimited mulligans (do-overs) and stopping to harvest lost golf balls in the woods. Advancing the little white ball down the fairway to the little white cup was always secondary to having a good time.

Until I switched to a consulting firm where golf was not a hobby but a responsibility. One of the benefits—nay, expectations—of being a partner in this firm was that I would play golf with my colleagues and clients. In fact, I would be expected to woo prospective clients on the golf course. To do that, I was expected to be a moderately good golfer, not an embarrassment to my firm and myself.

Gone were the leisurely afternoons on my beloved Blue Ridge golf course. Now my games with family became practice for the performance my partners expected me to deliver. While swearing was not the norm for me, now when I missed the first two shots off the tee, I swore. Now when I hit a shot into a sand trap, I threw my club down the fairway while swearing. When this happened, I’d explain to my companions that my father had been in the merchant marines. They’d say, “Did he swear a lot?” “No,” I’d reply, “evidently it skipped a generation.”

Because children don’t do what we say but rather do what they see us do, it’s unsurprising that, in short order, my eleven-year-old was also throwing his clubs and swearing like a sailor. That’s when I finally got a grip. Matt and I agreed that when either of us behaved badly on the course, we had to take a time-out together in the golf cart until both of us had returned to civility. As a result, Matt and I went through a period where we spent more time in the golf cart than on the course. This may have been just as well, because we were living proof that anger is not necessarily a performance enhancer.

One day, weary of swearing, throwing clubs, and spending time in the cart, the two of us sat there, arms crossed, scowling. After a few minutes of reflection, I said, “Babe, this has got to stop. Neither of us is having any fun anymore. I think I’ve figured out my problem. I’m imagining the potentially angry, ridiculing voices of my partners in my head, and I can’t relax and have fun when I’ve put them in there to beat me up. What’s going on in your head?” He looked at me with all the disgust of a kid who believes his parent has gone ’round the bend and said, “I have no idea. I don’t even know your new partners!”

Here is the essence of what I have learned from over sixty years on this earth. The nugget, the kernel, the gem. The only hope for finding peace in this life—not just comfort but deep abiding peace—is to be insatiably, fearlessly curious about myself.

Be Curious

Not just the attractive ways I show up—my kindness, compassion, wisdom, generosity, and humor. It is important for me to acknowledge those things, but it is not enough. I need to be endlessly inquisitive about all of it, especially the unattractive habits—my insensitivity, impatience, obsession, bitterness, anger, anxiety, and despair. I have grown the most and found deep abiding peace only by embracing the ugly parts as well: appalling thoughts, speech, and behavior. It all matters and must be considered in the mix—the good, the bad, the pretty, and the ugly. All of it acknowledged with courage, compassion, and love. This concoction of disparate and dissonant motivations and behaviors is what it means to be human.

We are all capable of the full range of human motivations and behaviors; none of us is exempt. Refusing to see any part of it, lulling myself into oblivion by clinging to an incomplete, distorted Polly Perfect self-image always leads to my undoing. The greater and deeper the denial, the longer and harder the fall because that which is denied will wreak havoc. Maybe not today or tomorrow. But the longer I look without seeing and hear without listening, the more I stand to lose.

The great irony is that I’m the only person fooled when I deny the full truth of how I show up. I broadcast it through what I say and when I am silent. Through the actions I take and the times I fail to act. Through what I cherish and what I reject. Through what I long for and what I fear. I am the only one kept in the dark by living a life of denial about myself.

One of the greatest gifts I can give anyone is having the honesty and courage to see and share myself fully so that we both might benefit from our shared insight, compassion, and good humor—failures, resilience, victories. We are here to help each other grow by sharing without reservation the only thing we have to give—our authentic selves.

Authenticity is Your Greatest Gift

The only person controlling your life is you! Choose your energy and change your life. If you want to keep making yourself miserable and continue contaminating the energy of every situation you encounter, stop reading and keep doing what you’re doing. But if you have had enough, if you are ready to stop the insanity, keep reading. You are going to love what happens when you learn to embrace the next aspect of love in a new two-part series beginning next month: COMPASSION. 

Excerpt from “Choose Your Energy: Change Your Life!” © Copyright 2013-2018 DJW Life Coach LLC. All rights reserved.

 

What readers say about
the impact of Deborah’s book

“Deborah’s book, ‘Choose Your Energy: Change our Life!,’ could benefit anyone for any reason. She is so honest in her own personal struggle and journey over many years, it is most inspiring and touching to see the person she has become. If we could all read this book and benefit from her experiences, it would be a better world! Her principles and approaches that are so eloquently documented in this book, have benefited me during our coaching sessions over the last six months. She has shared all the tools and techniques necessary to have a fulfilling life based on love of yourself FIRST.” Marla Ofstad

 

“Deborah’s message is passionate, simple and consistent throughout the book, guiding you to find your own voice and path toward being present in all aspects of your life. This is the book I pick up time and again to center my thinking and my life.” Audrey Smith, Executive Director, Hospice House & Support Care of Williamsburg, Virginia 

 

“I have known Deborah Jane Wells for many years and am witness to the amazing transformation she describes in her book ‘Choose Your Energy:Change Your Life!’ In it, she has translated the skills she honed as a world-renowned consultant and coach into practical strategies, tools and techniques the reader can readily use in their own transformation. The examples she describes–from her own life and the lives of her clients–show how this system plays out in real life and helps each reader apply these tools in their own life. This book also provides a structure you can use to apply these concepts and a ready reference when you need reminders. It is definitely worth having.” Vicki L. Dungan, Management Consultant and Real Estate Investor

 

NEW 2017
EXPANDED EDITION
NOW AVAILABLE
in print, ebook and—
for the first time ever—
AUDIOBOOK

Click here to explore Deborah’s book.

Explore Deborah's Book

 

FREE Coaching Opportunity
($250 VALUE)

If someone offered you a precious gift for an hour of your time, would you be interested? That’s what I offer with a Complimentary Coaching Session. A comp session isn’t a brief demo or sample. It’s a full 45-minute coaching session focused on current real life challenges of your choosing plus 15 minutes to discuss your experience and any questions you may have about my approach to coaching.

There is no expectation or pressure to hire me as your ongoing coach. Providing meaningful, substantive comp sessions with no obligation is one of the ways I demonstrate gratitude and give back to the Universe a small portion of the abundance and opportunity it bestows on me daily.

The real value of a comp session? PRICELESS! 

Those who have experienced comp sessions will tell you, when you come to your session open to the possibilities for transformation and fully committed to your own growth, big breakthroughs can happen!

FREE Coaching Session

What clients say about
the power of coaching with Deborah 

“I knew Deborah before she became a Professional Life Coach. I’ve been amazed at how she has changed her life. When I decided it was time to begin making decisions about the next phase of my life, I knew immediately that Deborah was the person I wanted to work with. Her personal and professional experiences help her guide clients through coaching in a way that is individualized and delightfully eye-opening. Her warmth and sensitivity are immediately apparent, even over the phone. With gentle encouragement and permission, she will guide you through an examination of your life, including difficult experiences. She will help you gain insight from your past choices and then explore possibilities for moving forward in less encumbered ways. When you work with Deborah, your life will take on new meaning and your potential will be limitless!” Chris

“The work I did with Deborah continues to change my life. While I have learned many valuable lessons from her, the greatest was the deep insight that is available to me when I listen to and learn from my own inner wisdom. Her intuition, discernment and encouragement have taught me to trust my own intuition—creating new paths and possibilities for my life. One of Deborah’s great gifts is helping others respect and connect with their inner guidance and through that connection, to form a deeper, more meaningful bond with the collective wisdom and energy of all.” Ryan

Click here to sign up for a 60-minute
complimentary coaching session with Deborah.

About djwlifecoach

As a board-certified coach, author and Reiki master teacher, I share hope, possibilities and empowerment with the world. What's love got to do with minimizing stress and getting unstuck? Everything! My book, "Choose Your Energy: Change Your Life!" (Hay House/Balboa Press 2013) shares my story and the stories of 10 of my clients along with my signature Discovery Framework. During my 30 years as an organization transformation consultant, I served as a senior partner in four of the world's largest, most prestigious global professional services firms. In 2005, I took a five-year sabbatical to find healing and peace because non-stop work had taken its toll. My recovery from burnout, including a sustained 80-pound weight loss and freedom from 10 years of debilitating depression, led to finding my purpose sharing hope, possibilities and empowerment with the world. Through healing and self-exploration, I discovered that loving yourself unconditionally is the key to transforming your personal life, your work and the world. With attention and intention, I learned to live in alignment with love through a wealth of energy-shifting tools and techniques that help me reduce stress, anxiety and overwhelm by releasing limiting beliefs, emotions and habits. My books, blog, radio show and signature coaching programs help individuals and organizations harness the transformative energy of love to turn unexplored possibilities into fulfilling realities and step into their greatness. To learn more about my work in the world, visit djwlifecoach.com. Subscribe to my blog at tiny.cc/djwblog. Listen to my radio show at tiny.cc/djwradio. View my author video and book trailer at tiny.cc/djwauthorvideo and tiny.cc/djwbooktrailer. Access 40+ tapping resources at tiny.cc/djwtaps. Send email to deborah@djwlifecoach.com. For fun, I love singing, reading, sewing, knitting, golfing and movies. I live in Williamsburg, Virginia with my husband, Wilson, and the coaching cats who manage my life—SiddhaLee and Maisy Jane.
This entry was posted in All My Blog Posts, Curiosity, Respect & Compassion and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.