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When Your Dreams Eat Your Plans For Lunch

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When Your Dreams Eat Your Plans For Lunch

It is disorienting to realize that the thing you were working so hard for was actually just something to keep you busy until your “real” thing came into being. That’s what appears to have happened to me. This is all particularly amusing because as a life coach, it is among my most important duties to support others at times just like this. You know, the times when your dreams eat your plans for lunch.

When I was a little girl, I wanted to be a teacher more than anything in the world and when there was no money for college, I packed up the teacher dream. (That’s the short version.) I also loved to write but, to be honest, I never even unpacked that dream. In my world, nobody had a job like that. You just didn’t get paid to write, especially not without formal training and an editor. I had neither of those things.

My dreams were packed up so tightly and for so long, that when I started my life coaching business three years ago, it didn’t even occur to me to to try to be a teacher or a writer.

Basically, I started writing as an afterthought. I did it to raise awareness (or increase visibility as the marketing experts call it) about the coaching services I offered. Eventually, I realized that public speaking would help too but it was always my plan for the main thing to be life coaching. It never really took off, not as powerfully as I thought it could. The simplest description of my reaction to the “not taking off” that I might offer you is that I nearly lost my mind from trying to get people to hire me as their life coach.

Don’t me wrong, I’ve worked with some remarkable people. And the more I did it, the better I got at it. I always had some clients, just not enough to qualify this as a financially sustainable business venture. I could feel that I was “close” to doing what I was supposed to be doing but something was off. I knew this because when things are on, people thrive. At least financially speaking, I was not thriving.

I’ve considered closing the business every few months during the last year and a half but while one part of me was ready to walk away (my logical, reasoning, number-crunching self), there was another part that demanded I stay (my feeling, intuitive, passionate self). It didn’t make sense on paper but people’s lives were changing dramatically as a result of our work together.

I just couldn’t make myself walk away. The comments and letters readers offered in response to my articles here moved me beyond words. The response to my Hail Mary Pass last September was stunning, and the healing that the Sick of Being Stuck (SOBS) program has since cultivated is immeasurable. I didn’t know how to walk away from that, even if I wasn’t making “enough” money. So, I stayed. I kept asking questions, listening for intuitive guidance, looking for open doors, and taking action when it seemed right.

I stayed because I was looking for the missing link.

There were a dozen or so signs that I missed before I finally figured it out last week. Probably the most embarrassing one is the first conversation I had with my marketing strategist about this business. She started our meeting by asking me to tell her what I do. I told her about the different ways I’d been trying to show up in the world professionally–life coaching, writing, and public speaking.

She explained that for marketing purposes, I would be well-served to pick a noun and two verbs–either a coach who writes and speaks, a speaker who coaches and writes, or a writer who coaches and speaks. She said something like, “With that in mind, what is the thing that you do… what is your main thing?”

I am a teacher.

I promise that actually happened. She put on the table the three exact things I’d just explained to her that I was doing with this business, and asked me to prioritize them, and I said, “I am a teacher.” She paused just long enough for me to see the writing on the wall (which I did not), and then said, “Well… I sort of thought you’d pick one of the three things we were just talking about.”

Continued: Personal evolution means releasing what no longer serves us to make space for what’s true.

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Christy Diane Farr

Christy Diane Farr is a catalyst. If that sounds like something you want more of in your life, visit 'The Greenhouse' at SeedsAndWeedsCoaching.com and join the Wildflower Evolution on Facebook.

29 comments

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4:02AM PST on Mar 7, 2012

Thanks for the article:))

1:24PM PST on Mar 5, 2012

I think it's so great that your dreams are messing with your plans, and that you're open enough to see it and welcome it! Thanks as always for sharing your insights and experiences :)

12:02PM PST on Mar 4, 2012

Excellent article and I can surely relate. I've never liked the western business model, it seems so impersonal and over structured, but I tried to use it anyway to foster my massage therapy practice for 26 years.I was always just barely able to pay the bills Finally, I retired and feel the freedom to do it how I have really always wanted to, structured around my home life and for just a few people who are more like friends than clients. So much more enjoyable!

4:44PM PST on Mar 3, 2012

I have a dream for my "retirement" career, which I was expecting to work toward for a while since I think I am ~20 yrs from that target.

I have put out a request to my network of friends, which includes a number of trained coaches to see what I can learn from their perspective and get my personal energy re-engaged.

1:49AM PST on Mar 3, 2012

Thanks, Christy, for sharing your journey with us. I love the advice :
you can hang on to the wall any time I want for as long as I’d like .....
It gives one time to gather one's energy, speak to others and try to devise a different way to reach a certain goal ..... but to continue to grow.

10:42PM PST on Mar 2, 2012

this was great, thanks

5:10AM PST on Mar 2, 2012

Wonderful piece Christy. I said the sentence to myself 3 times while reading and came up with the same answer each time - something which was my dream from childhood. And I'm acting on it. Slowly but surely. I wish you the best of luck with moving more into the teaching realm!

10:25AM PST on Mar 1, 2012

Christy, I absolutely relate to your journey, and the deferred dreams. It's heartening to know that whatever we think our lives should "look like" can be expanded beyond our wildest beliefs. As a Life Coach, I get the thrills when my clients get to their magnificence, and I can walk beside them on the journey.
Coaching is such a phenomenal tool, and I am glad we can be of service in this way.

Pauline Haynes
www.paulinehaynes.com

9:35AM PST on Mar 1, 2012

Cultivate support, that has always been the hardest thing for me although I am well known for supporting others. It is interesting to me that the week or so I spent joining in with your September program ( I didn't even start at the beginning or do them all) helped me move forward the most in 14 years of personal mess while I was cleaning up the rest of the world. I guess there was just enough distance to make me comfortable and then again maybe I was just ready and you were there for me. In any case me new granddaughter will be able to visit me and be safe now. Thank you for finding your path.

9:34AM PST on Mar 1, 2012

What an absolute delight it has been over the course of my knowing you this last year to see the never-ending unfolding (blossoming) that is Christy Farr in this world. This has to be your absolute best (self-)expository writing to date. Thanks for being such an open book.

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