Saturday, February 5, 2011

Life's Ups and Downs - Striving for Equanimity in the Face of Daily Living

Last week was filled with excitement and frustration. My long worked for and hoped for International Coaching Federation Professional Coaching Certification (PCC) came through, as did my equally long worked for and hoped for True Purpose Coaching Certification (CTPC). I received notification of both on Thursday, one a few moments before midnight, making it a banner day!!!

That same day, both toilets in the house broke, and the next day, a neighbor’s faucet leaked right through my ceilings and walls to destroy my hallway carpet!

Exhilaration and frustration, both in the course of 48 hours, reminded me of the small things in life that have the power to throw us off balance – if we let them do so!

Earning my certifications meant a lot to me. I worked hard for them, I spent hours keeping the records necessary, writing up the reports needed and most importantly doing the studying and then the coaching that made me qualify for them. In the coaching field, earning an ICF (International Coaching Federation) credential is the gold standard. Regardless of one’s school (and I studied at iPEC, one of the best, in my humble opinion), one is not truly certified until recognized by the ICF. There are three levels of ICF certification, and after only two years of coaching, I earned the second level due to the many hours of coaching I have done during that time.

In the world of Life Purpose coaching, the True Purpose certification is substantive and quite challenging to achieve. Indeed, certified TP coaches are still few in number, though there are many coaches striving to complete their certification. I worked hard to achieve the credential and sat on pins and needles until it came through.

As we had one water-related challenge after another in our home last week, I felt overwhelmed, deflated, and frustrated to be stuck in the house waiting for workmen, washing and drying loads of wet towels and reusing them to dry off more of the carpet, and then dealing with insurance companies and contractors. I felt like these incidents were taking away from my excitement about the ‘big news’ of my certifications and bummed out about having to stay home when I had so many things I wanted to do outside of the home.

Yet, once I stood back from the incidents, both ‘good’ and ‘bad’, I saw in them a microcosm of life. One moment, there is joy, the next, frustration, sadness, and at times (though not this time, thank God) tragedy. A day can start off lousy and end up great. A year can start of wonderfully and end as a bust (and visa versa).

Seen in context, this roller coaster of events could be likened to the weather: sometimes sunny, sometimes, cloudy, sometimes dark and stormy. But none of this is the life itself. Regardless of whether we achieve, enjoy ease, or face difficulties, the silence within and around us is the backdrop to it all. As our essential core, it is the constant, and when we can see ourselves as bigger than anything that happens to us, we can live through whatever happens with so much more sanity and serenity.

Do I always experience the silence as the backdrop? Do I always ‘get it’ that it’s not what happens, but how I respond, that really matters? Conceptually, yes. Experientially, not always immediately. But more and more, I get it more quickly than I used to. And sometimes I have long spurts of peace amid life’s storms.

How about you? Are you enjoying equanimity regardless of the vagaries of life? What’s the story you tell yourself about your life and the experiences you face? Are they trials? Are they adventures?

Send me your views on how to stay sane and serene regardless of life’s ups and downs. Would love to hear from you!

Coach Bev
Beverly A. Buncher, MA, PCC, CTPC
Family Recovery Coach
ICF Professional Certified Coach
Certified True Purpose Coach
Author of the forthcoming book Chaos To Sanity: Transform Your Life with the Four Foundations of Family Recovery
786 859 4050