When people ask me "How do I become a life coach?" I have to consider how to answer. I know what most are looking for. They want to know about training and certification, worthy credentials and teachers, and then, of course, the money. They usually ask where I studied and how long it took to make a “real” living.
Last night over dinner with a friend, I realized that after years and years of working with myself and how I relate to the world, I still have a problem.
I still don’t work well under standard business practices, because I want to be real more than I want to be some else’s version of a “success.” I don’t get a sense of belonging from most organized spiritual gatherings, church or otherwise, because I have my own truth and I follow it relentlessly.
As houses go, Casa Las Artes is flat out extraordinary. A main house and a casita, it boasts six perfectly appointed bedrooms, five fireplaces, three tricked out kitchens, half a dozen cozy indoor spaces, and lots of big, luscious outdoor space.
One of my friends is going through a difficult divorce and another looks like she is about to. Yet another friend is in bankruptcy while yet another feels like that’s going to be her only option. One friend just lost a son. One is helping a community still reeling from violence against several children.
As yet one more friend often says: “Oh Holy Hell.”
"You're Robin Rice?" the young, dark-haired woman asked me. We were in line, signing in for an open mike poetry reading at the local bookstore. I'm not exactly a household name, but as I am an author, some people know of my work. Given my own "off" mood, I was prepared to put on a polite smile. One look into this young woman's deeply troubled face and I knew this was not the tack to take. You don't have to be psychic to know what that kind of face means. You only have to have been there yourself. This woman-child was on the edge of her own life, and looming toward a jump.
Take Gerry. This past summer I took a group to Ireland to explore the sacred sites and we stayed at a B&B near Dublin for convenience. The owner, Gerry, was hysterically funny—especially when he was True Irish Drunk (which is to say far more lucid than I would be with that much beer, but still swaying on his feet). He would repeat this mantra sober or drunk: “Every day’s a school day.” And, wow, the way he said it… total enthusiasm.
I know, I know, you've heard life is a dance. Now I'm saying it isn't? (click to tweet)
And JUST when you were getting the whole "two steps forward, one step back" thing?
The shaman in me understands your confusion. At the shamanic level, which is to say the level of our soul story being played out in human time, life is a dance--hopefully a beautiful, profound and compelling one. Our stories are a series of ups and downs, back and fourths, right and lefts that we can only hope is going somewhere.
There are stories, and then there are stories. The old stories, and new stories told in the old way, are not the kind of stories you see very often on television, or even at the movies. The old stories, and the new ones that are crafted in the old way, can heal. If you have to ask if a story is true, it's not a true story. True stories are true, even if the facts are all wrong, or never happened at all. The true part of the story is what makes a healing story.