I met the woman at a local coffee shop. She’s a Chief Operating Officer, working as an interim or temporary COO in situations where someone left, or the organization needs a turnaround. She’d been a coaching client for several months and her business was going well.
She had asked for the meeting because at age 42 she was feeling…stuck. Unhappy. Not quite…there.
The last time we had met, I had taken a gamble and suggested that perhaps her dissatisfaction was not so much around her professional life, which was humming along the way a great COO gets things to hum along. No, I had a hunch that she was unhappy because something was missing. And I said it. Out loud. “Maybe what you’re missing is a partner.”
And as hard as that had been to hear, she had come to see that what she wanted more than anything was, as she put it, “love and community.”
So, that morning we began to hone in on what “love and community” means — to her. And figure out how she could invite more of it into her life.
Here’s the point where I went all woo-woo on her. I told her a story about a green candle. See, I have this friend who is steeped in Native American culture and she recently told me to light a green candle on days with an eight in them — like the 8th, 18th, 28th — and say a prayer for increased prosperity. She’s kind of a bossy friend, so of course I did exactly what she said.
And within 24 hours, I had received nearly $11,000 in new money.
Another friend, Susan, lit the green candle and a house sold. $65,000.
But. The key thing is that you have to light the green candle and ask for prosperity for yourself AND FOR OTHERS. Can’t be self-centered, can’t be hateful and mean toward your enemies and exes. You have to be open and generous and spread the wealth.
So I asked my client, “How can you devise a little ritual where you invite love and community into your life, and claim your role as spreading love and community, too?”
She had tears in her eyes. She clutched her throat. “Oh. My. God.” she repeated over and over. “What?” I asked. “Oh, my God. I have been so greedy,” she announced. “All this time, I have been saying that I need to get someone to love me, and I have never thought a minute about loving them back. Oh. My. God.”
Right at that moment, I caught the tune playing on the sound system: Turn Your Love Around by George Benson. We both laughed at the utter appropriateness of the song. And I took the opening and ran with it. “So, how can you turn your love around? How can you walk around being a magnet for love and community? How can you bring as much as you receive?”
She said, “I know this is exactly what I have to do, but it seems like whenever I open myself up to a man, I end up disappointed.” She then told me a story about meeting a man who said he’d call and… didn’t. “What do I do with that?” Need I tell you that this 42 year old, green-eyed blonde is a knockout? So he’s not calling because she’s not a babe. There’s another reason. It’s her energy, her vibe, her mindset. We talked about how different it would be to meet men if her energy were focused on giving rather than getting — and how that would open her up to not only more men, but to more friendships.
We worked out specifics about how she can set her intention daily to be a creator of love and community and how she can express gratitude for all the good things in life. And, we parted ways.
When I got home, I had an email from her, saying, “YOU’RE MAGIC!” It seems that as she drove away from the coffee shop, she got a call from the man who had said he would call. I smiled. About an hour later, another email, “YOU ARE REALLY MAGIC!” She had received an invitation for an impromptu get-together with friends that evening.
Truth is, I’m not magic. Hard as that is to admit. Rather, she’s magic. And she’s magic because she was brave enough to move from focusing on what she was going to “get” and center in what she’s going to “give.”
Now. I am an Executive Coach. She’s a Chief Operating Officer. Was this executive coaching? Or woo-woo coaching, or what?
Here’s the way I look at it: people are people, and everyone’s personal life influences their professional performance. By spending this one hour on her personal life, and beginning to shift her area of dissatisfaction into greater satisfaction — this COO’s work performance will only be enhanced. Her life will be happier.
And that is why I do what I do.