A tale of personal transformation and the growth of a business
I began coaching Sara, a small business owner, about a year ago. Sara is a single parent who runs a dry cleaning business. She has been divorced for 10 years and dated off and on, but couldn’t seem to find the right partner. Her teenage kids were healthy and her business was successful, and she had good friends. But Sara felt like something was missing in her life, and she couldn’t put her finger on what it was.
Sara thought of herself as a happy person, but when I listened to her she didn’t sound that way to me. She sounded flat – no ups, no downs, just coasting along.
Working with the feeling chart (see here) we discovered that Sara was in fact living with a lot of anxiety, but she didn’t know it. It was a feeling she’d lived with for a long time, and she’d learned to tune it out, as many of us do when we have uncomfortable feelings we don’t know what to do with.
Realizing she was anxious, and working with the Thought-Feeling connection made a huge difference for Sara. Large amounts of thought, mostly unconscious, began to clear itself and she started to feel much more relaxed and happy. At first it wasn’t easy – having feelings that you haven’t felt for a long time- good and bad – can be like getting your first sip of water after becoming severely dehydrated. It stings at first, and you have to drink slowly, but you need it, and eventually you relish it. Feelings are like the water of life – they are what nourish and enrich us.
The next thing Sara knew, she began to experience life differently. She found that in place of all that anxiety she was experiencing calm and well being. She had thought of herself as a happy person, but hadn’t really tasted these deeper feelings much at all. She found that her relationships with her kids and others took on more depth. And she began to get ideas and inspirations for her business! While Sara had thought for many years that she would like to turn her dry cleaning business green, she never seemed to have the energy or the inspiration to do it. Ideas started pouring in for the business, and she took the steps to transform it into a dry cleaning business using non- toxic chemicals. Better still, within a few months her profitability had increased by 20%!
When Sarah’s inner life came alive, her work did too. And now, she can honestly say, awareness is awesome!