I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…..one of the places where I get my greatest education is in conversation with my own clients. When they relax into the space I create for them, when they trust themselves, when they just let it flow, that’s when the magic happens. They say the most amazing things. Things that I could never have told them. And, with their permission, I love to share any client story with you so that you can be inspired in the same way I am but also so that you can understand even more about the work that I do (but in someone else’s words).
I recently completed a series of four sessions with a fabulous client who, for the purposes of this post (and, actually, in real life), would like to be called ‘Meghan Markle’.
Her initial goal at the start of session one was “to work out what changes I need to make, and how to be more equipped to make them, in order to achieve more, have more purpose and be happier”.
During our final session, she committed to writing down, and sending me, a summary of her key insights and learnings to which she could then refer back in the future.
What I received was not what I’d expected. This is such an eloquent and creative piece of writing. And I have no doubt, because of the effort she put into this, the connection that she will have with these insights going forward will be so much stronger.
So, enough of the build-up…..here’s ‘Meghan’ in her own words.
“My time with Hana Manthorpe, by Meghan Markle aged 37 and a half”
I came to you as messy as my actual back garden.
Overgrown with weeds, admittedly with some nice flowers somewhere in there, but all hidden and tangled up in the bad stuff; leaving me unsure what was a weed and what was a flower.
When I left, I had clean healthy soil and promising looking flowers.
So how does the gardening process work?
Awareness. It all starts with awareness.
And, as it turns out, I’m already quite good at this. That said, there’s always room for improvement and I’ve realised it’s important for me to keep this skill in check. Sometimes that can even mean retrospectively being aware of why I’ve ended up in ‘that place’ without even noticing.
But its all very well being aware, what I need to keep working on and challenging myself to do is to choose the right path and to not get tangled in the weeds again.
CUE THE ‘I KNEW THIS REALLY’ KLAXON: I cannot always change or control the situation. It is about how I deal with it and move on from it.
CUE THE ‘KEY LEARNING’ KLAXON: I CAN deal with it if I try hard enough. And it does take trying and work. Much like digging up a weed, or the physical equivalent of building up muscle strength.
And in doing all of this, it’s OK if:
1. I don’t always get it right and have to try again.
2. I find myself having to ride out a bit of a negative wave because those will happen too. Life won’t be all perfect Mary Poppins in the pavement world. It’s fine to have a negative emotion, I just don’t have to stick with it.
3. And whilst we are talking about life not being perfect, it’s OK to enjoy what I have now AND also want to move on. I don’t have to be sad about this Meghan wanting to be that Meghan. I can be this Meghan and be happy about that, whilst still wanting to be that Meghan.
And, in conclusion, the best equipment I can arm myself with to take all of this on, comes back to awareness. Being aware of what needs to go into my toolkit and when and how to use it.
So there we go, thanks so much for sorting my head out. I’ll definitely be back at some point for a top up!
So, I’m sure you’ll agree this is pretty darn fantastic.
And I’m sure ‘Meghan’ won’t mind if I extend the metaphor a smidge further by suggesting that my role as a coach in this great story was to hand her the hoe to clear the weeds and show her how to use it, to remind and encourage her to tend to her garden regularly, then pass her a bag of compost and show her where to sprinkle it as her shoots of new thinking habits start to appear.
What this story demonstrates so brilliantly is the power of metaphor.
If any of my other clients are reading this and fancy turning their TMM journey into a beautiful story, full of powerful metaphor – then please be my guest. I’d love nothing more.
And if you’re sat there reading this, just peeking over the top of your weeds and liking the sound of ‘Meghan’s’ promising looking flowers, then perhaps it’s time to get gardening. And I’m here, ready to hand you the hoe and the compost, so what are you waiting for?
Click here and it can all begin with a chinwag.
Or you can download my free ebook all about the stories that our minds, so convincingly, lead us to believe.
And, of course, a huge thank you to ‘Meghan’ for letting me share this with you.