[huge_it_share]This photo is of a porch at our family place, a large farm in Maryland that has been in the family for almost 200 years. The chair is shared and enjoyed by many cousins spanning generations. People of all ages and sizes – from young mothers with their babies to great-grandmothers – have rocked on this porch.
I’m not sure how old the chair is. Every 20 years or so it wears out and we have to replace it!
Simple Pleasures & Living an Authentic Life
One of the themes of my Life Coaching practice this year has been my clients’ desire to integrate past stories with their own current reality, and recognizing the importance of being genuine. They want to be balanced, fulfilled and “real,” living a life that is theirs alone. “Unmasking,” being authentic and not hiding or editing parts of ourselves can be difficult, but is essential to living a wholehearted life. Spending a contemplative moment in the rocking chair is a simple pleasure that links the people and generations of my family. It’s not the best or most beautiful chair in the world, but it’s “real” and it’s part of us. It gives me a sense of place and belonging.
Our job is not to deny the story, but to defy the ending–to rise strong, recognize our story, and rumble with the truth until we get to a place where we think, Yes. This is what happened. This is my truth. And I will choose how the story ends.
-Brené Brown, Rising Strong
Connecting With Our Values: Peak Experiences
Peak experiences are often described as transcendent moments of pure joy or elation, moments that stand out from everyday events. The memory of such events is lasting and people often liken them to a spiritual experience. These moments are connected to our values at a core level.
In Life Coaching, I help my clients navigate through both peak experiences and moments of hurt, anger, frustration, and pain. Connecting with their values, living on-purpose and according to their values is central to this process. When we conclude our time together, my clients tell me time and again that they’ve begun to see themselves differently. They often do not need others’ approval as much, and they definitely feel freer. They begin to see it’s possible to change and find their voice, power, and passion through “unmasking” and getting reacquainted with that self they’ve hidden.
A Simple DIY “Authenticity Exercise”
Here is an exercise I use with my life coaching clients to help them get back in touch with their core values.
- Find a spot in your home where you can be quiet and contemplative, like the chair above.
- While sitting there, can you recreate a past experience that gave you joy and fulfillment?
- What was happening?
- What were you doing?
- Who was with you?
Life Coaching for Authenticity
with me, Catharine Ecton, can direct you to an awareness of the values that are most important to you and that you need in your life right now. Together, we can explore the values you were honoring at that time, and how to get back in touch with your natural commitment and enthusiasm.
These concepts and ideas bring a favorite Longfellow poem to mind, the one that ends with:
We may build more splendid habitations,
Fill our rooms with paintings and with sculptures,
But we cannot
Buy with gold the old associations!
-Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Contact me, Life Coach Catharine Ecton, to start living an unmasked, authentic and healthy life in line with your core values. Let’s chart a course to the truth of who you are and discover why being yourself is the ONLY answer.
Each “Life Coaching for Authenticity” session is an hour intensive one-on-one conversation by phone or Skype with me. We’ll meet once or twice per month for three to six months for a total of six sessions.
Contact me for a complimentary, no-obligations life coaching consultation to discuss my Life Coaching for Authenticity program. Or use the Appointment Scheduler and pick a time that works for you. I coach 90% of my clients over the phone, and my DC-based Life Coaching clients have the option of meeting with me in person.