When travelling to a retreat in Mexico with Michael Neill and Michele Lisenbury Christensen, at least a decade ago, they asked me the most powerful coaching question of my life. “What is it that you really want, Judith?” The simple ones are often the best.
I thought about it. For a long time. And I finally worked out that what I wanted was peace.
When I said “Peace” Michael responded “La Paz” which is where we were and what that means in Spanish. I had travelled to a place called peace to find my own.
This morning I am finding peace in my own home. I am sitting in my little office which looks out at the garden and all is peaceful. This is despite a car alarm going off in the street which has been going off all night. And the typical sounds of London like airplanes overhead in today’s clear blue sky, dogs barking, nearby traffic on the South Circular, builders working in the street and all manner of human life very close by.
I now believe that I can find peace anywhere I am despite noise levels or any other static. This isn’t down to meditation-like activities, it’s down to knowing and appreciating myself more, understanding that I have options and can say to anything which doesn’t make me peaceful. Allowing plenty of time for everything so that I am not rushed, not much peace in rushing (for me). And in appreciating what I have – a lovely sunny garden, for starters. And work I love and which satisfies my soul.
I have a peaceful few moments in which to write this blog post before a series of six coaching calls today, five of them back to back this afternoon. I have time to enjoy a beautiful summer’s day.
I am at peace with a lot more people and circumstances in my life and in my past.
I am at peace with having fewer possessions, less is more.
I am at peace with streamlining how I earn my living – I coach and I write.
Other things which enable me to feel peaceful are journaling, sitting quietly, feeling able to say no and spending luxurious amounts of time on my own. One thing which has really helped with that is discovering that I am 50% introvert thanks to the Wealth Dynamics profiling system. This explains why I find being with people both delightful and draining and why I found organising and speaking at conferences and events so exhausting.
Once you know who you truly are, you can find peace. And then it all changes again, I notice. Life.
Or maybe it won’t this time. And maybe that’s all a choice, particularly when it comes to what I choose to believe about anything. It’s only stressful or noisy if I let it be so. Or if I resist my peace.