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What if You Were Layered Instead of Lost?


I had tea last week with one of the many amazing coaches in my network. The conversation flowed through many topics, as good conversations do. As we neared the end of our time together, the coach asked me a couple of carefully crafted questions. I quickly found myself on the edge of my seat energized and filled with excitement as I shared with her some ideas I had been processing. She offered her observation, which was that I had told her earlier in the conversation I felt like something had been lost in this particular area, and yet here it was. My whole demeanor had changed and in talking about something I was passionate about, layers lifted and something was rediscovered. It was an honor to be in the seat of coachee and to experience this. It's also an honor to be in the seat of coach to help clients navigate their way to this place. We’ve likely all been in situations in life when we feel lost. That feeling and experience is real on both an emotional and somatic level. It's absolutely okay to feel that way. I will be the last one to convince you otherwise. Today, I’d like to offer an additional perspective. What if we viewed this as being layered instead of lost? How might it feel to realize you are still you, even if it’s several layers down? There are many reasons layers of ourselves get buried, hidden, or weighed down. Here are just a few possibilities:

  • You’ve been told that your reality is not your reality or have been invalidated in your experience of something.

  • The challenges of your life have consumed your creative energy, and fatigue is coloring the lens through which you view the world.

  • Years of negative messaging (especially if you are Neurodivergent) have you operating according to unconscious beliefs that are weighing you down.

There is a gluten free patisserie not far from where I live, and they have these amazing desserts called petit fours (It’s like being able to eat a very small piece of cake, but without the accompanying stomach ache). They’re quite tall, and I can’t get through all of the layers in one bite. In fact, when I begin to eat it, the layers sometimes split and fall apart. It takes small bites in order to get to eat one. Coaching can be like that process. I partner together with clients to help them gently and compassionately lift layer after layer to find out what’s underneath in order to help them discover what’s theirs and what is not theirs (negative messaging, loss of hope, etc.). We use that information to rediscover meaning, purpose, mission, vision, and so much more in order to move forward. The work is not for the faint of heart, and asks clients to step forward with courage. It’s always an honor and a privilege to partner with clients in this process. Along the way, there might be a discovery that they are not lost and by gently sifting through the layers, can find the hidden treasure. If any of this resonates with you and you live in the Northern VA/DC/MD area, I invite you to come join me at The Happy Tart for a cup of coffee, a petit four and some great conversation!

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