Life Is But A Dream



My son hurt his ankle, my back went out, the fish died, and the remote stopped working.   But worst of all, my little doggy was doused in hot tea.  And I’m so thankful.

It really was a horrible scene.  She had been underfoot, enjoying the promise of a dropped morsel.  Thankfully she was ok.  In fact, while frantically trying to flush her body with cool water, my Merrily was distracted by the smell of cooked bacon.  Relieved to see that she had forgiven and forgotten what must have felt like a betrayal, I gave her the bacon.  I’m pretty sure that’s what started this mess in the first place.

It took a few days, but I can’t tell you how happy I am that she’s ok.  I felt terrible that she trusted us, assumed only the best from us, and in the process was hurt.  I know it sounds like hyperbole, but I really think that moment may have changed my life.  It is only with the benefit of hindsight that I can say that, but I’m pretty sure that moment was just the miracle I had been praying for.

I have been struggling with the age-old question of work/life balance.  For months I had been trying to figure out how to manage my time between home and work.  I tried every combination between working later, working earlier, working weekends, or not.  In every scenario, the family has been supportive and understanding.  They reassured me that they don’t need me.  It’s ok. Don’t worry about it.   Everything’s fine.

But if everything was fine, then why was I still feeling so out-of-balance?  Why did it all still feel so not-ok-with me?  Multitasking.  That’s why.  We are sure that we can write an email, fold the laundry, talk on the phone, milk the cow, and drive the car all at the same time.  Slight exaggeration, but you get the point.  The reality is, there is no such thing as multitasking.  The brain will make you choose.  You are not actually doing these tasks at the same time; you are actually switching between them.  So instead of doing them all more quickly or doing them all well, you are making the process take longer, doing all of them less well, and stressing yourself out in the process.

The same is true with my so-called work/life balance.  It feels out of balance because it is.  Every time I pick up one thing, I am dropping another.  The scale is always tipped in one direction or the other.  It will never be in balance.  I will always be choosing one instead of the other.

I’m just sorry my dog had to feel the pain of my lesson learned.  But in that moment, there was nothing more important.  In that moment, what was waiting for me at the office did not matter.  In that moment, the scale tipped in the other direction.  That is the miracle.  As much as I love and value my family, I now see that the scale was not tipped in the favor of what I most value.  It was tipped toward, “they’ll be fine” and “they don’t need me”.

Thankfully, my scale is now much more in balance, toward what I value most.  One thing at a time. That way, when I am forced to make a choice, I can know that what is waiting for me at the office “is fine”.  What is at the office “will be ok” so that my priority gets the best of me instead of my leftovers. Thank you Merrily.  Life is but a dream.

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Psychological coaching is grounded in the art and science of psychology and is in many ways very similar to traditional psychotherapy.  They both utilize knowledge of human behavior, motivation, behavioral change, and interactive techniques in order to help a client move from where they are to an improved state of being. The differences between psychological coaching and traditional psychotherapy are related to their goals, focus, and perspective. Traditional psychotherapy seeks to diagnose and treat emotional and behavioral conditions, with the therapist serving as "expert" in support of the client. Unfortunately, many have considered the pursuit of traditional psychotherapy to be stigmatizing, in part because of this perspective of the client being "broken" and in need of repair.  Psychological  coaching offers a different point of view.  The coaching psychologist is more likely focused on developing a collaborative relationship, with the client in the "driver seat", with the perspective that the client is creative, whole, and resourceful.  The clients' capacity for wellness and healing is assumed, encouraging them to move more quickly and directly through obstacles to their happiness, success, and life satisfaction.  

As a Coaching Psychologist, my goal is to support you in creating awareness so that you can access your own skills and inner resources in order to manage the challenges you face now and into the future.  While our work together may touch on past traumas and psychiatric concerns, they will be addressed from the perspective of your strengths, rather than with a focus on ill-ness or disability.  In our larger community, it is not unusual for individuals to experience mild to moderate mental health issues, making psychological coaching an accessible and viable option.  If, in the course of our work together, either you or I have reason to believe that your mental or emotional health concerns are better addressed by another service provider, a referral will be made.  

As a Licensed Clinical Psychologist, I have 20 years of ongoing training and experience providing, consulting and supervising others in the provision of psychological services.  However,  as of now, the life coaching field is unregulated, allowing anyone to be a life coach - even those without training in the behavioral sciences.  As well, the coaching field is considered to lack a solid base in research, creating disagreement on educational and training standards. The International Coach Federation (ICF) is working to change this.  In order to ensure that your coach is not counseling others beyond their expertise, it is suggested that when considering a life coach, individuals  should seek coaches who are trained or ICF certified.  Along with my license as a Clinical Psychologist, I am currently enrolled in MentorCoach® L.L.C., one of the oldest ICF accredited coach training programs, and one that will enable me to be an ICF certified coach.