A few days ago, I was a little down. John and I don’t argue much but we’d had a disagreement the previous night. He was stressed about work and made a comment about all the items I’d bought for our mission trip.
“I thought we were going to sit down and talk about this before you went shopping,” he said.
I broke into tears, and for the rest of the night I’d sulked around. I thought I’d been trying to help . . . to mark something off our to-do list. The rest of the night, little things brought the tears back. I was a mess.
Then it was time to talk to my life coach, Alice. We have a weekly meeting set up. An hour before our phone call I send her a summary sheet of what issues I was dealing with that week. Just filling it out, I knew I’d be in tears on our phone call. I was right. What was wrong with me?
After sharing the issue with Alice, I heard a pause. “You know this isn’t about John’s stress at work or about the shopping, don’t you?” she asked. “What’s really going on?”
It didn’t take me more than ten seconds to spill it. When John is stressed, he doesn’t smile or goof off, and it stresses me out. More than that, I miss my son, daughter-in-law, and grandson in Montana. John and I had been meaning to sit and figure out when we can go see them, but he’s been working late and we haven’t had the chance to set those dates. Also, I’d thought my shopping was a good thing—something else to check off our to-list.
Alice told me that behind every conflict there are three things:
1. an expectation
2. an intention
As we talked it through, I realized she was right. I’d expected John to be smiling when he got home. (He wasn’t.) I expected to be appreciated for the time I spent shopping and planning for our trip. (I wasn’t—well, at least not at that moment.) My intention was to be responsible and to be a helper. I also hadn’t communicated how much I missed our family in Montana. I wanted a date to look forward to.
Alice was right. It wasn’t about that one conflict at all. My tears had popped up because of my unvoiced expectations, my unappreciated intentions, and a lack of communication. Just knowing that made me feel one hundred percent better, and Alice and I went on to talk about a couple more things. She not only helped me for a moment. Alice gave me tools I know I’ll use whenever I feel the tension arising. What is my expectation, what is my intention, and what do I need to communicate?
The truth is we all need a wise counselor in our lives. Proverbs 15:22 (NIV) says, “Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.”
For the last few months I’ve had a weekly appointment with my life coach, Alice Crider, The Write Life Coach: http://www.alicecrider.com/. We’ve talked through many different things. Each week I learn and grow, and my family has noticed the positive changes!
I’ve known Alice for many years. She was my editor at Multnomah on two of my favorite projects Life, In Spite of Me and Praying for Your Future Husband. In fact, the idea for PFYFH was birthed out of a dinner Robin Gunn and I had with Alice and her beautiful daughter!
I’ve loved every one of my editors (seriously!), but Alice is the type of person I knew I’d want to have coffee with every week if we lived close. She listens, she cares, and she has amazing advice! When she launched The Write Life, it took me about five seconds to know I wanted to sign up!
The wonderful thing about Alice is she gets the writing business. Because she works in publishing, I can launch into one of my current issues, and I don’t have to explain every detail to her. Alice works with published authors like me. She also works as a writing coach with those who are just taking their first steps toward publication. In the short time she’s been dedicating her life as a life/writing coach, she’s already seen new authors go from dreaming about publication to seeing their dreams come to life!
So, why am I telling you all this? Well, just as I like sharing about my favorite coffee (Leiva’s coffee) or brand of detergent (Tide), Alice is just too good to keep to myself.
Also, there’s another reason. People need advice . . . especially about their writing journey. Every day (not an exaggeration), I get e-mails, Facebook messages, and direct tweets from people who need help, advice, information, and encouragement because they want to write a book. I can’t help everyone (especially with all of my own writing projects), but I know someone who wants to do that very thing and is good at it!
If a life coach sounds like something you need (and I guarantee you do), check out Alice: www.alicecrider.com
Don’t miss the button for the FREE consultation, too. I guarantee you won’t be disappointed! You can thank me later . . . .