I am admittedly a news and political junkie. I listen in the car, watch on TV and read about it in the newspapers and online. I was a history teacher, as was my sister, my niece works for an outspoken yet popular East Coast Governor, I yell at the TV during the Debates, I think you have the picture.
As a life coach, watching the current goings-on in Washington got me thinking: What would coaching Speaker of the House John Boehner be like? Here is how I imagine it would go. Speaker Boehner calls me:
ME: Hi John! How are you doing today?
JOHN: Hi Gina. Things are not so good right now.
ME: I understand. Tell me what you'd like coaching around today.
JOHN: I'm not sure. I just wish I could get unstuck. I feel I can't move forward - I know where I want to go, I just can't get there. Like my feet are stuck in a swamp.
ME: I hear you John. Let's explore this stuck, swampy place you're in right now. Are you standing or sitting?
JOHN: Standing and pacing. I'm wearing a hole in the carpet.
ME: Try to find a place where you can stand in one spot. Describe the space to me.
JOHN: Well, like I said, it feels like I can't move. I'm in this box and the walls are closing in on me.
ME: That's pretty vivid John. Where are you feeling it in your body?
JOHN: I feel a tightness in my chest, like I can't breathe. I'm kind of sweaty. I feel trapped. Can we move on?
ME: Stay with me John. I won't let anything bad happen to you. Are you alone in this place, or is anyone with you?
JOHN: Oh, I'm not alone. I've got Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell and Ted Cruz all here with me. It's crowded, and the walls are closing in. Everyone is using up all the oxygen.
ME: OK - let's move to a safer place for you. Is there a door you can open so you can get out?
JOHN: I think I can open the door if I can get these guys out of the way. Cruz just won't budge.
ME: Give him a good, hard push John.
JOHN: OK - I've got the door open. What now?
ME: I want you to go through the door and step to the left.
JOHN: OK - I'm there.
ME: Tell me what you see now.
JOHN: Well, it's a sunny day here in Washington. Warm, but with that fall crispness in the air. I can see the Washington Monument down the Mall. Wow, it's really beautiful.
ME: What else do you see?
JOHN: I see people walking around, kids playing, puppies running around. It's really nice.
ME: Where are you feeling it in your body?
JOHN: The sun feels nice on my face, maybe I can get a little tan. I don't feel that tightness in my chest. I feel more relaxed. I can smell the hotdogs in the truck over there.
ME: What would you like to do in this new place?
JOHN: I'd like to throw the Frisbee around. Maybe play catch with the dog. Let some of those cute kids run around with me.
ME: It sounds as though you like this new place. Is it preferable to the other place you were in?
JOHN: Oh yes. This is much better.
ME: Is there anyone with you in this new, great space?
JOHN: Nah, the Three Stooges are trying to get over here, but I won't let them.
ME: That sounds very empowering John.
JOHN: I feel empowered!
ME: What does empowered feel like?
JOHN: Like I don't have to listen to those clowns just to stay as Speaker. I can get things done! I can play some ball with the President without getting flak for it.
ME: What does playing ball with the President do for you John?
JOHN: Besides the exercise, it's good to get some real time with him. He's not a bad guy.
ME: Do you think this new place is somewhere you can go when things start feeling stuck and swampy for you again?
JOHN: No - I think I need you to get me there.
ME: No you don't John, but thanks for saying that. You found this place on your own. All I did was ask you questions and have you get in touch with yourself. Focus on you, what you know is right and not the others in that crowded, stuffy box.
JOHN: How can I get to my happy place again?
ME: Just step to the left John, step to the left.
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