Do you ever find yourself walking down the stairs and suddenly become aware of what you’re doing and nearly trip over your feet? Or have you ever been driving along in the car and notice a scene through the window - it might be someone struggling with some shopping bags, or a dog barking at a passer-by on the street - and you suddenly become aware of being alive, an existential, life on pause moment of hyper-awareness. This is it. This is life.
This is what I call life vertigo. Those moments where your life suddenly and momentarily comes into sharp focus and you think – is this what I would choose to be doing right now if I was really aware that I was living my life?
Kinda creepy isn't it?!
But kind of beautiful too I think.
Both unwelcome and refreshing, like a bucket of cold water over your head.
As a coach, the bulk of my work could be summarised by the term 'awareness raising'. It's at the heart of what happens in the magical conversations that constitute a coaching session. At the start, neither coach nor client knows where the session is going to take us. But we both trust that awareness will be raised, something unknown will become known, some shift will happen. And in a sense, that's like inviting that rush of vertigo, a pinching in of perspective:
Where am I now, the client asks, in my life, in relation to this problem, in this session?
And now that I've asked myself that question, what do I want to do next, with my life, this problem, this session?
That's the thing about awareness and buckets of cold water. Once you invite them, you're drenched. And there's no going back.