I wonder whether most people who become coaches or change consultants have complex family histories that a part of them is trying to unravel. It’s as if offering skillful support to an individual or an organisational system is a way of experiencing the help that you would actually like to have received – and of course when you sign up for good a quality coaching or consulting program, you are encouraged to explore your history and get clear about your own sore spots or triggers.
It’s certainly true for me, anyway – so I guess I might overplay that for others. However, as I look back I can see that I was not particularly conscious of the ‘unresolved-ness’ of my personal history back in 1995 when I set out into the world as a freelance leadership and change consultant.
Since then, and particularly once I became familiar with Burt Hellinger, his constellations work, and the ‘orders of love’ I have found myself coming to terms, at a deeper level, with the impact of adoption on my life, my body, my beliefs and my personality patterns. And now that I am part of a Retreat School that very gently supports you to become more aware of and less attached to your own structures and patterns, I am seeing and understanding even more.
It seems to me that this early, formative experience of major transition, eventually led to my deep interest in supporting the process of healthy change, particularly where something new is trying to happen and letting go is required. Is it very good to see that, and I notice it enables a certain flow in me. I learn more about this every single day.
This understanding has made me sensitive to how clients and colleagues are drawn to the work they do, and how they might or might not be doing something similar in terms of attempting to reconcile themselves somehow with their own history. I see many people doing their best to honor their past, and grow their own maturity in a way that balances their gifts and potential with the challenges that life is bringing to them. For some this flows easily, for others it is a struggle and patterns carry on repeating.
As you reflect on your own history and choices, what strikes you? How are you supported by your history, and what do you find it more difficult to accept? Do you notice any repeating patterns and how is it to simple see and be compassionate about that? None of this is right or wrong, I’m simply noticing how much of an impact this exploration has had on me, and how it opens up a better, clearer connection in me between the past and the future.
If you’re interested to hear more about my story, here’s a recent podcast from the excellent Relatively series where my well-known (in the UK) birth brother and I talk about how we met in 1997 and what we make of our separate and joint histories.
If you’d like to explore your own history with individual and systems change and how it relates to the changes you’re now facing let me know.