There are big actions to take and big problems to solve—and we need to show up to them. It is also true that brief interactions with others make up much of our daily lives. Part of my practice now is to look for 'moments of meeting', often in unexpected encounters, where we can simply connect as humans. It might be acknowledging a difficult experience (safe haven). It might be providing an opening for an expression of joy (secure base). It might be creating more spaciousness to formulate a new story (working model). These moments remind us that we can always pivot toward our shared humanity.
For example, I was walking by a city playground on the day the President announced his intent to impose a travel ban. I looked up and saw a teeter-totter with a Muslim woman and her child on one side and another Muslim woman (sister?) on the other side—smiling as they went up and down. We caught each others' eyes and shared in their happiness as the young girl and the other woman giggled with glee. It was as if they had vowed to carry on with and celebrate their lives despite the fears others were projecting on to them. At the end I said, "I am not sure who is having the most fun (the little girl or the other woman)—to which they all laughed with even greater joy. That minute, largely in silence, was the highlight of my day. Note: I didn't take a photo out of respect for them that day and because I wanted to feel the exchange rather than succumb to a need to 'capture' it on my phone.
Look for moments to cut through the noise and connect with the signal of your shared humanity.
It is about shifting frames, witnessing others and being vulnerable ourselves.
Give it a try, then post a comment about your experience.
IN THE NEWS
To learn more about using attachment theory in coaching, join us for our next online course starting February 28th!
It is a great opportunity to join with other coaches from around the world to learn about radical presence, applied mindfulness, Three Chairs, serious play and more. If you already know about the work, you can sign up here. If you would like to find out more first, you can do so here. We have only a few spots left. Is one of them yours?
To learn about moments of meeting and narrative coaching, check out my interview at last year's Harvard Coaching Conference.
If you are in the Seattle area on February 11th, I am doing a workshop at the Society of Consulting Psychology Conference. Check it out here: Using Attachment Theory to Develop Coaching Capabilities in Managers and Leaders
Dr David Drake is the founder of the field of Narrative Coaching.