Juicy Questions – Addendum to The Rollercoaster and the Raft

Ellen, from IfTheShoeDoesn’tFit http://www.iftheshoedoesntfit.com/ is an amazing coach.  I know this because she is coaching me in amazing ways and I’ve never even met her or spoken with her!

After my recent post https://dancingwithstefanie.com/2012/01/19/the-rollercoaster-and-the-raft/ she asked me some very juicy questions.  She wrote:

You have a gift with words and storytelling to create perspective on events. I have a question for you – if you saw someone else on the floor who was unable to complete a class for whatever reason ( asthma, age, weight, skill, handicap, whatever)- what would you think of them?  What would you say to them?  Would you judge them in the same way you judge yourself? Would you see it as a deficiency or a part of their growth and path? What would you tell them when they said “yes but I WANT to be able to do more!”?

If I saw someone else on the floor who was unable to complete a class for whatever reason (asthma, age, weight, skill, handicap, whatever) I’d think they were awesome for showing up.  One of my mentors once told me about a lady that came to a yoga class he attended.  She was severely obese, and from his description, much larger and in much worse shape that I.  She came to the class and all she could do was lay on the floor.  At the conclusion of the class he went up to her and told her, “You are my hero.  You are awesome!”  Because he’s cool like that.  She said, “Yes I am!”  She’d already lost something like 100 pounds to even be able to get into the classroom.  Apparently she continued to show up.

That is inspiring.  She is inspiring.  She did “nothing” in the yoga class but she did everything!  She showed up!  She was present.

I’ve seen people on the dance floor with disabilities and it is very moving to me.  I think that they are extraordinary human beings because they are living life, showing up, playing big and damn whatever perceived obstacles lie in the path.

So there’s your answer to question one.

Next, what would I say to them?  I would say whatever I could to acknowledge their greatness and encourage them.  I would just be a witness to who they are and reflect that as best I could to them from my perspective.  Probably I’d babble on using words ad nauseam like “awesome,” “amazing,” “wonderful.”  I would say, I see you, and I think you are great.

Would I judge them like I judge myself?  Well, the answer is pretty clear on that one!  I’ve always internalized and made personal the nastiest judgements and criticisms.  I have a much different perspective when observing another human being than observing myself.  The problem is, that I believe the thoughts I’m having, but can any thought that is degrading, negative, abusive even, really have my best interests at heart?  I don’t think so.  Not very loving, not very loving at all.

Would you see it as a deficiency or as a part of their growth and path?  I would see it as their Dharma, and that this was one small piece of their journey.  I would see that there were limitations.  I think I have an issue with having limitations.  I want to have none!  I want to surpass them instantaneously!  But boy would life be boring if the minute I wanted something I got it.  I see that the satisfaction really is in the journey to achieving something beyond current limitations.  I would see that they were on their path toward busting through the limitations.  And also, some limitations are illusions.  Some can be dismantled in a moment of transformation.  Others take time.  I would, from a higher and less personal perspective, see that all is as it should be in that it is as it is.  It is perfect.  It is a process, a growing process.  Perhaps the perceived deficiency is simply there to create a vacuum that can be filled?  I’ve never thought of it that way, but it kinda makes sense.  I just don’t think people are “deficient.”  I believe that we are all capable.  We all have what it takes….well, I believe that about other people for sure.  For me, I’m still not so certain, but then again, I think we are talking to ourselves when we talk to others and also that we teach what we most need to learn.  If the shoe fits….ha ha.

What would you say to them when they said, “Yes, but I WANT to be able to do more!”?  Well, I’d say, that is clear.  Clearly you are in the state of wanting, which is not the state of having.   It is a state of lacking.  But, as I just discovered in the previous paragraph (Thanks Ellen for asking me these deep and insightful powerful questions), that the state of being in want is actually a gift!?!  It is what propels us forward to claim our inherent greatness.  And, because you want to do more, you show up, and you DO more.

It makes me think of this powerful paradigm shift I learned about.  Most people live with the idea that if I have such and so, I can do such and so, then I can be such and so.  For instance, if I HAVE a million dollars, I can go DO the Ohio Star Ball, and I can BE the champion.

I believe this is reversed.

In reality, (my opinion of reality) if I AM a champion, I will DO the Ohio Star Ball, and I will then HAVE a million dollars.  Well, maybe this isn’t the best example, but you get the idea.

I AM is the most powerful thing we can link to ourselves.  It is transformational.  It is transformational to say, I AM a svelte, sexy, confident, powerful, and authentic woman.  Then I can say, in any situation, what would a svelte, sexy, confident, powerful, and authentic woman do?  I can let that guide me to what action I should take to best achieve my aims and become who I wish to become.

Okay, so I have to BE the champion first.  Isn’t that mind-blowing?  For me it is/was.

So, I’d say to that person who is “wanting,” I’d say, BE IT!  BE IT right this very instant!  Be it first, then you can do what you need to do to get there, then you will have what you desire.

Holy Heck!  This has been cathartic!  THANK YOU Ellen!  You are a rockstar!  Thank you for being curious, asking some searching questions.  You have helped me generate a great post, and I processed through a bunch of muck while doing it!  What a gift you are to me.

-Stef

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6 thoughts on “Juicy Questions – Addendum to The Rollercoaster and the Raft

  1. The answers are perfect-of course!
    I’d guess you know these quotes – but they seem appropriate – from Richard Bach’s Illusions “Argue for your limitations and sure enough, they’re yours!”
    and
    “We teach best what we most need to learn.”
    Glad to help and be part of this incredible journey of yours. I am tagging along on your wings.

    • loveablestef says:

      PS…what are “perfect answers – of course?” I’m so curious what you meant by that…in a good way, lol.

      And FYI, you are a teacher. Not many people can help me to stretch like you did. Thank you for that….

      Very, very cool opportunity you presented me. Thanks again.

      -Stef

      • Ah missed this comment the first time. “Perfect” because they are yours – and they are what you needed them to be – they couldn’t be anything else. No matter what you said it would have been “perfect”. You see, there were no right or wrong responses to the questions – just whatever your perceptions were and whatever you needed to learn from them at the moment. So your heart, the universe, your divine self, your inner self, your soul – whatever you call it – provided you with the perfect answers at just the right time when you were ready to hear them – from… wait for it… you. Kind of like the “Wizard of Oz” when she says “If I have to look any further than my own backyard, I guess I never really lost it to begin with” You’ve had the answers all the time – just needed to ask the right questions at the right time. 🙂
        Hope that makes sense.

  2. loveablestef says:

    No, Ellen. I haven’t heard “Argue for your limitations and sure enough they are yours!”

    WOW.

    Wowser. No, I don’t need to learn that lesson…..ha ha ha.

    You are awesome.

    Please soak that into your bones.

    ELLEN.

    YOU.

    ARE.

    AWESOME.

    Here’s what I’ve experienced: I’ve never even met you or had a conversation on the phone with you, yet you have managed to PROFOUNDLY affect my life. Words can’t express…

    And, I guess it’s time to release/let go of the need to argue for my limitations……

    XOXOXO

    Let’s hang someday. Like, in person.

    -Stef

  3. loveablestef says:

    Addendum: If you are open to that, of course. I am. And, I don’t know your sit-u-ation, so, just putting it out there. I think you are someone I’d love to have on my “bus.”

    • I’d be thrilled and honored to hang with you! Another quote from “Illusions” is “Rarely do members of the same family grow up under one roof. The bond that binds true family is one of love and not one of blood.”
      Send me a PM or email with your address ( if you are comfortable with that) and I will send you copy of the book as my gift. I read the book as a freshman in college and it had a huge impact on my life. I always tell people to read the introduction – and know that the first chapter – what looks like handwritten pages – is a bit odd – but get through that and – wow – it will have an impact on your life!
      Thank you for your kind words. Sometimes I think I overstep – I feel like a big part of my journey or purpose here on earth is to “coach” to “challenge” to “confront” (in a nice way – I don’t see confronting as being bad – I see it as not letting people off the hook). But then again – my sister ( who has lost 100+ lbs in Overeaters Anon) has shared with me that may be part of my “issue”. That I am too involved with other people’s lives and not my own. Who knows – it feels like this is “who I am ” not “what I do”. Oh well. See? I can’t even write a short reply without analyzing! lol Make it a great day!

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