We all have those pivotal moments that impact the direction of our life. It may be the decision to choose one lover over another or one degree course rather than a different one. Sometimes things happen to us, such as a bereavement or accident, that change our lives forever.
Starting this new venture as a healer and coach is most definitely a big turning point in my life. Thankfully it’s a very positive one but I’ve also had experiences that were not so great and that had a lasting negative impact.
International teacher, coach and healer Denise Linn, who created the Soul Coaching® programme I run, says these life changing moments are incredibly important not because of how good or bad they were, but because of the decision we make about ourselves as a result.
Say I get ill just before an important exam and fail it. It’s not necessarily a disaster in itself as I can retake it. What has a lasting impact is the decision I make about myself as a result, for example, ‘I’m a failure’ or ‘I’m so unlucky’. If this decision sticks in my mind it can have a long term negative impact on my future choices.
When we become aware of those moments and uncover why we made the decisions we did we understand ourselves better, our lives make more sense and we can also choose more wisely in the future. In the Soul Coaching programme there is a brilliant exercise on turning points that I’ve found incredibly helpful. I’ve adapted it slightly. Try it to explore some of these key moments in your life.
Curves in The River of Life
Starting from your earliest memory, think of as many pivotal moments in your life as you can.
Get a large piece of plain paper and starting from say the bottom left-hand corner, draw a river. Draw a curve in the river for each pivotal point and by it write down the event, what emotion you felt and the decision you made about yourself. Try to recall the age you were and if possible draw them in chronological order.
For example at the first curve you may write, ‘When I was three my baby sister was born’. The emotion you felt might be ‘lonely’ or ‘jealous’. The decision you made might have been, ’I’m not good enough’.
Go through your life and draw as many curves in the river as you can. Reflect on recurring emotions and decisions you made. For example the emotion of feeling rejected may crop up several times and you discover you’ve recreated scenarios where you experienced rejection and the sense of not being good enough.
Now for the positive bit!
Go through the drawing and by each turning point write down at least one positive lesson you learned from the experience. For example if you went through a divorce, even though it was horrible maybe you learned how to deal with your finances single-handedly. Then write down a positive decision you can now make about yourself in regard to it. For example ‘I’m excellent at managing my own money’.
When you become aware of why things unfolded as they did and discover the wisdom and strength you gained from them, you’ll be surprised at how much better you will feel about even seemingly ‘bad stuff’. You life will make more sense rather then being a series of random events and you’ll feel better able to handle the next (hopefully positive) turning point.
PS Don’t forget to add the positive turning points in your life too!
PPS If you don’t like the idea of drawing then writing your turning points down as a list works just as well