Coaching and counselling: spaces to speak about the unspeakable while summer is standing outside

“There are no easy questions here”, she is right. I’m deeply in love with the fathomless connections that emerge in a first instant of collaboration between special humans. Just like between Vienna and the South, months before the first coaching session. And then I get another call. The mind fog is thick, I write what I can recall and decrypt of my hand-written notes. Apparently grief and exhaustion are detrimental to your short-term memory. What a surprise.

After the coaching I close the computer, just sit and vibe to music. Coaching diverts life from its well-trodden highways, just going back to work and walking in that same path isn’t an option anymore. You just lived through a moment in which you told a person that you fully trust them, you had someone to work through things with. The gift of time, one on one. The gift of being seen for the fuller human that one is, in the moment, in times when fragmentation is a lifestyle and a survival strategy in between roles to balance. Creativity in the room, room for creativity. “You’re living with this every second of your life”. No one can take away the loneliness of loss, bit by bit, but they can make it less threatening and they can kick the toxic guest ouf the room occasionally. You’re not alone.

Coaching teaches you a lot about who you are. There’s my strong desire to connect – deeper than what most people can offer. The loneliness is…really a lot about the space, about picking up on stories and bids for connection, about the ability to share. The lack of all of this. Parallel realities, and something dies inside. “I’m too lost”, there is a question I cannot answer.

Confidence and courage. I realize how much energy it takes to walk with your head high. “How do you want to show up?” The hardest of all questions, but there are no easy ones. Great stuff to unpack. But in this new life, “want” has become a thing of insignificance and impossibility, besides the little moments of escape and reflection. Sometimes coaching gives me the feeling that the forces bigger than you are smaller than you think. You’re not powerless but you’re also not in control. Every little step that you make is a wonder. Playing big, having a choice, mastering the energy for the extra things is a privilege. Old values, worldviews and habits: worthless. So I’m playing small for me, most certainly not for others. I realized that I gave up, but that it’s now time for a next step.

/photo by Külli Kittus on Unsplash

Owning a field, knowing your thing, having it all covered, while persistently growing and playing detective in a messy world is frankly the most exciting thing as a 20-something-year old young professional. I wish people would see me more for the person who I am, in between the personal, the professional and the things bigger than us. The energy constantly looking for an outlet. In the end we talk about me-time, I’ll create distance, I’ll walk to change spaces. I’m giving myself space – for the flower to bloom, even in pitch-black night. What’s up with the metaphors today.

The phone rings. Later, this day will feel surreal. Going to that Impulstanz performance, regenerating through lake vacation, falling asleep through an imagination of a soothing childhood memory, connecting through the one big story of caregiving and having a room in the house where you leave everthing behind before you enter it. The little things I pick up in between talking and listening to advice. Mapping reality at last. You live in your own world, having a permanent backpack to carry. You have people disappear from your life besides the very closest friends. Society is exclusive. Distant out of fear and discomfort, looking away, silent. And in everything happening you have the responsibility to look after yourself, set boundaries, stop being unfair to yourself, and spend time that you enjoy. You owe it to yourself. When you belittle your actions, then counselling helps you to understand where you really stand, how much you’re really giving. A practice in humility, cause the big solutions have never been in your power. “Whatever may come, all of these have already happened.” The connection, the singing, the stories. Two lives. And a quest to stay true to one’s “I”, cause yourself is who you are, undiluted. Your identity. Your own life – despite the bonds that will stay, despite the months and years that feel like the same day that never ends. “I feel like I’ve lost my (stable) sense of self.” – I write in my diary yesterday. But maybe I’m right now on the quest to finding it. Cause there are other bonds and the practice of confidence. For me it’s my bond to Eastern Europe, to Russian, it’ my power, and a story living on. In me.

Writing this has been beautiful but exhausting. Don’t be afraid to be raw, take time to process things, and take care.
#spaces #gratefullness

Recommendation: Check out the work of phychiatrist Luise Reddemann & the establishment of safe places ( – Link in German)

/photo by Karl Hedin on Unsplash