What Can I Do? How Can I Get What I Want?

By: Susan Dunn, Ma Clinical Psychology, The Eq Coach

Aunt Bettie agreed to look after my house while I went on vacation.

She isn’t my Aunt Bettie, she’s Etta’s Aunt Betty. Etta is my neighbor across the street, who’s a doctor, and Aunt Bettie, who is in her late 70’s, comes over and takes care of Etta’s garden.

When I returned from my vacation, Aunt Bettie had taken my hanging basket across the street to care for it, and things otherwise looked fine. As I chatted with her, to thank her for looking after the house, she was pulling plants out of Etta’s garden, live healthy plants. “Giving the others room to breathe," she told me when I inquired – after all it isn’t that easy to grow anything in South Texas in August – “so there can be new growth and life."

Hmm, I thought.

“I’m dying to get my hands on YOUR garden," she said. No fool, I jumped on that one! I had vague misgivings about my garden, knowing something should be done, but that was as far as it went. I have other priorities.

Within 5 minutes Aunt Bettie was over at my house with her gloves, lopper and shears, pruning and pulling and teaching me.

An hour later we had removed a lot of this and that, including pruning all the roses down to the core, and as we stood back and surveyed the area she said, “There.

Now it looks like it’s ready for something to happen. And all these things will come back fuller and stronger. You need to prune."

“In my life," I asked, as she is a wise woman and doesn’t miss a trick. She gave me a wink and went on with her digging.

Of course I applied this to my life, and to my profession – coaching. It fits right in with tolerations, removing obstacles, and the attraction principle. Also with taking action – taking the first step.

Most important to me was to realize that I would be doing what needed doing if I knew what it was and how to get started. Gardening is Aunt Bettie’s world, as coaching is mine, and she simply knows her stuff and knows what to do. And the most important thing she did was come over there with the right tools and do it with me.

She didn’t waste a lot of time talking about it, she didn’t try and explain anything to me, she showed me what to do by doing it herself, joyously, and she only took the first step with me. She didn’t take the whole monkey on her back. I have momentum now, with my garden. I see what to do and how to do it, and it’s ready for the next step. I so much appreciated Aunt Bettie didn’t just tell me that my garden was a mess, or that I should go weed it, or that I didn’t have the right tools, or that I ought to be ashamed my garden looked like that!

The best part is how much lighter I feel. Like any “toleration," walking past that garden every day was something dragging at me that I was only vaguely aware of. Now that it’s something I can be proud, something that I (with Aunt Bettie’s help) did something about, I can feel the self-esteem and own it, which is, in EQ terms, Personal Power.

Yesterday I went and bought a small fountain. It was only $79 at HomeDepot, and has a pump to recycle the tiny bit of water it uses – maybe one quart. I sent a photo of it to my sister, who wrote back she was sorry she couldn’t have a fountain in her (beautiful) garden in her home in San Diego. “We don’t have enough water," she said.

“It’s recycled water," I began … and so Aunt Bettie’s gift goes on, and we extend the learning. My sister now has a fountain, something she “never thought she could have."

Coaching is very much like that. We simply work together to get results!

Motivation
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