Trying to move away from this pattern.

This is a very difficult post for me to write. First, it’s very personal, and I haven’t talked to anyone about this yet. But it’s also challenging to keep my thoughts together, without going in every direction possible.

I’ve been single for so long that I don’t even want to say how many years. There are several reasons in it, but I would say the main one is because I get interest in one (impossible) guy and quickly get obsess about him.

I don’t really want to go in theory mode, but it’s safe to say that I probably choose those incompatible/improbable guys as a way to protect myself, because it’s too scary to think of being in a true relationship.

And because I’m a single mom, that I don’t have a lot of friends, don’t go out, hate internet dating, work in a women’s world, was living in a town where average people were retired, have a pretty busy life and overall like being alone, well, it’s easy to say that being single is a choice and that I’m happy with it.

But if I was so happy with myself… I wouldn’t almost instantly judge every guy/man I meet as boyfriend potential or not.

And that…is really hard to admit.

What’s more difficult is saying that I find my son’s coaches very attractive… Yes, both of them.

Physically, they are not necessary my type, but let’s be honest. They are gymnast… and it shows… But beside that, there’s something about them that I really like, I feel drawn to their presence.

I know, they are probably in their young twenties, (I’m 34) and I’m pretty sure we have nothing in common either.

And yet… my mind goes back to them way to much. I don’t like it. I know how easy for me it is to find reasons why that could work out. I know this is so ridiculous. And yet… I find myself checking on the club’s Facebook page to see if I can find a picture of them. I talk about them, saying how good they are with Gustave. I Google them.

I’m telling you. For the recovering stalker, it’s such a bad world to live in… It’s way too easy to find out information…

So here I am, sad that my son isn’t ready for the competitive gymnastic team because he will spend way less time doing it… but also sad for me… because I won’t have many chances to see the coaches.

I’m 34 years old. These guys are my son’s coaches. These guys are way out of my league. And it seems like they have girlfriends, on top of that. This is pathetic. I can’t believe I’m heading into this pattern once again. Because I know I am.

I can see it. I can see how I am fascinated by the way they are. How they walk, how they look confident and passionate about gymnastics. And how they teach the kids. OMG. Every single kid seems to adore them, and the complicity they have with them…yes, as a mom, (and childhood educator) that’s a big turn on (can I say that?) for me.

These guys seem genuinely kind. Seriously. Ok, it was a parent-teacher thing, but every time they talked to me, I feel like there is just me that is important. And sadly, that’s not something I get a lot.

But I can’t keep thinking and talking about this. So I decided to see why I might be attracted by them.

Beside the fact that yes, I should start to be open to the idea of eventually meet someone…

So I’ve decided to think and act as a life coach. Which, technically, I am…

I started to ask myself questions, to be curious about the whole thing. Some people would say to be the scientist in my life, and I really like this image.

I might be totally wrong, but my first hunch about this is that it’s all about the gymnast philosophy. I’ve had, for many years, a love-hate relationship with people who are into sports (running in particular) and have a nice healthy lifestyle. It fascinate me and I quite don’t understand how they are so discipline and committed to it. I don’t want the ”I have to” thing, how sometime sport and/or diet dictate their life. And yet, I see how, in general, they love it and are people who live fully and make things happen instead of playing the victim.

I think it’s time to be honest with myself and admit how I am longing to be more disciplined with things I want. Yes, I want to lose weight. I want to eat healthier and cook everyday. I want to train and be able to run. I want to do yoga and pilates. I want to do something to limit my joint pain.

I don’t want to live a life by proxy. I’m tired of being envious of people who run, people who live by their values and principles. That’s what it’s about with the coaches and all the gymnast, that’s why I’m in love with the club and want Gustave to love it too.

Those people seems to live a life filled with tiny decisions based on what they love and what they value. They have discipline, they persevere and keep going no matter what, and it shows it their whole being. The way they stand up, the way they talk. They live a life in integrity. And I know, with myself, I haven’t.

Maybe those people have been placed into my life to remind me of what I want and that I can make a difference.

I don’t know yet how I will make this stick in my life, but I know I want to start again living with intention.

I know our life is a collection of little moments, little decisions. I know every decision I make will add up and become my reality. And I’m tired to pretend that I don’t have a choice, that it’s too hard, that I am not disciplined and can’t do it.

I feel like I need to take my life in charge again…and that’s starting with my body.

It’s about time I take good care of it.

I stopped pulling hair 1 month ago. Don’t know why it worked that time, but so far so good.

Now it’s time to move it. Practice running. Eat well.

And maybe those coaches and all those gymnasts can be my inspiration. Every single one of them is doing amazing things. Maybe I can use that to push myself just a little. Maybe by thinking of them I can make a better decision when I want to stay home instead of going out to walk/run, eat an apple instead of too many cookies.

But one thing for sure, I don’t want to go into this obsess about a guy thing anymore. So I’ll keep being curious about this instead and see what else it can teach me.

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This is about me not about my son

ImageI’m really sad tonight and I can’t let it go. I’m tempted to say that I’m sad for my son, but that wouldn’t be honest. So far, Gustave seems pretty ok with this whole situation, which really proves that it’s all about me.

But I’m better explaining it from the beginning. :)

Thursday the 5th, Gustave had his first class of gymnastics ever. It was epic. He was so thrilled by everything that the first 5 minutes of the class, he jumped and climbed everywhere around the gymnasium to see everything… and kind of lost his group 2 times. I was afraid he was too excited and would not listen to his coach at all, but the truth is that as a mom, it was mind-blowing to see how much he loves it. It truly, deeply seems like he had found his passion and it was obvious that he already adored his coach (I do too! lol)

But  after the class, the coach asked to talk to me, and I first thought it was about is lack of attention. But in fact, he told me that he really loved Gustave’s enthusiasm and desire of learning exactly how to do things right. He was telling me that my son have talent and a lot of potential, so he was recruiting him for the competitive section of the club, not just the entertai ning gymnastic.

I was shocked. Really. I expected my son to be good, but I think that’s a mom thing, we all think our kids will be good, even the best! I never expected him to be that good.. the coaches noticing him and wanting to invest in his talent… yes, even if I know that money wise, it’s always better for the club to have more athletes in competition.

So there we were. From 230$ for 16 weeks of 1.5 hour, we had the opportunity to be enrolled the full year, spring break and summer camp included for 1750$ and a little bit more, but for 2 days a week and a total of 6.5 hours every week.

That was a huge difference! My son is just in kindergarten and will turn 6 in November. Gym after school from 4h30 to 8h pm seems way too much for him. Even insane. And there was the money. I already thought that 230$ was a lot, so I really needed to think about it. I was afraid it would be too demanding for my son, that he would be too tired for school. I also worried that he was too young for competition and I was afraid the coaches would push it too much. Just like everyone else, I’ve heard terrible stories about kids in sport being pressured to perform always more and more, and I know gymnastic is especially demanding.

But as I talked about it and reflected on what I really was afraid of, I realized that I was more afraid about me. I know what it’s like to have kids in competitive sports. One of my friend had 3 kids all in sports. I always said I would never do that. I’m a single mom. I don’t own a car. I just started a job in a community center, and my salary is considerably lower than my previous job. Competitions are really expensive. If my son is that good…that means he’ll have to go to competitions around the province soon and when you start this…you quickly get stuck into a whirlwind.

Was I ready for this? Did I have the energy to spend long hours at the gymnasium? Or even the desire to do it? Did I have the money for all the expenses? Was I ready to sacrifice some of our extras to afford it?

Then, as I was talking to a friend who clearly wasn’t hot about the idea, I realized that my fear and doubts was really just about me. I was afraid of the commitment required by myself. I was not afraid for Gustave. I knew I would be there all the way and could see if the coach was too demanding, if it was too much for him or affecting is school. I also knew I could let him enjoy it and keep it fun, not just about the competition and that if it wasn’t and he wanted to quit (after the year) that he could. I know my son and I have the good kind of relationship that would make it possible. I know my son can tell me if something is wrong.

Turned out 4 hours is not too much for him. Not at all! I even had to ask him to stop running after the class because it was night and it was dangerous. Not that I didn’t know it before, but contrary to me, my son was more energized from this activity, while I left quite tired! He totally loved it and even though his coach said he was a bit tired at the end, he told me he did really good and was happy to see him go.

Do I have to say that I was really really proud of my son? That I enjoy telling how he was ‘recruited’ and how his coach seems to like him?

It’s not really something that I shared with others, (well, maybe a bit) but as I watched my son, I could imagine that he could go far in this,  I could see him in a sport-studies program in High School. and who knows…

I started to dream for my son. Started to dream big.

Even though he was the youngest in his group (most are 8-9 years old). Even though I saw that he struggled more than the others. Even though I saw him fool around more than the other boys.

In just 5 sessions, even though I personally never did sports (even hated it) I completely fell in love with gymnastics, with this club and my son’s coaches in particular. I love how they all seem passionate about their sport, how they genuinely love every kids, how it’s about perseverance and discipline, team spirit, learning and working hard while keeping it fun and light. How cute it is to see every kid follow their coach proudly, heads up. I saw how my son was positively affected by all this in so little time and I was thrilled to imagine how he would grow up surrounded by this team. And I have to admit, Gustave growing up without a dad, I love, love, love the fact that his coach is a young man (and that there is other guys in the club). (I can’t believe I’m saying this, but can I say that young gymnasts are really hot too???)

But tonight, when I asked in the office if they figured out exactly how much money I owned, they said that they usually wait until the whole 2 weeks trial is done and make sure it’s a good fit, that both parent and coach agree that it’s a good thing for the kid.

I think somehow I knew. The whole evening, I was having this dread feeling, kind of worried or sad. I thought it was about something that happened at work. But I was afraid Gu would not make the cut. I knew he would be sad. I was embarrassed too because I talked so much about how good he was. That’s something really hard to admit.

But that’s the truth.

Because at the end of the class, the coach asked to talk to me. Even though Gustave was especially good tonight, was more attentive than ever, worked hard and by himself pushed is fear and limits away… his coach told me that it would be better for Gu and the group to let him go back to the ‘entertainment’ section. Probably just for a session. He said he still think Gu is good and have potential, but the fact that he is way younger and doesn’t know the basics yet means that he delays the group a little. Maybe he said it just to be nice, but he think that by January Gustave might be able to catch up in skills and maturity and join the team again.

That was sad. Disappointing. And more sad.

My son wasn’t good enough. Yup. I thought about that.

And the fact that he would have less gymnastics. And not with those boys anymore. Even though I knew he would keep his coach. And that it would be more ‘level appropriate’. I thought about how he would not automatically have the summer camp…even thought for me it would be more convenient for work all year long. And how it would be less expensive. Even though for Gustave there would be no pressure of being ready for competition in April when the kid have a hard time to understand the real concept of a goal…

I thought about how hard it would be to say the news to my son.

And others like my family, friends and coworkers.

My son was not good enough to make the team.

Yup. That made me really sad. And embarrassed.

I think I have to say it again… Even though it was not about me, I was embarrassed and made it about me.

When I finally got myself to say it to my son, he didn’t seem upset about it. I’m not really sure how much he understood of the whole thing, but he seems ok. No big deal. He’ll still have gymnastics and be with his coach.

Today, he didn’t cry when they did the stretching, he let his coach push is leg very high and he was able to do a better split and could even do it without bending is knees. :)

Apparently, that’s what was important for him. He repeated it to me 3 times.

What happened today. How proud he was of himself.

Isn’t it amazing?

While I was caught up in some kind of dream for my son (and yeah, I admit it, an ego trip for the mama in me) then worried about all kind of things like what would people say… my son was just happy of what was happening in the now.

He was happy with himself. He knew he had a good day. That he gave himself 100%. That he improved compared of the other time. And he simply enjoyed the time he spent doing things he loves with people he loves.

I hate when people say that our kids are our best teachers. But I have to admit that once again… it’s true.

It’s always a lot easier when we stay in the present.

It would also be a lot easier if I was not mixing my worries. I mean, I thought I was being a good mom and worrying about what was best for my son, trying to make the best decision and not wanting his feeling to get hurt.

But the truth is: from the beginning, it was my worries. My son was just happy to go with the flow and have fun doing gymnastics. In fact I’m pretty sure he doesn’t really know the difference between a class of 1.5 hours and 4 hours. He just have fun.

Once again, I’m pretty sure it’s all gonna be for the best. The Universe have our back!

If Gustave is meant to be really good in gymnastics, I’m pretty sure he’ll be back with the recruits pretty soon. I have faith in him and in his coach too…

I just need to keep my ego in check! ;)

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It’s a new start

ferris wheel Last year around this time, I had big, huge dreams. I had just finished my life coaching training and I was on fire. I could not talk  enough about it, read too many books, take enough classes and programs after one another… I was sure I could make it. With 5 or 6 clients, I would be ok, and how hard could it be to get just 5 or 6 clients, right?

Pstt… how naïve I was. As much as I felt confident coaching my peers in our program forum… now I just didn’t really know what to do. I felt like I was going nowhere while coaching and as much as I had passion about it, now I know I was just trying to convince myself to keep going. To keep working hard. To keep learning from the best. To believe in me. To quiet my doubts. To keep pushing…

I was always working ‘on my coaching’. But the thing is, I was barely doing anything. I kept changing my mind about what I wanted to focus on. I was reading and learning a lot but I was barely coaching. I didn’t really had friends interested in coaching, and even if I had, I think coaching friends would have been a bad idea. The efforts I was putting on social media didn’t do much either, and I realized I didn’t like blogging anymore. People kept telling me to go get people and get myself out there, but that terrorized me.

And still, I kept believing in my dream. I put more money on my site and for programs. I tried to be focused enough to do what I needed to do to be successful like the others. Every program I signed up for, I truly believed it would be THE SOLUTION. I didn’t realize it then, but in fact, I was believing in the classic quick fix miracle.

But something was off. I had (still have) real passion for life coaching. I get really excited when I start talking about it. But now I know I was trying to convince myself more than anything else. I tried to convinced myself that it was just fear and that I could stop playing small.

The thing is, I was tired of pushing myself and going nowhere. I was tired of everyone trying to sell their stuff saying it was life changing and so on.

It’s when I realized how hard it had become to blog, how I didn’t really loved it anymore that something started to shift in my mind.

There was no more joy in it.

Everything felt like I HAD to do this and that… and since it’s something that I try to avoid in my life, I knew something was wrong.

It was really frustrating because again, as much as I wanted to become a coach, there was still something, again and again, in my body, or maybe my intuition, telling me that something was not quite right. Something was off, something felt like a lie.

I remember every time that I had to take a difficult, life changing decision. Every single time, there is this sense of truth, of expansion in my body and I know that even though it feels totally crazy for anyone else…I know it’s the best thing for me and I’ll be alright.

It have never failed me. Not when I decided to go as an AuPair in the USA at 18 years old. Or when I became a single mom by choice. Or when I bought my house in the countryside without having a job after maternity leave. Or when I chose last December to move back to Montreal with my sister.

It is really hard to describe it, but there is a sense of peace in me and I know it’ll turn out perfectly ok.

And that…I didn’t have it when it came to being a life coach. Dread or fear was always there behind.

So this summer, after spending thousand of dollars and as many hours working on this project, I decided to give it a break.

I don’t want to say that I quit it. Or that I’ll never come back coaching again, because I know we can never say never. I want to let the door open if opportunities come.

But I know it’s the best decision for me.

It’s time to do something else. To do what I want. To bring more light in my life. To spend real time with my son, as a mom.

I had the privilege to be home for the summer. My son and I walked and biked everywhere in the city. He had a part-time summer camp. I had time to read young adult books like the Percy Jackson series and the Kane Chronicles. We visited lots of cool places. We both met new friends. I spent almost every morning outside, taking my coffee with my sister and our cats playing around. I started doodling and drawing a little.

I re-learned to enjoyed just being with my son and we grew closer. I re-learned to listen to what I wanted to do and being ok with it even though it wasn’t ‘productive’. I started to go walk-run and try to see if I can make it stick this time.

And…as I decided to be open to a new job, I basically designed my dream one and got it not even 1 week after I started looking for something! It is very close from home,  just 1 block down my son’s school, so it means I don’t need to take the bus or the metro. It is with children/family but I’m not the educator and I’ll be working in my own little cute office. The staff is amazing, I love them all and it’s very community oriented, which I really wanted to be involved in. The hours are very flexible, so I’ll be able to be there for my son if he needs me. I’ll be in charge of the volunteers and will even have occasions to take classes to learn more. And, what I think is amazing, I will have my summers and Christmas vacations off!!!

But I have to say, what really matters is that I’m learning again to trust my intuition and my body signals to see what is right for me.

I’m willing to say that coaching is not right for me now. And I’m ok with it.

I realized the (not so) hard way that no matter what, nobody can be expert of me. Of what I want or what I need. I need to do it myself. I need to stay away of too many books and programs and start doing again what works for me. Like gratitude and journaling. I need to keep things simple. I need to bring more awareness into my life and see what’s really going on. And commit for what is really important.

Like this commitment I made to be active everyday. And use as much as possible cash only and write down everything that I buy. And stop pulling hair since my trichotillomania has been really bad in the past months.

So it’s not that I quit life coaching. On the contrary. I’m being honest with myself and I put the focus where I need to: on myself.

I want to believe that I can achieve whatever I want to do. For me. Not necessary following people’s rules or way of doing.

And I want to share it here because I want to, the way I want to. Not in a specific way to get more readers or clients.

Just because… :)

What’s going on ?

Yeah, what’s going on in my life ?

Well, a lot have been going on. June 2nd, I’ve started my weight loss coach trainning with Brooke Catillo, Bev Aron and an amazing group of ladies !

I have learned so much on myself! I started big on realizing that I don’t only have a believe that I’m not enough, but also, maybe even mostly that I am unlovable…

So with the help of everyone, I was able to rewrite my story. I was able to see what people are talking about when they say to look at yourself with love and compassion.

I think that for the first time, I was able to fully understand that I am not a victim in my story. That what happened in my life doesn’t mean that I am not love.

It doesn’t mean that I will never be loved.

And most of all. It doesn’t mean that I cannot love myself.

And when I signed-up for that training, I think I made of of the best decision I could make for my future.

I have doubts, I am scare, but coaching is what I am. I feel so incredibly good when I coach ! I can see that it is inside of me and how how can help people.

I am totally in love with everything around coaching and I can see myself doing it for years and years.

And if you want to know more about it, follow me on tumblr where I’ll post on my journey, on tips on coaching and everything in between that inspire me !

http://lookingformyowncoach.tumblr.com/

And in French:

http://coachmylene.tumblr.com

There’s the mom, the educator, the collegue and the boss.

As a person, we always have to wear different hats.

Especially as a mom.

In our daycare, 3 out of 7 of us are both educator and the mom of a child attending the daycare.

It can be really challenging, especially when you have a disagreement with your child educator or if your child lives a special situation.

We are in both those situations. Miss X filled a complaint because her son has been bitten twice by a child she named F.

She describe how she wants a plan of action, and many things that seems to be coming right up from her textbooks…

The problem his, she used information that she learned in the time she was working in this class to say how this child is living a difficult time and needs more help than the one we have been giving him for the past 3 years. Confidential information.

As I told her, it’s all about perception. And the way i see it, and 3 other educator who she showed the complaint sees it…. She more or less blame us for not diing enough.

I. Was. Pissed.

She uses confidential information for the benefit of her mommy’s hearth…but forget to use the same information to see that her collegues are working super hard to help this kid…in spite of their mental health (this is part of the reason i went into depression). She forget that as a team, we should hold on tight, not playing games.

So as a newly boss, or more accurately team leader, I wrote a nice letter to Miss X explaining her that we are taking her concerns seriously but will need to separate the mommy and the educator…especially because right now, she is just doing occasional replacement and we will need to be professional and respect the confidentiality of it.

Of course, she came to see me…

Men, I was nervous and tried to avoid it as long as I could…

But as soon as I started to talk with her, I was clearly wearing my boss hat.

I was feeling and showing confidence. I was able to tell her the messages she needed to hear, balancing the fine line between the “I know what you feel and understand your concerns and I am working with you” and the “I am the one in charge in here, don’t fuck with my girls and our work integrity and you’re better learn quick where is your place in this situation or you won’t have a place anymore neither as a mom or as a collegue…”
I was respectful, I stand by all my collegues, I didn’t buy her crap… This talk was a total success and by my exemple, by how I was acting, I was showing her that yes, it was  possible to separate those 2 roles. And it would serve her better.

As for me, I can’t really deny it. Even if a part of me would prefer staying completely with the kids, even if I’m a bit overwhelm and I know we have pretty heavy shit coming on…

I love it!

I am good in those kind of touchy situations. I can read it, and I can translate both side of it while giving simple tips to help everyone.
Now, don’t get me wrong.

She might reject totally my suggestion. Maybe after talking with her boyfriend, she’ll be upset, which she didn’t look like it when she left.

But I don’t own this. This is her business.

Mine was to share a message with her.

And I felt empowered doing it, in charge of who I was and what I was saying. It was exhilirating and I suddently had a lot of energy and passion about it when I talked about it later.

It was me. This kind of leadership. This helping people seeing things.

And then, I thought about my coaching trainning starting the 5th and being nervous that I wont be good enough.

I get it now.

This is it.

This is one of the proof that I can help people.

That I can be more than good when I’m doing something dear to my heart.

That the “empower” feeling is right inside of me and I just need to believe in it for it to show up…

And dammed, it feels good!

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