When I was in 8th grade, about 14 years old, my Grandma Belle asked me to write her favorite saying in calligraphy. It took me at least 6 times to get it as pristine as I’d wanted, and I remember being extremely set on getting it right and perfect. I look at it now (my Mama just passed it to me) and suddenly fall right back into that dissatisfied kid who just wasn’t ever going to like the final product (I can’t believe it, but immediately I took note of the white out on the bottom of the last “e.” I did this in 1984.).
The past year I’ve spent entrenched in the Handel Group life coaching methodology, and I’ve had dozens of folks asking me why it’s so transformative, why it takes so much writing, and how they could possibly spend hours of time writing about themselves in order to free up their time, their mind, their heart, their entire being?
I’ll answer those questions in order.
It’s so transformative because finally, at long last, I get to see the sweetness of the method behind that 14-year old’s madness, which is still the method at 40 if I’m not vigilant. I couldn’t accept anything I did as good enough, and my Handel homework showed me the dynamics of my experience, and why I always needed to be perfect (therefore seen, therefore heard, therefore loved). I learned that in order to let that girl go and truly accept who I am right this second, and again this second, and accept abundant love in my life right now, I have to LOVE that 14 -year old’s need to be “good,” instead of try to get RID of that need. Then I can shift the need to be good (which is just longing for love) into the service of my teaching, my parenting, my sisterhood, my relationships.
It takes SO MUCH WRITING, this work, because in order to articulate the you that you’ve been, you have to write it all out, and see it in writing, and learn it, in order to love yourself in all your iterations and incarnations this time around. No need to add another teaching; just see it all in writing and you’ll start to adore that person who took on those habits to protect, endure, and cope. And once you love yourself, and add a dash of diligence and a pinch of good coaching, no matter what comes, nobody and nothing can shake your center of gravity. Your full acceptance of who you are, and who you’re becoming, is all yours. And I can say with total certainty that I am now fully thrilled to grow old with myself, as I am, right now.
And finally, to answer the question of “Why spend hours to do this?” When a friend (who’s just begun private coaching with the Handel Group) reported that she’d already spent several hours doing just the first part of the homework, and is looking at many more hours of writing to come, adding “This ain’t easy, woman,” I replied with the following,
“How many hours of writing are you willing to fork over for eternal self-acceptance?”