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Case Study - Mother Returns to Work and a Broken Marriage
Alison, a young mother, first got in touch to explore ways that she could bring more balance to her life. She had a 2yr old and was living with her husband of five years. Motherhood was a challenging experience for her, and she felt imprisoned. Her initial coaching focus was on balance and health. How could she make time to recover her body, get fit, eat well and sleep well?
Our life coaching work initially focussed on bringing perspective and awareness to her situation. We explored what changes could be made to her routine, how she could solicit more support and how she could liberate more time to replenish her energies.
As we deepened our dialogue two new threads appeared in our work. Alison reported on a feeling of low self-esteem, how she felt that she wasn't a good enough mother and how she envied her friends who were still at work and building their careers. She shared many stories of her hopes for going out and doing great things in her life. She told of the high grades that she had achieved while doing her MBA. She told of her absent husband. The space we held together showed her that her intuitions and feelings were here to teach her something about herself. Her feelings were her source-material.
If home isn't good and work isn't good and friends aren't good, then your reality is dampened.
My work with Alison then evolved into an exploration of what I call "Personal Truth". I have developed a series of sessions that allow us to ground the dialogue back to some fundamental truths about who she is as a woman, what really matters to her and how she could frame her current experiences as cues for her own personal evolution. Personal truth shows us how our feelings, our desires are messengers. Messengers that can reveal to us how to change, how to grow, how to evolve. An evolution towards more passion, more purpose, and more peace in her life. I showed her that she could change her situation. Give anything your attention and it can change. This work identified deep desires to be productive in the world and to get out there and make a difference. I showed her how her Personal Truth was trying to reveal the more that we are. But she was a Mum. A fact that I had to remind her of in almost every session. The coaching process always needs to honour the current context that person finds herself in. She had made life-choices, and the results of those choices must be the starting-place for creating any new change.
I like to bring a strong does of pragmatism to my work. While sometimes our dialogues can soar to the existential and spiritual, it is important to ground the work back to the actionable and pragmatic. People approach coaching to create positive change. Change is more often achieved through experiment and action. The development of "shifts in understanding" ripens the client for action.
So, over the next few months we went on a journey to discover a purposeful path for her. We went deeply into exploring how to live Passionately. She was ready for a new career, a business opportunity, a path that could honour the fact that she was now a mother. Together we identified the opportunity. She was excited. I could feel that it was a good fit for her. We deployed an intention and a plan.
She told me that feeling uncertain and unsafe should be avoided at all costs. What if she failed. There was more work to do, fostering a deep self-belief, preparing her to stand in her uncertainty.
Over the following weeks a new dynamic appeared. The Personal Truth work that we had done together had started to speak to her in new ways. It allowed her to identify many deficiencies in her relationship with her husband. Intimacy had evaporated. She hadn't realised her primal-needs had become neutered. It became apparent that her marriage was broken. Very broken.
It is a privilege and joy to feel a client lean-into our coaching relationship. Placing deep trust into the confidential container of our relationship. As a coach I was able to hold a sacred space where she could share her feelings about every aspect of her life. I like to play the role of the "healthy masculine archetype", supporting her to find and balance her own powers, and to point out where her husband wasn't playing ball. A powerful co-supportive love affair is in my truth, and I could see that that was possible for her as well. She frequently commented on how unique our space was. Unlike a counselling space, our coaching space was able to focus on practical solutions; in a way that respected many layers of her world. Her self-actualising journey, her mothering journey, her journey as a lover, her business journey, her creative journey. Much gratitude for how our coaching-space can hold all these layers and support her to feel her way through.
Alison's situation was complex. Tender. Emotional. Truthful and real. We explored the idealised opportunity of creating an intimate co-supportive, co-creative relationship. We developed an understanding that something needed to change. Our work identified the need to bring in relationship-counselling as a matter of imperative. Frankly it just isn't possible to launch a new business if you spend all day crying over the state of your marriage.
I like to continue to be here for Alison. A confidente. A pillar for her to lean into as she feels her way into the next stage of her journey. I trust that she will find her way through. I hope so, as she is a smart woman who has a great deal to offer the world.
Our work continues…
Perhaps this case study speaks to you. Maybe you can see some of your own situation in Alison's story. Maybe I can help you…
• Transform something negative in your life that really wants you to change
• Let go of some way of being that no longer serves you
• Reclaim a part of your deepest-self that has been lost or forgotten
• Heal a bruised aspect of yourself that feels hurt or broken
• Align yourself to optimum relationship with yourself, your lover, your World
• Listen more deeply to the whisper that is urging you to step up and shine brighter.
• Speak your truth and make changes so you can move on and let go.
• Accept and love all of yourself.