I am going to document my experience with my new client, Leslie Goldman, with his permission of course. I feel excited that I have a client who has already been in the habit of documenting his life and is not afraid of expressing his innermost feelings publicly. You can find his blog here http://curezone.com/blogs/fm.asp?i=2175738 I am also overjoyed to know that he is a leader in the field of healthy food consciousness because recently I decided that I am committed to being a vegan which is a plant based diet with no animal products. And eating healthy, raw, local, non-GMO foods is super important to me because if I am healthy and living a life style that contributes to the well being of the planet–I can be so much more effective in all I do.
When I first talked to Leslie, I was a bit concerned about his lack of positive energy. He was very open about the negative things that are going on in his life, and since I am a good listener and feel a lot of compassion for people, I was willing to hear his challenges. At first I was looking at joining a community from where I would find work outside in my field. But when I explained to him what I was focusing on–Simplified Living Coaching–he responded immediately with, “That is just what I need.”
I really liked how he listened to me and my life stories. He was so appreciative of the things that I value most–my family, children, Wellspring Community, extended community at Living Springs. This made me even more grateful for what I have in my life. I had already explored his blog and website quite a bit, and was impressed by his leadership abilities and the ways he was influencing people for very positive purposes. I love the fact that he wanted to help people realize their dreams.
I chose to leave our conversation abruptly because it was time to pray with my community which we do almost every night via speaker phone. He honored that I needed to do this and did not at all get upset. That was a good sign! In fact, I sensed he thought this was a wonderful thing.
I woke up early the next morning with my mind racing about possibilities. I wrote a long email and asked many questions. This is always the first test of if I am going to get along with someone. If they are overwhelmed now–they will be overwhelmed in the future! But if they can handle my long email–then the possibilities are very good that we will get along. After all, I am exploring living in community with Leslie.
He called me when I was in a middle of a job, and we agreed to talk later that evening. But then I realized I was really eager to continue the conversation, and because I had a flexible schedule that day, I talked to him while sitting in the beautiful native plant sanctuary of Burnetta and Steve. He could hear the birds in the back ground and that was a nice perk.
At first he was very, very discouraged and afraid to get his hopes up about me coming out and helping him and living in the room that he had been trying to rent for three months. He confided that he had been hurt so many times-it was hard for him to dream. I know that feeling. How many times have people who seemed so excited and enthusiastic just dropped out of my life. I am so glad that I do have the stability of my Living Springs community up near Kingston who, even though we have conflicts, don’t just disappear! And most are really willing to talk things out.
I was surprised because I thought after my email and our conversation he would feel more hopeful. I had expressed excitement about possibilities and I also expressed appreciation. But I decided to continue to listening to his distress instead of panicking and feeling rejected. Even though I felt like I had solutions to his problems, I knew it was important for him to feel heard and validated.
I noticed a shift in his energy after he talked for a while. I was able to share some very vulnerable and deep feelings and thoughts and experiences which I noticed he received with great tenderness. He helped me feel safe to talk about how I had changed so much since I left San Diego. I asked him how he remembered me, and he said, “You were always in the lime light and performing and leading workshops.” I said wryly, “Yes, I was singing about love and connection while I was having affairs behind Cliff’s back. That is why I needed to move to Arkansas–to be humbled.” He was not at all judgmental.
By the end of the two hour conversation, which included a delightful interlude with his sweet heart who asked me some questions about Arkansas, we agreed that it was settled. I was moving in! I offered to send a deposit for the room to show I was serious, and I think he was inspired by that offer, and was glad he did not need to ask for that.
I am so excited about the possibilities. Leslie’s energy has shifted. He seems more hopeful and focused. This happens so much when I work with people. It is not that I am such a great person–just that using simple ways of relating–listening and being honest–connection can happen. I look forward to working with Leslie. I can’t wait.