Happy New Years! I have a friend, and her name is going to remain confidential for this one…
LET US CALL HER CALIFORNIA GIRL
California Girl is someone I have never met once in person, but we are united by the cold and unyielding grace of distance. She lives a shambled life, wandering vagrant streets and wondering when her life will turn around. I have done my best to help her, but even a Life Coach has his limits. Sometimes people cannot be helped, and that is the regality of life that we face today: an epidemic of lost souls. Though the occasional pep talk may assist short-term, there is no “solution” for her issues; she is facing homelessness, hunger, and the worst part about it all is, she lives on the other side of the country. We maintain a stable friendship through Facebook.
SHE DOES NOT KNOW THIS
But there is something I never told her: she is the reason I got into Life Coaching. We met after my daunting, albeit, pointless time as a Promoter for musicians around the country. She is a skilled vocalist, and one day she collaborated with the first artist I ever worked with. Once again, I am disclosing all of this confidentially, and do not take me for a Coach who decimates his clients. For the record, she is not a client, but a friend, and her issues with depression and anxiety at the time broke a sound barrier somewhere high above California. I spoke with her today, and I realized how much we are all struggling on New Year’s Eve, a time of loneliness and, in this case, homelessness. Now, for the first time in my life, this strongly discourages me. How can I help?
ON THIS NEW YEARS DAY
There is a saying: “You see the bodies and you see the smoke, but the larger picture still eludes us…” Not so much of a saying and more of a personal belief, but moving onward: I am saying that even in the midst of a dire crisis, a night of sleeping in her van, and a moment where she had to scramble in a hurry out of her roommate’s apartment due to an undisclosed incident she confided in me with, I listened to that album and I did not even hear the vocals; I did not hear heard the melody; I did not hear a word said. Rather, I was absolutely lost in another form of sensory stimulation: that of someone who is quite literally homeless and yet, still has time to try.
I told her that, and as she is not a client, she sure changed my outlook.
WHAT I WANT YOU TO ACHIEVE
Realize that there is a theory called “Selye’s Rats.” Selye was a Scientist who performed an experiment on rats. He issued them with a shock to the brain every ten minutes. The rats first began to fight back, attacking the wires. As they realized that did not assist them, they entered the “resistance” phase, where they were trying to mediate the structural damage this was causing them. Finally, after several hours (other sources say several days), they reached exhaustion, and died because they simply gave up. But there is rumor that one rat not only survived, btu actually achieved cutting that wire attached to his head. It lived six years longer than the average life span of a rat when the shocks were no longer administered. So, the point please?
SHE WAS THE RAT THAT CUT LOOSE
I was inspired by that. How can someone be so down and yet so intensely capable of withstanding drawbacks and cards of decks with nothing but bad hands still find the time to send me her album? Though I made no promises, I vowed I would help her, and I plan on doing just that. There is nothing more dynamic than the human spirit that refuses to submit under pressure. I learned a lot from California Girl today. The heart of spades rests in even the darkest, strangest and unmotivating environments; we find true glory in our species-specific capacity to never give up.
REMEMBER CALIFORNIA GIRL
In our greatest triumphs, we are first met face-first with a a happy dose of “S**t hitting the fan.” Preceding any great moment in human history is frustration. As said by Eugene Debs: “Intelligent discontent is the mainspring of civilization. Progress is born solely from agitation. It is agitation or stagnation.” Well, that is one way to look at life. Here is another: when all is lost, there is not quite anything to lose, now is there? To succeed, we cannot accept the easy way in or out. We push through barriers. Every great feat accomplished in mankind has been preceded with hurt. In fact, sociology and anthropology says that this is an adaptive defense mechanism.
TO CONCLUDE THE CONCLUSION
I want you to promise me that you will fight for me today. That you will overcome an obstacle. Set a New Years Resolution to yourself, and make it a good one. I suggest making it simply: “Fall forty times and get back up forty-one times.” And California Girl, thank you for the lesson. Though I may not have been able to help you, you sure as heck helped me. It is Florence Nightingale Syndrome, commonly found when nurses fall in love with their patients. In this case, my client showed me that there is more to her than meets the eye, and that main differentiator is resilience.
Happy New Years!