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The Power of Being Seen

By Tiffany A. Dedeaux 

Image by Albrecht Fietz from Pixabay

In a season of falling back when daylight saving is not generating compound interest, old patterns are coming up.  For me, I am hearing the debate about the need to pick your niche as a business. Different applications – for school or for work – are prompting this, and they seem determined to fit us all in a box.

Recognizing that my mission is to work outside the box of buildings, expectations, and routines, I have fallen prey to the assumption that I should or shouldn’t do leadership or executive coaching. I know full well that I have already decided that I coach the person and not the role. Just like the mindset dictates behavior, I think the individual drives the team. When the individual is valued, there is no ‘I’ in team.  If there is, I see it as a sign that something under the surface needs to be addressed.  

So, there I am buoyed about on the choppy seas of a brewing internal and cultural transformation when I ended up in a conversation with a fellow traveler speaking to me about the Heroic Journey of the creative process and transpersonal psychology. My ears perked up, and I felt the familiar sense of home.  She was speaking my language! Suddenly I recalled working with visionaries where we discussed what leg of the Hero’s Journey they were on. Then, she called out my sense of adventure and ability to sit in the exploration of all that as possible. For the first time in a while, I had not been trying to fit into a pre-determined box, I was enough right where I was, and I was seen.

The power of being seen is also showing up in my work:

Photo by ph.galtri

Case Study: Golden Handcuffs

In coaching a highly creative visionary, we walked through an intensive coaching regime of processing the career trauma that resulted from many things, including a golden handcuffs scenario, to arrive at a series of strategies that made the past make more sense for the future he was creating.

In the Hero’s Journey, he was at the stage of mastering his new self for the return to the ordinary world. By the time we were done, the fountain of creativity that had been frozen shut was pouring out a flood of new projects.

Photo by Alexandru Zdrobău on Unsplash

Case Study:  The Reluctant Entrepreneur

My partnership with a practical business strategist included envisioning a new way of doing things and processing workplace bullying through microaggressions. This work included voicing her vision, building a business, and launching a mission that felt authentic from the inside out. The work of learning to listen to her gut allowed us to weave together all the pieces of her story so that she could feel seen.

I encountered her as she was done refusing the call to adventure in her own Hero’s Journey.

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

Case Study:  The Mission-Driven Activist

A third client of mine returns to talk at every leg of her journey, as I am the coach of change and transformation. To me, the Hero’s Journey is a cycle, like a rite of passage ushering in a new chapter of life. My work with this client involves finding new ways to use the strategies developed from previous journeys.  There was some processing of grief that led her to own her power to see herself.

My Return

As I write this, I am reminded of the first Avatar movie where the main characters look at each other and say, “I see you,” knowing full well they saw more than what appeared on the surface. Recognizing that all of this was born from a season when I had forgotten who I was, and a moment in which I suddenly felt seen, I ask you this:

What do you need to do to SEE yourself?

I can tell you that this has ignited such clarity in me that I am certain I will soon emerge from my cocoon in vivid color, ready to be called to my next adventure.

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