In my last article I ended by emphasising the importance of living an integrated life: body, mind, heart and soul. This is a big idea which might not have much meaning without fleshing out some detail. In this article I will share the story of a client I coached a couple of years back to give you a real felt sense of what ‘integration’ means.
I first saw him through the glass door at the end of the hallway to my office, sitting in reception reading while he waited for me to come and get him. As I pushed open the door he stood up and his face cracked open into a wonderful open smile. He was a big man, tall and imposing. He exuded a steady, kind, strong energy.
For over a decade he had supervised a team that cleaned 25,000 aircraft. Prior to that he had run his own panelbeating business. He was a tradesman whose qualifications included a certificate in panelbeating and a five year apprenticeship. He had migrated long ago from Africa, had raised his own family and was known in his community as a gifted leader. He had been chosen to provide mentoring and work experience for difficult boys at the local college.
Now, his role had been made redundant and he sat across from me despondent and almost in tears. Here he was in his late fifties without a job and no idea what he would do, or even if he would have the opportunity to work again.
To normalise the situation a little I asked him what he was reading. It was Silas Marner by George Eliot, a literature classic. This was quite unexpected and threw me a bit. “I read the classics every day,” he smiled, “I love it, just love it!” I was struck with the force of his passion for reading these stories. Here was a man with basic schooling, no university education, reading Charles Dickens, Jane Austen, Harper Lee, Charlotte Bronte to name a few, for fun! It was extraordinary.
Over several weeks we reviewed who he was, his temperament, his personality and his life, his passions, strengths, values, and distilled it all down to two things he loved other than his family that we might be able to work with as a starting point: looking after the elderly in his neighbourhood and reading the classics. He was clear that the responsibility of running a business no longer excited him. He just wanted a meaningful job that he could enjoy, so that his life could be balanced and congruent and provide an income for his family.
He went away and with his wife researched the job market. Together they gradually got a feel for what he wanted. Soon he found a job they both felt he would love to do: Healthcare Assistant supporting the aged in their homes. It was perfect. With his physical strength he could do any lifting required and he could read his classics to the elderly and if they wished, entertain them with good conversations.
Next came job application and interview preparation. We clearly articulated his value proposition and how to present himself with impact; identified his major achievements relevant to the job he was applying for; drafted a new resume for him; and carefully prepared him to interview. This process significantly built his confidence and conviction in wanting to create a new life for himself.
Long story short, he applied for scores of roles; was interviewed and rejected for several because his qualifications were not quite right. Eventually he was offered an aged care support role. He was over the moon. As he told me he had landed the job his emotion was palpable. “I am the happiest man on the planet”, he beamed. It was a beautiful moment for both of us.
This job fulfilled all the key criteria for this man to live an integrated life. The work was near his home, it was doing meaningful work that allowed him to express his passion for reading to benefit others. While earning a good income doing balanced hours of work, he still had space to provide mentoring for local teenagers should the need arise and plenty of time left over to spend with his family.
Starting from scratch worrying about his age, his lack of qualifications, and feeling he would never get a job again, he had made the transition to a new transformed life phase, possibly the most fulfilling of his life to date. It all started with us talking about his love of reading classical literature and helping older people in his community.
So as you embark on creating an integrated life path that you love doing work that is an authentic expression of who you are, go deeper than just thinking about jobs and required skill set. Start by first looking within yourself. Remember the basic principles of manifestation:
This section will not be visible in live published website. Below are your current settings (click inside this section to edit the settings):
Current Number Of Columns are = 3
Expand Posts Area = 1
Gap/Space Between Posts = 20px
Blog Post Style = card
Use of custom card colors instead of default colors =
Blog Post Card Background Color = current color
Blog Post Card Shadow Color = current color
Blog Post Card Border Color = current color
Publish the website and visit your blog page to see the results