Right before our first date - a morning walk through the neighborhood - my inner voice invited me to stand still for a moment, before I went down the stairs of my building to meet the guy I met on a dating app the day before.
The guy stood outside, in front of my building, not yet aware of me. I could see him through the window. I paused to listen a bit more into that inner voice.
“Take a moment to look at him,”, I heard. And then: “This is your man.”
I thought it was pretty wild to make a statement like that 😅, and did not take it very seriously, as I knew my intuition often communicates more symbolically. At the same time, I’d learned to trust that voice, and so I was willing to play, stood there for a moment, and observed the man in front of my apartment.
I thought to myself: “‘My man’, that’s probably not what it literally means, but I guess there’s sóme kind of adventure that will come out of this.”
We had a fun first date. It was the first day of spring weather after a long grey winter. We laughed a lot, and I felt something deeper than on other first dates.
We started dating, spending time together. It was fun, there was a connection, but we wanted to take things slow.
Our baby had a different idea though 😅 Because not long after, we found out that we were pregnant.
If that was not enough to deal with, I also got really sick - my body didn’t handle pregnancy that well. Not just a week of feeling sick, no, I was bedridden sick for months, and would be feeling unwell until the end of my pregnancy.
From exciting dates, and taking it slow, we went to managing daily heavy nausea and a rollercoaster of stuff that needed to be figured out, arranged, cared for. We needed to step into a partnership more committed than I’ve ever experienced before.
Now, 18 months later, I’m looking back and am so proud of us. We’re living together as a family, and are a great team as parents. Our boy is a happy, healthy and relaxed baby, and we enjoy being with him so very much.
We’ve birthed a baby, and with that a relationship, a new house, and totally different versions of ourselves. We’ve become a family. Transformation like no other, and not the easiest path, but seeing where I am now, I feel incrédibly lucky 🧡
Over the years the more I grew in my work as a coach, the more I became aware of how important it is to respect a clients ‘no’.
This might sound obvious, but you’d be surprised at how many times in coaching or other healing professions a client’s ‘no’ is not really being seen or respected.
I remember one time during an acupuncture session my therapist told me they were going to put a needle in a point on my forehead. He brought the needle to my head and my body suddenly tensed up, and I called out a clear ‘no!’.
His reaction: ‘Ah no, this is not gonna hurt you.’ With an unsure voice I said ‘ok then’, and he put the needle in my forehead.
After that session I felt so unwell. For weeks I struggled with dizziness, feeling ungrounded, like there was no floor beneath me. It was no fun.
I needed a session with a befriended energy worker to come to balance again.
My acupuncturist probably didn’t mean any harm and thought he did the right thing to help me.
I, at the time, wasn’t used to feeling or trusting my own ‘no’. I felt overwhelmed by my own sudden reaction, started doubting myself because of hís reaction, and then just gave him sort of a ‘ok’.
In coaching this often takes on more subtle ways. For instance where a coach could be going on about an idea or exercise that would be good for a client, but isn’t really tapping into what a client needs in that specific moment.
The client might feel a slight disconnection, but might also be used to ‘follow the teacher’ and be a good student. And thus neglect their feeling, push through some exercise and afterwards blame themselves when things didn’t go well or feel right.
A lot of people have never learned to feel their own no’s, or act upon them.
This is why in sessions we often practice the no’s. We check in again and again to see if where we’re going is still aligned with the client’s well-being.
We honor no’s when they come up. We take pauses, slow down, change course if we have to.
The beauty of respecting the no’s, is that the yes’s come out as well, without being pushed or forced.
Yes’s to life, to joy, to relaxation, to new opportunities.
And so, we say yes to no 😊
I’ve not seen differences between people’s choices so clearly made visible as in parenthood.
The way you choose to handle your kid’s sleep, food, emotions, screen-time, daycare.
I’ve also never seen an area in life where judgements about each others differences are so easily made and communicated.
Look, I have strong ideas about parenting as well. Or maybe I should say, strong intuition that I’m dedicated towards following.
I’m a fan of responsive, attachment, baby-led, natural and intuitive parenting, to throw in some terms from the field.
This doesn’t mean I’m following any of their guidebooks. It means most of what I’ve learned about them matches my parenting style. I am my own guidebook.
I love spending a ton of time with my baby, to get to know him and attune myself more easily to his needs. This means we spend most of our days together, we co-sleep, and we are not so often far apart (yet)
I accept that my life has changed, and do not wish to ‘train’ my baby into a version of him that will make it easier for me to maintain my old lifestyle. Even when it sometimes feels hard. It’s all part of this experience, and I’m choosing every bit of it.
I hold my baby close, when I feel he needs it, and will not push through his boundaries or let him cry it out just to ‘let him learn’ to be alone / with people he’s not (yet) comfortable with. He will do so in his own timing.
I am aware that my baby is a sovereign being, just like me, and that he is not capable of setting his boundaries / tending to his needs yet like we adults do. I see it as my task to care for that until he takes over.
‘He has to learn that life is not all fun’
‘If you pick him up all the time you’ll spoil him’
‘You really have to feed him this or that now’
‘He needs to go to daycare as soon as possible to get used to other kids’
‘Put him in his own room, he needs to learn to sleep alone’
Thank you, but no thank you.
We’re all different people, with different backgrounds, circumstances, needs and kids.
Let’s honor each other’s choices, and inspire each other by our own ways instead of judging away ✌️
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