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Home of the Samurai Coaching Dojo blog where Toku McCree, Matt Thielman, and other guest Sensei share their philosophies and practices for deep coaching and honorable enrollment. SUBSCRIBE for updates to be notified of new blog posts, special opportunities just for subscribers, and more!

The Impact of Fantastic Customer Service

I’ve had the same bank for over a decade. This is despite the fact that this bank has no branches where I live, makes certain kinds of money transfers hard to do, and often has a wait to speak with someone on the phone. 

The reason I keep this bank is that every time I talk to someone I feel like a person. They are really helpful. They go above and beyond. When I think about changing banks I feel like I’d be abandoning an old reliable friend. 

This is the power of really good customer service. 

It’s not really about wait times, or fees, or if the call center is in the same country I live in. 

It’s about feeling like a human being who loves their work and cares about you is on the other end of the phone. 

While efficiency is great, there is nothing that can replace the power of a personal human interaction. 

If you’re lucky enough to lead a small team or run a small business, never forget this. 
It’s a hidden strategic advantage that can’t be underestimated.

The Thankless Thanksgiving: Getting Back To Grateful

Once a year (in the US and Canada) we settle down for a day and focus on being thankful. We cook a big meal, gather people around us, and spend time reflecting on what we have been given.

And yet I don’t know many people who relate to Thanksgiving with real gratitude. We crave a certain dish, we stress about being with family, we think about what we want to buy for Christmas.

Gratitude is funny like that. It’s like flossing for your soul, you always feel like you should be doing more of it, and even when you do it, you need a strict regime to keep going.

It doesn’t seem like being grateful comes naturally to us at all. The Buddha chalked it up to innate human desire. Some of us blame consumerism or capitalism. You might even blame evolution, after all, if we hadn’t wanted more, we may never have gotten down out of the trees and developed big brains designed to help us figure out how to get more of what we want.

But no matter the case, while gratitude is valuable it can be hard to create.

So here are some unusual gratitude practices you might consider:

1. Stop using something you rely on

For one week just stop using something you normally use all the time. You could eat with your left hand instead of your right. Or don’t wear your apple watch. Or go without a car. Or even give up sex or chocolate.

Often we only feel grateful for things we lose, so losing something may help you appreciate that it’s there. (Or you may discover you never really needed it at all)

2. Really thank someone, like from your heart

When you’re checking out at the grocery store, may eye contact with the clerk and thank them. Say something like: “Thanks so much for helping me get checked out today. I know it’s a thankless job sometimes, but you were really kind today and I appreciate it.”

Part of why gratitude doesn’t work is that we treat it like flossing. If we treat it as a true expression it has a better impact.

3. Set aside money to spend on other people

Studies have shown that we experience more joy when we spend money on other people. So instead of waiting until the holidays or birthdays try giving people gifts out of the blue. Or even buy coffee for someone. Or make small bags with socks and apple sauce for people in need.

Basically, set aside money every month to give to people in order to create joy for you and for them. Not only will this make you grateful for yourself, it will help other people feel grateful too.

4. Practice being grateful for things you don’t like

Instead of just going around the table saying good things you are grateful for, try going around the table and sharing about things that are challenging but still have given you something good.

So often we only see easy things as blessings even though it’s often the challenges in life that change us most of all.

5. Take on a blessing challenge

Before almost every meal I say a blessing with my partner. I’ve done this since I was a little kid and even though we often say the same one, it’s very special when we speak from our hearts.

For one week challenge yourself to say an actual blessing over your food. Thank the people that picked and packed your veggies, reflect on how lucky it is to be alive, be grateful for the job you have or the people who love you. By taking time to really reflect rather than having gratitude be a repetitious act can shift everything.

No matter how you practice gratitude this week, remember that gratitude isn’t some habit you should be doing. It’s an inner stance that can change the way you see everything. It may not come easy, but if you take the time to renew it, you might begin to relate to the blessings in your life from an entirely new place.

5 Hustle Questions That Could Save Your Life

To be successful you’ve got to hustle right? I mean that what separates the truly dynamic and successful people in any industry, Musk, Bezos, Zuckerberg, Gary V, Tim Ferris, etc. etc. they ALL HUSTLE.

So if you want to know if you’ve got what it takes to be successful answer the short 5 question quiz below

  1. Are you more committed to working and making it happen than close relationships, rest, etc?
  2. Do you take work to bed? Work on the weekends? Do you find time to hustle on vacation?
  3. Do you prefer to talk about your hustle more than any other topic?
  4. Do you get impatient with people who don’t get why you’re so focused on hustling?
  5. Do you think about hustling while driving, conversing, falling asleep, or sleeping?


If you answered yes to most or all of these questions then you are truly aligned with hustle culture. But you might also be a workaholic.

That’s because these questions are actually adapted from the workaholics anonymous website. They’re 20 questions to help you see how you might be using work as a way to avoid your feelings, fill a vast and empty hole inside of you, and generally give you a sense of self or worth.

But Hustle culture isn’t all bad.

It’s based on a simple idea: Anything is possible with hard work and determination.

And this idea at its core is a good idea. Too many people believe that they can’t create the lives they want because they lack the education, connection, skills, or background to create what they want. This fundamentally isn’t true. In fact, it’s something that I work with clients on regularly.

But hustle culture also ignores the fact that being white, male, having a good education, and access to good credit or sources of funding all have an outsized effect on your ability to make hard work, work for you.

It also ignores the fact that overworking as a way to create identity is dangerous, because if your identity is all about hustling then you can never stop hustling even after you’ve achieved success.

The danger of endless work.

About 3 years ago I identified myself as a workaholic. Of the 20 questions on the WA website I answered yes to 12-15 of them. It was a wake up call; it helped me see that work had not only become problematic for my health and well being, it had become the center of my identity.

I realized that life wasn’t supposed to be just about work for work’s sake. I also realized that my health, especially my mental health, wasn’t worth the rewards of overwork. Yes I liked making good money as a coach, but I didn’t love the hours of stress, the outbursts of emotion, the fights with my cofounder, and the endless sense of anxiety and pressure I felt.

I realized that life isn’t worth overworking through. So I changed my business. I slowed down. I took more time off. I figured out how to be more effective while working fewer hours. And now I work 4 days a week and make the same amount of money.

I sometimes still feel left behind by hustle culture. I feel like I should be working harder, especially when my partner stays up till 7pm finishing her own work, or when a friend of mine completes a big project after working long hours and nights… I wonder if I should go back.

But then I remember that it isn’t worth it.
YES I need to work hard.
YES I need to serve my clients.
YES I need to be on purpose and generous with my time and efforts.

But that doesn’t mean I need to go back to hustling so much that I lose myself.

You can be successful by applying yourself, working hard, and being persistent as all get out. You do need discipline and endurance to be a successful entrepreneur.

What you don’t need is to be shamed for taking care of yourself. It’s why I always have a coach that pushes me to work harder when I slack off or I’m avoiding what needs to be done, but who also advises me to get rest when I push too hard.

So get supported, stay focused, and when the noise that you should be working harder enters your head, check to see where it might be right, and let the rest of it go.

Things I Don’t Understand About My Coaching

There’s something compelling about reflecting on your work and what you’re creating with your life. You probably know the answers you always give at cocktail parties or events by heart, but if you dig deeper into the nature of your work, you may find things about it you don’t understand. In being with those questions, you may discover something totally new about your work and life that creates more wisdom and love. 

Recently I’ve been thinking a lot about my work. 

  • What is it precisely that I offer people? 
  • Why do people pay me for what I do? 
  • What is it they leave with when we’re complete? 

After a couple of months of quiet reflection, I’m finally ready to take on new clients, and as I do, I’ve been given this chance to reconnect with my work from a new place. 

So I wanted to share with you a few things about my work that I still don’t totally understand. I hope you see yourself in some of these, and if not, maybe it will inspire you to see your own work in a new way. 

 

1) I work on people’s closest relationships, and it changes things.

Since my very first days as a coach, I’ve worked on my client’s closest relationships. I remember coaching a very successful marketing CEO in his relationship with his son. We talked about the standard he held for his son, how it affected his time with him, and how much heartbreak there was between them. 

He hadn’t hired me to coach him on this relationship; it just came up. More recently, I worked with a client on her relationship with her ex during a challenging divorce. With another client, her relationship with her son as he was going through some immense challenges in school. 

I’ve never sold myself as a relationship coach, and shifting close relationships is rarely part of the scope of work I plan out with my clients, but it always shows up. 

The pain we feel when there is a rift in a close relationship is intense. It impacts everything. In some ways, I get why it shows up in coaching, and yet I’m blown away by how much it shifts things. 

The marketing CEO signed a multimillion-dollar deal and changed his relationship with his business partner. The divorced woman started filling her group program after several had failed to launch. The mother stood up to a client of hers that wasn’t really showing up in the way she had hoped. 

I’ve never connected the dots. I’ve never tried to explain why this impacts that. And yet when I work with clients on their close relationships, things change for them, in ways that always surprise me and creates something incredible for them. 

 

2) I tend to ignore results

Some coaches hyper-focus on results. They want their clients to be out tracking, getting in the numbers, making to-do lists, organizing their time. And it’s not that this stuff doesn’t matter. I do this stuff all the time, but generally, as a coach, I ignore the results. I ask about results, I support my clients to pay attention to what they are producing, I worry about if they are or aren’t getting results sometimes, but I mostly ignore them. 

I’m not really a results coach, I’m more of a spiritual coach, a coach that looks for wisdom in the moment rather than the trend line. 

And yet, results get created. I work with clients to find the places they feel disempowered or incomplete. With a client recently, it had to do with the way they showed up to meetings with their teams, their willingness to ask for help and see themselves as a leader. For another, it was trying to have a conversation with their husband about moving to a new town. For another, it was the fact that they got so pissed off at our former president. 

You wouldn’t think any of these things would matter to results. There’s no strategy, no tactics, and I LOVE strategy and tactics, but that didn’t matter. 

My clients often see results, results that surprise me, but to be honest, I can’t track the direct cause and effect. I don’t push a lever here, and money comes out there. I am with people in their hearts, I work to be with their greatness, I love them, and help them connect more deeply with what life is all about. This precious life we all have. And more life shows up at their doorsteps. Sometimes this life comes in the form of results, but not always. 

 

3) The worse I become as a coach, the better my coaching is

I used to think I was really hot stuff as a coach. I used to brag about how I built a six-figure coaching business in 18 months (ok maybe I still do sometimes). But more and more, I’ve been humbled as a coach. I’ve had bad sessions, client relationships have gone sideways, I’ve shown up in the world as a bit of a mess, heartbroken, and not totally sure what direction to go.

And yet, my coaching is more vibrant than ever. I experience more intimacy with my clients than I ever have. I’ve even worked with people that, in the past, would have driven me crazy. Over and over, I find I have no idea what I’m doing as a coach. 

I have theories and styles of work and things I like to do with people. My work is full of ontology and zen and family systems theory. And yet it’s also full of nothing. As I’ve become more intimate with my sweet suffering, I find I’m with my client more in theirs. 

We find solutions, we create insight, but I don’t know if I’m any good as a coach. Other people say so, and I’m not going to argue with them. And yet, I feel less confident in one way and more reliable in another. 

Coaching is a mystery to me. You get on a call with people. You listen, you distinguish, you try to see the way they’re bound in knots, but sometimes you can’t really see that much more than them, maybe just a sliver. And somehow it works. The more I become enthralled with the mystery of it, the more it seems to work out. 

I keep working at it, I keep trying to learn more about it, and it keeps escaping me. But I also enjoy it more than I ever have before. 

 

Final Thoughts:

To be honest, I’m not sure what the point of this post is as I finish it. Part of me hopes you’ll read it and be curious. If you are, I’d love to have a conversation with you. Maybe there’s something for us to work on, perhaps not. But I know there’s only one way to find out. 

Right now, I really want to work with 3 coaches. 3 Coaches who want to double their business and deepen their work. I have no idea how I’ll find them. I keep thinking I should probably build a funnel or something. 

But I know they’ll come, I know my work will continue, I know it will surprise me. And more than anything, I hope that as you read this, you begin to wonder about your work. Not in the places you understand, but in the places you don’t. 

When we can be with the mystery of our work, we can be with the mystery of ourselves. And it’s in the mystery that wonder seems to have no end. 

Whatever you do, thanks for doing it. It comes from love, even if there’s a bit of fear, jealousy, and grasping mixed in. On some level, you work because you love and for that, I’m very grateful. 

How To Get Coaching Clients When You’re Just Starting Out

New coaches often ask where to find new clients.

The short answer is you find clients everywhere.

The long answer is a bit more complicated. Most coaches get their first clients from their personal network. The people they have known, connected with, and built trust with throughout their lives. If you’re just starting out as a coach this is probably the easiest place to get your first clients because you don’t need to establish your authority with people.

But it is possible to build a network to find clients quickly and you can do this even if you’re not 100% sure what clients would be the best ones to coach.

My first few clients came from my Buddhist community. The next few came from the Start-Up community I’d been a part of before I became a coach. Then I started getting clients through referrals and connections I made all the time.

At the core all coaches find clients the same way:

  1. They find places where they can show up, be of service, and make an impact.
  2. They start showing up making a difference, connecting with people, and helping out.
  3. They deepen those connections and begin to share their coaching skills with others.
  4. They serve people powerfully, sign clients, and build a reputation for being able to serve others in their community.
  5. They rinse and repeat.

While this may seem like a formula most coaches don’t even know where to start. They tend to stay at home, publish some blog posts, build a website, and hope people will find them, but this almost never works.

You have to get out there and make an impact on the world. Results almost always follow impact and it takes courage to show up this way without any promise of results. There’s no single way to do this, but being willing to do it is what matters.

Inside the Embodied Mastermind I’m AMAZED at how quickly people start signing clients when they simply become willing to show up, connect with people, make an impact, and create commitments with the people they’ve served.

The clients are almost always closer than you think. They are literally everywhere, but you have to start by showing up somewhere and being a leader when you do.

Getting Present to the Cost

Generally, people won’t change until they are present to the cost of changing. We generally avoid being present to the cost, but when we become present and then choose the cost and the intention we are able to be responsible for both what we choose and what we are not choosing by choosing this.

In choosing to have children there is a cost of a non-child life. If you avoid that cost you can’t fully choose kids. But if you get present to the impact and choose anyway you choose more deeply. So with people who want to change, getting present to the cost and deciding what’s next is an incredibly important step in the process of change.

 

Recommended reading:



Capacity vs. Too Much

There are certain amounts of things in us, energy, love, enthusiasm.

The amounts they exist in are simply the amounts they exist in. At some point we get told or we determine that some amount of some things is TOO MUCH or TOO LITTLE and we begin to compensate.

But there is never too much or too little of us, there is just what is in us and what is not.

There is what we have learned to be with and what we haven’t learned to be with. When we’re babies we can’t be in a bath, it’s more water than we can be with, and then we can be with a bath, but not a swimming pool, then maybe yes a pool but not the ocean, then maybe the shore but not the deep.

We can continue to grow what we can be with in the world and in our selves.

There is never too much, only what we have and haven’t developed the capacity to be with.

Dear Coach, Stop Being a Whiny Little B*tch

People come to you because they want their lives to be different. 

They see what’s possible. 
They got a taste of it somewhere. 

At a meditation retreat. 
On a vacation. 
In the pages of a book. 
In the embrace of a magical lover. 
Dancing at a concert. 

They got a taste of the infinite possibility of life. 

And then they woke up the next day feeling trapped. 
Ordering off of a menu. 
That has nothing on it that they want. 

They know that there’s more. 
They know that there’s something deeper. 

That life isn’t meant to be counted off like bottles of beer on a wall. 

And you have agreed to be the person who helps them. 
A dedicated liberator. 
A wise sage. 
A fellow traveler. 

Peering off into the distance 
Read to chase dragons and scale mountains. 

To help them squeeze the juice from life. 
And lick the last bits of pulp from their dying lips. 

But to do that. 
You have to stop being a whiny little b*tch. 

You have to have a stance on life that’s more powerful than the ordinary. 
You have to show up willing to create what you want. 
Instead of getting mad when it’s not brought to you on a platter. 

You have to be willing to believe in your clients even when they try
with all their might
to get you to believe they can’t do it. 

Even if they fail the entire time they’re with you. 
Your job is to believe in them. 
Beyond belief itself.

You have to move beyond quitting. 
Both your quitting and their quitting. 

It’s not that you should never say goodbye. 
But it’s that you have to be able to see when you are quitting. 
And choose back in, get more out, and move beyond your discomfort. 

Most people only try until it gets hard. 
You’ve got to be willing to try harder than that. 

You have to be willing to love. 
In the midst of heartbreak and hopelessness. 
To let your heart be wide and loving. 
Even as they insult you and call you a fool. 

You have to be willing to live in a way
that even if someone lied about you 
and called you names.* 

You’d be fine with who you were. 

You have to be willing to be responsible 
for your inevitable failings and stumbles 
and for things that aren’t your fault
and for which you have no control. 

You have to be willing to be an exceptional human being
who is deeply humbled by your humanity every day. 

Being a coach is such a fucking privilege. 
People come to you with their dreams
Swaddled and fragile. 

And you help them grow and become reality. 

What more sacred calling could there be on earth?

It’s a calling of the divine, of life itself. 
Despite what you might think of the industry, 
or the marketing, 
or the word life coach. 

So please for the love of all that is good, and worthy, and holy in the world. 

STOP BEING A WHINY LITTLE B*TCH!!

Get a coach. 
Do the work. 
Show up. 

You are more than capable. 
And if you’re going to help other people achieve greatness. 

Learn to discover daily the greatness in yourself. 
Find it and be it. 
Find it and practice it. 
Find it and generate it. 

That’s how you’ll make the difference you truly long to make. 

Love, 
Toku

 

*shout out to my friend Adam Quiney whose interpretation of this Zig Ziglar quote has become one of my favorites to repeat. 

People come to you because they want their lives to be different. 

They see what’s possible. 
They got a taste of it somewhere. 

At a meditation retreat. 
On a vacation. 
In the pages of a book. 
In the embrace of a magical lover. 
Dancing at a concert. 

They got a taste of the infinite possibility of life. 

And then they woke up the next day feeling trapped. 
Ordering off of a menu. 
That has nothing on it that they want. 

They know that there’s more. 
They know that there’s something deeper. 

That life isn’t meant to be counted off like bottles of beer on a wall. 

And you have agreed to be the person who helps them. 
A dedicated liberator. 
A wise sage. 
A fellow traveler. 

Peering off into the distance 
Read to chase dragons and scale mountains. 

To help them squeeze the juice from life. 
And lick the last bits of pulp from their dying lips. 

But to do that. 
You have to stop being a whiny little b*tch. 

You have to have a stance on life that’s more powerful than the ordinary. 
You have to show up willing to create what you want. 
Instead of getting mad when it’s not brought to you on a platter. 

You have to be willing to believe in your clients even when they try
with all their might
to get you to believe they can’t do it. 

Even if they fail the entire time they’re with you. 
Your job is to believe in them. 
Beyond belief itself.

You have to move beyond quitting. 
Both your quitting and their quitting. 

It’s not that you should never say goodbye. 
But it’s that you have to be able to see when you are quitting. 
And choose back in, get more out, and move beyond your discomfort. 

Most people only try until it gets hard. 
You’ve got to be willing to try harder than that. 

You have to be willing to love. 
In the midst of heartbreak and hopelessness. 
To let your heart be wide and loving. 
Even as they insult you and call you a fool. 

You have to be willing to live in a way
that even if someone lied about you 
and called you names.* 

You’d be fine with who you were. 

You have to be willing to be responsible 
for your inevitable failings and stumbles 
and for things that aren’t your fault
and for which you have no control. 

You have to be willing to be an exceptional human being
who is deeply humbled by your humanity every day. 

Being a coach is such a fucking privilege. 
People come to you with their dreams
Swaddled and fragile. 

And you help them grow and become reality. 

What more sacred calling could there be on earth?

It’s a calling of the divine, of life itself. 
Despite what you might think of the industry, 
or the marketing, 
or the word life coach. 

So please for the love of all that is good, and worthy, and holy in the world. 

STOP BEING A WHINY LITTLE B*TCH!!

Get a coach. 
Do the work. 
Show up. 

You are more than capable. 
And if you’re going to help other people achieve greatness. 

Learn to discover daily the greatness in yourself. 
Find it and be it. 
Find it and practice it. 
Find it and generate it. 

That’s how you’ll make the difference you truly long to make. 

Love, 
Toku

 

*shout out to my friend Adam Quiney whose interpretation of this Zig Ziglar quote has become one of my favorites to repeat. 

Control vs. Trust

Often we’d prefer to have control over hell than to trust in heaven.

If things don’t turn out the way we had so meticulously planned them to go, we resort to blaming ourselves for not having done enough, or not having done things differently. We’d rather spend hours suffering and grieving over an outcome than muster up the courage it takes to allow ourselves to move forward. As if fantasizing about having a time machine to go back and change things makes our grief any less painful to bear.

The simple notion that we could accept things as they are and keep our focus on the horizon can feel almost as difficult as building a time machine itself.

But trusting that the universe has your back takes even more than courage: it takes patience.

Eckhart Tolle explores this idea of trusting in the divine unfolding of events through the story of a wise man who won an expensive car in a lottery.

Upon hearing the news, his family and friends were very happy for him and went over to celebrate. ‘Isn’t it great!’ they said. ‘You are so lucky!’

The man just smiled and said, ‘Maybe.’

For a few weeks he enjoyed driving the car. Then one day a drunk driver smashed right into his new car at an intersection. The man ended up in the hospital with multiple injuries. His family and friends came to see him and said, ‘That was really unfortunate.’

Again, the man just smiled and responded with, ‘Maybe.’

While he was still in the hospital recovering from his injuries, there was a landslide one night and his beloved house suddenly fell into the sea. His friends came running in the next day to inform him of the news, ‘Weren’t you lucky to have been here in the hospital!’

Again, the wise man said only, ‘Maybe.’

Grappling with the reality of events that did not go the way you had planned can be extremely difficult. Many times it causes us to tighten our metaphorical grip as we search for more and more ways to regain a sense of control. We’ll opt for blaming ourselves (or those around us) for situations gone awry just to feel like we have any say in the outcome.

But as Tolle’s anecdote demonstrates, it’s not really about who’s responsible for the way things turn out. Nor is it about trying to label the outcome of events as “good” and “bad” or “fortunate” and “unfortunate”. To do so would be futile, seeing as shit is going to happen whether we expect it or not.

20th-century American writer Max Ehrmann takes the stance that, whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

So, rather than preoccupying yourself with ‘who’s responsible’, I invite you to shift your focus over to how you are responding to the predictably unpredictable things life throws at you. Focusing on your response allows you to pause and decide how exactly you want to react to a situation.

Do I react with anger? Relief? Fear? Do I let my ego throw me through the wringer of ‘What ifs?’ and ‘If onlys?’

Or, do I instead focus on finding peace in the reality of my current situation? And keep my head held high for whatever comes next?

The truth of the matter is, shifting your energy from who’s responsible to how you respond, is going to be the key determinant in your overall well being. A catalyst for your overall peace of mind.

Doing so is much easier said than done. I know all too well how that burning hot iron of control can feel so good that it’s hard to let go…

Even when letting go is exactly what we’re being asked to do.

But you’ll have to just trust me on this one–

It’ll be worth it when you do.

Holding Back

Right now you may be holding back
how you feel
how you want to live life
deciding what to do next

You may be holding back
your dreams
your hopes
your desires

You may be holding back
your fears
your annoyances
your paranoia

You may be holding back
your love
your expression
your boundaries

You may be holding back
and back
and back

Like a little tempest in a teapot

And it makes sense
The world has asked you to hold back
To stay inside
to make being around the same people a lot more than normal work
to make working from home work
to make a pandemic work
to make your life work in a way it may never have worked before

You may be holding back
how well this is working for you
the relief you feel that you don’t have to drive your kids to school
or go into the office
how right you feel about how bad this has all gotten
because you saw first how bad it might be

You may be holding back
what you want to say
what you really need
what is missing

in an effort to keep the peace
inside your household
inside your company
inside your mind

And it’s okay
it’s ok to hold back right now

But it’s so important for you to understand
that holding back
is
not
the end all be all fix for everything

It can work
in the same way a pressure cooker works
it can steam and stew
it can process

but if you don’t let it out
a little
slowly
with a safety release valve
you may just explode

split pea soup on every wall
chili con carne on the ceiling
shrapnel in the kitchen sink

don’t hold it all in
let it out
even a little bit
hit a pillow
scream at the moon
curse the gods

share what isn’t working
gently
with compassion
with love
own up to where you’re feeling weak
ask for help
pick up the phone
reveal what is hidden

in this time where so many of us feel hidden in our homes
there is a great revealing
of what was workable about our lives before and what was unworkable
of what we loved about our lives before and what was missing

you can allow these revelations to allow your heart and life to blossom
or you can add them to the backlog of things unsaid
life unlived
love unexpressed
desire unspoken
dreams tucked away in sleep

days and days of surviving
the one thing that you can’t survive
being alive

it’s time to stop holding back
take a long hard look
take a big gulp
take a slow deep breath

and let it out
if even
just a little

So I ask you
what is it that you are holding back?