The following is a powerful interview with Master Certified Coach, Cynthia Loy Darst. She was one of my trainers back in 1995 at the Coaches Training Institute. We were also on the board of the International Coach Federation and the Personal & Professional Coach Association together (which no longer exists). Leader, brilliant, and masterful are understatements when referring to Cynthia.

Cynthia: As human beings, we do not even know where or how to be curious about ourselves.

Jeanna: Where does someone start?

Cynthia: I think working with a coach is crucial. You’ve been noticing that your clients have the feeling that the other shoe is going to drop.

Jeanna: Yes. There is also a theme of people always feeling a low-level buzz of anxiety every day. They worry about all kinds of things, all the time.

Cynthia: We tend to futurize about events and worry about things that haven’t even happened. If I’m in the future, I’m not present to what is going on. Our job as a coach is to keep bringing the client present. We can only be curious about the present moment.

When you take the time to slow yourself down and be curious, it can be very weird.

You may feel lost or sad, and all of a sudden it doesn’t feel so bad. You may feel some sense of power or control. Life becomes manageable. You say to yourself, “Okay, I can be sad and not fall off the edge of the planet.”

Jeanna: What if someone doesn’t have a coach?

Cynthia: It will be a lot harder. But you can take the time to journal. It’s very hard to focus on yourself long enough to stay in a place of being curious. You have to be willing to hear every voice in your head. It doesn’t mean that you obey all the voices or that they all get to vote. It is safe to hear every internal voice. You don’t have to tell someone what the voices are saying. Just listen.

The voices may say, “Get moving” or “I’m scared” or “I don’t know what to do next.” The next place to go to is deciding which voice you want to be in charge of. Often people let the eight-year-old be in charge. Who do you want to run your business? Not the eight-year-old. Maybe you take that voice out to play basketball but not to work.

Jeanna: So, people need to become more conscious.

Cynthia: Yes, you need to slow yourself down in order to hear what is going on. You will think you don’t have time to do this. But really you need to go deeper and deeper, and a coach can help you slow down.

Jeanna: I’ve noticed a feeling of judgment of my partner, whom I adore when he does a certain thing. I catch myself being irritated but can’t shake it.

Cynthia: There is a dream behind your complaint. You need to ask yourself what the dream is or what it is you’re longing for. What is it you’re wanting?

Jeanna: Ah! So it’s not the issue at hand that is the problem. It is the fear that I won’t get my needs met, which is a connection.

Cynthia: Yes, you are acknowledging that you have a concern that there will be disconnection. Acknowledging the voice takes the blame out of it. You can have a conversation about it. You need to hear all of your voices.

Jeanna: Yes. I have the voice of, “Leave him alone” and “Jeanna, chill out.”

Cynthia: You have to hear all the voices, and don’t let them belittle each other. Powerful people tend to not let themselves be with what initially sounds like the whiny, complaining child voice. Sometimes that voice is a voice of deep longing or sadness. We can get overly motivated. I want people to hear the voices of deep longing and to honor them. That way, when people connect with their passion, it takes it off the charts.

There is a lot of pressure to be positive all the time. We create a story that we have to have a perfect life. We tend to think that if we have a plan to do something, we should be able to just do it. Set a goal, get into action. It doesn’t always work that way! Sometimes, you will think it’s normal to be off course and that you need to course correct. That it is human to constantly course-correct. It doesn’t work that way either.

Life is happening in the third dimension. It moves in all ways. You will be moved in all directions, and you can land in a very wonderful place.

Jeanna: So, basically, don’t be rigid; ride the wave.

Cynthia: Don’t try to make it make sense, because it won’t!

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delaphine holloway
“Riding the Wave”
Karen Kitt
Wow, Jeanna! Thank you for sharing this powerful interview. The invitation to be curious about ourselves within a framework of safety and support for vulnerability is empowering and provides us access to insightful wisdom. This conversation raises 'go with the flow' from a common expression to an invitation to experience the tangible manifestation of lives well-lived and the attainment of our most heartfelt desires. More, please!