Mid-Week Live Coaching: Jessica Blue
Do you feel resistance to showing your creativity and at the same time establishing intimacy with clients? You’re not alone because today’s live coaching guest, Jessica Blue, feels exactly the same way. In this episode, Adam Quiney coaches Jessica on integrating intimacy and creativity with financial abundance/leadership. The first step is to get clear on what you want and to say it out loud and ask for it. Then identify what type of clients you’re looking for and what value you want to bring to them. Eager to learn more on genuinely connecting with your clients? Tune in!
Listen to the Episode Here:
Mid-Week Live Coaching: Jessica Blue
I will be coaching Jess Blue. This is a woman who graduated from the coach training program that I used to lead. She spent a year leading herself. This was a cool conversation for a bunch of reasons and I will point out some of the stuff you might take note of. We began with Jess not being clear on what she wanted. She shared, coming into the conversation with me, “I don’t know what I want to leave with.” A lot of coaches will take that either as there’s something wrong with the client or, “No worries. We will talk and see where we go.” We want to be doing, as coaches supporting the client to get clear about where they want to go.
The adage that is important for all of us, as coaches and leaders, is that we can have anything we want but first, we have to ask for it. Many of us have made a life out of not asking for what we want because it’s selfish or we have to get what needs to be done before we can have what we want. It makes people, not like us, makes us greedy or whatever story we were taught, this is often the first hurdle.
We need support to get clear on what we want and to say it out loud and ask for it. That’s the first thing that we worked with. There are a few times you will notice in this conversation where I check in with Jess to see, “What showed up for you? What’s going on at that moment?” What I’m doing is noticing the shift in her energy. This conversation is purely in words but you should be able to feel it. It’s quite subtle. In this work, we will notice when someone’s energy changes and we want to follow that. We want to go with the energy and follow the person down that path.
The last thing I will say and what I love about this conversation is, it’s ostensibly about her creating clients in these two worlds and how she set them apart but the much broader conversation that’s at play here is how do we create a relationship with people? How do we deepen relationships? I would assert all that abundant and effective sales of any kind with people are deepening our ability to create relationships naturally with other people.
As we do that, we start to discover opportunities to offer the service that we can provide and do so without any attachment to how they receive it or what they do with it. From there, we can be in conversation with an abundance of people, grow and be with humanity. There are so many shifts from that starting kernel. That’s what this conversation is about. If you have feedback or would like to be a guest for any of these conversations. You can send us an email at GetLit@AdamQuiney.com. I hope you enjoy it. Thanks for reading.
Let’s get you up in this space. What is up? You’ve got that cool piece of art we were admiring. If only all Zippos work this way.
The hot lady came on.
The feminine in general. This one is not quite as cool. This is a nice lighter. I like this a lot but it doesn’t do what that does. It’s much cooler.
I forgot to mention when I do coaching, I like having something to do with my hands. If I’m looking down, it’s because I’m knitting. If at any point, it’s distracting, let me know and I can switch. I’m knitting a scarf. My grandmother gave me a bunch of wool for Christmas. Normally you buy wool specific to a project so I had to make up a project to go with it.
It seems I have sat in lots of events where people are in circles talking about recovery work and all sorts of events. There are lots of times where I have seen people knitting away as we do it and it seems relaxing.
I do find that relaxing. It’s having something that my logical brain can focus on while I’m trying to think and talk. When I did AC, I doodled a lot. I had a couple of friends comment that they had a lot of judgment around it because I was drawing these intricate things. They were like, “It seemed like you weren’t paying attention and all of a sudden, you would ask some pertinent question from three minutes before and take notes.” I’m like, “I need something to calm this.”
I find when I’m working with clients, we create an agreement around this first but usually, my best work often is done walking around the neighborhood out in nature, in a park somewhere but if I’m physically walking, that seems to gets some part of my brain like, “We are doing a thing.” I can be a lot more present whereas sitting in front of a computer taking notes because this is the worst. You are getting me so distracted. Megan, in the comments, said that you had your birthday. I didn’t know that. Congratulations. Happy birthday. Thank you. What did you do to celebrate?
Nothing super huge as far as a celebration but I showed up at work and my coworkers had decoration-bombed my desk. I had a few nice gifts and cards. They bought me a couple of cakes and I had posted them on Facebook but I tailored this teal corduroy jumpsuit that my friend found me at a thrift store. I was honestly more excited to wear the outfit for Mother’s Day than my birthday.
That’s part of the present for yourself.
I hung out. My roommate bought me snowshoes so that was exciting.
Are you a bit of a seamstress? Do you have the ability to tailor and remake clothing? I’m jealous.
I’m definitely learning my grandma helped me with the jumpsuit. Since March of 2020 with COVID and such, I’ve got more into sewing. It has been great.
Probably my best friend, the best man at my wedding, his wife is crafty and got into making clothes and now she’s into making shoes. He’s always got these amazing custom things. She makes him a jacket, a cool shirt or something for his birthday. I’m like, “That’s so cool.” He could ask for whatever buttons he wants. That seems that’s the height of style. To be able to not only find the thing you want to wear and put it together but to make it too, is awesome.
I have a few friends that have that ability as well. I so far can tailor some things and I have dabbled in patterns and such. It’s fun.
Are you still trying to do drumming too?
How’s that going?
It’s going well. I have a declaration to play with other people by May 2021.
You are in the studio by yourself now. I have seen you put out some videos and stuff so you are putting your art into the world.
When I started, the goal was to play in a band or start a band. COVID happened but I have been getting a lot. I have a drum teacher and he had been my mentor.
Is it virtual or do you go see them?
A bit of both. He does online as well as in-person. I get that big kit that I play on when I’m posting videos. It’s his $30,000 endorsed kit. It’s nice to go in person. It’s safe and I’m the only person he sees in person and it’s worth it to go play on this kit.
I took jazz piano lessons years ago and I have a keyboard with responsive keys. They are not like they have some weight to them. I would go to the studio and play on a grand piano. It’s incomparable. You could feel the difference and the richness of the sound. It doesn’t matter how well the synthesizer I had set up was. It was never the same as playing on an organic instrument.
I have a little electric kit at home, which is great. I live in a two-bedroom apartment so full drum kits are not accessible. It’s not the same at all. It’s so awesome getting to learn because eventually if I do want to play in a band, I will be playing on an acoustic kit. It’s different so it took a bit. The best compliment I’ve got on the last lesson was I’m now playing loud enough to make his kit sound good because I was playing very softly. I’m used to not hitting hard in my apartment because I don’t want to be annoying. That was the height of compliments. I was excited.
I loved that. What Megan is getting from this conversation is that you are amazing.
Thank you, Megan. I love you.
Good work, Megan, for getting that. Good work, Jess on conveying that. I love that status and we are going to dive in together. This idea that you learn to play quietly for a valid reason and the impact of that on a particular drum set was that it was too quiet to sound good. You did it for a good reason, but then once you get on this drum set, you have to play with a certain volume to make this thing work. That was having me think about the nature of people’s presence, radiance and how we dim ourselves down because we don’t want to shine too bright. You are not shining bright enough to who you would be. It doesn’t work. It’s out of whack. There’s a cool ontological piece to that with that drum set.
I’ve gotten so much metaphorical life lessons out of drumming. I still have a hard time with improv, drum fills and coming up with things on the spot because I’m so concerned about getting it right or sounding stupid. It has been such an amazing easy access place to practice and play drums. It’s cool. playing loud, being loud, taking up space. Drums are literally the instrument that is dominating and loud.
It’s an art to play loud. It’s not quiet. It’s all the art and being able to do what is called for. At this moment, let’s dive in. Let’s do some coaching. It’s cool. I’m excited to do this. The question to ask you about where we should start is, where do you want to end? What do you want to leave here with? What would you like us to coach around?
The piece that acknowledged that funnily enough is a breakthrough I’m working on is around intimacy and doing the client’s course intimacy and connection. The area where I’m noticing a clunkiness is around coaching in business, financial abundance, and bringing in all of the things that make me amazing, like creativity, drumming and the fun joy part of my life into those things.
I’m noticing there’s almost a resistance to doing those things or creating them because I have a somehow boring story. I can’t effortlessly merge those things. The piece that would be valuable in this is access to a more effortless way forward in those areas and access to doing the thing. I have a coach. I tend to be an insight junkie. I’m like, “Give me the nugget.” I would go off and get confronted and don’t do the thing. One more nugget or I will get some mind-blowing insight and go, “That will solve all my problems.” Looking from a lens of more action and something to enable me to do the thing.
I heard a fair bit and that, which is great. You mentioned intimacy connection. One of the themes I heard was, there’s this part of you that’s fun, maybe ruckus plays drums, knits or does all this cool stuff as an artist, etc. There are also business-creating clients, financial abundance and all of that. It sounds like you struggle a bit to integrate those two. From there, I heard that you desire to be able to integrate those two. I might have gotten a little lost in this part because then you said, “Access to an effortless way and forward in those areas.” The other thing you said was, “More action and enabling to do the thing.” Can you elaborate or help me understand what that means?
Having you break it down that way, it’s merging and integrating. I see it as the side of me that is joyful and creative. It has an easy time doing things until it’s around more business, logical and things that I typically have more resistance around, then it’s an easy way to say, “I can’t bring that here, so I will focus over here, the creative fun stuff.” I see a possibility of bringing that to these areas where it’s less accessible but don’t know how because there’s still that quite large gap.
Where would you want to end up at the end of our conversation? What would you want to get out of it? I get the broad brushstrokes of where you are and where you would like to be. Where would you want to be, though, inside the container of this conversation?
I’m wrapping up a film job in April 2021. My goal is to have enough clients by then that I can take three months off the film. That is not going to happen with the way things are going.
May I ask how many clients that would be?
Five minimum it’s at zero now.
February, March and sometime in April.
End of April. We don’t have a definite date. What I see is the undercurrent of the request is creating it so I can create that and have it set up so I win at that because I have been working on this show for months, which is a long run for a show. I’m feeling fatigued to use your word from earlier. My life goal eventually is to do both. It’s a perfect time to start doing that by the end of the conversation, having practices and access to turn that around.
Practices to turn that around to make good on your goal?
I hear that desire is to end with some practices, things and actions to take on or something along those lines and it serves you in creating that integration that you want. Before we go to designing practices and stuff, are you clear on what’s in the way and blocking that?
There has been a lot of things that come up. Backtracking a little bit, I spent a lot of AC convinced I didn’t want to be a coach. I was there to get leadership skills, which careers go work in films. Use those tools to work in film. I did it. Towards the end, it went, “This is great. I like this.” There are a lot of still residual good enough stories in that. I’m playing to not lose and proving to myself and others that maybe I don’t want to do it. That’s why I’m not getting clients versus saying I want clients and creating that. There has been a lot of work. Partly why I’m doing the course is there are a lot of stories around sales, not wanting to create something authentic and play to win.
Let’s look here. It’s a little directive of me but where do you find yourself stymied? Where do you notice that you are not in action? I heard you bring action into space. I would like to take action beyond having insight. Where do you find yourself stymied?
At creating connections, in our conversation, working in film, it’s easy to use the, “I don’t have time,” excuse. Creating time and space in my day to reach out or connect with people, specifically, around coaching or business. I’m good at connecting with people in my life. I have a wide range of humans that I connect with. I put up a wall in between.
It’s interesting because you mentioned how you have a fun, creative, expressed over here and there’s business professional, whatever we label that over here. Those are siloed and separated. I heard you do it again, which you were saying. There’s this way you are meant to connect with people that are businessy, coachy or whatever that is somehow different or separate than the rest of the world you connect with. What’s the distinction between those two types of ways of connecting with people?
My heart says nothing. My head says that I have to provide value or somehow there’s proving to fit a story around it. I need to provide more than myself, we are in a fun and creative world, I can show up and be joyful, fun and light. My life purpose is light.
She says in a darkened room.
I have my purpose paintings. That’s where the line gets crossed or put up.
There’s this set of people that look, appear or show up a certain way for, which you are free to show up and be you. There’s this other class of people that require something different from you. I’m not saying this is true objectively but it sounds that’s the way it’s set up inside your world a little bit. Was there more?
There’s a bit about reaching out to people I don’t know or creating time for that. I seemingly effortlessly talk to people in my life that I know, love and feel me up. It’s the expansion piece of it reaching out to people I don’t know or need outside my bubble.
I’m going to speak to everyone else first because part of what we want to do here is pulling open the curtain and letting people in. The first thing we have done for everyone that’s reading is to get clear on what we are trying to achieve in this conversation. There’s a whole bunch of reasons why we do that. The first is that there’s a fundamental principle about the way the world works, which is you can have anything you want but you have to be able to ask for it. If I don’t know what one, the next thing that most people step into is having a client who’s complaining about what’s not working and the coach tries to fix it for them. It’s not the same as getting clear on what someone wants and supporting them to create it. When I do that, fixing that problem becomes my agenda.
The client hasn’t told me I want to fix that problem to get here. They are like, “This is not working.” I’m like, “Great. Let’s fix it.” That’s me getting into the space. That’s the second reason. By getting clear on what she wants to leave here with, we’ve got Jess’s agenda in the space, which I can stand for and I can support her without it becoming mine. The thing that’s showing up for me is I’m curious about what Jess wants to create as opposed to what she feels she should create.
It sounds like there’s a, “I should reach out to people on LinkedIn or hire a robot to hit them. I talked to them. It’s all fine and good,” which is cool if that’s what she wants. The flag is going up a little bit for me. I’m curious, are we in a conversation about what Jess wants or what she should want to or should create to achieve some result. My belief is, what we want can get us a lot of what we need and what we are called to create in the world. We’ve got it set up like, “I’ve got to do all this other horrible stuff first before I can have what I want.” That causes all kinds of problems. No wonder we would avoid stuff that feels horrible. Having shared all of that, Jess, how do you want this to look if you could design it however you wanted it to look?
I do fit a lot. The piece that I’m excited about and I love creating is this balance of film and coaching. I love films. It’s creative and calms the part of me that needs to knit. If you have been through AC it’s honestly like working an AC weekend all the time. It’s managing your being and having a lot of action thrown at you from all sides, which is great but short amounts of time. Coaching, connecting and this work are fulfilling. It allows me to travel and do art and have more spaciousness. I see a future where I get to do both. I get to have a balance of the two. Some of that revolves around financial considerations like making sure that I’m taking time off when I can and not creating. We have talked about creating clients from not needing to feed yourself next week and creating that from a space of abundance, empowerment and where the five clients get me consistent income across the two.
I get the idea of what you want in a broad picture. The conversation we have been having looking at what’s getting in the way in terms of you connecting with people and stuff like that. What I’m wondering is what you want in a little more detail. You are like, “I want to reach out to people out of the blue and create relationships that way.” Is that something you feel you should do? In which case, what do you want as far as that particular piece is concerned? Should we be going back up into that high level to figure out where we should get specific? Maybe we are on the wrong track?
What I’m struggling with a bit is I tend to love meeting people through activities. I love drumming, art and skiing. I’m an activity-driven human. I’m coming up against that thing where I do feel I should be connecting with people more. In my head, it comes up as sterile capacity around, whether LinkedIn, Fiverr, Facebook or whatever. It does feel a little bit work or not quite where I thrive.
This is not fun. You described it as sterile.
That’s why I laughed.
It occurs to me that there’s a divide. The clients are over there, Sterile Land and over here in Fun Land, there are no clients. I’m great at connecting in Fun Land but I hate going to Sterile Land but that’s where I have to go to get these fuckers that I will then work with, etc. I can imagine that I would probably avoid that too. I’m curious if you could create clients or even connections or the possibility of that in Fun Land, would you choose to be going to this world that you are creating is sterile? Is that something you want to be doing all the same?
What showed up for you there?
It’s realizing how much separation that I have put in. I’ve got clear on how big this gap I keep talking about is.
Is there emotion with it?
It’s a bit of astonishment. I have this notion that somehow people to coach are separate from the people I connect with.
There would never be someone like you in Fun Land. You are an aberration. You are an abnormality. You are hanging in Fun Land but the rest of the people that you want to coach are over in this other location.
It’s quite comical, considering the people I’m drawn to are people who are like me who are doing lots of things and are creative in some capacity, whether that’s their main driver or not. That’s typically more the people that, in my head, would like to work within those realms of Fun Land.
Let me talk to everyone else. One of the things we are doing a lot of us coaches is setting down our knowledge of where the conversation should go. I might have a question in mind but my work is to be over here with Jess. This is her journey and exploration. I’m here to support her in that and going where the energy goes.
I noticed as we talked about Sterile World and Fun Land something showed up for Jess. I didn’t know what so I have dropped whatever question I had and got curious about that. It felt like there was some energy. I wasn’t sure if it was an emotion or astonishment. We want to go wherever the client is leading because that’s their journey. That’s where we are getting presents too. That’s where the gold is. Over here, there are all of these ways that I could see we could go, Jess. You could say, “I want to go towards those people in the Sterile World of LinkedIn. I want to recreate the way I experienced that world. I want that world to be every bit as fun as over here.” The conversation could be like, “I want to create clients in this space that I naturally am drawn to be in called Fun Land. How do I do that?” We could look at that or there might be an entirely different place. I’m curious where you feel called to take us at this point?
It’s a bit of both. The place I’m drawn to is creating Fun Land. It’s creating time. It’s funny going into this conversation. “I want to take colorful and magical Jess, plunk her in the middle of Sterile World and make that explode and it will be great.” Now I’m like, “It’s the other way.” I want to move more to Fun Land and merge the pieces that I want out of Sterile Land and bring them in, which seems nuanced when I say it out loud. It’s a drastically different experience.
Where should we begin looking at this? I’m getting a couple of things. Let me take a step back and start over. One is when you go to a sterile world, you show up sterile. When you go to Fun Land, there is an element of Coach Jess, Professional Jess or Jess with this particular value she can offer that gets sterilized differently. It gets fanned out of her or something like that. We could look on either side of the tracks. It sounds like these are connected so wherever we look is going to be fine and probably lead us down the same path. Where would you like to look?
The piece that’s coming up, as you say that is looking at the piece of Professional Coach Jess gets fanned out. I do connect with people regularly. That is a natural part of my being. It’s bringing that coaching piece in like we were talking about in our course video. It’s like, “How do you bring up a possibility with someone?” Turn that into an invitation or creating that conversation. Bringing more of Sterile Jess into Fun Land feels good.
To be clear, sterility is optional. I’m getting that there’s this facet of being a coach and being professional you, at least professional in this regard, that you are holding like it’s sterilized. There’s some part of you that’s not fully expressed when you come from that place.
My fundamental tension is always leader, power and creativity. It’s the constant warring parts of me, that lens.
There are two places I can see. I’m going to offer them to you and let you choose either of those two or different paths altogether. For everyone reading, what I’m doing is giving Jess what I’m present to so that she can continue to choose our path. I’m empowering Jess to lead this path even if I see some choices that are in front of us rather than me just saying, “Here’s the path we are going to go down.” The first one is to look at how you are relating to people in this world that you find yourself. What’s the story about Fun Land? What’s the shape of it? What’s acceptable? What’s not acceptable? How much you show up?
The second path might be taking a look at what you don’t bring? Both of these, to be clear, point in the same direction but a different inquiry would be like, “What aren’t you bringing? How are you showing up in this world that has it going the way it does?” We put our attention a little bit more on you and the way you do or don’t show up. Perhaps there’s a third direction that you see would serve us.
The latter, the more I show up what’s in that space for me, the other one feels a little bit like, “I’m drawn to you,” but I can tell my insight junkie being like, “Let’s go down that path. That sounds nice. I did specifically say I wanted more action-based so let’s do that one.”
You are already connecting. What happens that has this be different from how it should go or how you would like it to go? Let’s get clear on how it tends to go for you.
It depends. Looking in general, I have lots of people in my life that I communicate with regularly, typically around things we have in common or whatever. At work, there’s one solid thing in common and that is projects, which is in an easy container. I bring a lot of light to work. My job isn’t particularly strenuous or stressful compared to some of the other roles. I get to be the smiling face of the art department, be helpful and show up that way. In a lot of ways, I’m able to bring that to random interactions. I sit with people on a ski lift and I will chat or talk about art with people if I’m somewhere out and about. I don’t have trouble initiating conversation.
A lot of times, we talked about this in the course, external things like, “I love your hair or tell me about this thing that we are doing.” They are usually short if it’s people I don’t know or for instance, the ski chairlift where I have five minutes to go off and ski down. There’s impermanence about it where I struggle or where it’s bringing that longer intimacy in or creating time and space where it can be something you think into a little bit more. It isn’t just a work surface because you are only working with people for a few months or weeks. The part of me that is good at that surface-level connection thrives there. It’s taking that a bit deeper with not just the 4 or 5 people I’m close with is more of the struggle.
It sounds like there are a lot of initial connections. You are reliable that like early. Some people would refer to this as small talk but that denigrates it. It’s this ability to connect with people at the surface level initially. It sounds like you are comfortable there. Even at the start of this conversation, you mentioned intimacy, connection and feeling clunky there. It sounds like there’s a point where you get stuck going to the next level. Is it a present for you at the moment? Are you like, “I want to ask them something more. I want to go further but I am scared or I can’t,” or is it completely you are left like, “That was great.” Only two weeks later you do realize, “Damn it. There’s more I wanted.”
It’s a mix of both. Sometimes, it’s in the moment and I go, “It’s fine.” Not necessarily two weeks but even five minutes later, I’m like, “Ah.”
What’s happening in those moments when you are like, “It’s okay.”
Typically, I have a fairly strong inner voice. Her name’s Anj. She’s great. We have lots of conversations. I will get a fairly clear directive.
Give me an example.
The one that always comes up is I do morning pages and write in my journal. If I have been writing about something, I wanted to start getting up at 5:15 in the morning and have a morning routine. I wasn’t doing it, and then finally got to like, “Put your goddamn phone on the other side of your desk. You have to get up to go.”
Does she provide anything specific to the domain we are talking about?
It will be like, “Ask them about this.” It’s typically somewhere that the conversation could go. I don’t know if I have a specific instance.
Maybe you can make one up so I have a sense of what that’s like.
Mostly like, “I wonder what they do or ask them about their life.”
Is that coming from a place of genuine curiosity?
It’s a genuine question. It’s not strategic like, “Now you have to do this, say that thing and then they will date you,” or whatever. It’s more like, “What is the deal with this?” That genuinely comes forward.
Typically, the other side of this is either like, “We don’t have time or that’s personal or you just met this person. Don’t be weird.”
What I’m getting is there’s a genuine curiosity that grows into the conversation for you. It’s internal. It doesn’t get spoken but it naturally comes from the initial seed of that conversation. You start chatting. They are sharing whatever about hair. You are like, “I’m curious about this.” There’s another part that’s like, “We don’t have time for that. That’s personal. You just met this person. You are being weird.” What’s the purpose of that dialogue?
I have been working a lot with my coach about this. My underlying driver is being loved. Need to not have shit go sideways, have a bad experience or think I’m weird and that job goes away.
What is showing up for you?
It’s funny because shame is the right word. I feel like I shouldn’t need that. A lot of what I have been working on and trying to do is shove that out or like, “I know you need love but you need to connect with people.” It’s a huge driver of how I do life. Through that warring, it feels like something in the way and who doesn’t want love?
What I’m getting is that this is less about getting love and more about protecting you from losing love.
That happens. I’m curious how that leaves you. That strategy shows up, that tamping down voice comes from the space and you honor it.
It’s going full circle. Similar to what you were saying about the drumming thing around feeling disappointed or dimmed. “That’s too bad. That was nice.”
Is it disappointed in general and disappointed in them and you at the moment?
Predominantly in me in the moments or disappointed that there wasn’t more time left.
Before I say anything, what are you getting from this conversation?
You have acknowledged me for this before. I do have a lot of genuine empathy and curiosity for other people. A lot of how I play this game or where a lot of this separation is avoiding the heartbreak in that. It shows that’s a common thing in all of my interactions and relationships. There are a lot of playing to not be heartbroken at any point. That’s the piece I’m noticing.
Noticing that playing to not be heartbroken.
Playing to get love but playing to not lose love.
“I don’t want them to not like me.” My intuition is inviting me to share it so I will. I don’t know what you will get from it. I will stop qualifying it now. “One of my fucking model something, Adam.” For me, one of the things I grew up as a man who wanted to be anything but yet another man who was stomping and trumping on femininity. I was committed to being a modern good man. A lot of men have this. One of the things that I was afraid of was being either overtly or covertly sexualizing female coworkers. I didn’t want to allow that to happen.
I had a lot of women who were mentors for me that I appreciated. I thought they were fantastic. I had these moments where we would be working on something. There would be this feeling, which only in hindsight and only after doing a bunch of work to have my heart back up can I distinguish was the feeling of loving someone. I felt this feeling at this moment. I don’t know if you have ever had this. Now I would look back and be like, “There’s some intimacy at this moment. We are creating something. I’m loving the experience of working with this woman. She’s amazing. This is so cool.”
I was so terrified of that feeling. I killed it. I shut it down immediately. At that moment, that feeling, on some level energetically, would feel me withdraw and be left wondering. None of this was conscious. They would have this experience of energy they’ve got created in a dance, and then suddenly, one partner pulls it away. Before I say anything more, what do you imagine might have been the experience on those women when they felt that from me?
It’s probably the exact thing that you were trying to avoid.
Can you say more?
As a woman, energetically, you can feel that if someone is trying to shut that part of them down. Maybe not consciously but it probably felt a little weird. It’s like, “Is this sexual or weird?”
It creates something in that space, doesn’t it?
Yeah. The exact thing you were trying to avoid creating.
“He’s being sexual with me or he felt that, and then shut it down because it’s sexual.” There’s certainly some weirdness if nothing else like, “What was that? That was weird and abrupt.” What do you see for yourself in that?
We are talking about light. When I’m in a genuine interaction or connection with somebody, that is something that inherently comes through. I’m joyful and light. I create the space for that, and then I get into my head. I would imagine a dimmer switch. Somebody is like, “That was wonderful and cool.” I’m like, “Great,” and then it’s like, “Shit. Now it’s dark. What did I do?”
What do you see you might practice from any of this? What actions would you put into place?
It helps to have it distinguished. I do have those conscious moments of thinking about or practicing. Following through and not shutting it down. Making time for the things that I love doing that have the possibility of connecting with other humans is a good start. In COVID times is easy to isolate in my house.
I have noticed that, too. This is the part where I wonder if it would serve you to write down what you see you might take on. It may not but for me, I tend to forget immediately when I leave the conversation.
My mother is retiring and she organized her desk. I’ve got some cool things out of it. I didn’t feel she needed it anymore with not working her job. Practice is saving the curiosity at the moment.
The first thing I’ve got that you said was, “Notice that.” What would you want to do when you notice that? Is there any practice you want to take on once you do start to notice that in the moment?
Instantly, I was like, “I should say it out loud.” The underlying is noticing, even if I don’t say anything out loud, the dimmer switch and maintaining the level of being.
“We are going to stay up here. I’m not going to go down to that next level.”
Whether the words come out or not, that’s at least the piece that leaves me feeling a bit.
That sounds like a great practice.
The dimmer switch typically, when my brain goes, “This person could be a client,” instantly up here in my head and making things weird.
You get into a sterile world, and there’s no room for your natural self in a sterile world. If this is part of your natural innate curiosity, get out of here.
It’s practicing maintaining the bright light.
When you notice the dimmer switch happen, is there anything you see you might take on in that situation? You notice curiosity. You notice yourself tamp it down. Anything further?
I don’t know if it’s turning it back up or practicing how can I bring it back?
I’ve got one more that you might want to take on as well. I love what you had. The other part would be if you do dim it, you might notice that impact. Notice at the moment, “Do I feel more open with this personnel are more closed? Do I feel more love in this space or less love?”
It’s funny being a people pleaser, how much time I spent worrying about the impact over here and less the impact over there.
Notice the impact with them but also with you. What I’ve got you to say was that where you are left on the other side of this is feeling disappointed and dimmed. It’s like, “Is this the impact?” In the short-term, it saves you from that thing you are afraid of, which is like, “What if I lose the love?” It’s also leaving you disappointed and dimmed. Maybe at that moment, that provides an opportunity to see, “This isn’t getting me what I want.” Maybe it is. We don’t know. Anything else you see or want to declare from the conversation? It feels like we are winding down.
I don’t think so. I do have a lot of tangible declarations. I was missing the juice. It feels good. It’s a nice realignment back to Fun Land.
How do we do in terms of what you wanted to get out of this conversation?
I mentioned that at the beginning. I always come into this feeling like, “I should have a tangible thing that I want.” Typically, I always leave feeling like, “Yeah, that thing.” I didn’t have words.
I often need support from my coach to get clear. I have a complaint maybe or like, “Here’s what’s up or I don’t know,” and then she supports me first to get clear on what I want. I don’t have to have it figured out beforehand. I can be supported in getting clear on what I want. Let’s wind down, and then what we will do is a bit of a debrief. There are a few questions in the comments, which are great that I want to speak to and get your thoughts on. I would like to finish by acknowledging you first. Would that be alright?
There are a few things that I would love to acknowledge you for, Jess. The first one is I acknowledge how genuine and true your love of humans is. You speak about this. You talk through all of this. It’s so clear to me how much you are fascinated and genuinely interested in the person over on the other side. All of this contraption is ultimately in service of that underlying truth of who you are. It’s like, “I don’t want them to feel weird.” There’s a bunch of caretaking and doing stuff to keep things almost sacred. All of which is unnecessary at some level. I want to acknowledge you for the underlying truth of that. That’s what our fear does that layers on top of who we already are and gets in the way. It’s your fingers getting in the machinery.
I acknowledge the coach that’s in you and the being of that like, “I want the best for people and I’m fascinated with them.” What I love about that is that’s all we need. It requires a lot of trusts. That’s all we need. That’s welcome, allowed and trusted. However, people respond that love we provide them is fine and perfect. I acknowledge you for your openness and your humility in this conversation. There’s a real willingness on your part to sit down whatever you think you might know and be in the conversation with me.
I acknowledge you for being someone who’s trained as a coach and yet can be a client. There are a few times where you are like, “My heart says that there’s nothing in the way,” but then you quickly got to, “Yet, this is the overarching truth that is real.” There are not a lot of you trying to coach yourself four steps ahead or anything like that and that requires something. I acknowledge you for your openness and your willingness in this conversation, it’s good to work here.
You are welcome. Let’s debrief a bit. First thing, I want to check in with you with the overall arc where you are like, “Shit. We went here and I didn’t expect that or we turned left at this point and I didn’t think we were going to go there.” Anything along those lines?
No. Allowed that getting open and into that space, I love the breakdown because you say stuff back to me and I’m like, “Yeah, that.” Not having a clear coaching request provides a lot of value. Having some like, “Here are some options. Where do you want to go?” Not trying to pull anything out of thin air is always nice.
I go into my coaching and I often want to cancel my calls with my coach. I rarely do. Maybe once in the last three years, I let this part of me get the better of me. Often, I’m like, “I don’t have the right request and I’ve got a whole bunch of judgment about that. I should already know what I want.” She’s going to ask me, “What do I want to leave with?” I know the answer to that. This dialogue internally is endless. She’s great about reminding me like, “You don’t have to be the coach. You don’t have to have any of this figured out, Adam. You get to show up as you are. I want you to know the way you are showing up is perfect.”
I love that you showed up that way and you’ve got quite clear on what you wanted. I didn’t have this experience. We spent a long time getting clear. As we went through this, you sorted it out for yourself, though it didn’t feel like hard work over here or anything like that. There’s that point where I gave you the two choices I see. Maybe there’s a third choice. Where do you see for us to go? I had shared this is releasing our agenda. Evan asked, “Was giving the client two choices, not putting my agenda into space?” Before I answer, what was your experience as a client at that moment?
Similar to what I said around, it is nice to have the coach there to say, “This is what I see,” but then also trusting my own inner knowing that if something else came up, I would bring that. Adding the third arbitrary option creates space for that for me anyway.
The way you shared it is great. What I will add to that is anything in coaching that becomes our automatic or our default is then the problem. Evan, that was always what I was doing throughout this conversation. I kept giving just two options and the third. What’s likely going to happen is she’s going to start to unconsciously learn from me that if she gets stuck and doesn’t generate herself, I’m going to give her two choices. I’m going to throw in this third choice but she always gets two choices and she can keep doing that. That becomes dynamic.
The other place I will share is when I first started getting mentored on my coaching, one of the things that my mentor friend pointed out, where she said, “You do a lot of guessing, Adam.” What guessing would be is a client would say something, and then you would be like, “Are you saying this or are you saying that?” That’s taking whatever they said. I’m guessing at two choices, and then they get to choose from 1 of those 2 places. She invited me, “Instead of you guessing, you ask the client to elaborate or ask them for more.” That’s a subtle way of my agenda.
The answer to your question, Evan, is they could be my agenda. It would be more so my agenda if this were a repeating thing that happened a lot. If I took away that third choice from Jess and said, “Do you want to go down this path or do you want to go down that path?” I chose a path for us. We are talking about the art of this work we call coaching and this way of being. At that moment, what felt like it might best serve Jess was to provide some choices and give them back to her and check in. There might be another time where I’m like, “I feel like Jess is going to not generate herself if I keep giving her these choices.” That’s how I would lay it out. Anything you would want to add to that, Jess?
Nope. That says it all.
Sherifat said, “One, this is supposed to be an easy conversation. Jess started clear as to what she wants and it’s funny why she lost it in the middle.” Before I read any more, was it supposed to be an easy conversation? I didn’t know that. That’s a little bit maybe your story about it, Sherifat. What I’m getting in that, and this is not to make you wrong but you might have experienced this conversation as something other than easy. At least for me and Jess, you can answer this, too, I didn’t experience it like we were struggling or walking through mud or anything like that. Was that your experience, Jess?
No. I couldn’t see where she’s pointing to. In the beginning, I was like, “I want practices.” We then went into a more hypothetical, intangible place. Typically, in my experience in coaching, that is common, where I come in with a head-driven, “I want this thing.” What I need is access to something underneath that will have me do the thing. It wasn’t hard. Just not necessarily straightforward.
Thanks for asking that, Sherifat. That’s great. She’s saying, “Adam, can you point this thing out once and for all so she achieves the breakthrough? Time is going. Time is moving on. Point it out. This is me attaching my desire rather than allowing Jess to do her thing. You are doing a great job, Adam.” Thank you. Don’t you think it may get tiring for the client on the run if we keep following them and allowing them to digress? She may end up saying, “We should come to the end of this conversation. I need to think.” Stuff like that. Sherifat said, “I’m curious to know where this finally lands.” Jess and I talked about that, Sherifat. Now that we have finally landed, what do you notice? What are you present to? What did you see? Jess, did you feel like we were digressing or you were completely lost? Was any of that your experience?
No. There were a couple of times you did jump in and not redirect but check in if I am going off on a tangent. I don’t think so.
This is also part of the art of coaching, Sherifat. We need to know where the client wants to end up. We need to manage the time. I’ve got the clock over here on my eyesight, noting like, “We’ve got 40 minutes. We can start to explore,” and then as I noticed, “We’ve got ten minutes left. This is the amount of conversation we are going to have.” Now we are going to check and see like, “What does Jess want to create from here? What’s going to happen? What is she going to take on?”
The reason, Sherifat, that I would not just answer Jess is because that’s me taking away Jess’s agency. That’s me taking away the ability for Jess to be on her journey of discovery. Who am I to decide I know what it is? My job is to support Jess in her discovery. I share with you that desire. I’m brilliant and I know you are brilliant, too, Sherifat. I share this desire to be like, “It’s obvious this. Here’s the thing.” “Great. Can we move on? I want to have a beer.”
Doing that does a couple of things. One, it gives the client the answer they are craving but it teaches them not to discover their answer and walk through the challenge of not knowing, fumbling around and discovering something. It teaches them, “If I sit in not knowing long enough, I will get rescued by this person.” What you will create as a coach is a bunch of clients looking to you for answers and looking for you to rescue them. That will be dissatisfying in the long-term for both of you because your client never creates a new way of being. They just learn to come to you for an answer. Eventually, that’s going to be dissatisfying because they are going to be like, “I feel like I’m relying on my coach too much. I don’t feel like I’m growing. I feel like I just go to my coach for the answer and that’s not good.”
Having said that, that’s what a lot of coaches do. A lot of my clients and me because we are brilliant and we don’t like not knowing the answer, try to hang out in, “I don’t know.” I hope the coach will give us an answer. Coaching that will make a difference for us and will support us to create a new way of showing up in our lives, especially for my people and me, is not giving in. That’s the collapse of the stand and be like, “Here’s the fucking answer,” but instead, holding their hand on the client’s back like, “You’ve got this. What do you see?” Letting the client do their thing. Anything you would want to add to that, Jess?
I was nodding along the whole time because I appreciate a lot of times when I’m being coached that’s like, “Great, thanks. That’s what I wanted. I can apply that.” Where I do struggle and where the deuce value for me typically is when the person coaching me is like, “I’m going to let you sit with that for a sec.”
Even worse, just silent. “Please, give me an answer. Say words.”
There are a lot of power in learning. When I did AC, there was a lot of growth for me even when I’m coaching, using silence. Not needing to jump in, caretake, and solve the problem.
This is one of the places where there are flavors of this for everyone but we want to rescue people as humans. What we do is we rescue people from the suffering that looks like our own suffering. Brilliant people will want to rescue people from suffering that is like, “I feel stupid and don’t know the answer because that’s the flavor of my suffering. I don’t like feeling stupid and not knowing the answer and I suffer when I don’t know.” I’m like, “I need to know the answer. What’s the right answer? Give me the goddamn answer.”
Brilliant coaches will have the hardest time standing with someone when that person is struggling, not knowing the answer, and they will want to rescue them, which is that bulldozing thing I was talking about at the start. For other people, it looks different. For some generous people, they will rescue their clients from the feeling of being selfish rather than letting the clients sit in this experience of like, “I feel selfish.” “What do you want to do with that? How do you want to go with that?” It’s a great question. Thank you for that, Sherifat.
Evan, I missed what you said regarding, “Is there any other option?” I’m going to read your last thing. You agree. You thought it was the conversation needed at that moment. “I was curious about keeping myself out of the space, which can become a rule in itself.” One of the things, as people are developing themselves as a coach and a leader start to learn is, at first, we are like, “I should be free of judgment entirely so I’m going to show up and accept the client however they are,” which is cool.
That becomes the new problem. You have a judgment because something is showing up in the space that’s a bit weird. Your judgment about it is problematic so we don’t want to make it wrong that something is weird showing up in the space, but then it’s like, “The next level for this coach is to notice their judgment, allow it to be there and set it aside. Get curious then about the weirdness in the space.” Do you ever do that, Jess?
Yeah. I want to be as spacious and allow for as much as possible and then shut everything else down. It’s like, “There’s some good stuff in there, too.”
One of the things that’s maddening about this work is you can take two people who have coached for the same amount of time and trained in the same way, and the feedback they are going to get, for one person, it may be like, “You’ve got to stop making assertions and get curious about this client. You are just telling them all sorts of stuff.” The other person is like, “You’ve got to start making assertions and stop just asking questions. You’ve got to put yourself in the space and give that to the client, and then let them do something with it.” It’s not that there’s one right way or wrong way. It’s always the middle path.
The sensei teaches us to walk on the left side because we have spent too much on the right. The next day is like, “You need to walk on the right side.” You are like, “You told me left.” “Yes, but now you are too far on that side.” That tends to be the way this work goes. Evan says, “The judgment has us curious but we remove the judgment and stay curious.” That’s right. The way that stuff gets piled up is someone shows up in a way that is something other than their authentic self. If they are someone radiant and they show up quite dimmed or they show up taking all the space up in the world. We are like, “We get it. You are radiant.” They are turned way up or way down.
That’s weird as in it’s not innate. It’s something other than what’s natural. We have judgment about the weird things that look like the same weird stuff we do. Our judgment is what we are more present. We are not present to like, “Something weird is happening.” What we are present to is like, “This person is a know-it-all.” That’s the judgment. What we want to do is use the judgment as our compass, and then take it off so we can be like, “I noticed you shifted into this mode where it seems like there’s no answer that can get in that you don’t already know. Tell me about that.” That’s where the gold lies. That’s the work. I’ve got one more thing to say, broadly speaking, anything else you want to add in before I say my piece, Jess?
We are talking about client creation a little bit but what I was present to is that a lot of this conversation, creating any client and abundance is ultimately about deepening our ability to create, be in relationship and intimacy, consequently with people. All of us have places and areas where we are already reliable to do that, where we are like, “I don’t have any stories in the way. I just let my curiosity guide the conversation. We have these super cool deep conversations. It’s all neat.”
We have all these stories about certain areas where what’s natural is not acceptable, like Fun Land and business land colliding together. It’s like, “Fuck. I can’t let my natural curiosity out because what do they think? What will I do? How will they respond? What will they react to?” It kills the joy available in the moment. The course that I run and Jess is a part of the Client Creation Course. Anything in life that we want to create is a function of this ability to build relationships with people. All we are ever doing is noticing where we are blocked and then moving the blocks out.
Changing our story about them and seeing how we have set things up as, “This is black and this is white and I have to be different.” Instead, connecting with like, “It’s got to connect with this human being,” get curious and then move to the next step. It’s cool that you brought that into this space. It’s neat to see that greater context modeled in this small microcosm for it. Where do people find out about you if they want to learn more about you as a coach, a leader, what are you up to, your art and anything like that, Jess?
Instagram is probably for me.
Who are you on Instant-gram?
@SelfExpression.Reimagined. My coaching stuff is all part of my business called The Blank Canvas Project. That’s all-around helping people be more creative and creating space for that. I do a monthly Craft Night.
Where’s that available? How do people connect with that?
Most of the events are usually on Facebook but there are links from my Instagram.
Go to the Grams and connect with Jess there.
Website, my portfolio and all the things. Link in the bio.
Anything else you want to plug before we wind down?
No, I don’t think so.
I’m going to invite people to join us on the next Client Creation Course. I haven’t set on dates yet, but it’s ten weeks for $1,000. It’s a lower level of commitment and a lot of fun. You will create community and deep relationships. It’s a lot of the conversation we are looking at. Breaking apart these separations we have in our lives where we are like, “This thing over here is selling and this thing over here is a sterile world. I have to somehow mash them together. It sucks and I hate everyone.”
The real promise of this work is not just that you will create more abundance in terms of your ability to generate sales, finance or whatever but that you are going to deepen your ability to create relationships with people. That’s the game we are ultimately playing. Thanks, everyone, for hanging out. Thanks, everyone for joining us. It’s super cool to do this with you. I love you, guys. We will see you soon.
- Jess Blue
- Facebook – Jessica Blue
- LinkedIn – Jessica Blue
- Client Creation Course
- @SelfExpression.Reimagined – Instagram
- The Blank Canvas Project
- Craft Night – Facebook event
About Jessica Blue
I am a visual artist and graphic designer, with a background in software development. I am highly motivated, creative, analytical and able to learn quickly in a fast-paced environment. I am a member of IATSE Local 891, in the Art Department. I moved to Vancouver from Victoria in 2019 to pursue my passion of working in film, and am loving every minute of it.