Let’s take a few moments to learn life lessons from my sweet and nutty beagle, Ivy.
You see, being a beagle, Ivy loves to chase rabbits. It’s her blessing and good fortune that we live right next to an empty lot where bunnies flock. Sometimes if she’s lucky, one will creep into our yard. When that happens, she’s off like a rocket, pursuing her fluffy-tailed foe. At least until it manages to slip through our fence and all she can do is stare longingly through the boards at the “one that got away.”
And when we’re out for a walk, who knows what bunny, or even a squirrel, may cross her path. In a split second, she’s exerting every ounce of power to overtake her prey. There’s only one problem. She’s restrained by the leash.
This frustrates her to no end. She keeps pulling and pulling, until she’s up on her hind legs like a merecat, straining at the leash, desperate to break free.
She wants that rabbit so badly, she can almost taste it. And yet, she can’t break free from this strange restraint that prevents her from moving forward and obtaining her goal. She pulls so hard sometimes that the leash starts to tug on her throat and she starts to cough uncomfortably.
Through all this, the bunny doesn’t move. It just remains motionless, staring at her, waiting to see if she’ll get any closer.
Finally, the little hasenpfeffer hops away to safety, increasing the urgency in Ivy. “Quick! It’s getting away! I got to get it NOW!”
And yet, no matter how much she wants it, she doesn’t get any closer.
It’s like how we are with our own desires and goals. We want something badly in our lives, and we make efforts to get it, but there’s something that holds us back. Sometimes we can’t see what that is, and that frustrates us even more. We pull and strain, sometimes even making it uncomfortable for ourselves, but nothing happens.
Where we differ from Ivy is that we have the ability to discover the leash that’s holding us back. We can actually explore ways to undo its grasp that is has on us. That’s one of the beautiful gifts of coaching, the ability to discover what is really holding us back from not only moving forward, but catching the prize and sinking out teeth into that soft furry flesh of fulfillment… Sorry, perhaps that’s a little extreme in the metaphor department. But you get the idea.
We have the power to uncover and change our limitations.
Ivy can’t do that. Sure she can look at me with those sweet soft brown eyes, now fire red with bloodlust-aw, it’s so sweet-but it doesn’t get her any closer to her goal.
Finally, the rabbit runs away to safety. The urgency in Ivy has passed, and she has lost interest and is more concerned with sniffing around on the ground.
At least until the next tantalizing opportunity arises.