Communication the Old Way!

Anyone remember how we communicated before cell phones? There must be some of you out there who do!! How did we ever leave the house without being instantly and constantly connected? Text, email, Facebook, Tweet, to name a few – a whole new vernacular has sprung up that we wouldn’t have understood a couple of decades ago. The means of communication have been developing at warp speed, I wonder where it will end up? Communication!

Here’s where it was a few decades ago – London phone boxes. What amazing contraptions they were at first. Now they mostly function as outdoor toilets, shelters from London’s plentiful rainfall, places where you can still make calls (sometimes). Of course this photo is a few years old and on my last trip to London a week ago, I didn’t see any at all.

Although current connectedness improves communication in so many ways, we’ve lost some of our old freedoms – such as kids no longer being able to spend time with their friends without parents checking in, or strangers being able to find out all kinds of things about you online. For the most part, we also have to make a conscious effort to speak face-to-face (sharing non-verbal as well as verbal messages), make a phone call (at least sharing voices), or write a letter (sharing precious time on another person).

How I make the best of all of this? I communicate using all methods I can master, appreciating the richness and potential of it all. I consider us profoundly lucky to have so many choices.

Adversity can be a Friend

I consider myself lucky to have led a rather charmed life, with very few major downs and many major ups. That is until my mother died in 2011 from cancer. That was a game-changer for me. It wasn’t that it was so hard for me to go through (after all she was the one bearing all the pain and indignity), in fact even at the worst moments there was a feeling of “right” to it all. She was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in December of 2010 and was dead by April 2011. The decline was so quick and violent I think it left us all stunned and operating on autopilot until it was all over. Then I realized I had no clue how to live my life without her in it.

I’ve learned how to do that in the almost two years since her passing, but my life has changed in ways I never would have imagined when she was alive. My mother, father, sisters and I lived an ocean apart for most of my adult life – they in England and me in the US – and I spent many air miles in the last months of her life to be with her as much as possible in the time she had left. I’m so glad I put my life on hold to do that – I have no regrets.

What that particular life lesson taught me was to become more spiritual, compassionate, and tolerant. It taught me to live my life fully, to not shy away from my potential, to do the things I’d always wanted to do but now realize life is short and precious and I’d better get on with it. It taught me to quiet those hurdles I’d put in front of myself – those hurdles that said things like “you can’t do that, you don’t have the time/money/talent/fill in the blank”. One of the changes I’ve made as a result is that I’ve actually moved the central focus of my coaching practice to helping others identify and then live their lives to their fullest potential and abundance.

Through the years as a therapist, consultant and coach, I’ve seen time and time again how adversity can propel people into living lives they never thought possible. I’m not surprised that it happened to me, just grateful.

In the coming months I’d like to interview people who have experienced achieving their dreams through recovering from pain and misfortune. I’ll show through their stories how courage and fearlessness can spring into action. These videos are a must-see. Some will be interactive on Google+ Hangouts and YouTube, and all of them will be available on my website and blog to download at your convenience.

Stay tuned for previews! By the way, nothing would make me happier than having you contribute your story – contact me at fcattermole@catt-alyst.com.