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Carving out a path where there is none

Had a consult the other day: The girl has been struggling with two decisions in the past that didn’t go well… Interestingly she talked about them both as paths: one going left and the other right. She had wanted a third path so bad but was forced to pick only from the two. She did in fact then go down those two paths in turn, to a point where she realised it wasn’t working out and turned back. One path represented guilt and the other was where she blamed others for her current state.

At the time we were working, she felt she was at the fork of these two paths, again…. unable to see three steps ahead of her on a possible third path she was standing on.

Explored her metaphor: what was interesting is that at first she said all she could see to her left and right were the two paths… But from where her hand was indicating, I knew these paths were at a diagonal, so there would be so much more she could see if she turned to look.  She did and saw vast expanse of grassland to her left and right, and that she had in fact come a long way. There had been obstacles she had managed to side step and that the path was wider enough for her to manoeuvre.

She said that the end of the path ahead was like postcard, and very close; all she could take were two-three steps.

I got her to stand at the fork and did a quick induction for her to take good memories from each path, the positive intentions and the learning — like picture postcards one collects of journeys taken.

Once she had done that, I told her to take one step forward, and then another, taking with her the picture postcards from her past ‘trips’.

Looking ahead she couldn’t see a destination but the road now opened up in front of her and was long and wide. Thanks to Richard’s work journey of projects,  I began to talk about how one usually plans a trip: how one KNOWS where one wants to go, or at least picks a couple of choices, how one engages a travel agent to help plan, reads reviews, speaks to fellow travellers…. Told her that some paths are well trod and others we forge on our own. Reminded her to put rest points along the way to catch her breath and take stock. Asked if she was happy making it on foot or if she thought she needed to pick up pace.

As she took one small step after the other, she began to see milestone markings ahead. We pulled up each milestone, made the picture brighter and bigger, more colourful and clearer, telling her unconscious that she was drawing closer to each one with the resources she had.

When she sneaked a peek, she realised the two paths of guilt and blame were way behind her, finally leaving them in the past.