When did you ask yourself what it means to live?
The question first came to me as a whisper. Somewhere deep in me said “No, you’re going to live.” And I whispered back:
“What does that mean? What does it mean to live?”
Other than my birth, the moment I asked this question became the most profound of my life. It came in my 35th year as a whisper, and a gentle leaning back to centre. Actually leaning back, otherwise I would have landed in front of the oncoming metro at Stockholm Central.
At that time I was ‘making it’ in my career. On the outside I was important. On the inside I was miserable. I felt like I was in a vacuum, like something vital was missing. My mind and body was a buzz of numbness, aggressively critical thoughts, and desperation. This self-criticism told me that I had already disconnected from life. A shell of a body was all I had left. So why not get rid of the shell and jump in front of a train? Then I wouldn’t have to suffer so much.
I could hear my fate approaching in the tunnel to my left. When the metro lights appeared in the tunnel, I felt my balance begin to give way. I had decided. It was time.
With the decision my mind fell silent. There was nothing left to criticize. For the first time in a long time my mind was quiet, and I let go.
Then something else happened, and it only took a moment.
As I began to fall, I experienced stillness. I sensed something black and infinite. I sensed spaciousness. In that stillness, from that infinite black space, a voice said quietly and firmly “No, you’re going to live.”
I grew curious and stopped my fall, leaning back to standing as the train pulled into Stockholm Central. I whispered into the space “What does that mean? What does it mean to live?”
In that instant my critical thoughts returned, numbness and desperation returned, yet that question stayed. That one question challenged everything that was happening in my life. I didn’t understand what had happened at the time, but my inquiry into life had begun. I proceeded to seek some support and deepened a healing journey which now puts me here, sharing this story with you.
In my journey since that morning I have been lucky to find sincere, loving support. It has taken me a few years to process, understand, and integrate what was happening, and moment by moment reveal what it means to be alive. I have learned what it feels like to play and laugh again like a kid. I can experience intimacy in ordinary moments, and grieve when I need to grieve. My core practice is to inquire into what’s happening now, in this moment, a practice that began on the train platform in Stockholm. And this practice is the core of what I want to share with you, as your coach.
My work incorporates different approaches including Zen Coaching, sensing, meditation, movement and inquiry.