Last month I spent four days at the International Coach Federation 10th annual conference in San Jose, California. It was an interesting and informative time that gave me the opportunity to learn some new skills and interact with my coaching colleagues from around the world. I managed to get some quiet time alone (not an easy task when surrounded by 1,750 coaches, surely some of the most relational beings on the planet). I enjoyed time with old friends, and met some new friends, too. I was challenged in my thinking by the keynote speakers, workshop presenters, and my fellow coaches (and I’ll be sharing some of my thinking about my business and professional growth with you early in 2006).
A real treat was to hear Dr. Rachael Naomi Remen, the author of Kitchen Table Wisdom and My Grandfather’s Blessings. Even from my seat in the back of the auditorium, I felt her peaceful presence and her beautiful spirit. She spoke about attaining satisfaction in our lives through serving others. We are transformed by our service to others. According to Dr. Remen, the message of service is “your life matters,” referring to those we serve. Service also brings richness and meaning to our own lives.
Dr. Remen reminded us that we cannot serve on empty; it is our responsibility to fill ourselves up. My observation of my own life affirms that truth. When I take care of myself spiritually, emotionally, intellectually, and physically, then I feel equipped to serve others in powerful ways. Too often, especially and ironically during the holidays, I neglect to fill myself up. In putting others first, they often end up being cheated out of all I could really offer them, as I struggle to keep pace with the demands of work, home, family, friends, and community commitments. We all end up being less than satisfied. My commitment to you this holiday season is to fill myself up in ways that nurture and enrich me, so that I may better serve you in the days and months ahead.
I hope that you, and those you serve in both your personal and professional world, have a blessed holiday season.
Sharon Keys Seal