A friend of mine is a famous television personality in the area. He has been on the air for over 30 years.
We have often found ourselves together in small gatherings and large functions. Whether he is the center of attention or just one of many gathered, he generally does one thing consistently anytime he’s with a group of people.
My friend will get up in the middle of whatever is happening, and just leave. I have seen him walk around the block and stand out on a balcony. I’ve even seen him go to the bathroom and lock himself in the stall.
He’s not rude about it. His timing is really good. When there’s a lull in the activity, that’s when he makes his exit. Many people don’t know he’s gone until five minutes before he returns. He’s got this down to a science.
One day, he and I were driving to an event and I couldn’t help myself. Because we did so many things together over the years, I finally had to ask about these temporary escapes he performs in the middle of these gatherings.
As we’re pulling up to the front door, I asked him, “I don’t want put you on the spot, but I noticed that you always take about 10 minutes in the middle of any of these things to disappear. I was just curious about that. Are you uncomfortable? Do you get anxious when you’re with a lot of people?” I was really going out on a limb here, but he been my friend for a long time, so I didn’t think that he minded me asking such a direct question.
Instead of getting uncomfortable, he started to laugh. “No, it’s not like I have a disorder or something.” Shaking his head, he said, “I try not to make it so noticeable, but since you asked, I leave because I just need a few minutes of solitude.
“I like being around people. But sometimes I find myself listening to about 12 different things at a time. When these events are in the evening, it’s particularly distracting to me.”
“So, I take a few minutes. I disengage in order to re-engage more deeply. It’s kind of a meditation, and it helps if I’m alone. It doesn’t matter really where I am. I can disengage while I’m riding the bus or walking through the shopping mall. But when there is something expected of me, when I am either the center of attention or among several people, I’ll take that solitude for just a few moments to reset myself.
“And, like I said before, it’s not that I’m anxious or disturbed. I just know that when I get a few minutes to myself to draw my energy inward, my spirit is regenerated. And I can be my best self again.”
So we went into the event, found our places, and became one with the activity. After about an hour or so, I looked around and he was nowhere to be seen. As I turned to my left, the woman who organized the event reached out her hand and introduced herself.
Just as I was about to apologize for my friends momentary absence, she looks to my right, extends her hand, and there he is. The two of them shake hands, and she goes about her business.
Just then, I hear this whisper in my year, “That was 10 minutes, and you didn’t even know I was gone, did you?” We both started laughing out loud. My friend left my side and reengaged the crowd.
By entrusting us with your feelings, we help you take steps that you see necessary to begin and put forth the energy to make the needed change.
Now notice something: Trust in a coach, mentor, or guide helps you see what's in front of you. We see a Coach for Your Heart a little like an emotional Sherpa, somebody that helps you climb your mountain by pointing out where to best step along the path.
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