I had a client recently who was excited about being invited to participate on a panel of presenters for a professional group he was involved in. After the group released a web page that included the professional profiles of each of the presenters, he began to feel more and more out of place. All the others were highly educated in their field, most of them published authors and speakers. Most of my client’s education and skills in this arena are not through formal training but his own studies. He still wanted to do this presentation and asked for guidance on how to present with confidence.
If I was coaching this client, we would focus on conversations about practical tools for dealing with feelings of self-worth as well impostor syndrome. However, this client asked for a reading and guidance from Spirit on where best to focus his energies.
My intuition recommended that he be an active participant in this reading rather than passively allow me to throw cards, I Ching, or Runes. I asked him to go to his book shelf and pull out any book that felt inspiring to him and he pulled out a poetry anthology that had belonged to his father.
I asked him to open the book to a random page and with his eyes closed, to place his finger on that page, then open his eyes and read the line aloud:
With this he vanished out of sight and swiftly shrunk away ~ Robert Southwell
The point was not to focus on the poem as a whole, but just the line. For this client it expressed exactly how he was feeling and what he wanted to do. Now that we discovered the foundation of the situation, he used the same procedure to ask about the obstacle he was facing:
The waters wrecked the sky but overlooked my father’s house ~ Emily Dickinson
This surprised my client and brought to memory a time when he was a young teenager growing up on a ranch. He was present at a local meeting of ranchers and a group of hydrologists and geologists from the state agencies. My client’s father was self-taught and drew on his personal experience as well as on the knowledge from his father and grandfather. He also relied on their diaries that tracked annual events impacting the river and range lands. The highly trained professionals were not taking his father seriously in a discussion about changing patterns of rainfall. The tension and the lack of respect he felt on behalf of his father, who he admired, had a strong impact on him. He realized this set him up for how he often felt in his own life, his choice to be self-taught in his own profession, and the fear of being disrespected and dismissed.
Finally, he used the same procedure to ask for guidance:
Against the burly air I strode, where the tight ocean heaves its load, crying the miracles of God ~ Geoffrey Hill
I wondered where this line would take him and saw that he was very inspired. He is a deeply spiritual person and has a strong faith in his relationship with Spirit. He realized that the guidance here was very simple, that he would “cry the miracles of God” by focusing on all the benefits he has received by following his intuition and heart; by realizing that he is already a respected professional in his field – otherwise he never would have been invited in the first place; and by trusting that when it was his turn to speak he would be speaking not just as himself but as an expression of the divine Essence.
Over the course of our conversation he shifted from extreme anxiety and self-doubt to perfect confidence. I am sure that when we next speak, he will tell me that his experience at the meeting will be a successful one.