Jewish Journal


August 28, 2009

A New Life


Misha Henckel is a Los Angeles-based personal and executive life coach. Her executive clients are generally leaders of entertainment and media companies who are focused on re-inventing themselves and re-envisioning their organizations. She is founder of Life Mastery Circles, a workshop series for women, and is co-founding a new organization for empowering and developing women leaders. She can be reached at www.mishahenckel.com or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

A few days ago, in a parking lot, I ran into friend that I hadn’t seen in quite a few months. She stopped her car, got out and raced over to give me a big hug. Her eyes were shining, her smile was radiant, and she exuded joy and self-confidence.

“I did it! ” she exclaimed.

“What are you talking about?” My eyes were wide with surprise and wonder. She seemed like an entirely new woman.

“I finally ended it,” she said, referring to a most unfulfilling marriage that she had been struggling with for several years. “I’m getting a divorce.”

My eyes opened wider. I could not believe it. “Wow! What made you finally do it?”

“I don’t know exactly. I just got up one morning, and that was it. I knew inside of me, that I couldn’t settle for that any longer. It was wrong for me, and I just couldn’t keep doing that to myself. Nothing in particular triggered the divorce, things just added up to the point where I couldn’t do it anymore. I only wish I hadn’t waited this long…”

“That’s okay. What matters is that you did it. You finally honored yourself. That was the lesson. You were learning to value yourself, to honor yourself, you were learning that your needs were as significant as anyone else’s.”

“Yes,” she said. “I did! And now I have a new life.” She was smiling from ear to ear, her absolute joy, unquestionable.

Meanwhile, on the other side of town, another friend I have been having regular conversations with, describes her life as having come to an end. She’s not yet 50, in perfect health, is still living in the same lovely home, married to the same man. And she’s as much the genius as she ever was. In speaking with her, it was clear that her perfect “Ivy League, Wall Street, let’s travel the world and do it all” life, had indeed come to an end. The ideas, beliefs, the identity that had driven her for almost fifty years had been abruptly swept away, along with the crashing global financial system. 

“I need a new life,” she says. “I need a life where I am at one with the Universe.”

Amazing woman! She’s absolutely right. Instead of wallowing in self pity, or holding on to the past, she’s busy clearing away any vestiges of her old self, internally and externally. As she clears away the old, she is making way for her new life, this time, one that is based on her true self - a new life, where she is living at one with the Universe.

Yet another friend, a partner at a major law firm, contacted me recently. Everything was great in her life: wonderful family, super-successful practice, great health. No crisis here, but she said, “I’m always doing and never being. My entire life is about getting to the next thing… I want to be able to stop and smell the roses. I want to live in the moment. I want a new life.”

I envy those remarkable people that can sense change coming and get on the right side before the crisis hits. She is certainly one of those. And now, she’s learning how to not just be a great doer, now she’s learning how to be. This increased capacity to be, will allow her to create that new life, one where she can enjoy the roses, and use her many talents to help shape a new world.

I could tell scores of stories of people, who, in facing the immense changes that our world is presenting us, are seeking a new life. We are all sensing that the answers, at this time of unprecedented change, lie not in the past, not in the old, nor in what’s been done.  There is no history book that we can refer to, no economic text, no psychological treatise. This unprecedented change requires an unprecedented response. It requires us to become new people, open to creating new lives for ourselves and a new world for us all.

What on earth am I talking about?

It is time for us to give up a heck of a whole lot of the ways we have been living. We need to change many of the goals we have been working towards, and bring in a new set of ideals to shape our lives. So much of our existence has been based on fear and limitation. It’s time for us to choose to come from a higher place within ourselves. We must tap into our True Selves and begin to live from there. And I’ll tell you why we must: because nothing else is going to work. There’s no way out of this but upward!

It’s human nature that we do not change until we absolutely must. Now we have the perfect opportunity. Let’s open our hearts and embrace our new life!

Email me with your questions and I will be happy to respond. Answers will be anonymously posted to the blog.

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