August 14, 2020
By Allison Iantosca
In Gestalt coaching we talk with you about what is “figural”; a way of defining the main thing you are or could be looking at by pulling it out of everything else that forms the background.
Sometimes I imagine this like seeds in a garden and you choose to water what you want to grow. Other times I imagine it like trying to make contact with a baseball thrown at you at 90 miles an hour from roughly sixty feet away. Actually, that seems to be a lot what life is like these days; an overextended series of contemptible curve balls.
The only way to deal with them is to actually blur out the background and only see the white of the leather, the red of the strings, with such clarity you might actually be able to get a hit and stay in the game.
The leaders we are coaching today, just as good as any major league designated hitter, are consistently taunted by a dramatic and sudden shift in course, curveballs, and the endless possibility of an upending “whiff.” There is a stuck-ness to this. From a to-do list that has more on it than capability or know-how to accomplish it, and an inability to shake the plague of seeking to flaunt a hero cape in order to make everything perfect. Whatever. It used to work. Sometimes. As long as everyone sticks to a (your) plan.
But here’s the deal; there is no plan anymore. Life is full, choices are confusing, the background is a blur, things just happen, sometimes it hurts, sometimes its awkward. Often it’s isolating and lonely. What we thought we knew we don’t.
Speaking of gardens and baseball, you know what would be fun? If it were summer. If it were summer, you would wear your bathing suit in the car, a beach towel between you and the hot pleather seat, the seatbelt strap slapping against your bare shoulder, the AC on full blast, mixing with the warm wind from the four open windows.
If it were summer, you would pile into the way-back of the truck, leave the tailgate down, eight bare legs dangling down ready to jump out as soon as you reach the ice cream stand. If it were summer, you’d sit itching your nose as the oscillating fan blew a stray wisp of hair across your face, but too engrossed in your chiller thriller fiction to tuck it back inside your cap. If it were summer, it would be light out until almost nine, the sun’s rays swapping for the twinkle of stars and lightning bugs, sandy feet, warm air, whispering wind, sweet smells, soft music…hush.
If only it were summer. Then maybe you would understand what you were supposed to do, how you were supposed to behave. If only summer were your figure. Maybe then you would know how to breathe and take care of yourself. Maybe you would be able to engage in dialogue in a certain way or understand what to focus on to support your deepest needs.
Maybe, in the enduring dusk, you would know to sit quietly holding a loved one’s hand and not speak at all. And you would be ok, together. And you would wish this for all the world; the okayness that sweet summer can bring. Its respite and release and relief.
If only it were summer…
Allison Iantosca is a Gestalt International Study Center (GISC) trained coach certified by ICF with extensive leadership and management experience. She is an Executive Coach and is the Owner and President of Boston based FH Perry Builder.