This Is An Invitation To Sit On The Bench

These days, I find myself speaking to clients about navigating our current reality’s ups and downs before even getting to the concrete actions they can take to navigate their careers.  All of us are having ‘moments’ — moments of uncertainty, doubt, even despair.

What advice do I have?

First, I invite you to sit on the bench and follow my guided meditation:

  • Imagine sitting at one end of the bench, looking out to the beautiful sunrise.
  • Close your eyes and take a deep breath.
  • Now think about the one thing concerning you the most right now; it may be something dragging you down, keeping you ‘up at night’, or knocking your confidence. 
  • Focus on that one issue, identify your thoughts and feelings about it, and what actions you might take. Think about the details of why, and how, and what next. 
  • Take another deep breath.
  • Now, imagine your closest friend joins you on the bench and sits at the other end.
  • Your friend looks out to the sunrise, sighs, and shares that they have the same problem. They describe the same situation you were thinking about when you were sitting alone.
  • What do you say to your friend? How well do you listen?
    How kind would you be? What advice would you give?

This exercise helps us see we are often kinder and more patient with our friends than we are with ourselves.  We sit with our friend. We listen, empathize, embrace the silence, and offer advice when asked. We remind them to take time for themselves and focus on their strengths. We suggest resources and get them thinking into the future with hope, rather than focusing on all the current hurdles or past mistakes.

So, the next time you’re having ‘a moment’ invite yourself to sit on the other end of the bench and listen and support yourself as you would a friend.

Start with being kind to and patient with yourself. Then you will be ready to navigate the next steps in your career.