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  • Writer's pictureHelen Tyrrell

Alternative Lives

Updated: May 11, 2022

Yesterday I finally succumbed to my wild hair and went to a local salon to get it tamed. As I waited for my appointment, leafing through all the beauty and wellbeing treatments on offer, I thought about how if I had another life, I might really enjoy being in this industry! In many ways it would not be so dissimilar to my job as a life coach. How does that figure?

Well, my work also focusses on making people feel good about themselves and, working skillfully with their own unique raw materials, I also help people present their best selves to life, work, love and relationships. Life coaching isn’t cosmetic of course, it deals with the inside more than the outside, but it is interesting how these two things interact and support each other. We need both!

My musings reminded me of a wonderful exercise in Julia Cameron's ‘The Artist's Way’ which has often brought more joy and depth to my life, and which I’d like to share here as an invitation to you!

Julia Cameron writes:

“If you had 5 other lives to lead, what would you do in each of them? I would be a pilot, a cowhand, a physicist, a psychic, a monk. You might be a scuba diver, a cop, a writer of children’s books, a football player, a belly dancer, a painter, a performance artist, a history teacher, a coach, a scientist, a doctor, a Peace Corps worker, a psychologist, a fisherman, a minister, an auto mechanic, a carpenter, a sculptor, a lawyer, a painter, a computer hacker, a soap-opera star, a country singer, a rock and roll drummer. Whatever occurs to you, jot it down. Do not overthink this exercise.

The point of these lives is to have fun in them, more fun than you might be having in this one. Look at your list and select one. Then do it this week. For instance, if you put down country singer, can you pick a guitar? If you dream of being a cowhand, what about some horseback riding?”

Happy Playing!

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