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Let go of the rock baby...

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Anyone who knows me knows that I can't resist a great metaphor. And I think because I love metaphors so much, the Universe just can't wait to serve them up to me. Here is my latest serving of metaphor. Yesterday I was having a yummy Chai at a great place in San Luis Obispo. A mom was there with her 18 month old daughter, a beautiful, curious child. The daughter was wandering around the courtyard carrying a small rock, or river stone in her tiny fist. Soon I heard her whimpering and looked to see she had put her hand, up to her elbow, down the empty tube of a concrete umbrella stand. I watch horrified as the child struggled to pull her stuck arm out. Others began to get concerned. I had visions of helping the mom lift the umbrella base and carry it and the child to the emergency room. I anticipated the mom's anxious pleas for help.

Drumroll please... The mom simply walked over, sat next to her sweet child and calmly said, "To unstick your arm, you have to let go of the rock baby." The little girl looked at her mom with trusting eyes, released the fist clutching the beautiful rock. The rock that was now holding her captive and keeping her from moving forward freely and effortlessly. And her arm was simply and easily released from the tube. I waited for tears over the rock now lost in the bottom of the umbrella stand. But could see on her face that the release felt so good she was happy to move on "rockless".

I thought of myself. What precious "rocks" do I hold onto that no longer serve me, hold me captive or keep me from moving forward? I thought of my coaching clients...one in particular...who is struggling to move forward because she is still clutching old behaviors.

I love this metaphor and will be using it for myself and with my clients. And I ask you today..."What rocks are you holding tight in your fist?"

Let go of the rock baby.

Originally Published Sep 3, 2013.