Processing in the Present

Article by Bob Tschannen-Moran, MMC, BCC
LifeTrek and School Provisions
President, LifeTrek Coaching International

After a lifetime of vim and vigor, including running more than 50 marathons
and ultra-marathons, I experienced my first of many seizures at the end of August
2012 and I have been on a challenging, scary, and healing journey ever since.
My first seizure sent me sliding down a flight of stairs at home and I could
have been a goner right there, but fortunately the Universe had other plans.
These seizures came out of nowhere, having no such history at all for the first
57 years of my life, and have been very traumatic for my family, my loved ones,
and me. My official diagnosis, “Autoimmune Limbic Encephalitis,”
means that my immune system went from protecting me to attacking me, specifically
the limbic part of my brain. Whenever I express remorse to my wife, (who has
been steadfast in her love and support as well as a profound, healing presence
through all of this,) her standard reply is that she would rather be a wife
than a widow. We have somehow pulled through this together, and hope for a stronger
and better future as a result of this crisis.

One thing that my condition has meant is that I now suffer from profound memory-loss
issues. I went from a mind that never forgot a thing to a mind that suffers
from CRS disease – Can’t Remember Stuff (although I usually use
a different word than “Stuff” when it comes to the acronym). As
a result, I carry around a little book wherever I go, writing things down to
help keep track of what I do, say, and experience. This book has become my second
brain, and I review it regularly throughout the day and when I go to sleep at
night. Every time I have even a little glimmer of recognition that I remember
something I wrote, I pause for a moment of thanksgiving and often shed a tear.
Such moments are that profound.

In the wake of this affliction, (which the doctors tell me I can hope to recover
from significantly if not fully,) I have come to appreciate Coaching Mastery
#4 in the fullest of all possible senses. Processing in the Present is all I
really have right now; it represents my best attribute and contribution to the
world. I love some of the key elements expressed in Mastery #4: being aware
of what is happening in the moment, at all levels; being able to discern the
difference between past, present, and future; allowing clients to process questions
and comments without intruding; allowing clients the opportunity to process
their own thoughts, feelings, and responses. When people give me that gift,
I have a new, heartfelt appreciation for the difference it makes. I understand
deeply how processing in the present facilitates growth, learning, and development.
As a result, I have become even better at extending that gift to others. The
present is all I really have right now, and that is more than enough to wake
up again tomorrow.

May you be filled with goodness, peace, and joy.

Bob Tschannen-Moran


Tschannen-Moran, IAC-CC, is CEO and Co-Founder of the Center
for School Transformation
and President of LifeTrek
Coaching International
. Bob is the co-author of Evocative Coaching,
which incorporates the IAC Coaching Masteries® in a
coaching model designed for leaders and coaches in schools.

1 thought on “Processing in the Present”

  1. The immediacy of your words – your experience shared – touches me, Bob. Thank you for the present to us, highlighting both the receiving and offering ends of Processing in the Present. I send warm wishes for your continued, revealing journey of awareness.

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