– Article by Bob Tschannen-Moran, MMC, BCC Publisher, 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.
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