IN THE VALLEY by Irene Becker

I have lived, I have learned, and I have earned the right to live my life with joy. I am not perfect. I am joyful and grateful for the incredible gift of life.
I am not simply a human doing. I am a human being; a work in progress who searches every day for a new way to share, contribute and expand my vessel so that my cup runneth over and takes me past the valleys and into the light.

The Valley: The most profound reflection, the deepest questions and answers often do not come when we are sitting at the top of the mountain feeling like the keys to the kingdom are in our right hand. Rather, it is the adversities and paradoxes of life, the valleys, that force us to find our self so that we can discover and reclaim the power and the joy within.
And, if we have the courage and the faith to be still in our time of greatest doubt... to be still in our valley and stop asking, fearing, needing, worrying, assuming, by fate, or age or illness all that glimmers from outside cannot remain gold.
My 40th birthday was a turning point. It was the day that I found my joy and my true power. It did not come as a result of all that I had learned or achieved. Ironically it came as result of all that I had lost.
My journey had taken me to the other side of the planet I had known. Stripped of my wealth, social and business standing, I spent my 40th birthday in a battered women's shelter cleaning toilets, and looking forward to sharing cake and hugs with my children after I finished my work.catastrophizing, wanting and just listen; we can hear the answers, the truth that echoes from the depths of our valley to the sacred place that lies between our head and our heart…

When you are on top looking down it is easy to feed into the illusion that living from outside in is what life is all about. Inevitably, whether by old age or a twist of fate...all the glitters is never gold.

Clearly, I was in the valley. The biggest valley I had faced yet. But, standing on terra firma with the clothes on my back, $100 and a credit card in my wallet, and my two wonderful, great kids-my heroes in tow, I knew that there was no where to go but up. I was ready; and somehow I felt richer than ever before.

I stretched out of the comfort zone to embrace this challenge as an opportunity to show my children and myself that it is possible to evolutionize even changes that are difficult and appear very dark. For in every change, in every dark space there is an opportunity for great light, if we have the courage and the power to remember that our greatest strength lies not in what we have, but in who we are.

When we reach a point where the social and economic masks that we wear are gone, the complexity of life is narrowed down to the basic reality that our path is not just to survive and to consume, but to thrive by loving, sharing and caring for our self and our fellow human beings. Joy is an appreciation of all that is and can be. And when we find our joy, we find our true power because we have the certainty that no matter where we are, we are never alone. We do not need to seek validation from what we command and control or acquire because we have learned to validate and nurture our self.

While I had lived a life that many envied, while I had built a very lucrative business, a thriving career and a place in the community; the passion that drove me forward was not joy. What inspired by accomplishments was -ego-"energy going out "; the desire to prove that I could do more, have more, give more and be more.

August 1998 I ironically found my joy and my power by starting again from ground zero. But it was at this place that I started to live my life from inside out. Thankfully, my profound sense of joy and positive power has been with me ever since. And, it has served me well in rebuilding a great life for myself and my children and a career that allows me to help those who want to use the changes and challenges they face to build lives and businesses that speak to personal leadership, commitment, social responsibility...values, vision and success that can fill both our pocketbooks and our souls.

Life is a tough journey, but it is also a path that presents us with a choice every day to use what we experience to make us better, or to let the valleys, the ruts, the potholes in our journey make us bitter.
If you are in a valley, or if you simply long to find more joy, more meaning and fulfillment in your work and your life remember that it is the white spaces, the gaps between your thoughts, your feelings and your actions that give will give you time to appreciate where you really are and where you really want to go. We each have the power to create a better life, better work and a better world one powerfully positive step at a time.

The problems that we face, the valleys that we endure and overcome are not a result of our intellect, but rather then are the byproduct of our inability to connect our head and our heart so that we can take our authentic self to play, to work and to greet each day…with joy, faith and love for our self and our fellow human beings.
Often it takes a valley to stretch us past the illusion of control that is so enticing, so that we can realize that the greatest strength and satisfaction will always come not from what we consume but from what we contribute.
When we find our truth, our contribution, we come home. August 1998 I came home, thankfully and joyfully I have been there ever since.

Recipe for Life: Whatever you face can make you bitter or better. Only YOU have the power to transform changes into solutions.
The kitchen is a perfect metaphor for human consciousness. It is in the kitchen of our minds that we learn to dissect, assemble and process all the subliminal, elemental and direct messages we receive from other people and from the world around us. Life, love, faith, hope, despair, fear and courage all cook in our kitchen to create the emotions and the sensations that produce our personal perception of reality.
It is not what happens to us but rather what we choose to do with our personal reality that determines our success or failure in achieving a purposeful and happy life. We can assume our authentic role as masterchef and use the mélange of ingredients life gives us to ameliorate our life and the lives of others, or we can relinquish our power to cook and become passive, compliant consumers of food that we do not really want or need.
Seize the moment now to acknowledge that all the ingredients for a loving, happy, meaningful life are in your kitchen. Use your ingredients to cultivate and nurture your awareness of the bounty and beauty that life holds.
Get ready to prepare recipes that will help make your dreams a reality, and forge a positive difference in your life and the lives of others. Tie up that apron, preheat your oven, and get ready to cook with the passion, purpose and inextinguishable fire of the human spirit. YOU have the power, it is time to turn it UP.
From the valley to the mountain!
Yours in service and joy,
Irene Irene Becker, Chief Success Officer, Just Coach It

Author's Bio: 

Described as one of the stars of her coaching certificaton program, Irene came to coaching after running a multi-million dollar steel business and also starting over from ground zero. Today she is a coach, a transformational catalyst who helps other evolutionize the changes they face in life and business to create better lives, better business and help to contribute to a better world. Website Email: