I am not sure if writing my feelings and thoughts out was the answer to assisting my brain to focus on the moment and not live back in the intoxication of the weekend. Maybe it has been the 4.5 hours that have passed since I did my writing, or the fact I picked up my children 4.5 hours ago and went careening from Conference Emcee and Professional Coach back to mini-van driving mom, but it is all but gone. As I was unpacking our bags, making dinner and cleaning, getting two tired boys to eat, make school lunches, bath and get ready for bed while I tidied the house, it slipped from my grasp. Gone in a poof, like when I turned off the gas to the BBQ after cooking the chicken. I feel so far from anything remotely like the camaraderie of connection, learning and growth of a fabulous Coaches Conference filled with the richness of insight through stillness, and so engulfed by the familiar chaos of motherhood, wife-dom and running a household.

Those are the words I wrote last night after returning from an amazing Coaching Conference in Banff over the weekend. I had the opportunity to Emcee the event for the second time and be a breakout session presenter. The energy of 65 Coaches gathered together with a common intent of learning, growing and uncovering ourselves to better serve the world is electric. I feed on that energy and can feel the sparks igniting me from within when I step up to the microphone to begin the next session.

So as I begin my week from my office here in my home, I am asking myself the question of “How will I integrate that glowing galaxy with my current reality of this little world?” I can hear the Coach in me reply, “Life is not an event, Aly; it is a process.” And that is what Coaches do. We help others (and ourselves) take a life event, regardless of what that might be, and create an integration process for long-term sustainability.

But what if the two pieces being integrated feel like they clash or are worlds apart? Patience. The only way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time. I have made myself a list of action steps that will lock in what I experienced over the weekend and begin to create the change that I am so hungry for. This list will not all get accomplished today or maybe this week. Each step has smaller steps within it. But I am focused on that list and have already taken some of the steps, including setting up some accountability around getting it done (another great reason for a coach!).

I think this is where many people get stuck with the ‘all or nothing’ game and forget to invite the possibility of ‘And’. I love my children, my husband, our home and community. Those are parts of my life that keep me anchored and richly fill me. I do not need to see this as choosing one or the other or worse yet, that one is stopping me from experiencing the other.

Integration, by definition, means addition – not subtraction. The Art of Integration is to go forward in the process with patience, focus and flexibility. The process may not always look right or feel comfortable. The How may change along the way and so might the What. Regardless, every step forward is another closer to the ‘me’ the world is waiting for me to become.