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Coach Paradise: Loneliness in Transformation

Coach Paradise is here to help people make the kind of changes that will allow them to live the lives they only dream of. Recently returned to her own tropical home, she is offering her services so that others can create paradise in their lives wherever they are. No concern is too big or small for her unique coaching approach which comes with compassion, creativity and a heartfelt desire to help others produce extraordinary results. If you have a question for Coach Paradise, please send it confidentially to her at anne@coachparadise.com.
Dear Coach Paradise –
I am making a lot of changes in my life right now. I am starting a new business. I am losing weight. I am letting go of an old romance, and I am even thinking of moving cross-country. My problem is I never had very many friends to begin with, and now that I am reinventing myself I have even less. I feel as if I have grown apart from my old friends but am not quite to the place I feel comfortable meeting new people. I am stuck, lonely and feel like I am back in high school all over again!
Please help,
New Me With No New Friends
Dear New You –
Kudos to you (as Michael Kors says on "Project Runway" to those designers who meet their fashion challenges with panache.) New business, new bod, room for a new romance and new environment. Wow! This is all very, very exciting and tells me that you are a person of great imagination, courage and inner strength. You are already taking those next sweet steps toward becoming the person you truly are.
Ever heard of "monkey mind," "gremlins" or "trouble at the border?" As you get closer and closer to taking your plans and projects from idea form (metaphysical reality) into that dense physical realm (over the border), know that the chatter of "monkey mind" ("gremlins") will get deafening: Who do you think you are? Thin? Never! Things are just fine the way they are. I know you have your own variations on this theme.
As my coach says, "Throw the monkey a banana," and refocus on the goal. Have a treasure map to look at, affirmations posted on the bathroom mirror reminding you what you are up to, where you are going and how magnificent you are. Travel Brochures come to mind.
Changing habits of thought takes dedication, desire and regular practice -like anything else – and there are lots of tools that are eye-opening and fun to help you on your way.
You seem to have some conclusions about your ability to make friends, about friendship in general and about the specific friends in your life. I would guess that these are negative conclusions for which you have collected (and continue to collect) evidence. You need some more interesting and fun conclusions. Are you willing to see that your friends may support the new you? Are you willing to share? Are you willing to picture new friends coming into your life?
The high school image is descriptive of that transitional period when we are figuring out who we are and where we fit. It is also a period when "fitting" is all-important. Is this truly where you are now? The transition part sounds true but you come across as far more grounded and inwardly secure than a 16-year-old. I would suggest that you give yourself (and maybe your friends, as few as they may be) a little more credit. Focus on what you like about your friends now (see my column on friendship from early mid-August) and about what qualities you would like to have in the new friends who are waiting to come into your life and play with you.
We all need support. Coaches are especially great at this because they hold you bigger than you hold yourself (and I don't mean in terms of pounds). I think you may have more support than you think you do, and I challenge you to come up with a conclusion along the lines of "I have all the support I need in my life." Keep me posted on your progress. Chrysalis comes to mind with wings already emerging!
In friendship,
Coach Paradise

Editor's note: Coach Paradise (aka Anne Nayer), Professional Life Coach, is a member of the International Coaching Federation, an MSW clinical social worker/psychotherapist, and a medical case manager with 30 years experience working with people of all shapes, sizes and challenges.
For further information about her services, call 774-4355.

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