By Heart
By Heart Blog
Safely across
You don't have to travel alone
Have you ever felt extra-wobbly about tackling a particular transition?
I was on my way home at the end of the day when the sight of a lady labouring across a pedestrian crossing stopped me in my tracks. She had a walking stick in her hand, so her trouble with walking was clearly not the work of that moment. Yet she was making such painfully slow progress that I wondered whether something extra was going on.

As I passed her on my way and that thought floated across my mind, I looked behind to check how she was doing. Everybody else was now safely across, and she looked so vulnerable and exposed in the middle of the street as the lights changed and cars began to line up to turn the corner. Her legs were wobbling visibly which meant that, although she was making lots of movements, they were not carrying her forward. She was barely inching along.
I turned around and walked back till I was by her side.
'I will stay with you till you're safely across.'
I made eye contact with a driver just pulling in, hoping that the situation was clear enough to read: a vulnerable person being accompanied across the street. The car duly passed around us with a comfortable margin.
She gave me a sideways glance, and attempted to make headway. This speeded up her movements but not her progress. She looked up at me. I wasn't sure what was going through her mind. She passed the stick from her right hand into her left and reached out for me with her now free right hand. I was happy for her to lean on me, even though I had to bring over my right hand and cup it under my left for reinforcement as it took the extra weight.

Thus hand-in-hand-in-hand we walked slowly together to the curb. She hesitated, then said something about 'Number 7 bus stop'. Yes, I confirmed, there is one just around the corner, just follow that lane and then turn right. She nodded and headed off.
I started across the pedestrian crossing once more, but couldn't stop myself from glancing back, wondering how she was doing. I got a surprise.

Now on safer ground on a pedestrian walkway, she seemed much more in charge of her faculties. Her stick returned to her right hand, she was not exactly striding, but certainly taking functional steps along the lane I had pointed out. Within a couple of seconds she out of sight.
I resumed my stroll home, hugely moved, reflecting how for all of us there are rubicons, transitions that are particularly poignant and where we find it particularly hard to make headway, feeling alone and vulnerable. The parallel between helping someone across the street and helping another with a hurdle of a different kind which yet had them similarly near-frozen with apprehension or confusion reminded me viscerally why I had gone into coaching in the first place: we could all do with a guiding hand across a particularly taxing stretch.
Think of the problem that's uppermost in your mind.

Could you use a steadying hand?

Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash
And if you need or want it, get in touch and let's find out if I could help.

At the time of writing, I am running a promotion offering a full 2-hour one-on-one coaching session as a thank-you for filling out a questionnaire which is part of informal research for my upcoming book 'One step at a time: how to thrive in a dynamic world'.

Fill out the Questionnaire and claim your bonus one-on-one coaching session on your top concern right now.

Margarita Steinberg is a Leadership Coach with a specialism in Psychosynthesis psychology. She is also a qualified teacher.

In preparation: Margarita's first book '
One step at a time: how to thrive in a dynamic world'

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