“Something shifted during our last session.” That’s how my coaching client described it and I felt it too. I could practically see it happening, even through the tiny screens of zoom. Something brightened across her face, like how light changes when sun breaks through clouds.

Honestly, I think we both were a little startled by how palpable it was. And how immediate. Was it magical energy, a physical release, stars aligning, a divine moment? Sure, all of those things. But it also came from a whole lot of time and attention on her part—staying curious; being honest with herself; visiting and re-visiting moments when she showed up how she wanted to…and when she didn’t.

There were plenty of times when she was flat out frustrated, feeling burned out and not able to see how anything could ever be different. Her work is grueling and often monotonous, she is the primary caretaker for her infirmed father, and she dreams of feeling more freedom to just ‘be.’

Have the situations changed? Nope. She will get up and go to work today, much like she did yesterday and countless days before. No doubt she’ll have to address something related to her father’s care.  But it will feel different.  A release happened that is opening her to the beauty of the world again, to getting creative about how to take better care of herself and how to have more fun.

That’s the difference between a shift—those much sought-after, impossible to predict, rare moments of enlightenment—and a wish. Sometimes they just happen, seemingly unbidden. Most of the time they are a result of persistence, presence, and continuing to show up, even when things are really hard.

So consider this a reminder, wherever you are in your journey, that shifts do happen. They can’t be forced, but we can create a welcoming habitat for them by paying attention, by not giving up, and by being around others who believe in us and our unfailing Wild spirits.