The following was very kindly submitted by Anne Caffee, a client and obvious fan of Neal Griebling’s!
One evening, several years ago, I found myself in Neal Griebling’s office in his home in Mt. Washington, sitting among a small group of women in transition: one ending her marriage; one who had ended her marriage and was about to send her only son to college, and me: divorced, underemployed, watching my children go off to college, one by one, and unsure if the job I had (which was only part time) was a good fit.
Eventually, I started meeting with Neal on my own. I came to look forward to the patience and focus he brought to our time together, his careful consideration of my words, his thoughtful replies and humor. We talked, completed exercises, made lists, bounced around ideas, turned over possible dreams and a few defeats for clues to what kind of career – what kind of life – would bring me deep satisfaction and joy.
Through the hair-raising employment twists and turns of the past several years, Neal has been a wonderful sounding board, and a trusted friend. He has arranged countless introductions to some great contacts, brainstormed with me, and listened while I worked through my difficulties and dragons, offering the kind of nonjudgmental support that is just invaluable when someone is walking the lonely road of unemployment. Because he pushed me to seek and find more networking events, I did. Eventually, I happened to make a good contact at one event that eventually led to a great job, for a salary and benefits that were better than I expected. It took a while, but I found a happy landing place, with balance, room to grow and create, and stretch my skills.
Neal also introduced me to Zen, a rich vein of wisdom and awakening in my life. I had been meditating and studying other wisdom traditions for many years, but found its subtle, yet transformative power would create a profound life shift for me.
Compassion, understanding, clarity, strength in gentleness, the discipline of following a path, a tight focus on the present moment, whatever it holds – it’s all there in Zen. And it’s all there in his approach and guidance.
I have friends who are struggling with their careers and transitions right now. They ask me, and ask themselves: should I work with a life or career coach? Should I spend this money? I say – invest in yourself – always. Not in things outside of you – but in your own clarity, and discerning the right answers, and even asking the right questions. Neal is your companion on this journey. He walks right along with you – a partner in your self-discovery. How many people can do that for you? It’s not such a lonely road after all. The scenery is just fine – as it is. And there’s no better time than Now.