#5 Getting Stuck? What if there was no such thing?

When we feel stuck and can’t figure out the next step, what are we to do? Is there such a thing as getting unstuck, and how do we go about it?

Let’s join Paul and Pablo as they explore the surprising nature of our mental blocks and the simple understanding that dissolves them.

Paul and Pablo are in the garden again. They’re done cleaning the chairs and are enjoying an unseasonably mild afternoon playing a game of Uno. Pablo’s just won the first round, and while Paul shuffles the deck for their next game, his son sits back in his chair and takes in the trees and their bare branches with a few buds showing here and there.

“Dad,” he starts, “if we didn’t know it’s normal for trees to lose their leaves, we would think they’re dead, right?”

Pablo’s question brings Paul back to the previous afternoon. He was busy designing a new logo, and ran into a problem when he tried to customize it. If he changed the format of the wording, the picture got cropped instead, and when he restored the photograph to its original size, the text disappeared.  After a few unsuccessful attempts, Paul gave up: “I’m too old for this crap. It’s too technical. I can’t figure it out.” And as he always did when faced with tech issues, he called Etienne, his next door neighbor’s son. Etienne got to work on his computer at home, patiently walking Paul through what he was doing. To Paul’s surprise, Etienne’s way of going about resolving the issue was pretty much the same as his, a few minutes before. The difference was that, instead of thinking it was too hard or that he was no good at it, Etienne persevered, trying one thing after another, until the problem was solved.

He didn’t stop because the branches of inspiration were bare. He didn’t think it was too hard or pointless. He kept going, because he instinctively knew that spring — in this case another step — would appear. And it did. And he got the job done.

Paul, on the other hand, bought into the illusion that the trees were dead and forgot about spring. He took his lack of results very seriously and as a sign that he would not be able to fix the problem no matter how hard he tried.

“Dad, I think you’ve shuffled the deck long enough!” Pablo’s impatience startles Paul back to the cards in his hands.

“You’re right, Pablo,” answers Paul. “I’m sorry, I was thinking about what you said. I think people often believe the trees are dead. They forget it looks that way because it’s winter.”

“What do you mean, Dad?” asks our curious Pablo.

“You see Pablo, whether in winter or summer, trees go on growing. They don’t get stuck. They don’t give up. They don’t stop living because, for a while, there’re no leaves on their branches. We forget it’s the same with us. It’s not because we run out of ideas for a while that there won’t be more later on. It’s not because what we try doesn’t work that we won’t get inspiration for something new at some point.

“It’s like if babies decided, when they first start walking, that standing —and moving— on their own two feet was too hard, and they gave up. This is too much people, I’ll crawl for the rest of my life! Imagine! There would not be many humans walking the earth.

“We don’t get stuck because of problems or lack of ideas. We just forget it’s winter. We forget it’s temporary, and we turn it into a big problem, we…”

“Dad,” cuts off Pablo, “you’re right, wow, we’re like trees! We are unstuckable!”

Getting stuck looks very real when we forget that everything in life comes in cycles. Even when, like trees in winter, we feel bare and stagnant, we are still developing and moving forward. When we remember this simple truth, feeling stuck stops being a problem, and our mental blocks dissolve like snow in the spring sun.

#4 The Weather of Our Emotions


We don’t see any point in trying to control the weather.  Why then are we tasking ourselves with the impossible job of controlling our emotions?
Along with Paul and Pablo, let’s explore our inner weather,  and what lies beyond the clouds and storms of our emotions. 

Pablo’s bored. There’s no end in sight for this pandemic, and he’s running out of ideas to keep himself busy and entertained.
“All this because of a silly virus,” he grumbles. “It’s so tiny we can’t see it. But it’s a big pain! I want to play with my friends! And what about mom? I want her to come home!”
Pablo’s mom was in South America on business when the lockdown was imposed, and there’s no news yet as to when she will be able to fly home. All borders are closed for now and Pablo misses her. A lot.

“Let’s go out in the garden, Pablo,” suggests Paul, “those patio chairs could sure use a good cleaning.”
Pablo puts his shoes on and is out in a flash. Having forgotten about his friends already, he grabs the hose and gets to work. Paul follows him slowly. He too misses Pablo’s mom, and thinking about how long it could be before she’s back has really started to get him down.  

Father and son start cleaning the chairs, each following their train of thoughts: Pablo, excited and full of oomph, and Paul, tense and feeling rather empty.  
Pablo, who, a few seconds before, was scrubbing vigorously, feels his good mood deflate and slip away with a splash. The second chair refuses to look as clean as the first. Why won’t it clean properly? What’s wrong with this brush?! He throws it on the ground and blurts out, fighting back tears:
“I don’t want to clean anymore! I hate it! It’s boring!” 

Startled by his son’s outburst, Paul blinks himself back to the present moment. He walks over to his son and gives him a big hug. It’s been a long day for them both. Paul takes a deep breath and looks up at the sky.
“The sun’s been out all day, right, Pablo?” asks Paul.
Reluctantly, Pablo nods. “Yep, it’s been kind of warm too.”
“And now, there’re a few clouds blocking the sun and it’s a bit darker and cooler, than it was earlier?” continues Paul. “Why do you think that is?”

Pablo doesn’t understand the question. “What do you mean, Dad?” he asks.
“Do you think clouds show up because there’s something wrong with the sky?” answers Paul. “Or that the sun was not strong enough to stop the clouds from showing up?”
Pablo giggles, “No, Dad, the sky’s got nothing to do with it. It’s just clouds! They come and go. They hide the sun for a while, that’s it. It doesn’t mean there’s anything bad going on.”

His excitement is returning. “Do you mean it’s ok to get upset and sad? It’s not my fault, it’s not bad?”
At that very minute, clouds clear and the sun returns. Pablo squints and bursts out laughing. He gets it.
“Feelings come and go, Dad, like clouds in the sky. There’s nothing wrong with me or with anyone! It’s ok to have clouds.  They can’t hurt the sky, or the sun, or me!”

Our emotions are the weather showing up in the sky of our experience. Whatever the storm, the sun keeps shining, as bright as ever. However dark the clouds, they shall pass and do not have the power to damage the sky. There’s no need to control our emotions because, like the weather, they do this perfectly well on their own.

3. Up The River, Back to Flow


When our thoughts start spinning out of control, what are we to do?

Let’s join Paul and Pablo as they sail up the river to the source of inspiration.

“Sometimes we just know, Dad. And we know we know because the feeling is different!” exclaims a triumphant Pablo.

“What do you mean by that?” asks Paul.

“Our teacher gave us a writing assignment yesterday: ‘Write about whatever you like,’ she said, with a big smile on her face.  I didn’t feel like smiling, Dad. I love writing stories, but deciding what to write about, that’s tough! I get tons of ideas. They all sound great, and then not so great.”

“So what did you do?” inquires Paul.

“I decided to draw a picture instead,” answers Pablo.

“And what did you draw?” continues Paul.

“It wasn’t really me,  my pencils did it,” replies Pablo.

“And what did your pencils draw then?” smiles Paul.

“The blue pencil drew a stream high in the mountains. The water there was cool and clear. Then down the river, there was a factory. The factory where the pencils were made. Bins of colors were rinsed in the river. Sometimes wood chips got dumped in the water too, so my brown pencil drew dirty water,” describes Pablo.

Paul is now glued to his son’s story: “Go on, Pablo…”

“Well, when ideas spin in my head, it’s like the water by the pencil factory. It’s a big mess. And I get scared,” explains Pablo.

“Yes,” nods Paul, “when you don’t feel great, it’s what’s spinning in your head that causes it. You had so many ideas and you didn’t know which one to choose.  All of a sudden you started to draw. I bet you didn’t have much thinking when that happened!”

“That’s right!” replies Pablo, “I just knew to do it!  And I felt better.”

“Yes,” continues Paul, “You gave the factory a chance to slow down. Instead of playing with dirty water, you actually went back upstream where the water’s clear. You got closer to the source, where the water was uncontaminated­, well before it got polluted by too much thinking.”

“Wow!” (that’s really all Pablo can come up with at this point.)

“You see,” pursues Paul, “when ideas spin out of control, our best course of action is to take a step back. We take a minute or two to settle, and our fear starts to subside.”

“I’ve decided to tell a story, Dad,” shares an excited Pablo. “The story of how drawing a picture’s helped me find a topic I like.”

“It’s going to be a cool story, Pablo,” concludes Paul. “A story about where ideas come from and how to know which one to follow. I can’t wait to read it!”

When lost in the muddy swirls of our mind, all we need to do is slow down and remember the source where clear water –and inspiration- stream from.



HERE IS THE SPOTIFY LINK TO LISTEN TO THE AUDIO: https://open.spotify.com/show/7iqfs1jkQKTuazKMUspQjO

When confusion reigns, when opinions and ideas get thrown around like confetti, who do we listen to? Who’s right? Who’s wrong? Who holds the truth?

Today, Paul and Pablo discover that inner wisdom — or common sense is built-in and readily available to all. Let’s join them as they explore how to find it and hear it, before doubts and personal beliefs cloud its clarity.

Paul’s having a hard time today. Life in a pandemic is limited in a way it’s never been before, and even though he understands it’s for the greater good, he’s growing more restless and frustrated by the minute.  Luckily, Pablo, who never runs out of questions, has one at the tip of his tongue.

“Dad, my friend Nick says we need to stay away from people so no one gets sick. He says it’s like when Napoleon invaded Russia was invaded by Napoleon, just wait it out and nature will take care of it. My other friend, John, says we should do all we can to kill this virus, that sitting at home doing nothing is silly. Who’s right?”

“No one knows for sure,” answers Paul, “and that’s what’s hard. People prefer to know, you see, they want to have a clear picture of what they’re dealing with. So they make up stories and try to figure out what the problem is and how to solve it.”

“I love stories, Dad,” replies Pablo. “It’s my favorite homework. So fun!”

“You’re right,” agrees Paul, “making up stories is not a problem. But when we start mixing up fiction and reality, things can get messy. It’s good to remember a story’s a story and not the truth. When we forget this, we start believing our story is the right one, and then we want to convince others so they start believing the same story. We get into arguments or even fights. And it’s all downhill from there.”

“How do we know who or what to believe?” asks a curious Pablo.

“We keep an open mind,” continues Paul, “never forgetting it’s a story. When we do this, we don’t lose track of the little voice inside that knows truth from fiction. It’s the voice of common sense, or wisdom.

“It’s inside all of us. We can hear it when we stop listening to the noise in our heads, or at least, when we stop taking it so seriously.

“This little voice doesn’t feel fearful or urgent. It’s clear and peaceful, and it helps us see the difference between what makes sense and what doesn’t. It’s always talking to us. We can count on it to be there when we listen. It’s the default setting of humanity.


Getting overwhelmed by the confusion around us in not a problem, it’s an invitation to slow down and listen to the voice within.  Pay attention, you’ll find it. It will never lead you astray.


I’m so excited to share with you a new project that’s been brewing for a while:


Paul and Pablo are a father and son duo exploring life and how to flow through it with more ease and understanding.

The stories are written in French by the brilliant Isabelle Caratti and translated into English by yours truly.

Lexie Bebbington does a fabulous job of bringing Paul and Pablo to life on these recordings on Spotify.

A new story will be published every Friday

Enjoy and share!!

For those of you who prefers reading over listening to a recording, here’s the first story:

Uncomfortable emotions: When our brain overheats

When the going gets rough, what about uncomfortable emotions? Is there anything we can do so they won’t get in the way?

Let’s join Paul and Pablo as they look at how it’s possible to be at ease with feeling uneasy.

Schools have had to close due to the pandemic, and Paul, who loves to fly, decides to take Pablo for a ride in a small airplane. For Paul, there’s no feeling quite like rising up into the air, zooming out from the reality on the ground, and watching as mountains turn into molehills.

Pablo steps onto the plane and marvels at the dashboard full of buttons and tiny traffic lights boasting their reds, yellows, and greens.

Before turning on the engine, Paul runs through his preflight checklist. Pablo watches as green lights turn red and then green again. Paul turns on the engine and the plane comes to life. They taxi to the runway, gather speed, and rise into the sky. The dots of cars on the road make space for treetops and meadows. Human concerns fade away as nature takes over. The green lights on the dashboard echo the green on the ground, and for a moment, father and son drop into a space of reverence and awe.   

A few minutes later one of the lights on the dashboard turns yellow. It stands out in a field of green and all Pablo wants to do, like his dad before takeoff, is to switch the yellow back into green. He starts feeling uncomfortable. Something has to be done! He glances at his dad and sees that Paul is not happy either, but he’s surprised when he realizes that Paul is actually turning the plane around and preparing for landing. Why is it not possible to turn the light green again like before takeoff?

As soon as they land Pablo asks Paul: “Why did we have to land? Before takeoff you simply turned the red back to green. Couldn’t you do that again?”

“You see, Pablo,” answers Paul, “it’s a temperature gauge. When it’s green, it means the engine is running well and not overheating. If it turns yellow, it’s time to land and let the engine cool down. If I had changed the color of the light to green, I would have tampered with a reliable safety mechanism. I would not have known that the engine was overheating, and we would have kept on flying until a more serious issue came up. It would not have been safe.”

“You know what, Dad? It’s like all the times you sent me to my room! No more flying, go to your room, Pablo, time out!”

“Yes, you’re right, Pablo,” continues Paul, “It’s the same with our emotions. When they enter the yellow or red zone, we feel upset, sad, helpless, angry even. We feel uncomfortable. When we feel this way, it’s a signal that our brain is overheating. It’s revved up from too much fear and upset thinking, from too many doom and gloom what-ifs. These yellow or red emotions invite us to land and turn off the engine. When we feel urgent or needy, it’s a sign it’s time to slow down and pause. When we look to artificially return the red to green, by thinking positive for example, we are misunderstanding the role of our emotions. We are ignoring the warning light whose function is to bring us feeling better.”

When we mess up with the warning light, we head straight into emotional overheating. Ignoring the red light of our emotions is like taking off with an overheated engine and expecting a safe flight. It doesn’t work that way

Beyond the Known

Part 11: from Santo Domingo to Belorado

The path runs along a main road occasionally diverting into towns and across fields. This part of the Camino takes pilgrims from wine into wheat country, from the Province of Rioja into the Province of Castilla y Leon. Belorado was once a frontier town where Christians, Jews, and Muslims lived in harmony until 1498 when Jews were expelled from Spain.


It’s been 10 months since my last post. I’ve been busy learning, creating, and flowching (short for “flow coaching.”) Writing has been very much on the back burner as I entertain a lot of, “why bother? Nothing I could write that hasn’t been written before” thinking. But when my cousin Claire emailed me a few days ago sharing how much she missed my musings, a new thought appeared out of nowhere: “You take pictures of stuff that has been photographed a thousand times and you even publish them on social media.” Ha. Gotcha.

Funny how we develop opinions about what is acceptable and what isn’t, about what endeavors are worth a shot and which ones are better nipped in the bud.

As if we could know.

I started this Camino-in-place almost 3 years ago because I yearned for a new adventure from the comfort of my own home. As far as I could tell at the time, stepping out in the world was not in the cards for me anymore. My wild years, if I ever had any, were over and it was obvious that I was being called to stay put and explore more contained territories.

As if I could know. 

Life has surprised me at every turn. It’s presented me with an understanding that’s allowed me to heal my long struggle with anxiety. I’ve traveled and trained as a Transformative Coach in Europe and am now coaching people all over the world. I’ve broken through outer and inner frontiers and landed, wide-eyed, in the space of pure possibility and miracles.

That’s what happens when we stop believing the crazy stories our minds keep feeding us. Stories of unworthiness, guilt, or − my personal favorite ─ comfort zones. That’s what happens when we see through the veil of what we think we know and get curious about all that we don’t know. And when we get a glimpse of what lies beyond the familiar, walls magically turn into doors.

Life, my friends, is an invitation to dance with the “I don’t know.”  It’s the glorious paradox of finding safety in a space without nets.

Who knew?

So for the foreseeable future I will bother, and, yes, I’ll write. Whether you choose to read or follow me, please know that you too are made for this dance. You were born humming the melody. It’s written on your soul.

Shall we?


“Life knows everything that we don’t know.” –Marina Galan

PS #12: It is safe not to know

If you’d like to explore further or are looking for support, please email me at powerflow28@gmail.com

Follow me on Instagram: mgcflowching


Maryse Godet Copans © 2020

Shift Has Happened

Part 10: Najera to Santo Domingo de la Calzada

Most of the walking is through farmland well away from any roads. The cathedral of the town is magnificent and where Dominic de la Calzada, shepherd turned hermit turned builder of bridge, hospital, and hostel, is buried.


Who would have thought it would be possible for me, at the tender age of 56, to grow from hermit to builder?

On Saturday night I shall arrive in Prague to attend the last week of Michael Neill’s Supercoach Academy. My previous blog post dates back to the beginning of this program last October and spoke of my intention to become a facilitator of silence. As I prepare for graduation as a transformative coach, how would I articulate what’s changed?

Most of you are familiar with my long struggle with anxiety and with the aftermath of a mild traumatic brain injury. I spent years “hermitting” as much as possible doing my best to heal myself while still tending to my family’s needs. Supercoach Academy has indeed facilitated  my journey into more silence and listening (huge thank you to Michael, all mentor coaches, and my fellow students), but the biggest surprise for this humble writer has been the inner and outer shift from wounded spectator to whole and vibrant builder.

I no longer let fear stop me or push through it at great cost health-wise. Instead I let life live me, fear and all. I’ve pulled a Pinocchio so to speak!  I’ve woken up and seen that strings and wooden limbs were an illusion, never there in the first place. I thought myself into a limited puppet when I’ve been a full and capable spirithuman being all along. I choke up even as I type these words. What a gift!

As I move forward as a coach may I let myself be divinely guided as I point people towards their own realization of their true potential. We are never the victims of our circumstances. We are not limited by others. We are the victims of our own constricted and busy thinking. It’s that simple. And when we wake up to the infinite and intelligent field beyond our thoughts, we get to feel our own brilliance, our natural resilience and wellbeing. Then we get to see them take shape in the world. This is true for everyone, regardless of what we may think is possible right now or what we have experienced in the past. There is such hope in this.

To Prague and beyond, my friends. Ever onwards!


“It’s only when you hitch your wagon to something larger than yourself that you realize your true potential.” Barack Obama


Passport’s Stamp #11: Anything is possible, at any age.

Maryse Godet Copans © 2019


Coaching Hours

A short break for the Camino (even though this is very much part of its meanderings) to let you know that I am now coaching and accumulating hours for graduation in April 2019.

If you or someone you know may benefit from a friendly chat with me, please let me know at powerflow28@gmail.com.

Unfortunately (for now) I am not allowed to coach members of A Little Peace of Mind.

All sessions are priced at $20.

Thank you, my friends!!



A Quiet Woman

Camino- in-Place,  Part  9: Logrono to Najera

Leaving Logrono pilgrims pass the La Grajera Reservoir before walking on through beautiful vineyards and wide valleys. The words of poet Eugenio Garibay Banos, painted on a wall alongside the trail, speak of the spirit of the Camino: “The force which pulls me, attracts me too, I cannot explain it. Only He above knows why.”


We are addicted to noise.

Whether it’s background music, podcasts, or our incessant texting, we live in a whirlwind of stimuli. Noise has become the norm. Silence is foreign, and if we’re honest, a little scary.

In a few days I’ll be flying to London to join another 40+ souls for the first week intensive of Supercoach Academy. Beyond the excitement of meeting like-minded people and learning more about coaching from the inside-out, I’m particularly interested in exploring how to become a facilitator of silence.

No, this doesn’t mean fixing my clients’ problems so they can relax and enjoy a hard won break. No again, I’m not going to teach them how to settle their busy thinking or change their chatty habits through practices and techniques.

I am going to facilitate silence. Their own. The one we all share.

The space we come from and move through. I’m going to point to the door that opens onto the absolute quiet that we are and where all cool, creative stuff arises. The force that pulls us, and attracts us too.

Inner peace, not as the absence of inner chatter, but as the awareness that we are not our thoughts, we are not our stories. Inner peace, as the knowing there’s nothing to do to get there. We are there. Always. We are Home, familiar and warm, underneath all the fuss.

And who knows? Someone may yet get addicted to it. In the realm of the infinite, anything is possible.


PS #10: “You have a friend in me” + “To infinity and beyond” = I’m a Toy Story Coach!


 “You are the sky. Everything else – it’s just the weather.”― Pema Chödrön



Maryse Godet Copans © 2018


Part 8: Torres del Rio to Logrono

The Camino walks away from Navarra’s rough terrain and into the Rioja wine region. Trails are infused with wild thyme and rosemary and shine the friendly yellow of vibrant wildflowers. Logrono sits on the Ebro River and boasts the Co-Cathedral of Santa Maria de la Redonda whose eye-catching towers (known as the “gemelas” or twins) are great examples of the Rioja baroque style.


“What would you want if you were not afraid?”

Over the years I was asked this question many times. Anxiety being my stumbling block, well-meaning practitioners and therapists tried to help me embrace my true desires despite my fears. And my answers would vary depending on how I saw my life at that moment. “I’d like to feel well and travel the world”, or, “I’d like to find my passion beyond motherhood.” (Big one, this, as I used to carry a deep fear of ending up like my mom: old, depressed, and very, very lost.)

In his weekly blog this Monday Michael Neill (yes, the same Michael I’m going to train with in October) asks a similar question:

“What would you STILL want if you were not afraid?”

In his post Michael suggests that articulating what we want usually hides a layer of unspoken fear.

I want to feel well because I’m scared of feeling this bad for the rest of my life. I want to travel the world because life is short and I’ve already wasted too much time. I want to find my passion because, if I don’t, my brain will shrivel and I’ll lose myself in layers of frustration and resentment (and yes, end up like my mom). He calls it “remedial goal setting.”

What would we still want?

What do we want for its sake alone? What is there to reach for past our thoughts of missing out, of not being seen or heard, of being wrong, or right? Beyond our desire to help, change, fix? Is there even anything left to want in that space?

I pondered the question for a couple of days, letting my mind play its friendly games of “I know/I don’t know, and when it settled as it always does, this is what came up:

When I rest in the gap between thoughts, I want everything: to explore, experience, expand, engage, be of service.  And love. Always love.

When I rest in the awareness of Life’s natural flow, I want nothing. Because there’s nothing to want. It’s all already there. The Flow is by nature expanding, engaged, and loving.

What about you?

If you were not afraid, what would YOU still want?


PS #9: Fear does not hold the key to what I want

 “Flow is the doorway to the ‘more’ that most of us seek. – Ned Halowell” 

DSCF3287Maryse Godet Copans © 2017