When I first met Mary and Richard years ago, they were obviously a very creative couple. They were mature and in their second marriage for each. They’d learned a lot from prior experiences and had worked to consciously make their relationship solid.

They wanted to make a good relationship even better by exploring a whole new lifestyle—possibly a career change and definitely living in a warmer climate.

As a successful actor, Richard thought he should explore teaching or consulting and set out to network with his contacts. Yet he desired to own a small business possibly scuba diving. Mary was in leadership at a writer’s organization. She was helping other writers, but her passion was developing her own writing career!

We coached together, in a group and then couples sessions for about a year. Within that time Mary and Richard applied the Big Picture Partnering principles and:

  • Clarified their values as a couple and individually and together.
  • Identified what they wanted in a new home, lifestyle, social circle and environment.
  • Explored parts to the country by identifying cities and locales, then visiting—gradually narrowing their favorite(s).
  • Reflected on, and networked, talked to people who knew them best and let themselves dream about how they’d each like to develop their creative passions and talents.

As they experimented and explored Mary and Richard became excited about the artistic, creative community in Key West. The cost of living, the oceanfront and climate strongly appealed. Richard could either buy a scuba business or work for one. There were also a number of community theaters he could work for or with. And Key West was filled with writers and literary folk for Mary.

Closing life and jobs was managed well to maintain friendships and professional connections. Friends here and around the country were invited to visit their new home. The sale went smoothly and they were off on a new adventure! One which they could thoroughly enjoy and guide as it unfolded because they had totally come together around creating their next dream stage of life.

A while back, they sent me a lovely note about their progress which continues to unfold.

“It is often said that change, even positive change, is stressful. However, we have not found the accelerated pace of change in our lives particularly difficult to endure. In part, I think this is because of the skills we learned with you and continue to practice. Taking time for visioning goals and imaging creative solutions helps us when we are foundering. Most of all, the communication skills have rescued us when we are in conflict about next steps and each experiencing individual fears. These tools always work.

Anyway, we are fine. We are on our path with new developments all the time. The best part is that we are developing a life that more boldly expresses who we are as individuals and as a couple. I think it is particularly exciting that we are doing all this in middle age, a time when we might have gotten seriously stuck in deep ruts and become more cautious rather than more adventuresome. It was a fortunate day that we began Big Picture coaching with you and made a commitment to imaging a fulfilling future for ourselves.

With great affection from us both.”

-Mary and Richard, Writer and Actor Off on a New Adventure

Dr. Jan Hoistad