As someone who works in an industry that is for the most part unregulated and loosely defined, I am constantly met with puzzled looks when I tell people “I’m a life coach.” It seems no matter how much I work to polish my elevator pitch I’m still met with blank stares. The other day as I sat reclined in the dentist chair the assistant asked what do I do for work and when I said “I’m a life coach” she sighed and said “oh that is so great so you do natural births.” For a second I thought that statement could apply to some of my clients who like the Phoenix, were rising, “giving birth” to new selves but instead I replied, “no, not childbirth, I’m a life coach,” which was met with that familiar blank stare followed by, “what’s that?”
My brain clicks into gear, reaching for my 30 second pitch, that goes something like this:
I listen to people talk about the things that bring them the least amount of happiness and satisfaction in their lives, helping them recognize and extract the self imposed limiting beliefs holding them back from experiencing a life full of synchronicity, flow and ultimately joy. We work together to clear roadblocks from their path as they navigate through all sorts of issues including relationship breakdowns, job change, creative blocks while finding peace with life’s transitions.
Which is met with “ohhhhh I think I need one of those.” “Yes, don’t we all?” I reply.
My decision to become a Life Coach
Everyone’s version of Life Coaching is different. There are some organizations that are accredited and claim to be the governing body of what’s what in life coaching but the fact remains that the industry of life coaching is for the most part wide open to any interpretation so this is my take on it.
For me it was sort of a natural evolution. From day one I have always been drawn to working with people whether it was as a manager at Nordstrom, Giorgio Armani or the eight years spent running a multi million dollar promotional company. Playing the part of HR was always my best work then one day about five years ago left my job to pursue my creative dream of writing and photography but that left in an isolating vacuum with a whole lot of debt. In 2013 I answered a call on Craigslist that lead to a job where I started as a bookkeeper but flourished as the resident HR manager, listener, mom, and mediator.
My life has not been without its ups and downs and this year was no exception. Whether it was was planets aligning, hormones or children moving back in, I felt the winds of change. Winds that swept (or howled with hurricane force) across my life bringing with them the question I kep asking myself, is this as good as it gets? As soon as I began asking the questions the books and articles appeared seemingly materializing at just the right moment. Do you ever walk into a bookstore and find yourself walking out with a book you never heard of but just felt that it was written for you? Design the Life You Love was just that book for me followed by Life Reimagined: The Science, Art, and Opportunity of Midlife.
These two books alone had me rethinking everything including my job, my health or lack thereof, my marriage, my photography, all of it. Where do I begin I asked. The answer came in the from a personal invitation from Deepak Chopra and Martha Beck, “Join us (and thousands of others) on The Quest.” And faster than you can say American Express I hit the Buy Now button.
For the next 5 weeks through video lessons, journaling prompts and exercises I began peeling back the layers. Oh man was it p-a-i-n-f-u-l. I didn’t expect the flood of tears that came with the lessons. There was so much stuff buried deep, shoved into the dark corners to be ignored but I soon realized not completely forgotten. Resistance has a funny way of keep what is least comfortable right there just below the radar (the backstory is here) . One of the highlights of this course was the weekly calls with Martha herself. At first I didn’t even bother to dial in, I figured it was some canned speech that basically was what I thought would be “fluff.” Boy was I wrong. These calls were opportunities, a chance to ask questions and be “coached” by Martha. Every call had a magical way of “speaking” to all of us. No matter who’s question was chosen Martha assured us that it would somehow apply to our own personal experience and it did every time. I’m now convinced that we are all in the same movie playing the same parts but with different scenes and different actors. Its a beautiful metaphor.
It’s not Life Coaching It’s Life Training
When I finished the Quest I was hungry for more. What’s next I asked? Another email appeared in the inbox, it read, “It’s not life coach training. It’s life training.” There were free calls to ask Martha all those burning questions like “how will I know when I’m ready?” and “is his really something I can do as a living?” but for me enrolling just seemed like a natural progression on my quest to find a career that aligned my desire help others heal while also earning an income. It’s what I always envisioned for myself sacred And with that I sent the hubby a text who happen to be 10,000 miles away on another continent and said “I’m doing this and it starts Monday.” And with that I went back to school right along with the rest of kids, books, binders and all.
As I continue along the path to becoming a Certified Martha Beck Life Coach I envision this website to take shape and become a source of inspiration, resources and continuing education as we push ourselves to discover what it means to live in a state of creative abundance, supported with an array of tools and knowledge as we ride the waves of life. That is my intention and if it is yours too I hope you’ll consider booking your free consultation to see how I might best support you.
Who knows maybe becoming a life coach is something you’ll discover along the pathway too.