Five years after going through coach training, I am reflecting on how much it has impacted my life. I mean not just in terms of clients I have worked with, but in terms of how it has impacted what I have done. I was explaining to my coach today how it has grounded me.
During times of transition, I used to feel like there was a freefall into an abyss. What I thought was true shifted and my hooks on the world melted away. I would lose my place. I always managed to land on my feet and make something of my transitions. However, the chaos rippled through many spheres in my world. I am, once again, in a space of transition. There has been a limbo state for a few years, working on projects, working on self, working on my spirituality, working through my divorce. And oddly, despite all the upheavel in the last few months and the shift I sense is coming, I feel grounded. I might, at times, lay down on the foundation floor instead of standing proudly on it, but there is no abyss I am falling through.
Coaching gave me the tools to look around – where am I at right now? What can I learn from the past to get closer to where I want to be? What do I most want? How do I prioritize what I want? Knowing the gap between where I am and where I want to be, what do I want to do to bridge that gap? When will I do that? And how will I know I am making progress? These are often big questions. And they don’t get answered in a day or a week. They evolve. And while they evolve, coaching offers tools for managing my headspace and heartspace in the process.
How do I not take things personally? How do I navigate conflicts? How do I leave behind beliefs about the world and relationships that are not working for me? Coaching gives me these tools. My particular coach training also relied heavily on Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP). They work incredibly well together. Coaching is aspirational – dream bigger dreams, believe in yourself and others as whole, creative, and resourceful. NLP is a set of best practices on how the brain works. Or how the brain and the body actually work. It doesn’t aim to have an overarching theory of psychology, instead it assumes that what one person can do, another can do. The trick is being able to perceive how. Its practices can range from body and eye movements to strong visualization tactics. Together, coaching and NLP reinforce each other’s strengths.
Coaching has given me answers to the questions I pose above. And the question I haven’t addressed is what that means for me. What did I do or achieve because of this work? There are many things that are too personal to share, and I will give a short list of some I can share:
- came to terms with a failing marriage and successfully ended it while maintaining a solid relationship to support my children’s well being.
- created and evolved my own business. I work on my terms with clients I admire, striving not for high returns but for deep alignment.
- have regular, solid and sacred time with my children and family.
- repeatedly decided to attend events (such as SoCap) or achieve milestones and developed creative ways of making them happen.
- developed an international network of support and care, making me more resilient and more open to possibilities.
- learned to listen deeply and proactively to others, which is a gift in itself.
- set and achieved audacious personal and business goals in terms of what I did/do, who I am with, and what benefits I receive.
- healed enough to love fully, openly, compassionately, and resiliently. Able to communicate effectively across any range of emotion.
I still have lots of room for improvement.
I have always been courageous – committing myself to a vision and willfully making it real no matter how uncharted the territory. So that isn’t new or about coaching. And I have always been committed to approaching life as a journey to grow through and experience deeply. Coaching and NLP gave me a toolset for acting upon my core self and in ways that I want to show up in the world. And I am deeply and profoundly grateful.
Huge thanks to my coach and dear friend Jill Palermo and to my trainers specifically Tim Hallbom and Jan Elfline. And very hearty thanks to Drake Zimmerman and Dan Rose for encouraging me on the path.