Thursday, June 28, 2012
The Next Step
When I got laid off last fall, I felt like the Universe was thumping me in the butt, telling me, "Now's your chance to do something different."
Although I wasn't entirely sure what that different thing should be, I was committed to figuring it out.
Then in January, I met with a friend who had gone through the Martha Beck life coach-training program a few years back and, without much effort, she convinced me it was the direction I wanted to head next.
Still I dragged my feet, second guessing a decision that felt right, and I missed my opportunity to join the June program (which continues into March 2013). I figured there was a reason it didn't work out and that I would have to table my desire and sign up in September.
But a few months later, the Universe gave me another jolt: an additional June class was being added and I was on the list if I still wanted to participate.
I signed up the next day.
Telling people that I'm making this transition hasn't been all flowers and sunshine. The term "life coach" carries a sort of stigma that you're either totally woo-woo or a know-it-all or someone who doesn't want to tie themselves down to a "real" job.
People close to me have reacted in ways ranging from complete support to laughter and ridicule to downright judgment and doubt. There was even my favorite line, "How can you be a life coach?! You don't even have kids!"
Has every orthopedic surgeon had a broken femur? Has every dentist needed a root canal? Is having children a prerequisite to becoming a pediatrician?
I don't believe you have to have lived through every life circumstance (difficult or not) to help someone else through the same thing. You just need the right training. I'm pretty certain that my male therapist (who was married to a woman) had never been cheated on by a guy who was hung up on his college girlfriend, yet he was still able to help me navigate my way through that situation pretty darn well.
I come from a family of helpers. My brother is a firefighter, sister is a nurse, mother pretty much has an honorary PhD in Mothering, and dad once tackled a burglar to help the cops chasing him. And then there's me...the copywriter. Not that writing isn't a totally noble career—I just want to be able to do something more with it. I want to be of more help to the people I know are hurting, be more efficient when someone in transition comes seeking my advice, be happier with what I am doing every day.
Am I a sage old soul? Heck no. But I don't think you have to have decades of life experience to help people tap into their intuition, jump over their life hurdles, or find peace.
Thankfully, my biggest cheerleader through this has been Mr. W. Sometimes I feel like the voice that comes out of his mouth is my own.
I had my first coach-training class yesterday and it was pretty cool. Good vibes, good people, and, I hope, good things to come. For myself and those who turn to me for help.