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.

20 comments:

  1. I think it is awesome that you are doing this and I have zero doubt you'll be a natural at it. In the short time I've known you, it seems abundantly clear to me that you would excel at this. Exciting stuff, friend!

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    1. Wow I cannot thank you enough for your kind words. Thank you, Sizz!

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  2. Can I just say that the comment "you don't even have kids" cracked me up. I have first-hand knowledge that having kids means you have NO life! heheheh

    I am so happy, proud, and impressed that you're taking this as your next path in life. You're going to be awesome at it (as you are with everything you do) and I'm excited to see you write about your "journey" (to quote the Bachelor/ette).

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    1. I love you for using Bachelore lingo. :)

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  3. No matter what we do in life, there will always be naysayers. I'm sure some people rolled their eyes at your desk job, saying they could never be tied down in an office. And now, people are questioning your choices because they don't think you're experienced enough. I think you've given plenty of reasons here to correct their mis-perceptions. I think you'd be a great life coach and hope that you really enjoy this certification course you're taking!

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    1. You're right - there are always naysayers. Maybe life coach training will give me better skills for tuning them out. :)

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  4. wait...your dad once tackled a burglar to help the cops chasing him??? How have I NEVER heard this story??? Oh...and good luck on being a life coach...you're a natural!

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    1. OMG Laura I can't believe you've never heard that one! It's one of his proudest moments! We were at Lake Powell and he was down at the marina and the cops were chasing some guy (I don't remember what he had done wrong - I'm sure Gary could enlighten you). As he saw what was happening, the guy came running toward him on the dock, and my dad just took him down! Don't underestimate the 5'6" stature - he can tussle with the best of them!

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  5. I think you'll be a great life coach, and you've already helped people who read your blog so take THAT Mr/Mrs "you don't even have kids." Pft. You're blossoming.

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    1. Thanks Janice. I think you definitely influenced me on some level with your Masters in Spiritual Psych!

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  6. Doesn't not having kids make us experts in the field?! LOL.

    Curious why you went the Beck route. We'll have to chat about that sometime.

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    1. Yes and I would like to recruit YOU to be my colleague!

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  7. We each have one life to live and our own roads to travel. Most who mock or condemn are just too cowardly to step off a path paved by others. Rock on with your bad ass helper self!

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    1. Thanks, Chantel. You always have great words to share. :)

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  8. I am very proud of all of my children and the paths they have chosen. Each and every one of you
    excel and work very hard at what you do best. And I am pretty proud of my Phd. in Mothering and I would like to add Grandparenting to that also.
    New challenges are what keep our wheels spinning and minds active. Congrats and good luck in your new ventures.

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    1. So you're saying that maybe this will help me not get Alzheimers? Because I feel like I'm already on my way most days.

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  9. This is so NOT a surprise to me. I'm really enjoying getting to know you, and from what I know so far, you are one helluva woman.

    I'm a 43 year old ex-stripper, recovering addict with (wait for it) no children, trust issues and a mean, dry sense of humor. I'm the poster child for Hot Mess. There are many people who laugh at my wanting to turn my experiences around toward helping young women with low self-esteem. I say, bring it.

    It's only when we hear "you can't", that makes us warriors want to kill 'em with kindness, showing 'em just how much we can.

    Excited for the pages to turn.

    xo

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    1. Christine, you are awesome and an inspiration. And I have no doubt that you'll help a whole lot of girls conquer their self esteem issues. :)

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  10. first rule of counseling is that you don't have to have the same experiences to help other people. you just need to be a good listener and point out themes and discrepencies. Based on your comments on my blog, I'd say you're going to be a kickass life coach

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  11. Okay, you're my life coach. I come in and tell you I desperately want to open a joint checking account with my spouse, but she's deathly afraid of doing it. She unrealistically and irrationally thinks she's giving up some part of herself or her independence if we do it. But it's really important to me. I need your advice...and go. (See what I did there?)

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Well, whatdya think?