My Adventures in Coaching.

So part of my journey right now is stepping into my life with both feet  and I’ve recently discovered the next piece to my puzzle, a piece that fills me up and allows me to do what I love in a better way , which is connect with  and help people! Although it felt like the decision to go back to school and train to become a certified life / business coach happened very quickly, the truth is I’ve been seeking it out my whole life. From as far back as I can remember, I would come alive most when I connected and helped the people in my circle overcome a challenge or support them through a difficult time.

Roughly six months ago, a close friend turned to me and said “Remember years ago when you mentioned looking into becoming a life coach – Why don’t you?” and even though I’d heard it before, this time it resonated on a deeper level – because she was right, I’ve danced around it for years but truthfully didn’t know HOW someone would become a coach. It all seemed so airy fairy to me.

Growing up, I loved watching coaches come on Oprah then religiously watched every episode of “The Starting Over House” and more recently “Breakthrough” by Tony Robbins…glued to every word and life changing moment. I just eat this stuff up!! Whatever they do, I love it. But would wonder… how could I do that? I was good at being a supportive friend that had some life experience which seemed to help me help others, but figured, that’s not going to cut it. So, it wasn’t that hard to let the idea quickly drift away into a sea of reasons why I couldn’t.

But this time was different.  I was tired of saying NO and wanted to at least look into it further. So that night I told Scott and the most unexpected thing happened… he said “Really? I JUST met a life coach this week at a networking meeting and she was really incredible. I’ll introduce you if you want.” And even though there was a huge part of me that was hesitant, I said yes and next thing I know, I met the amazing Karen Bresler a few days later.

What I thought was going to be a fairly superficial conversation with Karen turned into what felt like meeting someone I’d known my whole life. The language she used, her outlook, philosophies  – it  was like listening to myself and all these TV coaches all wrapped up into one – everything I’d ever been drawn to. The more we talked, the more excited we both got and after telling her how I got here, she enthusiastically (to say the least) ‘encouraged’ (aka TOLD…haha) me to pursue formal coach training. Of course I was thinking this is all happening too fast (little troll)– I had only just muttered the words and now I’m going to do this?? Sensing my hesitation, she insisted I at least experience a coaching session with a friend of hers and I agreed. And then the second angel-coach, Peter Valles entered my life..

What is coaching like?

Coaching to me was similar to “therapy” but more helpful in my opinion. I’ve done therapy and it has its place in the world but what I remember is that I was always left feeling better to get things out but then wondering “Now what?” Coaching is similar in creating a safe environment where there is total confidentiality and a strict ethics policy but in terms of process there is a big difference. I found therapy was a LOT more reviewing over and over what happened and how I got here. Whereas, a typical coaching session is 10% of how you got here (past), 80% discovering, acknowledging and designing the future and then 10% is designing steps to take in the PRESENT to get me closer to what I want. Love it.

What I found was, a coach asks powerful questions, mirrors back what they see and hear, makes observations, validates where you are and holds your hand through tough realizations. There is no rushing. That being said, they are also there to firmly guide you toward your ultimate vision. Yes, big emotions can come up but you don’t stay there for long and they breathe space into those moments for you to express, honour and respect your own feelings.

Since that first phone meeting with Peter, not knowing a THING about what true coaching was all about – I have begun to discover who I am, what I love and what my purpose is during this big life I’ve got. I am now blessed to call him my life coach.

With Peter’s help, I discovered what my values are that drive me forward, what fills me up and learning to serve that voice deep within that IS me and not that troll on my shoulder telling me “I can’t”. The process for me is difficult at times, but enlightening, empowering and effective.  And the real work isn’t in the sessions but between them when I am assigned homework in the form of writing, reflecting, creating or acting on something we discuss.

One of those BIG homework projects was to finally enroll and begin my coach training at The Coach Training Institute and it was a life changing experience. Over the three days, two of the most in-sync Master Coaches, Signy Wilson and Joni Mar, took twenty six of us on a journey where we dug in deep to learn the fundamental coaching tools that will serve us moving forward but also these fearless people shared their real life struggles out for all to see as we practiced coaching each other. There were HUGE laughs, big tears and times when you could have heard an eye-lash drop. It was not only a personal development milestone for me but professionally and felt like a spiritual shift by the time Sunday came around. When we said good-bye we were more than friends, we’d been through something big and the bond was palpable.  I walked away with tools that help me listen and connect with others on the deepest level possible. These tools impact what kind of a coach I become and, I think, enable me to be a better friend, Mom and Wife.

Our glowing group of coaches at “Fundamentals”, Sept 2012

I’m not sure where this path is leading or what form it will take in my life when I complete my certification next year, but I DO know that I’ve found my place and my people and it feels incredible. My life has more focus and drive than it’s ever had and although I could use more sleep, hours in a day and a baby that doesn’t want to use me for biting practice, I am happily exhausted at the end of every day and eager to learn and share along the way.

Next, I’m working on catching up with my progress in my nutrition course, E.A.T! . It is challenging but I’m seeing real result in my efforts to drop this weight I’ve collected over the years. Lots of Aha moments to share 🙂 Coming soon…

Thank you for reading and much love for all the support you are sending! xo Ker


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