When I took my first coaching training in 2003, I remember the feeling of a new world opening up to me–and the thrill of learning. I soon discovered that coaching was not just a profession or a set of tools, but a way of life. The “being” of coaching translated into curiosity, playfulness, and exquisite listening. I began to peel off the layers of corporate “paint” that had accumulated from 20 years of working in large companies.
I became more of who I was meant to be.
I took additional advanced coaching training, putting new arrows in my coaching quiver. It gave me great satisfaction to expand how I worked with both individuals and teams.
But to be honest, I stopped learning the art of coaching after my first few years in business. Instead, I focused more on the art of business–marketing, sales, product development. The engineer in me was happy.
Fast forward to 2011, when I burned out. I was a mess. The engineer in me was frustrated at not having made a go of a second company, My Alumni Link (providing career development programs to university alumni associations). The entrepreneur in me was ashamed that I had failed. More importantly, the spiritual seeker in me was nowhere to be seen. I had neglected my soul for so long that I disconnected from the joy, magic and mystery of life.
It took several years to rebuild, from the inside out–to upgrade the “operating system” of Carol, to reinvent my business based on service and gratitude, to return to the art of coaching.
The result of this rebuilding is this: I fell in love again with life.
And this past year, after being trained in a remarkable coaching methodology, called Great Story Coaching, I fell in love again with coaching.
Today, my life–and my coaching–is infused with joy, magic, and mystery.
I feel the joy of seeing clients break entrenched self-sabotaging patterns of behavior and step into a place of freedom. Clients realize–and embrace–that they are whole, not broken.
I delight in the magic of opportunities showing up for clients, opportunities that go beyond what they ever thought possible. Clients land their ideal job or meet just the right person to help with a book.
I savor the mystery of transformation. Clients report changes on many levels, from more confidence to physically standing taller to looking ten years younger. (Yes, hard to believe, but one client reported that after working with me, a friend remarked that she looked ten years younger.)
No doubt about it, I am a better coach than I was a year ago. But even more, I am a better human being, having gone into deep emotional territory with my clients and myself. As I have let go of struggle (well, for the most part), in favor of embracing my Great Story, so have my clients.
I know now that journeys are sacred, stories can hold us back or lift us up, and the future is determined by the resonance that we hold today, not the circumstances of the past.
I am humbled by the magnificence of life and grounded by a deep knowing that I am connected to a higher power.
This is what falling in love is like, to feel blessed to be alive and surrounded by all that is good.
PS. If you are a coach and interested in learning more about Great Story Coaching, sign up for this free two-hour training on August 14, 2015. When you sign up, you’ll also get two downloads–a guide for what to listen for in the stories your clients tell you, and a Great Story Map that details the elements of the Great Story Coaching process.
Photo by Christian Scheja