Coaching is about stories and so I’m going to tell you a story that happened about a decade ago. I worked at Capital One with this guy Randy and we were both smokers back then. I remember one day sitting outside the building with Randy and we were talking about a fight he had with his wife. Randy and I used to joke all the time that we were too smart to be happy. You know – because we can see the world for what it is. But he told me that Susan, his wife, said that she was truly content and happy every day. Like – all the time. Which seemed ridiculous to us. And I remember sitting there laughing. At her. Because we thought we were so much smarter than she is. It’s hard for me to think about the kind of person I was then. It’s hard for me to think of Randy because he was an amazing, artful, smart and generous soul. He and his wife began going through a really ugly divorce and then not long after that conversation we had when, Randy committed suicide. I remember going to the funeral where his wife gave the most eloquent, honest, and courageous eulogy. And I remember thinking how much I admired her. This story sounds really depressing but it gets better.
I really didn’t think about the conversation in the smoke shack until several years after the funeral. My daughter was three and I was pregnant with my son and I attended my first coaching retreat. What I learned in coaching was that the way that I saw the world was limiting me and my potential in every way, including in all of my relationships. I learned so much about the stories that I had been living my whole life. Up until then. And once I saw them I realized that I could change them.
Fast forward a few more months and I remembered waking up one day and realizing that by changing my story I changed my relationship with my children, my husband, my work —- my world. I realized that I am truly very content. And happy. I thought – I sound just like Susan. That’s when I realized how powerful coaching really was. It made something that seemed completely impossible totally real.
I want to be clear that I am not saying coaching cures depression. Randy suffered an illness that led to suicide. I did not. I had a world view that led to suffering. And I was able to change that. I wanted to help others do the same. I attended an amazing training program through the Newfield Network in Colorado and got certified as an Ontological Coach and now help others identify their habits and behaviors that have been limiting them and keeping them from leading more significant lives through personal leadership and deeply meaningful relationships.
In 2014, my husband said to me “I don’t know what it is that has changed you but you are changed and you are happy and you seem so satisfied. And I want to feel that way too.” Chris went to a retreat with my coach in Montana for a week. When he came back he said, “OH! Now I get it and I get why you do it and why you need to do it. But I still don’t know how to explain it.” Our relationship changed that day and has been so rewarding. But like he said, coaching is hard to explain. My clients come to me mostly through referrals or have met someone whose life changed with coaching. While I love to coach one on one and with couples, it’s exhausting. I also coach in organizations, work with small business and non-profit organizations, do public speaking engagements, teach and create online learning content. These are all ways to expose people to coaching so that they can decide if it’s something that they’d like to explore more.