I started working with a life coach this fall and it’s been an amazing experience!!
The idea of working with a life coach came from a suggestion from Diana Hopkins-Rosseel and Dr. Trisha Parsons, two women who are superstars in their fields . . . and women who’ve I’ve mentioned a few times in my blog.
I figured if women like that saw potential in me I should follow up and pursue it.
My first introductory call with the life coach, Wendy Pentland, was surreal. I was in between meetings so I sat in my car in a park.
On one of the first warm days of the spring, I introduced myself to her, over the phone, with a warm breeze blowing into my sunroof.
She explained how she worked . . . and I explained what I hoped to accomplish.
She explained that I would guide the process because I was the expert on me.
I both liked and disliked the idea.
I liked it because the life coach process would go where I lead it.
I disliked it because I wasn’t sure how far I could go on my own steam?
Boy, was I wrong . . .
My first meeting with Wendy was in her office. She sat across from me – asked me questions and listened non-judgementally.
As I answered the questions I felt a swell of energy build in me and in the room around us.
I remember bringing a few small tasks to her and then having her lead me to enlarging those tasks to something I wouldn’t have necessarily considered tackling.
I ran into Dr. Parsons a few days later and inquired about Wendy’s “Jedi mind trick” capabilities.
And so our sessions have gone.
Each time I report to her and then bring some challenge to the table – which she helps me to flesh out and enlarge into something more meaningful.
(We don’t look anything like this in our sessions!! LOL! I just like the illustration.)
It’s like I present her with a paper airplane but by the end of the session I have plans – from my own thoughts and imagination – to build a jet!!
What’s beautiful is that she doesn’t lead me necessarily. She always seems to take me on a tangent where I begin to see the challenge differently . . . a different perspective and the finding of a far more nuanced solution.
Enjoying this experience immensely.
Here are five things I’ve learned (so far):
1. Let go of all preconceived notions and surrender to the process. Although I am leading – because we’re working on challenges that I present – I am being really open to tangents or complimentary routes to getting to my destination. Wendy has asked me to simply reflect and consider things. Many times, out of this simple pause . . . and moment of contemplation, I’ve had mind shifts that lead to solutions even deeper than I could have come to on my own.
2. Be honest. Wendy asks questions about aspects of your life using a scale of one to ten to rate your satisfaction. The more honest you are in your answers the more she can help you. The exercise itself helped me to understand that although I rated an area of my life high . . . a few days later, with deeper reflection, I decided I wanted to make some significant changes in that area. Since then I have done work to challenge myself in that realm. And feeling like I accomplished something now that I’m aware enough to be really honest.
3. Come with ideas of what you’d like to work on during your time with a life coach but be flexible to what life dictates you should work on during that time. In my case I had a planned-out list of what I thought I would work on with Wendy. Hmmmmmmmmm . . . instead an amazing opportunity popped on my lap, a new development in my professional work appeared and I had some spiritual and personal awakenings. Needless to say, my little list is on the back burner.
4. BREATH. A few times I’ve been so excited about the prospects of my future or a plan or a project that I’ve worked myself up into a whirlwind. The first time, Wendy stopped me and told me to take three deep breaths. The next times, (times at work or at home) working on something special I will remember to stop and breath. It’s not like I’m not always breathing. 🙂 It’s the reminder to take those deep, cleansing, calibrating breaths. (We use this breath at the gym too. At the end of some classes. Inhale deep and exhale strong. Or in yoga.)
5. Work together to build the confidence to be self-sufficient. A few times, after coming to a great solution to a problem – in Wendy’s presence – she’s asked me, “How are you going to find these solutions when you don’t have me?” In one case she helped me recognize when I was approaching a problem from a lower energy; I mentioned the signs I should look for in myself when I wasn’t approaching a problem with my best mindset. Then she asked me to think of the markers of a higher energy conceptualization of a problem. How would I know I was thinking about a challenge from a higher, open and constructive perspective? And if I could approach my challenges from this higher “mind” I could learn to be successful with or without Wendy’s presence. Incredible!
I went into the life coach experience with little knowledge about what it was and certainly no expectations and it’s been life-changing for me already.
I feel like I’m being equipped with a new set of tools to use in my life.
I know I’m emerging a new person in this process.
My biggest surprise is that it’s not a task-oriented experience – it’s turning out to be a mind shifting experience. Giving me more powerful results.
Do consider working with a life coach!
I would definitely recommend Wendy Pentland because my experience with her has been so subtly life-changing.