A little about me
- My Journey to Becoming a Coach -
I must confess: I get super giddy about self-help and personal development. The content, the psychological theories behind the content, the sociological aspect– oh, I just love it all.
My introduction to the world of psychology began when I was a (recalcitrant?) teenager and my parents made me to go to therapy. My experience was not up to par with my impetuous teenage standards, and so I quickly decided my calling was to become a therapist and work with youth in a way that was more helpful than harmful.
Fast forward 15 years… I have a Psychology Degree, a Master’s Degree in Women’s Studies, and have been working in the field of domestic and sexual violence for about ten years. My passion had morphed a bit – I was now dedicating my life to eliminating violence against women and girls. At some point, I became a wee-bit burnt out on the violence aspect, and became drawn to holistic healing for survivors and trauma workers - in particular, the emphasis on self-care. My burning passion for anything and everything self-improvement was reignited. If a class, a magazine, or a coffee mug had the words meditate, breathe, simplify, improve, healthy, love, live, happy, (I think you catch my drift), I devoured it. True story: I went out with my now husband because his online dating profile mentioned that the last book he read was the Happiness Hypothesis. (And he was cute!)
Over the next few years, I decided to immerse myself in a PhD program. I wanted to deconstruct the burgeoning personal development movement. Namely, I wanted to study the what and why of self-help. What is the research on happiness and self-help telling us? What are the self-help tools that are shown to be most efficacious? Really, I just wanted the secret formula to happiness.
And then there’s the why aspect, and this is where the sociological analysis comes in. I wanted to delve into the social construction of happiness. How does intrinsic motivation fit with the pursuit of happiness? I wanted an answer to questions like, why are our lives so hectic that we need an entire genre of literature and a shabby-chic placard reminding us to Breathe? Are we searching for meaning because we have our basic needs met? Is there a price to pay for all this hedonism and interest in the self? Or, is happiness the new movement for positive social change? As you can see, I had a few questions.
Back to my grand PhD program plan. I couldn’t do it. It just didn’t feel like the right fit for me at the time. I promptly entered the what-am-I-going-to-do-with-my-life slump. During this time I also got engaged, bought a house, began planning a wedding, and signed up for a life coaching program. Hey, what better time to learn some tools to self-coach?
When I signed up for the Martha Beck Life Coach Training Program, my intention was to learn the tools to use on myself, not to become a life coach. However, life had other plans for me. I fell in love with coaching during the very first class. The content. The tools. The helping people. I saw how some very pointed questions could shatter long-held limiting beliefs and open up one’s entire world. I went part-time with my job of six years (which was terrifying, yet super exciting), and I am now diving in to start my own creativity and life coaching practice. I am completely immersed in the what, and it feels good. Maybe one day maybe I’ll dig into the why, but for now I am exactly where I need to be and feel satiated.