My First Coaching Session
It was 2007 and I was loving my work with my business, In Health, but I was feeling overwhelmed by working 7 days a week, 10-12 hours a day. Something had to change. One of my clients suggested and then referred me to, Lisa, a life coach in New York.
Whatever my preconceptions of the call had been, all I can recall now is what Lisa said to me that first session. On our first call, Lisa asked me what I wanted in life.
After much honest contemplation, I said I want to be a good wife and friend. I wanted downtime for refueling. I was tired, really tired. I wanted to be able to reach my goals and finish projects that were important to me.
She then asked me, what was stopping me from having these things?
I loved my work even back then, but I had so many other goals and things I wanted to accomplish– I just never had the time. I never made the time. I made the realization that I cared for others more than I did for myself or for time with my family.
When or where had I decided I had to work 7 days a week? I wanted to let go! I needed to make changes! I honestly needed to look deeper at the essence of me, Kathy. Who was I without my work? What did I value about myself outside of my business?
Working with Lisa allowed me to think out loud, and explore what my needs and options were in a way I hadn’t been presented with before. I used to feel like life was whizzing by me. I started questioning where life was taking me. What would I want my eulogy to read?
As we talked, I suddenly was sure of one thing– I wanted to preserve the NOW! Preserve what is beautiful, what is around me– savoring all that is right in my world. Again, the question screamed out to me, why am I working so much?
Together, through our conversation, Lisa and I uncovered many things. We discovered I had too much furniture! No matter how I moved it or rearranged it, there was always too much to fit in the room! That furniture was the perfect metaphor for my business and my life. I needed not just to rearrange, but also let go of all the small pieces. I could not continue to live this way.
Lisa made me feel comfortable and supported as we worked through some of my life issues. With compassion and love, she pushed me to my limits, allowing me to explore inquiries and realizations of what I truly wanted. We found what my goals were, and what was truly most important in my life.
When I got off the phone at the end of our session, I was exhausted. I realized that sometimes it takes an outside listener to really help us discover our inner truth. My truth was…. I DID TOO MUCH! But with this simple realization, I felt a weight lifted off me. I was finally able to let myself off the hook.
One of the solutions I stick to even now is to Work when I Work, and commit to being Off when I am Off. Friday night, as soon as I walk out of my office– that’s it! Weekend rules: no one gets my time but Marvin (my husband) and I. Now my thoughts turn to, What do I want to do this weekend? That question once brought up a huge anxiety in me. A whole weekend without work?!
It took me time to implement these ideas and solutions we discussed. But it was so worth the time and effort it took to rearrange the furniture. I made room for a life that allows me to balance time for friends, family and myself, while still doing the work that nourishes my soul. By setting simple guidelines, I can meet my goals and ambitions for the future, and live a life I am happy to live.
Twelve years later, I still think of those sessions with Lisa and how she impacted my life for the better. She was my neutral third party, someone who could be honest with me, and I honest with her– a trusted confidant. Lisa’s simple words helped me to STOP and pay attention to my life. She didn’t tell me what to do, she let me discover what was true for me. Living a life of BALANCE has been my reward.
Questions for your own self reflection:
- What does the furniture arrangement in your life look like? Is it too crowded, too big and overbearing?
- What are your values?
- What areas of your life are you doing well and what areas could you improve on?
- How are you caring for yourself so that you are mentally and physically at your best?
- Do you find your life in balance and are you taking time for you?
- Who are you without the labels that have been pinned on you (mother, professional, wife)?
- What are your passions in life?
- Do you know what your goals are in life and why?
- What do you want to do with your downtime?
Let’s talk If you need help rearranging your