Most life coaches have personal stories of what brought them to coaching. I have one, too.
I decided to enter the field of occupational therapy after investigating what seemed like every possible job on the planet! It was the only profession I found that combined keywords that inspired me: “purposeful activity,” “fostering new and creative strategies for meaningful, productive lives across the lifespan,” and most importantly a focus on the question, “What matters to you?” and not “What’s the matter with you?”
With a career of over 30 years, I have had the privilege of hearing thousands of stories by generous clients. I have shared their disappointments, losses and hardships. It has also been my privilege to be a partner in successful problem solving, feeling the power of their and my own resilience. My clients and training taught me how to be a humble listener and I, hopefully, facilitated movement towards optimal well-being in the areas that mattered most to my clients.
My desire to impart a variety of life management skills to a wider audience that was under my clinical purview, I made a bold move to embrace a career in self-publishing and then, eventually, publishing other clinicians’ books. I co-wrote 15 books for mental health facilitators and published other clinicians books as well. I have enjoyed speaking nationally on the topic of life skills.
Navigating through challenging transitions has been part of my life’s experiences. Learning how to live life to the fullest has been a personal theme as well as professional theme.
Living abroad at age 19, learning a new language on a kibbutz, studying at the University of Haifa and figuring out how to thrive in Israeli culture was met with daily lessons. After moving back to the states and years later, my older brother’s mental illness got the best of him and he died by suicide at 30 years old. Learning how to deal with my own grief as well as my family’s has been an ongoing process and allows me to deal with clients’ grief in an accepting and open manner. “It doesn’t get better, it gets different.”
Living life fully means taking risks, living big: starting a new business, co-owning a family business, selling it to a larger New York based publishing house. Raising three children, going through a divorce from a gentleman from my own religious faith, and a remarriage to a man outside of my own religious practice while raising the 3 children within my own faith. Relocating from Ohio to Arizona at age 50 and now beginning a private coaching practice.
And living life to the fullest implies being well along the way. When we are filled with doubt, stress, indecision and stagnation, we cannot take the steps to live that life. Being well takes effort. It is about accepting challenges and a willingness to try different practices and then….experiment. Currently, I practice being mindful, I love yoga, tennis, swimming, hiking, playing with our two dogs, talking with our kids at any opportunity we can make, spending time and travelling with our parents, reading, public speaking, writing books and just hanging out and sharing my enriched life with my husband.
Hopefully, there is an aspect of my story that resonates with you and will prompt you to find your way to Labyrinth studio for life coaching.