As an introvert, I’m generally uncomfortable sharing about me. Truth be told, I’d much rather be talking about you. But in the interest of helping us build a relationship and get to the meaty, inspirational part where you discover coaching that blows your hair back, here are some things that may help you decide if I’m the kind of travel companion you want on the journey that is your life:
I believe that gratitude changes everything. Way back when, I remember listening to one of Louise Hay’s meditations where she thanked the chair and the table and a whole lot of other every day items for being in her life. (Or something like that, it was many years ago now and the memory isn’t what it used to be!) At the time, I didn’t get it. At all. I thought it was odd, to say the least.
But I loved how those meditations made me feel. And they obviously sowed some pretty resilient seeds because now I thank chairs and tables and all sorts of every day things too. All the time. I am grateful for every single breath I draw. It makes my heart skip a beat just to realise that I am here, breathing, sharing this with you.
Richard Bach is my favouritest author ever. I was amused to discover the other day that I owned my first Bach book, Illusions, at the ripe old age of 20. This was waaaaaay before I knew anything about self help or coaching or personal growth. I’m not sure I even really understood what a metaphor was then. I can’t remember how I came to be in possession of such an inspirational tome, but I do know that that book has seen me through all sorts of confusion and growth and learning and discovery.
I treasure my dog-eared, tear-stained, slightly bent and battered but still mostly intact copy. It’s been a faithful companion on many missions and never fails me, even today, when I open its pages seeking inspiration.
I’ve navigated a few tricky currents in my journey to now. I’ve made it through grief and loss and horror and shame and I’ve taken more than a few classes at the school of hard knocks. Today, I’m delighted that I’m finding the joy that lives on the other side of heartache. I’m really proud that I’m building a life that’s about thriving, not just surviving. It’s taken me a while to figure out how it all fits together and I hope I never stop learning.
For now, I’m excited that the process of creation continues to delight and surprise me. I’m discovering that there can be inspiration even while there is fear and that action really is the only antidote to inaction.
I’m proudly South African. Even though I’m privileged to call New Zealand home for right now, an African drum still beats in my heart. My soul yearns for the vibrancy, the chaos and the rhythm that is Africa, even while it delights in the peace and the beauty and the tranquillity that New Zealand delivers.
Despite the confusion about where geography and circumstance may place me, I’ve discovered a home that lives in me wherever I am. It’s finally warm and welcoming and safe there, and it’s quite simply delicious.
My current favourite kitchen appliance is a spice grinder. Talk about the art of underwhelm. Anyone who’s ever spent any time in our kitchen (oh, ok, anywhere in our lives really) knows that we are a gadget-techno-obsessed-dependent family. When I think about the hours I have spent battling a mortar and pestle (and a rolling pin and a meat mallet) I am bemused, truly bemused at how much simpler great curry is. Who knew?
For those who need more conventional facts and figures before jumping in to a coaching relationship with me, here’s some detail about the learning that underpins my experience as a life coach:
I’m a certified Martha Beck Life Coach. Martha is a crazily inspirational teacher who helps people all around the world get rid of the mind crap that stands between them and awesome. She’s a bestselling author, three time Harvard graduate and a regular columnist in “O’, Oprah’s magazine. Martha’s life coach training programme is quite simply, phenomenal.
I’m also a certified Trauma Release Exercise (TRE) provider. I will be forever grateful to Dr David Berceli for the work he has done on figuring out how we can escape the grip trauma has on our lives. TRE has been an invaluable part of helping me move through traumatic experiences and reconnect with my body and the wisdom it holds. TRE is an amazingly simple yet enormously powerful self-care tool.
I’ve completed Introductory and Advanced Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) workshops and an ACT and Trauma course with Dr Russ Harris. ACT helps us to focus on living rich, full and meaningful lives. Learning to accept and gently defuse from our challenges helps to create greater psychological flexibility and, ultimately, emotional wellbeing. These principles support much of the work I do with my clients.
When I’m not being a coach, I volunteer for Victim Support, an organisation that provides a free 24 / 7 community response to help victims of serious crime and trauma. This has been a truly humbling experience. I’m grateful for the lessons about compassion and judgement, for the chance to walk with so many as they navigate heartbreak and upheaval and for the inspiration and learning that comes from being part of a team dedicating to helping others when they need it most.
Before I was a coach (long, long ago!), I spent 20-plus years being a marketing person. I was as passionate about building brands and businesses then as I am about building people today. I can truly say that I lived, breathed, ate, slept, and dreamt my brands. I loved getting under the skin of things, exploring motivation and behaviour and the impact on results. I guess nothing much has changed, even if the emphasis has shifted slightly!