How did I get here?
My journey from nursing to teaching trauma sensitive yoga, to professional speaking, to trauma recovery coaching.
Recently retired from a career in nursing, I considered launching a new career, professional speaking. With an expertise in program development, I was frequently asked to speak at conferences and workshops throughout my nursing career. I had received no special training in speaking other than participating in Toastmasters in preparation for a speech at a national conference. In addition to nursing, I was teaching trauma sensitive yoga, recommended by trauma experts for those experiencing symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress.
Three years ago, August, 2017, I joined the John Maxwell Team in Orlando, FL. I received my certification in the Maxwell Method of Speaking. While I was on my way as a professional speaker, I was introduced to professional coaching. Listening to Christian Simpson, John Maxwell Team Faculty for the Coaching track, speak passionately about the coaching process, I realized I had no real understanding of coaching.
A coach is not a trainer, a mentor, a teacher. A coach has the skill of intentionally being fully present to the client’s agenda, with skillful compassionate inquiry, to create the space and the process for the unconscious to be made conscious. As Christian quotes Carl Jung, “ Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate”.
My experience with a sports coach.
When I completed my first Olympic triathlon (open water swim 1 mi. bike 24 mi. run 6 mil) in under four hours, I had reached my goal. Having reached my goal, being highly motivated, I had a desire to improve my time. I sought out a coach. Not only a triathlon coach, but a wellness coach. I discovered nutrition training was more important than the physical workouts. Early in my college years I was on a synchronized swimming team. The team had a coach.
With curiosity about this new concept of transformational coaching, I completed the John Maxwell Method of Coaching, receiving my certificate six months later. Thoughts went back to a time of being on-call for hospice patients cared for by families at home. When called out in the middle of the night, a patient’s condition had changed. Death was impending, or had occurred. The cold snowy winter nights, with coffee mug in hand, family still sound asleep tucked in warm beds, I considered the sanity of what I was doing. There was a shift in energy as I walked into the home. I was needed by the family, yet there was nothing that I really needed to do or say. My presence, being the authority of compassion, was what was needed. My presence held the safe container for grief. Many had never witnessed dying before this moment.
Being present, I witnessed their capacity to find their way. Teaching trauma sensitive yoga, I have also experienced creating a safe safe for those students in my class who are healing from a traumatic experience. Trusting they will find their way, increasing their tolerance for overwhelming feelings and emotions.
Transformational coaching is the process for the deep dive into the unconscious to bring forth what is hindering, or tangled up. Coaching is uncovering that which is in the way of living life to the fullest. Removing the blindfolds that prevent us from seeing clearly.
“Be thankful for what unravels your life, because it creates the opening for a new vision to come in” – Michael Meade.
Trauma recovery coaching is creating a synchronized coherent field with presencing and seeing. Deep listening with a finely attuned nervous system for what is true and authentic. Noticing what emerges, seeking clarification, opening to creativity, and new ideas not previously thought of in the conscious mind.
The words of Henri Nouwen beautifully describe the coaching process.
“Moving from opaqueness to transparency, from the place where things are dark, impenetrable and closed, to the place where these same things are translucent, open, and offer vision far beyond themselves.”