Working as a life coach was only supposed to be a short term thing until I worked out what I wanted to do, but even now 20 years later, I still coach some clients. When I made the decision to work as a life coach I had no idea what an impact that choice would have on my life. I didn’t decide to become a life coach because I felt a calling. I just knew I enjoyed working with and helping people, and I couldn’t think of anything else. For me it was something to do until the right opportunity came along.
David was one of my very first clients. He had been diagnosed with AIDS in 1984 and the fact that he had lived with that condition for 14 years was quite a feat as AIDS was a death sentence at that time. David said that he made the decision very early on that AIDS was not going to kill him, but said that ‘Even though I was fighting to change the belief that AIDS would kill me, AIDS controlled my life totally’. It took three years for David to reach a space where he believed he could shift his focus to being healed and he has lived from that space ever since. While I was working with David he was on the last drug available, all others had ceased working but he always focused on being happy, positive, surrounding himself with laughter and humour. The last time I heard from David was a couple of years ago, 30 years after his initial diagnosis.
One of the great gifts that comes from being a life coach, or doing any work where you help others, is that they help you as much if not more, than you help them. The gift I received from David was knowing that I could make a difference to someone who really needed support. He inspired me to be more and do more.
Another of my early life coach clients was a lesbian who was trying to get pregnant. At that time I didn’t agree with this because I worried about the prejudice the child would face, and I was still a little homophobic. I had to work on myself to ensure that my feelings never came across to my client. My client did get pregnant, and had a lovely little girl, and fortunately attitudes have changed. Over the years I have worked with many gay and lesbian clients and I have learnt so much from them, it has been a privilege because they helped me become a more accepting person.
Two of the big issues that have challenged me throughout my life were my struggles with money, and my inability to accept. I can have a tendency to judge and to resist what is. I have helped some people achieve financial goals that at first seemed impossible and in the process of doing so I overcame my own limiting beliefs about money. The gift I am always conscious of bringing to coaching is acceptance, and clients and students often come into my life to remind me where I need to work on myself more.
Being a life coach helped me establish positive habits
Abraham Hicks uses the metaphor of a river representing life. The majority of people try to shape life to fit what they think it should be and when they do this they swim upstream where they always fight the current. This is an emotionally and physically exhausting way of living that leads to chronic stress. If you read over any of my old blogs you will see how many times I decided to live a calm life. It took a quite a while for me to stop resisting but the benefits of flowing with life are something I highly recommend.
All we have to do is relax, stop fighting what is and float, the stream will take us in the direction that will ultimately make us happiest, just remember there may be some lessons to learn along the way. Flowing with life doesn’t mean that we aren’t proactive, set goals or plan. It simply means that whenever we encounter an obstacle the easiest way to overcome it is to flow with what is while continuing to look for an easier way.
But by far the greatest gift I have received from working as a life coach is that I am now the person I want to be. My focus is primarily on the positive. That’s the benefit of constant reinforcement. When I worked in the corporate world I was negative, even when I thought I was positive and I often felt despondent. My life didn’t change because my circumstances changed. My life changed when I changed. Working as a life coach has supported that change.
Flowing with life is always about trust. Trusting that if you do your bit, life will support you and guide you to the people and the place that will make you happiest.
The journey to where we want to be is rarely as straight forward as we would like it to be, but by allowing life to lead us, we sometimes find that we end up somewhere better than we originally planned.