I’ve been lost too!
When the overwhelming feelings of being lost surfaced for me, I was caught completely off guard. In the span of less than two years, not only did I lose my mom and dad, I had lost me. My experiences in middle life, of leaving a 20-year career to start my own business, of becoming a caregiver, of my parents dying, of losing the roles that I thought were me (daughter, caregiver, competitive athlete, therapeutic recreation specialist) encouraged me to devote my coaching practice to supporting the unique and important inner work of this stage of life. By applying the life coaching tools I’ve used with my clients on myself, I found a way back to me. I got clear about what I want my life to look and feel like – and how to go about re-creating it.
Guiding people to discover their authentic self through inner exploration is what I do in my life coaching business, Explore Life Coaching. I truly believe living authentically is the root of happiness, inner peace, and living a purposeful life.
My understanding of “Honour Your Authentic Self” comes from a combination of personal experience, formal education, lots of reading, and my own spiritual beliefs. I worked for many years with youth at risk and it was such a blessing to be able to be the person whom they felt safe enough with to let their true self shine through, even for a brief moment. I want to be a part of this process for as many people as I can be.
I have come to belief my natural gift, my way to honour my authentic self is to be a guide to others. I do my best to live authentically by example and that has been since birth. Because I was born with a “funny” right hand, I have always had something that was obviously unique to me. I never wanted to hide it or deny that it was a part of me. I never called it a disability or “abnormal”; it is just me.
What also forced me to make a choice between being my authentic self and being a false self is the fact that I am gay. Growing up, the world told me that it was wrong and that I should live my life the same as the majority. But I knew what was true for me. With the love and support of my family, following my heart, being happy, and having a sense of inner peace won out over fitting in and being accepted by everyone.
To further enhance my ability to guide people to their authentic self, I have become a certified CORE MAP Coach, which simple means I am trained to facilitate a personality assessment called the CORE MAP. There are a variety of personality assessments out there. Some of the most well-known ones are Myers Briggs, the DISC, True Colors, and the Enneagram.
I’ve also learned that in order to move forward, it’s important to have peace with the past. In my first few years of being a life coach, I had a number of clients who were clear about what they wanted to change in their life and yet couldn’t quite find the way forward. I came to understand it wasn’t because of a lack of will-power or motivation. It was because they were burdened with a backpack full of past experiences and relationships that carried feelings of loss and grief. As a certified Grief Recovery Specialist, I help people to lighten their backpack so they can venture on new journey with more freedom and ease.
The most important thing I want to share with you about myself is that I am doing what I love to do and doing my best to live authentically. Over half my life I have been coaching in one way or another and I have witnessed many achievements. What I am most proud of is when my coachees are able to apply lessons from our shared experiences to other aspects of their lives. The woman who rode her bike for a week-end adventure going back to her teenage daughter and assuring her that she can become a competitive mountain biker, if that is her passion. The young man who learned about metaphors and was able to consider a new perspective on his own life events and explore healthy alternatives to drug use. A woman who was physically not fit who trained for 12 months to complete a half marathon, realized she could commit to something long term, and deciding to have a baby.
AS A LIFE RE-CREATION COACH
I see any new experience as an adventure. It can be starting or leaving a job, starting or ending a relationship, running your own business, journeying into the realm of self-discovery and spirituality, trying a new activity, etc. Any adventure inherently contains some amount of risk and it is when we are pushed to the edge of our comfort zone that we are able to develop new skills and learn the most about our capacity. In many cases, the biggest risk is letting down the walls of fear that protect us from potential harm but also prevent us from personal growth. I understand that each persons’ comfort zone is unique and while I support and encourage people to “walk to the edge”, I am respectful of both safety and boundaries.
“If you’re not living on the edge, you’re taking up too much space.”
“Avoiding danger in the long run is no safer that outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure or it is nothing.”
– Helen Keller
I enjoy the challenge of creating experiences as personal learning tools. I am most effective as a Life Re-Creation Coach when I combine my passion for activity with my commitment to support and empower others to live with peace, joy and purpose. It can be as simple as a walk in the park or as demanding as a team challenge that requires the group to solve a problem together. I strive to design activities that will encourage personal growth in the emotional, mental, spiritual, and physical areas of health.
VISION AND VALUES
I have done a lot of work to discover my life purpose and it can be summarized in my guiding vision statement:
“Raising authentic consciousness through curiousity and question.”
I see life as an adventure, with every new challenge and life experience being an opportunity to learn, grow, and build confidence in oneself.
The vision I have for my clients is:
- meeting their own personal needs in healthy, balanced ways
- acting and behaving in a way that consistently honours their personal values
- living passionately
- existing with positive energy that will radiate out to those they care for and the community as a whole
“For the more you know yourself the more you are able to impact others’ lives.”
– Martha Graham
I Believe in the Power of Play
Play and recreation are a significant part of my life and I carry a fundamental value that through play and recreation, each person can explore their deepest passions and express who they are truly meant to be. Play is more than just free time. It is a state of being that allows a person to feel fully connected with themselves and the current moment. Through playful experiences, one can build the confidence and skills to manage challenges in other parts of their lives.
I have over 20 years of experience working with various populations including adolescents, parents, educators, and social service workers providing individual consultation and counselling, facilitating workshops and groups, doing presentations and creating programs that help people to explore their personal passions and deal with life’s challenges from the perspective of an adventurer.
Being a gay woman, I’m well equipped to understand the challenges that occur in people’s lives. I have experienced what it feels like to push away your true self for fear of how others will react. I also know the power that comes when you live your life in a way that is consistent with your true self.
My Personal Adventures Include
- Starting my own business
- Currently writing a book
- 18 years working with youth at risk and their families
- One year leave of absence from “regular life” to experience various places, cultures, and activities around the world
- A 25 year relationship with my spouse
- Providing care to aging parents
- Building my own bathroom
- Coach of a national champion women’s university basketball team
- Coach and player of a national champion women’s touch football team
- Player on the Canadian National Women’s Touch Football Team
- Runner of 4 marathons
- In my 40th year, ran one half marathon each month in a different location in North America
- Development and delivery of over 50 self-discovery programs and playshops
- Facilitation of various outdoor adventures introducing women to basic skills