*This article is the first of a 3 part series regarding the Advanced Life Coaching Seminar I attended this past weekend at the South West Institute of Healing Arts (SWIHA) and the events leading up to it. This is a story of phenomenal spiritual growth and awareness that can occur when someone trusts their instincts and opens themselves up to possibilities of God/Universe/Spirit.*
When I first started Life Coaching many of my my friends asked me “What the heck is a Life Coach?” I said “I’m not exactly sure… but I think it’s what I am supposed to be doing.” I owned an eyelash extension studio, in fact, I had just started the business but somehow I already knew I made a mistake. I showed up on a Friday night for the weekend intensive Life Coaching kick off. After listening to the facilitators talk about what Life Coaching was and how it would impact my life and how I will be changed forever it sounded pretty intriguing. My life was a complete mess at the moment, so I was game. We were divided into groups of 2 and I went through the weekend in a series of very uncomfortable exercises that involved asking “powerful” questions of my partner in order to find out where they had hidden obstacles or blocks in their life. Everyone was talking about these powerful questions, I kept asking myself “What does that mean, a powerful question? Am I the only person who doesn’t get this? What are powerful questions and how do I find them, are they on a list somewhere or something?”
Everyone seemed to know what to do and everyone I was paired up with was not very encouraging. Then we went through some very pleasant guided meditations so I really enjoyed that. I felt relaxed and thought ok well, this is kind of cool. I never really did that before, go through a guided meditation. It’s a form of hypnosis designed to quiet your mind and allow you to look deep within yourself. Then all of a sudden, people were crying, claiming “spiritual break-through” and enormous healing was taking place. Everyone was hugging, saying that God was in the house and all of this was a Divine appointment. All this excitement and people laughing and claiming to feel God and see God. I thought” Why would God be in a Life Coaching seminar? What did I stumble into? What did I get myself into?” I was NOT at all religious and barely had any spirituality about me, and I really didn’t care to try it on at the moment. I was actually kind of perturbed at the fact we were discussing “religion” at a public seminar.
Over all, it was a nice seminar. The facilitators’ were extraordinary in the fact I never heard this kind of talk before, it was a new way of learning things as they introduced a new perspective to life. Although I didn’t understand it all I was at least interested in hearing more. Something just kept telling me I had to be there. They really laid into the fact of having to have a spiritual base, a foundation of something to believe in greater than ourselves, that we were not created to be here alone, we are in Spirit always. I’m paraphrasing but that was the gist. We refer to God as God, Universe,Spirit, or GUS. They said “We are Spirits Beings having a Human Experience.” More religion, I thought, but it wasn’t SO bad. As Life Coaches, in their perspective, we need a spiritual balance because the answers for our clients don’t come from us. During a coaching session the answers come from the client. We are simply a conduit, or a vessel for God/Spirit/The Universe to flow through us and work with the client. We just keep vigilant, or hold space, listen and be supportive. We ask open ended questions (found out that’s what “powerful” meant) designed to let the client look deep with in themselves to find their own answers. In coaching we believe the client holds all the answers for themselves. When working in a spiritual nature, we allow Spirit to be a part of the process allowing for the highest attainment of knowledge and assistance. Ok, that’s not so bad I guess, I began trying it on…a little.
The last exercise involved a small business portion where we had to work in groups of 3’s and pitch our Life Coaching business. We had to pretend we had a business card and do little 1 minute presentations to each other about why we would be great coaches. Ok cool, I’m a business owner this will be a breeze. So, I get in my group, made my presentation and this lady looked at me and said “That is the worst “sell” I have ever heard in my entire life. If you gave me your business card I would tear it up and throw it in the garbage. You’re terrible!” Alrighty then….maybe Life Coaching wasn’t in my future.
I did somehow find the courage to come back for the 10 week course and upon entering the class I saw someone in there I did not want to see. Someone I had a large problem with in the past. My head is reeling now, what is going on here? My teacher took the attitude with me that I was “in my head” and I think somewhere in his head at the time dismissed me as being potentially nuts. I felt like everyone was against me, everything just was an unpleasant experience and I had no idea why. I was uncomfortable, terrified, lonely, and unsure. So with that in mind I came back every week, twice a week still trying to figure out what powerful questions were and how I was going to change my life and others. All around me at school people kept talking about how amazing Life Coaching is and I looked at them in such dismay thinking What was so wonderful? What wasn’t I getting? Why are my sessions so stumbly? What is wrong with me?
What I didn’t know at the moment was that I was having a Spiritual Crisis. I had been operating my whole life with out any kind of spiritual foundation. I believed in God, that “someone” may have been up there, but I didn’t think He was for me. I felt like my crimes of the past were too severe for God, plus somewhere it didn’t make sense to me. I have never talked about religion or had any interest in it, really. I dabbled in a few things here or there but here, in this school, Spirit was everywhere, I was faced with the daily dilemma of hearing about it and the teachers bringing “It” into our class. I used to think “Can’t we do all this work with out God being involved?” Thank God that was one of the few times I decided NOT to voice my thoughts, I would have totally embarrassed myself.
Even though I had left Michigan 3 years prior and found sobriety, I had a whole lot of baggage that I needed to address and dismantle and the only way to do it was through Spirit. My husband lovingly pushed me along on this path, somewhere probably hoping that I would hear the message I needed to hear to finally get well. I wasn’t happy about being at SWIHA anymore; I felt rebellion building up in me and I was becoming angry at the thought of being there, talking about God and the Angels and Spirit guides and all that other stuff. I wasn’t getting along well in the class and started really disliking Life Coaching. I wasn’t making any friends and I began pulling myself back deeper with in my shell. I began feeling overwhelmed with sadness and guilt.
Little did I know what would happen next….