As many of you know, I made a major decision two years ago to stop living the life I thought I was supposed to live, to start living the life I had to live. I quit my job, sold my house, gave away half my belongings, and moved myself back to Seattle, the only place on Earth I can live my authentic life. Since then, wonderful things have unfolded and I'm the happiest I've ever been. It's fueled a passion in me to help others to the same thing, to follow their dreams and passions to live their authentic life.
I know you can do it. I also know many of you have done it. I'm working on a project and would love to hear your story. Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org to share how you got to the place where YOU are living your authentic life! Thanks!
I had the opportunity to visit Mt St Helen's yesterday. There it sits, a beautiful mountain, or what remains of it, as a testament to the power of nature. The volcano erupted 35 years ago, on May 18, 1980. Much of the devastation is still very evident. Treeless slopes where once stood old growth forests, lakes where once there were hills, hummocks where once there were lakes. It all looks very peaceful now, but that is a deception of nature. Just as in 1980 when the power under the mountain pushed it out and forced it to explode sideways, that same mixture of pressure and gas continued to build. The mound in the center of the crater grows daily, crumbling down a bit and growing again; a constant reminder of what's bubbling beneath.
As I stood there in awe of the grandeur and power of nature, it reminded me that we humans are not unlike this mountain. We all have something bubbling beneath our surface. And, are we recognizing that and being true to it? I reconnected with former colleagues over the weekend and the comment I received most is "You look so happy!". For the first time in my life, I knew without any measure of doubt that how I appeared truly matched how I feel and where I am in this life. It's been hard work to get here. Fraught with risk and struggle and change. But I have arrived, happy, whole, content and fully aware that I am living my best life. It's this very concept that drives me in my work. I've said it before. Many people, much as I did previously, are not living our whole selves. There is something bubbling underneath. It might be the knowledge that a relationship is dying. Or perhaps our work no longer satisfies us and, while we know it's time to move on, it's simply easier and less risky to stay put. If I could shout from the rooftops for all to hear, my message would be "Stop playing it safe. If you want a better life, get out there and make it so!"
More than once people have said, "Oh Andrea, you did it because you're brave/strong/independent/what have you." Well, those may be true, but none of those are what drove me to make the change I made two years ago. I was unhappy, unfulfilled, and living a life that I knew what NOT what I wanted for my life. I made the change, and while dramatic, to save my life! It felt like the most selfish thing I've ever done. I stopped listening to everyone else's idea of what I should be, where I should live, and what I should do, and simply did the one thing I knew I couldn't NOT do. I sold my house, quit my job and moved myself back to Seattle, the only place I ever want to live, where I am whole, happy, and my authentic self. I had safety nets for sure: a family I knew would help me if I failed, retirement investments that could be tapped if need be, a strong resume that ensures I should always find work. But on the other hand, I am single, doing this alone without any outside means of support. There would be struggles of all sorts. Could I buy a house without a full time job? How would I pay bills if I was a self-employed business owner? The list of concerns was substantial, and never fully goes away when you work for yourself. But, I keep moving ahead, letting everything bubble up to the surface and dealing with it. I'm making it. I LOVE my life!
As I said, this is what drives me in my work to help others, whether it's an organization that wants to be more, or an individual who seeks more fulfilling work. Everyone deserves this same success and if my lessons can help others get there; if my strength can support others to believe in themselves; if I can make a difference in one life, then everything I went through on my own journey is amplified beyond my wildest dreams. Someone told me the other day that I should write my book and be an inspirational speaker. Maybe that's next.
Have you struggled to live your authentic life and come out the other side happy and whole? I'd love to hear your story! Please share.
Wholeness Coaching, the term I use for the coaching I do, came about quite by chance one day while speaking with a colleague. Excited about some of the results they'd seen, they asked me about my work. In explaining it, I said "I like to deal with the whole person." And it struck me, yes! That's what I do - wholeness coaching.
I've looked up the term and see it used, but typically in a spiritual or religious context, or perhaps relationship coaching. My approach, like me, is more practical. My goal with every client is to help you achieve your dreams, to live the life YOU want. So many of us, as I did in my early years, drift from relationship to relationship, job to job, without much direction. We're perfectly content to see where life leads us because it's comfortable or easy. But, all of us yearn for something: to make a difference, wealth, healthy relationships, or physical health. In my mind, coaching just one aspect won't get you there.
I would see it with my early clients. They would come to me with a 'presenting problem', something that was in their way life-wise. As we would talk about all the areas of their lives, it became clear that other aspects of their lives were impacting, or impacted by, the presenting problem. One client came to me to resolve some issues with their job. In our first session, it came to light that the stress under which she was working was having a negative impact on her relationship and her health. So, we worked on addressing the whole system in which she lived. Wholeness.
It's not a new concept, I'm sure. But to narrow down my work to Business Coaching or Career Coaching or Life Coaching diminishes the nature of what I do. My business tagline is Dream it, Believe it, Achieve it. Whatever it is you want your life to be, I work with you to make that happen. I've done the work myself to achieve my dreams, so I understand the hard work and dedication it takes. But, I'm here as an example of my work, that it is possible with the right approach, the right support, and yes, a good coach! I couldn't have done it without mine!
Be well, be happy.
Andrea's passion is to see you achieve your professional dreams. Whether you are a corporate leader seeking leadership development for your employees or an individual seeking guidance in building your career or preparing for retirement, she will coach you to success.