CLIENT EXAMPLES

CAN YOU RELATE?

SUCCESS STORIES

A FEW OF MY COACHING CLIENTS

In my coaching practice, I guide clients to discover their default behaviors, thoughts and beliefs, freeing them up to achieve their ambitions and work skillfully with others.

You will learn new practices and ways of being that will change the outcomes of all your interactions, thus furthering your personal and professional goals.

We work together to create specific outcomes, such as developing a deeper sense of purpose, increased satisfaction with personal or professional life, and maintaining balance within the pressures of daily life.

You will have a stronger connection with yourself and others, as well as to the beauty and grace of the life that surrounds us.

The following stories represent a small sample of the kind of clients and challenges I work with. Names and other identifying information have been changed for privacy.

Merle is solid, grounded, confident, listens from her heart and commitment to help me articulate where I wanted to be going at this stage of my life. Identifying this for myself brought great inspiration and desire to make changes with myself and in relation to others. Merle could reach into the conversation and help me identify the core of my concerns.

Roberta

Feeling angry, alone and frightened

Roberta was angry! She was in her mid 30s and her world was not turning out as she had envisioned.

While she considered herself “well educated and smart,” she had a minimum wage, temporary administration position in a local business that would be coming to an end soon. She had no job prospects and worried about how she would pay her mortgage and debts, and support her son.

On top of all that, a personal tragedy had rocked her world.

She was beginning to wonder if she needed different friends — they seemed to have different goals than she did and were no longer supportive. Besides being angry, she was feeling alone and frightened.

Roberta needed to get honest, first and foremost with herself. She was angry, and that needed to be acknowledged and expressed. We worked with her anger, giving her exercises to constructively express her anger and release the hold it had on her body.

We examined her negative self-judgments and what shape her body took when her self-critic came forward telling her she was a failure and, honestly, not very smart.

And herein lies the conflict: her life looked and felt like a failure to her, her body held that shape, yet she knew she was capable and desired much more. She just could not understand what was happening to her.

Over six months of coaching, Roberta released her anger. Her body felt relieved, expanded and free. She had been spending significant energy and attention keeping her anger under control, though few were fooled by her efforts.

Her energy, or life force, was now available to design the life she wanted. She went to work completing and cleaning up areas in her life that were inconsistent with who she now was.

She is currently employed in a job that at one time she could only have wished for. When her self-critic appears, she aligns her body (centers herself), which allows her to relax. She becomes present to the moment (situation) and acts from a relaxed and energetically strong body.

Her new practices help her to maintain her learning and continue to move forward with dignity and joy!

Her life looked and felt like a failure to her, her body held that shape, yet she knew she was capable and desired much more.

Suzanne

A tricky home situation

I coached Suzanne some years ago in a management development program. She was one of those clients where the best thing for me to do was pose a question or two, then get out of her way. She has risen through the ranks and is now a high-level executive in a male-dominated industry.

She contacted me recently, saying she needed some help “thinking through” her home situation. Now in her late 50s, Suzanne is known professionally as a “rock star” and is extremely well-respected. When we spoke she said, “I want to be a ‘rock star’ at home and I don’t know how to do that.”

Her elderly mother-in-law, Grace, has dementia and lives with her and her partner. Suzanne’s partner works around the clock caring for Grace. Suzanne had ideas and opinions about how her partner should be taking care of Grace, yet kept them to herself. She was also extremely concerned about the well-being of her partner, who was exhausted, yet unable to seek help.

I gave Suzanne a place to voice what she could not voice at home, or to anyone else, for that matter. When would this end, and how was this robbing her and her partner of a future? And most importantly, how could she assist her partner, while respecting the love and responsibility her partner had for her mother.

When I observed Suzanne talking about her home situation, I noticed that her shoulders would come slightly forward and her chest would sink inward. When she talked about work, her body was straighter, though to my ear, there was a slight bit of apology in her voice about her success.

I taught Suzanne to initially feel her body and get familiar with the different shapes it adopted in different situations. She learned to catch her shoulders moving up or forward. She would relax as she aligned them atop her spine.

From that relaxed place, she could expand her energy out and down. This produced a deep confidence that she would take the best action in each situation. She could trust her intuition and years of experience. She felt lighter and worried less.

After two months, Suzanne told me that she had been thinking and she had a plan. She would work from home several days per week, giving her partner time and space to leave the house and do enjoyable activities.

Suzanne would also rearrange her schedule so she could be home most evenings. That time, Suzanne knew, could be put to better use talking and listening to her partner. They could reconnect and become a couple again, not just two people who lived in the same house and lived separate lives.

An unexpected outcome for Suzanne was that she began working less. During our sessions, she saw how pervasive her story was that to be successful in her male-dominated industry, she had to work twice as hard and never make a mistake. She demonstrated this by working long hours and being hypervigilant.

Suzanne now has the balance that she was seeking and finds both her home- and work-life immensely satisfying.

I gave Suzanne a place to voice what she could not voice at home, or to anyone else, for that matter.

Georgette

Afraid they'd find her out

Like all of us, Georgette grew up with stories or narratives that shaped her beliefs about what was possible for her in life. Her body adapted to these stories without thought or reflection.

She moved through life; got an education, had a job she liked and thought life was pretty good, which it was. She also was ambitious and sought opportunities for promotions.

With her most recent promotion came a significant amount of responsibility…and fear. She was afraid that the province she worked for would find out that she had no clue how to do what they had promoted her for. The province wanted to implement a program to reduce waste and redundant processes. She was given resources and upper management’s support.

Georgette was in her late 40s and very capable. She had a master’s degree in Organizational Development from a major university. She had been a team member for such previous programs, and now was being asked to lead a significant initiative. She didn’t think she could do it.

In my coaching, I always start with the body. I have clients get familiar with feeling its energy — sensations of hot, cold, tingling — which are indications of energy. Where do they feel their life energy, and what parts of their body are closed off?

After identifying the closed-off areas in Georgette's body, we got to work with exercises to awaken her body and the stories held in these closed parts.

With Georgette, her pelvis had no sensation and her breathing was held to a small area of her chest. The pelvis is where much of our creative energy comes from, and Georgette was unable to tap into that.

Her shallow breathing supported her feelings of fear and didn’t allow her to extend her energy outward or claim her competency and the responsibilities given to her.

To awaken her body, I gave her exercises to expand her breathing into her entire chest and open her pelvis.

We discovered that she held several old stories, which she'd made up as the youngest child from hearing, “No, you can’t do what the older kids are doing.”

She also deeply believed that a girl from a small, poor, rural area could never achieve her dreams. She just had to do what people told her. That was how she fit into her family.

It was now time to build a new shape. One that could be secure in her competencies and skills and lead others.

I gave her a martial-arts sword practice. While using the sword, she states her declaration of who she says she is, not the old stories of what others told her she was.

The sword practice allows her to extend her life energies outward in a strong, yet relaxed manner. From this place, she can include more people in her care. This translates to being able to build and lead a strong team of professionals.

Being nobody’s fool, she has selected a diverse mix of talent that will augment her skills. Her team is confident in her leadership and appreciates that she respects them and what they bring to the project.

Our work has spilled over into other areas of her life, which is beginning to outwardly reflect what she inwardly wants — a committed relationship and a body she is proud of.

After identifying the closed-off areas in Georgette's body, we got to work with exercises to awaken her body and the stories held in these closed parts.

Let's Explore Working Together

Are you facing a difficult challenge at home or work?

Are you looking for an experienced, compassionate coach who can provide insight, guidance and practices to help you create the life you deeply desire?

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