Real Life Coaching is a series of Q&A's with real-life coaching clients. Read first-hand accounts of the issues that bring people to coaching, what they got out of their life-coaching experiences, and how they’ve transformed.
When Jenine came to life coaching it was with major life changes in progress.
With a master’s degree in public administration, Jenine was just transitioning into a new position as a development officer with a community foundation - a position she refers to as the pinnacle of her career. And with a fiance and three soon-to-be step children, Jenine was in the throes of wedding planning.
Thrilled with her new job, and in love with her fiance and kids, Jenine - like so many women - was having a hard time balancing everything in her world. Short on time and space for self-improvement, Jenine was interested in life coaching so she could focus on her health and well being.
What brought you to integrative life coaching? A friend, who is also a mentor to me, recommended life coaching. I had shared with her what was going in my life, and what some of my challenges were, and she said to me, “There's a program I did with a friend of mine who is a life coach, and I really think you'd benefit from it.” That's how I landed with Sandra.
What did you set out to accomplish or learn through life coaching?
Before really knowing what Breakthrough Shadow Coaching is, I was looking for a way to balance it all out. I wanted to manage all the things I was doing in a healthy and productive way. So when I got specific about what I want for my health and wellness, I was able to use life coaching sessions to set goals to manage this area of my life.
Describe your process over the 10 weeks of coaching.
Every week I set time aside to chat with Sandra. Each time we spoke we did the same thing - we spent time centering so we could dig in, and Sandra shared a lesson that we would discuss for the session. Then I would go deeper and listen to my heart and emotions around that topic, and set goals for the week. We would always follow up on those goals.
I don't think I expected that the coaching would ever bring me to some of the places that it did. I set out to address some of the goals and ideas around health and wellness, but by the end of the 10 weeks I had learned so much about myself and my past, and how it relates to my present. We ended up talking really deeply about feelings or issues that may have been brewing my whole life. Initially I thought I would be addressing a surface issue or talking through one specific thing. At the end of the coaching program I felt as if I had taken a look at my whole life and really challenged the beliefs I had as well as confirmed some of the things I knew, but needed to be reminded of.
What did you like most about your coaching sessions?
I specifically enjoyed the Breakthrough Shadow Coaching and the teachings of Debbie Ford. I am so impressed by how simple it is, but how powerful it is. When I think about the idea that we are a whole divine being, that what exists in us is both light and dark, and when we give ourselves permission to recognize that, it allows us to let go of the challenges, fears, and worries, and just acknowledge and accept that we are who we are. And who we are is enough.
We don't have to waste time fretting because life is how it should be. Knowing that is such an important lesson to learn, and I wished I had learned it earlier. I have to remind myself of it all the time. But I think my favorite part was giving myself permission to be who I am, and that's okay. Even though there's good and bad and ugly, it's all how it's supposed to be.
What was the hardest part of participating in life coaching?
I think the hardest part of coaching was being honest with myself. This coaching process reminds us that we make excuses for everything. It's easy to make excuses, even to yourself, about who you are and what you need to do.
It's also hard to force yourself to set aside an hour every week to devote to this kind of space, because it's not necessarily tangible. It's not like you're going for an hour to the gym, or going to a movie. You're devoting time to give yourself the space to look inside yourself. And that is something we don't give ourselves permission to do. But, it's so rewarding when you do it. A life coaching session feels just as good as a massage or a counseling session because it's space for yourself.
What was your biggest take-away from the coaching process?
My biggest take-away was learning that the ability we have as humans to set a goal and have a vision, and carry out that vision, is one of the most powerful concepts on earth. We can carry out what we set out to do as long as we're intentional about it, as long as we have faith and we align ourselves with divinity. If we really want it and it's best for us, we will achieve it. This coaching is a good reminder of that.
What is the biggest aha you had during your life coaching sessions?
My biggest aha is that I'm really hard on myself. I think maybe I didn't realize that where some of my frustration in life comes from is because I'm very critical. It was an aha moment to realize I could relieve myself from some of the stress by acknowledging it, finding the gift in that quality, that it's okay to celebrate, and to not be so hard on myself. It’s important that I not be too critical of myself - that I accept myself as I accept others.
For those of you questioning the confidentiality of a coach/client relationship, please know that Jenine gave her full permission for this posting, and even reviewed its content before going live. All coaching sessions are completely confidential.