Thursday, April 26, 2012


When faced with tough decisions, it is easy to get distracted with emotions that creep up out of nowhere and sabotage your ability to move forward. If you are unaware of what is happening, the emotions can layer upon each other and soon you’ll feel immobilized, full of anxiety and overwhelmed. What makes this even worse, is that you feel like you either can’t or don’t want to share any of it with those close to you for fear of even more emotional turmoil.

Take the example of someone who is considering retirement. Once they have decided that it would be nice to spend the rest of their time enjoying life and giving back to the causes near and dear to their heart, they might even be thinking of moving to another town or even country, selling their house, etc. These thoughts actually get them excited, almost like the time after college when anything seemed possible, and they were open to it all. And now they share their big news with a son or a daughter who lives nearby depending on them for emergency childcare, extra support, somewhere to go for Sunday dinners, etc. Imagine the emotions and drama that follow.

It is easy in the case above to feel like you are abandoning your responsibilities and not being a good mother or father. After all, you’ve had a good life and been able to raise your family, now it is time to be there for your children and grandchildren. Can you see the entangled mess that this path of thinking can take you to? Layer upon layer of beliefs about responsibility, family ties, martyrdom, sacrifice, neediness, and righteousness added to the fear of taking a chance, doing something different, following your soul’s desire make it impossible to feel good about any decisions in this matter. And those you usually go to for support or advice somehow have their own agenda in all of this. It is natural to feel alone and overwhelmed.

This however does not pertain to just retirement decisions. This is what happens during any kind of major transition. You find yourself alone and overwhelmed. This is when it is important to seek the services of a professional coach who specializes in transitions or life changes. In my transition coaching sessions, clients find that they can think for themselves again. They can gain the clarity that was missing prior to our meeting. They can separate fact from fiction, beliefs from the truth, and then they can make tough decisions without doubt.

Transition coaching is not about taking away the pain, it is about being clear about what is yours and what is not. Transition coaching allows the client to reconnect with their own personal power which they gave away in order to make everyone else happy, or so they thought.

If you are facing a major life or work transition and would like to find out if transition coaching is for you, contact me for a complimentary 30 minute coaching conversation.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Sitting On The Fence

It is inevitable. Whenever you are sitting on the fence about something, sooner or later you will be pushed to jump off and make a decision one way or the other. It is as if, by putting yourself on the fence you are announcing to the world that you are ready to make a move even if you aren’t absolutely sure in which direction. Then something happens and you are forced to do it. At least that’s the way I see it.

Unfortunately, many of my coaching clients don’t see it that way. In fact, most get caught up in the wind or the events that pushed them off the fence. They start analyzing what happened, how it happened, and why it happened. These explorations leave them anxious, angry, and ultimately empty. They try to justify their position, blame the person or the event that caused this push, and in the end they feel powerless and victim like. This is when our coaching sessions typically begin.

My job when a client feels like something  unfair has happened to them is to take them back to the point before the event. I often ask them, “were you completely satisfied with your life/work before X, Y or Z happened?” “If not, what were you looking to change?” And then, “what is stopping you from making that change now?” In other words, I try to take the attention away from the spark that lead to the fire, so they can focus on the fire and make decisions about what to do next. 

When facing a major life or work transition it becomes easier if we focus on what needs our attention now. Yet, people going through major transitions find themselves obsessively thinking the same thoughts and going around in circles trying to understand how the spark came to be. They intellectualize and analyze all the possible scenarios. They tire themselves out with judgments like: “it is so unfair”, or “I never did/said the things I am accused of doing/saying”, or “I am qualified for/deserve so much more”, … Their anxiety level goes through the roof, they start having difficulty sleeping thinking the same thoughts, until they make the appointment to see their coach or therapist.

Spiritual life coaching is about helping the client see the truth as it is in the now moment. I help my spiritual life coaching clients notice the present moment so t hey can make better decisions about where they want to go. Worrying about the future by analyzing the past to death is not going to pave the way for a more fulfilling future. When the client can see the spark for what it was (just a spark), they can let go of their victim so they can be their true empowered selves wherever they choose to go. 

If you are interested in a complimentary 30 minute coaching conversation, contact me. I work with people going through all kinds of transitions.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The Private Nature of Transitions

The transition process is challenging whether it be a divorce, loss of a loved one, or loss of a job. What makes it even more difficult is the fact that the light is shining on you. Eyes are on the person going through this change. With that come opinions, judgments, and projections. So, now you have a person trying to manage her own grief, sense of loss, confusion, and uncertainty and you are adding the harshness of other people’s judgments and expectations. It is a poisonous combination.

When my clients are going through challenging transitions, I always ask them to be gentle towards themselves. This gentleness is not because they cannot handle the challenge, it is because a transition is just as much about a birth as much as it is about death.

A new person will emerge from this change, this new person has to go through the stages of growth just like a new born baby. In order for the new born baby to thrive, it needs to be cared for tenderly.  Just like a new parent shies away from crowds, staying home and immersing himself in the care and love of his new baby, people going through transitions need to be with themselves away from crowds.

And just like a new parent who is getting bombarded with unwanted advice, the new person emerging from a transition, needs to be shielded from unwanted advice. It is not that advice itself is of no value. It is just that the person is being reborn, recreated, and unsolicited advice can be rough and even damaging to their new creation. They need to figure it out by themselves.

When you lose a loved one, you are not only facing their loss, you are facing the “you” without them. This “you” is someone you are not familiar with. This “you” needs to form its own roots and become what it intends to become without the tweaking and twisting of others, free from the pain of loss. This process takes time and requires patience and gentleness.

Losing a job isn’t so much about losing a source of income as it is about losing who you were when you were employed. When people come at you with: “oh, you can now stay home and be with the kids”, or “you can retire now”, or “when my cousin lost his job, he…”, it is denying the opportunity for the new “you” to form in its own way and on its own time. They have their plans, suggestions, expectations, judgments, assumptions, and advice, and you are trying to learn how to wake up being the new you. You have your own demons, inner critics, judgments, confusion, beliefs, and doubts. You don’t need to carry on their’s.

So, if you are going through a difficult transition, remember that it is an intimate and private process. You don’t have to share your plans with anyone else. You can graciously bow out of being in the spot light. This does not mean shutting people out. It means nurturing yourself by being in the company of those who can be gentle with you. You don’t owe anyone any answers. When you know you are ready to share, then and only then, you can choose to go in the spotlight. Your baby is a toddler now and it can certainly thrive through playing and engaging with others!
If you are going through a challenging transition and are uncertain about how to be, what to say, and how to keep it all together, you may want to work with a spiritual life coach. Spiritual life coaching is about creating a safe space for exploration, learning how to be gentle with yourself and the freedom to express thoughts that you might be afraid of expressing to those who have agendas of their own. Contact me for a complimentary 30 minute coaching conversation to determine if you would like to work with me.