Lost in learning…

Though I have come to enjoy some of the slower pace that this time in lock down has provided, my brain has certainly had its challenges. I am not one for Netflix and binging a series over the course of a few days, or weeks, even. This is where the nerd in me shines.

I would rather be engaged in learning.

Not that there is anything wrong with entertainment or relaxation or some combination of the two. I love me a good crime show, often followed by a nap. My family still doesn’t understand how those options work together, but in my world they do.

I’ve been anxiously awaiting mid-April since sometime in February. April was the starting line for my Christian Life Coaching classes — and as promised — they have started.

On April 16th, myself and eleven others from around the country came together on Zoom to begin learning how to help ourselves, and others, walk a little closer to the Lord in pursuit of our callings. And so far, I am so very happy I made the decision to participate.

In one way or another I’ve been a life coach for as long as I can remember. I’ve always been an ear and, to some extent, the voice of questions and reason, for friends and family. I just didn’t realize there was a name for it. When I was younger, I often considered studying psychology and becoming a therapist, but I also realized that my empathy, though it runs deep, does not run very wide. And by that, I mean I have less patience for the mourning period people process through when experiencing a transition when the mourning seems to goes on and on.

Know that I understand everyone mourns differently, and that all change has a mourning period. I get that. I have experienced plenty of change and transition in my life and have shuttled my way through plenty of mourning during those phases, but I tend to move through relatively quickly. As I’ve said many times before, my mantra is to shed the experience but keep the lesson. I think there is a fine line between mourning and becoming a victim of circumstance, and I prefer to work with people who are on the verge of true ownership of their choices and situations.

I see life coaching as meeting someone right at the crossroads of mourning and ownership.

And the best part is, I get to marry what I am learning with what I deeply believe and value. I have always felt the presence of God in my life. Always understood when guidance was coming to me directly from the Holy Spirit. I think it would be fair to say that one of my spiritual gifts is being especially sensitive to the Holy Spirit.

For God speaks again and again though people do not recognize it. He speaks in dreams, in visions of the night, when deep sleep falls on people as the lie in their beds. He whispers in their ears and terrifies them with warnings.

Job 33:14-16 (NLT)

I cannot tell you the number of times the most major life decisions I’ve made have come to me immediately upon waking. (I’d say in my sleep, but I never remember my dreams .)

  • One night I went to bed. My life was going well. I had my first place, andlived in the suburbs of Chicago, which I loved. I had a good job, a great roommate, a long-term boyfriend (though that was going nowhere), and I was close to my parents who lived about 20-minutes away. When I woke I was on FIRE to move to Phoenix, Arizona. I had never been west of Denver but I knew I needed to go. No question, every fiber in my being was being called there. Upon heading that call and arriving in Phoenix, I found a great job, met Frank, we eventually married and the rest is history.
  • In 2017, again, went to bed fine, but I woke at 2:00 a.m. knowing I needed to get my health in check. I needed to lose weight and do so in a drastic and expeditious way. I spent the next three hours looking for a bariatric surgeon and happened upon Dr. Long, a devoutly Christian doctor who walked me gently through the entire process. I regained my health and my life over the next year and a half, and I would have been absolutely happy and thankful with those results. Little did I know I was preparing for the shock of a cancer diagnosis ahead. But God knew and I was prepared to fight because I had listened to the voice that once again, stirred me awake with a mission in my heart.

These are just two examples of life altering messages I’ve received along the way. Other times, it’s been the still, small voice. I am thankful to have an awareness of His direction in my life, and I want to be able to share that with others. Being direct about my approach – partnering with God when helping others determine their direction – feels most authentic to me. Which is why I am pursuing a CLC certification rather than just a life coaching certification.

The second learning adventure I am undertaking is “How to build a website.” I am taking a series of classes from a sought after web designer and graphic artist. I recently had my branding done by a wonderful designer/artist. But when it came down to having my website designed and built the cost was just a bit steep. And really, my designer was reasonable. I’ve been quoted as much as $5,000 by others just to get it off the ground.

Though I intend to run a life coaching business and have a one, three and five year vision for how that’s going to roll out, today I am all out of pocket on funding those dreams. I am already paying for coaching classes, and so paying for a website at this time feels like a deeper dig than I care to do in these pockets. So I did a little internet digging to find a guide to walk me through the process instead. And so far, that’s been awesome.

We’re not even at the building phase. For now, we’re answering hard questions, like “who is my customer,” and “what action do I ultimately want them to take when they visit my site.” It’s bee a great exercise to go through, and it’s truly helping me visualize the experience I want my visitors to have when they arrive.

So, for now at least, it’s the end of my season of sitting around staring at the TV wondering what more can I do in these walls of my home while I wait out this virus I cannot see. I feel fully engaged and that feels so good to my brain, my heart and my spirit. And I’m sure Frank is happy to stop hearing how bored I am. I am both excited and thankful to start this next chapter of my life.

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