Saturday, June 25, 2016

Various Types of Coaching for Christian Women

I started my life coaching career with training as a Life Purpose Coach®. It uses a curriculum that guides women through assessments of various life areas. The goal is to help a woman define her calling, mission, purpose, and so on.

I found while coaching women through this process that other issues rose to the surface. That's fine because life coaching is about the full context of a woman's life.

Revolving Needs

(Some details changed to protect identities.) One woman I coached was in the empty nest looking for purpose as a former stay-at-home mom. Another had lost her job and was looking for support wading through that transition. Another was chronically depressed, seeing a counselor, but wanted more support. Another was so tied up helping in her husband's business that she felt frayed in her personal life. Yet another just wanted to fill the emotional void that haunted her.

Most wanted concrete answers--a sense of direction. The curriculum pointed each in several directions. Still, I know very well, there were unanswered questions.

How God Works

I'm pretty sure the journey through life coaching can feel fruitless for some because they expect by the end to have a great epiphany and know what to do next. I've decided it's imperative they know that God rarely points out big specific plans. His plan is that women draw near to him on a daily basis and proceed one small step at a time. These steps can be so small it seems as though nothing is happening.

I'm pretty convinced to succeed in life and to feel a life coaching process has worked for you, you'll need to see it as a step in your life journey--not a destination that answers all your questions through a few sessions.

It's important we learn to separate feelings from solutions. As with many things in life, it's not that we want a destination as much as we want to feel happy. When we go to the dentist it isn't because we want a filling, it's because we don't want to have tooth pain. When someone climbs a hydro tower and threatens to jump off it isn't because they want to die, it is because they don't want to feel depressed.

Often, we go hunting for a solution to fix how we're feeling. We look for a new job. We take a vacation. We assume if we just do this or that, that we'll be happy. It's not about the destination, though, it's about what we think the destination will do for us.

Of course, new destinations can snap us out of doldrums. A new job may be wonderful. A visit to the mall might get our eyes off our problem. A key to solving our pain is presenting our feelings to God and allowing him to meet our needs in whatever creative ways he chooses. 

I'm trying to say, quit trying to think so hard about what destination is alluding you. Quit applying for multiple jobs. Quit spending money on things you believe may fill your void.

If God thinks a new job is the answer, surely he'll open that door. But if he thinks a slower pace of life is what you need, he may keep the job door shut. But he won't leave you there.  He will change your circumstances, providing for your needs, and he will lift you up to greater fulfillment at the same time. It's inexplicable.

New Focus

I had been looking for purpose myself when God connected me with Katie Brazelton, the founder of the training I took. I was giddy with glee finding my thing--my new destination. But that wasn't the end of the story. I found too many uneventful days existed between clients. I felt unsupported as an entrepreneur. I was again at a point of screaming inside again for greater life purpose.

As I worked with one or two remaining clients, I branched out. I did some home staging for a realtor. I got hired to write web content from home. Then I got hired to do audio transcription from home. When my children graduated high school, I reassessed yet again. I backed away from telephone coaching, but I couldn't abandon it completely.

I'd been in peri-menopause, and with the addition of the empty nest highs and lows, discovered what some of the women I'd coached had expressed. I realized many of their issues were menopause, midlife, empty-nest, and family- circumstance related.

I had a big revelation that tools were needed for midlife Christian women. I decided a new angle needed to be introduced to the life purpose theme in life coaching sessions.

My eBooks and Coaching Practice 

I've now written several eBooks available on Amazon under the name Rose Garde. I'm about to release a new one any day now.

I'm pondering being available to help women walk through any of these eBooks with me over coaching sessions on the telephone. I am always still available for coaching by email. Pray with me as I consider my next step in this regard.

Sunday, May 01, 2016

More On Christian Women and Midlife Crisis

For posts regarding midlife crisis in Christian women, (especially those who are married with children) visit my other blog:

Friday, April 15, 2016

Input Wanted from Christian Midlife Women

Input Wanted from Christian Midlife Women

I'm looking for input from midlife Christian women. Does that interest you?

As I coach new women and write new eBooks, I'd like to have more input as to what other women in their midlife season have tried, are trying, and hope to try.  I'd like to know what challenges you faced, what didn't work out for you, and what has worked out.

I'd like to know how you include God in your decisions.  I'd like to know where you feel he's led you and how you went about discovering that.  

I'd like to know how you balance your own wants and ideas with what God ultimately does.  That is, when he doesn't open doors you hoped would open, what is your recourse? 

Tell me what you really wish would happen in your life.  Tell me who helped offer you direction.  Tell me your needs. What are you current struggles?

When or if you decided to participate, you can email me your story here.  

In return, you will receive an opportunity for two free life coaching responses by email. This is not a paying opportunity for either of us. 

On my end, I would like permission to use bits of your story as examples in upcoming books, but will mask them by changing your name and some of the details.   You are welcome to send your email anonymously. Your input may or may not be used.  Surely, your input will help me become a better life coach to midlife women.  

I look forward to hearing from you. Thank you in advance.

Tuesday, April 05, 2016

Daily Purpose

Just some random thoughts for those looking for some daily living suggestions:

  • Start each day as a new one.  
  • Let the past go--even what happened yesterday.
  • If you have a plan for today, commit it to God and move forward.
  • If you have no certain plan, ask God what he would like you to do with your time today. 
  • Stop. 
  • Listen.  
  • Concentrate. 
  • Make a mini-schedule in your mind or on paper.
  • Start taking steps.  Little steps toward a bigger goal.
  • Stand back and enjoy the progress.
  • Do something you think is fun.
  • Do something that counts as fitness.
  • Do something that is creative.
  • Do something that is nurturing.
  • Encourage someone.

My daughter came home yesterday.  I hadn't seen her for a month!

Today, I drove her to a job interview an hour away.  After the interview we had a brief mall time lunch.  We then headed up to Barrie, ON (1.5 more hours) where I returned her to her apartment and job, but not before picking up a few groceries for her.  On the second leg of our trip we listened to Joel Osteen on the Sirius radio.

We chatted, and I tried not to say the wrong thing to this 20-something young lady. But I talked a lot.  We hugged and I returned home.  I drove the back way because I was tired.  I didn't want the 400-series highways putting me to sleep.  It was sunny and there was snow across all the fields.  Ontario still has many farm fields, that's for sure.

It was a fully and busy day.  I drove 5 hours! And I fulfilled my purpose for today.

Isaiah 41:13 New International VersionFor I am the LORD your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

What Kind of Life Coach Should You Use?

Today I talked with my massage therapist about life coaches.  She initiated the conversation not knowing my background.

Her main issues were: now that it's become a popular and still unregulated field, the market is over saturated with life coaches. In that mix, you will find coaches from a to z.  That means, you'll find coaches with various backgrounds, perspectives, and styles, so ferreting out what you really need becomes work.

Most offer a free get-to-know you conversation.  Unfortunately, some coaches use the time to try to convince you to buy their services. Nevertheless, it's up to you to see "what language they speak." We all have a language.  Mine is faith-based language.  I can't coach from any new age type ideas.  It's not my language. But I'm pretty good at coaching from a psychology and empathetic base too for those who aren't interested in including faith in the discussions.

What Matters

My friend used the term "authentic" a fair amount.  When a person uses a word often, that's a sign of something important to them. I didn't get her to define what that meant for her, but she gave a few examples of what it didn't look like.

I've both coached and used coaches.  I know what's out there to a fair degree. I know what I've sensed and what works and doesn't work for me.  That's another matter altogether--finding what works for me and my personality.  Some of us have our own picture of how a session should go that our coach would never know about. One of my pet peeves is a coach should be careful of not dominating the call.  She should let her client have the floor.

Another pet peeve is a coach should be careful about applying judgment labels.  I may have done this myself.  It happens easily, but one wrongly used judgment label can turn a client away.

In our conversation, my friend mentioned she'd been at a seminar and the life coach presenting asked a question and then mocked her answer.

Good coaching really does require skill.


If you use a coach, be fair when she doesn't coach exactly as you want her to.
Do spell out your expectations. Spell out what issues you think you want to delve into.  I say "think" because sometimes what you first think is the issue ends up not being the real issue.  For instance, I once used a coach for clarity on my business direction and in the hour-long discussion realized it was my social life that needed attention, and when that was fixed up I could function better in my business.

My friend and I agreed over many things we've seen in the coaching arena but at the end of the day, we both felt there is value in having a life coach whether for a few sessions or several.