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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

How to Find Life Purpose

Wow!  Now that's a loaded question.

I went through a life purpose search process myself while also being trained as a Life Purpose Coach.  At that time in my life, I wasn't so much looking for purpose as much as sensing it was time I began a new life phase beyond my role as an at-home mom.  I'd spotted a book on life purpose and read it and discovered the career of life coaching.

Working with my own life coach, I made many discoveries about myself and got some character flaws addressed.


Once I finished the course and was certified to coach the excitement soon wore thin.  I'd done the word-of-mouth marketing,  I'd spoken to women's ministry leaders and pastors, I'd done in-print marketing, I'd mailed flyers out to churches (they never recommend this but I tried anyhow).  I'd held groups, I'd put word out across all the internet channels and online directories I could think of.

I was blessed with clients, but not enough to have a sustaining business. 

A SORE REALITY CHECK 

So there I was, on the ready, and no one to help.  How demoralizing!

I was let down with the program and with God, for I knew he had the power to make all things work out for his glory.  I was ready to be used.  But there I sat wasting time.

That experience led me to say, "If life coaching isn't my purpose than what is?  If my life purpose coaching sessions couldn't even identify my true purpose, what could?"

I was especially discouraged when the women I had been fortunate enough to work as their coach didn't find their one main life purpose either.  I know the process helped them in many ways, but identifying "it" was hard.

A NEW HUNT

So I went on a new hunt for answers.  I read and journalled and made this conclusion:

Just as so many gurus say they have the answer to weight loss, just as many gurus say they have the answer to life purpose.  But just as so many weight loss plans and products fail to deliver, so do many life purpose plans.  

Why?  Because we can't out-wit God.  There are many things in life we will never fully have the answers to.  God rarely gives us answers in three to ten easy steps.

The path God asks us to travel is complex and complicated. Usually we accomplish his designed purposes day by day without really knowing it.

ASK THE RIGHT QUESTION

So, perhaps those of us who went on a life purpose discovery journey began by asking the wrong question.

For one the right question might be, "Where does God want me next?"  for another it might be, "Who am I at this stage of life?"  for another it might be, "What are my most useful strengths that I should develop?" for another it might be, "What kind of job should I apply to and where?"

Going on life purpose journeys aren't pointless.  But if you go expecting to have one huge epiphany that will meet all your earthly needs and desires, you might be sorely disappointed.

SO WHY DO i STILL COACH?

I still coach, but with a more realistic view now.  I know women benefit from support.  I know women often feel more energized while working with a coach.  I know many women don't have someone they can call who will listen and not interrupt or try to fix their problem.

I know there are business women who cannot discuss work problems with any workmate or friend because it is so confidential, and that is where a life coach fits in.  Or there is the case when a couple job transfers and the non-working wife is left to deal with the stress of her part since the issue is confidential and she has not been included in the discussions!  (Been there!) 

There are many life coaching tools that can help a woman gain a sense of self so that she at least has a base map to work from.  Bit by bit she can build on it with the ultimate goal of always being on God's designed path for her life.




  


Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Life Coaching by Email



How Does Coaching by Email Work?

Some people choose coaching by email.  There are many reasons and many formats available. 

A few reasons for using coaching by email are below:

  1. Can be done at any time of day.
  2. Gives a written record of discussions.
  3. Helps retain anonymity.
  4. Gives ample time to think through answers.
  5. Often a more affordable style of coaching.

A few formats Life Purpose Coach® Rosalie Garde offers are the following:

  1. A curriculum based email plan means a client reads a section of a recommended book or curriculum page and answers questions with her thoughts and discoveries.   The coach then sends a response email which acknowledges what the client has written, asks further questions if needed, and perhaps offers challenges or suggestions. 

  2. A general email program begins with a client-initiated email of inquiry.  The email is acknowledged by the coach who replies with answers to any questions asked.  A contract and questionnaire is attached to her reply. 

    If the client decides to go ahead, she’ll  return the signed contract preferably scanned in and sent by email, and make a payment preferably by PayPal. 

    The client will also send an initial email spelling out the area she wants to discuss.  The coach responds.  The client responds, and the coach sends a final email in summation. 

    The first email is usually limited to a maximum 1200 words.  The follow-up emails should each be shorter.

So, is email coaching effective? 

Rosalie Garde suggests it is.  “I don’t think it is quite as effective as talking in person or on the telephone.  Those methods allow a coach to hear a change in a client’s tone of voice and, in person, see body language.  The client also benefits from verbalizing her feelings.  When a coach is able to respond immediately over the telephone, the client knows she has been heard. 

With email coaching, time passes between one email and another so the client doesn’t necessarily feel heard right away.  However, there are still benefits to the client.  When a client forces herself to think through her feelings and articulates them in writing, it can be very therapeutic.  Coaching by email gives her a chance to really think through what she really wants to talk about.  When a client feels her coach is listening and understands, she feels supported.”

Coaching through email is one way a client can retain a fair sense of anonymity if that is desired.  It is one way of a client looking after herself by embarking on a coach/client exchange pathway.  It is better than not having anyone by her side or not dealing with life’s issues. 

Email coaching can provide good accountability.  For instance, a client on a diet and exercise program will benefit by recording what she’s eaten and posting her exercise record by email to her life coach if she chooses.

Email coaching may not be for everyone or the best method, but in a tough spot, it can fill a gap in a very positive way.

All email coaching is done with a contract and prior payment. 

Monday, April 15, 2013

What is Life Coaching?



Life Coaching is a tool many women 
use today to gain 
direction, support, and accountability, 
so  they can move forward. 


          Life Coaching isn't therapy, mentoring, Bible study, or consulting.  A good coach doesn't tell her client what to do.  Life coaching sessions should be conversations all about you. 

          True coaching is more than cozy conversations.  Your coach will ask good "probing" questions to challenge you to re-frame situations and think of new possibilities.  In your session you should feel supported, not judged.


WHAT TO EXPECT IN A LIFE COACHING SESSION

You and your life coach will agree upon a time for each call.
Prior to a call you will send an email outlining what you'd like to discuss.
Many women find it helpful to find a quiet undisturbed location
to make their call, and often attach a headset to their
telephone so they can be hands-free.

It is helpful to have a notebook, pen and glass of water nearby.
Lighting a candle and being comfortable is also helpful to some.



A Life Coach is a conversation catalyst for helping you to find the answers that are right for you.

Your life coach will hear you, ask challenging questions and offer exercises.
Life coaching will help you consider alternatives and decide on action steps that result in momentum. 

POSSIBLE TOPICS:
  • Finding Purpose
  • Thriving as a Stay-at-Home Mom
  • Seasons of a Woman's Life
  • From Motherhood to Menopause
  • Managing Wellness
  • Mid-Life
  • Moving Forward on Dreams and Goals with Accountability
  • Removing the Clutter from your Mind or Even Your Home
  • Focusing and Planning
All paid coaching is done under signed contract that spells out
the terms and protects both the client and the coach.

For more information visit this page 

Monday, April 01, 2013

Let Go of Your Past in Order to Move Forward

When I started training for life coaching six years ago, my trainer started by pointing out that life coaching is for healthy women.  It isn't therapy, counselling, etc.  It's for the woman looking for direction on how to move forward.

But our course material did start with a section on "leave your past behind", and I did find some women I coached had a few areas of their past they were stuck in.  So I briefly want to describe an exercise for letting go, but before that let me say this...
 
When There's No Need to Examine the Past 

Before I go on, I want to emphasize there is no "one coaching fits all method."  I don't believe all women want or need to go back into their past to dredge things up.  I know some women have already done that hard work and need to move on. 

I think it is incorrect for a life coach to assume there are hidden unresolved issues.  It is wrong for a life coach to lecture or belittle a client or imply there are things. 

Maybe life is good right now.

When Letting Go is Needed 

Through the training and my own life coaching process, I discovered techniques for helping a person leave the past behind.  First, the Apostle Paul is the one that suggesting we should leave it all behind so that we can move forward and do the work God has assigned.

The First Step

One exercise to leave it behind is to write troubling areas on paper--areas that you might have moved on from, but that still irk you, or questions you needed answers for.

Tuck your papers away in a jewel box, stick them in your daily journal, or hang them on the back of a closet door.  Don't publicly display them, but put them somewhere you won't forget about them. 

The Second Step

As you tuck them away or hang them up, give them to God.  Picture yourself releasing them to God.  Ask him to heal you, show you what you need to know, speak to the issue, provide you with Scripture, and so on.

Resist the urge to take them back and worry about them.

The Third Step

Go about life as normal, expecting to hear from God.  When you get a phone call, read a verse, or in some other way come across something that speaks to one of your issues, jot it on the paper.

Lastly

In a month or so, review your papers again.  Remove any you feel have been dealt with.  Re-submit any you are tempted to take back. 

Thank God for the clarity.  Celebrate.  Then prepare to move forward.