Education, Coaching, and Accountability

When I first began going to college, I took mostly the classes I was interested in. Some of them were to fulfill my general education needed to transfer to a four-year college but mostly I just browsed over the times, days, and subjects and signed up for what felt most interesting and appealing. 

I didn’t want the pressure of starting school to deter me from even beginning. I also wanted to enter the world of college with enthusiasm and curiosity. 

I ended up loving my environmental studies class. It forever changed me as it brought a powerful perspective to planetary responsibility and how we weren’t using resources wisely, consciously, or responsibly. 

I took a humanities class where I learned that the constitution was influenced by philosophers who believed in the domination of nature and mindless consumption of raw goods and that men are inherently evil. That the earth, its resources, women, and children were for man’s consumption without remorse or regret for the repercussions… No wonder we’ve ended up where we are socially and politically. 

I took a psychology class that gave me insights on dream analysis from various perspectives of popular psychologists including Jung and Freud. It wasn’t until later that I discovered works by Joseph Campbell, Marion Woodman, and Clarissa Pikola Estez that began a lifetime of deeper digging and curiosity about archetypes, metaphors, and the power of myth. 

I ended up focusing on child development. If the world was going to undergo a profound evolution, it would start with our little seedlings. Besides, I loved children and my mom had been a preschool teacher at one point in her career. 

I was working in restaurants at the time. Staying up late, working double shifts, and partying with my friends after hours. I was pushing my physical limits and getting away with it because I was young. When it was time for me to take on working with small children as a substitute at pre-schools, I had to get to bed earlier and conserve my energy more so I could keep up with the energy needed to be fully present for the day! 

Choosing to work with children grew me into a more mature stage and my values changed. I was able to prioritize being fully alive and awake for the good things in my life that were important to me. 

Fast forward to my next stage of growth. After attending massage school I got a job at a local spa. I worked there for 8 months, 2 days a week, sometimes doing as many as 8-10 massages in a day. I had small children at the time so my physical and emotional resources were already tapped. I had to eat well, stretch and stay hydrated to keep up with the physical strain of hour after hour of the ongoing output of energy. I was taking a weekly chi gong class and going to the climbing gym 3 times a week in addition. I had to up my game to do what I was doing for work. It called me again, to my next level. 

About a decade later my private practice was in full throttle. I did 10-18 massages a week as a single mom and was caring for my home and children on my own. I often exhausted myself. I would get sick and have to take a week off to recover. I was caught in an unsustainable pattern and knew something had to change. I began my year-long coach training as something I trusted would call me to my next level. I wasn’t sure I wanted to be a coach but I needed more accountability for bringing more integrity into my life. I felt off balance and didn’t know where to start to bring it back. 

After years of ontological work with Landmark Education (2001-2011, talk about accountability!) I chose a coach who held the same framework for the training I was about to embark on. I stripped of the layers to find my truth, over and over again. I opened myself up to find my fears. I stepped forward when I didn’t want to. I felt the hesitancy to take more responsibility when life felt so heavy already. I found my way through to my next stretch into who I wanted to become. I made space for what I wanted more of by letting other things go. Spaciousness, a calmer pace of life, steadiness in my self-confidence, and healthy doses of contentment along the way. I longed for a healthy relationship but knew I needed to develop more trust in myself and my own discernment to find him. 

Taking on coaching clients held me accountable for showing up as my best. I wanted to be able to hold them in their fears and overwhelming moments of self-doubt. So I had to constantly work on maintaining those things in my own way and in the context of my own life. Foundations solidified and the pathway clarified itself before my eyes and in my heart. My journey revealed more about myself and others along the way. Some of it made me smile. Other times I was left disappointed, sad, and overwhelmed at all the work there was to do as a collective to heal and recover ourselves from how far we had strayed from our authentic true voices.  

Over the years I have continued to seek out communities and conversations to push my edges. Though also to hold me in my truth and reflect it back to me. I make choices that align with my heart and support others to do the same. To speak up and take the next step. This is accountability. Not to continually brush things under the rug, numb, deny or cower. This process looks different for all of us because we have such different stories and backgrounds. Perspective is everything. Having the courage to share ourselves reveals how similar our soft spots are. When we relinquish the need to be so self-protective we learn these things. 

In the women’s mastermind we investigate the identities we cling to as part of this self-protection which simultaneously denies us what we crave most… Connection, a sense of belonging, acceptance, and a space where we can speak our truth without fear. I hope to see you!

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