As a Life Coach, I am in the business of framing profound life experiences and transformational change within my clients. To lay witness to the unfolding human spirit during one of my Mind Over Mountains retreats, or through my Life Coaching practice, is an absolute joy and a privilege. I am very passionate about the work I do.
One of my favorite examples occurred a few years ago when a young woman sent her mom on a Mind Over Mountains retreat for Mother’s Day. Written in her registration form it said: “please help my mother find her spirit”. On the first day, our group gathered to greet each other and across the circle was an expressionless woman who introduced herself as Dottie. She was “sent” here because her daughter believed she had lost her spark and enthusiasm for life. If nothing else, this would be a true test of the effectiveness of my program and I was ready for the challenge!
On our third day, we went rock climbing, which was a new experience for everyone. Dottie got partway up a climb and got stuck. After a few seconds, she gave up and asked to come down. I encouraged her to take a breath and hang out while she reassessed her route – there was the possibility that she could see another way around the difficulty and continue. She reluctantly agreed to take a moment to relax and gain a new perspective. To Dottie’s surprise, she saw another way around her perceived obstacle and made it to the top of the climb. There, she cried in disbelief that she actually succeeded in something she was incredibly afraid of. We lowered her to the ground and witnessed her awakening – it was the first time in her life she did not quit when she got stuck in a place she could not move. She prevailed because she stepped back and took another look at the situation. Most importantly, she faced her self-proclaimed limitation of fear and agreed to go on…this time, to the top!
After climbing we went to the hot springs for a soak. I was taking a few laps in the pool when I looked over at the frolicking of an impromptu volleyball game. There, I saw a women absolutely lit up smiling, laughing loudly and playing like a kid. When I realized it was Dottie, I stood up to get a better look at this woman beaming with enthusiasm. There she was showing up, alive and energized by confidence.
She realized that if she could do this on the rock, she could do it in her life at home. When this type of awakening happens, your circle of comfort expands and you can never go back to your old way of thinking. This is transformation – the moment the caterpillar leaves the cocoon and becomes a beautiful butterfly.
Dottie continued to be my Life Coaching client and over the next few years, I observed her life unfold and blossom. Several years after the retreat, she brought her family back for a Custom Retreat and in walked a beautiful woman, 25 pounds lighter beaming with happiness. I almost didn’t recognize this woman as Dottie! The retreat and the Life Coaching experience had solidified profound, sustainable change and she wanted her daughter (who sent her to the retreat), her sister-in-law, her daughter’s future mother-in-law and best friend to experience this path towards self-confidence, fulfillment and ultimately, joy.
When people ask me “what I do” during one of my retreats or in my life coaching practice, I simply say this: I guide people on a journey into themselves and invite them to see who they really are. As a result, I inspire them to fully shine!