Life coaching was a profession I had been thinking about making the switch to for several years. Initially, I did not have a definite target population in mind that I wanted to work with. I felt it would be interesting to work with people to help them have the best relationships possible, as relationships, especially married or partnered relationships, are often the most central relationships in one’s life. I wanted people to have the most positive relationships possible, as harmonious relationships are something I value very highly. This is still an area of life coaching that I wish to help people to achieve their best in, but it is not what I ultimately determined would be the target population I wanted to work with.
Coaching is a practice where it helps to have a lived experience in what you are coaching others about. And while I do have experience with maintaining harmonious relationships, I have a lifetime of experience being a highly sensitive person, aka, an HSP. I first learned of this trait in 2000, when I picked up author & psychologist, Elaine Aron’s book called, “The Highly Sensitive Person; How to Thrive When the World Overwhelms You”. As soon as I saw that book, without reading anything other than the title, I knew that was me.
It has often been said that when the student is ready, the teacher will appear. This held true for me when I met my friend Stephanie, who is a Shamanic practitioner. My best friend Matthew asked me just about two years ago if I would like to go to what was called a “Heart Centered Sound Circle” that Stephanie was hosting. It was a get together where people chanted and sang and he said he had been to one before and really enjoyed it. It sounded great and I agreed to go. I met Stephanie there that day and she had such a positive, vibrant spirit. I continued going to different events she held and was particularly intrigued by one class she was hosting, which took place on July 22, 2017 entitled wryly, “So You Wanna’ Be A Psychic”. Stephanie is a highly intuitive person and had been asked by many people over the years how she just “knew” things. She explained in the class description that everyone has the ability to enhance their own physical senses and intuition, whether one chose to identify as “psychic” or not. The class description also spoke of a technique called consulting your “Internal Guidance System” which is a tool developed by Zen DeBrucke, an intuitive business and personal consultant and coach. I liked Stephanie’s down-to-earth, no nonsense description of the class and decided to attend.
Just before I left for the class, I happened to look up Chester Bennington, the lead singer of the band Linkin Park, online. He had been on my mind lately as, sadly; he had committed suicide just two days prior to the date of Stephanie’s class. When I looked him up, I saw the band performing their new song “One More Light” on the Jimmy Kimmel show. They dedicated their song that night to Chris Cornell, lead singer for the band Soundgarden and Audioslave, and a dear friend of Chester’s and the band, who had also passed away due to suicide just the day before their performance. In the chorus of the song, Chester sang, “Who cares if one more light goes out, in a sky of a million stars? Who cares if someone’s time runs out, if a moment is all we are? Who cares if one more light goes out? Well I do”. I found his words so beautiful and moving. I too wanted no more lights to go out, and wanted us all to be lights to each other through this life.
Chris Cornell’s passing on May 18, 2017 hit me very hard. Ever since reading an interview with him in the late 90’s, I could tell he was a really sensitive man. In looking back online and hearing some interviews of Chester’s, I could tell he too was a very sensitive man. When they passed away, it felt like I had lost two of my own.
I went to Stephanie’s class that Saturday afternoon with Chester’s beautiful song in my head, knowing it had come to me as a message. During the class, when Stephanie talked with us about us each having an “Internal Guidance System” she said that we could each ask our respective internal guidance systems’ questions, and if we felt and “open” feeling, that was a “yes” that we should proceed. Conversely, if we felt a “closed” feeling, that was a “no” and we should not proceed. I asked my internal guidance system in that moment, “Is it my calling to work with highly sensitive people and help them to have the best lives possible?” and “Should I pursue my life coaching certification at this time?” I got a resounding open feeling; and between that and Chester’s song I had heard earlier, the message was clear. This was my path.
I had been aggressively paying down debt, and though I knew I wanted to pursue my life coaching certification, I had thought, “I’ll do it after the debt is fully paid and my husband and I have moved to our new home”. This message I had just received though was that I could do it now, as the program I had researched offered a payment plan I could afford, and would be something I could do while still continuing to pay off my debt concurrently.
I was exuberant when I left the class that evening. I knew I had a calling and now had a plan to follow it. I was due to get paid at my current full time job the following week and on that very day; I registered for my coaching certification classes that would begin October 2, 2017. It was an 8 week program that would meet via tele-classes Monday and Wednesday evenings from 7:30-10:30pm, which would allow me to complete the classes after work. Following that, I would do my niche coursework in the form of a self-study in Life Coaching, and would specialize in working with highly sensitive people.
After thinking about life coaching as a possible career change for several years, I was finally crystal clear on what my path was; and was, and am, on my way.
Thank you Stephanie for being my teacher and appearing at just the right time in my life. Thank you Chris, and thank you Chester for your beautiful inspiration to me and all others whose lives you touched. I promise, just as Chris said in his beautiful song called “The Promise,” “to survive, persevere and thrive”, and I shall help other highly sensitive people like ourselves do the same.