Life Coaching: looking back on 2015

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In this blog I will answer some questions to reflect on my work and development as a life coach in 2015.

How have you lived and worked in alignment with your values and vision?

Keyword I had chosen for 2015 was simply to “be”. It sounds simple, but I believe for many people it’s life biggest personal challenge to just be who you are, including for myself. As a life coach this year has been a year full of amazing emotional growth for myself, my partner and all the people I have coached. In alignment of my vision I have started giving lectures on high sensitivity. I kicked the first one of in May in The Hague and received 22 participants.

My vision is that the world will be a gentler, nicer and more fun place to live in when more and more people come to appreciate their sensitivity in stead of surpressing or neglecting it. High sensitive people have many talents, but feel quite overruled by a dominant society with high expectations. With these lectures I have shared the challenges highly sensitive people face on the workfloor and in personal relationships. Only by sharing stories of the highly sensitive people I have coached I got feedbacked that people feel supported and understood. They even experienced the lecture as uplifting, yes, of course there are ways to feel empowered to do just that what you most desire in life.

I have been working as a life coach for 12 years and I have always worked in alignment of my values. People hire me to guide them with their emotional development and in the Netherlands it’s quite unusual to invest in hiring a life coach. First option would be a psychologist. This has much to do with the costs and how my guidance isn’t covered by insurance. However I have seen my coachingpractice growing, especially people who have had sessions with a psychologist or psychotherapist found my practice and have undergone many positive changes.

One of my core values as a coach and human being is to give my best, every second that the people are in my coachingpractice. I coach with genuine interest and empathy putting their matters of the heart on the front line. My open and genuine attitide feeds the coaching relationship in which the coachee is able to blossom and let go of limiting thoughts and emotions. I have noticed that I attract more people who turn to my guidance even before turning to a psychologist. I find this positive in many ways. One of them is that people take the lead in health care; they choose their type of guidance in stead of being controlled by society and insurance policy.

What were your most valuable learnings or take-aways? My most valuable learnings were the following:

When you process anger and sadness one is able to feel loving and compassionate again by forgiving the person who angered you, but also to forgive yourself for being too hard on yourself or for not having done the right thing. This doesn’t mean the wrecked relationship will be renewded again; it means that you won’t have to go through life with resentment towards this relationship. But it is also possible to put loving energy in the relationship to see it change for the better. It all depends on how you feel.

I’ve started to use rebirthing in my coaching practice. Through this breathing technique I’ve learned a lot about how body, mind and energy works. It’s a simple technique which leads to magnificent results. People are able to free themselves from negative emotions and physical pains. People will start to feel clear-minded, strong and flexible in the body and emotional more stable.

Another valuable learning was the power of sharing my vision and mission. It empowered me to think about the high sensitivity knowledge I’ve gained throughout the years. Many people who follow my work feel supported and empowered to accept themselves fully as high sensitive people.

Where did you show self-compassion, courage, and commitment (especially in the face of challenge)?

The most challenging work I’ve done which showed self-compassion, courage and commitment was to let myself be healed by rebirthing and to be of support and guidance for my husband who has been suffering a headache for six years. It takes a lot of patience and resilience to keep out heads up. On the other hand we don’t have a choice; it’s either doing nothing which won’t change anything or putting all of our energy in getting healthy.

How did you surprise yourself?

While I was pregnant I’ve worked all the way. I had much more energy compared to my first pregnancy. I’ve only felt off-beat the first three months, afterwards hormones regulated and I could eat whatever I wanted and felt lots of energy and motivation to work.

What impact (big or small) have you made through your work?

I’ve made people express their anger, sadness, hatred, disappointment, powerlessness and helplessness to process their trauma’s such as sexual abuse, dominanting relationships with parents, divorce, being surpressed my negative emotions of family and break-ups of love relationships. After having expressed these emotions they felt empowered again, they felt empty at first, but slowly it gave them the energy to take better care for themselves, acknowledge their talents and live the life they want.

For more information on my work, I invite you to visit my website Orchid of Life ~ Life Coaching. 

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HSP: Let the pain surface so joy can replace the freed space

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Let the pain surface so joy can replace it. That’s the work I guide during sessions. Not everyone is ready, but sessions can also be experienced as a mental preparation for the emotional and physical work which is ahead. Lots of people have the need to understand with their mind before they can let go of the fear to feel what has been hiding in the body for years.

As a life coach I have studied different mental techniques to guide mental and emotional shifts. After having worked almost 11 years as a life coach I have arrived at the place where my soul’s purpose and the people who resonate with my work have come together. People of all ages. It’s not about age, it has never been about age, but about me feeling secure enough to tell everyone how I can help them. When I was 26 years old there were people who judged me. I let myself be judged and decided to study more coaching techniques. This year I will turn 37 years and I am happy to share more of the work I do.

Since 2004 my vision and mission has been the same. My vision is that more and more people will hear the calling of their hearts and souls and take action upon this. My mission is to help these people to release the pain they are carrying within so it can be replaced by the joy fueled by sharing their innate talents and qualities.

In 2011 I decided to put myself forward as a coach for highly sensitive people. It took me 11 years to realize this fully. In the year 2000 I read the book ‘The Highly Sensitive Child’ written by Elaine N. Aron. In 2008 I was conscious of the fact that the people I coach were a lot like me: caring, creative, intuitive and with soft and loving souls. The following year I wrote two articles on high sensitivity for a Dutch lifestylewebmagazine. These articles were well received, but still it didn’t clicked. It took two more years and while my unconsciousness was adding up all the high sensitivity events it finally clicked in the summer of 2011; one year after the birth of my daughter who’s now almost 5 years old.

The biggest insight of my life came to me after the birth of my daughter. I was holding a precious, pure, loving and fully feeling soul and could only feel a magnificence joy and gratitude for LIFE. People are born sensitive. We loose a great deal of this sensitivity when we are surrounded by caretakers who haven’t worked through their pain, sadness and anger. These energies definitely influence the baby: while growing in the womb and the years after birth up until 6 years old are the years in which the child creates convictions about life. Is life good for them or is life dangerous and should you always be careful? Shall I show my talent or will it be criticized?

Have you experienced your portion of hurdles in life in relationship to work, love relationships and parenting? Have you arrived at crossroads with arrows pointing in many directions? Are you ready for positive change or better said: eager for life changing reflection and action? If so, I invite you to make an appointment for an introduction session.
Take a look here for the Orchid of Life Prices and Options.  Are you a Spanish native speaker? Please take a look at this blog ‘Si me siento como una persona sensible’.

2011/2012 FRANTIC UNCLUTTERING

On the verge of 2012 I was to be found in closets, kitchen drawers, other types of drawers, close to the floor (mopping), relocating items we do not use, but want to keep, organizing our digital library, filtering toddler clothing and getting rid of things that do suck the life out of one healthy human being.

WHAT??!! This is not me. I don’t like to clean. I do love a glimmering kitchen sink, but on a daily basis we only mirror ourselves in the sink late in the evening or even the next morning. Organizing all sorts of stuff is not part of my normal behaviour. However I couldn’t stop uncluttering. I did it before breakfast. While having breakfast I thought of the things to unclutter. After breakfast I thought of strategic plans to continue uncluttering and meanwhile taking care of our toddler girl (almost 1.5 years) It was as if I was breathing the word ‘uncluttering’ all the time. Noooo, even worse, I was living the word ‘uncluttering’.How did it all came to this?

As you might know, my partner Arnold is having a rough time (burn-out/constant headache). This absolutely had a great effect on our household. Not only on our household: it took mine and his emotional development on a high speed train through Japan. Yeeeeeaaaaaahh, that’s us in the train while everything else proceeded. Not good. Not good at all. So one afternoon, halfway through November, I stopped the train; while flipping through the pages of a magazine an idea came to me. Arnold should go on a retreat. Over Christmas and New Year’s eve since these typically social events were undoubtedly too much for him to handle. I will take care of Amé and he should go wherever he wanted to go to.

The idea was received by a man who was already looking forward to spend Christmas holidays recharging by doing close to nothing. He was happy to say the least. The idea of being able to spend time by himself gave him the wings he needed to endure headache and obligations for five more weeks.

And now it all comes down to me again. Five days before he would leave some unfamiliar frustrating emotions got a hold of me. After a couple of days it became clear that these were in fact not quit unfamiliar; these were the ones I have been consciously working on since the death of my father (four years ago). Anger, fear and sadness. How come I didn’t see it coming? Or even recognized it from the beginning? Answer is simple: I was too busy keeping my head above water.

So my vision of having an enjoyable, quiet and happy time with family, reading and writing was painfully disturbed by an all-in unsafe feeling. A feeling of which I KNOW it needs to see the light of day some time. And the time was NOW. My father left his wife and two little daughters. Through the eyes of my child and our circumstances I get to know my inner child; the child who was left hurt.

These deep hidden emotions were unleashed by frightening thoughts of Arnold not coming back home. Based on reason I knew he would be safe and come back. I knew I would be safe and ok with the situation; being alone and taking care of our daughter. Only the combination of going through these awful emotions and carrying the responsibility of Amé was bizar. Besides lots of crying the unclutterer was born. Uncluttering provided me a feeling of safety and being in control. Nonetheless, if it wasn’t for my dear friends and unexpected new friends I would be lost anyhow: uncluttering sure can’t make up for a good shoulder to cry on.

After two weeks of uncluttering and getting to know my long hidden emotions I fully support the concept of leading an uncluttered life; on a material, fysical, emotional and spiritual level!

Living the Life of your Dreams

One of my coachees recently told me that she had a light -bulb moment in the car on her way to our coachingsession. The thought that she could live the life of her dreams and that she can do the things she likes in life popped up in her mind. Only telling me about this light -bulb moment brought tears to her eyes. Tears of happiness. She got to the point where she values herself in such a way that she can allow herself to live the life of her dreams. Beautiful!

www.jofabi.nl -animal photography

http://www.jofabi.nl -animal photography

Here comes 10 Tips to build the life of your dreams

1. There could be a voice inside you telling you, you won’t succeed. Listen to this voice. This voice might want to protect you from failing, from falling, is disappointend, maybe angry, but the voice has a positive intention. Ask the voice what his positive intention is. Make this voice your best friend!

2. Ask yourself each day, what did I learn, how did I make a difference for someone else today?

3. Establish a set of disciplines that will give you the self-esteem and energy to act on your ideas. These disciplines can be in the area of self-care i.e. exercising, sleeping and eating habits, to communication and relationships, to how you spend your spare time, to what you think about.

4. Quite literally engage life… absorb everything, be curious, seize each day, notice and respond to everything that happens. This is where your ideas, future projects and your personal opinions and philosophy come from.

5. Be open to everything which crosses your path. Accept feedback. Learn from it.

6. Learn to work harder on yourself than you do on anything else; read, listen to tapes, journal, have meaningful conversations, never stop learning.

7. Bring something extra to everything you do, whether it is bringing a positive attitude to your job, giving a little extra on a project, or going out of your way for someone else.

8. Lastly live a synchronic lifestyle. Have a vision and vision and a higher goal which resonates through your vision and mission. A goal in which you contribute to people’s and world’s health. Determine what you want, ask for it, and trust that you will get what you need. Stand back and watch what happens … it’s always interesting!

Presentation for the Association of Shy People in the Netherlands

Yesterday I was present at their annual reunion and gave a presentation/ interactive workshop about how to bind people to organisations. How to keep your member motivated and enthusiastic to play an active role in the association. The afternoon was split in two parts. Before the pause I spoke about the importance of having a vision and a mission and how you can effectively use communication as an instrument to keep the members of an association motivated. I asked for their full cooperation so we could hand the board of members a lot to think about. After the pause I led a workshop with the theme ‘Moving in Freedom’.

My challenge was to get this group of shy people participating in what I was about to discuss with them. So to start of my presentation I said to them: “With such a big group of shy people I can’t expect nothing less than an huge amount of responses!” This remark got the crowd laughing and the ice was broken. To create a safe atmosphere I used an NLP technique and everyone started smiling and I could start off with everything I had planned.

The crowd provided a lot of information about how they see the vision for their association. Images like water, fireworks, a rollercoaster, green nature, a little duck on water, a butterfly, open curtains where the sun is shining through would get them moving towards taking more initiative, feeling comfortable within a crowd and feel playfull and calm. It was so much fun to motivate them to share their ideas.

After the pause I gathered the people in a circle and got them moving on salsa music. The exercise was to imitate me in my movements and this was only the warming -up. After the warming -up it was their turn to come up with a movement which we all would imitate. It was fun and the movements were inspired by dance, sports and clapping. They all got to the third challenge to stand in the middle of the circle and show their movement to get us moving again. Moving into the last exercise I turned of the music and for everyone who wanted to challenge themselves they could stand in the middle of the circle being quite and feel the attention of the crowed. I was happy to see that so many people felt the courage to do so. Some even surprised themselves, because they also enjoyed to be in the middle of all the attention.