Life Coaching: how my family have treated me

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‘The reasons why I moved to Holland was primarily to get away from work, family, ex boyfriend, he could have my friends (again lost friends having to commute, dealing with women I had conflict with in work and could not work with anymore and in a way to follow my father’s footsteps in being an expat and seeing the world, living a new life, experiencing new things. Also thought I would do my MBA in Rotterdam, now that has changed – My opinion of my father and how my family have treated me – maybe that’s what we should talk about – My father and my family and me.’

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Life Coaching: starting anew as a confident woman

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Her choice to start lifecoaching is motivated by her wish to start anew as a confident woman working with the best intentions, high ambition and responsibility. But at the moment she is afraid that negative experiences will be repeated. That there will be people who will be envious of her success and wanting her to step down and leave the company. That is what her manager aimed at, but she didn’t get it the easiest way, she got it the hard way. She fought for what she had built up. She is lamenting the fact that she couldn’t say goodbye to her colleagues.

Life Coaching: letting go of tears and fears

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Let’s start of this blog with a deep sigh. I feel blessed to be able to bring light to people’s lives. That’s one thing for sure. And now it’s time to write about it. I haven’t done so for a long time, because I was pretty occupied with family life, main life events and work. As of this summer we live in a really nice neighborhood in The Hague. We enjoy being surrounded by lots of green, all facilities and our daughter’s school close to our house. After almost elf years of working as a coach in living rooms (one-on-one coaching) and on locations in several cities in the Netherlands (workshops & training) I may proudly announce my first separate working and coaching space at home. Let me share with you some of the life stories that has come my way.

When a thirtysomething year old guy told me that he felt ashamed to share certain thoughts and feelings while he was seeing a psychologist I was struck. I exclaimed that it is necessary for his development to start sharing all of his thoughts and feelings. What one gets out of psychological guidance is the amount of ‘you’ one puts in. You need to be willing to work with what you have. It’s not the psychologist, therapist or other type of mental guidance who will pull out all of your pain and fears. But on another note, it could be helpful to talk to someone who does get you talking about all the things that you are ashamed of. During this session I felt I needed to share some of my experiences guiding highly sensitive man. Sensitive man could go through a phase of doubting their sexuality. Bingo. He had struggled with this topic as well.

But what if you just don’t know what to tell me? Than I could put myself on a repeat spreading the message ‘You need to be willing to work with what you have’, but it won’t bring the coachee nor me any further during the session. This young lady was sitting on the couch and told me with a big smile that everything was going well. She started her studies, moved to a student apartment and works in catering to maintain herself. Looking back on the previous session there could still be some emotions blocking her from living freely, but at this point she was smiling. After having asked a few questions about her life the pain came out: carrying a huge load of responsibility for her divorced parents and little sister. Because she cared for all emotions and thoughts of her loved ones she was left out in the whole process. She needed to give herself some loving attention and one way to do this was to start sharing more of her life with her loved ones.

Before people start lifecoaching with me they haven’t got a clue of how far they can come in terms of feeling secure, confident, happy and cheerful from within. Another life story which moved me deeply was the story of a woman in her late fifties who was still mourning her husband who passed away six yours ago. Up until this point of no return she had taken care of him for years and years after he had a severe accident. For almost fifteen years she hadn’t felt those little butterflies starting of in the belly and flying up to the head bringing feelings of ‘being in love’. This confused her to the max and brought her to a devastating phase of mourning again, of finally and definitely starting to let go of the man who showed her to love.

More and more stories are coming my way and I embrace them. All these stories turn me into a channel from which I intuitively coach; reflect, react, summarize, feedback, intervene with coaching techniques and share life stories with the intention to reframe thoughts and feelings which are limiting the person to live fully. Again, I feel blessed to work as a life coach helping people to embrace life from their core strength and desire to live.

You cannot heal a lifetime of pain overnight, be patient with yourself, it takes as long as it takes to rebuild yourself.

Christian wedding in Germany

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Last weekend my cousin got married. To my big surprise it was a Christian wedding. They arranged a beautiful place called Schloss Weiterdingen in the South of Germany. My cousin has not been brought up with a religion. Neither have I. So imagine the Chinese delegation from the Netherlands singing in church. It was awkward to say the least. But we tried. We did the best we could. We sang. In English. I cried upon hearing the tunes of the first song whilst seeing my cousin and his future wife awaiting their marriage.

After having sung several songs and listened to the pastor of their church it was time for exchanging the rings. A very cute little boy handed them the rings. She had a bit of a trouble with putting the ring on his finger. My cousin took over and put the ring on his finger himself. This resulted in a salvo of laughs. Hilarious! It was official. My cousin got married to a woman from Latvia and they will spend their life in Zurich for the time being.

What I found interesting to hear were the stories the pastor told us before he wedded the bridal couple. ‘Marriage is a gift from God, it’s the reunion of a man and woman; two separate souls who in marriage will be completed as one. Encountering ones soulmate in life is a gift one should cherish every day. The wife should take care of her husband and nourish him well. Make his breakfast every day and a smart woman prepares breakfast in the evening so the husband can warm it up in the morning.’

Yes, those were the words I remembered him telling us. When people from his church share their wish to marry, he offers them counselling to see if they are fit to marry each other. In relation to the bridal couple, he emphasized the bridal couple’s loving way of communicating; an important element of marriage. The pastor radiated with love and godly expressions.

Their wedding day included an international buffet; this was arranged with help of family and friends, a huge romantic wedding cake, a photo-shoot blessed with sunny weather and a formal dinner filled with impressive speeches. I am glad I was there to witness their love for each other.

Why would I need coaching?

Coach – Welcome Patrick, make yourself comfortable. What lead you to try coaching?

Patrick – Whoa! Nobody said anything about starting coaching, I am just here because someone else recommended it.

Coach – Relax Patrick this is just a conversation to get to know whether coaching is right for you, there is no commitment.
Patrick – Good! Before you know it I will probably be stuck with lifetime commitment, high monthly fees and extra penalties for when I can’t show up!

Coach – Actually Patrick, coaching is not some fitness-like institution where you pay regardless of use. Coaching is completely tailored to the client and you can have as many or as few sessions as you wish. You only pay for the coaching you receive and you can always reschedule an appointment in advance without penalties.

Patrick – Hey! I don’t need some quack telling me I’m crazy and locking me up in some asylum for the rest of my life!

Coach – Actually, that would be a psychiatrist. A coach does not judge or decide, a coach guides and brings clarity to those parts of your life that you feel need it.

Patrick – But what if my issues are not emotional, I’m not a woman after all, how can coaching help in other aspects of my life like my work?

Coach – Well, coaching is not about just emotions, its about your life. Your life is composed of so many influences, including emotional, work, experiences, goals too many in fact to mention here. The beauty is that you only need to focus on what is important to you, and that’s what we work with. Also Patrick, men deal with as much emotional conflicts as women, but are usually more introverted, and so benefit as much from coaching sessions as their female counter parts.

Patrick – Ahh, so you want me to open up and tell you all my secrets so ridicule me and tell all your friends about what a mess my life is!

Coach – First of all, a coach does not need to know every little aspect of your life to be able to guide you. Only that which is important to you will come to light. Secondly if you would want to share something with your coach, there is a strict code of client-coach confidentiality and so what is discussed in the session, stays in the session.

Patrick – Now I see! So you are just going to yak-yak-yak about who you think I am and what I should do, while I just sit here like some school kid and take notes!

Coach – Nothing could be further from the truth, actually a coaches most important job is to listen, pay attention and understand the client.

Patrick – Well why didn’t you says so? That sounds really easy, my cat is a good listener, I will just ask mittens to coach me!

Coach – It’s true that listening is the most important part of coaching, however it is not limited to that. Being a good listener is imperative to be able to coach properly, but listening alone is not the same as coaching.

Patrick – I don’t know…I still have the feeling that I coaching is for the mentally challenged, physically enfeebled, or emotionally weakened.

Coach – Patrick, coaching is not really for those people. It is for regular people from all walks of life. For anyone who wants to start taking steps towards achieving their personal goals or is just curious about what else life has to offer.

Patrick – Well I am curious, lets give it a shot!

Coach – That’s the spirit!

Written by David de Haas

True love is worth the wait

Recently I heard an amazing love story from a woman living closeby. Somehow my partner and I kept bumping up to her. She got to know us individually and later found out that we were a couple. Not long ago she walked up to the door of her flat and Arnold spotted her. I ran to the balcony and yelled her name. How are you and would you like to stop by at our place?

Keeping in mind that our talks only took place on the streets, in trams or in stores this was a very spontaneous action to get to know each other a little bit better. She stopped by for appelcake and tea. It was fun. She is a nice person. She told us about how she ended up with the man she is living with right now. When she was 12 she had a crush on him. No, she was in love with him. One glance of him would make her happy for the rest of the week. He was four years older than she was.

Twenty five years later they met each other on Hyves through a question game. (Dutch social network) She was curious after him; was he married? did he have children? or would he be single? After having answered many questions through this game he finally asked her in an indirect way if they could meet up. Over their first dinner together they could only stare at each other and both hardly had a bite of their dinner.

The little girl in her was still present when she told us that they are together for two years and exactly four months. She could never ever have dreamt that he would like her too. That he would fall for her, the guy who could make her dance on clouds with one glance. After having heard this story I knew this was one of the reasons why our walks have crossed so many times. This story had to be shared!