Firebirdlifecoach's Blog

Pursuing a Passionate Life

The Power of Us, Indeed! December 6, 2013

MA ConfAlmost exactly a year ago, I wrote a blog about my experience attending my first MA Conference for Women Now a year later, I am writing this post, about my experience at the same conference that I attended yesterday. And while the words whirl around inside of my mind looking to form themselves into clear and coherent sentences, I shall borrow a comment from last year’s post that more simply encapsulates the experience of the day – Wow!

Working on the sheer magnitude of the event itself; the gigantic space, the caliber of the speakers, and the number of attendees – it was at the least, impressive and more accurately, awe-inspiring. This year’s attendance total topped the previous year’s record-breaking numbers, with a sold-out crowd of 10,000! Making it the largest women’s conference in the country. Holy cow! Do you have any idea how large a space has to be to accommodate a sit-down luncheon for that many people? Well I didn’t before I saw it with my own eyes. In all honesty, it took my mind a moment to comprehend what my eyes were taking in.

Like last year, the experience was highlighted by some fabulous keynote speakers. Susan Cain, author of Quiet, a powerful book that is bringing introverts out of the shadows and into their gifts. Linda Cliatt-Wayman, principal of Strawberry Mansion High School in Philadelphia, who saw a need, and made a choice to uplift, empower and love some children who desperately needed the intervention of her caring and dynamic presence. Doris Kearns-Goodwin, world-renowned historian who has documented and illuminated some of history’s most significant leaders. Blake Mycoskie, founder of Tom’s Shoes, who found a way to create a business model that “gave back” every step along the way. Leymah Gbowee, Nobel Peace Laureate, peace activist and women’s advocate, who used her power and compassion to create real change in the lives of women and girls whom life had forgotten. These were only some of the movers, shakers and luminaries – from keynotes to break-out session leaders – whose stories alone were worth the price of admission.

But this year, the thing that stood out for me the most was the privilege I had to represent the International Coaching Federation – New England Chapter as one of fifty certified coaches that provided coaching services to attendees.
What a wonderful experience that was! In the space of two hours, I had the honor of meeting and coaching, six beautiful women, each on their own journeys, each with their own challenges, gifts and goals – and to share my gifts and talents with them to aid them on their paths forward. It is hard to put into words, the sense of gratitude and honor I feel to have been able to contribute and connect, even for such a brief time with these individuals. To these women, and in fact to all of us who were present yesterday, may we be fueled by the inspiration that the day provided to step into our own power and to step out into the world and make a change for the better. I am proud and honored to have been there with you! – Lisa


Celebrating the View from Here July 12, 2010

When I decided to go back to school to become a life coach, I made a commitment to myself to do what I needed to do to make this goal a reality for me. Coaching is a funny business, not yet regulated by most state licensing boards, anyone can call themselves a coach and there is nothing stopping them from doing so. Scary, huh? That’s not my style. When investigating becoming a coach I worked with a couple of coaches myself first in order to determine that this is the path I really wanted to be on. I learned about and joined the International Coaching Federation an independent governing body that has made it their business to define guidelines, professional, educational and ethical standards to regulate the field. I researched educational programs that were approved by the ICF and structured their programs to meet these professional standards and found Mentorcoach, a program geared primarily toward professionals who already had a background in the helping professions; human resources people, teachers, social workers and psychotherapists. And I followed their program, taking the courses I needed and beginning my practice following the ethical and professional standards that I was instructed in.

It has been a pretty long process and a difficult one at times. Being a single mom, I have needed to work a separate full-time job in the meantime in order to pay the bills while I take the courses I needed and get my business started. There are times when both time and money have been squeezed to the point of strangulation in order to make this happen but there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Of course it also helped a great deal that my children and friends have been supportive and encouraging in this process. Additionally I am energized and excited about the work I am doing, the people I am meeting and the things I am learning. It was the right choice and I am very happy about the journey I am on as I work my way toward my goal.

At this point in the process I am gathering all of the bits together as I prepare myself to take the final certification exam this fall. Letters of recommendation are being collected, hours of coaching tallied and coursework, mentoring and supervision documented; all the various bits coming together for the final push needed to become certified. It’s exciting and incredible to be here. When I got my Master’s degree in psychology, years back I felt a similar sense of accomplishment but at that age my responsibilities were not as significant and my ability to focus on that singular goal was less taxed by the other demands of my life. This, this is a big deal, I’ve worked hard for it and I am damn proud of myself to be so close to completion.

Of course, once I get there I intend to continue toward higher levels of certification, pursuing further education and doing the bits necessary to attain those levels as well. There is so much more I want to learn about and do. But for right now, for this moment in time I want to savor the view a bit. To take a moment to reflect back on all that I have done to get me to this point and to enjoy the view forward with the promise of certification in close sight, shining like a little ingot of gold on the horizon.

I figure if you are going to spend your life helping other people work toward and attain their goals then you ought to be able to do it yourself. Sometimes people get discouraged along the way – feel like they will never get there and give up on the process. But for today I want to say that indeed if you keep your eye on the prize, and continue to push forward you can reach your goals. And then after dancing around a bit you can set yourself a new goal to work toward – something that inspires you and pulls you forward. Celebrate your successes and keep on truckin’ you never know what the next bright spot on the horizon is awaiting your arrival.