People often ask me about my work. What do you actually do?! What kind of people do you work with?
I realise my work is unusual. Walking into all manner of situations through a typical work day. I always feel privileged in my work, working deeply and honestly with people. The challenges are varied, but in each case I support people to untangle themselves and get authentic. I visit many clients in a week at various locations around the city. I walk between appointments wherever possible. I'm a bit of a rambling man, typically walking around London for 7 - 10 miles a day! I felt value in sharing with you a typical day of life coaching. I hope you find it interesting.
The Investment Banker, Canary Wharf
My workday started as I hopped the train to Canary Wharf to meet my first client. Sara, a 32yo Asian woman who has been working in an investment bank for the past twelve years. This was to be our fifth session and it was an emotional one. Amidst a flood of tears she confessed that she had now realised that she had been on the wrong path since leaving school. Her parents had nudged her towards banking as a safe option. She vocally hated her job and her health was suffering. Truly, there was nothing "safe" about Sara's predicament. It was no way to live a life full of potential. It had taken several sessions to get her to admit that she'd been climbing the wrong ladder. The nut was at last cracked and over the next few weeks our coaching focus would shift to bring her onto a more authentic vocational path.
My session with Sara took a lot of presence and energy, so I seized the opportunity to do some gentle breath-work to come back to my own centre in readiness for my next client. This was to be a telephone client. So I headed west on the Jubilee line to Green Park. I entered the park and found my favourite Lime tree. I laid down and took in the majesty of her giant branches. I connected with the 400 years that she had stood there presiding over the woes of generations of Londoners.
The Divorcing Parisian
My telephone session started, this time with Clo, a wealthy client living in Paris. She had recently come out of a long term relationship. Over previous sessions we had identified the in-healthiness of the relationship and the importance of keeping clear boundaries. I had anticipated that today we would work on her plans for her new life. But No! Coaching sessions are dynamic and anything but predictable. Today's session became a colossal dumping of all her uncertainties as to whether she had done the right thing. What about money? How could she find a new man? Did she ever really love him? Her liquid feminine nature flowed. I held the space and was eventually able to bring her around to exploring the opportunity of healing using a process that facilitated forgiveness, thankfulness and letting go. I felt her resilience return and she felt ready to move into her week. I left Clo with some powerful meditations to experiment with over the following days.
Lunch time! Sushi from Itsu was followed by a meditative nap in the park. My iPhone chimed and it was time to make my way across Hyde park to my next session at a hotel in Kensington.
The Young Entrepreneur
My next client Adam was a young entrepreneur. He was setting up an innovative e-business. Our sessions tended to oscillate between exploring entrepreneurial start-up challenges and the meaning of life. I always love going deep into "what it means to be alive" dialogues, so I was looking forwards to see what he wanted to explore today. After a discussion about cloud formations and the genius and passing of Prince, our session started.
A series of life events had unfolded for him over the past few weeks; an investor had pulled out, his girlfriend had quit her job and he was seriously doubting the idea at the core of his business. He had entered a crisis of self belief and he could feel his otherwise potent passion slipping away. We unpacked his feelings from various angles and it became obvious that the principal issue was that he was exhausted. Nothing particularly mystical, we agreed that the first course of action over the next month was to really look after himself! Great nutrition, exercise, more sleep and a regular meditation practice for starters. I also suggested that he explore 5-Rhythms dance as a way of loosening up. I looked forward to see how he was in a few weeks time.
The Finance Director
I jumped a Central Line train back to the city for my final client. He was a Finance Director in a large multi-national. We had worked together for several months to explore whether he should renew his contract or quit the city and go renovate houses in Yorkshire. This was an important session as it was the day before an important board meeting.
I rang the bell at the apartment where he shacks up during the week. I was aware that he'd been hiking in the Alps since we last met, so our opening connections were an exchange of mountain stories. Our session started. He appeared relaxed and at ease. I hadn't seen him that way for months. He disclosed that he was happy with the decision he had arrived at in our prior session. He was going to quit his job. I had witnessed, explored and prodded for months. He was very mind-lead and my guidance was to follow the heart. My only bias was that he should live the next phase of his life authentically. His decision felt universally supported. Excitement soon gave way to an earnest discussion of departure protocols that would best serve his needs without burning bridges. I could feel his gratitude as I left.
A brisk walk up to Liverpool Street and I was soon on the train back to the deep countryside for some stillness and gorgeous food. As I arrived home I could smell wood smoke loitering in the air, it was a chilly April evening.
I took a moment to enjoy the stars and a full moon. It was soon time to hit the hay, in readiness for another day of life coaching.
"Since our meeting of Friday I have been feeling good, there has been a positive release within me. I have been embracing my relationships with friends and family in these past days with such enthusiasm. It's startling! I can feel a constant smile on my lips. I'm really feeling the James Brown "Good". Don't laugh at my way of expression, but that is what I'm experiencing. Strangely I feel like I have you sitting on my shoulder whispering repeatedly "What do you value?" You have made me realise that I value a hell of lot, more than what I wrote down on Friday. I THANK YOU for this!!" Executive, Italy.
PS I have mixed up names and stories to preserve confidentiality.
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