Over the years I’ve found that the most amazing things are revealed when I  spend time with ME! Yes, I really do enjoy spending time with myself. And, I am not talking about a few minutes or hours on a weekend. I am talking about days on end where my only focus is on what I feel like doing and asking myself,  “How do I really want to spend my time right now?” The answers are usually something like …  taking a nap, going on a hike, reading a book, sitting quietly and staring at a tree or the ocean, or writing in my journal.

Each year I schedule time for myself before I host my annual Ocean Retreat for Women.  This year I took a long drive … 9 hours  … luckily the price of gas came down a bit … to my first stop, then 3 more hours to a retreat center in the redwoods of California where I stayed for many days (part of which include a transformational workshop with a wonderful teacher and a brief visit with a dear friend). The long drive back was broken up with a beautiful stop at my sisters place for a few days.

My first stop on the way to the retreat center was at my Grandma’s. She is an important part of my life and we’ve been very close since my childhood. As such a significant person in my life, she provides a very powerful mirror for me to look into and see the WHOLE of my being. By just being around her I became aware of some of my ways of interacting with others …The light and the dark; the beautiful and the ‘not so pretty’. It provided me with fertile soil to dig into over the coming days on my retreat. I returned home with a fresh perspective and clear ideas of how I wanted to move forward in my life.

In taking this time for myself I was reminded of the deep value gained by spending quiet, dedicated time for myself away from all responsibilities and daily tasks.
The value that I have gained from my retreat this year is appreciation of gratitude and connection. The value of true gratitude  … not just on a surface level but a deep feeling of gratitude for my life as it is today, for all that is in my life, all aspects of it. Seeing the beauty and gifts even within the struggles. When I mention connection, I mean to all of life and to my deeper sense of self.

Every year is different, and this year I really feel like what I got overall was a DEEPENING:
A deepening of gratitude.
A deepening of my knowledge of myself and my current struggles.
A deepening of my perspective on my life – where it is now and where I am going. A deepening of my vision for my life.

This deepening for me is a clarity of my vision; clarity of my goals; clarity of my priorities. It is also a feeling deep within my bones. A deep knowing of who I am, right now. And an honesty with myself. That who I am changes. I am dynamic. I change sometimes in subtle ways, sometimes in drastic ways. And I honor myself through it all as I honor my connection to all things.

Through all of this, I am reminded of my vision, years ago, of being called to offer this time to other women … to hold Ocean Retreats for Women.
I am reminded of how deeply this vision and the value of this still holds true today. What an honor it is to share my learning and growth with others and hold the space for others to do their own inner work.

Thank you,
Rena Hatch, MS, RYT
ICF Certified Life Coach

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What is Life Coaching?

September 13, 2008

Are you curious about Life Coaching? Wondering, what is it REALLY? The International Coaching Federation states, “Coaching is partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential.”

 

Coaching supports you to powerfully live in the present and focus your attention toward the future you REALLY want to create. Erickson College International which provides life coaching programs and certification explains: “A coach encourages and sponsors you towards the ownership of skill-sets that encourage and support you to increase your creativity, productiveness, effectiveness, etc.; whatever it is that makes the difference to you to make the key choices at this stage of your career and your life.”

 

I see coaching as a transformational conversation where I hold the space for my clients to tap into their inner resources and strengths. I support them to live from a place of confidence where they know their authentic self and share their unique gifts with the world. From this place of confidence they achieve their goals with more ease.

 Effective solution focused coaching supports people to focus on what they want and find creative ways move forward. Yet, many of us are focusing on what we don’t want … and we don’t even know it! Think about how often you spend time worrying, scared, stressed, etc. Most likely you are focusing on what you don’t want to happen or what you don’t like about something or someone.

 

“Worrying is using your imagination to create something you don’t want,” says Esther Hicks in Ask and It is Given. This is about the Law of Attraction … you attract what you spend your time thinking about (over and over and over). Many of us are thinking about and focusing on all the things we don’t like about our lives, our relationships, our jobs, our bodies, etc. And we wonder why the same things keep showing up!

To attract what we do want, we must spend more time focusing on and thinking about what we DO want. Erickson College (http://erickson.edu/) life coaching programs explain that “Solution Focused Coaching moves to free people from negative thought systems. Many individuals are trapped by negative beliefs and held hostage by them.” Imagine what you can achieve once you are free from these negative thought patterns! Seriously, imagine it.

TRY THIS: Think about what you DO want. Have fun! Pretend! Pretend that you have it. Daydream about it … like when you were a kid. Allow yourself to daydream and really get into it. See yourself living your dream! What do you see yourself doing that’s different? What might you hear others saying as they acknowledge what you’ve achieved? How does it feel to be living this? Write down everything you notice. Think about it often. Notice what new opportunities or ideas start to show up.

Focusing on what you want can take practice. For some of us resistance, excuses and other feelings might get in the way of even thinking about what we want. Life coaching can support us in moving through that resistance and transform it into deeper self awareness and understanding.

Life coaching is a powerful ‘advice free zone’ that provides the space for you to discover your true strengths, values and inner wisdom and to live within those strength and values. This can support positive growth and a new way to relate to yourself and others.

A coach will ask you powerful questions to move you through your inner road blocks and question you toward your own new path. Marilyn Atkinson, founder of Erickson College (http://www.erickson.edu) and Rae T. Chois, founder of BLISScipline AIM free LIVE daily mediation (http://www.blissciplineAIM.com), wrote a masterful life coaching book, Step-by-Step System, about the Art and Science of Coaching. They say, “Asking great questions that help people move into their own strengths and access their priorities might be called the front piece or engine of the coaching conversation.”

A coach will NOT offer advice or keep you focused on what went wrong. A credentialed life coach will NOT try to ‘fix’ you. She or he will empower you, through questions, to discover, learn, grow and create more of what you want.

Is coaching something that might benefit you? As a professional life coach I believe everyone can benefit from coaching. It is a co-creative process (you are involved) and you must want to be there and be a participant. Coaching is only effective and appropriate if you show up as a co-creator.

Five questions to ask your self to see if coaching might benefit you:

1. Is there some area of my life that could benefit from a change or a shift?

2. Am I ready for something more in my life (i.e. more abundance, more prosperity, more satisfaction, etc.)?

3. How committed am I to improving myself and my life?

4. What might I let go of to really make room for what I want?

5. How might my own improvement benefit others in my life?

If you answered yes to the 1st two questions and allowed yourself to ponder the last 3 questions … I invite you to explore coaching.

Your next step is to find a coach that fits your needs. The ICF (http://www.coachfederation.org/) has helpful information on credentialed coaches. Interview various coaches. Ask questions. Trust your inner wisdom to choose the successful partnership on your journey toward your magnificent future!