Living in L.A. – So, yeah, like I totally got a life coach
Since moving to L.A. one month ago, I have yet to secure employment or permanent living quarters.
However, I have acquired a life coach – so I’m on the fast track to becoming an actor. But seriously, I chatted up a life coach.
A dear friend, who recently became a life coach, reached out to see if any of her friends were willing to “give it a go.” Despite my full schedule of filling out online applications and watching “Westwing” on Netflix, I told her I’d squeeze her into my busy calendar.
Honestly, my main motivation was getting the chance to chat and catch up on life events.
My friend, like me, recently had moved. Me from NorCal to SoCal and her halfway across Canada to set up shop in Vancouver, B.C. She told me how many kilometers it was. Neither of us could convert to miles, so we settled on “seriously a long way.”
It was great to talk with someone who was in a similar situation. Even better when she’s someone who knows you so well. I thought, “No wonder people like having life coaches, they’re just like talking up a good friend.”
Well, then the other shoe dropped.
She said we’d have our life coach session the following day.
Huh? This wasn’t the coaching? OK, I could talk some more.
She added for me to think about areas I wanted to discuss in my life where I felt stuck or wanted to experience growth.
Double huh? This sounds an awful lot like homework and I haven’t even had a class yet?
The good thing about being unemployed is there are lots of areas for growth. I figured the session would be pretty close to just chatting so I didn’t do my homework. (Note: In hindsight this is a terrible idea.)
When our Skype conversation began the next day, my friend explained how the process would work. She noted that life coaches were about creating growth, not comfort. (Note: In hindsight this should have been a clue to what would transpire during the next hour.)
I have friends who are psychologists, so I understand the idea of working to retrain the brain and getting to the “thinky” issues. Life coaches start with the heart and “feely” issues and move to a place of self-discovery and practical application. Suddenly, a shrink sounded like a great alternative.
It’s not that I don’t like touchy-feely issues, it’s that I loathe them. When emotions are involved, sometimes I have trouble finding the right word and other times I get weepy. Neither is a comfortable situation.
I felt slightly tricked. I volunteered to help out my friend and now I was supposed to get in touch with my heart. The one thing in my friend’s favor is I totally trust her, so I knew no matter what happened it would be OK.
And maybe I was getting all worked up over nothing. Maybe I could keep things superficial for an hour or maybe my world was about to change.
There are things I have learned from various coaches in my lifetime. I’ve had good, bad and great ones. My sports team coaches ran the gambit of the good, the bad and the ugly. But all of them taught me solid fundamentals about the game, all of them pushed me to be the best athlete I could be, all of them helped me discover something about myself.
My various editors have been a type of writing coach. And in 20 years, I have had good, great and grim editors. The good and great ones pushed me to be the best writer I could be and helped me develop into the writer I wasn’t sure I could be. The grim, well, they serve as a great example of what not to do.
It is the same with a life coach. (I have no one to compare to, but I’m sure there are OK, better and best ones.) The goal is to help me live the fullest life possible and push me out of my comfort zone to allow for unexpected growth and experiences.
During my session, I was able to verbalize my excitement and anxiety of moving to a new place, my concern over the time it was taking to find work and my desire to fulfill my purpose. Not going to lie, there were high points with grace-filled laughter and low points with fear-filled tears. Verbalizing the conversations that I’d been having in my mind for weeks was very powerful and freeing.
When time was up, I was still unemployed and without a permanent apartment, but I did have a new way of looking at the situation and more homework.
My friend explained that she, as a life coach, would offer an idea to push my boundaries. I would then accept, decline or counter offer. Sounded like terms I could live with, even though I really hate homework.
After successfully completing my homework, I am still looking for work and an apartment but I’m doing so with a life coach kicking me in the butt and cheering for me.