As coaches, we all have our “why.” When anyone asks us how we got started doing what we do, it’s easy to give them the reason behind our passions to help people change their lives. The story of how we got to this point, however, is often a little longer to get through than a simple elevator pitch that sums us up in 30 seconds or less.

For me, my “why” is so I can use everything I learned from my stint in the School of Hard Knocks to help people not have to experience a single second of that pain.  My story – the Reader’s Digest condensed version – is filled with all the twists and turns of a good soap opera. It tells of a 28-year intimate relationship with eating disorders, a distorted perspective on relationships in general, a dysfunctional marriage that ended in divorce leaving two sons to live with their recovering prescription-addicted dad, a six year stint of trying to find myself by continuing to run from myself, the religion-based fear of an angry God judging my every thought and action keeping me from living outside the societal norm, to finally in 2012 throwing everything out the window and getting down and dirty with all things me. I knew if I didn’t get my mess together, my sons (who were at the time early teens) would be living the same life I did because that was the only model they had to live by, and that was NOT an option. I quit my so-so yet comfortable paying job and began to question everything.

Wait!  Condensed version…that’s right!  What I discovered in the process of unlearning life as I had known it is that everything we do – and I do mean EVERYTHING – comes down to love and communication. Whether it’s healthy communication, verbal or non, everyone is in relationship with everything all the time, and each of us needs to learn how to speak our truth with love and respect to end the cycle of lack and pain regardless of how it manifests in a person’s life.

And I started with my sons. My then 13-year-old son was going through some MAJOR (and that’s an understatement) transitions in his life, and he and I were just getting reacquainted since I had just moved back to Raleigh to work on breaking the cycle of dysfunction in my boys’ lives.  My older son and I spent countless hours just talking. He was given the space to express his feelings of anger, hurt, confusion, lack of support and all other things teenager in whatever way he needed to get those emotions out. Once he got it all out, we then talked about whatever the issue was from “the other side of the story.”  And let me tell you, that boy impressed the heck out of me with the choices he made and the way he was eager to keep learning how to live life in peace. (I’m getting all teary just remembering those days…which are still happening as I type. J )  It was through those hours of talking with him that I was able to process my own issues with anorexia and bulimia (which are truly no different than any other addiction/void-filling behavior) that stemmed from my own childhood, and thus my Family Dynamics practice was born.  I knew if I could have this indescribably beautiful relationship with my own teenage son, there is absolutely NO REASON each and every parent can’t have the same with theirs.  It’s as simple as being “all about the talk.” And it doesn’t have to be limited to parents and teens. Communication is universal and affects the plants, the animals and even the cars we drive.

So long story long, my desire is to help bridge the communication gap between parents and teens. Our next generation is far more brilliant than most people give them credit or even desire to spend five seconds exploring, and when our leaders of the future are empowered to speak with their individual authentic voices and guided by love and understanding?  Wow! It’s beyond imagination what this planet will look like with that operating system in place. But I sure do plan on helping make it a reality and finding out!!!  One dream I have is to somehow create a REAL reality show for parents of teens going through rehab. Many shows and people focus on helping the kids get better, but if the parents aren’t taught how to deal with their kids’ new personalities and perspectives, the teens have very little chance of staying “clean.” Helping change the environment in which the problem was created not only sets the kids up for success, but it also helps reboot the family’s operating system so the entire family (which is truly the root of all things society) can function in a healthier way.

And there you have it – the semi-short version of the story of my “why.” Thank you so much for the honor of being a part of this amazing group of world-changers. I’m humbled daily and grateful beyond words. And Russ, aka Pops, well, you know I can’t say enough about you!! I said I’d keep this condensed, but when it comes to how I feel about you, your vision and all you do, it becomes a challenge to Reader’s Digest it, ya know.

Much love and gratitude to each of you!

FORMER COACHES OF THE WEEK:

Angelique Joseph, Owner of Calliste Foundation Counseling

Lisbeth Overton, Whole Life Health, LLC

Connie Rogers, Bite Size Pieces

Trina R. Ramsey, Perspectives Plus Coaching

Claudette Chenevert, The Stepmom Coach

Danielle Mercurio, New You City 

LaKia Allen,

Connect 3 Coaching, LLC

Russ Terry,

Founder of Life Coach Radio Networks

Kim Ravida, Kim Ravida Coaching

Shannon E. Sennefelder, CPC, CRC, White Swans Consulting

Tracy K. Pierce, Synergy Organizing

Amy Dawidowicz, Choose Evolution Coaching Systems

Barbara E. Hetzel, Top Ridge Coaching

Tim Billiter, DIY for Your Soul

Jennifer Kottler, SEED Spiritual Coaching

Danielle Mercurio, New You City Coaching

Veronica Taylor, Life Leaders Coaching

Annette Johnson, BDAZZLINGFLY, LLC

Martin Salama, Your Divorce Recovery Coach

Joel Readence,  Joel Readence Coaching

Mandy Roczniak, Inner Winning Coaching

Andrea Ruchelman, New Perspectives Communication

LeAnne Parsons, The Voice Of The Adoptee & La Dolce Vita Coaching