I'm not sure that I have what it takes to be a life coach myself or that anyone could 'teach' me those skills since my own life has been so messed up, but when I read about Rachelle Disbennett Lee's book '365 Days of Coaching' I felt that I had to buy it and see what this 'life coaching' is really all about. And who knows, maybe there would be something in there that would be of benefit in my own life.
'365 Days of Coaching' is actually a compilation of a daily ezine that Rachelle developed when she was going through a difficult time herself, before she became a life coach. Rachelle invites you to read it cover to cover, browse through it and jump in wherever the topic attracts you, or to read it daily as it was originally designed.
I opted for the daily dose because I felt that to absorb this kind of wisdom you need to savour and explore each one separately. 'Day One - One Person Can Make a Difference' - a promising headline and something I have always believed to be true . Rachelle talks about how a chance meeting with a stranger changed her life, telling her how she had been in a dead end job, chose to take on study, gained a degree and now had a fabulous job. Rachelle herself was in a similar position and this woman's story inspired her to go and enrol in college which ultimately lead to other huge life changes for her.
Rachelle's comments "Never underestimate the power you have to make a difference. Every day, you touch the lives of so many people. You never know when you'll change the life of someone you meet." touched me deeply. My own life has been changed in a moment by random meetings and unexpected comments. When my 12 year old daughter said to me "No offence Mum, but if I had a boyfriend who treated me the way Dad treats you, I would dump him!" made me realise that I was clinging to a dead relationship which had no real chance of recovery. In that one sharp moment of clarity I accepted that fact and made the decision to leave that unhealthy situation.
Years later, after another failed relationship I was facing single life again with the added difficulty of having to disclose my STI status. I had become one of the many millions of people worldwide learning to live with the fact that the herpes virus is with you for life and that anyone you become intimate with in the future is at risk of contracting it too.
I had moved interstate, I wasn't working, I was a single mother, I was alone and I'm not ashamed to admit it, I was lonely. I thought I had come to terms with having herpes but suddenly I found myself in a completely new situation and I felt like I was back at the very beginning again, trying to adjust to the limitations of herpes mentally and emotionally.
My self-confidence was at an all-time low and the stress of my current situation was making my condition flare up repeatedly so all I could think about was "I have herpes, I'm never going to be able to have a normal life again!" In desperation I searched the net for info and stumbled across an online support group for people with herpes. I hadn't even known they existed before!
I read some of the topics and was so relieved to find that other people were dealing with the same issues. Some of the stories touched me, some amused me, some brought tears to my eyes. At last I knew that I was not alone with this, if I needed information or emotional support, I could get it from this amazing group of people who shared their thoughts and feelings openly online. Finding that group changed my life.
With time I grew from being a lurker (just reading all the posts), to contributing my own questions and offering supportive comments to others, then I set up my own local group, developed a few websites, started writing a book about people's experiences dealing with herpes and am now working on my newest herpes support project, Living Sphere.
Rachelle goes on to say that "we don't have to do anything special to make a difference. All we have to do is be ourselves. Living by example and being willing to open up and share yourself with others will make the biggest difference to the people in your life, the strangers you meet, and the world." And that, in a nutshell, is what the Living Sphere concept is all about!
Opening up and telling your story, sharing your experiences and feelings, letting others know how you have dealt, or not dealt, with sharing your life with the herpes virus. Living Sphere provides a place for people to come to educate themselves about herpes, to share stories and to learn how to heal …. emotionally, because that's the hardest aspect of having herpes. Learning to cope with the physical symptoms is a very minor issue in comparison.
Have you ever randomly come across just the right book, website, or info just at the right time? Finding Rachelle's book right now seems one of those delightfully serendipitous moments for me and I am looking forward to exploring it fully. The real challenge will be whether I can stick to my original plan of reading it one day at a time!
The next headline is already tempting me to read on….
Day Two - Don't Wait to Say "I Love You"
'365 Days of Coaching' Because Life Happens Every Day © 2003 Rachelle Disbennett Lee, MCC, MS
Universal Publishers / uPUBLISH.com