Updated: May 14, 2020
Why I love coaching? One word: awareness
Let me paint you a picture of where I was and how I got here. I would describe myself as a leaf in the wind. Growing up in a strict Chinese family, there were only 2 things that mattered: achievement and money. Being a kid was about doing well in school – good grades, to get a good job, that will get you lots of money, and then you live happily ever after. Admittedly, it’s not a fairy-tale, perhaps better since you could make it. But it came at a price: judgement.
Nothing kills awareness like judgement; the focus was not on what I think and notice, it’s about what others perceive, and trying endlessly to please ‘them’. Success was measured: how much you owned, what you wore, how much was in the bank, the title of your job, etc. It was never enough and, therefore, I was never enough. I was a leaf blowing, trying to get caught in the wind of success, but always falling short. I felt out of control, not knowing what I wanted, and stuck in a cycle of making choices that pleased others.
Shit got real 2010, and my life turned upside down. The things that I thought mattered suddenly didn’t. I tried to figure out who I was and was introduced to new things: mental, emotional, and spiritual health. I started learning new tools – like feelings (I used to say learning how to notice my feelings was like trying to taste the colour purple), and putting myself first, keeping my attention on “my side of the fence”, and I began to slowly re-wire me.
Fast forward to 2017, add a couple of kids, a wiser me, and the wind was trying to blow me back to work. But I no longer fit in the box of a typical job. I remembered having a coach, back in 2009, and really enjoying my time with her as she guided me to MY answers – so I took my first leap for me – I became a coach. Coaching has become a catalyst in my life toward joy and fulfilment. I’ve fallen in-love with coaching, and transformational power.
The major thing that coaching has brought me is awareness. Being in auto-pilot for so long had me really numbed out and focused on ‘doing more things’ and not ‘being’, and without awareness, there's no choice. Awareness is a muscle I needed to grow - it requires:
1. Observation: of myself, almost like stepping outside of my body/situation in order to observe it and not be in it.
2. Non-judgement: what am I noticing? And not get into “it’s good, it’s bad, what would they think?”.
3. Practice: being present and mindful of my emotions, body sensations, narratives, and yearnings, which yields more information and wisdom.
“A "leaf" that has awareness, is grounded.”
This level of awareness also upped my game with connection of what I really wanted, and the potential of who I could be. Deepening my awareness continues to be an amazing journey. Ultimately, what does this lead to? For me, it has meant I am making conscious choices for myself that resonate with who I am. When I was a leaf I didn’t really decide - I went where people told me where to go. But now, when I feel a restlessness, a vortex of being pulled apart, I know that’s the feeling of trying to please others. When I am aware of that, I choose to sink down and rest in who I am.