My story of becoming a coach is multi-factorial, but this covers most:
I grew up surrounded by aunts, uncles and cousins, not a “typical mother-father unit”. My parents were divorced while I was still a toddler so I never really had that close loving environment that you would see in movies. I actually witnessed more dysfunctional relationships as my mother struggled to find her soul mate, doing whatever it would take to satisfy a partner. She was over weight her whole life and she grew up not feeling loved by her own father. So it only made sense that she would try whatever it took to find love. I am sharing this because by growing up and seeing a lack of self love combined with very low self esteem, it set up behaviors that ultimately shaped my perspective of how a woman should act and feel.
It created an image in my mind that I was never good enough. It also created an idea about myself that I was not smart enough or of any value to voice my true feelings or interests. I felt this insecurity as 1) a child- by never trying out for a team, in case I didn’t get picked, 2) a teenager- by drinking alcohol and acting out sexually to get attention and feel worthy of love, and 3) a young adult- by constantly trying new diets, work out plans and shampoos/make-up to change my body into something more pleasing.
As time went on, I started to not only struggle mentally with my beliefs, but I lost my memory, and my mood was so unstable. I felt like people didn’t like me, so I intentionally pushed them away by creating stories in my head. I felt like I was not good enough for my husband, so I would anger him hoping he would leave me (he didn’t, thank God). And I would turn to alcohol around friends in order to not bore them with the real me. I was hiding from my true self and self sabotaging as a coping mechanism to stay in alignment with my learned beliefs.
Somehow, I began listening to podcasts on health and wellness, and came to wonder if my behaviors were actually symptoms of potential health issues. So, I went to medical doctor and had blood tests done to check my health and my hormones. I was saddened to discover there was nothing wrong with me to fix, that I was normal….. even though I didn’t feel that way.
A year later, I had my dog treated through a Naturopathic doctor. I was curios about the hair testing she performed on her, and thought it might be fun to try on myself. Well….. that was a life changing moment when the results came back!
Turns out, I was actually very low in key essential minerals and that they were not in an optimal balance for health (even though they were in the normal range of conventional medicine). The results of my test also included what tendencies towards certain conditions that my mineral imbalances result in. I was surprised and so happy to hear they were depression, hypothyroidism and hypoglycemia. Happy???? Why??? Because I finally had answers to why I had thinning hair, why I had mood swings and why I was always fatigued (to the point where on multiple occasions, I had fallen asleep on the back of a motorcycle!).
So, I started changing my food, environment and behaviors. And, I began to feel better. I then started spending time with different people, those who made me feel safe. And I started to feel even better still. I explored religion and spirituality, both brought me to understand purpose and passion for life. I then started to consider my career, my patients…. Why could I help some people, and not others?… Maybe my patients also had systemic issues preventing their success with treatment? I became curious, obsessed and passionate about directing them towards better health.
I then obtained a certification in coaching, because “I was going to help people prevent and reverse chronic disease”…that is what a hygienist does after all, isn’t it? Well….. turns out, that as I journeyed through the program to certification, I unleashed my purpose, my passion. And even though it does involve my knowledge on oral health, it has more to do with what our mouth says about our self!
During my course- I cried. I laughed. I shook my head in disbelief. I was humbled and I was embarrassed. The techniques used during the training were a start to my discovery, but the support of the peer coaches helped me move from my past to the present, and to realize what I wanted for my future.
Had I just accepted my “normal test results” from my doctor; or had I not suffered from poor body image, low self esteem, lack of connection, poor digestion, or an unhealthy relationship to money, I would not have internalized my feelings or symptoms, and recognized the lessons that past experiences taught me. If I had not had struggles in the past, I would not be able to help others now. I now truly believe that “stuff” doesn’t happen to us, it happens for us! My past challenges were gifts that I didn’t understand at the time.
Once I began to implement a few small changes each day and built upon these, I began to create a calmness in myself, and a sense of self worth. I began to really appreciate the time I had to spend with loved ones, and that they truly did enjoy my company. I stopped worrying about people not liking me, and just lived in the moment rather than in my head. Not only did I stop feeling anxious while being around others, I was able to really listen, contribute meaningful dialogue and build a new level of trust and love with my husband. I found happiness within!
Of course I still want to help my patients improve their health, but what I really need to do, is help women change the way they see themselves. I can use my experiences to support women suffering like I did, and I can draw from a database of techniques to provide guidance in reaching their goals so they too, can find happiness.
Why? Because we are worth it! You are worth it!
We are so hard on ourselves. We compare ourselves to others. We focus on stuff that we can’t change. We take on too much and always try to please everyone around us. Instead, if we just took some time for ourselves, and really payed attention to our feelings and what our body is telling us, we could find balance and happiness right NOW.
Small attainable goals lead to better moods. Better moods lead to better lifestyle choices. Better lifestyle choices lead to better health. And better health leads to happiness!
I do not think that I have it all figured out, nor that it will be easy moving forward; because I will always be striving to be better tomorrow. But I have learned that I can change my thoughts about myself, perception of the world around me and behaviors in which I chose to act on or respond to. That I can love myself and appreciate all the abundance around me. That I can be an advocate for my health and make choices that nourish my brain and body. And, That I can help others find an accelerated track to their happiness.
Mind.Body.Mouth. Because how you Think, Move and Eat become YOU!