A couple of years ago, I was planning to attend an event that I didn’t want to go to, but felt obligated to attend. And I was going to drag my husband there with me. We debated back and forth about it, both knowing neither of us wanted to attend, but I continued to feel guilty, and insisted we should go anyway.
And then I learned that Oprah’s O You! conference was the same weekend, in a city not that far from me, and I immediately had an image of my best friend, Alyce, and I attending together. “Oh, how fun that would be,” I thought to myself. “Too bad it’s on the same weekend as…,” I continued.
A of couple days later it was announced that Oprah would be there too. Holy cow. I had hit the jackpot- an entire day with Oprah, Gayle, and Alyce. (I’ve always said Alyce was my Oprah, and I was her Gayle…) This would have been fantastic- a dream come true, really- if it wasn’t for the fact that I was planning to be out of town for the other event, that I didn’t really want to go to.
I checked with Alyce, and she was super excited and totally game for O You!. She’d fly into town, and we’d go together. Her other friend, Mandie, and a co-worker, were also interested in joining us. If only I was available to go…
And then it happened. It finally clicked in my head I had a choice to make- and it really had nothing to do with the events scheduled for that weekend. It was not about picking one over the other.
In reality, the decision came down to choosing to honor myself, or choosing to sacrifice myself. And this seemed to be a recurring theme in my life. I realized this was truly a test. The universe was testing me. And I was being baited- baited with…Oprah!
I had spent years working on myself- growing, evolving, and awakening. I had learned numerous lessons, and had profound shifts. I knew exactly what this test was about. And I knew how I needed to respond to it. I tried to find the courage to do it.
And then I did it. Done. There. Finally. I chose to honor myself, and not sacrifice myself, on a level I hadn’t done before.
I nixed our plans to go out of town, purchased Alyce and my tickets for O You!, and had a total blast that weekend.
And then I learned the next lesson, one that I didn’t expect. When I chose to honor myself, things just started to happen for me- doors started to open that I didn’t know existed.Alyce & I at O You!
There were many amazing speakers at O You! that year- Oprah, Gayle King, Dr. Oz, Suzie Orman, Donna Brazile, and Martha Beck, among others. Alyce and I were especially captivated and intrigued by Martha Beck and Donna Brazile, and as it turns out, Alyce discovered shortly after the conference that Martha Beck trains life coaches. This completely resonated with Alyce, who was already a Psychotherapist.
Alyce signed up for Martha’s nine month training program, and she called me from a training event in Phoenix a few months after the O You! conference. I could hear the shift in her voice- it was palpable. Life changing, really. As she talked about the Meet & Greet she was attending, I suddenly began to think to myself that I should consider the training as well.
Wait a second- me? I was a Health Educator, I never wanted to be a therapist, life coach, or anything similar. I didn’t even know what a life coach really was. Why would I suddenly feel the urge to explore this? I have no idea…
A few weeks went by, and I decided to add myself to the waiting list for Martha Beck’s Life Coach Training that began last September. I still had no idea why I decided to do this, but I did. I figured I could change my mind before the training was due to start.
Two weeks later I received an email from Martha’s company, explaining they had added a section to the June training, and they wanted to know if I wanted to start earlier.
I immediately lit up. I still had no idea what I would do with the training, or why I was interested in it, but I knew I had to do it. So I did. And I completed the training just two weeks ago.
While I wasn’t sure why I wanted to study life coaching initially, I know now that combining health education with life coaching is exactly what I am supposed to be doing. Creating my business, working on my own terms, helping others live their best lives, continuing to grow and evolve, and connecting with my tribe- Martha and all of my fellow coaches- is exactly what I’m supposed to be doing, and where I’m supposed to be. I have no doubts.
All of this occurred, only after, I decided to honor myself, and not sacrifice myself, on a level I had not reached before. It happened after I acknowledged the test before me, and I took the leap. I was scared, and nervous, but also clear, and still. And I am so glad I leaped.
Welcome to my health education and life coaching practice. 🙂
Martha Beck & I in a photo booth, pretending to be monkeys, at my MBLCT Meet & Greet in 2012.