Whole Life Coaching for Multiples – What a Coach Will Not Expect

I am between jobs, which is a polite way of saying that my last company screwed me over by proposing an unexpectedly ridiculous contract that I was being pressured to accept within three days. <I’ll bend over on my own terms when it suits my ulterior motives. These were no longer My Terms. Thus, I was instantly somewhat less motivated to maintain the position.>

My Reaction to said position reconsideration

I politely declined. My manager freaked out when I showed him the contract.

Now, I’ve already allowed myself to be fcked over for a year for several reasons. 1) Excellent mental health benefits – $5 a session. Really. 2) I loved the job and could cruise while working on my “issues,” and 3) I couldn’t tell my manager that I had ACCEPTED being shat upon because I was dealing with a wee bit of a personal problem of the severe dissociation nature).

Some would say rejecting any contract 2 weeks before the economy decided to head south, for likely more than just the winter, was a somewhat less-than-ideal decision. These folks are also excellent football coaches driving the desk on Monday morning.

But I digest.

Bottom line, Need. Money. <spoken powerfully in that totally cool James Earl Jones voice>

(So that networking thing…anyone got connections for a tenacious articulate and really really good (trust me) engineer manager type?)

Asking for outside help

Enter, “Whole Life Coach.”

Seriously.

<WTF is a “Whole Life Coach”?>

Hmmm. Probably not a Career Coach, certainly not a Basketball Coach, and definitely not a charter bus service, a maker women’s handbags and accessories, or the Hines dude from MadTV with the 1970’s striped tube sox.

I was thus enlightened – a Whole Life Coach does more than just a focus on your career, but touches all areas of life. With the aim of “helping clients determine and achieve personal goals.” It can be an ongoing relationship to deepen my learning of myself in the quest for the Answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything.

I was also intensely amused (and admittedly intrigued) to find that “coaching is an integrative approach founded on the behavioral sciences.”

<heh heh. Integrative. We can kill two birds, I mean nine birds, with one stone.>

*Raises eyebrows* Remember, integration is not killing.

<Yeah, instead, more the Kumbaya of the dissociation world. Gettin’ that laughing, crying, praying and singing all together around the same campfire.>

So do ya see folks? In our secret plot (which admittedly is certain to evoke the disfavor of God), multiples are infiltrating all aspects of the life process, as we are psychotic and are on a mission to take over your brain(s).

Why don’t you Just Believe?

<Cue spooky music here>

But seriously…

I spoke with a Whole Life Coach who offered a complimentary session.

<Suuuuurrrrre, we all know how that works. Give one-for-free to get hooked for your “Whole Life”…hell, I could be Touching All Areas of My Life in ways I never imagined!>

<Ahhh … Yeah. >

So the coach sent me a pre-session questionnaire … questions like, “What goals do you want to accomplish”?

Well, first, to understand what Whole Life Coaching is in the first place.

“It’s integrative.”

Hmm. So far so good.

Another question focused on how this coaching thing could impact my life in the next three months.

Well, since I am in somewhat significant financial dire straights, getting me a job seems numero uno. But…since this is Whole Life coaching, I found myself thinking outside the box, with thoughts sliding at increasing speed to the dire straights inside the litter box. And the dishwasher. So how ’bout you come over and cook dinner and do the wash for a while? But I figured that might be out of the realm of her services.

<But I did ask anyway. She still has a chance to cancel the session. Heh.>

It’s difficult to answer a questionnaire like this when the wants and needs of everyone inside are just thrown out on the table. Not quite the chunky goodness of a nice rounded pile of cat vomit, but more like the handful of pocket change emptied soundly on the table. Several nickels and dimes; reasonable considered requests. And one big fcking quarter slammed down in the middle crying “ME FIRST.”

<moi?>

This Whole Life Coach may end up wanting a Lot More for her services than Originally Quoted.

She may get first inklings when the completed questionnaire arrives in her inbox.

Some representative questions, with perhaps not-so-representative answers

It all started quite smartly with Question #1.

1. Why have you decided to get coaching?

<It’s cheaper than a lobotomy>

The quarter, screaming <emphasizing> loudly <emphatically> smartass answers manages to affix several on the written page before they are erased for more “acceptable” responses. (The litter box comment did make it through.)

<Small consolation. Pussy. *rolls eyes*>

2. List 3 goals you would like to accomplish through our work together?

Cami gets a fcking clue what she wants to do with her life so we can get on with what we do best. (Which actually IS within the realm of this coaching service.)

Emily gets some balls. (Sorry girl, but you’ve got some thick skin you gotta start pulling up sooner than you do.)

Also, we figure out how to allow Kate out of the bottle so she can be in her most excellent element without ripping other peoples’ faces off.

<sigh. broken record. get a new target. I make nice nice, k plx thx?>

(And you think I am kidding. This questionnaire exercise is actually quite interesting in ways this coach never imagined. The order of these listed assertions is representative of typical order of internally offered contributions.)

3. How could a coaching relationship have the most impact on your life in the next 3 months?

INTERNAL COMMUNICATION!

(Stop yelling. Take a breath. Come up for air. Too many voices at the same time. Yes, stress dumps all those lovely neurotransmitters and endorphins and shit. You all don’t get your own individual contributions to the anxiety; we don’t need nine times the fight-or-flight response. 120 + 9*(30) = 390 mmHg will blow some arteries.)

Here’s a goal: the appropriate ones of you get your asses out of bed at the appropriate times. That means Kate, no more blowing off interviews. Bad. Saying “But I was not asked” is an unacceptable answer if you are aware that an interview is actually in progress. You, my dear, have a vested interest in more than just writing a kick-ass cover letter to get the interview in the first place.

4. Project one year ahead; how have you benefited from our coaching relationship?

Gotten some agreement on what the next career move is. (Translation: What a quagmire in here – who wants what, who has the loudest mouth, who is browbeating others about wanting a job with some of that touchy-feely crap, and who is getting offended and hurt by not being listened to. And who has just said fck all of you, do what you want, I’m gonna go have a beer.)

A good first step would be just GETTING AN UNEMOTIONAL LIST of what everyone wants to do. And this includes saying, “Just because I am really good at XYZ, please don’t go there – I need to take a break for a while.” That’s fine too. Stop making assumptions about anyone else’s needs/wants/etc.

Also my dear, being compelled to attack a particular job search just to prove you can get the most challenging job is not a valid reason for doing so. This is not a contest. You’ll just get me signed up for a job that no one truly wants and perhaps cannot even handle that this point in time, but that you are so proud you managed to land.

Something else – some of you are responding to external influences and blaming your reaction on internal factors. Cut that crap out.

6. What else is helpful for me to know about you?

<Oh, you have no idea.>

Smartass answers aside, I’d love to be able to say, look at my resume. Look at all the amazing things I have done. You know how I accomplished all that? And lots of it at the same time?

Because in my life, I have been unafraid. I have chased and embraced ALL of the things that I love! Why? How did I get these balls?

To escape my past.

I ran toward experiences I could throw myself into. Lose myself in. I’ve performed, I’ve been published, I’ve been labeled an expert, I have received national honors. I have 4 degrees, my hobbies are dangerous and not stereotypically female.

<Do not fck with me. You will not silence me. Do NOT even try to discount me. Else a delightful face-ripping will be appropriately scheduled at time solely at my discretion. But likely sooner than later.>

Yes, because if Kate’s and other’s strengths could be tempered and the balls shared all around, we’d all be a lot stronger and self-assured.

(If you knew me better, you’d match up individual accomplishments to parts of me. I am sure my mother has, and it probably crystallized a lot about my life.)

So, bottom line dear Whole Life Coach, we’ve got some conflicting issues we can nicely sum up as “self-esteem” and “conflicting needs.” THAT is something you should know, because THAT we can work on.

Maybe this Whole Life Coaching is not such a bad idea.

Especially since she has no idea the similarities between Whole and Integrated.

<Oh, and 42.>

– ∞ –

See also:

List of all posts
Standard Dislaimer: Read now and again before flaming
Guest Book and Introductions

Review: INSiDE short film
And now a break from your regularly scheduled integration
Does integration mean compromising on ice cream?
Thoughts on Integration – What does integration feel like?
Will I always be defined by my coping mechanisms?
Hi. My name is Coping Mechanism.

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6 Comments»

  davidrochester wrote @

🙂

Somewhere on my private blog (I did invite you over there, didn’t I? If not, let me do it here: http://www.peskydots.wordpress.com) I have a dialogue example between me and Ian (who goes by “Jack” on that blog, for reasons too weird to explain here) about a woman I was dating. It was hilarious, in a not completely funny kind of way.

I have a close friend who is a life coach, so I’ve seen the industry from the inside. When it works, it works very well, because it focuses on NOW solutions, rather than trying to address past problems. That can also be impossible when implementing the solutions is blocked by committee members who are not living in real time or having the same experience.

You’re obviously blisteringly intelligent, so I will ask your forgiveness in advance for making a suggestion you’ve probably thought of long ago, but … if you’re looking for career/life success coaching, get at least two referrals from the coach of people she’s actually helped, and also get Kate to ask her some pointed questions about her own level of life success and satisfaction. Many life coaches are blowing smoke out their arses in a big way, if you know what I mean. Don’t engage with one who can’t walk her own walk.

  Tigerweave/Anna wrote @

I feel like I needed a life-coach once I integrated. Except I didn’t see how one could help more than my counselor already was.

Am going to write my response to jackie’s question as to what was so hard after integrating.

See ya!

Anna

  Jackie wrote @

I’m in the place where my alter’s mentality hasn’t developed to register an IQ that is dipping far below room temperature 😦 I have been thinking about how life coachs should be parents. Thoughts of parents usually tells me hurricane winds are heading my way and the internal meteorologist need to have a emergency status meeting STAT.

Nonetheless, I pondering what I do believe…
life coaches=parents^ or maybe Ann’s got it right, life coaches = a good T, or maybe I should go have that meeting this minute.

  Emily wrote @

David – good suggestions – I am not the type to get offended, and since none of us thinks of everything, I don’t think we/people should get upset at genuinely offered suggestions. On the other hand, some people will shoot themselves in the foot with their blustery behaviors (while probably secretly taking your advice in the background).

This coach has walked the walk, and used a coach herself to make career changes. She is newer but I really like her enthusiasm. And since she has not completed some sort of certificate program (which BTW is NOT required), her rates are about half others charge. So we will see.

Kate Kate. Sometimes difficult to temper reasoned requests from sounding like challenges. I think we have a very nice compromise on this blog using the carets . She isn’t relegated there, but we rather enjoy the opportunity for the editorial comments couched in that way. Wish there was a verbal equivalent.

Anna and Jackie

I asked about the idea that this coaching has a therapy element to it, and she explained that she covers day-to-day issues more as a sounding board without offering therapeutic responses. She said if she feels it is getting close to more personal issues in the therapy realm, she makes a recommendation. I like that answer – she both recognizes where the line is, and acknowledges that she does not have the expertise (nor desire) to go there. Astute and self-deprecating on her part. Another reason I like her.

  Amy wrote @

I think you should have kept your job. With so many without. You could have negotiated.

  emilylonelygirl wrote @

Hi Amy

Yeah, hindsight. But I didn’t really tell the whole story. It was somewhat protracted over about 6 months..I was made promises that were broken. Many of my peers were shocked at how I was treated and they told me so. It was a pretty big insult. After I rejected the contract, suddenly they were singing a different tune, but but that time I was so disgusted with them I said no. I am not the type of threaten leaving…if I say I am leaving, it is because I have talk and negotiated and gone beyond what most people would. But….they just assumed (like many companies do) that they can just shit all over you because “they’ll never leave.” I don’t tolerate that well.

With the economy now, I am not sure what I would have done. The clincher is I would have been locked into another year long contract at a bad (and I mean insultingly bad) salary. At least now I can look for something back in the pay rate I am supposed to be in.

Overall, it sucks, but if I can get something in the next couple months, everything should be okay. Fingers crossed.

Emily/Cami


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