Just a little over a year ago, a little voice inside started to whisper at me. Then it started to speak a little louder and louder until eventually it was shouting.
But it wasn’t the same voice that whispered insults on “bad mirror days.” Or the same one that told me I “couldn’t/shouldn’t do _______ for a living.” Or the voice that made me compare myself to everyone else. Instead this voice was kind. It was compassionate. It was encouraging. It was curious. It was my intuition.
I want to back track a little and tell you that I was one of those people that spent most of their teens and twenties with no freaking idea about what they want to spend their life doing. Indecisive by nature, I became paralyzed on more than one occasion by the vast number of choices.
You mean, pick how I’ll spend 40-60 hours a week for the rest of my life? Right now? How was one supposed to make that choice when they can’t even vote? Or drive after 9 pm? Or before they’ve had any real world experience? What if I wanted to change my mind? What if I needed to change my mind?
Overwhelmed, but alas I picked. And was terribly wrong — I failed my first semester of college. And then I picked something else, and it still felt wrong (despite a stellar GPA). This time though, I felt stuck. As if I had only one revision, and I’d already used it. Like the possibility of spending extra semesters in school did not exist. Like if I didn’t see it through, I’d be failing myself. So I just clung to the comfort of being able to choose something else in grad school.
I started working and I had an okay enough job. I had intentions to go back to grad school, but found myself dragging my feet each year, continually teeter tottering between my self imposed “only two options.” Because again, I felt like the only sound choice to make was to choose a program that remained relevant to the skill set and diploma I already possessed.
Reminder: stop “should”ing.
They say if you want something bad enough, you’ll do everything it takes to get there. So as I look back at that see-saw phase of time, I see how telling my actions (or lack there-of) were. Clearly I was not hellbent on either choice.
In addition to all of this is that small pressure you can feel to choose something uber reputable and recognizable. Because it’s a bit easier to nobly say, “I’m a doctor, lawyer, teacher, nurse, in finance, etc.” than to try and explain some sort of unknown venture.
There are zero things wrong with being any of those highly regarded things, especially if it’s what you feel called to do. I have the utmost respect to anyone who feels that calling and sees it through. But what if those options don’t resonate with you? What if you feel called to do something else? What if an inner voice is whispering at you to follow a truer purpose? What if that inner voice is yelling at you to find a truer purpose?
Plain and simply I realized: I did not want to stay in health care. I worked for 5 years in the physical therapy world, as a first hand witness to the burnout and struggles a PT deals with on a daily basis. The pressure to see more patients in an already seemingly booked schedule. Being bound to the ever stingy insurance companies telling you when to stop treatment even though you know you could do more to help.
And then I considered going to PA school. Being able to see and treat my own patients without going through the rigors of med school. But then again, PA’s also struggle with insurance and the need to see an impossible amount of people in a short window of time.
So that brings us back to last October. When I found clarity in the realizations of my hesitation. It’s not that I didn’t want to help people. And it’s not that I didn’t value health and wellness. And It certainly wasn’t that I doubted my ability to be successful in either of those professions. It was the idea of “treating” people.
the idea of supporting vs. treating
I realized that I don’t want the pressure of only having 15 minutes with you to determine what’s wrong and how to treat your symptoms/condition. I don’t want to help you when something has already gone wrong with in the body. I don’t want to treat an ICD-10 code. I don’t want to deny you a treatment because your insurance company won’t pay. I don’t want to feel like there is more I could do to help.
I want to support “everyday you;” when you’re existing in the space of “I don’t feel my worst, but I also don’t feel my best.” I want to provide support in your life and choices, so you can discover and optimize your inner vibrance. I want to help you become clear about what’s important to you, and how to align your actions with those importance’s and priorities. I want to help you discover what lights you up inside, and figure out how you can make more time for those things. I want to help you healthfully manage your stress — because chronic stress is a root in the development of disease.
I want to make wellness feel simple, attainable and practical. I want to partner with you in creating actionable steps towards living the life you really want to live. I want to help you connect the dots between all the different areas of your life and see how when one area needs some TLC, it affects the others. I want to help you feel energized, joyful, abundant, mindful and aligned — all the while improving your overall health and wellness. And I want to help you because I know first hand that change can be scary, especially when you have no idea which direction to move in.
For all of these reasons and so many more, is why I chose to become a health coach.
When I enrolled in the Institute of Integrative Nutrition, I could’ve never guessed the actual capacity to which I would personally grow. I signed up to learn how to help others, but in the process I’ve gained so much insight into understanding my strengths, weaknesses and how to help myself.
I thought IIN was just a door to health coaching. But it opened even more doors than I could’ve imagined, and shed light on the areas of my life that were asking (read: begging) for attention. It’s helped me discover my voice and convictions, and focus in on how I can use that voice and my experiences to help others.
Each day that I work towards building a future I’m excited about, I thank my 22 year old self for not settling. For not thinking that option A and option B were my only two choices. For stalling until my inner wisdom was ready to speak and guide me towards paving an entirely new path. While there are no guarantees of income, set hours or eventual promotions, I have the power and ability to grow and expand to no abound; and now that my life is heading in the direction it is, I can’t imagine having not chosen this path.
Nothing in life is guaranteed. But we can’t let the fear of the unknown stop us from setting out to do what we feel called by, even if it seems out of the box or adventurous. What if it doesn’t work out? Well, what if it does? All we really can do is show up and try our best. For ourselves, for our loved ones and for those around us.
So if you have that small voice inside thats whispering at you, don’t silence it. Ask it to speak a little louder and louder until you can figure out what it is asking you to do. And if what it’s saying lights a fire inside, well… maybe you ought to listen to it.
If you have questions about IIN, health coaching or are interested in more details about working with me, please do not hesitate to contact me via my contact page or firstname.lastname@example.org