Monday, October 21, 2013

Modern Day Medicine Woman

Most of you who are reading this know me for my dedication and focus on mental health and well-being.  My life’s work is to spread an understanding of the Three Principles so as to plant the seed of peace-of-mind all along my path.  I enjoy doing this and I also enjoy walking the walk, so to speak.  My passion for this understanding comes from the heart because knowing how we all navigate…how we all come home to & also stray away from our natural state of well-being…has changed every faucet of my life.  There is not a corner, a nook or a cranny that has not been impacted by my awareness of this understanding.  I am grateful and feel compelled to share.
There has been, however, one nook…one cranny that has been left untended.  This piece of the puzzle, like all other pieces, benefits greatly from understanding how we each choose our perspective.  This understanding of the Three Principles still applies and is still useful and relevant here.  This piece, though, was a consistent obstacle.  I had become increasingly aware of the effort it was taking to adjust my attitude around this nook & cranny.
The piece I’m speaking of is physical health.  The actual health of the body.  Mine has been poor for years and I’d like to explain in case you don’t know me well enough to understand what I’m referring to.  I have suffered from chronic neck, back and shoulder pain due to three major car accidents…one per decade since I was 15.  In addition, I have had unexplained bouts of nausea for about six years, which no one has been able to treat.  Over the last two years I also began having more frequent and more intense migraines.  As a result, I have been to the doctors a lot, was on a handful of medications & was not finding solutions, but instead remedies for when the pain hit.  I was finding some relief in visits to my acupuncturist and my massage therapist, but could not afford the amount of office visits I really needed to walk around feeling well.  In short, each day began and ended with pain & I was rising above it quite well.  I feel proud of this fact, AND I still believed that a solution was out there waiting for my awareness.
Then one day about a month ago, POOF!  The answer I had been waiting for.  My sister-in-law, a total health nut, wanted me to know about a line of naturopathic supplements that she had been on.  They had “changed her life.”  To be honest, she had talked about it once before to me and I was not a listener at the time.  But now, with the progression of my symptoms and with my kids getting used to finding me in bed, she had a listener!  As I listened to my Mind, I felt sure that this was where my awareness needed to be.
I was skeptical, but I also loved the idea of filling all of my cells with nutrients from mother nature herself.  As I researched and found that the scientist behind these products had spent over 50,000 hours both in the lab and around the world in indigenous populations for the sole purpose of offering healing to western society, it became an easy decision.
I began taking a handful of all natural supplements about a month ago & I cannot tell you the results I’ve had.  No migraines.  No nausea.  No more medications.  Restful nights where I’m dreaming again. My chronic pain has drastically diminished.  I’ve lost weight.  I have energy.  I feel fabulous!  Of course, every body is different so I’m not guaranteeing these exact results for you.  All I can do is tell my story and try to share these products with like-minded people whom I care about.
I had gotten so used to not feeling well that contrast I’m experiencing has me very excited and amazed!  I’m on a total health revolution & I truly feel that between my understanding of the Three Principles and my new understanding of physical wellness, I am able to treat mind, body & soul completely.  I am a modern day medicine woman & I’d love to share what I’ve found with you.
If I’ve peaked your interest follow the link below & please be in touch. xo Cory

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Just Below the Story We Tell

Isn't it strange how much we know if only we ask ourselves instead of somebody else?”
~Richard Bach, Illusions

It just occurred to new wisdom does. It was 3:00 am and I was woken up by my cat. The next thing I was aware of was my hands. They were neatly folded across my stomach and as I stared at them I noticed how perfectly they fit together. How easily I can hold my own hands & how absolutely comfortable it was. During this moment of foggy-eyed insight I was aware of how much we are made to take good care of ourselves. With ease our body knows ways that sooth & calm. We don't have to think about it, because its natural.

Later that same morning, I was again half awake. That beautiful time when you find yourself between sleep and awake. It occurred to me that my tongue was pressed against the roof of my mouth in a way that it rarely is during my fully awake moments. It reminded me of kittens, puppies or infants when they sleep. I've seen this before and it looks so cozy. This was the first time I noticed that I too do this.

As my brain started to wake up I began to make meaning of these things I had noticed.  It got me thinking of how hard-wired we are for well being and good feelings. When we shut off our endless dialogue of personal thought for the night, our body goes into a natural state of care.

This means something in our waking hours too! This natural care system does not require sleep for access. It does not require anything because it just is. I'll admit that this was not new information for me. I knew already that I hold all the answers to my own questions. I knew already that I am really the only thing that can limit me. I knew already that I can take really good care of myself when things outside of me become turbulent. However, these recent insights came at just the right time & now this old information had a new truthiness to it.

This summer I found myself repeatedly in the situation of feeling hurt by others. Do I speak up or not? The answer that kept coming to me was to stop planning and just respond with love in the moment. This part of the experience has been freeing and has felt right, but outcomes would not be described with such adjectives. :)

At some point I began to feel quite disappointed and ultimately a little alone. I was feeling that reaching out and then not getting a pleasant response meat a lot about me and my future. I began building my walls, a task that I knew well. I began to feel that I had a lot of work to do and that a lot of obstacles were in my path. Life felt hard and unfair.

Once I became aware of these feelings, I knew my thoughts had run wild. I'm thankful to know this much.  The storyline felt old, although I had filled it with brand new events. Some of the characters were the same, but I had created a sequel. With this reminder in my sight, I could not take my “reality” so seriously and I began to focus on outside things less. Within a few hours I was no longer checking my cell endlessly for some outside response that would change everything. I no longer was waiting or searching.

Instead, I became a little bit more mindful about how I was creating. I saw that the unwelcome experiences actually brought me a lot of clarity and that nothing had actually changed except my perception. I started noticing my own happiness and I began connecting with other people more. I was back to myself & I learned again that nothing in life can really touch this ability I have to see and create beautiful things.This is not just true for me, but for everyone.

This is why the comfort I found in my own body-wisdom during my early morning moments was so meaningful. I had journeyed far away from my true self into a world of harsh and endless personal thought, and upon return I was met with encouragement. I was aware suddenly of the simple ways in which I am not only okay, but absolutely perfect. I was reminded that being uncomfortable is okay...a sign of growth & that I know how to create comfort whenever I need it. I'm a firm believer that we are met with exactly what we need if only our eyes are open. It's been quite a blessing to re-remember all of the simple truths that surround us only waiting to be seen.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

What Is A Life Coach?

     This topic interests me because I actually really struggled with what to call myself when I started my business, Wisdom Life Coaching. I had my M.S. in counseling, but for reasons I'll explain below, I no longer wanted to be called a “Counselor”. What I really wanted to call myself was a “Three Principles Facilitator” but this would not make sense to most people. You see, I teach three psychological principles which explain how we create our own experience of life. The insights and personal growth that come naturally out of this understanding are truly endless, but the difficulty I was having was how to find a title that does justice to what I teach.
      As I mentioned above, the term “Counselor” did not fit anymore. I spent over three years interning as a counselor in California. I worked at a high school, a middle school and a family clinic. I worked hard. I was learning a lot in graduate school about being a counselor. I was learning about diagnosis, symptoms & how to unravel the past with a client. I was learning a lot about mental illness. I was starting to have uncomfortable, heartbreaking moments with my clients when I was realizing that I didn't always know how to help. Sometimes I didn't know where to find the answers. I began to feel a bit hopeless. I loved my clients and I loved the field of mental health. It seemed, though, that what I had become an expert on was mental illness.
      Luckily it was at this time that I met Dr. Roger Mills at San Francisco State University. It really was a lucky day for me when I ended up in his class. He began to teach us about mental health...resiliency. I was learning for the first time how change happens naturally, and I knew that I wasn't going to have to feel hopeless anymore. The answers I was seeking had been found. My work life changed & I've been teaching these “Three Principles” ever since.
      The problem was that this understanding did not fit neatly into the medical model of psychology/counseling I was working under. My supervisors wanted me diagnosing and focus on behaviors. The success I was having with ALL of my clients did not translate for them. It was at this time that we decided to move to Oregon...and I decided to start my own business.
      When I began to research a proper title for myself I was at first resistant to the term “life coach” because it seems so overused. I was aware that there are no real standards or stipulations connected to being a life coach in the U.S. You need not have a specific degree or credential & anyone can call themselves a “life coach”. This did not fare well in my thinking.
      That was until I looked into how the term “life coach” is defined. These are the things I found; A life coach works with his/her client to further develop that which the client already possesses. A life coach focuses on the present and/or future rather than the past. A life coach does not see their client as ill (thus the term client, rather than patient). A life coach focuses on teaching rather than examination and diagnosis. A life coach establishes a warm rapport with his/her client rather than one based on hierarchy. Music to my ears!
      So to answer the question, “What is a life coach?” I refer back to these most basic definitions of the trade. A life coach knows that the client has a wealth of knowledge and wisdom...and more importantly their own answers. A life coach's work is to shine a light on this. This goes hand in hand with the fact that a life coach should see their client as healthy. A life coach listens for that health and uses it as a teachable moment so that the change that occurs for a client is sustainable. A life coach should be teaching an “inside out” approach rather than giving advice or assuming that they know better for their client than the client knows for themselves. It's an uncovering process in which a friendly tone is created. The process should not be painful, and instead should be informative and empowering. A life coach knows that the past need not be “cured” for a good today to occur.
      This is a far cry from most models of counseling, although I've yet to meet a counselor who did not have their heart in the right place. My definition of life coaching and what I teach is also a far cry from the services that many other “life coaches” are offering. As a consumer it is crucial to know what you're shopping for. If you're looking for a life coach rather than a counselor, than you should understand what the difference is.
      Likewise, once you begin your search for a life coach, you should know what you're hoping to learn. A life coach is actually a teacher. They teach on the subject of life. Your coach, therefore, should have something to teach you about life that you don't already know with clarity. A life coach is also a mentor and this speaks to the importance of feeling a connection to and an interest in the coach.
      Hopefully this definition (of sorts) has offered some clarity regarding the term “life coach” and all that it means...and doesn't mean. When a life coach truly has an understanding to offer you it can enhance your life and leave you with knowledge that you'll have long after your coaching sessions are over.