Drawing of coffee mug

Practice Towards Mastery

I’ve been running a little experiment lately. After reading about mastery and taking a couple of drawing classes, I still don’t like the way I draw. Reading about mastery did nothing for my drawing, but it did encourage practicing. So, I’ve been practicing.

Colorful felt art with threads

Seeking Clarity in the Tangled Threads

As this year has unfolded, I have a new appreciation for how our lives are all intertwined, the way we touch one another, whether close or far away.

Smoky sunset

Never and Always

Brief observations on the words never and always. A poem perhaps.

Breathing room

Breathing Room

A thoughtful client recently reminded me that I’d told her that it’s nearly impossible to feel negative emotions and breathe deeply at the same time. I love my clients. We learn so much from one another.

Bright and shiny objects

Bright and Shiny Objects

Got something really important to do, but you’re not sure where to start? You can distract yourself with bright and shiny objects—bright ideas and shiny enthusiasm for something that’s easier, simpler, and probably not as important as what you’re avoiding.

Best foot forward

When Your Friends Are Right

Who in your life has confidence that’s greater than your doubt? Who loves you enough to tell you when you’re holding back? Find those people and thank them. And be that kind of friend or mentor in someone else’s life.

Rabbit trail

Rabbit Trails: Thinking About Not Worrying About Money

Thinking about money leads one down some “rabbit trails” of imagination. What would you do if the money were taken care of? What would you leave behind? What would be different?  

Some days are foggy

Some Days Are Foggy

Some days are foggy. Flights get cancelled. Traffic slows down. Not much choice: ready or not, life slows down. But every now and then, it’s nice to slow down and “feel your way” through an experience.

January racing by

Options and Actions

January is more than half over, and I’m noticing that I haven’t fulfilled my New Year’s resolutions. I’m beginning to realize that not deciding, not finishing, and keeping my options open are sneaky ways of not doing what I’m here to do on this planet.  

The Coaching Experience: A Journey from Pain to Change

Guest
Blog Post

I never dreamed that coaching would change my life so dramatically. I was a skeptic who needed help making a decision, although I wasn’t aware of this need at the time.

I started seeing Gika about four years ago. I had been living in Oregon finishing up my master’s degree and planning to live there for the rest of my life when I hurt my back pretty badly. So badly that I found it difficult to walk because of the constant pain that shot through my lower left side, through my hip and down my leg. The fact that I lived rurally with just the basic amenities and that it was winter in the Pacific Northwest did not help the situation. I was cold and sore. I was a wreck physically, unable to grow food, which was my job at the time, or even to put on my own socks.

But I was also a wreck emotionally. I found myself crying more often than not. Scared that I would not be able to come out of this downspout, I decided to use the little money I had to travel back to Texas and spend an extended Christmas with my family. I resolved to get some sun and some more chiropractic attention and then return to Oregon at the end of January.

There was just one problem. I still felt stressed out and confused about my life and my plan. I didn’t know what to do; I should have wanted to go to Oregon. After all, I had friends there, and it’s beautiful. “People there have values that align with my own,” I told myself. Regardless of these reasons, I could not feel good about going back to Oregon, and I couldn’t say no to it either.

Then I got a phone call one day from a good friend who happens to be Gika’s daughter. She said that her mom, whom I only knew casually, was starting up a new coaching business, and she might be able to help me. I should try it. What could I lose? At the end of that first session, I decided to stay in Texas. I was jobless, penniless, and still in physical pain, but I felt total peace about my decision.

My experience in that coaching session—and every session I’ve had with Gika—is that she gets curious about me and about what’s going on with me. Out of that curiosity comes question after question. Through answering these questions, I am able to clarify my goals, my hopes and dreams, and my desires. For me, coaching is more relevant than counseling because we talk about the here and now. We might hit on a situation from the past, but we don’t dwell on it or over-analyze it. The old stuff is a stepping stone, a back-story, to what is happening right now in my life. Gika also gives me relevant and fun activities to do that help me continue my process when I’m not seeing her, like collage and journaling.

In the years since I moved back to Texas, I have clarified what I want and don’t want. I have regained my strength in every way. I have experienced forgiveness of myself and of the people closest to me. I have accepted my dark side and embraced my light. I have truly accepted help and relied on another human being for the first time in my life. And all of this has rippled out into every corner of my life. Gandhi said, “Change yourself, change the world,” and I have experienced this change through my coaching relationship with Gika. I am so grateful.

Gika says: Coaching Cynthia was sprinkled with surprise and delight. She arrived willing to work hard, to look directly at what she wanted to change, and ready to move forward. She’s an awesome example of how much this kind of work can change your life. Who knew it could be so much fun! Thanks, Cynthia.


Cynthia is a native Texan who has lived and traveled all over the U.S. She loves being in nature, and this love has led her to complete her master’s degree in environmental education. Cynthia currently works with a small conservancy.