April 18, 2014

What is Life Coaching? ~ Emily Johnston


“When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.” ~ Buddha

What is life coaching?

The best way for me to explain coaching is to start with my own story.

This is a hard story to write in such few words.  Since I was 13, I struggled with the guilt of jumping my horse over a fence that subsequently broke her leg beyond repair and I had to put her down. This event, this tragedy, broke my heart and broke my spirit. It led to depression and an eating disorder. I carried the burden of her death on my shoulders through the toughest time in anyone’s life—the adolescent years.

After years of nutritionists and therapy, I was happy-ish. Well, at least my eating habits were again healthy. But, I had not forgiven myself.

Little did I know that this was my calling revealing itself to me way back then. After college, I met a life coach, an equine inspired coach, who soon became my mentor and who helped me shift my perspective. She asked me powerful, intuitive, open ended questions about the accident, listened to me with every fiber of her being, and then asked me more questions about the kind of horse Katalyst was.

Somewhere lost in reliving this painful event and her questions I arrived at a peace. It just suddenly clicked. My mare also had a choice that day, as does every living thing and she did not refuse.

The power of this experience so deeply rooted in my youth, started to pave the road for my life’s work as a coach. How blessed I am to have met my coach. Hopefully you will also find your coach—someone who sees into your soul and is able to help you let go of the pains from the past and start to build the future of your dreams.

You do not need to have an issue, disorder or mental condition to engage with a life coach. The only requirement is a zest for living, a curiosity for what lies beyond your current circumstances, and a desire to be all that you can be.

Coaching isn’t advice or therapy. A good coach offers deep, intuitive, open ended questions that help the client come to answers and realizations on their own, creating sustainable change.

Coaching holds you accountable to your commitment to yourself, to the action items that resonate with the best version of you.

Coaching creates change in clients’ lives. Change, as we all know is not easy to do, and it is for this reason that not everyone is ready for this level of intense self-development and growth.

When you find your coach, you will feel invincible, inspired and charged ready for everything you ever dreamed of. Anything is possible, the sky is the limit.  If you show up ready for a change—whatever that may be or look like, the coaching process will provide you with clarity on how to get there.

Every coach has their own spin on the coaching process and their own style of coaching. We are all bound by a Code of Ethics by the International Coach Federation (ICF), and if trained by an institution accredited by the ICF, all have a great deal of tools in our toolboxes that combine to make our own unique coaching process (such as intuitive and open ended questions, active listening, acknowledging and validating, championing, etc.)

Whatever your catalyst for seeking a coach, there is one out there that will not only meet but exceed your expectations.

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Apprentice Editor: Todd Otten/ Editor: Jenna Penielle Lyons

Photo: Courtesy of the editor



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Emily Johnston