We have one life, it’s very precious, and it deserves our fullest attention – Lauren Iles.
When it comes to investing in myself in anyway, I’m a little stingy. I always find something that Ruben would like, or the house could use, and talk myself out of spending money on myself. So when Lauren Iles asked if I wanted 3 sessions in exchange for talking about my experience, I thought it was perfect – I could dip my toes in the water, and let other people know what it was like, without the guilt of spending money on myself.
I’ve always been a curious of, but not brave enough to commit to, a coach. I’ll be honest, I wasn’t 100% sure what they do, but in my mind it was someone who was going to sort my life out for me, give me pep talks and be a cheerleader.
But, what is a life coach?
Interestingly, Lauren is so much more than that. In our first session, she asked me to tell her about myself, and I started on the surface things, but after some gentle questions, I ended up telling her a lot of things about myself – some that I hadn’t even realised myself until I said them. It almost felt like a therapy session, but instead of looking at my past, we focused on me in the present and how to change my thinking.
Before each session, Lauren asked me to do some homework – a quick drawing exercise (although thankfully nothing artistic), which involved words. I won’t give anything anyway about the exercise, but it wasn’t until I spoke some of these things out loud that I realised how down on myself I’ve been recently, and how much of myself I’ve lost. A life coach isn’t there to give you the answers (sadly!), but by asking the right questions, and making you reflect on your own behaviours and feelings, they can help you find the answers yourself – and it’s much more satisfying that way too!
I’ve felt weirdly weepy, fragile but somehow empowered after each session. It gives me energy, despite also making me feel exhausted – reflecting can be tiring!
I really noticed the difference in my mindset, when we went away for a few days. I’ve learnt from Lauren that I often have a victim mentality. That was hard to hear, but true. I always feel that everyone is judging me, that people hate me, that I can’t do anything right. I’m basically a Dementor! So by being aware of that, I was able to reframe some of my thoughts and I had a really positive experience, and even Steven noticed the difference in me. I tried things I wouldn’t normally do, without worrying what everyone was thinking, and I allowed myself to enjoy the afternoon nap that I needed to recharge, without hating myself as soon as I woke up. It was so refreshing.
I’m not saying I’m suddenly “cured” – whatever that means. A few days after we went away, I came on my period and I was a bit of a mess. But I’m taking time to work on myself. To value myself and understand myself, with guidance from Lauren. Rather than staying in this hole, I’m looking for ways to climb out, and working on understanding what it is that’s making me end up there in the first place.
I originally only planned on trying the first three sessions, but I hadn’t realised what an impact these 1 hour video calls would have on my life and I’m planning on signing up for some more. Part of that is because of how much I’ve gotten from them, and know that there is more to uncover about myself, and process, but also, because I’ve started to learn that I am worth investing in. I’m worth the money and honestly, it’s not a “selfish” act, because my happiness radiates around our home. When I’m happier, it makes Steven’s life easier, and Ruben’s more fun. And even if it wasn’t, it’s okay, because I am enough.