Let me start off by saying I am a huge nerd who loves to learn about the way things work and how they began.
As a Happiness Coach, I ask my clients how they are feeling, providing time and space for them to reflect on their personal needs. I embrace my life as it is, rather than how I want it to be. Still, some things are better when scheduled.
This is important because when you make time for what you love, you make space for yourself.
Happiness comes from a balance of work, rest, and play.
For me, that looks like:
When I strike this healthy balance, I’m more present. I am connected to myself and the world around me. I am confident with who I am.
But I’m not always this balanced. You can have too much of a good thing. When I play too much, I feel irresponsible. When I rest too much, I feel wasteful. When I work too much, I feel burnt out.
Have you ever felt out of balance?
There was a time in my life when I taught middle school science. I used a ton of experiments, project-based learning, and conversations to make my class engaging and life-changing.
In between those teachable moments, there was a lot of grading, lesson planning, parent conferences, and staff meetings.
I often felt torn about what to do with my time: Do I build relationships with my students by hanging out at lunch or do I recharge by chatting it up with adults in the staff lounge? Do I finish grading at home or do I leave it until tomorrow?
While my middle school students were developing their own identities, I was questioning my own as a “teacher.”
I wanted to be there for my students, but I also needed to have my own life outside of school.
At that time, I was obsessed with work; getting to my classroom so early that the custodian was the only one there to let me in. I preferred to do my lesson planning in the morning before anyone else was on campus to pull my attention away from whatever I was working on. I stayed until the sun went down, grading student work, updating my lesson plans, and tidying up the classroom. When I finally got home, I lugged those boxes of notebooks with me and took a quick break to eat. After the last bite was in my mouth, I went back to those notebooks and graded every single assignment, making sure no date was out of place. I stayed up until 3am flipping through the pages of their science notes.
Because I was living with my parents at the time, my mom noticed that I was up at odd hours and jumped in to help as soon as I would let her.
Just as I was doing my best to support my students, my mom was there to support me. I never realized that this was one of the greatest lessons that she taught me, but also one of her greatest vulnerabilities.
Don’t get me wrong! Being vulnerable isn’t a bad thing, but there is definitely a time and place for it.
I’ll admit: I’m a big crier. I cry when I watch chick flicks, read books, watch inspirational puppy videos, and when I see someone having a moment.
That definitely came up while I was teaching and sometimes it wasn’t the right time.
Several days I found myself crying in my classroom, whether I was surrounded by students or able to hold it in until they all left.
I remember one time when I was pushed to the breaking point in the middle of class.
As I tried to hold the tears in, they welled up in my eyes and I whispered to my co-worker who was supporting me, “You got this?”
He could feel I was on the verge of a breakdown and he told me, “Just go."
I ran off to the staff bathroom and burst into tears as I shook, crying alone in the stall.
This wasn’t a unique experience, but this time I knew that something had to change.
Can you recall a time when you needed a change in YOUR life?
I felt so powerless, whimpering & crying in that bathroom stall, not knowing what to do, afraid of what students and staff would say about me. I also realized that I didn’t have to be in that classroom. Even if it was uncomfortable, I could always change my trajectory.
I had already put in my letter of resignation and confirmed my decision, but I still felt unsure. Others thought I had it all together, but I didn’t really feel like I did.
What if I couldn’t do something different? What if I was only destined to teach?
I was afraid of the unknown, but I decided to trust myself anyway.
There’s an idea that when you leave your job, you’re free. While I may have gotten out of that situation, I wasn’t free from fear or doubt because the future was even more uncertain.
When your heart is in the right place, I firmly believe that the universe will provide.
One day, a Facebook Ad connected me with an amazing life coach and a new hope was born.
I know you probably have some feelings about Facebook and ads, but for me, that ad changed my life!
When I started working with my coach, I felt like I had someone in my corner. My coach helped me every step of the way to decide what I would do next, providing realistic feedback while empowering me to own my decisions.
You can never have too much support. While my family & friends will always be in my corner, my coach used expertise to provide me with unique guidance, catered to my specific needs.
I was initially skeptical that a coach could really help change my life, but here I am! I moved from feeling overwhelmed to overjoyed by changing how I spend my time, how I think about myself, and how I interact with the world around me.
Let me explain what that means:
Today, I wake up ready to roll, savoring my parfait and journaling before my first meeting of the day, so I don’t feel hungry or overwhelmed before I hop in. I am in control of my time and do things on my schedule so I don’t feel rushed to meet deadlines. On the weekends, I disconnect and enjoy a good hike or even just sleeping in because I feel like it, damn it!
That’s what I want to help you do as Your Happiness Coach! I want to help you change your life by getting things worked out and helping you feel empowered to love your life, instead of constantly wanting something else.
Begin Branching Out was established in 2019 when I realized that I had gathered a ton of amazing resources that allowed me to live my dream life. My commitment is to make the world a better place and while there are countless ways to help, I most enjoy working with people.
I look forward to hearing from you and exchanging stories of what an ideal day looks like.