Life & Wellbeing Coach Interview by Kristin Wermus, PCC
What inspired you to seek out a coaching certification? Until recently, I've been saying that the need to reinvent myself was what led me to get certified as a coach. But I realize now that becoming a coach wasn't so much a reinvention of myself but a refining of qualities and passions I had possessed since I was a kid. I've always needed bright sources of joy in my life and have felt almost "allergic" to misery, both my own and those close to me. Coaching is a tremendous way to amplify joy and minimize misery for people in a formalized, powerful way! What (if anything) changed for you after taking the Coach Practitioner Certification at LJ? It takes a few months, but once the coaching philosophies settle nicely into your heart and soul, previous endeavors that would've previously felt like tiring uphill battles start to feel much more like coasting down a breezy hill. Thinking about my hopes, fears, and values now through a Learning Journeys lens saves me a lot of time and unnecessary angst. I'm much clearer about what thoughts and actions will serve me and which ones will merely weigh me down—both in my personal and professional pursuits. From the very first class, you were asked to select a song for the journey. How has music helped you create your map? I think music has played a lot of different roles in helping me move through life. Sometimes the lyrics and sentiments inside music do indeed act as maps, pointing me toward what I want to honor in my life and what I need to wave goodbye to. Sometimes music doesn't act as a map; it's more so a bullet-proof limousine keeping me safe and protected and rolling forward when life feels unsafe or ominous around me. When all of my journeys are over, music, most of all, acts as a souvenir from a road trip gift shop - capturing and echoing the memories of where I've been, who I was with, the fascinating things we saw, and the ways the adventures changed me. When did you start the process of transferring your coaching skills into taking on clients? I wanted to have everything "set up perfectly" in my practice before I started working professionally with clients. Which perhaps is actually a very impossible and unimportant goal. But to me, coaching is such a lovely and sacred experience. I strive always to be a warm, gracious, relaxed host who invites new clients into the coaching journey in a way that feels calm, curated, and elevated. Therefore, it was important to me to feel fully prepared with the style and structures of my practice, Keylight. I was committed to being wholly present and confident with my clients from the get-go. Finally, this spring, I felt like my table was properly set and ready to receive guests (clients). I've been working with amazing and inspiring clients ever since. What were you most afraid of when you first created your business? The deafening sounds of crickets - of no one on the planet caring. And I was afraid of potential clients craving and expecting that I would tell them precisely what to do and exactly how to do it, not understanding or appreciating the power of uncovering their own inspiration and solutions through the gentle, respectful process of ICF-aligned coaching. How has taking the Learning Journeys' Wellbeing training impacted you personally or professionally? I've been on such a solitary mission this year, launching Keylight. However, to stand within a community of other passionate, talented coaches again ignites new inspiration and energy in me to keep marching forward. The Inside Out Wellbeing Coach training has also given me much deeper confidence and excitement about incorporating group coaching into my practice in the very near future. What was surprising or fun about being featured in Artful Living magazine? Coaching is often a misunderstood and misrepresented field. So it felt like an important honor to be an ambassador about all the beautiful things I've been taught at Learning Journeys and how I now use that to support other people with their dreams and goals. I just love that I was featured in a magazine called Artful Living - because I do think that how we each live is indeed an incredible, personal art form. The creative, narrative coaching approach really fosters that artistic mindset for clients as they design and refine their lives. Anything that you feel is important to say to past/present/future students? Mostly I want to tip my hat to all Learning Journeys students. To train as and then possibly become a powerful coach requires a tremendous amount of discipline, courage, energy, and grace. It's a simple methodology on the outside but quite complex on the inside. The incredible commitment to continually grow and excel that I always witness in Learning Journeys students is remarkable.