How I decided to pursue coaching

Christi I’ve been living in Kenya for four years now. When we first arrived, I was still in a state of hyper-stress from my previous job in Paris. One of the reasons I left my job is because I did 10 telephone coaching sessions and realized I really and truly wanted out of corporate life, despite the great salary and lifestyle.

It took me quite a while after arriving in Kenya to calm down and breathe and look around. I remember being anxious having to deal with the security guards at the airport to be able to retrieve my lost luggage–something that wouldn’t have caused me to blink in the past. I decided to take six months off to re-adjust.

I had thought I would drive my kids across town to go to the French school, then get a job for a big international company and look for MBA programs I could do on-line from Kenya.

But after six months of reading, relaxing, learning about Nairobi, I realized that I was in no rush to get back into the rat race. I did start doing a lot of volunteer work (easier to quit than a high-paying job), and started to figure out what I like and don’t like to do.

- I like helping new expatriates fit in to the new environment.
- I like hosting people in my home and feeding them.
- I love strategizing about ways my kids’ Kenyan school can improve, make more money, give better service.
- I love that my kids think our home is a great place to be–they would rather invite their friends to our house than go to someone else’s house–even though we don’t watch TV.
- I like reading stories to kids and helping them imagine different worlds–write stories, create artwork, make music.
- I like listening to friends as they start dreaming and planning about what they want to do.

- I dread the “corporate” side of things–going to the office, dealing with egos, ploying my trade secrets.

But until a few months ago, I was still struggling with WHAT to do next. I had a good friend, who is a counselor, coming to visit from the States and I thought if I had a good chance to talk with her about coaching, that might help me make up my mind. As it happened, we never had the chance to talk about it because her newly adopted son was seriously ill during her visit. But I realized that I actually didn’t NEED to get validation from a friend because I knew in my heart what I wanted to do.

So now I’m signed up for an 18-month on-line Life Coach certification course. It’s challenging at times to make it work with the spotty Internet connection in Kenya. But I’m loving the personal transformation that’s happening as I take my classes, and I’m motivated to help others become transformed.

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