I have known Seana for 50 of my 51 years. You see, she is my sister. She is also my best friend, and when we were younger, my fun loving partner in teenage adventure! It’s funny, but looking back on our life together, if someone would have told me that she would have started a business as a health & life coach, I wouldn’t have been surprised. That’s because she has lived this way all her life.
I cannot remember a time in my life that she wasn’t there for me, encouraging me to live my best life. Now that doesn’t mean I always listened to her! Sometimes, I would take a piece of advice and try to implement it into my life, but would usually have an excuse why it would not work for me, like it was too hard, it cost too much, it was too much of a time commitment.
I can’t imagine how frustrated and/or sad Seana must have gotten, seeing me struggle with my own inability to be able to put the ‘best me’ forward, for myself and for all those around me. I was frustrated with myself, and with the way I was living my life. But I was still making excuses as to why my life was the way it was, and why it would never change.
Fast forward to last year, when Seana called me up, and in an excited voice told me that she was going back to school to become a health & life coach. I told her I was so happy for her, but in the back of my mind I had to chuckle because Seana “hated” school growing up! However, as our conversation continued, I began to realize that what she was ‘going to do was what she has been doing for her friends and family throughout her life’, and that, just maybe, she would LOVE this type of school. And love it she did!
A couple months into her schooling, Seana approached me and asked me to be one of her first students. I immediately said ‘yes’, wanting to be able to assist her in her journey to become a health & life coach. I was excited, but as the time approached for our sessions to begin, I began to stress about it. I knew it was so important for her, yet I was afraid I was not going to fully commit to the program, and I was going to let her down. I was also afraid of what I was going to find out about myself and what that meant for my life, going forward. I think the biggest step I took was actually going forward, despite my fear.
On the day of our first session, Seana called me at the agreed upon time, and announced that during our coaching appointments, she was my coach, NOT my sister, so we were not going to discuss “sisterly” things and were going to be strictly following the guidelines of the program. I laughed, because in the back of my mind I knew exactly what she meant.
A lot of times in our life, when I was going through something, she would sometimes offer me guidance to navigate through the mess I was in. While there were times I could sit in my sh*t and listen to, and take her advice, there were other times when her advice would resonate with me, but I wouldn’t take the necessary action because it would make me feel “uncomfortable.” It was during those times that I would try to change the subject or avoid talking to her for a couple days, hoping she would forget about my issue!
When she set these ground rules right at the beginning, I knew I had to commit to the process, no matter how uncomfortable it made me feel.
During our first session, the first question Seana asked me was “What’s going well for you today?” On that first day, I hated that question. What was so surprising, and sad at the same time, was that I struggled with that question. There was so much negative stuff around me at that time, or at least that was my perception, that I finally was able to mutter to Seana that “my dogs were going well for me”.
She chuckled with me about this, and then got me to look a little deeper. She helped me to acknowledge what was actually going well…..I have a good job, a good home, a good family, and I really do not want for much in my life. Yet, the only thing that was ‘going well for me’, at that moment were my two little Shih Tsu mix dogs. I was sorely lacking in the gratitude department and it became apparent immediately.
You would think that that moment would have struck a chord with me in that first session, however, imagine my shock when, during the second session, she asked that same question, again! I was beginning to not like this process, but was able to do a little better in my response this time around. This question became a staple at the beginning of each session, each time I was able to articulate a little more about what was “going well” in my life.
It was really when Seana and I talked about the concept of “I get to” rather than “I have to”, that the light bulb came on! Throughout my life, I’ve had to be responsible for just about everything and anything, since a very young age. It has always felt like I “had” to do things all the time, and I’d built up a resentment to everyone that was “making me” do all these things that I “had” to do! I was living in a state of frustration and exhaustion, and totally ignoring myself in the process. When Seana explained the concept of “I get to,” I looked at things with more of a grateful heart, rather than a resentful one. Throughout this process, I was also able to learn to lovingly ‘say no’ to things and people when I needed to.
I could say so much more about the program, but I don’t want to give away all the magic and the secrets of it! It has truly transformed the way I live my life and the way I view things in my life. I will not say that I never have an off day (where I go back to sulking and my old ways of thinking), however, it is very short-lived and I realize that I am just acting like an entitled child who does not want to do the work, and am quickly able to change my way of thinking back to what Seana was able to teach me.
In summation, the program, albeit difficult at times, was an amazing experience that I feel honored to be able to do with my sister and best friend as my coach. I love you so much, Seana, and am so proud of you for doing something you love!
Anybody who particpates in this program will walk away with life-changing skills to navigate this sometimes difficult world, and will be able to do so with a positive attitude and with love in their heart.