An Unconventional Life

I’ve been coaching in one way or another my entire life. My career began on the steps of my tenement building in Leith, Scotland around the age of nine when the kids in the neighborhood would ask me, “what do you think?” It became a theme over my lifetime, both personally and with complete strangers.

I can safely say my life has been unconventional. I left my home in Scotland at age 16, with a one way ticket to London, and would spend time in various countries and continents took me down paths that challenged me to explore the best and the worst aspects of myself. I gave birth to children I did not live with, married twice, showed up in countries where I knew no one, with no money, and found jobs that supported a roof over my head, but not much else. I drank excessively for a few years, joined Alcoholics Anonymous, and five years later understood it was not about the drinking. My thinking was the problem.

I worked as a temporary secretary, but found the corporate world too full of rules and regulations. I never felt I belonged in this environment, and rejected any opportunity I could have had to build a career path.

I wanted the freedom to choose when I engaged with work and when I didn’t. I wanted to dress the way I wanted, and I wanted to leave when I was bored! Work was more about my survival than forging a career. I needed money to pay the rent and keep the lights on. After doing a degree in Medieval History, (my interest was in heresy!), I had a vague idea that maybe I could teach. But there was a significant problem.

My head was full of negative chat, and a voice that echoed my father’s words of “I would never amount to much.” It was a recipe for failure, and I was doing my best to prove him right. At the same time, a small voice said, “you can do better.”

Along the way, there were plenty of people who believed in me and who encouraged me to try harder, but my belief in myself was extremely low. It took some convincing. Therapists, coaches and mentors showed me how things could be different, and slowly, I began to push beyond my disfunction and realize how capable I truly was, and how I could help others do the same.

I like to say I earned a PhD in Life Skills from the School of Hard Knocks. If I had half the sense I have now, I might have taken the easier route. But then again…

Change has been the biggest driver of my life, whether I invited it in or not! I believe in living life with great risk. It’s been a great teacher, but a hard task master. It has brought with it much fear, and I found to face the fear I needed great curiosity and courage to face my truth and explore the possibilities.

I’ve reinvented my life so many times that I wonder who I will be, and where I will be five years from now.

Living life with uncertainty, I bring the passion I have for change, and helping people change to everything I do. It’s what gets me out of bed in the middle of the night to write this book. It motivates me to show up each day with one burning concern. To help people create a life of purpose, meaning and commitment, and to help them discover the inner resources that will change their world.

I firmly believe if you help one person be a better version of themselves, they will help others do the same. It’s a domino effect.

My mission: Change the world one person at a time.

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