Have you ever thought about how incredible seeds are? All of the information necessary to grow either a small plant or a towering tree is present inside a tiny seed that you can hold in the palm of your hand. Even more incredible is that in order for it to grow, you often dig a hole and bury it. It's hidden from sight and you cannot see it. If the environment is right with proper watering, oxygen and temperature, the seed will germinate and begin to grow. In some cases, the seed protects itself by remaining dormant and waiting until the environment is sufficient for it to take root and grow. It knows when the time is right, when it has its best chance at survival.
Ten years ago I sat in a three day workshop put on by a coaching institute. It was all about finding and living your purpose. This was the first session like this that I had ever experienced. It was facilitated by an amazing coach whose message had me on the edge of my seat. I still have my notes on my nightstand. We learned about the power of finding and living our purpose, the value of gratitude and having a positive mantra. On the top of my notepad I wrote, "Today, I have the opportunity to do something extraordinary!!" Next, "I will give light to those around me and serve as a positive role model even in darkest times." Then, "Beacon of hope." A list of people I am grateful for follows and then at the bottom, the Aristotle quote, "We are what we repeatedly do." I loved every minute of the session which challenged and inspired me. Within five minutes of the coach introducing the workshop I had decided, "This. This is what I want to do someday." The seed was planted.
I wanted to inspire people, change their life by prompting possibility thinking. But, first, I must live my life. My children were little and I was pursuing my Ph.D. in materials engineering while working full time. It wasn't easy and I knew I needed to have my life experiences to develop the wisdom that would bring value to others someday. I had many challenges and triumphs within those next 10 years. I experienced a lot of training and development sessions with other coaches and experts, took on challenging assignments, changed job responsibilities, and finally finished and defended my Ph.D. I took a role leading people and threw my heart and soul into being the best leader I could be for my team. I read books, articles, followed great leaders, worked with coaches, took training and worked to bring value to my people. Throughout it all, I learned a lot. At times I thought about that seed that was planted, made some attempts to explore the possibility, but backed away. Whether it was fear, uncertainty, or not having the right environment for my seed to survive, I hesitated launching into the next step. I needed guidance, inspiration, and support.
Then, a number of things happened in quick succession that watered that seed allowing it to take root and grow. The pandemic hit and I reconnected with a fabulous coach who inspired me to start dreaming again. The exercise she challenged me with was to imagine me living the life of my dreams three years in the future. I had to identify what I was doing, who I was with and other details that made it the life of my dreams. The goal was to envision the picture of success very clearly in an effort to take action that would draw me toward it. It took me time to build the clarity around the feelings I wanted. I wanted to light up the universe. I wanted to make a positive impact on the lives of others. The question was, "How?" After some reflection, I realized the answer was, "Coaching."
I had experienced the positive impact and power that inspiring coaches had on my life. I wanted to do that same thing for others. I wanted to show people how to unlock their potential, that they were extraordinary, limitless and evergrowing. Helping people have better lives feeds my soul. It is who I am down to my very core. I knew what I had to do, but didn't quite know how. It took a few months after the initial "ah-ha!" to work out the details. Then, in June of this year, I launched Winspire Coaching & Consulting LLC. The seed suddenly sprouted even after appearing dormant for years. Now it can grow into something beautiful, a strong, powerful tree fully capable of scattering seeds of its own to sprout in the lives of others.