My First Coach

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Content warning: that sex between consenting adults exists (nothing graphic/suggestive).

Hey friends. I now have space for and am enrolling new 1-on-1 coaching clients.

Wth is a life coach, anyway? It seems weird if you’ve never worked with one. I was confused at first. So below is my story of how I started working with my first coach and what I got out of it.

If you are curious about working with me, send me a message on FB, a text, or an email with either: 1) Hey, I’m curious, tell me more, or 2) I need help with this thing, or 3) anything in between.

I used to have an [even worse than now] inability to communicate emotions and boundaries but I didn’t yet know that was my problem. It caused a lot of suffering. For all involved parties. Me, romantic partners, friends, bosses, parents, strangers…anyone who came into contact with me.

I started working with my first life coach in early 2014 after going to this eye gazing dating event at the yoga studio in NYC where I taught a monthly class called the New Moon Women’s Circle. We made eye contact with strangers of the opposite sex for 2 timed minutes then switched partners. It was like speed dating but with no talking. There were maybe 10 each of men and women. After the staring part, remaining in silence, we all circled around the instructor as she gave us prompts to answer by writing our response on a sticky note, then passing it to someone in the circle.

Some of the questions were basic and innocuous. I can’t remember what. Some were a little more racy, maybe like, “tell someone what you imagine doing with them sexually.” I wasn’t attracted to any of the male attendees. But a few of the men expressed their sexual attraction to me via sticky note.

Upon receiving these notes I felt extreme discomfort. Panic, even.

But, why?

I wasn’t sure but I had this vague notion that it should be okay for men to be attracted to me and to tell me so.

When the instructor announced at the end that she offered 1-on-1 personal coaching, I checked the “interested” box on the sheet of paper she passed around to collect email addresses. I’d never worked with a coach and I didn’t have any idea what that meant, not even a small amount. I just knew that something was off about me and how I was relating to people and I wanted to see about fixing it.

Coaching for me started with a vague notion. A feeling of, “something doesn’t seem right.” I couldn’t put my finger on it because “you don’t know what you don’t know.” I didn’t have the awareness yet to know why I felt uncomfortable. Why I had so many failed relationships in my 20s, why asking for what I needed at work sometimes sent me into a panic, why I sometimes [probably always lol] cried if I had to confront someone about a difficult subject.

Coaching also started from a place of “I know I can work on things and improve myself.” If I hadn’t believed that, I’d still be stuck in the same suffering of 2013 [now I have NEW, higher level sufferings, haha]. It’s easy to stay stuck. To never ask for help. To never admit we’re wrong or behaving in a manner that’s totally insane.

Or maybe we’re afraid of stepping into success.

Marianne Williamson, in A Return to Love (read it!), brilliantly said:

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

Many coaches, therapists, personal trainers, helpers, friends, late night deep soul talks and 4 years later, what do I have to show for stepping into self-work?

  • Greater self-awareness and reduced ego. This is an ongoing process but I have a much better understanding of where my actions come from — whether it be from fear or trust and how to move more towards a place of trust and power.
  • A healthy body. I used to suffer major digestive issues, tiredness/fatigue, frequent illness. Since 2014 and my work with coaches, including an intensive workshop with The Iceman (Wim Hof) on improving the immune system through breathwork, I’ve been sick only once, with the flu this past May (preceding one of the darkest moments and biggest mental breakthroughs of my life). It is my belief (look, I have no idea) that my stomach/digestive stuff has cleared up both as a result of diet change and coming into my personal power — third chakra being our core (stomach) and our personal power.
  • Peace of mind. Suffering never goes away but my ability to deal with it gracefully continues to increase.
  • Releasing anger/resentment. I’ll never forget the moment I confronted someone about a resentment I’d been carrying around for a decade. When I made the phone call I was physically shaking and had to imagine myself with a brick wall of protection around me. After the conversation and after coming to a place of true understanding and forgiveness, a weight I didn’t even know was there lifted and felt like 100 lbs had been resting on my shoulders. People noticed this shift! I got a ton of comments the next day on how radiant I looked/seemed. A man driving a truck in NY even stopped his vehicle so he could ask me if I would marry him (I politely declined).
  • Comfort in my own skin. I’m not running anymore from difficult situations or emotions. I can see them and work with them. I can invite them in. I’m curious about my own life and how I feel.
  • Improved relationships. I can have difficult conversations without crying (or I can cry and just totally be okay with it). I can make mistakes and apologize. I’m more humble now. More honest. I can say shit like “I’m nervous,” “I’m uncomfortable,” “I’m confused”.
  • More joy, wonder, awe. Less fear, anxiety, resistance.
  • I do more cool shit like speaking at The Bulletproof Biohacking Conference and OuiShare in Paris. I take bigger risks. I push myself a little harder. I feel okay putting myself out there and getting rejected or failing (still hard though!)
  • I realize I’m a work in progress and I offer myself compassion and love.

[This is some of what those who have worked with me have gotten out of it: https://www.alisoncebulla.com/testimonials/]

I will never discover every answer to all the mysteries of the universe, life, why we’re here or why I’m here. And so, this path of self-discovery will continue. Every year I look back at my new insights and epiphanies and wonder how I ever made it through before without them. I’m looking forward to what I will learn next!

“Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.” — Carl Jung

Coaches have helped me with these insights and epiphanies because they mirror my thoughts back to me. I bounce ideas off of them and I see more clearly my blocks, triggers, and blind spots. Yes, my peers have also done this for me, but a coach is someone who specifically holds this space, regularly.

I’m excited to work with a few new people this year and grateful for all the clients who have trusted me to coach them these past 2.5 years.

If you tend to push yourself really hard but can’t seem to figure out why something is still not working, whether it’s in relationships, health, work, finances, etc, I’d love to invite you to experience a coaching conversation that sparks a new way of seeing.

Send me a message. I’m looking forward to hearing from you.

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