In this vein Tilla had a client who was an Operating Matron in a large hospital, Diane. This is a very prestigious position in England, yet Diane felt trapped and wasnʼt happy. She came to Tilla for coaching. Through her sessions, she discovered a way to move to New Zealand, a place where sheʼd always wanted to live. Diane gave up her lucrative, prestigious position and moved to New Zealand, where she is simply a nurse and is happy.
A recent client of Tillaʼs, Meridith, sixty years, old whose husband, though able to provide a comfortable life financially, was not only difficult to say the least, but also unfaithful. Meridithʼs husband asked her to leave and she did. Now he wants her back. Though Meridith would have financial security, she has said no and has found the strength and satisfaction of living on her own, even if she lives in reduced circumstances. (Tilla Brook interview cited above)
Another success in finding the strength to stand up for oneself, comes from Coach Lynn Moore. Her client, Linda, lives on a farm with her husband and son. She did have her own sheep farming business, but her husband and son got rid of it. This indicates her position in the family. There was no respect. Linda was a doormat essentially. Lynn gave Linda some tough feedback. Linda moved out. Her husband came begging and harassing her. Linda stood her ground, defined her boundaries and conditions. As a result she and her husband are now in couples therapy. The two have rediscovered themselves and are giddy like teenagers in their newfound love. Her husband said,
I didnʼt get it, but now I do. It wasnʼt until you move out that I got it.
Lindaʼs new found strength and ability to set boundaries, wasnʼt just good for her, but also for her husband and son. (Lynn Moore interview cited above)
In a similar romantic vein, Tilla has a client, Danielle, in a relationship with a man whom she felt didnʼt care enough about her to live with her and marry her. Danielle was fixated on this idea. Yet, through coaching was able to let go of this fixation and see possibility. Danielle now has an engagement ring on her finger and is reaching out to the manʼs children as well so that they all can create a harmonious family together.
Yet another client of Tillaʼs is illustrative of healing relationships. Sandy, was fiftyfour years old at the time of coaching. Sandy was not only trying to learn to live alone in the aftermath of a broken relationship but also to live without her children who were away at university. Sandy, through Tillaʼs coaching found the strength to consider and look for a new relationship. An unexpected gift came to her as well, her two children became fully adult and independent, a source of great pride for Sandy. (Tilla Brook interview cited above.)
Lynn Moore says that many clients come with a clear goal in mind, yet in working on it a hole opens up in a dam. A whole hidden world comes flooding out. Lynn had a client who came to her with eating and weight issues. Through the coaching process the client got in touch with her intense hatred for her ex-husband. Carol, the client, got much more than she bargained for. Not only did she drop the weight, but she took up transcendental meditation and was able to forgive her husband.
Coaching is essentially a spiritual endeavor. Lynn says that there is no job, no career or relationship or healthy lifestyle thatʼs going to do it until there is a spiritual foundation. There is only fear or love. These are the two basic emotions. Which are you going to choose?
She tells the story of Nicole, mother of a middle-aged man. The son was engaged to be married, yet would not respond to Nicoleʼs emails and request to visit him and his fiancee. Nicole felt hurt and came for coaching. During coaching, she discovered that her son was very much under the sway and influence of the fiancee and he was afraid of loosing the fiancee, because she felt threatened by the mother. Nicole had virtually no communication with her son, except for a wedding invitation. Nicole did not want to go. Lynn and Nicole discussed fear and love: the two basic human emotions. Lynn asked Nicole “What would love do?” Nicole replied, “Love would go to the wedding.” That is what Nicole did.
Lynn has a metaphor for lack of forgiveness: a game of tug-o-war. She says in a tug-o-war what would happen if you just let go of the rope. You would fall down is the first response. Yet Lynn says “think about it”. You wouldnʼt fall down, you would simply let go. You would be free. The other person will do whatever it is they do, but youʼre free. Forgiveness isnʼt about letting anyone get away with anything, it isnʼt about the other person. It is about you. It is a gift you give to yourself. (Lynn Moore in interview cited above.)
Coaching is a very important branch of the helping profession, yet is has mushroomed globally. True there are still areas of the world that have not embraced coaching and parts that still have to hear of it. Nevertheless, it is an idea whose time has come. There is no power like an idea whose time has come. Coaching is part oft he opportunity for development accorded an individual upon which all that is valuable in society depends. Each individual needs to be accorded this, no matter what their age. It seems that, despite set backs and ageist blind spots that still exist, the world is going forward in this direction.
In Setting the Stage for Theory S: II.
The Social and Cultural Characteristics of Generational Age Groups, Drs. Gary Quehl and William Berquist, Executive Coach and Professor of Philosophy respectively, say
This is the first time in American History that four generations occupy the same life space. (Endnote 8)
The thesis of the article is that each generation has itʼs own contribution to make including the oldest, what they call traditionalists, who are 65 and older. They call the new way of being 65 or older as “saging not aging.” Quehl and Berquist have turned being a sage into a verb calling it saging. The wisdom and contribution of the traditionalists continue through volunteering. Remember the great civil rights leaders and leaders of the womenʼs movement came from this generation, this generation has done more than any other to humanize the world. The Baby Boomers who are 48 – 66 are starting have second careers. Moreover they are major contributors to the volunteer sector. (Endnote 9.) In other words they arenʼt “retiring.”
It seems retiring is an outmoded word and idea. Transitioning and reinventing seems to be the new words for life after 50. As the Center for Productive Longevity puts it
Most people 55+ are better educated and healthier than their counterparts 20 or 30 years ago, and are proven to be better suited to entrepreneurship than younger people. From the standpoint of opportunity, there are more possibilities open now than at any time in our countryʼs past. They are in the best position to start their own businesses and become entrepreneurs (Endnote 10)
The article goes on to say their is enormous potential here in this age group to reduce unemployment, increase GDP, and contribute to Americaʼs economic growth. (Endnote 11)
Coaching is about much more than career goals, transitioning and reinvention. Itʼs about any goal an individual wants to achieve be it tangible or intangible. When one is older the intangibles come to the fore such as letting go of the past, forgiveness, peace, understanding oneʼs assignment here on earth, enlightenment. What Iʼve tried to convey in this paper is that this planet has become a brave new world where multiple generations have equal opportunity to make a difference through their own bravery. This bravery needs the brave new coaching industry.
1. Brainy Quote website, Albert Einstein.
2. Moore, Lynn, Inspirational Goaling website.
3. Stibich, Mark, Ph.D., Understanding Life Expectancy, February 2007. About.com Longevity website.
4. Moore, Lynn, op.cit.
5. Sheldon, Thea, CPCC, Prime of LIfe Coach website.
7. Clientʼs names are fictitious.
8. Berquist, William, Ph.D. and Quehl, Gary, Ph.D., Setting the Stage for Theory S:II The Social and Cultural Characteristics of Generational Age Groups, P. 1, 2012, Library of Professional Coaching Website
9. Op.cit. Pp. 1-5.
10. Center for Productive Longevity website.