Raising up through Encouragement
“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up…. “ 1 Thessalonians 5:11
Before becoming a Christian and long before hearing the profound teachings from the bible, I remember this being something I desired to do for others. Even when I think back, to my high school days, I was the friend you were safe to share your troubles with. It was effortless to love people this way. I didn’t give it much thought and never questioned the whys to who I was, I simply just cared about their feelings. Now I identify as being someone with an empathetic spirit and seem to draw people into a space that’s safe and trustworthy.
Today, more than ever it is time to step into raising one another up through encouragement. One of our human needs is to be loved and cared for – to feel connected and valued! So how do we do this? I believe it’s by showing up, being authentic, being present while we listen, offering the gift of time, being brave to share our own stories. One of the best ways to make someone feel valued is by asking sincere questions. Doing this demonstrates that we are dialed in and we are interested in their story. It builds trust and opens doors to wholehearted conversations.
When I stepped into Life Coaching at 50 years old I was taking a leap of faith. I had some doubt as to how this would work, failure was a fear but not a barrier. I could not deny that in my day to day life I was making small differences in the lives of others by doing little acts of kindness. My main stage was in the lobby of our family business, Suds Car Wash. Over the past 18 years in business, my husband and I have met thousands of people and our life has been enriched by friendships, inspiring and sometimes heartbreaking stories. We have so many hero’s in our community worth celebrating. It was in those years I realized that what we all need is to be cared for. Everyone is fighting some battle and so many times, by just simply showing I cared changed the outcome of the scene.
It is an honour on my life that we are in the business not only to clean vehicles but to make a positive change in the lives of people coming through our doors. I have my office inside Suds and we joke about it being an odd place for a Life Coaching office but my clients love it, “Coaching Sessions and Vehicle Cleaning.” Symbolic to the cleansing of our lives! One strong belief I carry out in my coaching sessions is that the human heart really wants to have someone witness their story without advice, they want to be heard without trying to be fixed. This is the mantra that I carry into my business and have never looked back making this career move.
It breaks my heart to hear of fractured relationships because of differences in opinion. This has become more apparent during the pandemic. One of the biggest challenges I’m faced with in my sessions with couples or groups is helping them listen with clear understanding rather than listen to provide a response. It needs to be firmly planted in our mindset that listening and saying I hear you and understand does not mean we have to agree. The greatest gift we can give each other is the space to share our story without being corrected, controlled, or condemned. I help bring people closer by breaking these old habits, affording everyone the ability to see clearly even when we do not see things the same way .
Spending time asking powerful questions about meaning, purpose and vision – help us to understand our deeper motivation. When we gain self awareness, we achieve a deeper understanding of who we are and the potential of who we can become. Our truths can bring us closer together. We don’t have to believe in the same things to love each other well. Differences when utilized in the right way will bring unification, and create beauty within the framework of your lives.
As humans we like to control things which often leads us into trouble. Control is often fear based and unconsciously it’s our “go to” to protect us from the “what if’s”. Total freedom and peace only come after our decision to let go of the grip we have around the neck of life. For me it came down to choosing Faith or Fear. I had to pick one because I could not operate in both. I had to practice the habit of thinking that All things will work out for good … it’s an intentional choice I practice making every day. I’ll often get up each morning and say “Today I release control of changing the past or future and to live in the present where I am safe, where I am loved. If God is for me; who can be against me”.
It’s a wonderful experience sitting in front of my clients when they have self discoveries and eye-opening revelations. I coach from a place of encouragement, love and hope. I’ve seen when the veil of what has been hidden is broken and the spirt of truth, peace and freedom are let in. This is when the heart is filled and a steady flow of divine guidance leads. I just love seeing the positive transformation from when my clients first walk in carrying the world on their shoulders and leave feeling so much lighter. I’ve made feeling lighter my goal to chase and my goal to help others do the same in 2021.
Loving yourself and self acceptance is the gateway to finding love and acceptance in others. It starts there but there can be healing that’s required. Healed people are the ones brave enough to feel the feeling and accept truths. My advantage as I coach is the ability to build that trust so my clients are safe to share. There is no greater honour than being trusted to walk in the hard places and then celebrating success at the finish line.
In closing I will say the whole emotional tone of a tough situation can be transformed through acts of encouragement. Proverbs 12:25 says “Anxiety in our hearts weigh it down; but an encouraging word makes it glad”. If you are reading this today, I encourage you to fill your day with words for yourself and others that will be help build up and not tear down. I also invite you to contact me if you need encouragement today!
Path to Discovery Life Coaching
Certified Life & Christian Coach, CLC CCC
Personal Development Coach