Lest you think I am referring to Bear, Gene, Nick, or Gus, what I am referring to is a profession that is coming into its stride: life coaching. In the last edition of Athens Now, there was a special feature article showcasing the life coaching business of Charlie Wallace, and it was written from the standpoint of personal consumption. It is now two weeks later, and I can’t imagine being any happier with Charlie and her God-given wisdom, and the tangible progress I am making toward conquering clutter that has beaten my tail.
While doing my best to avoid sounding like a reality series, I have to be really secure in your love to let you in my garage. No, there aren’t any dead cats buried under 5,000 Barbie dolls that of course could one day make me rich if I were to sell them, but there is certainly enough shmutz (a completely clean and powerful Yiddish word for mess, garbage, clutter, and stuff) to sink a ship. It has shamed me, drained me, made me cry, and whatever other self-piteous labels you want to use. Sound familiar?
I had prayed, purposed a kazillion times to tackle it, set aside whole days to go after it, and……nada. Then Charlie approached me regarding advertising in the paper and I thought affectionately, “OK, Missy, if you can help me conquer this without me having to self admit anywhere, you’ve got yourself a raving fan client for life.” Actually, the point of life coaching is not to have it be a permanent client-service relationship, it is intended to be goal specific. That being said, if one has a lot of goals, as I do, this could conceivably go on for awhile.
So, why in the world would you pay someone to hold you accountable, help you set manageable goals, identify obstacles and celebrate with you? Because it works, it gives you an education of inestimable value, the proof of tangible progress, and in the case of Charlie, a level of wisdom that is stunning and definitely from above.
Oh, and let’s not forget about the fact that she prays with you before and after each session, can see through your emotional schmutz with skill, offer suggestions that actually make sense, and never has to use shame to get the job done. Me likey!!
Why has life coaching become a profession that has gone from the category of sending away for ordination papers so that you can “perform marriages” to a highly trained service/skill that is freely and continuously touted by people who are already enormously successful on a number of fronts? Because the principles of goal setting and achieving those goals are not taught in school, in church, or in the community. Nature, along with the marketplace abhors a vacuum, and people who have allowed themselves to become overbooked, overlooked, and overcooked by everything from yard sales to social media are drowning. Hence, an industry that “indeed meets the need” is thriving, and I am deeply thankful to be blessed by it.
So, there you are, my friends. You have just been given a basic “before” picture of my garage as well as parts of my soul, and if I am feeling particularly triumphant, I just might take a picture of my garage when it is no longer a mine field and post it for you to see. Meantime, it’s Tuesdays With Charlie.
By: Ali Elizabeth Turner