What is Life Coaching anyway? What’s the difference between mentoring?

An encouraging quote beautifully hand written in calligraphy script, and then collaged onto watercolor painted papers, some with natural elements such as flower petals and leaves embedded within. These are gorgeous pieces which will make stunning wall art or heartfelt notecards! #watercolors, #collage, #multimedia, #quotes, #inspirations, #handmadepapers

An encouraging quote beautifully hand written in calligraphy script, and then collaged onto watercolor painted papers, some with natural elements such as flower petals and leaves embedded within. These are gorgeous pieces which will make stunning wall art or heartfelt notecards! #watercolors, #collage, #multimedia, #quotes, #inspirations, #handmadepapers

Is there a real difference between Life Coaching and Mentoring or is it just a question of semantics?

For me Life Coaching implies subjects, choices and issues relating to a person’s general life, whereas Mentoring to me implies that is career related advice. While its nice to try to separate the two, in reality we exist as a whole human being, and what we do and the choices we make in either our personal or professional life affects the other sector.

When I hear of these subjects coming up, it’s usually in the context of having been mentored or coached, but I’ve questioned and heard others questioning if it’s necessary to ask someone to be our Life Coach or Mentor, or is it possible to still learn these skills ourselves and be able to put them into effect?

In my past I hadn’t had the courage to ask anyone in my life to be either, I was too insecure, afraid of rejection and felt I wasn’t important enough to ask that of anyone, so I did my best to learn by watching other people’s examples, by reading a lot of books and magazine articles, talking with other people on an informal level, in order to glean insights and skills to make my life work better and to help me become a stronger employee.

I had the incredible good fortune of having some awesome bosses, so I was able to proverbially sit at their feet to learn more about good business practices, and to see cause and effect in action. Conversely, I’ve had some extremely bad examples in my life, and so learned what not to do by watching.

I found that most of what I was learning applied to both areas of my life, that there wasn’t a huge separation between the two, since I had made the decision to be a mindful, caring, responsible, individual who operated on a level of having integrity in everything I attempted.

With time and practice, I’ve been able to act as an informal life coach/mentor to other people, thus paying forward if you will, what I’ve been fortunate to have learned.

Now a little from the book:

How Do You Learn Your Lessons?

I learn by hearing, watching and experiencing. I find it difficult to accept the validity of a new concept, without seeing it in action, testing it out or having to learn it through experience and perhaps getting it explained to me later.

So I am sure that some of what I have written may only have the ring of truth to you after you have experienced it for yourself. Otherwise it will all be just concept to you.

“Especially in Zen is this true: abstract ideas that do not reflect themselves forcibly and efficiently in practical living are regarded as no value. Conviction must be gained through experience and not through abstraction.” – D.T. Suzuki

On Spiritual Shortcuts

“The universe is sacred. You cannot improve it.
If you try to change it, you will ruin it.
If you try to hold it, you will lose it.” – Lao-tzu

Many people would love to possess the spiritual knowledge and wisdom that an old teacher has, and some will try to find a shortcut. They will try to find a group or a teacher who will lead them up to that coveted place quickly, to circumvent the lessons that come through life’s experiences.

Some will even pay $9,000.00 or more per person to a “self-help” group or guru, much like the people who had sat inside a monstrous “sweat lodge” in Sedona, Arizona on Thursday, October 8, 2009, where 2 people died and 21 were taken to hospital.

The trouble with taking such shortcuts is that one missed step will send you plummeting, maybe with others who are tethered to you, to plunge to serious injury or even death. Such is the case with those people, so much in a hurry to accumulate “instant” wisdom, much like drinking a cup of instant coffee, that they followed a leader who a) himself didn’t fully understand the spiritual knowledge he was trying to teach, and b) who negated the sacredness of the ceremony by prostituting it out and charging people for the knowledge, vs. teachers and leaders who charge more modest prices for materials/workshops and who don’t make promises to their “followers” of making them into spiritual warriors!

When you look up at an immense cliff, and high up on a ledge and you think you spot a future spiritual place with your name on it, please realize that there is a back side to that cliff; it is the mountain. For us humans, we aren’t seagulls able to just fly up; we must instead take the long and difficult path up to the top. Each leg of our journey ends in some sort of resting place, some are so comfortable we are tempted to stay, and others are precarious, urging us to move forward, even while we would like to stay longer to get some rest.

Interestingly, there isn’t just one path up, but rather there are many paths, crisscrossing, meandering and straight. Each of us must discover our own path; we each make up our own map as we go. When we reach proverbial marshes or deserts, we make a note of them on our personal maps, as places we may choose not to revisit, and yet we take lessons away from each place as we go.

Since we can’t find that “one path” and must walk on seemingly meandering paths, it is my belief that every choice or decision we make that is based on love and doing the right thing, will have a result of bringing us up to our next level. Amazing!

We can be sure of this: the Creator will bring us the lessons, through circumstances and people that we need to know onto our path.

“There is only one good, that is knowledge;
and only one evil, that is ignorance.” – Socrates

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#On Becoming a Lemonade Maker, #Tamara Kulish, #social media, #Twitter, #Goodreads, #Pinterest, #self development, #self improvement, #inspirations, #happiness, #joy, #personal growth, #love, #universe, #healing, #workshop, #growth, #pain,  #self esteem, #life skills, #empowerment, #encouragement, #support

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