This Goddess came into my life unexpectedly, as most of them do. I met her a few years ago at a Moon Circle and her radiant smile immediately fascinated me. Little did I know that this woman would have such a tremendous impact on my life.
When I first met Sarina, she had just moved down to South Florida from Virginia. She was on a mission to complete her medical degree to become an acupuncturist and she was on a spiritual journey that had just begun. As I got to know her better, she contracted me to take photos for her professional life coaching business.
Sarina was born in Burma, where her father was from, and her family emigrated to the US when she was six months old. She does not speak Chinese, which her father did not want to speak to his daughters because he, himself, had difficulty with languages, and only English was spoken at home. Sarina did learn her mother's native German when she went to Austria after college, a country where she lived for sixteen years and where she had a marriage, and where she was a branch manager of an all-women staffing agency team. Sarina moved back to the US to open an art studio for kids - a franchise that she started with her sister. That business did not turn out as hoped and Sarina returned to psychology, which she had studied and to which she was always drawn, perhaps as a result of being shy as a kid. In 2008 Sarina completed her coaching certification and that is when she starting her coaching business.
"Surroundings have a strong impact on our emotions. Get away, connect with nature, relax," Sarina says.
The principle behind her life coaching business called Take 2 Coaching is that these conversations take place while walking outdoors. (Even though my conversations with her happen over the phone, when I am sitting in my car - the escape from the toddler and the baby in the house, or locking myself up in another room is necessary! - and I get to watch the trees next to our apartment building :))
In addition to individual sessions, Sarina offers life coaching in small group format. How can you do life coaching as a group, some may wonder? The truth is, whatever you are going through, many people are going through something similar, or the underlying pattern or limiting belief is the same, and that is how life coaching can be done in a small group.
Sarina has recently completed her studies, passed all board examinations and became a licensed doctor of acupuncture.
"Acupuncture and life coaching in a way are the same thing for me - I am supporting you with what you are already doing."
I'm a great advocate of hiring a life coach because of the positive impact that it had on my life. (For potential impact of life coaching on your life you might want to check out this article.) When I have my phone sessions with Sarina, sometimes, I am aware of what is bothering me and we focus on that issue right away. But sometimes I am not even aware of my pattern of thinking when it comes to something and Sarina can pick up the notes of anger or frustration about the subject and then helps me see how I think about that particular thing. And that is a truly remarkable thing - to be able to see how I think or how I perceive something, because when I am looking at the world from inside myself, I don't notice my own patterns, some of which hold me back from achieving my greatest potential. It's like I make tiny revelations about myself during my talks with Sarina.
And these numerous tiny revelations have helped transform my life in big ways.
The earliest revelation was about my attitude toward housework. "Acknowledge and celebrate your accomplishments in the household for the family that you are nurturing", Sarina said. It was a tough one for me, believe it or not. Coming from the Russian culture, where women are EXPECTED to clean, cook, and run all the household activities AND work, I never saw mopping floors as an accomplishment. I would often mentally not only berate myself for not doing it as often as I should, but also think of all the things that I could be doing at that time instead of mopping, then manage to get mad at my husband for his not helping me, and just turn into one angry person as a result of this one activity that is essential to maintaining a clean home, which is important to me. Now after I mop the floors, I celebratorily proclaim "I'm da bomb" and I have a great sense of accomplishment and pride. When I told another ex-Soviet friend of mine about this, she said, "really? you are supposed to see doing housework as an accomplishment and celebrate yourself for that?"
A lot of what we talk about is about raising your vibration (or being in alignment with your [higher] self). "Be aware of how you feel. When you get trapped in a moment of feeling down, raise your vibration by thinking about something that brings you joy, and it doesn't even have to be related to the one thing that might be bringing you down at this moment. Try to get back to that state of lightness and flowing to realign with your goals, and at the same time be gentle with yourself." This piece of advice helps me when I get overcome with fear or anger and if I become aware of the emotions (that I can easily get trapped in), I can shift out of them faster and react to a situation in a calmer way.
We also talk about about manifestation quite a bit. "We are constantly manifesting. What we focus on is what we bring into existence", Sarina teaches me.
Sarina also taught me the importance of WHY in goal setting:
"Be clear on the things that are important to you, and WHY they are important. The WHY puts the emotion behind the goal and ask as many WHYs as you need to do to drill it down the very essence, the core, the values that you have. In the evening, before you go to sleep, spend ten minutes getting in touch with those whys - why things are important to you, and this way you will stay focused on your goals."
And the last piece of advice, which is obvious for most, but can be easily forgotten, especially when you are a mom of little children is
"Put yourself first, love yourself enough, so you can be the best you for others."
Working with a life coach has helped me become more calm and centered and less re-active to situations. I am more focused on the things I want to achieve, yet at the same time I am not panicking if one evening I decide to binge watch Netflix with my husband, because that, too, serves a purpose. My communication with my husband has improved, we communicate at a higher level now, and I can also tell that as I grow spiritually and psychologically, he also rises up with me. I feel that I am more in alignment with my higher purpose, though from time to time I do get thrown off balance but I can more easily recognize when it happens and thus bring myself back.
To sum it up in a few words, I love it!
Sarina has become a dear friend and that is why I wanted to introduce her to you so that you get a chance to know this wonderful and gifted woman for yourself. After I wrote this interview I realized that I wrote more about me, how she affected my life, though it is supposed to be about HER, she is THE GODDESS.
And then it became clear to me that a part of her goddess-ness is that she helps people in such a unique way - helps people make the most of their lives, live to their fullest.
What is the ultimate goal of life coaching?
The ultimate purpose of life coaching is that you achieve your goals and live the life of your dream. The biggest value that life coaching can give you is a shift in perspective.
We always talk through our problems and discuss our aspirations with friends and family. Can't they be the ones to hold us accountable for our growth? Why is life coaching something that is best handled by a professional?
It is true that we oftentimes place our personal growth in the hands of our friends and family members. The problem with that approach is that these people cannot see you beyond what you are right now. Objectivity is key. A professional coach has no attachment to the client being a certain way, as a friend or an untrained person might be. It is also important to find someone who resonates with you as a person and in terms of their coaching style.
What advice can you give to those people who are eager to change their life for the better but are not ready to commit financially to hiring a coach?
One must evaluate the importance of the desired change. What is the value of your life? Contact a coach, it may be more feasible than imagined.