Finding Bliss

From Luluzine: Vol 1.6
by Heather Neale

I walk into this Coal Harbour apartment and immediately relax. Soft instrumental music soothes my ears, and the aroma of scented candles, lit like stars around the room, elicits a sense of peace in the middle of my hectic day. I exhale.

I am greeted by a beautiful face, smiling, welcoming me with a hearty embrace and a “Come on in; it’s great to meet you.” This is the home of personal and professional life coach Susan Washington, a woman who lives in the land of positivity, and most certainly exudes it. She works both with corporate and private clients to help them realize their life’s dreams and has a great time doing it all the while. “I just get chills that my clients are brave enough to want more out of life. It’s a great job.”

Susan explains that life coaching is all about looking deep inside yourself, figuring out what it is that you want in life-career goals, relationships, health status, fitness levels etc-and then finding ways to make positive changes, to move in the direction of your dreams. She listens carefully to her clients’ needs, wants, concerns, fears and dreams in order to facilitate a game plan for them. And there is a three month minimum for life work because, as she points out, “coaching isn’t patchwork.” It takes commitment and time to build the life of your dreams.

Washington gets her direction from the client in terms of where to start. Some people come in looking to get into better shape, so the plan is focused on that. Whereas others come in thinking that career is their focus and wind up working on important relationships in their lives. We cannot always pin point where the problem is; sometimes we just know something is missing.

271_profile_img1_lululemonWashington grew up in Winnipeg, Manitoba. She has a Masters in Counselling, and currently holds PhD candidacy status at the University of Toronto, but she left her PhD when she found her calling. The extensive life coach training program she pursued in California was something she just knew she had to do, and ever since it has been one of those, “do it and never look back” type of experiences that she feels so blessed to have had. After all, she gets to spend her days helping people find their bliss.

“People want to be happy,” she said, “and it all becomes about fulfillment and inner peace.” Washington encourages clients to open up about everything because, “you can’t coach things that are not brought forward.” While intuition does come in handy for her most times, it is always more helpful when people are honest and accountable for their lives.

One of the biggest obstacles she finds in clients is their inner negative voice, or gremlin’ as she calls it. In fact, she even recommends a book called, “Taming the Gremlin” for those of us who hear this voice all day long, or even just sometimes. That little person who sits in your head and counters, “I want to be an astronaut,” with “you can’t do that- it’s next to impossible to become an astronaut,” is the gremlin she speaks of. You know this voice- everyone has had a visit from it at some point or another. Some people hang out with it all day long in fact. This gremlin is usually a reflection of negative influences in our lives- sometimes from parents who wanted to condition us a certain way, or from teachers who did not believe in us and provided us with no support. Whatever the case, the gremlin has got to be de-armed and it’s up to us to do that for ourselves.

“Your thoughts create your life,” she said. “Power lies in moving beyond limiting beliefs.” Generate positive thoughts all day and you will have a positive life.

lululemon-canada-lootThe other important tool for realizing your potential, says Washington, is asking for what you need. Often, for instance, people will look at relationships in their lives and make assumptions about what the other person thinks or feels. They will then act accordingly, never having asked for what they needed because they assumed the other person was not willing.

Washington talks about the importance of adopting a co-active strategy, which is the opposite of co-dependent. Co-dependent relationships are where we feel we need that other person; we are incomplete without them, as in that “you complete me” line that made Jerry McGuire famous.

Coaching helps clients look at the hard truth, accept responsibility for their lives and actions, and adopt a dynamic and healthy co-active behaviour pattern.

Similar to in yoga, where letting go of thoughts and just breathing is the goal, in life we must let go of the gremlin and just inhale positivity. It’s achievable, possible, and viable; it just takes a commitment to yourself, a belief that you are capable, and a phenomenal coach like Susan to do the trick.

I leave the Coal Harbour apartment feeling inspired to make peace in my own life, to confront those niggling issues that sit at the back of my mind, and to design the life I have always dreamed of because, if Susan believes I can do it, so do I. We’ve got nothing to lose in striving for what we love; the only way we lose is when we don’t try.

Design the life you have always wanted and don’t look back. Living in bliss, you won’t have to.