I often think about my life in chapters: Childhood, university and graduate school, beginning family and professional life, community building and leadership, “empty nest”…
About a year ago, I was spinning myself into a deep rut: What am I going to do now? The kids don’t need me on a regular basis. My community leadership obligations are coming to an end. I’m honestly ready, since that chapter has fulfilled much of my time for the last 18 years, and I’m itching to do something new, but what? I’m losing my sense of self.
Husband: Go be a CEO of a company. You’d be great! Friends: Go teach at the university or start another school. Colleagues: Go run a non-profit organization. You’d be so good at it. But all those positive, loving, encouraging voices only added fodder to my mental spin cycle: I don’t know what I want to do. They seem to know what I should do, so why don’t I know? I feel inadequate. Why can’t I figure it out? I don’t know what my passions are, so how am I supposed to follow them? I know I’m strong and smart, but I feel so unmoored. And so on, and so on, and so on…
It was over a cup of coffee with my friend Lynn that I realized I knew exactly what I wanted to do, but just hadn’t yet figured out the details. And in fact, it’s work I’ve been doing for years, decades: I want to help people get un-stuck in their lives, personal and professional (yes, I know…ironic!). I want to help women find their strength, power and voices at home and in the workplace. I want to help parents learn how to slow down, pay attention and learn to really listen, so that their children can teach them how to be the best parents they can be…for each of their children. I want to work with young adults, as they begin to craft lives of purpose and meaning for themselves. I want to work with organizations to help them understand the power contained in their human capital and how to support it, rather than chip away at it by unfortunate and, most often, unintended negative interactions. I want to be a coach.
With enthusiastic urging from Lynn, I researched a few remarkable coach-educators, and my fast and furious journey to becoming a certified life-coach began. I enrolled in the Life Coach School, learned from extraordinary teachers, got coaching, coached others, explored my self-limiting thoughts and decided to wish them well and sent them on their way. I was ready to replace those thoughts with a new story, a positive and powerful one that would define the next chapter of my life.
Title of new chapter: Dana Baruch: Life Coach and Organizational Consultant.
The story itself is just beginning to unfold, but I know it’s going to be a good one, because it already feels fantastic! I love what I do.
My mantra for the coming year: Where the mind goes, energy flows.
Here comes 2014…Bring it on!