I’ve gotten several requests recently to answer the question of how I became a coach so I am republishing a post from September 2006. A very personal sort of testimony my coaching mentor called a “manifesto.” I’m still not exactly sure what that is, or if the below is “it” or not.
I tell a story of parts of my life, before and during the process of, discovering the tools and skills I teach today. I hope you enjoy me in all my candor. It was actually a practice in being very vulnerable. It still is.
In 2004, I was on vacation in Colorado in a rented car. At that time, satellite radio was a big deal. What I liked about satellite radio is the abundance of selection. I had stumbled across a radio station called Wisdom Radio and was hoping it had something to do with Wisdom Television which I watched at home via my satellite dish. Every time I got in the car, I tuned in. We were heading back to the airport to fly home and I was kind of sad because, at that time, I didn’t want to go home to Southern California. I was done with it! I really wanted to live in the Denver area where people practiced a lifestyle that I felt was more in alignment with who I wanted to be; environmentally conscious, spiritually conscious, self-conscious… just more conscious! And this is what I LOVED about Wisdom Radio. It offered information on books, speakers, ideas about living a more conscious life.
Taking a Risk
My name is Mynde Mayfield. I am a Program Candidate in the Fearless Living Life Coaching program and instead of telling you what Fearless Living is, I’d rather take a risk. My risk is that I’m willing to practice being vulnerable with you because I believe in things like synchronicity, a divine order if you will and that you are here with me for a reason. You may not know exactly what that reason is, yet because of the story I’m about to share with you, I trust this process. I trust that everyone who is supposed to be here tonight is. And I’m grateful for this opportunity to share with you tonight, to connect at a deeper level and to stand in the truth of who I am. My hope is that you will leave inspired and empowered and that you will consider what might be possible for your own life if you decide to embrace living fearlessly.
Some of The Beginning
I will not bore you with the details of childhood. We all had one, right? And I think most of us, to some degree, realize that our families are not perfect, far from it in fact. I will tell you that my mother was married 3 times, which includes my real father. She had me at the age of 18. And by the time I was 15, she felt she had to reclaim her own life and in doing so, left my stepfather of 10 years, sent my younger brother to Oregon to live with her sister and me to live with my real father, whom I really did not know. In a nutshell, this adult woman, listening to satellite radio in Colorado, felt abandoned by her mother.
Some of The Middle
In 2004, I was 35 years old and on my second marriage. I had gotten married to my first husband at the very young age of 21. Today, after Fearless Living, I recognize I was trying to get my needs met through this marriage, needs that resulted from my open wound of abandonment. I had a child at the age of 24 and after a long 8-year haul trying to make the relationship work and lot of messy life details I will leave out for now, I ended the relationship.
In the process of trying to “make it work,” I opened my self up to many different possibilities for why it wasn’t working and how to make it work. It was at that time I think I became a self-help junkie. Any other junkies out there? Oprah, Dr. Phil? I felt deep inside of me, an ache, an emptiness. A life full of shiny new cars, 3 ½ story suburban homes with 2.5 kids was not going to cut it for me. If I knew one thing in my confusion, it was that this life would not be satisfying for me.
So I began exploring the spiritual side of life because the stuff that resonated with me, made me have goose bumps and moved me, was watching programs like Oprah… it was connection. Oprah had a woman on named Marianne Williamson. What I remember about the show was there was a panel of sisters who were not getting along. Some were not even speaking to each other. And I watched Marianne ask some questions and support those women on getting really clear with what they needed and in the space of 20 minutes or so, they were all crying and saying sorry to one another and “I love you.” Naturally, I went out and bought Marianne’s latest book at the time and each and every book thereafter.
Marianne spoke about a concept I had never heard of before but when I read it for the first time, there was a visceral reaction in my body. Today I know this reaction as a “bell of truth”… you can’t really logically explain why you know it’s true, but you do. The seed she planted with me at that time was that the world boiled down to two forms of energy. We are not just bodies walking around, we are spirit or energy, encapsulated in matter (a body). And really, if we were to get overly simplified, there is only one energy that is real. The rest is all an illusion, something we’ve made up in order to understand ourselves, find meaning in a sometimes meaningless world.
What Marianne talked about was the basic premise that “Only Love is real. And the complete absence of Love is Fear.” This is overly simplified, as I said, yet it boils it down to something I could get my head around. Over and over I contemplated this idea, the Love-is-the-only-real one, and the more I contemplated it, the more I began to adopt it as a belief. The belief was easily anchored because of my somewhat religious upbringing. I do believe in God. And I do believe that the energy of God is Love. This is personal to me, and you are entitled to your own beliefs. But, no matter what religious background you come from, I do believe most of them practice acknowledging some kind of higher power, higher essence, higher intelligence, from which we all come. So enough about religion, this is not a moral conversation, we’ll save that for some other time. What I knew for sure (as Oprah likes to put it) is that if I could just understand and master my fear, with the intention to create greater awareness of love in my life, my life *would* change.
Back to The Now
So back to Colorado and satellite radio. We’re almost done so bear with me. So I tuned in on this day to a program that was nearly over. I think I caught the last 20 minutes or so. A woman (Rhonda Britten) was speaking about how many of us have something in our lives we are passionate about, yet for whatever reason, whether we believe we’re not smart enough or we don’t have enough money, we don’t follow that calling because deep down we harbor a belief about ourselves that we are either inadequate, not worthy or unlovable.
Maybe we have a business we’d like to start, a book we’d like to write or just another way of showing up in the world… but we don’t. We think about what others might say or think about us. We think, “I can’t write a book, I don’t have a PhD yet” or “I can’t start my astrology business, I live in conservative Orange County California. They believe astrology is devil worship or something like that.”
Those were my beliefs. And what the woman said next hooked me in even more deeply. She said that she believed that all of those beliefs came from fear. I thought, “Oh my goodness… there it is again. FEAR!” For nearly two years, I had contemplated this idea of Love vs Fear and I had decided if I could only master my fear… if I only had some tools or a way to make some actual shifts or changes in my life!” How many of you have read an amazing book and had an aha moment? Any Wayne Dyer or Depak Chopra fans? Or watched Oprah or Dr. Phil and thought “Yes! That’s me in that story.” And don’t get me wrong, the books and programming we watch like Oprah, are serving a great humanitarian purpose. But, the problem I found is that having an awareness or aha moment was not enough. And I think most people think their life will change as a result of an aha moment, but wouldn’t we have a very different world if this were the case? I mean, all these new age/spiritual writer’s would be out of a job if all it took was to read a book and have your life change, right?! So what’s different? Why am I standing here tonight, sharing some of my personal life story with you in hopes that you might investigate and explore Rhonda Britten’s book & work called Fearless Living? I am personally committed to this work because it’s changed my life. I am also personally committed to serving others because it serves the world and raises consciousness.
Why This Book is Different From All The Rest
The difference between Rhonda’s book and any other self-help book I had read up till this point in my life is “action.” Not only did I have huge awareness and shift as a result of reading each chapter, but she also offered exercises to help me anchor that awareness and then asked me a simple question… “what am I willing to do today to practice this?” Seems simple I know. And the truth is, it is. And the real brilliant part is that instead of focusing on some guru or waiting for the next great self-help book to hit the shelf, I become my own guru.
Only you know your own truth, I don’t have it… the answer, the cure, the fix for your ailment. My first coach said to me one time, “What do you want first, the good news or the bad news?” I said, “I’ll take the bad news.” She said, “It’s all an inside job.” I thought, “OK”, and said, “and the good news?” She said again with a smile, “It’s all an inside job.”
So, this is the conclusion of one small teensy part of my personal journey. It’s actually how it all begun for me. How my life began to change only two short years ago! Fearless Living is not about jumping out of planes, it’s about jumping into your life and if you are ready to take the driver seat of your own life, I would encourage you to invest in yourself and take this journey with me. Today, I’m taking more risks than I ever imagined. I started out small and I would encourage you to do the same. Pick one part of your life you would like to see change and focus on that area. Read the book, apply these simple tools, get support from other people on the journey, join a Fearbuster Group or even, hire a coach and see what happens.
When I started out, I decided it was time that I mattered in my life. I was willing to release the need to please others in order to gain their love and support, or contort myself into a “lovable” version of who I was in order to ensure my romantic relationship stayed in tact. This was huge for me. And today, I still get to practice this, but what’s incredible is the risks I’m willing to embrace now. One stretch here led to a risk there and eventually here I am, behind the wheel of my own life! So empowered. So clear. And at the same time, so vulnerable that I’m willing to get up here and open myself up with you, tell my story, connect. The self confidence, the self acceptance, the gratitude that fills my life now actually propels me forward.
Becoming Your Own Guru
If you felt like I did, like there is something more out there, in here, somewhere… it’s not over a rainbow, it’s in you! It’s your soul, gently, lovingly nagging you awake to your own brilliance and to live the life your soul intended. No more playing it small. I’m awake! I’m getting more and more conscious with every step I take on this journey and it’s lit me up so bright, I’m compelled to become a Coach myself and help support others in illuminating their own truth.
Marianne has a quote that I love so much I put it on the back of my coaching business card. I would like to leave this quote with you, in your hearts. Let it speak to you.
“When we become who we are meant to be, we will know what we are meant to do.”
Fearless Living by Rhonda Britten
Fearless Living is an inspiring, life-saving book recommended for anyone looking to make his or her life better. A rare gem that combines a mother-load of simple, practical tools, techniques and ideas with a walking, talking ‘been there’ role model.
For more information about Rhonda or her life coach training program, visit FearlessLiving.org.