When you’re feeling stuck and you wonder whether a life coach would be a good idea it’s difficult to know where to start. It’s not just the different approaches and areas of practice, but also the varying degree of credentials, and of course, chemistry is important too.
This is my first blog and I’d like to share a bit about me in the hope that you may find some resonance in what you’re experiencing now in your life. Across my life journey I have developed business skills and experience, along with a deep, psychological training to help you get unstuck. My conversation-based approach means there will be no tick boxes, no pressure and no pushiness. I believe that real, lasting change comes from small and gentle steps.
I was the child at the front of class with my hand up. I love knowledge, information, asking questions and I’m not shy. I was always told I’d go far in life and that if I applied myself I could accomplish anything. By the time I reached my 30s, my husband and I were running an award-winning business, built over the previous ten years. I also had two beautiful children – a girl and a boy. I was at the top of my game professionally, but inside I was unhappy.. I wanted to be a better mum and feel less overworked, but I didn’t know how. I had an over-developed people pleasing, caretaking side to my character, which stemmed from my childhood and governed everything I did. My to-do list was never-ending.
My days started with an early hand over to the nanny and didn’t end until the children were asleep (most nights it was difficult to get them to settle). I felt trapped in a never-ending cycle of troubleshooting, decision-making, adrenalin-fuelled long days and exhausting nights. I worried about my health, and my children’s wellbeing. I couldn’t find time to rest.
A friend of mine called me one day saying she had a spare ticket to a wellbeing festival and asked if I would like to join. Despite having a degree in psychology I had never got to grips with how to make change myself. It was this weekend that inspired me, and sparked the desire to return to my academic roots. I started to practice new things, such as the power of manifesting. I was told I could manifest a future and life that I wanted. This was very troubling for me. If you were to ask me at that time what future I wanted I would have said: “Whatever my husband wants, I’ll be there making it happen for him”. I had no personal plan for my future. All I had was a vision of me standing with my back to the office, in a circle of people, looking over my shoulder at me stuck inside. This future me looked warmly into my eyes and smiled, saying: “It’s going to be ok.” That was eight years ago. It’s been an incredible journey getting to be the ‘future me’, unstuck and standing in my power.
I’ve always loved psychology. Before the sadness of my dad’s death, my mum was a marriage guidance counsellor and I had idealised her. I achieved a BSc Hons in Psychology at university. I then studied to become a Montessori teacher. I wanted to learn about humans and relationships, particularly as the relationship with my mum was breaking down due to her emerging alcohol problem. But, with the lure of a better income, I chose a career as a Personal Assistant instead.
I worked as a P.A. to three brilliant men. These men had ideas and vision, which I helped to support and grow. It was the same approach with my husband when we began our family business. His ideas and forward-thinking energy in sales, coupled with my back-end organisation and processing skills, made a successful and dynamic combination. But, when I got burnt-out ten years later, my skill set wasn’t enough. I needed to know more than how to execute a plan. I needed to learn how to let go of fear and to trust in a new way of doing things.
When I realised my marriage was over, getting out of the business became clearer. I took a couple of years out to be mumma, staying home with the kids. I did endless self-help courses, including an eight week mindfulness course, a Claim Your Power deep dive and a number of buddhist retreats. I had already committed to a daily meditation practice some years before and was now hosting informal meditation circles for friends and family. I started a meditation teacher training course at BSY and joined a 12-step fellowship for friends and families of alcoholics. I felt a calling to be of service.
With all this life experience I was tempted to grab a quick, online life coaching certificate and start helping people straight away, but I knew there was a danger in wanting to support people for the wrong reasons. I defined myself as a capable helper, but I also knew how I had trapped myself in that paradigm before. Instead I enrolled in an MA in Psychosynthesis Psychology, a three year masters degree, which taught that the Higher Self (the spirit/soul-incarnate) is an explicit reality. It felt joyful to find an area of psychology which incorporated practices that resonated with me and showed that a journey of transformation was possible by connecting to, and welcoming in, the voice of the Higher Self through self-awareness practice. This is the journey I’ve been on for the last four years. I am now a qualified Dip. Coach (psychosynthesis) and I’m currently writing a thesis on the use of archetypal symbolism for personal transformation.
My inner knowledge-seeker sitting at the front of class is still there, but she doesn’t push me so hard anymore. The caretaker/people-pleaser side of me is still there, but I know how to look after her now so she can rest when she needs it. My call to be of service and to help others has transformed into ‘Sam Pope – Coaching and Mindfulness,’ helping capable and brilliant business founders like you to slow down, re-connect and align your goals with your highest vision of yourself. I know how easy it is to get stuck in taking action for success. I would be honoured to be your guide and mentor for the journey of re-connecting to your infinite potential so that you can live the fulfilled life you dream of as a business owner.