Nearly nine years ago, I started life coaching school and this business at the same time. I finished my coursework within a year and almost immediately began to unravel myself from the structure of life coaching in order to have to freedom to evolve into the version of my work that it has become. (Is becoming?) It took years to release the title of life coach and even more years to change the name of the business (from Seeds & Weeds Coaching to The Unruly Woman). I never did settle on a title for what I do and have finally made peace with the fact that I don't need one. It's all coming together quite nicely.
But I still get emails from my school. I loved my coaching school. I am grateful for its part it getting me here and where I am now headed. I really adore the perfectly human dude who runs the place because he does.the.work as well as anybody back then. I always want to read the coaching school's emails when they hit my inbox but I either don't make space (which we know means it's no longer true and we can release it) or I open it and my insides churn and steer me away from the contents.
My heart just can't take the ways the self-help industry--MY industry--manipulates people. I don't want to be manipulated and I refuse to manipulate others into working with me. I'm not going to use fear to get you to say yes to something you don't need. I'm not going to be propelled by greed, or even my need for financial security. I'm not going to do most of what people say I have to do to make this business successful.
If I'm not good enough at my job, or if there aren't enough people who want the kind of support that I offer, or if Who I Am is not magnetic enough to draw Unrulies in when I just be myself in the world, then I'm fine with that. I just want to be useful and if I'm not being useful enough to make a living, I'm not going to manipulate you into thinking I am. If betraying Unrulies is the only way to get what I need, I'd rather just go work at the market and fill in the spaces with those few who still prefer and believe in me and my work.
This stuff gets me all worked up. *deep breath* So back to the school...
I'm especially drawn the the emails that come from the aforementioned dude. I always want to open them. ALWAYS. I really want him to market to my heart, to teach me how to be This Thing That I Am in a way that allows me to help more people heal their stories so they can be who they came to this world to be.
Today, he landed in my inbox again. Ever hopeful, I clicked and found this:
"Professional Life Coaching is now a $1+ Billion / year field!
Quick math: 10,000 coaches earning $100,000 per year = $1Billion / year
We have been building up our profession for 20+ years and are now poised for rapid growth because humanity wants what REAL coaches do!"
Just no. I can't keep doing this with you. Thank you for the structure, for teaching me about the healing power of hard questions, long pauses, and attentive listening. Thank you for the foundation that life coaching has become for my work in the world. Thank you for being so incredibly persistent all of these years because it's been well established that it takes me seven years to release people and situations that are no longer true for me, to give up on the hope of them evolving with me.
There is much freedom in unsubscribing. No fighting. No bitterness. Just letting go. This school, their model, their inspirational leadership is no longer true for me. I'm releasing my grip on them and him, honoring that their way is not my way. In this, I get to continue down my road in peace and with space to welcome more true teachers. And they get to do the same.
(And yes, this is true even if that person is me.)
Do you have any of these emails in your inbox? What is so misaligned for you that your stomach churns when you click? Is there someone that no longer feels true for you? Are you ready to release them? Are you ready to allow someone to release you if that's what feels true? I'd love to hear from you on this. If you need support, I'm here.
Photo by Nilotpal Kalita on Unsplash