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Embarking on a new adventure

There’s always something perilous and exhilarating about embarking on a new adventure; a risk taken in the name of a hope always feels equal parts terrifying and exciting.

Which is why this week I am equally excited and anxious to announce that a few months back, I myself embarked on a new adventure.

It is an adventure that started more than a year ago now, at the moment I first read the beginning of Martha Beck’s book, Finding Your Way In a Wild New World, in which she writes:

“The mother rhino paws nervously, and I feel the impact tremor in the ground beneath my own feet. She is huge. She is nervous. She could kill me as easily as I clip my fingernails. But my mind is filled only with wonder, distilled into two basic questions:

Question 1: How the hell did I get here?

Question 2: What the hell should I do now?”

Those two questions have haunted me since I first read them because, though I have never faced down a consternated mother rhino, I found the questions equally well described how I have felt about my life since I graduated from MIT.

How the hell did I get here? What the hell should I do now?

These two questions have run over and over in my head like a mantra or a Zen koan that I couldn’t possibly solve.

The promise of finding the answers to those questions tantalized me, because the startling truth was that I found I did not know what the answers might be.

I knew in some sense how I had wound up as I had: two degrees from MIT and reading Martha Beck on the shuttle bus to and from work as I dreamed of a future free of the mathematical snarls I was daily expected to untangle…

The sequence of events of my life stretched out before me and I could see some sense in the way they connected as Point A led to Point B and Point C.

But the fuzzy spaces in between the bookends of my life plagued me.

Eventually, I began writing memoir as a way of understanding how the experiences of my past had shaped me into the person I am today and had informed the shape of the life I live today.

I started to find my answers to Question 1 in words laid down upon the empty page.

But days ticked into months ticked into nearly a year and I still had no idea how to answer Question 2.

What the hell should I do know?

I had half-baked dreams and desires but no plan and no real sense of direction…

Which is why earlier this summer I enrolled in the Martha Beck Life Coach Training Program. (And if the words “life coach” make you cringe, then trust me, I am cringing harder.)

At the time I couldn’t have given you a better reason for why I did it except that every time I thought about it my skin crawled with full-body tingles… and that seemed as good a reason to enroll as any (laugh if you like — but those tingles were well-correlated and strangely compelling).

As a scientist and a skeptic I was afraid that any program billed as “life coach training” could not possibly be of use and substance.

But here’s the thing, I’ve been in the program since the end of July (with a number of months still to go) and already I can tell you that it’s been nothing short of amazing.

So why am I only writing about the program now?

The answer is because at first I was uncertain. I didn’t know if I was making the right decision. I wasn’t certain the training wouldn’t be a smashing disappointment.

At first, I only knew that deciding to do the training felt big and scary and uncertain and I wasn’t ready to trust my fragile decision to the mercy of other people’s judgement.

But those ridiculous tingles crept over my skin and something inside of me kept urging me to do it.

And so I did.

I’m three months into the program now and I can tell you unequivocally that those tingles were spot on.

The skills I have been learning in the training program are some of the coolest I have encountered in my life and I am super excited to share them with you.

Which is why I’d like to make a gentle request…

A couple of weeks ago I passed the point in the training where hours spent coaching folks outside the student cohort count towards certification and I would love to share with you everything that I’ve been learning.

So if you’re a little bit curious, if you perhaps have a skin-crawling tingle or two, or if you find yourself wondering how the hell you got here and what the hell you should do now, then I want to invite you to work with me. I can work over the phone, so location is not an issue, and because I’m still in training I’m working with people for free 🙂

If you’re interested, or if you know someone who might be interested, please hop on over to my contact page and get in touch.

And if you have questions (I hope you have questions!) please feel free to contact me directly or leave them in the comments below. I look forward to answering them!


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