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236: Putting it into Practice (with Graduates of the VHW Coach Certification Program)

Putting it into Practice (with Graduates of the VHW Coach Certification Program)I have a special show for you all today and it’s quite unique. As many of you know, the Vibrant Happy Women Coach Certification program is open and today I’m chatting with four of my recent graduates about their experience in the program and how it has expanded their ability to hold space.

Holding space isn’t just active listening. It’s a profound, deep way to listen that allows you to see the person you’re hearing as the expert. When you take this program to become a certified coach, this is one of the core skills you will develop. And not only does it improve your coaching, but it improves your relationships with everyone in your life.

Listen in today as I interview four amazing graduates from the Vibrant Happy Women Coach Certification program about what the program was like, what they learned, and how it has improved their lives and careers. We’re discussing some of the different tools taught in the program and what makes it different from any other program out there. These women are excellent examples of how life-changing getting certified can be.

If you want to take your thought work skills all the way to the mastery level, the Vibrant Happy Women Coach Certification’s fall session begins on September 14th. We are accepting 20 new coach enrollees. You’ll learn how to hold space, the Feel it to Heal it Method, how to lead your children to emotional resiliency, and so much more. I can’t wait to see you there!

What You’ll Learn:

  • How the program helped these women learn how to hold space.
  • Why holding space is important for happiness.
  • How coaching is different from therapy.
  • What makes this program unique.
  • The favorite tools each woman learned in the program. 
  • Their advice for anyone thinking about joining.

Listen to the Full Episode:

Featured on the Show:

Full Episode Transcript:

Jen: You’re listening to the Vibrant Happy Women podcast episode #236. I’m talking with four graduates from the Vibrant Happy Women Coach Certification and they’re sharing how the program helped them learn how to hold space. Stay tuned.

Hi, I'm Jen Riday. This podcast is for women who want to feel more vibrant, happy, aligned, and alive. You'll gain the emotional, physical, and spiritual tools you need to get your sparkle back and ensure that depression, anxiety, and struggle don't rule your life. Welcome to the Vibrant Happy Women podcast.

Hey everyone, I’m here with four friends and we’re going to be talking about holding space today. What that means to hold space in our lives, for ourselves, for our family, and for other people. Well, these four women are graduates of the Vibrant Happy Women Coach Certification. They just graduated in August and they’re going to talk about their experience of learning to hold space.

We have four guests. The first one is Kristen Pierce from Phoenix, Arizona. We have Alberta McKnight from Springfield, Virginia by way of Ghana. We have Rebecca Kay from Washougal, Washington, and Danielle Mendoza from LA, California. I want to say welcome, all of you wonderful ladies.

Kristen: Thank you.

Alberta: Thank you, Jen.

Rebecca: Thanks for having me.

Danielle: Thank you, Jen.

Jen: Okay, well, let’s start. I want to hear from you, Danielle. Tell us what it means to you to hold space and how you’ve learned to do that.

Danielle: That is a really good question. I think it’s something, honestly, I’m still learning to do in its highest form, but I think it starts with learning to hold that space for myself and allow myself the grace and the self-compassion to accept that I’m learning and to continue pushing forward when I don’t always live out my highest self for sure.

That allows me to expand that for other people and just give them the space to think what they want to think or do what they want to do or even mess up in their own way because I’ve given myself that space, I can see the gift of it.

Jen: And why do you think holding space is important for your happiness?

Danielle: For me, holding space is a big part of that surrender piece. Surrender just feels so much better. It’s not necessarily easier in execution, but it’s always easier in experience, at least in my experience, and so I’m trying to lean into that more. When I’m holding space for people, I’m actually surrendering in full acceptance of who they are and how they’re showing up.

Jen: How do you feel that helps you as a coach? Let me interject here. You’ve been a coach for a while. Tell us about that and why you chose to join the Vibrant Happy Women Coach Certification and how that has helped you with holding space for your clients?

Danielle: Yeah, so I’ve been a coach for about two years and I started out coaching teens and there’s a lot of space holding that happens there because they live a totally different life than anyone who’s not a teenager. They have completely unique views and for good reason because they’re having an experience of the world that is very different than ours. I mean, the stuff that exists in the world today didn’t exist when I was a kid.

Then, I’ve moved into spiritual coaching because I’ve learned that coaching is so much about the spiritual elements all the time no matter who you’re coaching and holding that space is just the foundation. I can’t come into a coaching session, assume that I know how to solve their problem or what it is they’re going through, but I can hold that space and let them walk through their journey and see it reflected in the coaching process through me.

Then, they can get their own insights and come to their own answers. I decided to sign up for your certification because even though I’m already certified the opportunity to get the practical experience with women live and really focus on coaching together every week in class and one-on-one and putting those tools into practice that we were learning in the certification in a whole new way there was space for me. They were holding space for me to mess up as a coach and so it was a really enriching experience.

Jen: I like that, holding space for you to mess up. That’s really the definition of holding space is allowing people to live and think differently from you even if that involves making what you would perceive as a mistake, right?

Danielle: Totally.

Jen: That’s awesome. Thanks, Danielle. Let’s go to Kristen. Kristen, tell us how you’ve come to value holding space; how you’re different now as opposed to when you first learning about it.

Kristen: I think now where I am with holding space, I think it is a loving practice, it is a nurturing practice. I think it’s something that I find unique as a woman coming from a place of generosity and kindness and compassion and wanting to nurture. It feels very natural for me to hold space. I think before going through the process and the training, I think I had a much more intellectual conceptualization of holding space. It was much more about just being patient and letting someone speak, listening to them, hearing their point of view, but I think there was still, for me, much more of a place where I wanted to give them my two cents or my advice, what I had to share with them.

Now, I feel after going through the process it’s much more about almost for me the image of like if you were holding a chick or if you were holding something precious in your hands, that space that you create when you cup your hands together and just allowing someone to be there and to hold them safely and then for them to figure out if it’s time to go or what their next move is.

So, it’s not about me, right? It’s come to a place where I’m just creating a safe bubble for them to learn, to fail, to experiment, and be what they’re going to be, and to be okay with that myself. Then, kind of give them a little nudge and watch them go. I don’t know, I’m very visual. I have a lot of imagery so that’s where it’s landing for me right now.

Jen: That’s awesome. I’ve never heard that chick analogy, but that beautiful. Holding, cupping your hands, keeping them safe. So, Kristen, you’re a certified coach now through the Vibrant Happy Women Coach Certification. Tell us how that has affected your ability to hold space for your loved ones.

Kristen: Oh wow, absolutely. I feel like also through that process learning more about boundaries and really doing a lot of boundary work and really understanding that boundaries are what you control for yourself and where you stop and another person starts. What someone does in their boundaries is also up to them, so it’s given me a point of perspective where I can really look now and say, “Okay, they’re within their boundary to think or feel or act that way.” Then, how does that encroach upon my boundary and then how can we work together to figure out how to go forward?

It also, I feel like, has given me a place of more compassion, so when – I have a daughter, she’s six, she’s going to be seven and she’s just learning about the world and she’s still highly emotional and I feel like it gives me a bit of patience to step back when she’s having something happen, a strong emotion for her that I can help hold space for her to work through that and to examine it and to play with it and to come out the other side of it instead of diving in with her or getting upset that she’s upset. So, really kind of helping to coach her through about how to be more healthy dealing with her emotions and I think that carries through will all of my loved ones at this point.

Jen: Yeah, tell us more about the before and after. Before becoming a coach and the after, how things are different now.

Kristen: Yeah, absolutely. I think before my coach training I was much more likely to jump into the pit with someone. It’s kind of that commiserating with someone, right? If you have a friend who’s always complaining about their boss or their job or their situation and you’re right there with them because you love them, but you’re just going to keep going. You’re going to say, “I know how you feel, that makes me angry, too.” There’s no real growth or resolution from doing that with somebody.

But now coming to a point where I’m holding space with somebody, I can be there with them. I can let them experience those thoughts and emotions. I hold myself a little bit separate and I don’t kind of dive into those darker emotions with them, but I might gently be able to ask them or help them like, “I understand how you’re feeling, but what do you think your next best step is?” Or, “How would you like to resolve this situation?” And really doing that from a place of love, not being false. Really coming from a place of wanting to help them help themselves.

Jen: Yeah, that’s cool. One more question for you, Kristen, for now, I’ll come back to you, but how is coaching different from therapy in that regard, in your opinion?

Kristen: I’ve had some experience with therapy and I really think coaching is about pushing yourself and wanting to grow and wanting to expand. I think therapy definitely has its place and I think sometimes you do have to do some reflective work. I think therapy is much more reflective about thinking about where you’ve been and where you’ve come from, but I think a key part of coaching is accepting that about yourself, but wanting to move forward and not letting those old circumstances or old limiting beliefs or old stories you’ve told yourself continue to affect tomorrow or the next day or your next steps in life.

Coaching, I think, is much more about like, “That happened to you, whatever it was, and you’ve dealt with it, it made you who you are, who you are now today. How do you want to move forward?” I think that’s the real big difference.

Jen: Yeah, future focus, yeah.

Kristen: Yeah.

Jen: Thank you, that’s great.

Kristen: Yeah, sure.

Jen: Okay, let’s go to Alberta. Alberta, tell us how your life has changed since becoming a coach.

Alberta: More mindfulness, definitely. I think that since becoming a coach just being overall mindful about my thoughts and how I’m moving in the space that I’m in with my family, within my community. The tools that I gained – actually, I went into the coaching certification program with the full mindfulness of how is this going to benefit me? I have seen an overall change in how I come out of my own pits, the pits that I put myself in, or even in situations that I’m confronted with and how I respond to it.

So, through that I’ve become really extremely mindful about what’s going on in my head, how am I feeling? Am I feeling sad? Why am I feeling sad? Where is that coming from? And just be able to examine my emotions it helps me to come out of a lot of down moments.

Jen: That’s beautiful. Have you noticed any changes with your kids and your spouse or your loved ones?

Alberta: Definitely be more expressive. I think as parents – well, the model of parenting that I received was, “Do as I say and don’t question it.” I think my experience through the certification program is to be more open, to understand why that whole idea of seek to understand rather than to be understood. I feel like through the program I’ve really gained that skill of seeking to understand and so, my kids are – they’ve always been very expressive, but they’re even more expressive and my ability to take it in and try to understand it from their perspective and for us to have a dialogue.

I know some parents may think, “What? You can have a dialogue with a seven-year-old?” Yes, because it’s holding – to what Kristen said, holding space for them to be able to express their feelings and to acknowledge that yes, it’s okay to feel how you’re feeling and I can’t force you out of your tantrum. I can only hold a space for you to express it in a loving way as possible.

Jen: That’s brilliant. It reminds me of the conscious parenting movement to hold that sacred space for kids.

Alberta: Absolutely.

Jen: Okay, awesome. Thank you, Alberta. Now, moving over to Rebecca, Rebecca you are a single mom and you have all ages of kids. Tell us how coaching has helped you to hold space for your family in what I would assume is a pretty busy life.

Rebecca: It is a busy life. I have three teenagers, one of them is a pre-teen, and they’re all girls, and holding space for them has been amazing to be able to practice that more. I think before coaching I definitely had the mindset of allowing them to be who they are and with coaching it’s been able to take that to a deeper level of holding that space to not only be who they are, but help them explore the why they are the way they are. Help them explore their viewpoints, help them explore how they want to show up in the world.

One of the things that has really struck me, I think, especially with women and living in a house of four women is the divine feminine is very flowy and I liken it to a dragonfly where it kind of flits around and it’s beautiful, but it doesn’t always stay in the same place for very long and we have to hold space for that, right? Where it’s okay to change your mind, it’s okay to do something different. It’s okay to look at things from a different perspective and holding space allows for all of that because holding that space is flexible and it’s really big.

It’s not oppression, it’s not putting my thumb on you to say, “These are the rules, you must follow them.” It’s giving the space to explore and to be.

Jen: That’s a really beautiful analogy. So, Rebecca, thinking back to the peer coaching and the coaching in class that we did in the certification, tell us how having space held for you in that way has made you a better person.

Rebecca: That was beautiful actually. I think I have done a little bit of therapy in my life, but coaching was new. To have women hold space for me to help me find my own inner wisdom was amazing. To come to a peer coaching session and think, “You know what, maybe I’m going to talk about this,” or, “Maybe I’ll talk about this other thing,” and to have that space held where we can practice going deeper and the questions that we’re taught to ask so that the recipient, in this case me, can find that inner wisdom to solve the problem or to really get to the root of what’s going on as well.

It might be something so simple that we thought on the surface, and in having that space held and deep questions asked and deep listening happening we’re able to go so much deeper and find that place of, “Oh my gosh, I had no idea that these two things were connected and now I can fix them and I can move forward in that manner.”

Jen: That’s cool, and you mentioned you had no idea these two things were connected. Rebecca, can you go ahead and introduce the thought table tool that we learned? One of the primary tools we learn in the Vibrant Happy Women Coach Certification.

Rebecca: Absolutely. So, the thought table is the concept that our thoughts influence our results and we lay them out in a table where there’s a fact and then the thought that we think about that fact and the feeling that we feel about that thought and the action that we take and the results that are given. The results always match the thoughts. It’s amazing to see that result of, “If I think that this is a horrible situation then the result is going to be a horrible situation.”

So, practicing up-leveling by looking at the very same fact and trying to learn a different thought or practice a different thought that we can have about that situation really, truly influences our results and gets us where we want to be and that was an amazing tool for me. Because I really liked the concept Jen calls it “thought table dancing” where you can plug in and start at anywhere in the table, whether it’s the result you want to have or the feeling you want to have and then you can work backwards or forwards from there, but to see how those results truly make a difference.

Thoughts can be practiced. I remember learning that a couple of years ago and I about fell off my chair when I was listening to Joyce Meyer, a preacher that I listen to, talking about how we can choose our thoughts and we can choose to have different thoughts. That was amazing to me. So, now to put that into practice with this thought table of learning why it’s important to practice those different thoughts in order to get different results, it will change your life.

Jen: Beautiful. Have you been able to use thought tables with your girls, Rebecca?

Rebecca: Yes. They roll their eyes a little bit at them, did I mention they’re teenagers? Absolutely, we’ve used them and I’ll say, “Is there something different that you can think about that?” Or, “What kind of result do you feel like you’re getting from that particular thought?” Or, “How would you like to feel differently in this situation?” Particularly with the pre-teen where she’s still learning how to control her emotions, or more specifically control her response to her emotions and so we’ve really been able to use it there and help her learn just because you feel something about a situation doesn’t mean that that’s the correct thing.

Just because you feel this thing doesn’t mean you have to act a certain way. You can choose a different action. You can choose a different thought and it all takes practice just like learning to throw a ball. You don’t get it into the mitt on the first try, usually, but you practice and then eventually it becomes second nature.

Jen: That’s cool. I love that. Let’s go back to you, Danielle. Tell us how thought tables have helped you in your life.

Danielle: Like Rebecca said, being able to see that kind of domino chain from the thought to the result is really mind-blowing at first because I think we all have that resistance in us where we’re like, “My thoughts aren’t creating my results. This is just reality. Life happens. Things are happening to me. It’s not controlling it.”

But once you start to use the thought table over and over like multiple times a day, look at the thoughts that are really sticking for you and put those into a thought and up-level by focusing on a new thought about the same event or even sometimes it’s focusing on a different thought altogether like, “This is happening for me.” There’s no resistance to what’s happening, so you’re just letting it happen. You’re not really changing your thought about the fact, but you’re focusing on a new one that is just way more empowering. That’s given me the opportunity to move through my own dark spaces in a much better way and to say, “How do I want to feel here? What kind of result do I want to see here?”

You can just tweak one thing in the thought table, tweak the thought, tweak the action, whatever it happens to be and you can shift your results in really big ways. It doesn’t always happen all at once. Sometimes the ships are small like when we say we’re laddering up something, but eventually you get to that result that you actually want and it feels so much more empowering and it’s just like, “Finally. This is what I wanted, and I have a way to get there, and it’s within my power completely.”

Jen: Yeah, I always say Thought Tables can solve any problem for any situation for any person. So, Danielle, as you’ve worked with your clients can you share an example or a story of someone who was able to change her life because she changed a thought?

Danielle: For sure. I had one client who was really emotionally and mentally kind of harmed by the experience that was coming to light in the Catholic church and it was interfering with her own relationship with God, with her higher power, and it just gave her this feeling of like life is just wrong. Like, this shouldn’t have happened. I can’t believe this is happening. I’m mad at God, and that really was the big painful thought that she came with was, “I’m mad at God,” and then that led to frustration and actions like not going to church or not reflecting on her own spiritual journey and that result ended up in a lackluster spiritual experience and continuing to be mad at God.

When she was able to work through some of that and do some of the feel it to heal it to address those big waves of emotion that came from that experience, then she was able to up-level that thought to, “God loves me, and what these other people, humans are doing has nothing to do with God’s love for me.” That shifted everything.

She’s able to show up in an entirely new way and focus on her own business and her own spiritual journey and just be re-empowered with God’s love again.

Jen: That’s beautiful. I love how you do that as a spiritual coach, help people define and figure out their own version of spirituality and the thoughts that are going to get them the results that they want. So, thought tables work in any niche and like I said, any situation, any person, any problem thought tables will work. Thank you, Danielle.

So, Kristen, Danielle mentioned feel it to heal it. Could you introduce that tool to our listeners and tell us how you’ve used that to help hold space for others?

Kristen: Oh my gosh, yes. No pressure. Let’s see. From my understanding, boiling it down, feel it to heal it is really figuring out what you’re feeling, acknowledging your feelings, accepting them, and letting yourself experiencing them until they kind of run themselves out or they bring you to your next place.

I’ve done it with myself. I actually just had an experience today where we’ve got a long weekend coming up and our family is getting ready to work on a purge of stuff from our house and move some furniture in rooms around, and one of the things that’s coming up is that my daughter is going to move into a bigger bedroom. She’s going to shift bedrooms, and I was just upset about this and I couldn’t figure out, “Why am I upset about this?” So, I sat with myself and I’m like, “Okay, why am I upset?”

I went through a thought table and I also did a brain download, that’s something, doing some journaling, just some freeform writing or just getting your thoughts out before you move into a thought table, I think that’s important, too, just to examine for yourself what’s going on with me right now? Then I figured out it is just for me as a mom it was just this feeling of a little bit of sadness that my daughter is growing up and letting go for me of her babyness, her young childhood, and moving into another place in her life.

It has nothing to do with her. There’s nothing wrong. It was just something I needed to work through and so I let myself be there for a while and then come to a place of being happy that she’s able to move forward, that she’s growing, and being happy for her that she’s ready to move into a different space. Also, allowing her to be ready to do that and not putting my thoughts or feelings upon her about, “Oh, you should stay in your baby room because it’s where you were a baby,” and so not coloring her experience as well.

So, I think it’s really about letting yourself be okay about experiencing your emotions and just seeing them through and see where they take you and thanking them for that experience, almost, when you’re done and coming out the other side and being ready to move on and not harboring, not letting something grow or eat at you, but to really give it time and space to just let it be and then move on.

Jen: How have you used feel it to heal it as a coach when you’ve been coaching others?

Kristen: Giving other people permission to do that. Asking someone, “Well, how much time would you need to feel upset?” For some people that’s a shocking idea like, “Well, what do you mean? I’m just upset? What do you mean?” And it’s like, “Well, if you control your thoughts,” and you can say, “Do you need two weeks? Do you need two days? Do you need two hours? How long do you want to be upset about something?”

And letting them – giving them that tool that, again, they have control over their thoughts and emotions and how they want to feel and if they want to be upset about something that’s fine or if they want to celebrate something that’s find, but just empowering them to understand that they can control how they’re feeling, so letting them do that and coming back to them later a week or so or a few days later, “How are you feeling? How are things going?” Sometimes they’re still upset or something is going on and we move into another layer of that, but I think it’s important for people to understand that they can choose how they are feeling, and I think the feel it to heal it is really good for that.

Jen: Thank you. That’s a great answer. So, Kristen, you’re currently running for Phoenix City Council. How do you anticipate your coach skills are going to help with that?

Kristen: Oh my gosh, that is a great question because I’ve been thinking about that, too. I think that I want from my elected officials is that I want to be heard, right? I think a lot of us right now want to be heard. We want out opinions to be heard, for someone to hear us, to validate us in some way and some – not necessarily even act on everything.

So, I think, again, holding space, being able to hold space and let people express their opinions, their different opinions, sometimes potentially very different than my opinions personally, but being able to securely hold that space and let people express their opinions about what they want or don’t want. To encourage dialogue between other elected officials a city council effectively has to represent their constituents, but they also work together to move the city forward and make big decisions about how things are done for a city.

So, being able to hold that space for the people you represent, for the people you’re having dialogue with and knowing that there might be some really heated emotions that come up through those conversations, but being able to step back from that and ask the questions as a coach, ask those deep probing questions about what is the next best step for your community? Or how do you think this could move forward with your organization? Or using those coaching tools in a broader sense I think will hopefully make me a better city councilperson. So, that’s where I think I’m going to bring that skill set to play.

Jen: You talk about holding space, I hope everyone listening can understand holding space is a really deep and profound form of listening. Listening might be hearing someone’s words, but also planning what you’re going to say next, or listening might be hearing the words but having a judgment of those words.

Like Kristen talked about, holding space means recognizing that everyone’s view is valid. Everyone’s view is okay, their feelings are okay, and trusting that the person you’re hearing is an expert and that’s why I think coaching is so cool because the client is the expert. The coach comes to ask the questions to bring out the client’s inner wisdom. Or if you’re using it with your kids or with your constituents like you’re talking about, Kristen.

Okay, so, Alberta, I want to come back to you now. Tell us how is your life better now that you have thought tables and feel it to heal it and other tools from becoming a coach?

Alberta: Well, I think to go back to mindfulness I am more aware of what’s happening in my head and to be able to identify the emotions around how I’m feeling and why I’m feeling the way I’m feeling the thought tables have been so helpful. Especially, when you’re forced to think about, “Okay, how can I shift this lower level emotion to a higher level one that will lead me outside of the space that I’m in.”

That’s what really having that tool, the thought table tool forces you to begin to think about more as you move throughout your day, your week, your month, even within the hours, the ability to shift from one thought of low-level emotion to a higher-level emotion.

The idea of the combination of the thought table and feel it to heal it it’s really the foundation to say that, “Yes, I have this feeling. I have these thoughts,” understanding, and feeling them. Allowing those feelings to come, allowing those thoughts to come, but also recognizing that you don’t want to stay in that space for an extended period of time simply because, what kind of life do you want? What is the result that you want? Then you focus on that, so you’re shifting through that.

So, for me, the thought table, the feel it to heal it, and even going deeper into my inner child sometimes the emotion is triggered or something is triggered from my childhood, right? And just going there and saying, “Okay, why? Where did that come from?” And sitting with those emotions and recognizing that, “Oh, it’s something that happened to me as a kid and now I’m experiencing that as an adult, how do I move from there or through that emotion,” is really phenomenal for me. It’s been great for me to be able to get into my thoughts and to understand why I’m feeling the way I’m feeling.

Also, the engagement with even my husband, to be honest and say, “This is why I’m feeling – I’m feeling frustrated because I feel stuck. I feel stuck because of all these things around me that’s happening or not happening.” Whereas before I would feel frustrated and I wouldn’t understand why I’m feeling the way I’m feeling.

So, the coaching program, the tools, the being able to coach with my colleagues, who I affectionately call my sisters now, has been really helpful for me to be able to kind of go through, get deeper as Kristen highlighted earlier. To go deeper within the questions of why, where’s this coming from? And shifting through it.

Jen: So, you mentioned calling everyone your sister, so talk a little bit about the peer coaching, what that is and why it created this feeling of sisterhood.

Alberta: Being able to be vulnerable with women that you’ve never met before and you’re like, “What? I have to come up with a topic and share what’s happening,” but this holding space as you started earlier in our discussion what that means is to be present for somebody, to allow that person to be heard, and that’s what sisters did for me in the program.

The opportunity to just say, “This happened in my life. I lost my job. I’m feeling lost. I don’t know whether I’m going forward or backwards. I’m feeling confused.” And for someone to just listen without judgment but with so much love, even to you, even from a distance, we did all of our work through Zoom but you could feel the energy, you could feel the love and to have that space held for you to be able to be vulnerable, to be able to share and to later – after the session a sister will contact you, “Are you okay? Do you need continue? Do we need to continue to talk?”

It’s been phenomenal for me. It’s like a sisterhood that’s been really helpful, especially in this space and time that we’re in in terms of COVID and feeling isolated and not having anybody to talk to or holding space for your spouse or your child. Knowing that you could do that in a time when everybody is so isolated and to have the tools to be able to open your heart for others has been really so wonderful for me. It’s been a grateful, wonderful experience.

Jen: I love how you describe that. Well, Alberta, you are taking a leap. We had a conversation earlier, maybe in the past 10 days, about how you don’t just want to be an employee, you want to be a coach. Tell us more about the fear you’ve had around that decision actually taking what you’ve learned and choosing a career with it and how you decided to take that leap.

Alberta: It’s so funny because I was talking to my neighbor about that today and there’s this energy of service around coaching. It’s really, remember earlier I said I started this process for myself, they are tools that I just wanted to learn. I just felt like I needed to be able to get myself out of my rut at times, and what I came away from this whole experience with is that the energy of service, it’s a calling to be very frank. It’s one that you recognize within yourself as saying, “Look, if I’ve felt all these emotions,” and with others through a coaching session where someone lovingly held space for me and allowed me to express myself and to think through my actions.

Solutions are never given to the person being coached. You come away with your own solutions and you’re like, “Oh, I did that?” The calling to start or to go into coaching as a career choice, as I was telling my neighbor, it’s like I have how many more years, 40, 50 more years of my life on this Earth, I want it to be joyful. I want it to be full of service. I want it to be – like if I’ve gained all these skills and knowledge I also want to share it and help other women, especially, just gain that sense of joy, claiming their voice in that sense of, “Yeah, I got this. I can do this. It’s chaos around me but it’s okay, it’s going to be okay.”

That energy is what I really want to bring and bring to myself as I bring to others in this world because it’s abundance. We could all have it. I mean, the idea of having it all, yes, it’s not realistic, but you can have a joyful life, that’s having it all.

Jen: Mm-hmm and choosing the things that bring you joy, the thoughts that bring you joy.

Alberta: Absolutely.

Jen: Well said. Thank you, Alberta. Rebecca, coming back to you, tell us a little bit about your decision to become a coach and how you have the confidence to take that leap versus living the same old life you’ve always lived which is also a choice, right?

Rebecca: Absolutely. One of the things that I started to face a few months ago actually was facing that limiting belief that I couldn’t do this as a full-time career and realizing that that was just another form of negative self-talk was kind of shocking to me and starting to look at what would that reality look like? What kind of markers would need to be in place for me to, I mean realistically quit a very stable job and take the leap into full-time coaching, and to start making that map so that I can do that and so that I can do that a lot faster than what my original plan was.

When I joined the certification I had had in the back of my mind that in about 10 years I would start to look at some coaching certifications and take that leap because my kids will be grown, they’ll be done. I won’t need the same benefits and financial stability that I need now. Reading Jen’s email I don’t think I opened one actually until the day before coaching started and it was just this huge kick to me of, “No, you need to do this now,” and I knew absolutely without a doubt that I needed to do it now.

I took the leap, I signed up, and I have not regretted for one second. The tools that I have learned have been amazing and the desire to share those with other women is amazing. I would not be where I am today if not for the tools that had been shared with me over the last five years to learn how to truly change my life and to become unstuck and I can’t wait to help other women do that as well.

So, diving off this board into the coaching world of being able to do that as full-time, to bring that joy, to have that joy in my life is amazing to consider and think about and build towards, and to know that I’m actually building towards it. It’s not just a dream anymore, it’s reality and it will be my life soon which is amazing.

Jen: Thank you, Rebecca. So, right now you women are all graduates, you are certified coaches and we’re about to launch into the second half of the program which is the Business Builder portion where you learn everything it takes to do marketing and to niche down. So, Rebecca, thinking about niching, choosing the type of women you want to help, what thoughts have you had around that so far even though you might not have locked it in quite yet?

Rebecca: So, one of the big markets that I would like to work with is women who have experienced emotional abuse. That’s very near and dear to me and now how it can make you feel so stuck and so full of negative self-talk that you think that there is really no way out. And being able to help women learn that they have a choice, that they have a way to change their lives, that they can start taking baby steps now towards building a bigger and better and more beautiful future is absolutely where I want to live and breathe.

I’ve been writing a blog for a few years now and the title of it is Think, Love, Run and it was all about my ponderings during my own journey of learning to stop running away from problems and run towards building a better future. I do run, I’m a member of a running group, and I thought, “I can’t market to runners. I’m not a runner.”

Then, I thought, “How many times do I see women in my group posting about how they’re trying to get back to it or they missed it this week and can I still call myself a runner? Can I do those things?” I thought how much that applies in everywhere in our life. We go out gung-ho, we think we’re doing something and we fall off the wagon a little bit and so I really want to be able to empower, it’s okay to continue to pick up wherever we are, to run the mile, or to run the block to run our lives in the ways that make sense to us and that work in our lives at the time and understanding that different seasons are going to produce different types of results and that that’s okay as well.

And to just keep getting back up, to keep trying again. To really take those baby steps, that’s the number one thing that I have practiced in my life and five years ago my life looked very different than it does now and it really came from starting baby steps. So, being able to empower women to take those baby steps and know that it’s okay, that’s where I’m at.

Jen: Why do you think growth can happen faster when those baby steps are taken with a coach holding that space for you?

Rebecca: I think it happens faster because of the accountability piece and also because somebody else is asking you those deep questions. So, joining things where they might be journal prompts or they might be whatever it is, sometimes we don’t go as deep as we might have is somebody is actually asking us the question, we just hit the surface and we checkmark the box of, “I did that. Let’s move on to the next one.”

But when we’re speaking with a coach, a coach doesn’t let us just get away with that checkbox answer. They’ll ask the next question of, “What is your next best step there?” Or, “How are the factors in your life contributing to this?” Or, “How do you see your life changing if you, X, Y, or Z?” So, really asking those deeper questions and allowing it to go further faster is where coaching comes in.

Jen: Cool, thank you. Danielle, coming back to you, having experienced a few different coaching programs how is the Vibrant Happy Woman Coach Certification unique in your opinion?

Danielle: Well, it was the most comprehensive of all the programs that I’ve been through, absolutely. The depth of information and the breadth of the tools, also, like the emotional tool kit that we were able to put together was huge. Most coaching programs teach a few different things or focus on neurolinguistic programming or they focus on just a thought table or one specific tool and they dive really deep with that.

In this program, we were able to dive really deep into all of the tools and feel where those resonated in our lives and then take that and practice in the peer coaching. I was able to sort of try on some different tools that I would never want to do in a professional setting with a full-pay client, but showing up with peer coaching sisters like Alberta calls us, it’s just an opportunity to explore and to dip my toe into new things. And I found some amazing tools that work really, really well for me and my clients and now I’m able to bring that to my clients fully developed instead of having to develop it through the clients as I go.

Jen: What’s your favorite tool that you picked up?

Rebecca: The feel it to heal it, absolutely. So often my clients are really stuck on trying to shift their focus or move forward or find some certainty or comfort or calm and they just don’t know how to do that. They know where the up-level should be but they can’t find the emotional truth of that and the feel it to heal it lets them undo that emotional tangle of the old energy and create space for that new emotional truth to be seeded in their subconscious and it’s a beautiful thing.

Jen: So, what advice would you have for anyone who’s thinking about becoming a coach or joining the Vibrant Happy Women Coach Certification program?

Rebecca: I would say if you are unsure and kind of lacking the confidence to step out and be a coach right away the Vibrant Happy Women program is perfect because it really carries you through that process of developing a coaching style and developing your voice as a coach. The other programs just kind of throw the information at you and you have to just start taking action and start coaching people to figure out where you’re at, but the Vibrant Happy Women program really lets you focus yourself inwardly first and then pour that out.

Jen: Let me go around and ask the same question to all of you. Kristen, your favorite tool that you learned and advice for anyone who’s considering becoming a coach?

Kristen: Yeah, I think my favorite tool is the thought table and as Danielle mentioned I like to think of it, too, as the thought table ladder kind of using it step-by-step to get yourself that you ultimately want to be. I think that was really a big ah-ha moment for me that it’s not just like saying, “Oh, I feel depressed,” and then the next step automatically being like, “I’m so excited.” But really using steps in a ladder to get yourself from “I’m depressed” to “I’m calm.” “Okay, I’m all right now. Maybe I’m happy,” and then really figuring out how to build a road map for yourself, so I think that was my favorite tool along the way, figuring out how to use a thought table in that way and ladder up or level up.

I’d say if you have thought about being a coach at all or wanting to be of service, wanting to reach back and pull other women forward and bring women into this joyous place – I think for me that’s part of it, too is there’s this building of community of reaching your hand back and extending it and bringing other people into the light or forward or into this joyous place. If you’ve had any sort of inkling or thought about, “Maybe I could do that,” or, “I’d like to do that,” then you should sign up.

Because that’s where I was. I kind of had my toe in the water. For a couple of years I’ve thought about, “I’d like to start my own business.” I knew it was going to be service-based, but I wasn’t quite sure what the shape of it or what the service would be. Coming from my background I have a combined almost 20 years’ experience working in the non-profit sector and as a public servant in government and so I really want to help work with those women because there’s such burnout and there’s such feelings of scarcity and fear and inadequacy and imposter syndrome. I really want to help those women figure out, “Hey, I was where you are and you can come forward and you can be joyous and join me.”

If you’re someone who has thought about it at all about, “Maybe I could do this,” then yes, you should do this. Why not you? So, just do it.

Jen: Thanks, Kristen. Voice crack, I’m a 15-year-old boy right now. Alberta, the same question, your favorite tool you learned in the program and advice for anyone who’s thinking about signing up.

Alberta: One that we haven’t touched on is be her tool and what I really love about that tool is that it gives you a structure to think about your morning routine and just how you want to structure your morning routine. I actually used it on a coachee, that’s a word.

So, someone that I was coaching and I think getting into a routine is really helpful to getting you out of your – I guess how you’re stuck or your norm, your daily norm and it just jazzes you up to get through the day. And really working with others and sharing that tool with her and even using it for myself – I’ve always had a morning routine, but that tool really solidified why you should have a morning routine and why it’s very beneficial for you.

Encouraging her to have a morning routine through the be her tool was just really very helpful. So, that’s one tool that I absolutely love and continue to use for myself and for others.

Why join the coaching? If you are the kind of person, in my opinion, that really feels others that you kind of feel the energy of others, you’re in a room, you want to make a change in other people’s lives but you don’t know where to start or how to go about doing it or even if it’s in your own life and you don’t know where to start, I think the coaching certification, this specific coaching certification, the Vibrant Happy Women Coaching Certification is for you.

Even if you’re not thinking about using it as a service to other people, but for yourself and having these myriad of tools to use to think through your life, where you want to go, how you want to be, if you want to show up with your family, with your friends, perhaps, too, this is a great program to be a part of, in my opinion.

Jen: Thanks, Alberta. And, Rebecca, last but not least, your favorite tool and any advice for those listening?

Rebecca: Sure, my favorite tool would be the emotion wheel in conjunction with the thought tables, so thinking about how we feel based off of what we think. It’s important to learn how to differentiate more emotions than just happy, sad, mad, and glad. To have this wheel where there’s many more emotions that are not the ones that we typically think of when we first think of how we feel and to go a little bit deeper. What is under that anger? What am I actually feeling? Those types of things are so important and so that I think is my favorite tool.

Advice to anyone who is thinking about this, who does not want to be a more vibrant and happy woman? I mean, come on. We all have our stories of where we’ve been stuck in ruts. We all have been through whatever big traumas or little traumas that have made us who we are and to be able to reach out and help other women who have been in those same situations or similar situations is a gift. To be able to bring that forward to the world we can truly change our sphere of influence, our little world and that brings out and literally changes the world. To be able to be a part of that is truly amazing.

So, if you’re on the fence about it, if you think you don’t have the time, if you’re wondering how you’re going to afford it, any of those things – trust me, if I could make it work you can and you won’t regret it. It will be amazing.

Jen: Thanks, Rebecca. Any of you want me to ask another question? Do you have a thought stuck in your head that you want to share?

Alberta: Honestly, I think, Jen, your energy comes through this program. Your Vibrant Happy Women podcast was my first introduction to you and the program is a definite reflection of what you want for your listeners and so that definitely comes through in the certification program. The strength, it’s like you want everybody to be strong and understand that even when you’re weak you’re strong, and to understand where the weakness is coming from. Just that understanding alone gets us through our life’s ups and downs. Especially the down moments is oftentimes where we feel like we can’t get up and I think the program really will help anyone understand the down moments to be able to help themselves get up and help others get up from the down moments. So, that’s my final thought. It’s a heartfelt program and if you want to do heartfelt work for yourself and for others this is the right certification for you.

Jen: Thank you, Alberta. Well, I want to thank all of you amazing, Vibrant Happy Women coaches for being on the podcast today. Everyone listening, if you would like to ask any of these women questions feel free to reach out to our email at and we can connect you. Also, if you want to learn more, I’ve created four videos about the program. You can go to I would love to see you in the program. It is life-changing, as you can hear from these amazing women today.

I just want to add that what an honor it was for me to teach all of you, Alberta, and Rebecca, and Kristen, and Danielle, but more importantly to witness the growth and the change and the skills. Halfway through the program I really thought, “My goodness, these women are amazing coaches,” and then you’re now graduates. I feel very honored to see the quality of coaching that you guys are going to bring to the world and the lives you’re going to change. So, I want to thank you again for being on the show today.

Alberta: Thank you.

Danielle: Thank you, Jen.

Kristen: Thank you, Jen, it’s been life-changing. It’s awesome.

Rebecca: Thank you, Jen.

Jen: All right, we’re done. Woo hoo! I owe you guys one in a big way. I want to just thank you. That was amazing. You guys are eloquent. I told you you were eloquent and you were.

Kristen: You spoke it into being. I’m like, “All right, I’m going to be eloquent.” I’m going to use big words today.

Jen: Thank you guys, all right. I’ll see you in Business Builder. Until then, everyone, thank you so much for listening and we’ll see you again next time. Take care.

If you enjoy this podcast, you have to check out the Vibrant Happy Women Club. It’s my monthly group coaching program where we take all this material to the next level and get you the results that will blow your mind. Join me in the Vibrant Happy Women Club at

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About jen

Jen Riday is a mom of 6 and life coach who loves to help women experience massive happiness as they let go of stress, sadness or other chronic emotions of negativity.

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