Before Life Coaching, I was a self-help junkie. I can remember Watching romantic movies and instead of getting caught up in the rapture of everlasting Hollywood love, I was screaming out “it’s not you – she has abandonment issues”. I knew that the way I moved and grooved through life was shielded by a number of defense mechanisms which worked for many years at the expense of intimate relationships – but hell I was safe. But still I searched for betterment. My journey led me to multiple therapists and counseling sessions that were somewhat beneficial but never quite got to the core of certain behaviors, which caused its own share of grief. Mainly because my investment in self-improvement banked on the premise that once I dealt with the situation, then it should never, ever darken my doorway again – except that it did. It was with different players and settings but the crux of the issue was the same and I was sent reeling back to the drawing board crying “why can’t I get this right” all the way home.

Then my good friend, Tiziana Rinaldi-Castro, became a certified Life Coach and “as a favor to her” I signed up as a client in February of 2013. I agreed to one moon cycle, which involved a weekly meeting for four weeks. By the 3rd week I asked if we could do one more cycle and two months later I basically decided to continue the sessions until further notice.

There were some similarities between therapy and life coaching – reflection, accountability and touching on touchy subjects from the past. But while there was honesty until it hurt there was also the presence of warmth that therapy sessions didn’t or couldn’t afford. Tippy was personable and open to sharing which proved grounding as I was ready, willing and able to deal with actual problem solving and application and not just concepts and theories. Life coaching afforded practicum and shutdown that whole “why me” narrative with the realization that all-too familiar situations can and do encore. It gave teeth to the old saying “If I knew then what I know now”.

On my best day, my Life Coaching grants me peaceful purpose – on my worst, it gives me the tools needed to understand and persevere.

Chandra Cherry, Brooklyn

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