A "B-" and a Life Coach Walk into a Bar...
Laura from Spark Your Shine had me at ‘Give it your B-”. Let me explain.
We’ve known each other for more than 10 years now, and in fact, all those years ago, when she moved on to a new job, I was her replacement. It was in the marketing department of a commercial real estate office and we were sort of forever bound together by a group of bad-ass women. And Jeff. He was there, too. You’re also bad-ass, if you’re reading this, Jeff.
Anyway, we saw each other every year for the department’s intimate annual holiday party even after neither of us worked at the company any longer. We followed each other on Instagram and when she became a yoga instructor and life coach, I followed along on her inspiring newsletter.
She’s got an infectious energy and though we really just knew one another in passing, I always sensed she was a kindred spirit. Anyway, in this particular newsletter that inspired me to reach out to her, Laura explained that her coach had told her that rather than worrying about putting in her A+ effort, to allow herself to show up to whatever it was she was doing with B- work. Whether it was ‘regular snacks’ for her daughter and not 'organic’ or posting to Instagram on her business account with just having spell checked once, and not a bunch of times. Her coach argues that “if you commit to putting out B- work you will triple your efficiency and contribute more to the world than you ever could have if you are worried about A+ work.”
As a former perfectionist and current spiritual seeker, I was hooked. I so wanted to interview her for you guys (and for myself) and doing a trial session with her made me realize I really wanted to do the whole shebang.
So I am.
My first session with her started with me crying, “Laura, I didn’t want to cry for our first session, but it’s been a little overwhelming” and she said “I’m the perfect person to cry to, I’m your coach!” I told you, I’ve been a little soppier this past month with the move and changes not only externally but internally.
I’m still working on picking myself up after a beautiful, yet trying two years of mega-changes in my life. I’ve written about this a few times before, but I went to therapy for the first time and finally allowed myself to feel and acknowledge my traumatic childhood. I’m not upset about it. I forgive my (then) 20-year old parents with three little kids and a nasty, nasty divorce and then-some. And whew, was there some “then-some”!
I thought I somehow escaped unscathed, having eventually moved in with my grandparents, and just generally didn’t allow myself to think about it, but really, I was unable to rectify a shadow of feeling responsible for everyone’s everything. Literally anyone. And their everything.
I never let myself fully look back on it all until I hit a major trigger that sucked me in to my past and left me so confused I felt I’d lost the strength I’d always had in abundance. Intellectually, I felt that understanding and processing all of this, I should very easily be able to take a wand and poof over all of those negative core beliefs about myself that weren’t really mine from childhood and bounce back and be my old joyful, spicy, self again 24/7. It should be super easy to internally be like “okay, that was your ish, parents. Here’s your stuff back. And oh yeah, thank you, cause all that made me an even stronger person once I figured it out”.
Emotionally, as a sensitive and empathetic person, picking my self-esteem back up has been a longer process than I’d like. I guess it came down to a feeling of worthiness. Was I worthy of who I really am, deep down? I mean, obviously, the answer is yes, for everyone, but massaging the sub-conscience took a little more time for me.
So. On my way to rounding out my healing and accepting, I realized that in addition to therapy, having a Life Coach to help drill home my goals for myself personally and professionally was an extra bump-up. I’ve gone from basically, ‘never needing anyone’s help ever’ to being all ‘teach me everything you know’.
So I’ve signed up with Laura for life coaching sessions.
We cover everything from goals, like, ‘what do I really want to get out of my blog and how can I achieve that?’ To ‘what’s holding me back from being the lightest, most free version of myself?’ We talk about anxiety, and accepting and bringing it along for the ride. In fact, she told me about a poem Elizabeth Gilbert wrote to Fear, and I wrote my own version of that with anxiety I’ll share with you soon. Perhaps even more poignant was Laura letting me know that she too has anxiety and just because she’s a yoga instructor and life coach now doesn’t mean she doesn’t experience the full range of emotions.
Oh. “Brains being brains,” as Laura would say.
Having a Life Coach is beautiful and uplifting and I’m so enjoying it — even the homework! This week I get to “dance more and write a new rap” — two of my very favorites! (with a goal of making a video! Here’s the first video we did, not rap, but SO CUTE). Ooh, and I’m also throwing in ‘don’t give a fudge what anyone thinks about it’.
Without further adieu, it’s my privilege to bring you Q+A with one of the most uplifting people I’ve ever known. Infectious energy, anyone? Read on (and check the end for an amazing GIVEAWAY)
Q+A with Spark Your Shine’s Laura Conley
Helping people remove their “golden handcuffs” just as she removed her own. Full bio here
Polite AF: Tell me a little about your path and how you started ‘Spark Your Shine’
LC: I started Spark Your Shine - my yoga and coaching brand - because I couldn’t not start it! HA! Yoga and Life Coaching are two of my favorites when it comes to secrets of the universe. Yoga and coaching were both crazy instrumental in helping me to become more me, feel more at peace everyday and just generally more fulfilled and happy! I am sooo excited about giving what I know are the best tools out there for positive transformation and being a human in the world! So, when I found myself ready to make a career shift out of Sales, I knew this was my next calling!
Polite AF: What’s the biggest challenge you’ve personally overcome?
LC: Ooooo! There are so many good ones! BUT one that comes to mind is truly not caring what other people think. I remember asking my coach, “But what if they judge me?” and she was like, “Oh they will for sure judge you!”, I was like “Efffff”. When I really learned deep down that everyone can think whatever they want (duh! right?!?) about me and what they think about me actually has nothing to do with me, I felt soooo free! I stopped trying to control everyone and their opinions (which I couldn’t control anyway) and now I show up so much more authentically. Plus I waste a whole lot less energy. It is the best.
Polite AF: What’s the most rewarding part of what you do?
LC: Coaching. When someone comes back to me and says, you helped me find the love of my life or you helped me finally lose the weight or you helped me be me at work. One of my clients JUST told me yesterday that she got engaged thanks to our work and her big goal of finding her soulmate!!! That fills me with all kinds of warm fuzzies. I come home at least every other day gushing to my husband at how much I love this work.
Polite AF: And the most difficult?
LC: As my business grows and I take it more online, I am signing up for more challenges around bookkeeping and tech stuff which makes my blood boil. I have to choose to welcome all of it and hire, hire, hire the people that actually like this stuff!
Polite AF: Helping people find their true selves and their true calling is a big undertaking - how do you personalize this for each person.
LC: My clients usually have something specific they want to work on, whether it is finding their ideal body weight, creating the most magnificent dream job or mending their relationship with their Self. We start there and customize a plan that usually includes a daily practice, homework, really juicy questions during our sessions and I teach them “spiritual tools” they can pull from on a daily basis depending on what they are working on.
It is kind of like if you went to a personal trainer, some clients might want to slim down, some might want to build muscle, some might want to get a great ass, for each scenario (if they got a good trainer ;)), the trainer would create a specific plan and they would get to work!
Polite AF: Is there a common theme that comes up for clients?
LC: Lately I have been noticing I have a lot of women that want to feel less stressed, less overwhelmed, less at the effect of the world, less anxious. I am also currently building a very specific program for new moms that are breastfeeding that want to lose weight which is super fun and helpful!
Polite AF: What’s your best advice for someone who’s looking to take the next step on their personal growth journey?
LC: Hire a coach! It is literally the best investment you can make. More than your car, your house, your bank account, honestly if you manage your mind and invest in your mind then you can literally have it all. Also, sit with yourself for at least 5 minutes a day and journal or talk into your phone and empty your brain, do not edit, just get out all the thoughts in there. LIFE CHANGING!!
Polite AF: Anything else you’d like to share?
LC: Um I love you. I love what you are putting out into the world. I think you are helping and changing the lives of more humans that you know! I love your porch bed and porch swings. I love your huge beautiful smile. Am I starting to sound creepy? But really, I love you so much.
Laura, I love you, too! You are so uplifting, inspiring and genuine. Thank you for the opportunity to interview you and work with you!
SURPRISE! Laura is GIVING a free mini-session to the first TEN Polite As Fudge readers to respond. Simply send her an email email@example.com with the subject “Polite As Fudge” and let her know you’d like to do a mini-session.