WHAT MAKES MY HEART SING?
Seeing families strengthened as they engage and connect with one another. Strong families impact communities; strong communities impact nations; strong nations impact the world.
Personal and academic life coaching changes the world; one student to one family to one nation at a time!
Let me share a part of my life with you so that you can get to know me a little better.
Life is an adventure. For me, life has been a living "out of the box” kind of experience. From my early days growing up on a farm in South Africa, I had a deep sense that I wanted to find me; I didn’t want to be like all the other kids; I wanted to be my unique self – authentic and purposeful.
I got married at 23 and we lived in Cape Town, South Africa for about 5 years. When I was 8 months pregnant, my very adventurous husband decided to move to Zimbabwe (his home country) which is in"deepest, darkest Africa,"according to my parents. My pharmacist father thought it wise to kit us out with anti-venom for snake bites and other various medicines so we would have some chance of survival in the unforgiving African bush.
Actually, we did make it to a hospital on three separate occasions after the birth of our three boys and another three emergency visits - a head injury, a broken arm and a very sick child. No snake bite injuries occurred and we did survive life in Africa :)
While home schooling our boys and together with 8 dogs, 1 bird, 2 cats, numerous rabbits and guinea pigs, we experienced an"African safari lifestyle,"camping in the wild with lions, elephants, hyena; witnessing a python strangle our little dachshund; facing a hissing cobra as it darted out of its hole; losing one of our ducks to the same cobra; chasing monkeys away from ravishing all our vegetables; fighting wild fires; climbing huge rocks in our yard; keeping pet scorpions, snakes and lizards; collecting butterflies and observing insects under the microscope; fishing in Zimbabwe`s many dams and much more.
We loved our home school journey. Learning is life. It happens all day long. Real life hands-on, interactive learning helps children make real world connections. Our boys loved learning about science through nature and living in Africa. I came alongside them as we experimented together, read books on our discoveries and learn`t about nature in our own back yard. These times will remain "our golden moments," always to be treasured around building special relationships. Creating experiences produce young adults who are excited about learning, avid problem solvers and critical thinkers.
These were the good times but then Zimbabwe hit some turbulent, political chaos early in the year of 2000.
Through my faith in Christ and coming to realize that "life is an adventure," and “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me,” I try to embrace difficult changes and challenges as I view my circumstances through these life perspectives which have helped me cope during the tough times.
I have moved at least 20 times since my married life (and about 25 times in my whole life) and after this turbulent, political time back home, we moved to the United States in 2013. Since living here, our biggest move has been from the east coast to the west coast. Somehow, I have a feeling that our moving days are not yet over?
And I continue to dream of Africa and the wild days......... maybe one day our paths will meet again and future dreams will be realized.......
With all our moving, our family relationships have remained a priority as we have tried to connect in a new community, not knowing a single soul. We continued our home school journey as our boys pursued their interests and today two of our sons have their own online businesses in web site design and film/media. We encouraged them to become entrepreneurs, to find their passion and to become life long learners.
As our boys grew up into their teen years, my role changed from teacher to coach, as I came alongside them on their journey.They were teaching themselves.
I have learnt many biblical life principles that form the foundation in any life coaching, like changing limiting beliefs into more positive ones. What we think and how we see ourselves plays a big part in how we respond in situations and what actions we decide to take. We need to think well in order to live well. It`s about renewing our minds.
"We don`t see things as they are; we see things as we are." Anonymous
Through life’s difficulties, we can either stay where we are or grow as we seek more self-awareness. Eventually the deep work needs to be done.
But inner change takes time and patience. I've listened to the limiting beliefs in my head; given in to the expectations of others; kept quiet when I should have spoken up and spoken up when I should have listened. I've lost my home that I love; I’ve left my country that I love; I've lived in the past instead of moving on in the present and into the future; I've needed others to listen to my advice. I've moved through these experiences, sometimes gracefully, sometimes not.
Life will not always be easy, but it doesn't have to be overwhelming. I am learning to see myself as God sees me and how He created me to be. I have also learnt from the wisdom of those who have come alongside me and through difficult circumstances that God has used to shape my life.
I wish I had experienced a life coach when I was growing up. I didn`t know how to apply myself to the real world; I had no idea how to study - I used to just memorize the content without understanding and my grades reflected this; I had no life skills; I didn`t take ownership of my learning; I didn`t have a very healthy self-image and lacked emotional maturity.
Life coaching is successful because it enhances inner growth as the coach asks powerful questions that help students reflect and learn more about who they are, where they want to go and why they make the choices they do. Students begin to understand their personalities and motivational styles and this helps them change perspectives, make better decisions, improve relationships and become more productive and successful in most areas of their lives.
I would love to connect with you sweet family, friend or student and young adult. We are in this journey of learning life together!
"Be always unhappy where you are if you want to reach where you are not. If you are pleased with what you are, you have stopped already. If you say, "it is enough," you are lost. Keep on walking, moving forward, trying for the goal." Saint Augustine
With love from my family to yours!
(the photos above show my boys growing up in Zimbabwe and the photo below is our family now. And yes, little boys do have to grow up:)
NOTE: My coaching services or classes offered to charter school students are non-sectarian. I am aware that students come from a variety of religious and non-religious backgrounds and I do not promote one specific view. Because I work in the homeschooling world, I am aware of the importance of religious faith to many of my students. All worldviews, belief systems, and religious perspectives are respected.
During my homeschooling days of teaching my three boys for 15 years, I discovered that two of them were experiencing some learning difficulties. So I went back to studying and completed a remedial teachers training for special needs (dyslexia, ADHD, ADD) and helped other children in the community with learning challenges. My boys who are now 19, 21 and 23 years, have all completed their "high school education" and I have prepared them for college and beyond. So essentially I have experience and skills from preschool to elementary school to high school to college. I have taught teen workshops on life skills, study skills, business and entrepreneurial skills, technology safety and apologetics.
Besides having a degree in Food Service Management and having worked in the hospitality industry for six years and owned my own catering company, I realize that my personal experience with remedial teaching, homeschooling, catering, running my own business, marketing and sales, being a mum, mentor, tutor, adviser, speaker, coach and coming alongside my own adult children has given me the tools and skills necessary to support other families and young adults so that families can enjoy more connection during these challenging times in life.
I also enjoy keeping myself fit and healthy and I have run many marathons, including the comrades ultra-marathon (91 km race in South Africa), and participated in many canoe marathons including the Duzi marathon in South Africa. This is a 3 day canoe race where in some places you need to run with your boat on your shoulders and in some parts this portage could be as long as 15 km, depending on the water level. In the past, I have also enjoyed taking part in a few triathlons and given spin classes at a local gym. Apart from sport, I enjoy researching health and natural medicine alternatives like homeopathy and essential oils.
I am a certified academic life coach having completed my training with Coach training edu that is certified with the international coach federation - the gold standard that oversees coaching programs in maintaining high standards set by the ICF. So the standards that I adhere to are according to the ICF through Coach training edu.
Academic life coaching offers students an opportunity to discover who they are, where they want to go, and improve self-confidence as they learn more about themselves and apply new techniques, learning over 32 different life skill tools and applying these in every area of their lives. John A Williams is the developer of the academic life coaching program and his results over the years have been proven to work. Learn more here.
And there`s more! I have a life prep curriculum for high school students that develops growth mindsets, builds resilience & grit, improves motivation, and more - this curriculum builds their confidence, and gives them more clarity and direction for their transition into career or vocation.
Go here to learn more about coaching high school students and young adults.