WHAT MAKES MY HEART SING?
Seeing families strengthened as they engage and connect with one another. Strong families impact God`s kingdom.
Personal and academic life coaching changes the world; one student to one family 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 outside 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 know who I was; 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 educating our sons and together with 8 dogs, 1 bird, 2 cats, 2 ducks, 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.
In fact, to this day our sons tell us various stories that I`m pleased we didn't actually know about back then! One of the stories that comes to mind is when they almost fell off the high rocks in our yard helping each other maneuver these obstacles. God`s guardian angles were certainly working overtime!
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 "..in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God and the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus,“I try to embrace difficult changes and challenges as I view my circumstances through these life perspectives which have helped me cope during tough times.
We have moved at least 20 times in our married 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 over yet?
And I continue to dream of Africa and the wild days and a very privileged and blessed upbringing for our sons......... 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 sons pursued their interests and today two of them have their own online businesses in web design and film/media. We encouraged them to become entrepreneurs, to find their passion and to be life long learners.
As our sons 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 coaching, like changing limiting thoughts 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 choose. We need to think well in order to live well. Transformation comes with the renewing of our minds and coaching is big on addressing mindsets.
Through life’s difficulties, we can either stay where we are or grow in self-awareness and mature in character. As we reflect on who we are in Christ, we view all our relationships through the lens that God creating us for relationship with him first.
But inner change takes time and patience. I've listened to the negative thoughts 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 moved through these experiences, sometimes gracefully, sometimes not. I`m still on this journey and I`m a work in progress.
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 gone before 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 how to make choices according to their values. Students begin to understand their personalities, strengths and gifting and this helps them change perspectives, make better decisions, improve relationships and become more self-directed and successful in all areas of their lives.
I would love to connect with you sweet family, parent, friend or student. I coach parents to be coach parents to help their teens be more self-directed learners who take ownership.
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:)
During my homeschooling days of teaching our three sons, I discovered that two of them were experiencing 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. Our young adult sons are all over 21 now, and I prepared them for college and beyond. I have experience and skills from preschool to elementary school to high school to college. I have taught high school 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, home education, catering, running my own business, marketing and sales, being a mum, mentor, tutor, adviser, speaker, coach and coming alongside my own children has given me the tools and skills necessary to support other families and young adults.
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 career coach, academic life coach, parent coach and an ACC ICF coach. The international coach federation is the gold standard for coaching that oversees coaching programs in maintaining high standards set by the ICF organization.
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.
Parents: Join a supportive parent membership community with workshops on “The Coach Parent Mindset.” Learn how to be a coach parent and support your teenagers in home education. Tell them less and ask them more. It`s about coaching, instead of managing. Build relationship and launch self-directed, capable and connected young adults.
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.
Go here for individual parent coaching.