I’m here for radical honesty infused with deep care and empathy. I believe in the potential and brilliance of all of my clients, including all the messy, weird, stubborn, scared sides that we usually want to hide away.
I don’t see these as problems to be fixed so that you can finally just GET THERE. I see them as signposts towards a way of living or being that will suit you better and treat you better.
Dealing with complex change and transition is a major life skill, and one that we generally expect ourselves to figure out.
Change happens unexpectedly though, and it doesn’t wait until we’re ready. At other times, we’re desperate for something to transform, but we watch ourselves stay put in an underwhelming status quo.
If dealing with transitions and change was a purely intellectual process, we’d be great at it. We often understand exactly what goals and action steps it would take to reach a certain destination.
Imagine if applying more willpower, pushing ourselves with a b**tch of an inner-critic or repeating positive affirmations every day were fit for the task. We’d all be living the dream (whatever that is).
But being human is weird. We’re full of unconscious forces, deeply lodged beliefs and (what appears to be) self-sabotage. We get confused, overwhelmed, unmotivated. We often do the exact opposite of what we decide to do.
It turns out life is paradoxical, chaotic, painful and glorious. We can’t control it. But we can change the way we experience it, how we make sense of it and who we are becoming.
What do we do in coaching then?
It can be comforting (and socially acceptable) to believe that you have a problem with productivity, time-management or prioritisation.
To think that the solution is to get over yourself, pull your socks up or push through. (Note: if anyone says these phrases in a session with me, there will be a pause for compassionate reframe).
While extra effort can bring in more structure and willpower to get things done, the wins tend to be short-lived and unsustainable.
I’m a fan of working. I love getting shit done and being active in the world, and I love supporting my clients to make plans and put new projects into action.
But I prefer action that’s fuelled by compassion rather than willpower, because that’s what actually works.
You might hit all your goals in coaching, and you might change your mind entirely and feel a lot more alive as a result.
Key phases of the coaching process...
Unearthing and observing the beliefs and conditioning that are no longer supporting you.
We don’t break your patterns, overcome them or ‘get rid of’ them. That kind of language sets up a system where one part of you is against the other, which doesn’t support change. We build awareness, we explore where these older paradigms are holding you back.
There may be thoughts, feelings or patterns that feel negative and useless, but we build a genuine relationship with them.
We approach ‘blocks’ with curiosity, because they were always created from a need to survive, to create safety or to maintain connection (even the ones that seem utterly illogical, annoying or destructive).
Often people feel like if they spend time focusing on what’s not working, it will hold them back even more. I find that the opposite is true – by paying close attention, we can get to the roots and come up with healthier strategies that meet your needs more fully.
- Harsh, self-critical thoughts that loop whenever you’re preparing for a presentation at work. You end up feeling nervous and don’t communicate as well as you could.
- Avoiding really important tasks, putting them off until the last minute and feeling stressed and uncomfortable about it the whole time.
- Thinking on repeat about conversations you’ve had, dissecting what you and others said and what it might mean.
In all these cases, we explore the wisdom inherent in the ‘problem’ and find ways to slowly interrupt the habitual, automatic patterns.
Listening for who you are and what is yours to discover.
In releasing the grip of outdated modes of thinking and being, there’s more space to explore.
Here we bring curiosity and exploration to seeing what bubbles up. This is different from deciding who you want to be and how you think you want your life to pan out. It’s partnering with your body, your current reality, your unconscious to learn about your inner world.
It’s an adventure into the dynamics, images and selves that make you who you are. You might call it vision or a sense of purpose, although it comes from the inside out and doesn’t tend to arrive in the form of a job description or a straightforward plan.
- Knowing that your current work situation isn’t right for you, but not having a sense of what you really want.
- Having ticked certain boxes of achievement (or consistently failed to tick them), you’re exploring your own values and beliefs, beyond societal expectations.
- Your sensitivity and empathy seem to hinder more than they help, you’re disillusioned by what feels like a battle with your own nature.
Building a relationship with yourself based on compassion and acceptance.
This can sound wishy washy from the outside, but it’s actually a hardcore practice.
To develop self-compassion is to overcome the criticism, harshness and shame that are in its way.
It’s not all about passivity or niceness either: sometimes the compassionate thing is to have a firmer boundary, to express yourself more clearly or bring solid commitment into a given situation.
Sometimes it’s to let yourself rest, or to listen to your body even when it’s scary for your mind to slow down.
- Your inner perfectionist has you working long hours to make sure the things you do are good enough.
- You want to be more healthy but you’re stuck in a loop of high standards, sabotage and self-punishment.
- You’re stressed and wrung out, you know you need to adjust your lifestyle, but you can’t see how it’s possible.
Doing it differently: taking action and making new choices.
I’m not against setting goals or making plans, it’s been a big part of my career as a strategic marketer and coach. I just know that plans don’t work until the conditions are right.
If we push right past the internal work to try to get what we think we want, the outcomes tend to be shallow, short-lived or non-existent.
To take external steps that we can sustain, we need to include even the most resistant and scared parts of us in our process.
I’m not saying you can’t do anything new or make any plans until you’ve sorted out all your issues, otherwise we’d never get anything done at all.
But there’s a natural movement between internal and external that can provide ample fuel and motivation for your ideas and plans, and that’s the place of new energy and unexpected outcomes.
- When you’ve changed your relationship with visibility and creativity, your marketing becomes consistent and you don’t need to plan it rigidly.
- By developing healthy boundaries and clear communication, your work becomes less stressful and you choose your next career move from a positive foundation.
- You’re overwhelmed by the many responsibilities you have at work. Rather than just working harder or stating rigid boundaries, you develop ways of noticing and communicating that ease the pressure naturally over time.
- You want to leave your job, but you can’t find the courage or clarity to move on. By building a relationship with the aspects who want to keep the safety of the job, you feel stable enough for a more exciting vision to emerge.
What's it like to work with me?
"The coaching with Christina has given me the confidence and self-belief to say and do what I believe with conviction. It’s shown me that there are no barriers to where I can take myself, that I can stop doubting myself or procrastinating because there are no failures, just lessons learned! Christina is ingenious in the way she can help draw out the obstacles and help someone to find their own answers."
"I highly recommend Christina. She is an amazing coach who holds the space in a calm and safe way. She is also capable of recognising your needs and directing the sessions accordingly."
"The work we did together felt effortless and empowering. I now have access to a new-found inner confidence that I can access on my own any time I choose. Christina’s an amazing, highly skilled coach with a capacity to steer change in the most gentle, non-intrusive way."