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How I Fell in Love with Coaching

I was introduced to Life Coaching while working at the Omega Institute back in 2006. Here I was immersed in a great community, doing work that served a higher purpose. But I was lost, disconnected from the core essence of myself, mired in endless details, feeling overly responsible for everything and everyone, and frankly burnt out. I was offered a chance to work with Win, a Co-Active Life Coach who was brought in to support the staff on campus.

My first assignment was to say “No” at least 5 times between that session and the next the following week. It was so eye-opening to learn how hard this was for me. I had given myself absolutely no space to play, and express my creativity, and it was all due to my terrible boundaries and prioritizing everyone and everything before me first.

Win was a gentle and supportive man, who surprisingly was a former Marine. This military edge didn’t really make itself known, except now that I know coaching a little more, I would say this attributed to his ability to bottom line, or cut the chase and point out that thing that I was avoiding saying or doing. He had an open curiosity that made me feel safe and helped deepen the coaching. He was also an excellent model of championing, showing me all my strengths and capability in spite of feeling overwhelmed and exhausted.

Eight years later, in spring of 2014, I began my CTI Life Coach training. I was wrapping up a 6 year job working as an office manager at a wellness center in Woodstock. That job had put me in touch with service on a deeper level, and I saw the suffering and the need for transformation that is possible with coaching. Even though I didn’t call it coaching, I was often having “coachy” conversations with clients as they left the Chiropractor’s exam room. Deep emotions would surface, and the front desk where I sat was a gateway to the rest of the “real world” that lay waiting. When the doctor I worked for announced he was retiring, I realized that I wanted to have my name on the placard. I wanted to be my own boss. For years I had been searching for that thing known as “a calling”. Having experienced the transformative power of coaching for myself personally, and realizing the space I had held for those 6 years at the wellness center, I knew it was time to OWN IT. I dedicated myself to the path of coaching and signed up for all 5 core courses at once.

The first course really pushed me beyond my comfort zone, but I fell in love with the group and knew I had found home. Then, in the most shocking way, the universe answered my proclamation with a breast cancer diagnosis just 3 weeks after I began. I had to stop everything and endure a very painful double mastectomy and 5 months of chemotherapy. I was terrified and couldn’t see any kind of life beyond surgery and treatment. My entire identity was stripped and turned inside out.

I would return to the fold in May of 2015, just 4 months after treatment ended. In spite of having the rug ripped out from under me, the minute I sat back in that circle, and reconnected to this life altering work, I knew this was my path. My heart had grown with resilience and pumped up fresh wisdom from a well of compassion previously unknown to me. I found a direct line to the eternal part of myself that had pounded the drum to deliver me there. By the end of the second course I had rededicated myself to the vision of Co-Active Coaching.

CTI, or The Coaches Training Institute, has been called “The Harvard of Coaching”. What I love so much about the Co-Active model is that the relationship between coach and client is like a dance that is designed to hold the vision of the client’s best possible self at the pinnacle, and continually gives all the power back to the client in service of forwarding and deepening the coaching. The underlying belief is that each person, no matter where they are in life, is Creative, Resourceful and Whole. Each of us has all the answers and wisdom inside of us, and a good coach will ask the right questions to help bring that insight to the surface. Co-Active coaching helps you focus on goals and outcomes that speak to your core values, bringing greater balance and fulfillment to your life and will create accountability to bring you into alignment with the best version of yourself.

I love sharing the evocative and transformative growth that Co-Active coaching inspires. If you are interested in learning more or would like to sign up for a complementary sample session, email me at:, or click here.

Are you ready to stop quietly dreaming about the life you desire, and begin actively living it?

Melissa Eppard lives in the beautiful Hudson Valley, NY area with her young son and talented musician husband. After overcoming breast cancer in her mid-30's, she knows that nothing is guaranteed in life. As a Personal Life Coach she has made it her mission to ignite the spark of purposeful living and creative fire in everyone she meets.

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