I have been implored on numerous occasions that I consider blogging about my life and work. I was hesitant to do so, because I wondered what I had to say. I needed to wrestle with the fact that I have a voice, that what I know is useful and adds value, and that I have experienced events, feelings, and thoughts that others will also experience and possibly even find useful or comforting. There is something of value that comes with shared experiences. It is a bond, a connection that happens, whether a person has known someone for a lifetime or just a moment, shared experience and the knowledge that another person has felt the same way gives comfort, gives understanding, and reminds us that we are not alone.
My desire for this blog moving forward is to provide information, whether personal or passed along from another source, that might be of some use, impart a sense of peace, or a way for you to examine aspects of your life that you might be able to pass along to others or make a connection to. With that said, I would like to share just a bit of why I do what I do, and what lead me there.
I played soccer starting at the age of 4, following in my brothers’ footsteps. As I got older, I found myself loving the sport so much, and seeing the value in it from many perspectives (intellectually, physically, interpersonally). I had a series of coaches from when I was in high school through college that challenged me at a high level to be intentional with my actions. Their challenge was not to move unless I knew where I was going, not to pass unless I was sure where the ball was going, and not to just play, but step onto the field with passion and purpose.
After college I moved to Colorado from Oregon, and I landed a job with an outdoor education nonprofit. Their specialty was experiential education. Learning by doing, then reflecting on the doing, and then doing something about it. I realized how much I loved this process. I loved seeing people pause, stop to look around, and have these “ah-ha” moments because of powerful questions I would ask and challenge them to reflect upon for further insight and movement. Much of coaching encompasses this concept.
Four and a half years into my time living in Denver, I made a career change. My musically talented brother and sister in law just had an adorable little girl and were in need of a traveling nanny to come with them on the road. They asked me if I would do the honors, and with some initial hesitation, I decided to take the leap into the unknown and leave my comfortable life in Denver, for a season of constant change and movement.
Less than a week into my new job, a family crisis arose. My oldest brother was diagnosed with stage 4 colo-rectal cancer. The next 11 months included a hard fought battle for my brother that he eventually lost. Through that experience, I gained a wealth of knowledge, compassion, capacity to love those who are hurting and in pain, and the ability to function in a time of crisis. I also learned how to receive. I learned how to say no, to ask for help, to just sit and be. I’m still learning how to grieve, and how that looks different at different times. I would say I am more comfortable talking about death now, and more comfortable just sitting in silence as well.
The past three years have been an incredible season of growth for me, and out of that was born my passion for Life Coaching. A ripple effect from my experience with being intentional in the athletic arena, being reflective and aware in the outdoor education realm, and experience tragedy personally, I have a passion to see individuals find their purpose, live their lives with intention, and love the life they live.
I would love to have a conversation with you if any of this hits home, or if you’re interested more in the process of Life Coaching. It is my passion, my vocation, and the thing that I know I am made to do!
I’m so proud of you for starting your coaching blog, Jes. I’m looking forward to reading more of your insights about life and the wisdom you’ve gleaned through your experiences and your walk with the Lord.
Having more experience with family and friends who grieve “privately,” I’m impressed with the way the Heller family grieves externally and teaches the rest of us that, because life brings tragedy, grieving is a “normal” part of life and nothing to hide.
Love to read about your journey Jess… you are a true inspiration.. much love and blessings on your journey futher on… keep up the goooood work…love from Denmark
Thanks so much, Kristina!