“How do I know you’re legitimate, that you’re not just taking my money?” It was our second executive coaching session, sitting across from each other in the sunlight at a charming little outdoor cafe in Exeter, NH. Amanda had attended my ALL IN Retreat the week before, surrounded by a forest of red pines and paper birches, rolling lawns cradling massive contemporary art sculptures and water fountains. Her natural skepticism had melted in the first hour of what proved to be a life-changing weekend for everyone. Before the retreat was over, she had decided to coach with me.
And here we were eleven days later, her habitual skeptic popping in to question my credibility. I was amused and at the same time, very excited by her throw-down question. Looking directly into her eyes, I answered her calmly, “You don’t.”
Her face flashed surprise and the skeptic briefly stepped aside. Of all answers, she had never expected this one. I knew why. Amanda was accustomed to a world where everyone has agendas that they use to justify getting what they want in some way–even if they believe it’s well-intentioned. She had lived in a world of transactional relationships–’I give you what you want, and you give me what I want.’
In fact, what she was really looking for was something real. Someone real. She wanted to find some integrity and authenticity that would prove to her that she was alright, acceptable, safe. That someone could guarantee her the solid outcomes, real transformations, and consistency. In effect, she wanted someone else to promise truth and results in what they offered her.
It seems legit, right? Haven’t we all been there? Whether it was our parents, our partner, our closest friend, a client, a business venture, a financial investment? We want certainty. And we mistakenly place that expectation in someone else’s hands. Amanda was trying to understand the ‘transaction’ between us, to figure out if she was going to get the transformation and change she was paying for. –To figure out if she was safe in taking this risk and huge leap in her life to work with me.
And I did not reassure her. To do so would have been a disservice to both of us. When I calmly told her, “You don’t,” for a brief shining moment her ego with all its uncertainty, self-doubt and fear, fell to the side. She looked back at me naked now, and open. I continued, “There is no way you can know. And anyone who defends their legitimacy by promising you certainty is not trustworthy themselves. They want you to follow them and believe them rather than trusting yourself.”
The walls inside her fell, then. As I continued to tell her that I did not need to prove myself to her or anyone, I explained that the only person I had to prove my credibility to was myself. And, I told her, my credibility with myself was based wholly on my relationship of integrity and trustworthiness with me, not her. I didn’t want her to trust me in making this decision, I wanted her to trust herself. This was the work we would do together. I wouldn’t be her guru, I would walk next to her making sure that she learned to turn to herself for her own clarity, and to trust her own answers and direction. I explained that I measured my success with my clients, in part, on how firmly and consistently they could return to themselves and trust themselves in all areas of their lives.
Our work together since that time has taken us across states and oceans, a dark night of the soul, and into life transformations that fulfilled our heart’s greatest desires! In my life of teaching self-awareness and inner sovereignty, it is a gift to watch another’s commitment, perseverance and emergence into their greater consciousness and self-acceptance.
The work I’ve been leading for the past 23 years is challenging simply because we have to sit with ourselves and do it. And we as humans tend to avoid sitting with ourselves to hear what we have to say–and then act on that insight.
I’ve been humbled over and over as I’ve watched Amanda bring herself down her own path to become a mentor, coach and teacher who sees herself, and who listens to her heart and her own integrity over the noise that surrounds all of us every day. The most trustworthy teachers are those who continue their own learning, who make themselves vulnerable as beginners to what is next on their path. It’s very easy to gain mastery in something and then hold that authority in a superior way over others. The harder trick is to move through the ego’s need to be validated and to instead lead and teach our mastery while continuing as a student intent upon our own path. This is what makes Amanda so trustworthy to lead the Core Self Discovery work and to teach and mentor those who commit themselves to their own path of deep self-acceptance.
Amanda comes from a background of hard work, dedication, and being true to one’s word. Her life has taken her from the beaches of upper New England, to teaching kids at an inner city high school in Florida, to a highly successful corporate career in finance, to walking away from her life-script entirely and traveling the world without a plan. Upon returning, she became an ERYT 200 Hour Registered Yoga Instructor, began learning and practicing deep meditation with a teacher, started our coaching work together. From this new beginning, Amanda launched her own financial coaching practice working with clients on personal mindfulness and health in their finances and in life. Her podcast, Untapped Power, can be found here: https://amandastrojny.com/podcast!
She soon after began the journey of Core Self work that she and I have taken together and became one of my first Certified Core Self Discovery Coaches. And now I am thrilled to announce our collaboration on October 4th as we launch the Self-Awareness Collective: a community supporting our daily practice, turning our knowledge into more actualized living!
Together, we are bringing a simple and easy way for everyone to pursue their own Core Self work, to learn from others, and to have a personally knowledgeable and experienced guide to support them.
I am thrilled to be on this next journey of the Core Self with Amanda and the growing benefit this work and this community will bring to all who choose it!
If you’d like to join Amanda and I for our special kick-off event on Wednesday, October 4, 9pm ET / 6pm PT, we warmly welcome you to register here!
And wherever you find yourself today in your own inner journey, may you have peace and all your heart requires.