HEY THERE, STORYTELLER!
Nearly 16 years ago, I became a figurehead for the community after I played the gay kid from School of Rock. At the time - and for many years following - I did everything I could to escape that image because of outer and inner homophobia experienced at the young age of 11. For most of my life, all I wanted was to be normal and unassociated from this responsibility that I felt I had been given that I didn’t ask for. Now at 27, I have very quickly learned the power of authentic storytelling. I didn’t know the significance of what I did as a child or how freeing it would be if I stopped running from who I was.
I’m now running in the opposite direction. I use every aspect of what I do to encourage other people to love themselves and share their stories because I know now how important it is. The only thing in the way of the story we want to share is the story we are telling ourselves. I help my clients love themselves with a love that is inclusive of all aspects of their story. To have any other point of view besides love for what is your true self would be an argument against reality. All the clichés are true - you are enough, you are already perfect, and you are not alone. How is your view of yourself limiting you and what is on the other side of that?
For most of my life, I didn’t think happiness was an option for me. I now operate from a place of general contentment nearly every day. But don’t just take it from me, it’s been psychologically and neurologically proven that we have the ability to change the story we are telling ourselves. Once I truly accepted the fact that I am worthy of presenting my authentic self to the world, my life changed. Resources flooded the path in front of me. I’ve come a long way from the day when I thought there were no options other than to change. I’d love it if no one ever felt like that ever again.
HOW DO YOUR CLIENTS VIEW THE WORLD?
When the story you’re telling yourself is that you are wrong or that you are not good enough, you tend to look at the world and those in it with a desire for validation. Unfortunately, none of the answers we are looking for are outside of ourselves. We are the authors of our story. Not realizing that can cause the world to feel a bit like game-play – how do I survive? Where do I fit in? What moves will advance me? And often we choose the wrong thing. We are not naturally inclined towards happiness because it’s hardly been part of our story so far. The fact of the matter is that we tend to crave sadness because it’s all we’ve known. Once you begin to love yourself, your cravings and the way you view the world changes.
WHEN DO THEY NEED YOU?
I can’t change anyone. There has to be somewhat of an awareness that it is you who is getting in your own way. Taking responsibility for and ownership of that will be empowering once we get into the work. But clients need to be committed to facing that.
WHAT DOES A CLIENT’S SUCCESS DEPEND ON?
We can’t underestimate the power of a negative narrative, especially if it’s something you’ve lived with your entire life. There’s no switch to flip. To accept, love, and share our authentic selves is a full-time commitment. Much like in physical therapy, where you have to work weak muscles in order to strengthen them to match their overcompensating counterparts, we need to work the part of our mindfulness that is out of whack and in need of some build-up. Coaching is a great way to open that door. A coaching relationship is a very cool and supportive thing, providing you with a unique, outside perspective. But make no mistake you must be prepared to dedicate your time and energy. Show up ready to work and I’ll take care of the rest.
HOW WILL YOUR CLIENTS GET TO WHERE THEY WANT TO GO? WHAT IS YOUR PROCESS?
This is a bit of a tough question because every client requires a fresh approach. The end goal is for you to love yourself and share your story but everyone’s means to that end is going to look a little different. The first step is to expose the narrative that is causing you discomfort. If, after our initial consult, I don’t think I can help you I will tell you. If I choose to work with you it means that I feel confident that I can meet you where you are and walk with you as you learn to love and share your story.
WHAT HAPPENS BETWEEN SESSIONS TO MAINTAIN MOMENTUM?
Clients are often given homework – reading assignments, things to watch, things to think about, writing exercises – with the goal being repetition. Positivity needs to be brought in consistently if we are going to combat the negative storm we’ve been facing. I’m also available to my clients at all times via text message and I respond as able.
WHAT NEW CAPABILITIES DO YOUR CLIENTS GAIN?
My clients gain the ability to cope better and to choose contentment in place of suffering. Suffering turns out to be optional once we’re on what I like to call “the other side.” When we’re living in the shade of our negative story it can be hard to see the sunlight but that doesn’t mean that the sunlight isn’t there. What if we could feel and experience the shade but step into the sunlight anyway?