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Consider three scenarios or "subject positions" that many highly effective professionals, entrepreneurs - and possibly you - may find yourself in:
1) Goal-oriented achiever, but... Maybe you are very sure of your goals, know exactly what you want to be doing and where you want to be in 5 or 10 or 15 years... Maybe there is a single issue or goal that you know is a top priority in your life right now. But you need help getting started, planning, staying the course, navigating obstacles and distractions, assessing risks, resolving fears, staying accountable, managing all the other factors and issues in your life, while sustaining and savoring your progress toward the prize...!
... I have been there...
2) Overwhelmed... or overworked... super-busy professional... Perhaps right now you face a very specific life transition or life decision - a choice, a crisis, a job loss, or a personal loss of some kind... Or maybe you have a cluster of changes, dilemmas, life issues, crises and tough decisions piling up... Life feels out of balance... It is not just one issue it is a whole bunch of issues... How to sort all these out? Where to start? You may face periods of overwhelm or just exhaustion... Success can have a price... Maybe you are overworked, overstressed, trying to please so many others... Maybe you are "done with the bullshit" and wisely want to avoid total burnout... What is the way out? What are the options...? Where is the value...?
... I have been there...
3) Well but wondering... Possibly you are among those who have achieved quite a bit of success toward your career and life goals... all is "on track"... you have "made it" to a great degree... perhaps more than you even expected...! But... you find yourself unsure what is next... Nothing is really "wrong" in your life... a lot is going well... Yet, you feel vaguely discontent, unsatisfied, unsure whether you will or should continue in the current direction. Is this "it" as they say? Perhaps you feel a need to make a change, take a leap... But why? What change or leap would that be? What is the path forward? What new goals do you need or want? What values will govern your choices? You find yourself in an open, exploratory, somewhat uncharted phase of your life journey... pondering various options... possibly too many options...!
... I have been there...
If any of the above scenarios resonate with where you are, I can almost guarantee you will benefit from the realistic perspective and accountability checks from a professional integrative life coach who can listen, pose questions, offer objective feedback, context and guidance.
The above are just 3 of a limitless set of personae or subject-positions. Your particular subject-position is unique to you. Integrative Life Coaching focuses entirely on your unique subject-position and the specific context, situation and conditions you are facing.
We help you become more fully aware of the possibilities and potentials available to you, while increasing your adaptability, agency and resourcefulness in deciding and directing your future.
My own journey is a story of continuous learning, critical thinking, discovery, adaptation, hard work, and repeated reinvention - driven sometimes by necessity, sometimes by choice, sometimes a mix of both. Along the way, I have had to re-explore and re-assess purpose, goals, plans and strategy in relation to the things that make me and my family happy. I have had to question the commonly accepted givens, the values, strategies and well-trodden pathways, and then choose or create a path for myself.
In the process I have had to become good at envisioning realistic goals for fulfillment and satisfaction, charting a path to attaining those goals, navigating obstacles, assessing risks and opportunities... And then, once I and my family have manifested and attained our desired goals, make sure to savor that success... And then figure out what may be next... since the journey or sojourn continues...
At this juncture, among the things that are next is giving back by coaching select clients using a unique integrative and holistic approach...!
Where are you on your life journey? What is top of mind to address right now? Where do you want to be in 2, 5, 10, 15 or 20 years? What are the questions that need answering to decide where you want to go from here? What are the questions to ask now that can get you where you want to be? Or help you discover that if you aren't sure...
People often think the best sources of advice and coaching will be peers and advisors in business, or those who know them best - close friends and family. Sometimes that's true. Sometimes that works.
But sometimes business colleagues, family and close friends know you too well and you know them too well. They have heard all of your material before. And you have heard all of their material before. Patterns of listening and feedback are set. Habits of thought and action are reinforced and enabled. Colleagues, friends and family can give quite a bit of advice and coaching and it's usually free... The price is right.... But is it effective? Is it providing what you really need?
Sometimes you have questions to discuss or deliberate that you would rather not share with family or friends. You would like confidentiality and privacy. Maybe you don't want family or close friends in on your deepest personal struggles, questions and decisions right now. You crave a fresh perspective. You need experienced, knowledgeable, independent counsel free from judgement, assumptions, jumping to conclusions, prior ties, vested interests and so forth.
Sometimes you need a highly experienced, trained, open-minded person who is not a colleague, not a close friend or family member, just for a little while, to provide deep listening, compelling questions, context and suggestions for exploration and thoughtful objective feedback... Someone who can help you on your path for growth along with the rest of your support network.
"Coaches" and "Life Coaches" are a dime a dozen. The title especially of Life Coach is vaunted and yet the bar is very low... Most have no training. Some have taken courses and earned a coaching certificate such as ICF but may lack depth or diversity of experience. Most have zero accredited training in health and wellness, a critical area of life for everyone these days, even before the pandemic.
Scope and Approach: Even the best coaches usually only coach you on one or two issues mostly to do with career change or managing business goals and relationships... Some won't even take you on unless you have your Purpose, Passion and Goals already well defined, or convince them these can quickly get defined within the first session or two...
Many coaches operate from standardized approaches and templates derived from mainstream psychology, coaching academies and self-help industry gurus. Most don't recognize that Purpose or Passion are often not the primary pain points for many busy professionals... These coaches likely won't know or will fail to mention, just for example, the 5 alternatives to Purpose or Passion that can be inspiring drivers of a happy or contented life... and which perhaps could better fit your needs and issues right now...
Such coaches may be helpful as Career or Executive Coaches but may not truly be fully capable as "Life Coaches" even if they insist on using that term...
Integrative Life Coaching means coaching the whole person, helping them improve their whole life, all their life issues. Not just a single issue such as Work or Career... Weight Loss... or Fitness...
Most important, Integrative Life Coaching starts from the premise of Individuality - every Client is different and unique. There is no set or standard formula. A select range of coaching tools, assessment processes and methods may be utilized but these are always customized and adapted to yield results relevant to the special case of each Client. The Client is not treated as a template, or a formula, or a statistic or a data-driven AI construct, but rather a fully unique person.
Integrative Life Coaching holistically addresses all issues and dimensions of the Client's very individual situation and journey across the full 360 degrees of the Circle of Life. Coach and Client work together to address the whole enchilada...!
Integrative Life Coaching thus comprises every facet of the Client's life. These can be thought of in 6 or 8 or 12 or even more categories or slices in the "circle of life". For example think of all life issues grouped in just these six broad categories, as follows:
1) Work and Career / Business
2) Family, Friends, Relationships, Social Life, Community, Intimacy, Love
3) Health and Wellness - movement, nutrition, rest, sleep, leisure, self-care
4) Economic Wellbeing - financial; home and hearth; savings; wealth
5) Personal Development - learning, skills, growth, attitude, mindset
6) Spiritual and Philosophical - reflection, meaning, values, faith, care of the soul
How are you doing in each of these areas? Which area needs focus right now? What other areas are related? Which areas have multiple sub-areas, one or more of which may need special focus in your life?
We start with some assessment tools customized to help you see where you are and how you are doing in all areas of life. Some busy professionals find that things are going well in one or more areas, but poorly or questionably in others. Some start their coaching with a specific goal in work or career, and then realize they need coaching in the other areas... all part of the journey.
There is the official curriculum of life and how to get along in the world, what you are supposed to want and do... And then there is what I call the hidden curriculum. In fact there are many hidden curricula in life. Things taught or learned unconsciously as fixed truths that turn out to be changeable, open, optional... The quiet parts we are not to say out loud... Deeper truths of life and of organizations that are never taught but get learned by surprise or the hard way... Things that turn out to be the opposite of what they seem... False advertising on the wrapper of life's supposed truths...
Mainstream coaches mostly deal with the official curriculum of life and success... That is fine and we can work on that all day long. However, by working with me you will also make discoveries about the hidden curriculum of life... of your life... of your success in today's world.
Living by the script... following the recipe... Fitting In: Perhaps you are (quite understandably) trying to live according to the standard scripts and templates as you have received these. Nothing wrong with that. All you ask is to live up to the typical scenario that has been painted in our society for good people to work hard and achieve personal and family success and happiness. You are trying to fit in. You are trying to achieve goals that have been taught or modeled during your upbringing, in the media, at work, and whenever you look at others who seem "successful" by certain standards... I can help you be more successful with such goals, if that is best for you.
Write your own script, developing your own recipe... Fitting Out: Perhaps you feel you don't fit in, you haven't been fitting in, don't really want to fit in. You may have long suspected (or now suddenly realize) that the standard scripts and templates for many things in life will not work for you, or your family. And so, you may need to focus on strategies for "fitting out" rather than fitting in. Finding and taking the road less traveled... without regret... I can help you with that exploration and discovery so that you define your own success and contentment and develop ways to pursue your goals quite independent of the standard scripts or formulas or templates for life that the dominant narratives put forth.
And of course it's rarely black and white. Most of us do quite a bit of fitting in even as we fit out in many ways... Integrative Life Coaching can help you become more aware of the "hidden curriculum" in your life and all around us, exploring alternatives, empowering you with new freedom, agency and mindful awareness in deciding what really matters in your life planning and decisions.
Background: profiles on my corporate consulting site and on Linkedin:
Education, Cultural Studies, Teaching: I earned a BA in humanities from Yale University, and an MA in cultural studies and critical theory from from Duke University. I am deeply educated and knowledgable about major life areas such as ancient and modern history, anthropology, comparative religion, philosophy, political philosophy, psychology as well as biology and sciences. I have made learning and education a life's work across multiple disciplines. Before moving from academia to industry I taught deep reading, critical thinking, cultural studies and communications to young people at three universities.
Corporate Learning, Development, Design, Innovation: In my commercial career I have worked at high performing technology companies from startup to IPO to very large corporations mostly in human performance, skilling, training and online services. I'm an inventor and product innovator with multiple patents in renewable energy technology. I started and led a profitable P&L business unit at a major technology company, building the worldwide operation to $90 million with over 150 employees and contractors and a large network of partners over 9 years. At this and other companies over two decades in corporate executive roles I completed numerous programs and certificates in management, executive leadership development, team coaching and facilitation, organization development, human systems, and high performing individuals and teams.
Performance, Coaching and Wellness: I am certified by the Society for Human Resource Management as SHRM-SCP their highest level. I completed a year-long program of education, training and workshops in holistic life and wellness coaching at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. I completed the program of education, workshops and practicums in Integrative Health and Wellness coaching at Duke University Integrative Medicine, graduating with a certificate as an Integrative Health and Wellness Coach. Additionally, I am certified by Duke Integrative Medicine as a Certified Integrative Health and Wellness Coach.
Usual and Unusual Jobs: awhile back there was a FB challenge going around to list all one's jobs and gigs other than what one shows on Linkedin or bio profiles. Here in no particular order are some of my other roles:
Dining hall worker and foodservice union member
Industrial photographer and darkroom technician
Camp counselor at a summer camp
Ghost writer for a mad scientist professor
Psychiatric ward staff attendant
Au pair in Paris for the family of a French politician
Construction worker (non-union quota at union site) - rough carpentry, framing
Speechwriter for Provost of a major university
Gardener / landscaper
Law firm go-fer
Training developer for quality control at a semiconductor manufacturer
Asset logger/tagger for a large institution
Writer-historian for a city neighborhood development office
Editorial assistant in a publishing house
Marketing for a sub-sea technology company
Historic home renovator/restorer
Intern at the Associated Press in Paris
Neighborhood cleanup organizer
Fundraising strategy and communications for a major university
Bartender and waiter in a theatre-district fine-dining restaurant
3 months (4 - 6 sessions) - $9,000
6 months (8 - 12 sessions) - $17,000
Values and Life Sentences (6 - 9 Sessions) - $15,000
Couples - Values and Life Sentences - $26,000
Sessions format: video teleconference or f2f, 1 to 2 hours
Includes: email, text and phone support; assessments, tools, handouts, resources.
Virtual Appointments or F2F with Social Distance Safe Practices
"I highly recommend Pete for overall life and health coaching. He’s present with his clients, allowing them the space to be fully heard and understood. Coaching with Pete has helped me gain a bigger perspective on how to balance the myriad of responsibilities in my life during a time of major transition, while still keeping my health as a priority. He helped me see the big picture through the initial upheaval of Covid-19.
"Throughout our sessions I found the motivation and direction I needed to move forward with my health, family, and career goals. Pete was an incredible guide and resource for how to build my own business despite the obstacles. Though this time has been filled with challenges, it has also been a time of growth and transformation for me. With Pete's guidance, I figured out what my ultimate life vision is, my goals, and what I need to focus on to get there. That's the key to real, sustainable change. Having someone on your team is life-changing!"
-- Jessica C. Ob-Gyn Nurse, married, mother of two, Virginia
"Peter was an invaluable mentor and advisor during my 4 years as co-founder of a digital health startup. He coached me in meaningful ways on the business and leadership challenges in running an early-stage venture including: how to build a team, agile product management, fundraising, partnering, and strategy."
--Marguerite R. Engineer, Product Manager, Entrepreneur and Executive, married, mother of two, California
"During my coaching partnership w/ Peter, I felt very valued and understood by how deeply he listens. I benefited from the unique and refreshing guided mindfulness practice he introduced me to, and he also suggested some self-guided activities between sessions that helped increase my self-awareness and create a more empowering self-narrative. Peter's active listening and depth of exploration into my thoughts about my goals helped me to have valuable insights into underlying root causes that had previously been barriers to my success in sustaining behavior change. This literally resulted in liberating paradigm shifts for me. My perfectionistic tendencies often result in downplaying my accomplishments, but Peter's reminders to savor my successes were very validating and helped me to cultivate self-compassion and celebrate my achievements, resulting in more happiness in the present moment and beginning to create more much-needed balance in my life."
-- Jennifer E. Professional Actuarial Auditor and volunteer addiction counselor, divorced, single, Tennessee
"Pete has developed strategies for clients to clarify and highlight what it is they value in their lives, relationships, and careers. His methods help elucidate what it is you find meaningful so you can start your journey to obtaining the things in life that are most essential and hold the deepest meaning for you. Pete's greatest strength is his listening skills. He is deeply invested in his client while listening and strives to really understand those he is coaching. He asks very insightful questions.
"At the start of the coaching cycle, I was at a crossroads and needed clarity regarding my values so I can effectively navigate the next steps in my life and how my career will fit into it. I had questions regarding what exactly my values are and how I wanted to allocate time to each of them so I can lead a more fulfilling life.
"Now, I have more clarity on my values. I find I am much calmer in the face of uncertainty. I am evaluating how I want to be spending my time, asking myself “is this an effective use of my time?” This has been a big shift for me, as often in my medical career my time was taken for granted and I grew accustomed to that feeling.
"Coaching has made me feel competent and that my goals are attainable. Coaching has helped me to demystify what I actually want and bring my goals or aspirations down to earth."
--William V. MD board-certified physician, married, Oakland, CA
"While I was not entirely sure what if anything I would gain from coaching, Pete positively surprised me. By sharing my story, my background and my obstacles, Pete was able to identify areas I could work on in order to achieve my goal in changing careers. Talking about my thoughts and processes has helped a lot, especially talking to someone who does not know me on a personal level. Pete was a thoughtful listener, and gave direct, actionable advice that resonated with me. By implementing several of the key points from our sessions, I feel more at ease in my current work situation, and I feel more confident in moving towards an eventual career change. Thank you!"
--Johan G. Product Designer, Entrepreneur, and Teacher, married, father of two, Oslo, Norway.
"The biggest outcome for me has been an emerging and evolving clarity around my values and how to more fully integrate them into my daily life. Discovering my values and writing out my life sentences has helped make concrete many concepts and insights I’ve had swimming around internally, and articulating them on paper and sharing them with my partner has been a powerful, clarifying process that has invited more purpose into our daily lives.
"A surprising aspect of the values “excavation” process for me has been observing the presence of “shadow values” and the role they play in my life. By keeping them concealed and hidden from myself and my partner, I was giving them a lot more power and influence over my life than I realized. The simple act of articulating and recognizing them is allowing me to observe myself in new ways, and opening up new possibilities for the present and future.
"One of the most significant ways my life has changed as a result of working with Peter is that I feel more connected to meaning and purpose in my everyday life because I can now acknowledge the ways that my actions and decisions are informed (or uninformed) by my values. It definitely adds a new layer of purpose and grounding during a very uncertain time of transition. As a result, daily life feels more soulful and enriching.
"Thank you again for allowing my husband and me to participate in such a beautiful, profound experience. We are continuing to discover all of the layers of meaning this exercise is bringing to our daily lives individually and together. We truly appreciate this magnificent gift!"
--Trish B. MBA, business executive and consultant, married, San Francisco, CA (after couples coaching with husband.)
Best Life and Wellness Coaching
299 2nd St San Francisco, California
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