Would it Be Alright with You if Life Got Easier?

In my first blog (!!!) I wanted to share why I became a coach, and pose a powerful question to ask yourself that can create subtle but powerful shift which opens new possibilities.

This September and October in the Jewish calendar we encounter the Days of Awe: a time of renewal, return and reconnection.  The 10 days between Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year) and Yom Kippur (the day of atonement and return) are called the Days of Awe because of their immense spiritual power. It is a time to let go, to take stock, to return to our essential nature, to who we really are beneath all our worries, doubts, opinions and social conditioning. 

On Yom Kippur we make teshuva, which means “to return.” We name the ways we have missed the mark, and pray to return to a good life where we act in line with who we really are in our hearts. I’ve been thinking a lot about the days of awe in my coaching work. I am a coach for social change leaders, and every day I hear clients discuss their most precious goals, dreams and visions for what their life could be, for the impact they want to make. This week I was reflecting on coaching sessions as a form of teshuva: returning to the threads that hold the most meaning, taking action based on seeing what matters most and what we’re really capable of, trusting we’re here for a reason. 

Fall marks the end of the Jewish year and marks a powerful time of reflection and intention setting.

Fall marks the end of the Jewish year and marks a powerful time of reflection and intention setting.

As the Days of Awe approach I’ve been reflecting on my life the last few years, and the choices I’ve made. I never thought I’d be a life coach. Even as I was getting started last year, the thought of calling myself a coach nauseated me, stirring up so many insecurities, and doubts.  I assumed my friends would think I was arrogant to become a life coach. I don’t have everything in my life figured out, so how could I coach others? “Aren’t life coaches narcissistic, self-obsessed manipulators who con people out of their money, anyway? I’d better not try this,” I would tell myself. 

But then I took some time to reflect, and talk with close friends. I realized that my opinion about coaches was inaccurate and didn’t point to anything true about professional coaching. I heard from friends that they found so much support in talking through challenges with me and would be happy for me to get trained to offer that support professionally. I thought about all the organizers and activists I know struggling with burnout and overwhelm. I wondered how much longer I would see them struggle, with nothing to offer. I heard a compassionate, gentle voice within me urge me on, reminding me that coaching was a very bold next step to continue to support social movement leaders and agents of change. Fast forward 6 months and I was in a coach training program learning a model of coaching that I love and believe in. 

We hear the word “coach” thrown around a lot these days. But what does a professional coach actually do? I was recently certified by the International Coach Federation, the global organization that accredits ethical and professional coaches. They define coaching as, “partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential.”

I love this definition as it emphasises partnering with and maximising personal and professional potential, both of which I value in my work with my clients. Coaching isn’t the same as therapy (where the focus is on healing) or consulting (where the focus is on prescribing solutions based on expertise and research.) Coaching is partnering with people to help them see for themselves their own answers for what to do in life’s most tricky and challenging moments.  It is about helping people remember why they are alive and what is dear to them, so they can design games worth playing and goals worth playing for in life. It is a partnership, collaborative, and focused on helping people make real the promise of who they are. 

I became a coach after engaging in activism and social change work for many years. I saw too many people - myself included - struggling with burnout. I saw people overwhelmed, stressed and confused as they sought to contribute to the world. Not making the impact they wanted to make. I started working with a coach myself, where I learned to stop doing things the hard way and focus intentionally on my vision. 

Performing live original music at a house concert last winter. I would not have gotten my shit together to perform this past year without the support of dear friends, as well as coaching principles that help me stay the course when I might otherwise talk myself out of things!

Performing live original music at a house concert last winter. I would not have gotten my shit together to perform this past year without the support of dear friends, as well as coaching principles that help me stay the course when I might otherwise talk myself out of things!


I would like to pose a question to you. A powerful question can change everything.

This is a question my mentor Maria asked me a few years ago, and considering it changed my life. She asked, “would it be alright with you if life got easier?” Consider this question for a moment. Don’t answer right away, really look at it: Would it be alright with you if life got easier?

When she first asked me this, I immediately I got defensive and paranoid. My mind chattered at me all the reasons to run away from this question. “Easier?! What is this woman talking about! The work I’m doing is really hard! That’s just the way it is. She just doesn’t understand how hard I work.” I was miffed. How dare she ask me that! 

However, I came to see later that much of what made my work hard wasn’t just the way it is, it was instead what I was bringing to the party that made it hard: how I was showing up, the mental models I was using to view the world, my ideas and opinions about myself that made me work harder than I needed to. 



With some dear friends at the U.N. Climate Summit 2018 in Poland. It was also through the support of coaching that I decided to embark on a journey to lead a youth delegation to the summit alongside Aneesa with SustainUS.

With some dear friends at the U.N. Climate Summit 2018 in Poland. It was also through the support of coaching that I decided to embark on a journey to lead a youth delegation to the summit alongside Aneesa with SustainUS.

I learned that life can indeed get easier - not easy, because in physical reality everything takes effort and energy to occur, but easier, a sense of ease even when I was giving a lot. I learned to become clear in my underlying intentions for my life, and how to recognize my limiting patterns more quickly, and set them aside without analyzing myself to death, just shifting my attention back to what was important to me.  

I got trained in tools, practices and new ways of helping people construct their view of the world that literally makes things easier. Less wasted time worrying about what will go wrong, less wasted energy trying the same things over and over again that don’t work, not learning or making changes (not that I’ve ever done this myself!! ;) 

So I’ll ask again: Would it be alright with you if life got easier? 

What outdated ways of seeing yourself, others and the world would you need to give up? What would you need to get clear about? What would need to change in what you were bringing to the party of your life for things to get easier?  

As we come into fall it is time to harvest what we’ve learned from the year. My wish for all of you is that you have the support you need to learn from everything that has happened to you this year, that you might bring fresh energy and new perspectives to what awaits you next :)