‘Grafting’ is a word used to describe the process of taking a branch from one tree and connecting it with another tree to duplicate its future growth. What a perfect metaphor of our intention as we move from the campus SWIHA has enjoyed for almost 15 years to a new location in Tempe, Arizona. We want to take the ‘positive light’ from the halls of the campus and the hearts of all the staff, instructors and students to our new location just a few miles away. We’ve decided to coin the term ‘spiritual grafting’ to affirm our intention to take what SWIHA has been and done over the last 26 years —transferring and re-growing our ‘Light’!
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“Who do you know who is fully expressed in their boldness and bravery?” If this was a survey question asked of those on the college campus of Southwest Institute of Healing Arts, Richard Seaman’s name would, without a shadow of a doubt, be on the top of the list. Richard is bold and brave! As a longtime coach and the lead Life Coach Instructor for the college, Richard is committed to teaching others to be brave using a coaching model he has created using the acronym B.R.A.V.E.
Apprehensive! Nervous! Excited! Empowered! This was the range of emotions I experienced as I did my first LIVE Facebook coaching session as a part of SWIHA’s 31 Days of 31 Minutes of Life Coaching. My topic was 5 Ways to Connect with Spirit, and my “ah-ha” was that the ways we connect with Spirit are the exact same ways we prepare to do a LIVE Facebook gig… and the same steps it takes to fully show up in life in a very “alive” way! In retrospect, going LIVE was just a metaphor! Let me explain…
To go L.I.V.E. you must first LEAN IN!
The title of Life Coach is about learning to “lean in” to your life in a very real and vulnerable way. To be a good coach, you must have a real life– one which goes through the full spectrum of emotions. There will be times when you are apprehensive, nervous, excited, and even empowered! As a coach, the more human, vulnerable, and real that you are willing to be, the more you can be of service to others.
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Sarah Whiton has been writing in a journal since she was about eight years old. As a child, she remembers having diaries with a lock and key, thick volumes in which she hid away her secrets, her heartbreaks, and all her big dreams. Sarah kept a journal through the rough times in her life, the transitions, and the big changes; she wrote through her fears and recorded the achievements of countless goals. Before she had a life coach—or ever became a life coach—a journal played a powerful and important role in her life. It gave her the ability to look within, to be honest with herself, and to fully understand one of the primary principles of life coaching: we already have the answers within.
Sarah is now a Life Coach and a certified personal trainer who is passionate about inspiring and encouraging others to cultivate self-acceptance, awareness, personal peace, and happiness in the pages of their journal. In her very straightforward way, Sarah shares, “While it’s great to work directly with a Life Coach, your journal is the next best thing! I consider journaling self-coaching!”
According to Life Coach and meditation teacher Bill Gisclair-Sullivan, authenticity requires practice: “It is a conscious choice that we must make about how we want to live our lives every day. It is a collection of our choices and decisions, and it requires us to show up, be present in the moment, and to be honest with ourselves.”
The truth is that authenticity usually has to be re-learned because so much of our lives have been spent mastering the many masks we think we must wear to be approved of or to fit into what we imagine is expected of us. A quote from Coach Bill’s website captures his life coaching mission, which emphasizes how we can step into our truest self: "Authenticity is the daily practice of letting go of who we think we're supposed to be and embracing who we truly are."
Bill is so passionate about this work because it mirrors his own life journey. “It took me many, many years to discover my authenticity,” Bill explains. “I spent most of my adult life working in management in the hospitality field. After making some dramatic mistakes and trying to climb the corporate ladder, I lost some important parts of myself along the way.”
Melissa Colton is a licensed mental health counselor, psychotherapist, and life coach whose favorite quote is that of Carl Jung’s: "You are not what happened to you. You are what you choose to become!" It seems that Melissa herself embodies this quote. Though a lot may have happened to her, she has chosen to re-invent herself each step of the way.
Reminiscing, Melissa recalls dreaming of becoming be a go-go dancer, flight attendant, and a member of the Peace Corps all before the age of 15. Interestingly enough, none of these things happened. Instead, she went to college, fell in love, married, moved to Florida, had two children, and lived a pretty normal, low key life… yet, always with an itch to do more!
At age 40, Melissa reinvented herself by going back to graduate school. She eventually became a licensed mental health professional, specializing in treating high-risk individuals, which included being on-call holidays, weekend, and in the middle of the night for crisis calls from actively suicidal and/or self-harming clients. As challenging and demanding as the working conditions had been, the rewards were those you measured in intangible ways– self-satisfaction, living a mission-driven life, and finding deep personal purpose in serving others.
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Tune-in! Tune-up! Attune your life to your true passions! These are often the themes for a life coaching session, especially the ones offered by longtime life coach and instructor Laura Barnes, who is a true fan of tuning forks.
A tuning fork is a fork-shaped acoustic resonator that can be used to produce a very pure tone from which others can harmonize. Similar to adjusting a piano, the body and mind can be tuned to achieve optimal physical and mental balance by tapping two tuning forks instantaneously, altering the body's biochemistry and bringing the nervous system, muscles, and organs into harmonic balance. In seconds, the body and mind enters a deep state of relaxation once it experiences the non-judgmental, non-directive, gentle vibrational energy from the tuning forks.
This is a perfect metaphor for life coaching. Laura Barnes, who has taught Life Coaching online for Southwest Institute of Healing Arts for over seven years, explains, “Life coaches help their clients ‘tune in’ to the sacredness of life by being with those they serve in a non-judgmental, non-directive, gentle way! The goal of a coaching session is to bring balance to body, mind, and spirit. It’s known as creating ‘sacred resonance’ with another.”
According to Life Coach and Clinical Hypnotherapist Stacia Aashna, one of the best ways to start the New Year is with a detox of body and mind. In fact, she is offering a perfect prescription for wellness in 2018 with Hypnosis, Meditation, Booch at The Kombucha Room in Chicago in mid-January.
For those who don’t know, “booch” is the term for a fermented tea beverage that detoxifies the body and builds the immune system. It is an ideal companion for those brave souls who are ready to detox their mind of old “personal lies”– that inner dialogue of unconscious, reinforcing statements that keeps you from evolving into your best, most confident, happiest self.
Yet, drinking tea is not the only way to “clear” yourself internally in preparation for what 2018 will bring! This graduate from SWIHA’s Life Coaching and Clinical Hypnotherapy program firmly believes that hypnotherapy is one of the oldest proven detox tools available today and an incredible asset for life coaches to use with their clients.
“You go girl,” was the shout out given to SWIHA’s Life Coaching graduate Katee Van Horn when we heard the news that she was named one of the Most Influential Women in Arizona in the July 2017 issue of AZ Business! One of the accomplishments listed to her credit was the work she has been doing as a coach with the Global Technology Center at GoDaddy, the world's largest web hosting organization located in Tempe, Arizona. Katee has served as the executive coach behind the scenes at this thriving business, leading a series of initiatives that have redefined GoDaddy’s culture to one of inclusivity, especially in celebrating and empowering women.
As a speaker, coach, and HR consultant, Katee takes a holistic approach to supporting people in living their best lives. Her no-nonsense style leads to action. When asked what she did to help a mega-organization like GoDaddy achieve a culture transformation, she modestly shared, “It was about aligning their external message with their internal culture. My job was to help team members to be their authentic selves and feel valued.”
Our hearts are extremely heavy as we read the news about the massage industry and those who have experienced misconduct and sexual assaults by Licensed Massage Therapists (LMTs). As a nationally accredited college with a 25-year history of providing massage therapy education, we believe it is our responsibility to take a clear stand on sexual harassment, violations of personal boundaries, and the kinds of unconscious behaviors that are how coming to light in the massage community.
Southwest Institute of Healing Arts (SWIHA) is resolved to be on the forefront of reminding, retraining, and encouraging all massage therapists to honor and recommit to the ethical oaths they took when they became an LMT. We seek to remind them that at each step of their journey toward becoming an LMT – from their first class, through graduation and licensure, and investing in massage liability insurance – they made and affirmed their commitment to ethical practice.
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