Jewel Blackfeather always knew she was intuitive, although she didn’t fully acknowledge it until she became a Life Coach. In fact, during the first 20-hour weekend of her Life Coaching program at SWIHA, Jewel felt intuitively called to volunteer as the demo client for a fear-related exercise being led by master instructor Richard Seaman in front of a room of nearly fifty people. While there was a part of her that didn’t want to be put in spotlight, there was also a part of her that knew she was being compelled to step up and face her fears!
A Lion Among Wolves
And face her fears she did! During the demonstration, Richard asked her a series of potent, probing questions–which is one of the most powerful skills a Life Coach learns–that caused her to stop and look at what was stopping her. Once she shared a bit of her story, Richard used yet another incredible coaching tool–Transformational Listening–to weave a metaphoric visualization based on what she had shared:
“Imagine yourself herding a flock of sheep, and that flock you are responsible for becomes endangered by a group of hungry wolves,” Richard guided. “Now breathe into your body and visualize yourself as having the power of a mountain lion. Those wolves are no match for your strength…”
By directing Jewel to replace the fear she was holding in her mind with a more empowering image, Richard was revealing to her how she could set herself free. Remembering the moment in which she felt a new sense of strength coursing through her, Jewel affirms: “At one point during the session, I actually snarled and said, ‘Get the hell away from my sheep!’ I hadn’t had that fierceness come up out of me in a really long time. It was so transformational to have someone push me like that… to be laid bare and find my inner voice.”
Rediscovering the “Wild” Within!
Of course, it wasn’t just anyone who pushed her in that way– it was a trained, experienced coach who understand the power of metaphors and the use of guided imagery for the purpose of transforming the way we hold stories or emotions in our minds.
Jewel clearly understood the connection between what she experienced in her Life Coaching session and what had happened in her past. With this awareness, she shares, “At my previous job, I think I had started to feel like a caged animal, like a horse that was once wild and had been broken, who arches its back for the saddle and opens its mouth for the bit. That guided imagery with Richard brought back my wild spirit.”
A mere three days later, Jewel put that self-empowerment to good use in the real world: “I was running at night as I usually do. Often, when I pass men, they leer at me or make comments. My habit had become to look down and away, speed up, and move off the path to just get past them. After that coaching session, I was feeling powerful like the mountain lion I had become in the guided imagery, and when it came time to run past some men that were staring at me, I stared THEM down, keeping on MY path, and THEY ended up being the ones stepping off the path!”
Jewel explains this in more detail, saying, “In my head, I really felt like a mountain lion. For the first time, instead of being harassed and just running away, I was in my power. It was a crazy powerful experience, and I am very grateful for that session during my life coach training!”
Not only did this session transform Jewel’s relationship to herself… it also transformed her understanding of life coaching. “It’s teaching people how to find the answers inside of themselves,” she explains. “A Life Coach holds the person they are working with as fully capable, whole, and as having all the answers they need within– it’s the coaches ‘job’ to help them access their inner knowing.” With committed enthusiasm, Jewel proclaims, “I love that I was taught not see people as broken– rather, as ‘off path’ or ‘in the fog.’ I love assisting people back onto their path, just the way I was challenged and assisted! A Life Coach helps people move through the fog, achieve their goals and results, and develop the character, happiness, and quality of life they are looking for. It’s helping them to heal their own spirits and lives.”
Calling Upon Her Strength
Prior to her time at SWIHA, Jewel served for seven years as a regional manager for a well-known retail company, managing between 12 to 15 other managers, working 60 to 80 hours a week, and spending almost the entirety of each month on the road. The stress of the job and her travel schedule had taken a dramatic toll on her health and well-being, leaving her heavier and unhappier than she had ever been in her life. “I realized I needed to make a change,” she recalls. “I got tired of what I had been doing and said ‘enough!’”
Jewel lost 120 pounds by turning to organic, healthy foods, yoga, and running. While this is an incredible feat all on its own, Jewel’s gift for empathy led her to work towards positively impacting her employees as well. “My mindset as a manager was ‘how can I help them improve their lives,’ not just ‘how can I improve them here,’” Jewel states. “I was able to increase our productivity and break records. It was a holistic approach, and because of that, my employees were happier and were outperforming a lot of other teams.” Seeing all of these positive changes in her own health and in the well-being and motivation of her team, Jewel started to think, “Why don’t I do something with THIS? Why don’t I leverage what my strength is?” Realizing she was ready for a change, she walked away from a six-figure income to find her true calling.
Extending the Metaphor
In addition to becoming a Life Coach, Jewel was drawn to other modalities offered at SWIHA including Reiki, Clinical Hypnotherapy, and Toe Reading– a form of soul coaching which uses the toes as metaphors. It was this course of study that proved to be the biggest surprise to Jewel. “I had been curious about it and thought it was intriguing,” Jewel remembers. “Now Toe Reading is one of my main tools when coaching people. It’s mind-blowing.” Jewel goes on to elaborate: “Toe Reading allows a Life Coach to have a physical metaphor around which to start a transformational conversation! Each toe represents an element–or aspect–in one’s life. Bringing the physical manifestations of experiences into a coaching session is extremely affirming and powerful.”
Jewel is now working toward her next goal: to combine her experience in business with holistic modalities in order to promote corporate wellness, support teambuilding, identify common values, and maximize results. With her SWIHA education, wild spirit, and a clear understanding of her natural strengths, she is certain to find success and continue to break records—for both herself and future clients!
Connect with Jewel Blackfeather