what is experiential life coaching?
Experiential coaching is all about getting you out of your head and into the innate wisdom and authenticity of your body. The tools and practices I offer are mindfulness-based, meditative, creative, and amazingly effective.
With or without a horse, we use metaphors, meditations, and visualizations to get in touch with your deepest inner truths, and gently invite them to come to the surface.
what it's not...
My approach to coaching is not advice-giving nor attempting to “fix” or radically change behavior overnight.
Rather, it's a gentle conversation - with me, with nature, and most importantly, with yourself. It is an invitation to an authentic, compassionate intimacy with yourself. A safe place to look at what is and isn’t working in your life, and explore new ways of being, all at a pace that feels right to you.
why does it work?
By using tools and practices that tap into your subconscious, you engage all of your senses and physically experience transformation. Like muscle memory, the gentle changes we make in coaching become second nature. They support you to respond differently in the future under similar circumstances, without overthinking.
I am a certified Equus Coach® through the Koelle Institute for Equus Coaching®, and have ongoing apprenticeship with accomplished horse trainer Nicolette Birnie of Wild to Willing Horsemanship. Prior to becoming a life coach, I worked in corporate business development and was a professional songwriter. For years I facilitated self-expression and poetic story-telling with artists and co-hosted an interactive keynote on the art of collaboration in quarterly team-building workshops for a high profile Fortune 100 company.
As a songwriter, I became personally intimate with how powerful story-telling is. The way we tell the story of our lives (to ourselves and to others) is the foundation of how much we enjoy (or don't enjoy) our lives. My own struggle to enjoy my life led me to seek out therapy, counseling, and coaching. In the first 15 minutes of my first Equus Coaching session as a client, I knew this was the work I wanted to do in the world.
Experiential and Equus Coaching have been transformative for me in so many ways. Horses embody and illuminate the grace of authenticity, and they have taught me about boundaries, communication, and being present to the gifts of the moment. They have helped me to profoundly heal my relationship with myself and others, and set me on a path back to who I really am. It is the greatest privilege of my life to facilitate this work and offer these tools to others.
In working with clients, I draw tools and inspiration from the work of Byron Katie, Martha Beck, Brené Brown, and ancient philosopher Lao Tzu, among others. I believe each individual is his/her own best teacher, and my goal as a coach is always to be a channel of love and service, creating a safe space for my clients to come home to themselves.
Why Partner with Horses?
Horses can read us. They are incredibly sensitive and intuitive. In order to survive in the wild, they've developed an ability to sense the energy and emotions in their environment and reflect them. They know what we're feeling even when we don't.
Horses respond to us when our actions align with our feelings. When our actions aren't congruent, the horse will let us know with their body language. In this way, they're like giant fluffy barometers of truth. Their clear, non-judgmental feedback makes them perfect mirrors for our internal landscape.
Horses live in the present moment. Because they don't have verbal language, they don't tell the same stories we do about what could, should, did, or might happen. Just sharing space with them can be a powerful lesson in presence.
Horses are masters of boundaries and communication. The leader of a herd is not necessarily the strongest or most aggressive; it's the one with the clearest boundaries, communication, and congruence. They patiently teach us how to lead with confidence and authenticity.
F. A. Q.
What happens in an experiential coaching session?
Coaching can be done in person, via phone, or video chat. We start by talking and identifying areas of your life where you would like to create/receive clarity, space, support, or growth. From there, I will offer tools, exercises, and/or lead you in meditative visualizations to support you in gaining greater self-awareness, self-compassion, and self-love. Together we will come up with tangible, easy action steps in the direction of your goals that are unique to you and your situation. We can also track and celebrate progress over time.
What happens in an Equus Coaching session?
We start by talking and identifying areas of your life where you would like to create/receive clarity, space, support, or growth.
Then we spend time in a pasture, arena, and/or round pen with a horse and see what arises. The experience is collaborative and its sole purpose is to support you in achieving what you would like to achieve. I may offer various exercises to try with the horse, but you are always the leader of your experience. As we spend time with the horses, magic happens. The patterns and limiting beliefs that get in your way in life show up as you interact with them. This gives us opportunities to explore the metaphors, try new approaches, and create space around challenges in a radically non-shaming environment. Then we look at how we can take this transformation out of the pasture and into your life.
Do I need horse experience to participate in Equus Coaching?
No! All interactions are done on the ground (no riding) and no prior experience is necessary.
I'm a little nervous about being around horses. Can I still participate?
Absolutely. Safety is the first priority in coaching, and all exercises are done on the ground (no riding). All of the horses we partner with in Equus coaching are safe, gentle, and love being with humans. Your experience in coaching is solely for the purpose of aiding you in achieving your goals, and all activities are a collaborative process. You have the right to participate in and/or refuse to participate in any suggested exercises/activities.
I'd like for my child to participate. Is this allowed?
Personal and/or Equus Coaching is suitable for ages 16 and up. It is important that all clients are participating willingly.
Where are you located?
I currently offer personal coaching in Los Angeles and via phone/skype.
Equus Coaching® is offered in the Los Angeles area and Santa Ynez, CA. I am also happy to arrange sessions elsewhere on a case-by-case basis.