Three years after making my dream move from Manhattan to live full-time in a cozy cottage in the woods, I realized I still felt overwhelmed and anxious, as though there were never enough hours in the day to accomplish everything. I found myself struggling with the self-critical voice that has dogged me all my life and longing for a greater sense of peace and fulfillment.
When a friend recommended a coach who had helped her through some chronic health issues, I was a little taken aback. My health was fine…or was it? I didn’t have much of a spiritual practice at the time and my exercise routine was half-hearted at best. So I visited Sara Seinberg’s site and was intrigued by what I read there. “The journey to health is something to enjoy immensely, not a sentence of deprivation and restriction. Through a holistic approach, I support clients in their quests for health, wholeness, joy and truth.” I signed up for a free introductory session over Skype.
I don’t know what it’s like to work with other health coaches but if they have even a fraction of Sara’s wisdom, compassion and honesty you’ll be in good hands. (Though I doubt few can also boast her refreshing wit, graceful humility and colorful tattoos.) Stellar personality aside, the greatest thing about any good coach is that s/he is 100% in your court. A coach’s job is to help you succeed—and to guide you in finding out what that means to you. Because success looks different to each of us and that’s one of the most important things Sara has taught me.
I asked her to answer a few questions I thought someone new to coaching might have:
What’s the difference between a health coach and a therapist? Coaching is less about figuring out the past and more about what’s next, helping people move forward in a way that feels rewarding. The work is emotional and the support is intimate, as in therapy, but it’s more action-oriented.
What’s the difference between a health coach and a life coach? Semantics? I think I’m just a life coach that cares a lot about health and fitness. But always talk to any coach before committing to working together, so you find a good match.
What does creativity have to do with health? Everything. Everybody is creative and when we have access to our true expression of this, we have access to our healthiest self.
How long does the average client work with you? It really varies. I have group programs, people who check in and out and some who have been with me for years. It really depends on the client’s needs.
Are you about small changes or big changes? Lasting changes.
If you could say one thing to a person looking to change her life, what would it be? Keep your eyes on your own paper. Don’t compare yourself to others and let your own voice be your guide.
Working with a health coach requires a commitment. It’s an investment of time, energy and, of course, money—in yourself. Ultimately, it benefits you in ways marvelous and unexpected. Sara brought me out of a deep, dark cave where my demons had wrestled me down and were holding me hostage. She coaxed me away from self-loathing and doubt, mostly by being gentle, supportive and encouraging —all the things I had lost the ability to be for myself. My life is not perfect but that’s no longer my goal. I take care of myself in so many important and deeply positive new ways. My coach continues to help me find the joy in what can often be a painful process and I know for a fact I would not be tackling lots of the hard stuff without her by my side. Plus, we share a lot of laughs.