I never wanted to teach. I wanted to earn my fame and fortune making one-off hand built ceramics across the world. What I hadn’t banked on were the cold working conditions at wintertime, the clay freezing and then thawing to a soggy mess and, of course, the lack of money. I soon realised that I needed to make a steady income, the natural place for me to go was teaching adult education, but what I didn’t realise was how much I would love it. In 1989, adult education teaching was easy. You basically turned up and did what you wanted to do. Whilst I helped my learners make pots I noticed I was also in the business of social and personal development. We talked about our lives, our families, holidays and so much more. With two young children my pots soon took a back seat place in my life and teaching became the forefront but after 17 years I started to feel very unhappy. Like most people I couldn’t understand why I felt unhappy when I considered that I had a good upbringing, a loving family and a job I enjoyed. I couldn’t put my finger on why I felt so unsatisfied with life. It wasn’t until I was on an ‘Introduction to Counselling’ course that I ended up in counselling myself and prescribed time off work with stress.
Gradually I managed to unravel what was going on in my head. I was beginning to understand my childhood a little better and realised that, whilst my parents were trying to manage their own stresses and issues, I felt as though they never really understood me. Whilst I was working full time my husband was trying to run his business around me and our young children. My children were beginning to find their own identities and independence in the world and at work the constant change of the upper management structure was making it hard to feel settled and run the courses how I would have liked. All in all, I felt unheard.
I felt that I was not being listened to and therefore, I wasn’t feeling understood. With the constant change at work and the need for something new, Life Coaching came into my life. Life coaching sessions helped me to understand myself, my surroundings, and what I wanted out of life. I had to learn to challenge my thinking and started to discover ways of making life better, more fruitful and more content for myself. I was determined to find a greater sense of purpose and value, not just for myself but for others as well. At this time, I was working for the Prison Service and knew all too well that stressful times lead to desperate measures, I became intrigued by how coaching could change people’s lives and introduce more positive outcomes. The latest leg of my journey had begun… More accidents happen in the home, from trips and falls, than any other. I am a member of that club, after I tripped over the backdoor step resulting in split femma and three months off work. I now totally understand how difficult it is to return to work after a long period of absence. I got badgered for a return date, there was no proper explanation about the return to work policy, and there was very little support when I did arrive back on my first day – so much had changed, the staff, the policies, it all made me feel like an alien.
It is important to find the right support, attitude and strategies to conquer stressful times. After my return to work, I used the strategies I had learnt and I obtained for right support; my life slotted back into place again and I continued my journey. For me, this is where my Life Coaching training really helped me and it is the moment when I realised I had to share the new passion in my life and help other people. I finally made a definite choice to give up my 25 year teaching career because it was restricting my ability to support others. I help the unheard be heard, so that they too can make the change from stress to success! Reflection and learning from my journey in life has helped me become a more knowledgeable person, a wiser person, a person who can help others through their difficult times. I love what I do today, and have found a really fulfilling way to combine my teaching and life coaching skills to give greater value to others so they too can move forwards in their life to a better and happier place.
Cath Lloyd chats on Good Vibrations radio about the VAKKOG walk and her Recipe for Success sessions.
“She has helped me to set goals and targets and to ask myself what I really wanted from my work life, so I could compare current and future opportunities, enabling me to make a final decision best suited to me.”