Doing a little schedule-shuffle today, so watch for the Warrior Women Interview with Cheryl Strayed next week! In the meantime, go buy her book WILD and then enjoy today's interview with Sandi Faviell Amorim!!!
Tell us about how you got started on this path.
Seems to me, I've always been curious and creative, with an intense need to ask questions and understand how life works. This often got me into trouble as a child because I would question everything. These two traits lead me to the arts: painting, literature, photography, art history - these subjects consumed me, and against all advice I found myself in art school.
This eventually lead to my first business in photography, which much to my surprise lead to coaching. I often heard from my photography clients that they were surprised by how much they loved their photos (I was doing mostly portraiture) and I began to wonder what I was doing during the photo shoot that was creating this outcome. I realized it was the conversations I was having with them; asking them questions, distracting them from their self-consciousness with the camera. This created a safe space for them to show up authentically and naturally themselves.
Shortly after this realization I discovered the profession of professional coaching and fell in love. Up until that time, it seemed I was still looking for what I was going to be when I grew up. When I launched my next business Deva Coaching, I knew that this was something I would do in one form or another for the rest of my life. And here I am almost 12 years later.
Who directly participates in your work?
From the beginning, Deva Coaching was about having people shine. Then last year, this took on a more personal meaning for me. After my father-in-law passed away suddenly, I knew I had to help people deal with their someday thinking. My father-in-law was an inspiration, pursuing his passions in life in a way I'd rarely seen. He died having done most everything he'd wanted to in life and I think I can safely say he had few regrets.
This realization unleashed a desire in me to help people crush their someday thinking, ie: Someday I'll write a book, find the right partner, start a business, etc. Once that clarity took hold I began working with people (primarily women) who felt frustrated and fed up with how they'd put off their dreams. One client is in the process of writing a book, another travelling for the first time in her life, and yet another, starting her own business.
Crushing someday thinking takes courage for as soon as people begin to take action on their dreams, the lizard brain is awakened and fear intensifies. I like to have fun and play with these fear-based lizard brain conversations so that people live life with fewer regrets. It's also when curiousity makes all the difference!
What is the most beneﬁcial aspect of your work on this journey?
The moment a woman says YES to her dream and contacts me to take that first step. It takes such heart and courage to deal with long-held limiting beliefs and fears and my heart nearly bursts with excitement when I hear that commitment to themselves. This is followed by a profound moment when they begin to see results; when they've taken consistent actions and actually see their dream taking shape!
Describe your current big project or dream and how you are bringing it to the world.
My current big project has triggered my own fears and it's given me a strong reminder of what it's like to face down the inner demons! I've begun writing my first ebook, which is also a precursor to a book I've had in mind for the past 5 years. That book began as part of my own journey with dating and relationship, and what it takes to keep going when time after time we experience disappointment. Sharing it sends a shiver of fear and excitement down my spine.
What keeps you doing this work with joy and gratitude?
It's quite simple really, the conversations I am privileged to have every single day are food for the soul and I can't imagine my life without them!
What is one thing you suggest women can do to move forward in their personal journey with integrity and wholeness?
As women, we are conditioned and taught repeatedly to nurture and care for others before caring for ourselves. Family, school, society, the media all contributing to this belief. But over and over I've seen how little we've left to give when we don't nourish ourselves first.
As cliche as it might sound, we've got to learn to put the oxygen mask on ourselves first. Often this is the first place I start with clients; helping them get what they need in turn helps them pursue their dreams. It comes down to figuring out what you need and then begin asking for it.
Please share some ﬁnal words for our sisters in community.
Take care of yourself and your dream as fully and committedly as you'd take care of others. Not someday, but today and every day. The return on this one investment is greater than you could ever imagine.