Archive for the ‘Coaching’ Category

Living By Your Own Rules: A Personal Vision Statement

I have always been intrigued by rules and laws.  There are basic and natural laws like  night follows day;  living things need nourishment to survive ; human beings eventually die.  Over the millenia our societies have evolved in ways that used  natural laws, enabling humanity to survive and evolve.  Understanding and adhering to the law gives structure to how we build our homes, grow our food, and live together.

Our religious texts are a form of law.  They provide guidance to people and cultures for how to live.  These laws, in tandem with natural laws, provide perspective, interpretation, and boundaries for how to live meaningfully and responsibly with people.  This is also true of governing laws, treaties, constitutions, by-laws, tax laws, and rules on the playground.  In their simplest form and without judging their individual inherent worth, we need the relative confinement of rules in order to truly be free.

In the present-day chaos surrounding us, we often feel out of control, lost, disconnected, and overwhelmed.  We can find a great deal of guidance and comfort in the Bible, the Koran, the Torah or other religious text.  As a Unitarian Universalist I find comfort and guidance in the  UU principles.  We find solace in prayer, meditation, ritual, and the performance of good deeds.  These are all part of our culture and available to us for guidance and support in this wild world.

Yet even with the abundance of spiritual and religious wisdom and authority, I believe we each have  guiding principles and vision for living- our own unique code we adhere to as we move through our lives into the waiting arms of our inevitable death. That code lives inside each one of us.  We’re born with it.  Some might call it God or soul or spirit or conscience or… Whatever you call it-  or don’t- it’s yours.

Part of my work as a life coach is to help people become acquainted with their own code.  Some call the code guiding principles, vision statements, purpose, mission, or artist statement.  Some people choose not to capture their code in words, while others find pleasure in the exercise.  I find it a great source of comfort and direction  to  have written my code down in simple words that make sense to my brain and also feel true somewhere beyond my brain’s reach. The words help guide my life, my work, my relationships and my eventual legacy.  I fall far short of the code I seek to live by.  Yet having written it down serves as my map and reminds me who I am.

Labyrinth of the Heart


Viveca Monahan,

Professional Certified Coach

I am an activist for the heart,

Playfully irreverent, loving sacred space

Grounded by realities.

Soaring with possibilities.

My purpose is to live a courageous life,

Boldly provoking humanity toward

Ever-expanding mind, heart, conscience

And Committed action

Mission:  I will spend the rest of my life calling forth the greatness in people.  And in the process will inspire abundance of unimagined magnitude, empowering me to carry out my purpose with the grandest force my being can spark

I support my mission by:

Taking exquisite care of my mind, body and spirit;

Fully trusting my intuition;

Being ever-vigilant with my promises, boundaries

And highest values;

Fostering peace, order and connection in daily life.

My vision for the world is

That all people are living in peace and dying with dignity.

My life’s work is to provide safe and inspired guidance

For people to discover their greatness,

Empowering them to honor their true calling

Whatever that may be.

I support my work by:

Staying aligned with my purpose, mission and values;

Being steeped in meaningful training and learning;

Surrounding myself with mentors, friends and other


Being vigilant with my own examination and accountability

Professional Coaches: Building a Supportive Community

Dedicated to the Wild Women: Jennifer, BJ, Karen, Paulette, Jan, Mo, Sigrid & me.

It was 10 years ago I began coach training with the Academy for Coach Training (now Invite Change). The training itself was supportive from the start. Coaches are trained to take a good hard look at our own “stuff” and deal with it so we can be clear and focused for our clients.  We  students supported each other during this often challenging self-reflection and training.  We were in this together and no one was exempt from the tenderness and truth-telling we were asked to do.  Our trainers supported us by creating the space of safety and trust, with the expectation that we could and would rise above our smallness and reach for the stars.  And they were real-life role-models for us.

My training took a year.  After graduation, several of us decided to form a support group so we could practice our coaching and help each other as we grew into our new profession.  We called ourselves the Wild Women, and began to have monthly meetings over dinner or lunch.  We have gone on annual retreats  and celebrated our birthdays and other important life-events.  We have bi-weekly hour-long conference calls, where we each take a few minutes to share what’s up in our lives and businesses.  We share what we’re reading, thinking, stretching toward.  If one of us needs special support, we get it and give it.  Our retreats always include generous amounts of time (at least an hour) for each one of us to receive the full attention of 7 professional coaches who are also loving friends.

My Wild Women buddies have been a large part of why I continued to be a coach when it was so  challenging to  make a living. We were pioneers.  Coaching had not yet become a commonly known term when we began.  We were part of the  wave of path-makers, tromping down the tall grasses of misinformation and newness, forging the way to a sea rich with possibility!  That is  what we do as coaches- help people see what is possible and support them as they go for it.  This is an honor in life and it is my chosen profession.  I have my long-term partnership with my Wild Women buddies to thank.

This is where it’s at, coaches.  Become  part of a network of  coaches who meet regularly in an authentic, loving way while also being structured and focused.  Nurture it, feed it, grow with it and it will serve you beyond what you can imagine.  This is not the only support network of which I am a part, but it was the first and is the longest lasting.  And this gift just keeps giving.