I grew up in a place called Saline, Michigan, near Ann Arbor. Being the youngest of three girls, I learned early on that my perspective was unique and had value to it. My mom was a huge part in validating that uniqueness, my creativity, humor, and overall person. After years of battling breast cancer, she passed away when I was a senior in college. While her death is the greatest heartbreak of my life, it also prompted me to take risks I never would have conceived otherwise. I learned that life is short and felt liberated to strike out on my own, go where I wanted, and move confidently through the world.
I traveled in Europe following my college graduation and knew from then on that travel, adventure, and food & drink would always be some of my top values. Following that trip, I moved to Asheville, NC, and explored appalachia for two years. Life circumstances nudged me back in the direction of the midwest, and I am so thrilled they did. My relationship with Chicago is a fantastic love story and I am grateful everyday to live here. While my background is in applied behavior analysis, I have always loved balancing creativity with science to deepen my understanding of humans.
I think traveling alone, specifically as a woman, is one of the most empowering things we can gift ourselves. Ever been frustrated by an overwhelming work demand? What about figuring out how to get from point A to B? How about something as silly as opening a jar? If you’ve ever traveled alone in a foreign land, you can dig into your learned repertoire and recall that time you got lost in France, somehow found your way home at 2 am, and managed to find some food along the way. All done with your wit and wisdom (and maybe a little adrenaline).
I’ve been on more than a handful of “big trips” now, but last November was one for the books. I started and finished a book in Amsterdam; met brilliant and inspiring women at a sushi bar in Lisbon; went to an Allah Las show and got tattooed in Barcelona; and talked life and smoked hash with the owner of Cafe Baba in Tangier.
I’m a creative coach. Meaning, I work with creatives to deliberately move them in the direction of their wildest dreams. An easy comparison for coaching is therapy. The main difference being that people typically seek out therapy when they’re seeking a diagnosis, battling mental illness, or in a very difficult place. While coaching is capable of addressing some of these things, my work focuses on those people that may already be successful or highly functioning but feel like something is “missing” or they’re being called to do something deeper.
Coaching is something that came naturally to me. My mom was a [literal] cheerleader and while I was the furthest thing from that growing up, I always believed in the power of championing others. It’s truly the most rewarding feeling to see a client grow into their potential as a human. I received my coach training and certification (CPC, ELI-MP) through an International Coaching Federation Certified Program called iPec, which I would absolutely recommend to any aspiring coach that wants to do the work and do it well.
My power is quite simply helping other people to realize their own. Growing up, I wondered if something was wrong with me; I was a pretty damn good athlete (and modest too), and would do all of the grunt work to move the ball up to field only to pass it to someone else to take the shot. People would make up these crazy stories (that were definitely projections of themselves) saying things like, “you’re afraid of finishing” or, “you’re afraid to fail” or, “you’re not as important if you don’t put up the numbers.” As an adult it’s funny to even think of someone my age, or older, defining children based on their own limiting beliefs. I think that helping others to see a clearer picture of themselves, and capitalize on that, is just the coolest thing.
That’s what coaching does, it peels away the layers of muck, inner critic messages, assumptions, limiting beliefs, and interpretations to reveal the person that’s been there all along, but just needed to clean their glasses to see the whole picture of themselves.
Instead of “one ring to rule them all,” I have several in my rotation. My silver one with the ornate detail and bit of coral is from Tangier and serves as a reminder of my travels. I fuss with it throughout the day if I’m feeling nervous or anxious and remind myself of that journey and how perfectly capable I am.
The other one I have on is a simple gold band that was my mom’s. It was meant to be worn as a replacement exclusively when her diamond was in the shop or being cleaned. My dad hated it because he thought that it made him “look cheap” so she would pop it on sometimes just as a little form of rebellion. I love how the most simple pieces can carry the cheekiest anecdotes which is why I’m rarely found without this one on.
Chelsie’s Website: Noblecoaching.org