Lifestyle Cabarete online magazine Interviews Susy Giddy from Cabarete Life Coaching:
Cabarete is the home of a wide range of people from all walks of life and among the many different types of professionals this sports capital of the Caribbean hosts there is also a life coach. This interesting personality moved to Cabarete in 2009 together with her husband after pinky swearing that this is where their new home would be. Over a Club Soda we spoke at length with Susy Giddy about her move to become a life coach and what it is she can do for others.
LC: To start off, can you explain what a life coach is?
SG: Well, a life coach helps a client to be whatever it is that they want to be, and to do whatever they want to do. Basically, people usually have two types of problems. Either they know what they want to achieve but don’t see the way by which they can reach their goal, or they are not sure about a certain decision and don’t know what to do about it. A life coach will not provide direct answers but will ask the right questions so that the client can come up with their own answers.
In my opinion, a life coach is not very different from a sports coach. You can learn for example how to play tennis on your own, but with a coach you’ll get there much quicker and in a much more efficient way. The same goes for life coaching. Life coaches don’t have the answers but we can teach you the techniques to ask the right questions to get the answers you need.
LC: What kind of people come to you for help?
SG: All kinds of people but they tend to be highly educated, very productive people who are usually single and interested in wellness, running and yoga. They come to me because they feel that there is something missing in their lives or because they need to get rid of obstacles.
LC: What kind of problems or obstacles are we talking about?
SG: Well, I have had people come to me because they weren’t sure whether they should stay together with their partner, who on paper appeared to be the ideal partner but when they looked into their hearts there was little there in terms of feelings. Or people come to me with a specific goal in mind, like wanting to quit smoking or relocate to a different country but not knowing how to go about it. Usually there is some aspect of fear involved, especially fear of the unknown.
LC: So what can people expect when they contact a life coach for the first time?
SG: Either people come and see me in person or we meet up via skype. I have clients all around the globe so most of my meetings are via skype. I usually meet up with my clients once every week for an hour.
During the first meeting I will ask a new client to fill out a test called “design your life”. It basically allows people to evaluate eight areas of their life including appearance, relationship, physical space and financial situation. I will ask people to do this test independently of the reason why they came to me. This gives me a better overview of the person and we usually focus on the two areas that are flagged as the most important by the test.
LC: Why do you think life coaching works?
SG: I think life coaching has proven to be so successful because it provides a supportive structure for people and they feel they are being held accountable; both aspects are very important. Also, as we are trained to listen both to what people say and what they don’t say in a non-judgmental way, it is easier to quickly create a relationship of trust as the foundation of that supportive structure.
LC: Have you used a life coach?
SG: I still do! I started using my life coach when my husband and I had decided that we wanted to relocate to Cabarete but the obstacles seemed unsurmountable. What were we going to do with our house? What was I going to do with my tennis club? Did we really deserve the freedom and happiness we were creating through this move? You know the typical doubts, fears and both practical and psychological obstacles that come up when we want to deviate from the trodden path.
Together we broke down seemingly impossible obstacles into more easy to digest problems and found the right solutions. Four months later we were happily settling into our new home in Cabarete. I love this place. The weather is great and people do what they want to do here; it’s basically a grown ups’ playground.
LC: How did you get into life coaching?
SG: When we were organizing ourselves to relocate to Cabarete I was thinking a lot about what I could do here. The whole life coach concept and experience really spoke to me so I decided to follow a two-year course and immerse myself in the profession. I haven’t looked back since as it is incredibly fulfilling.
LC: You are organizing something called “Extending Shavasana”. Tell us more about that.
SG: People who do yoga will know what Shavasana is but for those who don’t, it’s the final resting pose adopted at the end of a yoga session. I’ve noticed that many people who attend yoga classes are always a bit sad after Shavasana because they know they will have to step out of that door and face all the pressures of everyday life again.
We will organize once a week “Extending Shavasana” sessions after yoga class here in Cabarete for a period of four weeks, to see how we can extend that magical relaxed feeling of Shavasana. We’ll look at things like being authentic, understanding fear, having gratitude and being mindful.
LC: You are also organizing something called “Attitude & Gratitude”. What can you tell us about that?
SG: Together with a group of other individuals I will be posting on Facebook every day during the month of October three things I am grateful for. Basically we’re hoping that others will also start posting what they are grateful for. And if people do it for thirty days, a habit is created which I hope will make a lot more people happy and grateful to be who they are.
The reason why I want to do this I s because people of this uncanny knack for focusing on problems. When you look at it from an evolutionary point of view this is not strange as our brains are hardwired to look out for danger. As we now live in a world where luckily life-threatening dangers are not encountered on a daily basis people have a tendency to ruminate over problems, which doesn’t make anyone happy. So with this easy exercise I’d like to give the opportunity to people to focus on the good in their lives.
LC: So, what are the three things you are most grateful for?
SG: [smiles] My husband, my health and the fact that we’re living in Cabarete.