This week, I am in the state of Hawaii on the island of Kauai with my family: my husband, Bobby, and our children, Grace and Christopher.
This is a vacation, but it’s no ordinary vacation.
We have returned to Kauai for the first time since we adopted Christopher as a newborn baby in 2008.
This trip is a time for our family to relax and play, but it’s also time to honor our son, his culture and how we became a family.
At that dinner with my Boss University students, I answered the question of “when did you know you were a master coach?” by telling them that the journey to bring our son into our family taught me who I am in the most extraordinary way.
What you see here in this video is the culmination of years of decision-making, loss, faith, hopelessness and resilience.
You’re seeing a moment in time where the fairytale of my family was made real.
I lost four pregnancies, shifted my career several times, and wandered in a weird isolation (where I was always surrounded by people) in the time that eventually led to finding Christopher.
In life, we often celebrate the steely, individualized “self – made” stories of people who triumph in adversity and become masters in their lives. It’s the way of our culture — to believe we’ve got to get into the guts of who we are on our own and figure things out — flying solo. Maybe it’s part of that rugged individualism that’s been instilled in us.
There’s truth there.
It’s the truth that, in the end, we have ourselves to answer to when we create our lives.
I didn’t get out of the car with that baby boy all by myself in May 2008; there were a million heart-shaped footprints of many people in my life that led to that moment.
Yes, I had my family, my friends, my doctors, our adoption agency, and lawyers, but I also brought help into my life so I could stay buoyant, creative, open and brave.
I can tell you all about the literal map the led me to my son. The paperwork, adoption laws and the ups-and-downs of my hormones after the battle they’d just been through in my body after all of those miscarriages.
Here’s what is most important here, though:
I had to create an inner vision within myself of what my family would be — who I was going to be.
I hired coaches and therapists to master my mind when it was telling me I was lost or our efforts were going to fail.
Those coaches and therapists helped me develop my interest in later becoming a healer on my own terms (I am both a licensed therapist and coach today).
I also claimed and developed my gift as a writer and published my work during that time. I dreamed of that when I was a girl, and I made it come true by the time I was 35.
These people helped me create a life that wasn’t a constant obsession surrounding my infertility and search for our child.
The life I created while all of those struggles and changes were going on, I now believe, saved my life.
Getting the help of a coach or therapist can be a secretive, under-the-radar act for some people. It’s often cast as the thing people do when they think they’ve failed or are in crisis.
Calling in guidance and wisdom outside of ourselves is not always seen as a power move; instead, it’s positioned as a way a person relinquishes their power.
I’m throwing my hat in the ring to hopefully change perceptions around that.
Those athletes so many of us admire — the people we marvel at for their skill, drive and tenacity? They will tell you that they didn’t do it on their own.
Many pay top dollar for professional people like me to help them dig deep and anchor themselves in a mindset and vision to evolve into the mastery of their sport.
They don’t just hire a coach to teach them what they need to know about how to move; they also know their mind is also a muscle that needs to be strong, fluid and flexible, too.
They have an ever-growing vision board in their minds about where they want to go, who they want to be and how they’re going to get there. That’s what an excellent coach helps people do.
You don’t have to run, jump, throw, ice skate, dance or pole vault to call in a coach.
I don’t do any of those things professionally and I get coached.
And I’ll tell you why: I am an athlete.
And my sport? My sport is my life.
For me to be the best I can be — at the top of my game when I living my day-to-day life with all of its ups-and-downs, as well as the moments like bringing Christopher Kai home — I train strong.
I know I am a tough bitch with an open heart, smarts, big love, big ideas and vast resilience.
I continue to grow into the very best of who I am because of myself and the teachers and guides I invite into my life.