Vision, voice & values in the coaching world

For a long time, I was really hesitant to call myself a coach.

But inspired by a conversation one of my mentors started and a comment I got from someone recently about how she resents people like me clogging up her Facebook to “make a quick buck,” I do want to talk about it.

First of all, anyone who knows me knows that “making a quick buck” is the furthest thing from my mind. I left the corporate world to pursue this path, because I love teaching, holding space, and helping people grow. I am on a mission to make a difference and empower other women not to settle for less than they deserve.

From my very first day in business, I have offered free and sliding scale enrollments. That has evolved into launching programs with a sliding scale “Pay-What-You-Can” pre-sale and offering payment plans, sometimes even for smaller programs, because I don’t want income to be a barrier to growth for any woman who wants it.

At the same time, I am a 24/7 caregiver for parent, who is fading from a degenerative brain disease and have a house full of hungry rescue pets to feed. I love my work, but it also allows me to provide food, shelter, and basic necessities for my little family. I won’t apologize for using my gifts to better our lives and neither should you for using yours.

I have invested in multiple certifications, trainings, and an advanced degree that is pertinent to the ancestral work I do with fairy tale and folklore. I also have formal training in pedagogy, course design, and experience teaching at the university level.

I don’t play games. I am not here to mess around. I favor depth and I want to work with women, who are willing to do the work. If you want fluff, I am probably not for you. BUT if show up for yourself, I will support you with joy and good humor to the moon and back.

But, honestly, I get why the woman I mentioned has the attitude she does.

A lot of what I see under the guise of “coaching” is fluffy and self-congratulatory at best and completely disingenuous at worst. The faux, shiny world and the mirage of “high vibe” at the cost of empathy, compassion and engagement in the world that a few present is not in alignment with me, my values, or what I do. And, honestly, it’s not in alignment with how a lot of my peers work either. Most of us enter this industry, because we care about and love people and we want to see them shine.

So what DO I believe in?

I believe in...
...love, equity, and justice
...the inherent value of life, both animal and human
...recognizing the full spectrum of human emotion and experience
...being spiritual, witchy, and woo-ey without lightwashing
...the voice and the power of BOTH compassion and anger as a force for love
...the grand paradox that that life can hold both intense beauty and pain, sometimes all at once
...that sometimes the only way out is through

I also believe in beauty, creativity, and in the power of the human spirit, the eternal cycles of the moon and seasons, and that we are magic. We just live in a world that tends to make us forget.

The truth is that a lot of people (especially women) settle for less than they deserve. We are taught to put everyone else’s interests first and somewhere along the line, we forget our own.

“Don’t make waves. Be nice. Don’t be selfish.”

Sound familiar?

And THAT is why I create spaces, where women are seen, heard, believed, and encouraged to take up space and step into their own power. I also do it, because I know that when we fill our own wells and improve our own situations, it places us in a position to do the big work and MAKE A DIFFERENCE and make things better for everyone INCLUDING ourselves. Because, honestly, that’s why we’re here and if you don’t see that, then you’re missing out on a big part of what it means to be human.

If you want to learn more about my work, I invite you to contact me or go to my website (www.martinarutledge.com) and check it out. My life isn’t perfect. No one’s is all the time, but being the beneficiary of coaching has done wonderful things for the quality of my life and self-belief and I am privileged anytime someone entrusts me with the gift offering that service to them too.