Sarabeth and I had a few rough years together, and 2019 was especially turbulent – nearly disastrous. But one year later we are in a much better place, miraculously still together, and actually happy.
Aside from some deep introspection, it took the love and support of friends and family, some tough marriage counseling, and the confidentiality of strangers, particularly in the form of a life coach. I spent a few months last summer speaking with one such “stranger” once a week on the phone, and the conversations I had with him went a long way in helping me get my life, and my marriage, back in order.
This is in no way an ad. It’s an honest recommendation, because hey, we all need a little help, especially during these trying and uncertain times.
Chris’ desire to become a life coach grew organically through frequent discussions with some people who were going through the same issues he was. “Life coaching has made me feel like I have a purpose in life,” Chris says. “I have found that I enjoy helping others finding ways to help themselves and grow. The way it makes me feel, and because of my own life experiences. If I hadn’t gone through those life experiences I don’t think I would have gotten into life coaching.”
One thing I personally appreciated about talking with Chris was that I knew I was safe to express myself, and I never had to filter my thoughts, because he really understood the internal and external crap I was going through. Talking with Chris was always a judgement-free experience.
He’d survived the chaos of divorce after 28 years of marriage, he loathed his career which he slaved away at for most of his adult life, and he only knew how to be a father and a husband outside of the office. When that had all been stripped away, he had to – at the age of 50 – discover who he was. And that was terrifying. But part of his healing was knowing that he needed a radical change. “One thing I did know was that I had great empathy for the people in my daily life. I also had an unrealized passion for mental health.”
“Who am I and how can I be my most authentic self?” He’d emerged himself in YouTube videos, and guru webpages, looking desperately for answers, to no avail. After fighting depression and pestering thoughts of suicide, he finally went to a therapist. And then another. And another.
Chris attended individual and group therapy, but they were lacking the connection he needed to his personal issues. “The disconnect kept me from making any progress with my mental health,” says Chris. “For me the best option was a life coach. My coach partnered with me to deal with issues inside that I had never looked at. Most of the ones before that approached my situation from a more clinical point of view. Mental health is an ongoing process that I do battle with every day and yes, I still have my personal life coach.”
If you’re asking yourself what the difference is between a life coach and a psychiatrist, Chris lays it out simply. “A psychiatrist is a doctor that specializes in more of the medicines of mental health.” He always recommends that his clients still consult with a psychiatrist because of their understanding of brain chemistry. However, Chris asserts that a life coach will listen more deeply to what clients are saying, and aren’t just listening for common statements or patterns of behavior that fit nicely into a formulaic resolution.
“Life coaching isn’t like traditional therapy,” says Chris. “Life coaching is a designed alliance between coach and client where the coaching relationship continually gives all the power back to you the client. I don’t specialize in answers. You have all the answers you need. I just coach you to find those answers for yourself. You, the client, are the only expert in your life.”
If you’re interested in finding a life coach, do so. I’ve come to learn that everyone, at some point or another, needs professional help. Not one person is above it. I thought I was, but giving in was probably the smartest thing I’ve done. I guess that’s why they call it humble pie, because pie never sounds good until you actually take a bite. Or is that just me?
Obviously, I would recommend Chris Lyman because he helped me so much last year. And the wonderful thing is, you don’t have to be anywhere near Colorado to meet with him, thanks to the wonderful world of technology. He meets his potential clients in a free discovery season. During that session, the client tells him three areas that they would like to work in and after some questions, he also gives them an idea of what areas he thinks are right for that person.
“During regular sessions we are usually walking a path looking for that ‘ah ha!’ moment,” Chris says. (And during my sessions with him, I certainly discovered several of those moments.) It’s all about looking at things a little differently. He compares this idea to a picture of a child exploring the woods looking for that pretty flower or sacred stone. “In addition to that, we are looking for and moving through exercises that help reduce problematic behaviors and self limiting beliefs. The biggest battles are those our own mind creates and just seeing them for what they are can make a huge difference.”
Chris tends to gravitate toward issues relating to depression and suicide, though most issues consistently return to self-limiting beliefs. “Those are the thoughts we think without realizing it that keep us stuck. Stuck is a word that I hear time and time again.”
Check out Chris’ webpage. If you’re not in a place that requires coaching or help right now, send this to someone you know who is in that place. Doing that is easy as pie.