The old one-dimensional female archetypes -- the soccer mom, the starving artist, the successful-but-lonely boss lady -- are dead. Women are creating new, multidimensional archetypes and defying stereotypes.
The most fulfilled women are constantly creating in multiple areas of their lives, whereas burnout often happens when we feel like the routine of our day job is all we have time for. The Archetypal Woman Series is a tribute to inspiring women who rearrange time and space to explore and excel in a range of activities. May their stories encourage you to expand into your own uniqueness for the benefit of you and everyone in your orbit.
Can you tell us a little bit about the work you do?
As an ICF Credentialed, Certified Professional Coach, I work with people who have undergone grief, loss, or other life transformations. I help these people recognize the changes that happened to them and find resiliency. By finding resiliency they are able to create successful and meaningful lives beyond the change that happened.
We are in a time of rapid change! What encouraging trends are you seeing in your industry?
I am seeing a lot of people turning to coaching. People are willing to ask for help and they are open to receiving it.
I am also seeing that people want to make positive changes in their lives and they want tools for how to do this. They also want someone to either hold them accountable, or help them come up with an accountability partner. I'm finding more people are open to making changes and wanting to better themselves both personally and professionally. People don't seem complacent to being who they are, they want to be better and it is very encouraging.
What are some practical tools you use to help manage your time and energy?
I am a planner and I'm super organized. I live by my calendar. I schedule everything, including downtime/me-time. I even color-code items on my calendar so I know if they are personal or professional appointments, and I have a specific color for category.
While that may sound rigid, I'm actually pretty flexible. I can move things around or reschedule them, but I do like having a framework set up. I also have a self-care routine of starting my day by doing either yoga or cardio. Following my workout, I immediately do my journaling practice.
This is the Archetypal Woman Series, where we shine a spotlight on women who are bringing forth new, multidimensional ways of living and working. How would you describe the archetype you’re bringing onto the planet?
My archetype would be the fiercely independent woman who answers to no one and does what she wants to do. I am living my life and not anyone else's life. I had a few careers before settling on starting my own coaching practice and being my own boss. I have always forged my own path. I never followed anyone else. I didn't marry the first boy I saw at the fraternity party in college. I've always done what I wanted to, and I've only answered to myself. I think a lot of people struggle with being alone, and I enjoy it. I hope that I can show people that forging my own path and finding success on my own is very empowering.
Can you tell us about a woman who has had a significant impact on the trajectory of your career? What lessons did she impart?
My mother had a significant impact on the trajectory of my career. In fact, I most likely would not be doing the work I am doing if it had not been for her death. My mom passed away at the age of 68, and at the time of her death, I thought to myself, "she really left nothing on the table, she lived life to the fullest, in all of 68 short years". I knew that wasn't my case, and I wanted to change that.
I wanted to be able to say at the time of my death that I did everything that I wanted to and I helped as many people as I could. I decided to leave my legal career and go back to school to get the education needed to be a certified professional coach and start my own coaching practice.
My mother taught me that I could be independent. My mother taught me to be in service to others and help people. As strange as this sounds, in the wake of my mother's death, I find myself living my best and happiest life. The reason is, I'm living the life I want and not anyone else's life. I know that's all my mom ever wanted for me. This is what I bring to coaching and help my clients with. I found resiliency after my mother's death and used that to create a life that I love. It wasn't easy work, but it was necessary and now I'm living a life I only previously imagined.
What's next for you? Do you have any projects in the pipeline you'd like us to know about? How can we support you and your work?
I don't have any projects in the pipeline right now; however, I currently write a weekly blog and I'm thinking about turning that into a book, or writing a book. I'm always looking for speaking engagements to share my story and help people with their grief/loss journeys and to find resiliency so that they can live happy and successful lives.
What message do you want to share with the world?
I want to share with the world that life is short and life is hard. Bad things happen. Tragic things happen. How we respond to them is how we shape our future. Our time on Earth is too short to be anything less than happy and positive, in spite of the bad things that happen to us. We should use those negative experiences to shape our futures into happy, successful, and abundant futures. I did it and so can you.
You can learn more about Meredith's work at meredithkimmelcoaching.com.
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