What Is Life Coaching?
My True Story of How I Got My Voice Back.
A Story About My Relationship With Julie Lokun
Guest Blog Written By Nicki Pascarella
“It’s Julie’s fault,” my husband said while waggling a finger an inch from my nose. “‘Start a blog.’ Pfft! What was Julie thinking? Does she understand how obsessive you are? Does she get who she is dealing with? Does she know she released a red-headed monster into the world?”
Since Julie totally gets me, I shot my husband a cheesy grin. Don’t be fooled by his blabbing; my husband is relieved that someone shares the burden of dealing with my intensity.
A blog, four novels, and a contract with a major women’s romance publisher later—and, I have to agree—My dream life is kind of Julie’s fault.
For those who don’t know her, Jule Lokun is a Certified Life Coach, authoress, mother, wife, daughter, and all-around ass-kicker. She is the mastermind behind Crown & Compass, The Media Queens, The Squad, and The Obsessed Podcast. This impressive list is only a condensed version of her projects and achievements. In my eyes, the most important title Queen Jules holds is that of my new Guardian Angel.
Once Upon A Time
A little over two years ago, my fifty years of perfect life hopped into a pooh-filled commode. I don’t want to provide all of the sordid details. However, after half a century with a fabulous guardian angel, the little Seraphin decided that she needed a vacation. With a bratty raspberry and a middle finger, she left me high and dry.
Next, I met a treacherous villain. Having had such a fairy-tale life, I had built up little defense to evilness. This red-horned demon carrying a pitchfork defeated me, and I ended up in the hospital hooked to a heart monitor. My doctor entered the room, tsked, and said, “You are a hot mess. That is one bad monster you are fighting, and you require a team of seven doctors and a Life Coach if you hope to defeat the beast.”
Puff! My doctor waved her magic wand, and Queen Jules, with her Ikigai and infectious energy, appeared.
What Is Ikigai?
In Japan, a concept called Ikigai is central to finding one’s satisfaction and meaning in life. Ikigai translates to “reason for being.” Facilitating her client’s journey as they find their purpose is Julie’s life mission. Let me put this another way. Julie’s Ikigai is helping others discover their Ikigai.
Working With Queen Jules
Julie spent the first few weeks of our journey getting to know me. She delved into every inch of my psyche. I confess I was pretty pathetic. I can’t tell you how many times Julie had to take a phone call from me as I cried and pulled the covers over my head.
One day she said to me, “Have you ever tried writing? You seem like a writer to me?”
“I love writing,” I told her. “I have a background in journalism, I wrote a novel that is sitting in a drawer, and I fantasize about being an author.”
“You should start a blog,” Julie said.
“What’s a blog?” I asked.
“Oh, girl,” she said with a chuckle.
I awoke the following day to a beautiful blog site that Julie tailored to my interests. I dusted off my quill, and two weeks later, I had my site up and running.
One month later, I started research for a new novel.
One year later, I wrote my second novel. Then my third, then my fourth.
You get the picture.
What Happens When You Bottle Up Your Voice.
I have had issues with losing my voice over the years. To the point, I have had to go to speech therapy to repair injured vocal cords. The medical diagnosis for this is a damaged sphincter in my esophagus, causing severe acid reflux. Ulcers coat my digestive system, so I often vomit up food, choke on saliva, and have constant issues with my respiratory system. Chronic stress from the past few years has exasperated this condition leading to my stint in a hospital bed hooked to monitors.
I don’t dispute this medical diagnosis. It took the doctors a long time and many tests to discover what was wrong. However, I think there is another component to my health problems. I believe that my voice has been shoved in me for so long that it has caused putrid green bile to form. Eventually, this gross goo burned my esophagus and vocal cords.
Middle-class, educated women are taught to behave themselves. They are taught not to stand up for themselves, and in no way should they take on an unfair patriarchal or bureaucratic system. These societal “good girl rules” tell us not to bring attention to ourselves or think outside the box. Good wives, mother’s daughters, and public servants can’t be too colorful or stand out in any way.
Opinions? Good Grief! How dare you?
Good girls need to shove their opinions deep so that they don’t offend someone that might be considered important. The key to not making waves is to remain under the radar and never look someone in the eyes—especially someone holding purse strings or responsible for keeping the economy flowing.
Artists living in this gray world simply wither and die from the inside out.
I have known for years that if I could let my voice out, this green poison inside of my gray world might disintegrate, and I might heal. Sounds like such an easy solution, correct? Not so much! I needed someone to teach me how to believe in myself and show me how to take the necessary steps.
Enter Julie (Insert your life coach here!)
This is where a life coach came in. Julie gave me permission to find my voice. She provided a support system that wasn’t intimidated by the establishment. She encouraged me to be colorful and show my gifts to the world. Julie was the cheerleader that stood by me on the days when I was terrified to shine.
Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs:
I believe that Abraham Maslow was the greatest psychologist of all time. He proposes a theory that you must feel safe in each area of this hierarchy to reach full self-actualization. Self-actualization is the ultimate state of creative, moral, and problem-solving enlightenment that all humans crave. For example, a child without food or shelter is going to struggle with self-esteem.
Life Coaches understand this concept. Their mission is to find where you are in this hierarchy and help you reach the next level. A great life coach will work with doctors, therapists, and the support systems you have in place to make you the best version of yourself.
For my entire adult life, my alarm clock went off at five am, and I whimpered. I was exhausted, overwhelmed, and somewhat lost. Since Jules has helped me find my Ikigai, I wake up every day excited to fulfill my purpose. I am not yet a fully actualized human being, but I am on the correct path.
Yes, it is Life Coach Julie Lokun’s fault that I pop out of bed every day excited to tackle my purpose of entertaining readers and telling stories.
May every one of you find your Guardian Jules, discover your Ikigai, and embrace your journey to self-actualization.
Nicki lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, teenage daughter, and hyperactive Shetland Sheepdogs. She writes about women’s fiction, romance, humor, mysteries, and paranormal romance. Her debut novel, StumpStrong, will release this fall with Media Queens Publishing House, and her Romantic Mystery series Troubles in Bellmount will release in 2022 with The Wild Rose Press. You can contact her at email@example.com and on IG @nickipascarellawrites.