Walking the Talk: The Importance of Authenticity in Health Coaching
Before enrolling at Integrative Nutrition, 2010 graduate Odette Worrell juggled the demands of living in two different places and working for a family-owned business, all while serving on the board of two different schools. It was only a matter of time before she felt a need for change. When she actually started to pay attention to this need, she noticed an inner shift toward self-acceptance and acknowledged that her lifestyle just wasn’t working anymore. When she found the Health Coach Training Program in an online search, something clicked. She describes it as though “the school had taken everything I wanted to do and be, and placed it into a concise package.”
Since graduating, Odette has founded her practice, Find Your Organic Soul, and partnered with fellow Health Coach Michelle Kramer. The dynamic pair stays busy in Delray Beach, Florida, seeing clients (watch one client discuss their success in a video below!), groups and corporations throughout South Florida, while planning lectures and community events, such as a Vitamix demo booth at the 2012 Garlic Festival, and a Connected Warriors event which raises money to bring wellness to veterans. They also have plans to launch a line of gluten-free food and products by the end of the year. What an amazing start to her new career!
The key ingredient to Odette’s success is practicing what she preaches. In her own life shift, she took away the tools necessary for creating better health, and can now empower others from this place of authenticity. This interview highlights Odette’s journey, as well as what drives her to help others transform their lives.
It took some time before you began to notice a shift towards a deeper honesty and self-acceptance. Why is it unhealthy to ignore an internal feeling of need?
When we ignore our feelings, or create busy lives in order to ignore them, they still live within us. Our brain internalizes that we are under stress, and tries to stabilize this by releasing hormones to create homeostasis or balance. This can create serious health issues and exacerbate unease within the body. Finding the time and means to proactively address feelings and internal dialogue is as important as what you feed your body.
How has your life changed since enrolling in Health Coach Training Program benefited you?
My life has completely transformed since enrolling in the program. I have learned from many personal stories from other Health Coaches about overcoming health and emotional challenges. From offering my own challenges, I have received unparalleled love and support from my amazing South Florida Health Coaches network, and have found a deep sense of serenity. Knowing now about who I am and what I am doing has put value and honor into my work and my service to others. I am not just “doing,” I am being while I “do,” and I have learned how much life there is to live in every minute of every day. IIN is much more than a school; it is a community, a family.
How has working with a group of Health Coaches helped you with your own transformation? Do you regularly recommend your clients reach out to others for support and insight on their journey?
Working with a group of Health Coaches has given me a foundation that can be likened to having another family. Each South Florida Health Coach approaches wellness differently, but we are still focused on the primary goal of attaining what serves us and eliminating what doesn’t. We offer each other an amazing amount of support and act as Health Coaches for one another. This has helped me see the power in having others to help you do what you know you should do, but often don’t. I always recommend that my clients seek insights from others that they know will support their journey. It is important to know that we don’t have to go at it alone.
What were the most valuable things that you took away from your time at Integrative Nutrition?
I learned that no matter how much you know about nutrition, or how well-versed and knowledgeable you are about health, you will still run the risk of being unhealthy if you haven’t addressed the health of your internal and external environments. We can’t always control who we work with, what our friends and family say, or what life will present for us, but we can control how we respond to them and how we allow these people and experiences to affect us. I always tell my clients to use difficult moments as a time to give thanks to the powers that be for the opportunity for growth.
What are the important internal and external environments that need to be addressed in order to be healthy?
From my personal experience, I know that health fails when the insides and the outsides don’t match. In other words, the body hears everything the mind says. This is why I work on "mind chatter" issues with my clients. I often address this by asking, would you speak to your children in the same way you silently speak to yourself? Heck no! Loving the self is required in order to access a place of health, but it isn’t easy and it is an ongoing relationship. Knowing that you can love yourself and create a healthy life is half the battle.
You completely transformed your own life. Do you often use yourself as a success story with your clients?
When I work with clients I allow for their story to be what is most important. My own ability to speak to them with certainty and authenticity comes from seeing myself reflected in their words and their journey. In other words, it is less about offering myself as an example of success in overcoming health challenges, as it is about giving my clients a sense that we are a team and that my own journey has given me certain tools to help them with theirs. Within this dynamic of mutual respect and honest sharing, trust is created and we can walk side by side as we create the change they would like to see in their life. Because my clients know that I whole-heartedly believe in their success, it inspires them to believe in it as well.
How do you think being authentic directly correlates with being happy?
When we come into this world, I truly believe that we are only love, and love is happiness. As we grow older, we learn to wear masks in order to please others and fit in. Think about it: weren’t we scolded when we were overly playful, or overly loud in certain situations as youngsters? Our joy had to be contained and shown just only in certain places. So fast forward to our adult selves and we are still doing this. We try to control, or in most cases, we’re unaware of who we really are underneath the many masks we have learned to wear in order to fit into the role we have been defined by based on our families, jobs, etc. When we get back to discovering the little things that appeal to our senses, it brings us joy because it feeds what has been missing, where the void has been. When we invest a little bit of time each day in what makes us happy, it often feels like going home. The transformation in health from this simple act is a life-changer.
What's the most important piece of advice you would offer about balancing everything you have going on in your practice and your life, while maintaining that sense of serenity?
Simple: what would love do? Would it allow me to work and get no sleep and burn a candle at both ends? Would it want me to interact with loved ones in a way that makes them feel lesser, just because I’ve had a bad day or I have timelines to meet? Would love want me to put too much energy into one facet of my life and ignore the others? If you need an answer to anything, just ask yourself that question. It works for me every time.
Check out this video to see Odette and Michelle in action with one of their successful clients!
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