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Client Spotlight: Helen Iwata

by Frame of Mind February 15, 2016

helen iwata

Today’s Client Spotlight: Helen Iwata

Job: Founder and President of Sasuga Communications

Coaching: 10 weeks 1-on-1 Coaching with Chari Schwartz

How did you first find out about Frame of Mind Coaching?
I heard Kim Ades’s interview on The Suitcase Entrepreneur podcast with Natalie Sisson. I had been coached in the past and was thinking about starting again. Intrigued by the Frame of Mind Coaching approach, I went straight to the website and signed up for the assessment.

What were you struggling with prior to coaching?
I kept prioritizing my work over my health and my family. I used to think that this was because I was working in the corporate world, and that this would change when I started working for myself. But two years into running my own business, I was still overdoing it. I was taking on way too much, being reactive to other people’s needs, and starting to feel the physical symptoms of stress again.

Since this was an ongoing problem for me that I hadn’t been able to solve with other forms of coaching, this time, I really wanted to do something that would make a difference to my thinking, my beliefs and my behavior.

How did coaching impact your workload?
I still have a sizable workload and that’s okay. The huge difference now is that I prioritize my health and my family. I say “no” to things that don’t energize me, and “yes” to things that light me up. I don’t check my emails until I’ve done what is important to me each morning. I also shut the computer down and stop checking my phone much earlier in the day. Chari helped me see that this was possible and gave me the tools I needed to make it happen.

I noticed two big differences in myself around Christmas.

Usually, the run-up to Christmas is such a hectic time for me. I used to put a lot of stress on myself to attempt to make everything fabulous for everyone else. This Christmas, I was working on a book, buying and moving into a condo, and making big changes within my business, on top of my regular workload. I normally would have been incredibly stressed, but I wasn’t! I really was able to enjoy the holidays this year. I even took two sets of four-day digital sabbaticals – with no access to emails or social media – to really focus on my family and friends.

Then, after Christmas, we moved. Whenever I moved in the past, it was such a stressful time. This time, I was able to focus on enjoying the moving process. Moving into a fabulous new condo, buying new furniture and décor, and exploring the new neighborhood was a once-in-a-lifetime experience for me, my husband and my daughter. Frame of Mind Coaching taught me to be less reactive, rushed and stressed, and to actually enjoy the exciting things in my life.

You mentioned that you used to be very busy. How are you spending your time now?
Every morning, my husband and I walk down to the nearby park. He then jogs while I walk and listen to my favorite podcasts. Back in the condo thirty minutes later, I meditate and journal before preparing breakfast and lunch for my family. I love my mornings! It’s a huge difference from when I used to begin the day by checking my emails. Chari advised me to put a bit of vacation into every day. I feel like I do that now. It’s wonderful!

What was the experience of journaling every day like for you?
I loved it! I have a communications background, so I’m used to having to write well. But with journaling, it was more like writing a stream of consciousness. I found it really refreshing to write whatever was on my mind without having worry about structure, grammar or punctuation. And it was amazing to have Chari read and respond promptly to my journal entries or any questions I had.

Has coaching impacted how you show up at work?
I have always been the sort of person who would put on a good front for work, regardless of how I was feeling. Now, I’m putting on a good front naturally because I actually feel good.

Would you recommend FOM Coaching to others?
Absolutely! I’ve been doing that quite a bit already. It was definitely worth it. Also, Chari is great coach. She has a nice balance of having fun and getting down to business at the same time. I really liked that approach. At one point, she said to me, “Helen, you’ve passed,” meaning that I had been doing so much to prove myself, but I actually didn’t need to be. That phrase keeps coming back to me. Huge thanks to Chari, Kim, and Natalie for making a huge difference in my life!

 

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