A Quarterly Column
|by Carol Adrienne,
Carol's New Book
Adrienne's work and teachings have been a great
inspiration to me! In August of 1998, about four months after my
father passed away, I read about one of Carol's
workshops in a Learning Annex catalog and
synchronistically found her book on a bookshelf at the
bookstore. The themes of her teachings were
familiar and comforting, as they confirmed the thoughts
and ideas my father had shared with me shortly before
his passing. Her books and workshops ignited my
spiritual curiosity, setting me on my soulful life path,
which led to the very creation of
SoulfulLiving.com! Carol's participation has been
an integral part of SoulfulLiving.com, at its soul
level! Thank you, Carol, with all my heart!
~Valerie, Founder and Soul, SoulfulLiving.com
Just Say Yes
In 2001, Patricia Caldwell, a forty-year-old Londoner, quit
at the top of a lucrative and successful career in hotel
management that she really enjoyed, to begin a practice
as a life coach—then a relatively new field. Many of us make
changes when we are unhappy with our jobs—which, of course,
makes logical sense. However, Caldwell’s family, friends,
and colleagues thought she was a bit daft to give up such a
"I loved my job," says Caldwell, "but I
looked at the [mostly] men who were a good ten to fifteen
years older than I was, and I decided I didn’t want to be in
the hotel business at that age." Starting out in sales
and public relations for an international hotel chain, she had
worked her way up in twelve years to a position as general
manager. "I really enjoyed the business and I had lots of
perks. For example, I could stay in luxury hotels around the
world at very discounted prices, and part of my job was to
entertain clients at top restaurants in London. I had a good
salary and lots of bonuses. The working conditions were
fantastic because I controlled my own hours and I had a large
staff. It was a very enjoyable existence. A lot of my peers
were men, and it was fun being the feminine influence. I didn’t
feel competitive with the men, and I felt we saw each other as
equals. I had a rather playful, diplomatic approach with them,
that I felt worked better than some of the women I knew who
were more aggressive, or who tried to be one of the
Even as Caldwell started thinking about making a change,
she had no idea what else she might like to do. "I just
felt a need to move in another direction and develop more of
myself. I felt there had to be something more. I had achieved
all my materialistic goals, but another part of me felt
unfulfilled." One day one of the directors of personnel
told Caldwell that she was leaving to become a teacher of
blind children. Caldwell says, "I remember being very
shocked that she was making such a huge and complete change.
But then I thought, ‘Well, why not?’"
Let Synchronicity Provide the Connections
As synchronicity would have it, shortly after this
incident, Caldwell was invited to attend a seminar for women
called Directions for Life. There were four women speakers,
one of whom was a life coach and author. As soon as she heard
this presentation, Caldwell remembers thinking, That’s
what I want to do. I want to be on stage doing motivational
talks. She began to investigate schools that taught
coaching. "At that time, there weren’t many coaching
schools," says Caldwell, "and I didn’t want a
distance learning program. I didn’t know where to get more
Again providence provided the link. Because she had
attended the seminar, Caldwell’s name was on a mailing list.
A new London-based school called the Coaching Academy had
purchased the seminar’s mailing list in order to advertise
their classes. Just as she was pondering what to do next, she
received their information. It turned out to be just what she
was looking for. The school offered residential weekends,
allowing her to work part-time and complete the program in
about a year.
Keep the Focus on What You Want
After qualifying from the academy, Caldwell knew she was
ready to leave the hotel industry and start her own practice.
What helped her make the transition during the next year, she
says, was a little bit of savings as well as the willing
support of her husband. During that year, Caldwell’s big
question, of course, was how to find clients and get her
practice going. Incredibly, synchronicity again paved the way.
"I got a call from my old university—the University of
Ulster-- to ask if I would give a talk to the alumni society
about my career change. After I had graduated, I worked at the
University for three years. After I left my job there, my boss
went on to become director of communications. I would always
stay in touch with her when I visited my parents in Northern
Ireland. That’s how she knew about my life changing decision
to become a coach. When the conference came up, she thought of
me as a speaker."
The invitation turned out to be a pivotal point in Caldwell’s
life, both personally and professionally. "When I got the
call, I had only just qualified and I had no clients yet. I
was very apprehensive about figuring out how to do the
marketing. My first thought when I was asked to speak was, No,
it’s too soon. I’m not ready yet. But then I realized
it was an opportunity from the universe, and I knew I had to
Her talk was not only very well received, but several
people immediately signed up for coaching. Her practice was
launched. Additional clients started arriving after the
University followed up the talk with an editorial about her in
the alumni magazine.
Trust Your Gift to Fulfill Your Purpose
What do we learn from this story? For one thing, we notice
that Caldwell, throughout her life, has made relationships a
priority. She maintains contacts. She creates good working
relationships. It was her gift for relationship that accounts
for the invitation that would bring her what she was asking
to receive. It was also the clarity of her intention or
question--How can I get clients?--that allowed
synchronicity to meet her request. It was her courage that
allowed her to step up to the plate and meet the opportunity.
Caldwell says, "I tell people to listen to their
heart. Ask for what you need. Start to live authentically,
which means focusing on what you are passionate about. When an
opportunity comes, just say yes."
Not only did the invitation to speak set in motion her
career, but it became an example of the power of the
psychological process of individuation. "Out of my
own experience I can see that we never stop evolving, even as
adults. This subject of becoming one’s authentic self--the
Jungian psychological maturation process--struck home for me.
We never stop growing into becoming more of who we are. I
realize now, it was the need to continue individuating that
was the impetus for me to leave the comfort of my
"good" job and set out for the unknown."
Whenever we think about making major changes, we are
confronted by our basic fears, such as fear of looking like we
don’t know what we are doing, starving to death, being
inadequate, or losing what we already have. But to truly live,
is to change and grow, albeit in large or small ways.
What is the cost of not individuating? Of not making
the changes that come from deep within? There are many
examples. Our health may suffer if we feel we are not
fulfilling our purpose. We become unhappy, depressed, or
envious of others. We suffer from fears and anxieties. In
extreme cases, suicide might even be a tragic choice. Failing
to follow our hearts may result in a loss of sense of
identity, or in displaced anger.
But does society really value the process of individuation?
Not as much as we would hope.
Avoid Fearful Naysayers
Caldwell remembers how people reacted negatively when she
first told them of her career change. "They couldn’t
understand why I would leave a successful and prestigious job
for something unknown. I have come to see that when we commit
to individuating, the first thing that happens is that we have
to confront our unconscious attachment to cultural myths.
Myths such as, Don’t rock the boat. You might lose what
you have. You won’t get another chance. Nobody has it all.
Once you leave, you can’t get back in. You’re too old to
change. Shouldn’t you be happy where you are at your age? People
get upset when someone they know acts out of character.
"I recognized that my identity was caught up in the
glamorous life of the hotel industry. I wasn’t at all sure
what would happen if I give that up," Caldwell admits.
"In the beginning, I didn’t tell many people about my
plans, only those that I felt would understand. My husband,
for example, was always very supportive of what I wanted. When
I did tell people, I could tell they didn’t really want to
know the answer to why I was going in a different direction.
Cultural wisdom doesn’t really value our inner drive as
being all that important. Ironically, now, four years later, I
am coaching a lot of people from the hotel industry!"
Today Caldwell has a thriving practice—all from word of
mouth. She is an inspirational speaker, and has founded a
networking forum called Q-DOS for qualified coaches. The group
meets monthly in London and has guest speakers, with over 100
members. "Starting Q-DOS has given me much more
visibility and ability to meet coaches from al different
backgrounds. Coaching is definitely growing here in the UK. It’s
more common now that Blue Chip companies are hiring executive
coaches like they did in the US five to ten years ago."
I couldn’t help but take a peek at Caldwell’s
numerology chart, and found that interestingly, she has a 1
Destiny—indicating a pioneer and leader, in this case,
within the coaching industry. One’s have the drive to
go beyond what they think they know about themselves and the
world—to step into the unknown. Characteristically, Caldwell
says, "I believe in the power of paying attention to our
inner voice, and to allow ourselves to evolve into the next
stage. In a nutshell, for me my success has come whenever I’ve
had the courage to just say yes to the next opportunity."
To contact Patricia Caldwell, please email her at Qlifecoach@aol.com
or visit her website at www.1to1point618.com
© Copyright 2005 Carol Adrienne, Ph.D. All Rights Reserved.
REQUEST! I am looking for stories about
people who have made a transition to a new lifestyle, career,
or meaningful interest in their fifties, sixties, seventies,
or eighties. I’d like to know what and how you did it!
Please email me at Carol22@sonic.net.
Keep it short—I’ll be happy to telephone you for details.
Thank you for your energy and time in advance.
Carol Adrienne, Ph.D.,
is an internationally-known workshop facilitator and
author whose books have been translated into over fifteen
languages. Her latest book is When Life Changes, or You
Wish It Would. Oprah hailed, The Purpose of Your Life:
Finding Your Place in the World Using Synchronicity,
Intuition, and Uncommon Sense a must-read. She is also an
intuitive counselor and life coach who has helped thousands of
people work through doubt, procrastination, and obstacles to
create the life they want to live. Visit http://www.CarolAdrienne.com
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