View More: http://alyssajeanstudios.pass.us/hughesportraitsI am Sheila Hughes, a single mother of two young adult girls, one 19 and one 21 and two boys, one 15 and the youngest, 13;  a Behavioral Intervention Specialist and the Family Education Coordinator at Syringa Family Partnership, inspired by my youngest son who has autism; compassionate problem solver and a prayerful disciple of Christ.

What got me into Life Coaching?

In 2013, I found myself changing course, becoming a single mom after having the blessing of being a stay at home mom for 14 years, while homeschooling for 9 of those years.  Prior to having children, I worked in Western Washington in the Children’s Mental Health system, in residential care as well as outpatient as a Children’s Mental Health Case Manager, and finally in foster care as a licenser and trainer.

Having a son with special needs led me to explore special diets and learning more about biomedical approaches and overall wellness that were tailored to the individual.  Autism, after all, is a spectrum disorder and if you meet one child with autism, you have met one child with autism.  No two people are alike.  With this in mind, Coaching is a wonderful approach to wellness as everyone has different issues and different ways to motivate themselves based on what is important to them.  I have been keenly aware that although there are common issues, everyone has a unique set of circumstances and what is of value to them.  What works for me, may not work for you.  However, what is true for most people is that everyone has a song of their heart and the desire to live a fulfilling life while seeing their loved ones living to their potential as well.

With that in mind, what is Life Coaching?

Coaching is about change and growth.  Life throws us some curves and that certainly has happened in my life but each step along the way I have adjusted and learned incredible lessons while discovering more about myself and my core values than I ever took the time to deeply consider.  Autism has been a gift, despite its challenges, as it has taught me about the importance of health and wellness.  Making dietary changes and continuing to learn about how to help our bodies recover from the countless attacks and toxins we are exposed to is an ongoing learning experience that I wouldn’t trade for the world.

Coaching is about facing life’s challenges proactively.

When I was faced with being a single parent of four children, two of whom had neurodevelopmental disorders, and one with mental health issues, I learned that to care for my children in the best possible fashion, I needed to work at a job that I would find fulfillment while being readily available to meet their needs.  I was blessed to have been given the opportunity to get trained through the Professional Christian Coaching Institute to become a Life Coach while also getting trained as a Habilitative Intervention Specialist to work with kids with disabilities.  What has been exciting for me is that I am now able to work at the agency where my son gets his therapy for his autism and provide family education to other parents who are just starting out this journey.

Christian coaching is about discovering your God-given gifts and passions.

I once heard that anytime you are working where your gifts are, you have energy and essentially, it doesn’t feel like work!  We are made with special gifts and talents, with a unique song in our hearts that drives us toward fulfillment.

My work path, the social service field, has always been fed by this passion of helping others and help them know that they matter.  Even as a young child, I wanted to help and had a heart of compassion.  This was demonstrated, sadly, when my older sister’s dog was dying.  I felt so bad for her that my four-year-old logic decided to look for a screwdriver to see if I could fix the dog.  Luckily, my older siblings and parents kept me from “helping” so much.

The essential part of coaching is that you are given the space to discover what is your gifts and passions while also challenged to see how to use them, and be encouraged as you grow into personal fulfillment!

Coaching is about stepping back to see where you are right now.

Life is full of so many possibilities.  Discovering your vision helps with the practical steps of fulfilling that vision.  Assessing one’s strengths and weaknesses while making a plan as to how to forge ahead, gathering resources to assist along the way, leads to success.

Coaching is about pausing long enough to get an objective view of where you want to grow. 

I have discovered the gift of humility as that is been the key to growth in my life.  I certainly don’t know all the answers, but I do know how to ask good questions.  Working with, and living with Special Needs kids entail an ongoing discovery process through research, training, and at times, trusting my intuition after a lot of prayers.  I have been fortunate to have a lot of resources in the work I do, as well as a Tribe who encourage me and keep me balanced while I focus on not only the goals for my family but for helping those in my community live a life of health and fulfillment.

Coaching is about living out your values.

I am an active and involved parent of my four kids.  They keep me young and dependent on prayer.  Others describe me as hopeful, calm, patient, and discerning.  I enjoy spending time with my friends, family, and faith community.  I have a heart for others who are struggling in some way, an eye for God’s faithfulness and beauty, an ear for hearts, and the gift of encouragement and service.

What are the passions of your heart?  What drives you forward each day?  It would be an honor to connect with you and hear your heart and desire to move forward in your life.

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