My Second Year

Two years ago, I split off from the software executive trail I had trod for thirty years to explore a new path as a leadership and life coach. Today, I celebrate that milestone with some reflections on my second year. You can read about my first year here.

Meta-Metaphor

I have written several times about my program on neuroscience, consciousness, and transformational coaching. It has been one of the highlights of my year. In the most recent module, we spent much time working with metaphors.* As we dove deep into metaphor, I was bursting with creativity,** enabling me to look at the world from a new perspective.

One of the reasons metaphors are so powerful is that they engage the brain’s right hemisphere. I have often referred to myself as a child of modernity. I grew up distinctly leaning to the left hemisphere, focusing on details, logic, and facts. Metaphors help me integrate both hemispheres of my brain by directly engaging the right hemisphere.

Ann Betz and Ursula Pottinga, CPCC, PCC took metaphor to another level in our class as we explored meta-metaphor. This involves listening to our words and thoughts to identify patterns in the metaphors we may not even realize we are using, which may shed insight into how we view the world.

As I contemplated celebrating two years as a coach, I considered some of my past celebrations and posts, and my meta-metaphor became clear. Let’s consider some of my blog posts with the tell-tale signs:

My meta-metaphor is that life is a journey, with an emphasis on the journey, not the destination. As I connect these dots, I see that meta-metaphor reflected so often in how I view the world and my choices.

When my coachee and I tease out a meta-metaphor in our work together, it becomes a powerful awareness tool. What gift does this awareness bring to the coachee? One realized their metaphors all spoke to feeling stuck. They didn’t see any options to overcome the challenges they were facing. In this case, we looked for a new metaphor. What meta-metaphor would serve them better? Perhaps a flowing river that twists and turns as needed to move around those challenges but never stops flowing. Or maybe the challenges are a dam, and they need to open the floodgates.

In my case, being on the path is a meta-metaphor that serves me well at this moment in time. It reminds me to look around as I walk the trail rather than racing to the end. It reminds me that I’ve never walked this path before, and it’s natural to encounter surprises along the way. It’s a trail run, not a trail race. This is especially meaningful for me because the only time I ran a trail race, I broke my toe.

This Leg of My Journey

Over the past year of my journey, I have encountered so many wonders along the path. Here are a few of the highlights:

  • I earned my Professional Certified Coach (PCC) designation from the International Coach Federation early in my second year.
  • The universe nudged me to embrace a more robust 360 feedback tool with the Leadership Circle Profile.
  • It nudged me a little more, leading me to integrate my love of coaching, consciousness, and science with Ann and Ursula’s course.
  • I joined the Newfield Network Alumni Committee. I am incredibly grateful for all the learning and growth from Newfield, professionally and personally, and I am honored to have this opportunity to give back.
  • I had 52 weeks of validation that coaching is what I love. My fulfillment life account is a consistent five out of five.
  • I will complete my 1,000th hour of coaching in a few weeks.
  • I discovered teliodosis, living a life that integrates doing and being. It has become as foundational to me as arete.

Perhaps most importantly, the people I most love to coach are finding me more and more frequently. These are people who are passionate about their personal growth. They come to me with specific goals in mind, whether those are professional, leadership growth goals, or life goals. They bring deep trust, a willingness to be vulnerable, and a strong desire to be their authentic selves. The conversations have been magical for me and, I trust, for my clients.

The Next Leg of My Journey

I would love to lay out my detailed plans for the next twelve months to give you clues about what lies ahead. That’s not the meta-metaphor I’m living in right now. I recently looked back at the full-year goals I set for 2023. They are amusing. The difference between what I planned and what occurred illustrates the incredible personal evolution I have experienced in less than a year. This is why I’m a strong advocate for quarterly goals. When I make 90-day commitments, the planning horizon is short enough that it is easy to strike a healthy balance, setting ambitious yet achievable goals that are not likely to get disrupted by a shift in strategy. However, being on the path means the 12-month view is much less clear. I, for one, am okay with that. I’m taking this path one step at a time, enjoying the scenery.

Let me know if you want to go for a walk.


I am an Executive Coach and Life Coach with software executive roots in Higher Ed and EdTech. I coach because I love to help others accelerate their growth as leaders and humans. I frequently write about #management, #leadership, #coaching, #neuroscience, and #arete.

If you would like to learn more, schedule time with me.

Want to comment? Join the conversation on LinkedIn.

* From Oxford Languages: A metaphor is “a figure of speech in which a word or phrase is applied to an object or action to which it is not literally applicable.“

Some examples:

  • I’m drowning in emails.
  • He flew through the airport to reach his gate on time.

** That’s a metaphor 😊