Welcome to the Front Porch, an inspiring friend and mentor, Kathie Gautille. Kathie has been a wonderful guide in this season of life for me – sharing her stories and instilling courage within me to follow my heart and trust God’s Will for my life. Her deep faith and prayer life are her compass as she travels the path of life.
The Courage to Defy Gravity
Kathie Gautille, ACC
I remember the exact moment when I decided that I needed to take off my daughter hat – mom hat – Nonna hat and dive into my life. I was 52 years old. It was a pivotal moment for me. It was a God-incident because the timing was perfect.
I had just left my job as a VP of marketing and development due to serious burnout. I know the Blessed Mother was showing me how all-consuming my job was, and that I wasn’t fulfilling my life’s purpose. So, I took time off from considering other job offers and job searches. Mary spoke to my heart that I was at a point in my life where discerning my next project, job, or volunteer opportunity needed to lead to the passion and purpose for my life.
It wasn’t long before my work sabbatical found me being a lay leader at my church, serving on the Parish Pastoral Council as Chair. In this role, I was invited to attend a seminar series on coaching others to “Live Their Strengths”, using Gallup’s CliftonStrengths. After taking this coaching course, I felt I found the way I can live my strengths, I can pursue my passion and purpose by having coaching as a ministry at St. Ann Catholic Parish.
As I became more involved in the world of coaching, several seasoned coaches encouraged me to hang out my shingle and be a full-time coach. But, truthfully, it’s scary to completely change course from what you are comfortable with and start over.
Taking inventory of myself, I recognized that:
- I know how much I love my family, as well as being available to them.
- I know my personal work ethic can be all-consuming.
- I know how much I love personal growth and development, but learning takes time.
- I know a business takes funding, time, and energy.
While going through all of these gyrations in my little head, I happened upon a Jon Acuff’s book: START. Punch Fear in the Face, Escape Average, Do What Matters.
START. has helped crystalize what was going on in my head. Acuff mentions in his book that when we reach the point of making decisions some of us “cue the fog machine” to muddy the decision-making “and pretend there’s a fog of complexity in the way.” I believe this was happening to me because I wasn’t praying about this, I was trying to control it. I began struggling with finding the off switch to the fog machine.
Then one day I was listening to the musical WICKED when the song, Defying Gravity was playing. Listening to it was as if I was hearing this song for the first time. I bet I have sung along with that song a million times, but I am not sure I have ever really listened to the lyrics of the song. This time I heard it loud and clear…”It’s time to trust my instincts, close my eyes, and leap.”
My instincts told me I needed time in prayer. I took my thoughts, feelings, and ideas to prayer for weeks. I called upon the Blessed Mother’s intersession on finding my passion and purpose. I asked Christ to be there if I leap and fall. I called upon the power of the Holy Spirit to give me wisdom and clarity to turn off the fog machine so I could not only hear but also galvanize God’s will for me.
And I did. I defied gravity and took a running leap into coaching.
There was lots of training modalities, and certifications in coaching; I am still learning after over 11 years of coaching.
The most important lesson for me was that prayer helped me experience peace with a decision. I am blessed to have a deep and profound faith in Christ Jesus, and fully rely on God. I felt the Lord telling me if I am going to gamble on something…gamble on myself because I will never be alone. Just close my eyes and leap!
As for me and my next adventure? Camino de Santiago, but I will leave that for another time.