I’m absolutely terrified to write this post. My brain has wanted to write it, but my body shuts down when I sit down to type. I’m fighting through, though, because I know it’s important. No, it’s crucial—for me, for my joy, for my life.
This post is about my dreams. It’s about the dreams that I left to die a sad and lonely death while I pursued what I had convinced myself were “smarter” goals. In 2009, I walked away from my dreams (a second time) and into what would be the most difficult period of my life, fighting for things I did not believe in, getting farther and farther away from my dreams and from myself in the process.
The funny thing is, many of you know me (or know of me and my work) only after 2009. Many of you have no idea that when you attended my yoga classes or my back-pain workshops, those things were my efforts at a compromise. They were not my dreams. They were certainly closer than other things I tried (like the job that I have now), but they were not my dreams. I left those in 2009, like I said. I never thought I could achieve them. So I never even tried. I mean, I half-assed tried, but I didn’t commit because I didn’t really believe. In my mind, my dreams would never be attainable, so I could not put aside all of the other noise, distraction, and false needs to pursue my authentic dreams. I didn’t. And I suffered. Wow, have I suffered.
I feel the desire to write through all of the things that led to my avoiding and neglecting the pursuit of my dreams, but perhaps not now. Not in this post. I have so many important things to do now, I don’t want to stay stuck dredging up the “how did I get here.”
But I will do so piecemeal, maybe a bit every day, because I think it might help me, and maybe it’ll even help you. And the thing that I am amazingly good at, and that consistently rocks my world, is helping people get ultra clear about how they can help themselves.
What I mean by that is, I have known since 2002 that I am a listener, a questioner, a coach. I’m not a teacher, even though I have played that role extremely well in one form another for 17 years. I don’t like to be the expert in the room that people turn to for answers, even though I know a lot of stuff and I can teach it all, without fail. Is being a teacher my dream? No.
Rather, I am an extraordinary listener. I hear things you don’t even say, and things you don’t even know, and I help you find the space and courage to say them and know them. My entire being is alive and engaged when I am in the presence of a person filled with questions, filled with uncertainty or ambivalence, filled with desire for something different/new/true, and seeking clarity, seeking answers, seeking a oneness with herself. I disappear in those moments, and my ears, eyes, and some magical method of connecting/hearing/processing/speaking happens where “I” used to be. I help the person filled with questions realize their own answers. I help the person lacking certainty come to a place where there is enough certainty to try something that feels right. I help the person seeking oneness with herself get one bit closer to being integrated and whole.
I don’t know what that’s called. But it’s not teaching. And it’s not counseling. The only thing I can think of is to call it coaching. I am a coach. It’s who I am. It’s what I do with all of my friends and my partner and my loved ones. The art and skills of a coach feel as though they make up my natural state, because when I am in that state my ego does not exist. I am whole, I am new, and I am authentically me. That is what I have been seeking my whole life, even though I knew how to achieve it as early as 2003, after I completed coach training and started practicing coaching with some of my fitness clients. I was no longer the expert, I was the listener. I was no longer the person with the answers, I was the person helping the answers emerge from the questioner. I was no longer the one doing all the work, I was the one handing the tools over to the one who needed to do the work. It was magic. I’m sure it’s still magic. But I left coaching because I couldn’t see how I’d ever make a living doing it. I was too afraid to try.
Fourteen years. Fourteen years of unfortunate relationships, poor choices, draining work, utter sadness, depressing emptiness, listlessness, directionless living, and ill health. That’s what I accepted into my life instead of being terrified to “be a coach” and doing it despite my terror. It’s time I finally gave up my suffering and faced my terror instead. So that’s what I’m doing. And that’s why I’m writing this post.
So what happens now that I am pursuing the dreams I set aside so long ago? What does this look like? I have no effing clue! I’m going in with my heart and willing to see what happens.
In the last 14 years, I’ve at least done something really well: I learned exactly what I do and don’t want, what does and does not inspire me. And working online, which is ALL I have been doing the last few years, does not inspire me. It drains me. I like to check out social media to see what my favorite writers and my friends are up to, but that’s about all the internet is good for in my world. I need people. Physical people. In my presence. Sitting next to me. Walking next to me. Telling me their stories. Filling my ears with their words. Filling my eyes with their loveliness. Because to me, people—specifically, my own interactions with other people—are my whole reason for being on this planet. I want nothing more than to hear other people tell me their stories all day, every day, and for me to be allowed to ask questions: “What about this? What does that mean? What inspired you to use that word? What would you do if you could do anything?”
For a while I thought I was a writer. Sure, I write. I love words. I love language. I love the meaning and feeling and energy of words. I am certain I’ll be doing a lot of writing in the near future as I parse out and make sense of how I got here and how I had let myself stray so far away. But I think writing is secondary to the real magic in my life: Listening to, and really hearing, another person and helping her get unstuck and get moving into her desire, her goals, her dreams. (At least for now, “writer” is not my title. I won’t say things won’t change, because experience tells me they will.)
I used to say that by being a fitness expert and yoga teacher, I was helping people access their minds through their body—going in “through the back door.” I still think that’s true, but it was never totally satisfying to me. I want to go in through the front door. I want to be the person that you turn to when you feel with your heart that you’re not the person you really want to be, and you need a support, a hand, a toolbox, whatever to help you break through Door #2. In fact, I had originally intended, when I started building the Hauber Method, for the program to contain BOTH a physical and an emotional/spiritual component because I saw so clearly the connection between people’s physical pain and their not living an authentic life. But I just couldn’t do it. I was so afraid of failing. So afraid of not really knowing what I know. So afraid that no one would trust me enough to help them—even though by that time, the physical exercises alone were helping dozens of people in countries all over the world.
Now, finally, in 2017, I am plowing through my terror and all of the dozens of fears I have about being the coach, the listener, the support system that I am, and I am opening up the offer, to you and everyone you know who wants more than anything to live a fuller, richer, healthier, happier, more joyful life, to travel to me and experience your own personal coaching program. One week, 3 weeks, 2 months—that’s up to you or us to figure out. What are your dreams? What feelings do you want to feel on a daily basis? What actions do you want to take and what scenery do you want to see? Do you even know? Maybe we start there: What do you actually want? Maybe you only know that it’s not what you already have. That’s step one. You’re almost there. I can help you get the rest of the way.
I’m reminded of Barbara Sher’s book “Wishcraft,” which acts as a step-by-step guide for “how to get what you really want.” I guess my coaching could be viewed like that. But instead of a book as a guide, it’s just you and me. You exploring your dreams and desires, me being present and asking you exactly the right questions to get you to move one step closer to those dreams and desires.
Do I have a PhD in psychology? No, although I briefly wanted one when I was in university and aced every Psych class I took. I thought I’d have to be a pill pusher (my unsexy name for psychiatrist) if I did that, and even at that tender age I knew that language was a far better way to access the mind than pharmaceuticals (in my world, anyway). I had a crisis when I first started coaching and thought, “OH NO, now I need a PhD or no one will believe me.” I went to grad school and stopped after earning my Masters when I realized grad school was just a bunch of distracting hoop jumping designed to feed egos. And the last thing I needed was more ego to feed. Besides, does Oprah have a PhD? Does Tony Robbins? Does Elizabeth Gilbert? No. Of course not. And millions of people live by every word these wonderful human beings utter. Why? Because they are being THEIR AUTHENTIC SELVES, and they are brilliant at connecting with people, just like I am. They understand the human condition and they understand how to put the word out so that everyone who listens gets a little clearer, a little wiser, a little closer to being themselves. That’s what I do, too. And for so many years—hiding behind yoga teaching and back-pain exercises and umpteen other kinds of teaching—I have been terrified of being what I truly aim: A listener, a person who understands and makes connections, a person who gets extreme joy from hearing your story, hearing your obstacles, hearing your dreams, and holding the door open for you to walk through to the life you deserve.
It might take me years to get over the terror of being misunderstood, misread, discredited, etc. But I have to face that terror now. I have to claim my dream now. I simply HAVE to start coaching people NOW or I will go completely nuts. I will not just be miserable and suffering, I will be crazy with pain. My soul is crying out to hear you, to listen to you, to ask you questions, to understand you, to help you get clear, and to hold space for you to pursue your life in the greatest way possible. I’ll even happily teach you the Hauber Method exercises and any yoga or meditation your body and soul might need on your path to becoming a more “you” version of you—if that’s what you desire. Just come to me and let me coach you.
This is how I’m going to do it until further notice. As many of you know (well, anyone who’s read my About page knows), I now live in Europe. In the Alps. That photo below was taken from my street. It’s amazing here. It’s also not the simplest or cheapest place to fly into from the U.S. (from the U.K.—not so bad). So I want you to book a lodging nearby, book your flights (after agreeing on dates with me, of course), and let me coach you for no charge. That’s right, no fee. You pay your airfare and lodging and food, I’ll coach you for no fee. One week, 3 weeks, 2 months—write to me and let’s see what works. It might even change once you get here and decide you want more, who knows? But let’s give this a try.
If you feel like you want to donate something to me in exchange, sure. If you come up with an amazing way to pay it forward when you get back home, I’m all for it. Or if you come and take part in some coaching and just don’t have the experience you wanted to have, hey, you will have tried, you will have been heard, and you will have seen an incredible landscape and had a little adventure in the meantime. Maybe that will turn out to be all you really needed.
I’m having a hard time coming up with excuses for you not to do this with me.
Concrete thinkers are going mad right now, thinking “Are you insane?” and ENFPs like me are thinking, “Hell, yeah, this is so awesome!” I’m here for both of you, so write me and let me know what you’re thinking and how I can help. We’ll figure out the details together. Let’s just get started now. NOW! I have waited more than 14 years to be authentically me. How long have you been waiting? And are you really willing to wait even longer?
Sara Hauber, MA
Coach, listener, observer, writer, and erstwhile teacher; constantly curious
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