Area life coaches hold one-stop workshop

We have all had to deal with life changes in one form or another during our lifetimes. We get married, have kids, get a divorce, or lose our jobs and have to start all over.

The workshop will be held March 19 at the Cedar Rapids Public Library.
The workshop will be held March 19 at the Cedar Rapids Public Library.

Luke Gordon of Hiawatha knows all about life changes. He makes it his business to know. Gordon is a life coach, who has joined forces with four other area life coaches to form the Cedar Rapids Coaches Collective.

Gordon met Louis Collins, Stephanie Merrick Mitchell, Berlinda Owens, and Jennifer Murphy after reaching out to them for advice and support last year while he was training to become a life coach.

“We all experience changes and sometimes those changes can cause us to get stuck,” he said. “Life coaches can help you get ‘unstuck.’”

The CRCC will hold a workshop March 19 from 9:30 to 2:30 at the Cedar Rapids Public Library. According to Gordon, “Unleash your Inner Hero” will feature the five life coaches, with each presenting their perspective on how to deal with life changes.

Gordon said they all have different ways of doing things, but they share a common goal-to help others deal with the changes in their lives.

Louis Collins, from Cedar Rapids, is a photographer and piano teacher, as well as a life coach. He said he became a life coach because he wanted to help people reach inside and find their identities and emerge a better person.

Collins said he loved the idea of getting together and collaborating on a seminar that would offer the best of all their talents.

“I like the theme of the workshop because I try to help my clients search for the hero within, to realize their true potential. We grow and we learn, but I believe the starting point is within ourselves. We are taught to look for the answers outside ourselves, but the real answers are inside of us already.”

Stephanie Merrick Mitchell, who is from Cedar Rapids, said the reason she got involved in the collective is because it demonstrates an important element of coaching-supporting each other.
“Not only do we help our clients, but we help each other, too.”

Mitchell said she became a coach to help people who are stuck and need encouragement to step outside their comfort zone. “Maybe they would be happier in a different job or they maybe they feel like they should be doing something else,” she said. “ I help them redefine what they want to do.”

Mitchell said it’s opposite of what we learned when we are little. “We are taught not to question and we become comfortable where we are. But then we wake up one day and we aren’t anymore. I work with clients to try to turn that kind of thinking around and look at the possibilities. Most people just need to know that there is someone out there who supports them and believes in them and their dreams.”

According to Mitchell, a coach is an ally, not a fixer. “We work together to come up with a solution. That’s the great thing about the workshop. Those attending will get five different perspectives on life and the changes it brings.”

Gordon said he will focus on life’s transitions at the workshop. “Getting a new job, getting married, having a child, losing a job …. these changes can be traumatic. I help individuals feel better prepared when life changes occur so they don’t look back and wish they would have done something different.”

Berlinda Owens, who lives in Hiawatha, said her niche is to help people work through grief.
“I lost my mother last year and I realized that I could help people go through the same thing I had gone through. It’s really hard when you lose someone you love. It helps to have someone close to you who can help you through it.”

Owens said she tends to look at people going through life as either a chicken or an eagle.
“Chickens stay in their yards and are happy just pecking at the ground, but eagles are made to fly high and soar above everything. You have to ask yourself, do you want to go through life as a chicken, or an eagle? Don’t be afraid to soar.”

Jennifer Murphy, Cedar Rapids, is a writer, an artist, and a coach, and helps her clients step outside of their chaotic lives and look at what is most important.

“They have a chance to see a vision of what they really want to do with their lives,” she said. “I encourage them to ask themselves what’s most important in their lives. We surf through our lives and don’t take the time to stop and enjoy it. We need to give ourselves permission to take the time to enjoy life.”

Murphy said a lot of people avoid conflict because they don’t like the way it feels. “But growth comes from conflict and change is necessary. We do our best to help make it a little less traumatic.”

“We often forget to take care of ourselves,” added Owens. “Knowing how to take care of yourself makes us better parents, better spouses, better employees, and better people in general.”

This is not therapy,” said Murphy. “Therapy deals with resolving the past and we help people in the present, about what is going on right now so we can figure out what the next step is.”

The cost for the event is $47 if you register before March 1. After March 1, the cost goes up to $97.

The cost of registration includes a catered lunch.

Click on this link to register.



Hiawatha to host RAGBRAI riders

The city of Hiawatha is looking for volunteers to help out when the community plays host to approximately 15,000 RAGBRAI riders July 23.

Hiawatha will host RAGBRAI riders July 23.
Hiawatha will host RAGBRAI riders July 23.

The Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa held its first ride in 1973, when a challenge was initiated by Des Moines Register writer/copy editor, John Karras, and columnist Don Kaul.

People liked the idea so much they held another the following year and it has since become one of the biggest Iowa events of the year. Bicycle riders come from all over the world for the chance to participate in RAGBRAI.

Hiawatha last hosted RAGBRAI riders in 2004.

The ride will begin July 19 in Sioux City and end July 25 when riders reach Davenport and dip their tires in the Mississippi River.

Stops along the way include Storm Lake, Fort Dodge, Eldora, and Cedar Falls, and Coralville.

City Administrator, Kim Downs, and Parks and Recreation Director, Kelly Friedl attended the RAGBRAI announcement Jan. 24 in Des Moines.

“We are very excited about RAGBRAI’s overnight stay in our community and want to make it the best night ever,” said Friedl, Hiawatha. “This will be an opportunity for us to show them why Hiawatha is a great place to live, work, and play.”