When I Listened


“I took my fear by the hand, eyes closed, head bowed, and I whispered, “I respect you, Fear. You are very powerful, and I honor your presence in my life right now. Walk with me, Fear.”

-C.K. Kochis

Our story is our voice. We may not tell the story the same way twice; our emotional attachment changes over time. We forget details, the value of events adjusts, and over-embellish some aspects. It wasn’t until I started to sort out things on a deep level I realize I’ve been walking this journey since my childhood.

I was curious, was I the only member of our Institute For Integrative Nutrition graduating class to feel confused and unclear of what to do with my education? I spoke with two fellow classmates recently to check-in, and see how they were doing with their coaching degree. I share our stories.

Photograph by Joan Harwood

The adventure of starting a magazine began when I was eight or nine years of age. I was the rebellious daughter who loved her mother’s typewriter and the magic I could create with it. With well-used carbon paper sheets between the pages, I wrote the family newspaper. The title in the masthead has long been forgotten. I reported about mom and dad, my sister, friends, and Robbie’s (our dog) adventures. When it was completed, I’d set up a newsstand and made my sister purchase a copy with the nickles we borrowed from our mother’s coin dish on her dresser.

Twenty-plus years after the dream was set in motion, I landed my first job in the newspaper arena. It was not a planned decision; I needed a job and they were hiring. During the interview I was hired on the spot as their sales representative. I was curious and Rolland, the editor, taught me the inter-workings of publishing a newspaper.

I joined the local radio station about a year and a half later to sell air-time. As much fun as I had learning ‘the board’, writing and recording advertising scripts, and helping with live remotes, my heart was in print. A year later, an opportunity to work at another local newspaper opened, and I took it! I had creative freedom. I was in heaven!

Life happened, things changed, and years later I found myself in a toxic job. My health declined due to the stress and I developed food allergies.

I enrolled with the Institute For Integrative Nutrition in the winter of 2015 with the intention to understand the cause of my increasing number of food allergies and how I could help others to live with food restriction. Half way through the program, I knew in my heart I was not going to be a coach as I planned.

I loved the program and received a tremendous amount of information. I felt better, looked healthier, and was sharing my new knowledge with friends and family. After graduation, I started the journey as an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach. My intuition told me something was missing. In various conversations with fellow coaches, we narrowed down my services.

I changed my title to Life Coach, and found Transformation Coaching to be my calling. Struggling, I had several deep, heart-centered conversations with Katt Tozier. I realized all the puzzle pieces were in front of me. It was up to me to put them together. In March I started researching how to publish either a newsletter or a magazine. As quick as the excitement built, so did the fear. On Sunday, May 8th, the little voice in my heart said, “It’s time.”

There’s a saying about quitting at the edge of success. It’s true. I took my fear by the hand, eyes closed, head bowed, and I whispered, “I respect you, Fear. You are very powerful, and I honor your presence in my life right now. Walk with me, Fear. I will hold your hand, and I will love you the best that I can. Together, you and I, we can do this. I’ll slow down, and do what I can to ease the freak-out-panic I feel from you. Walk with me, Fear. We can accomplish great things united.”

When I allowed myself to be vulnerable, go within, that was when I stopped asking for guidance outside of myself. My answers were right there the whole time. I simply needed to pause, sip tea, and listen to my heart.

Where this adventure takes me, I can’t say. My heart is my compass and my intuition is reading the map.

About the Author

Cindy (C.K.) Kochis is an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach who transformed her coaching practice as the foundation of Elements For A Healthier Life. She is providing a community space for people to share their personal stories, professional knowledge and healthy eating options. Cindy is a coach, virtual assistant, author, grandmother and sassy redhead. She self-published “Get A Compass Not A Clock” and “Unleash Your Inner Story”. For more information about Cindy’s services, please visit ckkochis.com.

Issue 01 | May 2016

This article was originally published in the May 2016 edition of Elements For A Healthier Life Magazine.