Jody Answers Top Questions
What vision do you have for your life and your coaching practice?
To impart the best tools within my grasp for living one’s most expanded, joyous life and to model what that looks like and how much fun one can have getting there.
What are the top three things you love about coaching?
I love the co-creative process of mutual learning that ripples out into the world, bringing a practical map to situations that once seemed mystifying and seeing clients relax into a newly opened space of possibility.
Before I started coaching I …
Before coaching officially, I was… coaching unofficially ☺ Going back to my school days, I was the one people came to for advice and was always interested in the field of human behavior and helping people. The winding road I took was to be a banker in New York for 7 years and to spend 15 years in France where I worked for an inter-governmental organization.
What makes you laugh?
Potentially anything – especially if it is something I am taking too seriously! I also generally enjoy the things kids say, improvisation, British humor and a good quick wit.
The legacy I want to leave behind is …
A clear impact on the world by inspiring those I meet and work with to value, live in and share inner and outer peace, joy, integrity and experiential creativity as an agent of personal evolution.
Who are your top three people you would want to coach and why?
I am interested in coaching people who are open to learning and are willing to resolve the issues they present or to evolve into the potentials they desire. Assuming those criteria are met, I would like to coach:
Barack Obama – I would love to see big changes in the global political arena and President Obama is the most influential politician on earth right now. The world really does change when we live in full integrity, transparency, healthy responsibility and surpluses of appreciation. He is making history and I would like to see him go all the way with radical change. Why blend in to the past when he already stands out?
The Pope and his team – I was ordained as an Interfaith Minister (New Seminary 2000-2002) and while not religious myself, I think the Pope is probably the most widely recognized religious leader in the world. I would love to see the Vatican leaders become models and proponents of speaking the immaculate truth, abstaining from blame and repression, and going on a crusade of transparency and responsibility.
Ellen DeGeneres and her wife Portia de Rossi – I see Ellen as awake, joyful and having great impact. Expanding what is already going well is a wonderful use of coaching and given her role, could greatly affect those in her wide sphere of influence.
What were the greatest benefits you received from studying at the Hendricks Institute?
A wonderful, worldwide community of friends, committed learners and co-creators, a skill set that allows me new perspectives and an ability to navigate anything that arises and the capability to impart that to those who wish to learn the same. To be more specific, I now own my creative power and know what is possible when I combine that with the power of commitment and taking 100% responsibility.
The movie that inspired me most was _______. Why?
There are many and what comes to mind in this moment is a documentary called A Touch of Greatness. Netflix says: “When he became a teacher in the 1940s, Albert Cullum realized something was lacking in his classes and decided to stray from the by-the-book, discipline-heavy style favored by his colleagues, instead using poetry and drama to put life and emotion into his teaching. This documentary depicts a man who challenged traditional teaching methods and proved that creativity has a place in every classroom.”
I loved seeing children being met and educated with such love, joy, creativity and respect. I recommend that everyone who has a child or has been a child, see this film. My heart opened, smiled, leapt, sank, broke, expanded and appreciated deeply. I felt inspired by Cullum’s approaches, the reactions of the children, the creativity, the willingness to play and above all, the full-out aliveness of the children he taught. The impact Cullum had on these kids affected their whole lives and that is what I know coaching can do.
The easy answer is Conscious Loving as that is what evoked my desire to learn more about this inspiring work. Right now I would say Play: How it Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination and Invigorates the Soul for giving the world the scientific backing that humans need play for optimal functioning throughout life, not just in childhood. If you will indulge me, there are two more: Janet Wallach’s Desert Queen: The Extraordinary Life of Gertrude Bell: Adventurer, Adviser to Kings, Ally of Lawrence of Arabia and West with the Night, an autobiography by Beryl Markham. Both tell of the extraordinary, unconventional lives and adventures of pioneering women expressing their genius and leaving a lasting mark on the world. Markham, raised in Africa, was the first person to fly solo across the Atlantic from east to west and Bell roamed the desert and was instrumental in uniting tribes and mapping the territories of the Middle East for the first time.
What brings you the most joy in your day to day life?
Connecting with people I love; music; reading; the sights, sounds and smells of nature; color; moving my body; delicious food and being a catalyst for others to live their most expanded, joyous and evolved lives.
Top 10 things I couldn’t live without?
Beyond the air, water and food that sustain me, I couldn’t live without: human connection, travel, beauty, music, reading, nature, freedom, humor, purple and expressing some form of my creativity.
As for my path, I always had a desire to help people in some way and have been coaching in various forms throughout my life whether in the cafeteria at school or unofficially at work. I never lost that sense of working with people in a way that would be of service and have impact during my years as a restless bank Vice President in New York, or an expatriate in Paris where I moved in 1990.
One connection led to another, and another, and another to a person who lent me the book Conscious Loving in 1997. When Katie came to Paris for a weekend workshop in May of 1999, I jumped at the chance to learn more in person. During the weekend event, I went up to her and excitedly said “I want more NOW, where do I go?!”
I spent the next two years going back and forth between Paris and California for weeks of trainings with the Hendricks Institute to get certified as a coach. Since then, I have completed a handful of optional additional programs of study with the Hendricks Institute varying in length from a weekend to two years.
What I love about this work is how practical, accessible and effective the tools are and how adaptable they are. What we each bring to it is unique from experiences in work and life to personality and natural skills. Whether I am coaching an individual, a couple or a CEO I combine what I have learned, with who I am. From a grounded presence, I weave in my intuitive nature and ability to improvise and evoke experiential exploration. Without any training in coaching I would still be intuitive, wise, worldly, laser-like and able to play with making up learning solutions on the spot yet combining the two brings an exponential synergy, a form for my substance.
One example of that is the spontaneous creation of Madame Sophie. In addition to coaching on most any issue of life, I do image consulting as Madame Sophie. This is a tangible example of combining my innate skills for dressing the essence of a person, with the self-awareness skills learned at the Hendricks Institute. This talent was uncovered by using these skills as part of my daily living.
This same concept carries on into a project I am working on now that combines Hendricks Institute learning with my love of improvisation. The possibilities are endless!