A Journey of Self-Discovery! In May 2022, my husband, Willis, and I successfully hiked Vernal and Nevada Falls in Yosemite National Park. Check out our year-long physical, mental and emotional adventure of self-discovery here.
I recently completed a 12-week session of coaching with Joan Allen, and I gained so much from the experience. I was looking for a process that would give me confidence in my ability to follow-through on my goals, and I feel like I got that and more. It was not an easy process but what I gained from doing it is definitely worth the work. I learned how important it is to identify why I want a particular goal because remembering that is a powerful inducement to keeping going. And surprise! With Joan’s help I discovered that the reason I wanted a particular goal was often not what I thought initially but something much deeper. In so many ways, the coaching was a revelation about what I’m capable of, about what I value, and about valuing myself. Sandra E.
I engaged Joan to coach me over a 12-week period. The process she used was simply amazing. Upfront, she had me think through my desired outcomes from our engagement and to set specific goals. That was difficult because I had been stuck on one of my goals for over 30 years! I was hesitant to declare a specific outcome because I didn’t want to fail! But, her coaching method guided me through a process to unpack my doubts and my aspirations so I could focus on what mattered most, and then I was able to make progress.
She also helped me think about and define my life purpose which helped me identify the underlying reason why my goals are so important to me. That gave me the wind beneath my wings to increasingly commit to declarations of what I would do before our next session. She didn’t prescribe answers or how to achieve my goals, rather she guided me through a well-honed process which allowed me to make progress toward the outcomes I wrote down in the very beginning. I was astonished to look back after weeks to realize I had achieved each of my desired outcomes!
Joan is insightful, charming and inspiring to work with. Given I travel internationally for work, she made herself available by zoom and text. Between sessions she was just a text away so I could check in and get a little boost of support when needed. If you work with Joan, you will have an opportunity of your lifetime. Now I continue to advance my goals in my work, side passion and personal relationships to fulfill my life purpose. Annette F., VP of Fortune 100 technology company, author and illustrator
When I first heard of Joan from an article in The Washington Post I had been retired for about two years. I described myself as a “failure” at retirement. I was not managing my time well and considered going back to work to get the external structure provided by employment.
Joan helped me to recognize the value of this time in my life. She helped me identify the goals that were important to me and helped me establish a way to meet those goals. What I especially appreciated about the way Joan works is her absolute commitment and caring. She was gentle but firm in holding me accountable to what I had set as my intention. Through her depth of knowledge and awareness she was able to help me explore potential blocks and gain a new and different perspective on my life. She is absolutely the best coach I could have found.
At this time I am happy to report that I no longer feel like a retirement “failure” but in fact have come to see this period in my life as a wonderful gift! Cyndee Wilson
For anyone considering a coaching relationship with Joan, my advice is simple: hold on to your proverbial hat! Like all coaching relationships, you bring energy and messiness for your desired changes; Joan is both a seasoned metronome of process, and she is the fireworks highlighting revelations along your journey. Her profound listening and communication skills help lock your attention on your work. I particularly value her consistent challenge to me to identify a weekly “stretch” activity that invariably upped my game and accelerated my progress. Joan is direct, playful and razor-sharp focused. If only to have her skillful presence and genuine interest in my success on my team, I’d hire her anytime. Thank you, Joan. T. Baker, F/V Delta Tango
Joan is a gem. Joan believed in me and supported me. She listened carefully to what I said and was able to extract truths that I didn’t necessarily see and helped me to refocus. She put me at ease, and helped me with the ways I get in my own way. Together we cleared the path to really focus on those things that feed my soul, and to connect with the knowing and feeling of what’s the right next step on my path. There were several processes we did that were very helpful: one was feeling into what it feels like to be in the success of achieving my goal, and going through each of the barriers and committing to move forward anyway. Another was naming the parts of my personality that interfere and offering understanding and acceptance to them, but moving forward anyway. I learned that the distance between “I can” and “I can’t” is just a thought. Another process enabled me to anchor myself in positive thoughts when it seemed like “I can’t.” The time spent with Joan was intense, rich and productive. She always made my day great! With Joan at my back I was able to remove barriers to starting my business and to clarify and recommit to so many other dreams. Nancy W., Northern California
My interest in coaching was to get in touch with the life changes that come with aging. I am seventy-nine years old and lost my wife to Cancer a few years ago. In grieving her loss, though fit and healthy, I also felt alarm noticing the beginning of my own diminished state, both physically and mentally. My goals for coaching were to address lingering grief and mental issues. The latter issues were feeling muddled and overwhelmed with tasks resulting in procrastinating on all but the most urgent needs in life. I was nearly always in a state of tension worrying about possible negative outcomes of things I was not dealing with.
Through coaching I found that the negative outcomes I was worried about were negative pictures dominating my life. As my coach, Joan gave me tools, including visualization techniques, to reprogram those pictures to positive ones, to hold in my mind the outcomes I want and not the ones I do not want. In essence, to keep a peaceful mind until action is needed. Using visualization, I can be vigilantly aware of the pictures I am generating about myself – pictures of not being enough, self-critical, or demeaning. I can accept myself as I am – allow myself “to just be” without underlying unrealistic expectations. It is okay not to be “perfect” and to let things get done on a more relaxed schedule.
Joan is an amazing person who brings to her coaching a high degree of skill. She listens intently, but does not allow her clients to get off-track from the issue at hand. No matter how diverse the topics are, she brings clarity and insights to the sessions. She is very accomplished in her own life and demonstrates how aging does not have to limit one’s aliveness. Roger Conrad, Ojai, CA
Having Joan as a coach was life altering. Through Joan’s dialogue and questions I was able to really recognize and acknowledge the thoughts, thought processes, and words I choose within. Joan provided the space, the questions and the mirror to my own words that enabled me to truly hear the thoughts and triggers that have become habitual and often debilitating within my life and perceived abilities. My own patterns and mindsets that hold me back, well before the outside world becomes a part in any fashion. My defined outcomes while working with Joan were to be nicer to myself, in thought and practice to enable a healthier life moving forward; as well as, to start the process for establishing a safari business in Africa (Dream job and ultimate life passion).
Through this coaching relationship with Joan I have become my own best asset. I have achieved, and am now maintaining a debt free lifestyle. I have altered my eating and exercise habits in ways that will enable me to thrive in whatever life I choose to live. And, I am actively working toward multiple careers of my dreams, and being able to leave the legacy I choose within this world, beginning at home, in Africa, and beyond any limitations I had previously set for myself. I will also be taking steps and training to become a coach! Joclynn J., DōTERRA Wellness Advocate
Coaching with Joan helped me develop clarity about the parts of myself that are counter-productive to my own best outcomes, then move confidently toward what I want. Miraculously, she helped me come to the startling realization that I was finished with my 30 year career, and that I was ready to energetically embark upon another avocation at the age of 69! Amazing! Pat Malandra, Personal and Professional Coach
When I started to be coached by Joan I had some goals that I honestly never thought I would reach. I had no idea that this coaching relationship would change my life! With Joan’s commitment to me, I have lost 13 pounds in 12 weeks, worked out and became fitter and healthier. The real change though came within myself. Joan inspired me to practice saying no and since then I have set and enforced boundaries, which changed some of my personal and business relationships in a positive way. My whole lookout on life, in spite of Covid, is now positive. Through all those changes I came to the realization that I am neither happy with my job, nor the location I live in. By June 2021, I will have a new job and will be moving to Colorado. Joan has truly taken a stand for me as my coach. During the 12 weeks of being coached by Joan, I have had more positive results than I had in the last 10 years! Andrea V, Chicago
I started coaching with Joan about two months before doing a 3-day backpacking trip with REI near Mt. Shasta in the Shasta/Trinity National Forest. After four years retired, I found I was busier than ever, everything “hair-on-fire” priorities—family, community service, and personal development and fitness—nothing I wanted to give up. Every day I felt like I was pushing boulders up a mountain. I looked to Joan to help me sort through all of this. I wanted to learn, at long last, how to accept things as they are without judgement. In particular I wanted to re-learn how to slow down and enjoy the journey, something I knew how to do when I was younger, but had long ago forgotten.
In our coaching sessions together, Joan helped me see that the REI hike was unlike the other challenges I’d taken on in my life. For one thing I was enjoying everything about it, even the really hard parts, like when I had to sit down mid-hike with my pack on. I just laughed when it happened, took it all in stride and went with the flow. Maybe this might be what acceptance of what is—“letting things be”—could look and feel like—easy, empowering, fun. Joan and I agreed this could well serve as a model for my life going forward. Sallie DeWitt, California, Learning and Re-Learning
“My coaching experience with Joan Virginia Allen gave me so much value. In the six months I worked with her in 2019, I learned to value my own thoughts and thinking, value myself through my own lens, rather than guessing what other people thought of me and reacting to it. Funny that it took me until my late 60s to figure that out. But coaching wasn’t just about personal growth. I also launched a consulting business, scheduled my daily life to incorporate more ‘down’ time while getting more accomplished. Working with Joan was pivotal in these changes, plus so much more. She listens carefully, reflects back what I’ve said, challenges my thinking, and encourages me to dream big. Being coached by Joan made such a difference in my year that this year I enrolled in the same coaching program. She showed me how effective it could be. She’s an amazing coach!” Sylvia Fox, Fitness Instructor and Life Coach, https://fitzfoxcoaching.com/
Coaching with Joan facilitated my ability to create actionable goals, with concrete outcomes and dates for achievement. Her voice and empathetic demeanor created a safe and trusting space for me. Without judgement, I was held accountable for my declarations.
Through Joan’s skillful communication, with intent listening, and providing meaningful, reflective feedback, I gained new self-understanding, was able to acknowledge the source of my personal barriers and struggles, and genuinely begin changing my behaviors.
I established a consistent daily exercise program and changed my sleep/wake pattern so I can now do whatever it takes to support my best health going forward. I learned how to identify, recognize, acknowledge and change my self-defeating behaviors. I gained self-insight leading me to achieve an understanding of my authentic self.
As I reflect on my coaching experience with Joan, I am proud of my work, the changes I’ve begun, and confidence I’ve gained to continue this work. I am grateful for Joan’s guidance and expertise. Judith K., California
Working with Joan has been magical. Her patience and gentle nature combined with her deep listening skills allowed me to hear myself in new ways. Joan supported my goals and made sure I addressed the issues underlying my stress or resistance. The goal I set out to accomplish was to complete my dissertation in educational leadership; and I accomplished it. I thought she was going to help me with keeping to my small goals as I wrote but it turned out to be bigger than accomplishing the important goals along the way.
What Joan did was to help change my perception of myself and highlighted my strengths and abilities. Based on this view of who I am, I made choices about completing my dissertation in more authentic and connected ways. I learned to use language and practices that will support me in the future regardless of the project I am tackling or the stress I encounter. I am truly grateful for Joan’s support. Dr. Martha Melgoza, EdD in Educational Leadership
This was my first time working with a personal coach. Joan made me feel very comfortable right away. She had a gentle but persistent way of pushing me to look at what it is that was keeping me from going after what I said I wanted, and helping me be accountable for the choices I was making. She also picks up on the patterns or stories that resurface over multiple sessions. It may sound like a small thing, but for me, one of those themes was about swimming, which was tied to goals I have about health, community, work, and writing. After 20 years of “planning” to start swimming, I finally am. I continue to take the lessons learned from my time with Joan and apply them to new, different challenges. Big thanks, Joan! Teya M., Maui