Every phase in our life, whether it is a particular stage of life or a challenge faced, brings along new experiences, some good learnings, a few failures and a few successes. Each of us commits some kind of mistakes, big and small. Some we sail through ourselves and, in some, someone else guides us through. One such guide, a 68-year-old man, my mentor, breezed into my life like the wind bringing so much light and wisdom with him. I embraced his uniqueness, his patience, his calm demeanor, his satisfaction for what he has achieved and yet his thirst to keep learning more. In just a few months, he had become a lifetime inspiration for me. I wondered whether when I reach his age, after 40 years of life, if I can look back at my life and be proud of the decisions that I had made, the path that I had chosen. Can I look back and be satisfied with the success that I had achieved and challenges that I had faced? Can I look back and feel glad that I could give back what I had learned, that I was that mentor that someone else has been to me?
On one such day, an opportunity came by to be a coach for the Stanford Mana Maali Project. I knew I had to take this path because this is what will guide me towards my goal. I am Monika Chandan, and I work as a supervisor and counselor at Hyderabad Academy of Psychology. As a supervisor, I trained my supervisees in learning counseling skills. But, being a coach is not just about building trustworthy relationships or guiding those in need towards their goal. It is more. Being a coach was about preparing them for the future challenges, motivating them, helping them learn their strengths and boosting them. The Lantern anxiety program provided students with the necessary tools and techniques required to manage their anxiety and a coach to help guide them through this journey.
I am happy to have been given this opportunity to be a guide, a coach to those students who wouldn’t ever have gotten a chance to seek help or overcome their anxiety at the right time and at the right age. Today I am pleased to say that I am a proud coach whose student completed the program and messaged me the following: “The program and your support has helped me achieve the results I was looking for. Many thanks for that. I feel empowered and more confident and hence able to approach challenges with better attitude and hence less stressed and more calm. Thanks a ton.”
It feels so good today, when life takes such a turn, when you become a guide to someone else. I am happy to have been able to give that student that push when he needed it. I am happy to have been a small part in his beautiful journey towards life.
I dearly wanna thank Dr. Diana Monteiro (for helping me reach here), Nitya Kanuri, Dr. Barr Taylor, Dr. Michelle Newman, Dr. Sarah Forsberg, Jeffrey Cohen and my fellow coaches. Thanks a ton.
– Coach Monika