Evolution of a Middle School Language Educator Turned Intuition-Driven Coach
It’s Crecia Cipriano, of Thriveandbloom. Bringing you intuition-driven living for a positively thriving life. This is a special time in my personal and professional life, which makes it the perfect time to (re)-introduce myself and tell you a little bit more about what I do.
WHO I AM
I call myself an intuition-driven coach, because I’ve cultivated a deep connection to my own intuition that I use to guide much of the work I do to support others in connecting to theirs. (If you cringe at the words intuition or inner wisdom, by all means substitute gut feelings or instincts instead, as it all shakes out the same. Though if you cringe at those words, chances are that I’m not really your jam anyway, so no hard feelings.)
I believe that too many of us look elsewhere for wisdom, knowledge, saviors and answer-givers. Of course the world is brimming with incredible expertise to be learned and gained from others. It’s healthy and wise to seek outside support when needed. But it’s become almost a default-setting to look to others for the answers – all the answers, while ignoring, stifling, fighting and devaluing our own rich ability to connect to the real, true insight, wisdom and knowledge that each of us carries within ourselves, for ourselves.
So too, I believe that too many of us buy into the idea that our value lies in what we do FOR others. Which isn’t to say that I’m AGAINST doing for others. NOT. AT. ALL. But I’m here to remind you of (or perhaps to introduce you to) the idea that YOU ARE WORTHY, AS IS. Your value is in being you, not in what you can do for whom. In being you, you will no doubt do lovely, valuable living in this world. I hope you use your you-ness to do great things for the betterment of humanity as well as the individuals you know and love. But the things you do don’t define or bestow upon you your value. Your value already exists because YOU do. You don’t need to prove how worthy you are by taking on too much or taking care of too many, heedless of your own needs and wants.
These are some of the underpinnings of my work and belief systems.
HOW I GOT HERE (PERSONALLY)
About eight years ago, I was stuck in a major rut; I couldn’t even begin to say what I really wanted for myself anymore. A couple years past a divorce and all the emotional and physical upheaval that goes along with it, I found myself going through motions without really recognizing myself in them; I was uninspired, unmotivated, and unsure of how to change it, but desperate to do just that.
In absence of some big plan or fleshed out answer, I did what I could. I took small steps every day toward the things that brought me joy, the things that spoke to me, the things I’d always said I wanted. I read and wrote and worked and reflected and got coached and simmered and explored and shared. All of these things in small but ultimately significant ways. I call it following the breadcrumbs of what lit me up – in both excitement and understanding. It was in following those breadcrumbs that I slowly found my way to the place where when my soul speaks, I listen. And THAT, my dear, is where the magic happens!
HOW I GOT HERE (PROFESSIONALLY)
I recently resigned from my seventeen year career in public school education to devote myself to the coaching and course work I offer as Thriveandbloom. The majority of those years were spent as a middle school French teacher, though I’ve got some elementary, university, and adult ed experience as well. Setting aside content for a moment, let’s talk about teaching, in general. Adults are basically just grown kids, and I spent much of my career reminding colleagues and collaborating with them around the belief that we ALL just want to be heard, respected, appreciated and engaged. Kids want this just as much as we do, and we get just as unruly as they do when our experiences communicate a lack of those qualities.
When I used to tell people I was a middle school teacher, they mostly looked back at me with an odd mixture of awe and mild horror, expressing gratitude that SOMEone was willing to do it, confusion as to the hows or whys, and just a little bit of irrational edgy fear that just in talking to me, they might catch those cooties too. I love those cooties though! The younger kids tend to criticize my handwriting and tug on me a lot; I’ve always been a little afraid that I’d lose patience with the older ones and along with that, my well-honed skill of curse control. But in middle school, mixed in with all the attitude and angst is an enthusiasm and willingness that, although sometimes challenging to wrangle, is beautiful to experience. And as much as they goof off and trifle, middle schoolers do not PLAY. They can spot BS from the tone of your voice to the tilt of your face, and they recognize realness with just as much savvy. They will test the stuffing out of you, but they will also really feel it when you are kind, fair, and squarely in their corner. They demand authenticity, and they accept nothing less. Which is how I live my life, and how I help my clients live theirs.
As far a language instruction goes, it’s really all about teaching students how to make meaning – how to comprehend the previously incomprehensible. As a language educator, I would provide students with the tools to do that, on their own, in unpredictable situations. How to use the clues around them to develop an understanding of the language they were reading and hearing, and strategies for how to cope when they didn’t understand or know how to respond. A habit of problem-solving for themselves rather than looking to someone else for the answers, and guidance in learning how to do that.
Similarly, I don’t give my clients answers. I give them tools and strategies to support them as they look to their own inner wisdom for the answers that are already there. I guide them in this process and reflect back to them what they may not yet see for themselves.
I’ve been creating and facilitating professional learning experiences for fifteen years – in small and large groups, at my school, within my district, and at both the state and national level. I’ve been mentoring and/or coaching colleagues for thirteen years through district- and state-based teacher induction programs, on both a one-on-one and group basis. In addition to the majority of my activities and lessons over the course of my teaching career, I’ve written curriculum units that have been published locally and nationally through a partnership with Yale University.
For three of my years in public school education I worked as a coach, supporting teachers in all aspects of the job. I synthesized the research and learning relevant to our topics and created resources and supports targeted to their needs, while facilitating their implementation and exploring together what did and didn’t work, why, and what to do next.
As I’ve slowly transitioned from public school teacher to intuition-driven coach, there was a time when it felt like they were two separate arenas, two different iterations of who I am in this world. (I struggled at times in that in-between space, and will give you major props and bragging rights if you can correctly guess what song this feeling calls up in my head. Message me with your guesses!)
I’ve come to understand quite clearly that they actually occupy different spaces along the same spectrum, as different expressions of the same passions and skills that I’ve fostered and grown over the past almost-twenty years. My practices as a coach are supported, enhanced, and amplified by the foundational experience and expertise I hold in education. And I’ve combined all I’ve learned about the art and application of coaching with a deep respect for and reliance on intuition and intuitive guidance that I’ve evolved over the course of my life and have wholeheartedly embraced and cultivated over the past eight years. (You can learn more about my story around that HERE and HERE.)
WHY THIS MATTERS
I want you to know the depth and breadth of experience, insight, and expertise I bring to the table. Because I’m so passionate about the work I do, and I believe in it so wholeheartedly.
I work with people around intuition-driven decision-making, developing personalized presence practices and other habits and rituals of self-trust, self-love, and self-care, so that they may live their most satisfying, joyful, positively thriving lives. I teach them how to connect to the voice and the expression of their unique intuitive wisdom, and to use it to make meaningful change in their lives.
I listen with all my senses, question intentionally, and hold the dreams and desires of those with whom I work as vessels of sacred wisdom, giving them the permission they may have needed to do the same. I am equal parts intuitive coach and guide, candid and curious explorer, steadfast vision holder, and tireless cheerleader, and I work with people to help them recognize, pursue, and achieve the successes that matter most to them. As both mirror and magnifier, I reflect back to the people with whom I work their own infinite inner wisdom, so that it may be seen, felt, honored, and lived. I use my intuition and insight to help clients consider new ways of approaching or understanding their situations, and my experience as an educator to help them break actions down into manageable, meaningful steps.
I do my work on a one-on-one basis, via telephone or video conferencing, as well as through online courses, group video coaching, and in person workshops.
I believe to my core that we all deserve a life that truly thrives and blooms, and I would be supremely honored to help you more fully inhabit yours.
I invite you to schedule a complimentary Possibilities session, to explore how we might be able to work together! We’ll jam on your dreams and what’s getting in the way, and I’ll recommend some concrete strategies to help you get closer to that thriveandbloom life.
Speaking of lists, make sure you’re on MINE! I’m going to be offering online and in-person course and workshops and will offer the best pricing to those on my mailing list as a thank you for allowing me into your inbox and life. Be sure you’re on the list here.
That’s all for now. Thank you so much for your time and attention. If you feel that nudge or hear that whisper to explore more, let’s follow those breadcrumbs together!
Yours in thriving and blooming,