Meet truly amazing Brenda Lee Nelson, who among many certifications is a Martha Beck Certified Life Coach. In our conversation you'll learn about her career and ideas on how we can all heal ourselves and live the life we know we are destined to embrace.
A Note from Hope Katz Gibbs, publisher, BeInkandescent Health & Wellness magazine — I am so excited to introduce our readers to wonderful Brenda Lee Nelson, a masterful life coach I met during my own Martha Beck Wayfinder Life Coach training in 2020. In the year since, Brenda and I have been on monthly Coach-the-Coach calls, which are a wonderful tool to help coaches stay centered.
In my experience working with Brenda, being centered is her superpower. As you’ll learn in our interview and Q&A below, she is on a mission to always, and in all ways, be a loving and graceful being who sees the light in others, this truly amazing woman inspires others to be fully in their magick.
Through her coaching practice, Soul Dreaming, Brenda encourages and helps her clients define their dreams and create the life they know deep down that they are meant to live. “My mission is to help create a world where every woman walks in her truth, the place where she feels free to live every moment without concern for the judgments or beliefs of others.”
Brenda’s training and credentials are vast and impressive. In addition to being certified by the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching, she is a Certified Martha Beck Wayfinder Life Coach who also studied forgiveness training under Mary Hayes Grieco, director of The Midwest Institute for Forgiveness Training.
Additionally, she has a grief certification through the Grief to Gratitude Program, accredited by the International Coach Federation. She recently became a first and second-degree Reiki practitioner, certified in Usui Holy Fire III Reiki Ryoho Minnesota Reiki Center for Healing and Training. For years, Brenda has been a crisis counselor for CrisisTextLine.org, and she is a licensed Appreciative Living Learning Circle Facilitator.
Brenda’s promise to her clients is clear and purposeful:
- I will listen fully and attentively, and without judgment.
- I will provide you with empowering questions knowing that your true answers always come from within.
- I will view every one of your desires as an opportunity, no matter how big or small the challenge.
- I will always support your overall success, and I will hold you accountable in a manner that feels right to you.
- I will maintain full confidentiality, and I will always adhere to high moral principles and professional standards.
Scroll down for our Q&A, as well as our podcast and a video interview with Brenda — the cover girl for our September 2021 issue of BeInkandescent Health & Wellness magazine. In the meantime, visit her website: brendaleenelson.com.
8 Questions for Life Coach Brenda Lee Nelson
1. What does a life coach do?
As a life coach, I gently guide my client to move forward in a meaningful way. What is considered “meaningful” is always defined by the client.
I believe the answer(s) to a person’s life can always be found within that person. I am driven to help women create the life of their dreams. Most of the time, it is simply a matter of providing the space for a client to talk about what their heart truly wants. As an active listener, I hear things that the client is saying (and sometimes not saying), reflecting on what they may not be hearing or know themselves.
Often, a person cannot move forward because they have a limiting belief – an (untrue) belief that typically was instilled in them as a child – either from family, friends, someone in their community, or the culture itself.
Whenever we are stuck, a limiting belief is usually the culprit. As a coach, I help my clients pinpoint their limiting beliefs and then help them dismantle them. A new belief can then be created, which allows the client to move forward freely.
The body plays a huge role in letting us know when we are on track and not. We can use easy tools to tap into the messages that our bodies are constantly communicating to us. I teach all of my clients these tools.
My goal is to empower my clients to walk away from coaching with everything they need to be successful day-to-day on their own. With that said, even I have my own life coach. There is nothing like having another compassionate soul to witness and hold space for you. That alone is magick.
2. What can clients expect from a session?
Clients can expect the freedom to bring whatever is weighing on their hearts and soul for resolution. This may include areas in their life where they feel stuck or dreams and goals that they want to accomplish. It may even include not knowing what they want. Maybe they are in a transition of sorts, or they need forgiveness processing or grief work. Whatever they bring, we will unpack together without judgment on my part.
I always start a session by asking how the client is feeling. This lets me know if the client may need a centering exercise. Centering is a tool that helps bring a person into the present moment.
From there, the client can share what feels challenging. Together we untangle the challenge, parse out any limiting beliefs and create a path forward. Turtle steps are determined, and insights and takeaways are reinforced. My mantra is: Let it be easy, let it be joyful.
Many different tools may be used in a session, depending on the client’s needs. To put it simply, the client will be gently guided through the process of powerful questions and reflection, infused with active listening and intuition on my part. The client can expect to leave each session feeling clearer, lighter, and freer.
3. What would you like people to know about the process of hiring a life coach?
Go with your gut, and don’t settle. Remember, your body never lies. If you are drawn to a particular coach (based on their picture, website, or presence), give them a try. Most coaches (me included) offer a 30-minute free consultation to explore compatibility.
It is important that you feel connected with your coach and feel fully heard and supported by them.
4. What are things to be aware of when hiring a coach — from expectations to the duration of the relationship?
If you do not feel a connection or feel fully supported, the coach is not fit. If the coach is sharing too many of their own stories or giving you a ton of advice, you may want to question whether you want to continue with that coach.
You should always feel like your challenges are front and center and that you are making forward progress.
While it is true that accredited certified coaches have had thousands of hours of training and practice, you should always feel like you are equal with your coach, that you are in an equal partnership and that you are always the expert in your own life.
The duration depends on the challenge(s) that are on the table. Typically, clients who have a big dream to tackle prefer to meet weekly or semi-weekly for several months. However, many challenges can be resolved in a handful of sessions.
In Master Coach Training, we practice getting some resolution to smaller challenges in 20 minutes or less. The client may have a personality style that wants to laser in quickly, or they may have a personality style that wants to move at a slower pace. Ultimately, the sessions should move at a pace that is comfortable for the client.
5. What can’t a life coach accomplish for a client?
A life coach can’t do the work for you. They can’t provide you with an answer key to your life.
Most of us (coaches) are not therapists or trained in trauma (though some are), and if we feel that you would benefit from therapy vs. coaching, we are ethically bound to tell you that. With that said, there are many instances where coaching plus therapy pair well together.
Coaches typically don’t spend much time looking backward or spending time in the past – other than dismantling limiting beliefs; we focus on starting from where you are and helping you move forward with purpose.
6. Have you ever hired a coach? What was your experience?
Yes! I have hired many coaches. I am always working with a coach in one capacity or another. I cannot imagine not having access to my own coach.
For me, it is an amazing experience to be a client. Even with all of my personal training, I am frequently surprised at how much progress I can make in a session with the guidance of a coach.
7. What inspired you to become a life coach?
My life’s work is to be in service to others. I am a lightworker. I knew this from a very young age.
My earliest clues were my ability to pick up on the feelings of others and to support them with compassion. Even when I was young, people I barely knew would share the most personal details of their life with me.
I knew I needed to find a way to better support people when that happened. I got lost along the way, thinking maybe I wanted to be a psychologist or a social worker. I studied both subjects, and they didn’t feel like the right answer for me.
Finally, I found life coach training. My training through the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC) was energy-based, and I knew I was on the right path. Up until then, nothing had felt so resonate with my life’s calling. When I was certified through Martha Beck’s program, which is very mind/body focused, it was like another deep breath of fresh air. It felt like home, and I knew I had found my true path.
8. You have so much training and impressive credentials. What did you do before embarking on this path? Also, do you have a favorite course? And are there other programs that you plan to study in the future?
I worked in Administration in Corporate America. I (along with my beloved husband) raised three successful, independent, and beautiful children.
All my training added to my toolkit, and I feel like it all came to me in the exact right order. The most extensive and life-changing training was through iPEC and Martha Beck’s Wayfinder Life Coach Training, requiring thousands of hours. These two programs changed my own life for the better in ways I could never have imagined.
I am currently a student in Martha Beck’s Master Coach Training program, and I love every minute of it. This program is an application-based registration, and only 30 coaches (or less) are accepted each year. I feel honored to be one of them. In this program, I am committed to applying all of the coaching skills and tools that I know to my own life. In addition, I am dedicated to sharpening and perfecting all of my coaching skills.
I am also enrolled to begin certification in HeartMath in August of this year. This program will teach me a science-based skill set that will enable me to guide others to access and apply the power and intelligence of the heart in their day-to-day lives.
My spirit loves to learn, and I will not stop learning until I die. I am sure there is much more training than I will pursue when these are complete, but the specifics are yet to be determined. One thing I know for sure, if I get stuck – I know who I am going to call.