The Buoy Blog: Can you tell us a little about yourself?
Veronica Paris: I came from a dysfunctional family, and I pondered a lot of questions when I was young. At 20 years old, I had a self-discovery, and I have decided to work hard to get what everybody else has: a good job, a nice car, a beautiful house and a lot of money. I have created a very successful company, and I had a successful life. After a while, I realized that I had stopped soul searching, and that I had lost the meaning of my financial success. I knew that I had to make a shift in my life and find my authenticity. The name, “Make a shift” came from that period.
TBB: Why did you decide to start your empowerment workshops?
VP: I used to work for a non-profit social services organization. I wanted to help people live a meaningful life. I was also looking at identifying the dysfunction in life such as co-dependency, self-esteem, ego, narcissism, or handling the holidays.
TBB: In your blog, you explain that coaching is, “a way to get the life you really want.” Can you explain to us what coaching is for you and the difference between that and therapy?
VP: In therapy, you learn who you are now, not what you want to be. Psychiatry identifies how you got your triggers. It works on your brain and diagnoses to give proper behavior. Coaching empowers you to get through some painful and guilty situations. For example, I helped a father who had issues with his adult son whom was in his house and doing nothing at all. I helped him manage his relationship with him without guilt.
TBB: What would be a regular coaching session?
VP: During a workshop, people share stories. They need a lot of courage to dare to speak their truth and to be authentic. The workshop gives them the courage they need to go where they want to go. Of course it’s done in absolute confidentiality.
In the workspace there is no victim, no blame, no shame. You become aware of your situation. You talk about your life, what you don’t like about it, and where you want to go. I offer extra support and encouragement. Meditation is a tool I can use
TBB : Why do you focus one of your workshops on fear?
VP: Fear is a primitive reflex that can save your life. It’s a vital response to physical and emotional danger. But, when inappropriately used, fear is a feeling that controls you. We need to have the right balance. When we are afraid, we need to look at the situation and learn what’s keeping us stuck in one place. Fear is like a gremlin on our shoulder that says “Who I am to do that?” “I don’t have the competence to do this or that,” or whatever we say to discourage ourselves.
We must accept the idea of our fears, and surrender to them. Yes, we are afraid. It’s okay to be afraid, but we need to really move on. My workshop helps others to have this leap of faith. The fears don’t go away, but you manage them appropriately. Empowerment is knowledge. We know that we are afraid, but we look at all the options in front of us and we make a decision not based on our fears but on our trust.
For example, when I decided to create Make a Shift, I was so afraid of doing so. I had a mortgage, a kid in college, a car loan. I was telling myself things like : Who I am to pretend I can help others? What do I know…” I calmed my fears down and looked right into them: I have the experience, the knowledge…yes I can do it.
TBB: Why do we need trust?
VP: We need to learn to trust ourselves, and our knowledge. It’s a slow process that helps break a pattern of negative thoughts until we trust our real selves.
You need to know that you are not alone, and that you don’t have to be.
You can read more about Veronica here