Easy there, coach

Easy there, coach

Let’s just get this important fact out of the way: a great advice giver does not make a great professional life coach.
With so many, so many people moving into the coaching profession, I feel it’s pretty important to distinguish and examine this commonly misconceived fact.

Again, great advice givers do not make great coaches. Even business coaches, who typically switch between coach and consultant, know that success does not come from simply giving answers or telling clients what to do. The transformational coaching process works very differently.

I bring this up, because I cannot tell you the number of times I have heard people announce their move to coaching because ‘they are the one everyone comes to for advice’. Recently, I heard a very successful coach promoting a new coaching school and enticing people with this exact sentiment. (They actually led with, ‘Are you the one everyone comes to for advice?‘) Similarly, having high intuition also does not necessarily make a great coach. After all, how can one stay curious and present, when they already feel like they know the issue and solution?!

Sure, among my peer groups I am the one that friends come to for advice (Gemini Sun, it’s in my nature). I have a high EQ and an immense love of learning. However, learning how to stifle my biases, ideas, opinions and perceived knowledge is one of the most difficult things I have had to learn to overcome as a coach. Essentially, in my quest for excellence, I’ve had to learn, and continue to manage, how to keep my opinions to myself, not share what I think I know, and essentially listen way more than I speak. This, by the way, is an ongoing practice.

Importantly, I’ve had to learn how to not allow my personal fears or doubts influence my visionary clients in any way. Sure, I may strongly think that launching a million dollar project in a recession is risky, but decisions like these are what makes my VIP clients successful. As a great coach in this situation, I may not be able to offer strategic business advice, nor is it wanted, but I can certainly help my client utilize their strengths, knowledge and experience through listening, curiosity and asking deep questions that spark awareness, among other things.

Coaching is not counselling. It is not consulting, although it could be helpful at times for a coach to share specialized knowledge. Certified coaches have (hopefully) gone through rigorous training to listen first, mirror the client, ask questions, identify discrepancies and strategically empower the client to insights and awareness. This is not done through advice giving.

Great coaches stay curious; like genuinely curious. They tread lightly, and when need be, courageously delve. I’ve had clients get offended when I called them out on something (or simply repeat back what they’ve said), but again, by staying curious, I am able to considerately inquire about triggers and explore beliefs and values with my clients, together as thinking partners.

Personally, in my coaching sessions, I listen for patterns. I often find that where the conversations starts is where it also ends. My questions are inquiries and opportunities for exploration and consideration. As a coach, I also share my personal experiences, and insights that come up for me – as an intuitive offering that the client can choose to process or disregard as needed. Also, I do not offer unsolicited advice, instead prompt the client to tap into their own best advice.

On my very first day of Professional Coaching Graduate School, the instructor began the class by challenging students to “come with a beginner’s mind.” I could never forget this, as it’s been an anchor or beacon for my practice. She went on, “I know there is a lot of talent in this room, and many here are very accomplished professionals, however I encourage you to be curious, stay open, listen more and ditch any preconceptions.” I assure you, the first week was a mindf*ck, as the lot of us struggled to unlearn, and … keep our mouth’s shut. Eventually, I recall setting an intention to trust the process; trust the framework and trust my intuition, after conscious and unconscious competence kicked in through many months/years of training and practice.

I love coaching. As a puzzle solver and conscious explorer, it allows me to be strategic and help others examine their programming and inner guidance systems. This is also why I am fascinated by astrology; it’s like an infinite puzzle to figure out and put together. Most coaches I know also love coaching. They, like most people, feel a real sense of purpose and accomplishment by helping others.

It should be said that clients often ask for advice. Sometimes people want acknowledgement or validation, or sometimes they just want an answer. For this, coaches know to stay in coach mode – that is, stay out of problems – and continue to inquire and prompt, challenge and encourage. It is absolutely possible, and logical at times to offer personal advice, particularly if it makes sense or comes from personal experience or something similar.

You may give great advice. You may think logically and creatively; and have a talent for solving other people’s problems. Yet this will not make you a great coach. On the contrary, this will be your challenge, yet learning to manage it will provide significant personal growth – and as an ongoing practice will certainly facilitate powerful professional coaching awareness.





What comes after … the transcendence of Neptune in Pisces (-2026): an Astrological look at our collective future

What comes after … the transcendence of Neptune in Pisces (-2026): an Astrological look at our collective future

Neptune in Pisces, a once-in-several-lifetimes, 15-year transit, always ensured a dissolving of societal boundaries.

Astrologers have always known that during this transit (February 2011 – January 2026) a massive spiritual shift and possibly a lot of confusion was guaranteed; a shift that would permeate the entire world.

After all, Neptune rules the subconscious, the spiritual realm and all we can’t see (including ghosts and viruses). Neptune dissolves; it blurs boundaries and floods reality. Neptune offers an escape into the unreal (but maybe real); and it shows us that magic and synchronicity exist.

In the past decade, we have seen and experienced a massive movement towards idealistic climate/humanitarian solutions (some good, some not), global awareness and compassion combined with mass delusion, and even something that can only Neptune in Pisces would suggest – a seemingly swift dissolution of … genders. Yes, male and female archetypes, turned inside out and questioned.

At it’s best and most noble, Neptune, while in Pisces, invokes oneness, creativity, compassion, empathetic, martyr-like charity and generosity. It promises that every last soul is equal and worthy; it’s forgiving, heartfelt and idealistic. It is non-judgemental, accepting and naively open to whatever.

Neptune in Pisces is also bringing, as we are seeing, a massive spiritual revival (think yoga, tarot, astrology, ESP), tie dye, psychedelics, mass escapism through several means including social media and drug addiction, and a focus on institutions such as hospitals and prisons, both ruled by Neptune.

Although mostly behaving well in its home temple since 2011, Neptune does have a tendency to be temperamental and deceptive – the “misinformation/propaganda” issue that comes from all sides is one example. As well, we will  experience the most full-on nature of a planet as it nears the final degrees of a sign, which is where we currently heading. This particular transit has also coincided with several wars, a terrifying exacerbation of opioid addiction and mental health issues, the legalization of marijuana, and the whole Covid fiasco, among other things.

Since Pisces does represent the end of a cycle (the Neptune cycle is approx. 164 years), and Neptune is powerful in its own domain, this particular transit is sure to bring even more reality-bending experiences before it moves on in January 2026.

Which brings me to my initial curiosity, and the actual point of this article: what comes after?

If Neptune in Pisces embodies collective transcendence and utopia-ism; if it is the pillar of compassion, of healing and selflessly attending to the underserved, then is this it? (at the time of this writing, June 2022, we still have 3.5 years of this transit) Personally, I often feel that I have maxed out the amount of societal delusion I can handle, as well as the idealistic notions that are seething into everything we have ever known (again, Neptune dissolves reality). My head is spinning in this final decan of mass spiritual awakenings and online gurus. But the question I pose is this:  At it’s best; as a bringer of boundless creative energy and feeler of universal oneness, is THIS the maximum amount collective compassion we will see in our lifetime?

A second inquiry: What will the Neptune in Pisces generation bring (specifically those born in the later degrees of this period)? Those born from about 2021-2026, will be young adults in the years 2041-2047, just as Pluto moves into Pisces, along with the North Node. It is easy to predict that this period will be unlike anything we’ve ever seen – and another significant, ending/beginning that will challenge reality and norms.

For now, what I do know, is that in early 2026, Neptune will move into Aries – the warrior – and start a new 164-year cycle.

Neptune, cold water in Aries, hot fire.

Spiritual warrior. Unbounded youth with no fear. Old soul with revived motivation. Idealistic visionary on a solo mission. The party is over, the fight begins. A fight for equality. Inevitable war.

This may bring a breath of fresh air and courageous change; and it may bring a lot of fighting, especially as Pluto will finally be in Aquarius, the house of the collective. This could be exactly when collective uprisings and civil-war-like events really gain traction, as well as an even greater emphasis on autonomy, family allies and self-sufficiency.

Either way, over the next 3.5 years, Neptune will only gain competence and confidence, and increase its intensity in Pisces. This energy will be inescapable in 2025, and this is when I will be able to answer my question. Hopefully by then, the world will have softened, but not too much, and the highest expressions of this transit will have equipped us for the next evolution.

Confidence, momentum, focus.
Interested in learning how coaching can help you and your team? Schedule a free 15-minute call with Rachel here:

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New Moon in Scorpio : Women’s Circle

New Moon in Scorpio : Women’s Circle



Join Heather Lee Kemp and I for an evening of connection, reflection and positive redirection.

We’ll be holding space in ritual for you to bring yourself into alignment with the season and cycles of your life. Guiding you towards your most desired aspirations for the coming month(s) whether you’re inspired to focus on your personal health, creating balance in your life, financial stability and or creating or maintaining healthy relationships.

Details –
November 4, 2021
7:00pm -9:30pm
The Beaches Toronto (Details to follow RSVP)
RSVP – By emailing Heather@heatherleekemp.com

We look forward to seeing you

Rachel & Heather

How to be ultra productive aka why you need to master your mental energy

How to be ultra productive aka why you need to master your mental energy

Productivity, or lack of it, is a major issue for most people. I was recently at a two-day intensive conference with hundreds of attendees. When asked what they most wanted to change, some people said they wanted to lose their fear of visibility; others wanted to boost their confidence; however the majority of folks said they wanted to be more productive. At a annual planning workshop, similarly, most people’s blocks to success were “laziness”, “productivity” and “procrastination”.

Interesting. After all, productivity is not something we are burdened with or lack. It’s not a state we’re in.

Productivity levels are a symptom; an effect.

As a competency, productivity is not a challenge in itself; rather it’s simply a measurement of effectiveness; measured in terms of the rate of output per unit of input. It’s about accomplishing what you want to in any given amount of time. Many of us see being productive as getting our work done when it’s what we intend to do.

For example, if you’re spending 8-hours in front of your computer in a day, are you producing 8-hours worth of work? Maybe, maybe not. When you spend 40 hours at the office in a week, are you completing all tasks set out to accomplish in those hours, week after week? For the majority of people, I would say, probably not.

So what is the real challenge? What is it that is really blocking our success?

Again, lack of productivity is a symptom. It’s easy to say we want to be more productive ~ that is, get more done in the least amount of time, however it’s important to look at and ‘treat’ the bigger problem(s).

Look at the following list and see if you can relate to some of these common causes of low output aka Productivity Drains:

1. Lack of inspiration
2. Lack of direction/priority
3. Low physical energy
4. Disorganized work flow
5. Lack of efficiency systems
6. Low or stressed mental energy
7. Distractions
8. Bad habits
9. Lack of knowledge or skill
10. Unrealistic goals and/or deadlines

[ Notice how I didn’t add ‘lack of time’ to this list? Time management is a definitely a major challenge, however this list of ten productivity drains can also be applied to our quest for optimal time management as well. ]

“Give me 6 hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first 4 sharpening the axe.”
Abraham Lincoln


As a professional coach, I guide people to be more productive. No, not because I am an expert – far from it. As also a work-from-home parent and entrepreneur, I am definitely constantly needing to manage my own input and output.

What I do is guide others to take an intentional approach to productivity.

After all, the goal is not to work more or work harder.

On the contrary; my approach is to lay out the bigger picture; to explore the ten items above, and to integrate personal strengths and objectives to be more efficient – to get what needs to get done without all the dilly dally time wasting that would be better used elsewhere.

Now I can easily write for days about dealing with all the productivity drains. They are all very potent barriers and effective success blocks. However, in this post I’m going to look at what I feel is the most important to address which is low mental energy.

Mental mastery

Time is an important resource, sure – however mental energy is our greatest asset.

Mental energy encompasses our mindset, our determination, our outlook, and resilience. Sometimes we need mental energy to strategize and make critical decisions; other times we need it for inspiration and creativity. We require mental energy to manage multiple tasks and deal with stress, and we also require the skill to turn it off to restore and recharge.

By first managing our mental energy, it gives us the capacity to then deal with things like distraction, lack of focus, discouragement, stress, lack of clarity, and motivation. Tending to and protecting it should be priority #1, and this includes figuring out it’s cycles and it’s kryptonite.

There are so many ways to master our mental energy. Some include:

+ getting enough physical exercise to increase blood flow to the brain and trigger “energy” brain chemicals
+ fueling our brains and bodies with nourishing foods, minerals and vitamins
+ eliminating energy draining, negative people and situations from your life
+ meditating to rest and recharge
+ switching up our scenery and/or daily routines
+ reducing and/or eliminating our digital media use including social media/tv/YouTube, etc…
+ adapting new habits and systems
+ reducing and eliminating other distractions

Eat the frog, set a timer, download an app…the list of possibilities goes on and on… And while there are several scientific and research-based fundamentals and success stories such as getting enough healthy food and exercise, the key will be to figure out what works for you.

It all starts with intention. With awareness.

For example, when is your energy at it’s highest? For most people, morning is when we have access to our most creative energy. What noticeably drains your energy? Sugar, certain people, fluorescent lights? What feeds your energy? Nature, friendly conversation, music?

Personally, I know that certain foods either rob or fuel my energetic capability. I have figured out a few hacks to give me a boost of focus including jumping on the rebounder for a few minutes and listening to high-energy music while I work. I know that my morning routine is essential in putting me into an optimal mindset for the day, and I’m aware that too much time sitting at my desk results in wasted time.


“Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.”
― Jalaluddin Rumi



Productivity will always be an issue. After all, there is always more that we can be doing. However, if we think more in terms of managing our energy in order to explore and master the real causes of low productivity, we will strengthen our foundations. We will focus on what matters most and learn to be motivated and propelled by purpose. We will optimize, streamline and prioritize. And best of all, we will create more time freedom.


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Hustle & Align: Taking a holistic approach to business

Hustle & Align: Taking a holistic approach to business

(Originally published September 2018, slightly updated Oct 2021)

As a creative, I’ve spent a great many of years resisting against the formal rules of business.

Even as a PR and marketing consultant in the early 2000s, I refused many of the business norms of the time; I worked outside of the typical 9-5; prioritized soul-nourishing activities and didn’t own one typical business suit. (Amusing now to look back on this, and note how far or how different things are now).

On my entrepreneur journey, I tried unconventional productivity hacks, convinced myself that so many other life experiences are more important than a corporate pay check and learned the art of visualizing future wins – things that have become quite commonplace here in 2021.

Over the years, I measured my success, not on the number of clients I had or my income, but by how happy, stress-free and conscious my family and I felt. This is not to say that I don’t value hard work – on the contrary, I just value the freedom to set my own schedule.

This work-from-home situation, although challenging and highly frustrating at times, has given me a lot of insight into how to live my most fulfilling life. The past seven years of being a “stay-at-home working mom” or WAHM has been both truly rewarding and yet has also been challenging enough to leverage the desire for change; to now figure out how to still be a mindful parent, earn an income, schedule time for fitness, socialization and creativity AND build a fabulous new, abundant, fulfilling, money-making business.

(If you’re curious, I’ve spent the past seven years working as a freelance PR and marketing consultant; graphic designer, website developer, digital marketing specialist and program instructor to at-risk youth. I’ve also spent a lot of time volunteering in my community, spending quality time with friends and picking my kids up from school everyday.)

However, I now realize this new entrepreneurial venture will require an entire new set of rules. Not entirely unlike the ought to’s and should do’s I’ve rebelled against in the past.

The difference this time around? The difference is, is that after working with successful and efficient people, I know that it will be ultimately be those systems and disciplined action that will get results. I know that, for myself, I will have to buckle down, work with a calendar; schedule tasks and stick to it.

But the even greater difference, is that I will incorporate tried and true systems and traditional productivity strategy, while still maintaining my valued holistic approach (which is mostly what I encourage with my clients).

How to get work done (aka be productive and make money) and live the dream?

The first step to a holistic approach in business productivity and success is to figure out the WHY. In other words, what is the ideal result? Why are you doing any of this?

Yes, we all want to earn more money and attract more clients, but what do we do with it all? For myself, I want to feel purposeful and contribute, but I also want to travel. Like, all the time. I want the freedom to travel with my family and work from almost anywhere in the world.

Now, if you feel like you’re working essentially because you have to just to pay bills, it may serve you to either change your career or change your perspective.

So, I ask myself – how can I create a business that allows me to contribute and have plenty of free time and money to travel?
And while we’re at it, what else do I value? Independence, the ability to schedule my own work hours, quality time with my children, to be surrounded by beauty and kindness (mostly).

“When your values are clear to you, making decisions becomes easier.”
-Roy E. Disney

This is my why. These values are what’s most important to me. And I know, as a life coach and as an adult human, that if I don’t carry out my days doing things that are important to me, I won’t feel happy or fulfilled. If I’m not happy or fulfilled, I may wake up feeling caught in a trap. When in the trap, I may lose that fact that I am in control of my destiny and start blaming everyone and everything for my unhappiness.

So, I ask – what am I willing to do to create this ideal business? AKA, how much do I want this?

Now, this is a tricky question because we all dream about what we want. But many, no – most people are unwilling to do what it takes to get it. And there are a hundred reasons ~ don’t have the resources, don’t have the education, don’t know where to begin, are too old, too young, sore back, no sitter, too far, no startup capital, migraines, etc….


Eye on the Prize (or basket, or ball, or net…. whatever works for you)

But me, I want this. And to remind myself that I want this, I make my first order of business setting up a system to remind myself everyday.

First thing in the morning after drinking water, I journal. I do this before I start reading or scrolling; before outside influence starts affecting my thoughts and decisions. Throughout the day I meditate, practice mindfulness (to embrace the here and NOW), show gratitude and appreciation, read pertinent books, and look at my new Dream Board and other little visual reminders I have around my desk.

This may sound like a lot, especially if you haven’t yet set any habits to consciously uplevel your internal state. But as I said, I’ve been at this for many years and I know how important this FIRST STEP is for me in maintaining the motivation and perseverance to stay disciplined.

Primed for success, and motivated to take action, it is a million times easier for me to now get to work. To grind, to hustle, to follow instruction, to follow a schedule, to implement systems, and to continue to do this day after day, week after week.

So I ask you, what is most important to you? Even if you had all the money in the world, what would you do with it? What would your days look like?

“Just as your car runs more smoothly and requires less energy to go faster and farther when the wheels are in perfect alignment, you perform better when your thoughts, feelings, emotions, goals, and values are in balance.”
– Brian Tracy


Question of the Day:
How can you incorporate the things that are important to you into your life now?

to be continued….