Parvati Shallow » Life Explored

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How I Became a Coach

I crossed the state line brimming with anticipation. After a three-day cross-country drive in my gold Toyota Camry stuffed to capacity with my entire life’s belongings, I had arrived at my long-awaited destination: Los Angeles. Like many shiny, new college grads, I had a dream that drove me here. I wanted to be on TV. I also had a “real” job—which made my parents feel a bit safer about allowing their 21-year-old daughter to move half way around the world.

I started work at an entertainment public relations firm right away, and almost simultaneously, I loathed it. As a nature-loving Georgia girl, I was a fish out of water and couldn’t relate to the glamourous, designer clad ladies in the office. Among other things, they wanted me to book accommodations in swanky hotels for our celebrity clients, and I had no clue where to even start. It seemed I just couldn’t do anything right. I felt like a failure, and on top of that, I was trapped in an office when everyday was the most glorious 72 and sunny.

After a few agonizing months, I pulled the rip cord on my “safe job.” When I walked out of the office for the last time, I didn’t look back. The choice was correct, and my heart (though a bit nervous about the uncertainty of the future) assured me. Now, we are free.

I quickly got a job waiting tables at a beachfront restaurant near the Santa Monica pier, and I made some incredible friends. Here, I chatted with a girl at one of my tables about her boxing coach. I had started boxing back at University of GA, and I thought it would be fun to pick it back up. She put me in touch. I began competing in amateur boxing matches and was being paid to train and paid to fight.

Just six months after I left the safety of a bi-weekly paycheck and benefits, I was making thousands of dollars more a month and having way more fun with my new California life.

Happiness is attractive, and apparently, so are female boxers. An acquaintance that I had met at the restaurant called me and asked if I had a blonde friend that would want to do the Amazing Race with me.

Say whaaaaaaaaat?!?!

I was so excited about the idea of traveling, competing and having my dream of being on a TV show come true that I jumped at the opportunity. A friend and I went through casting, and devastatingly, we didn’t make the cut.

I went back to my life, having fun, making friends, boxing, and sunning myself at the beach on my off days. But, a nagging feeling in the back of my heart wouldn’t let go of the idea that I almost got my dream. What did I need to do differently?

Well, it turns out that the only thing I required was patience. A few months after not making the cast for Amazing Race, the casting director called and asked if I would be interested in doing a show called SURVIVOR.

I said yes.

The three seasons in which I competed on SURVIVOR were life altering and formative in every way. I found my confidence, discovered hidden talents, took huge risks, and I was rewarded with a win. And, I was also crushed with a hard loss.

From age 23 to 28, I spent most of my time either being a contestant on SURVIVOR or recovering from my experience.

SURVIVOR took me to a dark place within myself – it was a world of scarcity, where competition ruled, and I would do whatever it took to win. This was a playing field of fear, power, manipulation and control. Winning the game meant everyone else had to lose. I had to deceive those who had trusted me, and I had to control my emotional reactions. In essence, I shut down my heart. Though I was proud of myself for winning, this was not a world in which I wanted to live long-term.

Returning home, I felt like a stranger inside my own life. Even with my best friends, I had a difficult time letting my guard down and trusting their good intentions.

I knew I couldn’t survive life like this. So, I worked really hard to regain my sense of self, my inner trust, my physical strength and most importantly, my enthusiasm for life.

I sought professional help with a counselor, did twice daily yoga, solo-trekked through Peru, Mexico and India and threw myself into various self-development and yoga teacher training programs.

These activities, and the relationships I developed with healers and teachers, helped me to recover the Truth of myself so that I could begin to open my heart back up. Trusting that my heart would guide me toward my highest good, I started to invite relationships back into my life. I began to trust friends and strangers again. And, I realized that I wanted to invest my energy in helping others to heal, to develop the power to overcome anything and to live joyful, abundant lives.

As a yoga teacher, I began coaching my private students, and together we saw some amazing results. The investment they made in themselves paid handsome dividends. My clients were losing weight, gaining the courage to travel internationally, climbing mountains, opening up about their sexuality to their families, ending bad relationships, leaving dead-end jobs, moving to exciting new places, taking new jobs, and falling in love.

It lit my fire to continue.

I started working with a company as a business coach and began helping doctors, dentists, mental health professionals and other business owners to grow their practices, create a vision and strategy for their future and develop their leadership teams.

We worked toward clearing up communication issues, leaving behind limiting beliefs and bad partnerships, creating clear goals with purpose, finding ways to create more value for their customers and patients, clarifying pathways to make more money and taking action toward achieving their deeply held desires.

With nearly a decade of experience helping people to grow into the greatest version of themselves, this much is clear: this is my calling and my purpose.

It pushes me forward and is the reason I bounce out of bed in the morning.

Now, what is it that you are you looking to change in your life? And, how can I help you get there?

Follow this link to fill out a questionnaire about yourself and schedule your complimentary 25-minute introduction call with me.

I’m excited to meet you!


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Milan Polacek - Hi Parvati,
I just want to thank you for being who you are. This beautiful lady from Georgia where we live and where we fell in love with you while watching Survivor. You’re our inspiration. My wife and I are both attending yoga classes and wish you were teaching yoga here.
Keep doing what you love and keep loving what you’re doing.
Our daughter Veronika who also went to UGA is expecting a baby as well so we think that we have a lot in common.
Wishing you all the success and love of this world you can get and best of luck with your baby.
Milan and Jana Polacek.

Jeff - Great stuff. More later.

Eric - I could use some positive change.

Mark - Questionnaire link?

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