If you’re an achievement junkie like me, and you also happen to be right smack into your quarter-life crisis, then you’ll understand why I got interested in life coaching. With life coaching, learning who you are and what you should do in life can be guided by a professional. There are several life coaching packages out there in Manila, but none that I’ve heard of that combined it with a travel getaway. That is, not until Kairos.
I got lucky because my cousin, who works at Convergent Consulting, the company behind Kairos, helped me get invited to this relaxing weekend. Convergent Consulting has been in operation for 14 years, and they provide training programs for teams and leaders of top corporations in the country. To celebrate the beginning of their 15th year, they launched Kairos, which is their first attempt to combine travel and life coaching, which they offered for private individuals instead of their usual clientele of companies.
Held last Nov. 26 to 27, 2016 at Nurture Wellness Village in Tagaytay City, my sponsored trip made me avail of a package that costs P15,995. This was inclusive of triple-sharing overnight accommodations, two one-on-one life coaching sessions, group life-anchoring sessions, healthy meals and snacks (except dinner on the first day and lunch on the second day), a journal and writing materials, and the hotel’s free activities (Qi Gentle Breathing and Stretching Exercises and the Nurture Organic Farm Tour).
Convergent’s choice of Nature Wellness Village as the venue for the life coaching weekend was so spot on. The rooms were not concentrated in one tall building but were instead scattered throughout the lush green property thus mimicking a village. Each white concrete house was topped off with a nipa roof, giving the modern spaces an earthy vibe. In line with the relaxing ambiance, the names of the rooms were Kasiyahan, Pag-asa, Pag-ibig, and other positive Filipino words. Here and there were gazebo ala nipa huts with white cushiony massage chairs, and participants could avail of the hotel’s massage packages at an additional cost.
The food, which was a mix of vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes, was mainly good. However, the lasagna with chunky slices of carrots, squash, and other vegies was just too weird, even for me who sometimes eats vegetarian food. In the garden, there was a Lakad Kalinga, which was a spiraling path of stones that one can walk barefoot on and experience the acupuncture-like pressure of the stones on one’s feet.
For more adventurous people, the hotel has glamping sites complete with fire pit areas.
The Kairos session started with entering a team building room, which was imbued with inspirational items.
There were framed quotes, life coaching planners that were being sold at a discount, a poetry corner with poetry magnets and a metallic board, letters hung above spelling out “Be Happy”, tables filled with self-help books, and a craft corner with papers and coloring materials. At the center was a circle of armchairs and sofas for the participants. On each seat was a notebook with an inspirational quote in front, a ballpen, and a tag with a name of a participant.
There were several activities throughout the day. One was when we were asked to draw from a deck of cards.
Called Points of You, each card had a photo and a matching word. I got a black and white photo of two rulers with the word “alignment”. Then we were asked to pair up and discuss what our photos meant to us. After the discussion, the partners exchanged photos, and were asked to find another partner and discuss again.
Another set of cards that were interesting was called The Power of Questions, which had questions like “What is the most exciting thing that has ever happened to you?” to “If you were to be convicted of a crime what would it be?”. A card would be picked and each person had to answer it in front of the entire group.
You’d think it would be hard to open up to complete strangers, but it turned out to be easy. I guess there’s no danger to divulge things with people who, for the most part, one will probably never see again. It was also nice that they revealed their personal hardships to me. Some were even older than me, and yet they trusted me by telling me what they were going through.That was an interesting experience.
Aside from this, we also made a pie chart of our life where we were asked to shade the amount of importance we gave to different aspects of our lives, and we were given magazines and art materials to create a vision board of things we want to happen in 2017.
After those activities, we had our one-on-one coaching sessions. While waiting for one’s turn, one was free to roam around the hotel’s many selfie-worthy spots. We could also attend the hotel’s free activities, but if they clashed with our coaching schedules, then we couldn’t go to them. We could also either read the provided books or tinker around the craft or poetry corners.
The coach that I got was Lei, and she seemed very motherly and patient. She really listened to all the hundreds of thoughts that were cluttering my mind. She also asked a lot of good questions. After our first session, she made me write about my fears but I had to use my non-dominant hand. She said that this method can reveal certain things that I am not aware of. For our second session, she gave me a venn diagram composed of four overlapping circles. The first circle was labeled “Things I love doing”, then another with “Things I am really good at”, then “What does the world need?”, and “What will the world pay for?”. She shaded the center where all the four circles overlap and told me that this was where my happiness would be. She asked me to reflect upon this for the coming days.
Though the sessions were good, the venues were not always appropriate. The first was in the team building room where people could go in and out. The spacious room was good for the group activities but not for the one-on-one life coaching sessions. I even walked in once and found another participant crying during her life coaching session, and I felt really embarrassed. I also felt kind of shy to talk during my session when I saw other participants coming in and out of the room. The room was big so the other participants could be at the other end of it, and yet I found myself speaking more softly to ensure that I will not be heard. The second session was held in one of the huts near the dining area, so there wasn’t a lot of privacy as well.
All in all, Kairos was indeed relaxing and enjoyable. Though it’s really hard to have a breakthrough with a life coach when one is given just a few hours to talk, maybe things could have been improved if every group activity built up on the previous one. In this way, the participants could have been moved toward a certain path and one could have a clearer realization. What the two days did though was that they gave me many tools and several starting points when it comes to figuring out what I want. It also introduced me to new people and gave me opportunities to interact with those who were going through something similar. Last but not the least, I also got to travel to such a relaxing and nature-filled spot in Tagaytay.
For more information, call Convergent Consulting at (02) 668-2493, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit http://www.convergentph.com. They are planning their next event to be a trip abroad, and they are setting their sights on Bali, Indonesia.
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