How the Martial Art Aikido and Coaching School are the Same…

After coaching class last week and feeling like a clumsy oaf, I vividly remembered my first year training in Aikido.  I was an experienced martial artist before I started Aikido having studied both Wing-Chun and Tae Kwan Do to an intermediate level.  But, Aikido is different.  Aikido is a soft art.  This does not mean that it isn’t as intense Aikidophysically.  It means that learning how to receive a technique is as important as learning how to execute a technique.   When I began Aikido, I was pretty good at punching, kicking and blocking.  But, following someone’s energy and direction, receiving a technique and flowing with it?  I actively resisted this…which is at least half of the art of Aikido.  One day I was coming off the mat utterly frustrated, feeling completely incompetent like I had two left feet, two right hands and if I could muster a single coordinated movement like putting one foot in front of the other, it would have been miraculous.  My sensei, when on the mat, was a man of few words. Steve taught like he spoke broken English.  “MOVE YOUR FOOT!!!” sternly spoken with a Japanese Samauri accent was a frequent instruction.  He taught like this because he learned Aikido from a Japanese man who spoke broken English.  Steve was, in fact, a white boy, born and raised in the U.S.  Steve clearly saw my frustration and said something like, “When you execute a technique correctly, you are not learning anything.  You have already learned it.  It is only when you are frustrated that you are learning anything.  What are you here for?”

So, this week after a particularly frustrating experience with a difficult client, sensei’s words came back to me.  I felt similarly to that moment walking off the mat, “What did I do wrong?  What should I have done differently?  Have I gained any competence in this at all?  Can you actually, physically step on your tongue because that’s what it feels like I have been doing all night?” And, I remembered, “’What are you here for?’ This is part of the learning process.  Feeling awkward, unsure of myself, uncomfortable, clumsy, oafish, all of it is part of learning.  So, what am I here for?  If I were an MCC level coach, I wouldn’t be taking the class to begin with.  Do I want to learn or not?  There’s only one way to get there: fall down and get up.  Fall down and get up.  Repeat until lessons are learned…”

‘Sigh,’ it is uncomfortable.  After practicing Aikido, I always wake up the morning after physically sore.  After practicing coaching, sometimes I get up the next day sore but in a different way.  I have learned to enjoy feeling sore.  It means I’m learning.

In the fall, I will be testing for my black belt.  In the relatively near future, I will be testing for MCC level coaching.  These points are reached only after falling and getting up, literally and figuratively countless times.  It’s all good.


Tom Boomershine has been a United Methodist pastor for over 20 years.  Through his ministry, Tom has coached over 100 people in their relationships, life transitions and career transitions.  Author of the soon to be published book, “After Ever After,” he is currently in the process of becoming an ICF Associate Certified Coach through Marianna Lead’s Goal Imagery® Institute, International School of Coaching Mastery™.  Tom believes everyone has unique gifts given by our creator to be used for a purpose.


2016 is YOUR Year to Become an ICF-Certified Coach!

Become an ICF Certified Coach ImageIf you want to become an ICF-Certified coach, don’t wait until Oct. 2016 when the new ICF rules go into effect — and you’ll no longer be able to count any of your experience hours prior to your coach training. If you need a coach-specific training in order to apply… I’m here to the rescue! I have the new dates for both ACC/PCC Credentialing and PCC/MCC Advanced Programs. Both are affordable (only $2397 each!) and both taught personally by me (ICF Master Certified Coach and ICF Assessor).


Course #1: ACC/PCC Credentialing Course: Holistic Life, Career & Executive Coach Training, classes begin Tues., Jan. 19 @ 7 PM EST and Thurs., Jan. 21 @ 11 AM EST or @ 8 PM EST (A day 2-4 PM EST class may be added as well!)

Course #2: Advanced Coach Mentoring & Supervision Course Starts Mon., Feb. 1 @ 1 PM EST
This advanced course is focused on group and individual mentoring, coaching supervision, and honing your coaching skills to the next level. Those of you who took GII’s 6-month training or comparable training at another school may be eligible for their ACTP certificate at the successful completion of this course: contact me to discuss your current coach training situation.

No deposit required for either course. $100 registration fee will hold your spot. Small classes for optimal learning. All training is offered live and online/phone. International local call-in numbers available (or just connect to our lessons via your computer).

Most classes have only a few spots left, so email or call me ASAP for more information and to schedule a personal interview (required prior to registration).

Onward and a Happy 2016!


This Rising Comedy Star Will Make You Laugh!

Happy Holidays!

Click on the image and enjoy.



Season’s Greetings: Giving While Receiving

2015 Lead Holiday Family PhotoImage
One of the best ways to celebrate the holidays is by giving back. I teach that you can do it while also receiving. It’s always great to hear about one of my students successfully putting that learning into practice.

Following my suggestion, Preeta Banerjee, a recent graduate of our Holistic Life, Career & Executive ACTP Coach Preeta_Banerjee_PhotoTraining, found a cause and a non-profit organization she believes in — The Hope Foundation — which works with schools to create successful learning communities. In exchange for having Preeta’s services promoted by another organization, she will donate 50% of her coaching fees to the Foundation to help rescue and educate girls in India* (here’s the link to find out more about Preeta:

Congratulations to Preeta for following through on the kind of practical advice you’ll get when you enroll in our trainings.

If you’re interested in becoming a coach, honing your existing coaching skills and getting clients — inquire for more information about our training programs.

Happy holidays and best wishes for the New Year!

Upcoming 2016 Class Schedule


  • Tues., Jan. 5 at 7 PM EST
  • Thurs., Jan. 7 at 11 AM EST
  • Thurs., Jan. 7 at 4 PM EST
  • Thurs., Jan. 7 at 8 PM EST


  • Mon, March 21 at 6:30 PM EST
  • Wed., Apr. 6 at 11 AM EST
  • Wed., Apr. 6 at 7 PM EST

Coaching Movie Live Broadcast


ICF-Approved Holistic Life, Career Executive Coach Training: New Classes Start Sept. 14 at 7 PM EST, Sept. 23 at 11 AM EST and Oct. 7 at 6:30 PM EST

Chose from any of the above convenient times to start your training towards becoming an ICF accredited and certified coach.

Lessons are live, online, weekly and 2.5 hours each. Please contact us for more information. We cap each class at 10 students.




March 19 & March 31: ICF-Approved & Accredited (ACSTH & ACTP) Holistic Life, Career & Executive Coach Training Programs


March 19: 6-month ICF-Approved (ACSTH) Holistic Life, Career & Executive Coach Training, 100% online, with 60 hours of live training. I am continuing my affordable tuition offer of just $2397 with only a $100 registration fee and no additional cost for using flexible payment plans. As usual, I teach all my courses personally, providing a perspective of mastery of an MCC coach and ICF Assessor. Tuitions are all-inclusive and classes are limited to 10 students per class.

March 31: 8-month ICF-Accredited (ACTP) Accelerated Holistic Life, Career & Executive Coach Training, 100% online, live program — for those of you highly-motivated, over-achiever types who want to complete an ACTP program this year. Day and night classes. Tuition: I’m offering this special intensive 125-coach-specific-hour course for an all-inclusive tuition of only $4897! And, if you pay in full by March 21st, your tuition is just $4597! — with ALL required mentoring (group and private), learning materials, certification tests, marketing/business building & alumni support. 

Contact me for details before registering to make sure that this is the right fit for both of us.


Marianna Lead, MCC





Appreciation as a Core Competency

In coaching, at times it’s crucial to be able to recognize and appreciate your client’s achievement, new type of positive thinking/behavior and/or a new, healthier response to an old situation. It is just as important to notice and appreciate a new application of our clients’ strengths and abilities. The truth is, we all want to be acknowledged. Not only it strengthens our ego (in a good way) and confidence, it also creates motivation to do even more. Appreciation and acknowledgement increases productivity and, from the position of coaching, it often creates awareness for our clients about their strengths and abilities where there was none or very little. I can’t tell you how many times I heard, “I really never thought about myself this way” in response to my comment about my client’s specific set of skills I noticed. 

I was especially made aware of this competency as someone commented via social media on anniversary of my coach training programs at Goal Imagery Institute: “I hope you know how much I admire your work.” The thing is, we don’t really know unless we are told.

However, it’s not as easy as it seems. Not knowing how to do it correctly, we can sound parental or interrupt our client’s thinking if our timing is off. To learn how to express your appreciation the ‘right’ way — you may consider taking the coach training course. Goal Imagery Coach Training starts Jan. 6.




The Coaching Core Competency of Creating Awareness: Competency or Outcome?

The more I teach and experience coaching, the more I’m convinced that awareness is created by implementing all other competencies, such as establishing the coaching agreement, deep listening, powerful questions and direct communication. What are your thoughts?


Coaching Tools: Passion, Strength or Value?

I often see coaching clients struggle with being able to distinguish between their strengths and their passions. And when I begin to enquire about their values they get even more confused.
A question that helps them get unstuck is to ask about the last time they were unstoppable. The coaching client is able to provide at least one instance; usually it turns out to be when they were living in alignment with their values, operating on their strengths and integrating their passions into their life.
Let’s define these terms to better distinguish between them.
A value is a standard of behavior that you hold dear. For example, Reliability, Creativity and Excellence are a few core values.
A passion is something that gets your fired up. It could be writing, designing websites, or planning events etc.
A strength is an innate ability or talent. It could be that writing or collaborating on web design ideas makes you feel strong.
It is easy to see why our coaching clients get confused
  • Values can influence your strengths. Just because Excellence is a value, doesn’t mean that creating perfect spreadsheets makes you feel strong.
  • Strengths sound very similar to passions. You may be drawn to event planning (because of your value of Creativity) while you strengths lie in other areas. It is important to understand that the knowledge or skill gap can be bridged through training or practice.
Whether you are a coach or a coaching client, in making decisions about your life, it pays to be aware of your values, your strengths and your passions. It is this clarity that casts your life’s purpose into sharp relief helping you differentiate yourself from others. With this newfound clarity… is it any wonder that you become unstoppable?
Guest Blog by Kay Fudala, Consultant and Creative Coach at, currently enrolled with Goal Imagery Institute Holistic Life and Career Coach Training.