Big thank you from

Jenny Munro talks to Brigitte Boland

Brigitte BolandBrigitte Boland, 51, is a qualified personal life coach who helps people who feel stuck in some area of their life gain clarity and get back on track. She is running monthly workshops in Hillsborough Village Centre with fellow life coach Jane Waugh and is currently doing a series of features with Lynda Bryans on U105 radio.

Brigitte is French and was brought up and educated in Nantes in South Brittany / The Loire Valley. She came to Northern Ireland on a visit 28 years ago and fell in love, got married and now has two grown up children.

She teaches conversational French to A-Level students and oral French at Queen's University. After completing a Masters Degree in Modern French Studies at the University of Ulster in 2003 she discovered life coaching and trained for two years with the largest and oldest coach training provider based in the USA, Coach University.

Brigitte has successfully maintained a two stone weight loss and says this is due to the fact that she has stopped dieting and changed her thinking and belief system. She now coaches women to re-invent themselves and re-connect with their passion for life.

I get up between 7 and 7.30am, shower, get ready and then drink green tea. I will then check my e-mails and reply to all queries from my clients within 24 hours. Although my business is set up in Banbridge,

I either coach by telephone or I meet clients in coffee shops in Lisburn or in the foyer of hotels in Belfast and Newry. I also run monthly workshops with life coach Jane Waugh in Hillsborough Village Centre and in Newry, so Jane and I would meet regularly to organise them.

The workshops we are offering over the next few months is on creating a balanced life. I am also doing a series of features with Lynda Bryans on U105 radio every Friday from 2 to 3pm. I deal with issues such as work/life balance, ending a relationship, coping with teenagers, aging gracefully, compulsive eating and stopping smoking and I answer questions from the listeners who phone in or e-mail us. So my week is very varied between meeting individual clients, coaching my international clients by telephone, my workshops with Jane. my U105 features and running the administrative side of the business.

Some clients come to me because they struggle with finding some balance in their life, they are exhausted constantly living in overwhelm and feeling stressed. Others are unhappy in their job but cannot see a way out.

Some have very definite goals in mind but they need support and motivation in achieving them.

I also specialise in helping women slim once and for all and use all the energy they save when they stop obsessing with food and dieting, to live their life to the fullest.

Slimming for me is a new beginning, it is a tool to start dreaming and living the life you never imagined you could live. I have called my business Carpe Diem Life Coaching as Carpe Diem in Latin means `seize the day', and that's what coaching is about for me.

Every day is a new beginning - live every present moment to the fullest, be open to every opportunity that comes our way every day as every decision we make today designs the future we will have.

We cannot change our past, and our future is not real yet. Our power only lies in today, and the choices we make today determine our future.

Coaching is very different from counselling as it focuses solely on the present and the future of the individual. It does not deal with solving past emotional pain. Coaching is for emotionally healthy people who want to get more out of life, people who want to run their life and not be run by it, people who want to be in control of their life and take responsibility for designing their future.

Life coaching is such an empowering and powerful process. It is a partnership that focuses fully on the self-discovery and the success of the client.

It is a very positive and dynamic approach which has a very motivational effect on the client. It is totally confidential and non-judgemental.

I often go to bed so excited about my life that I find it hard to go to sleep. I just love my life now that I am focusing 100% on my coaching business.

Ulster Star