Embarking on a journey of spiritual growth while cultivating meaningful relationships is a pursuit that resonates deeply with many individuals seeking a sense of purpose and fulfillment in their lives. Deborah Roth, MA, PCC, an esteemed Interfaith Minister and Spiritual Life and Relationship Guide, stands as a beacon of wisdom and guidance in this realm. With her profound expertise and compassionate approach, Deborah has dedicated her life to helping others navigate the intricate tapestry of spirituality and relationships. Deborah Roth’s commitment to creating a sacred space for growth, healing, and transformation is evident in her work with individuals from all walks of life. Her clients praise her ability to hold space with compassion, offering insightful guidance and empowering them to embrace their unique spiritual journeys and cultivate harmonious relationships. In this Mystic Mag‘s interview, we will delve deeper into the multifaceted world of spiritual growth and fulfilling relationships, drawing upon Deborah Roth’s vast wisdom and expertise. Through her illuminating insights and practical advice, we hope to inspire and guide you along your own path towards spiritual enrichment and more meaningful connections with others.
As a Life & Career Transition Coach, Relationship Coach, and Interfaith Minister, how do you approach the process of transition coaching?
When I first started coaching 25 years ago, I went through a huge transition, actually several transitions, leaving the corporate world after 13 years – the 90s were a huge transition decade for me! I wasn’t sure what I wanted to focus on when I started my business and explored several different modalities. That’s when I discovered coaching and found it could incorporate everything I was fascinated by. Since I’d been through this big life change myself, I started studying transition psychology and ended up getting my Master’s degree in Psychology through a wonderful program that really allowed me to bring in all those different interests. Part of that exploration was looking at the transition process and how to create meaningful rituals to mark important life passages.
Everybody hears about bar mitzvahs or first communions and other religious transition rituals. But it’s equally important to be able to acknowledge personal transitions, like when you’re leaving a job or when you’re getting a divorce. And of course, when you’re getting married, there’s a big, wonderful ritual that celebrates that — I do love officiating weddings!
One of the most important things for humans is to find meaning in all aspects of our lives and for me, the process of guiding people through that journey is magical. I also facilitate workshops on the very predictable stages of transition. I named them in my book, “Circle of One: The Art of Becoming a SELF-Centred Woman” which incorporates the powerful work of William Bridges who is sort of the granddaddy of modern transition psychology.
I feel like we are always going through at least one, usually several, life transitions at any given time – they could be little ones or big ones. And it’s important to understand that you’re not weird or crazy to feel what you’re feeling as you’re going through these sometimes chaotic periods. In fact, there are actually some very predictable stages and learning about them helps normalise the process for people. I call the 3 stages: “Release, Retreat, Rebirth”, similar to William Bridges’ names for them – “Endings, Neutral Zone, New Beginnings”. It’s normal in the Release phase to mourn the loss of whatever we’re leaving behind. When we’re in Retreat mode, we must allow ourselves to just sit and “be” instead of trying to race into the next big thing. Out of that reflection time comes Rebirth when we embark on the next leg of our journey.
In your experience, what are the common challenges that individuals face when they go through major life transitions and how do you help them to overcome those challenges?
One of the common challenges is feeling like they’re alone. Feeling like “no one’s ever been through this quite like me” which can feel pretty isolating. At times like this, it’s important to define what the constants are in your life. Yes, you’re leaving some things behind, but what relationships, skills, and strengths are you bringing with you into the next stage?
Another challenge is remembering to keep your self-care practices intact—or maybe to initiate new ones — especially if your regular routine has been uprooted. What are you doing to take care of yourself mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually? All those stages of transition are so much easier to manage when you’re operating from a whole, healthy place.
What inspired you to become an interfaith minister? How does your background in spirituality actually influence your approach to relationship coaching?
When I left the corporate world in the early 90s and my kids were little, I wanted to do something that had more meaning and that gave me more time with them. I had been fascinated by the ancient symbol systems of astrology and tarot for years and ended up enrolling in a counselling training program that was taught all by therapists who were also astrologers. The director of that program introduced me to coaching (a pretty new concept back then) and I completed my Coach training while simultaneously getting my Master’s degree which was very spiritually based. My Master’s thesis wove together the themes of feminist psychology, women’s spirituality, and creating life passage rituals. Then it made sense to get ordained as an Interfaith Minister so I could guide people through one of the most joyful of those rituals, their wedding!
After offering transition coaching and officiating weddings for several years, I was finding that couples were coming back and saying that they needed support, or asking if I did premarital coaching. So that’s when I was trained as a Relationship Coach through the Relationship Coaching Institute so I could work with both singles and couples.
With a business name like “Spirited Living”, anyone who works with me – whether it’s career or relationship coaching or creating their wedding ceremony — knows we’ll be addressing deeper issues. They know we’ll look at how they want their values to inform their lives, work, and relationships. What role do they want their spirituality to play in their family or marriage? Do they want to commit to a regular prayer or meditation practice, individually or as a couple?
My wedding couples often tell me they want something “spiritual but not religious” but I think spirituality is a very personal thing. I happen to resonate with the idea of the Divine Feminine, but I don’t impose my beliefs on anyone. People who work with me come from all kinds of backgrounds, though typically not from traditional religious belief systems. I meet them wherever they’re at and we explore from there.
What type of services do you offer?
As we’ve talked about, I offer 1-1 coaching for people who are in life and career transitions, guiding them through all those stages so they can get unstuck and find fulfilment. In the relationship arena, I offer a terrific “Conscious Dating” program for singles and several couples programs (complete with workbooks and exercises to work on), including “Conscious Relationships” for pre-committed couples, and “Radical Marriage” for married couples.
I’ve also recently been trained in the powerful Mental Fitness coaching model based on Shirzad Chamine’s best-selling book, Positive Intelligence and his Stamford University lectures. Mental fitness is basically your capacity to respond to life’s challenges with a positive rather than a negative mindset by embarking on a focused program to help you to muzzle those gremlins or “Saboteurs” in your head that prevent you from accessing the creative, resilient “Sage” part of your brain. It’s definitely a multi-purpose tool that I’ve incorporated into all the areas of coaching I specialise in.
I envision my business, Spirited Living, as being the trunk of a full, beautiful tree (my favorite place to meditate!), with the roots firmly grounded in the qualities of the Divine Feminine because I believe we all need those traits – compassion, collaboration, honouring our intuition, our bodies and our connection to nature (to name a few) — if our civilization is going to survive. All of the things that sometimes get lost in our still very patriarchal culture, no matter what country you live in.
And then the branches of this Spirited Living tree represent all the different types of coaching I do, as well as my other work — monthly New Moon SisterCircles (both in person and virtual), Full Moon “tele-meditations”, and my weekly “Inner Goddess Team” YouTube videos. And I speak, teach, and write on the subjects of radical self-care, women’s empowerment, everyday spirituality, conscious relationships, managing life’s big changes, developing mental fitness and more. Not to mention the books I’ve written which incorporate all of my passions!
How do you measure the success of your coaching sessions or interventions?
I ask my clients to send me a “Client Prep form” before we talk which outlines what they’ve accomplished since we talked last, what they didn’t get done but wanted to, what challenges they’re facing, what opportunities are up for them, what they want to focus on in the call, and what actions they want to take… which of course, we add to during our session.
Coaching is all about accountability and taking action, so at the end of a call, we’ll dig deeper to find out what they need to do to keep them moving forward. Looking back and reviewing their Client Prep Forms is a powerful way to track their progress for both of us.
When I stop working with a client, we have an exit conversation and I ask them to really look back at what they told me their original goals were and what they’ve accomplished up to this point.
It’s so fascinating and satisfying to guide my clients through these pivotal moments – I call it “sacred play” and I can say it’s as powerful for me as it is for them!