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Written by Sarah Kirton

Leap and The Net Will Appear - Kelly James

Leap and The Net Will Appear - Kelly James

MysticMag meets Kelly James, a dedicated Transformational Life Coach and Teacher at Crossroads Coaching. With a belief that everyone possesses the power within to shape a fulfilling and purpose-driven life, Kelly specializes in empowering individuals and professionals ready for positive change. As a free-spirited and passionate woman, she embarked on a transformative journey, resigning from a successful teaching career to design a life on her terms. Alongside her husband, Wes, Kelly runs her coaching business from their home near Houston, Texas, guiding clients to their inner compass for personal growth and fulfillment. 

Your journey from a successful teaching career to becoming a transformational life coach is remarkable. Can you share the key turning point or moment that inspired you to embark on this path of self-discovery and transformation?

I went through a dark journey of the soul when I was thirty-nine years old.  I lovingly refer to it as my midlife crisis.  I had spent my entire adult life carefully curating the “perfect life.”  It was everything I was taught to want, but it didn’t fulfill me.  I felt like I was suffocating in it.  Like so many women do, I had become accustomed to caring for everyone and everything while neglecting my own needs.  From the outside, my life looked admirable.  I had a beautiful family, a successful career, a big house in a desirable neighborhood, and I drove a luxury car.  I had all these things, but I had completely lost my inner light.  

Life has a way of stripping you down when it’s time for rebirth.  And that’s what happened.  I faced some pretty big obstacles, and that perfect life I had built started to deconstruct.  It was a very painful time for me, but it sent me on a journey of healing and rebuilding that put me on a path to true peace and happiness.  

I had been living a lie. It was all a facade. My marriage was troubled. My mental health was suffering. All the parts of my life that were not aligned with my truth came crashing down. Every piece of me that was out of alignment was exposed, and I hit rock bottom.  

At that point I had a choice to make. I could either hide away and self-destruct or I could start telling the truth to myself and to the world and rebuild what had broken inside me. I chose the latter. I made some really hard decisions, one of which was to leave my marriage. I faced countless obstacles, each one peeling back a layer of the onion, revealing another part of myself that had been buried in my previous life. 

I went on a lengthy healing journey to find myself and learned to live in alignment with my true nature instead of blindly doing what I had been programmed to do.  I learned to be unapologetic about my needs.  I started speaking up where I needed to and practicing self-care.  I also dealt with childhood trauma that needed to be healed.  

When you meet rock bottom, you find lots of past traumas among the rubble.  I experienced a lot of abuse in my childhood, including sexual, physical, and mental abuse, along with abandonment.  It programmed me to be as perfect as possible in everything I undertook.  I was great at achieving and excelled in fulfilling the needs of others while suppressing my own; and I existed that way for far too long.

When I decided to shift, I was met with my greatest fear: judgement.  The people in my life didn’t understand the changes I was making for quite a while.  They wanted the old Kelly back.  But, in truth, the old Kelly was gone.  I couldn’t have gotten her back even if I wanted to, which I didn’t.  

When we step away from the status quo, it makes people very uncomfortable.  For a period, we must learn to welcome the discomfort (for them and for ourselves).  I must say, though, that discomfort is such a glorious place to be.  I don’t know why I feared it my whole life.  It’s magnificent to reinvent yourself!

It didn’t happen overnight.  It was about a three-year process for me.  But at the end, I was a new person with a new life that I lived on my terms.  I reconnected with my high school sweetheart.  We got married and left our chosen careers to build a better life and a better world.  And I wouldn’t trade any of it for anything, because when you can see the view from the top of the mountain, it makes the journey worth it. 

You mentioned that you use cutting-edge practices to help clients identify their deepest desires and break down barriers. Could you provide an example of a specific practice or technique that has been particularly effective in helping your clients achieve their life transformation goals?

There are many tools in my toolbox for helping clients identify their deepest desires, but one of my favorites is a technique I learned in my life coach training through the Martha Beck Institute.  It’s called Perfect Day.  It’s a visualization meditation where the client gets to design a perfect day in the future.  Once the client is clear on the vision of their most desirable life, it becomes easy to start mapping out how to get there.  

In order to achieve their perfect day, clients must first overcome blocks, barriers, programs, and limiting beliefs.  This is where I spend the most amount of time with my clients.  We live in a very socialized society driven by rules and cultural beliefs that are not always aligned with our true selves.  There’s a lot of digging deep and unraveling unconscious programs that must occur for true transformation to take place.  

One of my favorite ways for reprogramming limiting beliefs is through The Work of Byron Katie.  It’s a very simple and highly effective system that begins by identifying a limiting belief and then questioning it and eventually turning it around to create a new, more desirable belief.

Once you start dissecting beliefs you can see where they came from and how they served you in the past. Oftentimes they protected you in some way in childhood. But as we get older, protection becomes less necessary and evolution steps forward. As we evolve, those protective techniques no longer serve us. When we recognize that, the really meaningful work begins. We get to reprogram the former belief with a new belief that serves us better.

Let me give you an example that is easy to illustrate because it’s such a widespread, yet unconscious belief. Society teaches us that money is the root of all evil. This is a prevalent belief that is at the core of our entertainment industry, as well as politics. We are taught early on all ways in which money leads to greed. 

We mean no harm in teaching our children this.  We are trying to protect them from giving in to greed. We want them to be humble and steer clear of those seven deadly sins. That serves us as we grow up and form our character. 

But then we become adults who see how much good we can do with money. The problem here is that we’re already running a program that money is bad. It’s the root of all evil. The program is now on autopilot. It’s no longer conscious to us. So we become confused and frustrated that money always seems to elude us. We may, at times, obtain it, but then may struggle to retain it. So we find ourselves bouncing back and forth between getting money and losing money. Have you ever gotten a tax return that you were excited about and then the car breaks or the water heater goes out, and there goes your tax return? That’s the way this unconscious belief surfaces in your life. 

So if you now wish to live an abundant life where money flows easily and you are able to both spend and retain it, you are now in conflict with the program. And, in the end, the program will always win because it is, by nature, the default. Therefore, in order to change your circumstances, you must update the program. 

This is where dissolving limiting beliefs comes in. But it’s not enough to just erase the program. You must replace it with something new. Science has proven that it is possible to reprogram the brain, and I’ve spent years studying how to do that. 

That’s the powerful work I do with my clients. I used the example of money, but this works with all limiting beliefs. Some people have relationship blocks formed by watching their parents live in an unhappy marriage or go through a divorce. Some people have blocks around self-worth that have to be resolved in order to get the job they want. The list goes on and on. 

If a person is repeatedly trying to accomplish something and keeps hitting obstacles, there’s a high probability that they are running an unconscious program that is holding them back. That’s when it’s time to find a life coach. I, myself, still work with life coaches when I hit roadblocks to my own evolution. I’m in constant motion toward a better version of myself. It’s the best thing about getting older, I’m constantly creating newer, better versions of myself, and it’s so fun to watch my own evolution unfold. A good life coach is always doing her own work.

With a background in education and as a lifelong learner, how has your experience as a teacher and your commitment to personal growth influenced your coaching style and approach to empowering others?

Being a coach is part listening, part teaching, and part guiding.  Having a background in teaching is a huge asset for a life coach.  Working with adults is actually not that different from working with young students.  We’re all beginners at something.  I have grown skillful at noticing what my clients need and identifying where misunderstandings occur when trying out new techniques.  

My years in education also taught me to be masterful at breaking down information into small, digestible chunks for new learners.  Anytime we learn something new, we are a beginner.  I’ve been practicing these techniques for years, but I haven’t forgotten what it was like to be a beginner when they were first introduced to me.  

Having a teacher’s mindset allows me to approach learning from a different perspective.  Most people learn for themselves.  Teachers learn to teach others.  When learning something new, I’m always thinking about how I’m going to help another gain understanding of the skill or technique.  I notice how I need information broken down for me, and I make mental notes with the intention of doing the same for my clients when teaching them.  I am also versed in the different learning styles and how the brain processes and integrates new skills.  

I love to learn, and I love to teach.  Learning and teaching are my purpose and passion.  It’s what I was put here on earth to do.  I’m here to evolve my own soul while leading others into their own evolution.

You and your husband, Wes, transitioned from challenging careers to successful entrepreneurship. What advice would you give to individuals who aspire to make similar career transitions or create their businesses but are unsure where to begin?

I am of the mindset, “Leap and the net will appear.”  Many people think they aren’t cut out for the risk of transitioning careers or starting businesses.  But I believe that if the desire is in you, that’s a clear indication that you are not only cut out for it, but that it’s time.  

The human ego is designed to resist change because it is the unknown, and the ego only works with the known.  Science has taught us to overcome this tendency by taking baby steps.  Everyone actually does already know where to begin, even if they tell themselves they don’t.  That’s a limiting belief, and when dissected, people quickly realize that they can easily identify a handful of small steps they can take to begin their journey.  

I believe that the universe works in response to our intentions and actions.  So once a baby step is taken, the next step will reveal itself, and then the next step, and then the next, one step at a time.  It’s amazing how quickly things start falling into place when you are baby stepping your way to a goal.  People I work with marvel at this phenomenon.  They call it coincidence or synchronicity, but I think it’s the net appearing.  It truly doesn’t even take a leap.  All it takes is a baby step.  

The universe really does love and support us.  We just need to be careful what we’re asking for.  Sometimes, albeit unconsciously, we’re asking to stay stuck.  That’s when the universe responds with evidence of why we can’t do something our heart is yearning for.  We’re manifesting machines, and when we allow our thoughts to stay focused on the reasons we shouldn’t or couldn’t, that’s all we’ll see.  But when we shift into looking for the reasons we should and could, those will show up just as reliably.  

In your empowerment coaching, you utilize The Work technique designed by Byron Katie to dissolve limiting beliefs. Could you share a success story or an example of how this technique has helped a client move from feeling stuck to empowered in their life journey?

There are so many examples of how The Work has helped the people in my life (myself, my clients, my friends and family).  It’s become second nature for me at this point, so much so that I don’t even always recognize when I’m using it.  It’s just part of regular conversations now.  Name a limiting belief, and I have examples of when I used The Work to help myself and my clients through it.  

I specialize in working with people who are transitioning jobs.  I don’t believe that we’re designed to keep one job for our entire working lives.  People change and evolve.  So it’s natural that their jobs will change and evolve, too.  Our society’s views about this are beginning to change, but there’s still a lot of society stuck in the outdated paradigm of one career for life.  

When the clients I work with feel that inner calling to make a shift in their career field, because the job they’ve always done is no longer fulfilling, they are often met with great fear from themselves and their circle of friends and family.  That call to change begins as a whisper, “Wouldn’t it be cool to…”  But when ignored, that whisper gets louder and louder until you end up in an all-out internal war with yourself.  Ignoring an inner calling will never work long term, because you’ll end up sick, miserable, or both.  

That’s when clients go searching for a way to break away from the old paradigm.  And that’s where life coaches come in.  I, myself, have worked with life coaches throughout my life to overcome everything from trauma to fear to unconscious beliefs and programs holding me back.  I’ve become seasoned at recognizing when something is coming up, whether it be another layer of the onion of trauma or simply something I’m trying to achieve that just keeps getting blocked (which is most often a sign that an old program is running in the background).   

So to answer your question, I will talk about my client who we’ll call Emma (name changed for confidentiality).  Emma worked in a corporate environment, and she was quite successful.  She loved her job for many years, but when she was in her mid-thirties, she started to feel like the corporate world was dimming her inner light.  She wanted to slow down and do something more spiritual.  Because it was of great interest to her, she went through life coaching and Reiki training in her spare time.  She was quite talented in these practices, and she wanted to focus her energy full-time on creating a business where she could get paid doing what she loved and felt called to do.

The problem was that Emma was filled with fear over leaving her successful, high-paying job for the unknown world of entrepreneurship.  She came to me to help her overcome her fears and self-doubts.  She knew she would be met with extreme resistance from her colleagues, friends, and family if she decided to trade in her prestigious corporate job for an industry still seen as a bit woo-woo.  We started working on her limiting beliefs around fear of change, judgement, and money.  

Within three months, Emma announced her resignation to her colleagues, friends, and family.  Two months later she stepped out on her own and began planning and living her new life as an entrepreneur.  Over the past several years, Emma has evolved her business multiple times.  Each time, there were limiting beliefs and programs she had to work through in order to take the next step in her business, but she’s consistently done the work.  She’s become so skilled at noticing when she needs help getting around fears of failure, and I periodically get calls from here that she’s ready to have a session with me in order to keep her business moving forward.  

This is one of the things I love most about life coaching.  We’re not counselors.  We work with people to achieve something specific, and then they move on.  Because we’re ever evolving creatures, when something new comes up, we can do a session or two to help move through new obstacles and places where we’re stuck. The longer I work with a client, even just here and there, the more efficient the process becomes, often just needing a one or two session “touchup,” as I call it, to get back on track with their goals and intentions.

If you would like to find out more about Crossroads Coaching, please visit https://www.kellymaureenjames.com/

We rank vendors based on rigorous testing and research, but also take into account your feedback and our commercial agreements with providers. This page contains affiliate links. Advertising Disclosure
MysticMag contains reviews that were written by our experts and follow the strict reviewing standards, including ethical standards, that we have adopted. Such standards require that each review will take into consideration independent, honest and professional examination of the reviewer. That being said, we may earn a commission when a user completes an action using our links, at no additional cost to them. On listicle pages, we rank vendors based on a system that prioritizes the reviewer’s examination of each service but also considers feedback received from our readers and our commercial agreements with providers.This site may not review all available service providers, and information is believed to be accurate as of the date of each article.
About the author
Sarah Kirton
Contributor
Contributor
Sarah is a keen and passionate advocate of the spiritual and healing components within the mystical realm of the world we live in. She resides in Cape Town, South Africa, where she enjoys spending time in the outdoors, kite surfing, and playing guitar.