So you want the long + arduous story, eh? Okay, let’s go.
WHO I AM + WHY I COACH
Like I said, I love people + I adore storytelling. Storytelling, like rich conversation, carry waves of irrepressible and impalpable feelings. We are hardwired to seek patterns + meaning, and stories are just one way of making sense and connecting with our world. Stories contain our history and carry our legacies through time + space. People, stories + conversation. That’s my jam.
Coaching has always come naturally to me. I am insatiably curious and asking deep + uncommon questions is my specialty. Talking to people, encouraging them, hearing them + being with them in their ‘messes’— it’s just part of who I am.
I believe I’ve been coaching all my life. I remember days on the playground having conversations with my childhood friends about their difficult home lives. Where other kids would become awkward + leave, I’d lean in + explore the situation to find ways to support my friends through their emotions. I’d never tell them what to do, but always tried to draw out what they would feel good doing.
Listening, normalizing, validating, empathizing, supporting… those are talents I was born with.
Sometimes I felt like I had a sign on my forehead saying, ‘tell me your deepest, darkest secret’. And it wasn’t only my friends — adults alike shared the troubles that lay heavy on their heart with me too.
As a kid, I just had a ‘sense’ (what I now know is my intuition) that someone was having a tougher day than they let on. I knew there was little I could do to solve someone’s problem, but innately understood the value of simply being with someone’s sadness.
How I Found Coaching
Oh boy. Fun fact, I went to University, got my Sociology B.A., and then proceeded to flounder for 5 years. I bounced from Research Assistant to Financial Services, landed in Oil & Gas where I set up shop as a damn good Executive Assistant. Let me tell you, those five years were some of the most painful and productive of my life.
I clambered my way up the Administrative Professional’s ladder and became a kickass and sought after Executive Assistant. I loved the people I worked with, but my core job was missing something valuable. I was missing joy. I was missing purpose.
Every weekend I’d find myself wandering the streets of Calgary or a Rocky Mountain hiking trail questioning the universe. ‘What should I do with my life?’ was the only question that lay heavy on my heart and mind.
The one constant in my life was my love of people + conversations. I had tried Social Work and Counselling, but nothing seemed to fit with my belief about people.
After a performance review with my mentor, I realized if I kept up pace I would be stuck in this vortex forever. That’s literally what she said: ‘Kim, if you stay with me here, you will turn into Whitney’. Now, Whitney was our 65-year-old receptionist, who had fondly gained the nickname Grumpy Cat. If I knew anything about myself that day, I knew I was a lioness more so than a Grumpy Cat.
And so, the desperate Googling began, starting with, ‘how can I help people through conversation?’ Coaching, specifically, The Coaches Training Institute popped up. After watching the webinar, everything clicked. CTI is based on the cornerstone belief that people are naturally creative resourceful and whole. That was it! Unlike any other professional field, Coaching did not view people as broken beings.
I called CTI the next day to pay the deposit on my professional coaches training and accreditation process, registered my domain and began transforming my online + in person identity to represent the decision I had made.
A year later I became Kimberley Dawn Thurn, CCPC, Coach for the Trapped Professional and Creative Entrepreneur.
I have found the meaning of my life – to encourage others to intrinsically feel that they matter. Because they do. No matter where I go, or the work I end up doing, I know what makes me feel whole. For me, coaching isn’t just my job, it’s my way of life.
P.S. Since you’ve read this far, I can at least hit you up with some inside scoop on who I am between the lines you see here.
Secret Fun Facts:
- Genetically, I am a bit of a mutt – my parents are from Trinidad and Tobago, but I am a compilation of African, East Indian and Scottish.
- I was born and raised in London UK.
- I knew I wanted to live in Canada from the early age of 8 years old. So, I up and moved when I was 18 years old – I’m ridiculously determined and strong-willed.
- I became engaged at 19 years old, but married and divorced before the age of 24.
- I have paraglided in the Bahamas, swam with stingrays, sharks and dolphins, and have lived to tell the tail.
- I know what the walls of the psych ward look like; I have felt rock bottom.
- I am obsessed with peanut butter, and struggle not to eat a jar a week.
- I met the Queen Mother when I was 11 years old, and she said I was a ‘presentable young lady’.
- I deepened my love of people and empathy while I volunteered and worked at Calgary Distress Centre.
- My significant other and I met at a gas station on Highway 1, and have been inseparable ever since. He’s my foreve-relationship. He sees the world the way I do, there’s no better proof than that.
- Speaking of which, our 4th date was in New York City. In the the-almost-year we’ve been together we’ve visited New York, Toronto, London, Cuba, French Polynesia and Amsterdam. You can follow our adventures on Instagram @pushpinsandpassports.
- I am a Londoner whose historical and geographical knowledge of my home SUCKS. It’s quite embarrassing, really.
- I have lived off of rice and salt when I couldn’t make my ends meet.
- I am a sucker for dogs, to the point where I will shamelessly ask to pet every dog I see.