After 10 years of teaching, Bev felt the pull to a more personal and rewarding experience with people. She is now a practicing transformational and dream coach who runs events that connect people deeply.
Tell us a little about your background.
I was born in a small town in Oudtshoorn, South Africa. Oudtshoorn was known as the Jerusalem of South Africa for the many Jews who lived in, contributed to, and shaped the culture, vibe, and personality of the town. My parents went there as newlyweds, when my father was a young physician beginning his career as a country doctor.
I am the youngest of four girls. When my oldest sister was old enough to leave school and begin university, and I was four years old, my parents decided to leave this vibrant town they had played such a significant role in creating and move to the big city of Cape Town, where we would all subsequently attend university.
In university, I studied education while majoring in psychology and Hebrew. During this time, my dream to live my life in Israel became my focus. For me, this was a sense of coming home. This was where I belonged and could fulfill my purpose—even though I had no idea what that was back then!
I met and married my husband Adrian in Cape Town. He shared the same dream and passion for living in Israel; on completion of his medical studies, we moved to Jerusalem. I pursued a career in teaching. I had a great job teaching small groups of Israeli or foreign students. These children had spent time outside of Israel and now, back home, had a much higher level of English than their classmates. So I was able to create and teach them my own curriculum. This was so much more fun and interesting than the work their struggling peers were doing in the regular English classes.
Today, thirty-plus years after our move to Israel, we now live in the modern city of Modiin. We have four children and five grandchildren, all living in Israel.
When did you start to think about making a change in midlife?
After 10 years in teaching, I began tiring of teaching a similar curriculum every year. I felt bored and wished to communicate with the children about their lives and challenges. Instead, I felt pressured to stick to a curriculum and be a disciplinarian. Also, my discussions with the parents were very limited and results focused. I felt that I had so much to offer but no place in which to do it in this framework.
I also found myself not showing up as my best self. I felt I was not contributing to my students in a way I would like to, and the time had come to move on. I felt there was something more I could contribute in this world and it wasn’t being expressed in the classroom. So, I gave up my full-time teaching position and very satisfying paycheck to follow a new dream…
What is your next act?
I am a full-time transformational coach. Two years ago, at the age of 55, I launched Live Your Dream; I help people accomplish their personal and professional dreams. I help them get clear on what it is they really want (their vision), uncover obstacles (such as doubts, fears, mindsets, and beliefs) that are preventing their successes, and help them know which next steps to take. The work has a very practical element as well a spiritual nature. For the most part, we’re conditioned to live in our heads where our mind wants to reduce everything to certainties and solutions. Our heads are jam packed with the next thing to do on the list. I encourage regular meditative or contemplative practices which create space for confidence, clarity, and creativity to emerge. From here, we live much more productive, peaceful, and joyful lives doing what really matters to us.
I do very satisfying work in the prison sector as well as supporting families who contend with family members managing depression. My husband has suffered on and off with serious bouts of depression for many years. Through my personal search for support and guidance, I began to see that I have a tremendous ability to help others and pay back what I have been so fortunate to receive.
Recently, I became a certified dream coach®. I studied dream coaching through Dream University with inspirational entrepreneur and global visionary Marcia Wieder. I help people manifest their dreams through a systematic step-by-step program. I have deepened the work by my continued learning with the great contemporary teacher Thomas Hubl. Thomas is a modern mystic and spiritual teacher whose work integrates the core insights of the great wisdom traditions with the discoveries of contemporary science. He illuminates both with his profound understanding. His teachings aim to guide practitioners toward a deeper level of self-awareness—from an ego-centered worldview to a life of authentic expression, service, and alignment. I now help people make their dreams come true by recognizing where their childhood wounds are unintegrated and how this impacts their lives in their personal and work relationships.
Through personal awareness and integration, we can live the lives that matter to us. My work is not about fixing or changing anything, rather, it’s about recognizing the fears, doubts, and beliefs which prevent our success and no longer serve us. I love being able to hold a safe space for people where they can connect with their sense of belonging and notice how it impacts their becoming in this world.
We tend to live in a very narrow bandwidth controlled by our thinking mind. This mind wants to reduce everything to certainties. It wants to fix and be able to control our lives. I encourage people to expand their bandwidth and drop down into their bodies and feelings through contemplative or meditative practices. I see a space opening up where they become clear, creative, and confident. In that space, dreams are able to flourish and manifest.
How hard was it to take the plunge?
It felt so right. I began by studying two courses here in Israel at the University of Seminar HaKibutzim. After I completed my initial course, I hired the lecturer to be my first-ever coach. I understood early on that I couldn’t ask people to pay for my services if I had never shown my appreciation and belief in coaching by actually paying someone for their services. After these two courses, I continued studying with various online coaches.
At this time, I also realized that it wasn’t enough to just hone my coaching skills, I had to learn the art of marketing. I now continuously learn in both areas simultaneously. The idea of life coaching felt like a great match and I began taking several courses to practice the skill of deep listening which I feel I have always had and always used in my interpersonal relationships. My live website also undergoes relevant changes as needed.
While it wasn’t awfully hard to take the plunge, the reality when Monday came around and I didn’t have work to go to was pretty challenging. Soon though, I realized that I had to start making this happen if I really wanted to be of service with my true gifts.
Everyone told me I had to network, so I created the Generous Networkers meetings. This is a group of up to 12 different people who come together to network. I teach the art of networking and then the rest of the event is structured for people to interact in a meaningful way. This has allowed me to speak in front of many people and connect people to each other to develop their personal and professional networks. I’ve now taken the Generous Networkers to a virtual level with WiSh, a 5-minute Wisdom Share I offer people to film and whom I then introduce on various social media platforms.
How supportive were your family and friends?
Everyone was very encouraging, especially my husband who was now supporting the family almost entirely by himself. This has not been easy for me. I feel really guilty at having given up a lucrative job to find myself struggling to earn from what I love doing best. Being supported to do this makes me feel like a failure in some ways. However, I know that it takes time to make a living from a new business and I am very confident about enrolling people to support my mission.
I’m not shy to reach out to people who are really well connected and request their assistance. I’m well aware that as Byron Katie says, “you may have to get 999 nos before you get your first yes.” I am super motivated to live in contribution with my gifts, so I keep going. I have plunged a stake in the ground to show I’m more committed to my dreams than I am to any fears or doubts that I may have!
What challenges are you encountering?
The challenges I’m facing are in the creation of clients and opportunities to speak in front of people. I am working on this in several ways:
After each Generous Networkers meeting, I reach out to all the attendees and offer them a powerful coaching conversation if there is something they would like to explore. Sometimes the groups do not fill up enough and I cancel that month’s meeting.
During my husband’s depressive period I became connected with two organizations that offer support. One organization is hosting a workshop that I have offered to run for them.
WiSh has afforded me the opportunity to meet many people all over the world.
I participate in various learning and enrichment programs to hone my skills.
Possibly most important, I get coaching myself pretty regularly.
I think my greatest challenge is a question: Do I go back to teaching to earn a better salary and give up the precious time I need to build this business?
What did you learn about yourself and coaching?
I have learned two main principles:
First, while tools and techniques are great, and give you confidence, the confidence they bestow prevents true listening and the ability to be fully present with your client. What I mean is, if I’m focused on using a technique, then I’m not fully open to the process and curious to what might show up and how I can provide a safe space for my client. I’m thinking more in my head and how to respond. When I let go of tools and just show up and leave the process to my intuition, I can really practice deep listening with my clients. In other words, if a client jumps into a pool and they discover that they can float, this is much more empowering than if there’s a buoy for them to reach out to. The tools and techniques, when too closely adhered to, seem wonderful but do not create sustainable change. They are the supporting buoys and floats. Sustainable change in my opinion is created when a person feels witnessed and held in a safe non-judged relational space.
The second principle for me is to believe that my just showing up and being present is truly enough. So many people feel so alone these days. They’re drowning in contacts but starving for connection. I don’t have to know more than my client does about his work or his goals; I just have to believe that together our connection can create more significant insights and breakthroughs than when attempted alone.
What advice do you have for women seeking reinvention in midlife?
Get clear on what it is you want.
Express your dream in clear terms so that others are eager to join and support you on your journey.
Don’t wait for everything to be “perfect” for you to get going. Your “failures” are mirrors for you to realign and check if you’re on the right path. They’re there to teach you valuable lessons about yourself as well as your actions. Remember that confidence is a result, not a requirement. You become more confident from doing something repeatedly.
Put a stake in the ground to show yourself and the world that you are more committed to yourself and your dreams than you are to any fears or doubts you may have.
Speak to others whom you admire and who have transitioned successfully so you can learn from them.
Uncover obstacles that are sabotaging your success. Seek support from a professional coach to help you understand what’s getting in your way and to keep you accountable on your path.
What advice do you have for those interested in becoming coaches?
In order to become a successful coach, I believe one has to focus on three main areas equally:
- Constantly study and learn from mentors. This may mean actual tools, however more importantly, this may be the art of letting go of your own agenda and showing up fully for each client. Be present and available to what transpires in your time together.
- Show your belief in coaching by paying for your own coach. You can’t expect others to pay you if you don’t see the work you do as being valuable. Clients aren’t paying you for you, they’re paying for your skills and expertise. People want to be heard. We’re living in a world where people are drowning in contacts but starving for connection.
- Invest time and money in learning how to manage, run, and advertise a business. Word of mouth is not enough to sustain a business.
Feel free to reach out to me at any time to ask about my journey so that you can see what you would like to take with you and what you’d like to do differently.
What resources do you recommend for coaches?
Great teachers and mentors in the field of transformational coaching:
Thomas Hubl, Contemporary Spiritual Teacher
Nicholas Janni, Leadership Coach
Michael Neill, Transformative Coach and bestselling author
Rich Litvin, Leadership Coach
Steve Chandler, Motivational Coach and author
Marcia Wieder, Dream Coach, Dream University
The Prosperous Coach: Increase Income and Impact for You and Your Clients by Rich Litvin and Steve Chandler
Co-Active Coaching: Changing Business, Transforming Lives by Karen Kimsey-House
Creating the Impossible: A 90-day Program to Get Your Dreams Out of Your Head and into the World by Michael Neill
Reinventing Your Life: The Breakthrough Program to End Negative Behavior and Feel Great Again by Steve Chandler
The Code of the Extraordinary Mind: 10 Unconventional Laws to Redefine Your Life and Succeed On Your Own Terms by Vishen Lahiani
Slowing Down to the Speed of Life: How to Create a More Peaceful, Simpler Life from the Inside Out by Richard Carlson and Joseph Bailey
My Grandfather’s Blessings: Stories of Strength, Refuge, and Belonging by Naomi Remen
Kitchen Table Wisdom: Stories that Heal by Naomi Remen