I guess it is time to answer the question of who is the person behind Lunagaia.org/Lunagaia-loving life, Twitter: LauraStarts, Facebook : StartsLaura, LinkedIn: Laura Metheney, Instagram:LauraMetheney.
Since 2005, I have been working as a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor for the State of California in the Department of Vocational Rehabilitation, which basically means I work with people between the ages of 16-70+ who have disabilities and the desire to work, who may benefit from services. You can name a disability or combination of disabilities, and the people who have them are the folks with whom we work to assist with counseling, guidance, and help with training, among many other services.
In regards to our clients (our “participants”), these folks span the spectrum of needs and life challenges; most people are learning to adjust to their new or ongoing situations with their acquired or congenital disabilities, which is the essence of life coaching’s purpose, and the core philosphy of rehabilitation, which also includes the concepts of informed choice, adaptation, advocacy, empowerment, and independent living skills.
From 2000-2005, I worked in other social services environments, including foster care agencies, CPS, a private psychiatric hospital, a therapist’s office, group home settings, and a DV/domestic violence shelter. Previously, I worked in a variety of more mundane settings, in retail, hospitality, fast food, and office work, to name a few. This helped me to acquire a unique perspective, having worked in private businesses, non-profits, and government agencies, and then understanding the similarities and contrasts between them.
Just like most people whom I have encountered (both professionally and personally) in my 50+ years of life, I hopped from job to job, and life experience to life experience, never satisfied with where I was, feeling empty and lost; knowing in my heart of hearts that this wasn’t all that existed out there for me.
I knew college needed to be a part of my life, and I did the “20-year”program while completing my BA in psychology; the last two years I was attending college full-time and then I took three years to complete my MS degree. None of it was easy, as I was juggling being a full-time single parent, working full-time, and in the last five years of school, going to college full-time. As I often say to clients, I’m no different than them, in this regard; if I can do it, anyone can do it. When a person is pursuing his or her passion, the work, daily struggles, and lack of sleep are just the necessary steps in achieving the end result.
Friends, colleagues, and family have often told me, “You need to start a blog to offer your services as a life coach in order to share your knowledge and experience with others.” It is the best part of my day job, being part of the experience of people making positive changes and finding out who they really are, and where they fit, in the world of work. So, here I am, starting life coaching beyond my day job. Come follow me on the journey!
I am available for coaching, consulting, and training. Contact me to discuss your needs.
I am neither a physician nor a psychiatrist, and any feedback I offer is based on my professional and personal experiences and knowledge. Due to the confidentiality of my vocational rehabilitation clients, I will not use their names or details about them that might give away who they are in the real world. Many of the stories I share which are not personal are a combination of people in similar situations and needs with whom I have worked in my lifetime.
Also, in the State of California, I am a mandated reporter, which means if clients divulge that they are planning self-harm, harm to others, threats to others, or are being harmed themselves, I am required to report it to the proper authorities. This is not something to be afraid of, as change and help can foster positive outcomes, arising from negative circumstances, when a person is able to grow and adapt. As I have heard before, “It is what happened to you, it is not who you are.” We do not have to be defined by our past circumstances, but we are defined by our response to them.