Tuesday, February 24, 2009

I *like* this life coach!

Okay. I was skeptical. Not as skeptical as most of my blog readers, but still a little doubtful. But I wanted to try something different, so I made an appointment for a phone session with Chassya, my friend Minka's Lubavitch life coach.

After listening to my Hebrew name, my mother's Hebrew name, and my Hebrew date of birth, she asked, "What are you seeking help with?"

"I want to get married," I said, "and it's not happening. I want to know what I'm doing wrong."

"Hmm...." Chassya said. "Three years ago, you were involved in a very serious relationship, and you've been... blocked ever since."

Three years ago (well, four, technically) I met G.I. Josh, and we dated for six months. Close enough.

"To receive Hashem's blessings, we have to be open, like a dish," she said in her soft Israeli accent. "You were very open to him."

"Yes," I said. "I was in love with him. I wanted to marry him."

"And he was very nice, right?" she queried further.

"Yes, at first," I said. "And then he was very emotionally abusive."

"He had commitment issues," she said.

"I think so," I said. "He was very affectionate at the beginning, and then he got mean. He didn't want to break up with me, but he wanted me to break up with him."

"Are you planning to go to Israel anytime soon?" she asked.

"No," I said. "Did you want me to visit a kever?"

"How did you know?" she exclaimed.

Well, you don't have to be a kabbalistic life coach to know that visiting the grave of a departed kabbalist or Torah scholar is considered a good way to seek intercession with Gd for assistance with your life.

"I can't go anytime soon, but I have friends living there who could go for me," I said, thinking of Dov and Tovah.

"They need to be people who will be davening only for you, and not asking anything for themselves," she said.

"They're happily married, with five kids, successful careers, and just bought a new house," I said. "Anyone can always want more, of course, but they're always asking what they can do to help me. This is something they could do."

"My husband will call you with directions to the kever, what days your friends should go and what they need to do and say," she said. "I usually don't see an immediate way to help a person, but I think in this case we need to do something right away.

"How do you usually meet the men you date?" she asked, changing the subject.

"Either on Frumster or through friends," I said.

"Have you been introduced to a doctor or a dentist lately?" she asked.

"Well, a dentist gave me a toothbrush at a party yesterday," I said, and told her the story.

"Same first name as (G.I. Josh)," she noted.

"Yes, but he didn't seem that into me," I said ruefully.

"I know a chiropractor," she said. "He lives in Washington, D.C. But he's very short."

"I like short," I said. "I am short. Tall men are wasted on me."

"Can I ask your age?" she said. I told her. "He's a year younger than you. I don't think that's a problem."

"I've been wondering if that's the block you've been referring to," I said hesitantly, not wanting it to be true. "I am not comfortable dating men who are a lot older than I am, and I'm wondering if I need to get over that, be more open-minded."

"I don't see that as your problem," she said immediately. "Don't focus on older men. Focus on your age -- or younger. That's who I see you with."

I like this life coach! She obviously doesn't give one-size-fits-all advice: Chassya is trying to set Minka up with a man who is 15 years her senior, which Minka is considering. I was sure she'd push me to go out with older men. I wasn't expecting the opposite!

I have to say, though, that I wasn't 100% honest. Chassya asked me if I'd had problems at various ages. I told her about my back back, my bad knees, my sinus surgery, my bouts with debilitating gastritis, my gingivitis and gum surgery. But I didn't mention the bipolar disorder. I don't know if that would have made a difference.

But I'm definitely going to give Dov and Tovah the instructions for how to daven for me at this rabbi's kever. And we'll see what happens. I might consult Chassya again. And tell her the realll root of my many health problems. We'll see.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"


  1. Funny. My niece is named Chasya Minka (aka Allison)
    I'm now even more skeptical about this coach--first thing she mentions is visiting a grave???
    Guess it can't hurt.

  2. I'm starting to run out of pseudonyms. I think I need to make a master list of the ones I've already used. I knew I'd heard the name Chasya Minka somewhere before.

  3. You must be kidding. This woman is scamming you. I'll give her the benefit of the doubt and presume she believes her own nonsense. Anyone can ask vague or leading questions and make it seem like he or she knows you or knows something about your life.

  4. Anonymous, there's a lot I left out that convinced me she's much more than a scam artist. But thanks for reading :)

  5. Hm...

    I'm glad you're happy, and happy with this coach; I will agree that some of what she says does make sense, in a conventional-wisdom sort of way. But I don't think she has exhibited any supernatural gifts; go Google "cold reading"- it's a technique that people like John Edwards and his ilk use to make people believe that they have some sort of special insight into them. They simply are good at reading people-- their tones of voice, hesitations, they ask broad questions and then narrow down in such a way that it sounds like they have known you better than you know yourself. Doesn't mean she's a bad or ineffective coach, just that she's not any kind of prophetess.

  6. I know what cold reading is, NJG. This ain't it.