Now I get to be the authentic me
When Lisa Walton left her corporate career after 15 years as a systems engineer, it was because her body was telling her to stop. She was tired, burnt-out and suffering from chronic gut issues.
“It took my body saying to me, ‘this is not working’ to start asking some questions about my life,” Lisa says.
“I can now understand how I came to work in a corporate environment,” says Lisa, who lives in the picturesque town of Kinglake, on Melbourne’s outskirts.
“I lost my mother at 12 and my father had a mental illness, and I felt that I had to take on a lot of responsibility.”
Lisa now realises that she decided quite young — even unconsciously — that she was going to do what “everyone else thinks I should do” rather than what she loved.
“I was looking for external validation, I was looking to do the right thing by other people so that they would love me,” she says.
“I had gone through this abandonment process and my coping mechanism was to throw myself into my schoolwork and do all the things that would mean that I would be successful.”
Fast forward 40 years from her childhood, and Lisa is grateful she can now see “another way to live”.
“Now I am getting to be the authentic me, and ‘do me’, whereas the first 40 years of my life were about wearing a mask and conforming, and being the person I thought I needed to be,” she reflects.
“I was responding to all those ‘shoulds’: ‘you should do that, ‘you should do this’.”
Lisa’s transformation from burnt-out corporate workaholic to small business owner was a gradual, step-by-step process — as she inched her way towards her authentic self.
After quitting her job, Lisa became a qualified low-tox living coach, a branch of coaching that advocates making better choices for the planet, as well as one’s health.
Lisa’s family is neuro-divergent — both her girls are autistic and her husband has an autoimmune condition — so it made sense to embrace low-tox living.
“Knowing how chemicals can affect our moods and bodies, it was a no-brainer for us,” she says.
However, Lisa soon realised that while her physical health was improving through low-tox living, she was yet to deal with her emotional baggage and negative thought patterns cemented in childhood.
Then one day, as she was researching home businesses, she came across an advert for The Life Coaching College’s online introductory session.
Lisa attended the Zoom get-together in late 2020 and from the minute (College founder) Glen Murdoch started speaking it sparked something inside her.
“Everything landed, everything made so much sense,” she says.
“There was this awareness that we do have a choice and we are responsible for creating our own reality.”
Lisa enrolled in the College and noticed straight away the snowball effect of the learning materials and high standard of teaching.
“Through all of the online modules, and the live touchpoints with people like Glen along the way, the learning just built and built and built,” she says.
“We were building confidence, building knowledge, building skills and building networks.”
The training had such a positive impact on Lisa that it didn’t take her long to see changes in herself — as well as others.
“The trainers have an amazing way of engaging the students and when you’re in a training room, even after just a couple of days, you can feel the shift,” she says.
“You see the changes in other people, too, and there is no judgment whatsoever.”
Most recently, Lisa has founded her own coaching business, The Dancing Bee, supporting neurodivergent families to thrive beyond labels. She is also working on an online group coaching program for parents and their children, which looks beyond behaviour labels to see the infinite potential in everyone.
“I want to have fun growing the business and do it from a place of curiosity,” Lisa says.
“That’s why I called it The Dancing Bee because life is such a dance of energy and communication, and we’re all connected.”
As for leaving the corporate world, Lisa is in no doubt she made the right move.
“It was the best decision I ever made, I have no regrets,” she says, smiling.