Zarha's Journey
Zarha001The journey that made me a life coach and what I have to offer you.

My name is Zahra. I was born to a German mother, who was a none-practicing protestant and an Iranian Father who was a none-practicing Muslim in the Catholic City of Cologne, Germany. I was sent to a Catholic boarding school with my 3 younger brothers before I turned 6. My parents wanted me to grow up with discipline, while they exercised their right to get a divorce. Luckily, I loved my boarding school and this is barring kneeling with blood crusted knees (roller skating accidents) every Sunday in church and looking at cryptic statues of Jesus hanging from a cross on almost all the walls of the church. I had nightmares about those statues and could not understand a single thing, because the sermon was in Latin!!! I used my imagination to decipher things to the best of my ability and asked many questions for which I was usually punished. Punishment meant: Extra sessions with the priest on Wednesday evenings and many of those sessions only ended up in more punishment!!! My questions were just not acceptable!!! But all in all, I spent a pleasant 3 years at that boarding school because they had so many cool programs and excursions. Since I was my father’s favorite child and both of the ladies who ran our division were in love with my father, I was taken to even more excursion on their days off. They told me ancient stories about heroes that lived on the shore of the Rhine River. Soon I became an excursion Junkie looking for the stories that belong to every spot. I also became a fairy tale buff. After all, I lived next to the Rhine River, which is the birth place of most of the fairy tales that most of us know. There is only one difference; The Disney Versions that you know are not the same as the original stories that were written by Authors like Hans Christian Anderson and collected by the Brothers Grimm. My outlook on the world started to take shape by those tales, which always ended in: And if they are not dead, then they are still living!!! Nope, there was no “Happily ever after”.

One day while still in that boarding school, I had a most remarkable experience. The cleaning Lady in our division who polished the floors every Monday and whom I always exploited for stories (when she was there, I would skip play time and followed her like a shadow) thought me an amazing lesson. I asked her what she would give me for my 7th birthday. While continuing to mop, she simply asked me to close my eyes. I did as she told me, expecting a present when I open my eyes. However, she asked me to look carefully for what I see behind my shut eyelids. I told her: A small green dot. She replied, that is what I will give you for your birthday. I felt very hurt and never forgot the experience I had with her. It was not until just a few years ago, that I understood what she meant. Namely, what I get in life is no less and no more than the size of my vision. This is one nugget of Gold that I would like to share with you, explore with you and watch you reap the fruits of it.

One of the things that I loved most at the boarding school was the 7 pm story which we all got to listen to before prayer. A big fat candle was lit in the large lovely Salon of our division. Above that candle, luckily, hung a lovely painting of Mary holding the Christ-Child and not a crucified martyr. The story played on a record player for half an hour and it was to be continued the next night. After that, came the prayer and then the candle was blown out and we all competed for getting our fingers into the wax as fast as possible (I believe that meant, prayer was not of much importance to us).

Soon I became interested in the journey of a Hero or Heroine. One of the stories that has been part of me throughout my life and helped me coach myself, on numerous occasions, was the little mermaid. The little mermaid, who lived happily ever after in its Disney adaptation, had a very different ending in its original version by Hans Christian Anderson. She gave up her fishtail for legs with which every step felt like stepping on a dagger, and in addition she also had to give up her lovely voice (to the sea witch of course), all for the love of the prince whose life she saved and whom she loved dearly. She was to die, should she not procure the love of the prince and turn into foam on water on the morn of the princes wedding to someone else. The prince did fall in love with someone else; although he loved the little mermaid dearly. The
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little mermaid did have an option to avoid her death on the morn following the princes wedding. Her 7 sisters had given up their lovely hair to the sea-witch and procured a dagger with which the little mermaid had to kill the prince on the eve of his wedding in his wedding bed. Since she was made the maid of honor to the bride, she had easy access to the wedding chamber. She entered the chamber, kneeled by the side of the prince, kissed his brow, heard him call the name of his bride… Knowing, that only the prince’s bride was his true love she sadly left the room… She stood at the edge of the ship, dawn was approaching, her sisters beckoning for her to hurry up and…, The little mermaid dropped the dagger in the sea and jumped in afterwards and turned into foam on the water…But since she loved so well she was given a chance to get herself an immortal soul… (the mere folk got to live to be 500 but did not have an immortal soul).

I was only 7 years old then. Years later I came to appreciate the fact how a soul is made/enriched while going on a journey for what we truly love. Yes, I did cry for a long time over the faith of the little mermaid. However, that story must have been the making of me. Many years later I read a poem by an Iranian poetess Forough Farockzad: …”Life is the journey on line of time, and making pregnant that dry linear line… and thus it is, that some will live and some will die”. The apprehension, that ultimately all that mattered, what gave us the greatest satisfaction is who we become as a man or a woman, grew stronger in me. My obsession with the journey of a hero grew even stronger. I was convinced that the journey of a hero or heroine and what it made of them was all that mattered at the end.

I had the privilege to live among many cultures, which made me a citizen of the world. At the age of 9 I was shipped to Iran to live with my kindly Iranian Grandparents who escaped the Russian revolution many times. Eventually they settled in modern day Iran, which had its own share of revolutions… However my Grandparents always made it from scratch back to the top. And I got to hear the delicious stories of how they always made it. At my new home Turkish and Russian were spoken. We lived in an Armenian neighborhood, in the country of Iran where I first went to a German School and then an Iranian one. However, to my dismay, there was no Aladdin and not even a single flying carpet to be spotted!

By the time I was 11 I was well versed in two national anthems. By the age of 18 I was singing the American national anthem with my Mormon roommates (not to mention many of the Mormon Church songs while I attended church service with my kind roommates). It was confused and awestruck when it came to the large variety of religions and ice creams that existed in the United States. I spare you my first experience going to an American supermarket and the large variety of products I saw. It was confusing but fascinating how differently everyone looked at life. The Mormon Religion was not a static one, as matter of fact it was very dynamic. They have a prophet who has more power than a pope, since God sends him new information all the time, thus the religion was amended constantly. I told my roommates jokingly one day: This is amazing, you guys have FM Paradise. No, I did not get in trouble for saying so. My roommates only chuckled good-naturally.

Eventually, I found one common denominator in most cultures and creeds; Their mystics shared the same belief. Namely, life was about growth and contribution and the ultimate contribution was love. Hans Christian Anderson was a mystic as well. He was the first mystic I encountered and then came so many others. Iran had and has so many mystic poets, that one could say: Mystics grow on trees in Iran. Rumi, who is world renowned, is one of them…

Who I am and what made me is becoming too long of a story. I end it by telling you who made me a life coach at the age of 10. My Iranian Grandfather who became my father at age of 9 answered every question I asked him with a story. I was so
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annoyed with him at the beginning. When I went to him with a problem or a question, all I would get was a riddle or a story or a question!!! Well, soon enough I learned to become a pretty good problem solver. I consider myself so very lucky that the profession of life coaching has sprang into existence. It suits me so much better than being a professor or lecturer of languages and literature (one of my previous occupations). As a matter of fact, I feel as if Life Coaching is tailor-made just for me. I will get to go on a journey with you and learn to appreciate and share your world. Your Journey and what you will become as a person, the pride you will take in that journey, the love with which you
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foster it and everything you touch… All of those, I will have the privilege to share with you as your coach. I give myself the right to assume, that you have need for growth in addition to a Goal that will take you on a journey, because you would not be reading this lines if that was not the case.

I would like to let you know, that as far as I am concerned, your goals do not have to be considered socially acceptable. I have been amazed again and again by people who wanted something dearly, which was scuffed upon by others, end up becoming some of the most amazing human beings as well also a role model for generations to come.

By the way, I should add that I was educated as a life coach. As a matter of fact I went through several programs in life coaching. I even had the amazingly great fortune to have a mentor coach who is also obsessed with the power of a STORY. I am a graduate of his “live a new life story” program. He even had a courses on “live a new money story”, “Your New Wellness story”, which I (of course), could not resist not to take!

I believe, that all I learned can be mostly likened to tools in my tool box. As a matter of fact, I am acquiring new tools on a daily basis. However, what makes me a coach is the fact, that I am looking forward to understanding you and your world, your needs and aspirations and who you want to be or become as a person and assisting you in getting what you want most out of your life.

I look forward to the opportunity to be your coach. You can count on me to be there for you with all my skills, all my understanding and all my care, in order to assist you to make the changes you want to make and produce the results that matter most to you.

My ultimate Goal is to help you have a life you
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love and are proud of.