For years, media guru Oprah Winfrey has been preaching the gospel of “Living Your Best Life.” For many, the phrase means to live a life on purpose, have balance, and strive for fulfillment. Life comes at you fast. We live in a society where social media can influence one’s mental health, Bills, jobs, and family all come with their own pressures. It’s easy to become overwhelmed and stuck in trying to find balance and still pursue personal dreams.
So, how do you get unstuck? According to professional life coach Monica Marie Jones, meeting with a professional is an excellent start.
“Whatever it is that we want to do, whether it is losing weight or making more money, it usually isn’t a matter of just working out or working more hours,” Jones says, “It really begins with a change of mindset.”
In a city like Detroit, where the unemployment rate is 5 percent and many others are chronically underemployed, can activities and affirmations be helpful for them? Is a change of mindset enough to transform one's lifestyle? Jones says, “Yes.”
“Don’t get me wrong, barriers and obstacles are real,” Jones says, “but often there are thought processes in the mind that can be worked through that can make a solution seem a little more clear.”
During an introductory session with Jones, she leads the participants through several interactives rooted in adult learning techniques that help them see the relevance of the activities by applying them to their real life. “The first thing is for participants to think about what is currently on their plate,” Jones says. She then asks them to think about what is taking up the most time, as well as what is bringing them joy. “Through this exercise, you are able to see if what you are spending the most time on is actually making you happy.”
With a master's in social work, Jones uses high-value open-ended questions that help her clients realize if what they are currently doing is a “yes, hell yes, or no,” in their life. “What I’ve discovered,” she says, “In both my life and working with my clients is that if something isn’t a ‘hell yes,’ it’s usually a ‘no.’ ”
“When I came to Monica I had lost faith in myself,” says Yolanda Scarborough, owner and founder of Carolyn’s Hope and an independent youth development consultant. “She didn’t give me the answers to my tough questions. Instead, she reminded me of my own voice and helped me answer my own questions.”
At $125, an introductory session with Monica Marie Jones is a significant cost. It is most effective to think of a session with her, or any life coach, as an investment, she says.
Angie Johnson was working full time but had a passion and talent for nail art. While working with Jones on a concrete budget, she discovered that she could actually be making more money working for herself than at her day job.
“Monica helped me with my business For Divas Only by helping me get more organized with the use of the Passion Planner, Soul Journey exercises, and inspiration to believe in myself and have no fear.” Johnson has been working with Jones for two years and says that her income has significantly increased and she has released her own product line. Johnson is opening her own salon. “I love the way she pushes me past the limitations I think I have and she holds me accountable to do what I say I want to do.”
A Detroit native who is working to effect change in her community through thought-based personal and professional growth consultation, Monica Marie Jones is providing a service that is helping shape the next generation of Detroit thought and business leaders.
“Monica gave me a mirror, and I saw myself again. Her hard questions, practical activities, and much patience put me back on the path of self-love, self-care, and self-awareness,” Scarborough says, “I have since started three profitable businesses and am living my life as my own, on my own terms.”
The series is supported by the New Economy Initiative, a project of the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan that's working to create an inclusive, innovative regional culture.