“Everything has to come to an end, sometime.”
― L. Frank Baum
For those of you have been hanging around these parts for a while, you know that this blog focuses on change, leadership, leading with integrity, and conscious and intentional choice. It’s always been a way for me to share thoughts and resources from my own experience, and from what I’ve witnessed in the clients I’ve worked with.
You’ve always trusted me to say it how it is – part of how I hold integrity for myself personally and in my work has meant being a truth teller.
So, some news to share: due to continued and increased health challenges I’m facing, I’ve come to the difficult decision that I will be retiring from my work as a coach, effective June 30.
I learned a few months ago that the cancer I was treated for in 2016 and 2017 has returned and spread. This means refocusing and re-prioritizing how I am spending my time, giving my full attention to myself (my most important client), my healing, and my family.
By no means has this been an easy decision to make: using my coaching skills with others has been an honor and joy, as well as life-giving and important support and resource to many people. But closing my business is the right decision for me, for now.
When clients complete their time in coaching with me, I ask them to respond to a set of questions to help them honor their successes, process their experience, and prepare for what is next beyond coaching.
We do this because it is important to honor what is ending: that there is an end. That for now, the work is complete. To put a period on the end of the sentence, so to speak; to close the parentheses; to say goodbye.
So as a way to honor this ending, and what this work and business has meant for me, I decided I would share my answers to the closing questions that I use with clients, as we come to completion here:
Reviewing your goals, and reflecting back on your experience, what would you like to acknowledge yourself for? What would you like to celebrate?
Over the past 14 years, I’ve been extremely lucky to coach hundreds of individuals one on one, as well as coach and train scores of teams to improve communication, strengthen relationship skills, and build emotional intelligence. I’ve been so honored to witness transformations of all sorts – from subtle to profound – at the individual, team and systems level. My skills in listening, asking powerful questions, using intuition, and holding both safe and brave space for learning and change have been part of those processes. Specifically here, this blog has allowed me to hone my writing skills, and share resources and ideas with many people beyond those I can work with directly.
What’s next for you?
Beyond taking care of my health and my family, I’ll focusing my remaining time on writing a book about my experience with a life-threatening illness. This book will be a new means for me to support others who are going through transition, change, challenge, and difficulties. The premise of the book is that we will all experience hard times; but we get to decide what we want to do with what happens to us. My goal is to publish this book and then speak, coach and teach around these critical topics with individuals, families and health care systems.
What has been useful to you?
It’s been an amazing ride – to run my own business, support my family, engage with colleagues, leaders and teams from across the country, and truly feel like I’ve made a difference with so many. As a by-product, I’ve grown as a person, parent, friend, and spouse as a result of my work, and I feel tremendously lucky to have been able to do this work.
What could have made this more powerful, farther reaching, better?
Not having cancer would have been awesome, but other than that, I can’t think of much.
Anything else that you need to express to be complete with the experience?
Thanks to every client or colleague who has worked with me, to everyone who has read or followed this blog, and to all those supported me throughout this ride. I couldn’t have done any of it without you, and the trust you have put in me has what allowed me to do what I’ve done. I am humbled, honored and indebted to each one of you. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Over to you
As I anticipate this being my last post for the time being, what would you like to acknowledge, celebrate or express in order to be complete with this experience?
Photo credit: Hanna Cooper
I’m just profoundly moved by who you are Hanna. Every word you write, how you show up, what you do is filled with so much honesty and integrity, courage and spunk. I am really looking forward to your book and to your continued impact in a world that needs so many more like you. Much love to you and your family. And if I have your permission I will send some long distance reiki too. I am cheering on your most important client. ❤️
Hanna Cooper says
Thank you, Donna…. I so appreciate your kind words, your colleagueship, and your encouragement. And yes, long distance reiki is welcome! Thanks for cheering me on. Much love back to you as well.
I still remember specifics about the conversations you and I had when I was a fellow at University of Wisconsin. Your wisdom and guidance, and even just the way in which you talked to me, is part of what helped get me on track to the career I love and am thriving in today. I am so sorry you have to deal with these health issues. They are tragic and traumatic…but the work that you are continuing with is vitally important as well. I’m sure you will do it in a unique way, unlike any other! Blessings and love. Sarah Geiger
Hanna Cooper says
Thank you, Sarah – working with you & the other UW Population Health Fellows was a definite coaching highlight! I’m happy to hear of your success and how you’re thriving. Thanks for your support, and keep in touch!
Cindy B says
Hannah – for my ‘public’ Thank You, I want to think back to those days at MDH when we had lots of new money to do lots of great work to help youth learn to be strong. Your influence to always look to how the systems are operating in the background was – and is – so helpful in not getting caught up in the immediate. (I better mention Paul here as well – just in case he sees this. ☺) Although we have only connected a few, brief times recently – you were so helpful in asking the questions I needed to consider. Those questions helped lead me to the wonderful place I am now – so, thank you!
Hanna Cooper says
Cindy – so much good history we have, for which I’m so grateful. I’m honored if anything I’ve said, written or done has been helpful to you – you’ve inspired me in turn as well. Much gratitude back your way!
Erika Ann says
I became a reader of your blog a few weeks ago. And in that small span of time i’ve been reading your old posts, you have inspired me to be a better version of myself. Its sad that its just now that I came across your blog. You are truly inspiring. Aside from the people that you have shared your knowledge with through your teachings, this blog is your legacy. God bless you Hanna.
Peggy da Silva says
Hanna — Best wishes to you on this journey.
I am so appreciative of your encouraging words during our brief coaching session at the 2012 APHA annual meeting in San Francisco. Everything about my journey into consulting has been good — I have loved the work, made enough (not a lot) of money, traveled to new places, and had the chance to share what I’ve learned over the years with many good business and non-profit leaders. And I have learned so much from them! I try not to be fearful or worried about what comes next: how will my health hold up? am I marketing enough/too much? am I really capable of helping this organization with the skills that I bring? will more good work come to me?
And the BIG (but as you told me, it was little) fear that I had in setting off: what do I do about the tech support? You said, “Peggy, you are in the Bay Area. There are tech people everywhere.” And you were so right about that, and about other things as the years went on.
Thank you, Hanna, for being you and doing what you do!