Dez Stevens - Waking Up In America

Dez Stevens

TAJCI:
Professional athletes have coaches. Business people work with business coaches. So what about life coaching? Who is it for? Is it for people who just do life? I invited Dez Stephens, founder of Radiant Health Institute and expert coach trainer to talk to us about how can life coaching help us to create these turning points that shift us into life with joy and purpose.

BUMPER
I’m Tajci. At 19 I was a superstar and I was lost inside. I left it all behind, switched continents and started all over. Years later I found myself lost again, this time in the American Dream. This is a story about awakening. About living the life you were created for. About going inward and discovering the joyous and purposeful person you and I are both meant to be. This is Waking Up in America.

TAJCI:
Dez, thank you so much for being on my show for which you’re partly responsible as a life coach. I remember several years ago when I met you, you helped me to move to Nashville, really step into my, you know, what I call power shoes and launch this show. So thank you.

DEZ:
You’re welcome.

TAJCI:
Is that what you do for clients?

DEZ:
I do. I think with clients it’s very purposeful. But even as a friend. You know, life coaches just, we do this thing where we just can’t help but coach. People call it the coach approach. So whether it’s my husband, or my friends, or my clients I’m always kinda in that mode of encouraging.

TAJCI:
Alright. So let me, let’s introduce the Radiant Health Institute and your work. Now you have the global outreach?

DEZ:
Yes.

TAJCI:
So tell us about that.

DEZ:
So Radiant Health Institute was an idea I had about 11 years ago but it came to flourish about four years ago. And it was just a seed that got planted a long time ago when a colleague said to me, “You know, you’d be an amazing life coach!” and I thought, “Whoa! Me?” And I didn’t think I would be because I wasn’t a good listener. But when I became a life coach, when I became trained and certified I learned how to listen. So I thought at that time, you know, “Maybe I should start something called the Radiant Health Institute.” And about four years ago, when my son was about three and I was thinking about going back to work after being a stay-at-home mom, I thought, “Should I do my own thing? Should I do that thing that I thought about 11 years ago?” because I’ve been a professional coach for 11 years now. And my husband said to me, “You should do your own thing instead of doing things for other people.” So that’s kinda how the seed got planted.

TAJCI:
But when did it really pick up?

DEZ:
Well, it’s about a 35 to 40-year old industry. And it started in England and some people debate that it started in the U.S. with executive coaching and sports coaching. But I would say the boom—well, the boom is now—but the art started probably about 10 years ago.

TAJCI:
And who are your favorite big coaches? The people you know.

DEZ:
Oh, Iyanla Vanzant, Martha Beck. Some people think Tony Robbins is probably the most famous life coach out there. But even people like Dr. Phil and Steve Harvey, his TV show has a lot of life coaching kind of in it without himself calling that.

TAJCI:
You mentioned, you know, the difference between life coaching and friends. I find that there is a difference. I find that you know, a friend, as a coach, like you said, you listen and you don’t necessarily offer as much advice as, really just listen. And as a friend you say, “You know, I really think you should do this.”

DEZ:
Right, right. With our friends we have our opinions. We have our, “You know what you should do?”

TAJCI:
Yeah.

DEZ:
“You shouldn’t date that guy anymore, he’s not good for you,” things like that. But as a coach we’re completely unbiased. We’re non-judgmental. We’re very positive and we only listen. We rarely even speak. It’s an art form where you let the client speak. You ask then open-ended questions so that they can answer their own questions about their own life.

TAJCI:
Do you think this is especially important now because we live in a distracted, disconnected world where so many people feel unheard?

DEZ:
Yes.

TAJCI:
So now we need coaches to maybe compensate for what we had in friends? The ability to listen.

DEZ:
Absolutely. I think when I do group coaching everyone in the room has a voice. And even in a meeting or at work or at a family dinner table, not everyone speaks up and uses their voice. So coaching gives them that opportunity that they don’t give themselves in everyday life.

TAJCI:
What’s one of the situations where you absolutely, where coaching is, “You really need a coach,” as opposed to maybe therapy?

DEZ:
Coaching is really about the future. And counseling is a bit more about the past. So if someone is having issues with their childhood, reconciling something or resolving a past trauma therapy and counseling are ideal for that person. But if they’re looking to figure out who they are now and where they want to be in life a coach is ideal.

TAJCI:
And even though in coaching we still will access, we will still look back and pull from those childhood, even traumas.

DEZ:
Sure.

TAJCI:
Right? And come up to things that might need healing. So what do you do as a coach?

DEZ:
So maybe someone needs to work out their forgiveness. They have someone in their past they need to forgive. And it doesn’t have to be with that person in the room, right? So I don’t let the coaches get into the story too much. I let them tell me a little about what they need to forgive and then we work on the forgiveness—maybe it’s communication, maybe it’s “I never said what I wanted to say to someone.” So it’s really about communication, trust, forgiveness, letting go, resolving.

TAJCI:
And as it is right now.

DEZ:
Right.

TAJCI:
Not in the past.

DEZ:
Correct. What are you thinking right now? What are you feeling right now, and how are we going to move forward in it.

TAJCI:
Oh. And I know from my short experience in coaching is that so many of us are having a hard time really bringing ourselves into the now. So when we come back we will talk about the turning point in Dez’s life that got her to where she is now when she’s affecting so many people and changing lives.

BREAK


TAJCI:
We’re talking to Dez Stephens, founder of Radiant Health Institute and expert coach trainer. Dez, I want to ask you, was there any time in your life where you really felt stuck?

DEZ:
You know, I did, when I started my company. I’m a happy person. I’m a happy healthy person. I don’t get stuck a lot. But I was thinking, Should I work for myself? Should I work for someone else? Should I do my own thing? Should I freelance? And I’ve always felt that I was hustling. I’m from a blue collar neighborhood where everything was kind of hand-to-mouth, paycheck to paycheck. And I was a single parent for ten years. So I really have always felt you know, I need to make the money. I need to you know, bring home the bacon. And I was thinking, should I go for the money? Get some marketing job, that’s my background. Or should I start my own business and see what happens? And my husband was very encouraging. We had this one conversation that shifted everything for me.

TAJCI:
Oh, wow.

DEZ:
He said, “I think you should do your own thing,” you know? And that little 11-year-old bubble popped up and “Oh yeah, I do have an idea to do something.” And he said

TAJCI:
What do you mean 11-year-old bubble? Tell me about that.

DEZ:
This idea I had 11 years ago to start this thing called Radiant Health Institute.

TAJCI:
I see. So you brought it back.

DEZ:
Yes. It was like dormant and then pop! There it was. And then I thought maybe it is time to do that because 11 years ago when I had the idea, a colleague went up to me and said, “What do you think I should call what I do?” And she, at that time, was an exercise physiologist and now she’s a PhD. And then I said, “Well, I think you’re going to get a doctorate. I think you’re going to write books. And I think what you should call what you do, Radiant Health. You’re a Radiant Health educator.” And she’s like, “Ooh, I like that.” I said, “Yeah, we should start something called the Radiant Health Institute.” And she said, “Ooh!” So over the years she said, “You know, that was for you.”

TAJCI:
Wow.

DEZ:
“That’s for you to do.” So my husband then said, “I don’t think you’re ever going to work for anyone else ever again.”

TAJCI:
And the stuck felt like? What did the stuck feel like?

DEZ:
It felt very stagnant. I was home. I was a stay-at-home mom. I loved being with my son. My daughter when I raised her 20 years prior—my kids are 20 years apart—I was off to work. My first husband was at home with my daughter. So I missed a lot. So I wanted to be home with my son.

TAJCI:
Right.

DEZ:
And the days would go kind of slow. We’d be at the yard and I’d be thinking,

“This is really lovely to spend time with him like this but it somehow didn’t feel like enough.” And as a mother you get that guilt, like, “It should be enough! It should be more than enough!”

TAJCI:
Yes.

DEZ:
And I just thought, at my age and at the stage of my career, you know, I wanted to get out of the hustle. I wanted to do something that I love and the money would come.

TAJCI:
Right. As you were thinking of already going to the workforce. So I just want to stay a little bit on this because you know, a lot of people are in that place where life is good, they don’t really have to do more. But why do you think it’s important to follow that you know, Ike you said, get out of that stagnant even if that stagnant is good?

DEZ:
Right.

TAJCI:
Is that being ungrateful of what you have?

DEZ:
It feels so comfortable sometimes.

TAJCI:
Yes.

DEZ:
But we’re also well designed to do something one unique thing in this life. And if we don’t do that thing we are not going to be fully happy.

TAJCI:
Yes. And I believe that. This is what this show really is about—is that when we do then when we really contribute to the world. When we stay in that stagnant we’re saying, “You know, I’m kinda like just a spectator, a passive audience.”

DEZ:
Right.

TAJCI:
You know? “I’m just gonna ride along,” where the world misses out on

DEZ:
Right.

TAJCI:
That unique thing that you have to give.

DEZ:

When I coach older people they talk about what they didn’t try, what they didn’t do. Not the mistakes that they made, but what they never tried. They knew who they were and they didn’t go for it.

So I felt both, like my own client at that time, when I was thinking you know, these thoughts, and I thought, “What’s the worst thing that could happen if I try to do my own thing?” And in fact the opposite has happened you know. As soon as I stepped in to my own power, and my own beauty, and my own talent, everything opened up.

TAJCI:
And we hear that. Except that sometimes it feels scary. Sometimes the pain of the change keeps us in that stagnant place. So do you have any, like, steps? Practical tips? What to do to even get sort of over that hard change.

DEZ:
Well, I think the first thing that people need to do is figure out who they are. If you do not know who you are you are not going to be able to step forward in this thing—whatever this thing is, right?

So you have to spend quiet time alone. Sometimes it’s prayer, sometimes it’s meditation. Maybe it’s being outside with the wind and the sun, hugging a tree, whatever. But to spend time alone, not a long time—5, 10 minutes a day just to get in touch with who you are.

And you need to ask yourself, who am I? What do I need right now? What do I want out of life right now? And that will guide you. Your answers are right here. They are inside. And no coach, no friend, no family member can tell you what those answers are. So you just have to be with yourself. It’s simple.

TAJCI:
We’re talking to Dez Stephens, founder of Radiant Health Institute. And when we come back we’ll talk more about these practical steps on how to, what to do when you awaken to your purpose in the world.


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TAJCI:
We’re talking to Dez Stephens. And how about we do a little coaching exercise?

DEZ:
Sure!

TAJCI:
Alright. So let’s say I’m stuck and I’m really, really having a hard time motivating myself to exercise.

DEZ:
Okay. So as a coach, what I would ask my client is what do you want on the back end of this?

TAJCI:
I want to be healthy.

DEZ:
Okay. Tell me what healthy means to you.

TAJCI:
It means I’ll feel good. I have lots of energy. I am healthy.

DEZ:
What would you do with all this great new energy?

TAJCI:
Oh, I would play with my children, be more present. I would be better to my husband. I would be happier with the cashier at the store.

DEZ:
So what would you do with the kids?

TAJCI:
I would just really be present to them. You know, not feel tired, not feel, “Oh, I’m not feeling so well,” or even feel guilty, “I wish I could go out and exercise.” Maybe I would even be able to play tennis with them or I don’t know, run after a soccer ball.

DEZ:
Right. What would be different with your husband?

TAJCI:
I think we would have a better, a healthier relationship. Like maybe go out more because we would have that habit, I would have that habit of exercising and moving my body.

DEZ:
And what would you do when you went out with him?

TAJCI:
Now this is getting personal!

DEZ:
Yeah.

TAJCI:
This is great. Okay, so what would be the… so the outcome, as you demonstrated, you know, you’re asking me questions. I know all the answers.

DEZ:
Right. I don’t have to say, “What kind of exercise would you like to do?” because you just said tennis and soccer, didn’t you?

TAJCI:
Yes. And then what would happen as you would bring that to my attention?

DEZ:
I’m trying to get you into the result. I’m trying to get you into your short term future and what you want out of this.

TAJCI:
Yes. Isn’t that wonderful? You know people say, “Life coach? I can’t afford a life coach. It’s expensive.” What do you say to that?

DEZ:
Well, there are life coaches out there that are doing trades, they’re doing free coaching but you know, depending on who you ask, a counselor would be $250, you know, maybe you’re using your insurance card. But you know, some coaches, you know, on average the International Coach Federation estimates that the average hourly rate internationally is $214 an hour. So you know, that’s a lot of money. But it’s once a week, maybe it’s once a month. You know? What kind of value are you placing?

TAJCI:
Exactly. And I think you know, that’s one thing that holds us back is not so much the price, the investment, but “Oh, I really don’t need to spend that on myself.”

DEZ:
Right.

TAJCI:
You know? It’s like I remember when I first came to America and I didn’t have health insurance, you know. But I had a car insurance.

DEZ:
Right.

TAJCI:
I put good fuel in my car.

DEZ:
Right.

TAJCI:
But I didn’t have enough to pay my health insurance. And I thought how messed up is that? I am more important than my car.

DEZ:
Right.

TAJCI:
But you know, that kind of a mentality or what we just did, this coaching, I can do that on my own but sometimes you can’t. And sometimes it’s really important that you take that importance and significance and like you said, how is this gonna better my children, my relationship, my world?

DEZ:
Right.

TAJCI:
Talking about world, you just coached women in Honduras. How was that? How did that feel?

DEZ:
Oh, amazing. I visited there three years ago and I noticed that women don’t have opportunity. Hondurans live, on average, on a $1 a day, U.S. So I thought, wow, you know, they could coach online. They could coach tourists. They could coach their communities. So I decided with the encouragement of a friend to come down and coach train 50 women. So last November we went and we did this and it was amazing. These women are so open, they’re so eager, and they really have compassionate spirits.

TAJCI:
Wow. And you know, a lot of countries like Honduras—and I’m hoping to take you to Croatia—women have a special talent, you know, when it comes to coaching and a special place and role on how much they can do when they—these 30 women that you’ve trained—then empower and coach other 30 to start businesses, to start. You can heal economies.

DEZ:
Yes.

TAJCI:
I really believe that.

DEZ:
Oh yes. You know, the women entrepreneurs in Honduras, first of all they can say they are an entrepreneur and they’re so excited about that. And when I told them how much U.S. coaches charge per hour, which means what they could charge to U.S. clients when they coach them online, they were like, “How much?”

TAJCI:
It’s amazing.

DEZ:
It’s almost incomprehensible to them. But now, after going back and doing advance training with this first cycle they’re starting to understand it now.

TAJCI:
We’re talking to Dez Stephens, the founder of Radiant Health Institute and when we come back we’re gonna have some questions from our viewers.


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TAJCI:
Dez, this is so awesome. Thank you. I just really enjoyed this interview with you and just spending time with you. And thank you for my certifications as well.

DEZ:
You’re welcome.

TAJCI:
Okay, so you’re ready for one word answers?

DEZ:
Sure.

TAJCI:
Okay. What makes you most awakened?

DEZ:
Rest.

TAJCI:
Nice. Your biggest challenge?

DEZ:
Making sure that everything I’m doing is in line with who I am.

TAJCI:
Biggest fear?

DEZ:
Not travelling to all the countries I want to before I die.

TAJCI:
Most grateful for?

DEZ:
I have an incredible ability to love. I call myself a fierce love warrior. So I’m grateful for that ability.

TAJCI:
That’s beautiful. What’s the last thing you do before you go to sleep?

DEZ:
I’ve been doing this since I was a kid. I lay there with my pillow and my blanket and I’m so happy that I have a pillow and a blanket and a safe place. I’ve just, I’ve always done that. So that’s like my little gratitude.

TAJCI:
Last book you read?

DEZ:
The Art of Memoir by Mary Karr.

TAJCI:
I believe in?

DEZ:
Everybody.

TAJCI:
All that our world needs is?

DEZ:
To remember who we are, you know, like in connection to ourselves.

TAJCI:
If I could abolish anything from the earth, it would be?

DEZ:
Parasites.

TAJCI:
Any kind.

DEZ:
People parasites.

TAJCI:
Favorite essential oil?

DEZ:
Grapefruit.

TAJCI:
Favorite local charity?

DEZ:
Better Decisions. This is where I coach at prisons.

TAJCI:
Who do you want to help most?

DEZ:
In terms of my clients, I love coaching middle aged people.

TAJCI:
Alright. Now, fun questions. Lion or eagle?

DEZ:
Lioness.

TAJCI:
Africa or Australia?

DEZ:
Perth, Australia.

TAJCI:
Oh, you’re specific. Sun or moon?

DEZ:
Moon.

TAJCI:
Tea or coffee?

DEZ:
Either.

TAJCI:
Water or juice?

DEZ:
Water.

TAJCI:
Okay. This year I claim?

DEZ:
Prosperity for everyone.

TAJCI:
Oh, nice. Alright. So now I want to do, I want to switch to something a little bit more difficult. I asked a few viewers to ask questions and Vince asked, “What can we do to get the mind and the heart to agree so that they are both pulling at the same direction?”

DEZ:
Great question. I think there are four things, not two things. He says mind and heart but I say head, heart, gut and root. We’ve got to  align all four of these up. If we are felling overly emotional, like we’re too much here, we have to bring ourselves up into the intellect, down into the root, down into our instinct. And if we don’t have all four in balance, we’re going to be off balance, right? If we’re in our head too much, you know, the floating head syndrome, we have to ask ourselves emotional questions. We have to ask ourselves, “How am I feeling right now about this?” “What is my gut saying about this right now?” “Where’s my foundation right now? Am I grounded?” So getting them to agree I think it’s more about just each of these four places inside of us at the same time. Not just asking ourselves intellectual questions, emotional questions, instinctual and foundational. It’s like how am I feeling right now? And also, how am I thinking right now about this? What is my instinct telling me about this right now? And am I grounded in it? So if we ask all four, we’re going to get all the answers we need.

TAJCI:
Thank you so much. And I think you know, also to ground ourselves, to do all four, like you said and then I think what we mentioned earlier, we all have a little bit of hard time bringing ourselves to that present moment. And I would add that with practice—that also is a practice—like we have to practice it every day. But as we start to understand this process you know, it becomes easier. And I wanna ask you, where does God or Divine come in in this four?

DEZ:
So I would say more with the foundation than anything—the security, the spiritual connection. You know, some people might argue it’s in your head, it’s in your mind, it’s going up, but if someone is not spiritually connected they are not grounded.

TAJCI:
Right.

DEZ:
So yeah. It’s definitely all four but I would say especially the foundation.

TAJCI:
Yes. It’s interesting on how we usually, when we think of God we look up. Right? But it’s really the grounding, the foundation.

DEZ:
Absolutely.

TAJCI:
Thank you, Dez. Would you introduce the song that you picked for us?

DEZ:
Sure. Nancy wrote a song called “Unconditional Love” and that’s a big message for me and my life. And I’ve known Nancy for a long time. I’ve really liked that song over the years. And to me it’s just a song about wishing for someone all the joy and love in life that this beautiful life has to offer.

SONG:
I wish you joy
The kind you only get from knowing
You have touched somebody else
I wish you peace
And that feeling of contentment
When you remove all the resentment
From your life

I wish you joy
I wish you peace
I wish you more than you will need
I wish you Unconditional Love

I wish you hope
That keeps you looking toward tomorrow
And away from yesterday
I wish you faith
In yourself and all humanity
And the belief that we will finally
Live as one

I wish you joy
I wish you peace
I wish you more than you will need
I wish you Unconditional Love

I’m a dreamer and I know it
So I hope your dreams come true
When you believe in the impossible
Everything’s possible for you

I wish you kindness
From every neighbor, friend and stranger
And may it always be your way
I wish you love
The kind that doesn’t need a reason,
No apologies or pleasin’
It’s just because

I wish you joy
I wish you peace
I wish you more than you will need
I wish you Unconditional Love

I’m a dreamer and proud of it
So I hope your dreams come true
When you believe in the impossible
Everything’s possible for you

I wish you joy
The kind you only get from knowing
You have loved somebody else
I wish you love
The kind that doesn’t need a reason,
No apologies or pleasin’
It’s just because

I wish you joy
I wish you peace
I wish you more than you will need
I wish you Unconditional Love

I wish you joy
I wish you peace
I wish you more than you will ever need
I wish you Unconditional,
Abundantly give-able,
Unconditional Love!

TAJCI:
I’d like to invite you to visit WakingUpRevolution.com and find out more about coaching and how it can help you. And replay this episode. Share other episodes with your friends. I also want to encourage you to join our Patreon page. Be the supporter of the show. Show that you care, that you want the stories to be told and affect people. For only $1 a month you get backstage footage, personal messages, and you get to make the difference as well. For only $12 a year you get to add your voice to Waking Up Revolution. Thank you very much. We’ll see you next time.

OLGA:
I’m Olga Alexiva. I’m the artist and the Gallery owner. And I thank you for your time spent on browsing my art. I’m a very curious artist creating a variety of style and topics. If you would like to tap into your own creativity please sign up for my art classes. I teach every Friday and Sunday. Please visit me in my gallery in Nashville and I can’t wait to talk to you soon.