Eamonn, we met at a coaching workshop a few weeks back and in chatting with you afterwards you mentioned that you run a Facebook Group called Empowerment Planet. I checked it out and it’s a fantastic resource and forum. I think many readers of Next Steps would find it very useful. So tell us, what’s Empowerment Planet all about?
Thank you James for this wonderful opportunity to connect with you once again, and with your readers. Empowerment Planet is a safe, closed, non-denominational space. The purpose is interaction, for the benefit of each other. By sharing our own journey, experiences, challenges and insights, we inspire and empower each other to grow into our highest, fullest potential. It’s really about creating a sense of community where we support one another to succeed on this wild wonderful journey called life.
What are the main guidelines for joining/ posting?
We like people to contribute and post to the group from a place of love, gratitude, compassion and the desire to benefit and uplift others. Posting, commenting, liking /loving other posts is the lifeblood, the source energy of the group.
How did it all start for you? When did you first get interested in coaching and personal development?
Ah, that’s the question! To do it justice would require writing a book (which is a personal intention of mine!)
In short, my life had reached the lowest possible point, on all levels – financial, mental, emotional. I was at the edge of the abyss. I realised at this point, that the creator of every situation and consequence in my life was me. I began taking my first baby crawl forward, in challenging my core beliefs, which in hindsight were so limiting, full of self-loathing and were self-destructive.
I had nobody to learn from or listen to, so I searched for virtual trainers and mentors. I read, listened to audio books and CDs, attended seminars and watched YouTube videos. I learned the basics of meditation so I could quieten my fragmented noisy mind. I became interested in Tibetan Buddhist teachings on working with one’s mind and how we attract what we think about most. These are now a big part of my life. I truly felt like I was my own miracle. I’m reminded of Wayne Dyers words, ‘when we change the way we look at things, the things we look at change.’When we change the way we look at things, the things we look at change - Wayne Dyer Click To Tweet
I’m always fascinated by how we make decisions and motivation in general. Just out of curiosity was there one moment when you decided ‘right I’m giving this a go,’ I want to work in this field full-time, I want to run my own business?’ What was that like?
That moment came at rock bottom. I had so many terrifying situations in play, and I realised I was the creator of my fate, the master of it, as we all are. I observed myself carrying myself through these situations, moment by moment, with growing awareness, gratitude, compassion, love, for myself ,and the ability to give back to those around me. Having lost pretty much everything, I began to lose my crippling fear and anxiety, I had a ‘nothing to lose’ attitude which is so liberating!
The turning point came when I decided to close up my barber salon in Killarney and move to Limerick. This came from my heart, not my head. The first year was a huge challenge. I knew very few people. I was determined to see it through. I took myself back to school. I studied hypnosis for relaxation, Life Coaching for beginners, Train the Trainer. This was when I knew for certain, for the first time in my life, what I wanted to spend my life doing. I had begun to find resolve, peace, knowing, happiness, in the only place it exists – within ourselves. I still had many challenges and hurdles, but my perspective and belief had changed for the better.
I think many people are experiencing a spiritual vacuum in Ireland. Traditional institutions like the Catholic Church are no longer dominant and people who sought fulfilment in possessions and financial excess during the Celtic Tiger years are still searching for an elusive sense of peace and happiness. What are your thoughts?
This is a topic very dear to my heart. I would say, the source of happiness is the mind itself. I’m talking about the higher awareness within each of us, call it intuition, heart, gut. I call it ‘Mind.’
I believe that the chances of each of us being exactly us, alive at this point in time, are trillions of trillions to one. I believe that the universe, space itself, is information. It is Love, it is joy. I believe that happiness and love can only be found in one place – within. The things that elude people, love and happiness are in the last place that most people think to look. They are not ‘out there,’ in the big house, or the fancy car, or the cruise around the world. They are ‘in here.’ Most people believe ‘when I’m successful, I will be happy.’ I used to be the same. Now I believe ‘when I’m happy, I will be successful.’
What do you enjoy most about what you do?
I love to facilitate, to be of benefit to someone, to facilitate them in helping themselves to move forward, to move towards their own true nature, their own potential. I enjoy this, with no expectation of a return. Observing someone finding their solutions, or seeing a smile appear on their face, or an ‘aha light bulb moment’ take place for them is a joyful experience for me.
I know many people reading this would love to be earning their living by doing the work they love to do or by following their passion, from your experience what advice would you pass on to them?
I would say work harder on yourself, on your own personal development, than you do on anything else. You’re the greatest, most important project you will ever work on. Ask yourself – ‘what do I want and why do I want it?’ Focus on how you will feel when it shows up. Affirm to yourself that it’s possible. The ‘how’ it will happen is not your job. Leave the ‘how’ to a power higher than yourself. In the words of Martin Luther King Jnr ‘you don’t need to see the whole staircase. Just take the first step.’
What are your dreams or aspirations for Empowerment Planet over the next few years?
I would love to see the group continue to expand – 2,000 members (we’re currently at just over 1400) then 10,000, then 100,000, then a million. What an aspiration. Imagine, one million minds interacting, connecting, inspiring and empowering each other. I would love to create Empowerment Planet Live events, with great speakers, starting in Ireland and let’s go from there.
Eamonn, it’s been a pleasure.
Eamonn Smith is a professional life and business coach , facilitating self development and self actualization. He is trained in meditation and mindfulness teaching, and hypnosis for relaxation. Currently based in Limerick he coaches clients, both in person locally and online internationally.