HI, I'M HANNAH RAY,
A COACH IN AMSTERDAM
I'm happy you found me - you are very welcome here.
I live in dreamy, windy, watery Amsterdam. Home, for me, is in many places though. With my family + friends back in the UK, friends that have moved to other countries, and places I have loved spending time.
I take this same view in my work and am pleased to coach people from all over the place.
I am happiest when absorbed in the laziest, stretchiest, wriggly type of yoga, following cats, people-watching out of windows, dancing to very loud music, writing, sitting with a good view, and eating.
HOW I GOT HERE
I've always felt in my element listening to people - giving them space to think, to explore themselves, get confident with their own opinion, and encouraging them to express it.
For example, as a child, I had a friend who found talking about feelings tricky, so instead, we'd sit together and write to each other about what was going on.
It's always felt natural to me to listen, to experiment with different ways of thinking about things, to reflect back to people in a gentle yet firm manner, but I had never considered that it could be a career path for me.
I moved to Amsterdam in 2018 after deciding that calm canals and cycling everywhere, outweighed the always-on, do-it-all stimulation of London.
I originally moved for a dream job in advertising. I soon discovered I still had the same doubting feeling of not quite fitting, feeling over-stressed, and wanting something else for myself.
I went on a little journey - being made redundant from that job, being unemployed, working a few more advertising projects, being unemployed again, working in a cheese shop (one of my favourite jobs I've ever had!), doing an advanced therapeutic yoga teacher training, teaching a full yoga schedule, qualifying as an ICF Life + Business Coach, consulting as a brand strategist and coach for small businesses (AND many moments of despair, feeling very lost, very excited, frustrated, not good enough, motivated, determined etc.). Eventually, I founded my own business - my coaching practice, TAKE.
I love learning more and more about coaching methods and blending it with therapeutic practices.
Theories I have been trained in, and draw upon a lot in my coaching approach are Nancy Klein's 'Time to Think' theory, Gestalt techniques, positive psychology, emotion-focused techniques, journaling, somatic/embodied exploration, and CBT-informed coaching.
TAKE was born from a realisation that the best person to explore + create a life that fulfils, excites & serves you, is yourself. And the best way to do it is to be yourself, to honour yourself, and to ALLOW yourself the simple pleasure of TAKING what is there, and has always been there, for you.
We spend a lot of time denying ourselves what we really want, or forcing ourselves to mould to the norm we think is expected of us, because... guilt, shame, not feeling deserving, worrying what people will think, worrying we're not good enough or credible enough, thinking we'll inevitably let people or ourselves down, culture telling us it's wrong... the list goes on.
So, I specifically chose to name my practice TAKE, because I wanted to redefine what it meant to take. I spent a lot of my career with feelings of self-doubt, as well as being scared of coming across pushy or inconsiderate. I realised that knowing who you are, knowing what you want, and going out and taking it is actually a beautiful thing to do for yourself, and an inspiring thing to see other people do. You don't need to force fit yourself in to performing or behaving a particular or 'expected' way to do this; you can connect with your own resources, personality, and style and do it in a way that feels YOU. I found that learning how to do this, was also the thing I could support others in doing for themselves too.
I have learnt that it is not about getting a quick or final fix. It is our relationship with ourselves and our relationship with our work that really matters. Those relationships will change and develop over time, chapters and contexts. Coaching is a way to help you unstick and move with it.
Creating and holding space that feels safe enough for a person to start speaking from the heart, say what they really want, think, feel and be themselves is, really, a very special thing to get to do for a living.
I find it an honour to work with everyone I work with, and hope that, perhaps, I will have the honour of working with you too.