Hi! I’m Helen Svoboda-Barber. I’m a ICF Certified Coach, Retreat Leader and Episcopal Priest.
I live the values of Joy, Humor, Balance, Simplicity, Conviction, Beauty, Fidelity. My mission is To become the unique person God created me to be & To encourage others to become their own unique creations of God.
I have a doctorate in formation and spirituality, with a focus on women’s leadership (The Church’s Life, from APTS). My coach training and mentor coaching comes from Holmes Coaching Group. I have coaching continuing education through WBECS and am a member of the International Coaching Federation. I am on track to receive a Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling in May, 2024 from North Carolina Central University.
I work to find joy in my life, in big ways and small, every day. It becomes easy to do when you begin to notice the little things. The smell of honeysuckle as you walk, biting into a ripe peach, or taking a moment to dip your foot into a nearby stream. We are surrounded by moments of joy just waiting to be noticed.
I love to laugh and see the funny side of things.
I strive to work hard, but never take myself too seriously.
Here’s a picture of my kids and me that has made me laugh every single time I have looked at it for 10 years and counting.
Balance in life is always a moving target. Sometimes we’re more invested in one part of our lives, and at other times we’re more invested somewhere else.
I look for balance in the long term. Four times a year, I take time to review my values and any changes I need to bring myself into better balance.
Simplicity is a central point in my life, and a value we have shared with our family. Each year we have a great time picking out and decorating our “Charlie Brown Christmas Tree” which is just right.
Simplicity is a more complicated concept than at first glance. Sometimes simplicity means a closet full of hand-me downs and sometimes it means hiring a housecleaner so that you can focus on the particular things that are yours to do.
One of my long-held convictions is that we are meant to share what we can. For me, that includes giving blood when I am able, and being a part of the Bone Marrow Donor Registry.
I am whole-hearted in my beliefs, and also try to hold my beliefs lightly. We are meant to continue growing and developing throughout our whole lives. As we grow, our beliefs will grow along with us. So don’t be scared to hold tight to your belief–and don’t be afraid to let it go in order to embrace a new understanding.
Noticing and creating beauty are both wonderful ways to keep grounded and centered no matter what is going on in life.
During the pandemic, I began participating in seasonal Dare to Rest retreat from Rest Garden and we were invited to make flower mandalas. I made this in my front yard and invited our neighbors to come enjoy the beauty.
I am committed to:
my husband and children,
our family and friends,
and to continuing to discover the work that is mine to do, right now.
Writings and Related Work
I fully explain Women Embodying Executive Leadership (WEEL) in my doctoral project here. Research on the effectiveness of WEEL, Leading Women and a third program called Beautiful Authority is in this paper by the Rev’d Dr. Paula Nesbitt.
I’ve written about some of my church projects at Building Faith.
I’m a contributing author to this liturgy planning tool.