“I walked all those miles. I learned all those lessons. It’s as if my new life was the gift I got at the end of a long struggle.” — Cheryl Strayed
My walk, my life, has been full and rich and extraordinary. But it has not been without struggle. I’ve been fortunate, however, to be able to take the many profound lessons I’ve learned throughout the years and apply them to my own life and my coaching practice.
My mother was angry, highly critical, and terribly hard on me. She was unable to love and support me unconditionally, which caused intense shame and emotional pain. I found solace in the arts – piano and voice lessons, competitions, dance and musical comedy. I earned a degree in music, moved to New York City, and buried myself in my career in theatre for 16 years. For a time I thought I had everything figured out – I had submerged my pain and was living a life that, on the outside, appeared exciting and successful. But I was wearing an emotional straightjacket that finally became too restricting. Ten years after arriving in the Big Apple, I woke up one morning feeling empty and hollow and scared. I hired a therapist, sat down and finally let go of all the pain I had been holding onto.
Since that day, I’ve experienced countless revelations – some comforting, and many painful, but all of them ultimately healing. After numerous contemplative walks through Central Park I decided to move on and continue my ‘road less traveled’ in a new ‘neighborhood’ – Seattle. Throughout this time I continued to work in various careers - from public relations to advertising to bond-trading, but nothing fit. I never expected that a diagnosis of breast cancer would lead me to my true calling.
During my 13 months of cancer treatment, I looked for support and often encountered cold and judgmental doctors, nurses, and therapists (and one life coach) – all doing more harm than good. What I couldn’t find was a healthy, wise ‘someone’ who truly listened and who could see, hear and understand me. A ‘someone’ who asked questions that got me past the answers to a place of insight, and who encouraged self-compassion and self-acceptance. In short, I could have used a me!
Armed with the belief that there was a void I could fill – I went back to school and became a professional life coach. As I reflected on my life, I realized that my strongest calling, since birth, is ‘to be present, and to be with.’ This is what I bring to my coaching practice - to be that safe place for others to show up, to be present and to be with, to truly listen, and to see, hear and understand. I offer these gifts and the authentic wisdom I have gleaned from my life to every person I work with. It is my passion to bring all that I was looking for, for so many years – all that I am, to my clients, in hopes of making their life journeys easier.