Maybe you are seen as having it all together, even crushing it. You handle what comes your way and keep your cool at work. You’ve moved up, perhaps to a leadership role, or started your own business and yet something is off. That was me ten years ago. I had left my day job on a high note. My business was thriving. And yet, I felt like a fraud. Whether it’s family conflict, work drama or another chaos in your life, it can be difficult to stay focused and productive at work. I get it.
Distractions make it harder to be your ambitious, career-driven self and you risk being surpassed or becoming irrelevant at work. I wanted Zen Ambition. I wanted to feel accomplished, and, feel fulfilled without the relentless struggle.
So I got back to evolving....sometimes painfully.
And now, I am a coach who works with ambitious go-getters who want to break out of the suit, the cage, or the confines of limited beliefs or overwhelming expectations.
I am passionate about helping people increase their profits or progress in their career while doing work they love. Because if they love it, their whole self is showing up, and the whole world benefits.
My life wasn't always balanced and fulfilled. Why am I telling you this? For you to do deep transformational work, you have to be willing to go there. I'm a private person... And, I realize that if I don't share vulnerability, I don't help you go there.
When I began my career as a school counselor in the 1990's, I was ecstatic that I could guide a staff to make building wide changes despite having no authority. I had become highly skilled in understanding others needs and motivations and how to inspire them to engage the mission of increasing their emotional intelligence and that of their students. My identity was defined by my work success.
Later, with my master’s degree in counseling, I built a private practice where I helped people with parenting, relationships, ADD, and brain health. I taught people how to create systems and organize their life and about their brain so they could keep their cool and maximize their productivity.
I saw this as climbing the mountain/moving up in the world. I enjoyed being successful, but I wasn’t connected to my whole self. I wasn't being authentic, but I didn't even know it. I knew I was restless.
I knew I wanted more...whatever that was! With this minimal awareness, I had to adapt in order to take a different action. I attended meditation retreats, practiced shamanism, went to the woods, did more therapy, and used fasting ceremonies to deepen my self-awareness. I felt more present to life and thought I was finally going to feel like I was a the top of the mountain.
By my 30's, I thought I was figuring it out. LOL I studied 8 relationship programs and helped others with effective communication tools, how to navigate different personality traits and use conflict to build trust, and healthy boundaries for self care. I created a 5 hour relationship intensive to reveal blind spots and overcome the barriers that had built up. My private practice was thriving.
Yet, all along my own blind spot kept me exhausted. When I was criticized at home, I tried to do more, work harder, if only..... I didn't have work/life balance. My list of health issues was mounting. Being so focused on the stressors, I didn't have a strong sense of self. I lost my inner navigation. Getting to the top of the mountain felt elusive.
I felt like such a fraud.
I had to admit I had no idea how to help myself, despite all the training, education, and experience I had. I was humbled. I felt unbalanced, never good enough, and something had to shift. I had to find my way around the limited thinking, the mind traps, the stories I was playing.
This began another level of becoming aware, adapt to act. So I outed myself to my close friends and filed for divorce. I returned to meditation, shamanism, and EMDR therapy to find my internal navigation system. I climbed mountains (literally), and used neuroscience to learn mental agility and use my emotions as guidance. Finally, I was finding fulfillment within, instead of trying to obtain it from the outside. Little did I know just how valuable these micro steps would become.
For those of you who have gone through a divorce, you may relate to having to take the road through hell to find freedom.
During that time, my health continued to plummet and while at the office, I would receive a “drive by” with something completely ungrounding. I had two minutes to get out of reactive mode and into service mode. Many of my clients had Complex PTSD and my lack of presence could be very detrimental to the trust I had built with them. It was that feeling of walking along a ledge of the mountain, my legs wobbly from exhaustion, needing to stay mindfully present...or else.
I am so grateful for the tools I developed during that time. If I wasn't struggling, I wouldn't have been so committed to evolving. I exercised and meditated daily, and took a lot of baths. I started practicing more physiological soothing and adapting to the moment. Some moments it was a dragon breath or a rag doll dance, other times connecting to nature or using focused attention. This resulted in a mastery of self that is now a fun "mental agility" course.
With these changes, my performance at work became enriched because I was more present. I have the capacity to do deep work with clients and still feel balanced and light at the end of my day. Paddleboarding, biking, hiking, and dancing have became a priority. Being in nature and meditating keep me calm enough to hear and feel my inner navigation (intuition, wisdom from higher self). I now seek out new growth opportunities to thrive rather than just survive.
Today, I am in a loving partnership. I have the freedom to be my authentic self. I live a life without obligation, having others needs come before mine, or the storm of personal or workplace drama. My heart still randomly overflows with gratitude for those dark times that have resulted in such freedom.
Coming out of that darkness, I have a trust in myself that I can live through anything. That confidence allows me to experience life’s challenges with far more ease than before. This resiliency and calm is something I wish for everyone - that we all reveal the shackles of blind spots and find authentic strengths to live a life we love. Whether it’s navigating relationships, climbing a mountain or the career ladder, success comes when we have inner navigation and the right tools to get us there. My mission is to help people find their own resources for their path to personal freedom.
My previous experiences are the foundation of how I support clients today.
There were three things I needed in order to become high functioning on both sides of life to expand, transform, and progress.
These 3 pillars not only kept me sane during an unimaginably stressful time, but when I continued to use them, I became more successful both personally and professionally.
Be Aware: Learning to look within amplifies and simplies life.
Adapt. Whether it's mental agility (navigating negative thoughts like an obstacle course), managing reactivity (staying cool under pressure), or developing interpersonal skills, you can make adjustments to build resiliency.
Act: When you lead with clean power, you avoid the ego mind illusion of a quick fix by trying to control things that you don’t have power over. Your interpersonal communication, assertiveness, trust building, negotiations, are all positively enhanced by you being aware and adapting.
If you are tired of feeling lost, or feel like a fraud, or would just like to feel more inner freedom, I would love to hear from you! No more wandering on the mountain with thoughts of -if I just work hard enough, if I stay late and get this done, if I hit those numbers, if I show my employees I’m willing to work hard. No more being crazy busy following others expectations and imposed obligations. No more searching outside of yourself. To learn more about how I can help you find freedom email me.
Masters of Education, University of Puget Sound
Certified Brain Health Coach, Amen University
Certified NeuroLeader and NeuroCoach, Optimind Neuroscience Coaching & Training Institute
Proficiency with Everything DISC Profile, MBTI, and various Career Assessments
20+ years of Mindfulness Practice and journeying experience taught by the Foundation for Shamanic Studies
Gottman Seven Principles Leader
State Licensed and Nationally Certified Counselor
Enlightenment Intensive Facilitator