I LOVE coaching; the conversations it generates and the incredible results it produces. In fact, I continually rely on coaches to support me in realizing my own dreams. Why? Because it works! Plain and simple answer, but the truth.
Before I discovered the world of coaching I had a career in corporate america. A very successful one. But let me go even further back than that...if you'll indulge me.
I grew up in a family that, from the outside, looked pretty 'normal'. Dad had a professional job. Mom stayed home and took care of the four kids and life was pretty simplistic...or so it seemed.
At this point, people might be inclined to say, "I can hear it coming... I have a hard luck story, too. So what?"
Which is true. We ALL do have our 'stories'. But as little as 6 years ago I'd have NEVER allowed you to know my story. I wouldn't have been willing to be that vulnerable with you and let you into my life at that level.
Does it feel like a risk to share it with you now....absolutely!
For some, what you read today may make you a little 'squirrely'. But please understand my intention in sharing the details of my story with you is to bring to light and instill in YOU that it is possible to transcend ANYTHING.
Please read this knowing these are just the facts of how my 'story' unfolded for me. Something may resonate with you....and then maybe not. My wish is you get a sense of who I am and what I stand for. Fair enough?
I've lived my entire life AFRAID to be me
One could say I grew up in a simpler time. The generation of Donna Reed
and The Brady Bunch. But underneath that exterior, and hidden behind
closed doors, was where a deeper truth lay.
In my family, the unspoken message was always: 'look good', don't say the wrong thing, don't rock the boat and don't open your mouth unless you have something intelligent to say. You were to play within the rules, play it safe and you wouldn't be disappointed.
You didn't speak without being spoken to and you absolutely didn't express your opinions without being asked. I essentially learned to not have a voice or express myself.
Age 8: life took a drastic turn. My father, a man who had defined himself by his highly influential and demanding career, suffered a major health setback. In the prime of his life he was forced to retire.
Life at home now revolved around my mother caring for my father, while trying to meet the physical needs of four young children. Not an easy thing to do, as you can imagine!
In the world of an 8 year old, however, it felt like I had lost both of my parents. They were physically present, but emotionally unavailable.
Deep inside I believed I must have done something wrong or something must be wrong with me that both of my parents essentially 'disappeared'.
When I look back I can recall making a decision that from then on it was up to me to survive and to figure out how to 'get by' in life. I learned to not ask for what I needed and to supress my emotions so I didn't bother my parents.
I started acting like the kid who could hande anything and didn't need anyone. This is when I started feeling like an outsider in my own life.
Ages 11-16: life continued to spiral...from abuse to survival. These were the years of living on high alert in my house. My father had become increasingly volatile (a common side affect of stroke victims, I understand). Trapped in his own self-hatred and resentment about his life, he frequently lashed out verbally and physically on the family.
It became such an emotionally dysfunctional environment that my mother, having no clue how to cope and handle the anxiety in her own life, turned to religion to bring her comfort. It was easier to be in denial.
Meanwhile, each of the kids played their role as necessitated in our family system in an attempt to keep the peace and balance.
Before the age of 13, I was sexually molested on multiple occasions by a relative. This only caused me to shut down further because I didn't know HOW to share what I was going through.
Instead of speaking out, it became the 'secret' I locked deep inside and I used food to numb and comfort me. My weight quickly rose and I remember being over 200lbs in Junior High!
Shame and loneliness engulfed me throughout high school and beyond.
I had very low self-confidence. I was insecure and unsure of myself. I had no clue how to express myself or stand up for myself. I was the quiet, invisible girl that kept to herself much of the time.
Few friends were allowed into my life and none knew what my life truly consisted of. Inside I
was dying a slow, painful death—I would be torn between hating myself
and hating the world for the circumstances it dealt me. I was filled
with resentment and regret.
From the outside you'd have never known anything was wrong, though. I worked
hard to create a cover over the pain and instead stoicly
In the background, the message I had learned from my father always running...
"Make sure brain is engaged before putting mouth in gear"
Shame imprisoned me inside my head, inside my small life and inside my body.
I was emotionally numb, physically obese, and felt like an outsider in my own skin.
The crazy part is I KNEW one day I would find a way out of the train wreck I was in. But it wasn't to come for many more years.
Throughout my twenties and thirties, I seemed happy and successful on the outside. I pursued extensive education. I worked at multiple Fortune 500 companies. I had a career others would envy. Inside, however, I was constantly questioning and doubting myself, mis-managing my life, setting myself up to fail time and time again.
Deep down how I felt about myself was: I wasn't good enough!
I ate in order to not feel, and I became a workaholic so I wouldn't have to deal with life. I did everything in my power NOT to connect to the emotional chaos that was ME.
I avoided feeling anything remotely close to vulnerability. For the most part, I avoided connecting with people. Those I did connect with romantically used me and some place in me thought I deserved it. Others I kept at arms length.
A great deal of life was about protecting myself from whatever threat I perceived. Daily I used up my energies by always having to be guarded. The fear was that I would be exposed. And when exposed, all would see that I was flawed and defective as a person.
No matter what I did, or achieved, the overall feeling I had was that IT wasn't enough and I wasn't enough!
I continued bumping up against a pattern of only getting so far and then pulling back—in my career, my relationships, my management of money, my health and even my ability to love myself.
I found my career challenging, but I'd go through my days as if on autopilot. I'd tell myself I was lucky to have a job, but on the inside I yearned for something more for my life.
I had a constant feeling that I was 'missing something'.
In the rest of my life, I was putting up with just as much uncertainty. I was surrounded by dissatisfaction everywhere. Including a marriage on the brink of divorce.
I would not be exagerating to say I had a grossly resigned outlook on life. I was bitter and resentful. All those years insulated from knowing the authentic me had shut down my soul. This identity split only sent me deeper into isolation and loneliness.
I reflect back on these years as my 'sleep walking' period. I played a role and lived a quiet, desperate life. Fractured from my authentic self, I was filled with toxic shame.
My authentic self was so deeply barried under layers of masks, I didn't know who I was.
Age 37: Hello...this is your life calling! I was in the midst of another long, workaholic project in 'corporate america' when I found myself dealing with the news that I had cancer.
I knew in my 'gut', without a doubt, that my current lifestyle and unresolved past was at the heart of it. Toxic shame had broken me down at a cellular level. My life couldn't have sunk any lower at that point.
I began to wonder - WHAT have I been unwilling to acknowledge? What
would I have to change, and was I willing to make those changes? -
Truly powerful inquiry for sure!
In that moment, I made the decision to transform myself no matter what. I couldn't be the stoic girl anymore. I couldn't pretend anymore. I had successfully numbed myself until I weighed over 400lbs (yes, you read that correctly).
I was no longer committed to just "surviving". Wondering, 'what if?".
From that moment on, I became determined to take back my life no matter what it took!
All my life I had been striving to prove I was enough; smart enough, good enough, pretty enough, tall enough, ...you name it.
I knew what was needed was work from the INSIDE, OUT. And I knew that my 'lone-ranger' approach to life was no longer going to serve me on this journey.
So, to help me make faster progress with the major challenges I was facing, I got support. I entrolled in a program through Landmark Education called the 'Cirriculum for Living' and I got myself a Coach. Coaching
was the best decision I could have ever made for myself.
In only weeks, I made
more progress in my transformation and in achieving my heart's desire
than I had dared hoped for or dreamt about. I will always be eternally grateful for the coaches who supported me in my awakening and reconnection to my authentic self.
The first place I had to learn to connect to was my heart. It took intense soul searching and difficult healing to get to a place where I could begin to open myself and allow myself to FEEL again.
To even consider the notion that there were possibilities in life that I knew nothing about and I was capable of experiencing them just like anyone else, was unbelievable to me!
This may seem like an innocuous thing to you, but to someone who was parched in the desert, it was like a fresh drink of cool water.
My life became about limitless possibilities and creating what I most wanted, not what I thought I had been dealt.
Since I had believed for so long that I did not deserve to be heard, my voice was slow in coming. Without my husband's support and commitment to strengthen our communication, I would not have developed the confidence to believe in my right to express myself.
As I was able to say what was on my mind and what I needed more and more—my spirit and soul opened up and I knew that I could no longer be living the life I had in the past.
Once I made this decision, life began to move quickly for me.
The intuitive gifts that I had denied for so long began to flourish.
I began to really tackle my sense of self-worth.
In the years since I began my journey, I have transformed my life in EVERY area. Allow me to share some extraordinary results, using the exact same technology and strategies I provide my clients:
I recreated my body and my health (I completed multiple Body for Life Challenges [www.bodyforlife.com]). I went from a flabby size 28 to an athletic size 10/12. To this day I frequently compete in fitness challenges!
I recreated my career to one that inspires me and fills me with joy DAILY!
I recreated my marriage and the relationships in my life to ones of intimacy and love.
I live a conscious life full of abundance and prosperity.
I found my voice and now communicate powerfully and effectively in all areas of my life.
I now achieve whatever it is I set my mind to easily and effortlessly...no more struggling!
But more importantly, I recreated my relationship to myself. I am who I've always known I could be, living the life I always wanted.
I am someone who walks my talk!
Along this journey, what became abundantly clear for me is I am CALLED to assist other 'sleep walking' individuals in deeply knowing themselves, breaking free from the past, and boldly live the life of their wildest dreams. This is my passion!
That insight led me, in the summer of 2003, to begin formal coach training. My expertise is in coaching to the human soul.
When it came to creating my new business I realized I was faced yet again with a huge opportunity and lesson. I had cleaned up my body and my life, healed my heart, trained my intuition and now it was either fully show up in my business or 'what's all the work been for?'
You can be as bright and as gifted as the cow in the moon. If you don't KNOW to the core of your knowing that you truly deserve your seat at the table of life, and can have ANYTHING YOU WANT while you are at the table, then ironically, you are not offering all that you came here to give. There is a piece of the puzzle missing.
So. Now the question I was faced with, "Who do you think you are to NOT be living your life fully, completely and thoroughly with all the success AND rewards that are meant for you?"
I had to take on transcending the toughest relationship of all for most business owners...the relationship with money.
I had to learn to CLAIM it!
Before I could claim it, however, I had to learn to believe it was my birthright to have it—otherwise, it would never feel real and I would spend a lot of time defending, resenting, doubting and struggling along.
Today, I am very proud to say I am a highly successful Coach and Mentor with a thriving practice devoted and committed to challenging others to rethink what is possible for themselves... whether business, career, relationships, money or life!
Because I had the support of fabulous coaches and discovered what it
takes to be an effective, powerful coach, I KNOW how to create that experience for
my own clients. Who better to teach than someone who has walked the path!
Through a process of wisdom building and skill building, I have the joy of witnessing others leaving behind their disempowering 'stories' and stepping powerfully and with freedom into their future.
Whatever they choose to create is now available to them minus the obstacles. It truly leaves me with goose bumps!!
I consider it my greatest honor and privilege to be involved in the unfolding of an individual's life.
The rest, as they say, "is history".
If you've gotten this far...Thank you for allowing me to share my story with you. My hope is that it has touched, moved and inspired you to take on your life : )
Now, what are YOU up for creating? Let's get started!!!