It’s often said that we teach and guide others in what we most need to learn or practice. While that may not be true for everyone, it’s definitely true for me.
I earned my PhD in Sociology, with an emphasis on social psychology. My research focused on how women coped with massive disruption in their lives. A recurring pattern was that one of the challenges of the increased resiliency, self-sufficiency, and competency that women developed during the disruption often really upset family patterns. The women learned that they could do more than they thought and were no longer content with living small in their life, career, and relationships.
The toil of finishing my PhD and pursuing academic grants while my husband (Charlie) was deployed caught up with me, though. The career path I was on was literally making me sick, as evidenced by the second stress-induced chronic illness that I was diagnosed with.
I had to make a change, but I didn’t know what. I left academia and spent a few years overcoming other life challenges — including a near-death experience due to medical complications, and a car accident — and working in different capacities in Productive Flourishing.
Along the way, my conversations with our community members, program participants, and even clients who were working with Charlie led to people seeking me out as their clarity guide. Rather than continually saying No because I wasn’t ready, I started to say Yes.
I’m so glad I did, as helping people chart and stick to their course is work I love doing. I’m still doing the work I got my PhD in, just with much more of a focus on helping individuals with application rather than merely writing about it.
What some people don’t know about me (now that I have learned some very tough lessons and grown into a more balanced, healthy person) is how much of a Type A, overachiever I was from a very young age. Having been someone who needed to be the best at fill-in-the-blank, never believed what I had done was good enough, and looked for external validation everywhere, I understand the self doubt and societal pressures that can burn out even the strongest person.
And, when you top that off with being a deeply intuitive, compassionate, and sensitive person you can understand how I had some difficult and painful lessons to learn. I wouldn’t trade those lessons for anything, as they have helped me to develop into the kind of coach that can help clients build their best life.
I’ve had the honor of working with clients in many different fields, including corporations, small businesses, non-profits, and academia. My background and experience in business and academia, as well as positions of leadership in non-profits and spiritual communities, have given me a broad knowledge base that I am able to call upon to serve clients from different backgrounds in finding their own best path.