I created my life coaching practice the same way I’ve done just about everything in my life: by trusting my intuition and taking one inspired step after the next.
I embrace and navigate these steps, never quite knowing where they will lead, yet fully confident that if I trust myself and honor my heart, intuitive nudges, and inner wisdom, I’ll land well. I’m delighted to say that establishing my coaching practice, starting my Midlife Magnificence Programs for women, and founding Ann Arbor’s Life Empowerment Coaching & Healing Arts Center have felt like intoxicatingly blissful landings thus far.
Even as a very young child, I was intrigued and fascinated by people. I sensed that there was always more going on behind each and every gesture, comment, or expression. I was mesmerized by the myriad ways people connect and communicate (or don’t!). My veracious curiosity first drove me to take personal development courses in high school, then led to my undergraduate degree in psychology and a Master of Social Work degree program from the University of Michigan, and then to my coaching certification through the International Coach Academy.
My career as an inpatient and outpatient therapist for adolescents, adults, and couples lasted for 25 years, until life challenges called me toward a new and extremely exciting direction.
Challenges Open Opportunities
Prior to my work as a therapist and life coach, I had also experienced my own personal therapy journey. Severe depression and anxiety haunted me at certain points in my life. Hard and frequently painful, yet eye-opening, sessions in therapy helped me better cope with and alleviate distressing symptoms, but I was far from complete.
What led and inspired me to pursue a now 15-year coaching career was the powerful realization that feeling emotionally well did not automatically result in living a life I loved. A healthy mind does not necessarily lead directly to a sense of inner joy or peace. You can have all the insight in the world, but unless you take action with that insight, transformations will not occur.
This realization, to me, is the biggest distinction between therapy and coaching. Therapy helps you deeply understand your life. Coaching helps you take action and transform your life based on those understandings!
From Queen of Self-Abandonment to Queen of Self-Empowerment
My diamond-delicious life today, dear reader, is nothing like it use to be. I’m here before you as a vibrant queen of self-empowerment. I have a full-to-overflowing coaching practice, and an incredible second husband/life partner of six years. These years together have been ones of heart-opening intimacy and relationship expansion beyond my wildest dreams. Additionally, I have the blessing of a mutually rewarding and adventurous relationship with my 25-year-old daughter and her partner. In addition I have a dearly treasured circle of dear friends and family.
My empowerment has evolved through commitment to hours of mindfulness, meditation, a devotional prayer life, and investment in my own personal coaching. Perhaps most importantly, I’ve been disciplined in practicing what I’ve termed “Steadfast Heart-Sovereignty;” by this I mean I’ve taken a stand for and fully embody my core essence, energy, values, beliefs, and intuitive knowings.
However, before I was the queen all of this empowerment and good stuff, I was definitely the queen of self-abandonment. This latter title goes way back, beginning in childhood. I learned very early on that my survival (and my attachments to those I needed) demanded that I put myself and my feelings on a back shelf. This was because parts of my essence, which tended toward outrageous exuberance, proved (or so I perceived) threatening to my parents and to some of my friends. I grew up frequently feeling that I was too much, too headstrong, and way too emotional.
Reflections on Self-Abandonment
Sometimes, it just hits you — that pivotal moment when you know something has to change. For me, that moment occurred 15 years ago, tightly wrapped up in a full-blown panic attack. I realized in that instant, amid swirling lights, gasps for air, and a sudden falling to my knees, that my life was far from what I desired or would even deem good enough. In that flash, I let into my awareness that the marriage I was in left me feeling utterly and completely straight-jacketed. It was a feeling eerily similar to the experience I had growing up in my family.
Compromising ourselves, or hiding aspects of our being in an attempt to make relationships work, takes a tremendous amount of psychological energy. Not to mention that by doing so, we become inwardly inclined to then feel extremely empty, lonely, or bored — tell-tale signs of trouble! Once I realized that this was what I was doing in my marriage, and stopped doing so, I was blown away by how much new energy I had for other significant aspects of my life.
In the midst of the horror of my panic attack, I heard an equally powerful calling. It was essential, for the sake of my survival and for overall thriving, that I never again abandon vital parts of myself in an attempt to maintain an attachment to another. From that moment, I committed to living from the heart of all that truly mattered to me. I got a divorce, but I’m happy to say that my ex and I remain on good, friendly terms. Hence one sad and sorry crown was out, and one sparkly, dazzling one was now on my head!
Reclamation of Queendom in Midlife
I started to make amends to my lost, abandoned self and reclaimed her — every ounce and every facet of her being. I promised to never again sacrifice who I was, what I felt, or what I believed in for the sake of maintaining a connection with someone, especially someone unable to value or appreciate me in all my raw glory.
This process of reclamation occurred rapidly once I put my stake in the ground, declaring and decreeing my full sovereignty, presence, and power. That crown was glistening. My midlife experience shifted from one of messy mediocrity to that of pure magnificence. Our words, and our commitment to ourselves, matter. They become the springboard to all that we then manifest.
It was, and still is, from this place of divine and purposeful living that I stepped into a new mission: a commitment to uplift and empower women in midlife! I love, and have become quite masterful at, supporting queens in reclaiming their sacred essence and embracing their sensual, sexy energy and power. Rediscovering one’s inner gold never felt so good!
Crafting a Midlife Manifesto
Let me close this article with a welcoming call to action for my latest offering — a personal invitation to a high-level intimate group coaching experience for visionary women. If you desire to elevate yourself and your life to even more luxurious heights, do check out the link at the end of this article.
Before you is a wonderful opportunity to weave all the unique elements of your existence into a golden tapestry. This is your precious time on the planet — time to stop screwing around! Each and every moment matters immensely. It’s time to hand-craft your own personal manifesto, to decree and declare all that you stand for as your days unfold.
You’ve already lived a thousand lifetimes filled with dynamic experiences. You’ve traveled many paths and weathered numerous challenges to get to this point in time. Yet, something may be holding you back. Perhaps you feel exhausted or disconnected from yourself after constantly giving to others. Maybe you feel weighed down by people, situations, or things that no longer make your heart sing. Or perhaps you’re reluctant to unleash that full majestic power and radiance, afraid that others will feel threatened, jealous, or will judge you harshly.
Here’s what I know: by exercising your will and very deliberately committing to that which you value, you bring those treasures into the light. You unearth your full magnificent power. So, if you’re determined to prioritize bringing all the crucial elements of your inner and outer world into grand focus — to harness that inner gold — let me be your guide!
I’ll support you along with an intimate group of other dedicated women in a super impactful eight-week online coaching experience beginning March 10th. Using impactful techniques, my transformational magic, and the wisdom of the sistermind, you can craft an individualized manifesto. It will become your north star for how you want to live out the rest of your diamond-studded days on this glorious earth. I’ll meet you there!
This article was also published as the March 2022 Cover Story in The Brick Magazine.