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About Maria

"I have learned a great deal about the human spirit..."

Maria Sylvester sitting on a green couch smiling radiantlyAs a certified Professional Life Empowerment Coach, and founder of Ann Arbor's Life Empowerment Coaching & Healing Arts Center, I have had the honor and privilege of helping many individuals courageously, confidently and powerfully transform their lives.

For over 25 years before my coaching career, I worked as a psychotherapist providing therapeutic treatment in hospital settings as well as in private practice. My patients achieved amazing results. Nothing was more rewarding than to guide the adolescents, adults and couples I worked with toward the relief and healing they desired. They were able to change dysfunctional behaviors, better cope with psychological symptoms, and feel more content in their lives.

I realized, however, that while helping people overcome emotional problems was essential, the job was not complete. Feeling emotionally well did not necessarily mean my patients went on to experience the lives they always dreamed of…lives that they loved. A healthy mind does not automatically create a sense of inner peace or joy in life. You can have all the insight in the world, but unless you learn take action on that wisdom, transformation does not happen. It was this realization more than anything else that inspired me to become a life coach, because coaching is all about taking action!

My personal journey also played a role in my decision. My life dramatically changed following a series of very difficult, unexpected challenges. These significant experiences gave me a deep, crystal clear sense of the preciousness of life, and the need to live it fully and meaningfully now. The present moment is all we ever really have.

The Journey...

Sometimes it just hits you...that pivotal moment when you know something has to change. You reach that moment and find yourself shouting “No!" It is then that you propel yourself to an expansive, glorious and most powerful "Yes!"

My yes to myself was a commitment to discover, and live from the heart of what really matters. I knew that by focusing my time, energy and inner resources on my priorities, deep fulfillment would follow. 

I have long believed that all the answers are within us. It is necessary, however, to really slow down to hear this wisdom. To determine what truly mattered to me, I carefully listened to, and honored, my thoughts, feelings and daydreams. In doing so, I discovered vital information that I needed to successfully  guide my life choices. I realized my heartfelt longings and intuitions held the answers I was seeking.  

That was when the joy of self-empowerment began to grow within my spirit. I now held the key to more fully understanding who I was as a person and the essence of what mattered to me. I had unlocked a distinct pathway toward true and lasting personal fulfillment.

I was able to embrace life enthusiastically again...treasuring each and every day.

My life was also propelled forward through my determination to thoughtfully examine, and reflect upon, negative, difficult or painful feelings. These feelings led me to reexamine my choices. I let go of the pieces of my life that were broken, unhealthy, or no longer serving me. Problems, anxieties and unhappiness became rich opportunities for growth and transformation. I realized, for instance, that every time I felt empty, lonely or bored, it was important to question what parts of myself I was pushing aside or ignoring.  

Often we push aside important aspects of ourselves when we are trying to maintain a connection with others. By disavowing aspects of our selves, we pay a huge price -the loss of authenticity, personal power and energy. I gradually learned how to reclaim the parts of myself that I had pushed away. I re-embraced my creative inclinations, playful self and passion for connecting meaningfully with others. I was back to feeling aligned with my true essence. I felt vibrant, magnetic, and inspired!

Everyone has a key to self-empowerment if you are willing to reach for it. It is an extraordinary and exhilarating path to take if you wish to discover what makes your life truly meaningful. The journey is rich, juicy, dynamic, personal and profound. It is about manifesting your delicious, divine destiny.

I know and teach many proven methods, techniques, and skills for successfully balancing the vital parts of who we are. Difficult times, hectic calendars and daily stressors can pull us away from what really matters...from living a life you love. The choice to honor your innate spirit, and take full responsibility for your life, enhances your personal power, pleasure, and inner peace.  

Let me coach you home to your magnificent self. I will listen, support, encourage and inspire you toward your goals, dreams, desires and passions. You will awaken your inner genius, and ignite your full power and potential.

As your professional guide, I understand the emotional, spiritual, and psychological signs that will appear along the way. I will coach you toward that wonderful sense of contentment you long for. I dedicate myself to helping you successfully travel your unique journey. You will be amazed at where you arrive! 

I invite you to experience your own special time of personal discovery and mastery. Get ready to embrace your highest self. Get ready to step into your greatness! Get ready to love being you!

A Bit More...

Maria earned her BA and MSW at the University of Michigan. Prior to developing her Life Coaching practice, she worked as a social worker on the Child and Adolescent Inpatient Unit at University of Michigan Hospital, and as a private practice therapist for 25 years. Maria received her coaching certification through the International Coach Academy where she is now a member.

When she is not busy helping people transform their lives, Maria can be found taking walks in nature, Kirtan chanting, creating art, doing spontaneous yoga stretches and enjoying cozy nights at home with her husband and daughter. Tango dance lessons are next on her list!

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