"A ship in it's harbor is safe, but that's not what ships are built for". William GT Shedd
I have been doing the work of a coach and facilitator for most of my life and have hundreds of hours of experience. When I was 14 years old I went on a 23-day life changing Outward Bound Course. This was a key moment in my life learning how to survive in a group setting in the wilderness for many days. I found passion in this and became an Outward Bound Instructor myself at age 21, in this competitive program. As an instructor, I hiked students up rocky mountain passes, woke at 4 am to summit peaks and rocked climbed in the wilderness. What I always really love best and what I am best at is the organized group discussions and one-on-one talks, a must for a successful expedition (or any group in life to be able to communication at a level that they are really listening and understanding one another). Today, I see this in family dynamics and know the importance of clearly expressing what you are feeling and who you are. Harmony can proceed when everyone is being accepted for who they are and the specific talents they have to give.
Outdoor trips and travel became my doorway into finding myself and following my dreams. In recently discovering my own core values being: fun, adventure & connection, it is no wonder that I became a Certified Professional Coach focusing on Genuine Parenting. The work includes hosting retreats in Mexico, leading workshops, coaching and my favorite piece: facilitation. Connecting and relating is something that makes me tick. THIS was what it was all about for me. I shifted away from Outward Bound when I met my husband while being a ski bum in Colorado. Rob and I lived a glamorous life in our 20’s, we would work our tails off for 6 months while skiing and traveling the world on a shoestring budget the rest of the time. We were able to learn “school of life” while interacting with people in Sumatra, Malaysia, Nicaragua, and South Africa (to name a few). We were on a learn to surf mission in Panama in 2002, we almost ceremonially burned the board and gave up on surfing, although now we are both enthusiastic surfers and own land in Panama.
Through building a home and living in a tent in the jungle of Panama, I was once again on my own little “Outward Bound” experience of really looking at myself and how I relate to others around me, in this case Rob. We spent years clearing, planting, building, talking, experiencing, learning and growing all in the jungle on a Caribbean island in Panama. Dreamy? Kind of. Real? Yes. That experience can put about 30 years on a 10 year marriage, for better or for worse. It was intense and we had a lot of time together. As we kept working on our relationship actively and growing, I grew in other ways. Our amazing daughter, Zeylia, was born in Panama in Nov 2007. We spent time living in Panama and in the states.
Rob and I started our separation process when Zeylia was about 2. Once again, I realized I needed to look at myself and how I was relating to people around me. I needed some help navigating this change and I got the help. I had walked this road before just in different shoes. My parents got divorced when I was 5. Also, we lost my mom’s boyfriend who I wanted as my step-dad, to a heart attack when I was 8 years old. Grief seems to present itself to us in many ways over the course of our lives. During the separation with Zeylia's dad, I now had a beautiful, vibrant, wild, creative 2 year old in my presence while navigating grief. The theme through life, is that the changes have offered space for me to look at myself and rediscover who I am and how I am in my relationships. So in the discovery of growth through the divorce, Rob and I have really made it work as co-parents. Our family unit is unique and sure takes a lot of communication and compassion. When the communication breaks down it is clear as interactions start to feel like they are falling apart. When we are clear and know what we want ourselves and can express what we want and when the other can hear it and support and respect needs... then we get in the flow of harmony.
Parenting is a passion for me. Wanting to see others show up as their true self is what Genuine Parenting means. I studied to be a DONA trained Postpartum Doula which allowed me into the homes of new parents to be their Mary Poppins. I learned how important it is to listen at critical times and how intense the postpartum and new parenting time is. Support is invaluable. Sometimes it is hard to remember who you are in all that is going on in life. That is what I appreciated finding in a coach, finding clarity about who I am. I also learned the importance of my mindset and that is about the only thing we really have control over. I wish I knew about coaches when Zeylia was young. A few years ago, I kept saying “I need a life coach”, not knowing what one really was. After I hired one, I signed up for an excellent coaching school right away. I knew it tied together all that I had studied and experienced in life. So here I am today. Mom to an 8 year old beautiful child, ex wife to a wonderful man, daughter to my amazing, giving, caring and challenging mom. I am fascinated by how challenging mother daughter relationships can be an I am curious to uncover the key to healing them. I think it is accepting the other person for who they are.
I won’t claim to have it all figured out. It’s life, it gives us what we need. “Change is the only thing that is constant”. I will always be navigating change and challenge. It is an adventure of life, which is fun. So, I can not tell you how to parent. What I have done is a lot of self work over the years. I have learned how to listen to my intuition. I have learned that there are no mistakes and rather there is opportunity for self growth. I have learned how to make it easier and more fun to face everyday experiences and intense life changing experiences. I have learned to know who I am. I have tools in my bag of tricks to use to make life and relationships more enjoyable and fulfilling. I love who I am and what I have to offer. I am grateful for finding this path in life to help others who are ready and willing to go through a path of discovery for personal benefit and benefit of the family around them. I am here.