I am a Certified Martha Beck Life Coach.
Prior to becoming a coach, I was an adult educator, human resource professional and a chartered mediator conducting workplace, civil court and family mediations. I have an education degree but what qualifies me most as a coach is the PHD in Stress Recovery I conferred upon myself from the University of To Hell and Back. I battled for this experiential degree every day of the decade I endured suffering from Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS). I earned it and I’m proud of it.
I was living my dream. Great husband, great children, great social life with wonderful friends, good family relationships and a flourishing business in a career I loved. In May 2006 I came home from work one day feeling especially tired and completely unaware of what lay ahead. Over the next four years my health continued to deteriorate. I saw doctor after doctor of many varieties and none of them knew what was wrong. I thought I was working too hard so I cut back. I got worse. I was diagnosed with asthma and went on medications. I got worse. I developed multiple food allergies and changed my diet. I got worse. I stopped working altogether. I got worse. After 4.5 years, I was finally diagnosed with ME/CFS and shortly after, I hit rock bottom. I became so severely ill I was fully disabled. I was barely capable of the most basic self-care. Every system in my body was affected.
I went from being an independent, active, take charge woman to lying flat or sitting in a recliner for up to 22 hours a day. My sleep was very poor. It was a great struggle to walk from my bed to the bathroom. I couldn’t tolerate noise or movement and I was severely cognitively impaired. I lived in isolation with no TV, music, computer or reading of any sort. I could barely speak. I felt like I was hung over and had the flu after running a marathon. I existed like this for over 3 years. Every day I wished I would die and not because I was depressed. Living was hell and according to what I was told, there was little hope of it getting much better. Thankfully, that was wrong and I am now much, much, much better!
In my quest to defy prevailing medical opinion and to find a solution to my very real and devastating illness, I discovered ME/CFS stems from a physical impairment in the brain. I also discovered the science of neural retraining where I learned how to use my brain to heal my brain and my body. It took 2.5 years and incredible perseverance and dedication to get my life back. Now here I am. Healthier, happier and ready to live my amazing life once again.
The part of the brain that is damaged in ME/CFS (Fibromyalgia and Multiple Chemical Sensitivities, too) is the part that manages stress. I was in full-blown fight/flight/freeze stress response 24/7 for years. I got a hugely magnified view of the effects of stress, the damage it causes the body and how it affects the MindBodySpirit.
I am, and will always be, a work in progress. Stress is part of life. We need it and we also need to learn to work with it so it serves us in healthy ways.
All the while I was sick, I kept asking myself, Why me? I don’t mean as in poor me but as in, What am I supposed to do with this? Turns out I learned an incredible amount about stress and about MindBodySpirit healing and I’m destined to pass it on to others through coaching. I now have a toolbox of skills and techniques for calming and harmonizing the MindBodySpirit that I use regularly to keep myself healthy and I’m here to share them with you.
I got a second chance at life. From all the support I received through my darkest days and back to health, I learned it takes a village to heal the unwell. I am here to be part of your village as you de-stress, calibrate your inner compass and live your right life.
Click below to learn about stress.