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The Myth of Multitasking

2014 July 1

By Shirley Oya

My clients often tell me that they can’t slow down.

They constantly multitask, and they say it’s hard to concentrate on one thing at a time. I’ve named this common behavior Frenetic Frenzy and think it’s important to pay close attention to it for these reasons:

1. It’s stressful!

Too much stress, as we all know, is not good for our health, especially our hearts. Did you know that the rate of heart attacks in women under the age of 50 has increased dramatically in the past few years? Here’s the real shocker: Annually, heart disease causes one of every three women’s deaths.

2. The inability to focus impacts our creativity and level of productivity

Studies show that multitasking is a total myth! In fact, our brains can only focus on a single thing at a time.

3. It disconnects us from our friends and family

Think about how hard it is to truly listen to someone when your mind is going in a million different directions.

One of my favorite rituals to help transform Frenetic Frenzy into Peaceful Harmony is to spend five extra minutes in bed and take five deep breaths. I call it Five & Five, and this is how it works:

  • Set your alarm clock five minutes early, and instead of leaping out of bed when it goes off, stay there and focus only on your breath.
  • Take five slow, deep breaths, making sure you exhale fully to get rid of the stale air.
  • Mentally scan your body and notice how you’re feeling. Just relax!
  • If you already pray or meditate, this is a great time for it.
  • It also can be helpful to think of three things for which you’re grateful. Numerous studies in the field of positive psychology reveal how much this simple ritual increases our overall sense of well being and happiness.

If you’re still feeling foggy, that’s actually good, because you’ll get the full benefit of your breathing. While your ‘executive planning’ brain (aka prefrontal cortex) may not have fully kicked in yet, the part responsible for your intuition and creativity (the right hemisphere) is very accessible at this time. This early morning ‘fog’ can be a time of great insights and ideas. Most of the content for my recent video came to me during one of my early morning ‘foggy’ rituals.

Remember to:

  • Keep a pen and pad of paper by your bedside, so you’re ready to jot down your thoughts. If you wait until you get out of bed, you risk forgetting one or all of your great ideas!
  • Have NO expectations for a specific outcome. In other words, don’t start the Five & FIve exercise by writing your to-do lists. Simply be open to what comes to you. There’s no way to predict whether an entire project will be ‘”downloaded,” you’ll recall something critical for a proposal, or you’ll suddenly remember that you need to make an important doctor’s appointment.

Even if nothing comes to mind, this short breathing exercise can help you to start your day feeling calm and focused, and well prepared to handle whatever comes your way.

Until next time, breathe deeply, and BE Calm!

To find out more about Shirley Oya and to sign up for her newsletter, “Tools & Insights For Work-Life Harmony”, click here.

{Giveaway} 15 Minutes That Could Change Your Life

2014 June 26

Maybe you are uneasy about your marriage, or your job, but afraid to face it. So you’ve done nothing and your anxiety just keeps intensifying.

Enter Catharine Ecton, certified life coach, who wants to help you in just 15 minutes. She’s offering powerful (and complimentary) mini-sessions to 20 people. She’ll challenge you with new ideas and action plans to spark positive change in your life.

If you think a session is right for you, send Catharine an email to catharineectoncoaching@gmail.com to sign up!

Meet Coach Carla Beach

2014 January 20

Carla Beach

The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.
—Pablo Picasso

Tell us about your background.

I was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, but I’ve also lived on the East Coast, in Central Texas, San Diego and currently in Los Angeles. I’m a wife of 30+ years, mother of three beautiful, grown daughters and proud grandmother of two.

Prior to becoming a coach, I spent 20 years creating dynamic change in the world as a community activist. I addressed issues ranging from environmental protection and public education to teen/youth development, usually taking a leadership role in community or non-profit organizations. I was especially active in forging partnerships between non-profits, local government agencies, churches and businesses to create positive impacts for the communities in which I’ve lived.

What brought you to coaching?

It was a life-changing event that gave me the psychic push that turned me toward coaching. My husband was diagnosed with cancer in early 2008. While I had toyed with the idea of becoming a coach for a few years, this shocking news somehow gave me an imperative to pursue this course. That spring I began my training with Coaches Training Institute (CTI) and immediately continued with their Certification process. By June of the following year I completed my written and oral exams and received my CPCC Certificate.

Over the course of that year and a half my husband recovered from his bout with cancer. However, the irony of the situation was not lost on me when exactly one year after my husband’s diagnosis—as I was mid-way through my Certification training—I, too, was diagnosed with cancer. I finished my last course of chemo just days before my Certification “finals.”

So how do all of those events connect and what are the lessons learned for me? I guess I have a deep “in the bones” understanding of how impactful coaching can be in a person’s life. An essential part of training to become a coach includes being coached yourself; and I had coaching every step of the way through some very dark times. I understand that a coach cannot fix the unfixable, but can be there to witness, support, challenge, encourage, comfort, communicate and celebrate any event—from the most mundane to the terribly tragic. And there’s great value in that.

Are there any particular life experiences which inform your coaching?

Besides the health challenges that I’ve mentioned above, I would have to include all the moves I’ve made as an adult, many of them trans-continental. I’ve helped my daughters through unthinkable transitions—leaving friends behind and struggling to find their places in unfamiliar territory. I’ve learned how to “create community” in each new place that we’ve lived, and how a new perspective can have a positive impact on a place. I think I’ve also learned that no matter how dark the night, there is always a sunrise coming soon and that we gain strength by allowing ourselves to bathe in that new light. All of those lessons are reflected in the manner in which I coach.

I believe we all have had a Lady Godiva in our lives—someone who championed us when we needed it most.

What is your mission as a coach?

My mission is to help my clients:

  • Tap into their courage when they take the leap to make their dreams come true
  • Move fearlessly toward their goals
  • Create clarity around the issues and challenges they face
  • Summon their strength when they stumble
  • Celebrate the successes they achieve

What kind of client do you most enjoy working with?

I enjoy clients who are working toward a dream and willing to take on challenges.

Sometimes that dream is just out of range of their vision—they know it’s there but they just haven’t quite figured out what it is yet. The process of discovery—discerning what is really important and what can be let go of—is exciting to watch.

Sometimes people get stuck in a life situation that they know isn’t working for them, but they haven’t quite figured out how to make a change. It’s that point when they decide that they are ready to leap—but need a little help to take the first step… That’s when I love to coach.

I understand that change doesn’t really happen in one big leap. It’s a process of baby steps that moves us from one place to another. As a coach, I can offer perspective on that process. At the moment when a client thinks they’ve hit a wall and they are never going to achieve their dreams is when I can remind them of all those baby steps that they’ve already taken, and how far they’ve already come. So a moment of frustration can become one of celebration and renewal.

Tell us about your workshops and presentations.

I have developed an inspirational workshop for women entitled The REAL Lady Godiva™. It begins with the life and legend of the 11th century Saxon noblewoman.

As the story goes, the people of Coventry were suffering under the excessive taxes imposed by Lady Godiva’s husband, the Earl of Coventry. She took pity on them, and appealed again and again to her husband to lighten their burden. As with many husbands, he grew tired of her requests, and said he would grant what she asked only if she would strip naked and ride through the town. Of course, she did exactly that. She put her bare bottom on a horse and rode through the marketplace for the benefit of others. The result was that the Earl did abolish the taxes and the impact on the townspeople was profound.

I believe we all have had a Lady Godiva in our lives—someone who championed us when we needed it most. I know I have!

The workshop takes participants on a journey of remembrance and discovery where they reconnect with the powerful influences in their lives. It is an expedition of envisioning a future where they are using their natural gifts, strengths and skills to create positive change in their world. It is brainstorming and action planning to propel them from awareness into activity. And finally, it is a homecoming to the present with a deeper understanding of the legacies we all receive and pass on to others.

Another way to describe this process is The REAL Lady Godiva Principle™:

  • Recognize the person who impacted your life
  • Envision how gratitude for that gift will impact the world
  • Activate your vision
  • Leave a legacy

The workshop is appropriate for groups sized from 15 to 150 participants. It can be presented as a half-day activity (e.g. for an organizational annual meeting) or a full-day retreat—or just about anything in between. The REAL Lady Godiva™ Workshop is an unforgettable event.

Where and how often do you meet with your clients?

I coach by phone or by Skype. The exact arrangements are flexible depending on the clients’ needs and the compatibility of our schedules.

Additionally, I offer complimentary initial consultations.

What is the most important thing a new client should know about you as their coach?

I bring a wealth of life experience to the table when I coach; however, I know that I have not walked in your shoes. Your life is uniquely yours, and as your coach I focus only on what is important to you. I am willing to walk with you on your journey. I consider it an honor to share your confidences and I am humbled by the trust you place in me.

Meet Coach Sue Bock

2014 January 20

Sue Bock

Tell us about your background.

I’ve been enjoying my nursing career for the past 20 years, sharing my knowledge, compassion and sense of humor with my patients. My passion for life motivates me to impart my gifts of empathy and courage to others and, as a breast cancer survivor. I have a unique perspective into the vulnerability of life. My experience also has made me love travel adventures, which help me appreciate the differences and similarities among us.

Are or have you been married and what’s your view on marriage?

I was married for 15 years but we parted ways when I discovered he no longer loved me. It was a huge challenge for me. My divorce left me broken emotionally, and then the experience allowed me to put myself back together in a much more authentic and full form. Married now to the love of my life, I know that my journey to get here has made me a better wife and partner. I love being married!

Being married to whom you love means you put your whole heart into the relationship. It binds you to that person in ways you never thought possible. In a healthy marriage you have a partner and friend you collaborate with on common goals. There is love, support, and laughter!

What brought you to coaching?

I had everything I ever wanted, but I felt there was something missing, so I decided to see a coach. The experience was quite different from therapy. It gave me a sense of purpose, confidence and peace. People started telling me I was “different,” but they couldn’t put their finger on it. My coach encouraged me to take a coaching course and I fell in love with it.

I help women re-group, empower themselves and breathe a sigh of relief when peace enters their lives.

What is your mission as a coach?

Life transitions are a challenge for all of us. It can be especially challenging for women, given all the changes in our lives. Kids are leaving home; ailing parents add time in doctor offices. Our kids who are home keep us busier than ever, and all the while work is requiring more and more of our time. Work-life balance disappears from the radar. I help women re-group, empower themselves and breathe a sigh of relief when peace enters their lives.

What famous women do you most admire?

To name a few: Oprah, Brene Brown, Hilary Clinton, Madelyn Albright and Kate Middleton. I admire their strength of character, vulnerability, intelligence and leadership.

How do women most sabotage themselves?

We’re excellent at over analyzing, feeling we’re not good enough, and then try to over compensate for it. I did this all the time, until I found coaching.

What kind of client do you most enjoy?

I enjoy working with clients who are ready for change, searching for change, yearning for change, and know that what they’ve been doing isn’t working anymore. They want answers and are ready to do what it takes to get them.

Where and how often do you meet with your clients?

Almost all of my coaching is done via phone or Skype with great clients around the world. We generally meet for three 40 to 50 minute sessions per month. Our typical coaching sessions are conversations about living courageously, discovering who you want to be, and learning how to use the tools available to get there.

Tell us about your workshops and presentations.

I discovered that I love to speak and conduct workshops. I currently work with two other women in what we call the “Women in Transition Team.” We conduct events that help women see who they are, use that knowledge to brand themselves, and then learn how to show up authentically with style.

What is the most important thing a new client should know about you as their coach?

A client should know that I love her. I stand by her side to support her through rough patches in her current life transition and to help her arrive at a place of peace of mind and happiness.

Being human makes us vulnerable, but also brings us community. When clients feel they share things with others, their sense of hopelessness ebbs. I have the ability to listen and hear past their pain, without trivializing it, and to offer ways for them to manage the process and remain accountable. It makes my heart soar!

Meet Dr. Phil Brown

2014 January 20

Dr. Phil Brown

Age: 64

Tell us a bit about your background.

I live in Colorado Springs, Colorado, along the front range of the Rocky Mountains in full view of Pikes Peak. I have undergraduate and graduate degrees in history and systems management, a Doctorate of Management, and I am a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach from the Coaches Training Institute and certified as an Associate Certified Coach by the International Coaching Federation.

I was a pilot most of my career and am now retired from the Air Force. My two daughters and their families live close by so we see each other frequently. I am a travel junkie, and enjoy golf and riding my Harley through the mountains.

Are or have you been married and what’s your view on marriage?

I have been married to my one true love since 1971 and she is the most intelligent, compassionate, and interesting person I’ve ever known. It helps to be married to someone who is your friend and partner in love to get you through the joys and hard work of being a couple, partners, parents and grandparents. I think that marriage is a personal decision for two people that may work in extraordinary fashion or may not work and needs to be appraised.

As many women search for being all things to everyone and helping others all the time, they focus less on themselves as individuals.

What brought you to coaching?

My doctoral studies and dissertation led the way for me to research and deep dive into coaching. Following graduation my dissertation committee urged me to continue my studies and attain certification as an executive, leadership, and personal coach. It made sense for me to pursue coaching since I enjoy the messiness of human contact and I discovered it makes a difference in people’s lives and pursuits.

What is your mission as a coach?

I am a lighthouse that illuminates paths and possibilities in partnership with fascinating people. I enjoy seeing someone’s eyes brighten during those aha moments and assisting with the hard work it takes to get there.

Are there any particular life experiences that inform your coaching?

My marriage, my children, and my grandchildren continually open my eyes to the art of the possible. Plus, my time in the Air Force flying jets, training new pilots, and flying in combat have all shaped and inform who I am and my approach. The doctoral journey and coaching certification process were both transformational and informative.

What famous women do you most admire?

I admire women with intellect and drive, including Golda Meir, Eleanor Roosevelt, Marie Curie, Florence Nightingale, Sally Ride, Cher, and Katharine Hepburn. It would be a treat to listen to this group, sitting around a table and talking from their hearts and minds.

How do women most sabotage themselves?

Each woman approaches her day differently. As many women search for being all things to everyone and helping others all the time, they focus less on themselves as individuals. A search for individual strengths and individual interests requires individual permission to create and take personal time. It often is a challenge to give yourself permission to being in addition to doing.

What kind of client do you most enjoy?

I enjoy the client who wants more, wants to work on her strengths, capitalize on her knowledge, and work hard to get there. I have particular interest in those in transition.

Where and how often do you meet with your clients?

It depends on the client. I can meet in person in my local area, although many of my sessions are on the phone. Sessions are usually two or three times a month, each for 30 to 45 minutes.

What is the most important thing a new client should know about you as her coach?

I will be there and we will get there. I am committed to each client’s success, will act with integrity and honesty, listen without judgment, challenge the stated and unstated words in our conversations, and partner with her every step of the journey. This is a transformative and meaningful journey.

Meet Coach Barbara Korosec

2014 January 17

Barbara Korosec

Age: Late Fifties

Tell us about your background.

I left a Fortune 100 company in 2012 to create the life of my choosing, which included coaching. I’ve been fortunate to have had some really cool and enriching experiences, first as a naval officer and then as a Learning and Development Director at the major company. As a leadership instructor at the U.S. Naval Academy, I worked with 1,300 freshmen. I’ve managed a $450 million program for the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and I’ve coached new and emerging executives as they transitioned to positions of greater responsibility. I love nature, creating beautiful gardens, and tending the 75 acres that comprise a future retreat center. I have master degrees in Finance, International & Strategic Studies, and Human Performance, as well as certifications in several assessment instruments for individuals and teams.

Are or have you been married, and what’s your view on marriage?

I recently married Kate, my partner of 23 years, because we finally could. My Navy career came to an abrupt and premature end in 1997 when my relationship with Kate came to light. This experience taught me a lot about leaning in and asking for help. It taught me a lot about resilience. I was closeted for years, living in fear of being found out. The real gift of this experience was to shine a light on shame, move beyond it, and to open up my heart to greater connection with others. This adversity, as painful as it was at the time, served to strengthen our relationship.

I view the decision to marry or not as an individual choice, and one that should be available to everyone. Beyond that, my view of marriage (like any relationship that matters) is that it requires ongoing care and attention. Assumptions can come up that benefit from clearing. There’s a need to align with one another on an ongoing basis about expectations, dreams and needs. We’re not only in our own process of life; we’re joined with another in the experience. That creates a need to balance and honor both the “me” and the “we.”

What brought you to coaching?

The constant theme in my life has been around bringing out the best in others. This showed up in early teaching experiences, in leadership, as an internal consultant working with leaders and their teams, and ultimately, in coaching. My introduction to coaching was serendipitous when my former company sought out people to train as internal executive coaches. Going through the coach training changed my life. What an amazing way to be in service of the growth, dreams, and goals of others! What an amazing way to live my life on-purpose. I love the way the universe calls with what we need. We just have to pay attention when the phone rings!

I’m passionate about making a difference & I believe it’s an honor to be with someone who is on a journey to create something vitally important for herself.

What is your mission as a coach?

Fundamentally, I believe that we all want a fulfilling life, with no regrets and no ‘woulda, coulda shoulda’ sentiments. It charges me up to see clients seek this. A friend gave me a block of wood with the inscription, ‘Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.’ This has become my mission—to help people create the life they want and to be the person they want to be as they live it. This is a life of aliveness and choice, a life lived on purpose; a life rich with what matters most.

Are there any particular life experiences that inform your coaching?

Two recent experiences most inform my coaching: The first, a 10-month leadership program through the Coaches Training Institute, fine tuned my listening and gave me much greater range as a leader and a coach. The second experience is a certification program for Equine Facilitated Learning and Coaching. Horses are amazing and wise teachers! This experience is teaching me to open up my perceptive abilities and intuition.

What famous women do you most admire?

I admire women of strong convictions who are fiercely courageous and passionately advocate for what they believe. They are self-determining and plant their own garden. These women include Maya Angelou, for her wisdom, clarity, and grace and her ability to cross lines of race through her elegant prose; Lynn Twist, for challenging our relationship with money, her conscious philanthropy, and her focus on a just and sustainable world; Amelia Earhart, for (literally) flying in the face of conventional feminine behavior in pursuit of her dream, and Oprah Winfrey, for bringing so much to everyday women and bravely demonstrating her humanity.

How do women most sabotage themselves?

Women are more apt to presume they aren’t capable, especially when presented with new challenges. They are more likely to minimize their past experiences and not accept that they are resourceful, capable, and equipped for the challenge. The sabotaging inner talk that comes with this often is further fueled by buying into an image suggested by others; by seeking validation from external sources.

What kind of client do you most enjoy working with?

I love coaching clients who are in key passages of their lives, whether personal or professional. I also love to work with passionate and motivated people who willing to look deeply inside themselves and are keen on making the transformational changes necessary to reach their goals.

Where and how often do you meet with your clients?

Almost all of my coaching is done via phone. I’m open to Skype calls and meeting in person. Logistically, it doesn’t work as well. We generally meet for two 60 minute sessions per month. I find that this session duration and frequency allows time for insight and shifts—both within and between the sessions. That said, if you would like a different arrangement just ask and let’s see what we might design together.

Tell us about your workshops and presentations.

One innovative workshop features horses as teachers/coaches and can be taken individually or in a group. Designed to jump-start insight and change, they include different ground-based individual activities with the horses, typically in a 60-foot round pen.

I’m also certified to deliver workshops on The Bigger Game®, which were created to inspire executives, leaders and individuals to get out of their comfort zones and invent the lives they want. It was designed with the premise that life itself is one big game, so why not play it with excitement, fulfillment and challenge? At its core, The Bigger Game helps people find their compelling purpose. It is an innovative model that guides us to create a set of circumstances that will intentionally design who we want to become.

What is the most important thing new clients should know about you as their coach?

I’m passionate about making a difference and I believe it’s an honor to be with someone who is on a journey to create something vitally important for herself. It’s nothing short of sacred to witness moments of doubt, of truth, and of triumph. One of my signature strengths is that I create safety that permits my clients to step into their full range of humanity—messy, gooey, juicy, and beautiful. I’m likely to hold you bigger and more capable than you’ve ever been held before. Consequently, I’ll challenge you to step out of business as usual and not settle for playing small.

Barb is a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach (C.P.C.C.) and a graduate of CTI’s Co-Active Leadership Program. She’s certified by the International Coaching Federation. Reach her by calling (315) 841-8370 or emailing bkorosec@frontier.com.

Meet Coach Gabriella Rattner

2014 January 17

Gabriella Rattner

What brought you to life coaching?

I’ve been married for 42 years and have two amazing adult daughters, one a teacher and the other a social worker. Being in a long-term relationship has taught me many things about behavior, responses, reactions and what drives us and if that driver is in our best interest.

I’ve worked in healthcare administration for over 30 years. Throughout my career I’ve had the opportunity to be a ‘safe space’ for people to share their thoughts and become more aware of their habits and what motivates them. My dream was to find a way to take these special sessions and create a coaching opportunity.

I will celebrate your courage and strength. I will never judge you and we will work together towards you not judging you either.

Dreaming, however, wasn’t going to get me to act and live my best life. It wasn’t until I started working with my own life coach, in 2009, that I discovered I really could create the life I always wanted.

My coach offered me a safe, honest and encouraging space in which to have unchartered conversations and to go deep and work with my fears about change and possibilities. Having someone really listen to me and hear the things I could not myself distinguish fueled me ahead. The fulfillment, balance and empowerment most of us crave are attainable. As a Certified Life Coach I can offer this same safe, honest and encouraging space for you to design the life you want to live and to enjoy it.

Live the life you love. I welcome you to www.lifecoachingwithgabriella.com.

Where and how often do you meet with your clients?

Almost all of my coaching is done via phone. My clients and I generally speak for two to three 45-50 minute sessions each month. Within that relationship I also send questions to ponder and am available via email to respond to any questions a client may have. I offer a complimentary, 30-minute introductory session to explore whether we can have a successful partnership.

What is the most important thing a client should know about you?

That I am totally invested in and honor you and your journey. I may never meet you in person, but when you invite me to work with you I take that very seriously and will support and guide you with all that I know and all that I am. I will always remind you of your amazingness and our work will include opportunities to try new approaches, behavior and actions. I will celebrate your courage and strength. I will never judge you and we will work together towards you not judging you either. I am really excited and looking forward to connecting with you and working together.

Meet Coach Sherry Matheson

2014 January 9

Sherry Matheson

Age: 46

Tell us about your background.

I am 46 years young, married with a blended family of five girls and one boy, and two dogs. I worked for 17 years as a corporate paralegal at various mid size law firms and then in the legal department at a large corporation. Before becoming a corporate paralegal I worked in the oil and gas industry for 6 years.

Why did you decide to leave your profession and become a coach?

I was working until 11:30 at night and weekends at the big corporation and I burned myself out after three years. I didn’t have the right skills and tools to be in that environment and developed shingles on the backs of my knees to the point where I was sitting in my doctor’s office and she was handing me a prescription for anti-depressants and wanting me to take a leave of absence. I decided I needed to quit my job in order to heal and get better. We are a blended family with six kids and it wasn’t an easy decision.

I accidentally discovered coaching after I quit working as a paralegal and started my training five months later with the Coaches Training Institute at the University of Calgary.

We often put everyone else first. It’s the ‘nice girl syndrome.’

My coaching style has a big focus on positive psychology, so if beating yourself up isn’t working for you and you’re not feeling empowered, I can help.

Explain your approach to health and wellness coaching.

I take a comprehensive approach to health and wellness by looking at how all the areas of your life are connected to your wellbeing. I like to open up the realm of positive possibilities for others. I feel my journey prepared me well to understand and emphasize with my clients and makes me a better coach.

I create action plans to help my clients make the sustainable changes necessary to improve their health and live better quality lives. We tackle issues such as managing stress, increasing energy, achieving more balance, sleeping better, eating healthier, getting into more movement, achieving and maintaining an ideal weight, reducing food cravings, improving self perception, improving relationships, increasing productivity, and enhancing decision making.

Health and wellness coaching combines psychology, behavioral change theory and life coaching. The field is on a swift positive trajectory due to the evidence demonstrating its role in improved client/patient outcomes, medical compliance, employee health and productivity, and lower health care costs. Health and wellness coaching effectively bridges the gap between traditional, organized healthcare and behavioral change.

How do women most sabotage themselves?

We often put everyone else first. It’s the ‘nice girl syndrome.’ My coaching style has a big focus on positive psychology, so if beating yourself up isn’t working for you and you’re not feeling empowered, I can help.

I’d like to share a testimonial from one client, who wrote: ‘I’m never usually at a loss for words, but I find myself hesitating to express my gratitude because words alone can’t convey my emotions. What I originally thought was going to be a simple plan for weight loss and exercise, to my surprise and delight turned into a journey of self-discovery and self-acceptance, of which you were the catalyst. From our first coaching session you had the wisdom and listening skills to pinpoint my needs. The information you forwarded to assist me in working on my goals was invaluable. You will forever hold a place in my heart as the person who helped introduce me to a better version of myself.” —Sharon, Ontario

Why is your company called “Ingredients For A Healthy Lifestyle?”

Each client is unique and so are her ingredients to create a healthy lifestyle. What roles do eating, exercise, work, family, etc. play in her life and how can she balance them to achieve her goals?

Where and how often do you meet with clients?

I coach the majority of my clients over the phone so they can be located anywhere. Our calls are 50 minutes long, twice a month, and we have unlimited email contact.

read more…

Meet Coach Mandasmita Singh

2013 December 6

Mandasmita Singh

Age: 39

Tell us about your background.

My family and I live in Vancouver, Canada. I am a graduate in Humanities from Calcutta University, India, and have been a learning and development professional for the last 17 years, as well as a coach for a little over a decade. I love people and diversity. I love reading, traveling, music, laughing, a good cup of coffee and spending time with my family and friends.

Are you or have you been married? What is your view on marriage?

I have been married to an extraordinary man for the last 8 years and together we have two kids.

I believe that marriage is a partnership, and as in every relationship, you get back what you put in. Marriage may not be the answer for all problems and may not be suitable for all.

We have a saying that goes: “Never advise a man to go to war or get married!!”

What brought you to coaching?

I have always loved working with different types of people and I’ve had many opportunities to connect with people, at many levels, as a learning and development professional and management trainer. I have always been curious about who we are and what we’re doing.

A corporation where I once worked gave me an opportunity to train as a business coach. After the training, I began coaching internally. Years later I enrolled in another intensive coaching program and earned certification. Since then I have continued internal business coaching and expanded externally into life coaching.

Coaching gives me the opportunity to connect with people at a level that is most authentic and pure. It is a deep and beautiful connection between my core and my client’s core. Each coaching interaction not only benefits my client and takes her closer to where she wants to be in her life at that moment; it also fulfills me like no other interaction, humbles me and enriches me as a human being.

Coaching resonates with my life purpose to connect with people to discover who we truly are.

What is your mission as a coach?

I believe that we’re all here for a reason. I work together with my clients to discover their life purpose and live the life of their dreams. It is a beautiful journey and immensely rewarding to see others find their precious “aha” moments!

Coaching gives me the opportunity to connect with people at a level that is most authentic and pure.

It is a deep and beautiful connection between my core and my client’s core.

Are there any particular life experiences that inform your coaching?

My parents were not suited to one other and their bitter divorce at first created self- limiting beliefs in me and made me feel socially stigmatized. However, I soon realized that it was I, not society, who was responsible for my own fears and limitations.

Secondly, when I moved to the United Arab Emirates after marrying I was introduced to a culture and society that were far different than what I knew. This change initially made me uncomfortable and grumpy, but I slowly learned to appreciate diversity and the richness it represents.

My clients do not have preconceived notions of who they are, which helps me to embrace them wholeheartedly so we can work together to eradicate their self- limiting beliefs and help them find the magnificent selves they truly are.

The biggest lessons I’ve learned are never to over analyze situations and never to regret, but to make the most out of what life has to offer and move on.

What famous women do you admire?

Every woman is admirable as she juggles her daily life. I admire women who love and respect themselves.

How do women sabotage themselves?

Women try to please everyone and do the right thing by others’ standards. They also try to be superwomen. I think we need to hug ourselves and be kind to ourselves.

What kind of client do you most enjoy working with?

I love clients who are in transitions, whether big or small, such as career or lifestyle changes. My recent work with women leaders has been an enriching experience.

What is the most important thing new clients should know about you as their coach?

I am authentic with them and I love them.

Meet Coach Susan Tolles

2013 November 22

Susan Tolles

Age: 57

Tell us about your background.

For most of my adult life, I was a stay-at-home mom, raising my three children and volunteering in the community. I had a few part-time jobs along the way, including women’s ministry at my church and nine years as a school board trustee, serving four as president. Soon after my youngest left for college, it hit me hard: I was an over-50 empty-nester with at least 30 more good years ahead of me, and I had no idea what I was going to do. I was intelligent and energetic, with a degree in finance and experience in banking and accounting. But I was terrified of re-entering the workforce, thinking I had nothing to offer. Who on earth would hire someone like me? How would the “rich life experiences” I’d had over the past 24 years look when comparing me to someone who was younger, had more current skills, and had a better memory than mine?

After searching my soul for what I wanted to do, I realized that I wanted to be independent, to find something that used my God-given gifts and strengths, and that would be meaningful to me and for others. I knew I couldn’t find that new identity sitting at home, so I mustered up the courage to get out and start networking. The dynamic women I met energized me, and I discovered that I had an entrepreneurial spirit.

I took a giant leap out of my comfort zone to try something I had never done, following my intuition and allowing myself to be creative and take a risk. On February 1, 2010, I launched FlourishOver50.com, and it has been an exhilarating ride ever since.

The website has led me to become a Certified Dream Coach®, published author and a professional speaker, more than I had ever allowed myself to imagine. I have emerged as a woman over 50, following her passions and becoming the amazing woman God created me to be.

When I was focused on my website, I measured my success by my Google ranking. Today, I measure it by the lives I am changing on a much deeper level.

Embrace “good is good enough,” quit comparing yourself to others, and set your standards at human levels.

Wonder Woman does not exist!

Tell us about your family.

I have been married to Jim for 34 years, and we have three totally amazing adult children. I couldn’t be more proud as a mom! We have a very close-knit family and still travel together when we can.

What brought you to coaching?

The more I got to know the women in the Flourish Over 50 community, the more I began to understand that so many of them were searching for their identity in midlife as they were transitioning through the empty nest, divorce, career burnout and were just wanting to live life on their own terms for a change. I wanted to inspire and equip them to flourish, inside and out, so they could find the clarity and deep sense of purpose they were longing for. I became a Certified Dream Coach®, and soon afterwards wrote my own coaching program, based on my own transformation and what I had learned from other women. When I saw lives being changed through this process, I knew I had found my true calling. There is nothing more fulfilling for me than to be part of the “aha” moment when a woman discovers her life purpose and is truly excited about life again.

What is your mission as a coach?

My Life Purpose Statement is “To inspire and equip women to flourish, inside and out” and I do that through coaching, speaking, and writing. My heart’s desire is for each woman I work with to find clarity, direction and a renewed sense of purpose about her future, and to let her brilliance shine!

Are there any particular life experiences that inform your coaching?

I can truly say “I’ve been there, done that,” when a woman tells me she has lost her identity and is fearful about the future. I have been through the roller coaster of emotions that accompany midlife transitions, combined with menopause, and have emerged with a vision bigger than I ever thought possible. When a woman is describing her lack of confidence in herself, I can say, “I get it. Now let’s walk this road together as you learn to let your brilliance shine.”

This also has been a deeply spiritual journey for me, and I have grown tremendously in my Christian faith. Many women want that component in their coaching, and I freely share that part of myself as I lead them through a faith-based process.

Tell us about your programs.

I wrote the ”Reinvention Road Trip” based on my own midlife reinvention and what I had discovered about living with clarity, purpose and freedom to be who you really want to be. I kept hearing ‘I feel like I am stuck in a rut,’ and ‘I am just spinning my wheels, going nowhere fast,’ so I created a system that gets women unstuck and moving forward with confidence and ease. This program teaches women to:

  • Unload the heavy baggage of guilt, fear, self-doubt, perfectionism and toxic relationships
  • Vision their “dream destination,” their ideal life in the short and long term
  • Unpack their unique gifts, skills and values to make the journey fulfilling and reduce stress
  • Identify their “custom license plate,” their life purpose statement
  • Create a detailed road map for the future, aligned with their life purpose
  • Say NO without guilt! It’s easy, once you align your life with your purpose

I use this process with my VIP Clients, and it is also available as a self-study program.

For women who say ‘I just don’t have time for all this!’ I have “30 Days to Get Out of Your Rut in 10 Minutes a Day,” with inspiration and quick action steps to get them moving a little at a time.

Tell us about your speaking presentations and workshops.

I love to speak to women’s groups and lead retreats, and one of my most popular presentations is “Focused or Frazzled? 10 Keys to Finding the Balance When You’re Overwhelmed, Over-stressed and Unfulfilled.” Women walk away with tools to help them remain focused and stress-free when chaos is all around.

Two others that really resonate with women are “From Paralyzed to Productive: Conquering perfectionism and procrastination to reach your highest potential,” and “Reinvention Road Trip: Your Amazing Journey with God.” It’s hard for me to believe how much I enjoy professional speaking now, because I have always been such an introvert!

How do women most sabotage themselves?

Perfectionism is a huge obstacle for most women, causing stress, low self-esteem, exhaustion and disappointment. In their never-ending quest to be manager of the universe, women think they have to be all things to all people, looking like they have it all together on the outside when they are crumbling on the inside. It is so important to lighten up! Embrace “good is good enough,” quit comparing yourself to others, and set your standards at human levels. Wonder Woman does not exist!

Also, most women spend their lives putting themselves at the bottom of their to-do lists. They sacrifice their own dreams, and often their emotional and physical health, because they have been taught to put everyone else first. Then, when they finally want to do something nice for themselves, they feel guilty. I teach women to “fill their own cup first,” because they can’t give away what you don’t have. It is a major shift in mindset, but it will re-energize and renew anyone who commits to it.

What kind of client do you most enjoy working with?

I love working with women in their mid lives who are seeking greater purpose in life, especially those going through a major transition. Reaching the empty nest period, going through divorce, becoming a widow or experiencing career burnout all lead to the questions “Who am I, and what am I going to do with the rest of my life?” Sorting through the emotions and creating a plan for a fulfilling, joy-filled future can seem overwhelming. I provide the support, guidance, encouragement and accountability women need to make powerful, positive changes in midlife.

Where and how often do you meet with your clients?

I have had clients from Australia to Canada to Florida, so there are certainly no distance limitations. We meet via phone or Skype, for either two one-hour sessions per month, plus two 15-minute check-ins, or four 30-minute sessions. I require a 90-day commitment in the beginning, because real change takes time, and I want my clients to have a solid foundation before they leave the coaching relationship. Many choose to continue long past those initial 90 days.

What is the most important thing a new client should know about you as their coach?

I connect with each client on a deep level, and lead her gently through these major life changes. I see her as immensely valuable, with an inner radiance that is meant to shine brightly, even when she can’t see it herself. Together, we will throw off the heavy weights that are holding her back, and then we will open up the future with a vision that allows her to grow into the amazing woman she was created to be. I will be right there beside her all the way as her cheerleader, navigator, accountability partner and friend.

Susan offers complimentary 30-minute CLARITY Sessions that may be scheduled through her online calendar.

Meet Coach Clare Lee

2013 November 22

Clare Lee

Age: 66

Tell us about your background.

I live in York, England, UK. I have a BSc in Biology from Bristol University, a Postgraduate Certificate in Education and a Masters in Education from York University. I am a Certified Professional Coactive Coach (2006) with the Coaches Training Institute and a graduate of CTI’s Leadership program. I’ve been a biology teacher, a personal assistant to a corporate executive and have worked in national government organizations. I launched my own small company in 2010, and among other work have provided leadership and team working and coaching to over 800 doctors in the UK.

I love travel, visits with family and friends, cooking, reading, and Pilates. I sing with a wonderful women’s harmony group called ‘Track 29’ based in York UK. I’m interested in art and fabric, including lace-making and collecting lace bobbins.

People are amazing, and however tough
the challenges are that face us at different times of life, it is clear that we can each find what suits us and come through changes and challenges in ways that are positive and contribute to the world brilliantly.

Are or have you been married, and what’s your view on marriage?

I am very fortunate in being happily married for 39 years. We were both school teachers for many years so even though miscarriage meant that we didn’t become parents ourselves we each have good understanding of the joys and challenges involved in parenting, and love to be a ‘great’ aunt and uncle to our delightful nieces, nephews and their wonderful children.

In my extended family and friendships and from coaching over the years, many people I care about have been through relationship and partnership break-up, are single parents, or have lost a child or partner, and then have found satisfying new paths through new partnerships, remarriage, adoption, or choosing to remain single.

People are amazing, and however tough the challenges are that face us at different times of life, it is clear that we can each find what suits us and come through changes and challenges in ways that are positive and contribute to the world brilliantly. I love to coach people at times of transition and change as they explore possibilities for themselves and make newly enlightened choices to achieve what’s next for them, what will support them in thriving!

What brought you to coaching?

While consulting for one national government organization, I had the opportunity to be coached for three months. The coaching helped me make some difficult life choices I faced at that time.

The experiential and action learning resonated with me because I already knew how effective those approaches could be for young people’s and adult learning, so the first chance I got I enrolled with CTI, gained my professional coach qualification and later on completed CTI’s wonderful leadership program. In 2008 I also became a team development coach with Team Coaching International.

What is your mission as a coach?

My business and coaching mission is to invite one million people to engage in delightfully creative conversations in the clear direction of THRIVING!

We need well being! I want all of us to learn more about how we can ‘revive’, by which I mean ‘come alive – wake up, bring light’ and how we can ‘thrive’ in our lives – and to practice what we learn. There is a grand aspect of that, too, in that if each of us can make and celebrate some progress, however small, as individuals and in our relationship with each other and the environment, then that has a positive impact worldwide and for all life. Wow!

Are there any particular life experiences that inform your coaching?

Yes, a recent example is how our father, now 100, looked after our mother, who had Alzheimer’s, until he was 97. My two married brothers and I helped support them. This time of illness and bereavement, as well as competing demands of life and work, was a period of immense learning.

Coaching helps us develop positive ways to move forward, so I look at the example I give here and I remember my father talking about his ‘stalwart’ children. Dad was always resilient and I practiced being resilient through this experience of emotional upheaval. I gained new wisdom from it that I wanted to share, so I developed my new ‘Revive and Thrive’ program.

Who are some famous women you most admire?

Hilary Clinton, who could become President of the United States in her sixties; Tina Turner for how she turned her life around and just goes for it on stage with such aliveness, sensuality and immense energy and Wendy Cope, the poet, for her ironic sense of humour and unusual poetry.

How do women most sabotage themselves?

We sabotage ourselves by limiting our thinking and beliefs—which may not always be entirely conscious—and preventing ourselves from either seeing possibilities or making changes. Coaching helps us shed habits that don’t serve us. It helps us move on and to feel good about ourselves as we make changes and create new contributions.

What kind of client do you most enjoy working with?

Anyone who is experiencing transition or change in her life, is facing major change or challenge, or who is overwhelmed. I unravel tangled threads. I enjoy supporting my clients as they choose and weave what’s next. This could include helping a working woman decide whether to go back to work after having a child; a woman who feels sad or lost because her children are about to leave home or she’s about to retire, or a woman coping with elderly parent care. I love women who want to dare something different.

Where and how often do you meet with your clients?

Most of my coaching is by phone or Skype. The first introductory meeting, a ‘discovery session’, is designed to explore and answer questions and to find out more about the person, what she requires and what pattern and frequency of coaching will best work.

Tell us about your workshops and presentation.

My new 8-week “Revive and Thrive” course will be offered online starting January 2014. We all know we can learn great things, yet we don’t always know how to put what we learned into practice in our own lives. “Revive and Thrive” is a chance to alter that!

What is the most important thing a new client should know about you as her coach?

I want you to gain the benefits of coaching in a gently enjoyable way. Great coaching can take us where we want to be faster, as well as help us practice and sustain what we’ve learned. It’s all about growth. The coaching relationship is vitally important so I provide free introductory 30-60 minute conversations by phone or Skype so that you can make a no-obligation choice.

Clare currently provides 30 minute free no obligation online consultations.
Please email clare@reviveandthriveuk.com to set a mutually convenient date and time,
checking the international time differences in advance.

36 Reasons To Give Mantra Buttons

2013 November 14

Betsy Karp, who calls herself The Colour Coach, says she can help you start transforming your life today. Through the simple use of color, she will give you the tools that teach you how to shift your energy, attitude and perspective. A former artist, textile and fashion designer, Betsy is now a certified health and wellness counselor. She helps women–mind, body and soul–to “paint the picture” of their lives. Read more of our interview with Betsy.

“Mini mantras are your daily dose of self love,” says Betsy. “They are a fun, playful way to connect to those around you. Use them to feel empowered, positive and focused. Let them define who you want to be.” We couldn’t stop thinking of reasons to gift them! Here are 36 fun, serious, heartfelt, friendly and clever reasons to give a mini mantra button to someone or to wear one yourself!

read more…

Meet Coaches Analisa & Jeffrey Rutstein

2013 October 18

Analisa & Jeffrey Rutstein

Age: Between the two of us, we’re 97 years young. And we both feel fabulous! (Imagine big grin with a wink!)

Are or have you been married, and what’s your view on marriage?

AnaLisa: We were both previously divorced and have been together for 14 years. Marriage with the right person can be a wonderful experience, while marriage to the wrong person can be a lesson and an opportunity for growth and healing, even if that includes leaving the other person.

We believe that relationships can be the most important catalysts for growth and maturity, and that learning to deepen love and compassion for one’s self and for your partner is one of the many riches to be reaped in a long-term committed relationship.

Kids?

AnaLisa: Jeffrey’s two children from his previous marriage are blessings to us in many different ways. While step parenting can present many challenges, and life with children can become stressful, there is joy of seeing them develop and grow into passionate, caring adults and set off into the world on their own.

Where did you grow up and what did your parents do?

AnaLisa: I was born in Brooklyn, NY and grew up in Marlboro, NJ. My father was an entrepreneur who owned several businesses, and my mother is a writer and active in community affairs.

Jeffrey: I was born in Washington, DC and grew up in Silver Spring, MD. My father was a dentist, and my mother was a social worker.

What did you do before The Effort Less Method™ for Lasting Weight Loss?

Jeffrey: I have been a Clinical Psychologist for over 33 years and AnaLisa, who has an MA in psychology, has been working with women as a health coach and body therapist, helping women heal their relationships with food, their bodies, weight, and their lives.

Why and what inspired you to create The Effort Less Method™ for Lasting Weight Loss?

Jeffrey: It was a confluence of many things. AnaLisa had struggled with weight for the majority of her life, trying every diet and weight loss plan under the sun and in the process gaining and losing hundreds of pounds.

AnaLisa: More than 8 years ago I weighed 226 pounds and was miserable. I hated my body and was frustrated, ashamed, and sick and tired of a lifetime of gaining and losing the same 30 pounds. My health also was suffering. I had tried every diet and weight-loss plan around, many more than once, and had consulted world-class therapists, specialists, and participated in numerous programs, all to no avail.

I really felt how struggling only produces more struggling; the harder you try, the harder you keep trying. And often you keep getting into the same traps, over and over again.

Struggling only creates and maintains the problem. The key was to stop the cycle, to stop the struggle.

One night I finally hit rock bottom. After eating two pizzas, two pints of Ben & Jerry’s, and a large bag of Cheese Doodles, I started feeling very sick. Sitting on my couch, I burst into tears. They weren’t quiet tears. I was wailing! And I heard myself saying out loud, ‘I just can’t do this anymore! I feel like I am going to burst! I can’t continue living this way! Something has to change!’

I felt like dying. I was so hopeless and so sick of myself and of my struggle with food and weight. I felt like I was broken. Food could no longer numb me. Somewhere, somehow I felt that there must be more to life than this.

Just then, my Jeffrey came in and found me in a puddle on the couch, sobbing and covered in Cheese Doodle crumbs. He had just returned from leading an all-day mindfulness meditation retreat and showed me a Chinese Finger puzzle he had received that day. It was the kind that became tighter around your fingers the more you struggled to remove it.

As I played with the toy something clicked in me. I really felt how struggling only produces more struggling; the harder you try, the harder you keep trying. And often you keep getting into the same traps, over and over again. Struggling only creates and maintains the problem.

The key was to stop the cycle, to stop the struggle.

When I finally relaxed and exerted less effort, I finally got free of the finger puzzle and that changed how I saw everything.

Jeffrey and I talked for hours that night, and for days and weeks after that about finding a way that works, because up until then, nothing had. Our weeks and months of exploration and experimentation evolved into what is now known as “The Effort Less Method™ for Lasting Weight Loss” and “True Food Technology™”.

What is the mission of The Effort Less Method™ for Lasting Weight Loss?

Jeffrey: We help women finally lose the weight and keep it off without struggle or deprivation, so they can have the energy, confidence and health to live the life for which they long. We want to help transform the way women lose weight, but also help them end the struggle and internal war that they wage against excess weight, which causes unnecessary suffering.

Tell us about your Workshops
.

Jeffrey: We do on-line and in-person groups, and also do in-person group weekend events—all aimed at helping women become empowered to gain the body and life they have been craving, while letting go of struggle, deprivation, and denial. Our work is a fun mixture of teaching, discussion, and experiential exercises, which lay the foundation for personal growth and transformation of your relationship to food, your body, your weight, and your life. We often say, ‘how you do one thing, is how you do all things.’ How you struggle with your weight, your self-esteem, and your body, mirrors how you relate to and struggle with your life.

AnaLisa: Women who want to lose weight usually feel they carry excess burdens and responsibilities. They are unhappy with their figures and with their lives and how they live them. They might even put their lives on hold until they lose the weight, have the body they love, or are comfortable being nude. However, they can wait a lifetime for such conditions to arise. We emphasize how they can change their lives and bodies NOW, so the pounds melt away and the physical and emotional weight and stress that they are carrying can be transformed and released.

What kind of FabOverFifty woman can most benefit from your coaching?

Jeffrey: Any woman who has ever struggled with weight loss, who has lost and regained weight, and is ready to finally release the weight for good. This is not a quick fix, but the results will impact the rest of your life. This is not a meal plan, or “diet”, but a total approach to eating, to food, to your body, and your life.

What’s the greatest piece of advice you can give FOF women?

AnaLisa: It is not your fault! Too often women are made to feel that it is their fault; that they don’t eat right, live right, work right, or do relationships right. However we are doing things, we are doing the best we can with the resources we possess in a particular moment and situation. Every problem, obstacle, life transition, or stressful situation holds a hidden gem of a message that can help us learn, grow, evolve, and mature toward a life that is healed, happy, and fulfilling.

What famous women do you most admire?

AnaLisa: One is Maya Angelou, the poet, playwright, actor, author, educator, producer, director and civil rights activist. She has been no stranger to pain and hardship, and yet her spirit burns so bright. Her poetry is capable of capturing the depths of despair and leads us to soar in the heights of love, connection, purpose, redemption, and healing. She is a shining light.

Another is Debbie Ford, who passed away this year. She was a best-selling author and teacher known for her work in helping people break free of their emotional baggage and fears. She successfully triumphed over her own dark struggles with addiction and embodied a path of healing and transformation, which unites head and heart, mind and soul in simple yet profound teachings. She taught people how to live beyond the limitations of their old beliefs and behaviors, and how to embrace and integrate their whole selves. Her light will be missed.

Do you have a mentor?

Jeffrey: We have many and each has been a gift and a blessing. To mention a few: Marc David, founder of The Institute of the Psychology of Eating; Melissa Grace and Phil DelPrince, Hakomi Method trainers and therapists extraordinaire who taught us the profound power of working with the body to heal the mind; Barbara Ganim, cofounder and coordinator of the Expressive Arts Institute at Salve Regnia University, who introduced us to the world of expressive arts and its use as a healing and transformative modality.

Meet Coach Rosanne Leslie

2013 September 30

Rosanne Leslie

Age: 52

Are you married?

I’ve been divorced for 12 years. I was married for 13 years and have three children. My marriage taught me what love is and, most importantly, what love is not. Raising my three children alone showed me how our society views single women and mothers and gave me the freedom to stand autonomously outside of that paradigm. Recognizing the dysfunctional dynamics of my marriage I was able to (slowly) extricate myself from it.

What did your parents do?

My father was an engineer for an international company and my mother was a stay-at-home mom.

Why did you become a coach?

I became a life-coach as a result of coaching myself through several years of single parenting. I discovered some of the perennial answers to questions I believe we all have when faced with life challenges and changes. Who Am I? What is love? Why am I here? What is my purpose? How can I be happy?

Happiness is found at our core and so long as we have hope and dreams we can find joy in any day.

What kind of Fab over Fifty women can most benefit from your coaching?

Any woman can benefit from coaching if she is ready to make a change and is earnest. However, the woman who will most benefit from my style of coaching is one who would like to redefine herself and still believes that she has dreams left in her and that she possesses the power to make them come true. I work a great deal with women who have teen-aged children and parenting challenges. One of my greatest strengths is guiding women through the process of divorce, especially those involving domestic violence issues. These women have special needs and because I lived this kind of marriage, I understand them. My empathy and compassion runs very deep for them.

What is your mission?

My mission is manifold. We all suffer and complain too much. There is a certain camaraderie and “acceptance” in the conversations between women in their complaining and suffering and I would like to show them that they can be happy now, in this very moment. Happiness is not contingent upon anyone’s external world or life circumstances. Happiness is found at our core and so long as we have hope and dreams we can find joy in any day. My mission is to guide individuals to autonomy in a society that does not readily embrace that. My greatest mission is to show women how to love and be loved and to celebrate their femininity as a gift and not a weapon against men or themselves.

Tell us about your typical client.

I don’t have a typical client. Everyone is different and comes to me when they are either excited about changing their lives and careers or they are devastated and traumatized and don’t know where or how to begin their day.

What is the greatest piece of advice you can give women?

To recognize that they are alive and what alive really means. The pulse of our society and the world is extremely fast and prevents many from understanding and feeling that they are “here” and that being “here” is precious and a gift.

What woman do you admire most?

I don’t have a particular woman I admire. Perhaps it is she, the silent and nameless one, unrecognizable in the crowd and the world, that I admire most. She is not famous or rich by society’s standard, but she knows how to give and love selflessly. She silently struggles every day to get by and has boundless compassion, integrity and humility. I think she is in every woman. She is my hero and I look for her, every day.

What is your favorite quote?

“Imagination is more important than knowledge.”–Albert Einstein.

Meet Coach Mike Halsey

2013 September 12

Mike Halsey

Age: 46

Tell us about your background

I’m 46 and live in New York City. I have a B.A. in Economics from UCLA, was in the U.S. Navy for 10 years, and have been a pilot for a major US airline for 14 years. I love travel, visits with family and friends, surfing, reading, guitar, and live music.

Are or have you been married, and what’s your view on marriage?

I was married for over 18 years to an extraordinary woman. I did and always will love her from the core of my soul. It was the most harrowing challenge of my life to finally accept that our best selves simply were not well-suited to flourishing together as husband and wife. Divorce tore me to pieces emotionally, and then allowed me to put myself back together in a much more authentic and full form.

I believe committed partnership can be a uniquely life-enriching gift, or a crutch for our saddest insecurities, depending on how we design and live into it each moment. Marriage is one possible structure in that design. I feel we should champion devoted love in all forms, but never burden couples with an expectation that marriage is some kind of cure-all, end game or societal “stamp of approval” in and of itself.

What brought you to coaching?

The end of my marriage shook up many stuck habits and latent dreams, and also a ton of pain and fear. Sitting on the couch one gorgeous spring day in my cool new Georgetown bachelor pad, I was shocked to suddenly realize I had no absolutely no idea what mattered to me! I knew that I loved my family and friends dearly, but that was about all I was clear on. What was my purpose? My contribution to the world? Did it matter at all what I did, or even what I thought? My lack of answers scared the heck out of me.

Airline flying was what I did, but had never been who I was. People, relationships and creative possibility captivated my imagination. In spite of the “doing” stuff I had filled my life with, my heart always ached for richer experience, more meaningful happiness, and deeper understanding of why we’re all here. My brain recognized this calling–fulfillment–as the ultimate end goal of everything we humans do, but I had only the foggiest dreams of what it could look like in my real life.

As I know now, a foggy dream is a good enough place to start.

I was told I needed to write, I needed to speak before groups–those were my clearest gifts. Lovingly worn and notated books on psychology, spirit and self-development filled my home, fueling my dreams while silently chiding my stagnation. But it wasn’t until I worked with a skilled and perceptive career coach that these inklings crystallized into a clear vision and a concrete conduit for my gifts and values. I soon found myself enrolled in over a year of intensive coach training and certification. Since then, Mike Halsey Coaching has grown into the centerpiece of my inward and outward life purpose.

I best serve those who feel a deep sense of some important calling–even if they can’t yet name it–and who hunger to answer it.

What is your mission as a coach?

My mission is helping people to live the really cool lives of their dreams. I believe this is important in the grandest sense imaginable.

I believe happiness is more than a selfish indulgence with transient rewards. To the contrary, it seems that if we have any purpose at all in this universe, it is naturally steered and motivated by the spark which shapes our deepest wants and curiosities. In my estimation, the clearest sign that we are “doing what we are supposed to” is when life feels thrilling, juicy and deeply satisfying. Why else would Nature wire us this way?

The path to fulfillment looks different to each of us, of course, but its rewards are shared by all. Joyful and purposeful living is contagious, and I would like to see it become epidemic. My commitment–what thrills and motivates me–is to help others access the vision and energy already inside them, to blow past or straight through useless fears, and then transform life into an experience even greater than they could have imagined.

Are there any particular life experiences which inform your coaching?

My childhood spent “in the middle” between two wonderful sisters, divorced parents and step parents, gave me an appreciation of how good people can vary so widely in their perspectives and struggles. This shakes up any tendency (in myself or with my clients) to buy into any reflexive judgement or rigid world view, thus opening up a playground of possibility in which to experiment.

Flying Navy jets from aircraft carriers and then instructing the next generation of tactical aviators taught me a ton about shattering self-limiting beliefs, and what amazing stuff lies on the other side of fear. The incredible sailors and Marines I led and followed opened my eyes to the unique capacities we each have, and how a spark of motivation can be nurtured into miracles of performance. I’ve learned this to be true of individuals and teams of any size or complexity.

My richest lessons of all, though, have come from a goldmine of personal and family relationships which continuously point me toward life’s highest meaning.

What famous women do you most admire?

Rock stars come to mind: Janis Joplin, Joan Jett, Madonna, Lady Gaga. These ladies hung their inspiration, sexuality and wild creativity way out there, with no guarantee at all of approval or acceptance, and virtual certainty that many would judge and chastise them. Fearless, genuine and vividly alive!

How do women most sabotage themselves?

My gut answer is easy: Women sabotage their greatness by looking outside themselves for the rules of how to be, for validation, and for love. Strong, brilliant women commonly waste valuable energy looking to society, romantic partners, mothers–anyone but themselves–to let them know they are getting it right, that they are simply OK.

As a coach, the most important thing I can do is help my clients move away from such pointless habits as wholly and rapidly as possible. They resist, of course. (There is a certain comfort in hiding from choice, right?) Fortunately, the thrill of finding and following one’s own internal compass is irresistible once tasted, so my prodding role usually morph’s quickly into one of smiling support and applause.

What kind of client do you most enjoy working with?

I best serve those who feel a deep sense of some important calling–even if they can’t yet name it–and who hunger to answer it. Whether in career, relationships or self/spiritual development, this usually appears as a nagging little voice which whispers (or screams) something like, “There is untapped richness here. Life could be so much better. Make it happen!” Eagerness to explore non-linear solutions and powerful, creative shifts in perspective is a major plus, too.

While I’ve chosen not to limit my practice to a specific topical or demographic niche, the vast majority of my clients are women who are either contemplating or in the middle of major life transitions. They are often torn between a knowing heart thrilled by life’s potential, and a mix of fear, guilt and obligations to others.

I simply love helping these wonderful ladies to transform what may have seemed like selfish, unrealistic or downright crazy dreams into wholesome and utterly fulfilling new realities.

Where and how often do you meet with your clients?

Almost all of my coaching is done via phone or Skype with great clients around the world, but I am also available for in-person sessions in New York City. We generally meet for three 40-50 minute sessions per month, or two longer sessions of 60-75 minutes each, depending upon your situation and preferences.

Tell us about your workshops and presentations.

This is a great new adventure for me, a natural extension of both my personal journey and professional mission. Unlike individual coaching, which requires that I constantly clean my slate of personal opinions, priorities or expectations, keynotes and workshops allow me to create fun and valuable learning from all that this rich life has provided — bloopers, heartaches and “greatest hits” included.

Whether in a high-impact talk of 15 to 60 minutes or an interactive workshop of a few hours or days, my goal in group work is to jumpstart big, positive and lasting change. I tailor my message to the unique makeup and priorities of each new audience, leveraging the most powerful themes which have shown up time and time again in my own life and through my clients’ shared journeys.

I’m not big on scripts, lectures or one-way preaching; but I do have great fun smashing false mental barriers. So if you invite me to work with your group, expect to be shaken (with a smile, promise), awakened, and challenged to play well outside of any comfy confines or boxed paradigms.

What is the most important thing a new client should know about you as their coach?

That I love them. Seriously. We may never meet in person, but when you invite me to partner with you in the most important venture of all–your life–I consider it a great honor and responsibility. You enter the fabric of my thoughts 24/7. During and between sessions, I challenge myself to abandon comfort zones and constantly reevaluate what is possible in the service of your.

Since I may often hold you in higher regard than you do yourself, I will ask you to try ideas and actions you might never ask of yourself. When you stumble, I will champion your courage and effort. When you succeed, we will celebrate. I will support your vision of what your best life, and I will never judge.

It thrills me to witness a life transformed, and I’m well aware that such a shift sends positive ripples far out into the world we all share.

Meet Coach Andrea Warshaw-Wernick

2013 September 6

Andrea Warshaw- Wernick

Age: 66

Married?

I’m married to my third husband, Joel, a recruiter for Blue Star Jets, a private on-demand jet charter company, the largest in the world. We were married 17 years ago, on Cinco de Mayo.

Children?

No kids, but I have four fabulous, delicious grandchildren — 3, 5, 10 and 12 — from Joel’s two children from a previous marriage. I also have a 17 year old Yorkie, Lucy Jo.

Where did you grow up and go to school?

I grew up in East New York, Brooklyn, and then moved to Forest Hills, Queens. I went to Queens College for my BA and Hunter College for my MA in education and received a second Master’s in speech and theatre from The New School.

Your parents?

My father died when I was three and my mother owned a corsetorium, which made bras for women with mastectomies. She raised me alone. I’m an only child. I’m still amazed at what my mother was able to do as a single mom.

We’re all living longer than generations before us and we have to stay strong and healthy now or we’re going to fail. You can’t reverse time at 75. You have to start in your fifties.

Tell us about your former career

I taught first grade for seven years, but discovered teaching wasn’t my true calling, so I left the education field and decided to immerse myself in the NYC social scene for about five years. I played backgammon every night and went dancing at the various NYC hot spots at the time. That was my crazy time, from around 1972 to 1977.

I started representing photo retouchers when I was about 30. I excelled at sales and I loved working with art directors. It was a lot of fun and lucrative, but computers made photo retouching obsolete overnight. I quickly transformed myself into representing illustrators who did storyboards for TV spots. I represented about 50 illustrators and built my client base into a national company, which I sold in 2005. Following this, I became a creative recruiter and started Connector NYC, which places art directors, copywriters, account managers and project managers in advertising agencies. I continue this career today.

When and why did you decide to become a coach?

Three years ago I decided to change directions once again. Like many other women of the Boomer generation, I got to a point in my career during which I said ‘what now?’ Women my age are the ‘What Now?’ Generation. We’ve raised children or, in some cases, grandchildren, left our careers, become widowed or divorced, often don’t know what to do when we suddenly don’t have anyone to take care of, or any work responsibilities. A lot of us become depressed. We ask, ‘Where do I go? How do I do it?’ How do I reboot my life? The first thing we need to do is take control of our health, fitness, inner self-awareness and eventually our beauty. That’s where I come in.

As a life and style coach, I connect women to the proper nutritionist, trainer, doctor, or other professional who can most help them in the areas of their life they’d like to improve. I help them answer questions, such as: ‘What gym should I go to?’ ‘What kind of workout is best for me based on my weight-loss goals?’ ‘What diet should I have if I want to lose weight and have more energy?’

I personally take my clients to the trainer, nutritionist and even to the personal shopper if they desire. Not only do I connect them with the best people for their goals, but I also act as a personal motivator. I am a wellness companion to those ladies who are recovering from cancer or other serious illness. I physically stay alongside a woman, and offer encouragement, as she works with her trainer in an effort drop the weight that affected her body image. I coach ladies through a breakup or divorce, and help them see the positives in their life and where to redirect their focus.

Women hire me as the ultimate General Contractor of their ‘home,’ which in this case is their mind and body. Once a woman feels better, we go into her house and do a closet audit, and a stylist helps her shop. It’s all part of a huge new construction of a better you. Inside and out!

We’re all living longer than generations before us and we have to stay strong and healthy now or we’re going to fail. You can’t reverse time at 75. You have to start in your fifties.

How long is your program?

A woman must commit to at least a three-month program. It takes at least that long to set a reasonable outline of your goals and to begin to see improvement in the area one sees lacking in her life. Nothing good and lasting comes quick and easy!

What kind of woman most benefits from working with you?

A woman who is really, really interested in changing her lifestyle and wants to get healthy. She must have the WANT. Perhaps she is recently divorced or widowed, or life has otherwise just gotten her into a funk. She might have gained a great deal of weight, or is in remission after cancer treatment.

What’s the greatest piece of advice you can give a FOF woman?

Stay positive, Stay healthy and Keep On Moving.

What do women do to sabotage themselves?

They think negatively, with the glass half-empty. They have to learn how to rewire their brains. That’s where I come in, to keep them positive at all times.

Who is one famous woman you admire?

I love Hillary Clinton. She stood up to adversity when her husband was cheating on her, with the world watching her being humiliated. She was able to turn it around and become even better than she was before.

Do you have a mentor?

My mother, who came from nothing. My father died young and she didn’t have a penny. She had a breakdown yet she came back and reinvented herself. A woman, named Jean, had a corsetorium and taught her how to make bras for women who had mastectomies. That was the world before reconstructive surgery. I worked there, too, every day after school and on Sundays. My mother eventually bought the business and was able to retire at 50. I admire her courage, strength, and dedication to improving her life to this day.

Meet Coach Amy Cohen

2013 September 6

Amy Cohen

Age: 54

Are you married?

Yes, my parents rented the downstairs apartment to the man who is now my husband. Funny enough, after lots of breaking up and getting back together, I practically forced him to move out so he wouldn’t be privy to my dating life, lol. Well, we ended up together and have been married for 24 years!

What does your husband do?

He is an entrepreneur as well and we have recently joined forces.

Kids?

Our daughter is 22 and our son is 17.

Where did you grow up and what did your parents do?

I grew up in Brooklyn, NY. My mother worked in a bank, but really had an entrepreneurial spirit and helped my father, who created costume jewelry in his own business.

What did you do before becoming a Practitioner for Emotional Health, Naturally?

I call this my second half of life! My first half was in corporate America as an office manager for a law firm in NYC and in credit management.

What made you choose your current field?

A number of years ago, my life was in turmoil. I was making medical decisions for my sick father, my marriage was failing, I needed to move and get my kids out of the schools they were attending. Usually a strong woman, I was falling apart, mentally and physically!

One evening, on my way back from the hospital to my father’s apartment, I suddenly couldn’t think or concentrate. That night, I could barely function or sleep. When I asked my doctor to prescribe something to help me to get through this period, she suggested that I take a flower remedy blend she would custom create for me. I had never heard of this before and it sounded odd. I wasn’t interested, but the doctor assured me that it would help me move back into balance emotionally, so I could handle all I was going through, make decisions with clarity and get back control. The blend was natural, powerful and would work quickly, she said. Honestly, natural was the last thing on my mind, but I took her recommendation.

Believe it or not, I had come back to life within two days, and was able to take the ‘bull by the horns.’ Was it really the flower remedy blend the doctor gave me? I wanted to learn more! After doing a great deal of research and experimentation with remedies for family and friends, I became a believer.

My path is to let women know that they don’t have to live in anxiety, but can move forward in their lives.

There is nothing, except negative thinking, that can get in our way.

read more…

Meet Coach Betsy Karp

2013 August 22

Betsy Karp

Age: 49

Betsy Karp, who calls herself The Colour Coach, says she can help you start transforming your life today. Through the simple use of color, she will give you the tools that teach you how to shift your energy, attitude and perspective. A former artist, textile and fashion designer, Betsy is now a certified health and wellness counselor. She helps women–mind, body and soul–to “paint the picture” of their lives.

Are you married?

I’m not yet, but I feel really lucky because I have experienced passionate love with two wonderful men. Both relationships taught me how to be in a relationship and stay true to myself.

Kids?

In my second relationship, the man I was with had two younger children who I helped raise for five years. They were with us on weekends and I enjoyed every moment. What I loved most was their innocence and their joie de vive. Children help you to be present, enjoying the now. My time with them was precious, as well as all the lessons I learned.

Color is a powerful force I knew through my experience as an artist, painter and fashion designer, so I began to experiment with it.

Why did those relationships end?

I’m still involved with one of the men.

Where did you grow up and what did your parents do?

I grew up in Woodbridge, CT. My father is a corporate attorney and my mom was a stay- at-home mother who was always busy.

What did you do before becoming a coach?

I was an artist, textile designer, fashion designer and chef.

Why a coach?

I want to help women feel better about who they are. I help and guide women to live their inspired lives. From my world travels as a fashion designer and chef I reinvented myself during the second act of my life. I had my own fashion line that was sold in over 75 stores in North America, but it was deeply impacted by September 11th. Almost every one of my orders was cancelled and I had to close my business. I was devastated and depressed. I poured my heart and soul into this business and had to start all over again.

I began looking for design work and found some consulting work instead. But eventually that dried up, as well. I had been a designer for 25 years and couldn’t find a job in my industry. I kept asking myself, ‘Why me?’ Then one day I woke up and said, ‘ENOUGH Betsy! It’s time to rebuild your life.’

Color is a powerful force I knew through my experience as an artist, painter and fashion designer, so I began to experiment with it. I needed courage, so I decided to surround myself with my favorite color, ORANGE. Turns out that ORANGE is all about courage, bringing forth your creativity and positivity. Once I saw the amazing benefits it produced, I began experimenting with all different colors: from the colors of the food I ate, to the colors I wore, to the colors with which I surrounded myself. My glow from within was visible to others. It was transformative and family and friends noticed right away. I knew that if it worked for me it would work for other women as well. So I studied spirituality and how color affects one’s energy and Chakras. I then went back to school for a Health Counselor Certification from The Institute of Integrative Nutrition and Columbia Teacher’s College, as well as to a cooking school in Morocco and the Piazza Savonarola in Italy.

It is my calling to help ALL WOMEN in Transition—Moms, Single Women, Married Women and Single Moms—adore themselves, inside and out.

What kind of FabOverFifty woman can most benefit from coaching?

All women can benefit from coaching. I’ll help them understand what colors help with hot flashes or how to lose weight. As we get older we need support and I’m here to encourage women to be the best they can be. And believe that their lives matter and that it doesn’t matter how old you are if you just BELIEVE IN YOU!

What is your mission?

To style women’s lives by aligning their bodies, minds and souls from the inside out, from what they think, to what they eat and what they wear. i adore me empowers you to transform and live your life with passion, authenticity and self-love through the use of color.

Tell us about a typical client.

I work primarily with middle-aged women searching for their life’s true purpose and passions, who are feeling stuck, unattractive, unhealthy and negative. It’s time to shift your mindset, feel empowered, learn portion control and gain self-respect. I will support you in finding your true calling, guide you in identifying the positive actions you need to take and empower you in every aspect of your life, so you can say and FEEL “i adore me.”

How did you come up with the idea of I ADORE ME?

It is said “we teach best what we need to learn the most.” I think that everyone–women, men and children–need to adore themselves. Learning to love oneself is a lifelong journey. When I first came up with the name, a psychologist friend said, ‘no one is going to be able to say this I adore me thing.’ Now she’s singing it!

Have you written any books?

I have two e-books, Color Your World and Authentically You, as well as my weekly blog, Inspiring Insights.

What’s the greatest piece of advice you can give FOF women?

To learn to FEEL and SAY i adore me and really mean it for you.

How do women most sabotage themselves?

Women sabotage themselves by negative thought patterns and not letting go of their old drama and old stories.

What famous women do you most admire?

I love Hillary Clinton, Oprah and her best friend Gayle King, as well as Isabel Allende, Louise Hay, Diane Keaton, Susan Sarandon, Meryl Streep, Georgia O’Keeffe, Donna Karan and Diana Ross.

Do you have a mentor?

My dad is my mentor. He’s given me the greatest lesson in life and that is to always believe in yourself and always be persistent. NEVER GIVE UP!! I also work with a spiritual guru, Liam Watt, whom I adore. He has taught me how to allow feelings to be, to feel them, and to not push them under the carpet. Most importantly he has helped me to learn the gift of stillness. My life is different because of him.

Meet Coach Wendy Martens

2013 August 22

Wendy Martens

Age: 64

Are you married?

I’ve been divorced for 13 years, but was married for 30. We married too young and the marriage, which had many cracks, just crumbled when our oldest son died in 1998.

Kids?

I have two, one 33 and the other 36. My oldest would have been 38.

Where did you grow up and what did your parents do?

I grew up all over the US until I was 11, since my dad was in the Air Force. Then we settled in Bethesda, MD and my dad became VP of Marketing for Hughes Aircraft Co. My mom was a stay-at-home mom and loved to help my father’s career by entertaining beautifully.

What did you do before becoming a coach?

My first career was as a stay-at-home mom, which I was fortunate to be able to do. When my children were in high school, I went to work part-time and then full-time as a surgical coordinator for four surgeons and three hospitals. When I turned 50, after my son died, I decided to go to George Washington University and get my masters in counseling. I became a grief counselor, but found I couldn’t support myself. A friend suggested a great part-time job, which became full-time, with the United States Investigative Service, where I got my clearance and was a profiler and analyst training students to go abroad. I loved the uniqueness of the job, but had a number of surgeries, which prevented me from fulfilling the physical requirements.

For far too long, we’ve been inundated by negative messages about food, weight and diet.

We’ve been told that we are willpower weaklings or that we need more control. The majority of nutrition experts promote conflicting advice.

Why a coach?

I became a coach after hearing my mother continually tell me that I was heavy, starting when I was very young. She actually took me to an illegal diet doctor where I was put on ‘speed’ at the age of seven. Interestingly enough, I have picture of me at that time and I wasn’t heavy at all, just a tomboy, but my mother wanted a princess! Thus started the life-long battle with my body and the weight-loss roller coaster.

After losing my job with USIS, I attended the Institute of Integrative Nutrition and then earned certification from the Institute for the Psychology of Eating. I changed my entire business and wanted to help women. Working with mind-body nutrition and the psychology of eating leads to not only sustainable weight loss, but also to a love of your body in the present and the ability to delete toxic dietary beliefs.

My clients become truly embodied and can address the stress that is affecting their weight, their lives and their health. It has changed my life and my thoughts about my body and I want to help others to obtain the same truth, because I’ve been there!

What makes the Psychology of Eating approach different from other Weight Loss coaching?

For far too long, we’ve been inundated by negative messages about food, weight and diet. We’ve been told that we are willpower weaklings or that we need more control. The majority of nutrition experts promote conflicting advice. This results in confusion about what to eat, and how to have a happy relationship with food, as well as a healthy metabolism. I combine many of the best strategies from nutrition science and eating psychology in my professional practice. By eliminating all the “shoulds and should nots,” I focus on what’s right for your body and your personal style. As I work with women in this way, eating and health issues become a place of exploration. Instead of seeing such challenges as the enemy, they become opportunities for growth and self-improvement. I’ve learned to help women reach their highest goals through strategies that nourish, not punish.

What kind of FabOverFifty woman can most benefit from coaching?

All women from the ages of 40 to 50! This is a sacred time in a woman’s life, after peri-menopause and menopause, when she is truly coming into her strength. Many women still believe they are inadequate, ‘not good enough’, and often are not happy with their bodies. They are suffering from stress and self-hatred and do not realize that this prevents weight loss and true happiness. Self-love and acceptance are far more rewarding than calorie counting and crazy exercise and it helps you lose weight!

What is your mission?

I want women to stand tall in their glorious strength, which they all possess. Women tend to feel that there is something wrong with them, whether it’s their weight, their relationships, or their work, and it’s time to stop the madness. I want to be a mentor for all women about self-embodiment and self-love. The truth comes from within, not without. It’s time that all women got the message that they’re beautiful.

Tell us about a typical client.

Most of my clients are women over 40 who want to lose weight, which is usually the 20 pounds + that they’ve been trying to lose for years. They have tried every diet in the book, exercised themselves to the point of pain and haven’t lost the weight. They don’t realize that this frantic need to lose weight throws them into the ‘stress response’ that is preventing them from losing anything. Their obsession with weight is ruining and limiting their lives since they are waiting to live until they achieve their goal, which never comes. I help them learn to live in the present and relax into weight loss.

What’s the greatest piece of advice you can give FOF women?

Your journey in this life is your own; it’s not anyone else’s. Make the journey going full tilt, learning from the messy as well as the great and love your uniqueness and yourself completely! Celebrate, don’t denigrate!

How do women most sabotage themselves?

They believe everything they hear in the media. They live in their minds and not their bodies. Their best friend should be the sacred Feminine, but instead it’s the scale, which determines how they’ll fell each day—happy or depressed!

What famous women do you most admire?

Rosa Parks is a woman that sat for her rights. Most said she stayed in her seat because she was tired, but instead she was tired of ‘giving in’ to what society told her she should or shouldn’t do. I think she’s a mentor for all women to stop this artificial feeling to ‘give in’ to a world that is trying to dictate what the perfect woman looks like.

Maya Angelou, a fighter from the start, has been able to provide a positive message of humanity and hope. She said: ‘The honorary duty of a human being is to love.’ And every women should apply this to herself.

Do you have a mentor?

I have a number of mentors in my life for which I feel blessed. My spiritual mentor, Liz, enables wonderful conversations on our connection to nature and all that there is on and off this earth. Another mentor, Marc, has helped me to realize the joy of embodiment and loving yourself. A third, Sharon, taught me that one doesn’t need to live her life in fear and that I can trust. Finally, Christine, who has taught me about the sacred Feminine and using intuition to understand and not judge.

Meet Coach Nancy Kay

2013 August 22

Nancy Kay

Age: 50

Are you married?

I was married for 21 years, until the marriage ended in divorce in 2008. During the marriage, I supported my husband’s corporate career by relocating seven times all over the country every two to three years and handling the parenting duties since his job required that he travel three weeks each month the entire time we were married. I currently live in Columbus, Ohio.

Kids?

Three, ages 16, 21 and 26.

Where did you grow up and what did your parents do?

I grew up in Denver, Colorado. My mom was an at-home mom and my dad is an oil geologist who is still working at age 85!

What did you do before becoming a coach?

My first career was as a TV news reporter and writer. I then took on full-time parenting duties while also teaching preschool. During my divorce, I completed a law school paralegal program and then worked as a paralegal in family and bankruptcy law.

I want to empower women to take the steps they need to navigate through the storm of divorce with a greater understanding of how to work more effectively with their attorneys to get their best outcome.

Why did you become a coach?

I was blindsided by having to deal with divorce when I discovered that my husband of 20 years had a complicated secret life and was making plans to leave me and our children, with as little financial support as possible, while he pursued another woman.

I felt devastated. I had moved all over the United States for my husband to further his career and improve our family’s finances and then discovered the reason he insisted we start our own business that particular year was so he could claim his income wasn’t needed for my support.

During his corporate career, my husband had worked his way up to earning a six figure salary, with bonuses. Since he was planning to divorce me, but I didn’t know it yet, he refused to look for another corporate position when he was let go from his job.

He had severance pay for a year so during that time he insisted that we should take a large amount of cash out of our retirement to pay for the start-up costs for a water damage cleanup franchise in Columbus and that he and I would run it for the 20-year contract duration. We both signed the agreement, set up joint business checking accounts and visited the franchise headquarters in Florida.

He knew that by starting a business, his income would be minimal for spousal and child support calculations.

During my divorce I discovered just how much “Knowledge is Power” and spent a great deal of time researching and reading about infidelity, spousal support, custody factors and co-parenting while learning strategies about how to get the best possible outcome during the legal process.

Our attorneys said that I would have to continue to work with him every day in the franchise during our divorce or else sign papers to turn it all over to him, which is what I did. Continuing would have subjected me to more intense emotional and verbal abuse.

While working as a family law and bankruptcy paralegal, I saw first-hand just how much women can benefit from strategic guidance and support during such a challenging time when emotions can easily influence their ability to make sound decisions and negotiate from a position of strength.

What kind of FaboverFifty woman can most benefit from coaching?

A woman who is considering divorce or is currently going through separation or divorce and wants to put together a plan of action to start taking control of her life. I encourage a woman to realize that the decisions she makes right now during separation and divorce are truly critical to her future because divorce is the biggest business deal of her life.

Divorce is especially stressful to deal with because it cuts across every part of a woman’s life- her physical and emotional well-being, work life, family life, finances and spiritual life are all impacted by the changes that come along with the chaos.

What is your mission?

I want to empower women to take the steps they need to navigate through the storm of divorce with a greater understanding of how to work more effectively with their attorneys to get their best outcome.

I also want to enable women to set healthy boundaries to protect themselves as they deal with situations that involve infidelity, financial scheming, abusive behaviors and co-parenting disagreements.

I offer referrals to divorce professionals and one-on-one confidential coaching for women throughout the U.S. by phone or Skype.

Tell us about a typical client.

My clients are usually women in their 40s or beyond who realize that they are in an unhealthy marriage and not sure whether to leave their marriage or have decided to leave and need support and a plan of action to move forward with more focus and less fear and uncertainty.

Favorite quote?

“Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.”–Soren Kierkegaard

Meet Coach Kathie Holmes

2013 August 22

Kathie Holmes

Age: 45

Are you married?

Yes. This is my second marriage. We met through an online dating site back when online dating sites were considered ‘strange’. We had an instant connection and married four months later. It hasn’t been smooth sailing but then not much in life really is.

What does he do?

He is a counting mutant – aka accountant. We watched the movie Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium, where the eccentric Mr. Magorium (played by Dustin Hoffman) tells his assistant he needs to get an accountant but that he has no idea what that is and he can only imagine it is some kind of counting mutant! My husband now gets this name at every turn.

Kids?

While we didn’t have children together we do have my beautiful daughters from my first marriage, who my husband has always loved and treated as his own.

It frustrates me that people assume that being creative means to be good at arts or crafts, when, in fact, it’s simply about letting your inner you shine through.

When you embrace your passion, you become creative by default.

Where did you grow up and what did your parents do?

I grew up in an average, suburban family in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, the eldest of three daughters. Both my parents worked in factories throughout my childhood and my parents divorced about 13 years ago. I am now estranged from my father, by choice, but have a fantastic relationship with my mum.

What did you do before becoming a coach?

The question should be what didn’t I do? I have had an amazing life doing lots of different things. I was a legal secretary, then worked in the hospitality field for eight years. After that I trained and worked as a phlebotomist (drawing blood for transfusions, research, donations, tests) until my husband and I opened our first online store in 2006, Sublime Accessories, where we sold unique accessories for the home. It was in the early days of online selling, so he going was tough.

Subsequently, I trained as a Life Coach and studied Reiki (an ancient Japanese spiritual healing modality that allows you to tune into either your own body and soul or that of others to heal illness by eradicating negative beliefs around the affected area of the body) and combined the two together to begin my coaching. My true passion is to help women improve their lives.

Why the Creative Ability Network?

I have always been hands on at the businesses where I worked and have learned about marketing, what makes a business tick and the do’s and don’ts of running a business.

As a phlebotomist I saw people from all walks of life, some chronically and/or terminally ill, and the overwhelming thing I found was that women, in particular, never put their needs first. There was always this sense of sadness about them so I began asking the question ‘what if you could have done anything you wanted?’ and discovered that so many women hadn’t lived the lives they truly wanted, usually because of constraints by others.

Since my passion has always been to help others, I realized I needed to help women to live the best lives possible and to let their inner creativity and passion shine.

What kind of FabOverFifty woman can most benefit from coaching?

Anyone who wants more out of life. She might want a better financial situation, perhaps she just wants to find that burning passion inside her and use it to create her business or she wants to be waking up everyday knowing that the day ahead is one she created and one that she wants.

What is your mission?

To create a worldwide network of inspiring women who support each other from the early stages of starting their business right through to the day-to-day running of the business. A place where women can do what women do best and that is to support each other to benefit each other. A place where friendships will be made, support given and business networking can be combined.

Tell us about a typical client.

My typical clients are women 40+, usually staring at their lives through a window and wondering what the hell happened. Where did their lives go? Women get so absorbed in running a family, raising kids and holding down a job that we forget to take the time for us and allow our inner spark to shine through. My clients are on the precipice of wanting change but not really knowing how or feeling scared to do so without support. They want to do something they love every day but also earn an income from it so they are financially independent.

How did you come up with the Creative Ability Network?

It frustrates me that people assume that being creative means to be good at arts or crafts, when, in fact, it’s simply about letting your inner you shine through. When you embrace your passion, you become creative by default. Your creative ability is your unique way of teaching what you love, sharing your story and helping others with similar interests. I want to guide as many women as possible to pursue that passion and share it with the world.

Creative Ability Network is a place where women find their creative way to express their inner passion and network with other women.

Have you written any books?

I have written many eBooks, both on business and coaching topics, and have been featured in Sprout the Life You Love – Tales and Secrets from Female Entrepreneurs alongside Rhonda Britten, Sandy Forster and other female entrepreneurs.

What’s the greatest piece of advice you can give FOF women?

Just Change It! This is my motto. If your life isn’t making you happy and you are not living what you are passionate about, then Just Change It. You have the power within you to change whatever you need to and there is lots of support there to help you to make it happen. Don’t live a life of regret. Live a life of passion!

How do women most sabotage themselves?

Women fail to acknowledge their own worth. We don’t value our places, not only in our families but also in society. We shrug off compliments and accolades as if they are not warranted instead of embracing them for what they are. We never put ourselves first, which often leads us to a midlife crisis where we question everything about our lives. If we just lived our life with purpose and passion from the start we wouldn’t be looking for that missing piece later in life.

What famous women do you most admire?

I admire any woman who is embracing her life but if I had to pick someone famous I guess it would be Oprah Winfrey. She created an amazing world around her passion and gives back to the world.

Do you have a mentor?

I don’t have one particular mentor but am continuously inspired by people, including Wayne Dyer and Eckhart Tolle, as well as my two beautiful daughters who have grown into amazing young women who inspire me every day.

Meet Coach Krista Watts

2013 August 21

Krista Watts

Age: 30

Husband? Kids?

My husband sells cars at one of the biggest used car dealerships in Ontario, Canada, and we have a 2½-year-old son.

What did you study in school?

I have a BA from the University of Waterloo (Ontario) in Political Science and Management Studies. I take courses all the time for work and for personal interest. It keeps me sharp!

What inspired you to create retirementhomeliving.com?

It came naturally after years working in sales for a retirement home company and helping hundreds of families make the decision to move a relative to a retirement home. I saw the need for a coaching service to guide women 45 plus years old through the difficult and complicated process of relocating their aging parents. The daughters need the most guidance and support. They experience intense feelings and emotions during this time. I love helping people come to a peaceful decision that they can live with in a positive way.

I make a difference in people’s lives every day. I see aging people thrive after moving to retirement homes.

Previously, they ate poorly, felt lonely and unsafe. Now they’re well fed, cared for and have companionship.

I also see exhausted daughters regain their lives once they know their parents are finally safe and secure.

How did you first get started in retirement home consulting and coaching?

I met my mentor through a mutual friend and she provided me with a once- in-a-lifetime opportunity to start in an industry where she had spent 25 years. I had the chance to learn from one of the best in the business in Canada. Everyone always talks about forks in the road and this was mine career-wise! It was better than I have ever dreamed or imagined and I am thankful I took the risk!

What did you do before working in the retirement home sector?

I sold lumber for six years in my parents’ business. I had to find a new job when they retired.

What is the mission of retirementhomeliving.com?

I want to help free women from the emotional roller-coaster of caring for aging parents. Too many women struggle with guilt and fear from their parents. They often lose their self-identity and start living in their parents’ shadow. They drop everything for them, miss out on holidays, neglect work, husbands, children and friends. I help them find their purpose.

Why is the perfect field for you?

Selling lumber filled a need but it’s extremely rewarding to help families find the right places for their aging loved ones to live. I make a difference in people’s lives every day. I see aging people thrive after moving to retirement homes. Previously, they ate poorly, felt lonely and unsafe. Now they’re well fed, cared for and have companionship. I also see exhausted daughters regain their lives once they know their parents are finally safe and secure.

Tell us about your services.

I offer Skype, email, phone consulting/coaching services and group coaching. I’m creating an eBook and online course, which will be available soon. I do speaking engagements, as well.

Do you interview the parents as well as their grown children?

I definitely spend time with parents to find out what they want and need in a retirement home.

What do you hope to learn from new clients?

I want to uncover the daily problems they face so I can see the complexity of the situation. I explain all the options after conducting an in-depth needs assessment. This can include senior communities, assisted living, nursing and long term care homes, private duty nurses etc. While others recommend only homes and communities that give them fees, I recommend what’s best for my clients.

Do you recommend specific places? In the United States, as well as in Canada?

Yes. I research the best options for your family’s needs, no matter where you live. I do background checks, set up tours and help with the admissions process.

What kind of FabOverFifty woman can most benefit from your coaching?

Any women with parents! Seriously!

How do women most sabotage themselves?

Time and time again I see women who have sacrificed their prime time years to care for their parents. They feel it is their obligations as daughters. What about being mothers, sisters, grandmothers, wives, friends, workers, volunteers and purpose seekers? Unless you truly feel taking care of your parents is your life’s purpose, do not feel bad about seeking a solution.

What’s the greatest piece of advice you can give FOF women?

Life is too short to be living someone else’s life. Take control now before all you have is years of regret about vacations not taken, friends not seen, children grown up, husbands you ignored and a life you didn’t live all because you couldn’t stand up to your parents.

Besides your work, what are your other passions?

I am constantly reading up on different topics. Business, politics, marketing, fitness, healthy eating, parenting, running, and self-help, to name a few. I love running and have completed four half marathons. When I don’t run enough in a week I get cranky and my legs twitch! Right before my wedding four years ago, I lost 40 pounds by running and eating healthy. I think that exercise and healthy eating go hand and hand with making good decisions and getting your life under control. I also love taking my son to fun places like the park, the zoo and swimming. I am reliving my childhood through him.

Meet Coach Lin Eleoff

2013 August 20

Lin Eleoff

Age: 55

All it takes is one conversation with FOF Lin Eleoff to be certain that she can help you “get off the bathroom floor and “seize happiness by the throat.” A former TV reporter and lawyer, Lin is one Smart Ass coach who says she was born to help others “live lives that are on fire.” There’s more to life, she says, than “what women see as their current reality.” Lin talked to FOF about why she makes her own rules and how you can make your own, too.

Are you married?

Yes, we met on a tennis court and have been married 22 years. I lovingly call him ‘Thurston Howell the 4th’ because he sounds exactly like Thurston Howell the Third (the role played by Jim Backus on Gilligan’s Island). He’s lost his British accent but he was born in Great Britain and he calls me ‘Darling’ and ‘Lovey.’ It’s hysterical.

What does he do?

He’s a corporate guy… all business. I’m the entrepreneur in the family.

Kids?

We have four, from 16 to 25 years old.

Where did you grow up and what did your parents do?

I grew up in Toronto. My dad died when I was 17. My mom was an entrepreneur. She launched the first domestic employment agency in Canada.

I want to get women up off the bathroom floor (where they hide their sadness, pain and tears) and take responsibility for their lives.

read more…

Meet Coach Diane Danvers Simmons

2013 August 20

Diane Danvers Simmons

How old are you?

I don’t count the years, I feel the same as I did in my 20’s, younger than I did in my 30’s, and just catching up to my 40’s, all with a lot more wit and wisdom. I define life by how I feel and the energy that emanates from within and all around me, not by years.

Are or have you been married, and what’s your view on marriage?

I‘ve been married, divorced, and separated. I’ve loved, been loved, hurt, and been hurt, lived fearlessly and in fear, but I’ve come out of it all with purpose, compassion, and vitality. I’m enjoying the journey.

My view on relationships is simple. Everything is about timing. We need different things and people at different stages of our life. I believe the biggest gift you can give someone, besides freedom and heartfelt support, is to allow them to be all that they can be. And yes, I do believe in true love and soulmates.

Kids?

My two children have blessed me with the gift of humility, compassion, patience, playfulness, courage, and unconditional love that has changed my life for the better. Having the chance and responsibility to introduce some pretty fine human beings into the world makes me more determined to make a difference in this crazy world.

Imagine a day where you invest in your reality… not a Hollywood producer’s. Where you rediscover your own voice, without having to compete for it to be heard.

Where did you grow up & what did your parents do?

I grew up in England with all of its traditions, irreverence, and a healthy dose of Monty Python humor. I’m also thankful now for the clouds, rain, and public transport that kept my complexion youthful, my body strong, and my patience in check.

When I was born, my father was 60 and my mother was 45, which was unusual back then and automatically triggered the need for a sense of humor, as they were newlywed parents of a blended family, complete with teenagers. They were more youthful than people half their age, with daily hilarious stories of lives well lived and history experienced first hand! My childhood was never boring!

An entrepreneurial father who was the foundation and stability of my youth fed my thirst for adventure through travel. My independent, feisty, Irish mother, who was way ahead of her time, taught me that ‘No you can’t’ was never the option when it came to my dreams. My passion throughout my youth was the creative and performing arts, as well as competitive sports, all of which proved invaluable in my personal and professional life.

What did you do before developing Own it Feel it Live it and Spirituality in Stilettos?

America enticed me from a young age. As an independent, fearless woman in my 20’s, I arrived in New York City from Britain, courtesy of Saatchi & Saatchi, the global advertising giant. By the time I was 30, I was a Senior Vice President at the agency, and then at Omnicom Group in London, New York and Los Angeles.

After marrying, I soon became a mother, masquerading as a chauffeur, driving the prerequisite SUV, and wearing a sign that read ‘I’ll volunteer for anything.’ Leveraging my corporate platform I took on leadership roles, working with mothers who collectively strive to make a difference. Currently, I work with the Make a Wish Foundation and have been involved with my children’s schools. Travel with my children is one of my passions, which has secured our bond and created memories that will forever stay in our hearts.

Why and what inspired you to create OFL?

I was tired of the housewives shows on TV that glamorize women as self absorbed, back-stabbing, mindless characters. I developed a TV talk show treatment and a blog concept, Danvers Dishes, to inspire and showcase real women being all they could be, making a difference in this world and having intelligent, inspirational conversations with plenty of humor. My friends and family encouraged me to share my stories and Own it Feel it Live it teachings.

I’m simply the woman in the mirror who can relate to the phases a woman navigates, who enjoys all the privileges and lifestyle of Western society, and have been blessed with the opportunity of extensive travel which has allowed me to gain insight into a variety of cultures and traditions. Whether practicing yoga in Morocco, meditation in Big Sur, or Reiki in Ireland, I strive to discover holistic and intuitive lifestyle techniques that recognize the powerful unity of mind, body, and spirit to promote a total well being for a happier, healthier life. IT WORKS!

On this journey, I’ve been able to participate in educational forums and experiences with the spiritual and health leaders of our time. I’ve incorporated these teachings into OFL by creating a multidimensional approach which blends the best of eastern and western philosophies to help women nourish their everyday lives while remaining grounded in their own style in today’s modern world.

The simple message of Own it Feel it Live it cuts through the clutter & chaos with three simple steps to reignite and regain your life balance; Own your Power, Feel your Spirit, & Live your Life the way you choose with Wit and Wisdom. I want to share this message with woman as they embrace new chapters in theirs lives.

What is the mission of Spirituality in Stilettos?

I created the Spirituality in Stilettos workshop series to inspire women to explore, connect, and rediscover the value and joy of investing in themselves in a safe haven, where women share real life stories, intelligent conversation and laugh- out-loud moments. In a clear and concise, but fun manner, Spirituality in Stilettos™ will give women the resources, opportunity, and ultimately the knowledge to empower and make informed choices while recognizing the true pure potential that lies within.

Most importantly, I want to impart the wisdom that we have many dimensions and are capable of extraordinary things at any age!

Tell us about your Workshops

Each workshop is a ‘treat’, not a retreat, set in a beautiful environment. The series flows in three parts which bring the essence of Own it , Feel it, Live it to life through discussion and interactive exercises.

Imagine a day where you invest in your reality… not a Hollywood producer’s. Where you rediscover your own voice, without having to compete for it to be heard. Where you kick off those worn out shoes that constrain you and feel your mind, body, and spirit flow so freely that even your favorite talk show host would welcome you to dance on her stage. Imagine a day to laugh out loud, stretch, groan, grow, glow, and cry. Where you can experience what it truly means to live again, explore what works for you and how it enhances your life, now, and strut down life’s runway dressed in your own truth, embracing your own Spirituality in Stilettos™.

What kind of FabOverFifty woman can most benefit from coaching?

A new generation of women coming into their 40’s and 50’s who are interested in ongoing personal growth, not standing still and just existing! These women are transitioning out of or have completed years of nurturing a family, career, or lifestyle. They feel the desire and need to re-evaluate or enhance their lives. They wonder how to start to explore with so many mixed messages. All too often they feel alone, but they need to know they’re not alone! They are not done! They are just starting a new life phase and need recognition, support, and a safe place to pause, and have the conversations they need most now to begin their next life chapter.

What’s the greatest piece of advice you can give FOF women?

Honor who you are and live life NOW. We’re told we can have it all but even if we can’t have it all at once, we can have it all through the breadth and depth of our lives. So acknowledge and enjoy each chapter and live your life dressed in your Own Truth!

How do women most sabotage themselves?

Too often, women give up their power and choices to others or to a situation because they don’t value themselves and are fearful. As a result, they don’t take the time to invest in their whole well being and life becomes stagnant.

What famous women do you most admire?

Oprah Winfrey, because she positively uses the power of media and fame. She continues to grow, show gratitude, follow her path and allow herself to be challenged and surprised.

Margaret Thatcher. Whether or not you liked her, she was a force to be reckoned with as the first female Prime Minister of Great Britain! Not only did she stand up and joust, debate and forge alliances with an eloquent tongue and sharp mind in the most potent of political arenas, but she turned the country around after a time of turmoil.

Do you have a mentor?

I’ve been blessed to have a number of people that have guided my path. Both my parents were self-made, self-motivated characters who lived their lives to their fullest. My father was the guide, the rational and rock through any storm, with a killer smile and undying charm. He taught about the importance of family, integrity, love and trust. My mother was larger than life without any excuses. Her brutal honesty and ability to handle whatever life threw was admirable. If someone hurt my feelings she would always say, ‘Sticks and stones may break your bones but names will never hurt you’. She toughened me up for the world. The fact that she could still throw a party and dance all night at age 80 says it all.

Meet Coach Lorna Gager

2013 August 20

Lorna Gager

Age: 43

Are you married?

Yes, for 13 years.

What does your husband do?

Banking—money management stuff. He and I met in the late 90’s when he was my client. Brian was a widower with four young children. We had a whirlwind romance which culminated in marriage. I immediately became mother to four adopted children in the ‘burbs. We added a fifth to round out our gang. It hasn’t always been easy, but it sure has been worth it.

Kids?

Five, ages 22, 21, 19, 17 and 11.

Where did you grow up and what did your parents do?

I grew up in Maryland. My dad was an attorney in private practice and my mom was a career woman ahead of her time. She had a big management job, but still had dinner on the table every night, kept the house in order and ran my brother and I around to all of our activities. I didn’t realize it at the time, but mom was handling work/life balance before it became part of our vocabulary.

Lots of women think that because they have done things the same way for so long that they can’t change their habits. This is simply not true.

What did you do before becoming a coach?

I worked on Wall Street right out of college. I was registered and worked for a brokerage house on both bond and equity desks and thereafter was in sales for other financially related businesses.

Why a coach?

After becoming an instant mom the way I did, I quickly lost my way in terms of my health and well being. I gained weight, got out of shape and worst of all in my book, lost track of who I was. Once my youngest was old enough, I took stock and mapped out the return I needed to make to get back to myself again. I love being a coach, helping women down the path that I travelled on alone. It isn’t easy and there are lots of fits and starts, but with someone in your corner—giving you a level of support you don’t find in daily life—attaining your goals is much easier.

What kind of FabOverFifty woman can most benefit from coaching?

Everyone can benefit from coaching. But the most appropriate client is someone who really wants to make changes in her life but just can’t seem to find the way forward. Lots of women think that because they have done things the same way for so long that they can’t change their habits. This is simply not true.

What is your mission?

To encourage women to let themselves be at the top of the list instead of putting everyone else ahead of them. That prioritizing themselves is a necessity, not a perk. To remind women that it is ok to let go of the guilt and to be gentle with themselves. To teach women that this can fit into their daily lives rather seamlessly.

What’s your training?

I am a certified Wellness Coach through WellCoaches, Inc. and a personal trainer certified with the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM).

Tell us about a typical client.

The woman with whom I work best has kids who are mostly grown and who suddenly has some time on her hands. She is concerned about her health, wants to make positive changes, but doesn’t know where to start.

How do women most sabotage themselves?

So many women are dependable and reliable to everyone else except themselves. Our families, co-workers and communities rely on us. The problem is that we don’t keep our promises to ourselves. We put our needs at the bottom of the priority list and then don’t understand when we don’t feel good about ourselves. When we don’t have integrity with ourselves we lose trust and belief in who we are.

What’s the greatest piece of advice you can give FOF women?

Fifty is the new 35. It is never too late to start a new path. Changes can be gentle and incremental and women will be so much happier with themselves once they start the journey.

What famous women do you most admire?

I have always had great admiration for Eleanor Roosevelt because she had her own agenda, was always her own person and was way ahead of her time.

Do you have a mentor?

Over the years I have had many people take me under their wing, each of them offering me different and important lessons. I have never had a formal mentor but I am always on the lookout.