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FACING CHALLENGE & CHANGE

This is me in 2010. Life throws all of us curve balls. One of mine was breast cancer. Your challenges, goals and fears will be different than mine. But rest assured, I know from personal experiences as well as from my professional training how to take difficult and challenging situations and turn them into successes. It takes commitment, clarity, focus, a goal, a plan and above all COURAGE to act. I can support you as you do it to.

SETTING & ACHIEVING GOALS

This is me in 2011, at the top of Mt Shasta, California, 6 months after the end of cancer treatment. It was my first ever technical mountain climb. Setting goals and taking action steps to achieve them are two important tenets of professional coaching. It’s all about forward motion. It gets you out of being stuck and into making your life what you want it to be – no matter what challenges you are facing. Going after goals is a part of who I have always been but now I am professionally trained to help you do it too.

TRANSFORMING YOURSELF & YOUR LIFE

This is me today in 2016 – a professional life & leadership coach, entrepreneur and business woman! I’m not the same person I was before. By transforming yourself you transform your life. By getting clear on your situation, increasing your self-awareness and setting goals in line with your values and going after them, you are moving forward and changing your life! As you change, others can’t help but change in response to you. By being your best and living authentically, you give others permission to do so also. And so, you are not only transforming yourself but the world too. This is what I believe and how I live my life.

More about me:

I grew up in Sacramento, California—an hour and a half from the Sierra Nevada mountains and the beaches of northern California.  I lived my 20s and 30s in Alaska, and my 40s in Houston, Beijing and now back in northern California.   I went to university, found a career, got married, got my masters degree, had kids, and left my job to stay home with my babies.  Now, I have begun a second career.  My life, so far, has had a typical series of changes & challenges, setbacks & successes, ups & downs.

I love mountains and the outdoors.  I have been spoiled by living most of my life in California and Alaska where the mountains and rugged coastlines are gorgeous, wild and easy to get to.  I love to ski, backpack, hike, camp, ice skate, run, bike, and climb mountains—nothing in the extreme, but I dabble in them all.  I gain perspective, grounding and peace from being in the mountains.   Mountains also make a great metaphor for life challenges and goals!  (read about my Mountain Metaphor)

I also love to learn.  I love to read, study languages (I speak French and Mandarin) and study/practice drawing.  I love to dance (I studied and performed seriously for years).  I’ve taught myself to play guitar and I love to sing alone in my living room when no one is watching AND with friends whenever possible.  I love to share these passions with my children and I hope to infect them with a love of learning for themselves (so far, so good!).

I have two amazing kids: a 12-year-old boy and a 9-year-old girl.  I love watching them grow into the people they are.  I made a choice to be a stay-at-home during their early years—which, I know, is a choice that not every woman would or could make.  For me, it was the right decision, but it was still a difficult decision.  After working in a professional role (community relations) for a few years, I went back to school to earn my graduate degree (MPA) and was excited to take my career to the next level.  In fact, I was about 9 months pregnant with J. when I got the diploma!  So, to pause that momentum and sort through my conflicting thoughts and feelings (about self-worth, economic dependence, societal judgement) was a struggle.  In the end, it was absolutely the right decision for me and my family.  Of course, then re-launching a career once the kids were in school was another struggle to work through!

I am a cancer survivor! My life is not defined by cancer today and I contemplated not even letting you know about it. But in the end, I decided it was important for you to know because it did shift my view of life struggles and goal setting.

In February, 2010 I was diagnosed with a fairly aggressive breast cancer.  I was 42, my little girl was 3 and my boy was 6.  The diagnosis turned my life upside down.  Life would never be the same, but not necessarily in a bad way.  The experience taught me a valuable lesson (which I continue to learn):  It’s a good thing to live with death on your shoulder; to live and make your choices as though you only have one year to live.

In my case, this new “one-year perspective” made me realize that I wanted to be my absolute best for my children.  I came to understand that the most important thing I can do for my children—and anyone else I love—is to give them:  patience and my complete attention, my total confidence in them, respectful communication, and helping them learn to make their own decisions. I had no idea at the time that this is a perfect description of professional coaching!

I am over five years now cancer-free and still living my life using the what-if-I’m-not-here-in-one-year model.  (You will be able to read more soon about my cancer story here…check back soon).
Of course, your life presents its own challenging struggles (illness, death, divorce, unemployment, loss of any kind); you don’t need cancer to change your life.  I encourage you to view any crisis as an opportunity to change perspective and direction.

I don’t know why I drive myself to tackle my fears, set big goals and go after them.  I have always been like that.  For example, last year I went SCUBA diving for the first time – a life long fear!  I never thought I would do that, but I did it!  Things like this make me feel alive – like I am HERE and still going strong!  They make me happy and fill me with confidence.

Now that I am a professionally trained coach I get to help other people conquer their fears and go after their goals too.  And I get to see the same outcome for them—increased confidence, courage, fulfillment and happiness!  I am totally committed and passionate about helping women stand up, speak up and show up as the women they are instead of the women everyone else expects them to be.  I am beyond thrilled when I can support another woman in finding herself, connecting with her strengths and passions and developing her courage to step up and live the life she wants.

When women work together to help each other—in emotionally healthy ways—amazing things happen!

I am honored that you have read this much about me.  I hope to learn more about you and that you will contact me for coaching, training, workshops or public speaking.

– Leann