How I Got Here
I started my career in the counseling field and spent many years as a social worker, mental health professional, and nonprofit director before the nagging feeling in my gut telling me this wasn't where I belonged got too loud to ignore. I had recently become a mother, which worked like a turbo charged headlamp to bring my true (and new) priorities to light and made me less tolerant with anything that took my time and energy away from those priorities.
I sensed that I needed a change but I didn't know where to go or what to do.
My quest for clarity and a lot of hard self-work led me to the life-changing realization that I am drawn to promote joy in the world rather than heal pain. The difference may seem small, but this shift blew my mind, forced me to loosen my grip on the professional identity I had cultivated and clung to for nearly 20 years, and created a clear path for me to the field of coaching. Although I kept a deep admiration for the healers of the world and a genuine appreciation of my time in that arena, I clearly saw that my life was going in another direction and took the first terrifying, thrilling steps to follow it.
After 3 years of studying coaching, practicing on anyone who would let me, and preparing for the transition, I finally launched my coaching business in Spring of 2011 and worked up the courage to leave my "day job" shortly after.
I was in my element - honing my skills, soaking up new knowledge, and seeing truly amazing changes happening with my clients. It was awesome.
But it didn't take long for me to realize that, although I finally felt at home in my career, I also longed to flex the critical thinking muscles I had built up in my years as a manager and program director. You see...I love figuring things out. I love logic and reason and crafting the best strategy to get the desired result. And I totally geek out over figuring out what motivates people to do what they do and why the human mind works the way it does.
So, I found a way to combine all of these passions - empowering modern mothers, promoting joy, strategizing solutions, coaching for positive change - into one super exciting business that fills a greatly needed purpose in our world.
And here I am, doing it. How cool is that?!
What Makes Me So Special?
Tooting our own horns is often the hardest part for women in business, but it's also one of the most essential. And, hey...I've been around the block a few times and built some pretty toot-worthy credits, if I do say so myself: real-life experience, formal education, practical know-how, keen intuition, strategic thinking, and a passion to make a real difference, one person at a time. Toot toot, y'all!
I thrive on learning so I've got all sorts of skills, knowledge, degrees, and certifications, as well as 20+ years of diverse professional experience, ranging from program management and entrepreneurship to psychotherapy and parent education (you can find more on that in The Official Stuff below).
I also have a fine balance of the concrete stuff (critical thinking, problem solving, goal planning) and what I call the "squishy stuff" (support, intuition, warmth, creativity). The right brain-left brain quizzes put me smack dab in the middle. No wonder I'm addicted to books about the science and research of human emotions and behavior!
But what I believe to be my most valuable asset in this work is my real-life experience as the working mother of two. No...not because I'm the perfect career mom. Quite the contrary. It's because I struggle with this stuff, too. I know how dizzying it can be to have all of those balls in the air and how impossible yet urgent it sometimes seems to fit everything in. My heart has swelled with joy at the words "I love you so much, Mommy!" and the wind has been knocked out of me by the words, "I just want to stay home with you today!" I've felt the pride of being recognized for excellence in my work and the fear that my best just isn't good enough. I've been Mama Bear and Queen Bee. I've experienced mommy guilt and career fatigue. I understand the complexity of fiercely loving both my family and my work while, at the same time, resenting each for keeping me from the other.
I have a perspective on working motherhood that only a working mother can have. But rest assured, I will never assume I know your life better than you do. Which leads me to...
What I Believe
I believe you are the expert on your life. My job/pleasure/honor is the be the catalyst, with a deep bag of goodies to help you draw out that expertise and leverage it to create the life that you're longing for at home, at work, and at play.
I believe in the value of "selfishness" to make us better parents, more successful professionals, more connected partners, and healthier, happier people. In the modern world, our motherly instinct to relentlessly give every ounce of ourselves to our families and our work can leave us depleted, ineffective, and resentful. By investing in our own well-being, we give ourselves the necessary fuel to keep taking care of business, both at home and at work.
I believe in an individualized, whole-person approach. You can't find a sustainable, effective solution in a bubble - the cookie cutter solution is rarely the best fit. In all of my services and products, I bring multiple facets of your life into the mix in order to create personalized, practical, lasting results.
I believe in an inclusive, broad-minded definition of parents and family. Whether by birth, adoption, marriage, or circumstance...through careful planning or by chance...married, coupled, or single...with a mom and a dad, two moms, two dads, a single parent, grandparents, or countless other possibilities. I welcome anyone who identifies with the struggles and joys of a modern parent. And, by the way, I've helped some awesome dads to reach amazing results, too. So come on down, guys!
I believe in mistakes, magic, and messiness. Life does not always go according to plan. There are twists and turns along the way as we grow and evolve or stumble and fall. I believe in looking for the magic in the mess. Our mistakes, as painful and difficult as they may be, are an inevitable part of living fully. They're a chance for us to gather experiences and recalibrate into exciting new directions - like stepping stones from where we were to where we're going.
The Personal Stuff
A tried and true Cali Girl, I live in the San Jose area of Northern California with my superstar husband and our two amazing kids. I credit the three of them with teaching me my life's most profound and important lessons.
When I'm not working, tending to my family, or getting some much needed shut eye, you'll probably find me reading anything from self-help to sci-fi, singing and dancing with my family, or tinkering with graphic design. My indulgences are mint chocolate chip ice cream, filet with truffle butter, and a beautiful glass of cab, just not usually in that order. My confessions are that I'm addicted to people.com and Egg McMuffins and, even though I believe they work miracles for the soul, I still struggle with mindfulness and meditation. But I keep trying because I'm determined that they will someday click.
The Official Stuff
Professional Co-Active Coach Certification (CPCC) - Coaches Training Institute
Vision to Action Business Coaching Certification - Inspired on Demand
Family Wellness Parent Education and Coaching Certification - Family Wellness Associates
Bachelor of Science, Psychology - Santa Clara University
Master of Social Work (MSW) - San Jose State University
Non-Profit Management Certification - San Jose State University
Co-Active Coach Training - Coaches Training Institute
Past Career Experience
Director of Counseling and Family Services - YWCA of Silicon Valley
Medical Social Worker - Adolescent Family Life Program
Psychotherapist/Social Work Intern - Santa Clara County Mental Health Department
Memberships and Honors
Member - Rotary Club of San Jose
Finalist - Silicon Valley Business Journal's Women of Distinction Award
Past Commissioner - Santa Clara County Commission on the Status of Women