I’m Joining the TODAY Parenting Team Community: Wanna Come?

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I gave birth to my first child Sean in the dead of winter in New York City.

He came 2.5 weeks early, which meant I was prepared for the birth (I studied everything I could about that!), but hadn’t yet gotten to the chapter in “The Happiest Baby on the Block” about how to actually take care of this bundle of joy, cries, pee and poop. Yikes!

I was holed up in my apartment trying to figure it all out while sleep deprived and often alone with just my baby as my hubby traveled for work.

It was an exciting yet lonely time.

Luckily in my NYC neighborhood, there was a prenatal yoga studio that offered a new mom support group and I signed us up! I needed a safe space to be around other new moms and talk through this new role we were growing into. How liberating!

My head was spinning as I was receiving so much contradictory advice on sleep, nursing, bathing, playtime, napping, and “me time.”

This group saved my life!

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And I saw a need for more of these support groups (they’d usually be filled up weeks in advance and turning moms away due to space!) so I partnered with a fantastic organization for moms and moms-to-be called mommybites to start facilitating these groups for more new moms in NYC.

It was pure heaven supporting these women and their beautiful babies.

NYC is great at offering support and resources for parents and I’ll always be grateful I lived there when I became a parent.

A mom in one of my groups was Rebecca Dube. She and I really hit it off and have stayed in touch through the years.

She’s a huge believer in support for parents EVERYWHERE as the Senior Editor at TODAY.com, overseeing the parenting section of the TODAY show website.

We got together on a recent trip to NYC and I asked how I could support her work with my work. That’s when magic happens … when we help each other out to make a difference in the world.

Moms and moms-to-be: it’s time to move away from snarky comments, judgment and guilt.

Ready to take the PARENTING conversation to the next level?

Excellent … because I have the coolest news to share!!

NBC’s TODAY Show is launching the TODAY Parenting Team community with one gorgeous intention: SUPPORT.

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It’s a place to ask and answer questions, to share your thoughts and to support other parents. Nobody is the perfect parent, but all of us have something to offer, whether it’s a practical solution, inspirational advice or just a funny story to get us through the day.

And the good peeps at TODAY have asked me to be a contributor to the platform! I’m honored and humbled.

My first post is about loving yourself enough to not lose yourself in motherhood. It’s a very real and vulnerable look at how to handle the contradictory advice you receive as a new mom that continues everyday through your parenting adventure.

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Come check it out, leave a comment and share with the mamas in your world!

I truly want to let every mother know that she’s not alone on her journey as she raises her child.

We are all in this together. ❤️

CLICK HERE to read my post and join this SUPPORTIVE community of parents raising the future generation of our world.

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The Making of a Coach [Part 2]

The Making of a Coach [Part 2](1)

** This is a continuation of a multi-part series on how I’ve built my coaching business. If you missed part 1, check it out here. **

Welcome to Part 2 of my series: The Making of a Coach.

I like to think of my life as BC (Before Coaching) and AC (After Coaching).

My entire life changed when I discovered the field of coaching and said YES to an extensive coach training program.

This was March 2008.

In November 2007, I quit my $175,000 a year job as a conference producer in New York City while in the midst of a 200-hour yoga teacher training program.

At that point, I didn’t know much about the field of coaching. It hadn’t yet exploded onto the internet or in our collective conscious like it has now.

But as fate would have it, I met a woman in a workshop led by Jonathan Fields who was a yoga teacher and creativity coach.

At that point, I was really trying to figure out what the heck I was doing with my career since I had quit my corporate job and was trying to figure out the next step in my work.

I considered becoming a teacher with Teach for America, training to become a nutritionist with IIN, taking a corporate fundraising position with St. Jude Children’s Hospital, becoming a marketing executive for a branding firm, going for my 500-hour yoga teaching certificate, and selling yoga apparel at lululemon in my neighborhood.

Pretty diverse options, right?

That’s my Gemini mind at play!

Having babies was in my future so this was a consideration for my new career path.

What would allow me to make a great impact in the world with my gifts, earn a fantastic income AND have a flexible, freedom-based schedule with me calling the shots?

When I heard the word “coach,” my curiosity was piqued. My body took notice and something inside me shifted as I contemplated this path.

Just what was this “coach” thing?

I madly researched coaching schools and found one that spoke to me to the tune of $9,000 and 10 months of hard-core training.

Throughout the course, I evolved into what I had always been deep down inside: A COACH, a GUIDE, a TEACHER.

I learned to listen holographically, ask open-ended questions, reframe situations, work with different levels of energy … the list goes on.

Most importantly, I found myself again after spending much of my 10-year career feeling like I had taken a wrong turn.

I LOVED coaching.

Loved what it did for both coach and client.

Having known so much about psychotherapy after working with my fantastic therapist for several years, I appreciated how coaching shifted energy quickly in high-functioning clients who were committed to their growth.

Everywhere I went, I would tell friends and strangers what I was up to and that’s exactly how I got my clients.

I didn’t have a website or email list or newsletter until July of 2009 – 17 months into my coaching career.

So getting clients at the beginning of my coaching business involved me spreading the word about what I was doing to anyone who would listen and handing out my trusty business cards.

I did a lot of 30-minute “complimentary” coaching sessions by phone and was able to convert a good number of prospects into paying clients.

I’ll never forget when I got my first paying client! I was still in coach training and I was simply over the moon that this gal – a friend of a friend – was interested in hiring me as her career coach. I took it as a sign from the Universe that I was exactly where I was supposed to be.

When I first started, I would coach my clients 4 times a month at around $300 a month. This was the holy grail of coaching. If you could sign a client who wanted the 4-time-a-month package, you were doing a happy dance!

To accommodate different commitment levels and budgets, I also would offer 2 sessions a month at around $200 a month. I’d assign homework between sessions and would be available for email coaching.

Honestly, it felt like free money because I loved the work so much.

After signing a number of clients into multi-month coaching packages, I realized we had a problem.

And that problem was this: the model that I had been taught in coach training was not going to work long term. It was truly a broken model for a gal like me.

Sure, I was having fun coaching my clients. I was making a difference in their lives and I was earning some money.

But I got pregnant with my first baby in May 2008 (yay!) and I knew I wouldn’t be able to coach 5 days a week for hours at a time once my baby was born. I also knew that even IF I wanted to keep this schedule, the money simply wouldn’t add up to what I desired for my family or lifestyle.

Up to this point, I wasn’t even coaching full-time. I was pulling in MORE money as a freelance consultant as a conference producer (this is the job I used to do when I worked in corporate) and this took up about 75% of my work week.

But I LOVED coaching and I didn’t love being a conference producer anymore. I was doing it simply to help pay the bills as I built my coaching business.

So I started thinking about what I could do to LEVERAGE my time more effectively, step away from my freelance consulting work, and generate more income as a coach.

The year is now 2009 and my first baby Sean had just entered the world in early January.

I joined a new mom’s support group to help me navigate the world of motherhood, which was a God-send.

I eventually got the idea to launch my own new mom support group on the Upper West Side with a company called babybites (now called mommybites) as there was a major need for it.

This group took off and in the span of a year we went from offering 1 moms group per  week to 16 groups per week around the city.

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It was during these groups that I saw the magic of women coming together to support each other. I saw the magic of soul sisterhood. This is truly where my love of group coaching was born!

At this time in mid-2009, internet marketing was getting some of my attention.

I had launched my website (I paid a designer $1,000 to build this for me) and published my first monthly newsletter and started growing my list on Constant Contact.

My first website circa 2009!

My first website circa 2009!

I was on Facebook and involved in some online networking groups.

It was in one of these online networking groups that I met a gal who had a shared interest in supporting moms online.

She knew A LOT more than I did about online marketing, CRM software, teleconference lines, sales pages, preview calls and more … but I was so eager to learn.

We put our heads together and eventually launched my first-ever group coaching program called the Inner Mama Mastery Program. It was a 3-month program that we were in love with.

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We thought we’d get like 300 women to sign up during our launch. What did we know? I think we got about 10 and then we offered a few bring-a-friend for free spots, which brought our total enrollment to about 16 women.

I was CRUSHED as I realized this world was a lot more complex than I thought, but also so PUMPED to be working with women from AROUND THE WORLD through the power of technology.

There was something totally magical about this and I was hooked on the world of online marketing, but realized I needed to know A LOT more if I ever wanted to be successful as a coach doing business with women around the globe.

What did I do next?

Released my conference production consulting (I was free!) and signed up for my first-ever entrepreneur conference called SHINE hosted by a big-time business owner named Ali Brown who I had just heard of a few months prior.

I sold my wedding dress to afford the ticket. (I tell that story in my book “Get Gutsy.”)

I left my baby for the first time and had to pump the entire time I was away since I was nursing.

That conference changed my life and saved my business.

I would not still be coaching if I hadn’t invested in myself and learned everything I needed to know about establishing my brand platform online.

And that is where we will pick up with the next post in our series on “The Making of a Coach” …

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If you feel you’re being called to the COACHING industry as your career or a supplement to what you’re doing now, but aren’t sure how to actually BE a COACH …

(You’ve got questions like:

How do you hold the space during your client sessions?

How do you onboard clients?

What do you charge?

How do you work with clients?

What technology do you need?

What policies and procedures will keep you in business?

How do you actually get clients?)

… then you’ll want to keep your eyes open for what I’ve got brewing.

I’m looking for a gutsy crew of women who are ready to step into the next generation of COACHES who are changing the world with their GIFTS.

Enter your information below if you want to get on our early notification list when my COACH TRAINING IMMERSION is open for enrollment.

Focus of the Month: Workshops + Seminars

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I’m a HUGE believer in RETREATING (not only hosting them but attending them as well).

Over the weekend, I attended a writing and meditation retreat at Kripalu here in the Berkshires (if you’ve never been there, you MUST go at some point in your life) led by an amazing writer named Dani Shapiro.

The retreat began on Friday, February 27, which was the 21st anniversary of my sister Julie’s passing. It was the PERFECT place to honor my sister’s spirit.

I feel more connected to her today than I ever have.

I wrote, meditated, made new writer friends, practiced yoga, danced, napped, ate delicious, healthy food, read and hit the pause button on life.

Workshops, events, retreats, seminars and courses (both in-person AND online) have CHANGED MY LIFE and SAVED MY LIFE.

I’ve attended at least 200 of these in my lifetime .. and I’m not done yet!

I’ve been an attendee and I’ve been the host. I love both roles.

My last corporate job had me developing and hosting 3-day business conferences and booking keynote speakers like Tony Robbins, Colin Powell, Malcolm Gladwell and Ken Blanchard among many other thought leaders. That job led me to what I’m doing now in my mission-driven business.

Now I get to host events like my Business Adventure School mastermind retreats and my annual event ALCHEMY Live that I truly want to attend! And I get to attend events that I really want to attend (and they are tax write-offs, too!).

This month, I’m kicking off a new series and I’m OVER THE MOON about it.

Here’s how it will work:

  • Each month for the rest of 2015, we’ll be focusing on a THEME to explore together.
  • In the blog post that goes with the theme, I’ll share a few ideas about bringing this THEME to life in your world.
  • I want to hear from YOU in the Facebook comments section below about how you’re bringing this theme to life.
  • Please SHARE this post with your networks so these ideas can CIRCULATE!

Excited?

Me too!

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The theme for March is: WORKSHOPS + SEMINARS.

I want YOU to go deeper into your interests and potential. Seriously, there is nothing sweeter than learning more about a topic along with like-hearted, like-minded souls!

Ideas for bringing this idea to life:

  • Sign up for free online calls and webinars on topics you’re excited to learn more about.
  • Go through your notes from past workshops and write down 3 things that you’re ready to take action on this month.
  • Find a picture of a workshop or retreat you’d REALLY like to attend (or already know you’re attending) and make it your screen saver so you can focus on your intention of making this happen.
  • Make a list of all the live or online workshops, seminars, retreats and events you want to attend this year (if you don’t know, ask people in your network what events they go to). Block these off in your calendar NOW (even if you have NO IDEA how you’ll make it happen).
  • Make a list of the workshops, programs or events you’d like to HOST this year. This may scare you a bit. Don’t let fear get the best of you!
  • Start a “LEARNING FUND” where you automatically transfer a set amount of money each month so that when you’re called to sign up for something you’re excited about, you’ll have a jump-start on the investment.

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Okay, your turn!

I want to hear from YOU in the Facebook comments section below about how you’re bringing this theme to life. Everyone who comments below by March 31, 2015 will be entered into win an autographed copy of my book “Get Gutsy: A Sacred, Fearless Guide for Finding Your Soul’s Calling and Living Your Dream.”

Please SHARE this post with your networks so these ideas can CIRCULATE!

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Here’s to a MAGNIFICENT MARCH.

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It Could Have Been Me …

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It could have happened …

It could have been me and not her. It could have been me who got sick at dad’s house in Georgia over Christmas and not been able to get on the airplane to fly home to Florida.

It could have been me who was poked and prodded and analyzed and told by doctors that they didn’t know why I was sick and maybe it was ulcers and maybe it was purely psychological and all in my head.

It could have been me who was told a tumor was found in my brain.

It could have been me who had my skull cut open to have a tumor removed from my brain.

It could have been me who had a plastic shell made for the outside of my head so I could be eased into the radiation machine at Shands Hospital.

It could have been me who had to miss weeks of 6th grade due to my treatment in Gainesville, Florida.

It could have been me staying at the Ronald McDonald House with the other sick kids and their families.

It could have been me who had a pen pal with a serious illness who lived while I died.

It could have been me who got better and beat cancer only to learn a few months later that it was back with a vengeance, this time on my brain stem and spine.

It could have been me who couldn’t keep my balance on my bike because of the tumors.

It could have been me who ate shark cartilage and went through the hell that is chemotherapy.

It could have been me who lost my hair.

It could have been me who had a surprise Valentine’s Day party in my 7th grade class a few weeks before I died.

It could have been me who had seizures.

It could have been me who felt like I had to go to the bathroom all the time and whose face got puffy and broken out because of the steroids.

It could have been me.

It could have been me who had the fucking disease called CANCER.

Julie towards the end

It could have been me who found God and asked for my Last Rites to be given as I sat in my hospital bed, praying and dying.

It could have been me saying goodbye to my healthy sister Julie and parents and family.

It could have been me writing her poem instead of my poem.

It could have been me dying at 12 years, 10 months, 7 days.

BUT. IT. WASN’T.

It was her. It was Julie.

It was her path … and this is mine.

For so many lost, grief-fueled years, I didn’t know why.

That energy healing and channeling session with Lisa Hines and writing and publishing my book have given me the answers.

21 years after Julie took her last breath, I have clarity.

My work is here.

Julie’s work is there.

We emitted so much ENERGY between us that we needed to split and divide and conquer.

Divide and conquer.

Divvy up and heal.

Do the work.

Share the message.

Heal the hearts.

Rise the tides.

Shine the light.

Sisters on a mission.

SISTERS NEVER DIE.

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The Healing Power of Crystals

The Healing Power of Crystals

I love rocks.

I often will bring stones and crystals like citrine, rose quartz or amethyst into my client retreats and live events for sacred ritual.

Everyone who attended my baby shower when I was pregnant with my first child in 2008 received rocks with the word “love” written on them. We did a really powerful ritual as we passed the rocks around. I’ll never forget that experience.

A giant piece of citrine, the “success stone” that symbolizes abundance, is prominently displayed on my office desk.

There is something magical about the strength of rocks. The healing energy these stones emit is deep-rooted and real.

Did you know that healing properties of certain stones were first recorded in the early Egyptian days? Wow!

After growing up at the ocean in Florida and then spending my 20s in the concrete jungle that is New York City, I now make my home in the mountains of Western Massachusetts.

I’m surrounded by powerful, energizing rocks everywhere I look!

Rocks ground me.

My kids love rocks too. They pick them up and we put them all around our house in glass containers and on windowsills.

Anytime I have a question about which stones can help me in my business and life, I turn to one brilliant gal named Hibiscus Moon.

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Hibiscus and I met online about a year ago and she just blew me away with her knowledge and passion about crystals and her business model!

She seriously is one of the smartest, most spirit-led women I’ve ever had the good fortune of knowing.

We got to hang out IN PERSON on my recent trip to Florida. She radiates so much light. She’s like a real live crystal in a human’s body!

Hibiscus is the founder and developer of the curriculum for the Hibiscus Moon Certified Crystal Healer Course. She’s also the author of the best-selling book, Crystal Grids: How and Why They Work.

Hibiscus has loved crystal beauty all her life, but as an adult she began seriously exploring the spiritual and metaphysical facets of working with them as a healing tool. After several years of research and practice she began teaching others about Mother Earth’s natural gifts.

When her incredible Hibiscus Moon community (she now has more than 200,000 Facebook fans!) asked her to create a Certified Crystal Healer Course, she got to work researching but couldn’t find anything out there that had the integrity and science she was looking for.

So she created it herself.

It’s an amazing story of following your passion and solving a real need in the market!

  • Can you feel the inherent mystical power in crystals & stones?
  • Are you drawn to working with the energies of crystals & stones but just not sure how to use them & what to do with them?
  • Do you feel you have a special connection with them & would like to enhance that connection?
  • You can feel that there’s an inherent mystical power in crystals & stones, right? How about backing it up with science?
  • Are you looking for a crystal healing course with vibrant community, real integrity & internationally recognized certification?

If you are nodding your head YES right now, then I invite you to check out my friend Hibiscus Moon’s amazing crystal healer course.

Click here for all the details before enrollment closes on March 6.

Following your passion always pays sparkly dividends.

Rock it out!

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Crystals Not Your Thing, But Coaching Is?

If you feel you’re being called to the COACHING industry as your career or a supplement to what you’re doing now, but aren’t sure how to actually BE a COACH …

(You’ve got questions like:

How do you hold the space during your client sessions?

How do you onboard clients?

What do you charge?

How do you work with clients?

What technology do you need?

What policies and procedures will keep you in business?

How do you actually get clients?)

… then you’ll want to keep your eyes open for what I’ve got brewing.

I’m looking for a gutsy crew of women who are ready to step into the next generation of COACHES who are changing the world with their GIFTS.

Enter your information below if you want to get on our early notification list when my COACH TRAINING IMMERSION is open for enrollment.