I'm a lawyer.
and a life coach.
Growing up on the sandy bluffs of a little oceanfront town in Southern California, surrounded by people living with financial and emotional wealth, I always felt safe and happy...until I was 12 years old.
Up until then, I had a loving family, financial security, and a sense that no one ever had any reason to feel anyway other than happy.
But then my dad died suddenly of a massive heart attack. He was only 45 years old.
Looking back, I remember being strangely stoic throughout the first couple months after his death only later realizing that I was completely avoiding and resisting all of my grief in a way that children do when they are not taught to feel negative emotions.
When I entered middle school, my grief began to surface in the form of massive self-hate and self-destructive behavior including an eating disorder that would stay with me for well over a decade. My mother’s new boyfriend - who moved into the house I grew up in only a couple months after my father died - began to physically and mentally abuse me. In my now 13 year old mind I felt like somehow I must have deserved all of this.
As the years past, my incredibly negative thoughts and feelings showed up in heavy drinking, drug use, and eating disorders. It finally took a rock bottom DUI and a night in jail when I was 17 to get me to realize that my life was totally out of my control.
I went to the self-help section of the local Barns & Noble and began devouring all of the self-help books that I could thinking (albeit misguidedly at that time) that these books would be able to magically “fix” what I believed to be my fundamentally broken self.
It wasn’t until much, much later that I would realize that the real wisdom I was learning was that I was never actually broken - it was just my misguided thoughts in a mismanaged mind that needed fixing.
The more I read, the more I feel deeply in love with the wisdom – the philosophies espoused – in these self-help books. Yes, I said philosophies! I believe self-help and philosophy are really the same thing. That is likely why when I went to college I took my passion for self-help and transferred it into a degree in Philosophy – the love of wisdom – the ultimate in self-help thought work.
I didn’t know it then but the philosophical questions I was asking myself and studying on a daily basis in college were actually the same types of questions that I ask myself through my own self-coaching work and through the work with my clients. Questions such as…
How do I want to choose to think?
What do I want to choose to think and why?
What do I want to believe is true and why?
How do I decide what I believe is true?
How do I want to act?
What would I need to feel and believe to act that way?
How do I want to interact with other people?
What are my values?
How can I think on purpose so that I can act according to my values?
What kind of world do I want to create with my actions to uphold my values?
Unfortunately, when I graduated with a philosophy degree in 2003, life coaching - as a practical application of a philosophy degree - was NOT an option.
If you can believe it, back then, there still was no smart phones and the googles was still in it’s infancy. So I shelved...at least for a little while...my passion for philosophical introspection and went to law school.
After that Night
from law school and passed the California bar, I worked in the public sector as a criminal prosecutor and later in the private sector as a litigator. Over the years, I began to understand how having a successful legal career DID NOT translate into having the same level of success in my personal and professional relationships. The long hours and intense focus that the law required of me left little room for deep connections with my loved ones or for creating the kinds of professional relationships that I wanted.
I also became all too familiar with one of the practical problems that came with being a litigator – namely, the daily problem of transitioning from my adversarial, analytical, and uncompromising "lawyer brain" at work to my "normal brain" at home with family and friends.
Over the years, this problem just got worse and worse as combative interactions with other attorneys with this same lawyer brain had become a part of my daily life. I felt like the adversarial energy of the law had turned me and my fellow attorneys into unreasonable, demanding and uncompromising people – personality traits in direct contrast to the types of relationships that I wanted in my life. I also began to notice that my lawyer brain was not turning off when I was with family and friends. My lawyer brain made me feel like my only two options in any conversation was either to attack or defend my position.
I also began to realize that my lawyer brain was creating a deep disconnection to my relationship with myself.
After I graduated
I continued to live my life
in this disconnected state for some time until I was jolted out by another tragedy.
In January 2018 I experienced the stillbirth of my son.
I was 8 months pregnant and lost him.
There was no medical explanation....Just that "this happens sometimes"
The grief that I began to feel was not only for the loss of my son but I felt that it was also myself grieving...for the first time... the loss of my father.
A deep seated grief that I had been pushing down for over 20 years.
A grief that was waiting for me...And I felt it all....But this time was different.
This time, my grief, which I was actually able to allow myself to feel, was here to lead me somewhere...It was leading me towards my true calling...
Even before my son's death, I had been listening to Brooke Castillo's Life Coach School podcast and had done some self-coaching work but not to the extent and level that I was committing to now.
Amazingly, at the same time I was learning the concepts and tools offered by life coaching to heal my grief, these same coaching tools were also steadily helping me in other areas of my life - including some challenging relationships I was experiencing at work and at home. I was beginning to realize that these same tools and concepts that I was learning could and were helping me to transform all of my relationships in my life including the most important one with myself.
The disconnection I used to feel slowly began to transform into connection - with myself and everyone around me.
Now, I feel empowered, free and MORE in control than I have ever felt before.
I feel compelled to tell anyone who will listen about these concepts and tools as they have helped me become a version of myself that I never thought could ever be possible.
If my story resonated with you and you are in a space in your life where you believe you are ready to learn the tools to transform a challenging relationship - with ANYONE in you life - including yourself - click on the button below so we can get started.