Everyone has a story. My story is an example of what is possible if you have trouble with overwhelm, time management and low productivity. There are many possible places you may land at different times in your life. It is unlikely you will be in one place forever. Things change for the good and for the bad. Even bad situations can bring growth and progress. I hope my story helps you find your place in the world that is right for you.
My life had always been a struggle to fit in — at school, home, or out in the world. As a child, I had few friends and was a compulsive talker. I would learn later that such behavior related to my hyperactivity.
Fortunately, there was one thing that I could do quite well. That was dance, and much to everyone’s relief I actually didn’t talk while doing it. After leaving ballet school at an early age, I found modern dance — a perfect fit for me. It came so easily to me that I didn’t respect it as being a challenging and valuable skill.
I struggled in college, but as a result of my talent in dance, I graduated with a respectable GPA.
After losing my first job in arts administration, I met another young dancer during my second position. We opened a dance studio – “Arts in Motion” – where we taught modern dance, choreography, and also managed a professional dance company (Mid American Dance Company). Before I knew it, I was not only performing with the dance company but also choreographing original works for them. This was wonderful because I had found my sweet spot.
I still had trouble getting work done, getting along with people, talking too much, and struggled as always with depression.
In 1999, I had an injury that ended my satisfying dance career – in other words, the only career at which I knew I could excel. I had back surgery to mitigate the pain and attempt to extend my dance career, but it did not succeed. It not only didn’t mitigate the pain, it made it worse. I couldn’t even hold myself up, much less walk after the surgery. My depression increased and I was rapidly spiraling downward to the point where life didn’t seem worth living.
The only good event that occurred in 1999 was that my business partner and I were able to successfully sell our business to someone who we knew was qualified to run it.
I decided to go to graduate school in dance history and education with an eye to a teaching career. My learning difficulties were such that I sought testing and discovered that I had ADHD, so much so that I qualified under the Americans with Disabilities Act. This was actually the good news. It explained so much of my struggles throughout my life. It gave me hope that despite chronic pain, mobility problems, and depression, I might achieve things I never thought possible. I knew I needed to find the proper support to keep me moving forward. This ended up including family support, doctors, and coaches.
Thus, I took to heart the famous quote from Woody Allen, “90% of life is showing up”, and simply began to show up in my new life one day at a time.
Two years later I had my Master’s degree and was accepted into the doctoral program. I realized, however, that this was not the right move for me. While looking for the right move and working to get better physically, I thought about coaching. Coaching had helped me sail through grad school and manage my pain. I believed I could be a successful, positive coach once I was trained.
I figured if I could learn to mitigate the common problems related to ADHD, I could help people who struggle with low productivity, time management and overwhelm whether they have ADHD or not. Actually, the fact that I am able to help so many people affected by ADHD live productive lives, makes me a great coach for those who may not have ADHD but struggle with some of the common symptoms.
Now, over ten years later, I have found the courage to show up each day and move forward in spite of continuing pain and attention problems. I learned you can handle almost anything if you simply show up to your problems day after day, week after week, year after year.
Finally, I know that coaching – along with good doctors – helped me through my many transitions. I still receive coaching to this day because I believe it continues to help me move forward in my life, to manage transitions, and realize my dreams both professionally and personally.
2001 – Masters of Education
Temple University, Philadelphia, PA
Admitted to PhD program
1990 – Bachelor of Arts
College of Wooster, Wooster, OH
COACHING EDUCATION & TRAINING
Professionally Certified Coach (PCC)
International Coaches Federation
Life Coaching Certification
The Institute of Life Coach Training
Suzanne Evans Coaching
ADHD Coaching Certificate
JST Coaching LLC
ADHD Effect on Couples CE Seminar
Melissa Orlov, Hallowell Center
ADHD Throughout the Lifespan
Dr. Ned Hallowell, Cape Cod Institute
Creativity Coaching Training
Eric Maisel, Creativity Coaching Association
Coaching trainers include Jodi Sleeper-Triplett, Lynn Meinke, Tina Elliot, Dr. New Hallowell, Sue Hallowell, Melissa Orlov, Dr. Kevin Murphy, Dr. Jeanne Erickson, Lisa Kramer, Russell Colver and Eric Maisel.
SELECTED ADDITIONAL COURSEWORK, PROGRAMS, AND CERTIFICATES
Meditation, Mindfulness, Stress Reduction, and Pain Management
Jefferson University Hospital Graduate School in Philadelphia
Based on a program designed by Jon Kabat-Zinn at University of Massachusetts
Pilates Teacher Training
New York City
Advanced Certificate in Non-Profit Management Program
Washington University, St. Louis, MO.
Five course certificate program
International Coaches Federation (ICF)
ADHD Coaches Organization (ACO)
National Board Member
Children and Adult with Attention Deficit Disorder (CHADD)
Adult Attention Deficit Disorder Association (ADDA)
ADHD Resource Group of Northern Virginia
Consulting Women (CW)
My promise to my clients and colleagues is that I will continually learn through training, research, and reading current literature to maintain expert status on executive functions, business and executive coaching skills.