My passion is helping women and men who are in the second half of life and at 50, 60, 70 and 80 are questing for new horizons, meaningful work, renewed vitality, higher self-awareness, deeper connection to others and the world. I use the tools of Life Coaching to support older adults in finding and living their authentic selves as they age.
My educational background is a B.A. in Human Service, M.A. in Theology, studies in mental health and substance recovery, and I am a Board Certified Life Coach. In the social work field for most of my life, I have assisted hundreds of people struggling with major life crises including mental health, medical issues, relationship changes, loss and grief, substance abuse, unemployment, poverty, homelessness. These were often people forced by dire circumstances to make major changes, and were too deeply in crisis to envision and independently act on these transitions. As I retired from this work, I realized I now wanted to assist people that may not be in immediate crisis, but rather feel an inner calling to making an active Choice to change.
I was led to this by my own journey. On my 60th birthday, I went to a cottage on a Maine lake with my sisters to swim, kayak, hike trails, soak up sun, play scrabble, talk, laugh and eat ice cream. It was a memorable week of being in nature, physical exercise, and fun. I felt I was beginning an exciting new life stage in which I would be able to ultimately “retire.” In my mind retirement meant I would finally be free, able to do whatever I chose to do whenever I wanted to do it.
As I moved further into my 60s, the projected excitement of this new phase faded. I was still working and worrying about my financial future. I gradually became possessed by thoughts of aging – fears, worries, regrets, should haves, would haves and if only’s. The changes brought by aging can bring fear and dread of the future, a feeling you no longer recognize yourself in the mirror, or in the way your body feels. Stereotypes created by an ageist society can fill our minds with negative self-images and alter our sense of identity. For me, the dread of aging became so overwhelming and restricting that I knew I had to find a way to change my thinking if I were going to enjoy the next 20 (or 30 or 40) years of my life.
During this time of searching, I joined with a group of women, all over 60, to share where we were in our lives, feelings we were experiencing as we age, and issues we would face going forward. We met monthly and shared our thoughts, fears, challenges, joys. My fear and distaste for the aging process began to ebb away as we shared what it meant to be who we were at this time of our lives. I loved these women, they were amazing! I loved how old we were! I loved our shared histories, our common experiences.
At 70, I finally chose to “retire” …. and begin a new career. I completed an educational program at the Institute for Life Coach Training, became a Board Certified Coach, and began creating a coaching practice. I am committed to work with older adults and explore with them the path of aging in all its complexity, with its unique positives and challenges. I encourage people to live fully, with passion, investment, and commitment at 50, 60, 70, 80, 90. I coach them as they go through the process I had gone through to stop denying the process of aging, stop running away from it, and ultimately embrace a new paradigm of aging.