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Today we’d like to introduce you to Alicia Sirkin.
So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I was born right here in Miami, Florida. This was back before Miami was the vastly populated and lively city it’s known to be today. I can remember the 1950s here, when Baptist Hospital was the lone beacon sitting on acres of land surrounded by only pine trees and palmetto palms. Route US 1 wasn’t a parking lot full of disgruntled commuters, and I remember my Dad telling me that our family was the first in the neighborhood to get a color TV.
When I was 6 years old, my Dad had a heart attack—it was one of three that would eventually lead to his death at the age of 45. But the first one itself traumatized me. I needed comfort. And I found comfort in eating.
By the time I was eight years old, I was the heaviest girl in my third grade class. I was embarrassed by my body—felt very self-conscious—and began to diet in yo-yo fashion, losing weight, then putting it right back on.
I loved eating unhealthy food. Ice cream; chocolate candy; cookies; that cold, creamy icing on those frozen ice cream cakes from birthday parties. I craved comfort foods. This was all happening because of my mental state, and I soon learned that my mental state had a lot to do with my health. And it kept happening.
At the age of 13, my school put me into honors classes. The stress and worry about performing well resulted in terrible stomach pain and a spastic stomach diagnosis, which led to being prescribed muscle relaxers and narcotics for pain. But that still didn’t stop the eating. At the age of 20, just as I was starting out my dental hygiene career, I’d drive around with bags of candy in my glove compartment so my mother wouldn’t find out. I was a sneak-eater and a sugar addict.
And then it happened. I experienced a symptom of diabetes. My 5′ 3″ frame was outmatched by my size 16 clothes, which, on that very weekend, became too tight to wear. I had an emotional breakdown. I was petrified that if I continued this way of life, I’d end up in an early grave just like my father. I did not want to suffer like him. My intense fear of this happening shaped an immediate change in my mindset and I decided to take charge. I lost 36 pounds and dropped 5 dress sizes within a year, and I have managed to maintain that weight up until today, 49 years later. And I never became diabetic.
During this time, I’ve learned that health is much more than the physical body itself. My thoughts, my feelings, my attitudes–these are what mold the shape of my health. What I think, I become. I studied and utilized mind-based re-balancing modalities, healthy lifestyle and dietary regimens, and life-long skills and techniques that helped me reverse other health conditions and maintain great health. Because I was setting a strong intention to create health and be well, I began attracting teachers, professionals, and healers that reminded me I am more than my body.
One of the people I attracted was my physician, who over thirty years ago introduced me to the 38 Bach Flower Remedies, which is a natural re-balancing system that restores positive outlooks and attitudes. Bach remedies were extremely effective in helping me manage and release unwanted fears, feelings of being overwhelmed, patterns of over-serving others that led to the neglect of my own needs, and other distressing states of mind. Using this remedy system changed my life. I enrolled in the International Program for Registered Coach-Practitioners and have been an approved teacher for nearly 20 years.
Prior to finding my greater calling which led me to become published, I graduated from Temple University with a degree in Dental Hygiene. I was a preventative health educator, teaching people how to properly cleanse their teeth—remove the bad and the healing will begin. The ideology for what I do now was in my head the entire time. It just took my personal crisis to realize that my true passion was helping others free their mind of any outside negativity and allow themselves to be healthier.
I craved to learn more about these strategies: positive mindsets, Bach flower remedies, meditation, tapping techniques to clear negative thoughts, and how to use whole plant-based foods to reverse and manage health conditions—things that worked. In the 1980s, I studied and researched these strategies in order to develop educational programs. I lectured locally on the Energetics of Food, and taught vegetarian/vegan cooking classes and Bach flower remedies at Miami Dade College. For nearly a decade, I guest lectured on Bach flower remedies in an interdisciplinary course at the University of Miami’s School of Nursing (now known as the School of Nursing and Health Studies) in collaboration with the Department of Anthropology. And in an independent study held at the School of Nursing, also collaborated with faculty members on a double-blind placebo controlled study on the Bach remedy crisis formula for high-situational anxiety, later published by a peer reviewed journal. I was also invited by a medical student and faculty group to teach a Lunch-and-Learn program at UM’s Miller School of Medicine.
Wanting to learn more, I continued to study and research my findings and have written for many publications. I love informing the public of how to integrate these remedies into everyday life whenever difficult situations may arise and when self-correction isn’t working. In my Live Balanced and Bold coaching program, I call these remedies ‘enablers’; for they help enable the positive changes we’re striving towards.
I’ve always felt the road to empowerment and health is through knowledge. Knowing how to effectively manage our health is essential to living a vibrant and healthy life. Scientific studies teach us that those who hold positive thoughts and beliefs experience longer, more active lives.
Every day I hold myself accountable for identifying what’s out of balance within my body and my mind. Once I decide what I can do to correct the issue, I take the Action Steps necessary to re-balance and recover, whether it’s an unwanted or difficult state of mind, or an issue in my physical body.
Approaching life in this way has taught me that being observant and living in the moment can often prevent major difficulties in the future. This pattern is built into my Live Balanced and Bold life coaching program. It’s worked for me and I’m passionate about sharing it.
This year I’ll turn 70. I’ve far outlived my Dad and I feel vibrant, ageless, and whole.
Has it been a smooth road?
Thirty-five years ago, when I decided to change my diet to whole foods, plant-based choices, and added Bach Flower Remedies, few others were interested in doing the same—using these steps, anyway. In the 1950s until the 1980s, the Western medicine model taught society that the doctor is your healer. Sick? Go to the doctor and he or she will do the work for you, give you a pill or some sort of treatment, and that would help you heal.
That was what everyone was told so that was what everyone did. So news about the efficacy and benefits of mind-based, natural, holistic and plant-based dietary practices and modalities were widely unknown. With that, I experienced a challenging uphill climb.
Few relatives and friends in my social circles understood what I was doing and the changes I was making. But I was determined to follow what I believed would help me be well again. As I found success in my own well-being, others began to see it as well.
Friends began referring friends to learn about Bach remedies so I could teach them how to tap into their own wisdom and shift mindsets. It has always been my passion to teach and coach what I’ve found valuable, and thus my coaching practice was born.
Fortunately, visibility today has changed. Things have turned around and the holistic modalities I use in coaching strategies are more accepted. Teaching how to use the conscious mind to overcome obstacles is one of the most exciting areas of self-help that I now teach.
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the The Sirkin Creative Living Center story. Tell us more about the business.
Our focus is to help empower clients with the knowledge that they can change their lives for the better, even if they feel doubtful and helpless to do so. We’re here to let them know that a change in their mindset will change the outcome of their lives.
Our coaching programs are built upon the principles of living in the moment, motivation through intention and accountability, and success through empowerment and education.
We at Sirkin Creative Living Center create a system of successful strategies, tools, and Action Steps unique to each individual that we coach. We start with my Live Balanced and Bold: 5 Steps to Change Your Life program, which is a step-by-step way to learn and grow, form new patterns, and gain greater clarity to make healthier choices. We also integrate principles of gratitude and forgiveness into our program to help build life-long patterns of inner peace and harmony. And this is only the beginning of how we can help.
In addition to these Action Steps, I also look deeper into my clients’ needs, and assess whether or not professional, medical, holistic, or mental healthcare is appropriate, and if coaching may only be the beginning of their journey to feeling better about themselves and their life.
We truly feel honored to help coach clients through difficult times, both small and large. We help them to see the silver lining in the dark clouds. To let them know that there are no wrong choices, and every decision we make takes us in the right direction. We help people get unstuck. To find their vision. To get out of their own way and maneuver around the bumps in the road that hamper our success. Here at the Sirkin Creative Living Center, we help clients to see their beauty, their worth, and their value, and to gain greater control of their lives. We empower them to align their current goals with their greater purpose.
Our approach is unique and individualized. The holistic modalities we teach enrich and enhance positivity, shift perceptions, and are catalysts for moving lives in new directions. Our clients learn, grow, and change in positive ways.
It is a joy and a privilege to co-actively coach clients while they transform their lives and reach new heights they never thought possible. We have a great deal of respect for the people that walk through our doors, ready to make a change for the better. Helping people address their problems, find their vision, and get out of their own way is what we do. Through our various methods of Live Balanced and Bold coaching methods, the Sirkin Creative Living Center is committed to bringing the most heart-centered and beneficial life coaching experience to women and families.
There’s just so much more that we do. I could go on forever. But if you want to achieve greater success and vitality in life and activities, connect with us at www.sirkincreativeliving.com for a free coaching session. Spend some time with us. Let us help you, and in return, you’ll be helping yourself.
How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
I see the life coaching industry growing exponentially over the next 5 to 10 years. Stress is rampant in today’s busy world, and coaching for maximizing a broad base of life skills in order to enhance greater calm and control is essential for people to succeed in both their personal and professional lives. I believe niche coaching practices will become sought after as corporations, small businesses, and individuals begin to learn and understand the benefits of high performance for health and vitality on all levels: body, mind, and spirit. I predict that our innate craving to be well, whole and in charge of our lives with the help of a life coach will have greater appeal than ever before.