I am absolutely delighted to share my personal journey, lessons and insights with you today. I’ve had the privilege of being interviewed by Meredith Porte, a wonderful media producer and television show host. Our conversation delves deep into the challenges we face in life, and how we can navigate them with patience, optimism, and authenticity. I’d like to take you on a journey through my experiences and the wisdom I’ve gained that has enriched my work as a life coach.
My Journey Begins
My journey into the realm of personal growth and life coaching started many years ago. Before making it my career, it was my passion to help people in various ways. In 1992, I advocated for healthier eating, promoted nourishing foods, and encouraged wellness in my community. I remember those early days when I collaborated with administrators at my son’s high school to add healthier, low cholesterol plant based food options in the cafeteria. Back then, it was a hint of the path I would later walk on, but my true calling was guiding individuals through their personal challenges.
The Road Less Traveled
As a Life Coach, I invite people to unlock the power of their minds and transform their lives. One essential aspect of my approach is the integration of the body with the mind. It involves fostering a healthy mindset, developing self-awareness, nurturing discipline, and embracing authenticity. Over 30 years ago (thanks to an introduction from my personal physician) I delved into the realm of Bach Flower Remedies, a natural system of rebalancing common mental disharmonies, becoming an internationally approved educator and known researcher in this field.
Navigating Life’s Challenges
As Meredith and I discussed in our interview, the challenges life throws our way are diverse. These challenges can range from personal health issues to relationship struggles or the pursuit of one’s purpose. Most people, at some point in their lives, find themselves facing obstacles that seem insurmountable. It’s crucial to remember that these challenges, while not always preventable, are opportunities to learn, grow and change for the better.
Many people who seek guidance from life coaches, like myself, are often at a crossroads. They may not necessarily be experiencing severe depression or emotional dysfunction requiring professional therapy. Instead, they feel something isn’t quite right in their lives. They sense that their current approaches or patterns are not producing the results they desire. This awareness is the first step to beginning the inner work and reprogramming what hasn’t worked.
I meet my clients where they are. We look at immediate challenges and goals. Self-awareness and self-assessment are first steps in this process. We must identify what isn’t working and why. What are the goals and what do they wish to achieve? What areas of their lives are they ready to improve? With these insights, we can set the stage for change.
Desire, Intention, and Action
A pivotal point in overcoming challenges is recognizing your desire for change. As I always say, the desire to change is the spark that ignites the path to a better life. It’s the starting point that leads to setting a strong intention. Intention, in turn, can drive decisions to take actionable steps. These steps are the practical strategies needed to progress towards your goals.
However, change requires accountability. Holding ourselves responsible for following through on our chosen action steps is where so many of us get stuck. That’s why doable Action Steps have a built in recovery plan for stuckness which includes understanding what the stuckness is about and ways to overcome obstacles. As I guide my clients, we develop manageable action plans and the discipline needed to stick to them. It’s essential that we be kind to ourselves, realizing we’re not perfect (nor is the world we live in) and do the very best we can in every situation so there are no regrets.
Reflection and Rewriting Patterns
It’s often helpful to reflect upon the past in an attempt to discover where patterns and beliefs were first created. Our early life experiences, the comments we heard, the behaviors and situations we observed often play a significant role in shaping our present. A pivotal moment for me came when I realized that my emotional eating habits began when I was six years old.
My father’s health struggles and massive heart attack at age 36 led to emotional eating. I found comfort in junk food, sadly resulting in sugar, chocolate and ice cream addictions, overweight and poor body image. This pattern continued throughout nine years while he suffered additional heart attacks until his death at age 45 when I was sixteen. After his death I continued to numb my emotions with food to fill the void left by his absence. I felt abandoned. My journey towards healing began when I was twenty and hit rock bottom with an emotional breakdown and symptoms of a chronic illness. It was at this moment that I committed to making a change, no matter what it took, and embarked on a path to a holistic, preventive lifestyle. I promised myself I wouldn’t follow in my father’s footsteps, living painfully and dying due to a chronic disease at a young age.
Navigating Lifestyle Diseases
This transformative journey also led me to better understand the importance of healthy choices. It wasn’t merely about losing weight but making choices that promote overall health. While I was eating what I thought was a healthy diet, I learned the hard way that being at a “healthy weight” didn’t mean I was disease free. True health goes beyond appearances.
By the time I was 30, I had to confront another health challenge, one that had the potential to become severe and I was deeply frightened. It was a wake-up call to reassess my lifestyle choices, learn and practice ways to prevent disease based upon science to lower risk, and potentially reverse disease symptoms. As I consulted experts and followed a healing plan to address my symptoms and underlying causes, I felt empowered. Over several months, my fear began to dissipate as did my physical symptoms. My doctor was surprised. I learned that true health is not just about what we eat and how we eat, but how we think and how we live. By choosing health as a priority, making informed choices, practicing healthy mindset techniques to support the healing process we can prevent and in some cases reverse the lifestyle diseases that can destroy our joy, inner peace and quality of life. Four decades later, I continue to be free of any chronic illness.
The Path of Learning and Growing
My life’s journey has been one of continuous learning and growing. I’ve learned to embrace the imperfections in myself and the world around me. This acceptance has allowed me to view so-called “mistakes” as opportunities for growth. I no longer dwell on past missteps and instead I look to discover and learn the lessons they taught me, finding ways to release old patterns that haven’t served me well. I practice being kind to myself. I notice and stop the negative self-talk and forgive myself for those times my judgment fails me, knowing my inner work will help me form better choices and patterns in the future. This takes practice!
A Personal Invitation
In conclusion, I invite you to consider your own journey. If you find yourself facing challenges, or if you simply sense that there is more to your life, I encourage you to embark on a path of self-discovery and growth. My story is a testament to the fact that our past does not define our future.
If you’re seeking personal growth, transformation, and guidance in overcoming your challenges, I’m here to support you. You are not alone, and your path to a healthier, more authentic, and fulfilling life starts with the first step. Reach out to me, and together, we can navigate life’s challenges with grace and resilience.
For the complete interview and more insights, I invite you to watch the video here. It’s my hope that my story and the wisdom shared during this conversation will inspire you on your journey to personal growth and well-being.
Alicia is a Personal Life Coach based in Miami, FL and Aspen, CO. She works both virtually and in-person with clients who want to better their lives and feel more empowered. Alicia offers structured guidance to make tough life decisions, such as when making career/life changes, managing difficult relationships, feeling stuck, looking for direction, coping with health issues or feeling indecisive, unworthy, scattered or lost. Learn more here.