I wanted to start my Blog off by talking about who I am, where I come from and what made me start my Life Coaching Business, Taking Back Her Brain Coaching Services.
I was born June 6 1986, I am a Gemini, a stary night lover, a moon enthusiast, and a creative soul. When I was younger I loved writing poetry, and being all in my feelings. I have always loved creating connections with people and talking to them.
I am a daughter of two parents, who were divorced when I was seven. Both parents eventually remarried. My mom and step dad are still married. My dad and his wife divorced when I was as an adult. From these marriages I grew up in a combined family, with lots of siblings. I have an older half sister (Shalynn), an older step sister (Ashli), three younger step sisters ( Melissa, Little Jess, Jennifer), one younger biological sister (Jessica) and two younger step brothers (Josh and Artie). In my family we don't do the labels. I do that for the readers, to understand, but to us we are siblings, and we are just family.
I was super close to my Grandma Judy growing up. She was my best friend. We had so many great conversations. I miss her dearly. She taught me a lot. My Grandpa was a hard working man with a lot of opinions about life, relationships, women and children. Call it generational ideology, or what you want, I would sit at the table to challenge his theories. Some he won, and some I'd like to think I opened his mind up (even just a little). He was a business owner and always went for his goals, it wasn't easy, but he never gave up.
Growing up in a house with four sisters, I am sure you could imagine, how that went, haha. So many great memories, so many challenging moments, and so many experiences that created us to be who we are today. We were all so very different, and still close (mostly). My sister Jessica and I visited my dad, his wife and other siblings on the weekends.
Looking back, I spent so much of my time (mental time) comparing myself to my sisters. We were all so different, and I was not who I wanted to be, because I wanted to be them. haha! Sound familiar, I wanted to be the popular one, I wanted to be the social one, I wanted to be the one who was in a relationship and I wanted to be the athletic one. I wasn't any of those. I was the nerdy one, I was the third wheel, I was awkward, my grades were more important to me than my social life (I didn't have a social life). I had more friends that were teachers than friends that were my age. I hung out with a few kids my age, but mostly it was me. I read books, I studied, I listened to music, and I day dreamed (a LOT).
In High School I decided I wanted to go to college to be a teacher, honestly all I really wanted to do was be a stay at home mom and find the man of my dreams (my soulmate) and get married. However growing up in a divorced family my mom always told me that I couldn't depend on a marriage, and I needed to make sure I had a career and could take care of myself. So I applied and was accepted to Cal State San Marcos. I graduated from CSUSM 2008 with a BA in Liberal Studies. I got married in my last year of college. I married Kevin May 6, 2007. I had my son Andy November 16,2007. We got a divorce in 2011. When we started the divorce process, I moved back in with my parents with my son, and went back to school to finish my teaching credential. My son stayed with my mom and my sister while I worked as an Instructional Assistant in a Special Education and I went back to school.
I earned two credentials General Education Teaching Credential (k-8), Special Education Teaching Credential (k-12), and a Masters Degree in Education (2013). I have been a Special Education Teacher for nine years.
My childhood background is like most: caring, traumatic, nurturing, and complicated. My parents did the best that they could. I say that genuinely, with love and respect for my Mom and Step Dad. My mom and step dad walked away from drug addiction, chose to put us before their addition. (I say walk away as if it was easy, I do not know how that journey was for them, all I know is it is because of them that we lived a very different life than if they had chosen their addition over us.)
My Dad, that is a different story, that's a harder story to share. I believe, or parts of me really want to believe he did the best he could do. He just didn't know better, but I struggle with sharing the past, reflecting on the past at my dads house. My dads house was not the same as my moms house. It wasn't consistently nurturing, or consistently loving. My dad lost his parents both before he was fourteen. He was a hard worker, he knew how to work, he knew how to be a hard worker, dedicated worker, absolutely. Parenting, relationships were a different story. I spent the majority of my life trying to earn my dad's love and approval. Never "understanding" what was wrong with me, or why he couldn't be there for me/ or my siblings emotionally, mentally. As I grew up I realized that it wasn't me. Work and financial security were his focus and he obtained it, until he experienced a mental health break down, through which he was diagnosed with Major Depression and Bipolar Disorder, and lost his job (2014 ish).
Living through my dad's mental break down, his diagnosis, I decided I wanted to learn more about our family genetics. I reached out to his family to ask about his childhood, his experiences and family mental health. I learned a lot, and I learned a lot about the trauma my dad and his siblings went through with his dad who was diagnosed with Schizophrenia.
In 2015, at 29, after my grandma, my step mom, and my step grandma passed away, it was a lot of loss that year, a lot of grief, and it pushed me to seek help. I remember sitting in the Albertson's parking lot just crying, I could not get out of my car, I couldn't go inside, I couldn't go grocery shopping, it was too much. That was when I knew I needed to seek help, I made an appointment with a therapist. I started therapy, and I saw a Psychiatrist. I was diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder. I started therapy and started taking antidepressants, this is what was best for me. As I went to therapy I realized that the majority of my early twenties and mid twenties, if not before, I had experienced symptoms of depression: loneliness, hopelessness, the fog (as I call it).
Through out my life I felt that love was something you had earned, my value and my worth was also something that had to be earned through validation from others: my grades, my degrees, success, my career, always following directions, always being "good", trying to always be perfect...
As I grew up, I knew that whatever I was, who ever I was going to be was up to me, it wasn't going to be because of my childhood. I was not going to spend my life, blaming who I was or who I was becoming on my parents, their choices, their childhoods, or anything else. They did the best that they could. I never spent time "blaming" or shaming my parents or grandparents for generational traits that were past down, or experiences that resulted in insecure attachment, self doubt, depression, perfectionism, codependency, people pleasing and anxiety.
I decided I wanted to learn more about genetics, the brain, and how trauma affects genetics. I wanted to learn about codependency, I wanted to learn about trauma and its affect on our nervous system, I wanted to learn about depression and anxiety, I wanted to learn more about my emotional intelligence and how to develop more emotional resilience. I wanted to learn how to rewire my brain and my reactions to become someone who demonstrated more secure attachment, autonomy, self confidence, someone who knew what depression/anxiety was and how to live with it, not fight it, not let it take over my life, but truly live. I wanted to know more, so I could do better for myself and my children.
So I started reading every book: Codependent No More (Melody Beattie), Insecure Attachment (Dr. Lesile Becker-Phelps), It Didn't Start with You (Mark Wolynn) and others...
In 2018 (ish) I found the Podcast Unf*ck Your Brain by Kara Loewentheil. It was LIFE CHANGING! In 2019 I joined her Coaching Community: "The Clutch", and attended her Coaching Program called Clutch College, I had never learned so much about the human brain, emotions, thoughts, and why I react the way I do. I had been to counseling I had been to therapy, but coaching was different. It wasn't going to the past, it was looking at me now, and what I was doing and why I was getting the results that I was getting in my life and what I had to do if I wanted to make change. I finally had all the answers I had been looking for, I found all the keys to the mystery of how to rewire my brain, I share the podcast with anyone that would listen. Throughout my time listening to her podcast, attending her events I learned about her Teacher/Mentor Brooke Castillo and the Life Coach School were she received her certification from. That is when I decided that I wanted to hear what Brooke had to teach. So I started listening to the Life Coach School Podcast. Listening to her podcast, was what finally pushed me into Decision. I decided that I wanted to become a Life Coach, I wanted to share my story and all that I had learned with other women.
I knew that all of what I was learning, all of the content that I was being taught, was life changing, it allowed me the opportunity to live life and have real life strategies to handle what life throws at you. It really helped me through 2019 when I became pregnant outside of a relationship, with my daughter Abby, a situation that I had not pictured for my life or my future daughter, and becoming a coparent with someone with complete different ideologies. She is a complete gift, and thought work has helped me be able to have amicable coparent relationship with someone who has completely different ideologies .
I knew that more women should be given the opportunity to know about thought work and self coaching and could learn from it and it could help them get what they want in life. Whether that's better relationships with coparents, friendships, family members, their partner and themselves.
In the midst of a COVID-19 Pandemic 2021 I applied to the Life Coach School and become a Certified Life Coach, and started my Life Coaching Business: Taking Back Her Brain Life Coaching Services.
I named it Taking Back Her Brain with Love, because during my time in the Life Coaching Community I have learned how to manage my mind and my emotions. I have learned how to take back my brain from its preprogramming errors, with self love and compassion.
I learned how to take back my brain from emotional reactions, perfectionism, people pleasing, codependency, insecure attachment, depression and anxiety. I learned how to take my brain back, to take my power back from anything outside of me.
That is what I want to help other women do. I want to teach them how to take their power back, I want to teach them how to manage their mind through any circumstance, I want to teach them how to have emotional resilience through any circumstance. I want to teach women how to develop more secure traits in attachment. I want to help women to live the life they want to live and be the person they are meant to be through love and compassion
I am 36 years young, mother of two children, my son is 14 and my daughter is almost 2. I am a single woman, still venturing through the dating world. I have been a Special Education Teacher for nine years. I have started a Life Coaching Business, a podcast Taking Back Her Brain and now a blog.