I’m absolutely humbled and grateful for the opportunity to work with these lovely, amazing, professional women! Here are just some of my clients – throughout the last decade – who had the courage to take a closer look at their lives, identify what was working and what wasn’t, and then bravely make the positive change necessary to live a more purposeful and joyful life. Introducing the bright faces of LifeShine!
(Psst: Attention men – here are a few words from your peers, too).
Lisa Brotzler, Director of Sales
From 90 mph…to feeling more peaceful and organized and leading her team proactively
“When I first started working with Michelle, I was running through life at 90 mph. I wasn’t managing my time well, I didn’t feel organized, and I often showed up to meetings feeling unprepared. Basically, I was reacting to what was in front of me vs. taking charge and living life proactively.
Michelle had a gentle but firm approach, which was very powerful! Together, we figured out the systems and processes I needed to put in place to feel more in control of my life. I identified the triggers that caused my reactiveness and became more aware of my priorities. Then, I started blocking time on my calendar for strategic planning and proactive work, and in doing so – found that I was able to be more strategic and proactive in my approach to both my business and personal life. I practiced slowing down. I clarified my important goals. As a leader, it felt great to start delegating and lead my team proactively.
Through coaching, I’ve learned to take the time – daily and weekly – to prioritize for upcoming meetings and events. I’m evaluating situations before saying ‘yes’; in fact, I’m saying ‘no’, unless it will enrich my life. I feel peaceful and more organized and continue to be mindful of streamlining my approach.
Working with Michelle was a pleasure, and it’s apparent that she loves what she does! I felt the warmth and love in every contact with her, whether it was face-to-face, phone call, or email. She has surrounded herself with strong and talented women, and I love the social events she plans with the awesome women of LifeShine. Michelle’s coaching has absolutely enriched my life!”
Barb Neudecker, Retail Executive
Consumed by her job, then found the courage to overcome guilt and find her true self
“I had never known anyone, professionally, that had worked with a Life Coach, but I found myself knowing, deep down, that I needed one. I was in a rut, consumed with my job. I was consistently working every possible minute of the day and night, worried more about disappointing my employer, than I was about my own understanding family. Yet, even as I continued to work like crazy, I was consumed by guilt – guilt about not doing enough at work and especially guilt that I was missing out on: milestones with my small children, quality time with my husband, and girl time with my friends. How would I balance it and be true to myself?
I waited a while, not knowing where to start and frankly, not having the time to research and find a Life Coach for me. Then it happened. I was at a Network of Executive Women luncheon one day and there she was. Michelle was the speaker that afternoon and I knew that was my call to action. I no longer had that excuse of ‘not knowing a Life Coach’!
When I first started working with Michelle, I think I was looking for someone to tell me that I just needed to find a new job. Instead, Michelle encouraged me to find ‘me’. You know how you meet new people and they always ask you – ‘What do you like to do with your free time?’ Believe it or not – I COULD NOT ANSWER THIS QUESTION! I was so consumed with my job, that I had lost sight of who I was as an individual. This was one of the first exercises we did and imagine how surprised I was when I found myself with a list of 25+ things!
During my time with Michelle, I did lots of other great exercises for reflection as well. That is one thing Michelle deserves a lot of credit for. No matter where your conversation goes on a given day, she is full of great quotes and exercises to help get you to the next step. I remember working on my Life Purpose Statement with her on my actual birthday – what a great gift! I hung that statement right in front of my computer at work so that I would see it each and every day and remind myself to be true to myself.
Like all changes, it didn’t happen overnight. But I did change. As the days went by and our work continued, I found the courage to overcome the guilt I had about work…and most importantly I found me.
Michelle has continued to touch base with me over the years and she has continued to be there to encourage me. We all deserve to have someone like Michelle cheering us on and helping us move forward!”
Deborah Greebon, International Development Expert & Executive Director
Letting go of habitual work to follow daily joys
“Working against extreme poverty alongside some of the world’s poorest people, over the years I had convinced myself that working longer and harder was always better, and that my own needs and happiness should come second. When I first spoke with Michelle, I simply wasn’t taking care of myself. I was working all hours of the day and night and barely had a personal life. I was exhausted and sometimes miserable.
Working with Michelle gave me ample opportunity to see not only the big picture of what I wanted for my life, but that the devil was in the details as well. How do my natural tendencies make me ignore what my body and mind need? What self-talk do I use to justify the imbalance? And what sorts of rituals and self-care do I need to proactively counter those long-standing patterns? Through our weekly calls, Michelle and I used trial and error to figure out what works best for me.
I’ll always work hard, because I love what I do. But now, more often than not, I find myself leaving work at work and listening to my body’s desires for rest, fun, and unstructured time. Today I wear a bracelet with Michelle’s signature motto – now my motto as well! – that simply says, ‘Follow your joy.’ Michelle models this so well. She inspires me to embrace a better life through my daily choices.”
Tiffany Snyder, Global IT Leader
Hit a brick wall, then asked for help, reached her goals…and got her ‘mojo’ back!
“Over the past 19 years, I’ve had a very enriching career that has always offered me a number of unconventional opportunities to learn and grow through new experiences. When opportunities came my way, I never said ‘no’ and always jumped in with both feet – welcoming any experience to try something new or take on a bigger challenge. As a result, I’ve enjoyed career tracks in Quality Assurance, Procurement, and Information Technology. While focusing significant energy on my career, I’ve also been raising a beautiful young family with my husband. Work-life balance had been a mythical concept that I’d often read about but had never been able to achieve myself.
As the year was rapidly coming to a close, I couldn’t shake the feeling that I was hitting a bit of a brick wall and needed to make some changes to really enjoy my life and family. For a number of months, I tried to find my way around that brick wall but then finally realized that I needed a boost up to climb over it. Smart people know when to ask for help, right? And it’s never a bad idea to add a trusted advisor to your personal Board of Directors. That’s when I researched Career/Life Coaches and found my way to LifeShine. Coaching has proven to be the best gift I’ve ever given to myself…and to my family! I definitely received a hard dollar return on investment in my coaching, and the other benefits that came with it are priceless.
With a renewed definition of ‘success’, a solid understanding of my strengths, and knowledge of the things that energize me – I met or exceeded all of the goals I established for myself during the year. Michelle helped me see myself clearly, identify the barriers I created for myself, and re-establish the confidence in my ability to tackle any mountain. With a world of possibilities in sight, she also provided me the needed tools to ensure that I prioritize and make choices that align with the things that bring me the most joy.
Michelle is a phenomenal Coach and positive influence in the life of her clients. Not only did she help me get my ‘mojo’ back, but I also gained an amazing woman in my life who continues to be a dear friend. When we initially started coaching, Michelle asked me what I brought to the world. I couldn’t answer that question and it brought tears to my eyes. Now, I can answer it in a heartbeat with a big smile in my heart!”
Wendy, Master Principal Technology PreSales Engineer
Found her ‘One Thing’
“Prior to starting my work with Michelle, I was in search of my ‘One Thing’ (think Curly from the movie City Slickers). A self-described workaholic, I identified my work as my hobby. While I was one of the lucky ones who loved my job, I realized there needed to be more in my life in order for me to find true fulfillment and happiness – something I had been in search of for a very long time.
While I was incredibly skeptical of the term ‘Life Coach’, I found myself at a crossroads and decided to take a chance. Michelle patiently worked me through a process that can only be described as guided self-discovery.
My constant Sherpa, Michelle patiently and meticulously helped me find my ‘One Thing’. She helped me understand and embrace my truest and best self – the most critical component of happiness and love.”
Jamie Schreiber, Enterprise Account Manager
Excited about new beginnings and focusing on what she can control
“Before I began coaching, I felt a bit lost and was looking at my ‘map of life’ upside-down. At the time, I was very focused on looking outward to others for their perspective and validation, and as a leader – I was slipping into a place where I wasn’t proud of the energy I brought to those I influenced daily. I quickly realized it was time to accept responsibility for controlling the energy I put forth and create new habits that were more aligned with my life purpose and mission.
I hired Michelle to help me create new habits and new beginnings in my life. Throughout our coaching, we practiced several techniques to help me build those habits. We explored my Strengths, and Michelle taught me some great personal and professional development principles and then together we clarified my life purpose and mission. I loved that!
I learned ways to not only prioritize the ‘things’ in my life but also prioritize myself – without feeling guilty. This is what best summarizes my coaching work with Michelle. I notice that when I worry less about what others think, I’m more confident in my own decisions and often feel excited to commit to a new habit vs. doing what I feel like I am ‘supposed to do’.
Having a new outlook, I feel much more energized, positive, and excited about who I am. I’m excited for the many new beginnings ahead. While I know that my map may get sideways (or even upside-down on occasion), I feel much more prepared and attentive to the various perspectives I can choose to help me guide my journey. I’m focusing my energy on what I can control and letting go of the things that are outside my control.
Michelle always listened and remained very positive, understanding, and supportive – regardless of whatever crazy topic I threw at her! She really took the time to understand my challenges, and I believe this helped to accelerate the depth of our relationship and coaching. I had no hesitation sharing my vulnerabilities with her. Michelle showed me how to celebrate things I didn’t understand were worth celebrating. She also helped me make many connections through her networking efforts. Thank you, Michelle – you really lead by example!”
Gretchen Lohmann, Human Resources Manager
Gained self-confidence and living a much fuller life
“Before I began coaching with Michelle, I was unsure of what I wanted and where I was headed. I didn’t feel like I knew what I enjoyed anymore; I didn’t feel like I was really connected to ‘me’ anymore. For so many years I had a plan and a direction, but somehow I allowed being a mom, wife, employee, daughter, and friend define me. I allowed everything around me to influence what I did and how I felt, rather than being in control and in the driver’s seat. I had lost my sense of self.
During my coaching with Michelle, she led me on one of the most important journeys of my life so far in the rediscovery of my ‘self’. It was amazing to me how insightful each of our sessions were and relevant to what I needed at that time. Our sessions together have impacted my family, my job, my kids, and me in wonderful ways. I now have a calm but strong confidence in my ‘self’ which Michelle guided me toward throughout our partnership.
And I love the new story I get to tell which includes:
–Being awake, thoughtful and intentional every day
–Staying open to what I feel pulled to with regards to new experiences and ideas
–Letting the Universe help guide me
–Believing that endless options are available to me and that this world has so much to give
–Living in the present moment of life
I am filled with joy and happiness as I think about the transformation within me that has happened over the course of my coaching with Michelle. I am the same person…but living a much fuller life!”
Kathy Sorenson, Money Manager & Financial Coach
From feeling lost and unfulfilled…to following her heart and finding her path
“Here I stand, at the end of our time together a changed woman. When my journey began with Michelle, I was lost. I was in an unfulfilling job, felt like I did not have time for anything (work, family, or fun), and most importantly I had a loss of direction. This lack of focus was weighing me down both mentally and physically.
From my first meeting with Michelle, I knew she was the answer to my prayers. She asked all the right questions and had the tools to help me find my path. She helped me realize that I was focusing energy on thoughts and actions where it was not necessary and instead showed me how to follow my heart. I started creating habits that concentrated my energy in the proper areas of my life which lead me to the creation of my personal eco-system that helped me to find clarity. This coupled with being in tune with my strengths and life-purpose helps keep me laser-focused on my goals. I am definitely more confident and more in tune with myself spiritually and what brings me joy.
For me, this is still a work-in-progress, but I know I am on the right path. I now have a job I enjoy, take time for myself and my family, and surround myself with an eco-system that helps me flourish. I have more control of my time as well as my emotions. I also find a sense of accomplishment in meeting small goals. Michelle has given me the tools, guidance, encouragement, and friendship that I need to follow my true life purpose. Thank you, Michelle, for helping me take the first steps in the beginning of the rest of my life. I thank God often for bringing you into my life at just the right time.”
Habon Abdulle, Bush Fellow
From high stress and chasing perfection…to a new perspective and embracing herself
“Before coaching, my stress level was high and I was unable to handle my daily life with my involvement in many different projects. I was chasing perfection, and for some reason I wanted others to see me as ‘perfect’. I used to seek others’ approval and get down on myself for any mistakes I would make.
Coaching helped me to change that behavior. Coaching helped me to see another perspective, and with Michelle’s help, I learned that I can use past mistakes to yield a new perspective and create a new outcome. I have learned to accept myself for who I am. I have also learned to stop letting events or circumstances run my show. Now ‘I’ am the one who is running my life.
After just a few months of coaching, I am really in better place. I am not anxious. Instead, I am serene. I am focused on my accomplishments – what I did well, rather than what I didn’t do so well. Even the small things have helped me gain confidence, such as being more organized and worrying less. I make decisions quicker and am not worried if others might not agree. I procrastinate less and give myself deadlines. I now give more weight to what I do or can do better…versus what I might be doing wrong. That is a big change! Moving forward, I know I will continue to feel good about myself, believe in myself, and I will project a strong and confident image of myself. If I happen to not meet my own standard, I will be kind to myself and revise the standard without lowering it.
What I liked most about coaching with Michelle is her positive energy. She always has this way of communicating joy. She taught me how to focus on my accomplishments instead of my shortcomings. She showed me how to create conditions that will enable me to feel better. She encouraged me to think, feel, and explore new attitudes. Above all, Michelle helped me to understand my wholeness.”
Kathleen Crandall, Personal Brand Strategist
Moved past the ‘shoulds’ and practicing self-care
“Before working with Michelle, I was a classic workaholic. I do love my work and how I get to spend my time, but I didn’t stop to take care of myself or make time for fun. I’m a single mom and had an unrealistic work ethic. I struggled with giving myself permission to practice self-care and move beyond the reasons I ‘should.’
Working with Michelle, I moved beyond the ‘shoulds’ and realized that I deserve time for me. She helped me remember the awesome feeling of empowerment and strength I get from putting on my headphones, turning up the music, and pushing my body beyond my own limiting beliefs. Now I can’t wait to stop working and get on with living. Music is a big part of my work day, and sweating in the gym is my reward.
Michelle provides a perfect blend of introspective inquiry – peeling back the onion to see what’s underneath my barriers – and prescriptive, practical ‘assignments’ that motivate me into action. I like that I am accountable to the process and that there are tangible outcomes that show I am making progress. But what I love most of all is Michelle’s genuine interest in helping me reach my goals to have more fun, to love more, and to believe that I can do anything.”
Robin Livingston Richter, ADHD Life Coach
Discovering her inner strengths and focusing on what is ‘right’ with her
“I had worked as a family therapist for 25 years, and in my role was always searching for problems, barriers, and obstacles getting in the way of people achieving. Historically, I was familiar with the word ‘recover’ which means to heal from that which is wrong with you…from wrong to right. I was surrounded by trauma, tragic situations and generations of disrespect. It was getting me down and making me feel trapped knowing I was really making a difference in people’s lives…but feeling so overwhelmed and defeated by problems.
And then I had a Discovery Session with Michelle which helped me start unpacking those areas of my life that I wanted to focus on. I realized that I needed to redefine my purpose. Her smile lit up the room and I felt so welcomed and accepted by her! Michelle helped me discover my inner strengths. It was so nice to shine a light on those strengths, as they were all about my people skills and my abilities to connect with others. This was refreshing, especially since I had been in the helping field for over two decades!
We then focused on time management and how I was spending my time. Michelle helped me understand the wise investment of taking care of myself and doing things for me so I could be a more mindful and available partner, parent, daughter, and friend. I had always felt guilty about ‘me’ time and Michelle helped me understand the necessity of it. She helped me go from what is wrong with me to what is right with me. She helped me discover my true north.
This has been a collaborative effort and Michelle is a gem who shared many resources. She’s an amazing listener and sees the positive in situations and people. I have felt such a paradigm shift in my thinking, my philosophy, and my spiritual ways and now I am embarking on a career of coaching young people figure out their strengths, passions, and interests to help them be the best they can be! Such an authentic focus for me. Michelle has shined the light. Our relationship confirms to me that people really do come into our lives for a reason…there are no mistakes. Michelle, words can’t thank you enough for the impact you’ve had on me. You are a gift and I’m forever grateful.”
Tina Nillissen, Entrepreneur & Small Business Creator
The Gate Keepers
Rediscovering her entrepreneurial spirit and the love of creating
“Working with Michelle was one of the best gifts I ever gave myself. Michelle’s guidance helped me rediscover my passions and the confidence to move forward with my life. Overall, coaching really made me become clear about what I wanted in my life and what I didn’t. I realized what was working, what needed to go, and what needed to be revisited with new eyes. Michelle helped me to redesign a new road map for my journey focusing on what felt good to me.
Coaching made me recognize the negative thinking and habits I had fallen into. Michelle’s homework assignments were spot-on in helping me discover things about myself and how to integrate them in better ways into my life. I learned to see problems as opportunities and to take life as it is in the present moment; to look forward to what’s ahead, instead of worrying about what’s next. Coaching renewed my sense that possibilities and opportunities exist, many times in the least expected places! And that whatever you focus on does grow – whether it’s positive or negative. Most importantly, I learned that the power of attraction is definitely real.
Through the entire process, Michelle was my cheerleader, confidant, and friend. Her patience, kindness, and happy spirit are contagious. I gained so much during the entire process, but the real transformation happened once my coaching ended, and my new journey began.”
Faith McGown, Fundraising Professional
Aligning her life with her soul
“Coaching has been a major factor in my life’s evolution toward living the life I have always dreamed of. My initial goal for coaching was to achieve more balance in my life. I was overworked, overscheduled, and overwhelmed. I knew it was only a matter of time before I hit the wall.
Enter Michelle. Michelle helped me carve out regular, consistent time for myself – time to take care of myself physically, emotionally, and spiritually…and time to get in touch with what was really important to me versus what was just ‘put in front of me’. Once I had identified what was most important to me, Michelle helped me structure my life around those things rather than trying to squeeze them in later. I realized there were a lot of things (and some people) in my life that weren’t serving me. By eliminating those things, I was able to carve out the time and energy for the things that really matter.
Prior to working with Michelle, I hadn’t given much thought to personal goals, focusing instead on career goals. Michelle urged me to think about how I want the rest of my life to look. As a result, I have made some significant changes including trading a high-paying, soul-draining career for one that feeds my soul.
Michelle knows and understands my values and overall life goals, so she is incredibly helpful as I work through personal and professional choices and challenges. Without her guidance, I am quite sure the progress and success I have experienced would have taken much longer or wouldn’t have happened at all. Plus, she’s a lot of fun and a wonderful dose of positivity!”
Katie Jauert, Attorney/Strategic Coach/Consultant
Letting go of the 10-year plan, trusting her gut, and living in the present
“When I met Michelle, I knew immediately she was someone I could learn from and someone I wanted as a ‘trusted advisor.’ I wasn’t feeling particularly lost, but I was feeling like maybe I wasn’t getting as much out of life’s moments as I could have been, and was seeking clarity on a way forward. I was just looking for some guidance but got way more than I asked for…
I’ve always been a planner and an analyzer, and in my mind, if I didn’t have the next ten years carefully planned out, I was failing. In so many situations, I spent a considerable amount of time thinking about what was coming next and wasn’t able to enjoy what was happening now. But I’d gotten to a point in life where I didn’t have a ten-year plan and that was not sitting well. Michelle helped me to realize that there is beauty in the questions, and right where I am is right where I am supposed to be. I don’t have to have everything planned out, because if I do, I might miss out on something awesome. It’s okay if my dreams aren’t completely clear. As long as I’m aware and open, the right things will happen with EVERYTHING. It’s important to sit back and acknowledge and enjoy what I have.
The biggest thing I took away from my coaching journey is trusting my gut. This goes for everything – jobs, dating, friends, etc. Michelle emphasized the importance of stopping to reflect and acknowledge when I did trust my gut and it worked, or when I didn’t and it didn’t work. I know what’s best for myself, and I need to pay attention to that.
In looking back, the best part about Michelle as a Coach is that she seriously listens to what I’m saying. She picks up on my emotion and the ‘behind the scenes’ of what I’m saying. When we started, I didn’t understand how we could accomplish anything in just 30-minute calls. I see now that we can get a ton done because she listens to what I say and speaks to advance the conversation or add value, not just because she likes the sound of her voice! Most people don’t do that, and it’s HUGE. Thanks, Michelle!”
Danielle Morgan, Pilates Instructor
Took a huge risk and left behind a communications career; now thriving in the gym
“I reached out to Michelle because I suspected I needed a complete career overhaul. I had changed jobs seven times in 15 years in hopes of finding ‘the one.’ Instead, I simply felt unfulfilled and burnt out. I was a negative, cynical person at work, and I brought that attitude home with me. I didn’t want to be that person any more. But I didn’t know how to leave behind a communications career that I’d worked so hard to establish. I was good at what I did, and I was well compensated. Should I really start over? Was I completely insane? I needed an unbiased source to help me decide what to do next.
Michelle gently led me to the right path. She encouraged me to pursue a career that I actually cared about. I knew deep down that I wanted a career devoted to helping others, but that was a complete 180 from what I was currently doing. She assured me it was okay to change direction instead of forcing myself into an ill-fitting career mold. She helped me understand that I needed to be true to myself in order to find a career that made me happy.
Michelle made me take a step back and acknowledge what has brought me the most joy over the years. I realized that the gym has always been my happy place. I’ve been passionate about exercise and fitness ever since I can remember. I had considered a career as a personal trainer, but chronic pain and injuries derailed me for nearly a decade and I had long since given up on pursuing that career path. However, I started doing pilates a few years ago and fell in love with it. My chronic pain issues became a thing of the past because of pilates. It all became clear to me as I worked with Michelle…I should get my pilates instructor certification and help others find relief from pain and injury.
It still seemed like a pipe dream, but Michelle encouraged me to listen to the signs of the universe. They were all right there in front of me, beckoning me to take the steps to start over and find a truly fulfilling career. I took a huge risk and quit my job to take a 100% commission-based position as a pilates instructor, even though I had never sold a thing in my life. Nearly a year later, I’ve built a solid business and am certain that I’m on the right path. I get to make people feel healthier and stronger every day. It doesn’t get much more rewarding than that. I’m thankful to Michelle for her guidance and continued support on this journey. I could not have made this leap without her help and encouragement.”
Kara Brower, Advertising Executive
Using helpful strategies and tools to create new stories in her life
“When I first reached out to Michelle, I wanted to change my story. I wanted to reduce work stress and anxiety and place words and actions around my desired outcomes. Historically, when I made commitments to myself, I didn’t always see them through to the end due to fear of completion. It was easy to get in my own way and play small. In working with Michelle, however, that has begun to change.
In our work together, I created ‘non-negotiables’. I now claim morning and evening rituals, I mindfully and peacefully drink my coffee in the morning, I plan out my days the night before, I am more intentional in the time I spend with my daughter…and we are really, really loving our time together. For the first time in my life, I make my bed nearly every day! I love that single accomplishment in the morning. It’s crazy how some of the smallest actions result in the greatest reward. I have decluttered a large portion of my house (and continue to do so) so that I have more room for projects and time to just ‘be’ and feel more wonder. I have a clearer picture on how I want to feel at the end of the day. I don’t want to feel exhausted and spent. Rather, I want to feel invigorated to keep going. With a single step approach, I have found – and continue to find – a greater understanding that taking one-step forward is better than standing still.
While I occasionally find myself spiraling back, I notice that when I revisit my truths and the work I did in my coaching journey, I feel my back stand a bit straighter and a fire back in my belly to push forward to continue what we started. I smile more often. And laugh! The strategies and tools I’ve learned are so simple, yet so powerful. I now have the awareness and tools to help me shift into who I want to be. Michelle handed me the match to light the flame that is feeding my new story.
Through coaching, I have learned so much about myself – the good and the bad. Michelle worked with me in quieting the judgement of myself and for that I will be forever grateful. I loved the joy and positivity she brought to each and every session. She was very supportive and flexible with whatever I wanted to talk about on our call reports each week. Michelle helped me see that in every situation there is always joy! Even when there is sadness, it can lead to joyful moments and how important it is to capture those moments and sit with them.
Michelle has been my person! She taught me how to celebrate even the smallest things, like my coffee, because it will make all the difference to me in the future. I aspire to have the level of dedication and passion in my life and work that Michelle showed up with each and every time we met. Thank you, thank you, thank you!”
Kaying Vang, International Development Professional
Managing challenges and laying the foundation for success
“When I started coaching, I was very happy and satisfied with my successes in life. I was excited to be a young professional working in International Development. However, I was also in the middle of a difficult professional challenge. I was faced with new projects that entailed a steep learning curve, an incredibly fast pace, and a huge volume of work over the year. This challenge brought out my worst habits as a workaholic and diminished my sense of self.
Michelle helped me develop skills to maintain positive thinking, to communicate effectively with others, and to be realistic about my work situation. She provided concrete strategies and ideas to help get me to where I wanted to be. Michelle was a great asset to ensuring that I effectively manage my current challenges and helping me create a foundation to continue success as my career develops. I look forward to working with Michelle again!”
Barb Istas, Education Promoter
Retired from her career and crafted a new dream
“When I found Michelle I was really in transition and longing to make some career moves. I was an elementary classroom teacher for 25 years and started to feel a calling to channel my creative energies in another direction. I loved nurturing children and families, but the outside pressures and ongoing struggles to feel competent and successful in the day-to-day teacher world were wearing me down!
I worked with a Coach at another threshold in my life and I knew I needed someone to guide me in my dream work. Finding LifeShine and Michelle was the first of many happy intentions and synchronicities! Michelle coached me along an important path of self-discovery to the place where I was ready to take my leap of faith. I found the confidence to retire from teaching and accept a new and exciting position – one that allows me to use my creativity, intellect, and experience all at once. I reimagined my life and feel so empowered!
I also learned how to prioritize fun and feel accomplished and energized when I experience it. I have learned how to set goals and take action steps all while balancing ‘being’ with all my ‘doing’! Most importantly, I have clear intentions and a creative vision that will keep me on track and encouraged as I continue following my heart toward beautiful and important work.
Throughout our coaching, Michelle was an excellent listener and helped shine a light on my strengths…as well as on those roadblocks that were getting in the way of my dream work. She presented well-timed action steps and goal-setting exercises at pivotal times in the process. Michelle also provided helpful resources and several opportunities to connect with other LifeShine clients in a casual setting – this was helpful in realizing there are many other women doing similar work and striving for big positive changes in their lives like me!”
Kara Goldfein, Food Scientist
Discovering the recipe for a fulfilling life
“I was completely lost on what I wanted out of my life. I felt stuck, and I thought all I needed was a really BIG change…reset my life completely in a new direction by leaving my career, selling everything we own, live in a tiny house, and travel the world. I had a serious case of wanderlust! I just wanted to run away and start a new life all together.
Before completely jumping ship from my current life, I thought I should first figure out where I wanted to head and feel confident in my life purpose – ironically plan ‘living in the moment.’ Insert Michelle…out of desperation and tired of trying to figure it out on my own and still not finding it, I knew I needed help. I had spoken to Michelle about a year earlier via a friend’s recommendation but I wasn’t ready yet. Finally after another year of struggling, I hit my breaking point, and I contacted Michelle to start my coaching journey with her immediately.
Fast forward one year later. I am still in the same job, living in the same house, and finished graduate school. Yet, everything has changed in my life! Through the coaching process, I realized I was trying to make external changes versus making internal changes in myself. Thanks to Michelle, I discovered that I already had everything in my life to bring me joy each day…I just had to notice it. Now, my life is full of gratitude, and I am blissfully happy. I cannot thank Michelle enough! She has a gift and I’m so grateful she shared it with me. She is so thoughtful and sincere and is an amazing listener. She knew exactly what to say to guide me along, but also encouraged me to find the answers within myself. Keep sharing your gift with the world!”
Kate Johnson, Retail Leader
Sought career advice and walked away with something even more valuable
“I started looking for a Life Coach because I felt lost and didn’t know where to go. My specific need was looking for guidance in my professional life, as I knew that while anyone can ‘make money’…it’s even more important to like what you’re doing. I realized I had been holding myself back from so many great opportunities, but Michelle became my voice of reason and reminded me why I need to believe in myself. She taught me to have the courage to be myself and to accept and love myself.
Through our coaching, my view of myself and my priorities in life have shifted for the better. Michelle taught me to listen to myself and be true to myself. I have always struggled with self-confidence, but the negative self-talk is softening now. I’ve learned to take things in stride, not personalize things, and lighten up. I’m learning to handle things better, and Michelle gave me the tools to help me cope when things feel out-of-whack.
I feel so fortunate that I found Michelle. She is compassionate, a listener, and provides coping tools and advice that work. She is my BIGGEST cheerleader! I know I have a ways to go in both my personal and professional life, but the fact that I am back on the path of making myself better and moving toward the life I truly want to live is more than I could ask for and more than I expected. While I came to coaching for career advice, I walked away with something much more precious and valuable…learning to love myself again. THANK YOU, Michelle!”
Sheila Bauer, M.Ed., Educator and Owner
Zany & Zen
Growing her business and self-confidence…and prospering
“When I met Michelle, I was in the beginning stages of creating and developing a new business and because I had not worked in a corporate environment for many years, the prospect of it all felt overwhelming and unfamiliar. I wasn’t sure where to begin or how to get started in building a foundation for my dream.
Michelle gently and reassuringly gave me clear, practical suggestions to market in a way that authentically reflected my values, desires, and personality. As a collaborative thinker and doer by nature, working on my own without a team of cohorts was tremendously challenging for me. Michelle’s expert advice was invaluable as I forged a new path in setting goals and designing strategy. As my business acumen grew, it slowly became apparent that what I really needed from Michelle was emotional support as I worked through my personal insecurities and low confidence levels about my worth as a businesswoman.
At that point, Michelle seamlessly transitioned from a business coach to a personal one, encouraging me with heart-centered guidance.
Michelle is the embodiment of professionalism with heart. Her process is substantive, her intellect impressive, and her intuition is on point. She personally practices and believes in the philosophy and the process that she shares with her clients. Michelle is the REAL DEAL—authentic to the core, and as result of working with her, my business has prospered and my self-confidence bloomed.”
Susan Auer, Sourcing & Procurement Leader
Came to coaching reluctantly and now having a life-changing experience
“I was getting by just fine and actually came to coaching reluctantly. Perhaps you can relate, as this is difficult to say out loud: ‘Who I am’ in the world is a person of confidence. But at the time, I didn’t feel worthy of coaching and didn’t feel like I was worth the investment. There, I said it.
This was an investment in me and I have always felt that I can do things on my own. And I always have. Plus, financially – there was a bathroom remodel that I really, really wanted, and we have a few horses and it would be nice to get a newer saddle, etc. Maybe you have similar voices that try to talk you out of focusing on yourself?
This life-changing coaching experience far surpasses my bathroom remodel or a newer saddle.
My experience with coaching has given me more confidence, particularly in the area of setting intention and direction for my life. The most powerful part is that I get to talk about ‘me’. How often do we do that? I wanted (needed, really) to genuinely, at my core, talk about who I am, how I’m wired, and what I want for my family and myself. Our coaching was like getting a graduate degree in myself!
Working with my strengths, crafting my professional elevator speech, and defining my life purpose statement with Michelle has allowed me to be very clear about how I want to lead and interact with the world and my lovely family. I now set intention for my week ahead and then I go get it. It might sound silly and quite simple, but as an example – I finished up a contract role a week ago. Within the first day I had two very strong leads. I have set my intention to receive an offer within two weeks. And I have outlined all the ways that will happen due to updating my LinkedIn profile, following up with my leads, etc.
Michelle has helped me drive for results that are best for my family and me. One example is that I recently interviewed with a large organization, and I am very clear that it is not a good fit for me. Michelle is helping me talk through this, hold it for a minute, and release it as not the right opportunity. She’s helping me get clearer about better aligning my next opportunity.
I chose Michelle by watching her live her own life on purpose. I stalked her for several months! I watched her character and who she is. I found then and find now, she is intentional about working at and bringing joy in to her life. As one of Michelle’s biggest fans, I am thrilled that I have chosen to work with an amazing coach, mentor, and friend!”
Maren Chamorro, Director of Sales
Feeling stronger and no longer gasping for air
“The first time I worked with Michelle was the beginning of 2007. She helped give me the clarity, calm, and focus to find my dream job – literally. Then fast forward to the end of 2013. I was the mother of 18-month-old twins, and my husband and I had just relocated to a new country. I felt totally lost in my role as a new mother in a new country, and I felt like all I was doing was playing a serious game of ‘catch-up’ in my life.
I didn’t know where to begin. How can I make peace with this new role? How do I organize myself? How do I enjoy life? The list of questions was long. I wasn’t complaining, as I truly do appreciate all that I have been blessed with in life. But I was just not able to keep up. I was just hanging on…and what a horrible feeling to be so drained. It’s a weight that you can’t shoulder for very long without feeling like you are in quicksand. I think Michelle would use the example that I was not ‘putting my own oxygen mask on first before assisting others’. I was out of air and out of energy and needed her, specifically her.
Michelle helps you see clearly. She helps you push aside and sort through all the clutter, until you can deal with the important and necessary aspects of your life. Her coaching is definitely not a ‘one-size-fits-all’ – it’s tailored to where each person is in their life. Through fine-tuning and really getting to the root of how I operate, I was able to create new habits in my life. We are all individuals, after all, and we need to deal with our lives in the way that works best for each of us. Michelle helps you do just that.
I am a better mom and wife, and I’m stronger physically and mentally because of Michelle’s coaching. I am no longer gasping for air. I have made time for myself and to be present.”
Grace Fredrickson, Accounting Professional
From sweeping life changes to daily victories
“When I came to Michelle seeking guidance, the dust was settling from some serious life changes. Within the previous two years I had finished school (while working full-time), ended a long relationship that had run its course, and left a great job at a reputable company. In the wake of those changes I had reconnected with myself and the things that brought me joy…and I had recently landed an awesome new job. Life was really going well.
So if everything was going well, why did I need help? Why did I need a coach? Because I knew it wasn’t time to kick up my feet. Even though life was great, I knew it could be even better. I knew what it was like to be unfulfilled in life. I knew how miserable it was to feel stuck and to make changes from a place of negativity. And although I had successfully changed the external circumstances of my life, I was still in the same mindset that had gotten myself into those prior circumstances. I knew I needed to strengthen my mind, retrain my thoughts, and cultivate a stronger relationship with myself – otherwise I’d end up back in the same spot, unfulfilled and lost. Michelle helped me do just that.
With Michelle’s guidance, I crafted a list of guiding principles and created a daily routine which allowed me to stay tuned-in to my goals and desires. This helped me to consistently inch toward my goals and my true life path every day…rather than lying dormant and ‘waking up’ every few months or years and then snapping drastically into action. I wanted to be proactive instead of reactive.
As for cultivating a better relationship with myself and fortifying my thoughts, wow – I can’t believe how clear the change is from the beginning of our work to the end. Michelle helped me move away from negative stories, patterns, ‘should’s’, and judgments. These were things I had created and perpetuated without fully realizing it. Michelle taught me by example, in each of our sessions, how compassionate listening and gentle guidance produce better results than tough love or the bullying approach which I tended to use on myself to motivate and get results. I could really feel the difference! I knew I was moving toward the life I truly wanted!
Of course, this is all a work-in-process, but I am so excited about what I have built with Michelle. It’s exactly the strong foundation I was seeking. I can’t wait to see what wonderful things continue to come from my new relationship with myself and to life. Working with Michelle was an invaluable investment in the rest of my life. I have no doubt I will carry what I’ve learned with me through my entire life. I look forward to working with Michelle again in the future, and in the meantime I have cultivated an inner Michelle, an inner coach!”
Let go of the need to have a plan…and gained confidence to live in ‘the now’
“My initial focus for coaching was about the ‘what’s next’ phase of my life. I had been a very happy and content stay-at-home mom for over 10 years, absolutely loving my amazing life! Also having just turned 40, I was contemplating what was next for me – almost like after crossing that milestone, I sensed that I needed to have a plan or a career timeline figured out. Yet, I knew that I wanted very much to continue to be part of my kids’ day-to-day life and as involved as I had been in the past decade. Even though I wasn’t in a hurry to leave or change what I had, I sensed the need to have a plan.
As I felt unsure of what was next, I couldn’t really imagine going back to college or starting a new career. I had no desire to climb the corporate ladder or take a job that didn’t have meaning for me. I was happy, but feeling stuck on the idea that I ‘should’ have the rest figured out. Was I to focus on a plan for the future? Or enjoy ‘the now’? Or both?
Thankfully, I had the opportunity to start coaching with Michelle. Through Michelle’s excellent coaching and self-discovery exercises, and time in processing all that I had learned about myself, I came to an understanding. I didn’t need to follow a particular timeline, but knew that the right and most wonderful opportunities would come my way if I kept my eyes open and allowed the universe to work its magic. I can say that Michelle’s coaching gave me more confidence to live in ‘the now’ and to not focus on the ‘when’, ‘how’, or ‘what that was’ up ahead.
Michelle is an outstanding coach with a great coaching model. She took significant time to understand where I was and where I wanted to go. She was an excellent listener, hearing every word I spoke. Through Michelle’s guidance and encouragement, she led me through exercises to identify specifics of what I wanted, and didn’t want. Without Michelle’s help, I know I would have listened to societal messages that a plan should be in place, rather than more of an open-minded approach that fits me so much better. Michelle helped me explore and get to know myself at a deeper level.
I highly recommend Michelle’s coaching for those who want help in navigating through life’s little (or big) bumps along the way. I can’t think of a better person to have on your side!”
Val Schumacher, Human Resource Leader
Gained clarity and living with integrity
“When I first started working with Michelle, I was at a transition point in my career and feeling foggy about my true purpose and passion. How can I create more time with my family? What job should I aim for? What really drives me? How can I be more present, more often? I was worried that I may miss a wonderful opportunity. I was worried I may fail to make the ‘right’ decision. I was not experiencing the peace and joy I knew I wanted.
With her positive outlook and steady support, Michelle helped me quiet the noise, let go of assumptions, and get more in tune with my instincts and wisdom. Her active listening and simple, powerful questions really helped me get centered on what was most important to me. Throughout the process, Michelle continually observed and reinforced my overall vision and my key strengths. This helped me understand much more clearly what I uniquely bring to a situation and also bolstered my confidence to think big.
As a result, I’ve developed a much clearer anchor to hold onto whenever life throws some fog my way. This anchor is helping me live with much higher sense of integrity. And, I believe, integrity leads to peace.”
Carol P., Financial Advisor
At the top of her professional game…and a committed mom at the same time
“Last year, I needed to move forward, reclaim my life, and reinforce my career path. I also wanted to get my home life back in order as I felt constantly overwhelmed by clutter and the endless ‘to-do’ lists that go with running a household. I wanted to feel good about myself again – physically, mentally, and emotionally. I knew that I had all the raw material within me, but I also knew myself well enough to realize that I couldn’t make these changes alone. I needed a cheerleader, a confidant, a coach. I needed Michelle.
When Michelle came into my life, I knew almost immediately that with her help and guidance, my wants and needs for myself would come about. Those first thoughts ended up being spot-on. Personally, one of the first exercises Michelle and I worked on was with regard to ‘self-care’. Just knowing what I need to make myself feel good was such a gift! Professionally, I said goodbye once and for all to my former career and made several symbolic changes. I came to terms with the fact that it’s okay for me to want to have a career and be a committed mom at the same time.
As a Financial Advisor, through coaching – I increased my clientele significantly, and I continue to help my family achieve our goals and dreams. And, I’m helping my clients and their families achieve their goals and dreams. A big win-win! I am back, and rising to the top of my professional game again.
Michelle helped me understand my strengths and reaffirmed that those strengths are gifts. In the past, while I might have seen some of my ‘quirks’ as liabilities, I now accept that they are indeed the things that make me who I am. I LOVE that!
I now use my new-found tools to help me keep myself on track. I re-decorated and re-organized my home office in order to both comfort myself and increase my productivity. This one change has been significant. And I now think about clutter and ‘stuff’ in a completely different way than I did prior to coaching, and I make decisions differently now. I have eliminated toxic activities from my life and have committed to not taking things on unless it feels 100% right. That, in and of itself, is a victory. Life is not perfect but the lows are short-lived. I no longer hold myself to ‘all-or-nothing’ – better known as my perfectionist tendencies. I do the best I can. And I do what is right for me, what is authentic. I am human.
What I value most about my work with Michelle is that she put the responsibility on me from the get-go. She didn’t spoon-feed me anything. She was the consummate professional. Michelle made me feel ‘normal’ right away. She never judged me, and I felt like I could tell her anything. She gave me positive feedback and spoke to me at my level, always recognizing what makes me tick. Our conversations had the right amount of the academic and the theoretical. During our sessions, Michelle was incredibly flexible. Even if I changed gears and wanted to discuss something other than what I initially planned on, she was able to be nimble and go with it. I was constantly amazed at how much knowledge she was able to pull out of a hat during those sessions. And I will definitely use the tools that Michelle taught me to keep moving forward.
Michelle made my life better. She helped me. She made a difference. She became a friend.”
Judith Bell, Business Manager
William Laurence Photography
More confident and living the best version of herself
“I hired Michelle because I was looking for accountability in developing greater levels of discipline and consistency. She gave me thoughtful, meaningful counsel that has touched my life in such a positive way. Michelle gave me specific exercises that helped me identify the negative thought patterns I was engaged in, ultimately helping me go to work to debunk them. This was very meaningful and helpful to me!
Throughout our coaching, she offered helpful ideas and encouragement, and although there is still work to be done – I can honestly say that I’m much closer to my goal. Now, I am more confident and aware of who I am and what I want from life. I now embrace the amazing life I’ve been given and greet every day with joy and live with purpose.
Most important to me in the coaching journey was Michelle’s positive attitude and willingness to believe that I could become the best version of myself. And I am well on my way to becoming her! Thank you, Michelle, for being my Coach and for helping me see the goodness and possibilities in me. I will continue to pursue living the best version of myself with integrity and tenacity, confident in knowing that I was created for great things.”
From setting herself up for failure…to setting herself up for success
“I didn’t know what to expect from the coaching experience, but I knew it was time to make some changes somewhere or somehow. I was unhappy with my job; unhappy with how much time it took and how much non-work time I spent thinking and worrying about work. I thought my goal for working with a Life Coach was to find the career direction I was sure would be different from what I was in at the time.
Through coaching, I realized that my own set of personal expectations caused me to set myself up for failure. The rigorous, unreachable parameters I held for myself continued to set me back…even when I really wanted to succeed. Through trial and error, I learned that setting too many goals was overwhelming for me. It was too easy for me to throw up my arms and decide not to do any of them if I couldn’t be successful at all of them.
My focus has always been to find my weaknesses and figure out how to make them stronger. But Michelle showed me how to focus on what I do well, and it’s helped me to become a better person. Interestingly enough, I started enjoying my job again and stopped looking for something better or dreaming about what else I could be doing.
By working with Michelle, I am now able to look at what the end goal is and find smaller stepping stones that slowly lead me to the end goal…vs. looking at all the steps in front of me, which often leads to overwhelm. I learned how to give myself the permission to ‘follow the process’, and if it leads me in a different direction that I originally thought – it’s okay to deviate and enjoy the ride along the way. Sometimes the most enjoyable part of the journey is on the detours that take me off the beaten path!”
Laurie Berry, Director, Healthcare Administration
Creating a plan for a happy and fulfilling retirement
“If I were to use one word to sum up our time together, the word would be ‘clarity’. Using the various tools and processes Michelle recommended has allowed me to create a blueprint for retirement. In some ways, retirement is like starting college – you might not know what your major is on Day One, but you know what you need to do to graduate! My plans for retirement are similar in that I now know what I need to have in my life to make me happy, and I know where I need to focus. I don’t have a ‘major’ but I have lots of ‘minors’ and putting them all together will mean a successful, happy, and fulfilling retirement. Michelle helped me break it all down into smaller pieces and create a plan…while I’m also staying aware and open to receiving new thoughts and ideas as they come up.
My weekly calls with Michelle were amazing. She was always supportive of me. No. Matter. What. She meets people where they are, which is invaluable. I always ended our calls feeling stronger-better-wiser than when we began. I felt encouraged. Uplifted. Valued. I have loved this thought-provoking work and the weekly assignments that have helped guide and direct me during my life coaching adventure.
This has been a worthwhile and meaningful process. I am grateful I have done this work. Thank you, Michelle!”
Jackie Millea, Registered Licensed Architect & Professional Interior Designer
Shelter | Architecture + Design
Making space for what’s important, having fun, and smiling again
“Walking around with a permanent frown was wearing me out. I was finding myself being so angry and unsatisfied with my life and how I was spending my time. I was stuck and I needed to make a change…but couldn’t see a different future for myself. The first thing I did was take a week off work to spend time at home and think about my situation. During that time, I realized that it was one thing about my life that was unfulfilling: A lack of purpose and direction. I reached out to Michelle – could she help me get unstuck?
As we began our work together, I felt very excited to be focusing on ‘me’ and what ‘I’ wanted out of life. About six weeks in, my life would change forever following the death of my father. I was so happy that I was already into this coaching process because it allowed me to listen to my inner voices to accept the feelings that I was having. I was able to know that in this relationship, I had no regrets – I had loved and had been loved by my father and soon there was a peace and joy in my heart over a relationship that was successful in every aspect. This spread into the work that Michelle and I were already doing. I told her that I felt as if I was a ‘tourist’ in my own life, and she encouraged me to be that tourist. I learned a great deal about myself during that time.
Soon I was having fun again and people were taking notice. At my office, now I am able to handle stressful situations more successfully, I am more present and giving in my relationships with friends and family, and I am smiling again. Just recently I filled out Michelle’s ‘Following Your Joy’ worksheet and realized that over the summer I had incorporated the activities that I truly enjoyed back into my daily life, because with her help – I had made space in my schedule for myself and things that are important to me. Simple things, but meaningful things.
We’re still working together, and the process has already shown me the value of meaningful and purposeful coaching. I have definitely gotten ‘unstuck’ and am now moving toward a fun future and becoming ‘me’ again.”
Kristen Marx, Arts Program Assistant
Redefining herself during a major life transition
“I had just gone back to work full-time after having my first child when I decided to work with Michelle. I knew that I needed help in figuring out work/life balance and redefining myself after such a life-changing event.
Through our work together, I have discovered that I can only control how I show up. Though this sounds simple, it really is my new mantra. Stepping away from being a ‘control freak’ and worrying about others’ actions and reactions has given me a lot of peace and more space emotionally.
As a Coach, Michelle is kind and listens very well. She is helpful with suggestions and is good at offering a community of support. I highly recommend Michelle as a Coach for women who want to work on balance and redefining themselves during a lifestyle transition.”
Cj Staples, Life & Relationship Coach
From ‘stuck’ and ‘lost’ to having a clearer vision, feeling more confidence and peace
“I first met Michelle at a networking event and right away felt that I had met a kindred spirit. At the time, I had been certified as a Life Coach but had not yet committed to pursuing that as a career path. Michelle entered the picture at just the right time (not a coincidence) and I soon made the decision to seek coaching from her as I could see she was helping others in the same way I wanted to. And she is a great example of what I aspire to be as a Coach.
Before working with Michelle, I felt ‘stuck’ and a bit lost. Previously, I had owned and managed a successful and fun salon/spa for 17+ years where my confidence was not lacking. I sold the salon as I wanted to make some changes in my life…and I sure did, all over the place. I have no regrets whatsoever and it has been so wonderful, but in the process of finding my best path as a Life Coach and helping other women gain confidence and find their best path, much to my surprise – my own confidence took a dip.
As I look back on our coaching, I am surprised at how much has changed and how much I have grown as a result of our work together. My confidence has grown substantially. I have a much clearer vision of what a positive and inspired Coach looks like and I am utilizing tools that Michelle helped me create. So, not only do I have a great foundation to build upon, I also feel a sense of peace in choosing this path. Michelle helped me see my strengths, encouraged me every step of the way, and she asks the right questions that help us see what we sometimes cannot see for ourselves. Her coaching is very customized to fit the needs of each individual client. I always left our calls feeling energized and inspired!
What a joy and inspiration it is to work with Michelle. I not only feel like I gained a terrific mentor, but a friend as well – and that, to me, is priceless! She has such a caring, kind, open, and genuine style of coaching that makes it easy for clients to be honest with her and themselves, which is critical in coaching. She is flexible and easy going, which made me feel at ease and peaceful with the experience, and it also set a beautiful example of what I want to have my clients experience when they work with me. Michelle has so much to offer and she does so without hesitation. She shares her own experiences openly and freely and that is so refreshing and inspiring! Michelle also always seems to know just what to say at just the right time, which helps and encourages me to find what I am looking for within myself.
I am grateful and honored to have worked with you, Michelle! A true gift! You are a rock star!”
Kathy Szymanski, Retail Executive
Went from giving her ‘all’ to her job…to giving her best to herself and her family
“I was at a point in my life where I knew I needed to not only do something different, but also think different. I had fallen into a rut where I had given so much of myself to my job that I didn’t have much left to give to my family, friends, or myself – and that was leaving me unhappy and unfulfilled. I was awake at 3 a.m. thinking about changes I wanted to make but had no idea how to begin…and then I saw Michelle’s website. Reading her website and the testimonials, I knew she was someone who would be able to help me answer these questions that were swirling in my head and find direction and focus.
During our coaching sessions, Michelle gave me great tips on how to listen to my inner voice and learn how to identify those things that brought me joy. She asked thought-provoking questions that guided me to making changes in both my personal and professional life. She helped me reconnect with my ‘inner cheerleader.’ Through her questions and tips, I started to make shifts in my life that gave me more time to spend with my family and on myself.
I found myself again. I now prioritize taking the time to do things that I love that give me positive energy. I am more confident and sure of myself. I look at the vision board Michelle had me create as it is a great reminder of what it is that I find happiness and peace in. She reminded me of the importance of being true to yourself, believing in yourself, and finding and making your own joy.
I am so glad I listened to my inner voice that morning at 3 a.m. that told me Michelle was someone who could help me. That voice sent me on a wonderful path of discovery with a great Coach. I know I wouldn’t have made the changes I needed to without Michelle’s guidance!”
Beth Pacunas, Writer, Community Builder, Documentary Filmmaker & Founder
Youth Art and Media Works
The courage to break through old habits and live from a more conscious perspective
“I am not sure how to contextualize the ‘before’ and ‘after’ as it relates to my LifeShine experience, because where I began and where I am now happened gracefully. I had no epiphany or sudden change in perspective. That would be too easy anyway and too short-lived, kind of like a crash diet. It’s satisfying for a moment…until all your problems pile back on.
Instead, I needed to re-wire my brain – consciously re-train my thought patterns and break through the negative self-talk that was keeping me stuck. I never realized how destructive even the smallest negative thoughts like ‘I can’t’ or ‘I should have’ could be to my day, my career, my relationships, and my soul. Undoing that was going to take time.
I could not expect true evolution unless I committed to it. I could not expect true results unless I could see them for myself. Before coaching with Michelle, I would just blame genetics (‘that’s how I am’), circumstances (‘that’s how it is’), and habit (‘that’s how I’ve always done it’). Now I know that I have control of these thoughts, that I can change how I feel, and I can lead a joyful balanced life if I just stay aware, conscious, and willing to go against my own historic tides in order to float down the river.
Thank you, Michelle, for taking this journey with me and for remaining a guiding inspiration in my life.”
Tammy Truong, Health Program Director & Cultural Understanding Facilitator
Left the rat race and found her inner voice
“When I first started coaching with Michelle, I was a part of the ‘rat race.’ I was working for everyone but myself and trying to please the world. I sought answers in books, in people, through work, surveys, and assessments. I thought I just needed to find the right goal or the right job, and I could be happy.
But coaching taught me what an inner voice was. It taught me to reassess my decisions and determine whether I wanted them for myself, or if I was working to please others. It taught me to recognize joy – in planting a garden, in solitude, in knitting or drinking coffee or making a new friend. It taught me that I don’t need to categorize things as winning or losing, good or bad, success or failure. I’d heard it all before but I never understood really how to take whimsical fantasies or idealistic concepts and incorporate them into my own life.
I have learned so much about myself through this process. I came into it wanting to find my career direction. I needed to get out of my rut and find the right path towards a more fulfilling career. What I didn’t realize was there was a lot of foundational work that I needed to do first, and though I feel my career direction still eludes me – I am happier every day. Nothing has changed – I’m still in the same job with the same people – and yet everything has changed.
Coaching has made me more comfortable showing the world the person I’ve always been inside, the one who loves life and laughs just to make others laugh with me. I’ve learned my boundaries and do my best to respect them. I am now uniquely, genuinely, truly me; and as a result I find that this is the best inspiration I could give anyone.
Michelle has taught me how to take this life coaching and go one step further. Learning to analyze and think for myself from the perspective of a Coach, asking myself some questions to figure out why I feel the way I do – or behave or react the way I do – helps me continue the path of self-discovery without needing to have my hand held every step of the way.
I always got off the phone with Michelle feeling much more excited and optimistic about my ability to find joy as I figure out the challenges in life. Coaching with her was an incredible experience for me! I’m in awe of how much I have changed my perspective in life. I couldn’t have done it without Michelle, and she continues to inspire me!”
Diann Olson, Operations Manager
Building confidence, honing gifts, and laying the foundation to greatness
“I wanted immediate change. I was turning 50, burnt out on my job, and felt I needed to make some changes right now. I didn’t like where I was and I thought there was an easy answer to my dissatisfaction. I hired Michelle and then midway through our coaching, I was a little frustrated because I didn’t feel like I was making progress.
But – what I learned in my coaching with Michelle is that I was in the process of ‘building a foundation’ and changing habits. And truly understanding ‘me’ takes time! I soon learned that doing the important foundational work now – will result in a lifetime of new achievements. I realized that if I had made a quick reactionary change like I initially wanted to…it probably wouldn’t have been long before I was right back where I started.
In our coaching, Michelle showed great enthusiasm for the coaching process and for me. She’s a good listener and had the ability to change direction based on how I was feeling or what I was experiencing. I enjoyed working on the exercises she gave me, and she offered a tremendous amount of resources! Michelle continuously finds ways to improve and learn new things by attending seminars and training sessions – this shows in her knowledge of what it takes to assist clients to uncover dreams and goals and build the groundwork required.
My coaching relationship with Michelle has been such a positive one for me! I have gained so much insight and have learned things that will last a lifetime. I can feel my confidence growing, which will help me not only in my current job, but in all future endeavors. I’m learning to let go of the things I can’t control. The most important thing I have learned, though, is that I am unique and I definitely have something to offer the world. While I’m still working on what that ‘something’ is, I know I will uncover it and when I do – I will have Michelle and my very first coaching experience to thank!
Thank you for everything that you have taught me. You are a great inspiration and Life Coach!”
Joanna E., Vice President of Marketing
Challenged the status quo; finding more balance between work life and personal time
“Before working with Michelle, I was feeling a bit adrift and was putting up with complacency and the status quo. I had fuzzy boundaries on my time at work and was being inconsistent with healthy habits at home that were important to me. That was getting old! I knew that life was asking me to question the status quo, explore new options, treat myself better, stick to a healthier lifestyle, expand my mind, and keep my heart open to what’s next.
Then I hired Michelle! I found her by searching online, and after looking through her website I decided to take the plunge and set up the initial Get Acquainted call. I am so glad I did! Throughout our work together, I gained a better understanding of my natural strengths and how to use them to work for me. For example, I’m now empowering my team and delegating some tasks…ones that in the past I would have over-extended myself to do, versus inviting others in to help. With Michelle’s guidance, I also developed the important habit of taking a ‘sacred pause’ throughout the day to come home to who I really am and what I want to bring to each day.
I wanted to have a more clear sense of direction in my life toward fulfilling my life’s purpose. And I wanted to live mindfully with a more spiritual connection every day. In my work with Michelle, we clarified my ‘Life Purpose Statement’ which now helps me to keep the focus on how my top priorities and natural strengths align for me to be my best self. Also, the habits that I developed in my work with Michelle are helping me to be more present both at work and at home.
In our coaching, I really enjoyed how things progressed very organically. Michelle always seemed to have a fitting tool, resource, or technique that matched my need or helped to address an issue. She strikes a good balance between being understanding if I forgot to do something…and reminding me to be accountable to get the most from our coaching sessions. She set expectations clearly for each call and ensured we stayed focused on achieving whatever goals I had set out for that call.
Although I’m still working on bringing more presence into each day, I’m feeling much more present than I ever have before. I’m clear on what’s most important to me and I’m keeping my priorities straight, which has helped me to have more balance between work life and personal time. I am so grateful that I found Michelle and would highly recommend that – if my story strikes a chord with you – you contact Michelle today!”
Megan Vinci, Professional Nomad & IT Consultant
Moved into the driver’s seat of her life
“Before working with Michelle, I felt like I was in the passenger seat of my own life. I was successful by society’s definition, but I was not happy, myself. I was ready to move into the driver’s seat and take control. Michelle helped me understand what’s important in my life by helping me define the various priorities that fuel me. It took some time for me to practice daily and get into the habit of making sure my top priorities were always #1 in my life…and I also started practicing being more positive and mindful.
One thing that really stuck out to me is the way Michelle showed me how to spin different – and potentially negative – situations into a positive. I have never had someone in my life expose me to this type of behavior and it didn’t come naturally to me. Week after week, hearing Michelle take my words and my scenarios and show me how to look at them differently has been a life changer! It took time, and I had ups and downs, but then it all started to come naturally and without thought. That is exactly when everything started to unfold and fall into place!
The life I am living now is not something I could have dreamed up a year ago. The life I have now wasn’t a goal of mine because it was not even in my vocabulary. I am now traveling full-time for pleasure while working a job from ‘home’ that I find challenging and enjoyable. I have been able to spend more time with family and friends than I ever have before in my life.
I could not have created this life without Michelle’s help and I will be forever grateful!”
Lee Ann Jorgenson, Retail Advertising Executive
Found balance and taking care of herself
“Working with Michelle was an absolute pleasure. Michelle and I set goals and she kept me on track. She helped me navigate some tough situations at work and helped me find balance so I took care of myself, too. I was contemplating starting my MBA while working full-time, and she helped me see I should go for it.
I respect Michelle so much that I invited her to host a group session with leaders at my place of business. They agree: Time with Michelle is time well spent!”
Tracy Doheny Erickson, Dancer & Massage Therapist
Sweet Feet Dance
Getting areas of life figuratively organized into plastic bins!
“I had never worked with a Life Coach before and when Michelle came into my life, I knew that the timing was absolutely perfect! I was going through so many changes at the time and even though I was hesitant at first, I’m so grateful that I followed my gut. Michelle is extremely gifted in her way of relating to and connecting with people. It didn’t take long to establish trust with her.
When I began my sessions with Michelle, everything felt out-of-sorts and scattered in my life. She had a way of helping me streamline not only my thoughts but also the areas of my life where I desired change. She also knew enough about me to know that certain ways and styles would not be effective with me. I struggled with perfectionism in all areas of my life and she knew that. She was extremely cautious to not use words that related to perfectionism in any way. Together we came up with words that helped me want to, and feel like I could, move forward.
Each time I’ve had an ‘aha moment,’ I realized that Michelle guided me to that place rather than carry me there. It always seemed like a team effort and that was important to me. She also has a way of keeping each coaching session balanced. Because when any change is desired, it’s easy for the client to focus on all that needs to be done. Michelle was always great at reminding me of my greatness in the moment and to remember the positives, even in the midst of frustration.
Being a visual person, the picture that comes to me when I think of working with a Life Coach is having all areas of my life in a plastic bin. Things are orderly, organized, and it all makes sense!”
Dr. Jodi Fidler, Chiropractor & Level V Executive Consultant
Rodan + Fields Dermatologists
Outlined priorities, identified the ‘right’ goals, and got life back on-track
“I was at a point in my life where I felt overwhelmed, disorganized, and out-of-control. I realized I needed to take time-out to deal with how I was feeling…so that I could be an even better mother, wife, and doctor to my patients. I had so much going on that it was difficult to schedule time for myself to get things done, and I can’t stand disorganization. I felt like I was always reacting.
So I hired Michelle to help me get motivated, prioritize my time, and identify and define the ‘right’ goals for me. From there, I needed help staying focused and on-track throughout my busy days. Ultimately, I wanted to balance out being a mom and a business owner.
The most important thing I got from my work with Michelle was a plan to get started. Sometimes when things get so overwhelming, you can’t even confront beginning. So at first, Michelle helped me with a starting point; a direction for me to take my first steps. And after our first session, I felt rejuvenated and re-motivated toward my goals!
Together, we then outlined my priorities to make sure that I was spending quality time with my family and keeping things organized at home and at the office. The key was making sure that I took time out for ‘me,’ whether that involved scheduling workout time, time to work on photo projects, or time to de-clutter my office. Michelle is a fabulous Life Coach with great insight, and she truly knows how to listen and how to help guide her clients toward living their ideal life. She comes up with perfect solutions to complicated situations, and helps with a step-by-step approach to success. Thank you for all of your help and friendship through the years!”
Jean Frisinger, Lifestyle Coach
Staying connected to her heart and feeling more focused and centered
“Before I started coaching I felt somewhat lost, especially in the area of my career. Once our coaching began, Michelle encouraged me to focus on the aspects I wanted to have in a job, with a huge emphasis on how it felt to have those things in my life. She had me explore why I wanted to experience those feelings and what they brought to my life.
Then I started to focus on visualizations for enlisting and keeping positive emotions at the forefront, while acknowledging the things I wanted to release. Michelle helped me replace negative self-talk with supportive truths/affirmations that have been helpful in my journey and have made me feel good about who I am, where I’m at, and what I’m doing. Coaching helped me bring focus and light to the things I love and enjoy! And Michelle offered several tools that have helped me delve further into those things. I tend to get stuck in my head, but Michelle encouraged me to stay connected to my heart – which helped me realize that I AM making progress and I’m right where I need to be. :)
We did a ‘life purpose’ session at the end of our coaching, which was powerful. It strengthened my inner core to define and claim who I am and why I’m here. I continue to weave the skills I learned into my daily or weekly routine. I feel more focused, centered, and accepting and trusting of myself. I appreciated the tools, feedback, frequent check-in’s, and Michelle’s availability throughout our coaching.
Michelle was always present and ‘right there’ for me. I appreciated her positive perspective of me and my transitions, which always made me feel better and more optimistic about myself and what I was going through. She helped me see things in a different light. She continued to remind me to go with the flow and trust the process. I realize now how important it is for me to have positive people in my life to reflect things back to me, because me rolling around in my own head doesn’t always provide that!”
Julie Ann Segal, Interior Designer & Feng Shui Consultant
The confidence to pursue and realize her career dreams
“Dreams do come true! I made the commitment to work with Michelle as my Life Coach, and we worked together on realizing my dreams: Discussing and visualizing the details of what I wanted in my life. I felt overwhelmed, lost, and out-of-control not knowing where I was going. I had been running a successful Interior Design business out of my home for 13 years, and I had recently become a certified Feng Shui consultant.
The biggest question for me that year was how to focus my career and where to locate my business. Michelle would listen to me express my frustrations, and she had a special way of calming me down and encouraging me to focus on specific steps to reach my goals. Sometimes it was matter of getting clear about what I wanted. And she helped me to realize that I did not have to do everything all at once. Each session, my goal was to identify top priorities and accomplish them by our next phone call. Michelle helped me to take baby steps toward my goal and get in touch with my true needs and purpose.
Then, everything came together! I opened my Interior Design/Feng Shui Studio in a little Victorian home just as I had envisioned, but not until after the work I accomplished with Michelle. Her experienced coaching skills have helped me gain the confidence to pursue and realize my dreams and the insight to know which direction to go. Working with Michelle was a powerful process and a gift to myself!”
Liv Lane, Intuitive Mentor, Motivational Speaker & Artist
A more harmonious, purpose-driven life; living each day on her own terms
“One phone call changed my life for good. I had a stable and successful career, running a media company with dozens of corporate clients, but I was overworked, overstressed, and felt stuck. I scheduled a phone session with Michelle in hopes she could help me clarify my priorities and demands.
Michelle’s questions and gentle guidance helped me realize that the requirements of that job were stifling many of my hopes and dreams. Sure, a salary increase sounded good, but what price was I willing to pay to let go of those inner-most desires? Michelle encouraged me to spend the next few months paying close attention to what brought me down and what brought me joy.
In the days and weeks that followed, the concept of leaving corporate life behind started bouncing around in my brain and flirting with my heart. But it was hard to imagine how my work life could look any differently. That is, until months later, when I took a much-needed vacation day. That morning, I had a leisurely breakfast with my son and dropped him off at preschool later than usual. I then went to a coffee shop, sat by the window, and plugged in my laptop to work on a fun writing project I’d been putting off until I had time to focus. Then, I headed to a nearby spa to redeem a gift certificate for a massage.
As I walked through the doors, I heard a voice in my head say loud and clear: ‘This is how I want to spend my days.’ It was my voice, clearer than ever before, and it stopped me in my tracks. I stood there in the lobby, reflecting on the day thus far: no morning rush, no insane deadlines or dreaded meetings, the chance to work on a project I enjoyed, a mid-day massage, and I’d be home in time for dinner with my family. This, I realized, was what Michelle had meant when she told me to focus on what brought me joy. Getting that glimpse of the good life was all I needed to finally take the leap.
And once I committed to pursuing a more harmonious, purpose-driven life, it was incredible how things fell into place naturally. Nine months later, I left the corporate gig to launch my own company. Michelle has been instrumental in my success, helping me to clarify my priorities and keeping me focused on my goals.
I now live each day on my own terms, focusing on work I love – and helping others do the same. It was up to me to make it happen, but Michelle helped me believe I could do it. Michelle’s an incredible cheerleader with wonderful insights and suggestions and a genuine desire to help others create their best lives – and the innate gifts necessary to light the way.”
Amy Holewa, Financial Advisor
Financial Dimensions Group, Inc.
Staying focused and living her life, instead of allowing life to happen to her
“Michelle helped me develop a process to my day so that I stay focused and on-task. And then I put these processes to work…and what was normally my slowest month as a Financial Advisor, became my busiest! And that has really helped my overall bottom-line.
In the past, I had allowed myself to become paralyzed by negative self-talk. Michelle helped me to slow down my thoughts and identify the self-talk that has routinely gotten in the way of my success. Now by listening to myself and what I know to be true, I can now acknowledge those thoughts and move past them.
Michelle also helped me identify my priorities so that I’m living my life, instead allowing life to happen to me. I look forward to my weekly sessions with Michelle because afterward I feel a revived energy that helps me re-focus and balance my goals and direction. And preparing for our sessions always reminds me of the important things we’ve worked on, and it consistently reminds me of how far I’ve come.”
Jackie Torborg, Client Service Advisor
Created structure in her life and responding better to demands of a high-pressure job
“When I started coaching, I was feeling stuck in many areas of my life including my job, my physical health, and my house. I was feeling overextended trying to keep up with the demands of a high-pressure job and my personal life. I also felt weighed down by all the physical stuff in my house and it was creating a barrier between me and the outside world. I was also not giving thought to how my lack of energy and my negative attitude was affecting others. Overall, I was longing for a more heart-centered life with meaningful connections. Obtaining my goals felt impossible.
Through coaching, I was forced to examine why I was stuck. I began setting boundaries with people in my life. Michelle’s words of wisdom – ‘others will adjust to your availability’ – empowered me to say ‘no’ to people’s demands and take care of my own needs. When I began organizing my house, I finally realized how much time I was wasting trying to function in that environment. Now that I am clutter-free, I am less anxious, and I adapt to change more easily.
Coaching taught me the value of being structured, organized, and focused on what you can control – so that you are better able to respond to what you can’t control. Recently, when I was sidelined by an injury, I relied on the structure I already had created as a safety net. Coaching also taught me how important it is to partner with someone in getting things done. Having Michelle as a partner helped me stay focused and encouraged.
Michelle is passionate about what she does and truly cared about my success. She is organized, responsive, and professional…and she has a good network of people to help with issues as they come up. I’m so grateful I signed up for coaching! As a result of my work with LifeShine, I now have a more positive perspective on life, along with the skills necessary reach my personal goals.”
Lisa Schmidtke, Website Designer & Search Engine Marketing Specialist
Better time management habits and a new motivation for life and business
“I was at a point where my business and home life were going in a million different directions. Pieces of my life were on track – but not as a whole – so I wasn’t sure what was working and what wasn’t. Through coaching, Michelle really helped me put everything into perspective. I was then ready to face the year with a new motivation for my life and business.
Since then, I’ve developed much better time management habits. I’ve been able to manage ‘emergencies’ better which has helped me find more peace at home. Michelle continues to coach me on finding time for what’s important and not just what’s in front of me. I’ve been able to stay focused on not just what I want to do, but who I want to work with, and some fabulous people have come into my life!
Opportunities that Michelle and I identify during our coaching session quite often manifest shortly after. With Michelle as my Coach, there are no coincidences!
She has that perfect balance as an Executive Life Coach where she will put you at ease with her positive personality, yet get to the root of your goals and life plan. Just filling out the pre-work that she created gave me incredible insight into the areas of my life that are ‘on track’ and which are lacking. Thank you, Michelle, for your continuous honesty and encouragement!”
Laura Connor Behling, Banking Executive
Opening her heart and proud of accomplishments
“I initially found Michelle and LifeShine after doing an internet search for Executive Coaches. I immediately knew after reading her website that I had to connect with her. She was the one! At the time, I thought it was ‘chance’ that brought us together. Now I know it was truly a match tailor-made for me.
Near the beginning of our time together, Michelle and I explored my life purpose and with her help, I found just the right statement for me to concentrate on. Now, with my life purpose in mind I work hard to welcome unity and peace from the heart! I continue to find it challenging to have a demanding career, care for a loving family, and still find quality time for myself. Michelle has helped me to slow down, refocus, get out of my head, and look at what is most important to me. I realize I can focus on things that fulfill me at a heart level every day.
During our time together, I have found not only a Coach to help me navigate the challenges at work, but a friend, confidant, role model, and motivator. I do the necessary work between and during our sessions to enhance the joy and peace I so desperately crave in my life. Michelle brings her own brand of LifeShine wisdom and her special listening skills while we find exactly the right path each time we connect to move my journey forward.
With Michelle as my Coach, both professionally and personally, I have been able to reach new levels of self-awareness and sort through past life events which were clouding my path to true joy in my life. Although my journey is not over, I have reached a place where I can look back and be proud of what I have accomplished. And more importantly, I am looking forward to what I am going to accomplish in the future. I am just better with Michelle as my Coach! Thanks to Michelle for always putting just the right twist on things when we connect. I credit her with opening my heart! Now I live every day and remind myself to listen and take good notes when my heart speaks. I trust the process, Michelle!”
Lisa Bobyak, Health and Wellness Coach
Built a solid foundation to start her own business and loving her role
“When I first met with Michelle, I knew that I wanted to develop a career as a health and wellness coach, but the specifics and logistics were unclear. I was so pleased that I happened upon Michelle’s website, was drawn to her services, and was then led to hire her as my own Personal Coach. That one choice changed the direction of my career!
In the five months that we’ve worked together, she helped me create a firm foundation for my coaching business. She guided me and shared resources to: Develop client worksheets, build and enhance my website, attract my ideal clients, manage my email contacts, create an ezine, design a workshop, and align myself with like-minded people.
Michelle is so very easy to communicate with. She has a lovely combination of approachability and professionalism, and I value her concrete examples of how she organizes her own coaching business. Michelle is a champion connector! She connected me to resources and people who have helped strengthen and support my business. The type and amount of support Michelle gave me was invaluable. She has scaffolded my budding business, and for that I am grateful.
Being a health and wellness coach has been something I’ve wanted to do for a long time, but I never believed that I could actually be an entrepreneur. Now, I am making a living doing what I love. And I am doing what I love because I chose to hire Michelle to support and guide me. I’m confident it was one of the best choices I’ve made, not only for my business, but for myself!”
Jennifer Coats, Teacher
At a crossroads in her career and found a big surprise through coaching
“A few years ago, I was feeling an itch in my life. I was at a crossroads in my career, and I felt like I needed to go…where? I knew I wanted to make a change, but I just couldn’t put my finger on what that was or what it would look like. I’d been a teacher for many years, and while I loved the satisfaction of working with children, there was a little voice in the back of my mind, that asked: ‘Is this it? Is there, maybe, something MORE for me?’ I was also concerned that teaching didn’t adequately provide for my family. As a single mom of two teenagers, I was still dependent on alimony and child support to supplement my monthly income so I could meet my expenses.
A friend suggested I try career counseling to help point me in the right direction. I met with a career specialist, who was excited to help me revamp my resume and market myself for the new career. But what was that new career? The career specialist pronounced me ‘unready’ for her services and referred me to Michelle – stating that Michelle was great at getting to the bottom of where the client needed to go – and she would be happy to work with me when I knew where I was headed.
I started working with Michelle, certain that we would quickly discover my secret passions, she would pronounce me ready for a career in ‘X’, and I would be ready for marketing and resumes in no time.
But I did not plan for Michelle. In her wisdom, she could see that there was a long road in front of me before I reached my destination. Michelle sees the whole client, not just the skills on a resume, and what she saw when she looked at me told her there was a lot of work to be done before I was ready to take on a new career. Using a variety of exercises and assignments, Michelle helped me wade through and clear out a lot of personal ‘noise’ that had to be processed before I could hear my true calling.
As I worked through each exercise, Michelle supported me in every way possible. She restated my conclusions into terms I could hear and understand, and she gently pushed me to dig deeper with each succeeding assignment. It was always so great to hear her joyful, ‘Yeah!’ during a coaching call when I stumbled upon a particularly insightful nugget, and I felt validated throughout the entire process. Michelle gently guided me, never judging, never pushing, always working with the flow of where I was along the path, rather than rigidly making a plan and sticking to it, no matter what. One of the most powerful exercises she walked me through involved saying ‘goodbye’ to things in my life that weren’t working, and replacing those things with ‘hello’ statements – sort of affirmations of different parts of my life. Three years later, I still reread those ‘hello’ statements on a regular basis. And I will be forever grateful for Michelle’s guidance in the creation of my Life Purpose Statement.
Imagine my surprise when I concluded that I did want another career…just not yet. That the itch I was feeling was the need to find myself in all the static, rather than ‘another career’. That I was in the right place for the current needs of myself and my family at that time.
In the end, I made many discoveries about myself, my values, and goals for my life. Michelle’s guidance was invaluable and came at just the right time for me. As I edge closer to the next crossroads in my life, I will continue to keep Michelle on my team. I am so grateful she has chosen to relentlessly pursue her own joy, as it has grown exponentially. Meeting and reading about all the women she has influenced is a creative inspiration, and I am lucky to count myself among their number.”
Amy Thill, Certified Professional Virtual Assistant & Productivity Consultant
VAST Business Solutions
Truly living her best life and now reflecting that in her business
“I’ve had quite a journey in the last year. Depression, anxiety, separation, divorce, and reinvention. Surprisingly, much of the reinvention was done on my own. In a way, I was forced into it. I had to take care of myself to make it through the stress I knew was ahead of me. I started an exercise program and completely changed my diet. I lost over 40 pounds. I read inspirational books, listened to spiritual teachers, and searched my soul for my truth. I grew spiritually and brought out the person I knew was already there.
Then, I decided to begin working with Michelle. Now that my body and mind were in the right place, I really needed to focus on my financial health and growing my business. I wanted to identify my ideal client and make my website a true reflection of ‘me’. Michelle and I had worked together before. I knew she was awesome – full of love, joy, and authenticity. I knew she loved her work, loved her clients, and loved her life.
With Michelle’s help, I achieved my goals. She helped me stay focused and held me accountable for things I said I wanted to do. She gave me support and feedback and was there every step of the way as I completely revamped my website. She helped me find the words to beautifully communicate the ‘new me’. Michelle helped me stay on track with self-care, boundaries, and priorities. My work with her continues as we focus on more marketing efforts, personal and professional development, and creating the life of my dreams.”
Natalie C., Laboratory Manager
Focusing on the positives and working toward a dream
“When I first decided to search for a coach, I did so for several reasons. I missed my family and wanted to move closer to home. I was very unhappy in general and wanted to know how to become more of a positive person. I also knew that my career wasn’t providing me with a rewarding experience and I wanted to discover and follow my true passions. In my mind, I was just looking for a new career or ‘just another job’. Michelle helped me realize that I could do and have so much more.
When I met Michelle I knew that we would make a great team. I was still kind of nervous about the process but I was committed to making lasting and positive changes. Michelle helped me realize that doing little things for myself, and really appreciating them, is what would start to bring me happiness and attract more happiness. More importantly, she helped me realize that I do deserve it! When I made a conscious effort to focus on the positives that were going on in my life and to expect the best for the future, I really saw amazing results. Not only was I happier, but the people around me were happier and great things just kept happening.
I had always been the kind of person to dress and act very neutral so as not to draw too much attention to myself. Michelle made me realize that by allowing myself to really ‘be myself’, I was indirectly giving permission to everyone else to be who they really are. This is a theme that I have really incorporated into my life. I’ve chosen to wear clothes that before I would have been self-conscious about but now I wear them proudly. Not only that, but I’ve been less critical of other peoples’ choices and styles because that is who they are and by allowing them to be ‘free’ – I’m also allowing it for myself.
Before I started coaching, I always knew that I loved animals and wanted them to be a bigger part of my life. Michelle helped me realize that I could take many of my ‘loves’ and combine them into a larger dream that would make me happy on so many more levels. The Law of Attraction states that if you dream it you can do it and what I learned is that I don’t want just another ‘job’. I want to start my own business that combines many of the things I truly love. The funny thing is, this dream has always been there – I just needed the courage and permission (from myself) to let it out, tell others about it, and allow myself to feel that it can become a reality. Michelle helped me realize that.
The dream won’t happen overnight but nothing worthwhile ever does. The important thing is that I now have a plan and the wheels have been set in motion. I’ve found a new job in my current field that is much closer to my hometown and my family. I look at life in a positive way and know that I’m attracting more of the good stuff! I know that I’m working towards a dream that will eventually bring me the awesome and rewarding business that I’ve wanted for so long.
Life is a journey and we each get to choose the path that we take. Making a conscious decision to choose a positive journey, filled with the people, places and things that bring us joy is ultimately what we’re all here to do. Imagine what the world would be if everyone decided to take their journey down their own path of joy. Michelle helps you do just that!”
Jen Hite, Health Coach
Taking the steps to become more organized and balanced in everyday life
“When someone hires a Coach they need someone who believes in them, yet someone who is going to hold them accountable. I always felt supported and understood when working with Michelle, and I also felt our open and honest relationship made me take the steps we discussed seriously. Michelle’s recommendations and tools helped me become more organized and balanced – and more importantly – they fit my personality, allowing me to easily apply them to everyday life.
Having Michelle in my corner gave me that friend that not only made me feel great about who I was, but also motivated me to do better and push harder because she believed in me, too.
Thank you for all that you have done and for the impact you have made. I am truly grateful for your presence in my life.”
Diane Flanagan, Beyond Organic Independent Mission Marketer & Artist/Teacher
Diane Flanagan Fine Art
From wavering, doubtful, and unsure…to trusting, believing, and expecting the best
“Before entering into a coaching partnership, I felt like a ship wandering aimlessly about at sea – with the idea of a destination, but no coordinates. It wasn’t until I decided to do whatever it took to learn how to change…that I was able to see The Perfect Plan. Just a few months ago I was wistful, wavering, doubtful, unsure, cautious, impulsive, hesitant (just to name a few) – and it depended on my emotional state, whatever it was at the moment. The image was confusing. But after working through the coaching process, I can say with great joy, that, not only do I know my purpose – I have CLAIMED my purpose.
The old ‘me’ had settled for average thinking. I knew better, but without my realizing it, life was painting a grim picture. My faith in God was working to establish my heart but I was fearful of trusting and failed to answer the call.
At the beginning of coaching, I knew it would be important for me to risk sharing my beliefs and my heart. Michelle proved that it was a safe place, and the journey began as I identified the old vs. the new, and began the process of acknowledging facts vs. claiming the truth. I felt strengthened as my faith was stirred and challenged week after week. My trust grew and I took courage that a new image was being painted on the inside and it was only a matter of time before the new picture would be visible.
I am an artist and teacher, so using terms I was familiar with – Michelle and I began to paint a new picture of ‘ME’! As strange as that may seem, I had totally neglected the ability to paint my own life. So, I became the student and Michelle the teacher. She shined light on the subject week after week so I could see missing parts and make corrections.
I told Michelle how much I enjoyed doing demos for my art students and how confident I felt while welding the paint brush, but Michelle demonstrated to me the best life lessons. Through our partnership I began to learn what was missing from my masterpiece. Through consistent actions each week, I became rooted, grounded, and poised for The Best Life. To see permanent change, I knew that every day I had to be consistent in my ‘quiet time’. This one thing has anchored my soul. I practice imagining the Best of God in every way and I no longer see limits on what I can do or where I can go. This IS permanent change for me.
Answering the call to take responsibility for my life has proven to be exhilarating. Little did I know that such peace and joy was on the other side! I am not afraid to trust, to believe, to expect the best. My faith in God is ABSOLUTE now as I celebrate His Love working in me.
This is the essence of what coaching with Michelle has given me. I realized that Michelle could see beyond the ‘stuff’ and celebrate my beauty. When I heard this in her voice and in her words, something very deep within me stirred. I remember a catch in my voice as I held back a sob, but my heart leapt with thanksgiving. Often the people closest to us see more of the other mundane things, but this moment was such a gift of grace for me. Michelle has enabled and assisted me to see the beauty, to celebrate the good, to know the love, and to proclaim the freedom.
Using Michelle’s strengths and gifts, we uncovered mine – and this day we celebrate together a marvelous outcome.” :)
Managed her time and got 20 hours of her life back, each week
“Before I met Michelle, I was a married mother of one with another on the way. I was working to develop my small business, as all entrepreneurs do, by working overtime. I worked during the day while my child was at daycare, during the evening after everyone was asleep, and made appointments whenever it was best for my clients—even if that meant working on the weekends. And I volunteered my time away because I had more time than money.
Soon Baby #2 was welcomed into our family and everything began slowly falling apart. While my business was growing and I was gaining recognition in my industry, my family ended up getting whatever was left…and I was wearing out.
What I learned from Michelle was how to take 20 hours of my life back, each week. In hindsight, we never actually ‘defined’ it that way, but I see now how she helped me to slowly gather back my precious time. By examining how I was spending my time, I realized how I could be more efficient. We looked at a grid system that helped me to stop putting out fires all day, every day, and instead focused my time on the things that mattered most first.
This meant silencing my phone for periods of time and not answering email all day long as soon as a new message came in. It also meant offering appointment times to my clients that worked for me and my family schedule. When I finally had developed a daily plan for managing my time and a weekly plan for appointments, I no longer had to work weekends! It was a relief to not feel as though I had given myself away every day, every evening, and every weekend.”
Ashley McDonell, University Student
Integrated her wisdom, clarified her gifts, and began creating the life of her dreams
“So often we allow ourselves to forget the value of being heard and listened to, with the full attention of another soul, while truly speaking from our heart. My experience with Michelle has reminded me of the importance of speaking my truth and being deeply listened to. There comes a time when we all need support on our journey; this isn’t a sign of weakness but a sign of strength. It’s a sign of truly understanding that on this incredible journey of life we are meant to be supported, encouraged, and loved. Being in a coaching relationship with Michelle reminded me of the value of support, encouragement, and partnership. She showed me what it is like to be listened to on a soul level with full attention and no judgment. She never showed up just to do her ‘work’ during our sessions; in fact, it felt as if she was simply showing up just to support me.
When I sought the support of Michelle as my Life Coach, I was at a unique point in my life where I was attempting to integrate the wisdom I had acquired…into a life that allowed for me to shine and use my gifts. Together we clarified just what these gifts were, we named them and we honored them, and then I got to work creating the life of my dreams. After having been coached, I started dedicating time to myself to explore who I am in a way that I had never experienced before.
Taking that time to explore myself, my needs, my deepest desires, and my pain brought me to a place of self-love and awareness that was unparalleled. This is the place where magic can happen! And I experienced, first-hand, where deep transformation takes place.
Working with Michelle reaffirmed my own power to create my life. She reminded me that I am a powerful creative force and she gave me the tools to practice being so. She allowed me to become aware of the subtle ways in which I had given that power away to circumstance, others, or society – and she helped me to reclaim my strength with grace. The coaching process invited me to step into self-exploration with love and playfulness, guided by Michelle’s intuitive and wise words, and I never felt alone on my journey. As my Coach, Michelle did an amazing job at helping me to feel at ease on my journey, to play with options, and ‘be’ in process. We created a relationship where we celebrated my life, its beauty, its complexity, and its difficulties with joy. Joy for the opportunity to explore together and joy for the fact that I was showing up every week to do the deep work necessary. This attitude of celebration is incredible and unique. Thanks to Michelle, I will always carry this with me!
I have so much gratitude for Michelle and the beautiful work she is doing in the world. She is an inspiration to her clients just by being herself! Michelle is a bright light and a beautiful person to have by your side on this journey. I truly believe everyone should have a Coach – its benefits are vast and many! Are you ready for positive change? Then I say: Get a Coach, feel that support, and start dreaming!”
Kris Andersen, Certified Financial Planner
Kristi L. Andersen Financial Partners, LLC
Approaching business strategically and embracing the importance of re-charging
“Working in a corporate setting for over 20 years, my schedule and priorities were dictated by the organization. Then I started my own business as a Financial Planner, and I found all of the opportunities and tasks ‘to do’…paralyzing! So I hired Michelle as a Professional Coach. She helped me sort through my goals and passions and prioritize how I spend my time. Now I am able to approach my business strategically.
Michelle uses her extraordinary listening skills to help people understand and move towards their best life. She has helped me to focus on priorities, rather than being involved in everything. Before I started coaching, I viewed down-time as ‘wasteful.’ And it was hard for me to take time to rest when I felt like I had so much to do. Now I understand the importance of re-charging, and I have the tools to help me do so. Coaching has helped me achieve balance in my life.
Lastly, having a Coach has also been useful in having someone to be accountable to. I always keep promises to others, but I haven’t always kept them to myself!”
Kendra Brodin, Life and Career Strategist
Having What Matters
From overwhelmed and frustrated to more clarity and confidence
“Before coaching with Michelle, I was overwhelmed and frustrated in my life and in my work. I was feeling too busy, and my schedule was crammed full. I felt less creative and strategic than I wanted to feel, and I hoped to find a way to bring something fresh and fulfilling into both my work and personal life.
Michelle helped me realize that I do have something special to offer the world, and that part of me was longing to be expressed. My work with Michelle has led me to the next step of my development – building some creative opportunities both within and in addition to my full-time position. I appreciated Michelle helping me to really ‘own’ what I’m passionate about – both personally and professionally. It felt so good knowing that someone I trusted, and whose perspective I valued, thought there was potential in my ideas, and it gave me confidence to move forward with them.
In our work together, I received more clarity about who I am, who I want to be, and what was holding me back. I identified many of the fears that were making me tentative about trying to achieve my new-found goals. Michelle was sensitive to not adding too much to my already full plate, and I appreciated her pushing just the right amount. She was honest with me and stopped me as needed to challenge me on my perspective. I always felt heard, appreciated, understood, and honored, and Michelle asked me some terrific questions along the way and went very deep with me. I LOVED that! I consistently felt like Michelle was ‘there’ for me, and she made me feel valued as a client. She always added something special to my process – the perfect quote, words, inspiration – to keep me moving forward and provide a tangible representation of the support and love I knew she was sending.
Some of the transformation I experienced is hard to articulate. I know myself better. I can be even more honest and vulnerable with myself and others. I feel more confident in who I am. As I move into the intentional creation of the next chapter of my life and career, I feel like I am growing stronger every day. Knowing that I had a beautiful, encouraging spirit like Michelle’s ‘in my corner’ has – and will continue to make – that growth easier, smoother, and more graceful. I was missing that kind of presence in my life, and I’m grateful to have found it in Michelle. She was an amazing Coach who supported me in a powerful way through a very challenging time in my life. Thank you, Michelle, from the bottom of my heart!”
Growing her business, loving it, and being her best
“Coaching with Michelle has been nothing short of extraordinary! It was a pivotal moment in time for me when she said, ‘Wendy, everyone needs a Strengths Coach like you.’ Those words quite literally stopped me in my tracks, and I thought, ‘Yes—maybe I can do that!’ It was Michelle’s sense of joy and conviction that hit me square and motivated me to start my own business. Her absolute resolve around coaching for the positive experiences in life—the joy-filled moments—helped me to see beyond the confusion in the moment.
My journey continued with Michelle always willing to step-in and coach when my new career as a small-business owner wandered upon bumps in the road. There were particular times when I thought I just couldn’t do it; the responsibility was too big for me to carry. Michelle helped me to focus on my accomplishments, my talents, and my contribution to the world. She coached me to be the very best of me.
My business continues to grow, and Michelle continues to cheer me on in the background! I found a true connection to Michelle’s joy-filled words recently when I was presenting to a group of church leaders. I found myself living a peak-moment-in-time because I was doing what I absolutely loved to do. Those words that Michelle spoke to me several months ago fueled a part of me that just burst out and said: ‘Look out world, here I come!’”
Jen Antila, Culinary Instructor
Freedom and a high level of personal satisfaction, every day
“I knew I was on the cusp of a transition when I reached out to Michelle and we began our coaching relationship. I knew I wanted to head in a direction, but didn’t know which direction to head. I wanted to identify a destination. I wanted to have a positive attitude and feel more confident in my worklife, just as I felt at home. I knew it was possible but I wasn’t quite sure how to navigate, how to get there.
Michelle listened intently, took a role as a facilitator, helped and encouraged me to peel away the layers to get at the core of what I desire. We trust each other implicitly and immediately connected in a symbiotic way. This allowed us to dive in and begin to explore. We started with what I wanted that day, that week. Michelle taught me the tools to observe, listen to, honor…myself. I used to spend a great deal of time thinking about things and people and reactions that I couldn’t control. What a gift to completely shift that focus to me!
I share with my friends my favorite, most meaningful lessons and tools that Michelle has used in our coaching practice. I find myself using the model she showed me to demonstrate how others can shift their energy and thoughts from things they can’t control to things they can. I have talked about the ‘tapes’ that played and replayed in my head and how I changed those messages from unhelpful to positive. I love the vision board that Michelle encouraged me to create, it keeps my dreams in focus and I look at it as I start each new day. ‘Re-teaching’ reinforces those lessons for me. Being intentional with my attention and thoughts has changed how I interact with others and the result is a high level of personal satisfaction, every day.
Today, I am free. I was ready to be free, and Michelle was the guide that helped me get there! Thank you Michelle for the gift of freedom!”
Jennifer Bernel, Owner & Designer
Thinking positively and staying focused on goals and dreams
“My experience with Michelle has been one of the most uplifting and helpful things I have ever done for myself. It has helped me to gain confidence and a special spirit inside myself that always reminds me—I CAN DO IT!
Before I started working with Michelle, I was literally a mess. I was trying to balance running and growing my business, adjusting to being a new mom, and attempting to be a good wife, daughter, friend, etc. I felt like I was being pulled in so many directions. And in all areas where I tried to excel in my life, I was only able to give maybe 50%, and that, in turn, felt like I was constantly letting myself down. It was a bad cycle because I would always feel bad about myself, as my efforts to ‘do it all’ somehow turned into failure in my mind.
It was important for me to talk through my struggles and find new ways to deal with them. Some of the things Michelle and I discussed were ideas I would have never thought about on my own! The exercises were huge in helping me determine what steps to take next, and they helped me reformulate my way of thinking to a more positive and productive manner. I do so many more things now that help to keep me on track: I write a list out before bed of what I need to get done the next day, and I use my vision board to help keep me focused on my goals and dreams and to remind me that I can accomplish them. I’m also working at not letting what other people say or do affect me and my ways of thinking. It was an eye-opening experience that I will continue to embrace through the years and challenges ahead!
Coaching has helped me in so many ways! I am not done with it yet, as I know I will need Michelle’s guidance, her good listening ear, and her positive energy to help me through other obstacles in my life. I am SO thankful I have her support!”
Rachel Loeslie, Professional Organizer/Certified Feng Shui Consultant/Norwex Consultant
Rachel Loeslie Organizing
Gave herself permission to connect with her destiny and impact lives
“When I met Michelle, I instantly made a connection with her AND with the voice inside me that said, ‘I like this woman, and I think she can help me.’ That was my intuition kicking in and my awareness of it that made the difference. I actually listened to it and many good things started to happen. I was in a major transition in my life and career. I had lost a loved one and after that experience, I knew I wanted a career change that would connect me to my purpose and give my life meaning and joy.
All I wanted to do was ‘something that really mattered’ and ‘something that made a difference.’ I still hear Michelle’s voice saying, let’s get really clear about what that is and how it looks. She helped me tune into my vision and let go of the doubt and fear that was swirling in my head. At the time, everything felt so enormous and overwhelming to me that I couldn’t see how to move forward. Together we worked through what I intuitively knew about myself and what I’d like to do for my next career move. She helped me believe I could do it, be it, and live it.
With our work together, I got clear and I gave myself permission to be what I wanted. She helped me connect to my true cheerful spirit inside and remember that I am excited about life, and that part of my destiny is to encourage others to be bright and bold by claiming their space and creating an environment that supports health and happiness. Today I feel that I make a difference and impact peoples’ lives in a positive way. I also feel blessed to know that Michelle is always cheering me on and sending me a smile or a big thumbs-up. Her encouragement and support is ongoing and ever growing. It’s nice to know that I have a caring friend and advisor in my circle of influence.”
Nina Stillman, Estate Planning & Business Attorney
Stillman Law Offices, LLC
Changed career paths and loving what she does
“Before meeting Michelle I was very skeptical of coaching: Did I really need someone else keeping me on track and telling me what to do? I was at a crossroads in my life, career-wise, and personally as well. I met Michelle and we discussed my issues of career dissatisfaction and my unhappiness with my lack of a social life. Michelle did not tell me what to do or keep me on track as much as she helped me put myself back on track and have faith that I was taking the right track for me even if others didn’t think so.
Michelle asked me the right questions to get me to identify what I really wanted out of my career and my social life. She had me write these things down so I wouldn’t forget and could remind myself of what I had said I wanted. She also helped me to realize the ways in which I might be preventing myself from reaching for those ideals. The rest was up to me with a little bit of nudging from Michelle!
I am happy to report that although it was scary, I have changed career paths and love what I do now. I gave things a chance that I might not have before coaching and I am a much happier person. Thank you, Michelle!”
Melanie Torgerson, Health Researcher & Activist/Leader
Holistic Moms Network
Honoring strengths and seeing herself in a new light
“My coaching sessions with Michelle have literally changed my life and made me who I am today. I signed up for coaching with her at a time when I felt lost in life, overwhelmed by weaknesses, and desperate for direction. My main goal was to figure out how I could fix my weaknesses so I could turn my life around.
Michelle helped me to realize that by spending all my time trying to ‘fix’ my weaknesses, I was losing sight of my strengths. Through the right questions and amazing discussions, she helped me to realize who I was and what I had to offer the world. Michelle helped me to see that being a free-spirit and present in each moment was truly a gift. She helped me to realize the benefits of these strengths and guided me in ways I could honor them, while simply ‘managing’ my weaknesses.
As soon as I started honoring my true self, managing my weaknesses became so much easier, rather than trying to ‘fix’ them! Michelle helped transform how I see myself which gave me confidence and empowered me to make even more positive change in my life.
I am so grateful to have Michelle as my ‘go-to’ person when I am struggling in life. She always helps me to find and be my authentic self, which makes it easy to live a life full of passion and purpose.”
Michelle Wuollet, Organizational Development Director
Identified values, passions, strengths…and gained clarity on life purpose
“A few years ago I married the man I always hoped I would find. We had a beautiful wedding and a great start to our new life together. On that day, not only did I become a new wife and housemate to a wonderful man, but an ‘instant’ step-mom to his five year-old daughter! I was excited to call them ‘my family’ and looked forward to being able to provide a stable environment for his daughter to grow up in.
Little did I know at the time just how hard the struggles of being a new wife and step-mom would be. About that same time, the focus and responsibilities of my job changed dramatically. I began to question whether this job was still the right place for me and whether I was appreciated or even added value anymore. This situation, coupled with the struggles of trying to make a blended family work, initiated the call I made to Michelle. I was in a role-identity crisis and needed help figuring out who I was!
The minute I spoke with Michelle I knew I had reached out to the right place for help. Michelle is the best listener I know! She created a warm and trusting environment where I could honestly and confidentially explore the issues I was dealing with. With Michelle as my guide, I worked hard to identify my core values, passions, strengths, and get clear on the person I was meant to be.
A pivotal point in our coaching relationship was when Michelle helped me create a ‘Life Purpose Statement.’ I used this statement to help me get clear on my roles as a wife and step-mom, and regained my commitment to a company I respected and wanted to contribute to further. This Life Purpose statement has become the compass I use in which to make decisions and navigate my life. To this day, it is a great reminder of who I am and how I want to ‘show up’ in life!
Michelle has a gift for asking powerful and thought-provoking questions. And with her help, I have learned and grown so much as an individual, wife, mother, and professional business woman. Thanks to Michelle, I am clear on my life purpose and the various roles I play in life.”
Cindy Storms, Massage Therapist & Life Coach
Red Earth Sanctuary
Transformed her life and overjoyed with significant progress
“Wow, how my life has transformed itself from the wonderful healing qualities of coaching! Over the last several years—yes, years—I had been winding myself down into one solid rut. One thing after another was happening to continue the ever-heavy weight of stress and overwhelm. My life was going from bad to worse. My relationship was failing, a real estate venture was stressful, and my outlook on life was limited to just ‘making it through the day.’ I was tapped royally and had almost completely lost my energy for dreaming of a bright future.
Being the energetically savvy person I am, I’m always interested in personal transformation and being the best person I can be. I was mortified that I had created such a debilitating situation for myself. I guess sometimes you have to go through the muck to appreciate the beauty.
From the moment I met Michelle, I knew she had something magical to offer. Her positive energy was contagious and gave me hope that I could turn my life around. I committed to six-plus months of coaching, which seemed like I was signing my life away at the time, but little did I know that what I was really signing away was my old life of stress and overwhelm. Michelle helped me to tackle issues head-on, dig deeply into them, and unwind the dysfunction. By continuing to hold the focus on what I wanted to achieve and reaffirming my goals, I was able to make significant progress.
I am so happy to say that my life is happy now, and I am overjoyed at the progress I have made: I am in a fantastic new relationship, my real estate ventures are stable and secure, my heart is in-line with my values, and I am making decisions from a light-filled place. I am extremely grateful for all the support and talented coaching Michelle has given to me. Thank you, Michelle!”
Kristi Hamilton, Marketing Communications Consultant
En Root Marketing & Communications
Clearing the clutter, re-connecting to passions & goals, and being her best
“I was in a very transitional stage in my life—I was still acclimating to the Twin Cities after relocating, I had recently ended a long-term relationship, and a one-year consulting contract was about to come to a close. All at once, every aspect of my life was up in the air, which was exciting and overwhelming at the same time. I was feeling stuck and unable to silence the constant noise and clutter in my head to focus on how I wanted to move my life forward.
Then I met Michelle and quite honestly, I had no idea of the positive change that was about to take place in my life! I signed up for her Jump-Start session, where Michelle reminded me of something I knew but had lost sight of: Change is good. This was my opportunity to determine what was working in my life, what wasn’t working, and develop a plan to move forward in a way that was meaningful to me.
From there, I committed to a three-month coaching relationship where Michelle provided tools and techniques to clear out the “clutter” in my head. This allowed me to reconnect with passions I had lost sight of and re-focus on personal and professional goals that had been derailed in recent years. Michelle provided me with tools I could easily incorporate into my schedule—simple things like making a daily commitment to spend a few minutes with myself in meditation or journaling. It sounds so simple, but making this a daily habit takes a little time and is a very powerful step in the process.
Working with Michelle is like having a database of groundbreaking techniques and inspirational quotes at your fingertips! During each session, Michelle shared a morsel of research or a useful exercise or a quote that stayed with me and gave me new perspective on the life ahead of me. For me, the results have been so affirming. I gained the resolve I needed to pursue the kind of work I enjoy and find fulfilling and refocus on the things I want in my personal life. I still have days where my head is filled with clutter, but thanks to Michelle I know how to quiet the noise. I have a daily plan of attack that gracefully balances being present in the moment while moving forward to be the best I can be!”
Gina Swanson, Public Relations Consultant
Maintaining balance while building her business
“Michelle helped me realize you can make your dreams come true; that when you believe in yourself, set goals, and visualize what you want, anything is possible.
She helped me realize my dream. Michelle was by my side when I started my own public relations business. She helped me focus when I would spread myself too thin. She guided me through questions to discover my ‘niche’ client. She calmed me when I would begin to feel overwhelmed. And all important, we worked on setting goals to help me maintain balance as a business owner. It’s so easy to have life become your work when you love what you do! Michelle’s insight and commitment to helping others find clarity made a lasting impact on my life—both personally and professionally.
Michelle has a special way of bringing out the best in people; in helping people find their truth. And she doesn’t go about it haphazardly; she is steadfast in creating process, steps, and goals. It’s not fluff—it’s concrete, tangible guidance that makes a real difference. I look forward to Michelle’s ongoing support, guidance, wisdom, and friendship.”
Sarah Stolzenburg, Holistic Nurse and Healing Arts Practitioner
Letting go of old patterns, choosing love, and coming back to her truth
“When I began coaching with Michelle, I started out with a business focus. But Michelle helped me see that what I really wanted was a ‘whole-life’ focus. This helped me to let go of the pressure of the business and manifest other amazing things in my life that were for deeper growth and lasting peace and joy. It made such a huge impact on my overall life. Michelle gave me practical and insightful tools to help me shift things, and she helped me with new ideas and perspectives that sparked ways of looking at my life in a more peaceful way.
I was held accountable to take important steps in my life which has led to a whole new level of healing. Michelle approached our coaching from a loving and enlightening perspective, and she always helped me to come back to what is true for me. Through coaching, I was able to create positive and empowering experiences with my family and friends that allowed me to be who I am and take care of myself in the face of old judgments and beliefs. The powerful exercises she led helped me let go of certain patterns, and she helped me see myself as beautiful in a whole new way and understand my power in the world. I learned that I can choose love over fear, and that I really have nothing to be afraid of – if I know who I am, I am conscious of my choices, and I trust in my life.
Michelle fully listened and got to know me on all levels. I am so grateful for always feeling so loved, appreciated, and supported by her. She is always on your side, reflecting your truth and higher-self back to you so that you can live the life you really want. She always brought things back to what I wanted to focus on and she spoke to my Spirit. Michelle offered accountability, flexibility, and just the right amount of tools, activities, and insights to help me move forward. She allowed whatever was present to ‘be there’ with love and acceptance. She held me to my own highest standard and truth, as she guided (not pushed) to a new place each session. Thanks, Michelle, I loved our time together!”
Katie Weddle Langer, MBA in Sustainable Business
Assessed strengths and areas of interest, now on her way toward fulfilling career
“I started coaching with Michelle because I realized that I couldn’t define my ideal career path on my own. I had certainly tried, but I always felt I was missing something; there was something I couldn’t see and connections I couldn’t make about my interests and strengths and how to apply them toward a career path that felt right.
Michelle and her coaching services were exactly what I needed to get going toward my ideal career. She gave me excellent assignments to honestly assess my true self, including core values, strengths, and areas of interest. We also explored what types of thoughts held me back and then how to move them out of the way. Knowing Michelle was holding me accountable for completing each task was the motivation I needed to stay in motion. I became so much clearer on what was and wasn’t working in my life, and why.
Finally and most important, together we determined my first step of action, and now I’m on my way to creating a fulfilling career.”
Niki Rubinger, Aesthetician & Massage Therapist
Changed careers and living more in alignment with her true self
“I’ve always known how important it is to listen to your inner voice, but after working with Michelle, I was able to let go of my six-year career as a Professional Organizer and went back to school for Massage Therapy. With a traveling husband, two kids and their busy lives, the scary tuition, and being a Girl Scout Troop Leader, I had to ask a lot of people for help—something I generally wasn’t great at. My ‘village’ came through big-time, and I graduated with a 4.0 and went on to become a Nationally Certified Massage Therapist.
Now I work at an organic, holistic wellness center that had never hired anyone directly out of massage school before. I am part of a community that honors wellness, healing, supporting each other, and allows me to be who I am. What a gift! I feel more like myself than I have in years, and I know that it’s a result of my work with Michelle.
Before coaching, I held myself to expectations that I would never hold a friend to (really, the laundry and dishes will wait). I’ve realized how important it is to carve out time for myself—without guilt—and by doing that, I’m being a friend to myself, setting more realistic goals, enjoying activities that bring me joy, and setting a better example for my daughters.
In many ways, I’ve gotten back to just being me. I’m better at letting other people own their ‘stuff’ and not trying to fix what I can’t fix. I have a deeper appreciation for how much energy it takes to be a mom and wife, and I have a better understating of my strengths and how to manage them so they don’t go into overdrive, resulting in frustration and unrealistic expectations.
Michelle’s coaching helped me change my course, and I can’t imagine where I’d be without her. THANK YOU, MICHELLE!”
Janice Kern, Volunteer
Talk About Curing Autism
Making family life at home go from good to great
“I had a few logs in the fire, so to speak, and needed coaching to help me get them all to that roaring flame that I wanted. Everything was lit, but I wanted it to be red-hot. So I signed up for Michelle’s ‘Jump-Start’ coaching session, which was great! Together, we categorized the areas of my life that needed focus and discussed steps to help me move forward.
Overall, I was feeling fine with how things were going along in my life: My kids were basically healthy and my son’s autism was certainly improving. I have a great husband and family. But it seemed like it could be even better if I could get my thoughts in order to start to make things happen. One of the best things I learned from coaching was that living MY best life was so much more than simply ‘making time for myself.’ It was more than taking an afternoon for shopping or a pedicure. While that sounds great, it’s short-lived, and I needed inspiration and motivation for making each day rewarding, valued, and memorable. And doing that with four kids—one affected significantly with autism, while the other three were significantly affected by his autism—seemed…not reachable.
Realizing that I had all the tools for making everything come together in a better way was eye-opening for me. For example, every day I cook for my family; there’s got to be a way to not continually dread every meal. And getting kids out the door for school was not getting easier; it was becoming more and more difficult. Thinking and talking about exactly how I wanted these things to be was an important first step in my coaching with Michelle. We followed-up by discussing which specific steps I needed to take in order to make what I wanted become the reality.
Another great example of how coaching has helped me is in the gym. I now make my time there really ‘worth something,’ keeping the end result in mind and working toward it each time I’m there. That has made a huge difference in my physical health. Getting up at 5:30 is something I used to do for crying babies and for work. Now, I do it for myself. I can easily tell myself (and others) that ‘I don’t have time.’ But it’s not true, because I’ve clearly shown that 5:30 a.m. is okay if it’s work, or if it’s my children…so it needs to be okay for me! Thanks, Michelle!”
Kelly Leiker, Consultant & Trainer
Taking risks, paying attention to her inner voice, and being herself 100% of the time
“Michelle has helped me with key personal and professional life decisions through helping me ‘hear my voice.’ And she created space by asking the perfect questions that allowed a moment for the important listening to take place. She has encouraged me to take all of the risks I have needed to—those that have helped me create a solid marriage and start my own company where I am able to help others on a full-time basis. The best part is that I get to be myself 100% of the time. There is nothing more powerful! The audiences that I speak to say that I have an energy and passion that captures them, and I know that it is simply because I am doing what I wholeheartedly love doing.
It is immediately clear to me that Michelle is meant to help us to live our ‘real lives.’ The lives that we have dreamed of, longed for, and strived for. She helps her clients break their goals down into realistic and do-able steps, and then she builds us up so that we have the courage to take the next step to make that dream a reality.
Michelle has been a part of many of my life’s milestones of truth. She is the real deal and has a gift of bringing to light the most critical information needed by an individual…that of their soul.”
Brenda Nelson, IT Manager & Certified Creative Life Coach
Greater confidence & self-esteem and more enthusiasm for life
“I have gained so much more than I dared to dream from working with Michelle! I have greater confidence and self-esteem, and I am accomplishing the things I’ve wanted to for so long. While there are a lot of Coaches out there, I have found Michelle to be one of the best with her proven abilities to give her clients concrete steps to get out of overwhelm, tools and enthusiasm to support change, and a personal cheerleader to celebrate accomplishments.
Michelle helps me maintain my focus on the important things and keep my daily actions in-line with my values and vision. I have more enthusiasm for life and daily miracles that I was not able to see before because I was too overwhelmed and frustrated! Her unconditional support of whatever I do—or don’t do—has allowed me to move forward in directions I had only dared to dream of before. And Michelle’s enthusiasm and zest for life inspires others to want more and do more, and she continues to surprise me with new tools and new perspectives that make me see my own life in a powerful way.
Michelle takes cheerleading one step further by holding her clients accountable to themselves. This has been huge in our coaching relationship! I needed someone to hold me accountable for the goals I said I wanted to accomplish. Our coaching helped me go from being ‘accountable’…to being driven to succeed and celebrate my accomplishments.
Working with Michelle is the best investment I have made in myself and in my future! Comfort doesn’t imply happiness, and happiness can only be achieved if you’re willing to work for it. Why not work for it with a Coach and get happier that much sooner?”
Michele Dettloff, Graphic Designer & Grief Counselor
Learning to be happy in the present, living consciously, and enjoying life
“Working with Michelle changed my life! When I first met Michelle, I was an overwhelmed business owner ready for a change. Little did I know how much of a change! I’ve always been a planner with lots of goals. I was so busy trying to achieve the next goal, though, that I was never content where I was. When I began working with Michelle, my goal for coaching was to come up with a new plan. Michelle gently helped me see that I didn’t need a ‘plan’ at all, but to learn to be happy in the present.
Today I am a much happier person—happier than I ever knew I could be! Have I achieved all my goals? No, but I’m thoroughly enjoying the process. My happiness no longer depends on achieving my goals. That’s just the icing on the cake!
Michelle helped me to get clarity around my values and work through some big decisions, then helped keep me accountable. Since working with Michelle, I’ve made significant changes, including taking a job while I pursue a new career path, one that I believe to be my purpose in life. I’m working toward becoming a grief counselor and end-of-life consultant. I’m living my life more consciously and enjoying it immensely. I just started coaching with Michelle again—if she could help me get to the point I’m at today, I figure she can help me take it to the next level. Michelle is an outstanding Coach whom I highly recommend!”
Amy Forsberg, Realtor®
Reassessed career objectives and now living her best life
“From an outsider’s perspective, my daily routine was one to be envied. I had a great job at a great company making a great income. I drove a great car, parked in a heated garage, and grabbed my non-fat, vanilla latte each morning. Most importantly, I had a great husband who loved me and two great kids who wanted to spend every minute with me. It all sounds enviable, right? So why did I walk through my work day with a pit in my stomach? I didn’t know why. I didn’t know how to fix it. That’s when a friend told me about LifeShine.
Through conversations with Michelle, I was able to reveal a few key areas of opportunity. Each week, we broke these areas down and discussed my needs and what I could do that day or that week to make change. Michelle identified activities for me to complete like: ‘Identify three networking groups to leverage’ or ‘Write down what success looks like for you.’ Each week, she held me accountable for my own commitments and success. Small steps, every week, soon created noticeable change.
Michelle was objective, trained, and focused on helping me at a time when I needed it most. She asked the tough questions like: ‘What is the cost of not making a change in your life?’ and she helped me slowly build the habits I needed to help me achieve my best life.
Ultimately, I reassessed my career objectives and recently became a Realtor! I aligned my desires to build my own business, grow my connectedness with my community, and create flexibility in my schedule to increase my time with my kids. So I traded the pit in my stomach for less money, a less glamorous office (my living room), and I skip the gourmet coffee altogether. However, I kept the great car…after all, I am a Realtor! Thank you, Michelle, for helping me live my best life!”
Pam Doty, Presentation Manager
Gained clarity on who she is…and forgave her dad as he was dying
“Life can seem like a long string of roadblocks and issues; things we have to deal with or overcome. Through my coaching with Michelle, clarifying what was worrying me resulted in manageable boundaries and the realization that nothing is insurmountable. And I knew that if something did seem overwhelming, Michelle would help me see with clarity, compassion, and hope for the future. Before coaching with Michelle, I spent much of my energy coming from a negative place. But Michelle gave me resources that have changed my whole internal world!
I get so mired in the minutia of my life that I forget to really look for what is out there waiting for me. So with Michelle, focusing on what ‘could be’ was so thrilling! Our work together gave me a new focus for my life, and Michelle cleared a path for me to get to know myself. And the homework in-between sessions cemented my commitment to work on ‘me.’ Michelle led me through exercises to help me get clear on my life purpose and core strengths. Deciding who you are and what you stand for is powerful! And with Michelle’s help, I got focused quickly and clearly. I suddenly got my core, what I want to be known for, and how to show that every day. I’m also learning to let go of the ‘should’s’ and ‘have to’s’ in my life, and the more I do this, the more I know I’m choosing my life’s direction based on my priorities.
Through coaching, I got the courage to ask for a promotion, pursue a new career, and believe in myself. I felt stuck. Was I valued or well placed in my job? Could I be better at something else? Michelle helped me see that I would never know unless I tried to find out. In asking for an in-position promotion, I realized I wanted something different. I felt validated (they said yes!) and released (I turned it down) to do what would lead me toward passion in my work. I’m not there yet but I’m so much closer! I’m excited about where I’m going and where I might end up.
Most importantly, I received the strength to forgive, heal, and move forward. My father passed away recently and I had not seen him for over 10 years and didn’t want to. Shortly before his death, I learned that he had terminal cancer and would only make it a few months. Without the work I’d done with Michelle, I’m quite sure I wouldn’t have been able to find the selfless part of me that needed to show up so we could reconnect and he could meet my children. Because of that visit, I was able to tell him that I loved and forgave him and be at his side when he died. I will be forever grateful.
Life coaching truly is about your life…your whole life; who you are now, who you want to be, and how to find the path to get there. We all have the ability to do it, but I needed someone to hold my hand and take the journey with me. I’m grateful for my coaching with Michelle and for the time I spent on myself.”
Michelle Newman, Talent Acquisition Manager
Got the balance in her life she had been craving
“Through my coaching with Michelle, I: Got the courage to quit my corporate recruiting job with a Fortune 50 company; completed my coaching training; launched my coaching business; designed and delivered my first workshop series to women (for them to get in touch with their dreams and put plans in place to achieve them); started Weight Watchers and became a Zumba certified fitness instructor; got my financial plan in place that will allow my husband and me to buy our dream house on a lake; and worked through the grief of losing two grandparents within months of each other.
Most importantly, I got the balance in my life I’d been craving that would simultaneously allow me to do what I love and also have more time with my family.
It wasn’t easy, and there were times that I didn’t do the things I committed to doing, but what I loved about working with Michelle was that there was never any judgment, scolding, or nagging, just gentle reminders of what I said I wanted the most, an awareness of my fears and insecurities and how to deal with them, and enthusiastic encouragement that I could indeed achieve all that I had set out to do.
Working with Michelle as my Coach has been an absolute pleasure. Her enthusiasm and support of her clients is second to none. I would highly recommend her as a coach to professional women everywhere!”
Ann Koerner, Independent Jewelry Rep.
“Making the decision to begin my own home-based business presented some challenging opportunities for me. So I hired Michelle’s as a Coach and her warm, gentle, caring spirit helped calm my fears and anxieties so that I could get my focus adjusted and reassess what I needed to do to move closer to the goals I had set for the day or for the week.
Michelle provided me with the tools to stay focused on the step-by-step process necessary to reach my goals, and realize and enjoy the dream I had set out to achieve. She also helped me to get more clear on what my actual goals were. And once the goals were clearly established, we were able to uncover obstacles I was experiencing, and then figure out what I could do to overcome them and clear them out of the path.
Our coaching also helped me to feel more accountable. Michelle helped me realize that staying focused and doing what is most important will lead to the achievement of the small goals…and then it is the accumulation of those small goals that with patience, persistence, and consistency—eventually leads us to fulfillment of our dreams!”
Jennifer Ingvoldstad, Massage Therapist & Yoga Instructor
Maya Adventures and Healing Retreats
Living an adventurous life and in awe of it every day
“When I started working with Michelle, I was on the cusp of a great adventure in my life. I had already left a great corporate career as an Interior Designer and returned to school to study Massage Therapy. I started my own practice that was successful and fulfilling, however—the biggest change of my life had not occurred yet. My big adventure was that I had decided to move to Belize for six months to further my education and spend time in another culture. Needless to say, I was freaking out a bit!
Michelle helped me organize my thoughts and goals and pay attention to what it was in life that was important to me. She helped me clarify what experience I was looking for. We talked a lot about putting trust in the ‘how’ to achieve my goals. Interestingly, I began to notice that most of my goals had more to do with living my life rather than with the actual ‘work’ I do. Michelle gave me excellent tools to use when I needed to check in with myself, and to keep in touch with my vision.
I have divided my time between two countries for the last three years and have had many wonderful life changes as well as experienced my life’s greatest losses. Michelle has been there to hear me and hold up the mirror. She has also helped remind me of my light during times when I was too overwhelmed to notice it myself.
Now I am able to more fully live a happy, adventurous, intuitive life—doing what I love for a living. And I am in awe of it everyday.”
Kate Henehan, Relationship Manager; Certified Personal Coach & Yoga Instructor
Making significant strides and claiming the life she has longed for
“Michelle and I have had a long coaching relationship which I have cherished and valued. During my journey of personal and professional growth, my one and only safe harbor…was my weekly coaching sessions with Michelle. This was the one place I got to exhale and let down my guard, to nurture my dreams and grieve my disappointments. I was lost and desperate, and Michelle was my unwavering champion.
In my opinion, I would not be here without the coaching support I received from Michelle over those difficult years. I’m not sure my dream could have flourished without the watering and sunlight we poured on it every week, nudging that seed to grow.
I am a Coach myself, and I believe coaching is one of the indispensable tools that will support you every single step of the way. The investment is small for the return…dreams realized. Michelle is a gifted, intuitive, and inspirational Coach. Working with her has led me to the deep, internal changes which must precede any true and lasting external changes. With her guidance and support, I have made significant personal and professional strides in my life and I know I am finally headed towards claiming the life I have longed for.”
Helena-Summer Medena, Charisma Expert
Learned to gracefully say “no”….in order to say “Yes!” to what’s most important
“I grew up in Croatia feeling ugly, with a Body Dysmorphic Disorder and chronic fear of speaking ‘Angleesh’ with native English speakers. As I addressed my underlying beliefs and treated them with the Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT), I grew rapidly. From there, my own sense of style and personal charisma emerged, and I wanted to share it with the world and teach women how to feel their best, personally and professionally.
But I had a gazillion ideas that were overcrowding my head! I felt burned out and restless and didn’t know how to prioritize my time and what was important to me. Then Michelle came along. With her sweet, approachable smile and warm open heart, she shared magical tips and it all started to ‘click.’ What a relief! We worked together on setting up the most important thing in my life—a foundation! Michelle is indeed a Time Management Queen!
There were many opportunities to show my level of commitment to my business. Especially in dealing with friends and family. I needed to say ‘no’ to less important tasks and do it gracefully. Michelle is an expert in bringing out graceful ‘no’s’ and she showed me how to do that myself. She taught me how to say ‘Yes!’ to what was most important by saying ‘no’ to other, less important things and vice versa. It is a crucial skill for women in business! Just this one thing created big clarity and moved me to the next step.
Michelle’s friendly attitude kept us connected even in-between our coaching sessions and she was willing to share her little business secrets and personal experiences that helped her achieve success. Now I am grateful that I have created a unique and very specific niche with my EFT skills. As a successful Charisma Expert, I help people build their self-esteem, confidence, and passion. And I know how to work not just in my business…but also at my business. Together, Michelle and I are creating a wonderful, Delicious World where every life shines! Thanks, Michelle!”
Robin Smothers, Accredited in Public Relations (APR), Principal
RMS Public Relations LLC
Learned the tools to plan effectively and make conscious decisions
“Working with Michelle helped me find the kind of balance I’d been looking for for years. I’ve always been a people-pleaser, which meant that if anyone asked me to help out or volunteer, my answer was always yes. And I had a hard time turning down new business. Soon, I was working 12-hour days, dealing with unhappy clients, and under great stress.
With Michelle’s guidance and the tools she provided, I was able stop my standard ‘yes’ response and the take the time I needed to think through how the commitment would affect me. Perhaps most importantly, Michelle helped me understand my limits, and I was certainly reaching for more than I could ever handle. My newfound ‘free time’ was quickly re-energized and re-focused.
Our sessions helped me to stay positive, focused, organized, and balanced. I now have the tools I need to help me plan my days most effectively and I am making decisions from a more conscious perspective, rather than allowing distractions to take me off-course.”
Barb Legan, Joyfully-Ever-After Mentor
Seeing new perspectives and possibilities after the death of her husband
“A huge thank you to Michelle for encouraging and supporting my personal and professional growth in so many wonderful ways! She has been absolutely magnificent at pointing me in some different directions that have gifted me with new perspectives…what a unique talent. I call her my ‘new perspectives guru.’
After working with Michelle: My personal default mind-set has changed from negative to positive, the universal laws of attraction have become the foundation for my life, and I finally opened myself to receiving all the great things life has to offer. I have become less reactive and ‘not attached to outcomes,’ which has opened my mind and heart to limitless possibilities. Best of all, I have changed from being stressed, angry, and fearful…to being calm, peaceful, and joyous! Truly a remarkable shift for me, and one which I can attribute to Michelle’s patience, wisdom, and understanding.
Michelle gave me the gift of shining a new light on my life both personally and professionally at the time I needed it most.”
Krisell Rivera, Loan Consultant
Finding her place in a new country
“I came to the United States after living my entire life in Mexico. Even though this move was necessary for me, this was a huge change for me, and it definitely took a lot of courage, commitment, and discipline to make it work. That’s where Michelle came along as an oasis in the desert. She made that huge step a lot easier and more doable.
Michelle has been a person in which I can trust with everything. She will listen and understand almost as if she could read my mind! Every time I talked to her, I felt a big relief, because she takes you step-by-step to make sure the path you’re taking is not only the correct one, but more importantly, the one you really want. She shows you how things are not as difficult as you may think, and that you can create your own beautiful world by doing the things you really enjoy and like to do. Michelle inspires you to take care of yourself, believe in yourself, and always stay positive.
For me, coming to Minnesota was finding my place, and I was lucky to meet Michelle who was and is always with me, sharing her knowledge and sensitive and thoughtful words that always come at just the right moment.”
Ruth Rounds, Consultant/Coach/Facilitator
Life Dimensions, Inc.
Taking the risk with a new business
“A coaching relationship with Michelle offered me the support to take the risk and find my way to price and market a new product line, and Michelle was instrumental in helping me break through my grid-lock. Having Michelle coach me through this was invaluable!
Michelle is one of the most nurturing and loving persons I have met! She gives her clients the gift of unconditional love, which is the essence of what helps people find themselves, enjoy life, and express themselves in creative and meaningful ways into the world.
None of us become successful on our own. We benefit from the resources, learnings, and the people that make a difference in our lives. Michelle is a Coach that can make that difference!”