I am a life, business, and career coach who coaches through a lens of self-compassion and self-acceptance. I have funky hair, tattoos, and a nose piercing and I also managed a successful IT career for 20 years. It took courage to be myself, and a certain subtlety to navigate being an unconventional professional. My last position was at a Fortune 500 company that had diversity and inclusion as one of its core values. Working in an inclusive environment was very empowering, and that became a catalyst for my professional development. This led to huge growth as a professional both technically and in my collaboration and working relationships. I enjoyed the work I did (though I did sometimes fantasize about smashing my computer with a hammer) and saw myself building a long career at this company. I wanted to contribute to the company culture, which I appreciated, so I joined their diversity and inclusion network. The network’s purpose was to increase awareness and education around the merits of diversity, generate ideas to foster increased diversity at all levels, and to provide education and discussion around implicit bias. I’m very proud of this work and am very excited to bring this experience into the coaching world.
Then came the curveball. I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in 2013, and that changed everything. I wasn’t happy about it, and certainly never expected to write about it online, but this diagnosis is what led me to the coaching profession. People have always said that I transform obstacles into opportunities for growth or learning. RA has been one of the biggest obstacles I’ve tackled, and consequently one of my best and harshest teachers, and I was determined to learn and grow from this as well. Since being diagnosed with RA, I have been busy redesigning my life to support my health so that I can thrive once more. RA has taught me things I didn’t even know I needed to know about self-compassion, boundaries, and so much more. The RA diagnosis and the need to support my body and health led to a long period of healing and transformation as I learned how to be myself in new and different ways.
My demanding, and at times high-stress job began to take a heavy toll on me physically. I learned that “work-life balance” wasn’t just a buzzword but something that I needed in order to improve my health. As my work grew in complexity and scope, giving me fun new problems to tackle, my health suffered and so did my quality of life. I found myself having less energy and witnessed my personal life slowly eroding as I did my best to manage both a demanding IT career and a demanding chronic illness. Known to be stubborn at times, and loving the career that I had poured so much of myself into, I powered through in this manner for 6 years, patting myself on the back for succeeding in spite of RA. I joke that my midlife crisis and 7 year work anniversary led to my drastic career change, and there is some truth in that, but in all honesty I needed a change of pace and a more sustainable (for me) career. It was very hard to admit this to myself, let alone say it out loud or act on it. Once I was finally able to accept that I needed to make a change, I made the bold decision to leave IT behind and start a new career. I trained as a life and business coach so that I can help others bring about powerful change in their lives, just like I did. I completed a rigorous 11 month Certified Professional Coach Certificate Program at the University of Miami and work with an amazing mentor. And I am still a technology nerd who loves talking about tech, though now I do that for fun.
I am a first-generation American, born to Cuban immigrants who came to the US in the early 1960s. My cultural identity has many layers, which at times can be very paradoxical. A multicultural identity helps me see beauty in cultural and religious diversity, and celebrate it. I seek out perspectives that are different from my own to gain a better understanding of humanity. I am a lifelong student of global cultures, religions, and indigenous and folk practices. This has given me a more inclusive perspective, an understanding and appreciation for the customs and traditions of different cultures, and has created many opportunities for cultural learning and exchange.
Building and fostering community and volunteering to help others are very important to me. I have an eclectic history of this kind of service, and here are some highlights:
- SaveLGBT 2001 – I worked on the campaign to provide domestic partnership benefits to employees of the City of Miami Beach. I trained as a campaign manager and did a lot of canvassing and phone banking. This was the first initiative of its kind in Florida, and we got it passed!
- Turning the Tides (Earth-based religions community event) – I’ve taught workshops and assisted with event activities.
- Equinox in the Oaks (Earth-based religions community event) – I am a cofounder of EITO and coordinated workshops for 4 years.
- University of Miami Certified Professional Coaching Certificate Program
- M.S. Taxation, Nova Southeastern University
- B.S. Management Information Systems, Florida International University
- Native English and Spanish speaker