I am passionate about creating spaces for people to THRIVE
I've been in the business of health and wellness for more than 20 years. I began my career as a massage therapist in 1998 after the death of my father. It was three years of caring for him while he lived with colon cancer that I realized the importance of body, mind, soul work for all who are healing into life.
My studies in the wellness profession have taken me through work as a massage therapist for professional and amateur athletes, a personal trainer, a fitness boot camp owner, a Crossfit gym owner, a Nutritional Therapy Consultant, a Professional Life Coach, a Communication Coach and Trainer and a Program Manager at a Cutting Edge Non-Profit in the field of mental health.
After 14 years in the physical health arena I shifted my work to from health coaching to communication coaching and training. Since 2012 I my work has been focused on using Non-Violent Communication, Restorative Practices and Mediation to support individuals, couples, business owners, high level managers and community organizations. I now use my knowledge and skills to effective communication, strong relationships and meaningful connections for my individual clients and the organizations I support.
The academic journey
1988 BA Earth Sciences, UC Berkeley, CA
2016 Level II Reiki Master
2016 IIT, Center for Non-Violent Communication
2016-2018 Certified CNVC Trainer Candidate
2017 Licensed Restorative Practices Trainer, IIRP
2017 Certified Mediator, CRCNevada County
2017-2020 MS in Restorative Practices, IIRP
The Working journey
1988-91 Paralegal, Herron & Herron Law Firm, SF
1989-Present Mom to my first child.
1991-94 Gymboree Franchise Owner & Operator, Lafayette, CA
1994-Present Mom to my second child.
1996-99 Small Business Operations and Accounting
1999-2001 Manager & Massage Therapist, Laf. Physical Therapy
2000-Present Mom to my third child.
2001-2004 Self Employed Massage Therapist
2004-2011 Contra Costa Boot Camp Co-Owner and Manager
2008-2012 Crossfit Box Co-Owner and Manager, San Ramon, CA
2012-2013 XCEL Weight-loss Program Founder and Manager
2012-2014 Self-Employed Wellness Coach
2014-2019 Self-Employed Communication and Restorative Practices Coach, Trainer & Consultant.
2018-20 Program Manager & Leadership Team, Gateway Mountain Center
2019-Current Liesbet B Consulting & Training
IT STARTED WITH CANCER
IN THE LATE NINETIES I RECEIVED A PHONE CALL ABOUT DAD. HE HAD CANCER. THERE WAS AN EMERGENCY SURGERY WITH HIM ON THE TABLE. A TUMOR THE SIZE OF A TENNIS BALL HAD EXPLODED FROM HIS COLON. THERE WAS A GOOD CHANCE HE WOULDN’T SURVIVE SURGERY.
But he did survive.
In the next few days we learned dad not only had colon cancer but it wasn’t just in his colon. It was also in his lymph system, his lungs and his bones. He wasn’t expected to live 6 weeks. It would be a miracle if he lived 6 months.
2 months later dad was released from the hospital. “Are you scared dad?” I asked him, “the doctors say you don’t have long to live.”
Dad, normally a quiet and private guy of less than a few words, took a deep breath, and looked me right in the eye, “No. I’m not afraid. I have been afraid for 10 years. For 10 years I have been sick and I have been afraid I had cancer. I didn’t want to know. I avoided it. Now I know and I’m not afraid anymore. I’m not dying. I’m living. The cancer is only one aspect of me. I want to love it. I won’t be afraid of it. If I want to become strong, I have to love and accept who I am, including the cancer, and strengthen that which is healthy in me. By focusing on what is working and healthy in my body it will become more of who I am and the cancer will become less of who I am.”
Dad lived for 3 more miraculous years.
Focus on where you want to go; your body and mind and soul will follow.
What this showed me was the most powerful lesson of my life. Focus on what is working, focus on your strength, and it will become more of who you are. Focus on where you want to go and you will go there. Focus on who you want to be, and it will become who you are. Focus on what is beautiful. Focus on what is love. You will live in beauty and love. Within every weakness there is strength. Find your strength. This is where solutions, joy, love and success lie.
We Always Have A Choice
After 3 years of living with cancer, my father decided it was time to die. He could have continued to fight to stay alive. He had lived, after all, with cancer eating away at his entire body . He lived, and loved, and learned for three years with that cancer ravaging his body. But he was tired, the was no joy in his future, and that was ok, because he was ready. He chose to die. I was with him during his transition from life into death. It was one of the most powerful experiences of my life. Before his death, death felt like an end to me. Death now, is simply a transition.
You and I have a choice – to live or to die in this world. Living requires movement, flexibility and hope. Living requires a dream. Living is not a goal, it’s a journey. It happens every day. The living dead are those who have lost hope, lost their dreams, lost their meaning and have stopped striving. My dad chose to live, even knowing that cancer was living within him. What do you choose? Do you let the cancers in your life take away hope? Or do you continue to live with who you are now with dreams for your present and your future?
Being what you want to be is not the end product; it’s about the journey. It’s about who and what you are every step of the way to your goal, it’s about looking and moving in that direction. You don’t have to be a prize winning chef to be a “cook” you just have to be interested in cooking and…cook. You don’t have to be a marathon runner to be a runner. You just have to put on your running shoes and run.
What AM I?
In my journey with my father it became clear to me. If I am to say I am anything it is that I am A LOVER AND A VISIONARY! My greatest ability is to completely, without any judgement, accept people where they are and love them unconditionally. I often see brilliance in people that they don’t see in themselves. I see their possibilities. It is my greatest joy to create the space where a person can see, feel, and ultimately actualize, their own beauty and potential.
Pain wants to be embraced.
After dad’s death I studied massage and became a massage therapist. My experience taught me that EVERYONE lives with chronic pain. For some it is a physical pain from a chronic illness, or injury, for others it is a mental pain, from years of guarding, protecting, coping. After becoming conscious of the pain we all carry, I saw that in order to thrive, we need to stay with our pain, embrace it even. If we run from it, it just chases us, gets louder, more intense. Our pain MUST be felt and heard. It demands that of us. That is its purpose, to alert us of a need. Massage was a way to help people become present with and even embrace their pain. The power of touch is that it connects us with ourselves and with others. It releases protections and brings us into our vulnerabilities. To face our pain, we must be confident. To be touched, we need to trust.
After 5 years as a massage therapist, I realized that I could serve my clients more completely if I could also work with their movement. Some clients were cubicle athletes and needed help incorporating movement into their life. Other clients were already active, but years of bad posture, extended periods of sitting, and stress had taken its toll on the body and it’s functionality. These athletes needed help improving flexibility and mobility. I became a personal trainer. My personal training business turned into a successful boot camp business and eventually a Crossfit gym.
Once a person has clarity about their core values, an understanding of their deepest fears, and an awareness of their most powerful resources, they can take on any challenge they choose, whether it's finding a fulfilling job finding success and joy their business, losing 50lbs, running a marathon or deepening their loving relationships.
Ten years into the wellness arena and I realized that, although I was a great massage therapist, and an excellent fitness instructor, what I really excelled at, AND what excited me most, was working with peoples hearts and souls. This is a place I have something special to offer. Honestly, the physical ingredients to creating health are pretty simple. Eat wholesome, REAL, unprocessed food. Move your body, often and consistently. The complicated part of health is the mental, emotional ingredients. Happiness. Purpose. Joy. Confidence. Fulfillment. Meaning. Love. Connection. Life coaching is a tool I can use, in partnership with my clients, to open the doors to theses states of mind and soul. Once a person has clarity about their core values, an understanding of their deepest fears, and an awareness of their most powerful resources, they can take on any challenge they choose, whether it’s finding a fulfilling job, loosing 50 pounds, running a marathon, or deepening their loving relationships.
Since becoming certified in 2010, I have coached people through significant weight loss, job changes, relationship changes and just as powerfully, through no specific changes other than changes in perspective. Sometimes, all that is needed to feel fulfilled is to REALIZE the choices YOU ARE making, how they serve you, and the meaning and purpose they hold in your life.
My coaching is informed with three central principles: That realizing our choices gives us power, that life without meaning is no life and that connection and service to others gives the most powerful meaning possible to a persons life.
“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” (Viktor Frankl, Mans Search for Meaning) Suffering happens when you think you have no choice and no power. When you realize that indeed, you can always choose your perspective; that, in the end, how you respond to whatever happens to you is always your choice… You feel empowered. You are no longer a victim.
Purpose and Hope
Those who have a ‘why’ to live, can bear with almost any ‘how’. (modified from Friedrich Nietzsche) When you have a purpose to live, and a belief that purpose can be realized, you can bear anything. That’s the destination that pulls you through the journey when the journey gets tough. Why would you drive down a road full of rocks and ditches and all variety of obstacles unless it was going somewhere you wanted to go AND you believed your vehicle could handle the job? You wouldn’t (unless you like getting stuck in the middle of no where – in which case the adventure is your “purpose”). In order to thrive you must have a strong sense of meaning and a hope for the future.
“I grasped the meaning of the greatest secret that human poetry and human thought and belief have to impart: The salvation of man is through love and in love.” Frankl’s years in Nazi concentration camps taught him that LOVE is the most powerful motivator of all. Love makes anything possible and can carry us through any challenge. It is through our connections with each other that we realize our greatest selves. It is through our love we discover our purpose. It is through our love we connect with the beloved divine energy which is all.
My life and my coaching center around realizing needs and values, opening with compassion, creating meaning, realizing personal power and bringing all these tools together to open life to love.