"Adversity is the mother of progress."
hi. i'm claire.
I am a Certified Life Coach and Certified Master Practitioner of NLP.
But my real experience came from the last 20 years of my life...
I grew up in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia with my father, mother, and older brother. We had dogs, Gladys and Beau.Growing up I enjoyed having the Skyline Drive, Blue Ridge Parkway, Appalachian Trail, and a ski resort as my playground.I loved spending time on the mountain and working in the ski shop. I went off to college, graduated with a B.S. degree, then moved to the DC area where I worked as a Business Analyst for a large consulting firm. I did the corporate thing throughout my twenties and early thirties, even moved to Sweden to work on a client site, before transferring back and eventually landing in Richmond, Virginia. I had managed to check all those normal boxes in life up to this point.
I have now lived in Richmond for over twenty years and three kids later! Back when my second son was born (only 20 months after my first), my life took an unexpected turn. His name is Kannan, pronounced like "cannon"ball, and suitably, he made quite an impact. Immediately after he was born, he had a lot of issues. I had to stop working so that I could care for him full time. After many difficult days, sleepless nights, and numerous doctor visits searching for answers, my son was finally diagnosed at 18 months old with a rare syndrome. In an instant, it was confirmed that my son’s life would never be normal. It was devastating. It’s a feeling of loss for you and your child. But I did what any parent would do and I educated myself as much as I could so that I could provide the care and support that he needed on this unique journey. Kannan has always understood that he is different and he is aware that he has a syndrome that makes many things challenging for him. He wishes he didn’t have it and every day he has to work harder than most. But with the right tools, support, and determination, Kannan continues to exceed our expectations.
In my home, I have a large picture frame on my wall holding a picture of my AMAZING children that reads:
“While we try to teach our children all about life, our children teach us what life is all about.”
My children have taught me more than any book or person ever could. My kids have been living with adversity since their lives began, which makes them view the world very differently. They’ve known from day one that life is not about checking all those predetermined boxes, and I have made it my mission for everyone to stop trying to fit Kannan (and others with mental/intellectual disabilities) into those boxes. As a coach, I can provide the tools and support necessary for PROGRESS -- even if that progress is a little different from the norm. What is normal anyway? Luckily in today’s world, "normal" is rapidly changing. Normal is you.
My logo is an ensō circle. The open circle is a concept that reflects closely the teaching of the Japanese Zen Buddhism - and it represents and suggests cutting the desire for perfection and allowing the universe to be as it is. It symbolizes the beauty of imperfection and the art of letting go of expectations. According to Buddhist tradition, one should draw the ensō in a single, swift stroke, and it is not possible to go back and change the drawing. The ensō circle is the perfect representation of people with disabilities and a lesson to us all that we must stop trying to make our circles complete and perfect. People work perfectly as they are.
my training and certifications...
I am a Certified Life Coach with training accredited by the International Coaching Federation (ICF), the leading authority on coaching standards, and the International Association of Professional Life Coaches (IAPLC). I am also a Certified Master Practitioner of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) and a member of the International NLP Association (INA).
what is life coaching (versus counseling/therapy) ?
When partnering with a Life Coach, you are ready to make positive changes to benefit your future. Coaching is future focused and goal oriented. It involves a partnership between a client and a coach in a thought provoking process that will inspire change. Life Coaching has become part of the wellness trend and is comparable to people seeking personal trainers, nutritionists, or massage therapists. Working with a Life Coach is just another way to take care of yourself when you need positive changes in your thoughts, habits, and behaviors for mental wellbeing.
Therapists and counselors spend more time examining the past for those needing help with mental health issues and disorders. A licensed mental health professional is the appropriate choice when looking for the diagnosis or solutions and treatments of mental health disorders (like depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, BPD, etc…).
I am committed to the ethics and boundaries within my training as a coach. Life Coaching and NLP are not substitutes for clinical mental health care.
what (in the heck) is nlp ?
Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) is a practice involving tools that can change mindsets so that your experiences become what you want them to be. NLP focuses on the verbal and non-verbal language that comes from our inner thoughts, spoken communication, and patterns of behavior — in order to bring about new awarenesses and breakthroughs to lead us to growth and change. This mental programming is unique in each of us and is what defines meaning and expectations of how each of us views and operates in the world. The goals of NLP are to transform your thoughts, views, and behaviors if they have not proved to be beneficial in your past.
By using a combination of NLP tools along with traditional life coaching methods, I can help others find clarity in the obstacles that are holding them back and transform them on a path to better:
daily living tasks
connections and relationships
decision making skills
at alleviating fears/phobias
mindset when living with adversity