I am very thankful for the opportunity to work with Angela in this coaching capacity. As someone who was at a crossroad professionally, Angela helped me create a plan and goals for myself that ultimately helped me shape the formation of my small business. I has a number of self doubts throughout this process and Angela was able to bring positive reassurance and help me truly believe in myself and my abilities to do something outside of my comfort zone.
I appreciate Angela's calm and present demeanor. She was attentive, approachable, and was able to guide me in directions I wouldn't have myself. I am in a better place in my life now largely because of the work I was able to do with Angela.
Autumn Grover - Impact Wellness, Portland OR
When I met Angela, I was in one of those dry, depressed phases where I could do nothing but blunder round in circles. I was in such an uneasy, guilt-stricken mood and had only a fragile belief in myself. Angela unmuddled and soothed my moods and...helped me to plot a meaningful course for my life. Angela went beyond her clinical experience, becoming metaphorical, mystical, being whatever I needed. My work with Angela helped me overcome my troubles with bonding, belonging, and believing
It felt very serendipitous that I found Angela Ward’s coaching when I did. As a single parent and artist trying to grow a business, I was having a hard time seeing my life in a way that could juggle it all. I felt like I needed guidance or help with direction but felt like every time I tried to find it for myself, I kept getting in my own way. Working with Angela was a joyful experience. One that included lots of laughs but also not holding back on some difficult questions as to what was holding me back from allowing myself to fully live a life I deserved. I felt she was very attentive with what was important in my life on an emotion, physical and spiritual level and asked questions to make sure all of these things were integrated in how to proceed with my work. I came away feeling more confident in myself and my abilities as well as tools to shed some light on deeper issues that related to my feelings of insecurity. I would recommend Angela to anyone who wants to look at the whole picture of their life. Someone who wants growth, not just on a material level but also wants to include physical and emotional wellbeing also. I look forward to more work with her in the future, and continued growth for both myself and my work as an artist.
What was going on in your life before you started working with me, and how have our coaching sessions positively impacted your life and overall wellbeing?
I was not sure about how to build structure in my life and take action. I was not clear about how to move in the direction of my vision. I had no clarity about where I was dedicating my time and I was not making progress towards my vision. I was scattered and felt overwhelmed with many disorganized task and to do list. There was clutter in my mind and in my work space. I had no balance in my life; there was too much time dedicated to some aspects of my life and not enough to others. It was hard for me to set priorities and I often got distracted with worries and lack of discipline.
How was your experience of working with me? What did you like most about our coaching relationship?
It was very revealing. Your guidance and firm, but caring, gentle approach made me realize I was being too hard on myself and although I had some awareness about that I saw clearly that I was putting too much on myself and beating myself for not doing enough. It was great to check in with you for accountability and I appreciate your reminder in between our sessions that this was an experiment and that changing habits was going to be hard at first, but I had to keep trying and not give up or feel like a failure because I didn't do it all. After all that's what I used to tell my students.
My experience with you was just what I needed to get out of my own thinking and practice having more patience and compassion with myself. You really helped me to implement some structure and start using helpful tools that I'll will continue to practice. I love your bubbly personality and positive attitude. It was just what I need it.
What benefits, results, or achievements did you gain from our coaching together?
I have more clarity about where my time is going, I try to balance my time and set priorities to work towards my short term goals and my vision. I am trying to build new habits on a daily basis. I feel more confident about being able to plan my week, track my time, be flexible and prioritizing. I make adjustments to my schedule on the go and leave some time open for thing that come up. I am acknowledging my accomplishments and being more gentle with myself. I started to make some progress in managing my time and the most difficult part for me is to blend fun with work, because I see them separated and have to keep working on that.
What new insights and learning have you discovered through this process?
I don't have to be perfect or do it all to have value. I am a human and need to find a way to blend structure with spontaneity in my daily life. I also need to balance making time for the things that are important to me daily such as self-care, work, connections and fun. I need to prioritize my time, having flexibility and some wiggle room. I can do it. I can work on the things that are important to me in small chunks at the time and not compulsively force myself to finish a task, without taking care of myself.
Who would you recommend my coaching to?
Everyone, all my friends and anyone who I think needs it or ask me for it.
I was at a point in my life where my trauma was not interfering with my everyday functioning, but my trauma was stopping me from moving past a lot of the pain I experienced. I had done EMDR, DBT, art therapy, and some basic somatic exercises. But my PTSD was still dictating my everyday life and I felt very stuck and frozen by my old thinking patterns. I would describe my life as an impasse: I was one side looking directly at all things I wanted to do and feel, but those experiences were far away from me. I tried many times to reach the things I wanted and needed, but I would freeze up and stay stuck. I became frustrated and I also got used to my own self-sabotage. Working with you was like getting a ferry ride to the other side, these rides showed me that the process can be both gentle and impactful. I wasn’t so scared to cross over by myself, and I learned to take it easy and get one thing at a time.
To be honest, I love therapy very much, but sometimes it leaves you with all these feelings and very few action items. Therapy for me was all about my trauma. I am deeply familiar with my trauma, but what I needed after all that processing, was to connect to my own resilience and to build the quality of my everyday life. I needed to build my world according to my joy, not my pain. And the coaching did just that, slowly every day I was able to work on action items that built me a better life. Most importantly, I had someone talking through any issues that came up. I got to be strong, creative, and resilient. For years I learned about all the things I should be doing for my mental health: meditating, eating right, connecting to my spiritual self…but I never figured out how to actually approach nor how to complete these tasks. Now I am eating a tiny bit better, I am meditating a lot more, and my life has intentions/prayer built into it. My habits are better because I had an accounta-buddy, and you helped me figure out what my mental blocks were.
I loved that you had all these tools that I could use that fit my personality and met me where I was at. If you would have suggested running or playing tennis, I would have spaced out and probably quit; but you suggested prayer and organization, which are goals that fit me 100%. Slowly we built up my altar and my ability to pray at it. You figured out what worked for me and you helped me built tools around that. When we first started, I was meal-prepping by running to the fridge and grabbing carrots on my way to work. Now I am consistently cooking and shopping for nutritious food. You built enough trust with me that I could tell you honestly where I was at, and we figured how to get where I wanted to go. The work didn’t feel heavy, you created an environment where the work was its own reward.
What I liked most was that we created a plan for my healing together. I know myself better than anyone else and you have a very good toolset, together we created tools that served me best. And honestly, it was really fun knowing I could do this process with myself or other allies in the future. At no point did I feel like I was forced to do something that didn’t work, all the while I was healing and being challenged in creative ways. It was very empowering.
I treat time slightly different since our work together. Because I have been able to introduce a lot more intentionality into my work, I honor my time. I don’t waste time as much or torture myself with menial tasks that will run out the clock. I am currently achieving more of a work life balance, and that is because I turned in my timesheets and I reported the actual hours I spent on a project. This was one of our action items and I am glad I had so much support around this issue, now I feel more confident claiming my time and defining how I want to spend it. Similarly, I think of my body in different terms.
I think on our first session you asked me basic questions around nutrition, sleep, finance, and touch. I am semi-used to these questions and topics, but the concept of touch took me by surprise. I had never heard anyone discuss “touch” with me before. As a survivor of sexual assault, people tend to shut down in conversation when I mention I have trouble sustaining or even starting a sexual and romantic relationship. Personal touch was always presented to me as a sexual experience, and when I expressed trouble around that topic no other alternatives were given to me. But you talked about touch in terms of massage, hugs, cuddling, acupuncture, chiropracty… a whole world of goodness was available to me, even when sex wasn’t. You met me where I was at and I was able to set small goals for myself to meet this need. In different therapy sessions the focus had always been around dating and trying to have sex again, and I always shut down. This probably had to do with the fact that I had not even nurtured basic touch in my life. I was expected to go out in the world and find myself sexually, when I couldn’t even hug people without dissociating. I can’t believe that this was such a basic concept I had not explored in my many years of therapy. Now, months later, I feel a lot more comfortable around other people and I can stay in my body a lot more.
What new insights and learning have you discovered through this process?
That sometimes easy does it. I want to be a magnificent and powerful human being, and this desire often times stopped me from doing small and impactful things for myself. This meant that when a big opportunity did come around, I was to weak to lift it. Small joys and habits I started to foster let to bigger moments, and my ability to slow down enough to enjoy them.
Who would you recommend my coaching to?
I keep wondering about this question, I am wondering if you are a good person to go to when the trauma is so fresh a client can’t talk about it, but they need to take care of their body with a little medical triage to stabilize their nervous system. Or, if someone should go to you once they have their trauma figured out and they need to do a habits cleanse and do higher level stuff. But I have come to the conclusion, that you really can’t separate the traumatic from the every-day life, since they are so intricately connected (duh). So I guess I would recommend people who don’t want to do typical-western therapy to you, since your understanding of the body-mind-connection is very advanced. But I would also recommend you to people who have done the whole sitting on a couch while someone scribbles notes, in order to kick things up a nudge. I think people who have a chronic disease, someone who carries pain every day, should go to you so that they learn to honor that pain and create beauty because of it and despite the pain. You are just so good at allowing people to integrate their spirit and mind and embody their own resilience