THE LIFE COACH WHO GUIDES
a transition with a
Hello, I'm Sari. It's a pleasure to meet you.
My official title is Board Certified Coach. But for my clients, I'm a sherpa (mountain guide) who knows all valleys and hills of life transitions. I help them find where they are in their journeys and start walking towards the life they love while honoring the lights and shades of changing scenery.
A significant life change such as losing a loved one, ending a committed relationship, and giving up on a hard-earned career makes people feel heartbroken, lost, confused, and anxious about the unpredictable future.
Since those feelings are painful, they often avoid them by keeping busy, indulging in sweets, binge-watching videos, drinking until falling asleep, dating guys not attractive, pretending it's going okay - sound familiar? No worries! I did them all when I dealt with life-altering changes in my 20s. Can you guess what happened?
MY ESCAPE STRATEGY DIDN'T WORK AT ALL!
I found myself still in the same place of sadness, frustration, confusion, and anxiety.
Now, fast forward to my early 50s. Coping with the passing of my husband, cross-country move, and career change at the same time were overwhelming, to say the least. This time, I didn't take the escape strategy, though. I took a radically different approach, and it worked! I moved forward in my transition with more calm and ease. I created the life I continue to cherish.
DO YOU WANT TO KNOW WHAT I DID? HERE IS MY STORY.
My Midlife Transition: The Story of Transformation
When I slowly released my husband's ashes into the Gulf of Mexico, I knew my life was gone too. He was my best friend, comrade, father, business partner, and soulmate. He was my whole world. I was suddenly standing between the old life that had already left me and the new one that had not taken shape yet.
I had no idea where to go from the place of despair, void, confusion, and anxiety. The only thing I knew was I couldn't live in the house filled with the memories of my husband. I planned a three-month trip to Asia: a week in Bali where we lived together for ten years, nine weeks of intensive study in yoga and Ayurveda in India, and two weeks of a pilgrimage to Sri Lanka.
“Good plan, Sari,” my friends smiled at me.
“Keep yourself busy. That’s the way to get over this tough time.”
I knew it would not work. Somewhere deep in my heart, I understood that fully accepting and experiencing my pain instead of avoiding it was the only way to move through the biggest transition of my life. I had been practicing meditation for about twenty years.
I TRUSTED THE MINDFULNESS PRACTICE OF STAYING IN THE PRESENT BY NOTICING RISING EMOTIONS AND THOUGHTS AND LETTING THEM GO WOULD GUIDE ME THROUGH THE DEEP VALLEY OF MY LIFE.
I DECIDED TO LEAVE HOME TO DESCEND DEEP INSIDE MYSELF.
Three months later, I was walking on a lively street in India. Grief followed me everywhere. I created a daily routine to get by: sunrise meditation and walk, a yoga class in the morning, Ayurveda study and temple visit in the afternoon, sunset walk, emailing my son and friends, journaling my heart out before going to bed. Every night, I congratulated myself for completing another day in the foreign country. Whenever sorrow overwhelmed me, I sat and closed my eyes. I took deep breaths and opened my heart to pain instead of escaping it. While sobbing, I watched the emotion rising, forcefully expanding until peaking, and eventually disappearing. It was a difficult process. But the more I practiced it, the easier it got. It became my routine eventually.
WHENEVER A TSUNAMI OF EMOTION ATTACKED ME, I KNEW I COULD RIDE IT: IT WOULD SOON BE OVER.
Nature brought me some solace and relaxation during the tough time: the pond filled with water lilies, the brightest orange sun setting over the river, sleeping dogs curled up in the perfect circle. Strangers warmed my heart: giggling ladies taking photos with me at a temple ceremony, a gentleman who helped me catch a tuk-tuk (auto-rickshaw) and prepaid the fare without telling me. Beauty and kindness hidden in the kaleidoscope of disarray and ease carried me to the end of the day. My dear friends and family in other time zones sent me their love and support. Thanks to the safety net held together by nature’s blessings and my supporters, I could fully moan for the loss of my husband and my old self.
I EXPLORED THE INTERNAL CHANGES I'VE BEEN GOING THROUGH:
MY IDENTITY, VALUES, BELIEFS, NEEDS, AND ROLES IN MY RELATIONSHIPS.
POWERFUL REALIZATIONS CAME TO ME.
In Sri Lanka, grief still cast a deep shadow on me, but a sense of peace returned at Buddhist temples. I smiled more and took selfies. I looked forward to visiting new places the next day. I responded to the beauty around me and began to participate in life again with moments of joy.
I SAW THE LAY OF LIGHT NOW SHINING INTO MY DARK VALLEY.
I returned to my Florida home with high expectations for healing and new life. But my husband’s suffering still lingered in the house, and it started to weigh down on me again. I booked another trip, this time to Japan. I needed to surround myself with the beauty of my home country.
"Okaerinasai (welcome back)," an immigration agent at Narita International Airport politely greeted me. Japan received me with open arms. I immersed myself in serenity and grace in the ancient capital of Kyoto. Every temple, shrine, and garden I visited gently embraced me with healing energy. While walking through the tranquil Jakko-in nunnery, a warm feeling of tenderness, caring, and love emerged. It was as if nourishing water was fast filling up my heart and about to flood over.
What should I do with this feeling? I asked myself.
“Share it with others,” a calm voice came from deep inside.
MY NEW LIFE BEGAN WITH THAT CONVINCING VOICE.
LOVING AND HELPING OTHERS BECAME MY LIFE PURPOSE.
Sari's Life Transition Strategy
Improve physical and mental health to cultivate more joy and resilience
Build a Universal Support Network© that helps you navigate your transition
Nature & Beauty
Be present in the moment to connect with emotions and listen to inner wisdom
Explore and journal your changing values, needs, beliefs, and priorities to identify who you are becoming.
Receive healing energy and inspiration from nature, people, environment, and art
I have been sharing my strategy with those feeling stuck in transition.
My clients proved it WORKS. They now live with more clarity, peace, and joy.
They built the life they loved and became the person they wanted to be.
I invite you to get unstuck and create the life you treasure too.
I believe everyone deserves transition guidance regardless of income level, gender identity, ethnicity, or background. I discuss payment options with those with financial challenges. I also offer free resources on my website and newsletter.
Building trust with my clients is very important to me. I will not disclose any information that clients share with me during our guidance relationships.
I am thankful for the support I received during the most challenging phase of my transition. To express my gratitude, I support non-profit organizations that help people cope with change and transition, including Women for Women International, The International Rescue Committee, and GirlForward.
Walk the Talk
I have been in a transition, too! I apply to myself the transition strategy, tips, and practices that I share with my clients, including the Full Emotional Experience Work©, mindfulness practices, and body-heart-mind exploration programs. To gain more clarity in times of uncertainty, I take silent retreats at the Wuji House, the serene retreat cottage my partner and I offer in the scenic Texas Hill Country. My guidance programs get richer and more effective as I evolve through change.
Life Transition Guidance
Board Certified Coach (certified by the Center for Credentialing and Education), Certified Professional Coach (certified by the Coach Training World), and Purpose Clarity Coach (certified by the The Institute for Life Coach Training). Facing the Mourning Facilitator (certified by the Heartlight Center). Studied life transition of immigrants and received a master's degree from Lesley University. Registered mentor at the Girl Forward, the non--profit U.S. organization that supports teenage refugee girls’ life transitions.
Retreat & Meditation
Retreat Guide at the Wuji House, the serene private retreat facility in the Texas Hill Country, U.S.A. Guest teacher at Anand Krishna Ashram and The Yoga Barn in Ubud, Bali. Meditation training at Nanzenji Zen Temple in Kyoto, Japan and Sivananda Ashram in Madurai, India.
Mindfulness & Healing
Completed the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction and University of Florida Healing with the Arts courses. Studied Zen mindful arts including calligraphy, Ura-Senke tea ceremony, and Ryuseiha Ikebana flower arrangement in Japan. Offered group and private Mindful Art classes in-person and online. Created and taught Creative Mindfulness Youth Summer Camps and taught the Mindfulness in the Workplace workshop for the City of Austin. Led a Mindful Walking class at the Blue Hole Regional Park in Wimberley, TX.
Certified Ayurvedic lifestyle counselor and 500-hour yoga teacher. Advanced study in Ayurveda at Ayurvedic Institute in New Mexico, USA and Kerala Ayurveda in India. Advanced study in yoga at Sivananda Ashram and Krishnamacharya Yoga Mandiram in India. Taught Ayurveda in the U.S, Mexico, Bali, and Japan.
I have been promoting mindful living and helping people raise awareness in the body, heart, and mind for 15 years. You can learn more about my service in this field at my other website, Mindful Living.