Needed a Different Coach
Before I discovered Maia and YOU University I had been doing a lot of soul searching and really trying to figure out just who I am and what I really wanted in my life. I felt like I was hanging on to the edge of a cliff by my fingernails and that if “something” didn’t change for me soon, I wasn’t sure I could stand it or if I wanted to even bother anymore. I had been feeling this great sense of loss and confusion for a very long time, but especially for the most recent couple of years after having experienced a complete nervous breakdown. I would say that this was my very lowest point emotionally, physically and spiritually and that it was taking me a very long time to recuperate from that breakdown. It was sort-of a combination of mid-life, empty nest syndrome, major life-transition STUFF. I was buried in it.
After lots of counseling just following the breakdown, working very hard on making my marriage work after my affair, finding my faith in a Higher Power again and slowly regaining some dignity and strength, I found a program based on the Law of Attraction. The founder of this program asked me to assist her in launching her new business as she was transferring from California to Oregon and was completely new to the area. It felt good for me at the time because I needed to have purpose and I really was drawn to what she was teaching about The Law of Attraction. I had been reading and researching The Law of Attraction and was inspired and excited about it. I discovered though, that the principals were not working for me – no matter how I applied myself. Something was missing. I didn’t like the way I felt when the founder would ask me a question and after sharing my thoughts, if they were at all negative, she would tell me to stop right there. She told me that nothing in my past mattered in the least… she didn’t want to hear my story at all. She said that all that mattered was to attract what I want NOW. Although part of this rang true for me because I certainly did not want to dwell on negative thoughts (which is what came up automatically for me because of my past), her words made me feel very small and insignificant as a person. When she told me to ‘stop’ sharing my story, the words cut like a knife. The last thing I wanted or needed was to feel even worse about myself than I had already been feeling! I knew I had to keep looking for something that would help me to get beyond where I was so I could allow myself to get to where I wanted to be!!
My whole life seemed to rest on whatever I could find that would help me move beyond all the pain, shame, fear, grief, and anger that had built up in me over all my life. I wanted to like myself, to find some semblance of good in myself and my life! I truly struggled to see anything good or right and the “happy, good moments” were much too short lived. I was so sick and tired of feeling sick and tired! I was craving something, anything… I just wasn’t sure what that was exactly.
That’s when I discovered the journal engine through a post I read on Facebook and began to share with ‘virtual strangers’ some things I had not been able to share with anyone, other than my counselor before. I read the other member’s journals and started to feel really comfortable on the site. I began to really explore the entire site and loved what I was reading about YOU University. I had to know more and contacted the coach whose post on Facebook drew me to the journal engine. She answered my questions and suggested I speak with the founder, Maia Berens, a woman she completely admired and was excited to refer me to.
There was something about this program that spoke to me. It was as if it was written just for me and I loved The Three Magic Secrets movie. What I read and heard from Maia spoke to my heart and appealed to my senses. I couldn’t stop talking about it with my husband and my kids… I was feeling an excitement I had not felt in a very long time. After my call with Maia, I knew I didn’t want to wait any longer to begin this journey and my husband supported that decision – as long as I was willing to find a way to pay for it. I decided I would work part time to pay for the program and apply whole-heartedly in my efforts to heal and to find myself.
As I started going through the exercises, I began to learn new ways to deal with emotions I had always tried to escape from or cover up. Accepting that Life is a School was a big AHA for me and learning powerful tools to use when I started to resist or feel ‘stuck’ in emotions slowly began to change my entire perspective. A couple of the most profound tools for me – tools I will continue to use for life are the MONSTER Letters, LOVE Letters and the Find-the-Gift Exercises. Writing my ‘life story’ in the way it was done and referring back to it throughout my journey was HUGE. What I discovered is that the story, as I wrote it, has evolved for me. I moved out of the victim mentality I had taken on as a little girl and carried with me my whole life, from an infant to a 45 year old woman!! I learned the power of gratitude, of having friends-in-deed, of forgiveness. I would never have believed I would ever be able to say that I truly forgive my father for the abuse my family and I endured at his hands – physical, sexual and emotional abuse. I certainly never even realized that the person I most needed to forgive was ME! I learned to love myself just as I am and to accept the little girl inside who needed to be accepted and nurtured for who she was all along. I learned that I had no reason to be ashamed for my past, for not knowing what I didn’t know. I learned to view my father and others who had ‘victimized’ me in a new light as well!
I also learned the importance of setting healthy boundaries. To be self-loving created a whole new mindset and allowed me to take off the ‘rose-colored’ glasses, be completely real and be okay with that. I have so much more respect for MYSELF and it allows me to be a better wife, mom, friend and co-worker. I discovered who my true friends are and who I needed to leave behind too. I learned that I DO want to be healthy and absolutely deserve to be! I learned that I AM valuable as a person and that my passion is to help others discover their own value. I made the decision to put my real estate career behind me for good, quit working the part time job that supported me through YOU University and to make my passion a reality. I am now a full-time life coach and very excited about this decision!
This journey saved my life, literally. I love Maia and her beautiful, life transforming, emotion-based coaching program – YOU University! I am very proud to represent YOU University as a life coach. I have seen, first-hand, my life and the lives of others completely shift and transform. It is a beautiful thing!
Gina Bendel, YOU University Life Coach
April 2012 Update
Well, I have a moment to finally share what has happened for me since graduating from YOU University and also share what I am most proud of which has been enhanced AND changed since YOU U. I realize this is two weeks of assignments rolled into one journal – but I am proud I am getting it done before the big call tomorrow!
In the past year, SO MUCH has changed for me… All of it amazingly great, even though I admit that I fought my way through some of those changes and it was not always easy, to say the least! Since graduating here are some profound things which have occurred for me:
I completely ended a very toxic relationship with my father and was finally strong enough to forgive him and myself for the years of physical, emotional and sexual abuse.
I took the skeletons out of the closet, so to speak, and told my father’s sisters as well as other family members about what had happened to me, my siblings and my mother at the hands of my father effectively stopping cycles of abuse in that side of the family. I am proud to announce that these family members opened their hearts and shared their own stories of abuse which had been going on for generations. They didn’t judge me – only accepted and loved me which is a blessing as I feared facing people with this my entire life! I am accepted for the real me… warts and all. But best of all, I opened the doors for them to release their own skeletons!
I have finally learned how to say NO and set clear boundaries… I’ve found my voice! I can no longer tolerate “sweeping my emotions under the rug” and speak from my true self without fear of how the other will respond. No longer am I the doormat or the victim. I am setting a very positive example for my grown children and grandchildren and that makes me proud.
I ended a career as a Realtor which was simply not a good fit for me and was emotionally draining and causing great fear and pain as well as costing us a ton of money leading us to financial crisis.
I have manifested the perfect part-time jobs at just the right times while building on my career as a life coach.
I have opened up even stronger communications with my kids, my friends and co-workers, and my spouse of whom I am now separated from.
I love myself and honor who I am which is something I thought impossible!
I started exercising & quit smoking – though I admit to having fallen off the wagon while in the process of my separation and divorce preparation. I intend to be completely smoke free and know that I am perfectly capable – another belief that has been made strong because of YOU U. That I am worthy of being healthy and strong.
I successfully attracted paying clients who are going through YOU U with me as their coach!
I manifested a dream home and within 3 months ended up manifesting a way to get my own apartment and be independent for the first time in my life. This was a HUGE thing as I would have been entirely too afraid of this kind of change and not trusting of myself that I would be capable.
It took much to make the decision to end a 28 year marriage to my best friend, but I did – with much love and with his mutual understanding and agreement. The ability to come to this decision came after experiencing the major changes in me and both of us learning a bit of our human design and then coming to the ultimate conclusion that we have simply grown apart… that there was so much unsaid for so many years and that neither of us was in our marriage for the same reasons… It’s complicated but beautiful. Neither of us would dream of changing the other – but are accepting who we both are as unique, amazing individuals whose time has come. We are both moving through the process as gracefully as possible and are excited also about our futures apart but still strongly connected as loving friends who have shared a life time together and created beautiful kids and grandchildren.
Life really is beautiful. I am most proud of having been such an amazing mother in spite and also because of my life experiences. The relationships I have with my kids continues to grow stronger because of what I have learned about letting go and setting boundaries and communicating what is true for me… and we all honor one another. Never perfect… lots of mistakes… but lots of love and forgiveness.