As a life coach and retreat leader, Yota works with women seeking clarity, inspiration, and purpose in the midst of life changes. Her approach is intuitive and deeply influenced by her cultural roots, work and life experience, and her long-term practice of mindfulness meditation.


  • Linda Samuels

    One outcome of the pandemic has been an increased sensitivity to being around people that drain my energy. In general, I’ve always enjoyed being around people, no matter who they were. However, being home and with people less, had made the negative interactions with people more noticeable. It has made me question whether I want to limit or spend any time with them.

    I’ve feel more empowered and protective to chose my interactions. It’s not that I wasn’t selective before the pandemic. I was to some extent. But I think I was more accepting overall. The pandemic has created a heightened sensitivity, perhaps a rawness to challenge. I know I’m not alone in this. One of my friends shared that she’s become hypersensitive to sound and small challenges that arise. Prior to the pandemic, she navigated both of those with ease.

    With most change, awareness comes first. I am absolutely in that phase. I will continue to develop this awareness of the feelings that arise (pleasant and not-so-pleasant) as I interact with family, friends, and clients. Ideally, or maybe practically, I want to minimize the less-satisfying connections, and increase the positive, nourishing ones.

    • Yota Schneider

      That’s a great observation, Linda. Heightened sensitivity to what we used to tolerate. It’s like a curtain has been pulled back, inviting us to take a closer look at everything.

      You’re right about the need for expanded awareness as we go through change. Awareness gives us power and sharpens our senses. It’s the prelude to meaningful action and building resilience.

      • Linda Samuels

        Oh! I love the imagery you offer – “like a curtain has been pulled back, inviting us to take a closer look at everything.” Here’s to keeping the curtain open for the best view possible.

  • Kathleen Lauterbach

    I need to let go of making excuses. I think while the pandemic has allowed us all to slow down a little it has also allowed me to say things like;
    “I can always do that another time.” I really shouldn’t go Tis the pandemic what difference does it make when you get dressed.
    I also need to let go of handling everything. I tend to dominate and call the shots. I need to give others a chance to step in.

    Actions I am willing to take:
    Negotiate a plan for responsibilities around the house.
    Say “no” more or at least give others a chance to handle some of the things that need to be done .
    Sit back and wait a little more for things to take their course. I tend to jump in very quickly and take over.
    Be kinder in my talk and actions. I tend to be too bossy and give orders.

    Promises to self;
    Think or pause before acting
    Write more often in journal to explore the areas we have opened up here in the retreat
    Set a few plans in relationship to menus and household chores. I do better when I have thought out five days of what to eat than when it is random grab something.
    Take breathing breaks.

    • Yota Schneider

      Dear Kathy,

      Thank you for circling back and thinking this through. As always, your willingness to look at something from all points of view, is admirable.

      There are such great points you’re making here. I hope you continue to revisit them and mine their treasures.

      Be kind and patient with yourself. It’s all falling into place. Every step you take will reveal what needs to be done next.

      I’m sure we’ll be touching base again. Big hugs.

  • Twink McKenney

    It has taken me awhile to get back here – but I never stopped thinking about how important it was that I complete the retreat. Have a beautiful, open day today. Time to do important things … like write thank you notes and prep plants for the winter. Our time together helped me realize that open space must be a priority for me going forward. I have crammed my life with commitments, work, general over-busyness for decades. Like Linda – it is time to be more selective. I am even sensing a freeing up of my fear around what to do about the house I live in. In the “Letter to myself” that we all did on the last call – the first line was a reminder of how blessed I am. It went on to say that I will be supported every step of the way and the current time will be seen as a turning point. Thank you all for your warmth and willingness to share … you have helped me so much. To be continued!

    • Yota Schneider

      Dear Twink,

      I am so happy you got back to complete this journey. I am even happier to read about your insights about open space, letting go of fear, and feeling supported during this time of profound change.

      Thank you for deciding to join us in the midst of an extremely stressful week. xoxo

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