The Early Years
I was born and raised in Athens, Greece. My life evolved in a culture based on old beliefs and customs.
Growing up, I remember hot summer evenings playing in the yard while the adults gathered under the grape arbor. The air was hot, filled with the smell of jasmine and the song of locusts. The women kept busy with their knitting or embroidery while talking about all sorts of things. The children hang around, playing, listening, and observing. I suppose that is when my curiosity about people’s personal stories was born. That was also the time when I started developing my creativity.
I grew up in a household where people always created something beautiful. My dad built our home, and my mother never sat idle; she was a creative force. She taught me how to knit and embroider. She hardly ever used a recipe when she cooked. I picked up where she left off. Cooking nutritious, wholesome food to share with family and friends is a creative outlet.
My grandfather would be up in the wee hours of the morning to tend his garden and fruit trees. Most days, I would trail along. There is nothing more gratifying than watching my garden spring to life after a long, dark winter.
I started working right after high school, and a couple of years later, I entered college to study occupational therapy.
Crossing an Ocean
In my early twenties, I came to the United States to do my fieldwork experience as an occupational therapist. Here, I met my husband-to-be, we fell in love and got married.
There was a new culture, a new language, my role as a wife, the New England weather, and a whole new set of relationships to contend with.
It was during that time that I met my meditation teacher and embarked on my spiritual journey. Life became rich, more rewarding, and meaningful. The transition was not easy, but time passed, and I started growing into my new life.
Navigating School, Corporate, Motherhood, and Beyond.
I continued to work and eventually went back to school and graduated with a degree in education. One thing led to the next. Instead of teaching, I found myself climbing the corporate ladder and becoming an account executive for Clinique, a division of the Estée Lauder Corporation.
I was responsible for a multi-million dollar budget and a sales force of 120 sales consultants. It was exhilarating, eye-opening, and overwhelming.
When my twin daughters arrived, I found myself wearing many hats and juggling many roles.
I tried to balance it all. What worked one day didn’t work the next; one step forward, two steps backward. By the time the girls were two years old, I knew I had to leave corporate.
I felt I was missing out on the best years of their lives.
My dilemma was that work has always been important to me. It is how I express myself and my creativity in this world.
I love being a mother. There is also this whole other part of me that needs to be engaged and independent. Starting my own business seemed a natural next step.
In 2001, I completed The Coach Training Program at Coach U and launched my coaching practice.
Since then, I have worked with individuals as well as small business owners to support them during times of change and transition. I have delivered workshops and presentations on a variety of topics for American Express; Masonicare; the Business Women’s Forum; the WOW Forum; the State University of New York at New Paltz; the Junior League; the Mid-Hudson Personnel Association; the Naugatuck Valley Community College; the Ulster County Community College; the Waterbury Chamber of Commerce; the North West Connecticut Chamber of Commerce, and the SYDA Foundation.
In 2006, I became a certified Seasons of Change® Master Coach. Since the healing power of nature has always been at the center of my life, it was a no-brainer. The Art of New Beginnings remains the best platform to put my skills, education, life experience, and what I’m passionate about to good use.
My approach is, and always will be, deeply influenced by my cultural roots, work and life experience, and my long-term practice of mindfulness meditation.
I continue to change and learn. I am still trying to figure things out.
I have now entered my sixth decade and have lived through profound losses and milestones. I have also had my share of incredible joy. The twins graduated college, found jobs they love, and moved out of the family home. My role as a mother is being redefined.
After a short hiatus from coaching, I started to feel the pull again. I am looking forward to what’s next. I feel happy and grateful. I am still tending my garden only these days, I aim for simplicity. I am looking forward to traveling more, maybe moving, meeting new people, and continuing the conversation with you all.
The road is opening wide ahead, and I am preparing myself for the next chapter.