Much of my career (that’s me to the left when I founded a PR agency) was as a manager or director in technology marketing and business. In the late 90s, one of the companies I worked for sent me to a Tony Robbins seminar while on business in London. The Robbins’ event inspired me to start a public relations event business organizing and facilitating week-long tours and activities for international technology journalists.
My career was going along rather smoothly but it was my personal life crises that prompted me to study NLP with a mentor, get a life-coach certificate (iPEC), voraciously read psychology and self-help books including my favorites: The Neurotic Personality (Horney), The Power of Habit (Duhigg), The Power of Now (Eckhart Tolle), Feeling Good, The New Mood Therapy (David Burns), others by Chodron, Rumi and Frankl, and two more favorites, Psychological Defenses in Everyday Life (Firestone/Catlett), and Centering (Laurie/Tucker). It was all a successful effort to explore a variety of ways to combat my increasing social and generalized anxiety issues and panic attacks that sent me to the ER on a few occasions and constantly disrupted my daily life.
My intentions for more than 30+ years has been to learn and apply adaptation and control therapy techniques to combat early trauma that included: a fundamentalist religious upbringing, my father’s death, and a high school rape. But the big change in me occurred during my divorce from a man diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder. I ended up writing a book about the experience called Divorce: What your attorney won’t tell you, and sold it to therapists for their clients. It was about that time I started having panic attacks – I was in my early 30s.
At a career level, I expanded my skills in technology and business leading marketing programs, producing materials, developing workshops, and managing events. Soon, I began to incorporate corporate (internal) and personal coaching into my career. This would include group workshops and personal counseling to facilitate professional development, effective communication, and improve leadership and problem solving skills.
At a personal level, I was becoming good at techniques like deep visualization and meditation and created my own form of self-talk therapy I called Conversations with O. Thanks to the mentoring of a friend and professor of criminal justice at San Jose State (who was also a practicing Buddhist), I began to lead group meditations at the university.
My real change began in 2013 when I made a big decision to leave my job and become a consultant. It was a scary move (you can read more about that here). In late 2016 the transformation was becoming real. After two months in Costa Rica with my son and two of his friends, I came back with a new energy to become my authentic self. I learned more than I can relate here from spending time with that group of young people. They were an inspiration, to say the least.
Within a few months of my return to the US, I made a big move to the warm climate of Southern Arizona and started both my marketing consulting businesses and VidaReal Center with the goal to help others through their life transitions.