Embrace what life gives you — Marie Martin

I grew up in Montana and was raised by a single mother – she was my guiding light through a difficult youth. I ventured out into the world at a young age and I’ve all over the world, studied religion and spirituality and am intensely interested in the human spirit and what makes us thrive and have meaning in our lives.

When I was just out of college I began my personal journey to help those around me find their own voice, direction and meaning in their lives. It was a calling I had from the beginning of my adult life – to always help others find their way as I have been helped.

To that end I counseled at-risk youth in my twenties. Then in my thirties in high and bio tech I often took my staff under my wing to help them have a life beyond corporate America. At one point I noticed one of my key staff was not okay and found out she had a secret dream. So, despite my need for her to stay on staff, I secretly counseled her to follow her dream and join the Peace Corp. – I even was her official sponsor. She is a dear and loyal friend to this day. Through many my friends and associates trials and tribulations Marie I have made it my business to been there with quiet guidance, a big ear and some insight and wisdom.

I am no stranger to facing amazing challenges from being poor as a child with its inherent challenges to becoming an executive in Silicon Valley with no degree in the field to working for the World Bank with no PhD to owning my own, successful adventure travel company and seeing the world in the process – 52 countries. I have followed my heart and inner voice and feel good about the meaning I have created in my own life.

But I am no stranger to pain and five years ago I found myself having to take my own advice as I climbed out of the darkest place I ever was in when I lost of my husband, son, home and business all in one fell swoop. Suddenly I had to live my age old motto “Embrace what life gives you” Sometimes I thought I would never make it. But through the most breathe stopping pain I took it upon myself to reach deep inside and look far outside to find a way, any way to make my pain my teacher and let it inform my new life. IT was that or give up. It was the hardest thing I have ever done.

But I have come out stronger and more directed with new found grounding, compassion and wisdom. I am surprised to hear myself say this but I would not change what happened.

Along my path I have been informally helping many with their lives whether they have suffer a loss of a loved one, a break-up of a marriage or just need to take a new look at where they are going so they can know their life has meaning for them. After years of helping those around me, and my coming out of the back end of a horrible tragedy and amazing loss I was strongly urged to take up life coaching formally. And so with an addition of a name, an account and some more mindful attention to what it is I do offer I am doing what I have always done; what I have always been called to do – help and guide. With the recent pursuit of becoming a Zen Lay Teacher I feel truly equipped to provide real direction and a means for you to find your heart, your life’s meaning and path that works for you.