For years, little pieces of me got lost in the cracks, in between the details of everyday life. I had this feeling of uncertainty, of something being off. I just knew there was more for me. I searched everywhere for myself. And then I released something, and that's when it happened.

I tried over-educating myself (to prove I was smart.) I tried being a small healthy-foods caterer (to prove I could take care of and nurture people). I tried creating a childbirth services business called Birth Renaissance, teaching childbirth classes, attending births as a doula, etc. (which was closer to my unique abilities, but not quite right yet). I learned hypnosis (pretty cool, but still bypassed what I considered consciousness too much). Next came four years of graduate school in Chinese medicine (closer still and I still love it, but the passion trickled out after 12 years when I realized there was a piece missing for me).

Then, I discovered coaching and mentoring women. Ahhh, it fit like a glove.

When I coach, it is effortless. I end my sessions feeling better than when I started. Not because I'm doing something for myself, but because I'm in my unique abilities and out of my own way. It feels like I am "in the vortex" of what I am supposed to be doing. It just feels so damned right. My intuition runs the show and gives my busy brain a rest. Aaahhh! Resonating with all that is my authentic self.

Don't get me wrong. All of those other careers fed me in some way, and I loved parts of them. I learned so much from each of them, and they still inform my coaching to a large extent.

Some of them were to alleviate my insecurities and made me feel better about myself. In others, I was grasping at straws to prove my worth. Others resonated with me and my abilities in a more deeply connected way. I prayed, meditated, yogaed my way through to finding myself.

I "efforted" a lot.

And then I learned the art of surrender.

It was one particular day, when things were pretty bad, when I simply got on my hands and knees (on the advice of a shaman I was training with - oh, did I mention my two-year training with a shaman?) and asked mother earth to take away whatever was hurting and blocking me... and I cried like a baby. I gave it up. I will never forget that moment, because the beauty in that surrender cracked me open in a way nothing ever has.

What I realized is that one's biggest struggle is one's best teacher. Your pain creates your gifts. Or at least it opens you to them, because they are already there. I am grateful for the struggles and pain ~ they brought me the gifts I use to help other women discover their gifts and beauty.

And so, I learned. And now I give back.

I mean, how cool is it that now I help women fall in love with their lives again?

To be a conduit for another's transformation is the most joyful experience. When I lead a class, I am truly in awe of the women I work with: they are honest, vulnerable, authentic, open, and eager to grow. They take risks. They move forward in their lives.

I know that I have what I call sacred contracts with the people I work with, and they will work with me when they're ready. I know that's not everyone, and that's okay. I feel truly blessed to be able to do what I do, and I don't take it for granted, ever.

Author's Bio: 

Teresa M. Goetz is a Transformational and Spiritual Coach, Acupuncturist and Chinese Herbalist, who has spent her career helping women realize their potential at all stages of life. Her work has paralleled her own personal experiences and includes specialized work in all women's major life stages, including pregnancy, child birth, parenthood/ mothering, partnership/ marriage, divorce, and middle life.

Teri gets enormous satisfaction from watching women grow into who they truly are meant to be. She creates and holds a safe space for her clients so that they may turn personal crises, like divorce, into defining moments to transform their lives. She helps women achieve clarity and confidence, and then breathe fresh air into their futures.

Teri speaks and writes about women's issues and health, works with clients one-on-one and offers workshops for women.

She is the mother of 2 daughters, step mother to a son and daughter, and married to a wonderful man!