Hope is definitely not the same thing as optimism. It is not the conviction that something will turn out well, but the certainty that something makes sense, regardless of how it turns out.” ― Václav Havel

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What is a hope-full life? 

In addition to the quote by Vaclav Haval, my second favorite quote about hope is by Richard Bach.  What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls a butterfly.

Life is both immeasurable joy and immense sorrow.   Our dance of grace is in seeking, discovering, and embracing the beauty of life amidst the grief that is also witnessed, experienced, and often is what brings the cracks in the cocoon. 

How we make it matter that it did.   Words a friend once said to me about a tragic event.  Seeds of wisdom planted within me that have become the compass in my own life.  

And led me to the work I do today.   To frame and reframe stories of life as teacher, author, coach, writer, and speaker.  

In the spaces where we struggle to reframe our stories from self-judgment to self-worthy, from uncertain to hope-fully, from grieving to embracing, from shame to dignity, from separated to a sense of whole.

Listening and then holding up a mirror verbally or in writing for someone to see their story differently – with purpose, worth, dignity, hope – is what I do best. Or said another way, I do so through the arts – the art of framing and reframing life stories and the art of hearing by listening for the soul of the story. 

I have over three decades of experience teaching individuals to find a centeredness in life, in their leadership, and within themselves.   Some of this experience also includes formal education to assist me in being the best I can be walking beside you as teacher and coach.

Framing and reframing life stories also comes from experience through publication of two books.  My personal memoir that chronicles a grief healing journey and Hope Has a Cold Nose, a collection of twenty-three military veteran life stories about the healing effects of service animals for veterans journeying with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and military-sexual trauma (MST).   Two additional books are in process with targeted publication dates in 2024 – Between the Dash:  from our Holes to Hope and Best First Day.    

My ability to be the best for you is also from additional story-telling experiences such as hospice end of life, early-stage Alzheimer’s, recovered addiction, domestic abuse survivorship, elementary-age children, individuals once homeless, those grieving the loss of a loved one, those journeying with P.T.S.D. or what I reframe as pain, trauma, sorrow, despair, and leaders who find themselves experiencing a significant transition such as onboarding into a new role in a new location or questioning if it is time for a career change.

Let me pause here, too, and say by leadership, leading is not just in an organization.  One leads in family, in community, in our personal lives, and through a movement.  Leadership is how we lead in the choices we make every day of our lives.  And how we frame our life stories as we do.  

And our ability to do so begins with an inner walk.  Though I cannot begin to walk in your shoes, I do know hands-on from my own life story that any steps towards thriving begin first with the cracking open within.   When the walls of a cocoon start to reveal pockets of light, that might initially feel like breaks in the foundation.   Before one discovers there are butterfly wings waiting to stretch out and not fall, but fly.      

The graceful flight from suffering to joy.   To a hope-full life. 

I will leave you with this. You matter. Your story matters. You are worthy of being seen and heard.

When we can listen not from a place of what we want to know but from a place of what others wish to share, we are providing that nonjudgmental, compassionate space for healing – Hope Has a Cold Nose

It would be my honor to hold that nonjudgmental, compassionate space for you to find that 

Hope Is in the extraordinary story of YOU.


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Christine has been such a great source of wisdom and guidance for me. Her empathy and holistic perspective have helped me see my own truth at times when life’s distractions are doing their best to blind my way. I treasure her perspective and approach to life – valuing every moment and living for learning, growth and in service to others. – A. Guy

You are the only one who looked me in the eye; everyone else could not face my grief. – Student Feedback as TA 

Christine, I have told you before the way you have changed my life for the better and you have heard this from many, many others. Now consider that by changing my life you have changed my daughter’s, my son-in-law, her husband through her, his friends through him etc. You have changed my significant other’s life, his two boys through him, his ex-wife’s, his friends, etc. My parents and brother/sister-in-law etc. The ripple effect of your life’s work is changing the world. – Kim J

Christine had an intuitive way of getting to the reality of people’s lives. It was amazing to see how she picked up on the spiritual essence of individuals and families. Her insight was often valuable to me in preparing eulogies. The stories helped validate the value and significance of patients’ and families’ existence. We all want to know our lives mattered. Christine’s writing left a sense of satisfaction and completion as she helped people celebrate their own lives.– G. Carlson 

I’ve grown a lot since you reached out to me, and I will forever be grateful you where able to put my thoughts on paper for me. This is helping me move forward from a lot of my traumas from the past. One day at a time. – A Co-Author of Hope Has a Cold Nose 

Thank you for providing such a rich course and for all your feedback and encouragement. I learned some things about myself and some new ways to explore myself and the world. I will continue with the walks and the journaling. And I will keep dancing!

-Betty, student of Hope Whispers; Nature Speaks

I feel working with Christine is an opportunity to be introduced to “ oneself” for the first time, which will allow one to use all hidden gems that were already imbedded to be the best version of “you”  in every aspect of life….I can write an essay and still won’t be able to describe how I feel. – Bilen

I do want to recognize you and all you have done for me in the past months, it is by far one of the most meaningful experiences I have ever had and am feeling so grateful – Efrat (Mentee)

As a second-generation holocaust survivor, I was dealing with inner deep pain for a long time. This was intensified after the death of my beloved father. I expected to be mentored on my leadership skills; instead, I found my life profoundly transformed by Christine’s mentoring. After one meeting she identified in a very gentle way, yet unbelievable way, my deepest pains. Putting the most beautiful mirror in front of me she walked beside me as I began transforming my life in a very short time, and in ways, I never thought possible. She utilized her listening skills and her way of softly guiding me towards healing. No one has ever been able to help me improve my life the way Christine has, and I will be forever grateful and thankful – A. Kost

Christine is a true mentor and was an effective sounding board during a time of career transition. She provided encouragement and insight, enabling me to focus positive energy on the future and learn from my past. Her passion and skill in helping others is evident as is the care and wisdom in her approach – E. Ballman

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