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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Image of Dog and Video Narration

I am on a mission.  That mission includes championing a movement of unconditional listening and hope.   Advocating for cold noses as healers and for other holistic healing modalities when one finds themselves in dis-harmony mind, body, and spirit.    And to shift the planet’s grief to hope, one life story at a time. 

How?  Through individualized and collective team coaching, through teaching workshops and courses, written life stories, published books, monthly blogs and newspaper articles, and speaking engagements.   Or said another way, I do so through the arts – the art of framing and reframing life stories and the art of hearing. 

I listen for the soul of the story.  

And then I focus on inspiring the change agent that YOU ARE who is being called to utilize your story for creating new beginnings for our planet.   A new beginning that includes leading and living not only from the mind, but from an integrated wholeness mind, heart, body, soul, and Spirit.   

To do so, we need to heal the inner disconnectedness and the overarching grief we have experienced.  And perpetuated. 

Sometimes I refer to myself as Mother Nature’s daughter, for I have found much personal healing and inspiration while immersed in Nature and find Nature informs much of my coaching, writing, and teaching, and is my groundedness for my daily life story as you may have just learned if you listened to the video with the image of my dear Ginger.    

I am called to stand in the spaces where we struggle to look life stories in the eye.  Spaces such as grief, emotional pain, trauma, sorrow, and despair.  (If you clicked on the button and listened to the interview, you will learn pain, trauma, sorrow, and despair is how I reframe P.T.S.D.)   

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. 

For when we can shift from the darkness of our stories to reflect the extraordinary Light the story holds, we not only heal our own pain, trauma, sorrow, despair, and grief.   We begin to be a beacon for others to do the same with theirs. 

Pretty big ripples of hope start cascading then, don’t you think?! 

How do I do this besides as teacher, author, coach, speaker, writer? I do this by being present and listening to YOU.  By being present and seeing YOU.  To use the words of Suzanne during the interview, you made them be individuals, REAL people.   People just want to be seen and heard.   At least as I deeply believe.  And feel called to do.

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.  Through the gifts I have been given as intuitive and compassionate life story writer, teacher, and coach, individuals who work with me find emotional and spiritual healing from their pain, trauma, sorrow, despair, and grief. 

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).  

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, the aging population, domestic abuse survivors, elementary children, individuals once homeless, those grieving the loss of a loved one, 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.   Leading.  Living.  Thriving. 

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.   

Again, I cannot know what it is to walk in your shoes – and the only story that matters most if you a reading this is YOUR story.  I can only share that I, too, have a story of how I buried grief and emotional pain for a very long time. The journey I have been traveling to uncover what has been buried to look it in the eye and then make it matter that it happened exactly as it did by integrating it into my story and then reframing my life story 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.  The hope-full events I had learning death is not goodbye.  And the transformation that has been occurring in which my soul utilized my body to communicate what needed to heal internally. That on the pathway to whole, it is not just the mind. Nor the soul. Nor a connection only to Spirit, whoever Spirit may be for you (God, Universe, Source, Higher Self, Creator, Nature, and so forth). It is an integration of all aspects of our wholeness.  Mind, heart, soul, Spirit, and body. 

The body is an incredible communicator of where we are not whole. Just ask my legs. And my skin.  

I can tell you all about it sometime, when our paths cross, that it may inspire your own transformative journey. I would welcome our paths doing so!  

If you haven’t had a chance to listen to the interview, I shared in the beginning of it that the storytellers in HHCN had a common mission.  All of us wished to do what we could to reduce the daily suicide rate of veterans from twenty-two to zero.  Near the end of the interview, I share that we all know grief, yet there is a collective struggle to know what to do when someone is grieving.  A struggle with what to say.  A struggle to hear the sadness and the longing for what had once been. 

As I wrote in To the Moon, grief is not only physical death.  It is when life as was known is no longer the same.  It could be job related, home related, relationship related, health related.  It could be a shifting sense of self-identity or a struggle with uncertainty where things once felt certain.   I can also be celebratory such as a child graduating or getting married, or the sale of a home to move to a condo or returning home from a deployment or international job assignment.   Anywhere that life was before and no longer the same involves a grieving of what was, as new beginnings also knock.  

Back to my mission of unconditional listening and hope.   Perhaps I should add that I am on a mission to champion unconditional listening and hope that enables healing the planet’s grief, pain, trauma, sorrow, and despair.

As I shared at the end of the interview, when we have a common mission, like reducing twenty-two to zero or finding a way to listen to and reframe stories we struggle to look into the eyes of, maybe then grief doesn’t hurt so much because then, we are all in it


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 

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

You are always so generous with your insights. I truly appreciate this…These two sessions have been transformative for me. I feel truly held and seen.  – Teri {student of Hope Whispers; Nature Speaks course)

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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