I’ll confess: when I first considered going to see Michelle Burns, I was wary.
I’d seen therapists before. I’d read self-help books. I had taken advice from friends and given advice to friends and hey, as a person shades ever closer to his sixth decade, he kinda wants to feel he might have a handle on this whole “life” thing. When someone comes along calling themselves a “life coach”, my initial response is going to be skepticism.
But late in December, I was standing near Michelle at a campfire. I’d heard from a dozen or more friends that she was amazing, and truth be told, I needed a bit of amazing in my life. My 35 year marriage had crumbled, I was seriously blocked on a book I was writing, and I was reeling from another relationship that had shattered. So I turned to her, told her just a little bit about what was happening in my shambles of a life, and asked if she thought she could help. I expected the typical evasive therapist-speak.
She locked her eyes on mine and said, “Yes. I can help you.” That certainty, that level of assuredness, set me back. And it made me curious. So I signed on.
I can honestly say that in many ways, Michelle saved my life. At least, the quality of my life. I’d have gone on breathing and walking around; but there wouldn’t have been much point to it.
Michelle’s direct, no-nonsense, honest, and practical approach makes all the difference. I didn’t need someone else to hold my hand; didn’t need someone just to talk to; I didn’t need someone to make me feel good. I needed someone to help me out of a major life hole. Or at the very least, show me how to build a damn ladder.
Since I began working with Michelle I have taken control of my life. I have dealt with my relationship issues directly and decisively and I have not only started writing again, my work has never been better.
This isn’t airy-fairy, New Age mumbo-jumbo. Michelle is driven by results. She won’t do all the work for you. And she won’t make it easy. But Michelle will help you see what you need to see and what you need to do, and will stand beside you, pointing you in the right direction and cheering you on as you take hold of the life you deserve.
You really don’t need more than that. But you really shouldn’t settle for less.
“Within 6 sessions over several months, using Skype sessions with Michelle, I managed to achieve my goals. I’ve increased my story coaching client base by 50%; upgraded my website and began 2 blogs (one personal and one dedicated to my corporate leadership programme which I co-facilitate). I’ve also increased my editorial role on All Things Healing by uploading further articles and videos. I’ve written 3 articles, two of which I’ve made available for download. I’ve also taken a more professional approach to my social networking (i.e. Facebook). I’ve identified two streams of information products—ebooks and downloadable story recordings—and made the first steps towards realising these before the end of 2012. Best of all, I gained confidence and skills to take my work forward successfully into the commercial world.
The greatest movement toward my goals took place within the first three months working with Michelle. A year on from beginning my work with Michelle and I feel more confident and competent. I have since extended my client base into the corporate world of education and business leadership. The confidence to do this, I attribute to Michelle’s influence on my work.
I feel even more committed to my calling and consider Michelle to have been a crucial mentor along the way. Michelle’s passion is inspiring and it has re-fired my own passion for my work. I have worked with a couple of coaches in the past but none as passionate and sensitive as Michelle. While I usually prefer face-to-face coaching, I found our Skype sessions to be very effective. They forced me to listen carefully to Michelle’s words; I also felt listened to and understood. By working with Michelle on a regular basis I was accountable to someone who understood my goals and unique ways of working. Michelle is encouraging and offers logical, inspiring steps towards making positive changes. Working together with Michelle helped me realise resources and abilities I wasn’t sure I had. Michelle nourished those energies and resources within me and made me accountable. She focused on positive change yet showed me the value of reflective practice so that I could learn from my process.”
MICHAEL WILLIAMS, Professional Storyteller, StoryCoach and Leadership Consultant ______________________________________
“Life coaching with Michelle has given me the impetus to move beyond simply wishing and dreaming of a preferred future to actually putting a clear vision of that future into action. I have learned practical and powerful strategies for getting past the superficial barriers to achieving success and addressing the real issues that have been holding me back. Throughout the process, I have been supported and challenged to achieve the goals I have set. It’s a journey to success, step by step. Exciting and energizing!”
Janice, University Professor _______________________________________
“Major life challenges had eventually put me into a state of depression and caused me to lose focus on my goals. I was overweight, unhealthy, easily distracted and looking for excuses to avoid getting back on track. I contacted Michelle and booked a 16 session package to get back on track. We assessed the challenges, put a structured plan in place and within 8 weeks I had lost a little over 30 lbs. I clarified my core values, crafted a clear vision and made some major changes in how I was living my life. It’s been 3 months and I’m still pushing forward with the new game plan intact. Michelle gave me the motivation and life tools necessary to reconstruct the foundation I was living on. It has been the biggest change of my life, and I am so grateful. My progress is ongoing and I will continue to move forward and improve the quality of my life. Thanks to Michelle, I’ve improved all major relationships in my life, my health, and my outlook on my core business. Her insights and approach have not only made a difference in my life, but all others who I interact with. I’m truly grateful and only wish I would have contacted her sooner.” Thanks again Michelle
“I was feeling lost, overwhelmed with work, and in need of some guidance. I was also dealing with negative emotions that I needed to work through.
Working with Michelle has allowed me to move beyond feelings of sadness and despair to feelings of joy and acceptance. I am much more focused, accepting of myself, authentic, understanding of others, and happy. I learned how to take care of myself; love myself, appreciate what I have to offer, and treat myself with respect. As a result of my work with Michelle, I feel a weight has been lifted from my shoulders. I now have the knowledge and tools needed to address problems in a positive and effective way.
I have been seeing a psychiatrist and been on anti-depressants for almost 20 years. Although they helped me ‘rise above’ my depression, they never really helped me address the root causes, or work through my negative emotions and feelings. Michelle guided me down a path that allowed me to identify what my real issues and concerns were, and then address them in a positive and healing way. Her approach is both forthright and caring; she makes you work through the pain and sadness so you can truly feel joy and relief. I can’t recommend her services enough; she changed my life!”
Niki, Business Consultant, Entrepreneur _______________________________________ “Achieving specific goals would happen in a matter of months, for example I needed to raise $50,000 in 4 months and we did some super focused boot-camp kind of work on my money barriers. I literally raised the $50,000 that I needed. It was like a miracle! And I was able to buy my house in the process.
After 38 years of being overweight I am finally seeing my body transform into the strong and vibrant form I always knew it could be. Where I used to be closed off emotionally I am now very open and have wonderful relationships. My passion is my art, which was always fuelled by pain, but now I can make work that is still as powerful but that comes from a place of strength and love. I enjoy my creative expression so much more. The most recent shift has been the discovery that I am actually a very adventurous soul. I’m currently creating a list of adventures that I want to have over my lifetime and am actively seeking them out. Basically working with Michelle has led me to shed the fear and pain that I was living with for most of my life and has opened me up to the joy and happiness that life has to offer. I’m so very blessed and grateful that I found her.”
Renee, Artist, Film Maker ______________________________________
In just a few short sessions with Michelle I’ve seen a significant difference in my mindset and in the way I live my daily life. After going through a few exercises with Michelle, I felt like I had clarity on matters from my past that I had spent a lifetime confused about. I was better equipped to deal with everyday stresses, and had a plan for success in the future. I now understand how to overcome obstacles in areas of my life where before I felt lost and out of control. She is a truly gifted listener, and has the amazing ability to put what you’re feeling or experiencing into words, when you are having a hard time articulating it for yourself. She has a 6th sense when it comes to understanding the struggles of others. I have benefited so much from my time with Michelle, and would wholeheartedly recommend her services.
Lana, Real Estate Agent _______________________________________
“I wanted the strength and confidence, to be able to leave my marriage of 16 years. With the support of Life Coaching I separated from my husband a year ago. I have a wonderful apartment that I love, new friends who have supported me through my transition, I am exercising and eating healthier and I’ve lost at least 20 lbs, now that I am my number one priority. I love my body and want to take care of it. For many years I suffered from chronic pain. Now, I am in less physical pain, because I am more relaxed.
Now that I have accepted responsibility for my actions and stopped blaming other people for my reaction to events in my life I don’t get as angry as I used to. When I do get angry, I figure out why and make the necessary changes so that it doesn’t happen again or I change how I react to the issue.
I am learning day to day, who I am and what I want out of my life. It’s a wonderful experience to get to know myself after all these years. I’m not defining who I am based on previous life experiences or who other people think I should be. In just under a year and a half I have accomplished so much. I’m a new woman who loves life and is looking forward to life’s challenges without the fear of the unknown that used to hold me back. I am more positive, I now listen to my body and mind. I do what’s right for me and I am trying new experiences. I’m enjoying life. I respect myself, I feel pretty amazing on a regular basis. I look forward to more changes, as I’m discovering what I really want out of my life.
I know that if I hadn’t had Michelle as a life coach, I wouldn’t be where I am today. Having someone who was outside of my family and relationship, to help me clear my blocks and hold me accountable for my actions, was what I needed.
I know that having Michelle in my life has completely changed me in a positive way. I will be forever grateful for everything that I have learned from her.”
Margaret, Loving Life _______________________________________
“I was referred to Michelle Burns by a friend of my wife. I was reluctant to start another round of “talk therapy”, after numerous episodes over decades. Between those episodes I had run through most of the anti-depressant drugs available. However, my depression was at a level that prevented me from performing effectively even simple daily activities.
Going into our first session my expectations were low. My thought was that I had done all this before, time after time, and could hardly bear to go through the same drill once more. During that first meeting Michelle proposed a set of eight sessions. At that point I was convinced that this was a huge mistake. I knew from my past experiences that after eight sessions you were still just getting acquainted, and that anything therapeutic was still far beyond the horizon. However, (and luckily, as it turned out), I was depressed enough that it didn’t really matter one way or the other, so I said “Sure” and off we went.
I was impressed right away when we zipped through the “life story” portion which my experience had led me to believe would take an interminable amount of time. Michelle has an ability to zero in on what is important now, and we didn’t waste time on detailed recitations of the past. Over the next couple of sessions I began to understand the broad range of tools she could offer, and saw her approach as very pragmatic and flexible.
I view myself differently now, and have control of my days and my life. I am able to accomplish the tasks that I choose, and feel that I can live the remainder of my life without falling into a space where depression captures me.
I am on two Watershed Boards, and am an officer on one of those. I am working on alternative energy projects, and lobbying entities in Charlottetown to create the infrastructure needed to support electric cars. I am broadly involved in animal welfare activities. While all of these were things I have wanted to do for some time, the difference is that now I can actually do them effectively.
Is depression still a part of my personality? You bet’cha. The difference is that I now understand that it need not limit my life and activities. I now have tools, techniques, ways of thinking – whatever – that both acknowledge it and keep it in a place where it does not control me.”
I would not have believed that could happen (at all, much less in a short time). Incidentally, I have two sessions still unused if I ever want a “tune-up”.
“Going into the session I was distracted and overwhelmed. I needed clarity on my goals and to be able to focus on the steps to get there. Even after the first session I felt calmer. Within a month I could see what I wanted becoming a reality. I became more focused and clear on the steps essential to attaining my goal. Two months later, I did just that! I got rid of all the distracters that were keeping me from my achievements and got clear on what I needed to do. I felt motivated and ready to succeed. The confidence and grounding I received through my work with Michelle is something that is part of my daily life now.
I thought sitting and studying was it was me, I wasn’t able, I didn’t have what it takes. I felt I was a poor student and others had something I couldn’t do. Working with Michelle showed me I had the skills to attain anything I wanted, it was the path to get there that I needed to get the only way to get what I wanted out of school and if I did not achieve the grades I wanted better at. Michelle showed me ways of setting goals and believing I could do it. She got me motivated to make that happen. She helped me get rid of thoughts and beliefs that were distracting me and got me into a lifestyle where I was confident in my ability and as a result I developed my skills as a student so I could achieve my academic goals.