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Monika Whitmore - Emotional Wellness Coach

hello@monikawhitmore.com

(816) 392-3034

Embracing Change

I was definitely not planning on using the DSM-5...as a laptop booster.

But sometimes plans change. And I choose to believe our paths are always preparing us for what’s next, even if we’re not aware of it. Even if we don’t really KNOW what’s next.

The reality is I didn’t need a master’s degree in clinical social work in order to do the work I’m now doing. However, I believe a solid understanding of mental illness makes me a better emotional wellness coach. And I LOVE coaching! 

But here’s the thing, friends. I also want to help change how we think about and therefore treat mental health. I am fascinated with learning about the root causes of feeling mentally and emotionally unwell, specifically in regard to depression and anxiety. 

We know there is not a single cause. In fact, the mainstream understanding is that there are biological, psychological, and environmental factors at play. But how much of each? And what can we do about them? Is healing possible? 

As I’ve mentioned before, I DO NOT believe we were designed to suffer. I do believe it’s possible to heal and grow. 

So, what if we started thinking about the signs and symptoms of depression and anxiety as indicators from our body that something is off. That we need to pay attention and make some changes in our lives.

Please hear me when I say: I’m not here to discredit the real-ness of mental illness. NOPE. Not in the least. I’m here to offer a different perspective, and more importantly…hope for healing. 

Emotional Wellness Manifesto

When I decided to become a life coach, I could have went a million different directions with my practice. However, it didn’t take long for me to hone in on an area that I’m extremely passionate about: emotional wellness. 

I decided I wanted to help people FEEL better, because when you FEEL better you can DO better. And I believe life is about DOING things. The more fun things, the better! 

I DON’T believe we were put on this earth to suffer.
I DO believe we were put on this earth to experience love, to grow, have fun, and evolve.

I DON’T believe we have to continue believing our childhood programming (call it hardwiring, our subconscious, but whatever you wanna call it, believe me…it’s there!).
I DO believe we can start to identify, challenge, and rewrite what we want to believe about ourselves, others, and the world.

I DON’T believe we give enough attention to maintaining emotional wellness but rather focus on trying to “fix” things once they are broken.
I DO believe in the power of mindfulness, living life with intention, and keeping a positive perspective.

I DON’T believe most human beings are as connected as they would like to believe.
I DO believe in the power of authentic human interaction, the importance of meaningful work, connection to nature, and the significance of hope in a brighter future.

I DON’T believe tolerating our lives is honoring our ourselves or a higher power.
I DO believe you are capable of more.

What is it like to work with me?

Three words: exploratory, transformative, fun.

Exploratory: When I start working with new clients, I take time to genuinely get to know them. I look at what’s working well in their lives and what’s not. I ask questions that get at the heart of their thought patterns and belief systems without dwelling on the past itself. 

I encourage my clients to get curious about the results they have been getting in their lives. Together, we explore how their thoughts have been creating their feelings which ultimately drive their actions (or inactions).

Thinking THOUGHTS that you’re inadequate? Betcha you’re FEELING inadequate. When you’re feeling inadequate I doubt you feel like DOING much of anything, because it probably won’t be good enough. RESULT: further evidence that you’re inadequate. 

I help clients break this cycle. We explore how they want to feel and work backward to find thoughts that will better serve them on their journey. We look at how they want to show up in their lives and how they will need to FEEL in order to honor that desire.

Transformative: I would never suggest I know what is best for another person. However I love working with people to uncover what they truly want in life and addressing the blocks that are keeping them from creating their best life. 

When I work with clients, we create goals and a plan of action. We address obstacles that will inevitably show up and strategize how to deal with those challenges in the moment.

We practice thinking better thoughts. We celebrate successes and plan for the future…all while intentionally finding joy in the present moment. 

Hands down, the most fulfilling part of my job is seeing clients embrace the power of their minds and using that power to create better lives for themselves.

Fun: I am committed to the belief that life is supposed to be FUN! 

I encourage my clients to look for opportunities to laugh, play, and create. I ask them to purposefully have more fun and not take life too seriously.

Even tasks they’ve deemed tedious or boring, I challenge them to consider how to make them more fun. Make it a game! Crank up some music! Find reasons to be grateful for the task at hand! It’s pretty hard to be grateful and pissed off at the same time. 

Here’s the thing. When it’s all said and done, you’re more likely to regret the things you didn’t do than the things you did do. So I say…choose fun!

Wherever you go...there you are.

There is some debate on the original author of this quote and a number of ways to interpret its meaning. Here’s my interpretation:

 

You can’t outrun your thoughts. 

 

I just got back from a lovely vacation in the mountains. It was equal parts active and relaxing. I used to think of vacations as a way to escape my regular (unfulfilling life). You may be able to relate to how those vacations went down: long, boring drives, heated debates on where to eat, what to do, when to do it. Irritability and frustration all around! I may have physically escaped my home but I definitely didn’t escape my stressed out, overwhelmed mind.

 

Fast forward to this vacation.

 

One major difference involves a shift in mindset. Instead of thinking of this trip as an escape, I chose to view it as a change in scenery, an opportunity to broaden my experiences. And that I did! I soaked up every ounce of mountain air and had as much fun as I possibly could! 

 

On this trip, I enjoyed the journey, not just the destination…meaning I had fun on the 9 hour drive (each way!). I listened to a mysterious podcast series, read a great book, listened to music, and had good conversation with my partner. These days I want to make the most of every experience, because why not?!?  Are the kids still saying YOLO these days? 

 

Honestly, there’s no need for me to run from anything or anyone (including myself) these days. And that’s a very nice feeling.

 

Want to learn how to start making these shifts in your life? Reach out and ask me how! 

Living with Intention

How you show up in your life may be something you’ve never really thought about. You may go about your day reacting to things as they come up without giving much attention to the way you respond. You may feel like your life is happening to you.

I call this living on autopilot and I don’t recommend it! How you show up in any situation is ALWAYS your choice.

I believe there is transformative power in living life on purpose.

Here’s a practice for you to try.

Write down three adjectives that describe how you want to show up in your life. Examples may include: calm, courageous, helpful, cheerful, energetic, friendly, peaceful.

Now under each word write three things you can do this upcoming week that will support your conscious decision to show up that way in your life. See how many of those things you can accomplish in a week. Notice how you feel when you complete them.

It's time to shift out of autopilot and in to a life with greater fulfillment and purpose!