Today I’d like to introduce you to Pat Meier, a life coach and financial consultant. Pat and I met first virtually as Facebook connections, before becoming real life friends. She is someone with whom I have so much respect, for the life challenges she has faced head on and overcome, her resiliency, and her wanting to use those experiences as motivations for inspiring other women to gain strength, purpose and forward direction.
In this interview, Pat opens up about a deeply personal challenge that has impacted her on so many levels. It was not easy to share, and her willingness to do so speaks volumes for her inner growth. She wanted to tell her story in hopes that it may help others to reach within themselves and find their great capacity to flourish as well.
Lisa: Where did your inspiration come from for becoming a life coach and financial consultant?
Pat: I became a life coach and therapist because I am passionate about inspiring and empowering women to get unstuck and move forward with creating their best life and living their vision. I found that psychotherapy wasn’t allowing my clients to move forward quickly and that life coaching didn’t always seem to include room for emotional healing. I call my work a hybrid, it helps my clients heal, grow and thrive more holistically and completely.
I recently added financial education and consultation to my services because I came to believe that it’s difficult, if not impossible, to build a life you love without a healthy financial foundation. I have a business partner who has been a financial advisor for 20 years and I am currently studying to get my securities license.
Lisa: Please tell us about someone who has been a positive influence on your life.
Pat: If I had to pick one person who has greatly impacted my life I’d say it was my high school art teacher, Mrs. Bolin. She set the bar high regarding the expectations she had of her students. She encouraged quality craftsmanship and presentation, creativity, commitment, consistent production and thinking outside the box. She inspired us and believed in ourability to create high quality works of art as well as exhibiting our work. She also” walked her talk” as she was a productive artist herself. She was a great role model for me, especially as a life coach.
Lisa: Please tell us about something you have overcome in life and how you have grown from it.
Pat: A personal challenge I’ve overcome in my life is learning how to manage my PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) in order to live my life full out. I was sexually assaulted at age 28 while living in NYC and was challenged for many years with the symptoms of PTSD.
Because the body becomes stuck in a continual “fight and flight” mode I experienced years of often feeling hyper-vigilant and over-stimulated by any kind of environmental factors such as sound and temperature, and difficulty focusing. I developed fibromyalgia due to the toll that “fight and flight” mode and the contraction of muscles had on my body. I felt stuck emotionally and paralyzed to act and tap into the tremendous potential I knew I had.
In the 1980’s there was not a lot known about how to treat PTSD effectively. There were some therapies that worked on stimulating the brain and de-sensitizing the trauma. (EMDR). I researched and experimented for years on ways to heal from my trauma. I have always been really spiritual and my spiritual beliefs and understanding helped a great deal. It often felt like I was trying to cross the Grand Canyon to feel whole again, and although I didn’t know why I was meant to live such a challenging life, I had faith there was a silver lining and someday I would fit the puzzle pieces together. I went to therapists, energy healers back in the day when it was considered weird, body workers, did a lot human potential work, attended workshops and seminars, have been a long-time meditator, and more.
I managed to go back to school and get a master’s degree at Columbia University and to work and support myself. It was never easy as I looked normal on the outside but suffered on the inside from the symptoms of PTSD. Over many years I have eventually healed for the most part from the fibromyalgia and rarely do I experience PTSD symptoms anymore. Every now and then I get triggered and I need a few days to get back on track. Because I have lived my life for so many years from the inside–out I am very perceptive and in tune with my own internal compass and know who I am. I feel highly equipped to help others get to know themselves better in order to create a life based on true authenticity and their own personal values.
I have come to find that because of the circumstances I experienced earlier in life, my life purpose was revealed. My journey to healing through the trauma led me to my mission in life, which is to inspire and empower women to live their best lives. I also find it extremely empowering to give back to others who are still struggling. I am currently serving on the communications committee for The Board of Directors for Women Helping Women here in Cincinnati.
Lisa: What are some phrases by which you live?
Pat: Some of the mottos I live by are ‘The meaning of life is to live it” and “ It’s neither good nor bad, it just is.” I often remind my clients the second motto because we won’t make lasting change if we are judging ourselves. We need to learn to be compassionate with ourselves.
Lisa: Please tell us about your bucket list.
Pat: Some things on my bucket list include parachuting out of an airplane, traveling to Tanzmania in Africa and spending some time with the various tribes there. I recently became friends with a woman from Tanzmania whom I lived with in San Francisco. I’d like to travel with my work and give talks and workshops, nationally and internationally. I’d like to write a couple of books and live in the countryside with my future husband. I’d like for us to invite friends and family to visit and we would dine and wine them! As I get older I crave intimate connection and rejoicing in shared friendships with like-minded people.