I have spent the past 30 years studying the human body, personal and professional relationships, and striving to stay connected to my soul while living a full, complex life. 

 

I also spent decades thinking something was seriously wrong with me. Years and thousands of dollars in therapy allowed me to survive and appear successful on the outside, but inside, I was miserable. I didn't "belong" anywhere. I felt like an outsider among my work colleagues because I wasn't married to my job. I was actually labeled "high-maintenance" for making my home life a priority. I didn't have people in my life I could relate to. I never fully abandoned my deepest values but I spent A LOT of time in my head feeling "not good enough" as a physician, a partner or a parent. I thought this was just baseline adulthood:  sacrifice and struggle. It wasn't until I left my high-income, high-status job and spent some quality time with myself that I realized the solutions to my problems were inside me. 

I am going to repeat myself here for emphasis:  I strongly believe that traditional therapy and psychiatry are vital and valuable disciplines- but not everyone who needs help living adult life is mentally ill or needs a medical diagnosis in order to qualify for guidance. No one should have to go through life alone, literally or metaphorically.  Life is MESSY.  We need each other.

Those who know me know how much I love plants and flowers. After making radical changes in my life and career, I realize first-hand how many parallels there are between gardening and personal growth. (Those who know me well also know that I am a huge punster and I could go off right here on lots of gardening/life wordplay . . . I will spare you til later . . . ) I used to feel stuck and trapped, having accomplished all of my goals but not feeling satisfied or whole. I had a fixed mindset rather than a growth mindset. The soul is fertile ground worth tending to and the site of meaningful growth. Coaching is a powerful tool.

After receiving my wake-up call on the phone with the executive life coach (see What Is Coaching page), I trained as an integrative health coach at Duke Integrative Medicine Center and completed the Writing to Heal course with John Evans. As a die-hard fan of Brené Brown's books and research on shame, worthiness, and vulnerability, I became a Certified Daring Way™ Facilitator- (CDWF). I now teach her curriculum to others.

Years ago, I attended Colorado University in Boulder (Go Buffs!) and majored in psychology. I did my medical and radiology training at UNC-Chapel Hill and Duke University. I worked in a radiology private practice for 16 years (spending my days in the dark, stressed-out, with very little human interaction) before leaving to pursue life coaching. 

I have been married to a great guy since 1994 and have 3 phenomenal teenage kids. I love to spend time in nature, read, garden, dance, listen to music and podcasts, and let my dog remind me what really matters. I love the outdoors and feel most at home in the natural world.

I used to believe that if I worked harder, sacrificed more for my job and my family, logged more hours, completed more training, read more parenting books, attended all of my kids' extracurricular events, I would feel like I was ENOUGH. Good enough. Smart enough. Loving enough. Suffering enough. 

It was only when I hired my own coach, changed lanes in the 'rat race' and explored where those ideas originated and whether or not they were still true for me, that I got clear on what brought me the deepest sense of fulfillment. My life completely opened up for me.

Your soul is fertile ground worth tending to.  If you can't see your value and don't feel that you are enough, in any way, contact me and together, you'll realize that you are more than enough.

traceyoconnell@fertilesoul.com

All photos on this site were taken by Allison Curtis in Humboldt County, California.