Hi! I’m Phyllis Capanna, founder of Love Yourself Forward® Holistic Business Coaching. My mission is to help you step into your power and realize your vision as a healing arts entrepreneur.
It’s almost 30 years ago that a life crisis compelled me to ditch retail and become an occupational therapist, and then barely a year later to embark on a masters program in counseling psychology. During my career, I fulfilled my driving mission to be the person who could stand with people facing life-changing health challenges. I discovered dormant qualities of compassion and presence, while refining the art of coupling those qualities with technical know-how to help patients achieve their goals.
But there’s always been a pull to express my healing gifts in ways that conventional healthcare doesn’t acknowledge, and that pull has lead me to some wonderful and frightening places. I started following my dream of becoming an inspirational author, successfully writing and publishing two books. I learned about online marketing, started a blog, and continued to hone my craft as an essayist.
I learned several hands-on healing modalities and began seeing a few clients here and there. And of course, I continued my own personal healing, removing layers of unconsciousness around worthiness, self-expression, being seen and being creatively alive and connected.
Slowly and gradually distancing myself from my very stable healthcare job, I eventually quit altogether to pursue these other gifts. I have to admit that much of the time I was motivated more by avoidance of what I didn’t want than clarity about what I did want. Eventually, I gave up on finding my true healing gift and my purpose, and just focused on finding creative ways to make a living that didn’t involve working a conventional job.
Throughout this time, my whole life in fact, I’ve been the person people go to for advice. So I add consultations, at first randomly, and then in a more focused way, when holistic practitioner friends would ask for help with their businesses. It was so easy for me to see their potential, to feel their healing gift, to see a world of possibility open up for them. But it was impossible to do that for myself.
While I was helping some of my many holistic practitioner colleagues succeed in their businesses, I felt almost completely worthless, unable to find my own way into the great spiral dance of life. It seemed the flow was always over there somewhere. Sure, I had my accomplishments, and I learned tons and tons about the emerging field of coaching. But I could never find that one thing. I never had a unifying focus, because I was always looking outside myself for permission, acceptability, the sure path to success. Looking back, I know I was flailing. Big time.
And then I read a powerful little book on the art of attracting clients, and something clicked. I went from “Who am I and how can I find validation for that from the world?” to “Who can I serve, given the gifts that I have?” practically overnight.
And that is where I came face to face with my ex-best friends, a healing gift and purpose. And I saw that I had it backwards. I was trying to define myself by amassing skills and trying on titles, and I was completely missing the contribution that I am, that I always am. Because who I am was validated at birth and is mine to own.
My mission and purpose have never wavered. I still want to serve powerfully, make a difference for people in times of crisis, and help them achieve their goals.
And the people I can help the most are the people who, just like me, have a healing gift, may not see it fully, or don’t know what it is at all, and are in a crisis because it hurts to have so much to give and not be able to support yourself or live your life in congruence with your deepest values. And let’s face it, there’s an art to bringing your healing gift into the world and finding the place where it wants to put down roots and flourish.
Holding both the fresh start and the been-me-all-along energy is kind of a theme for me. I know that what we are given as desires and longings contain within them the very energy that is needed to fulfill those desires. In my writing I’ve always focused on the inner game of living life. And as an occupational therapist, self-publisher and blogger, it’s been the outer game: creating products, setting goals, and developing behavioral hacks for productivity. As a creative person, I understand the drive to create and the challenges that we overcome in allowing ourselves authentic expression.
When I realized I had found my way to serve powerfully, I felt a deep sense of gratitude and alignment with everything I believe in. I am no longer searching for who I am, how to find my place in the world, and questioning whether my gifts are valuable. I’m also not cutting off parts of myself in an effort to fit in or to play the game according to someone else’s rules. The sense of helpless, fruitless flailing in my marketing efforts is gone.
I almost gave up. Many times. I stuck with it because my commitment was bigger than my fear. Looking back, I’m amazed at how many courses and workshops don’t emphasize this foundational piece of understanding your gift, because without knowing who you are as a practitioner, how can you tell it to others? My deepest desire is to save you lots of time by offering my coaching programs to you, so that you can do the work you were meant to do and have a sustainable, thriving, satisfying business and life.
Onward to your empowered life and realized vision!