About Michelle

Michelle's Manifesto

I believe
we all have a unique purpose—a reason-for-being that guides us towards easier decisions and a more meaningful life. What is life without meaning?

I believe
that your personal values and heart-felt goals are not optional—if you are going to be fulfilled, they cannot be suppressed.

I believe
that sexism is real and it affects us all. It is but one of the many ‘isms’ that seek to tell us who we are and who we can become.

I believe
every one of us craves to be heard and deserves to be listened to.

I believe
there is always an opportunity for more: more perspective, more options, more love, more connection, more challenge, more freedom.

Most of all, I believe
women—aligned with purpose—will and already are changing the world.

This is why I coach:

Because I believe—no, I know—
that when we have someone to hold our vision and challenge our inner critic with love, we become master architects of our very best life.

About the name GreenLight

When I was in Hawaii, I learned about the GreenLight flash. It happens in those few moments when the sun sets and hits the ocean water. It’s stunning and in order to see it, you have to pay close attention. This is what I named my business after—an homage to the awareness that slowing down and being present are often the first catalyst toward uncovering your purpose.

Quick Facts about Michelle

I hold an MA in Organizational Psychology and am a certified coach (CPCC) through The Coaches Training Institute (CTI). I have dedicated my education and career to understanding psychology, group dynamics and communication.

I have worked with clients at corporations such as Apple, Google, Pinterest, Facebook, Uber, Adobe, Deloitte and Yahoo. I leverage my knowledge as an insider/outsider to serve these clients well.

I am a recovering Catholic. I was raised in a Irish Catholic family and though I identify as Spiritual, I am not Religious.

I grew up in Illinois, I am proud of my mid-western roots.

You can mostly find me reading books on Anti-Racism, Climate Crisis, Spirituality, Psychology, Emotional Intelligence, and Leadership. Fiction is something I strive to read more of.

I have a “photographic memory” when it comes to meaningful conversations. I will remember the conversation in full and all the details of the moment, including what you were wearing. Meanwhile, I cannot remember movies at all. I am notorious for starting a movie and part way in, realizing why it seems so familiar... I’ve seen it before.

I held a ten-year sales job at Dun and Bradstreet followed by five years in the Learning and Development Group at Deloitte. I get how corporations work and I understand the politics.

I did a two year training through the Matrix Leadership Institute and learned how to facilitate and lead through radical human interconnection. I have a deep love for leading and facilitating groups and CONNECTION is a core value!

I am a Momma with two kids — a daughter and a son. Motherhood has both kicked my ass and opened my heart.

A few of my favorite things, in no particular order: nature, camping, music, the ocean, meaningful conversation, spirituality and my loved ones.

My undergrad degree is in Anthropology. I love learning about different cultures. In hindsight, this started me as a coach. I love to connect the dots and chapters of life.

Our family dog growing up was a German Shepherd named Lyndy. I miss her.

I love to DANCE! I’ve been described as ‘BOUNCY’. I hear a good beat and I can’t help moving. Can you relate?

I love to laugh. Life is full of things that are serious. It’s a gift when we can see what’s not.

Laughing Photo

Michelle's story in detail

In 2003, I was sitting in a hotel room in Connecticut for my company’s national sales meeting crying on the phone to my best friend. “I hate this work. I hate my life. But I don’t know what to do. I feel STUCK, STUCK, STUCK!”

My friend— a coach at the time— said, “What do you feel is lacking in the corporate world?” 

My answer was immediate. “AUTHENTICITY AND CONNECTION.”

This was the catalyst for my transition towards purpose work. I call this moment the “Connecticut Conversation”. I referred to it often in the years that followed. It kept me motivated toward creating work that was more aligned with my heart and soul. 

I was raised in a working class family. Growing up, I was never told that work was something I could create or something that could be fun. The message was to take the work you found and be grateful for it. This was my family lineage—poor and working class Irish folk—and my parents, for all their greatness, didn’t move beyond that. Because I had no model for what I wanted, my path to purpose and empowerment was very deliberate. It took self-reflection, awareness and courage to grow outside the box. 

I was the first in my family to complete college. Once completed, I took an entry-level job at a fortune 500 company and I stayed there for 10 years. I was promoted twice within a couple of years. At first, the quick promotions and outside validation were affirming. But over time, that faded and a deeper desire surfaced—a calling began to emerge. The call became so persistent, that I couldn’t ignore it. I knew if I wanted to be free in my life, that I had to listen and start taking steps to align my work with my heart.

I started by connecting more deeply within. I had to transcend what my industry and my family lineage wanted for me. “What matters most?” was the question I lived by.

In order to answer this, I had to learn how to DREAM. I’m serious when I say that I really had no idea how to dream and envision what I wanted. Without dreaming there was no way I could architect a life that was deeply fulfilling and satisfying.

After years connecting with myself and gaining clarity, I started a Masters program in Organizational Psychology. At the same time I was getting my MA, I obtained my coaching certification (CPCC) from the world-renowned coaching school, The Coaches Training Institute (CTI).  During that time, I realized I had a deep love for leading and facilitating groups. I did a two-year training through the Matrix Leadership Institute and learned how to facilitate and lead through radical human interconnection. (Yes, CONNECTION is a core value!) 

As busy as I was between these programs and a full time job, this was my first experience of living my purpose. Because I LOVED what I was learning my energy was high, I was accomplishing a ton, and I had achieved a flow state. 

After I completed graduate school and while I was building my coaching practice, I worked on and off at one of the big four firms, Deloitte, in the Learning and Development group. It was a great working experience: a highly functional team, and constant exposure to an array of best practices for adult and virtual learning. These years at Deloitte, combined with my 10-year sales job at Dun and Bradstreet and my journey into organizational psychology, provided me with a crystal clear understanding of corporate politics, group dynamics and communication. Even though I live outside of corporate America, I know the game. I have had the privilege of working with clients at top corporations such as Apple, Google, Pinterest, Facebook, Uber, Adobe, and Yahoo. As an insider/outsider, I serve these clients well. 

Beyond my education and work experience, I have engaged in a significant amount of personal growth, AKA “living life training.” As part of my commitment to being conscious, sensitive, honest and deeply present, I have been sober for 25 years. I have completed the full curriculum at Landmark Education — far from perfect, but definitely life changing. This alone helped me see that so much of how we experience life is based on the perspective with which we choose to view the world and the choices we make in how we react to it.

Both my parents died suddenly—my Mom when I was 23 and my Dad when I was 41. I have learned a lot about GRIEF and loss. As Glennon Doyle always says, with love and support “we can do hard things.” I have been a peer counselor for over 17 years. This has showed me just how much each human craves to be heard and seen. 

Between peer counseling and coaching, I have listened for well over 10,000 hours. This time has sharpened my ability to hear beyond words—to listen between the lines and use my own intuition to reflect the essence of what someone is really trying to say.

People tell me intuitive listening is my superpower. 

Ready to GreenLight Your Life?

I offer a 45-minute complimentary GreenLight Your Life Consultation to those seriously wanting to take action toward purpose-driven work.

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