“I hope they come away feeling empowered to quiet down the external and refocus on the internal—because all the answers are already there.”
Despite unquestionable success in certain aspects of life, some women still experience deep-seated self-doubt and struggle to let go of painful past experiences that have held them captive for years. The powerful urge to avoid confronting past trauma can impact our lives in unexpected ways and without proper healing, prevent the things we most want—such as love or purpose—from entering our lives.
For author, speaker and coach Dr. Chanel F. DeGuzman, it wasn’t until she began working with a coach, that she finally started to free herself from her past and open her life up to even greater things. Until that point, in spite of her academic accomplishments (including earning two master’s degrees concurrently before moving on to her doctorate), she had always felt as if she was trying to outrun her childhood trauma.
In our recent conversation, Dr. DeGuzman delved into the importance of freeing ourselves from the past, her own transformational experience through coaching, and what she hopes others take away from her book Come Back To Yourself: Love Life, Live Free.
Healing from Past Trauma
Dr. DeGuzman’s journey to healing has given her deep compassion for those who struggle with letting go of their own trauma. “I was on the run for most of my high school, college and young adult life trying to outpace trauma from a sexual abuse experience in childhood,” she explains. Consequently, much of her time was spent in traditional therapy during her young adult life and college career.
She credits therapy for helping her sustain but says it wasn’t until she began working with a coach that she truly began to heal. “For me, 100% without a doubt, I am where I am—fully empowered—because I had a coach. The transformational coaching allowed me to do the deep inner work needed to heal past wounds and find forgiveness.”
Her personal journey to that point and her work to overcome her past would later serve as the inspiration for her book.
“I had a lot of experiences I was able to overcome, and I wanted to share my journey to help other women stop running and regain their own power. It is possible to free yourself up so you can really put your power into your purpose versus having it diminished because you’re still carrying around all that hurt, disappointment and sadness.”
Dr. DeGuzman’s book seeks to guide women in releasing what’s holding them back and embracing forgiveness to attract the things they want from life—such as love, purpose and impact.
Everything You Need Is Already There
When asked what she hopes others come away with after reading her book, she said it’s important to know that everything you need already resides within.
“Growing up, I was told you have everything inside you to be successful, and I always got frustrated hearing that because I didn’t know what the heck they were talking about. Now, I understand. God has already equipped us with power, love, joy, peace, and everything is there for you to let your light shine. What happens is, we let the outside world start to shape and mold and influence us, but you can come back, you don’t have to do all of the racing that I did to get to where you really want to be.”
What she discovered and what she hopes to help others discover is that sometimes it’s necessary to venture into the unfamiliar in order to grow.
“There’s a quote I like that says, ‘You can’t be who God called you to be and still keep all the same friends and habits. Elevation requires isolation.’ So, in order to go to the next level, we need to move away from the familiar and separate ourselves. Isolation and stillness are where you can find the guidance needed for the next leg of your journey.”
Dr. DeGuzman has been coaching clients for more than 10 years now. She says seeing women accomplish the personal and professional goals they set as part of their sessions is one of the most rewarding parts of her work.
She also gets immense joy out of being part of their breakthrough—a sign they are on their way to recovery and empowerment.
“When things come up during coaching that clients have been holding onto for a long time, it can be an emotional experience; there’s this flood of relief, tears, an emotional release–I can feel it, they can feel it, and it’s the most wonderful thing.”
For those interested in experiencing the benefits of coaching, Dr. DeGuzman offers a two-hour gifted coaching session that can be a very moving experience for clients. To learn more about gifted sessions or her coaching program, you can reach her at [email protected].
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