“Who am I?"
That question can be so complex…but my answer is very simple: I am a soul having a human experience. I am also a mentor, healer, humanitarian, and poet. Before I go any further, I want to take a moment to introduce myself to you in a more intimate way, so that you can decide if we vibe.
Let’s go back to the beginning…
While growing up I was the black sheep in my family. My parents split up by the time I had turned two, and I lived with my mother and grandparents until the age of six. Those years were the best! Life, however, took a different turn for me by the time I had turned seven. My mother remarried, and we moved out of my grandparents home into a small apartment in town. From then on my home life was unpredictable, unstable, and emotionally unhealthy. I never felt like I “fit-in”...with my family members, or with the other kids at school. I was a shy, wildly creative, tall, lanky, left-handed, dorky little girl who had challenges feeling comfortable in her own skin.
I had those challenges because somewhere along the way, someone told me I was “weird” or “too intense”...or maybe I was shamed by a teacher for expressing my creativity while in class…and I internalized their judgments. I experienced abuse as a child and had a hard time forming emotional connections with others as a result. By the age of 10, I experienced the sudden death of my grandfather, who was more like a father to me. This devastated me, and from the impact of that experience plus the unstable home environment, I developed unhealthy coping mechanisms. I was taken to a child psychiatrist where I was diagnosed with obsessive compulsive disorder and was put on medication. A few years later, at the young age of 14, I went through some extremely challenging and devastating experiences. What came after were very dark years. The internalization of the projections from others led to a lot of rebellious behavior in my adolescent years. Rebellion, along with soul-abandonment; I abandoned my passions, my creativity, and all the things that lit my soul on fire. The repressed creativity and denial of my essence brought about a lot of pain…
Little Me, Circa 1988
teenage me, circa 1999
Pain that I carried around, unconsciously for many, many years. In my adult years I struggled with severe anxiety, panic attacks, and bouts of depression. By the time I turned 20, I fell pregnant and dropped out of college. I became the embodiment of shame when my family found out. I went through that pregnancy very alone, and scared…but I got through it. By the time I was 25, I was in a very unhealthy marriage with two small children, living in a brand new house, and I thought: “I can’t believe this is my life!” Although my marriage was unstable, I felt that I had finally found my place in life.
In the years that followed, I divorced, remarried, and made more poor choices…
Grief and loss joined my story once again in 2013 and I struggled to cope with extreme grief after losing my first baby. I turned to mind altering substances to avoid feeling the grief. I was emotionally numb. I wore many egoic “masks” to cover up the low self-esteem that I carried around. I was extremely materialistic in my 20’s, and my ego was the driving force in my life. Working in the medical aesthetic industry, I was absorbed by vanity. I was seeking people, places, and things outside of myself to try and fill the void inside my soul. It was never enough, and I was in so much pain. BUT-you know what they say....pain can be a powerful motivator, and one of our greatest teachers.
materialistic me, circa 2012
My tragedies turned to triumphs once I committed to deep, internal change.
I don’t really remember exactly when it happened but eventually, the pain of denial became so unbearable that I felt I had no other choice but to surrender, and I chose to begin the healing process. I chose to take responsibility for my poor choices. I chose to explore myself, and I began to honor those parts of me that had been rejected so many years ago. I tried therapy, alternative/holistic healing methods, explored my spirituality, and did intensive 1:1 work with two different incredible mentors. There were many times when I would literally find myself sobbing, my arms wrapped around my chest, giving myself back all the love that little Monika was crying out for. And let me tell you, I’m SO grateful for the truth. The truth being that I am an expression of love and that I am perfect, exactly as I am. I’m so grateful to be free from the chains of guilt and shame that I carried around my whole life.
I decided to leave behind my career in the medical aesthetic industry. It no longer aligned with who I was becoming. It took me a few more years to fully sever ties with my old career before I could go full time in my private practice.
I founded my practice, Heartcore Coaching, in 2016 after experiencing my own inner transformation. At first, I was immersed in Reiki and as a Reiki Master Teacher, the bulk of my practice was focused on energy healing. I pivoted in my healing business and stepped into trauma recovery coaching fully in 2018, and have since had the pleasure of coaching 100+ of men and women from all over the world.
My trauma-trained background is vast.
In the past, I’ve worked as a court appointed special advocate for children in the system who’ve experienced abuse and neglect. I presently hold a position as the Director of Trauma-Informed Wellness for the Peer Institute for Family Success, a national non-profit dedicated to empowering families with the resources and tools they need to be successful. When I discovered IFS parts work in 2019, my recovery process transformed even further and I developed a deeper understanding of my true Self. I knew right then, that parts work was what I wanted to practice for the rest of my life.
When I discovered IFS parts work in 2019, my recovery process transformed even further and I developed a deeper understanding of my true Self. I knew right then, that parts work was what I wanted to practice for the rest of my life.
I furthered my studies to include training in the IFS Therapeutic Model for Trauma Recovery.
I strive to provide a compassionate, understanding and safe space for my clients to unpack their past traumas and losses so they can move forward in life and begin to thrive in the present moment.
I believe that every trauma and loss survivor has the power within to heal and thrive after trauma, grief and loss. I believe that you can become your own most powerful recovery coach.
Recovery Me, Circa 2021
My clients are people who are seeking guidance with their own healing process, whether that be healing from any degree of trauma, baby loss, processing grief, childhood trauma, secondary adult trauma, or a combination of all of the above. Although my specialty is in treating trauma and healing traumatic loss, my practice is multi-disciplinary. For that reason I also offer a few joint offerings that my partner and I have developed over the years to help traumatized individuals in other areas of life, both personal and professional.
My methods of coaching and healing are very unique, organic and personalized. While I do not solve your problems, I will hold you accountable to a plan of action that is designed with your success in mind.
Each modality that I’ve discovered and put into practice is a gift that continues to bring unlimited joy and peace into the lives of my clients. They have opened up space for deep, authentic and soulful connections.
My hope, is that you too, can experience the spiritual freedom that comes forward once you step into your power, come home to your Self, and HEAL.
It is my honor and privilege to be of service to you.