I turn train-dodging, lemonade experts into fairy godmothers.
My mission and passion is supporting women as they gather the broken pieces of their lives to become a guiding light for others wrestling situations they once survived.
These women aren't Cinderella. Instead, when help never arrived, they became their own fairy godmother. Strong. Brave. Wise. And magical. I show them how to wear their wings proudly.
I teach these beautiful women about the things they can discover in the long-hidden details of their story. Then we redeem those parts and set their wisdom free. When they are ready, they can use their story to encourage others. We spread hope that transforms.
I'm one of those women who has lived a thousand lives. As a survivor with a heart to help and support others, I try to give back because I know what it feels like to be stuck and alone with no answers. My story is messy but I've always felt compelled to help others find their path, mission, and calling to redeem the pain in their lives. I do it because that's what I've done over and over again in my own life.
I was so excited to graduate with my Doctor of Naturopathy degree in 1994. I thought I finally had the tools to make a difference in the lives of those, like me, who had been disappointed by traditional medicine. As I consulted clients, I was perplexed to find many had mindsets and habits that caused or aggravated the illnesses that brought them to my office. I wasn't prepared for that. I needed a way to dive deeper and help them understand. Because having another conversation about what to eat for dinner hadn't work the first three times.
It wouldn't be until 2001 that I found the missing piece. Life coaching. Although I had "retired" from health consulting, I knew the tools I accidently stumbled upon would give me the ability to step back and show others how to look at their life as a whole being. It was so simple! And I had missed it.
When I transitioned to magazine editor in 1998, women came to me for advice and insight about life and their story. At many of my editorial critiques and sessions, I did more life coaching than editing. After awhile, I realized how many writers bled words onto the page from deep unrest in their souls. Well, at least the ones that found me. Eventually, I decided to combine my love of writing, coaching, and integrated mind-body healing to work with women who lived through hell and want to inspire others with their story.
+ + +
I feel immortal in Internet years because I watched it evolve before my eyes. I dove into online entrepreneurship in 1998. From building and maintaining websites to copywriting, graphic design, and crafting business plans, I've tackled every aspect. I have a laundry list of lessons from the journey.
As an author and editor, my writing expertise is nonfiction. I excel at developmental editing which I can use to help you craft a book, business, course, or coaching program. I've also done quite a bit of ghostwriting to show clients how to improve their content.
I created and published an online magazine for over 12 years. In addition to writing several soon-to-be-published works, I also helped develop and edit five nonfiction manuscripts since 2019, as well as three fiction works. Although it's currently out of print due to circumstances beyond my control, I launched my first book as a publisher in August 2021.
With daughters passionate about writing healthy romance, they stretch my skills. I've never been one to write fiction, but I learn so much about storytelling from them that I always pay attention. Our brainstorming sessions, where we tackle plot holes, character development, and maddening little details that make or break a story, are some of my favorite times. You can get a peek into the process we use and behind-the-scenes mischief on our podcast: Transform Your Story.
My middle daughter and co-host, Melinda, has an eye for relationships and uses it to offer developmental editing for romance writers. You can find out more about her and the programs and packages she offers at www.wordswithmel.com
My youngest, Ariana, is a writer and artist honing her skills, and deciding what the future holds while she completes her first novel. She is a regular guest. You can find her art on Instagram at @evonyaelyn
Every Woman is Unique
Each woman has unique experiences, skills, challenges, and desires. From the client discouraged about everything in her life . . . to the new author or fledgling coach feeling insecure . . . to redeeming the painful stories women have brought me for more than two decades . . . I see lemons and share recipes I created for lemonade, shake out the silver lining, and walk with women to the end of the tunnel, where the light is brighter than their wildest dreams—and there isn't a train in sight.
I love having a varied background to meet clients where they are and work with them to move forward. I help them brainstorm solutions to problems, share tools for the journey, offer unique perspectives, and help them organize chaos into the vision they always had but didn't know how to create. Whether they are writing a book, creating a coaching program or podcast, launching a business, or simply trying to put their life back together, I encourage them to find the hope in their story. When they're ready, we work together to share it with others.
When I ask an unexpected question or offer an out-of-the-box perspective that could transform a problem, clients will actually say, "Oh my goodness! You really are a fairy godmother!" I think it's the sweetest compliment. When I see what they build and how happy they are to find redemption, it makes me feel like a real fairy godmother.
A holistic what?
I consider myself a holistic life coach because I use naturopathic principles in my work.
The foundations of naturopathic medicine teach if we provide the body with the right combination of rest, hydration, nutrition, movement, and a growth mindset, in many cases, it will heal itself of organic illness with little to no intervention. A problem can be physical, mental, or spiritual, but usually, it's some combination of the three. Finding the origin is critical because, even in traditional medicine, if you pursue solutions for the wrong problem, you'll end up with no change or additional issues.
Writers and content creators struggle in the same mind-body-spirit kind of way. Only the symptoms are different. My focus is teaching clients to dig deeper and uncover the root issues that keep them stuck in their story.
I wrestled to make sense of my situation for years. I had helped client after client as a health consultant, but I felt like a failure because I couldn't identify my own health issues. I tried everything I could get my hands on. I learned a lot, but nothing seemed to fix the problems I had. It wasn't until a pastor pointed out the abusive behavior he witnessed in my ex-husband that I was finally able to realized why.
After I left that toxic marriage, I began to understand my ability to step back and see the bigger picture in the stories others shared with me, often intuitively. Then I understood why I hadn't been able to do it for myself. Now as a coach, I use what I've learned to target questions that help those I work with discover the what, how, and oh my lurking in their shadows. Then I use a blended approach to support them as they create simple plans with realistic steps that will transform their story.
+ + +
As I pursued my life coach training, I started to understand the patterns I saw that caused my health consulting clients to struggle in the 1990s. Much of it was being stuck in a fixed mindset. They didn't seem to understand how thoughts and habits can radically affect our physical bodies.
When clients repeatedly failed to make changes after committing to them, I began to wonder why. Years later, I became well acquainted with my own issues regarding change and mindset after a permanent brain injury. That's when I realized how neurodivergence and trauma affect our ability to make genuine change. I still work with the whole client, but my approach is targeted for the women who know there is power in their story.
Many women who lived through difficult situations struggle with healthy self-care and trusting themselves and their judgment. I focus on teaching clients what it takes to rebuild each. It's easier to unpack the details of our stories when we're not exhausted and overwhelmed. When I shifted my approach and applied it in my own life, magic happened before my eyes.
Sometimes the things that keep women from sharing their story are more about unresolved experiences from their past than it is about the actual mechanics of storytelling or building a platform to connect with their audience. That's where my holistic training kicks in. I step back, help clients look at the bigger picture, and then give them the tools to dig deep and get the answers they need. Sometimes, it means encouraging them to find a licensed mental health provider that they can trust.
My Coaching Values
Our physical, mental, and spiritual health effect everything in our lives. We're not just eyeballs, unruly emotions, and a desire to connect with God. We are complex beings. We have needs, wants, dreams, and desires. If something is off in one area of our life, it will affect every other area too. For those of us with some type of neurodivergence, including subclinical or undiagnosed, navigating "normal life" requires extra layers of considerations and skills for us to find our place in society and soul-level peace.
You can transform your story. The rough patches in our life and the wisdom we've learned from them can become a comfort as we begin to look at the events with new eyes. Seeing old events in a new light encourages us make different choices in the future. When we're ready, we can share those lessons with others. As we begin to do that, we bring transformation to both ourselves and our audience.
Perspective is powerful. Each of us looks at the world through the lens of our experiences, connections, emotions, logic, and faith. When we step back to genuinely examine a problem, circumstance, or event seeking to understand what others may see, think, feel, or experience, we open a door to a fuller understanding that can become a gateway to hope and healing. Few things in life are absolute. Most are a hazy shade of gray that changes with new information or taking two steps forward to get a better look. When we are able to glimpse what others observe, while respecting our own opinions, we can build bridges so everyone feels seen and heard.
Each of us possess a unique voice. It takes confidence to become comfortable with our stories and how to tell them. When we begin to take notes on the details and uncover our medium, whether it's writing, podcasting, coaching, or another way, our stories will come alive in a way that only we can share them.
Embrace our mission in life as one of our highest callings. Each one of us has unique experiences and skills. When we combine them with our desires, passions, and dreams, we bring an amazing offering to the world. As we step up to claim it, something beautiful shifts inside us.
Faith is redeemable and the foundation of our lives. Everyone has faith in something or someone. Understanding why we believe what we do is more important than associating with a specific group or organized belief system. Even after experiencing spiritual abuse most of my life, my relationship with God is the source of my hope and mission. I never lost my faith, but I did feel betrayed. It turned out that people masquerading as righteous, not God, were the source of my confusion and disappointment. Like Jesus healing nine blind men nine different ways, when we are ready, He meets us where we are and walks with us through life. While there is no formula to grow our faith, there are principles we can use to rebuild and deepen our connection to what we believe without getting sucked back into toxic, cult-like organizations.
As women, femininity permeates everything we create. Each human should be a balance of masculine and feminine traits. But as women, it's time we shamelessly bring our intuition, spontaneousness, vulnerability, nurturing and community building skills into our story. Women silently held the world together behind-the-scenes for centuries. It's time we find our voice and let the world know we are here.
Embracing the idea of Abundant Life begins to feel like someone sprinkled Happily Ever After dust on the raw parts of our life. Happily Ever After isn't perfect—especially after the hell most of us experienced. Healing takes time and can be so hard. But as we create new habits and establish healing patterns, we begin to feel authentic. Finally like ourselves. Some of us, for the first time. It’s only then, after considering what we want and who we want to build it with, that our dreams and desires become attainable. Suddenly, life begins to feel lighter and easier. And abundant, like Jesus promised.
Growth & Development
I take personal growth and development seriously. Not only do I have my own coach and actively participate in various programs, each year I expand my education, both formally and independently. Since 2020, I've acquired over 200 Continuing Education Credits in the area of life coaching. I also completed courses to refresh and expand my education in trauma and neurodivergent awareness, naturopathy, sound healing, reiki, and other modalities. I'm currently certified in 15 coaching niches, along with advanced master life coaching, workshop facilitation, and belly dancing.
Janel Guevara is a certified life coach with a love of words and a background in naturopathic medicine. With over 25 years of experience as a writer, educator, and the editor-in-chief of her own magazine, Janel loves to help women thrive. She uses a holistic approach with simple plans and realistic steps to empower women with the tools and perspective they need to transform their story into hope. Her clients call her a real-life fairy godmother.
Janel lives in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, where the trees are moss covered, waterfalls run free, and the biggest bookstore in the country is a short drive across town. Whether puttering with all things domestic, planning Christmas in July, laughing a little too loud, or hiking through forests that feel like fairy tale scenes come to life, Janel lives happily ever after with the man she loves, countless shades of red lipstick, and an army of garden gnomes. Together they have seven adult children and a handful of adorable grandkids.