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 knew it was my destiny at seventeen years old but I had no idea how to accomplish it, or create the life I wanted to live.
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. I learned the hard way that having another conversation about what to eat for dinner wouldn't work.
When I transitioned to magazine editor in 1998, I found myself in a different kind of consultant role. Women came to me for advice and insight on how to make their words mean something. At many of my editorial critiques and sessions, I did more listening and encouraging than editing. After awhile, I realized how many writers bleed words onto the page from deep unrest in their souls. Well, at least the ones that found me.
Although I stopped health consultations long before 2001, I discovered my missing piece that year: life coaching. I knew the tools I 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! I had missed it.
In 2003, a heavenly nudge started a chain reaction in my life. God began to answer decade-old prayer requests but I didn't understand what I was seeing. All I felt was the pain and despair of change. The next ten years would be a tornado of events that ripped down the very foundation of everything I believed about my life and everyone in it. It would be my faith and the principles I learned in my professional life that kept me going.
So what happened? Two cross-country moves in two years. The loss of a fifteen year friendship. My mother required critical brain surgery in spite of life-threatening complications. An auto accident left me with permanent brain damage and stole my ability to write. My father-in-law died and my mother-in-law with Alzheimer's came to live with our family. At one of the lowest points in my life, my ex-husband showed me who he really was and it was not the godly Christian scholar he led me to believe. By 2013, I was decimated emotionally and on my way to divorce after twenty-two years of marriage.
The last decade has been all about learning what I needed to know to recover from the first forty years of my life. I devoted a big part to healing, doing what it took to write again, searching for tools and gaining skills to coach more effectively, and last but not least, transforming into the me I've always been but wasn't allowed to become. It's been a journey. Eventually, I decided to combine my love of writing, coaching, and integrated mind-body healing to work with women who lived through hell and are still struggling on some level, but still want to inspire others with their story.
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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 that era of my life.
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 cheer when they discover 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 share tools for the journey, offer unique perspectives, brainstorm solutions, 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.
Sometimes 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.
K i n d W o r d s from C l i e n t s
Kristin Emily Friend
My hour with Janel was above and beyond anything I ever expected. She had gone over all the information I had given her, checked out some of my social media, and came extremely well prepared to make the most of our time together. We connected, laughed, had fun AND I left knowing my next step towards the goal I had identified to her beforehand.
Janel was the perfect coach for me. Her insights, curious questions, and encouragement helped me dig long and hard after our meeting to discover the "Golden Thread" woven through the four topics I write on, the thread which connects them together. My heart overflows with thankfulness for the gems she helped me uncover. Thank you! I wholeheartedly recommend Janel as a coach.
I was traumatized by writing in high school. I could never fluff a story to reach the required page limit. Though throughout college and my career, I found out I was pretty good at writing technical and scientific papers.
As I began my entrepreneurial venture, I really started doubting my ability to write. I vividly remembered how horrible I was at writing stories in my younger years. Writers' block prevented me from moving forward.
A coaching session with Janel was all I needed to get over the hump. She knew how to motivate me, encourage me and, of course, provided some really sound tips. She showed me I could write after all!
From the very first day, Janel magically became a part of my journey. It has been filled with so much passion, inspiration, motivation, and joy! Not only have I received an abundance of knowledge and guidance on the ways of the coaching world, but have also gained so many important life lessons. I will continue to them pass along, to cherish, and hold them in my heart forever.
However, I will say that overall, the very, very best thing I gained with this experience was a true, real life fairy godmother. Janel truly has many skills and tricks up her sleeve. It was her magic touch that helped me turn my ideas, mind maps, and many random late-night ideas scribbled sleepily on napkins–what looks like a complete mess of randomness–into a complete and organized(!) work of art! That’s exactly what happened as she helped me put together my 12-week trauma informed coaching program. All while she made it look so effortless with a sense of grace, love, and of course, a bit of sparkle!
I so enjoyed working with Janel!
She was professional, yet personable.
She did a wonderful job editing my book proposal and sample chapters to meet my deadline. She also created a lovely one page for me, helped with my website and email list.
Janel also taught me how to be a better writer.
I am forever indebted to Janel and her expertise. It was a blessing to find her and work with her!
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 emergency 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 helped client after client as a health consultant, but 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 behaviors 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. 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.
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As I pursued my life coach training, I began to understand the patterns I saw in clients and writers through the years. The people who came to me for health consulting in the 1990s struggled because they appeared to be stuck in a fixed mindset. I couldn't get some of them to understand how thoughts and habits can radically affect our physical bodies, or the necessity of being open to try new things. Later, I noticed similar behaviors in the writers I worked with at my magazine.
Then there were times a client agreed they needed change, but repeatedly failed to make those changes after committing to them. I began to wonder why. Nothing I learned prepared me to support or motivate them. And it didn't feel right just to encouraged them to keep trying until they found the thing that helped.
Years later, I became well acquainted with my own issues regarding change and mindset after a permanent brain injury. I still had vision and goals and want-to, I just couldn't force myself to implement what I needed to accomplish them. I didn't know what happened and couldn't fix it with stubborn persistence and sheer willpower. I finally came to realize how neurodivergence, covert abuse, and trauma affect our ability to transform the frustrating parts of our life.
I still work with the whole client, but my approach is targeted for the issues that plague content creators who struggle to identify their message and connect with their audience. Sometimes it isn't the mechanics of storytelling or building a platform that hinders writers. The things that keep women from sharing their story are more about not understanding what really happened to them and using the wrong approach to get things done. 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 to help with their homework.
My Coaching Values
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 from another perspective encourages us make different choices in the future. When we're ready, we can share those lessons with others.
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. When we are able to glimpse what others observe, while respecting our own opinions and feelings, we gain building blocks that will transform our life.
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.
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. Knowing and understanding why we believe what we do is more important than associating with a specific group or organized belief system. Spiritual abuse is real and insidious. It steals our hope, and sometimes, our faith, leaving us feeling betrayed by the very source we believed would save us. Often, people masquerading as righteous messengers of God are the origin of our confusion and disappointment. Like Jesus healing nine blind men nine different ways, when we are ready, He meets us where we are to answer our questions, reveal Himself to us, and heal our soul. 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 into toxic, cult-like organizations.
As women, we need to embrace the rich history of femininity and allow it to permeate everything we create. Each human is a beautiful blend of masculine and feminine traits no matter what their genitals indicate. As women, it's time we shamelessly bring our intuition, spontaneousness, vulnerability, nurturing and community building skills into our story. Women tirelessly worked behind-the-scenes for centuries to provide the best for those they love. It's time we find our voice and let the world know our approach might be different, but it is far from inconsequential.
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 after the fear of the unfamiliar wears off. Finally like ourselves. Some of us, for the first time. It’s only then, after considering who we are, 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 therapist, I actively participate in various programs to expand my knowledge and understanding. I graduated in 1994 with a traditional Doctor of Naturopathy degree from a school that no longer exists. Since 2020, I've acquired over 225 Continuing Education Credits in the area of life coaching. I also completed other accredited courses to refresh and expand my education in naturopathy, reiki, sound healing, art and music therapy, EFT and TFT tapping, hand mudras, and other holistic modalities. I have specialized training in trauma and neurodivergent awareness. I'm also certified in 17 coaching niches that include ADHD and managing executive function, along with advanced master life coaching, workshop facilitation, yoga and belly dancing. I use a unique blend of each to support my clients.
Please Note: While many of my certifications are accredited through third party organizations, I am not a licensed mental health or medical professional. I do not diagnose, treat, or cure any disease or ailment. All information I provide is for educational purposes only. While I’m happy to share what I know, my process is not a substitute for appropriately licensed mental health or medical care. Check with your health care team before making health-related changes. I reserve the right to terminate any coaching session or program participation where I feel uncomfortable with the emotional state of the client or way they wish to tell their story.
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.