When people ask me what I do, I tell them. . .
I am a professional fairy godmother.
When they look perplexed or amused, I explain:
I help women take experiences from their lives and turn them into something that will encourage others in similar circumstances. Mostly, I'm a life coach and editor who knows how to breathe.
Every time I sit to write a biography, I never know where to start. Should it be when I was a naturopathic health consultant in the 1990s and saw clients struggle with mindset issues that prevented them from regaining their health? Should I talk about starting a newsletter when I was 17? Being a blogger years before 2008 when everyone else started? How about creating an online magazine that changed the whole trajectory of my life? Or what about my time as a stylist, fashion designer, and educator? Or when I finally got my life coaching certification? Or all things website and social media related that I've done? Oh, how about the lessons I learned from a brain injury that sidetracked my life?
It took me years, but I finally uncovered the golden thread in everything I've done:
I transform stories into hope.
From the client who is 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 the recipe 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.
My clients call me their fairy godmother. 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 are ready, we work together to share it with others.
I'm one of those women who has lived a thousand lives. As a survivor with a heart to help others, I've always tried to give back because I know what it feels like to be stuck and alone with no answers. My story is one that helps others find their path, mission, and calling to redeem the pain in their lives because that's what I've done over and over again in my own.
As a naturopathic health consultant in the late 1990s, I found many clients had mindsets and habits that caused or aggravated the illnesses that brought them to my office. When I transitioned to magazine editor, 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. Eventually I decided to combine my love of coaching, writing, and shamanic healing into working with women who want to transform lives. Many times those lives turn out to be their own and those they love.
I feel immortal in Internet years because I watched it evolve. 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 and I excel at developmental editing which I can use to help you craft a book, business, course, or coaching program. I created and published an online magazine for over 12 years. In addition to writing my own soon-to-be-published nonfiction work, I also helped develop and edit four nonfiction manuscripts since 2019, as well as two fiction works. I published my first author last month and am currently writing the companion cookbook. With daughters who are passionate about writing healthy romance, they are stretching my skills. I've never been into fiction, but I learn so much about storytelling from them that I always pay attention.
Every woman has unique experiences, skills, challenges, and desires. My passion is helping women gather the broken pieces of their lives to build a heart-centered, life story-based outreach that is a joy to them and those they serve. I love having a varied background to meet clients where they are and work with them to move forward. When I see what they build and how happy they are to find their passion, it makes me feel like a real fairy godmother.
Wrestling with My Story
There have been a couple of times I remember having an ugly cry with God. I was hurt, angry, and utterly frustrated by the events in my life. The pressing question: WHY HAS SO MUCH CRAP HAPPENED TO ME?! Especially when I always tried to do the right thing.
My parents came from large families. Being one of the youngest grandchildren, I watched the older kids get into trouble. I decided early on to be a Good Girl.
No drinking, smoking, sneaking around with boys. I would do my homework and get good grades. I would be a Christian every day of the week. Then I'd marry a good guy who loved Jesus. I wanted to be a real-life example of faithfulness and make a difference in the world.
My convictions and beliefs have matured since meeting Jesus at VBS in 1978. I've watched God answer prayers, guide me, open doors, and do miracles. But I've also lived through enough pain and unbelievable situations to scratch my head and wonder where things went so dreadfully wrong.
I knew God could, and does, turn the bad things in our lives into something beautiful. That said, it's one thing to know, it's another to genuinely believe it when you're trying to level a mountain with a teaspoon. It's also really easy to get lost in the forest when you're wandering among the trees.
Somewhere along the way I discovered things happen for me, not to me. When I got out of my own way and looked for the blessing in the curse, it changed me. It opened a world of possibility I had choked on until that moment.
When I started coaching again in 2018, I was finally able to redeem each painful experience. Every woman I work with, in one way or another, has lived through her own personal hell. I empathize with their hurt because I lived similar. I know what it feels like to be alone, wondering what to do next.
I also learned firsthand you can only see the biggest lessons after you've reached the other side. Without personally experiencing the turmoil and seeing resolution, I wouldn't be able to do what I do. My experiences, no matter how painful or frustrating, enable me to show the women I work with how to redeem their stories and help others.
I'm a firm believer God gives beauty for ashes, strength for fear, gladness for mourning and peace for despair... Isaiah 61:3 I have also learned each of us is here for such a time as this. Esther 4:14. I'm glad you found me when you did. 💕
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. In 2020, I acquired over 70 Continuing Education Credits in the area of life coaching. So far this year, I’ve completed 56 Continuing Education Credits in life coaching, as well as formal courses in naturopathy, sound healing, and other modalities.
Janel Guevara is part editor and part fairy godmother. As a certified life coach with a love of words, she uses practical steps and simple plans to empower women with the tools and training they need to transform their story into hope. With over 25 years of experience as a writer, educator, and the editor-in-chief of her own magazine, Janel loves to see women thrive. She uses experience and editorial magic to help women connect with the heart of their story, share their message, and make sure behind-the-scenes holds as much joy as their perfectly polished prose.
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.