WOMEN IN CHARGE: MEET DESIREE MAYA, Co-Founder Blissful Fortitude, Certified Coach and Mentor
What inspired you to become a personal coach and mentor?
Eleven years ago at 26 years old, as part of my role as a consulting manager, I started coaching consultants on achieving their performance goals and providing mentorship to emerging leaders. I noticed that the most fulfilling parts of our conversations were much bigger than career goals. It was the tough topics of relationships, purpose, change, and transition that deeply intrigued me. I was inspired by their stories of resilience and overcoming difficulties and roadblocks. As a result, I decided to immerse myself in a coaching program in 2016 to become an International Coach Federation (ICF) Certified Coach. When my high school counselor told me I was destined to help people, I now know this was how. Today, it is a privilege that I get to coach and mentor amazing individuals to transform into the phenomenal humans they're destined to be by helping to unlock the magic within them and eliminate the old stories they've held on to.
"I saw all my friends growing up with their dads celebrating life's greatest moments and felt a hole in my heart."
"I struggled with alcoholism and infidelity in my marriage."
We've all had challenges in our lives. Would you share what those setbacks were that fueled you to fully embrace your own self-worth?
My father died when I was 9 years old. He had a stroke and despite his fighting spirit, after brain surgery, a blood clot developed and he did not make it. I was devastated. As an immigrant to America from the Philippines who established himself as a dedicated servant in the US Army and an accomplished insurance broker, he inspired me with his incessant drive. I saw all my friends growing up with their dads celebrating life's greatest moments and felt a hole in my heart. He has never been replaced, but his spirit has been the fuel to every tough decision I have ever made in my life. I ask myself what advice he'd give me if he were here and his grace guides me.
The other major disappointment I experienced was getting a divorce at a young age. I was juggling a new marriage and a blossoming career. I lacked work-life balance and struggled to deal with infidelity and alcoholism in my marriage. I made the decision to walk away from a 10 year relationship. I had no earthly clue what I would do next including not knowing where I was going to live and did not even have a vehicle. I battled self-worth, self-confidence, and achieving joy. When I picked up the pieces to my life, I found empowerment in healing, renewing, and self-discovery. I am not my past stories, but they've helped me to embrace my worth and be grateful for the blessings along my journey.
What’s the most common hindrance that you observe that holds women back from fulfilling their dreams?
Fear and self-limiting beliefs. I work with women of all ages and backgrounds and these themes are dominant. Examples that often come up are fear of not being enough, fear of the unknown, fear of failure, fear of rejection, and the belief of not being worthy of their dreams, usually attached to a past experience. Much of the work that I do is around shifting the mindset from scarcity to abundance (lack to possibility) and breaking through old behaviors and patterns that are no longer serving them.
"I want to grow a massive community of non-judgement where women can feel safe, vulnerable..."
As the co-host of the successful podcast Bliss Beyond Fear, what do you hope to achieve through this platform?
My hope is that we help women all over the world to have confidence, embrace their worth, and find their joy. Ginamarie and I strive to grow a massive community of non-judgment where women can feel safe, vulnerable, and empowered to be exactly who they are. We also aim to illuminate what having a healthy circle around you can do; we want women to be surrounded by SAVERs - those who support, align, value-add, elevate, and rise with them. We welcome questions if anyone is struggling through something that they want us to address on our podcast. We can be reached at 1-833-MY-BLISS (692-5477) or firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our site at www.blissfulfortitude.com
What advice would you give other women to inspire them during these uncertain times -- that “it’s still okay” to step into their greatness?
I would say that now more than ever is time to step out and be fierce in the pursuit of possibility and opportunity. It is during uncertain times that the world needs leadership. Leadership means stepping up and showing up to bring your gifts and talents to the world. Not only will leaning into your magic fill up your soul, but I guarantee it will positively impact the world around you. Have faith, believe in yourself, trust the process, and take action despite any fears. If you do, the pay off will be blissful fortitude.
"Fill up your tank first"
Last question! Would you share a few simple daily rituals we can incorporate for a more intentional work/self-care balance?
Fill up your tank first. Yes, this may mean you have to reconsider the time that you wake up or what you schedule first thing in the morning. Don't dive directly into emails, social media, and doing things for others (I know how hard this may feel!) That may be saying daily affirmations, meditation, exercise, listening to a podcast, writing in your journal (e.g., what you're grateful for), or reading a chapter or two of a book.
Consider setting a few alarms in your phone - one or two that have specific affirmations and one that reminds you to get up and move, especially if you're sitting a lot throughout the day. For example, I have a morning alarm that reminds me I am a mission driven messenger, a mid-morning alarm that reminds me I am enough, and an afternoon alarm that reminds me the universe supports me and it's time to take a few minutes to move so I can better manage my state. These are simple activities that can make a big difference in your day!