Heart Stories : Cindy


Over a year ago, I realized that I had lost my sense of purpose and personal balance. For many months, I felt like the picture of the life I was leading was becoming more and more drab and distorted. Did I know I wanted to create a better life for myself? Definitely! Did I know how to get to that better life? Hardly! So, my search for a solution commenced. That’s when I crossed paths with DeAnza, an old friend I hadn’t had contact with for over 10 years. It was perfect timing.

Since DeAnza is as personable as she is professional, I knew my desire to discuss what was missing in my life was in capable and trustworthy hands. She guided me through exercises that revealed my talents, strengths, and interests. Instantly, I saw the disparity of where I was and where I wanted to be. It was no wonder that I was struggling! That’s where the LifePlan process came in. DeAnza and I worked as a team to set creative and manageable goals to help clarify the picture of who I wanted to be as a whole person, and how to get there.

At the end of our time together, my balance and purpose came to the forefront.  I didn’t realize it at the time, but the LifePlan was an impetus that set into motion a series of transformations in my life. Some hopes came to fruition only months after our meeting. Other goals that I formerly thought were unrealistic to consider came to pass later.


 I can’t think of anyone I would rather go through this process with than DeAnza. Focused, caring, and inventive, she offers encouragement while creating space for future growth. Nowadays, the picture of my life is so much more defined and colorful. I owe this relevant transformation to working with DeAnza. The LifePlan is a life changer!


Heart Stories : Clara

When I first heard about the LifePlan process, I honestly wasn’t sure what to think. As a Human Resources professional, I’ve seen more than my share of professional assessment/ personal inventory tools and programs come and go. Most of them have a few great kernels of substance, but largely consist of fillers and sawdust. I was willing to give it a shot because sometimes, those few kernels of substance are worth it and because I know DeAnza to be a person of great personal integrity. I thought to myself that if it was something she was investing in, I might get a better than average substance to filler ratio. I couldn’t have been more wrong.

This process takes the idea of assessment and inventory to a whole new level. When I started this process, I thought I was on the right path. I’d found a career that fit my skill-set, and felt like a match with my moral compass. On paper, everything made sense, looked great, and seemed like the job I was in was a step in the ‘right direction’. I remember thinking that just because the ‘right direction’ still hadn’t really revealed itself to me and lacked clarity, I was surely doing all of the right things to get myself ‘there’, where ever ‘there’ was. I’ve always relied on my moral compass to call the shots and I’ve always assumed that I just wasn’t one of those people who was lucky enough to be born with a calling. What I learned was that a compass is a great tool, but if you don’t have a map, you still end up wandering the desert looking for water.

The Paterson LifePlan process drew my map. It gave me the terrain, charted the geography, and gave me a sense of my destination. By walking me through the decisions I’d made, the ground I’ve already covered, and the general direction I’ve always  been heading, it gave me a road map to where I need to be. My job at that time looked great on paper, but it still wasn’t right. The LifePlan process showed me that by moving a little to the left and again to the right, I could easily get on the highway and on my way to a destination that became extremely clear.

Having a map to go with my compass gave me the confidence to take a leap and go for a job that I probably wouldn’t have gone for before, because I wouldn’t have seen how it fit with my direction. I am now in a position that is a great fit, going toward something that not only compliments my abilities, but also will allow me to be in a position to maximize the things I’m best at for the greater good. I can say that with confidence now, and that’s an amazing feeling. I couldn’t have done this without DeAnza’s patience and steady guiding hand. She’s a great companion to have on this journey and I’m so grateful to have had a chance to work with her. I can’t recommend the LifePlan enough. No filler, all substance.


Heart Stories : Jess

Before I participated in my LifePlan, I felt lost, alone and very discouraged with where I was in my life. I felt like I had little to offer the people around me, like I was “faking it” and hoping that no one could see the pain and confusion I was feeling in almost every area of my life. When I was able to participate in my LifePlan, I felt relief and a little apprehension – I didn’t know what to expect or what I was going to take away from the experience. Going through the pre-work was more painful than I had anticipated. It really forced me to be completely honest with myself and look at areas that I knew were suffering and needed my attention.

When I first met DeAnza over breakfast, I felt an immediate connection. It was like she and I were destined to meet at some point in our lives and the timing could not have been more perfect! She was nothing but caring and attentive, asking questions in a way that made me feel safe and comfortable.

Through the entire LifePlan process, I felt empowered. I was with someone and in a space that was safe and  where I could be completely honest and open about who I was. I didn’t have to pretend or fake with DeAnza during the process. It was so freeing!

The LifePlan process helped me to truly realize what my ultimate purpose was – a purpose I knew was always there but that I had turned away from in attempts to make others accept me. I no longer feel like I have to deny who I am, what I want and what my purpose is. I have clarity, passion and drive to meet my Action Initiatives, to achieve my goals and to be proud what makes me ME!

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It was incredible to see my life on paper – standing in a room with my life literally hanging on walls was a truly unique experience. My favorite part of the LifePlan process was defining my purpose – taking words that I have said about who I am and what I want and pulling it all together was a once in a lifetime feeling.

I have achieved more than I anticipated since my LifePlan, both professionally and personally, and am proud of progress I have made since my time with DeAnza. I know that without going through my LifePlan, I would be at my one of my lowest points with little idea of what my next step would be. But, because of my LifePlan, I have clarity with who I am, what I am made to do and have steps for accomplish my goals while leaving a worthwhile legacy.