We had the good fortune of connecting with Lisa Taitelman and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Lisa, is there something that you feel is most responsible for your success?
I do not lead from the corner office or the top seat in a boardroom, instead I guide women through the coastal mountain ranges of the Santa Monica Mountains. I am the founder of the “Finding Your Trail” movement where I take groups of women into the wilderness where I facilitate their journey of self-discovery and personal growth. As the women progress through my weekly hiking program they abandon self-limiting beliefs and reinvent themselves to lead a life of joy and fulfillment. This was all Inspired by my own journey of self discovery through hiking after losing my mother to cancer, I truly believe I needed to find out what hiking had to teach me and that my mom led me down this path. I had to shout out to everyone I know how hiking healed me and how it became my moving therapy. Today, I am a transformational coach, aka Trailblazer and continue to educate and inspire women through the healing power of nature. While I’d raised two wonderful children and had a very happy marriage, I still could not shake the feeling that something was missing from my life. I wanted more and I felt I had more to contribute and so I began the quest to find my authentic voice as my kids grew older. I constantly felt the pull, or I like to call them “nudges” to make a difference, a ripple effect in this world and just took me a little longer than some people to find it! Several years ago, a friend suggested to me to become a health coach. The thought never really occurred to me. For me, my passion has always been the great outdoors and hiking, and through the years people kept telling me to be a tour guide. I kept pushing the nudge to the side to raise my kids, but still kept feeling it. Sometimes they were really loud that I just could not ignore them anymore. So, I went back to school to become a health coach at the age of 53. Although I have to say, It wasn’t all smooth sailing. In the early days of my holistic training and starting up my business I was consumed by a number of self-limiting beliefs. I was 53 years old and having been a stay-at-home mom for 19 years prior to that, I didn’t think anyone would take me seriously in my new venture as a health coach. I really struggled to trust and believe in myself. I was looking to others for their validation and opinions and this was all getting in the way of sending my personal message out into the world. I would say to myself, “stop comparing your beginning to someone else’s middle or end”. This is MY journey, my story and mine alone to share. So I started teach others with this mantra. AND, as soon as I started showing up as myself and speaking from the heart, I found it. I found my voice! And once I started to trust and believe in myself and listen to that voice, everything changed for me. In fact, things changed for others too because by finding my voice I was able to provide a safe space for other women to find their own voices. I now know that it is never too late to find your truth if you TRUST AND BELIEVE and listen to YOU. Once you do that, everything falls into place. You are the best teacher you have.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I am a Transformational Coach, aka Trailblazer. I am the founder of Finding Your Trail, a unique hiking empowerment program that guides small groups and challenges them physically, mentally and spiritually through hiking (movement), connection and meditation. The focus is geared toward healing and finding one’s truth out in nature through self-care and self-love. My mission is about building community. FYT is a community, and has been featured in local magazines, Thrive Global, VoyageLA, podcasts, live shows and local newspapers in Los Angeles. Today, I have guided thousands in “finding their own trail”, their truth, passion and their purpose, all while I am fulfilling my own by building this awesome community through the great outdoors. It was after the loss of my mom, over 23 years ago to cancer, it took all my strength to forge ahead. In that time of unbearable grief, I started on my path of self-discovery and learned how a hike changed the course of my life. I wanted to shout out this experience to everyone I know what hiking taught me and how it changed everything for me. I was a stay-at-home mom for 19 years and decided to go back to school at age 53 to become a health coach, and it was working alongside this amazing tribe and community, and where I found my trail. I found my voice too, and by using my voice, it has helped others find their own. I have had many mentors along the way, but most inspired by Oprah, Marie Forleo, Brene Brown, Glennon Doyle and Louise Hay to name a few. What I have learned through my education and life experience is that showing up as myself, and speaking from my heart, a ripple effect has been created, a deeper connection with people who crave more in their own lives. What I know to be true is that it is never too late to re-invent yourself or make real change. Every single one of us has the power within us to change our lives at any moment, it is really up to us. It is a decision and it all comes down to mindset and how we choose to speak to ourselves. We can stay stuck, or we can embrace new possibilities that we never knew existed. It depends on your decision to do it. I know now I have the power to change my thoughts and when I did that, I changed my life as well as countless others along the way. I believe the most powerful way to inspire and educate others, whether it is from a loss, struggle or challenge is through the healing powers of nature. I am really proud of what I have created in building a community, not just in my own town, but recently have expanded across the country with the FYT Licensing Program where other coaches and wellness professionals can take my program into their own town and make it their own. This is my ripple effect! Maybe you too have experienced a loss so deep and paralyzing in your own life, whether it is a divorce, an illness or injury. Or at maybe you feel stuck. Or maybe you lost your identity for being a stay-at-home mom, and put yourself on the back burner for so long and you wake up one day and say “Who am I’? I know that rings true for so many of us, myself included. But fear gets in the way of so many of our dreams and we need to find out how our pain can be our purpose and why we chose to go down certain paths. Sometimes our pain turns into our passion, but we MUST listen to ourselves and follow our voice, if we don’t we will miss it, just like that! We all have “nudges” that keep guiding us, but then we hit what I refer to as the “terror barrier,” our fear to cross that barrier. I was right there with you, but you know what? We have to take a risk because once you cross over that barrier, there is freedom and new opportunities on the other side. This will lead to making an impact on others when we keep listening to ourselves, our “why,” and whether it is to impact 3 people, 30 people or 3 million people, we have to remember that the dream has to be bigger than the fear! Just keep going. Keep telling YOUR story. Oh! And the best part of all, is when you help others transform their lives, you also transform your own— again and again. This is how we grow. Then we create a ripple effect and before you know it your mission is impacting millions! Each and every one of us has struggles; we may have bad days, bad months or even a bad year, but when we step out in nature and get outside we feel, Liberated. Strong. Centered. Empowered. Grounded. I have witnessed it time and time again. I now inspire others by living the example that it is never too late to reinvent yourself, free yourself from self-limiting beliefs and live a life of joy and fulfillment, even in the toughest of times. I help others tap into the voice inside and access strength and power they didn’t know they had. It is truly magical to witness this all taking place against the backdrop of our glorious natural surroundings. I believe it comes down to being a good leader, for me leadership is not about the individual. Rather it is about being the person who facilitates a team of people to work together in a supportive, compassionate and inspiring environment. Working together we can really pull the greatness out of each other! Witnessing the transformations in each woman, week by week, is the most magical feeling of all. It is what all coaches live for! It is really why I am doing this work. It always brings me back to my ‘WHY” which is to build a sisterhood that discovers joy and fulfillment through the healing power of nature and my mom is right here watching it all! I always ask the women the one thing they learned most from the “Finding Your Trail” experience and they usually give the same answer: a deeper connection with other women and knowing that they are not alone in their struggles. I often tell people, GO WHERE YOU FEEL ALIVE BECAUSE THAT IS WHERE THE MAGIC HAPPENS!
Any great local spots you’d like to shoutout?
I would start out the day with HIKING! OF course to my favorite trail in Topanga Canyon called Eagle Rock! After we would go grab some sushi for lunch at Kazu Nori in Santa Monica for some of the best rolls I have ever had! I love the warm rice, it is what makes it so good! My family are huge foodies, so I would take them to all our favorite restaurants, Breakfast at Gjusta, dinner at Gjelina or Republique, Tar and Roses, another great spot with a great view of the ocean is Malibu Farm for some farm to table food. Then I would take them on a glorious beach walk at sunset and have a drink at Shutters hotel in the lobby. and watch the passers by. We then would proceed to Abbot Kinney in Venice and stroll the street for some more good eats, some good wine and cruise the eclectic shops. See the pattern here? Lots of eating! Then head over to Elephante for a nightcap, it is a great scene, a little loud, but always a good time! A great Friday night is a hike in Topanga Canyon at sunset and then off to Canyon Bistro on Topanga for some live music and dinner and drinks. It is a great vibe and totally casual because we are all sweaty and in our hiking clothes! We love our Friday night dates here! For some culture, I would also take them downtown to see the latest collection at the Broad and eat dinner next door at Otium. Beautiful restaurant and amazing food and great bar scene! There is so many great things to do downtown now! Sundays are for another hike at Los Leones and brunch at Porta Via in the Palisades, and the beach for some chill time!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I love this shoutout! I am all about building community, and I am alway saying to others that we simply cannot do this alone! It take a village and a tribe of an awesome team to create some magic! First and foremost, I want to shoutout to my incredible family, I am lucky to have a very supportive husband who supports my dreams, my 2 kids who cheer me on from the sidelines, and my incredible white lab, who has trekked countless trails with me through the years! Another person in particular who was extremely influential in helping me come up with the idea of Finding Your Trail is a fellow health coach by the name of Robin Pollak. I always tell people, get a coach of your own, especially if you are a coach because it is another coach who pulls the greatness out of you that we don’t always see in ourselves. My branding and website expert, Amber Ingraham, who designed my website and helped me with my branding to bring my business to the next level. She is also a fellow health coach. I have to say that I found my tribe going through the health coach program! I could not have done any of this without her incredible knowledge, patience and support. She is a badass! I also work with a charity called the Foundation For Living Beauty that supports and uplifts women through different stages of cancer through retreats and wellness programs, and I donate portions of FYT with this amazing organization. I love their mission and blessed to play a small role in facilitating my program at their retreats.
Get a copy of my new ebook instantly, My Top 5 Secrets to Launching A Successful Outdoor Program here: http://www.
Lisa Statt Photography