We had the good fortune of connecting with Judy Stella and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Judy, what’s the most important thing you’ve done for your children?
Parenting has been one of the most fulfilling and challenging experiences in my life. I’m a proud mother to 2 beautiful children to whom every day I’m committed to guiding and supporting endlessly. It’s important to me to nurture their curiosity, teach emotional intelligence, instill core values, and provide a loving and nurturing environment. Most importantly, to raise children with a strong sense of self, healthy self-esteem, and a passion to live their lives abundantly. I believe that the most important thing I’ve done as a parent that will have a tremendous impact on my children is my openness to seeking help and support from a mental health professional. As a child, I endured many years of physical, verbal, and emotional abuse in my home; and the abuse came mostly from my mother. I understood the long-term effects that the abuse had on my self-esteem and the choices in my life. I made a pivotal choice to speak about the trauma I experienced and for the first time, feel the pain and sadness from my childhood. Focusing on my own mental health and healing will not only improve my quality of life, but it will also enhance my relationship with my children. I’m hopeful that they will experience a more present and engaged mother that through my daily actions, they will not only experience my profound love and support I have for them, but that as a result, they will thrive in their own lives.
What should our readers know about your business?
I am the Founder of Pivotal Choices, a community where individuals can feel supported to embark on a journey for personal growth and transformation. Being both a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and a John Maxwell Certified Trainer and Coach, I have successfully launched various masterclasses that offer the tools and insights to helping others grow and live up to their fullest potential. Sharing my own personal story has allowed me to connect with others who are searching to improve their lives and live a life of significance. I love to encourage others by offering my support, helping them see fear and adversity as steppingstones for their future success. I am most proud of my own journey of personal healing, my passion to break generational cycles of trauma and my commitment to be a life-long learner. What sets me apart is the insights, tools and resources that I have experienced and gained. They were the catalyst to my growth and healing. There is nothing that I would share with others to do that I have not personally done myself first. Due to the pandemic, this past year presented itself with unique challenges. Initially, I felt discouraged since I would not be able to launch the masterclasses in person. Nevertheless, after much thought, I decided to create a Facebook group named Pivotal Choices with Judy Stella and invited family and friends to join. On Mondays at 9pm, I will go on Live on FB and share a short lesson on an array of topics such as personal growth, parenting, mental health, leadership, etc. The biggest lesson and very important to me, is to continue to grow, to persevere despite the challenges in life, and to continuously cultivate a sense of humility in my life.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I love this question. I recently had an opportunity to invite a good friend to come visit my family. My friend had recently experienced a big loss and my hope was to offer my support and a bit of a distraction as we visited several spots in the city in which I currently live in, Manhattan Beach, CA. We began our day by jogging on the green belt, which is a beautiful and green landscaped walking trail. We were able to get our bodies moving and after a couple of miles, we were in downtown where I showed him several landmarks like the public library, the pier, popular restaurants and best spots to enjoy a delicious sweet treat. We walked over to Paradise Bowl and we ordered a delicious acai bowl with our favorite toppings. We walked over to the pier and found a quiet area on the sand near the ocean and we sat down to catch up with our lives. I was able to listen to my friend and offer my support and be fully present. Afterwards, we walked over to grab a bite to eat, we had some delicious tacos and reminisced on our days from graduate school and how much we have grown since and what lies ahead in the near future. Being able to share the outdoors, spend quality time and have a meaningful conversation is truly a gift.
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?
With great pleasure, I will take this opportunity to express the immense gratitude and love I have for all the beautiful angels in my life who added value to me, supported me and believed in me when I didn’t understand my own value and purpose on this earth. I was tremendously fortunate to have amazing teachers throughout my life. Teachers are a unique kind of love and I have a deep respect and admiration for educators who genuinely love and encourage their students. I’m grateful to my college counselor, Harrelson Notah, he guided me and supported me throughout my college years and encouraged me to apply for graduate school. Thank you for everything. I also have a beautiful strong support system that is comprised of friends throughout the different stages of my life, from childhood, college, graduate school, career, and my motherhood journey. Too many friends to name them all, but my core best friends, Cynthia, Claudia, Faviola, and Alice. You have been there for me through thick and thin. Thank you for your unconditional love and support.
To my mental health therapist, thank you Dr. Chaudry, you have a true gift in helping others heal and showing them the path to have a better quality of life. I’m eternally grateful for your kindness. I have always loved books and have been an avid reader since my childhood, hundreds of books that have transformed my life. For a full list of the books I’ve read, please visit my website at www.judystella.com.
During my adult life, I’ve had the pleasure to be mentored by Amazing individuals that have added value to me through their books, conferences, workshops, and entrepreneur experiences. I’m grateful for John Maxwell and Mark Cole from The John Maxwell Team, Don Green from The Napoleon Hill Foundation, Sharon Lechter, Dr. Greg Reid, Don Yaeger, and Dr. Shefali Tsabary.
Lastly, I am grateful to my husband Erick for your love and support. It’s been an Amazing journey and I’m immensely grateful to have chosen you to be my life partner and father to our children. To my family, to my younger siblings, you were my main reason to better myself in hopes that I could be a positive role model, and example to pursue your dreams. I love you very much. To my mother, you have been the biggest miracle in my life. I pray and Thank God for allowing me to experience a full circle and that I have a second chance to have healthy relationship with you. I love you Mom.
Family Photo: Monica Martin Photography Pivotal Choices: Besame Mucho Photography