“If you strip away every fear, every worry, and every concern that has ever skipped across your mind – who would you be? What could you become? When I quiet my mind and dive deeply into the softness of my breath I experience that space. I experience that person. Every day I commit to inhabiting that space for longer periods of time. I commit to fully knowing and trusting that person. I commit to Living Wide Awake” – SH
A voice inside encouraged me to do something creative, be of service, and make a difference in the world. The voice of my father said to be practical, develop marketable skills, and stand on your own two feet.
Walking the middle ground felt most comfortable for me at first. Balancing my need for a fulfilling life with my father’s desire for me to be practical, realistic, strong, and independent. It felt like the right approach as I began to discover who I was outside of who I thought my father wanted me to be and away from the rigid value system that surrounded me in my small town Texas upbringing.
Below the surface though I felt called by an overwhelming urge to do and be something big that would help to heal the hardships of the world. It was a knowing that had been with me ever since early childhood. It was the driving force that propelled me outside of my comfort zone again and again.
What wasn’t clear though as I stood there ready to take flight was that beneath the ambition, drive, and selflessness the pain I was trying to heal most was my own.
For the next ten years, I walked two distinct paths. One path directed me toward a life of service and healing. The other path kept redirecting me toward my own hidden pain and suffering.
The first path seemed like a calling, a purpose and the reason I was born into this life. The second path felt like an unwanted distraction. Something that stood between me and the life I wanted to manifest. It seemed like a weight that kept me anchored and unable to launch myself into what I knew was awaiting me.
Even more frustrating was that I couldn’t clearly see the wounds that needed healing. But it seemed the more I tried to find my place in the world the more my wounding revealed itself. It was maddening to feel so driven and full of purpose and at the same time feel myself coming apart at the seams in such mysterious yet real ways.
While there were plenty of accomplishments and memorable experiences there was always a low-grade anxiety. A resistance that existed just below the surface. With each passing year, I felt myself drifting further from the vision I held for my life.
There was something else calling me, but I didn’t know how to answer it.
Now in my early thirties, I was beginning to feel defeated. I grew impatient, pessimistic, overwhelmed, and cynical. And then I became ill.
Looking back at the younger version of me standing on that doorstep – idealistic, confident, determined– I had no idea what life had in store for me. I believed if you worked hard, good things would come your way. Yet now I realized, I wasn’t well equipped with how to handle rejection, failure, setbacks, and heartbreak.
My nervous system had taken some significant blows over the years. Events and situations I wasn’t prepared for or expecting. I felt a lack of control over my own life. The tools I had could only take me so far. When I no longer had the strength to muscle through yet another disappointment, I collapsed under the enormous weight of my unfilled dreams and unmet expectations.
I spent the next three years stumbling my way through the darkness of chronic fatigue and depression. I had no idea what was happening to me or if I would ever regain the energy I once had for life. The thought that my best years were behind me while still only in my early thirties was devastating.
It took everything I had inside to wake up each day and put one foot in front of the other. Physically, I didn’t want to leave my bed and emotionally I didn’t have the energy to engage in a meaningful way with the people in my life. It felt like an endless cycle of confusion, humiliation, and loneliness.
After three years of fatigue, followed by two more years of recovering from the mental and emotional scars of fatigue, I emerged a more complete and whole person with greater access to joy and gratitude and a more embodied understanding of how to navigate the ups and downs of life.
Fatigue felt like the cruelest fate and yet, in hindsight, few things in life have given me as much guidance and direction. It demanded everything I had and tore me to pieces leaving me raw, unprocessed, and empty.
From this emptiness, I returned to that doorstep one more time and asked myself “What do you want to do with the rest of your life?” This time, I knew the answer. I want to Live Wide Awake. I want the courage to feel everything. I want to be strong in my vulnerability and soft in my determination. I want deep meaningful connections that are fed by authentic communication. I want to live each day with gratitude and an open heart. I want to love and be loved. I want to be fully seen and help others to do the same.
Now, as a teacher, facilitator and resilience coach, I help people awaken to their fullest potential. From the practical day-to-day experience of being human to the more open-ended, existential questions we find ourselves living. I specialize in helping people find their light when walking in dark spaces; in finding stillness in the midst of chaos; and in using their breath to move from one seemingly impossible moment to the possibility of Living Wide Awake in every moment.
My clients are people learning to identify and manage stress in their lives. They are people recovering from autoimmune or chronic health conditions. They are mothers, fathers, business owners, professionals and everyday extraordinary people who want to create more connection, more peace, and to live their lives with more vitality.
Rigorous study, deep curiosity, and a lifelong dedication to wellness feed my work and creative pursuits. For twenty years, I have been a student of meditation and mindfulness practices and have led a weekly group meditation since 2015. I hold two degrees in environmental studies and I am certified as an integrative health coach through Duke University, an associate coach through the International Coaching Federation, and a certified facilitator of Brené Brown’s Daring Way curriculum. I have also completed training in conflict resolution, non-violent communication, yoga instruction, and nutritional therapy. Currently, I’m enrolled in a two-year program with Dr. Laurence Heller studying The NeuroAffective Relational Model™ for healing developmental trauma.
My greatest teacher, however, was my three-year struggle with chronic fatigue and depression. The journey to recovery gave me skills to navigate challenging experiences with gratitude and an open heart. Now I guide people on their own interior journeys by helping them develop and strengthen foundational practices, such as movement, self-compassion, mindfulness, and gratitude.
Parenting and marriage are two of my most important spiritual practices and rich sources for developing greater patience, humor, and acceptance. I write whenever I can and choose epic novels for family read-alouds. Travel is my best nourishment, especially when it intersects with hiking, kayaking, long walks through urban landscapes, or really good food.
Coaching is a process where coach and client engage in a dialogue that is guided by deep listening and curiosity. This process creates a space where the client is fully witnessed and encouraged to connect to a deeper intention for their life.
The client might choose to explore the patterns, habits, underlying beliefs or behaviors that no longer serve them in being who they want to be. When we understand what lies beneath the surface of our experiences we are better able to align with a more authentic expression of ourselves. This alignment can help us to better understand the direction of our life and move through barriers as they arise. It helps us to feel more connected to ourselves and those around us.
Working with a coach can be an exciting and eye opening process for clients. The work begins in our sessions but continues at home, at work and in all of the moments in between. Coaching opens hearts, transforms relationships and provides us with a greater overall sense of who we are and what we want in life.
Engaging with my clients and witnessing the richness of their lives and the courage they bring to each session is truly an uplifting and inspiring experience. I leave each session more present to the inherent beauty of our struggles and our undeniable quest to awaken to our wholeness.
• Helping people develop more RESILIENCE by embracing conflict, disappointment, and uncertainty and taking complete responsibility for their lives.
• Using MINDFULNESS practices to help people examine their relationship to stress and learn how to cultivate a deeper sense of trust.
• Supporting people in their CREATIVITY so they can design the life they are meant to live.
• Teaching people the art of INQUIRY and how to be more CURIOUS about their lives.
“Stacy Hirsch is a gift! I have the tendency to think about everything at once, whether that is an issue at work or a personal health choice. It all rumbles around in my brain. Stacy listens. She hears what I say and can identify the main thought or concern from what I say. I feel empowered, after talking with Stacy. She may confirm a question that I have; or, she may offer suggestions about a conflict that I have. In each of the coaching sessions I have had, I have left with a plan. Stacy gave me tools to use so that I could move toward the goal that we devised…that she gleaned from what I said. The benefit to me has been seen in every area of my life, whether physical or emotional or mental or spiritual. When I am in a place of peace, whether or not I have fully addressed every question or issue, I am in a healthier place. I am thankful.” ~Stephanie B
“Stacy is a deeply rooted person who has a profound impact on all those she comes into contact with. Her capacity to bring insight and awareness to those she works with, whether individually or in groups, is impressive. She walks her talk and lives her practice. I’ve known Stacy for over 10 years, and find myself consistently delighted with what she brings, no matter the context.” ~ Martha H
“Stacy Hirsch is one of those rare knowledgeable, sensitive and talented individuals who continuously is able to place the good of her clients at the forefront of her practice. She has a deep capacity for empathy and an ability to cut through foggy thinking with remarkable insight to see a problem that may be invisible to the client. Most of all, she truly cares about those she serves. I have worked with Stacy in her role as personal growth and development coach for the last few years. She has helped me to grapple with concerns about aging, death, changes in religious beliefs and finding ways to continue to contribute to society, using my own skills and talents. Her life is about other people and it’s evident in her every interaction. I am personally so grateful to have met her and to have her play such an important role in my life.” ~ Margaret G
An intimate weekend writing and meditation retreat for women in beautiful Hood River, Oregon. Workshops are currently held twice a year in the spring and fall. Visit our Cultivate Retreats web page to learn more and sign-up to be notified about future events. You can also request to join our Cultivate Retreats Facebook group.
Looking for more joy and ease in the workplace? Want to better understand how the reptilian brain affects our ability to work well together, connect as a team and create harmonious work environments? This one of a kind experiential training can be custom designed to meet the needs of your work environment. Participants receive a copy of Martha Hamilton’s book, Going Reptile, and a workbook of practices designed by Life Takes Practice to use after the training. Contact me for more details.
1. WOMEN’s RETREAT: Join me and my co-facilitator for a Cultivate writing and meditation retreat in beautiful Hood River, Oregon. Visit our website to learn more and be sure to sign up for our newsletter to receive retreat dates before they are posted to social media. 2. WORKSITE: Hire me and my co-facilitator, Martha Hamilton, to create a Going Reptile-Life Takes Practice work site training for your workplace. Email me for pricing. 3. WORKSHOPS: Sign up below to be notified when I’m facilitating the next Values, Identity, and Beliefs workshop. 4. ONE-ON-ONE: Clients in the Olympia area can meet with me at my office or virtually. Clients in other parts of the world can meet with me over Skype or Zoom. Email me and we can schedule a conversation to see if I’m a good fit for your needs. 5. GROUPS: I routinely organize groups for meditation, women’s groups, practice groups and issue specific gatherings. Sign-up below to be notified of my offerings. 6. SHOP: Visit my lifestyle store – Life Takes Practice – and share the link with your friends and family. More merchandise added regularly. 7. ONLINE CLASSES: Coming soon…Look for online offerings in 2018.
Let's Work Together
3525 Ensign Rd NE, Suite N
Olympia, WA 98506
1. WOMEN’s RETREAT: Join me and my co-facilitator for a Cultivate writing and meditation retreat in beautiful Hood River, Oregon. Visit our website to learn more and be sure to sign up for our newsletter to receive retreat dates before they are posted to social media.
2. WORKSITE: Hire me and my co-facilitator, Martha Hamilton, to create a Going Reptile-Life Takes Practice work site training for your workplace. Email me for pricing.
3. WORKSHOPS: Sign up below to be notified when I’m facilitating the next Values, Identity, and Beliefs workshop.
4. ONE-ON-ONE: Clients in the Olympia area can meet with me at my office or virtually. Clients in other parts of the world can meet with me over Skype or Zoom. Email me and we can schedule a conversation to see if I’m a good fit for your needs.
5. GROUPS: I routinely organize groups for meditation, women’s groups, practice groups and issue specific gatherings. Sign-up below to be notified of my offerings.
6. SHOP: Visit my lifestyle store – Life Takes Practice – and share the link with your friends and family. More merchandise added regularly.
7. ONLINE CLASSES: Coming soon…Look for online offerings in 2018.