During Breast Cancer Awareness month, Margarita opens up about her diagnosis and the process of finding a career that guides women towards reaching their personal goals to become all they were meant to be.
Nancy: What prompted you to visit a doctor?
Margarita: I felt a lump in my breast and went to get it checked out. At the time, the tests didn’t reveal anything, but a few months later I was tested again, and they discovered I had breast cancer.
Nancy: Following your cancer diagnosis, what emotions and thoughts did you experience?
Margarita: I didn’t ever fear death. I didn’t even fear losing my hair. It felt surreal going through it – it seemed like it was one of those things that happens to others, but I thought, ‘why not me?’ Of course, it could be me – it could be anyone.
Nancy: What was your lifestyle like during this time?
Margarita: Five years earlier, I had gotten out of a high-stress job. My husband and I owned a bi-lingual publication where I were the manager for over thirteen years. I was unhappy and dying inside. Stress was controlling my life and I had to break free of that lifestyle. In fact, I think it contributed to my getting cancer. Although at the time I received the cancer diagnosis, I was working for a nonprofit and enjoyed my job and didn’t have a lot of stress in my life.
Nancy: What role did cancer play in your life?
Margarita: I am very adamant about my life and my decisions not being defined by cancer. I thought about the old saying, when you have it bad, think about those who have it worse. I thought about foster kids who have a cancer diagnosis and don’t have all the resources I had; kids who have nothing and no one. I was lucky to have the support of my family.
Nancy: Why did you decide to become a life coach?
Margarita: I went to a work conference and found out about Life Coaching for a community. As we got deeper in the class, I realized life coaching had all the elements I liked – a shared connection with tremendous focus on following personal instincts and wisdom. I knew I needed to quit my job and follow my gut – so I could go into an intense training and become a certified life coach. As a wife and mother, I wanted my husband and kids to see me as a happy and productive adult following my passion.
Nancy: What are you most excited about right now?
Margarita: Helping women. As a life coach, I can and will coach anyone. However, I do feel very strongly about women forgetting about themselves. It seems like it’s in our nature, but that doesn’t mean that it is ok. I work alongside my clients to help them guide them in their own self-discovery journey as well as support them in their decisions and their progress.
Nancy: What is an example of a discussion point you have with clients?
Margarita: One thing I find very enlightening is values work – knowing your values. Examining the reasons why we do what we do when we do it with heart – that identifies the values that are most important to each individual. My values are courage, beauty and adventure. When we are aware of our values, we make decisions honoring our values system and ourselves.
Nancy: Is self-care a consideration when trying to life your best life?
Margarita: To me, it is beyond self-care; that sounds like taking time for yourself. It is about intentionally making caring and thoughtful decisions that put yourself first so you can be your best for others. When we live our purpose – what we are put on this earth for – our lives will be happy and fulfilled.
Nancy: How can people begin to think about their own values?
Margarita: Embrace curiosity and your own behavior. Our behavior is driven by our values. Pay attention to your body and how you feel. Mindfulness is important.
Nancy: What is one piece of advice that you might offer to other women?
Margarita: We undermine our ability to make decisions and we shouldn’t. It’s important to embrace that inner voice that may be buried or may difficult to hear.
Sometimes it helps to visit with someone who can help guide a career change, navigate the process of balancing work and personal life or someone who will hold you accountable for reaching your goals. For those wondering how a life coach can be beneficial, Margarita provides a complimentary introductory session. Contact her at: