In my world, Creative Wellness is fundamental to living a full and balanced life. After years of trying to get back to my own creative roots, I have been fortunate to find my 'creative flow' and am living life with purpose. My HeARTs Work is to help you find yours. Let's take a transformational journey together and have fun!
Lana Gendlin Brooks
Certified Life & Creative Wellness Coach
...live your best life creatively...
Hello! I'm so glad you've stopped by.
We all have a story, don't we? My story begins with an innate curiosity about people, their cultures and what motivates them. Growing up in a bilingual home, I had a world view and diverse upbringing that broadened my perspective on working with diverse communities. This provided me with a cross-cultural understanding that led to my early career in arts and culture organizations, including the Smithsonian Institution.
My professional experience spans many facets of nonprofit, corporate, and startup organizations, which has given me a wide lens into the complexities of working in various industries and business models. Working at fortune 500s, I honed my marketing skills and launched products and services that drove high-revenue growth. From there, I helped launch a new 34,000 sq. ft. creativity center and then founded HeARTs Work Coaching and Consulting. I also co-founded HeartCentric Coaching Collaborative.
While we as human beings have been conditioned to describe ourselves by the labels we have been given such as what we "do" and our titles (i.e., I'm a mom of two, or I am an engineer,etc.) I'm going to share who I AM. As a life coach, I ask my clients to be vulnerable with me so I will do the same.
In my mid-30s, I went through a deeply painful period in life. Within a span of three months I experienced the stillbirth of my second son; I was laid off from a job that had been my livelihood and identity; and finally initiated the divorce I had been contemplating for some time. I was in the recesses of what felt like hell on Earth. The loss of my son Sam, being front and center, put me in a state of grief I didn't think was possible, even though my father (and guiding light) had suddenly passed when I was only 19 from a heart attack at the age of 58. I asked "Why?" and "What did I do to deserve this?" many, many times. People told me that I was kind, smart and bright. So why me? I often describe this time in my life as trying to claw my way out of quicksand. It was dark and scary and I didn't know if I could get enough air to keep from drowning much less pull myself out. But I did. I had to...for my firstborn son, for those who love me, for the world, and most importantly for myself.
Not only did I climb my way out of quicksand, I am more fulfilled today and truly living a life with meaning, purpose and joy. Looking back, I did not think this was possible for me. But it was, and it is for everyone. I share my personal journey to let others know that no matter what we are going through in life, we have the ability to make changes for the better and find our highest paths...and we already have the answers within ourselves. By digging deep, staying open to new perspectives, and shifting my frame of mind, I explored who I truly am, not who I thought I should be. I had to unlearn patterns and stories that I had been holding onto since childhood - years of beliefs and values that weren't truly mine. And I had to begin living in alignment with my values today and telling MY story.
It's because of my life experiences that I can authentically and deeply relate to trauma, fear, loss, grief, broken dreams and promises, and constant change. I also genuinely know what it is to find happiness, peace, balance, fulfillment, compassion, empathy, and how to recognize the bright lights and everyday miracles all around me. I practice gratitude and love each day that I am granted the gift of life. And I do it with awareness of my creativity. These are all ways of "being" that are available to everyone. Even you! My HeARTs Work is to help others find theirs...to step into their power and live a life with joy and purpose.
I hold an M.A. in Museum Studies from the George Washington University, a B.A. in Anthropology from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, and am certified as a Life Coach Practioner through Learning Journeys International School of Coaching (ICF accredited). When I'm not unleashing my creativity and helping others, you can find me enjoying activities with my son, working out, skiing, skating, putting pen to paper or volunteering with the Star Legacy Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to raising awareness around stillbirth.