Kelli Cotner is an inspiration. Two years ago, I was looking on the internet for a life coach who could help me choreograph and produce my first dance show. I found her website when I googled “life coaching art woman” and hers was the first to pop up. In her biography I read about a person who is deeply honest with herself, unafraid of the truth, and puts faith in the processes of life – love, pain, art, meditation, humor, and rebellion. We exchanged emails, and she sent me a long list of questions to answer about myself, questions about my dreams and work habits and values. She called me for an initial consultation, to see if we communicated well, and I felt seen and connected to immediately. We set up a schedule of phone calls over the next year, once or twice or sometimes three times a month, which I usually looked forward to! I say usually because Kelli has a way of cutting through the bullshit and getting to the heart of the issue – whether it is about work habits, personal relationships, or self-care – and it was sometimes a challenge to confront those things about myself.

With support and gentle nudging, though, she invited me to open up to some of the harder truths about myself and not turn away from them. And it was especially after those harder conversations, with Kelli being present and holding space for both of us, that I was most grateful for her wisdom and guidance. She reminded me of my values, strengths, and the dreams and I never felt judged by her. With her behind me, I succeeded in choreographing and producing a dance show.

In our year of conversations, Kelli held my light when what I felt was darkness. Even now, a year and a half later, I can return to our email exchanges and the words of wisdom she shared with me and feel seen in a unique and holistic way. She’s an incredible listener, but also very good with words, both in conversation and over email. She acts from her heart, and is truly an inspiring human being and deeply gifted life coach.