“In the depth of winter I finally learned that within me lay an invincible summer”

– Albert Camus

My feet were heavy in the mud; with every dragging step I attempted, clumping more and more onto the soles of my boots. Weighed down so much in that field of mess, I had no way of trying to clear the bottom of my feet. The only thing I knew how to do was to keep moving—whichever way possible. It didn’t matter where I ended up, as long as I didn’t have to acknowledge that I was stuck.

Eventually this move led me to a wall, familiar looking enough that I thought I could climb it on my own, but also knowing that I haven’t tried it before and didn’t really want to. But denial is a thing that’ll keep a person moving, and that fact I wanted to get my feet clear of the mud was enough to get me to grip onto the first few holds on the wall.

Now my vision was even narrower; before I had my eyes set on getting to the wall, especially to get rid of the mud and the heavy feeling, but now I’ve gotten there, I had no idea what else to do. Desperately clinging on, I tried to remember how I’ve gotten over similar problems, similar feelings of being stuck before.

I guess that was the step I needed to take. To acknowledge that I am stuck. I don’t know if I really have understood that before. I think there always was a handhold or two that led me to a higher ground, and never needed to think this hard. Now I understood that, I needed to change my frame of mind, and celebrate. Celebrate the incoming of new me, open-ness to something new and all the potential in the world I want, and let go of the clinging old self to the familiar grounds. To be conscientious of this process itself was worthy of celebrating!

I don’t necessary know where I am going with this process. I may never know, and that is okay. I am okay with learning how to enjoy the journey of life all over. If that desperate feeling comes again, I will ask myself: “what is going on? what are my needs and wants out of this?” and know that I don’t have to have the answer right away. It is as important to ask these questions than to come up with the answers themselves.

Kristen was a big part of this realization for me. When I first called her, feeling of panic was impending on me, and really made me haste in my actions and thinking. First thing we worked on was to let go of the immediate problems and needs that I was seeking answers to, and look at where I was. From there, we worked on many perspectives, and forget about the “problem” that was panicking me in the first place. That wasn’t an easy process, all I wanted to do was to “figure it out,” but to take in the larger picture and my whole being was necessary, and something clicked. Maybe it was recognizing the support system that I do have, or turning my life crisis into an opportunity, or just the plain fact of acknowledging that I was stuck, opened my eyes wide.

Kristen knows how to listen, offer questions that will broaden your perspective, come up with visions to make you realize the things you need to see, and has a wealth of exercises that will fit into your journey of life. This does not mean that she will do the work for you: Life Coach is a person who will help you understand where you are at, and what you need to do for yourself, and Kristen Truman fit that bill just right for me.

– Asano Otsu; Outward Bound Wilderness Instructor

My experience through coaching was life changing. Personally, I would probably never go to a counselor to discuss things going on in my life and this stems from my childhood. Coaching was a great alternative for me to seek another persons perspective on lives difficulties. I’ve always felt that I had to figure out life’s twists on my own.

Kristen was able to break down this barrier and open up doors that had never been opened in 36 years. Kristen is extremely professional, personable and has superb communication skills. She came prepared to listen and kept things flowing in the needed direction. Kristen gave me tools to visualize area’s in my life that I might be neglecting (mostly important things to me). I was going through life pleasing everyone but myself. Kristen help me recognize that I should be the center of my own life. One would think that this should be obvious, but I’m sure that there are many others that share this in their daily lives. I was able to breakdown those barriers and finally take care of myself.

Through coaching, I was able to realize that my job (nursing management) was causing me to be depressed and extremely moody. I was doing this job not for me, but for everyone around me. I finally, resigned from my job and went back to floor nursing. This was life changing for me. I have more time for myself and don’t have the headaches that I had before. I was so unhappy and stressed in my job that it was causing me health issues (which now has resolved).

Kristen was extremely supportive in my journey. Kristen’s role was not to tell me what to do differently in my life but give me tools to change things if necessary. I now have these tools in my tool kit for life.

Its been almost a year since I worked with Kristen. I’m leading a much healthier lifestyle and I love my job. I’ve been able to open my tool kit and use the that Kristen gave me in other areas of my life.

-Tina Dedo, Intensive Care Registered Nurse

Kristen was very patient and willing to work to find an approach that worked for me – whether in planned activities or freeform conversation. When offering me different strategies or activities she was great about following up on my progress and holding me accountable. She did this in a way that did not feel overbearing, I was able to work at my pace. When I had difficulty clearly expressing my thoughts, Kristen patiently approached the topic from different angles allowing me the opportunity to answer without putting words in my mouth. Most importantly I didn’t feel judged. She was very respectful of my needs and offered unbiased perspective without judgment. Thanks Kristen!

– Jeff Valentine, Outward Bound Rio Program Director

Working with Kristen has already changed my life. Within just 3 sessions, I have made several important changes in my career, and am excited to start moving toward visions about what I could do in the world that have until now, been too scary to contemplate on my own. Kristen’s ability to ask poignant questions, and keep directing me to where my passion and energy lie, is a very inspiring process, an already producing concrete results!

– Gayle Olson, Director of Shelburne Falls Yoga studio and Hilltown Folk Music

I highly recommend Dr. Kristen Truman-Allen. I have had the pleasure of working with Kristen for close to 9 years. We have grown together on this journey they call leadership in healthcare. What a ride. Kristen is an amazing leader and person. She is the same person in both her personal life and her career. Kristen is one of the most caring people I know. She gets the importance of caring for one another. This is evidenced in her role as Chief Experience Officer. She has a way of listening like no other. She led her team of leaders to 100% engagement as evidenced by the employee engagement survey results. Kristen has a way to coach people and handle difficult situations with more grace than Queen Elizabeth. I am honored to work beside her and learn from her day-in and day-out

– Constance Schmidt DNP,MHA,RN, FACHE
Chief Nursing Officer/VP Patient Care Services Centura Health St. Mary-Corwin