HELLO, I AM
Lorraine Clemes, EdD
your personal life transition consultant • author
I’ve been curious about the meaning and purpose of life for as long as I can remember. Exploring that has been a core activity for me. It’s taken me on a rich journey. What I’ve discovered through both my own seeking, and graduate-level education has helped me to grow in my own life and equipped me to help others.
For over twenty years my career has involved helping people to become more self-aware and to make choices that improve their lives. Mid-life, or if we encounter a health challenge, can be natural times to check-in on the direction and satisfaction of our life.
As we age the stakes of not doing so get higher. I understand the benefits of making this a priority. Sometimes we have the luxury of being proactive in making our choices. Other times we need to make urgent yet critical decisions. I know how to help you gain clarity of your values and priorities. My personal and professional journey has prepared me for this. It is life-affirming work. Part of my own purpose is to offer this to people for whom it feels right. Might that be you?
READ MY FULL STORY
I’m sharing some of my experiences and why I’m drawn to this work in order to help you judge whether there is a fit for you. Feel free to contact me if you’d like further information.
I work with people in transitions, dealing with challenges or wanting to create something positive from their life situations. I often wonder if that is because my dad was transferred a lot in his early career and I lived in seven houses in my first ten years, so I understand the potential impact of unexpected change, loss, and the process of healthy transitioning.
Early on I studied psychology and entered the corporate training field in a large organization. While teaching stress management to managers I wondered why we didn’t learn those “life skills” earlier in life. I had children by then and I developed audio programs on stress management for children, educators and teens. While researching this topic I became increasingly pulled towards the benefits of meditation, the mind-body connection and adopting a Buddhist-based philosophy, which is a real gift in my own life.
I moved into organizational development and realized the significant impact that technology and other changes in the workplace were having on people and their jobs. I did a Masters degree in applied/counselling psychology so that I could help people who were losing their jobs and needing to find a new career path.
The career change and transition field gave me the opportunity to work closely with people at all levels as they dealt with job loss, and asked themselves “what’s next?” When faced with the unexpected we each react differently. Some of us rush, without reflection, to make choices and get rid of the discomfort — often choices we later regret. Others freeze and get stuck – or procrastinate. I learned the many ways people deal with crises and how to help them to calm themselves, become more self-aware and achieve their goals. It was an opportunity for them to reframe the loss, look at what they wanted in their lives and make adjustments going forward – a mix of dreaming and practicality.
I’ve worked in depth with people around leadership challenges, work-life balance, retirement, and important personal life choices – sometimes proactively and sometimes in reaction to the unexpected. There are junctures in our lives that naturally invite deep, honest dives. Mid-life and beyond is an invitation to get really clear – time is running out – and that in and of itself can be a motivator. A health challenge or serious diagnosis can be a powerful opportunity not to be missed to dig deep or in some way make the time in our life matter.
Having ultimate control in our lives is an illusion. We learn, and re-learn, that through time. I know that when I allow myself to actually feel my vulnerability and discomfort that it can eventually lead to insight, intimacy and peace. It is rarely a totally comfortable journey –but a worthwhile one. Attaining clarity and acting on the things we can control is empowering.
Over the last decades I’ve adopted a holistic approach such as using energy psychology, including doing so as a client. I’ve also taken certifications in grief counselling, facilitating conscious aging, and in working with families facing issues with aging elders. I remain curious about life, and my personal and professional growth has always been integrated. I believe we’re each on our own version of life’s journey so we work with where the person is and what helps them.
I see trends coming on a macro level. In the mid 1990s I suspected that retirement would be different for the Boomer generation. By 2000 I had completed my doctoral research and subsequently wrote a book on that topic. The focus of the coach certification program I chose to do was on adult transitions and renewal. As people age, challenges can include making the right treatment choices for their circumstances, during a health challenge or in life. I predict that increasingly people will want to make choices consciously and after engaging in research and personal soul-searching. I can guide that process.
Life is a perennial teacher if we let it be. I’ve learned things I’m able to share with clients, especially how to be totally focused and present with them. My greatest skills are in asking powerful questions and listening deeply. Often it’s when making difficult moral choices or admitting our innermost fears and dreams that we can really grow into our own authenticity…and make our life count. I know this to be true.
So how I apply my own values and experience is to be respectful and non-judgmental, be totally present with you, listen deeply, and customize what we do to give you whatever you need in the moment. It is a privilege to do this work.