This week on the Finding Fertile Ground podcast, I interview Chantal Cox, a special educator, author, speaker, and Transformation NeuroCoach™.
Chantal lives in Wichita, Kansas, now but she grew up all over the world. Her birth dad is Mexican, but her mom remarried when she was three years old. Her adopted dad was in the army, so the family moved every two years. They lived in several states as well as Panama, Luxembourg, and The Netherlands.
Chantal was born a shy, timid introvert. Being the new kid every two years was traumatizing but forced her to get some coping skills.
Being the only brown-skinned person in her family created some difficult conversations each time the family moved.
“Here's the Cox family. Who are you just standing with this family? When we lived in Panama, people assumed I was Panamanian, but when we lived in Washington, DC, we lived in a high Pakistani, population so people assumed I was Pakistani. And in Wyoming people assumed I was Native American. That caused some different things in my head, some different stories to be created that I latched on to and became part of my identity… that I don't fit in anywhere.”
Chantal struggled with anxiety, depression, and low self-esteem.
I was very pessimistic, very much the glass is half empty. What's going to go wrong next? Life was not happy. If there was something good that happened, I tried really hard to find the bad in it. I just lived in this space and then the low self-esteem and self-worth led me to be in not great relationships because you attract what you put out.
Soon after she began working as a special ed teacher, her high stress levels led to her developing an autoimmune disease called alopecia areata, where her immune system was attacking her hair follicles, causing bald spots. Not long after that, she found herself in an abusive marriage.
I attracted people who treated me the way that I felt I deserve to be treated. And so that led me to being married to a man who was not very nice. It started with some control and then emotional, manipulative abuse, and eventually went into physical abuse towards the end.
She left on her 30th birthday and moved back to Wichita, where her support system of family and friends supported and loved on her.
“My dad stepped in and took over all communication. I've never seen or spoken to my ex-husband again. And that is a huge blessing. My sister let me stay with her until I got up on my feet.”
Chantal now helps women experiencing life transitions create a new vision for themselves, reconnect with their passion and purpose, and turn their transition into their triumphant transformation. Check out her book, Create a Life You Love: 10 Healthy Habits to Transform Your Life Now, and her podcast.
Next week on the Companies That Care podcast, I interview Kim Malek, cofounder of Portland’s famous Salt & Straw ice cream, which now has 25 locations and growing!
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I help professional services firms avoid BORING and boost employee engagement, productivity, and readership. I translate technical, complex, and lackluster language into accessible, dynamic, story-driven text. Get known in your industry through outstanding thought leadership content. Walk your talk through outstanding, effective communications with your employees and clients.
As a podcaster for justice, I stand with my sisters from the Women of Color Podcasters Community. We are podcasters united to condemn the tragic murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor and many others at the hands of police.
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