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Meet Vanessa Smith Bennett

 

Today we’d like to introduce you to Vanessa Smith Bennett.

Vanessa, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I gravitated toward yoga, meditation, and therapy after feeling the effects ten years of New York City’s work/life UNbalance can have on one’s mind and body.

As a former Creative Producer and Marketing Manager for global powerhouses like Coca-Cola, Unilever, and P&G, I realized I needed to find a way to increase focus, decrease stress, and achieve more balance across the board.

Through my personal inner work with therapy and yoga, I discovered years of blocks and false beliefs that were holding me back in all areas of my life. The journey I started to help myself ended up a path to helping others.

I was so changed and inspired that I decided to shift my focus in life through becoming a therapist and deepening my study of yoga and meditation, in order to help others bridge fulfillment in work with leading meaningful and fulfilling lives and relationships.

My journey led me to completing a Masters at Pacifica Graduate Institute which uncovered a passion for our unconscious world of myth, image, and metaphor. I believe our unconscious has a lot to tell us if we only know how to understand the language in which it speaks.

This passion, combined with my unique background in corporate strategy and a deep understanding and practice of mindfulness, assists me in helping to both illuminate a healthier more integrated approach to living and loving and uncovering a person’s inner well of resiliency.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
I’m wary of smooth roads. In my life, the harder the road, the bigger the reward. In 2016, I decided to leave my career, a relationship, a dog, my family, my friends, and a “seemingly” comfortable life on the east coast to pursue what I knew was calling my spirit.

Only about a month after making this huge transition to LA, I had a nasty fall that left me with a broken jaw wired shut for eight weeks and permanent damage. Shortly after overcoming that obstacle I was involved in a shooting at JFK. And then about two months after that, I lost my grandmother. Needless to say, 2016 was a rough year.

In hindsight, however, it was a year filled with more growth and insight I have ever had, and I am grateful for all of it. I actually wrote my thesis on Trauma as Initiation coming out of all of it. It changed me in ways I will never fully grasp, and now, on the other side, I am starting to really embrace my new life and path.

We’d love to hear more about what you do.
My business/company is just me! I currently coach and/or work as a therapist with around 25 individuals and couples.

That keeps me very busy, but during my free time I write about psychology and mindfulness for Medium.com, I lead a 4-week Mindfulness to Reduce Anxiety and Depression course online, I run retreats, I do some freelancing with brands who want to be more mindful and Spirit-filled in their work, and I try to throw as much spaghetti at the wall as I can.

I feel like I’m really only at the start of my journey as a Well-preneur (I just heard that term the other day, and I think I like it). I know I have so much more to give and that I will only continue to grow as I listen to my intuition and to the feedback I get from people who have benefitted from our work together.

Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
Truth, transparency, hard work, and intuition (I know, that’s 4).

I have been such a left-brained logically driven person for so much of my life, and only started really tapping in to and listening to my soul when I started my personal therapy journey. Its voice isn’t as strong yet as my logic voice, but when I have allowed myself to get quite enough to listen to it, it has never steered me wrong.

Contact Info:

  • Website: vanessabennett.com
  • Phone: 347.470.5936
  • Email: contact@vanessabennett.com
  • Instagram: vanessasbennett
  • Facebook: vanessabennettcoaching

 Image Credit:
Lincoln Thompson, Sarah Williams

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