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What Is Life Coaching?

My True Story of How I Got My Voice Back.

A Story About My Relationship With Julie Lokun

Guest Blog Written By Nicki Pascarella

“It’s Julie’s fault,” my husband said while waggling a finger an inch from my nose. “‘Start a blog.’ Pfft! What was Julie thinking? Does she understand how obsessive you are? Does she get who she is dealing with? Does she know she released a red-headed monster into the world?”

Since Julie totally gets me, I shot my husband a cheesy grin. Don’t be fooled by his blabbing; my husband is relieved that someone shares the burden of dealing with my intensity.

A blog, four novels, and a contract with a major women’s romance publisher later—and, I have to agree—My dream life is kind of Julie’s fault.

For those who don’t know her, Jule Lokun is a Certified Life Coach, authoress, mother, wife, daughter, and all-around ass-kicker. She is the mastermind behind Crown & Compass, The Media Queens, The Squad, and The Obsessed Podcast. This impressive list is only a condensed version of her projects and achievements. In my eyes, the most important title Queen Jules holds is that of my new Guardian Angel.

Once Upon A Time

A little over two years ago, my fifty years of perfect life hopped into a pooh-filled commode. I don’t want to provide all of the sordid details. However, after half a century with a fabulous guardian angel, the little Seraphin decided that she needed a vacation. With a bratty raspberry and a middle finger, she left me high and dry.

Next, I met a treacherous villain. Having had such a fairy-tale life, I had built up little defense to evilness. This red-horned demon carrying a pitchfork defeated me, and I ended up in the hospital hooked to a heart monitor. My doctor entered the room, tsked, and said, “You are a hot mess. That is one bad monster you are fighting, and you require a team of seven doctors and a Life Coach if you hope to defeat the beast.”

Puff! My doctor waved her magic wand, and Queen Jules, with her Ikigai and infectious energy, appeared.

What Is Ikigai?

In Japan, a concept called Ikigai is central to finding one’s satisfaction and meaning in life. Ikigai translates to “reason for being.” Facilitating her client’s journey as they find their purpose is Julie’s life mission. Let me put this another way. Julie’s Ikigai is helping others discover their Ikigai.

Working With Queen Jules

Julie spent the first few weeks of our journey getting to know me. She delved into every inch of my psyche. I confess I was pretty pathetic. I can’t tell you how many times Julie had to take a phone call from me as I cried and pulled the covers over my head.

One day she said to me, “Have you ever tried writing? You seem like a writer to me?”

“I love writing,” I told her. “I have a background in journalism, I wrote a novel that is sitting in a drawer, and I fantasize about being an author.”

“You should start a blog,” Julie said.

“What’s a blog?” I asked.

“Oh, girl,” she said with a chuckle.

I awoke the following day to a beautiful blog site that Julie tailored to my interests. I dusted off my quill, and two weeks later, I had my site up and running.

One month later, I started research for a new novel.

One year later, I wrote my second novel. Then my third, then my fourth.

You get the picture.

What Happens When You Bottle Up Your Voice.

I have had issues with losing my voice over the years. To the point, I have had to go to speech therapy to repair injured vocal cords. The medical diagnosis for this is a damaged sphincter in my esophagus, causing severe acid reflux. Ulcers coat my digestive system, so I often vomit up food, choke on saliva, and have constant issues with my respiratory system. Chronic stress from the past few years has exasperated this condition leading to my stint in a hospital bed hooked to monitors.

I don’t dispute this medical diagnosis. It took the doctors a long time and many tests to discover what was wrong. However, I think there is another component to my health problems. I believe that my voice has been shoved in me for so long that it has caused putrid green bile to form. Eventually, this gross goo burned my esophagus and vocal cords.

Being Voiceless

Middle-class, educated women are taught to behave themselves. They are taught not to stand up for themselves, and in no way should they take on an unfair patriarchal or bureaucratic system. These societal “good girl rules” tell us not to bring attention to ourselves or think outside the box. Good wives, mother’s daughters, and public servants can’t be too colorful or stand out in any way.

Opinions? Good Grief! How dare you?

Good girls need to shove their opinions deep so that they don’t offend someone that might be considered important. The key to not making waves is to remain under the radar and never look someone in the eyes—especially someone holding purse strings or responsible for keeping the economy flowing.

Artists living in this gray world simply wither and die from the inside out.

I have known for years that if I could let my voice out, this green poison inside of my gray world might disintegrate, and I might heal. Sounds like such an easy solution, correct? Not so much! I needed someone to teach me how to believe in myself and show me how to take the necessary steps.

Enter Julie (Insert your life coach here!)

This is where a life coach came in. Julie gave me permission to find my voice. She provided a support system that wasn’t intimidated by the establishment. She encouraged me to be colorful and show my gifts to the world. Julie was the cheerleader that stood by me on the days when I was terrified to shine.

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs:

I believe that Abraham Maslow was the greatest psychologist of all time. He proposes a theory that you must feel safe in each area of this hierarchy to reach full self-actualization. Self-actualization is the ultimate state of creative, moral, and problem-solving enlightenment that all humans crave. For example, a child without food or shelter is going to struggle with self-esteem.

Life Coaches understand this concept. Their mission is to find where you are in this hierarchy and help you reach the next level. A great life coach will work with doctors, therapists, and the support systems you have in place to make you the best version of yourself.

In Conclusion

For my entire adult life, my alarm clock went off at five am, and I whimpered. I was exhausted, overwhelmed, and somewhat lost. Since Jules has helped me find my Ikigai, I wake up every day excited to fulfill my purpose. I am not yet a fully actualized human being, but I am on the correct path.

Yes, it is Life Coach Julie Lokun’s fault that I pop out of bed every day excited to tackle my purpose of entertaining readers and telling stories.

May every one of you find your Guardian Jules, discover your Ikigai, and embrace your journey to self-actualization.

Nicki Pascarella

Nicki lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, teenage daughter, and hyperactive Shetland Sheepdogs. She writes about women’s fiction, romance, humor, mysteries, and paranormal romance. Her debut novel, StumpStrong, will release this fall with Media Queens Publishing House, and her Romantic Mystery series Troubles in Bellmount will release in 2022 with The Wild Rose Press. You can contact her at and on IG @nickipascarellawrites.

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Updated: Apr 16

I am so passionate about this new platform I bought stock in it....for real.

I am addicted. I am addicted to this new platform that serves up true connections, limitless networking possibilities, and the opportunity to grow and expand your mind daily. I have been on Clubhouse for two weeks and the benefits are exponential.

What the heck is Clubhouse?

Clubhouse is an audio-only social media app known for its unconstrained conversations, celebrity backers and invite-only status. The experience falls somewhere between call-in radio and a professional conference. Users self-select into rooms based on interest and engage in live conversation. Room moderators decide who is able to speak, and it’s common to see rooms with dozens of active participants. The still-in-beta app exploded in popularity at the start of 2021, reaching 8 million downloads by mid-February despite limiting enrollment.

Currently, the app is in beta testing and can only be accessed through iPhones.

Clubhouse, in my opinion, is LinkedIn on steroids. While LinkedIn has its place in navigating job searches, LinkedIn user engagement seems dormant. Specifically, LinkedIn is used on an as-needed basis. (I need a job--so I need to check out LinkedIn).

Clubhouse, on the other hand, is a space that expands the user experience and gratifies the user instantly. Clubhouse has held the ground for job hires, shark-tank life investments, and intimate conversations to take place. This app is becoming known for its lightning bolt conversations that facilitate networking on a scale nowhere else seen.

The Proof.

Two weeks on Clubhouse have resulted in:

  • Collaborations with influential humans that inspire you to be bold and live outside the box

  • A shared space to meditate--YES--they have rooms for meditation which is electrifying

  • An increase in client engagement

  • An increase knowledge base of things I am passionate about: personal development, health and wellness, personal branding, self-actualization and so much more.

  • Helped me fine-tune my public speaking skillset

  • Introduced me, and gave me unprecedented access to influential public figures who agreed to be guests on my new podcast, "Obsessed, With Humans On The Verge Of Change"

  • Daily inspiration to do better and be better

The best part of Clubhouse is that, when you join, you have access to so much brainpower. You are able to listen in live-to conversations on almost any topic you desire. You have the ability to join in on the conversation LIVE- and ask questions or pick the brains of prolific thought leaders.

If that is not enough, you can moderate your own rooms, chose the subject matter of your room, and invite others to join in on a subject matter that is impactful in your life.

Who Should Join Clubhouse?

You should join. You should dip your toe in the Clubhouse pond if you are a mom, dad, vegan, entrepreneur, businessperson, sports fanatic, music lover, comedian, knowledge-hungry. (You get my drift-everyone should join).


Because it is in beta testing--it Is invite-only and only available for those who have an iPhone. The rumor is that the android version of Clubhouse will be available this fall.

Download the Clubhouse App and you have the option to sign up. It may take a while to be admitted to the Clubhouse because the app creators want to keep a controlled flow of users. Or, find a friend in Clubhouse and ask them to invite you. Clubhouse users are allotted a managed amount of invites, which they are able to send to their friends.

Next, play around with the app. Visit different rooms, listen in on the conversations. Join the conversation or better yet, be the conversation. Enjoy the interactive experience and be inspired daily by a cross-section of perspectives.

Find me on Clubhouse! I would love to hear your thoughts on the app!


You Got This-


p.s. Check out our latest podcast episode! Subscribe & leave a comment or 5 Stars.

We will be reading your comments on every episode! And remember to keep learning every day!

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Updated: Apr 6

Today start making a commitment to yourself. Start making this commitment to care for your needs. And today promise yourself that you will give yourself grace and only accept positive people and experiences into your life.

Today you're going to get obsessed with your self care.

At this moment you will stop saying YES to everybody else and start saying YES to your own personal needs. Today is the day you start turning the tables and looking in the mirror and recognizing who is number one. You are the most important person in your life.

What is self-care?

Self care in essence is the mindful taking of time to pay attention to you, not in a narcissistic way, but in a way that ensures that you are being cared for by you.

self-care on its face is not selfish. Self-care is something that you need to build the life that you have always dreamed up.

So put yourself at the top of the list, because if you don't put yourself at the top of the list who will?

Self-Care can launch the journey of you creating a beautiful life with purpose and intention.

Where do you begin?

Well, you begin internally and you turn the tables and you take a look at yourself and say, how can I take better care of myself? Ask yourself-- how can I meet my own needs? Being numero uno in your life is the most important thing you can do right now. By understanding your worth and understanding that you are deserving of abundance you unlock the key to accepting all good things into your personal and professional space.

As women we're conditioned to believe that we should emanate the archetype of being a "good girl". And this "good girl"' image instructs us that to reach good girl status you must be the perfect helper and rescuer. To be a "good girl" you need to be available to volunteer, serve, fix and repair. We then, travel through life giving all our energies to other people and leave nothing for ourselves. We miss out on the beauty of living. We miss out on the abundance that we are entitled as humans to receive.

Think how we are instructed on airplanes to put our oxygen mask on first on an airplane before helping others, we need oxygen. We need that oxygen to breathe, to sustain our life and then we can be of service to the lives around us.

Take a peek into a recent conversation I had with my gal pals, therapist, Tristin Hodges, Nutritionist Tia Morell and Self-Esteem Expert, Mika Altidor. We explore what self-care means to us.


Tristin, you really had some gems when we talked about this last.

TRISTIN: (The therapist kicks off the conversation).

Well, Jules, first of all, I think, especially with the people that I see in my practice, that neglect of self is a common thing. A lot of women don't put themselves first and they are doing too much and not taking care of themselves. When we talk about self -care. I always try to lead by example --because that's the number one thing that I always try to do--take care of myself first so I can care for my clients. .

Daily I walk through with my clients that they absolutely need to make self-care a priority--and reinforce that this is not a selfish act. We've been told that through society, through our parents ,through different means-that girls who help will win in life. And I know that when we become mothers and wives--this fact is intensified.

And that just simply isn't true. We can't give, if we don't have a full cup. You know, if we're running on empty, we're not going to be able to give to anybody else because we don't have anything to give.

I understand that feeling, that feeling of overwhelm. And I feel it quite often.


Do we make excuses not to care for ourselves? Do we make excuses so we don't have to do the work. It is always easier to reflect outwardly and not reflect on ourselves and what is really going on.

MIKA: Self Esteem Expert

Oh yes, Jules, we, as women make excuses to be our best because we are afraid. We are afraid we won't measure up. And it is easier to be complacent in our lives. It takes work to make time to care for your mind, body and soul.


Why do you feel a tinge of guilt when you carve out time specifically for yourself? Let's look at the definition of guilt: to be a guilty party means you are doing something immoral or illegal. Let me tell you that taking care of ourselves does not rise to that level.

TIA: Nutritionist

In terms of really, and earnestly caring for ourselves, self-care is so important to our health in general. That's something I am constantly reminding my clients that if we don't make room for self-care, it impacts our health tremendously. If we don't have time to put ourselves first, we are going to not necessarily make the right choices, food choices for ourselves.

Subsequently our lack of self-care impacts our energy levels and limits the way we can show up for other people. So if we don't show up for ourselves in the first place, we can't show up for other people. We can't pour, as Tristin said, out of an empty cup, unless we are first have a full cup. So taking the time to truly take ourselves into consideration and make sure that we are doing what we need to, will be the path to help us feel our best.

Make sure you do it from a guilt free place, because it's not a bad thing. It's not immoral to practice self care. And it's so easy to make excuses about why we can't do it. What I like to do is try to challenge those excuses.

Every time you have a reason why you can't do something, give yourself two more reasons why you can and should.--Tia Morell

What do you think about the guilt that we carry around Tristin around self care?


Well, I know specifically for me, when Jules was talking about finding any and every excuse, I know my story resonates around the quarantine 15. Gaining weight during the pandemic is a real thing. From experience I know that you can find every reasons why you're still carrying that weight.


We often, as women, layer on every excuse. And on it's face it can look like a really plausible reason. I have four kids, a husband, a dog and I am leading three businesses. These are reasons. But when I am depleted--every aspect of my life suffers.


Oh wow, Jules--even when I wanted to carve out time to do the podcast, I felt that guilt. I asked myself--am I being selfish--expending more time on a passion project. I immediately became a mind reader and thought--my partner--he will probably feel that this is a selfish act because I am taking time away from us. Well, I was so wrong. He was so supportive and encouraging. I could not believe that I was casting my excuses onto him.


It is so important too, as an act of self-care, to surround yourself with a supportive tribe. Like Mika has with her partner and how we are all supportive to each other (the four of us). Surround yourself with people who lift you higher.

I recommend to my clients all the time to step back, go and do that internal work and figure out who and what type of person should I be surrounding myself with. It's never too late to make these decisions in life either.

And something I like to say is be where your feet are be in the present moment. Don't think about the past. Don't think about the future, because when you think about the past, that brings on emotions that no longer serve you and when you think about the future you are inviting tomorrow's anxiety into today.

I also reminding myself that grace is greater than guilt. Give yourself the grace to mess up. Give yourself the grace to not be perfect. Give yourself time. To truly understand who you are at your core and what fills your cup.


Self-care looks different for every person. Self-care looks like taking a bath, going for a walk, playing your favorite music, making something creative, calling a supportive friend, taking a class, time with your favorite furry friend, volunteering---and the list goes on and on. What the four of us know to be true is that it is so important to invest in yourself. When you invest in yourself, you will see the ripple effects in your life. Take the time to carve out moments for yourself daily.

You Got This--

For more inspirational conversations like this--listen to our podcast weekly. We serve up everything personal development. And reach out to us on Instagram @crown_compassgirls. We want to hear what is on your mind. Everything we do is to empower women to live their best lives.

Self-Care Challenge--

Take a pic of yourself practicing self-care--and when you post on Instagram--tag us--@crown_compassgirls

We will send the most compelling participants merch from our shop!

Check Out Our Merch! AND HAVE FUN!

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