Our Stories

We are an eclectic group of professionals who walk the walk and want to share what we’ve learned with you.

We each have special skills and provide focused individual and group coaching.

We have one thing in common: we are all working on recovery from something and want to share our journey and experience with you.











All this and more as we do the hard work…



What is holding you back from living your best life?

Let’s try Parts work. 


What is Parts work?

Have you ever noticed parts within us battling over whether to move forward on something? Parts that are afraid to fail – so much so that we freeze up and do nothing or worse – netflix and chill? Parts that are so focused on the best way to do something, they shame and guilt you for perceived imperfections? That internal self-shaming can be brutal.

These beautiful parts are working overtime based on old data. We are growing. We need to take them with us. That means spending time with them, repurposing their missions, appreciating all their hard work and support. Steer them to develop automaticity around the habits that form a sustained peace and calm, grounded in integrity and honor. Imagine your internal cheerleaders instead, encouraging you to live your life in color!

Sonja Irina Johansen 


 Why does Sonja think she can help you Transform?

I’ve spent my life stumbling and getting back up, reevaluating and renewing, reshaping and taking control. I’ve transformed my physical, emotional and spiritual health and well-being.

I lived decades as a morbidly obese, asthmatic, diabetic with extremely high cholesterol. I found ways to heal my asthma. I found ways to remove my diabetes. I found ways to lower my cholesterol. And I finally figured out the last missing piece: I found my way to release 170 pounds to the universe AND KEEP IT OFF since November of 2018.

I had also decided there were things I could possibly, maybe fix and things I couldn’t. I never thought I could lose the weight. I had tried so many diets. and I never thought I would keep it off.

I never thought I would be living my best life, running daily, meditating, feeling such joy and peace and grounded-ness and calm and energized and affirmed and validated and rejuvenated.

You may have met Sonja while walking beside her as part of her amazing weight loss and she may have helped you along your journey, offering a hand up. She has helped literally hundreds with her Transformational Coaching abilities. And has a unique ability to reframe even the worst of circumstances with a laugh and a twinkle. If you haven’t met Sonja, you need to! 

Sonja has a long history with extremely strong food addiction recovery, after decades of living as a morbidly obese woman in today’s society. With clean lines comes a strong, clear, focused and calm mind, allowing for strong intuitive understanding and incredibly clear vision of what needs to happen next and how to make it so. She spent decades accomplishing professional goal after professional goal, from running a highly successful contracting company for 18 years to managing hundreds of employees in the Telecommunications Industry where she earned her Six Sigma Green Belt as well as many other accolades. And never in her wildest dreams did she think she could lick this food addiction. Until now. With a combination of abstinence, automaticity and determination, she has accomplished the ultimate in transformation.  If you’d like to reach out directly to Sonja, please email her at [email protected].

Her greatest superpower is her ability to reframe. Every challenge is an opportunity. Every time we fall, we are given the opportunity to see the world from a different point of view and to be given the choice to pick ourselves up AND to ask for a hand up.

Please friend her on Facebook being mindful that is her personal page where she expresses inclusivity, light, love and positivity each and every moment. You can find her business page at Transform with Sonja on Facebook. 

I eat in Black and White so I can Live in Color” which does not mean her food is boring by any stretch! It means her food is structured and contained and weighed so she gets ENOUGH vegetables and the right mixture of protein, grain, fruit and fat. She eats Whole Food Plant Based and can help you health-ify your life as well. She has literally cured her debilitating asthma, her Type 2 Diabetes and extremely high cholesterol by making changes to her diet.  She eats clean so she can live her best life free of medications and certain that her immune system and vessel are supported and clear of potential toxins so prevalent in today’s society. She also recognizes gluten and nightshades and many spices are toxic to her and still truly adores her food each day. If you have sensitivities, food related or environmental, Sonja can help you. Reach out to learn more about the magic that she lives each and every moment of each and every day! Email her at [email protected] or call to make an appointment at (206)552-4860.

Patricia reichgott O'connor


Hi, I'm Patricia. I'm a certified life coach specializing in addiction recovery, and overcoming food and eating issues. Teaching people how to cut through the BS and make real change is my specialty. I also specialize in:

  •  Spiritual Growth
  •  Intuitive Insights
  •  Connecting to authentic Self

If you're looking for a coach whose insights hit the nail on the head, who doesn't beat around the bush, and who supports breakthroughs that create real change, then Patricia O'Connor is the life coach for you.

After years of issues with food, and decades of 12 step experience, and years of coaching empowerment I developed the 3 phases of Recovery. I've continued to perfect it over the last couple of years with the Magic Membership. I look forward to exploring it and more with you!

Before and After | Jacqui

Jacqui Waters


Jacqui has a long history of research and personal changes to help bring her to this amazing healthy presence. She is especially brilliant with the camera and putting together incredibly healthy, nourishing and nutritious food delights. She is also Sonja's daughter and continues to delight her mom everyday.

Merry Jo DeMarais


Merry Jo has made her life’s work researching, facilitating, and leading clients towards self-mastery. Through her work as an Energy Healer and Spiritual Director Merry Jo works in 1:1 session with individuals to co-create balance of their energetic mind/body & Spirit. By noticing where emotions are held in the body Merry Jo supports her clients move and release these impedances/ blocks in the body using science based energetic healing practices. As a bonus for participating in the small groups with Patricia and Sonja Merry Jo is providing 2 offerings: 1) is a 20-minute free consultation to interpret a free energy center-chakra assessment to help you understand where there are blocks that manifest in the body and impede creating the desired shift into wellness/wellbeing you desire for your healing. You can use this information as you work toward wholeness in your small group work with Sonja and Patricia. And Merry Jo’s 2nd offering is an opportunity to join a monthly group session focusing on your healing intention and receive group energy support to transmute those energies to heal to completion and bring the body into more balance. This group will also experience a whole group healing that will radiate into your current small group work.
Link to set time to receive energy center-chakra assessment https://calendly.com/merryjoenergyhealing/20min



Eve Decker began mindfulness practice in 1991, and has been a teacher in the Buddhist tradition since 2006. She is a graduate of UC Berkeley, and the Path of Engagement (social justice and spiritual practice training) and Community Dharma Leader training programs at Spirit Rock Meditation Center in California. She completed a two year training in the Hakomi Method (a mindfulness centered somatic healing practice). She has trained in and teaches Awakening Joy, Transforming Judgmental Mind, and Mindful Self Compassion.

Eve is also an accomplished musician, and has released four CDs of “wisdom music” (songs inspired by wisdom teachings) for adults, and one for children and families. For more on Eve, see www.evedecker.com

PODCAST – LOVED: Mindful and Musical Perspectives on Daily Life. Fifteen minute podcast – short talk followed by song. Released weekly on Wednesdays. Please Subscribe, Follow, and Leave a Review!
Also available on Apple Podcasts and  Spotify.

PRACTICE GROUPS: Deepen Well Being
Tuesdays (ongoing) 7-8:30 pm Pacific Time (PT): SIT AND SING Drop in Circle. Gather live online for guided mindfulness and lovingkindness practice, followed by singing together. Lyrics provided. $5-25 (pay what you can).
 [email protected] to register

Classes: Transformative Practices to Emerge from Shelter in Place with New Resilience. Talks, guided practice, group discussion, and song. Sliding scale $150-300. [email protected] for more information and/or to sign up.
Mondays, 7-9pm PT June 22-July 27
Wednesdays, 2:30-4pm PT June 24-July 29

You are warmly invited to a freely offered class on Wednesday June 17, 2:30-4pm PT, to see if you are interested in this series or simply to enjoy. RSVP
to [email protected]

Sessions with Eve
Online with Eve! Adults, families, and kids – individual or family live Zoom FaceTime, or phone support with: mindfulness, lovingkindness, self-compassion, and song – all proven methods to calm the nervous system and reconnect with love. By donation. [email protected]

Joan Riley

Joan's master's degree work was in Television Production and her bachelor's in Theater Arts. That combination mixed with 20 years of Toastmasters, where she received their highest awards, makes her well qualified to enhance our visual media. She also has been participating in our programs since the beginning.


Rahila Ahmed



Chris and Jen



Laura Burnett



Laura Burnett is the best friend anyone could ask for. She is incredibly loyal, a staunch ally and so very wise. She is also no-nonsense. She tells it like it is, not sugar-coating it but managing to create a fun-loving, and supportive space for you to grow and sprout the wings you need to fly and support others. If you’re looking for a strong, tools laden mega-multi-tasker, Laura Burnett is your best choice. She provides clear, concise direction, coming from a 12-step background and decades of food addiction battle that she has finally conquered. She is the first to tell you that journey never ends, but that it is better fought with connection and friendship

If you suffer from food obsession, struggle to figure out how to juggle all that is in your crazy world, or really want to firm up your daily habits, Laura is your gal. Reach out to her at [email protected]  and she will connect and discuss what steps you should take to really transform your life.



Guided Meditations and Visualization Sheridan Stewart, writer, speaker, and broadcaster.  Sheridan is currently co-writing a book on creativity’s role in healing with Dr. Shelley Davidow. Reach Sheridan by writing to [email protected].

Crystal Ruzicka


Crystal Ruzicka is affectionately known as a “jack of all trades” in her professional life. She works as the Success Coach for a school district in Wisconsin, working with adolescents who have experienced trauma and/or are considered at-risk. As part of her role in the schools, she works with educators to help them grow in their cultural responsiveness and embrace of equity.

Crystal is certified in Coaching for Leadership and Systems Change, Trauma Sensitive Schools, Natural Lifemanship, Alternative Education, and Youth Mental Health First Aid. She holds two bachelor’s degrees, a master’s in Educational Administration, and is working toward her PhD in Trauma Psychology.

Crystal possesses a strong focus and desire to help others live their best life. She embodies the truth of this quote by Mia Hamm: “A winner is the person who gets up one more time than she is knocked down.” She discovered her life-long food addiction in 2015, and with the help of 12 step and other weight loss programs, she ended her relapse-renew cycle on November 11th, 2019. She now works a strong food program and is proud of her sobriety from flour, sugar, and other triggering substances.

At home, Crystal enjoys reading and writing. She is published in NOTA, Sky Island Journal, and Chicken Soup for the Soul: Devotions for Tough Times. She loves spending time with her seven children, gifted to her through birth and special-needs adoption. She and her wife, Steph, approach each day with gratitude, enthusiasm, and joy. Working together, Crystal and Steph write curriculum to educate students about oppression and privilege through the lenses of racism, sexism, heterosexism, classism, ableism, lookism, and spiritual oppression.
  • Crystal offers coaching for parents, educators, and caregivers.
  • She also offers mentoring and tutoring for children and adolescents.
  • To contact Crystal, please email [email protected].

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