life coaching

What the heck is Life Coaching?

I have been a Life Coach for five years now.

I started back in 2012 when it wasn't as much of a "thing" as it is now.

I initially started my business based on the mentorship and teachings of another coach from the US and paid $9000 USD to work with her on a bimonthly basis for one year.

Yes, I know, that sounds like a lot of money to a lot of you. At the time, it sounded like a lot of money to me too. Like A. LOT.

However, let me also say this: Even though it was a scary amount of money to invest in myself, it was SOOOOO worth it.

In that year, I launched my own coaching practice, lost 25 pounds (which I have kept off), developed the content for my website, launched the FIERCE Integrity Project (free on-line e-course), wrote my book FIERCE Integrity and had a publishing contract with Difference Press Publishing. BAM.

I am pretty sure I don't need to spell this out for you but I will anyway: This shit really works.

But... after the one year, I didn't quite feel ready to take my business to the next level (I had already earned the $9000 back through coaching my own clients by the way), so I began opening myself up to my next mentor/teacher.

Boom. Enter Martha Beck's life coaching school. 8 months of pure awesome. This training was another "big investment" for me at the time, costing around $7000 USD. 

Again, this program completely transformed my life.

Towards the end of the life coaching program, I ended up flying to Peru to drink Ayahuasca and study Andean Shamanism. Oh, and I finally got up the courage to leave my marriage shortly after that. Truthfully, I don't think that my relationship was able to grow at the same ridiculous rate that I was apparently determined (destined) to travel. 

That was three and a half years ago... and the dust from that wild and chaotic storm of change and transformation (you could even call it a hurricane) has finally settled.

Perhaps I should also mention that in the midst of putting my affairs in order over the past several years, I was also guided to take two additional courses in Shamanism - another two full years of training. I also went back to Peru to partake in more Ayahuasca plant medicine and learn even more about Andean Shamanism.


In addition to the trainings in life coaching and shamanism, I am also a certified yoga teacher and a certified Reiki practitioner. PLUS (bonus skills - yay!), I am also a vision consultant. I have a Master's degree in Education which allows me to work with children who are blind or visually impaired and provide support to their families and school teams.

I should mention that I more than doubled my consulting practice during the past three years too.

So, yeah. Life Coaching.

When you hire me as your "coach", you are getting all of the experiences I listed above (and many, many more). You see, I can't separate my very rational, science-y, professional side (the one who somehow managed to rack up three University degrees) from my spiritual, intuitive (and maybe slightly hippie-dippy) side. Coaching with me combines ALL of it.

I recently re-applied to the town that I live in to get the proper licensing in order to have clients come to my home. Frankly, I would prefer to coach over the phone, however I do have local clients who really prefer the face-to-face interaction. When the town sent out the notices to my neighbours, I was actually thrilled to hear that they got several calls from "concerned citizens" - wondering what the heck life coaching is.

Now I need to admit something here: a few years ago, I wasn't ready to be fully seen in my community as a "life coach" or "shamanic practitioner". In fact, when I went to the town office last July to apply for the same license, I literally ended up having a complete, bawling, messy meltdown in the office when they began asking me questions. I was so damn terrified of what they might think. (You're a what? A life coach?! And immediately my overactive imagination broadcast visions of them carrying me away and locking me up, or worse, burning me at the stake... Ahem. I may have had to work through some past-life/collective fear shtuff in order to be free of that crazy nonsense, but I digress).

In recent months, now that my personal life seems to have simmered down a little, I have had more time to really look at my coaching buisness/practice. Is this something that I even want to do, or do I just want to focus on the consulting? I even entertained the notion of going back for a PhD to continue to further my skills in the academic/consulting world... BUT: Something is holding me back.

The truth is, Life Coaching (and later, Shamanism) has totally transformed my life, for the better.

I am far healthier; mentally, emotionally, spiritually or physically than I've EVER been in my life (EVER).

I have travelled through my own "dark night of the soul" (more than once), as I navigated severe depression/suicidal ideation, an eating disorder, childhood/ongoing family trauma, divorce, attachment disorder, co-dependency and an unhealthy relationship with alcohol.

And: I got through it all by accessing the help of coaches/mentors/shamans/teachers who taught me what they knew and walked with me until I could once again walk on my own.

That is what I want to do for my clients. That is what I want to do for you.

This is my WHY. It is my reason for getting up every morning. I want to walk with you through the dark until you (we) get to the dawn on the other side.

Let's friggin do this.

Spiritual Alchemy: What if we don't have to choose?


Some of the most interesting people out there (in my humble opinion) are those who combine and honor all of their loves, interests and passions.  These folks manage to take two or more hobbies or areas of interest that are seemingly completely unrelated and combine them.  It is an alchemy that often results in pure magic, probably because it is so authentically unique. 

Take Caroline Myss for example.  She is a best-selling author and speaker on spiritual topics, however every time I have heard her speak, she brings up the fact that she is a war history buff and she somehow manages to bring this content into her presentation.  Imagine: war history facts infused throughout a spiritual talk (!).  But the funny thing is… it works!  These two seemingly unrelated topics are in fact connected through Caroline.  She masterfully becomes the container for which this beautiful alchemical reaction can take place.

I can think of several other friends and colleagues who are combining their passions in similar ways.  I have a friend who is an accountant, environmental activist AND a watershed expert.  Another friend is passionate and talented at improv theatre, magic AND marketing (yep, marketing).  A colleague of mine is a Martha Beck trained coach (that is code for woo-woo believer), a history buff, AND a lawyer.  She has a wonderful blog in which she writes about historical figures, and combines it with her love for fine scotch.  Seriously.

I hope you are getting the message here: you do not have to choose which parts of your being are worth sharing or pursuing.  THEY ALL ARE.  In fact, it is the combination of such unlikely elements that make it (you) interesting. 

I recently found the first iteration of my business card.  I laughed when I found it because it seriously reads like this:

MareBare Necessities

Maren Hasse (aka MareBare)

Coach, Facilitator of FIERCE Integrity Project, Yoga Instructor and Retreat Facilitator, Speaker, Writer, Reiki Practitioner.

Seriously.  It says all of that.

Now, I could think of a few more things to add: vision consultant, meditation teacher, spiritual teacher, published author, ceremonialist and shamanic practitioner

Hmmm… I think I might need to get those postcard-sized business cards.

For the past four years (more) I have been wrestling with this perceived “problem” of explaining who I am and what I do.  The truth is, I do all of those things (and yet none of them explain who I am).  I also use ALL of those skills in EVERYTHING I do.  You can’t separate them.  When you hire me as a consultant, you are also getting a coach (plus all of those other things) because I am me.  I am the container. 

In the past, I have been criticized for re-branding so many times, for not being “clear enough” about what I do and for whom.  However, whenever I have tried to “narrow it down”, I feel that I inadvertently cut some part of me off, that I have to deny some part of my being. 

The truth is, I don’t have to (nor do I want to). 

Currently, my brand is my name.  My brand is ME.   

I am getting more and more clear on my medicine/niche (I help people navigate adversity and change using coaching and shamanistic practices) and apparently this is true across a wide range of environments, people and settings. 

My message for today is: be the container.  Just be YOU.







How This is Like That

Photo by Jody Goodwin Photography

Photo by Jody Goodwin Photography

One of the tools we use as Martha Beck-trained life coaches is what we call the Metaphor Tool.  It is based on the premise that we can get more information about something that is happening internally by looking at something that is happening externally.  This idea also runs through shamanism.  We create ceremony/ritual on the outside using concrete objects found in nature (visible), so that we can have a clearer view of what's happening on the inside (invisible).  

I was pondering this during my morning practice, and I realized that this website is a perfect example or metaphor for what is happening in my life.  My old website (aka my old life/identity at is not fully dissolved - in fact it is stubbornly evading deconstruction, while my new website, this site, is not fully formed.  And that is ok.  I am not fully formed yet.  I am still emerging.

I have chosen to publish this site in its unfinished state.  Why?  Because I am not sure what "finished" looks like.  I have been on this inner journey for so long that I am starting to see that there isn't an "end".  There is no "fully formed".  There is only expansion/contraction, re-births/deaths, periods of change and stagnation and on and on the spiral goes...  

In FIERCE Integrity, I talk about the "perfection of imperfection".  Seeing ourselves as totally perfect, even though we are far from what we might consider our "ideal selves".  What this is really about is compassion.  Having compassion for all of the ways in which we aren't where we think we should be.  

In the  past, I have had a relatively easy time of feeling genuine compassion for other people, however when it comes to offering that same level of compassion to myself, I haven't been able to do so.  This is changing.  This change has been almost imperceptibly (and unbearably) slow, but it is happening.  

I acknowledge that I am not perfect.  I can be selfish, entitled, ungrateful, lazy, and inconsiderate.  I can (and have) spent a lot of time agonizing over these traits… pouring over my past (and current) transgressions and mercilessly punishing myself for them, over and over again.    But that doesn't help.  Actually, the only thing it does do is beat me down deeper and deeper into a state of depression and self-loathing.  

What I have realized too, is that in order to truly free myself from the darkness, the reprieve that I am seeking has to come from within.  In the past I have spent a lot of time looking for external feedback and validation.  Funnily enough, I have received a lot more positive feedback than negative, and yet it is those negative comments that I hang onto, that I read over and over again, until I am practically wearing them like a crown of thorns.  "See?  See?", my inner critic delights, "You really do suck!"

My point is:

In order to create a true and lasting shift out of the darkness, compassion needs to be an inside job.  

Be kind.  Be gentle.  Be compassionate.


Nahanni, Dancing Coyote Woman