Introducing Felina Danalis of Spiritual Fitness Coaching
Can you believe it’s February already? Were you able to get your New Year’s fitness goals off the ground?
Ever wish that you had a compassionate coach who could help you get your diet and fitness challenges sorted out?
Felina Danalis is your coach!
Felina is a fitness and bariatric life coach who helps professionals get the right motivation and right mindset to live a healthy life, and if you read it through the end of the interview you can schedule a complimentary 1 hour session with her!
Here’s the interview:
Tell Us About Yourself
I help people who “know what to do but just can’t seem to do it” get the right mindset, tools and motivation to pursue their dreams. Oftentimes, people come to me who know how to eat right and exercise, for example, but they just can’t seem to stick with it till they get the results they want. I help them build their spiritual fitness muscles through coaching so that their actions are more in alignment with what they really want, rather than what is easy and comfortable. You know, going for a walk rather than eating another carton of ice cream after a hard day!
By the end of working together, people report that they have changed life-long habits and feel a greater sense of self-esteem, accomplishment, joy and fulfillment. It is awesome and humbling to watch these incredibly talented and beautiful people get beyond their limiting beliefs about what is possible and really begin to thrive.
What is your connection with SCORE?
I first came to SCORE a few years ago when I was working on a complicated project with which I had no experience. I had such a positive experience that I kept it in the back of my mind that, when I was ready to start my business, I would go back for more.
How are you connected to the Coachella Valley?
I’ve had family in the area for decades. My family is Greek and if there is one thing we love (besides great food!), it’s sunshine and warm weather. The desert looks so much like the landscape of the Cyclades, like Mykonos, you wouldn’t believe it. You just need to add water and voila!
What is your business?
The business has two main pillars right now.
The first pillar is Spiritual Fitness Coaching (what I call life coaching – see www.felinadanalis.com) which works with people who are already thriving in certain areas of their lives but are dissatisfied with others, and are ready to take action to break through their resistance.
A typical client is often a well educated and successful professionally and struggles with weight and/or body image issues. These are people who know what to do regarding diet and exercise, for example, but just can’t seem to do it. In the Coachella Valley, clients may be in recovery for drug or alcohol issues, for example, and are ready to move onto other areas of their lives that aren’t working so well.
The second main pillar of the business (www.bariatriclifecoaches.com) is for a much smaller group of people: life coaching for people who have had bariatric (weight loss) surgery. People who have had bariatric surgery sometimes have great success with weight loss in the short term, but frequently face very significant challenges in the medium and long-term. Some people get stalled in their weight loss or turn to other coping mechanisms, like alcohol, and don’t know to do next. This is an incredibly brave group of people and coaching them focuses on deep compassion and helping them move towards their dreams once again.
What did you do before you started your business?
Before coming to the coaching field, I worked for institutions such as the World Bank, the European Union, the Betty Ford Center and the corporate world, in Europe mostly. A good part of my career was spent consulting large corporations on sustainability issues, related to helping businesses do well by doing good for people, planet and profit. My ideal world is one in which we view everything through the prism of sustainability.
Gandhi said, “We must be the change we wish to see in the world.”
People living sustainable lives in which they daily nurture body, mind and spirit, work for sustainable companies in which people, planet and profit are valued and countries where governments do the same is what my ideal world looks like.
It isn’t a fantasy, as naive as it may sound to some. It just takes one person to take one small action in the right direction to lead to massive global transformation.
Why did you decide to start a business?
For years, colleagues and friends encouraged me to go out on my own and take the plunge.
There is a certain divine timing to everything and, when you are open to receiving guidance, it comes in the most amazing forms. I spent two months on a road trip across America last year seeing the incredible National Parks, historical sites I had only read about in school books, hiking some of the most majestic trails in the world, trying to decide what my next step should be. By the time I got to the Outer Banks in North Carolina, I woke up one day and it was clear, “The time was right … now!” I’ve been building the business ever since and am so excited to help others follow their bliss.
Who do you go for help when you have problems in business?
People who have gone through the growing pains of building a business themselves inspire me enormously. Experience is everything! Those who have pushed through the internal and external resistance that happens whenever you do something different and are now thriving. I especially go to those who have a strong sense of mission and purpose that serving in business is simply another way of serving our fellow man. My mentor coach, Eden Abrahams based in New York is also a huge support in helping to lift me back up when problems threaten to get the business off track. I do the same exact things I encourage my clients to do: go to the right people — those who have been there before — for support to help stay the course when life isn’t going the way I’ve planned!
What was your experience at SCORE like?
Overwhelmingly positive and supportive. I can’t say enough good things about everyone at SCORE: mentors, administrative staff, workshop leaders and organizers, everyone. I would encourage anyone thinking of starting a small business in the Coachella Valley to reach out to SCORE unequivocally! Even when we disagree on strategy and tactics, we all know we are working towards a common goal and that is wonderful.
How have you helped your clients?
A recent client was a great example. I coached a woman who was a successful entrepreneur but who was struggling with weight and body image issues. She was incredibly giving, generous and loving towards her clients — a real gem of a human being — and also had great difficulties turning that great love and compassion towards her own needs for exercise, good nutrition and rest. Getting enough rest and time for self-care was a big challenge for her and everyone who is a small business owner knows exactly what that is like! I helped her see that, rather than it being selfish to take care of herself through diet, exercise, rest and good self-care, it was actually a way of better caring for her clients, her business and everyone around her. I helped her get into better alignment with her highest values of being of service in the world, and lose a few pounds to boot!
How has SCORE helped you and would you recommend it to other business owners?
Mentors Bruce Cameron and Andy Lorentz have been incredibly generous and helpful to me. As an entrepreneur, things can get lonely sometimes, as all you small business owners out there know too well! Community is something most of us crave, and I am no exception. Bruce and Andy have been wonderful for bouncing ideas, brainstorming and coming up with solutions to problems. For example, Bruce made it very clear to me that I had to market my academic degrees and training from Georgetown and Johns Hopkins and my left-brain credentials because my coaching methods are based on evidence-based practices such as those advocated by the Institute of Coaching. They weren’t just based on woo-woo fluff but on real research on positive psychology and other proven methods. They helped me see blind spots in my own thinking that were incredibly helpful. I enthusiastically recommend SCORE to other business owners for a great dose of support and level-headed reality testing.
Who should get in contact with you?
People who are ready to do something different and to take action. Coaching with me is not for everyone – this is not talk therapy! If you are frustrated with your weight and body image, and keep doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results, drop me a line firstname.lastname@example.org. If you already know how to diet and exercise but simply can’t seem to do it consistently over time to get the results you are looking for, I might be able to help.
Where can we find you if we want more information?
Sign up for my mailing list at www.felinadanalis.com.
As a way of giving back to the SCORE community, for a limited-time only, I am super excited to offer a special gift to anyone interested in trying life coaching: a FREE hour-long coaching session.
This is a FREE no obligation, no strings-attached chance to talk about what is going on with you and to see if coaching might be able to help. Visit www.felinadanalis.com to sign up for yours.
And if you have had bariatric surgery or are thinking about it — or know a friend who has — find out more at www.bariatriclifecoaches.com.