My Story

My Story

Hello and thank you for stopping by!Yota Schneider
I’m Yota — with a -t.

Rumor has it I’m almost as wise, much taller, and definitely better looking than Yoda.

If you’re anything like me, you’ve had your set of challenges to contend with and you’ve had to reinvent yourself and your life a few times.

Some were easier to negotiate than others.

You put family first. Being a parent is the role you identify with the most.

You take care of your responsibilities and you don’t like to ask for help. Others look at you and they think you have your act together. 

For the longest time you’ve tried to be all things to all people and now you’re questioning whether this is working for you.

There’s a pile of self-help books by your bed. Before kids, you took workshops and went to retreats.

Lately, you’ve been reading about life coaching but the idea of one more person telling you to love yourself, honor your needs, and think positive, makes you cringe. And, you don’t want to commit to an open-ended relationship with a stranger.

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I hear you!

Don’t get me wrong. I believe in self-love, self-care, and thinking good thoughts. They’re important.

And . . .

There’s never been one size fits all solution or strategy. You’re a unique individual and you need to find what works for you — without going broke.

You’re asking yourself: “How can I embrace it all and not lose myself?”

I’m here to tell you that being true to yourself – despite what’s going on in your life – is the best thing you can do for you and the people you love.

I know this all too well and here’s why.

I was born and raised in Athens, Greece.

For most of my life, I’ve been a “good girl,” an excellent student, and a dependable employee. I worked hard and didn’t ask for much.

I tried my darndest to make the people who mattered the most to me, happy. I learned that try as I may, I can’t save anyone.

I watched my parents sacrifice their dreams and desires and become trapped in a life they resented. 

I experienced first hand the damage, resentment and disappointment can cause.

As a child, when things got rough, I escaped in the garden with my books. There, under the fruit trees and among the roses my grandfather tended, I was safe and free. I’d lose myself in stories and dream of a life filled with goodness. I sang to myself and danced. I was happy.

My childhood garden was my cocoon and filled my life with beauty and magic. 

In my early 20s, I came to the United States to do my field work experience as an occupational therapist and the unexpected happened. I met my husband to be, we fell in love and decided to get married.

There was a new culture, a new language, my role as a wife, the New England weather, and a whole new set of relationships to contend with.

It was rocky for a while. I tried adjusting to people’s expectations to fit in. How long do you think that lasted before I rebelled? Given my history, not very long. 

I worked through college and eventually climbed the corporate ladder to become an account executive for Clinique (a division of the Estée Lauder Corporation).

I was responsible for a multimillion dollar budget and a sales force of 120 sales consultants. It was exhilarating, eye-opening . . . and overwhelming.

There were long hours, endless crises, and unrealistic expectations. There were countless voice mails and emails to reply to,  deadlines, and  the feeling that my job was never finished.

For a while I managed to convince myself that all this was normal. It was corporate after all. The fast track. I lived on adrenaline.

When my twin daughters arrived, I found myself wearing many hats and juggling many roles.

I tried to balance it all, I really did. What worked one day didn’t work the next. 

One step forward, two steps backwards. By the time the girls were two years old, I knew I had to leave corporate. 

My dilemma was that work has always been important to me. It’s how I express myself and my creativity in this world.

I love being a mother but there’s this whole other part of me that needs to be engaged and independent. 

Starting my own business seemed a natural next step.

In 2001, I completed The Coach Training Program at Coach U and launched my coaching practice.

Open for Success remains the best platform for me to put my skills, education, life experience, and what I’m passionate about to good use – without sacrificing my family and personal priorities.

In 2006, I became a certified Seasons of Change® Master Coach. Since the healing power of nature has always been at the center of my life, it was a no brainer.

My goal is to help you stay true to yourself and thrive
because happy, fulfilled people make better parents,
partners, friends, and community members.

We’re all connected and how we live our lives matters. One person’s unhappiness can affect other people’s lives.

We owe it to ourselves and to each other to do what makes us happy, be at peace with ourselves, and live without regrets. That’s how we spread seeds of joy and goodness in a world that desperately needs them.

If you want to know more, stay in touch. Here’s how . . .

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