Remembering Verla

My favorite aunt transitioned out of this life last month.  

(Fuck you COVID!)

Verla & Daniel

I began pondering life, death, and the overwhelming relief of ascension while she was sick and in the hospital, which is where last week’s blog post, Gravity vs. Lightness of Being came from.

I know she’s not gone.  I truly believe we are all eternal, and every time I am connecting to my highest vibration – unconditional Love – I have access to Verla right here and now.  These thoughts ease my heart, but does that mean I don’t feel sad?  

Fuck. No.

I miss Verla.  I am sad that one of the most positive influences of my life is physically absent.  One of my sources for unconditional love is less accessible to me.  I am still fully supported by the Universe, but for the moment I feel like someone stole one of the legs off the chair I am sitting in.  Balance takes effort, and I occasionally hit the floor.  

(And it is nobody’s business but mine, how long I lie on the floor eating Hershey bars before I get back up!)

Just because I am able to relax into uncertainty and embrace the eternalness of myself, and the eternalness of Verla, does not mean I am not angry at fucking covid, and hurting from loss – of course I am! 

I’m beautifully human that way, and feel the entire spectrum of emotions available  to me.

But my beliefs hold me up, so that my grief cannot drown me.  When I feel I’m going under, my beliefs rise like the life preserver they are to save my ass.  

In order to help transform my grief, I decided to share some stories of Verla here.  After all, our stories are what carry us after death.  

Cyndi, Patty, K Lynn, Jan, & Laura, with Verla front and center.

I met my aunt Verla when I was 6 months old.  She took me in her arms and called me Tuffy Duck.  I took to her like a second mother, and we were close my entire life despite how many miles lay between us.


When Grandma bought my sister and I our first bicycle, Verla drove the five of us to Des Moines – Verla, Grandma, Mom, Laura & me – five incredible women. 

We got the bike at Sears, and before we could push it to the front door, Laura and I started arguing – the way sisters will – about who would get to ride it first.  Mom and Grandma tried to stop the argument, but Verla mounted the bike, training wheels and all, and peddled right out the front door of Sears, assuring that she got to ride it first.  


In 1977, Mom took us to visit Verla in Baton Rouge, and we all went to the hottest movie released that summer, Star Wars: A New Hope.  None of us had ever seen anything like it.  Thus began my love affair with Han Solo (and – let’s just admit it – Harrison Ford), the Rebel Alliance, and the Evil Empire.  Three years later, Verla was in Iowa and took Laura and me to see The Empire Strikes Back.  I still love the Star Wars Universe, and remember fondly attending the first two movies with Verla, and calling her after viewing the third to revel in the triumph of the Endor Moon.


A couple of years ago, Verla broke her leg.  After more than a year of being mostly immobile and trying to save the leg, she chose to have it amputated above her knee.  I have never seen anyone as positive as Verla in the face of such a challenging recovery.  She called her leg stumpy, or sometimes Bob, and threatened to tattoo a smiley face on the end of it.  She joked with the techs who were making her prosthesis that she would like to have a pogo stick. 

She was a wonderful example of not sweating the small stuff, and apparently to Verla, losing a leg is small stuff, cause it sure didn’t dampen her spirit.  One of her church friends said Verla had fantastic sass, a lively spirit, a cutting wit, and a heart of gold.  I would have to agree on all counts.  


Mom, Verla & Uncle John

Verla was smart, funny, and full of life.  She was easy to talk to and put people at ease.  She loved Willie Nelson, and my uncle John.  She loved my mother in the way that only a fierce, protective sibling can – deeply and without condition – the same way she loved me and my sister, and her entire family.

She called me on her last day to tell me she was flying out.  I thanked her for all she had been to me, and all the love she had shared.  I assured her that I would continue to communicate with her, and follow her wisdom.  She assured me from her death bed that if I didn’t, she would kick my ass.  

I was her Tuffy duck, and she was mine.  I will think of her whenever I see a turtle, a monarch butterfly, a barking sea lion, or a royal red cardinal.  I will connect with her and listen for her wisdom every time I am plugged into Source energy, because if I don’t, I do not doubt that she will find a way to kick my ass.


My friend, Bekka May Curtis, gave me the most important reminder for which I thank her. “Verla will shine eternally in every universe and every sparkle of sun.” 

It’s true!  I feel it in my soul, and I see her in every sparkle of sun.

Amber with Verla

The intent of my blog is to empower the reader, so write on!

Optional Journal Prompts ~
How much do your beliefs buoy you up, or weigh you down?
What do you believe about the transition called death?
How well is that belief serving you?
What would you like to believe about death?
How do you want to be remembered?

Body Transformation Playground ~ FREE!

I am SO excited about my Mind Body Eating Coach certification training at the Institute for the Psychology of Eating!

I am studying Mind Body Nutrition, and Dynamic Eating Psychology.

Soon I will be a Certified Mind Body Eating Coach with several unique tools to help people with issues like emotional eating, stress eating, binge eating, yo-yo dieting, under-eating, food guilt, body shame, food and body judgment, intense appetite, digestive issues, and more.

I am discovering so much, and am eager to share with others!

I crave space to share the concepts and tools I am learning, and opportunities to answer questions that will arise in my coaching practice. I want to share with YOU if this is something that interests or excites you!

I envision creating a group coaching program where I help women and men – who have tried repeatedly to transform their issues with food and body – to finally achieve their goals. 

To align with this vision, I created Body Transformation Playground!

I am inviting you to play!

I know many people think of body transformation as hard work, and I want to reframe that by introducing some fun things we can do that lead to sustainable change. Of course if your goal is a super lean body and six-pack abs, then some kind of hard work and sweat will be involved, and most health and nutrition coaches have tools to help people map a path to this kind of goal.

I’m talking about helping those of us who have lifelong food issues we have repeatedly tried to “fix” with one kind of eating/exercise plan or another.

I sometimes engage in emotional eating.

Like so many people, I have used food to soothe stress for my entire life. Until I learned to address the emotional reasons I eat, no plan that my coach and I concocted could ever succeed, and no changes I made would stick. Weight loss and workout plans sometimes create results, but until we address the deeper issue of what to do about our stress, we can easily get derailed, or after progress we slip back into pre-programmed habits that land us back where we started.

If you are experiencing emotional eating, stress eating, binge eating, yo-yo dieting, under eating, unwanted weight, food guilt, body shame, judgment around food and body, intense appetite, or chronic digestive issues, you are NOT alone! PLEASE join me on the Body Transformation Playground for six months FREE!


You heard me right! The Body Transformation Playground is open to you for FREE for the next six months – if you choose to join – just because you’re on my mailing list, or because someone on my mailing list forwarded this to you!

If you want to explore real body transformation, I am here to play!
Let’s make it fun!

What’s Included?

Body Transformation Playground includes a twice-monthly email focused on the juiciest tidbits, toys, and tools for body transformation that I discover in my psychology of eating classes. The emails will include fun ways to transform our relationship with food, journal topics around food and body, motivational images, ongoing encouragement, and so much more!

Once a month on zoom (audio only), I will host Body Transformation Playground live, where I practice teaching the concepts I am learning, answer participant questions, and possibly even do a little live coaching when time permits!

I will share all I am learning about eating psychology and how to free ourselves from our eating issues, and in return all I ask is that you submit questions, and give feedback.

Submit questions. Tune in to hear answers. Give feedback. That’s it!

My coaching skills are solid, but my tech skills need polishing, so these first six months will be a learning space, play space, and experimenting space for all of us while I learn how best to create fun effective content, record videos, post replays, and handle Zoom meetings, all while playing with the toys and insights I am learning at the Institute for the Psychology of Eating, and sharing them with you!

Beyond this six-month series, I will be offering the Body Transformation Playground as part of a package for paid clients, so jump in now!

Join me to play with the idea that body transformation can be more fun than we have been allowing! Join me to discover more ease and enjoyment on the path to sustainable transformations!

If you are interested, subscribe by emailing me at cyndicombs@gmail.com

Simply email with “SUBSCRIBE TO PLAYGROUND” in the subject, and I will manually add your address to the list.

Currently, I am committing to Zoom meetings (audio only) on the following dates, but I may add more dates!

Dates to add to your schedule if you are interested in Body Transformation Playground:

All times listed are Pacific Daylight Time

  • Sunday, April 24 @ 6pm
  • Friday, May 27 @ 6pm
  • Monday, June 20 @ 6pm
  • Saturday, July 23 @ 9am
  • Sunday, Aug 21 @ 6pm
  • Monday, Sep 26 @ 6pm OR Friday, Sep 30 @ 6pm

I chose different days of the week to accommodate many schedules, and I am willing to be flexible with these dates based on feedback!

If joining this series excites you but you cannot make these dates, please reply to this email to let me know what day/dates/times would work for you, and we will try to work something out and add at least a few dates that will work for all of us!

Thank you so much for being willing to play some new ideas!

My practice grows through referral!

As you can tell, I am SUPER excited about my expanding coaching practice!

PLEASE forward this email if you know anyone who struggles with weight issues, emotional eating, stress eating, binge eating, yo-yo dieting, under eating, food guilt, body shame, food and body judgement, intense appetite, or digestive issues!

THANK YOU. I appreciate you!

I’m a Fucking Navy Brat

I know.  That goes a long way toward explaining my potty mouth, right?

I am so fucking ANGRY, confused, and ashamed for my country right now!

I BELIEVED when I was taught that the United States was FIRST in the world, FIRST to defend honor & do the right thing, FIRST among all the countries in ALL things.  I was so proud growing up knowing I was part of the solution, the chosen.  I was so blessed to be born in the best nation on earth!

In my military family, on a military base surrounded by other military families, I was taught that our commander in chief was above dishonor, and beyond question.  He was our leader and he would NEVER let us down.  I BELIEVED.  Of course I believed.  I was born with immense faith, and my parents loved me and taught me right from wrong.  These ideas were incontrovertible.

But when I was old enough to dare thinking for myself, I could see the varnish wearing thin on the lies I had been spoon fed since birth.

I could see that not all of our peace keeping missions were peace filled.  I could see where we butted in without invitation.  I could see that NOT all Americans were treated equally, and not all American leaders gave a shit about defending honor or doing the right thing, so much as reaping financial profits for themselves and their wealthy friends.

I would no longer drink the Kool aid that said we were a proud defender of the huddled masses yearning to breathe free.  But I did continue to drink the Kool aid that I was powerless to change anything.  I could see that my country’s founding principles were being shit on, I just didn’t think I could do anything to protect those principles when the most powerful people in the world were the ones corrupting and undermining our national morals for power and financial gain.

On January 6, 2021, armed terrorists marched on the capitol of the United States.  I haven’t felt this shocked, appalled, and violated since 9-11.

But the terrorists were being stoked to a frenzy by the hate-filled tweets and social media rants of one Donald J Trump, the same guy who swore to protect and defend our constitution when he took the oath of the highest office in our land.  These were not the peaceful pussy-hat protests of January 2017.  These were NOT the hopeful Black Lives Matter protests of last August.

Unlike peaceful protestors, yesterday’s terrorists brought loaded weapons, threatened lives, destroyed property, and tried to destroy the results of our democratic elections.

I was horrified and sickened as I watched the rampage unfold without interference from the Capitol police who have taken an oath to support the Constitution of the United States, their state, and the laws of their jurisdiction.  

One hundred fifty nine MILLION of us voted last November.  A few thousand are trying to make it NOT COUNT literally.  And they are being encouraged and supported by the most powerful among us.  

They are encouraged and supported by:
• Capitol police who stood with arms down, and allowed trespass and more.
• 139 members of the House of Representatives (holding office to ‘represent’ the people) who tried to subvert our votes despite the fact that those same ballots put them in office.  
• Eight senators who voted to overturn the votes of millions of Americans.
• The person holding the office of the president of the United States, who rage tweets and spews hate-filled blatant lies meant to divide us and destroy our democracy.

This must not fucking stand.  

We must NOT drink the Kool aid that says “I am powerless and there is nothing I can do.” We are powerful beings and now is the time to choose what we believe. Choosing to believe we are powerless is what they want.  They win when we give them our power.

Do we choose to believe what others tell us to believe?
Election fraud is rampant!  There’s no proof because it’s a conspiracy!  The poor are stealing from you!  YOU need to work for health care, but we get it FREE.  Trump supporters spit vitriol & sedition for months, but then showed up and peacefully protested, while those Black Lives Matter people overran the capitol with guns and white leaders.

Do we choose to believe what we see with our own fucking eyes?
The emperor has gone fucking mad, and is strutting naked in the streets crying how FINE his new clothes are.

Understanding that we are powerful enough to make a difference is a radical act.  Believing we can make positive change is revolutionary.

What do you choose to believe?

What is one small action you can take to move the world in the direction you want it to grow?

Who the Fuck needs a Life Coach?

It has come to my attention that marketing professional coaching
is much, MUCH harder than marketing amazing massage therapy. 

If I ask you for referrals to my massage practice, you can probably think of at least a dozen people who want one or who can benefit from it.  If I ask you for referrals to my coaching practice, you probably know at least a half dozen, but how would you KNOW they need a coach? 

In thirteen years of practicing massage, I never had to pay for advertising and I certainly never had to educate people about what it is that I do.  People know what a massage is and many of us (me FIRST!) are addicted to the stress release, pleasure, comfort, relaxation and overall feeling of well-being that comes with massage.  Many people are realizing that massage is an essential part of their health care budget, and include it as a regular part of their self-care.

If you have an amazing massage therapist and you hear someone say that their back hurts, or that they started running and have tight hamstrings, or that they suffer from tension headaches, you know from personal experience that massage is helpful, and you feel confident saying so and recommending your therapist.  Massage therapy is pretty mainstream, so if you find yourself in need of massage, you feel comfortable asking friends for recommendations.  But, who the fuck needs a life coach? 

Maybe a better question to start with is, 

What the fuck does a life coach do?

When my therapist first suggested that I would make a great life coach, my response to her was, “Is that a thing?”  So I am never surprised when people haven’t a clue about what I do or who needs/wants professional coaching.

Coaches are NOT therapists, psychologists or counselors. If you are clinically depressed, please seek help from one of these professions. Coaches do not give advice or delve into the roots of your issues.

Coaches help you clearly see where you are,
then help you map a path to where you want to go.

Humans sometimes struggle with getting to where we want to be.  We might know what we want and just can’t quite figure out how to get there.  Or maybe we KNOW the steps required to get us there, but we can’t quite motivate ourselves to take those steps.  Sometimes we can’t even figure out WHAT the hell we want because we have so many thoughts cluttering our minds.

People may struggle with time scarcity and feel overwhelmed. 
We sometimes deal with financial scarcity that can create cycles of fear and worry.  During transitions in our lives, we can sometimes feel unanchored, and unsure what course to chart next.  If we have many paths before us, sometimes we can’t choose.  And if we have any difficult emotions attached to the situations we are going through, that’s when things can get challenging. 

It is immensely helpful in times like these to talk to someone who is not emotionally attached to your outcome, someone who can help clarify your thinking and help you find your way forward to where you want to be.

That’s what life coaches do. We help clients overcome obstacles to get from where they are to where they’d like to be.

How do we do that?  By having conversations about values, goals, and habitual thoughts and behavior patterns.  By looking at what influences their energy socially, physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually, and environmentally. 
By discovering ways to increase energy in all those areas.  By replacing fear with faith, which has a very different vibration and attracts very different energy into one’s life.

So, who the fuck needs a life coach?

People going through one of the struggles mentioned above.  People who never have the energy to do what they love doing. People who want to reach their goals.  People who want to manifest their dreams.  People going through any kind of transition like changing careers or relationships, moving to a new city, or empty nesting.  People struggling to reach their health goals.  People who have lost their confidence or have low self-esteem.  People who know they want MORE from their lives, but aren’t quite sure more of what.

Me.  I need a life coach.  

One of the BEST parts about my coaching school was that we constantly had peers coaching us for practice.  I was practicing my coaching skills which was extremely valuable, but receiving coaching weekly had the added benefit of tremendous self-growth along with an increased understanding of what it feels like to receive the benefits of regular coaching.  My mother looked at me like I was crazy when I told her I was still being coached regularly.  “But you are a trained coach, why do you need one?”

GREAT question!  There are a lot of ways in which I can and do coach myself all the time to change habitual thoughts from my past that do not serve my goals.  But I also pay two professional coaches for regular sessions.  I have an In the Flow coach who helps keep my energy and enthusiasm high, and I have a life coach to help me plan my goals, improve my relationships, and be the best version of me that I can be!  I also follow a business coach on Facebook to pick up lots of hints and tips on how to grow my coaching practice.

So, who needs a life coach?  Everyone NEEDS a life coach!

But, who can coaching help?

Coaching can ONLY help those who are willing to show up for themselves, and take the actions required to get out of their own way and get to where they want to go.

Here is the most important question:

Who the fuck is READY for a life coach?

If you know a truly amazing life coach, who do you refer to her for coaching?  

Coaching is becoming more common, but when someone finds themselves needing a coach, they may not feel comfortable asking for recommendations.  They may not think any of their friends know a life coach.  It’s just not that main stream.  I mean, really, is life coaching a thing?

PLEASE keep your ears open for key phrases like these:

I always feel so overwhelmed!
I’m tired all the time. I have no energy. 
I want to change (something), but have no idea how! 
I have tried to change (something), but I always fail. 
My life doesn’t matter. 
I’ll never reach my goals. 
Is this all there is to life? 
I want more from my life, I just don’t know what. 
Why can’t I stick to my own healthy intentions?
I have to do everything myself. 
I’m in a rut and I can’t get out. 
I want to complete (some large goal) but I have no idea where to start!

Anyone saying these things will benefit from coaching.
If you regularly say these things, contact me for a chat!

When you hear phrases like these from friends, you will be helping us both by giving them my name and contact info. 

I will be delighted to schedule a 30 minute session to see if coaching is a good fit for the challenges they’re facing.  No obligation. No sales pitch.  If it seems like coaching can help, I’ll tell them what I offer my clients.  If I am not the right coach for them, I have an extensive network of other coaches with varying specialities that I am delighted to refer them to, and a LONG list of free resources that might be all they need to set them on the path to their dreams!

This is partially about building my practice, but it’s mostly about making sure people have the support they need to succeed in life! 

That’s what I am passionate about! 
I want everyone to live the best possible version of themselves!

Grow on!

What will happen if you share this blog post?
Who will you help? 
Who do you know who is currently facing life challenges? 
Who do you know who’s been struggling awhile to reach a goal? 
Who do you know who is in transition and could use some support? 
How many of the key phrases above have you used recently? 
What is your biggest goal? 
What steps are you currently taking to get there? 
What steps are you avoiding?  Why? 
What’s holding you back?

Yelp Reviews from Cyndi’s Coaching Clients: