Creative Breakthrough Coaching

There´s a bright future (still) ahead for you! 

photo of Maya Frost, trauma-informed breakthrough transformational coach, owner of Switch Transformations  (head shot),  with gray hair, smiling, wearing a blue blouse with a turquoise scarf

I´m Maya, and this is the work I love.

Both serious and playful, it´s a creative blend of my: 

✔️great gigs as an author, artist, educator, change strategist, business owner, mindfulness trainer, and digital course coach

✔️diverse interests (ecology, psychology, tech, art & business) 

✔️unique tweaks of motivation techniques 

✔️quirky talent for imagining outrageous opportunities

✔️playful disruption to create new ways to solve problems 

✔️worldly view from living and traveling in many countries 

✔️been-there wisdom thanks to healing from complex childhood trauma 

Living a rich, full life for a long time gives us the tools to assimilate and innovate

So, we tap into your own deep well of wisdom and talent and then play with it to reveal

ILlustration that reads: your most brilliant self
illustration using cursive script that reads: My story

Your beliefs, habits, and choices are inextricably linked to your early years.

But you´re not locked into those early stories. You can change them.

I (over!)share here to show you exactly how switching your story can change your life.

This has been my guiding force for forty years now. You could say I walk my talk. 😊

Warning: the following section has multiple references to trauma.

SKIP TO THE BREAKTHROUGH PAGE HERE

Loss, change, and trauma.

I was adopted at two days old. My parents divorced when I was four. (When my father told my mother he was ¨homosexual,¨ she had to look it up in the dictionary.)

We moved to Oregon to live with my mother´s parents. Six months later, my grandfather died suddenly while mowing the lawn. My grandmother (primary caregiver) spiraled into early dementia, and attempted to kill me - twice. (She believed I had brought bad luck to the family.)

My father attempted to kidnap my two brothers and me, resulting in a ban on visitation for five years.

My mother remarried to a divorced man with four children. We moved into a garage we built in rural Oregon.

Sexual abuse began immediately. I had just turned 10.  

⬆️ complex childhood trauma 

photo of Maya Frost at age two, black and white image

Me at age ten.

I studied, saved the money I earned from working in the fields, and acted like I was just fine. ⬅️ denial & suppression

Then, at 15, I was the sole survivor in a devastating accident..It happened while visiting a friend miles from where I lived. My parents and the police insisted it would be best if I never mentioned it to anyone, ever. Nobody suggested counseling. ⬅️ lack of acknowledgement of suffering

I did not tell a single person - not even my siblings - for years. 

photo of garage in rural Oregon where Maya Frosy, trauma-informed breaktrhrough transformational coach, grew up

The garage in Gaston, Oregon, 1970.

Silently reeling from survivor guilt, I fell into a deep depression.

Someone reached out to teach me to meditate. But it was hard to sit with such intense emotions and suicidal thoughts.

So, I created a way to turn mindfulness into a fun game I couldn´t wait to play. I used everyday cues to remind me to be present.

I did it all day long. I got good at it. And it saved me.

But I continued to engage in self sabotage.

I developed an eating disorder, and was suspended from high school for showing up drunk at the homecoming dance when I was the homecoming queen. ⬅️ people-pleasing behavior

photo of Maya Frost as a teen living in rural Oregon, wearing overalls

Smiling through the pain.

At 17, I met my birth motherWe began a difficult relationship. 

Backstory: She had become pregnant at 21 after falling in love with an older married man who lied to her about being separated (his wife and son were planning on joining him once the school year finished) and infertile (he had impregnated his secretary six months earlier).

My birth mother attempted suicide twice while pregnant with me, and showed up at my birth father´s workplace with a loaded gun, threatening to kill herself unless he married her. 

She never had any other children, and was diagnosed with M.S. at age 28. (Research now shows that M.S. can be related to anger and its impact on the nervous system.)

⬆️ intergenerational trauma

photo of Maya Frost with her birth mother, age 85

She´s 85 now, and my only living parent. We enjoy laughing at the absurdity of our trauma stories.

I plotted my escape.

As valedictorian of my class ⬅️ perfectionism I got a scholarship/financial aid package and headed off to college. I double majored in psychology and Asian Studies, and spent my senior year studying in nine Asian countries. It opened the world to me.

When I returned to Oregon, newly graduated, it was the middle of a recession. Stuck at home and unable to find a job for months, I became convinced that the future I´d imagined for myself was slipping away from me.

I believed I would be unlucky forever.

⬆️ persistent limiting belief despite recent fulfillment and success

photo of Maya Frost with several Nepalese friends she met while trekking, sitting in front of a house made of stacked stones, with a sign that reads: Welc om to Tibetian Yak Hotel - Lodging and Fooding

Me with friends I met while trekking in Nepal, 1982.

At 22, I realized I needed a new mindset and a fresh start.

So, I legally changed my full name. 

I was ridiculed by friends and family.

My adoptive father even ¨disowned¨ me.

I didn´t care. 

I went from Greta Welchoff to Maya Talisman.

And I fully committed to believing that I was magically LUCKY.

⬆️ switch to a new story to replace the ¨unlucky¨one 

I breathed it in. I chanted it to myself. 

I saw ONLY good things coming my way.

I imagined every detail.

Ding ding! Now watch how everything shifts...

photocopy of Name Change Decree for Maya Frost  from Greta Welchoff to Maya Talisman

Almost immediately, I landed a job teaching English in northern Japan. 

Within two months of arrival, I met my soul mate, who grew up just ten miles from my hometown.

Two years later, we got married, and had four daughters within five years, fulfilling my dream of creating my own family and doing things differently.

After five years in Japan, we settled in a college town in Oregon. My husband started an import/export business with Japan, and I taught ESL classes at the university

photo of two young people, Maya and Tom Frost, as newlyweds, wearing Japanese blue and white yukata with yellow belt, festival street scene behind them

Newlyweds at the Nebuta Festival in Aomori, Japan, 1985

When our youngest started preschool, I opened a vintage/resale clothing store that catered to local students and international resellers. Those were fun seat-of-our-pants years, with four young children, three businesses (including a snowboard/skateboard shop), and a long list of community activities. We organized the building of a skate park and a Saturday Market for vendors ages 10-20, and won awards like Hometown Hero and Best New Business.

photo of Maya Frost in her store, Retro Active Clothing Company, in Forest Grove, Oregon, 1996

Very 90s me at Retro Active Clothing Company, 1996

In 1998, we took a three-month trip with our four daughters to Nepal and India, where my husband had spent a year as a Rotary Youth Exchange student at 16. It inspired all of us.

I got certified as a mediator and conflict resolution facilitator.

I served as the national outreach director for an environmental education organization, and later, as executive director of a peace and social justice non-profit.

When our four girls were in middle and high school, I was reminded of my own experiences at their age, including the accident and its aftermath. 

I was also processing the deaths of three of my brothers (one of AIDS, two by suicide).

I doubled down on my mindfulness practice.

And I remembered my fun little mindfulness game. 

I thought it might help others. So, in 2003, I created a simple online course. 

Through my course and newsletter, I was able to help thousands of people in over 100 countries get calm, clear, and creative. My playful eyes-wide-open approach to everyday awareness was featured in over 150 media outlets around the world.

illustration of the logos of various magazines that featured Maya Frost´s mindfulness work: Bazaar, Cosmopolitan, Menś Health, Marie Claire, Glamour, Ladies´ Home Journal, MORE, Wired, Penthouse, and Parents

Three of our daughters went on their own Rotary Youth Exchange years abroad. 

Next, we sold everything and moved to Mexico. A year later, we moved to Argentina

Our daughters were graduating from U.S. or Canadian universities at 19 or 20. 

People asked how they did it. I wrote a query letter, and got a book deal.

My book, THE NEW GLOBAL STUDENT, was published by Crown (Random House) in 2009.

"Funny, innovative, and meaningful...a how-to guide with heart."

The Boston Globe

"Tremendous insight...essential reading for families yearning to step off the treadmill and plunge into the world." 

Daniel H. Pink, New York TImes' bestselling author of DRIVE and A WHOLE NEW MIND

¨[This book] will open your eyes, get your heart pounding and your mind racing, and maybe set you off on the adventure of a lifetime.¨

Eric Maisel, author of CREATIVITY FOR LIFE and COACHING THE ARTIST WITHIN

image of the cover of Maya Frost´s book: The New Global Student: Skip the SAT, Save Thousands on Tuition, and Get a Truly International Education, published by Crown/Random House in 2009

As new empty nesters, my husband and I bought and refurbished a farmhouse in rural Uruguay.

That was great fun, but we missed being around kids. We decided to return to Asia to teach young children again.

We got jobs teaching at a private kindergarten in Beijing. Within a year, I was promoted to vice principal.

Weeks later, I was recruited from a pool of top creative international educators to serve as the private English tutor for the family of Jack Ma, founder of Alibaba, in Hangzhou. 

Me teaching the Lucky Baby program I created based on the latest research in infant language acquisition, Beijing, 2011.

After four years in China, we moved back to Mexico, where we immersed ourselves in creating art.

During an epidemic, I got chikungunya, a mosquito-borne virus that causes severe joint pain. (Not so lucky, but wait!)

I developed a related autoimmune condition similar to rheumatoid arthritis. It came with a terrible prognosis of a shortened life due to progressive joint and organ failure. I skipped the chemo-drugs-for-life prescription and focused on natural healing methods.

I became completely symptom-free and healthy without ever taking medication.

Cala, from my Cucina Tradicional series of 12 art tortillas celebrating Mexican Independence Day (embroidery on fresh flour tortilla with flour and corn)  2015

We moved back to Buenos Aires, where our youngest daughter was living.

We spent the pandemic there during one of the longest and strictest lockdowns in the world.

I started creating digital art. I turned my work into NFTs that sold to collectors around the world, and donated the proceeds to organizations working effectively on climate change solutions. 

I became a vocal advocate for sustainable blockchain practices and ethical AI standards. I spoke on international panels and published articles in sustainability journals.

My art was shown in exhibits in the UK, Spain, France, and Italy.

 

photo of Maya Frost´s digital art piece, Bridal, as shown on a large digital screen during an exhibition at Poble Espanyol in Barcelona, Spain, 2022

Bridal, shown at Poble Espanyol in Barcelona, Spain, 2022. 

During this time, I started Switch Strategies for Change to offer support to women who were struggling with income insecurity due to closures. It was while doing this pro bono work that I developed my creative breakthrough transformational coaching technique to quickly help my clients overcome the limiting beliefs that would block their success.  

 

In 2024, Switch Strategies for Change became Switch Transformations with a focus on helping women over 50 experience bold creative breakthroughs in their personal and professional lives.

illustration that reads: So, that´s my ¨lucky¨ story.

There´s a trendy thing now called ¨Lucky Girl Syndrome¨ that inspires some and gets others sputtering. Many insist that it is not possible to ¨think yourself lucky.¨ 

I know it´s possible. And I know how to make it work.

My ¨lucky girl syndrome¨ keeps leading me to new dreams.  

Like helping even more women over 50 around the world create wonderful new lives for themselves.

Like living a sweet life in Buenos Aires with my husband, just a couple of blocks from our youngest daughter and her 4-year-old son. 

Like gathering for a month in Portugal this summer with our daughters and their families (including 5 grandchildren under the age of 5) who live in Amsterdam, Dubai, and Sacramento.

Like spending the whole summer playing in Europe.

photo of a view from behind of two young women, one taking a photo, who are walking behind two young men with two young children on their shoulders holding hands, city street scene

Family visiting us in Buenos Aires, 2022. 

Of course, my dream life may not look anything like yours.

And that´s the point!

We each get to choose what we want for ourselves.

And we are limited only by our beliefs, our imagination, and our willingness to change.

I choose to work with creative women like YOU who want this chapter of life to be their most thrilling and fulfilling, and who share my passion for 

awareness, creativity, growth, and FUN. 

Matching the glacier in southern Patagonia -  2024

I believe you are here for a reason. 

(And not just because it´s the bottom of the page.) 

Whether you are:

*feeling stuck 

*facing a setback or transition

*re-examining your purpose at this stage of your life 

*longing to start an exciting new chapter for yourself, or

*ready to live in a whole new way

I can help you create the life you dare to imagine.