Hi, I'm Paolina. And have I got a story for you...
I'm a storyteller. I have been my whole life. My favorite stories are those celebrating the triumph of the human spirit and the power that lies within each of us to bring about change for the better.
Growing up, being the caregiver to my mom and sister, both of whom were diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, I learned to find the funny in the absurd, to make friends with the fears, and to shine a light on the darkness. Now I speak, write and teach, helping others find the magic in whatever madness they're in.
“Paolina Stopped The Bleeding”
“I connected with Paolina during a time of major life transition. My sister had recently died, and I had just moved to California from a BIG publishing job in the Chicago area…”
“…Dropping my life and moving to California was my only choice, if I was going to live with myself. My elderly mother needed care, and she needed me. After I moved, I started doing a little freelance consulting when I had time, but work wasn’t coming easily. I really was struggling with my identity. Who was I now if not an ‘executive’ with a healthy paycheck? No kids, no husband, and only two living family members – one with little time left. What would matter and who would I be after my mother was gone if I didn’t have my big career? I lost my confidence, my hope and my perspective. Paolina stopped the bleeding. I walked away from just our first conversation with a new hope and perspective I hadn’t had in months, and the journey continues. She really got me. And made me laugh. And didn’t speak ‘self-help’ nonsense to me. She pointed out things that I had become completely blind to, and handed me some new tools to start the journey. She knew what I was experiencing, and helped me begin the process of finding myself again. If my story sounds like you, Paolina Milana is the life coach you need. You’ll be just as glad as I am to have her help you remember who you are and move forward to an even better you.”
Founder and CEO, Marketing PR Pros
“She Truly Is Magic And Makes Connections You Can’t See”
“Paolina was my first phone call in the middle of my personal crisis. She stayed calm and talked me through a clear path to take. She helped me find my center and take steps from there…”
“…It made the world of difference, and I’m certain it transformed the situation. For anyone finding themselves in the middle of madness, she truly is magic and makes connections that you can’t really see on your own to get you back to a place of peace. I so recommend her as a life coach.”
Suzanne W., Founder/Designer, Rank & Sugar
“As A Coach, She Will Kick You In The Arse”
“In my experiences with Paolina, she has been caring, motivating, supportive, insightful, intensely honest, and most importantly loving. As a coach, she will kick you in the arse and hold you…”
“…accountable! She truly wants you to be the best you!”
Michael V., CEO, MV Enterprises
“Paolina Reminds Me I Have So Much Value, And I’m Worthy”
“Where do I start?! A little over a year ago, I was introduced to Paolina Milana. She has proven to me over and over again, what I have known all along. Life is so much better with a coach!...”
“…Everyone can benefit from someone who can be called upon to discuss ideas with and converse with and look at us as an individual, and see the greatness within… that we have long ago lost sight of. Whether it be our self-worth, or what we have forgotten that we know, Paolina has a way of bringing it out from the depth of our souls. She sees the value in us and helps me to see the same. She has helped me in a personal way by helping me to document my life in writing, with vision boards, recordings and chapters of my memoir. She has helped me to run my company with a new vision and remind me of the knowledge I know has value but has become so mundane that I take it for granted and dismiss it. She reminds me I have so much value to my own real estate clients. She has picked up the pieces where I fall short to get me to my goals… She has even helped me to believe in myself that I am worthy to love… The last year, for me, has been the best input that I have ever had because of this lady. I have looked at me in a very different way and as a result it has renewed my future vision. I have seen life unfold again. I have gone from hopeful to grateful! Paolina is a multi-faceted strong life coach in the most compassionate way and like a good workout, you don’t even realize the leaps and bounds you have made until you have seen the results that have been conquered. I am so confident in her ability to spend time and sort out direction, timing and results. I would recommend her in a heartbeat!”
Marlys V., Owner, Vance Realty Group
“She Helped Me Set Aside The Self-Doubt That Was Holding Me Back”
“Paolina has been a wonderful coach -- and cheerleader -- as I transition my career from television writing/production/management to a position in the non-profit or corporate world…”
“…She has helped me realize how marketable I really am, and to set aside the self-doubt that was holding me back. In our work together, I’ve learned a lot about myself and explored a variety of career possibilities to hone in on the type of position that would be the best fit for my interests and financial needs. If you’re willing to be an active participant in your career transition process and put in the thought and effort to learn new approaches to finding your dream job, I highly recommend Paolina!”
Lisa F., Producer/Writer, National Geographic
“She Made Me Feel Like I Was Worth A Million Bucks”
“I sought out Paolina for some advice on a business proposition I was offered. She went above and beyond in research. I’m sure this is her superpower! Her expertise helped me think about what I wanted…”
“…to do, structuring my goals in a way that I’d never thought of before, helping me focus on the things that really mattered to me and how I could achieve them, seeing my true path and the direction I wanted to be going. She helped me clearly see this new business proposition wasn’t in alignment with my goals or my heart. If you are so lucky to come across her path, be open to what she has to offer. I am eternally grateful for her generosity, cut-through-the-crap, yet kind-hearted way she made me feel like I was worth a million bucks.”
Stephanie F., The Essential Midwife, LM & CPM, author.
"Don't Let Your Struggle Become Your Identity."
This, Too, Shall Pass (Like A Kidney Stone...):
How "HaHa" Helps with "Cray-Cray"
One particular Christmas I went to visit my little sister who had been committed to a psychiatric facility. It had become my family's tradition: Christmas and Crazy. Because, without fail, and for reasons I have never really understood, my little sister seemed to go off her meds and off the rails just in time for the holidays.
After clearing security and waiting a while in the lobby, my little sister gleefully bounded down the hall toward me. In her hands, she eagerly held out a thick leather bound book, and when she reached me she handed it to me, whispering, "I wrote this." I looked down at the book's cover and the words "Holy Bible" glistening in gold. I wanted to laugh. Instead I just smiled and said, "Catchy title."
On another Christmas, as I approached the checkout lane at the grocery store, I remember one out-of-breath 20-something dressed in his Sunday best. He raced ahead of me to be first in line. He shrugged apologetically, waving two cartons of eggnog over his head. "My family drives me crazy," he said to me over his shoulder. I smiled. "I know what you mean," I replied. Knowing full well he hadn't a clue what crazy, as a holiday get-together or as a lifetime for an individual, really meant.
There's only one drug of choice for me when it comes to mental health and that's HUMOR.
Through her real life stories, Paolina interacts with her audiences, sharing insights and offering up 3 doable "how-tos" to start making humor work for you and the people you love.
- Every person (with or without a mental illness) still has their funny bone
- Laughing WITH and not AT is key
- Humor helps us hurdle the day-to-day cray-cray and helps us play with the possibilities of tomorrow
Sometimes, The Strongest Among Us Need Help:
Caring For Yourself While Caring For Others
In the workplace, we're given three days to "get over it" when someone we love has died. If you need help with the grieving process, even if your employer offers it, we don’t want to reach out and ask for that help. There's a certain stigma attached to ANY mental health issue. And for those of us who are caregivers - whether it's by choice or it's been thrust upon us - sometimes, self-imposed stigmas present even more challenges.
In my own situation, professionally, I was climbing the corporate ladder, large and in charge with a seat at the table, an office with floor to ceiling windows, a nameplate that started out with the title of "Chief" and dozens of staffers who looked to me for the answers. From the outside looking in, I exuded power and strength and success. Inside, however, I was struggling to keep all those plates spinning, scared to death of what would happen if I let one fall.
Add to that, a personal life consumed by serving as caregiver to both a mom and a sister diagnosed with a mental illness, and my own mental health was suffering. BUT I felt that to ask for help meant I was admitting defeat. I was a failure. I wasn't "super woman" and "cool" and "on top of it"; even worse, to ask for help meant that I was on the road to being "just like my mom, my sister, and everyone else who had a "mental illness".
Caregiver fatigue is real. Strong powerful people who seem to have it all are depressed. Recent suicides of celebrities underscore the fact that we need to make it okay to not be okay and to ask for help.
In this keynote, Paolina focuses on the strongest among us who are at risk of not getting help when needed. Keeping up the game, the façade that we can handle it -- no matter what "it" may be -- on our own can be fatal. Paolina helps audiences learn to embrace being selfish in order to have more to give when caring for others.
- Putting on your own oxygyn mask before assisting others
- Learning to foster work environments and cultures that prioritize self-care and encourage mental health days
- Realizing the courage it takes to get the help you need, even if you're the one everybody comes to for help
Wishing For A Better Past: Letting Go Of What Did Happen In Favor Of What Could Happen
Childhood is supposed to be carefree and full of fun. Unfortunately, that's not the case for many of us. Intended or not, horrible things happen to children. Classmates often bully. Parents sometimes abuse. Friends suddenly ignore us. Maybe cancer or some other illness takes hold of us. Or a trusted neighbor sexually assaults us.
I remember sitting with my own therapist going over and over and over my past. Until one day, she asked me, "Paolina, when are you going to stop wishing for a better past? Because it's never going to happen."
That was the moment everything changed for me. I realized that while I had no power over what came before, I had ALL the power over how much I allowed it to influence what was to come.
In this keynote, Paolina takes audiences on a trip through memory lane, helping them to become more aware of old haunts and past stories that no longer serve our best interests. She then uses storytelling techniques to open up a future of possibilities that aren't dependent of whatever came before.
- Recognizing your inner child deserves to have his/her voice heard, finally
- Learning to let go of the past so you CAN move forward healthier and stronger
- Understanding that you have the power to rewrite the perspective of your past and write the next chapters of your life
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