Featured Member: Angela Crawford, psychologist & transformational coach

What kind of work do you do/business do you run?

I’m a psychologist in private practice, as well as a transformational coach.  I work with people to break through limiting patterns, connect with their inner resources, and reach their dreams and goals.

More recently, I’ve also completed certification as a vegan lifestyle coach and educator.

What do you love about it? 

I believe we each have a higher purpose encoded within us, to contribute to the healing and wholeness of our world.

When we are connected with our authentic selves, our heart, our passions, and our gifts, not only are we more fulfilled, but we naturally contribute to the greater good.

I’ve been on my own journey to discover my gifts and contribution, and I love to support others, especially highly sensitive and empathic women, on their journeys.

What’s your ‘why’ in life? What drives you?

Living in a way that is grounded in my spiritual faith, that is joyful, peaceful, and authentic.  Becoming vegan has given direction and focus to my “why.”

In the past, I found myself caught up in making choices that I thought would make others happy.  When I had the courage to follow my convictions and choose a vegan lifestyle, it set off a spiral of larger transformation.

Veganism has been a pathway to express my values of compassion for all beings, care for our beautiful planet, and healthy nutrition that nurtures our bodies, minds, and spirits.

Why are you a member of the Vegan Women’s Leadership Network?

With all that is happening in our world, it is more important than ever that leaders step forward to model, teach, and catalyze the change we want to see.

I look forward to connecting with and collaborating with other vegan women, and gaining encouragement and inspiration for my path forward.

What’s been the biggest highlight or ‘wow’ moment of your career/business/professional life?

It’s been exciting to begin to uncover my “niche,” bringing together my background in psychology with my passions for holistic well-being, veganism, and spiritual transformation.

And to connect with others who share these passions is definitely a highlight.

How do you handle failures, fear and disappointment?

I’ve been learning to become more self-compassionate through challenging experiences.  Initially it takes time for me to switch gears from negative, self-critical thoughts to a more accepting and open space.

My spiritual practices of meditation and deep soul writing (a form of journaling, writing to my higher power) are supporting me to look at these experiences with more openness and receptivity.

Eventually I find there is a path forward, although it may be different than I initially thought.

What would you tell your 16-year-old self?

I would love for her to know that she is absolutely okay just as she is, including her sensitivity, her shyness, and her quirkiness.

I would encourage her to nurture her creativity.

I would let her know that the guidance from her heart can be trusted.

Which women inspire you and why?

I am inspired by women who are authentic, passionate about their convictions, and who use their gifts to help others.

Some examples are Melanie Joy, Ph.D., Victoria Moran, and Tara Brach, Ph.D.

What’s been the biggest obstacle you’ve faced and how has it helped mould who you are now?

Being a highly sensitive person, who is also an introvert, has been challenging for me in many ways.

Often I felt different, because I have always needed a lot more solitude than most people.  In the past, I was easily overwhelmed by stimuli going on around me, and by others’ energies or emotions.

I would become drained, trying to read the needs, feelings, and expectations of others, and often feeling responsible to take care of any emotional unrest.

In doing this, I would lose touch with my own feelings and needs (until they became overwhelming).  My path of self-acceptance has allowed me to see the gifts in my sensitivity, as well as to care for and include my needs.

I’ve also been more able to allow others to have their feelings, without needing to fix or change things.

These shifts have led to greater fulfillment and enjoyment.

What’s your super-power? What are you amazing at?

I’m great at organizing and creating structure, as well as holding safe, compassionate, non-judgmental space for others.

I listen deeply, gently encouraging others to turn toward challenges and to connect with their resources, inner wisdom, and greater potentials.

I’m also a lifelong learner, passionate to learn more about how we humans heal, transform, and thrive.

What brings you joy?

Being in nature, taking walks, gardening, cooking delicious vegan food, listening to music, and spending time with loved ones.

How do you define success, and how will you know when you’ve achieved it?

I’m learning to define success by following my heart’s guidance rather than the expectations set by my mind or by others.

Success is knowing that I’m on my path, right where I’m meant to be, and that with each step forward, I’m moving toward greater wholeness, authenticity, compassion, and freedom.

What’s your vision for yourself and your business/career for the future?

Offering transformational coaching and workshops to empower empathic, conscious women who want to follow their higher purpose and contribution, as well as programs to support those pursuing a plant-powered diet/lifestyle.

In addition, I would love to write a book about the connections between vegan lifestyle and emotional and spiritual thriving.

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