Joda Coolidge, M.Ed., HHC, AADP

If you had one word to describe yourself what would it be?

For me it is a Connector.

During my childhood days of playing games like kick the can and four square, I was the kid who got everyone out of their house to meet in the back alley to play. It was so important to me that everyone was included and no one felt left out. It was crucial that each friend knew that being there mattered, so they felt valued and took joy in just being who they were.

Today, creating connections for my clients–in their relationships, their careers, their health and themselves– to lead them to a feeling of happiness and balance, is still the essence of who I am.

This work is where I find joy. It is how I live life happy. It’s an amazing journey. Come join me.

 

Background and Experience

In addition to her private practice, Joda Coolidge is the Director of Life Coaching at Nava Health & Vitality Center. She believes that anyone, through choice and action, can build a rich, full life marked by joy, engagement, and success. As a positive psychology coach, she helps people live their lives with purpose, in alignment with their beliefs and their own personal definition of success. She loves to take clients on a journey of self-discovery, challenges them to identify barriers, and works collaboratively to build a realistic, achievable plan of action.

Joda has a keen sense for helping clients identify what is out of alignment: career, family, meaning and purpose or relationships. With her extensive personal experience as a counselor, coach, social worker, marketing executive, and business owner, she is unusually qualified in this field. Applying life, business and positive psychology coaching skills, clients develop an integrated, balanced plan that guides them in making choices that, when executed, bring the joy and satisfaction in life that every one of us truly deserves.

Joda has been passionate about well-being and wellness for over 30 years. After nearly two decades as a corporate marketing executive, Joda returned to her true love and founded Live Life Happy Coaching and currently practices in Washington, DC. Joda earned her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Individual/Family Studies and her Graduate degree in Counseling from the University of Delaware. As a certified CTI and positive psychology coach, she has completed training through MBI, Inc. and received training from Gretchen Pisano of Sounding Board Ink, LLC, Dr. Robert Biswas-Diener of International Happiness, the Wholebeing Institute and the Institute of Integrative Nutrition. Additionally, she is a member of ICPA, a Harvard Medical School Affiliate and is in the process of receiving her certificate from Integrative Enneagram Solutions as well as the International Coaching Federation.

Joda’s own personal happiest moments are spent having time with her husband and four adult children, savoring a cup of oolong tea, feeling the joy of a long run, finding hidden gems when traveling, and listening to the stories of people’s lives.


 

Learn more about Joda by listening to this interview with Sue Kemple, The Wellness Wordsmith:

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Joda, thanks so much for inviting me to spend a few minutes talking with you today. I know we want to help visitors to your website gain a clearer picture of who you are, what you do, and why you do it. Can you share with us how you’ve come to do the work you’re doing now?

Oh I’d love to. It actually has been a lifelong journey that began early on, Sue. Probably in my early twenties, when I had the opportunity to do some graduate work with women who were challenged with eating disorders. And I came to find out very soon that it really had very little to do with the food, and it was all about the relationships in their lives, and how they felt about themselves. And the journey has really come full circle, and now I just relish the opportunity to work with women and help them find more joy in their lives, and really being true to who they are and what makes them happy.

Is there a highlight from this past year, a moment when you’ve supported a client, really connected with somebody – is there something that stands out for you?

There’s one person who comes to mind… brilliant woman, very talented, has her own business and a beautiful family. But it’s difficult for her to carve out time for herself. And I just found it so rewarding that in our work together, she was able to recognize that by giving herself time and really opening up space to be a little happier, that it tenfold gave back to her work, gave back to her family, and probably the most important thing, just helped her feel much more appreciation for her already terrific life.

That’s beautiful. Can you give us a little insight? How did you help her get to that place?

I know it’s going to sound a little bit unusual, but in our crazy, busy, hectic lives, what I find is that most of us are challenged just to stop and pause for five minutes and get reconnected. And what happens is we’re running so fast and furious, and we have so much that we’re managing now… way more than twenty or thirty years ago. And so I think just by encouraging her to stop and reconnect, and really get in touch with how she was feeling and what she was missing and what would create more joy in her life…. It was an unfolding. That’s what I love about my work is just creating that opportunity for women to really get in touch with who they are and just stop and listen – which is hard for us to do today.

No kidding, it IS hard for us to do today! One really awesome way you do this is through your Best Friend Retreats. Can you tell us more about that?

The best friend retreat, and I have to thank a colleague and dear friend who helped me recognize that one of the things I value more than anything are relationships. I feel like that’s why we’re here: for our connection to our best friends and significant others, to the important people in our lives – and of course, the most important connection is with ourselves. Best Friend Retreats came about because over the last 25 years, the most special moments in my life are the times where I went away with dear sisters or friends, where we spent three days together, laughing and reconnecting. Again, back to this connection piece, I found that in my best friends’ relationships, years could go by before we really just had time to be together. So I decided to take the places on my bucket list – some amazing spa destinations, Sue – and decided that life is too short to compromise and stay at the Red Roof Inn. We picked some really special places that are magical and provide an opportunity for people to connect with the best friends in their lives.

Is there anything else you’d like to share about who you are and what you do?

I think the last piece that I really enjoy are the workshops that I do. My coaching, while I have this absolute passion for health and wellness, the other piece that I love providing are the workshops. One of the workshops that I treasure is called What’s Next. There are many of us who go through life stages and we have many, many, many wonderful years ahead of us where we can redefine ourselves, and we can get back in touch with how we want to live our lives more fully. And the What’s Next workshop provides that opportunity. I love the dynamic of a small group, Sue. I love it! I love the interaction, because I can provide one piece, and then the other women in the group really support each other and help each other grow. And that’s something that I find very magical, and I enjoy doing that.

Well, this has been an absolute pleasure – of course, it’s always a pleasure chatting with you, and we could talk all day. If someone wants to get in touch with you, what’s the best way?

The best way is to visit my website: www.jodacoolidge.com… there’s a place to connect, and I would love to hear from any and all, and we’ll be back in touch as soon as I can!

Thanks so much, Joda.

You bet – thanks Sue!