We had the good fortune of connecting with Lizi Oceransky and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Lizi, can you tell us more about your background and the role it’s played in shaping who you are today?
There are so many aspects of everyone’s upbringing! Where should I start? While I had a happy childhood generally speaking, there are two aspects that I believe are fairly outstanding in the way they impacted me with regards to who I am today. The first one is associated with the fact that I was born and raised in Mexico City, in a community that at the time was very patriarchal, with its heavy dose of “machismo” and a fair amount of conservativism. In every area of life, I was able to see that men and women had different rights and obligations, a fact that was not only intriguing but I would even say, triggering to me. I was challenged by the status quo that nurtured gender inequality. It was clear that women were not in positions of power, they were not working in large corporations, owning businesses, managing people, or being entrepreneurial, rather, it was the men who were the providers and along with that, at home, in my case, my father was responsible for consequences, punishments, and discipline. Honestly, sometimes I wondered about this and struggled to understand the roles of each one and the established differences. I remember asking a lot of questions about my parents’ norms, expectations, and decision making; I especially didn’t like to feel that my voice didn’t matter as much, I wanted to understand the WHY of things… When I was 10 years old my parents made the decision to move to Israel for a sabbatical year. That year changed my life. Life in Israel served as an opportunity for me to build independence, self-confidence, and to discover my ability to adapt to any situation life will offer to me. I was invited then for the first time to the challenge and at the same time, the gift that life-transitions can bring into our lives. I was able to meet incredible people including one of the most wonderful friends that joined my life journey since then and until today. How this impacts me in my life today? I eventually grew up to become an strong advocate for gender equality and women’s rights. A few examples of this: During my B.A. I minored in Women Studies; During my Master’s Degree in Counseling, I volunteered for multiple years in a Rape Crisis Center to support battered, sexually assaulted, and abused women. Being exposed to these experiences was incredibly hard but at the same time life-defining for me and for what I want to do next. More recently, I have been part of an amazing project offering pro-bono Counseling and Coaching hours for women of vulnerable populations in Africa. Also, through COVID I have been able to volunteer as a coach for the NY Public Library and the Make the Road Organization – two projects focusing on empowering and supporting individuals affected by COVID. The second aspect I would like to point out is that during my upbringing I was involved in various sports including competitive level gymnastics, swimming, and diving. Being exposed to these demanding activities, helped me develop perseverance, dedication, and tenacity, to the point that I developed a big sense of responsibility and consistency. There is no doubt on my mind that because of this, I grew up as a strong and determined woman, and even if the road is bumpy, and success is not guaranteed, I will put my strong heart and trust in the process, and achieve what I am determined to accomplish. For example, in 2014, after becoming a Certified Daring Way™ Facilitator, a curriculum based on the research of Dr. Brené Brown, and after experiencing a fundamentally transformational moment, I decided to put in practice some of the concepts just learned through the process, such as Daring and living a courageous life by entering new arenas, and decided, just there and then, that this was the time to fulfill my lifelong dream and open my new private coaching practice (which included quitting my job). The decision was not easy and required a lot of dedication and commitment and much harder work than when I earned a salary. But it was all worth it. As I reflect on this excellent question, I am able to look at the world from multiple perspectives, empathizing with people around me in a compassionate way, encouraging and creating true connections. My experiences have allowed me to adapt and recognize the possibilities I have in the world to support others as a Life Coach so they can do the same – to find the courage to trust their journey, to speak up, to be curious, to not be afraid for the possibilities they can discover, to understand that we will have struggles in life, but with clarity of values, we will find the way and the support we need to live our best life.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I hold an M.A. in Counseling, I’m a Professional Certified Coach, a Certified Daring Way™, and Dare to Lead™ Facilitator; I love Public Speaking and, I’m a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Advocate. For the last 25 years, I have worked with a diverse population around the world in countries like México, Spain, Argentina, Israel, Philippines, Kenya, India, Ireland, and others. Being trilingual (Spanish, Hebrew, and English) has allowed me to touch the lives of many individuals, and different cultures, traditions, and opportunities. When I was 10 years I moved with my family from Mexico to Israel for a sabbatical, that was the first time I learned from zero about a new culture, and from that moment, my curiosity and love for life transitions, emotions, and human connection sparked. Throughout the years, I have moved and relocated many times and to different countries, a fact that I wholeheartedly believe has empowered me and has made me the person that I am today. Without a doubt, this has made my personal and professional life unique and colorful. My experience growing up in México City as a Jewish woman which has also lived in the United States for almost 20 years being an immigrant, has allowed me to understand the need and the impact my work can have when working with minorities to empower their life journey, and that’s why from an early stage of my career, I have chosen to dedicate a big part of my time and resources to support individuals from a variety of cultural and socio-economic backgrounds; whether it’s in school settings, non-profit organizations, or the private sector, the focus of my work is to empower people to recognize their strengths and struggles as part of their story and discover their resilience so they can own it and give themselves permission to be authentic and live a courageous life. I have no doubt that one of the reasons that my coaching services stand out is my genuine love and curiosity for humans, emotions, and life. From a very young age I knew that I have a compassionate and empathetic heart, and for that reason, I knew that growing up I will devote my life to support others in their journey of self-discovery, overcoming challenges, empowerment, and growth. I’m proud of the place I am today in my professional life, being the first of my family to graduate from college and earn a Master’s. The path of my professional career hasn’t been easy or smooth at all. Over the years I have overcome language barriers, rejection, failure, loneliness, financial struggle, and cultural challenges. What has kept me going is trusting my heart and knowing from a very early age that life is filled with both ups and downs, high and lows and that my passion and commitment to fulfill my dream will always be bigger than the obstacles in the road. I have been able to learn about resiliency, perseverance, and the meaning of willpower; these attributes come with me to every one of my sessions and I believe creates a very safe space for my clients to be their authentic selves and engage in the coaching process. What I enjoy most about my work is the possibility to support my clients in their life journey and during very meaningful times in their lives and see the transformation happens. I enjoy the human connection based on trust, respect, and understanding of the importance of the relationship coach-client in order to achieve the desired outcomes. This connection is what allows my clients to show up and be their most authentic selves allowing the process to be meaningful, positive, and successful. Additionally, I think that while I’m very personable, compassionate, and accessible; I challenge my clients so they can achieve their goals and fulfill their dreams. In our work, we will focus on the agenda that the client brings and explore the connection between thoughts, emotions, and behaviors, and examine together what is holding them back from living the life they always dreamt to live. One of the most frequently asked questions I receive is “How to find the right coach for me?” and while there is no simple answer to this question, I would advise looking for someone that provides you with a sense of humanity, trust, compassion, that is confident in their ability to work with your present struggles and challenges, and that will be a source of support, empathy, and connection and at the same time will cheer you up so you can move forward in your life. As Maya Angelou said, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel”.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I wouldn’t consider myself a tour-guide here in Denver, as I moved only a couple of years ago, and there is so much to do in this town and in its surroundings. My recommendation to anyone visiting is not necessary to focus their visit to sightseeing but rather to make an effort to connect with the people of Denver. Don’t get me wrong… I do believe that Colorado has much to offer: I loved visiting Garden of the Gods, Estes Park, and the Red Rock Amphitheater, Vail – all are breathtaking. I love visiting Boulder, Golden, and Manitou Springs. RiNo is a cool place to visit, I know that the city has a lot to offer that I’m still discovering… The food is spectacular in SO MANY restaurants, Maria Empanadas, the D Bar, Ashkara, and Potager, and more. However, I think what makes Denver special is the people that live here. I would strongly recommend to anyone visiting to grab a seat at a community table, say at Urban Egg in DTC, First Watch in Centennial or at Hoja in South Pearl St, or enroll in a cooking class by Cultura Craft Chocolate, and get to absorb the special energy of who truly makes Denver special.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I had many amazing mentors, friends, supporters, clients, and teammates, during my personal and my professional life; and I’ve always tried to make the effort to let them know how much they mean or have meant to me. From my experience, I believe this starts with me being an individual who is willing to learn to teach, to listen to support others and, I would even say, to follow others, in order to lead. Mussa Cariani – Mussa was my teacher during my bachelor’s degree and part of my master’s. Mussa saw me, he saw my dreams and possibilities and during the classes that I took with him (and I took as many as I could!), he made it very clear to challenge me and invite me to dig deeper into my potential and the limiting beliefs that held me back. He passed away from a massive heart attack unexpectedly, and for that reason, I never had the chance to say goodbye to him… however, he left his presence in my life forever. Gustavo Rabin – I met Gustavo at Esalen, during a very important and beautiful weekend in 2013. Gustavo was facilitating a class about leadership. During that weekend, he challenged all the participants and invited us to live big. He was sweet, respectful, and a deep thinker. He was also authentic, courageous, and extremely sensitive. Before the closing of the weekend, Gustavo took the time to give personal feedback to each one of the 30 participants. Since he saw all that during the weekend I tried to hidemy dreams, superpowers, and my fears, he challenged me to step out of my comfort zone and make my dreams come true. He was my cheerleader and mentor. Because of Gustavo’s trust and guidance, I opened my private practice after years of dreaming about it. Brené Brown: I met Brené at a lecture she presented in 2012, I was one of the hundreds of participants. In that lecture, she talked about wholeheartedness, courage, and authenticity, values that had always been dear to my heart. She inspired me to see my life from a new perspective and with much empathy, courage, love, and compassion for myself than I ever had before. Her work has been extremely important in my life, it has transformed the way I live, love, parent, and work – in the most beautiful way. My family: from a very early age they challenged me to become independent, courageous, responsible, and to create a life that manifested my true self. My grandma, Eva Livovsky: has been an example of strength, hard work, resilience, and self-discipline. She lost her mom at the age of 15 and was responsible to raise her 2 sisters; she got married at 16 and raised 5 kids with love and dedication. Today she is 89, both her sisters have died, she has been a widow for many years and manages to live fully and to radiate love and light everywhere she goes.