We were lucky to catch up with Rachel Snow recently and have shared our conversation below.
Rachel, thanks for joining us, excited to have you contributing your stories and insights. Risk taking is something we’re really interested in and we’d love to hear the story of a risk you’ve taken.
I believe that being an entrepreneur is taking a risk. Every time someone decides to start their own business it is an immediate risk and giving up a certain level of security. I definitely took a risk when I quit my day job to start my business.
Story time! Let’s backtrack a little so you get the full picture. When covid shut everything down I was running my first business as a prenatal massage therapist and birth doula. My business was home based, so clearly, I wasn’t going to bring people to my home, and hospitals and birth centers were not letting anyone in with a laboring person. Everything was put on hold, and for me, that was truly a blessing. It gave me pause to think about what I really wanted and feel into that. Well, I didn’t know. I knew I did not want to continue forcing myself to be a massage therapist, and birth work was all so up in the air. Plus, my daughter was turning into a teenager, and I did not want to feel like I was abandoning her while I was at births.
I decided I just needed a JOB. I was hired as a para educator at a title 1 school. I had been a para before and worked in schools. I figured it was at least a paycheck while I was deciding what I wanted to be when I grew up.
It didn’t take long for me to become miserable. I was exhausted, grumpy and felt totally hollow.
The big risk came when I decided to quit that job and start my own business as a high conflict divorce and custody coach. I had every intention of completing the school year, but I could not handle it anymore. I quit in spring of 2021 to start my business. I definitely had a moment of panic that was quickly squashed when I immediately got 2 clients the week I gave notice! That was all I needed to know I was on the right path.
Rachel, love having you share your insights with us. Before we ask you more questions, maybe you can take a moment to introduce yourself to our readers who might have missed our earlier conversations?
It’s taken a lot of years for me to find my WHY. I have had a lot of jobs in my lifetime and none of them were fulfilling. I always felt like there was a greater purpose for me. I never got a college degree. I quit college in 2006 the same week I found out I was pregnant with my daughter. I became a licensed massage therapist. I have a certificate in holistic health too. I became a birth doula in 2019. My past life I was in the restaurant industry. I was constantly trying to add things to my toolbox. I thought I could just keep piling skills on to compliment massage therapy. I realized it was not enjoyable anymore. I felt like a square peg in a round hole. It just didn’t fit. Then Covid hit and life as we knew it halted.
The Covid shutdown really gave me time to pause and reflect. I didn’t want to be a massage therapist anymore. I was SO tired of trying to make it work. For many other massage therapists, it was easy, or so it seemed. Their careers took off. It took me 3 times to pass the national exam to become licensed. So, really, I spent 10 years trying to be a massage therapist. I really loved supporting women, and pregnant women. I loved caring for the pregnant woman and giving her comfort and relief. Becoming a birth doula was an excellent complement to massage. I was able to support women through a crazy transition and that was fulfilling! I was getting closer to my WHY. Supporting women was the thing that gave me purpose.
Becoming a divorce coach wasn’t a random idea. For years leading up to this career I have supported women through divorce, custody and leaving abusers. I followed a Facebook page called One Moms Battle since about 2015. The creator of the page had been going through her own high conflict divorce and custody battle with a vicious narcissist since 2009. There were countless women experiencing gut wrenching custody battles trying to keep their kids safe. Tina Swithin, the founder of One Moms Battle (OMB), had been supporting women through the nightmare of the family court system for years, and often said she wished she could clone herself to be in every state. She created a certification program to train people to become high conflict divorce coaches and consultants.
In the fall of 2021, I applied to become a certified high conflict divorce coach & consultant. I was not happy in my job as a para. I didn’t tell anyone I applied. I figured the likelihood of being chosen for one of the coveted 25 spots was very slim. I was stunned when I was offered a spot in the first cohort. I knew that was a sign from the universe that I was on to something good.
The universe was on my side, and I have my own long history with family court, and custody issues. I have been divorced from my daughter’s father for 11 years. The marriage was not abusive. We didn’t fight, he wasn’t controlling. It wasn’t until we were separated and divorced that things really amped up. It was impossible to reason with him. I couldn’t get him to see what was in our child’s best interest. The majority of what I have experienced post-divorce is post separation abuse. Some things I experienced post separation from my ex are financial abuse, legal abuse and counter parenting. After being in the system for many years myself and going through many a court hearing, my own experience along with the training from the program allowed me to put all my skills to good use. I am able to be for other women what I needed.
My goal is to empower my clients to a life free from their ex. Having an ex that you still have to share a child with can feel like torture. I believe this is amplified when there has been any form of abuse. These protective mothers know that their abusive ex can, and most likely will, turn their abuse to the children. Family court is not set up to actually protect children and look at their rights. Family court protects parents’ rights, which isn’t always what is best for a child. I support my clients with tools and strategy to cope with the madness that comes with shared parenting. I support my clients to take back their power and not feel like their ex controls their whole life.
My mission is to empower and support women. It has always been my mission whether I knew it or not. After everything I have learned, and everything I have personally lived through, it would be a disservice to others to not offer my services. I am the person that can hold someone’s hand through this battle and truly understand what they are up against. I am the advocate that will not try to explain, make sense of or defend the abuser. If someone is in a battle with an abuser, and living the hell of family court, they need someone on their side that truly understands it all. I am that person.
We’d love to hear a story of resilience from your journey.
I feel like my whole life is a story of being resilient. The story that stands out the most has to do with my mother. I cut off all contact with my mother in spring of 2018. I did not come to the decision lightly or easily. The accumulation of years of abuse finally hit a breaking point. I could no longer subject myself or my child to her. The final straw was a huge blow out where she screamed at me in front of my child and was gaslighting me. I had enough. It is not easy to untangle yourself from someone that controlled everything your whole life. It was however very freeing. I felt lighter.
My mother is a bitter, mean and vindictive woman. I should have known she would not go away quietly. She decided the only way to get to my child was through my ex-husband. My ex-husband she had no relationship with and honestly, hated. I am pretty sure the feeling was mutual, and he hated her too. However, their hate for me was far greater, so they formed an alliance. On numerous occasions my ex would allow my mother to see my child against my very clear and direct wishes. They would proceed to tell my daughter, “Don’t tell your mom.” My ex would feed information about my daughter to my mother.
In the summer of 2021, my ex filed a motion to move my daughter out of state where he lives. I was not in agreement. I knew that was not in my child’s best interest, so I fought it. We had to hire a CFI which is a Child and Family Investigator. They evaluate and investigate both households and make a decision. A CFI will interview personal references for each party. My own mother and uncle were listed as personal references for my ex-husband. Upon receiving the CFIs full report there were 7 pages of notes from her interview with my mother. Seven pages of my mother spewing hatred, venom and lies for me. The CFI reported that my daughter should be able to move. Her decision was based on hypotheticals. She failed to follow the statute set forth by the courts. I proceeded to fight the decision and we had a court date set.
My mother testified against me in court. Not only did she testify against me, but she also purchased a home ten minutes from my ex-husband! She truly thought that my daughter was going to live in there, and she would have free range to see her whenever she wanted.
The judge did not order that my daughter move. Thankfully the judge followed the standard and statute set forth by Colorado law.
Having an abusive mother that attempts to assist in taking your child could break someone. I didn’t let it break me. I am committed to being a conscious, present, attentive and healthy mother to my own child. I am committed to breaking generational cycles of abuse and trauma. It is truly one of the most painful things to have your own mother hate you so much that she will literally do anything to ruin you. If there had ever been a moment, I thought about allowing my mother back in my life, she killed it. I don’t want anyone in my life that is willing to treat me like that, relative or not.
Where do you think you get most of your clients from?
It seems I get the most clientele from One Moms Battle. Women are finding me either on the website or Facebook pages.
- Website: www.luminarydivorcecoaching.com
- Instagram: @luminarydivorcecoaching
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/luminarydivorcecoaching
- Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/rachel-snow-8668a0102/