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Meet Nancy McKay

Today we’d like to introduce you to Nancy McKay.

Nancy, before we jump into specific questions about your work, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
My story essentially started when my Dad died in 2007, the year I turned 50. His death was a shock but really a long time in the making because he was an alcoholic, who couldn’t or wouldn’t do what was necessary to stay sober. He tried recovery on more than one occasion but finally succumbed to the disease by calling it a day. His suicide, and my finding him, escalated my drinking into a whole new realm.

While I was always a “party girl,” I was mostly responsible (sort of). I never had any consequences from my drinking — no lost job, no DUI, no trips to the hospital. I tried like hell to keep it together, I was juggling my kitchen and bath design business along with a couple of other gigs, but I was falling apart and my drinking was so unpredictable it led me to the brink of ending my own life.

Friday the 13th of March, 2009 was a really bad day, which pretty much ended with a bang. Thank God my lack of skills with a gun proved to be a benefit rather than a tragedy. At any rate, I got scared sober and was devastated to realize that I couldn’t drink safely anymore. I thought my life was over and I would never have fun again. What I soon learned was I was standing at the intersection of desperation and grace.

I started feeling better and I actually did have fun. Unfortunately, my kitchen and bath business was failing along with the custom home market. And a year or so after I got sober I was lucky enough to return to the oil and gas business after a fourteen-year hiatus. I was happy, earning a good living and everything, for the most part, was going along fine, thank you very much.

And then, as life does, it detoured a bit.

On my 58th birthday, I was diagnosed with Stage 1C ovarian cancer.

During chemo, I lost my hair but I found something so much more important – my inner strength.

Through these challenges, I became acutely aware that life is short and I began my internal work in earnest. This work helped me realize that I wanted my life and career to move in a different direction and my quest to become a Life Coach began in 2017.

My perspective changed and I realized that if I wanted something different in my life it was up to me to make the necessary changes. I have and still am, making those changes. My mantra is, I didn’t get sober and survive cancer to be miserable. I have found my voice, sometimes to my husband’s chagrin! I’m feisty, have a tendency to talk like a sailor (I used to drink like one), and I wear a bracelet that states, in no uncertain terms, “Wake Up, Kick-Ass, Repeat”. I don’t always live up to it, but that’s life—one step at a time. Progress, not perfection.

I truly believe that things happen for a reason. If I had not gotten sober or faced cancer, I wouldn’t be writing this now.

Now, I’m in my sixties and I’ve never felt so excited about life. I’ve spent the last couple of years building on my strength. I’ve learned that my story inspires other women. Recently I retired from being an employee and I’m now “rewiring” my new career as a Life Coach. Something I would never have imagined five years ago.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Oh, hell no! Once I determined that I wanted to change my career, it was a juggling act of school and work. I was fortunate enough to work in an industry that provided me with a great salary and benefits. It was difficult for my husband and some of my friends to understand why I was willing to walk away from that. I cut back to part-time until I was ready to leave in April of 2019. It was a big risk, Working with my coach helps keep me on track.

We’d love to hear more about your work.
I named my company Amazing Outlook Coaching because I’ve always had just that—an amazing outlook on life. I’ve always known that there’s something bigger than me, call it what you’d like, Universe, God, The Almighty, whatever. But I’ve had the faith that life is meant to be joyful and fulfilling and ought to feed your soul.

Typically, women work with me because of my experiences of recovery and surviving ovarian cancer. I help women who have gone through something that rocks their world and don’t know what the hell to do. We work as a team to question the thoughts and beliefs that are holding them back.

My focus is on creating a confidential, safe space for my clients to share their stories, struggles, challenges and desires. It’s truly a privilege to support my clients in this way.

I love my life now and I’m honored to help my clients conquer their fears and figure out what to do next, so they can love their life too.

I am a Certified Wayfinder Life Coach and a Certified Mind-Body-Eating Coach. I’m also pursuing certification as an Equus Coach.

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Image Credit:
Tricia Turpenoff

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