This is an excerpt from “Navigating 5 Life Changes,” An Odyssey of Resiliency and
Hope” which is available on my website:
All Rights Reserved. First Edition. Copyright 2018 by Mary Lou Meddaugh

My Odyssey is an inspirational self-help book in a memoir format. It is a personal story
of love, loss and renewal through five major life changes and culminates in my coming
home to the person I feel I am meant to be – my authentic self.

My journey originates with the sudden loss of the love of my life, my husband. Over a
period spanning 5 years, the reader is taken through the experience of being cast out to
sea and encountering all the unforeseen trials an odyssey can depict. How I found ways
to cope with each major life event forms the substance of the text. My Odyssey was the
perfect metaphor for my story because it represented how I felt – like I had been “away”
and adrift for a long time. I had embarked on a journey of self-exploration and discovery
in trying to find my direction after a devastating series of losses. It is an inward and
outward journey – physical, emotional, mental and spiritual – a chronicle of change in its
many forms.

Each chapter navigates a particular transformation process from Setting Sail; to Adrift at
Sea; Fellow Shipmates come aboard; Shipwreck leads to Discovering My True North
through My Metamorphosis and moves onto Land Sighting; with finally Calm Seas; and
Reflections on the Journey.

The chapters flow through the life transitions of losing my husband; selling our home;
moving to a new city; losing my job and being diagnosed with cancer (again). The
ending finds me looking at my life through a new lens after surviving my five year

As each chapter captures a particular time in the journey, it gives the reader an
opportunity to engage with insights as to how my experience can be relatable to their
own lives. It also offers an intimate look into the window of my soul through the poetry
interspersed throughout each stage that exposes my despair, yearning, hopes and

In sharing my book with people who have experienced grief, major illness and
significant life transitions, I realized that I had tapped into something we will all
experience as we are living longer (death, selling assets, moving, loss of health, loss of
income). Perhaps not in the same sequential order as my experience but any one of
these losses can be devastating and there is no right way or right amount of time for
how each of us will cope with these life challenges.

The inspiration I wish to impart to my readers concerns our ability to begin again after
one of these setbacks, to trust our instincts and judgment which enables us to navigate
uncharted waters, and ultimately find the strength and determination to create a new life
for ourselves.

The readers who will enjoy my book are those who want to move forward
in their lives and embrace change to the best of their abilities. My hope is that they will
relate to my experiences and feel inspired to push through their own journey and come
out the other side with a renewed appreciation for the life they are living. This is the true
meaning and intent of my work – that my Odyssey can be helpful to others coping with
day-to-day living in the midst of sometimes mind-numbing uncertainty and fear of the

Mary Lou Meddaugh

Mary Lou Meddaugh is a Certified Life Coach and founder of Creative Coaching Methods. Her vision is to empower others to achieve their goals and dreams and embrace change. She founded Creative Coaching Methods based on her own personal experience with major life changes in a short period of time and the lack of one central resource to help her navigate those changes. By combining her personal and professional experience, Mary Lou coaches clients to visualize important changes and to manifest them For more than 13 years, Mary Lou worked as a Senior Marketing Manager in the US for an international company headquartered in Europe. She mentored and coached her staff and colleagues around the globe on how to manage organizational change, set goals and achieve success. With her knowledge and life experience, she is committed to helping her clients achieve their vision and objectives for personal and professional development. She is a member of the Western Mass Coaching Alliance (WMCA) ( She has taught workshops on marketing strategies and embracing change. She has also been a Cancer Coach with the Cancer Wellness organization in Western New York. She is the author of What’s Next: New Beginnings, a 6-step process for change. She currently lives in Northampton, Massachusetts.

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