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Cottonwood Heights Journal

Transformed, Wellness Coach Touts Transformations

Sep 29, 2015 10:48AM ● By Rhett Wilkinson

Leesa Myers officiates the union of a lesbian couple in 2012. The interfaith minister is a wellness coach and Midvale native. Names withheld. Photo courtesy Leesa Myers

By Rhett Wilkinson

“You can’t change your mindset with the same consciousness that created it.”

Albert Einstein’s idea is what led Leesa Myers to completely transform her career – and herself.

Myers is now a well-known wellness coach in the Salt Lake valley. She is also an interfaith minister. Before that, she did nail and hair for more than a decade-and-a-half. Perhaps this epitomizes how she can relate to many folks: she spoke with the Midvale Journal about icebergs and frogs.

One might also say that she is an activist. The self-proclaimed liberal officiates gay weddings and dropped out of the Midvale city council race this year, yielding to Utah’s first transgender candidate. Her officiating of LGBT “commitment ceremonies” even started before Utah’s gay marriage ban was ruled unconstitutional.

And the Midvale native and resident made media waves in July, when she spoke out after a Delta hate crime toward a gay man.

"There's nothing to be fixed, there's nothing broken, it's just changing their mindset of loving themselves, and then allowing them to let others love them," she told ABC4, asking later: “If you're thinking God created you defective and everyone else is saying you're defective, how else are you going to react?”

She takes that mindset to her work in coaching, particularly in health and emotional wellness. That is when she spoke with the Journal about icebergs and frogs – metaphorically.

“Most of the time, we think it’s a conscious mind that’s running a show, but it’s an unconscious mind that runs the show. If your mom and dad got divorced… you’d think to yourself that if my dad or mom loves me, it wouldn’t have to happen. So by the time the Titanic sinks the iceberg, we have already hit it. The same is true in our own lives,” she said. “We have our talk factor about what we think. If I say ‘Mary had a little frog, you’d think ‘that’s wrong,’ and knock that thought out. What we do within hypnosis is go around that critical factor because your conscious mind doesn’t know if it’s real or not real… that’s programming. Our parents program us. Society programs us. Our culture programs us to believe or think who we are.”

Myers’ life experience that informed her passion and practice today was rooted in not being aware of her unconscious mind. She grew up in a family that was “dysfunctional,” with parents divorced. And she got married and pregnant at 16. Most people make a belief about themselves at seven years old, she said.

“I grew up with belief and thought that I was not good enough and a failure,” she said. “I made wrong choices and was highly in debt, and that led to me filing business bankruptcy in 1998 and closing my salon and school.”

Then Myers met Vae Dansie, a coach. Dansie enabled her to release “a lot of baggage.”

“I was almost suicidal,” she said. “She gave me the strength to close the salon and go into personal development. I am forever grateful for finding and working with her because I couldn’t have done it on my own. If I wanted to become a concert pianist, I’d need someone to teach me.”

She later earned a professional practitioner license through the Centers for Spiritual Living and a marriage officiate license after graduating from One Spirit Interfaith Seminary in New York. Part of her pitch on her website: “I will not create a cheap, cookie-cutter ceremony.” She is happy that she can now call LGBT marriages a “wedding” rather than the previous title.

In 2008, Myers started the coaching business. On Thursday, Myers’ business will open at 2180 E. 4500 S. Suite 178 in Holladay. She looks forward to the perceived legitimacy of an on-site versus home-based office. Her husband also has a home-based office. She added the modifier “East” before saying “Midvale” because of the city’s reputation. It has been called “Little Tijuana,” she said.

"That sounds bad, but that’s the truth,” she said. “I know that others say they live in Cottonwood. … I had a gal that couldn’t rent a place until she said that it was in Murray, and it got rented. Midvale is moving in a right direction and has a way to go.”

Her passion for Midvale is why she declared candidacy for city council. She really wants to see the incumbent lose, she said. She dropped out because she and Sophia Hawes-Tingey, the first transgender candidate, would have split the vote against him, she said.