before recovery
before recovery
Barb Nangle
after recovery

Hi, I’m Barb, founder of Higher Power Coaching and Consulting.

I absolutely love motivating others to believe they can become better versions of themselves, just as I have repeatedly become better versions of myself.

Before recovery, I was in therapy for 37 years, read scores of self help books, attended retreats, workshops, spiritual groups, completed workbooks - you name it! The amount of change I was able to make and the healing I was able to experience in just my first two years of recovery was greater than that 37 years combined! So for me, the 12 steps is where it's at! If you want to know the details (and I mean details) about my transformations, either read the reeeeeeally long bulleted list below or listen to my podcast episode where I tell my story in brief.

I really enjoy working with anyone who has gotten to the point where they realize, “What happened to 'happy, joyous and free?'” I’m partial to people in the 12-step recovery community, especially those who are entrepreneurs or want to be, but I will coach anyone who wants to be Happy, Joyous and Free.

I help people recognize and change their dysfunctional patterns, as well as recognize and utilize their strengths and talents. If you're an addict, grew up in a dysfunctional family, or are codependent, chances are you grew up thinking you weren't worth very much, or that you didn't have strengths that are valuable. I can help you figure out where your strengths lie (because you do have them!) and how to tap into them and apply the tools of recovery to the rest of your life. Alternatively, you may have grown up under such circumstances but landed on the other side of the coin - where you think you're great and have all the answers and people should listen to you because you know "The Right Way" things should be done. If that's not working for you, I can help with that too.

I’m also really good at helping people to set up systems and processes so that they have some consistency and predictability. And I’m a connector - it’s what I do, I can’t help myself! I love connecting people to other people, organizations, resources or ideas.

One last (very important) thing. I don't speak for or endorse any particular 12 step program of recovery. Though I'm a huge fan of 12 step recovery, and a member of two 12 step fellowships, I cannot speak them. Take what you want and leave the rest.

I've transformed my life repeatedly - financially, physically, emotionally, psychologically and professionally, so I know what it takes to transform your life! What you see in these pictures is just the outward manifestation of the inner changes that have taken place in my life. See the bulleted list below for lots of detail about the many ways in which my life has been transformed.

  • I can tell the truth about what I really think and feel without fearing what other people think of me (i.e., I care more what I think of me than what others think of me). I was once told that “it’s none of your business what other people think of you” and for years I had no idea how to understand that. Then I heard the other half of that saying, “…what is your business is what you think of  you.” That really helped me understand why it’s none of my business what others thing of me.
  • I don’t feel like I have to have an answer for everything.
  • I don’t feel like I have to respond immediately to people (or maybe not even at all!).
  • I am able to say things like, “This is not working for me.”
  • I am able to hand over anxiety, tension, agitation, worry, etc. to my Higher Power and actually have it removed.
  • I am able to reach out for help. And accept it! This includes reaching out to my Higher Power, which I never used to do.
  • I am able to tell the truth and not be manipulative by managing information or being helpful so I can get my way.
  • I am much more able to be vulnerable with people, and to be discerning about who is safe to be vulnerable with.
  • I am able to place trust in people who are trustworthy.
  • I no longer blame those who are untrustworthy for violating my trust in them. I realize now it was my fault for trusting them in the first place! Now if something like that happens, I think, “I was stung by the scorpion again!” I don’t blame them. If you don’t know The Parable of the Frog and the Scorpion it’s this: A scorpion asks a frog to carry it across a river. The frog hesitates, afraid of being stung, but the scorpion argues that if it did so, they would both drown. Considering this, the frog agrees, but midway across the river the scorpion does indeed sting the frog, dooming them both. When the frog asks the scorpion why, the scorpion replies that it was in its nature to do so.
  • I can share my opinion without being attached to the outcome.
  • I feel whole, no longer fragmented – though this is something that was outside my awareness previously. I didn’t know I was fragmented until I became whole with boundaries (whole things have boundaries around them!).
  • I feel a sense of peace and serenity most of the time, which I previously didn’t know were missing. When I don’t feel them, I have tools for how to get back to that. I no longer feel the need to turn to outside substances for a sense of comfort, pleasure and ease.
  • Though I get disturbed regularly (after all, I’m a human), it’s short-lived because I have tools and I understand my part in things. I no longer blame others when I’m disturbed (“…if I am disturbed, there is something wrong with me”). That doesn’t mean others have done nothing wrong, it simply means that if I want to be undisturbed, it’s up to me to find a way to get to that.
  • My ups and downs are nowhere near as high or low, and are much fewer and farther between.
  • I don’t feel threatened or fearful about things I used to feel threatened or fearful about (e.g., authority figures, what others thought of me).
  • I believe the universe can get along without me being in charge!
  • I believe other people’s business is not mine.
  • I believe knowing my part in things has given me to power to change my thoughts, actions and beliefs and has improved my internal life profoundly, and has improved my relationships.
  • I can be around sweets and not feel the “pull” I used to feel to consume them.
  • I am much more tolerant of people and the world around me (e.g., I don’t get pissed off in traffic anymore, I just slow down or speed up or swerve as necessary). This means I don’t carry tension 24 hours a day, 365 days a year as I did for the first 52 years of my life.
  • I have much better boundaries than I ever had before which means that other people’s shit doesn’t leak into my territory. I’m much more clear about what’s mine and not mine, including what’s my business and not my business, and what I like and don’t like. Since I’m focused on me, I don’t feel the need to control things outside my boundary (which didn’t used to exist!). This means I don’t butt into other people’s business, and I don’t give unsolicited advice which I used to do constantly.
  • I understand that just because I’m curious about something, I don’t get to have my curiosity satisfied, particularly if it has something to do with someone else and their story. If they want me to know, they will tell me.
  • I’ve learned many of the ways I’ve contributed to the dysfunction of my life and several of them have been removed. For example, I rarely (if ever) feel the need to force my way onto things and people now; I rarely give unsolicited advice anymore, now I either ask if I can share my experience or my thoughts or I couch my advice with something like, “It’s just an idea, it may or may not work for you” or “I’ve seen this work for others” (I typically do this if I’ve realized mid-sentence that I’m launching into unsolicited advice as a way to cushion the blow).
  • I learned that, if I’ve been heard, I don’t need to have my way, which I used to feel. And I’m much, much better at saying what’s really on my mind, which greatly increases my chances of being heard!
  • I don’t feel threatened or like I have to have answers or be something I’m not (like perfect) the way I used to.
  • I’m much more open than I used to be. I honestly thought I was open before, but now that I am I feel the difference, especially in my chest – there is no tension there like their used to be (but
  • I didn’t know it was there until it was gone).
  • I don’t live with a sense of urgency 24 hours a day, 365 days a year like I used to.
  • I PAUSE when I’m disturbed or don’t know what to say or do. This allows my Higher Power to enter the situation. It also allows me to use my thinking brain (rather than my lizard brain which is a reactor, rather than an actor) and to reach out to others if necessary.
  • I turn my will and my life over to my Higher Power (who I choose to call God) all the time instead of using my will and it’s an enormous relief for me to know I’m not in charge! I don’t have to be in charge!
  • I admit when I’m wrong, which I really wasn’t capable of in the past. I can also say, “I don’t know” and not feel threatened or full of shame.
  • I don’t feel the need to isolate like I used to, so I reach out to others, connect with others multiple times/day. This has helped me to create true intimacy with others, something I never had previously.
  • I understand that we are all flawed and that’s okay, which makes me willing to be vulnerable to others – this has played the greatest role in the creation of intimacy in my life. Someone told me that we are “flawsome” (i.e., when you embrace your flaws and still know that you’re awesome).
  • I really get that intimacy takes time. I’m new and I know it, so I’ve had to really get to know me first.
  • I am much more accepting of what is. That means I don’t expend a lot of energy forcing my will onto the world, or defending against something or someone that I think should be different!
  • Because I have much more peace and serenity in my life, I can truly be present in the moment. This is true when I’m with others or when I’m alone.
  • I’m much, much less codependent, so now when I do things for people it’s out of a genuine sense of caring and generosity and service, not because I want to manipulate them into liking me, or thinking that I’m a good person, or trying to get them to do things my way.
  • I tell the truth no matter how difficult it is, I don’t try to manage information or construct an image of what I think people want me to be, which means I’m much more authentic. I truly used to believe I was an honest person and I now know that was not the case.
  • I care much more that I think of me than what others think of me, which contributes to my authenticity. This doesn’t mean I don’t care what others think of me, it means I care  much more what I think of me.
  • I realized that I was always afraid of being judged by others. The things is, people are going to judge me – that’s what we do as people, we judge people, things and the world. However, I might as well be judged as the actual me rather than some fake version of me that I think you want (even though I never asked you what you wanted, I decided, “this must be the person they want me to be” and tried to be that, which meant I was defensive all the time, because God forbid you should see behind the curtain!).