About Me

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My name is Marieke. I’m a Certified Martha Beck Life Coach and founder of Your Novel Life.

I help curious women see what happens when they slow down enough to know who they are, so they can take charge of themselves and the lives they create.

If you’re wondering how the hell to pronounce my first name, you are not alone. I have lived with many interesting pronunciations of my Dutch name growing up and living in the US and now, as an adult, living in French Montréal. The phonetic spelling is ma-REE-ka but my sister calls me Reeks.

Born to Dutch parents, I grew up outside New York City and have always been inherently attracted to foreign everything. I ended up marrying a Quebecois man (whom I met while traveling in Greece!) and Montréal has been our home for the last 17 years. We have two daughters that are the light of my life and one scrumptious doggy that makes my world complete.

Who I am, at my core, can be found in my four “ways of being” below. These philosophies form the foundation for my entire life and also infuse my coaching with meaning, purpose and direction.

Life IS learning, growing and evolving.

I cannot stand to be bored. I am hungry for learning, always! Which is why I have consistently chosen (and continue to choose) to challenge myself, from outdoor adventures, to traveling to foreign lands, to leaving a “good enough” relationship for something unknown, to moving to a new country and learning a new language…if I can learn, grow and evolve from it, I am in!

In fact, I believe our “purpose” in life is to continuously learn, grow, and evolve. Through my coaching, I help you embrace that life IS ongoing change. It is through the realization that we are in constant evolution that we release our fear of change and become open to personal growth as an essential skill to learn.

Let’s just see what happens!

I need change regularly and a chance to explore the unknown, and literally “see what happens!” when we try something new…a restaurant, a career, or even a new country! Life is meant to be at once exciting and just a little bit terrifying!

I encourage and support women to playfully and courageously explore the unknown. You’ll discover that when you push beyond what you thought you were capable of doing or knowing and face your fears, you’ll end up deepening your self-awareness and your ability to be comfortable jumping into anything life throws your way!

Knowing how YOU function matters

I am against a one-size fits-all model for pretty much anything. What is right for you may not be right for me and it’s my “job” to figure out what is right for me. I function best with quiet mornings, dairy-free foods, and candles lit all winter long. My husband functions best listening to talk radio while he works (that would drive me crazy!). My kids choose their own clothes because they know what feels best on them. Our differences matter to our happiness and well-being!

I help you understand that knowing how you function is the first step to knowing who you are. By identifying your needs, dreams, desires, frustrations, passions, and even paradoxes, you understand the impact all of these details make on your life.  As a result, you establish clearer boundaries in your relationships, know how to take better care of yourself, and feel empowered to create systems and habits that support living your best life.

Slow down and dig in. That’s where the magic happens!

Cocktail party chit-chat or sitting in the corner with one person talking about near-death experiences? Yup, I’m the latter. The more deep and intimate the better. And having plenty of time to dig in and uncover the juicy bits while doing it in a cozy, beautiful space, I’m in heaven.

I believe that when we’re deliberate in slowing down and digging in we feel safe, heard, and more open to discovering our deepest and truest self. I create an environment of calm and quiet reflection to remove the sense of urgency to “go fast and figure this out now!” so we can mindfully and soulfully invest the time and energy needed to dig in and uncover the core of who we are.

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Apart from my own lived experiences, I have the following qualifications:

  • Certified Martha Beck Life Coach
  • 7 years experience working as an Academic Adviser at McGill University, Montréal, QC, Canada
  • Master’s degree in Culture and Values in Education from McGill
  • Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy from the University of Puget Sound, Tacoma, WA
  • Proud mother, wife, daughter, sister, cousin, niece, friend, neighbor, volunteer, avid reader, dedicated fact finder and lover of deep and meaningful conversation.
  • Speak fluent English and French, some Dutch, but really love the language of human connection through smiles, music, laughter, food, kindness and deep listening.

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