“The wound is the place where the Light enters you.” - Rumi.
As a child, I have always been in awe of strong and empowering women—women who have lived the life of a lotus flower and emerged through mud, but choosing to always bloom despite their surroundings. Sara Schulting-Kranz is a prime example of a powerful, yet humble, woman who has faced many challenges and trauma in her life—instead of letting these experiences shape her and define her as a victim, she consciously chose to emerge through the mud and use these experiences for transformative healing, which she now serves to help others with and has dedicated her life to doing.
I was introduced to Sara by way of the director of the I Am Maris, Laura Vanzee Taylor. I was so thrilled and excited when I heard that Laura was starting to direct another documentary, titled Walk Through This, which features our very own Sara Schulting-Kranz leading other trauma survivors on a healing journey through The Grand Caton.
From the documentary’s website:
In the wake of a devastating discovery that brings back a childhood trauma, a mother of three finds the strength to leave her destructive marriage and start a new life through the healing and empowerment of hiking and nature therapy.
We witness her recovery and her methods as she now, a licensed wilderness guide, leads other trauma survivors on a healing journey through The Grand Canyon. Through this physically and emotionally-grueling 4-day hike, each woman will lay bare her own past traumas and discover her personal strength, emerging with the wisdom, forgiveness, and inspiration to live her best life.
Walk Through This is the story of letting go of the life you thought you had and — step by step — building a new one.
If you’d like to donate to the documentary to help with costs, please click here.
Sara, thank you for being a pillar of strength, healing, and empowerment for all of us around you. It is badass women like you out there that are an inspiration to all of us in knowing that we can heal from trauma and hardships, and that we will emerge stronger as a result. Thank you for reminding us that we can choose to bloom, despite our surroundings, and that the process of healing and transformation can even be fun!
I don’t think any words can describe how honored I am to feature Sara, and certainly no words can describe how excited I am to see the upcoming Walk Through This documentary when it’s done. I know that it will change lives for the better and will help us all not feel alone in our healing journey, whatever that journey may look like for each of us.
How wonderful is it to know that there are so many people around us that have not only been through similar challenges, but are supporting us on every step of our journey? It is people like Sara that help remind us that we are all a part of a larger community, and that we are truly never alone. Thank you, Sara, for being you, and for shining your light bright to help lead us all on our way.
What do you do?
This is such a big question! I am a mom, first and foremost. I am also a Life Coach, Natural Energy Healer, and I guide men + women on Transformational Hiking, Coaching, Meditation, Breathe work and Adventure Retreats in the Grand Canyon and wilderness. I take clients deep within who they are and provide an opportunity for them to heal, transform, uncover their purpose and Live Boldly. We do much of this in Nature, where our minds slow and we can feel our emotions and bodies. Emotions such as anger, sadness and rage are allowed to release, giving space for JOY and Happiness. It’s one helluva an amazing process … and really, REALLY fun! Because who says Healing, Transformation + Growth can’t be FUN?
How did you get to where you are today?
November 29th, 2013, I was traumatized when I found out my husband of 17 years was living a double life for most of our marriage. Over the course of 14 years, he was having affairs with gay men + abusing drugs + alcohol. I was devastated. My best friend, lover + confidant was not leading a life I had thought. As if that wasn’t bad enough, it re-triggered a trauma of sexual assault - which had resulted into a pregnancy - from when I was 17 years old. My life was in shambles at the age of 40, and yet I had three sons to protect and care for.
There was one bright spot in all of this: I was handed an opportunity to show my children that difficult experiences in life do not define who you are. What does, is how you choose to react and grow through the process from “victim” to “survivor.”
So, I found a great coach, therapist and support group to lead me through the healing process. At the same time, I took to the ocean and began stand up paddling miles on the water. Spending time with dolphins + whales became bright spots in my day. Running trails + hiking mountains also became my saving grace. Being in Nature gave me space to somatically heal my battered heart and soul, while strengthening my mind and body. I summited peaks in Southern California, Mt. Whitney, Sequoia National Park, Yosemite National Park and the Grand Canyon.
Soon, I realized there was something much bigger in all of this than I had even realized.
It wasn’t long after that I found my purpose in life: to guide others through their own life transformations. I founded Live Boldly Coaching, LLC and incorporated all that I learned through my personal healing processes. I went back to school for my Professional Coaching, Wilderness First Responder, and APSATS (Association for Partners of Sex Addicts Trauma Specialists) certification. I also obtained my CUA (Commercial Use Authorization) to guide clients in the Grand Canyon. And here I am today, doing the work that I love!
To add a little personal spark to my brand, with every mountain and trail that I climb, I wear a pair of red heels on the summit and take a picture. Red represents love, passion, courage and strength. Every picture shares with the world that we can be strong, feminine, and we do have the power to lead a courage-driven life!
I am working on a personal development book; Ms. Claudia Cross from Folio Literary Management is my literary agent.
Tell us a little bit about the upcoming new documentary, Walk Through This directed by Laura VanZee Taylor. What inspired you to participate?
I chose to do this documentary because I want to help others. Really, that’s first and foremost. I trust Laura and wouldn’t hand my story to anyone but her. The experience, thus far, has been healing and exhausting at the same time - all very good and needed. It’s brought up a few things I wasn’t expecting, such as emotions I didn’t realize were there and memories that I had forgotten about. This is all good! I used to be an art teacher so I know what it’s like to create any piece of art. It’s exciting, rewarding, exhausting and inspiring … all at the same time.
We are scheduled to film in the Grand Canyon over Thanksgiving, exactly 6 years to the day that I found out about my ex husband. I’m excited for viewers to see where I had my own healing + growth, in hopes they will be able to find the same and not feel alone in the process.
I know this film will help millions. That’s the foundation of why I do anything in life - to help others.
What inspires you day-to-day?
I look for AWE in my every day life. I want to feel jazzed, alive, present + at peace. So every day, I spend time outdoors, if only for 5 mins. I paddle off shore with dolphins and whales, make time for a run, walk the beach or hike trails in Southern California. My kids inspire me to be a better mom, woman + human being, so I not only do this work for me, but for them.
What are you passionate about?
HANDS DOWN: Creating COMMUNITY + CONNECTION. No doubt, I love meeting people and hearing their stories. I felt SO ALONE during that first year of my husband’s discovery … NO ONE should have to feel that way. So I love creating space for others to feel connected, loved and heard. If it’s individually through 1:1 coaching, within retreats, on the trail, through my online programs or Facebook sites, or through my upcoming Podcast which I am SO JAZZED about! I want others to know the importance of who they are on this earth. We all matter.
What is/are something(s) you would tell your younger self?
1) KEEP GOING.
2) KEEP GOING … YOU ARE WORTHY.
3) KEEP GOING … YOU ARE LOVED.
4) KEEP GOING … THERE IS A REASON FOR ALL OF THIS.
What is the best advice you’ve received?
Oh gosh … there are so many!
I speak often about my mom’s advice, “Take every step forward and hold your head high. Not everyone will understand and that’s ok. Stay in your integrity and truth.”
My dad often said to me, “Don't just talk the walk. WALK the walk!”
And most recently, my 28 year old son said (I am paraphrasing his text message), “Whatever you are doing with your business mom, keep f#ckin doing it. It’s working + I’m proud of you.” THAT was meaningful for me, as my son is a tremendous entrepreneur and someone I look up to.
I’ve always been taught to stay humble, but don’t self sabotage.
What is the best advice/pieces of advice you have for others who are on their healing journey?
Embrace your healing journey - each and every step. Don’t expect it to be a linear process, because it never is. Lean in and remember, “By not resisting the process, you will learn to love and honor YOU more than you ever thought possible.”
What is/are the biggest life lesson(s) you’ve learned?
LOVE is the foundation for living. That’s it. The best + most rewarding relationship you could ever be in is with yourself. You find this through Self Love. From there, you create connections to love others. There is nothing better and more rewarding!
What do you do to balance your life when it feels unbalanced?
I get outside + I watch what I eat. I paddle the ocean and take a few moments to meditate on my board. I sleep whenever possible, even if that’s in the back seat of my car in between my kids water polo matches or basketball games! But most importantly, I give myself FIERCE SELF COMPASSION + tell myself, “You are doing the best you can in every given moment. Be good to you.”
My life is, no doubt, full. And so I stay aligned, away from drama, I don’t let others’ projections affect me, and I go back to my soul purpose: TO GUIDE OTHERS ON THEIR COURAGE-DRIVEN LIFE.
Sara Schulting-Kranz is a coach, trauma survivor, wilderness and Grand Canyon Specialist. She was a victim of an abusive relationship and turned her trauma recovery into a mission to Lead a Courage-Driven Life. Ms. Schulting-Kranz founded LIVE BOLDLY COACHING, LLC to use nature as a primary healing element. Sara has guided and set a world record with blind Paralympian Shawn Cheshire, who became the ﬁrst female blind woman to hike the Grand Canyon from rim to rim to rim.