The Yellow Brick Road to Eunoiafy Coaching an Autoblogography by Paul Neuenschwander

A photo for a blog titled "The Yellow Brick Road to Eunoiafy Coaching" with whimsical, mysterious characters walking down the yellow brick road towards enlightenment.
Share this Post

The Journey to Beautiful Thinking

Hello and welcome to Eunoiafy Coaching! I’m Paul Neuenschwander, the founder of this life changing business. The Yellow Brick Road metaphor is a powerful symbol of transformation and change, and it perfectly encapsulates the journey that led me to become a coach. In this blog, I’m going to share with you my personal story, how the Yellow Brick Road metaphor has guided my journey, and how my unique coaching style can help you on your own path to self-discovery, personal growth and a more secure attachment style.

As a coach, I often get asked, “What the hell is Eunoiafy and how do you say it?” But that’s for another blog…  I, also get asked, “Why coaching?” And they’re both fair questions. After all, there are so many different professions out there, why did I choose coaching as my calling? Well, to answer that question, we have to take a trip down the Yellow Brick Road of my life.

Searching for Direction on the Yellow Brick Road

I was born in Berkeley, CA, and lived in my hometown of Fremont, CA until I was in 3rd grade. All of my grandparents and a few of my cousins lived nearby. My parents regularly told me how much they loved me. Honestly, I didn’t have the worst childhood. In fact, most people in this world probably had it a lot worse than me. Looking back, I had a lot to be grateful for. Furthermore, after the age of 18, you have to learn to stop blaming your parents and take responsibility for your own life. So, that being said, please do not interpret this as a “woe is me” blog or the blame game. I’m simply sharing, from my perspective, my path down the Yellow Brick Road to Eunoiafy Coaching.

Now, let’s return to my life as a child in Fremont, CA. My parents had a very unhealthy relationship, which often involved arguing and yelling. They weren’t consistently emotionally available for me, which is essential for a young child. As a result, I spent a lot of time with cousins at one of my grandparents homes. Although my parents were doing their best, they had their own unhealed wounds, what some of you may or may not know as generational trauma. Almost no one intends to traumatize their child, but it’s something that can happen when you don’t confront your demons. Ignorance is bliss, as the saying goes, right?

In the 2nd grade, when I was about 7 years old, my mom left suddenly. She tried to explain it to me, but I was too young to understand and wasn’t given a clear timeline. Then, one warm Bay Area winter day, about two weeks after our conversation, I came home from school to find my dad crying at the computer, reading an email from my mom on AOL, in 1996. The email stated that she was on her way to New Mexico with her new boyfriend. I was obviously devastated. My dad did the best he could to console me, but again, he wasn’t the most emotionally available person, and he had just been left by his wife of 10+ years. Plus, he still had his unresolved emotional trauma to deal with.

It’s events like these as well as the emotional availability of your primary caregiver from ages 0 – 2 years old, that have a strong impact on our attachment style. Mine was fearful avoidant leaning heavily on the anxious side of the spectrum. I say “was” because I personally like to see the attachment style as a spectrum that we move through during the course of our lives. Our default is where we live most of the time, especially when our core emotional wounds are being triggered.

Needless to say, this event caused a lot of turmoil in my relationship with my mother. I moved to New Mexico to be with her two years later, where I lived from grade 5 until I was 31 years old. Our relationship remained rocky throughout my 20s and even into my 30s. It took a long time for me to understand and forgive her, but we’re in a much better place now. Due to the inconsistent emotional availability of my parents, I formed very strong bonds with my friends, at times probably a bit co-dependent. It’s also another part of my life that I am extremely grateful for. The list of long-term friendships and the number of people that would ride or die for me is longer than I could have ever asked for. I’m literally surrounded by love wherever I go when my people are around.

Finding Clarity Through Technology and Coaching

My journey to becoming a coach wasn’t a straight path. In fact, it was quite the opposite because not much in my life is straight. In fact, I often say, “Never straight, but always forward!” Growing up in a small town, throughout high school, I struggled with my sexuality. I tried my hardest to be “straight” because I thought that was the right thing to do. I prayed to God to change me and I hid my true self from the world. It was pretty obvious to most people that it was just a front. I often got teased at school about it, but nothing violent ever happened. Shortly after graduating high school, I came out to my friends and family in New Mexico. Again, I was very fortunate because my coming out was very easy and well taken by everyone I told. I didn’t lose any family or friends. I’m incredibly grateful for the experience I had and to everyone that was involved. A few years later, I came out to my dad and family in California. That was a little harder, but overall a relatively trauma-free experience.

Up until the age of around 33, I was unsure of what I wanted to do with my life. I briefly studied psychology in high school and college, but didn’t see it as a viable career option due to the lengthy education required. So, I settled for a call center management job in Corporate America, and I found success at a young age. I earned good money and even bought a house by the age of 20.

I worked at T-Mobile for seven years, where coaching techniques were heavily emphasized in employee development and accountability practices, which aligned with my interests at the time. However, by year three, I knew it wasn’t what I wanted to do long-term. Towards the end of my tenure there, I was feeling anxious, trapped, and unhappy, living life in Levels 1 & 2 on the Energetic Perception chart. Leaving that job ended up being one of the best decisions of my life. It reminded me of my value and opened my eyes to possibilities.

I then shifted to the travel industry, still in the call center setting, thinking that it would be the key to job satisfaction, given my love of travel. I worked for two travel agencies, which were among the best years of my call center career. I’m incredibly grateful for the people I met, things I learned, and experiences I gained from my time in the call center world. However, after a year or so in each position, I once again began to feel unsatisfied, unhappy, and drained.

Then, I got the opportunity to move back to my hometown to care for my 97-year-old grandmother. She was the same grandmother with whom I spent much of my childhood. So, I quit my job, rented out my three-bedroom house to my mom, and moved back to California with only what I could fit in my 2014 Nissan Altima. Life was great, and I once again felt in alignment with myself and the universe. This experience gave me the time and space to find myself, which took about a year to settle in before I started trying to figure out my next steps when my grandmother was no longer around. If I wanted to survive in the San Francisco Bay Area, I knew that it had to be a fruitful career choice.

Being in Silicon Valley, I fell back on one of my other passions, technology and computers. I started freelancing for a family friend’s boutique marketing agency, C3PR. What a wonderful team to work with! Mar, the owner and longtime family friend, took a chance on me without knowing my skills as an adult, and I am eternally grateful for that. She assigned me web design tasks, which I tackled by learning the basics of WordPress and the visual page builder, Elementor, from YouTube videos. Within months, I was redesigning one of their clients’ websites, and I thought I had found the career that would bring me success and satisfaction.

Mar paid for some basic coding classes at the Web Monkey Academy. I flew through the first course, which taught techniques for learning, motivation, and organization, and moved on to the coding course. It was a self-paced course that taught HTML, CSS, Javascript, React, as well as other frontend and backend coding languages. I quickly completed HTML, struggled a bit with CSS, but really struggled with Javascript. I eventually did not complete the course, and I felt a lot of shame, as someone else had paid for it.

During the same timeframe, I started dating someone and started to fall in love very quickly, which was unusual for me as I hadn’t fallen in love since 2012. However, looking back, I realized that I had fallen in love with the idea of who I wanted them to be and the Piscean fantasy in my head of how the relationship would be. After three months, we were no longer dating, and I went into a full-blown, anxiety-ridden, sleep-depriving depression, the worst anxiety and depression I had ever experienced. This anxious feeling made me search on Google, “Why am I anxious after a breakup?” That was the day I found attachment style, the day my ENTIRE LIFE finally started to make sense.

One of the books I found on Google was “Insecure in Love: How Anxious Attachment Can Make You Feel Jealous, Needy, and Worried and What You Can Do About It” by Leslie Becker-Phelps, PhD. This book was a catalyst for my personal healing journey and a major part of the yellow brick road we’re talking about in this blog. It helped me to better understand my own attachment style and the ways in which it was impacting my relationships and my life in general. Another book that had a profound impact on me was “The Ethical Slut.” This book challenged me to rethink my beliefs around relationships and helped me to develop a more open and accepting mindset. It helped me to better understand and embrace my own desires and needs, as well as those of others. Lastly, “Fuck Your Feelings” helped me to develop a more resilient mindset and to approach life’s challenges with greater courage and determination. It helped me to realize that I am capable of overcoming obstacles and achieving my goals, even when things feel overwhelming.

After reading these books, I became fascinated by the inner workings of the subconscious and attachment style as well as how they influence our behavior. I wanted to learn to heal myself and help others in the process. I started working with a therapist and a sex coach to identify the root causes of my unhappiness. Then, I found Thais Gibson and the Personal Development School on YouTube. I watched her videos every day for months. I signed up for on-demand courses within a month and moved through 3 -5 courses very quickly.  I started inventorying what I wanted in life, in a partner, in a relationship, in myself, and in a career. This is when I discovered life coaching industry. And it didn’t require 8 years of school to get into!

Overcoming Obstacles on the Yellow Brick Road

Thais didn’t offer her Integrated Attachment Theory Coaching program at the time, so I went on a search to find the best life coaching certification available. That’s when I found iPEC, the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching, where I earned three certifications: Certified Professional Coach (CPC), Energy Leadership Index Master Practitioner (ELI-MP), and C.ORE Dynamics Transitions Specialist. During my training program with iPEC, the Personal Development School announced their Integrated Attachment Theory Coaching certification, taught by my favorite attachment theory expert, Thais Gibson. I signed up and was part of the first training group. Both trainings were completed by July 2022. I earned my Integrated Attachment Theory certification from the Personal Development School first, because I still had a lot of work to complete for my iPEC certifications.

During the last module of my iPEC training, in February 2022, my father and I had a falling out. I saw this as a great opportunity to start setting the boundaries I had been exploring and learning about through the Personal Development School over the last two years, so we stopped talking and spending time with one another. I was still in contact through e-mail, but it was always very brief and focused on the caregiving I was providing for my grandmother.

Fast forward to early August 2022, and I still hadn’t completed my certifications with iPEC because I had started to lose momentum. I felt really guilty and wanted to get everything done before I went on vacation in September. I scheduled all the meetings and even had some successful introductory calls with people who wanted to book packages with me. The momentum was there, and things were really looking up. I was so excited.

Then, in late August 2022, my dad went into the hospital for the first surgery of his life, at the age of 69. It was for the simple removal of a slow-growing cancer. During his recovery in the hospital, he started experiencing stroke symptoms, which the hospital in Sonora, CA, wasn’t equipped to handle. So, he was airlifted to another hospital in Modesto, CA, where they performed a CT scan. In this CT scan, they found the stroke, as well as a very large brain tumor that had hemorrhaged and was applying pressure on his brainstem. Modesto was not equipped to handle this, so he was airlifted to another hospital, this time UCSF Parnassus, the best hospital with the most amazing medical workers I have ever experienced in my life. I can’t thank and express my eternal gratitude to that team enough. Especially our ICU nurse, Alex. She was the light of our lives for the three weeks we spent at that hospital. Fast forward seven months to today, February 23, 2023, my dad is doing much better and all of my certifications have been completed. He still has a long way to go, but it’s a much better outcome than we initially thought.

Navigating the Road to Eunoiafy Coaching

The Yellow Brick Road metaphor has played a significant role in my life, both personally and professionally. It represents the journey that we all must take to discover our true selves and find our way in the world. For me, the Yellow Brick Road represented a journey of letting go, loving myself, growing my consciousness, and it’s a journey that I happily continue to travel every day.

For me, the Yellow Brick Road was a path of self-discovery and healing. It required courage, perseverance, and a willingness to face my fears and confront the obstacles that stood in my way. It required me to let go of old patterns and beliefs and embrace a new way of thinking and living.

The Yellow Brick Road metaphor also represents the power of community and support in the coaching process. Just as Dorothy was accompanied on her journey by the Scarecrow, the Tin Man, and the Cowardly Lion, my clients are accompanied on their coaching journey by me, as well as by other supportive individuals in their lives. Together, we work to overcome obstacles, develop new skills, and achieve their goals.

In summary, coaching is not just a profession for me; it’s a way of life. My journey has led me to this path, and I’m honored to be able to help others on their own journeys. If you’re looking to create beautiful thinking in your life, I invite you to join me on the Yellow Brick Road to Eunoia.

Eunoiafy Coaching

Eunoiafy (you-noy-uh-fy) Coaching is my coaching business, and it is a spin on the Greek word eunoia, which means beautiful thinking or well mind. I want people to think beautifully about themselves, their desires, their relationships, and others. I teach people how to heal unhealthy attachment styles to become more secure and true to themselves. My goal is to help people with unhealthy, anxious, or avoidant relationship patterns create a secure foundation through self-love, needs and boundary identification, and healthy communication techniques.

One of the things that sets Eunoiafy Coaching apart from other coaching services is my focus on Integrated Attachment Theory combined with iPEC’s Core Energy and C.ORE Transitions Dynamics coaching models. These methodologies work hand-in-hand to help my clients heal from unhealthy attachment patterns. I am also committed to ongoing professional development and staying up-to-date on the latest research and trends in coaching, which ensures that I am providing the most effective and cutting-edge coaching services available.

From a young age, I have always been the go-to friend that people call to vent their problems and get advice. I realized early on that I had a natural gift for helping others and making them feel heard and understood. As a coach, I bring my unique set of skills, personality, and experiences to the table to help my clients achieve their goals and live fulfilling lives. I have always had a natural gift for connecting with others and helping them navigate life’s challenges. Through my personal journey of self-discovery and healing, I have developed a deep understanding of the power of attachment theory, energy dynamics, and transitions, which I combine to create a holistic approach to coaching that is tailored to each client’s individual needs. My coaching style is supportive, collaborative, and focused on helping my clients develop beautiful thinking patterns that lead to a life of self-love, fulfillment, and success. I’m here to help you on your own Yellow Brick Road journey to Think Beautifully with Eunoiafy Coaching. So, if you’re looking to create beautiful thinking in your life, I invite you to join me.

Latest posts

Unlock the power of beautiful thinking with Eunoiafy Coaching’s exclusive newsletter. Join our community to receive personalized coaching tips, attachment style insights, and productivity hacks that will help you live a more fulfilling life. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to think beautifully and transform your relationships with us. Sign up now!

Unleash your infinite potential

Download this free audio training and get the clarity and confidence to build your dreams, on your terms.