Susan Ortolano, M.A., CMRC, PCC
Intuitive Life & Relationship Coach

What am I Supposed to Do Now?


When I was in first grade it was already clear what I might do for a living. I always finished my work before my classmates and was then asked to grade papers. Yes, I was 6 years old grading papers and helping my teacher. In 3rd grade I was sent to tutor the first graders and in 5th grade I was sent to tutor the 3rd graders. In 7th grade I was a teacher’s assistant and while I was in high school, I was teaching preschool.

It was clear I was born to do something in the teaching field.

I began my career as a high school teacher when I was 23.

Health challenges began shortly after my teaching career began. I managed to continue to work and although some of those initial challenges were solved, new challenges came forward.

By the middle of my 13th year, I had become so ill I couldn’t teach anymore. I was in pain, couldn’t walk well, was too fatigued to come to work every day and knew it was time to go on medical leave.

It occurred to me as I left that it would be the last day I would ever teach in public high school.

Going through illness is devastating enough.  Looking at what might become of your life, your career and all of the changes that have to be made, the future can certainly look dismal and hopeless to the imagination.

I never imagined the illness would get worse and that I’d have to recreate so much of my life. In my work life, outside of being a teacher, I did psychic readings for people and was rather good at it. I enjoyed the one-on-one counseling type work and looked into ways I could do that in the condition I was in. I decided to hire a coach. It was awesome! Coaching opened up doors for me that I hadn’t even imagined and I was finally able to see how I could do the psychic readings by phone and allow myself to get the care I needed at the same time.

After my positive experience, the field of coaching was intriguing to me. I knew I didn’t want to be a therapist even though my M.A. degree trained me as a counselor. After looking at the coaching profession and watching some good friend who were coaches, I decided it was the path that was calling me.

I was able to do all of my training by phone and set up my business to operate by phone and Skype. My business grew quickly and before I knew it I was working as a Professional Intuitive Coach and was loving it. I have loved it ever since and now also teach and train other coaches for an international coaching school. This new career has allowed me to do what I need to do to take care of myself, do the work I love, and make good money.

Living with chronic illness means it’s time to get creative. There is often a new life that is ready to unfold and initially we aren’t listening. The illness is the kick in the pants that comes along to help guide us there.

I felt that the tools that helped me succeed could be useful for others so I designed the Vibrant Pathways Coaching Program to help those living with chronic illness explore what new purpose and new life is waiting.

Listen to the inner nudges you are receiving. Look at what you can do, what is possible. Are you feeling called to start your own business? Are you a writer ready to start writing? Are you a teacher or counselor?  Are you a graphic designer ready to bring website visions to life?

Imagine that your illness is happening for you rather than to you. The universe is calling you to a new life and a new career. Are you listening?

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