Lea Appleton


With over 20 years in higher education along with training in spirituality, mindful practices, and emotional intelligence, I get you. The concerns of the massive scope of your job, the real needs of the communities that you serve, the dwindling resources, the desire to do really good work, all while taking care of yourself and those you care about, are real. I am a conversation partner to help your sort through what's important and what needs to change, what supports your wellbeing and what needs some adjustment, where you need to focus. Together we'll confirm why you do what you do and begin your journey to improve your wellbeing.


My Background

Your experience is varied and so is mine. I’ve coached writers, entrepreneurs, small business owners and more. I’ve worked with hundreds of students, as well as parents, managers, educators, and coaches. I have experience working with people with disabilities, elite youth athletes, and religious leaders. 


In addition to being a certified coach, I am also a musician, educator, and avid outdoor adventurer. I am a member of the International Coaching Federation (ICF), and have the Associate Certified Coach (ACC) credential with ICF. I completed the Erickson International Solution-Focused Coaching Diploma program.

I hold a Master of Divinity from Pacific School of Religion, a Master of Arts in Music and a Bachelor of Arts in Music from the University of California, Riverside. In addition to my years as a dean in student and academic affairs, I have worked for county government and local non-profits. And now I run my own business.

I'd love to know more about you!


My Approach

You are OK. Already. Without coaching.

Coaching will simply give you the opportunity to invest some time in yourself to explore your dreams, align your values, get unstuck, imagine new options, and make tangible plans to complete your goals. And then take action. Sometimes the work is really hard, but clients tell me it's worth it.

My approach to coaching is to take a holistic view of you as a person and focus on solutions, to utilize practices that will enhance your progress in each session, and to help keep you on track towards your goals and next courageous steps in life. Especially if you are headed towards burnout--we can reverse that trajectory together to support your wellbeing.

One final note about my approach: my favorite award I received early in my career was the Quietly Making Noise Award in appreciation for my behind-the-scenes work. My favorite summer job in my youth was being a camp counselor. And as a young child my favorite teacher was in Kindergarten--she made everyone feel important. I integrate these into my coaching work as I support clients behind-the-scenes, accompany you on your inner exploration and external adventures, and strive to create an environment where you matter most.

Are you ready for that next step?


"For the longest time, I thought I was not coachable and left sessions frustrated. 
I was ready to give up when I met Lea. For the first time, I felt listened to, invited to explore possibilities while feeling hopeful about them! The supportive and kindly judgment free space she offers led me to experience emotions I didn’t know I could have! I definitely recommend trying her services."

Julie R.

"I had coaching sessions with Lea and can confidently say that she is a very professional coach. Lea helped me to figure out what I really want and how to get there. I did my homework which we crafted for me together, and that moved me to the desired level of self-confidence. Also, Lea immediately made me feel comfortable sharing my deepest concerns and dreams. I will keep working with her and recommend you give it a try as well!"

Lily B.

"Lea is a natural expert on keeping mindful—present in the moment, clear-thinking, optimistic.  With a previous dual career as a busy professional woman in higher education and a musical artist, and an even busier Mom of three active children, Lea knows busy-full.  Lucky for you, she has honed its oft-times opponent: creative mindfulness. Able to remain calm in chaos, while finding creative solutions...that's your teacher."

Sharon G.



Coaching is a practice where the client comes first. You set the agenda, you bring the material, and you experience the rewards! I am your guide on your journey of self-discovery.

Coaching is asking meaningful, effective, powerful questions that get you to a deeper understanding of yourself, your values, and your aspirations. And then guiding you to ways those insights inform action towards positive change in your life.

beach with cliff, sand, and rock towers

If you still want even more information about coaching, check out this link from the International Coaching Federation on the coaching experience.