Begin Again

August 1, 2018

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BUFFALO, NY - Pebbles, rocks and boulders.

For Sepideh Yeoh MS ’98, they’re the metaphorical bedrock of her existence.  Each, she says, “offers perspective for various obstacles” life has thrown at her.  Yet each, Yeoh adds, led her to where she is today. 

A college administrator-turned-published author, speaker and life coach, Yeoh helps clients – women, in particular – navigate some of life’s most stressful transitions, such as marriage, motherhood, divorce, health concerns, job change or loss of a loved one.

“We’re all transitioning to the next level often without the necessary tools to get there peacefully,” Yeoh explains.  “That’s when anxiety and depression can find their way into our hearts and prevent us from moving forward.”

Yeoh speaks from experience. 

A child of the Iranian Revolution, she “learned first-hand that life can change in a second,” Yeoh recalls.  “But at these moments, we also have choices.”

Yeoh’s family immigrated to the United States and at age 17, she arrived in the unfamiliar city of Buffalo, enrolled in college and pursued a psychology degree from UB.   But it was Canisius, she says, that laid the foundation for what she does today.    

With her MS degree, Yeoh carved out a successful career in higher education and student affairs.  She advanced, swiftly, through positions in residence life and student services at UB, Buffalo State College, Hilbert College and alma mater. All the while, Yeoh “provided personal and practical guidance to college students as they tackled their next steps.” 

Professionally, Yeoh thrived. Personally, she struggled. 

Newly married with a growing family, Yeoh grappled over whether she could be a good mom and a good employee.  After much consideration, she put her career on hold to raise her children.  And then, more change.  Her husband’s company transferred his job to the West Coast.  The young family relocated and Yeoh again found herself in a strange new city trying to navigate what to do next. 

“So often when there’s a transition, we look at what we left behind that we don’t see the new opportunities in front of us,” Yeoh says.  “But I’ve learned that when you keep your ears and eyes open, new opportunities arise.”

Indeed, they did. 

Shortly after Yeoh’s move, a former Buffalo colleague invited her to collaborate on A Handbook for Simple Living.  That experience motivated Yeoh to become certified as a life coach and she opened a private practice.  Yeoh started the business small so she could balance work and family. Her success in providing perspective to clients in transition swelled and she gained a following. She now shares her pebbles, rocks and boulders approach to life with a much larger audience.  Yeoh is the author of the new book GLOW: Be the Light of Your Journey. 

“The one thing that’s guaranteed in life is change,” Yeoh concludes.  “Most of the time, we cannot control these changes.  What is in our control is how we respond to the change.  That is a conscious choice we make.”