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Synergy Success Stories!

Sandra Zamalis

“Christina, is a wonderful coach. Her knowledge and care with each client is truly heart centered. She takes the time to listen and has guided me and helped me overcome some challenges not only personally, but also professionally. I look forward to my time with her individually as well as the group events she puts together. She nurtures a supportive atmosphere where woman can build each other up.” ~ Sandra Zamalis, Director of the Staunton-Harrisonburg LearningRx Brain Training Center

Alli Stebleton

“I highly recommend Christina and Synergy life and Wellness Coaching. Christina has such an amazing way of bringing together and creating a safe and supportive group of soul sisters. Christina‘s programs have provided me with support,healing, personal growth and confidence. I’m so thankful for Christina and the tools I have gained to turn burnout into balanced success in my life!” ~Allison Stebleton

Arlene McCain

“Christina has been instrumental in helping me to clarify my vision for a thriving life and to manifest that in the world. Her blend of heart-centered intuitive coaching, amplifying soul whispers with Reiki, and creating safe spaces with soul sisters are a gift for all who participate! I’m particularly excited for our power partnership, through which Christina has created a soul sanctuary within my holistic medical space where she can offer her services to interested individuals.” ~Arlene McCain, MDMcCain Whole Health Care

Diane McCarthy

“When I chose Synergy Life and Wellness Coaching, I found a safe place to land when I was completely overwhelmed with everything in my life! Not only did I gain perspective, I gained a tribe of supportive sisters! I learned techniques to refocus when life started feeling out of control, and learned to begin living intentionally. It has been a life changing blessing! Highly recommend!!”

Kitty Purcell

“I like the confidentiality and caring approach of Christina in her coaching sessions. She is very sensitive and attuned to her clients needs. Christina has helped me navigate some of life’s most stressful situations. Highly recommend!” ~Kitty Purcell, F&M Mortgage

Synergy Success Story: Mandy Leeth

Working with Christina has been the single best personal investment I have ever made in myself. The layered learning I get to experience in a small, guided group of trusted women is invaluable. I have been able to reach personal milestones that have always seemed just out my grasp, including letting go of a consistent reliance on substance (alcohol) to manage my anxiety and stress level.

I have been through years of traditional therapy, and while a great foundation and well worth my time at the time, this was the next natural and necessary step to go beyond psychology and dive into some deep rooted emotional issues that have plagued me for most of my life. Having a group of women, who are now trusted soul sisters, to hold my hands as I tackle the emotional baggage in my life has been so rewarding and exponentially empowering to us all. Our shared experiences and truth moments have forced us to use the tools in our tool box and tackle deep seeded issues; lack of trust, emotional pain and past traumas.

Doing the work has not been easy, but it has been worthwhile. Adding “best self-practices” like meditation, meaningful morning practices to start my day from a place of power, and Reiki energy healing have all aided in my ability to get what I need every day from the life force I should be getting it from: within. I am able to call upon my higher power, integrate my life in a healthy way, and find balance and rest. It has been vital for me to finally know who I am, to accept myself for who I am, and to now know what fills my tank, which makes me a greater success in my day-to-day life. More importantly, it has been imperative for me to learn to recognize that some of my old patterns and habits, while comfortable and familiar, do not necessarily serve me in the highest way any longer. Those old “survival skills” that once were necessary, are no longer needed as I travel the road to a more whole, healed and complete person.

I highly encourage working with Christina in a small group setting and also taking advantage of Reiki energy healing with her. Keeping our energy fields clear makes all the difference in creating a more balanced healthy “you”. Reiki wards off illness, burnout and depletion, and helps cut through energetic blockages. It’s purifying to the heart and soul, and I am a true believer, as I have seen it transform my life and create balance and a heart centered approach to life that I would not otherwise have. Reiki healing is something you simply must try for yourself! Give yourself the priceless gift of working with Christina. No matter what capacity you decide to do that in, the beauty that she brings to this world, which will ultimately transfer into yours, is a magic you don’t want to miss out on! ~Mandy Leeth, Ameriprise Financial

Laurie DiSanto

Disanto Oct ezine testimonial

“I started coaching with Christina in July 2011, and together we went through her 6-month coaching program where I achieved major breakthroughs recovering from the death of my mother and the decline of my husband’s health and my elevation to caretaker.

The lessons I learned from those sessions carried me well through the next few years. I continued to attend the Success Circle in the summer when in town, and met with Christina occasionally as a friend and fellow horse enthusiast. Staying close and in touch with her clients, and keeping that balance as friends, is a strong point in both her personal and professional life.

In September of 2014 I found myself struggling again with my famous “disorganized thinking,” which for me is a response to a major lifestyle change as a caretaker, the increasing loss of freedoms, a change of goals, and the feeling of loss as goals I wanted were not possible anymore. In my case my husband’s health declined significantly and that travel and flexibility in the things I enjoyed doing were even more restricted. I also committed to a very challenging volunteer position on a board of directors in my community, which required much more of my time and emotion than I had realized.

I invested in a year of coaching with Christina, and with that commitment came a marvelous discovery of new tools not only for myself, but also being able to observe her growth as a coach, an increase in the skills and tools she uses, and her dedication to herself in keeping her own “reservoir of resilience” filled to the brim. I’ve often pondered on how difficult it must be switching between each of her clients, their needs, their tender points, and how challenging it must be to be an “emotional leader” to other women of equal talent, purpose and accomplishment. She does it with grace and style and makes it look easy. She sets a high bar but shows you how to achieve within your own power.

Together we defined the new goals and assessed what I needed to deal with caretaking challenges, changes in my health (in particular, increasing pain levels I was experiencing), as well as best practices for dealing with fellow volunteers. The EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique – Tapping) and the MMP (Meaningful Morning Practice) are two “forever tools” that carry me through each day’s challenges and help me keep an attitude of gratitude for each day’s joys and gifts.

I cannot emphasize enough to anyone, whatever age, whatever work or profession you do, to get out of your spin, your stories, and “uplevel” to a greater purpose for yourself as well as those you love and influence.

Get into Christina’s circle, even if for just a brief period of time. You have so many qualities you need to share and strengthen – she’ll show you how to do it, with grace, compassion, skill and…success.”

Our Zumbathon Fundraiser Rocked!

18237936_1864535117091845_31769334730980861_oK9s Andrea and HelynSynergy Strong Zumbathon!



A Big “Thank You” To Our Shine Sponsors!

00001Synergy Success Story: Sandra Engle!

Working with Christina has allowed me to find my way back to who I used to be – 
a positive and energetic woman.
After years of being stressed from work, I knew that I wasn’t happy with myself,
and needed to take steps in correcting the situation!
Christina helped me find more balance between my family, friends and career.
My ROE (Return on Energy) has improved so much during the past few months, especially in the area of my health,
that not only can I tell the difference – so can my husband.
Thank you, Christina!”
Sandra G. Engle, API, ACSR, AFIS, AINS
Insurance Advisor
LD&B Insurance and Financial Services
220 Frontier Dr Suite 6
Staunton, VA 24401
540.885.5009 Office
540.255.4066 Cell

Synergy Success Story: Julie Jones!

Julie, Hailey, Faith, & Darren
“I decided to reach out to Christina at a time in my life when I needed to make some changes, but was unsure how to move forward.  I was stuck in several areas of my life, and needed someone to partner with me; to inspire and challenge me.
Christina immediately gave me tools that helped me learn, allowed me to see things differently and move through some stuck areas. She helped me build courage to say no to things I had been afraid to and yes to some new things that would help me be a better version of myself.
I am still moving through my professional growth journey, and still know I have lots of growth areas.  But I’m so very, very grateful for our time together.
My husband Darren says working with her has made a positive difference in our home life by helping me to establish clear priorities and develop a better balance.
As I have grown, I am now modeling much of what Christina has taught me with my daughters as well, which is awesome.
Christina will forever be such a special person to me and I have been deeply blessed to have come to work with her!”
Julie Jones
Ameriprise Financial

Synergy Success Story: DeAndra Gaines!

Cedar Stone massage Student, Aspiring Life Coach,
and Travel Enthusiast
“I am really glad that I decided to try life coaching! It was nice to have someone check in and make sure that I was on track with my life goals.
The activities and assignments helped me to actually take action on the changes I wanted to make and I could see them on paper.  I will continue to use the tools that I picked up while working with Christina.
I can say that I really do feel a lot more confident in myself and in my ability to stand up for myself and what I believe in!”

Synergy Success Story: Hannah W. Hutman!

I started working with Christina when I found myself frequently thinking “I have a great life…why do I feel exhausted and yet incapable of resting and relaxing?”

I knew something had to change if I was going to sustain the success I had worked so hard to achieve, much less thrive in the midst of challenges that are inevitable. I had an amazing husband, supportive family, precious baby, and successful career, yet instead of enjoying these incredible blessings, I was generally overwhelmed

Through one on one coaching, and now SOAR, Christina has helped me develop an appreciation for learning from difficulties and stress, which has in turn lead to increased confidence and success. The techniques she has shown me have resulted in me worrying less and facing challenges with determination and resilience. This fresh perspective has helped me be more grateful for, and appreciative of, the opportunities I am presented with both personally and professionally. I have a greater understanding of what triggers feelings of overwhelm and, with Christina’s guidance and support, have developed strategies for incorporating practices into my everyday routine that help me start each day with focus and clarity, so that I am in charge of my day as opposed to frantically responding to events as they unfold

Additionally, Christina has helped me incorporate rest and recreation into my schedule, through her emphasis on creating a restorative lifestyle. Simply put, since I began working with Christina I have a new found appreciation for, and love of, all aspects of my life and it feels great!

Hannah W. Hutman
Hoover Penrod PLC
Harrisonburg, VA 22801
(540) 433-2444

Synergy Success Story: Jennifer Cottrell!


“Who needs a life coach?” As it turned out–ME!
I was married for 24 years, owned a very successful business and also ran my husband’s art business.   I had lived in Maryland for 23+ years and was very set in a routine. After a 2 year battle with kidney disease and a transplant, my husband passed away in April 2010.

Fast forward …

I was fortunate to have met a professor at JMU and we were married him in May of 2012. So my routine life took a WILD ride…. I moved to Harrisonburg, became “something” to 2 teenage stepdaughters (stepmother just seems to go with wicked), and had a business that suffered in the move. My life changed so drastically that I just felt like I was running in circles and kind of lost. I was happy but not settled.

I met Christina in late 2012. I had heard about Christina and Synergy Circle from a mutual friend, but forgot about it (remember – I was running around in my own circles!) until another friend suggested I go to Synergy Success the next day. I went and loved it. I immediately joined and have really enjoyed meeting all of the great women and feeling that sense of “finding my tribe”. Christina offered to meet for coffee. We met and talked, and I walked away thinking – Who needs a life coach? Later that year at a table-top Synergy event, after a conversation with Christina, I thought “Maybe I need a life coach!” Who knew????

We scheduled our first meeting and I have to say – it was transformative. I signed up for a 3 month package! Meeting with Christina is like therapy – but better. Unlike my experience with therapy, she gave me constructive things to do to improve the situation. Christina helped me gain focus and get back into that “routine” that I missed. I looked forward to each session knowing that I would gain tools to get my life more under control. I feel like a different person…. well maybe more like the old me in my new life. Instead of a feeling like a whirling dervish, I now feel in control. I won’t get on a soapbox, BUT if you haven’t met with Christina – stop what you’re doing and email or call her for an appointment.

Who needs a life coach??…..maybe YOU!

Jennifer Cottrell
You’ve Got it Made /LOTUS Holistic lifestyle practices

Synergy Success Story: Darcus Breneman!

“Coaching has helped me get personal obstacles out of the way providing guidance and accountability as I develop into a better person.  The Weight Watcher’s program is giving me the tools I need to stay committed to my goal! In the past 3 months I’ve lost 20 pounds by tracking the points I eat, attending weekly meetings, walking 3-4 days per week, and making big pots of healthy soup on the weekends so I eat out less often.” 

Darcus Breneman
Vice President
BB & T Wealth

Synergy Success Story: Kim Tucker!

When I met Christina Kunkle I was a depressed, vulnerable, dejected mother of three who’s husband had left for another woman.  I had never shoveled snow or built a fire in my wood stove.  I didn’t know how to check my oil or when to get my car inspected. I had all but given up on my life because I was convinced that I had little to offer and was unworthy of love in general.

I have my Master’s Degree in counseling and had been in years of therapy but had not been able to figure out what I needed to do to heal and move through my pain to get to the other side. After working with Christina for 2 and a half years as my Life Coach, I can tell you that I did find out what I needed to do.

Christina led me out of my “long dark night of the soul” and into a life that is worth living. She has brilliantly taken tools, skills, philosophies, activities, and knowledge, deeply woven with her genuine Spirit-led, heart-centered approach and guided me to an empowered sense of who I am and what I have to offer.

Christina continues to teach me, hold positive intentions for me and lead me to become the best and highest person that I was born to be.  I have renewed my faith in a higher power and found hope for my future.  I have a vision for where I want to be and how I want to feel moving through my life.  I know that I will be able to share my gifts with others in a way that inspires and lifts people up to the awareness of what they can be and do in this world.

Working with Christina requires effort and a strong desire to become who you truly are.  Christina will keep you safe and stand in the gap for you when needed.  Christina will hold you accountable and believe in your strength.You will never be judged and you will know that we are all perfectly imperfect in this flawed and fabulous world we live in.
I can’t say enough about how much Christina has meant to me and I hope that you will decide to embark on your own journey with her.
Get ready for the rest of your amazing life to begin!

Kim Tucker
Theraputic Day Treatment Specalist
East Rockingham High School

Synergy Success Story: Dr. Arlene McCain, M.D.!

I had first heard of Christina and her work 2 years ago, through a patient that had glowing feedback about her experience with her. I had an intuition that I would one day meet her, and at social event 2 years later, I heard her introduce herself to someone. At that point, I did something I rarely do in social situations- I moved out of my COMFORT ZONE and introduced myself to her (even before we said a word to each other, her energy was reaching me!).
Our conversation that afternoon came at a time when there was a lot of transition occurring at our office. Her wisdom about “giving from your overflow” resonated with me, because I was running on empty and didn’t have the clarity to know where to go next.

We have worked together since October 2013, first with1:1 coaching, then synergy success circle, and now with the SOAR leadership program. She has introduced me to a support network of talented, inspiring women that I would never have been able to find on my own. The personal growth I have experienced in these months has been incredible. Christina has shown me valuable tools and helped me instill important habits to deal with personal and professional challenges and triumphs.

Through my dedicated meaningful morning practice, I can greet each day with gratitude and hope, so that most days I am working from abundance and not emptiness. I have been able to define a core value offer that has become a mantra when the minutiae of life threaten to steer me away from balanced success.

Through Christina’s wholehearted guidance and wisdom,I am integrating my inner and outer selves to become the whole person I had always thought I could be, and maybe even better than I could have ever imagined.

Thank you, Christina!

Arlene McCain
Carilion Clinic
(540) 828-2634

Synergy Success Story: Carrie Willetts!

“As a result of my work with Christina, I have assumed personal responsibility to create the life I want to live! Her coaching empowered me to turn my marriage from good to great, made me the mother I want to be, and earned me a promotion! ”~ Carrie Willetts

My journey with Christina and the Synergy Success Circle started last summer when I returned home from “leadership camp”. My organization had invested in sending me away for a week as part of an Executive Development Program during which I received mounds of feedback from peers, superiors, direct reports, and myself. The recurring theme of the feedback pointed to my need to be resilient. I was headed toward burnout, had stressed out my family, and had a very limited social or professional network.I returned from “camp” with the following four goals:
1) To develop a social and professional network
2) To develop self-confidence
3) To improve my communication skills
4) To delegate more effectively

I attended the Synergy Success Circle lunch in the fall with the sole intention of expanding my social and professional network, but what I got out of the experience was so much more. At this lunch, Christina led us through 3 key action steps to “Create an Empowered Vision.” I learned that this vision will be the resilient mindset I would rely on when life “threw me a curve-ball.” I wrote on my worksheet that day, “I can’t wait to see what good is going to come from this” and immediately signed up for personal coaching with Christina. As I reflect on my months of personalized coaching with Christina, she filled my toolbox with practices and habits that have created joy, positive energy, and success in my life. Christina gives 110% in her coaching. She is professional, knowledgeable and fun. She comes fully committed to you and the investment you have made in yourself! Six months ago, I was told that I could not continue to stress myself and those around me (both my family and my work colleagues) and that a promotion was out of the question. As a result of my work with Christina, I have assumed personal responsibility to create the life I want to live! Her coaching empowered me to turn my marriage from good to great, made me the mother I want to be, and earned me a promotion! Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Carrie Willets
Director Orthopedics Spine & Sports Medicine Services/Rehab Service
RMH Healthcare

Synergy Success Story: Susan Null!


“As a full-time working mom, trying to balance a demanding job, my family, and my home, I realized that I needed (and desired) to create more balance in my life. I entered into a 9 month coaching relationship with Christina at Synergy Life and Wellness Coaching.
Through my coaching sessions with Christina, I was able to present different challenges I was facing that were causing unbalance and frustration in my life. She equipped me with tools and skills that were practical and effective. She also challenged me with hard questions. Through coaching I also uncovered several mindsets and ways of thinking that I had held tightly to for a long time that were misguided, and not serving me well. In fact they were trapping me because they kept me from working at my highest capacity.
This investment made a huge difference in my life in so many ways.
I learned that by caring for myself and working smarter, not harder, I could better serve and care for my family, my home, my staff, and the organization I work for. I’m so very thankful for all that coaching has taught me. I am more organized and more balanced, as I’ve been able to give myself permission to be more creative and flexible – and these simple  (yet sometimes hard) changes in my life have given me a new sense of freedom, focus and empowerment.”
Susan Null
Executive Director

Synergy Success Story: Laura Dent!

Capturing the Journey: Coaching with Christina By Laura Dent, September 4, 2013

“Knowing Christina has been a blessing and a joy. Her positive inspiration and strong support have helped me find the courage to create my own business as a freelance writer. I’ve worked with Christina on several different levels over the past year. First, I found my way to her Synergy Success Circle, a monthly networking lunch for women. I had just been laid off from my job, and I wanted to “create new ways of working that sustain my life.” I knew I needed new skills to do that, and I gravitated to Christina’s positive energy. On my first visit to Synergy Success, I found my first freelance client, and won a gift certificate for private coaching with Christina! Those were the first of many magical manifestations that I’ve experienced through Christina and her programs. Next, when I sat down with Christina for that private session, I immediately burst into tears! Tears of joy and relief to find the support she offered. Thus I began a three-month individual coaching plan with Christina. I needed it! The concept of the Learning Zone is the most valuable tool I’ve gotten from Christina. As far as possible, she said, stay in the Learning Zone, the edge just outside my Comfort Zone where I’m exploring and growing, but not too far out so I get scared and go into the Panic Zone. Just having that guidance helps me live more of my life in the Learning Zone, where the juice is. Then, when my individual program was up, I joined Christina’s nine-month SOAR Coaching group, to continue the enrichment of Christina’s teachings in an expanded group setting. Christina gave us a strong structure to practice new ways of creating our lives, and encouraged our mutual support and inspiration.

For instance, one woman and I discovered we had complementary strengths: I was a visionary, while she was a planner. I deliberately sought her out as my accountability partner for the month, so we could learn from each other. My enthusiasm inspired her, and she guided me to increase my organization and follow-through.

A year after I first met Christina, I “hired” her to give me my annual review, since she has been such a strong part of my journey. She gave me powerful positive feedback, and important pointers for how I can continue to grow my livelihood. Christina told me, “Capture your journey.” She explained that as I grow, I can mentor people in their own development, as she has done so beautifully with me. Christina paid me a wonderful complement: she called me a “high-integrity entrepreneur.” I would say the same about Christina, and am immensely grateful for her guidance – and her example – in helping me create the life I love.”

Laura Dent
Freelance Writer

Synergy Success Story: Jamie Calcagno-Roach!

“When I think back to a time before I started working with Christina I can clearly remember the struggles I was having in my life and not knowing how I was going to dig my way out of what seemed like multiple holes that were just getting deeper and deeper.

My first meeting with Christina was the brightest ray of sunshine that helped me clearly see I had the power to turn these struggles into opportunities. I now have a toolbox of strategies to use when I need some extra help that I continue to replenish every time I meet with Christina.
To me, having a life coach that I work so well with like Christina is the best gift I could ever give myself!”
Jamie Calcagno-Roach
Instructional Technologist at James Madison University

Synergy Success Story: Bille Jo Fulk!

“Where do I start? Christina came into my life at a time where I needed her most. I was lost in so many ways!

She taught me how to think about things in a whole new way.   She taught me how to find out who the real me is.  She helped me dig deep into myself and bring out who I really wanted to be and what I really needed in life and deserved.  She always made mefeel like a stronger person.  Now I am that stronger person.

She made me see a new way of how to see the world and things and people around me.  And thinking positive was hard for me sometimes, but Christina made me see that thinking negative only made me feel worse because those things never happened.  (Just Thinking in a whole new way, will change everything.) Why waste your time thinking about all the bad that could happen, when you could think about all the good that could happen?

I have found so many doors to open and Christina lead me to all of them. I never could have imagined that things in life, in whatever it is could be so much better if you would just think about them in a different way! The mind is a powerful thing!!!

I will walk through my path leaving all the negativity behind me…and if I am walking and it tries to push itself upon me, then I’ll walk a little faster…leaving it in the dust.

I’m so thankful for Christina and I really believe that God brought her into my life and I’m blessed to have her as a close, forever friend!”

Billie Jo Fulk
Independent Mary Kay Beauty Consultant

Synergy Success Story: Janene Good!

Have you ever been “stuck”, or felt like you were “circling the drain”? Or had unhealthy patterns that were hard to let go of, or move beyond? That was me last fall and I just didn’t feel like myself. There were a variety of reasons for that, but it was up to me to overcome it and take responsibility. My happy, joyful self was buried and I needed “me” back! I partnered with Christina to work together to move forward to a healthier place. Together we focused on my core values, my strengths and developing Stellar Self Care. Am I perfect at that? Absolutely not, but I’m more aware and I’m in a much better place and continuing to move forward. For me, I needed to work in partnership. It helped me to be accountable, and provided additional healthy, helpful insight to move to a better place in life. I’ve learned how to develop a meaningful morning practice, to live more intentionally, and to react differently in unhealthy situations (most of the time). We hear so much about saving for retirement and putting money in a retirement plan. I think it’s important to invest in our health-our whole health (mind, body and spirit). This partnership with Christina was an investment in me! I work in healthcare and see the effects of choices all of the time-some good choices and some not so much. Just like exercising or eating properly, developing great mind-body-spirit connections is just as necessary-in fact, it’s imperative for true wellness. Christina is an awesome coach and friend! I’m truly grateful for her being a part of my journey!

Janene Good
R.N. & Echocardiogram Sonographer

Below: Janene sharing her story at THRIVE Nov, 2012

R.N. & Echocardiogram Sonographer @ RMH Healthcare

   Synergy Success StoryLynette Johnson, R.N.!

“After 33 years of being an R.N. in Health Care Administration I had had “enough”! Twin grandchildren were born, and I blanketed myself in helping to care for them. Then, after three years of intensive care, my mother died from complications of Alzheimer’s Disease. As a result of stress and emotional overload, I lost much of my self-confidence. On the outside, my actions as an R.N., wife, and friend looked okay, but on the inside I was struggling. The thought that I might be getting Alzheimer’s haunted me. I read self-help books; I used much of my energy in trying to concentrate, recall information, and in bolster myself up. I worked relentlessly to improve. Frequently, it seemed that I could not “do things right.” Often I would consider -“if only I could find someone to help me “think”, someone to help me sort through what was going on in my head, maybe I could be a more effective person, and could have more internal calm. An article in Health Quest caught my attention!  I began working with Christina and the synergy created between us helped me uncover my hope.  She affirmed me as a person who was capable and worthy.  She inspired me to lift up my head and my heart to pursue life. With her, I learned to implement tools, techniques, and ideas that helped me realize “I can manage my mind”; I can choose what I think and I can change my negative non-serving beliefs, and I can be stronger than I was before. I learned to love and appreciate myself for the person I am. I received the help and support I needed. I am so glad that I kept hanging in there…that I did not give up! And if I can do it, anyone can! Christina, My living has been tremendously blessed by the synergy we’ve experienced together.  Thank you for sharing “the beautiful person you are.” ~With love and appreciation, ~Lynette Johnson, Bridgewater, VA 

Synergy Success Story: Melanie Rowan! 

“I have been self-employed for over ten years. I am a senior graphic designer and operate as a freelance print designer. I have wonderful clients and work very hard to keep them all happy and confident in the service that I provide. In addition to my graphic design business I manage a small farm, cook every day and keep up with the demands of our family’s household. I love and thrive on being busy.

I had a little awakening early this year when I realized that I launched myself out of bed every day, spiraled through a very long list of to-do’s and fell into bed exhausted every night.  I felt worn out and burned out.  I needed some help re-evaluating my priorities. I started looking for a wellness coach and was very enthused when I read an article that Christina Kunkle had written for Health Quest magazine.  I called her, we met and we agreed to work together — one-on-one for six sessions. Christina set up our sessions in ways that would explore my habits (or lack of) and help me to filter out some of the junk –both emotional and logistical — to better plan my days.  She helped me learn how to set up relevant criteria to establish how I would prioritize the things that were most important for me to accomplish that day.  She offered learning and management tools that are invaluable for centering ones’s mental processes.  We met in interesting places and I always looked forward to and enjoyed each session.I attended a design conference this summer and had the privilege of hearing a couple of the top motivational speakers of today — Peleg Top and Simon T. Bailey.  I was quite pleased to hear some of Christina’s tools and methods reinforced from other coaching leaders. Christina is using contemporary coaching skills and teaches and shares them with the warmth of a good friend. Thanks Christina!” 

Melanie Rowan
Graphic Designer

Transformation Success Story: Andrea Nichols!

Andrea Nichols 1

I used to shop in the boy’s section of Old Navy! Andrea Nichols 2

20 pounds ago

Andrea Nichols 4

Waking up, Getting clear, and Taking Action

Andrea Nichols 3

Awake, Focused, and Unstoppable!

”Over the past several years, I have allowed myself to be completely consumed by my responsibilities as a caregiver. My mother has terminal cancer, and my younger brother passed away in March from sudden cardiac arrest. I have been so focused on taking care of other people that I lost who I was. Like so many others in the caregiver role, my needs always came last. I never had any energy, chugged caffeinated drinks to get through the day, and ate most of my meals from a drive through. My work performance was in a downward spiral, and I withdrew from those closest to me. I knew I needed to change, but I had no idea how to break out of my self-destructive cycle. For me, the way out of that cycle was through coaching with Christina. The coaching process is like applying a magnifying glass to sunlight. I already had the power to change my thoughts and actions, but this process provided the focus I needed to concentrate my efforts on the steps with the biggest impact. I now feel like a completely different person. I have joined a gym, checked off several vital self-care appointments, and changed my dietary habits. Not only am I now paying attention to my physical health, but I am taking care of my emotional needs and establishing boundaries with those around me. It seems like every day someone tells me that they barely recognize me from the person that I used to be. Coaching is not always easy, but it is certainly rewarding. One of the most important lessons I have learned is that change doesn’t all have to happen at once. A step forward, no matter how small and insignificant it may seem on its own, will result in revolutionary change when combined with other small actions. I am a caregiver who is finally taking care of me, one small step forward at a time!” ~ Andrea Nichols 

Synergy Success Story: Laurie DiSanto!

Did you ever wake up one day and feel like someone had installed an entire set of speedbumps in your head? You didn’t know if you should just try to leap over all of them or tear them up by your fingernails or just sit in the middle of the road and cry. The emotions and sensations are new and overwhelming – especially if you’re speeding through your days like a race car driver without a map yet wanting “control” of everything going on at the time.

That was me, 6 months ago, when I crashed headon into my own major speedbump of life, the death of a beloved parent. The loss of control and pure inertia was disabling. A random surfing link from a spa massage website to Christina’s website (a marketer’s dream) took me down a new road of life coaching.

With Christina’s guidance, I found the way to remove a lot of speedbumps, not just new ones, but old crumbled ones that were stuck in my wheels, banging around in the most annoying way. I learned techniques – simple ones – to break disorganized thinking and embrace change, fear, anger amidst sorrow and disorientation.

The final outcome was a new Mission Statement which defined my new roles and clarified old ones. My new roadmap is an awesome tool, it helps me stay “between the lines,” with achievable goals for success in my business and personal relationships.

Thank you Christina, for these new techniques – boundaries, compassion, grace, embraced emotions and most of all, “Sister Friends through the Synergy Success Circle.” I encourage anyone who has hit a Speedbump of Life to let Christina help you navigate that challenge. Learn the techniques on how to become elevated, not disabled, from your own professional or personal challenges of the road.

Laurie DiSanto
New Market, VA

Synergy Success Story: Kim Landis-Hamner!

When I called Christina for coaching, I felt I had reached a stagnant point in my life. I was facing a time that I thought I might be making some big decisions and changes. I knew what needed to be done but I felt like I did not have the energy to do anything. Christina literally made the earth shake; maybe it wasn’t her, be we shared an earthquake during our first session and believe me, I took that as a sign! Even from the first coaching session there was a momentum that I felt catapulting me into a new thinking process which changed many aspects of my life.

Kim Landis-Hamner
Skin and Zen Day Spa
Harrisonburg, VA
(540) 810-0141

Synergy Success Story: Phyllis Friesen!

Christina motivated me to re-examine how I care for myself and others, and how I respond to life as it happens. She listens so well and gently guided me in navigating the challenge of maintaining balance in both my personal and professional life. She has helped me to step back from hurdles that were overwhelming to me, take a deep breath, and thoughtfully consider appropriate responses. Recognizing when I stray into the Panic or Comfort Zone has also been a tool that gives me the ability to set boundaries for myself, and how I view unpleasant situations, both past and present, as well as visualizing positive future scenarios! She helped me to feel empowered to remember to be my Self, resulting in increased confidence no matter where I am or what I’m doing. As I consider the areas in my life where I spend my energy, I’m able to see what I’d like to change. This is an ongoing process, and Christina encourages me to remember I have the power and ability to decide where I will spend my energy. It is very freeing! I love being in the Learning Zone! Even though it’s often challenging it’s the best place to be, and I now know how to be there! “Thank you, Christina, for your care, for your availability, and for your encouragement. Most of all thank you for being a living example of living life to the fullest despite setbacks, disappointment, and imperfection, and choosing to focus on being positive and grateful!” 

Phyllis Friesen
Desing Concrete Builders, Inc

Comments from Casual Friday’s Breast Cancer Awareness Benefit: 

“Terrific!  I had a wonderful time at the Fashion Show yesterday.  It is always beautiful to see women come together for a cause as important as Breast Cancer Awareness!  So many lives are touched each day and it has been a Blessing in my life to see how strong women really are.  *Christina, thank you for helping us gain some tools to use in our every day life to help reduce anxiety.  It is such a fast paced life and it can easily become overwhelming! Thank you for the lovely orchid, which happens to be my favorite flower!  Each day when I look at it I will think of the show and all the women who attended!”

Synergy Success Story: Cathy Leitner!

“When I first met Christina in 2010, I had been a successful business owner for more than seven years. I was doing the work that I loved – practicing law and helping my clients with their estate planning. Although my business was thriving, my success had come at great personal cost.

For years, I neglected my health and wellness and my family and friends. I was on the brink of total burnout. With Christina’s coaching, support and friendship, I completely changed my life. I put myself first. I joined the RMH Wellness Center and made working out a priority. I practiced relaxation techniques and learned to leave my work at the office. Christina taught me to be completely present in each moment. 

A year later, my business is more successful than I ever imagined, I spend less hours at work and more time at home with my family and friends, and I have maintained a regular workout schedule that has helped me to lose 70 pounds! I am stronger, healthier and happier than I have ever been before. 

I am so grateful for the journey that I am on and my new friend and life coach who is with me each step of the way. Thank you, Christina!”

Meet My Friend Flossie Who’s 98 Yrs Young!

Comments from Flossie after Sunnyside Keynote “How to Stay Happy, Healthy, & Thriving in your Spirited Senior Community.” “You really turned me around.  I was bored and losing interest in my life, in fact I think I was depressed.  It was a real boost to have you share with us.  I’ve decided to smile more and gripe less.  I’m not going to be as grumpy.  You just helped me a lot.  I’ve made copies of the hand out and have been life coaching everyone all day!  My table mates were so sad they didn’t come, and I am too.  I know I need to get to the pool ’cause it helps me feel better.  I’m just ‘gonna try to be a good girl.  It helped so much to re-read some familiar words that I’ve known forever but needed to be reminded of…Like the Serenity Prayer, and the “I am Important” Poem.  If everyone were like I was, there wouldn’t be much peace and happiness in the world.  Because of you I realized that I need to take responsibility and will start to put love and peace out there instead of focusing on my failing sight, hearing and memory loss.  I can still make a difference!  Thank you!”

Comments from Participants of “How to Stay Calm and Use Stress to Your Advantage” at Sweet Moment’s Women’s Café:

  • Your sharing with us was very timely and energizing!    I feel confident that exactly the people who came were exactly the people who were supposed to be there.   You were speaking on a topic that was divinely inspired and timely for these women.  Thank you for your gift of time in coming to share, for your sensitivity to our needs, and for exuding genuine compassion! ~Colleen Conley, Grace Covenant Church
  • I almost didn’t come today and had so many excuses not to, but I’m so glad I was here!  Thanks for all the tips for how to respond to stress in healthy ways!
  • I don’t feel so overwhelmed now.  I am reminded that taking good care of me is not selfish, it’s essential.

Synergy Success Story: Marsha Mays-Bernard!

Before I began business coaching, I used the phrase, “I am going to” a lot when I was referring to starting my consulting business. I had a lot of ideas about what I wanted to do, but a full-time job and a busy life kept interfering with implementation. I was in a holding pattern, felt overwhelmed and was not making progress.

Since I started coaching with Christina, that phrase has been replaced by words like “established” and “launched”. I am very process-oriented, so it has been invaluable for me to have someone to listen to my ideas, give me feedback and help me brainstorm. Organizing my ideas and setting realistic, measurable goals has assisted in making them a reality. Three months into coaching, I successfully launched my business with a well-attended workshop that garnered positive feedback from participants. It felt great!

Another thing that has been helpful is using the technique of time blocking, identifying periods of time, set aside and put on my calendar that I use specifically for working on Dynamic Balance. With a number of things vying for my attention, this insures that I accomplish the goals I have established for my business. One of the greatest benefits of coaching is the accountability component. Being accountable to someone other than myself means that I am less likely to move Dynamic Balance work further down on my list to make room for something else, when I know I have an upcoming coaching session. The coaching process is helping me stay organized, energized, focused and productive.

Christina has well-honed coaching skills, but she is more than just skilled…she is a gifted coach. She listens both intently and with intent. She poses questions for me to address, which keep me moving forward in a very positive way. She is generous in sharing her knowledge and experience and she is fully present in each session.

I am grateful to her for helping me on my journey. I would recommend this program to anyone who is starting a business and wants guidance, direction and support to assist them in making their dream a reality.

Marsha Mays-Bernard
Dynamic Balance Consulting, LLC

Read Other Success Stories Here

Comments from participants of “Caregiver’s Getaway Day” at Sunnyside Retirement Community:

  • I heard you at today’s Caregiver Getaway…Thank you for that wonderful lecture! ~Annie Shaffer, Sunnyside Wellness Director
  • I loved learning the breathing exercise.  Now I will breathe to thrive!
  • Hi Christina…thanks so much for your awesome presentation at the CareGiver Getway!  You really connected with the group in a very personal way.  We were all very impressed with how much imformation you were able to share in such a short time!!  Thanks again! ~ Jeanne K. Russell, Director of Marketing & Community Relations for Home Instead Senior Care

Comments from participants of the “Synergy Career Success Blueprint” Retreat for RMH Marketing staff:

  • “As our team was facing the potential for signifigant change over the next couple of months, Christina’s ‘Synergy Career Success Blueprint’ was just what we needed!  We had fun, learned some techniques to manage stress and change and then developed a career map that allows us all more clarity as we move through a period of change.  I would highly recommended the ‘Synergy Career Success Blueprint’ to any team that would like to improve their communication, teamwork, creativity, and goal setting.” ~Kay Harrison, VP Business Development, RMH Healthcare
  • What a fun, refreshing afternoon retreat!
  • It was interesting to look at work from a creative perspective.
  • The Career Mind Mapping was helpful
  • I liked the physical tips to manage stress and negative energy
  • Thought-provoking, inspirational and meaningful.  Thanks!

Comments from participants of the Work-Life Balance Business Smarts “Synergy Success Secrets” Breakfast:

  • “I commend on your ability to take a leap of faith and get your life in balance.  I completely understand it’s an ongoing process that you must dedicate and prioritize each day.  We also need to be grateful for each opportunity and experience that we go through, no matter how hard it is, it truly makes us the person we are today.  So in saying this I will just say I was grateful I had the chance to be in the work-life balance seminar today, you are an amazing speaker and have a tremendous gift.One of my children’s favorite story book characters once said; People will forget what you did People will forget what you said, but they will never forget the way you made them feel.  ~Winnie the Pooh Thank you for inspiring me. ”  ~Tammi S. Privott, NewBridge Bank Vice President ROM,Harrisonburg & Coastal Regions.
  • “Awesome!  I love your calm, confident manner, and your laughter!  Great to be part of audience particiption.
  • Great Information on Work-Life balance!  Glad I was here today.
  • Thanks for reminding me to be grateful for everything, and that things happen for me not to me.  I have a choice of whether to react, retreat or respond in the face of my challenges.

 Comments from participants of the “Synergy Career Success Blueprint” Retreat for JMU Outreach and Engagement staff:

  • Our staff retreat was everything we wanted it to be and more, including: self discovery, group identity and career and life coaching. We all left wanting more! We’ve already made plans to work with Christina again. I would highly recommend her to any office looking for a facilitator for their retreat! ~ Carol Fleming, Director of Outreach & Engagement James Madison University
  • It was great to understand my strengths and the strengths of everyone I work with
  • I was reminded how important it is to build a life, not just a career.
  • I see how people are who they are and do what they do based on their “color” & helps me accept others for who they are & not who I want them to be.
  • Today was a real eye-opener…Thank you!
  • I appreciated the open, honest, safe enviornment of our retreat.  Thank you so much.
  • I was provoked to think aabout what I really want and how to get there.
  • Getting in touch with my goals and where I am in my life.  Nice afternoon session~~Thank you!
  • It was helpful to plan goals for the near future instead of making big picture goals that seem so far away.
  • The career maps exercise was great.  I enjoyed talking about our maps. 
  • Great session! I learned to identify when I’m headed into the panic zone.

Comments from participants of the “Bounce Back into Balance” Retreat for JMU Orientation Staff:

  • I feel rejuvenated and empowered to act in a way that enhances my ability to be effective.
  • I appreciated the use of multimedia and hands-on activities which help people better understand the material.
  • Thank you!  You did a fantastic job.
  • All the tips were very very helpful…They will be posted in my office!
  • The videos were great
  • Having the time, space and opportunity to actively reflect on my whole life, not just my job was much needed.

Comments from participants of the “Collaboration by Design” Seminar at Rockingham Memorial Hospital to improve Nurse-Physician communication:

“Christina’s Empowering Seminar was even better than my expectations!  The Nurses were engaged, comfortable with sharing themselves, and interacted more than ever because they were at ease.” ~Donna Hahn, Vice President Acute Care Chief Nurse Executive Rockingham Memorial Hospital.

  • I needed the reminder that taking care of my patients in the highest way includes me!
  • It was great to learn all the tips for staying empowered when communicating.
  • I will make a better effort to set boundaries with people who talk down to me.
  • I learned that what other people say and how they act is NEVER about me.
  • You gave great handouts, there was great participation, and it was a positive experience.
  • All the nursing staff should hear your information!
  • I appreciated the high energy presentation.
  • Everything today was helpful, especially how interactive the discussion was.  I got a chance to be heard, and to hear everyone else helped me see I am not alone.
  • The Breathing technique is something I can use anytime, anywhere to stay calm!
  • I appreciated the nursing staff coming together to talk about communication and leadership support
  • Great tools to decrease stress~I love the breathing and stretching exercises!

Comments from participants of the “RISE” Day Retreat

  • I really loved the session. It was well worth my time.
  • I was energized and encouraged. My mind was filled, but my spirit was renewed
  • The Wellness lunch was fabulous!  ~Yohna Chambers, Human Resources Director, JMU
  • Awesome day!  Much needed day of renewal.
  • Very uplifting retreat!
  • Everything was just great ~Thank You!
  • The Wellness lunch was incredible.
  • This day was Beyond my expectations!

Comments about the Synergy Success Circle:

“I would like to let you know how uplifting and inspiring it was to meet so many women of accomplishment, courage and kindness at the Synergy Success Circle.   Thank you, Christina, for inviting me and I look forward to connecting with all of you again soon!”  ~Laurie DiSanto, New Market, VA “I am SO ENERGIZED  after our meetings!  Who needs caffine or energy drinks?!!  Just go to a  Synergy luncheon!”  ~ Kitty Purcell, Farmers and Merchants Bank “When I started attending the Synergy Success Circle, I wondered if I would be able to maintain my attendance, with work and so many other things requiring my attention. What I have found is that the Circle is such a pleasurable experience; I look forward to going and rarely miss it!  It’s provided a wonderful opportunity to meet new women and establish new relationships, both business and social.” ~Marsha Mays-Bernard, Associate Vice-President of Student Affairs at JMU.

  • It’s supportive, accepting and validating energy…
  • The women who attend are at all different places in the life cycle, so there is an opportunity to hear different perspectives on the same topic or issue. ..
  • I always learn something new…
  • The chance to share about my passions and aspirations…
  • The chance to socialize…
  • I have found it to be a positive and energizing break in my day…
  • It is a great pick me up in the middle of the week, to help you finish your week strong!
  • The Energy is contagious!
  • It’s a SAFE ZONE!
  • I love the practical tips I can use right away to step forward to a happier, healthier me.

“I’ve met new friends that offer such positive energy and are very successful in life.  I enjoy and look forward to the “Synergy Success Circle” luncheons because they are inspirational, motivating and refreshing.” ~Teresa Butcher, Dairymen Specialties Manager “Thanks for the hugs and the positive energy that you so freely share with us.  What a gift you are to the world!” Deb Gordon, JMU

Comments – JMU Health Center “Bounce Back Into Balance”

 “I loved this retreat, it was exactly what I was looking for, in fact it exceeded my expectations!” ~~Cannie Campbell, University Health Center Director “Energizing and Empowering!”  ~~Dr Stephen Rodgers, University Health Center Medical Director “Thank you for helping me rejuvenate as we go into a new semester!” ~~ Paige Hawkins,  Director of JMU Substance Abuse Prevention “This retreat was Powerful and Inspiring, you showed a genuine caring.  Loved it!  Thank you so much!” ~Julie Shiflet, JMU Health Center

Comments from Muhlenburg Church Leadership Workshops:

“I highly recommend Synergy Life and Wellness Coaching for any group looking improve or enhance working relationships.  The goal for our retreat was to recognize our own unique gifts and talents and the gifts and talents of each other in order to work together as a team.  Before the retreat we knew little about one another.  During the retreat Christina helped transform us from a group of individuals to a team of women who understand each other in a way that makes us stronger and better together.  There is an African proverb that comes to mind.  “If you want to go fast walk alone but if you want to go far walk together.” Before the retreat each of us was going fast but not getting very far. Now we have to tools to go far, together.”  ~~ Jill Propst, Muhlenberg Lutheran Church

“Christina was wonderful to work with!  I always felt rejuvenated and excited about life’s opportunities after our conversations.  Working with Christina allowed me to develop an awareness of my automatic, negative (“mean girl”) thoughts.  I was able to recognize the harmful thoughts and replace them with positive, helpful thoughts.  As a graduate student, it is easy to feel overwhelmed and it helped me let go of stress and manage situations that were out of my control.”  ~Jamie Constantz, JMU Grad Student

“I had been looking for a way to get my old self back, when I was motivated and full of energy, always wanting to be on top or the best at whatever I  was doing.  Over time things changed I had prayed for a way to get back to my old self when I received an e-mail about a workshop at Spa122.  I took it as a sign and signed up right away.  At the workshop Christina talked about stress draining our energy and how little things can add up to drain us.  I usually do not win anything when there are door prizes but fortunately I won a gift certificate for sessions with Christina.   I believe the time working with her was the answer to my prayers.  Coaching with Christina 1:1 has helped my to identify the things that drain my energy and ways to counteract the situation that is causing the stress.  Christina can listen casually to a conversation and hear things we’re not aware of and brings them gently to your attention…then helps you find healthy ways to work thru them.   I am thankful I attended the seminar and met Christina she is high energy and has helped me get back to where I want to be, not the tired, insecure person that I had become!” ~Pattie Kerlin

“During the workshop Christina helped us feel empowered as we learned about our strengths and how to accept where we are different from others.  Differences are not bad, they help enhance the team to make it stronger.  As a result we are better able to understand ourselves and each other, to achieve great things together… Our Management team is much stronger now.  We can see us all working together to accomplish many things and be great leaders for others. What a very satisfying experience!”~~Greg Derrow and Managers at Dairymen Specialty

“Christina has a unique way of keeping us focused on just the next steps toward our big business goals.  The small movements forward over the past year have resulted in an amazing abundance of paying clients and personal satisfaction.  If you want to be motivated, hire Christina!” ~Tom and Connie Oakes, Emmanuel Therapy

Comments From 1:1 Resilience Coaching Clients:

“I know that you are an angel sent into my life.  The life lessons you have taught me are the most awesome lessons that anyone has ever shared with me.  There are no words to express my gratitude to you and all I know to do is to thank God for sending such a passionate and kind person into my life to teach me the lessons that I have needed to learn for such a long time.    Remember I have tried counseling at different times in my life but it seems that all I did was talk and rehash a lot of old stuff.  With having a life coach as wonderful as you, I have learned that there is a future filled with new and great things that I look forward to experiencing.    I will always be thankful for you……………………………. Always!  Thanks for being a forever friend and compassionate person.  I am filled with gratitude and feel so blessed that God sent you into my life. I Love My New Sis (a great person that was a life coach to me once said – there are no accidents!)”  ~Debbie, previous coaching client “I did short term one to one coaching with Christina.  At the first coaching session, I had just a vague idea of what I wanted to accomplish.  After just three coaching sessions, I had gained some valuable insights and tools to help me move forward toward accomplishing my goals.  I was able to  handle a difficult situation much better than I would have on my own.  I could tell my energy level had increased, and I felt more positive and focused.  I was in need of a “jump start” to get me going in the right direction, and Christina provided that jump start.  Christina has a unique ability to listen with insight, patience and compassion.  I felt safe talking to her…never guarded, judged or hurried.  I would highly recommend coaching with Christina.” ~Ellen, Office Worker Christina, My hope is that I can somehow find the words to express to you the deep gratitude that I feel for you and the direction that you are helping me go.  I know I am on the right path with 100% certainty.  I very rarely feel this way but this I know… I am on the right path.    I was so drawn to your website and the positive way you prefer to view the world.  The need for positive influences in people’s lives is in such short supply and you are providing this service for a world that needs to know that life can be filled with such peace and love.  We need to spread the word, I am so glad I found you.  Thank you for shining the light!  With very deeply felt gratitude,  ~~Debbie Gordon, Accountant, JMU “Christina is empowering, motivated, and has inspired me with amazing strategies that have already helped me in my personal and professional life. She is truley gifted with her ability to critically listen and was great in helping me implement a more positive plan of action for my life.”~~ Marie, 3rd Grade Teacher

“Christina helped me take my goal, which was overwhelming to me, and break it down into smaller segments. With her help, I was able to look at it in smaller pieces. This made things feel much less overwhelming. Through talking with her, my confidence has increased. Having a “partner” in this goal holds me to a higher accountability than if I was just trying to do this on my own!”~~ Debbie Kile, Registered Nurse

“Christina has an innate instinct for coaching. She is a very strong and independent person in her own personal life, and therefore has an incredible ability to motivate with positive enthusiasm that is just addicting! I always leave our coaching sessions feeling uplifted, energized, and confident. She helps me to create plans that I can take back and immediately use in my life!”~~ Jenny Gardner, High School Counselor

“Hiring Christina to coach me was the best thing I have done for myself in a long time. As a primary caregiver of the chronically ill I didn’t realize how exhausted and depleted I had allowed myself to get until we began our sessions. Christina helped me take steps that did wonders to physically renew me and that also lifted my spirits considerably. Now I really understand how important it is to take care of myself so I can be an even better caregiver.”~~ Helen Brodersen, primary caregiver, RN