About a decade ago, Noa Ronen moved from Israel to Brooklyn, NY with her husband and two small children.
The transition was not easy – new city, new country, career change. She began working for a non-profit organization, and eventually started a blog about being an Israeli mom in New York City. Her blog became a business, and inspired her to become a Certified Life and Transition Coach. Noa and her family now reside in North Carolina.
Interview Q & A
1. Do you stay at home, work at home, or work-outside the home?
I have my own coaching business which allows me to work from home.
2. How many kids do you have?
I have three kids: Tomer, my older son, is 12 years old, then Amit, my daughter, is 10 years old, and little Idan is 6 years old.
3. What’s your go-to dinner during the week? Do you care to share a recipe?
Since we moved to the U.S. from Israel, there are some customs we still keep. For many Mediterranean countries, lunch is their heavy meal and dinner is a light meal. The traditional Israeli dinner is scrambled eggs and Israeli salad with cottage cheese and good bread.
One of my kids’ favorite dinner is when I make Tuna salad and Avocado salad. Sometimes my daughter Amit will bake good bread, and sometimes I will buy healthy bread from a good bakery.
- 1-2 can of tuna in olive oil
- 1-2 boiled eggs
- 1-2 Pickles – large pickles or 3 small pickles (I buy pickles in Trader Joes or Harris Teeters – because they use turmeric instead of preservatives or yellow color in them) – cut to small cubes
- 1 TBSP mayo
- 1 TBSP mustard
Mix everything together and enjoy!
For the Avocado salad I use the same ingredients:
- 1 large or 2 small avocado
- 1-2 boiled eggs
- 1-2 Pickles (I buy in Trader Joes or Harris Teeters – because they use turmeric instead of preservatives or yellow color in them) – cut to small cubes
- 1 TBSP mayo
- 1 TBSP mustard
- Squeeze of fresh lemon
- Salt and Pepper
We have the avocado and tuna salad with healthy bread or baked warm bread, some cheese and a plate of fresh veggies. We serve a large plate of veggies all sliced in your favorite way.
For family of 5 I serve:
- 2 sliced cucumbers
- 1 sliced tomato
- Cherry tomatoes
If you want to try Israeli Salad:
- 1-2 tomatoes sliced to small cubes
- 1-2 cucumbers sliced to small cubes
- 1/2 red bell pepper sliced to small cubes
- Optional additions, to your taste, all sliced to small cubes:
- 3-4 Mushrooms
Dressing: 1-2 TBSP olive oil, juice from ½ fresh lemon, Salt & Pepper, and for the brave ones, add a few chopped mint leaves.
Mix and enjoy.
4. What are your best tips for staying sane?
I chose to let go of being a perfect mom or wonder woman years ago. We all have beautiful and harmonious moments, and then there are those imperfect moments when you just can’t understand why you behave in such an irrational way with your close ones; we just get messy. Or as Brene Brown calls it: “the gift of imperfection”. I find it very hard to grow as a person when everything is so perfect, to bring creativity and personal growth into our life, I believe that when we allow ourselves to get messy we open an opportunity to learn about ourselves; it is a process, but then one day you wake up and realize the learning pushed the guilt and anger, and even victimhood, aside and all that left is a healthier and joyful you.
Another thing that keeps me sane is kickboxing. A few years ago I decided to feel uncomfortable and join a kickboxing class. Some power stronger than me pulled me to the class room. I entered the class without knowing the moves. The older guy next to me found my clumsiness very amusing, but it didn’t stop me. The reason he didn’t stop me was that woman in the mirror. When I looked at myself in the mirror, I saw my reflection smiling at me. Since then I can’t stop kickboxing, I think this is my way to clean negative energies out of my body.
5. What are your favorite tools for time/household management?
Asking for help!
To learn how not to see all the “to do” lists in the house while you are working from home is not an easy task. But one day my husband told me: “if you will not take your time seriously, no one will take you seriously.’ And he was right. This was the first time I told him: “I need help. I can’t do it all by myself!”
The next step was to have a family meeting with the kids and ask for their help too. Each child chose from my list how they can help. My husband does the laundry. My older son folds the laundry, my daughter takes out the dishes from the dishwasher every morning, and our little one helps with setting the table.
Teaching my kids how to do their chores required from me time and a bucket of patience. But it was better than my old habit to do everything on my own because it was much faster than explaining to them what to do. But when the day comes and your kids learn to do their chores independently, this is when you have more free time to do other things… which feels great!
6. Do you have pets? If so, what kind?
I used to have dogs and cats, and even chickens as a child. Still my favorites are dogs, but my husband is not a fan of animals and is allergic to dogs. We compromised on horseback riding classes for my daughter, and I walk once a week with my neighbor who has the sweetest smiling French Labrador.
7. What are your hobbies?
Once in a while, I will take out a canvas and paint. I like to paint more of abstract paintings; sometimes I will add my kids into the creation. I love to cook new things and experiment and improvise with my cooking – this is why it is very hard for me to give recipes – I don’t use precise portions. I used to be a horrible baker, but then one of my friends explained that it is all about following the instructions. So this year my daughter and I are experimenting a lot with baking bread, pizzas and cakes. Seems like I am getting into the groove with baking and learning how to follow the rules.
8. What’s on your bucket list?
Travel! Travel to Australia and New Zealand, Spain and Toscana, and an old dream from our honeymoon – go back to the safari in South Africa with our kids. There is nothing like when you see the animals in the natural place where they belong.
9. If you work, what do you do? How did you decide?
I am a Certified Life and Transition Coach. After our relocation to the U.S., I had to find a new career path, and it wasn’t easy for me. This experience taught me a lot about being stuck, about our grief and our children’s grief during relocation and life transitions. Since I love to write, I started blogging about being an Israeli mom in Brooklyn, New York City, where we used to live. Blogging about the experience was my first step to open up and find my life path to become a Certified Life Coach, and help people have an easier experience with their life transition. Easier than the one I had.
10. If you work, what’s the most rewarding part about it?
I love to bring back the color into people’s life. There are so many people out there who can’t enjoy life, who feel stuck and don’t know how to move forward. They lose hope. When we work together I remind my clients how creative, resourceful and beautiful they are. We bring new glasses to look at themselves and their life in a much clearer view.
There is nothing that makes me happier than an update from my clients, who share how they took a step forward toward their vision and stopped listening to their fears. It is a place where I know that they are at a resonant choice; they are on the path to live a joyful colorful life.
11. If you could choose any career, what would it be?
In a way, I am grateful that our move to the U.S. allowed me to go through the bumpy road that invited the Life Coaching profession into my life.
I see myself doing more work with global leaders, inviting them to create bridges between different people, cultures and views. It is very important for me that we, human kind, start to look at each other as humans and put differences aside.
12. If you could tell your younger self something, what would it be?
Don’t worry, I will always be here to take care of you and remind you that I know you can. Just have fun!
To get inspired: http://noaronencoaching.com/get-inspired