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From Pain To Purpose: Turning Hardship Into An Epic Journey – Interview With Mia Khalil

Born and raised in the Middle East, Mia spent twelve years amidst the Lebanese Civil War, and first discovered the taste of freedom and peace at the age of eighteen, when she immigrated to Montreal, Canada. There, she learned how to process childhood memories and trauma through deep inner work and the healing powers of creative movement, writing, and poetry.


After fully recovering from her debilitating chronic pain through the Mind-Body approach, she became passionate about raising awareness and helping people reclaim their lives from pain. Driven by this very passion and inspired by her purpose to create a free world, Mia founded her own holistic coaching practice that includes the Spiritual, Mental, Emotional, and Physical bodies, where she guides people to reclaim their power, overcome their limitations, eliminate pain, and live a life of freedom, joy, health, and well-being.

Photo of Mia Khalil

Mia Khalil, Certified Integrative Neuro-linguistic Programming Coach


How would you describe your earlier years in a way that captures your essence?


I am a born alchemist, a passionate human, and a warrior for freedom.


As a child, I navigated Life somewhat intuitively. Always true to my free Spirit, I grew up feeling such a pull to question rules, laws, and expectations that didn’t make sense to me or restricted my freedom. Growing up, I was viewed as the black sheep by most authority figures; a rebel who represented a threat to the conventional status quo.


During my childhood and throughout my teenage years, I navigated through some extremely challenging situations. I was only a few years old when the Lebanese Civil War started, causing casualties, and spreading a dark veil of terror that didn’t spare a house, not a single family. As a child, I could not understand this reality and yet, my childhood was immersed in tales of extreme fear, death, and a deep feeling of unsafety. Aside from the raging war happening outside, another cold war was also breathing in my lungs, eating on my plate, and sleeping in my bed. My mother’s ongoing depressive state and heavy unhappiness, combined with my father’s explosive temper and verbally and physically violent discipline style created a harmful, one can say toxic, environment for any child to grow up in.


As a young teenager, I found myself fighting for freedom and independence in a country where women were still fighting for their basic rights. The way I spoke, debated in class, dressed, expressed my humanitarian and feminist views and opinions, and even the way I laughed so wholeheartedly violated the social norms of the Lebanese culture and the community we belonged to at the time, the expectations of my father, and the rules of the Christian school I attended. One of the biggest compliments I got came from my Arabic Language high school teacher when he referred to me as “young Gibran Khalil” – an iconic Lebanese-American writer, poet, and visual artist, whose work continues to have a significant impact on literature, spirituality, and popular culture around the world – before he read my composition in class.


“You can only be free when even the desire of seeking freedom becomes a harness to you, and when you cease to speak of freedom as a goal and a fulfillment.” – Gibran Khalil Gibran

At the age of 17, my family and I landed in Montreal, Canada to start a new life in a country ruled by peace, and away from the devastating war that was still going on back home. The situation between my parents quickly escalated and my father decided to go back to Lebanon, leaving my mother and the five of us with no support or resources. Here I was, in a foreign country, uprooted and without a support system, trying to make sense of this new reality that felt just as deeply threatening as the one I left behind. I was now fighting a war against homelessness, a war of extreme financial insecurities and emotional struggles.


Despite the difficulties, the fears, and the struggles, one thing remained crystal clear: my deep connectedness to my inner light and strength. Somewhere in the depths of my soul, I knew I had the power to overcome adversity, transmute hardship, and empower myself and others to achieve greatness.


Tell us about a pivotal moment in your life that brought you to where you are today.


I’ve had many pivotal moments that deeply impacted me and my life trajectory, namely my immigration to Canada in 1987, obtaining my master’s degree against all odds, joining the Canadian Federal Government as a Communications Advisor in my early 20s, my immigration to the United States in 2002, getting a divorce and raising my two children, and most importantly, beating six+ years of debilitating chronic pain through the Mind-Body approach.


The most recent and very significant moment was the heroic decision to leave a long, secure, and successful career in Corporate America to start a whole new business from scratch and get the necessary training and certifications at an age when most people are ready to slow down and retire.


This decision is the pinnacle of courage and a testament to my unwavering commitment to following my passion, my light, and my truth. It is yet another manifestation of the alchemist in me who sees beyond doubt and who remains faithful to the purpose of inspiring and empowering humans to follow their dreams, create change, respect their authenticity, and fully enjoy freedom in their lives.

Photo of Mia Khalil

Can you tell me about the mission and vision behind Mia Khalil Coaching, and what can people expect from coaching with you?


I believe I was put on Earth – in this space and time – to create a free world. This very purpose shapes my vision of empowered humanity, where every individual is aligned with their purpose, driven by their inner light, excited to use their unique talents and express their authenticity, and passionate about their own, unchartered path. My mission supports this epic purpose and vision by empowering people to take ownership of their life journey, starting with deep mental, emotional, and physical healing.


Through my coaching program, individuals can expect to achieve meaningful and long-lasting results, and will be able to:

  • Get rid of their chronic pain or anxiety rather than managing it.

  • Release old patterns and limiting beliefs that are hindering them energetically, emotionally, mentally, and physically.

  • Process past emotional pain to free up their energy and allow their body to heal.

  • Develop their own intrinsic ability to understand and process their symptoms.

  • Allow themselves to express their needs, expectations, and emotions by setting and enforcing healthy boundaries.

  • Develop optimal routines that support their mental, emotional, and physical health.

  • Experience a new level of energy and enthusiasm for life.

  • Dare to plan the vacations, travels, and activities they've been craving for a long time.

  • Get back to being active and doing the exercises they've been missing.

  • Be the parent, partner, friend, and human they want to be.

  • Get the quality of life and lifestyle they truly deserve.


How do you differentiate your coaching approach from others in the industry? What unique methods or modalities do you employ?


My Integrative Mind-Body coaching offers a heart-centered approach to healing that is crowned by compassion and is tailored to fit everyone’s situation. Some people only need knowledge and education, some might need simple pain reprocessing, while others will need deeper emotional work. Everybody's journey is unique, and I will meet them exactly where they are.

I bring my whole self and my life experience into the coaching space and focus on all aspects of the person, rather than just on their pain symptoms. I am fluent in multiple cutting-edge modalities and will evaluate the most effective tool and technique during every session. My expertise includes:

  • Dr Howard Schubiner's Freedom From Chronic Pain certified practitioner: Practical neuroplasticity and the emerging mind-body revolution in chronic pain treatment

  • Pain Reprocessing Therapy (PRT)

  • Somatic Tracking Technique

  • Emotional Awareness and Expression Therapy (EAET)

  • Internal Family Systems (IFS) Therapy

  • Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP)

  • Hypnosis

  • Mental and Emotional Release® Therapy

  • Timeline Therapy

  • Phobia Release Therapy


Could you share some success stories or testimonials from clients who have benefited from your coaching service?


When you're working with an expert, you accelerate your results. The process of healing from chronic pain is unpredictable. Some clients heal after a few sessions, while others need longer. Many of my clients were able to achieve zero pain within 3 months, with most of them starting to see tangible results

after just a few sessions. Others felt well-equipped to continue the journey on their own – having achieved a significant reduction in their symptoms and feeling confident in the tools they mastered.


I am excited to share two video interviews with a client who overcame chronic headaches and neck pain, and another one who got over fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue. Both Stéphanie and Sylvie coached with me for three months, did the work, and achieved amazing – one could say miraculous – results.


To read more empowering stories from clients, browse through these life-changing testimonials from people who have walked this path, healed, and achieved the life they truly deserve through my coaching services.


What are your hobbies?


I’ve always been passionate about poetry, movement, dance, and exercise. I got my very first job as a Ballet teacher at 16 and never stopped inspiring people through fitness and nutrition since.


I launched my own Belly Dancing school in 2008 and had a blast teaching young girls – including my own daughter – for a couple of years.


I am also a certified Spinning instructor and have been teaching at local gyms for over a decade and find it exhilarating to ride my fat bike on the beach.


I enjoy hiking and walking in nature and appreciate a good run when the weather is warm.

Photo of Mia Khalil

One of my passions is creative writing and poetry. I published my first poetry book, A BUTTERFLY'S

KISS: A Healing Journey Through the Power of Creative Expression on Amazon in 2022, after waiting for twelve long years, mainly because it came from a raw place of emotional struggle. It carries the seeds of creativity, empowerment, and hope, and aims to help struggling souls ride the rainbow of darker shades and become a burning torch, lighting up the shadows of their own beings and those of others. I am currently working on a second book, to be published in 2024.


Can you share one of your poems with us?


Of course! I wrote this poem to depict the power of love and how it transcends matter and time. I hope you enjoy it.


Written in sand


I never really wondered; I never made a sound

Never even knew, for how long I’ve been around

Didn’t quite matter, what I lost or what I found

Didn’t even think of flying off the ground


Swallowed by the sea, and lit by the moon

A peaceful monk in the midst of June

Down by the waves, or up on the dune

Never even mattered, how fast, how soon


I’m just a grain of sand, lying by the sea

Floating in a dreamland, in a fantasy


I’ve heard their laughter; I’ve seen them play

So many colors, and all shades of gray

Friends, lovers, and some, I can’t say

They run, they kiss, and sometimes even pray


Stories of the day, and tales of the night

For every single star, I can show you the light

I never felt emotion, and I never thought I might

One day be the soldier, the dreamer, and the knight


I’m just a grain of sand, lying by the sea

Floating in a dreamland, in a fantasy


One day it happened, I felt a heartbeat

When all by my side, she stood-up on her feet

She softly undressed, with her hair falling down

With the grace of the Gods, she slowly laid down


Suddenly I’m hot, on a nice day of Spring

I feel her warm breath, all over my being

Giving me life, and an urge to breathe

Powerful emotions that burn, that seethe


But I’m just a grain of sand, lying there by the sea

Floating in a dreamland, in a cruel fantasy


I can feel her warmth, I can taste her joy

I see in her eyes, a power to destroy

Centuries of peace, and the nature of matter

Touched by feelings, blown in a splatter


Thick lashes so heavy, through which passion pours

I’m a prisoner. I’m a thief, begging on heaven’s doors

For only one chance, for only one night

To get a single dance, under the moonlight


But I’m nothing but sand, with a wish to be a man

To burn eternal peace, for a touch of her hand


How can clients get in touch with you?


If you’re curious about how the Mind-Body approach can help you on your journey, book a call with me using this form, or email me at mia@miakhalilcoaching.com.


Follow me on Facebook, and LinkedIn, and visit my website for more info!

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