By Kerry Phelps Dale | Photo by Michelle Baker
Cindy Battino doesn’t remember a time in her adult life that she wasn’t teaching something. Life has taken her from aerobics instructor to personal trainer to fitness coach. She launched her Transformational Healing practice in 2011, where she now works as a life coach, energy worker, and happiness expert.
She danced professionally; she rode religiously. She had a husband and two healthy children. She attended George Mason and got a degree in economics. Her life was full and active. But Cindy realized she wasn’t happy.
The revelation that happiness or unhappiness were both in her purview and her control, led her to seek for herself what she now offers to others—the chance to choose happiness in work and personal life. Instead of pursuing a graduate degree in business, Cindy decided to attend Barbara Brennan School of Healing, a four-year program that included therapy, workshops and energy work. Thus, her practice was born.
Cindy’s practice includes the practical and the spiritual. Some clients just need to set goals, others need coaching to get unstuck, still others want the physical and emotional balance that energy work can deliver. And as far as achieving happiness, “It’s different for everyone,” says Cindy.
Recently, the local coach was chosen by George Mason University to be one of The Seven Women of Mason. This project, created by The Center For The Arts, will tell stories of women associated with GMU who have overcome adversity in their lives. The center is creating videos and posters for each of the seven women chosen. The culmination of this project will be the opening of the documentary play “SEVEN” at GMU on Oct. 18. “You can come from a family that is broken and still have the life you deserve,” she says.
Having grown up in a physically, emotionally, and mentally abusive family, as a young woman she first found validation in her education at George Mason where she discovered her gifts. “I’m smart. 4.0 smart. I’m an avid learner and a good studier.” She was even awarded the Wall Street Journal Award by nomination from professors.
Cindy spent her childhood in horsey Ridgefield, Connecticut, the northern equivalent of Middleburg, albeit larger, and knew she wanted to settle in a similar place. She’d been riding at a barn outside of Middleburg for years, loved the town and its people, and it felt like home. Now she lives on the side of a mountain 30 minutes from town with her husband, J Douglass, Salamander Resort and Spa’s resident fine artist. The couple produce an unscripted podcast together called “J & Cindy Sitting in a Tree” which looks at real life. With an adult son who is a professional dancer in Europe and a daughter in Paris, France, the couple travel often.
Though she prefers riding on the back of her horse, a rescued Thoroughbred racehorse, sometimes she’ll get on the back of her husband’s Harley. However, she assures that she has no desire to have her own motorcycle. “For me, happiness is a deep, solid feeling. It can be clouded by life sometimes, but no matter what, be grateful” says the happiness expert. “Happiness begins and ends with you.” ML
This article first appeared in the September 2019 issue of Middleburg Life.