We're All About Lifting Each Other Up
Hi, I'm Gretchen Hernandez, the founder of My Freedom Grove. I'm doing my part to support Mental Health. Will you join me?
Strong, compassionate people are facing a silent crisis. All of the well known coping mechanisms for dealing with life and business challenges are not working anymore. Or worse yet, they are backfiring and causing more problems.
I created My Freedom Grove because it is time for a different experience.
We’ve spent too much of our lives hiding our true selves so we could fit in. We’ve mercilessly pushed through our struggles to achieve success in relationships and business. We felt the need to compete with and blame each other. We’ve felt the familiar pange of defeat and shrunk away from our dreams. We let everybody else be important.
No more. We are done with that.
My Freedom Grove is your sanctuary to be Heard. To be Important. To be Authentic. And to get the support and development to make your dreams come true.
We don’t do the work for you. But we do give you the tools, the thought partnership and the right amount of nudge to get you out experimenting and making traction on your goals in life, relationships and business.
Within an ecosystem of compassionate individuals, you will rise together, learning and getting coached to resolve your obstacles, develop a growth mindset, heal from the past, set healthy boundaries and get in the habit of using a structured problem solving approach using an assortment of cognitive behavior tools, Lean business principles, and coaching skills.
I leverage my 25 year career as a Microbiologist, Software Systems Specialist, Certified Lean Six Sigma Business Process Analyst & Improvement Specialist, and Corporate Business & Cultural Transformation Coach in Biopharma to now serve individuals directly.
My passion for Diversity & Inclusion and my experience with Neurodiversity ensures this is a safe, welcoming community for all.
I believe compassionate individuals are the key to healing the patterns that impact world suffering
My Freedom Grove is a safe space for compassionate individuals to express their feelings, be their authentic self, have coaching, self development opportunities and community to rise together in life, relationships and business.
Inspired by the Resiliency of the Redwoods
Redwood trees are unshakable and unstoppable because they always figure out a way to evolve and thrive.
Each tree has a unique inner journey with varying combinations of adversities. Growing together in groves, redwood trees can weather any storm because their roots are intertwined to hold each other up. They take turns being the strong one with the experience to resolve the adversity now facing the others.
Our members embrace the power of vulnerability because we know it will help others heal from their struggles. We connect by sharing our stories, inspire others with our triumphs, and turn around to teach & coach others through their journey using our specific self expression talents and services.
The Values that Bring Us Together
Get to Know Gretchen Hernandez
My journey started as a single child of a single mom during the Women's Lib & Hippy Love movements of the the 70's, transitioning to the Yuppy life of the 80's, and being the 1st person in my family to graduate college.
I always yearned for a big family. I have 3 kids with 2 divorces. I'm a rock star at being a single mom & breadwinner.
I'm now happily married (3rd times a charm) with a blended family of 7. With 3 ex-spouses, shared custody, and lots of in-laws in the picture, relationship dynamics have been interesting.
That big family dream came true.
What I didn't expect, was to become part of the Sandwich Generation, have a mini-stroke and find myself, my sons, husband and mother all suicidal.
Diagnosed with Major Depression and Anxiety, I found pleasure & success in my 25 year career working for Biotech companies in the business of saving lives. It was a blessing and a curse. I developed work addiction. I was always the successful, strong person everyone turned to for help.
I loved wearing the superhero cape so much, I wore it at home too.
I felt compelled to "save" everyone.
I had a work stress induced mini-stroke in 2000. Over the next 17 years I had 3 suicidal phases trying to balance work and life. I was devastated when my sons became suicidal at the ages of 5 and 12. In 2017 my husband, mother and I all experienced a suicidal phase at the same time. I had my "White Light Moment" where I made my ultimate decision.
The Universe aligned with a role shift at work. I had to learn how to become a Lean Transformation Coach, co-develop a program to transform 50 leaders into coaches, and transform the business & 1000 employees' mindsets. I met my first life coach to learn how to transform myself first.
The total experience was LIFE CHANGING!
I didn't expect to break the cycle of depression and anxiety.
But I did. For myself and for others.
I don't need medication anymore. I feel emotionally free and empowered to do anything.
Using coaching, instead of my superhero cape, I helped company leaders, employees, and best of all...my family to also feel emotionally free and empowered.
I am so proud to be married to a bisexual man that now has hope of managing his PTSD from his time as a marine.
I'm proud of my children that have learned how to thrive with autism, tourette syndrome, depression, coming out as gay and bisexual, and how to be comfortable having a unique perspective on life.
Although I loved my corporate career, I was contributing to their purpose of making life saving medicine and diagnostics. Now that I had the right skill set and experience, I knew it was time to step into my purpose of coaching Mental Health & Wellness.
It feels strange to say “I was” because I still am a scientist, software system specialist, business analyst, project manager, event coordinator, trainer, workshop facilitator, international corporate lean six sigma business coach, and cultural transformation coach.
A life coach essentially saved my life by being accessible and creating a program that got through to me. It is my turn to pay it forward.
My Freedom Grove was established in 2019 on the Mendocino Coast of Northern California.