About Kerstin

Hi! I’m Kerstin Waddell.

Lovely to meet you! I love all things calm and serene, as well as anything that sparkles and makes me laugh. I can be creative, mindful, playful, curious, caring and carefree. While I have always been caring, I was not always carefree or that happy…

After burning out twice, I decided to make some new choices and listen to my own Heart Song. At first, all I could hear were the sighs of my exhausted body and the churning of my fear-filled thoughts. Then I learned how to gently hold my heart as it slowly opened and released my defrosted dreams – and with it my Heart Song.

Its tune led me to study with Martha Beck to become a certified life coach or Wayfinder, and I am now living my dream of contributing to people’s journey towards living a much more balanced and happier life.

Who is a Wayfinder?

According to Martha Beck, “our culture doesn’t recognize the Wayfinder’s calling, though we need it more than ever. A Wayfinder is someone who, in the midst of chaos, can access an inner compass that always points true north. In countless ancient cultures, Wayfinders plotted the course for their own lives and for others; they are coaches, teachers, healers, and guides. A Wayfinder assists others to reclaim their true nature using an innovative combination of ancient, time-tested tools and modern, scientific ones.”

Following your HeartSong

It is not always easy to follow your Heart Song – and over time I have learnt how to no longer allow distractions to pull me away from my Heart Song. I’m continuously discovering more and more about the complexities of my being – and my fellow human beings – (untangling myself layer by layer from limiting beliefs and out dated habits), recognising the role of energy and consciousness. It requires consistency, focus, courage and self compassion. This is what I love most about my work: I have to “live it to give it”.

Curiosity led me to explore a variety of ancient wisdom traditions’  teachings relating to Happiness. This includes the teachings from the East, such as mediation practices, including approaches such as Vipassana or Insight Meditation (both Goenke’s and Rob Nairn’s interpretations), and teachings by Pema Chodron, Jack Kronfield, and Susan Sontag, as well as current Western teachers’s approaches to so called “meditation 2.0” – such as Effortless Mindfulness (Loch Kelly) and Direct Awakening (Craig Hamilton).

As a result I developed a deep appreciation for the importance of training to quiet the Mind which led to my journey of exploring the wisdom of an open Heart. Exploring the shamanic wisdom traditions – with their beautiful Earth honoring rituals and ceremonies – led to discovering my incredible love for our planet and all its beings as well as allowed me to give a physical expression to my thoughts and intentions (acknowledging that consciousness created matters). One of the most important and life changing Peruvian shamanic teachings for me has been that of Anyi, or sacred reciprocity. My open heart ignited a newfound heart-centered passion and purpose.

In addition to the ancient wisdom teachings, I have also explored the modern science of quantum physics and mechanics (with a beginner’s mind and light touch) combining science, psychology and spirituality in my ever expanding multidimensional understanding of reality. Some teachers’ practices I’ve explored include Dr Bruce Lipton (“Biology of belief”), Dr Joe Dispenza (“Becoming Supernatural”, “You are the Placebo”, etc) and Matias de Stefano. All of them bridge the gap between Science and Spirituality.

Today the only thing I know for sure is that “the more I learn, the more I realize how much I don’t know” (Albert Einstein) and that there is most certainly always another perspective I can add to my current understanding.

“Be like the bluebird who never is blue,
For he knows from his upbringing what singing can do.”- Cole Porter, Be Like the Bluebird, 1934

Credentials, Experience, Approach and More


  • I am a Martha Beck certified Wayfinder (or life coach) A Wayfinder is someone who, in the midst of chaos, can access an inner compass that always points true north. In countless ancient cultures, Wayfinders plotted the course for their own lives and for others; they are coaches, teachers, healers, and guides. The art of Wayfinding, includes helping others reclaim their true nature through an innovative combination of ancient, time-tested tools and modern, scientific ones. Find out who is Martha Beck here.
  • I have also been trained by Judy Klipin (a Martha Beck Master life coach) how to coach adults who generally feel overly responsible (more adult like) but also completely vulnerable and overwhelmed (more childlike), because of shared limiting beliefs they have developed during a less than perfect childhood. Through Judy’s training, I am able to coach such ‘adult children’ find new ways to relate to the world and others which brings new choices, freedom and happiness.
  • I am also certified in the “Creative Grief Studio” Grief Support . This approach to grief support is based on the latest research on grief and loss and what techniques are best to support a person with grief and loss of all types, helping clients re-connect  with their own resilience.


  • Bachelor in Fine Art (University of Cape Town)
  • Honours in Psychology (University of Stellenbosch)
  • Masters in Research Psychology (University of Cape Town)
  • Short Courses: Art therapy (South African College of Applied Psychology);  Play therapy (Gestalt Institute); Jungian Psychoanalytical theory (Jungian Institute, Zurich),
  • Ongoing Apprenticeships: Heart of the Healer Basic and Advanced Universal Shamanism Courses by Oscar Miro-Quesada;  Healing Initiations and training by Jorge Luis Delgardo; Munay Ki Rites by Markus van der Westhuizen and Carol George.
  • Energy healing courses: Reiki Level I & II, Animal communication
  • Pranic living/ Breatharian initiation (Ray Maor)
  • Teachings and planetary meditations and alignment practices of/with YOSOY (I AM) with Matias de Stefano.

There are many, many different theories and styles of life coaching. What I like about Martha Beck’s Art of Wayfinding approach is that it:

  1. makes use of the latest research in human behaviour, methods in Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP),
  2. draws on several ancient wisdom traditions, from Buddhism to shamanism,
  3. adds a healthy dose of humour and spirituality, and
  4.  grounds the work in her own/my own life experience.

At the heart of Martha Beck’s coaching philosophy is the assumption that we all already know in our hearts what our ‘right life’ is and how to find happiness. This knowledge may however have been pushed aside or forgotten because of fear, the need to meet others’ expectations, self sabotage and/or limiting beliefs.

Martha Beck, PhD, is a Harvard-trained sociologist, world-renowned coach and New York Times bestselling author. She has published nine non-fiction books, one novel, and more than 200 magazine articles.

“I’m shocked every time someone introduces me as a “best-selling author,” because I’ve never written to sell myself, only to save myself. Writing is my favorite tool for addressing and dissolving my own suffering. At some point I discovered that it could help others, too. Since then I’ve been humbled by the responses I receive to my books and articles. My most recent stint as a monthly contributor for O, The Oprah Magazine, has lasted 17 years.”


Kerstin Waddell is not a licensed health professional and you will not be able to claim coaching session fees back from your medical aid. Kerstin adheres to the code of ethics for Martha Beck coaches.

Kerstin Waddell is a Martha Beck certified life coach based in Cape Town, South Africa.

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