Hometown Hero: Dorian Cucinotta

Dorian Cucinotta’s Life Coaching website begins with a verse from the book of Daniel in the Old Testament. “Do not be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to them.” Daniel 10:12. Dorian says, “That verse inspired the name for my coaching business and serves as a daily reminder of how God longs for us to seek Him, be in relationship with him, learn His ways, His truth and gain understanding, so that we may find a path forward with greater peace, in any situation or relationship.”

Dorian’s adventure with God began as she attended church with her father as a child. She joined the youth group initially as a way to play on the church softball team. It was at youth group where she first began to understand what it meant to have her own faith, and she eventually was saved at a Young Life camp.

Dorian has a Master’s degree in nursing and spent thirty plus years in the health and wellness field. She says, “This calling was put on my life when I was a senior in high school. As you know, the two questions seniors are always asked are: where are you going to college and what are you going to study? In other words, what are you going to be when you grow up? And I really was struggling with that. I distinctly remember the day as a high school senior in my bedroom I dropped to my knees and prayed, ‘Father God, give me direction. My life is about serving you. I am absolutely confused about what I am to do and how I am supposed to get there.’ And clear as a bell I heard God say, ‘nursing.’ I had a peace wash over me. And even though I didn’t have the support of guidance counselors and even some teachers, I knew nursing was in my future.”

Dorian has always felt a strong commitment to helping others.
She states, “I felt like my sweet spot in this big field of health and wellness was meeting people at times of transition.
Sometimes that meant health crisis. Sometimes that meant normal developmental changes like having a family or sending children off to college or retiring. And for me, taking care of people on a med surg hospital floor or a recovery room was just a platform to meet people at their times of transition. Ultimately, I took a job teaching nursing at a university and found that I really liked working with college aged students. Following that I took a job at a high school as a nurse running a very busy clinic where I would see 30-50 students and staff a day. After doing that for twelve years, God really moved my heart and said now is the time for you to take what you loved most about nursing and go do that. For me that meant continuing to meet people in times of transition.”

After going back to school to become an International Coaching Federation certified life coach, Dorian started First Day Life Coaching, where she currently serves. She says, “I come to work every day fully invested in helping people find their next best thing. How is God calling them to show up and live with great meaning and fulfillment in the work that they do and in the relationships that they have? Just in the creative ways that they move through the world.”

She comments, “What I really love about the work that I do is that I partner with people. I meet them where they are. I don’t come to work on any given day with my agenda. That allows God to come in and God’s agenda to surface. When I meet with people they contact me usually because they found me on my website. The Bible verse from Daniel that I have put high up on the landing page is one that sets the tone for who I am as a child of God and who I am as a life coach. And I believe with all my heart that when people are humble enough to say, ‘I’m kind of at the end of myself’ or ‘I’m tired of chasing what other people or other institutions say is right for me,’ He is there. [My clients] want to meet God at this intersection of their passions and His purpose, and write what their future is going to look like based on His values and His call on their lives. And so they know that about me as a coach. When I meet with people I always pray, ‘Lord show me how to serve them.’ I believe first and foremost coaching is about service. And so when I meet with folks, I always ask them, ‘What’s going well with you right now? What brings you here?’ I allow them to share their stories. And from there we come up with a path forward. That path always includes revisiting their values. What is the role that faith is playing in their lives right now? Is it where they want it to be? It always involves taking stock of what they believe their natural gifts and talents are—understanding that those are God given strengths. And taking a real assessment of how they think they are living out their lives using those God-given strengths. Sometimes they have a big decision to make. Sometimes they have multiple choices that are all good. We always center ourselves on where we hear God calling us to do. And that’s how life coaching begins on session one. Some people will come and see me for three or four sessions. Some people will come for three or four months. I have some clients who come over an extended period of time. I am blessed for anyone God brings me. And I believe that every client that reaches out is from the Lord.”

She concludes, “He has not disappointed. I have felt like every step of the way whether I have moved from hospital nursing to academic nursing to community health nursing to life coaching, the purpose has always been how can I serve God, how can I become part of his kingdom work and what does that look like using my heart for caring for others.”
Dorian has been married to her husband, Bob, for 33 years. They have three grown children. Her website is https://firstdaylifecoaching.com.