Cascais, Portugal


Tell us about yourself:

I am Polish. I have lived in Portugal for five years, in beautiful Cascais, near Lisbon. I have an almost 5-year-old daughter who is half Polish, half Portuguese.

Why did you become a RTA-Certified Facilitator?

My daughter was born in Portugal far from my family support in Poland (3.500 km/2,175 miles away from me). Being a new mom and an immigrant made this even more difficult. I was surprised that while preparing for the birth requires a prenatal course that takes months to complete–there are no courses after the birth to prepare the mother for her lifelong journey as a woman/mom. Ninety-nine percent of books for moms are about the children and “how to sacrifice for the sake of kids.” It was not for me, I knew that kids are happy when they are raised by happy parents. Renee’s book became a bible for me, as it was one of few publications that recognizes all aspects of a woman—including being a mom—and put me as a priority, as a vehicle that needs fuel.

I was always interested in parent education (I took a university course on parenting in Poland) and I knew my calling was to help other women, I just wasn’t sure how.

When I started to work as a life coach, I understood that my perfect client is a mom, like me, who was very active and successful “before kids” and looking for new identity “after kids.” I was especially drawn to expat moms, like me, who were dedicated to husband and family needs—yet lacked extended family support.

Now I work as a life coach for moms who are seeking more time, more harmony, more passion and more energy for all aspects of their lives. Becoming a RTA-Certified Facilitator gave me tools and more courage for group workshops as well as a structured program/format to help other expats moms in Portugal and beyond.

How has this (self-care/Personal Renewal Group) work changed or affected you?

As I was writing this, I realized this way of thinking—focusing on self-care—was always a part of me, I have never forgotten about it. For me, Renee’s book The Mother’s Guide to Self-Renewal and the Personal Renewal Group concept was a great “excuse” to keep myself on a good track, without guilt. I also understood that I do not want to be super mom/superwoman (which is very Polish!) and that good is good enough. I give myself permission for frozen pizza from time to time and lazy Sundays in pajamas doing literally nothing with my daughter. My relationship ended when my child was two. Having gone through this experience and now having this perspective, I can help women to “understand the husband” and how to reconnect with a partner through a strong self-care practice (which is revolutionary for them and for the relationships as well).

The biggest change though, was in my professional life. After a deep and honest conversation with myself, I understood that being a present mom is the most important role of my life. I decided not to go back to my full-time corporate job (typically a 9.5 hour day in Portugal) and to find a more flexible, family-friendly profession so I can give as much time as possible to my princess (especially as a single mom). I can say that becoming a mom and diving deeper into this experience has awakened my real purpose in life.

What are your favorite self-care activities?

Reading self-development books and attending workshops is a must for me. Girls’ nights out also. When I do not have much time, I love a “romantic bath,” just for myself, with a glass of wine, candles, aromatic oils. (Once my daughter “caught me” taking this romantic bath and she joined me, asking for water in a crystal glass. She really loved it and now, sometimes she asks me for a “romantic bath.”)

How can people contact you or learn about your groups/retreats?

My name is Maja Stachowska but this is hard for the foreigners, so I decided to create my alter-ego: Maya Ori. I offer individual coaching, online programs and groups in Portuguese and English. People can contact me via Facebook at Maya Ori or at; email


You can meet other RTA-Certified Facilitators around the globe here. If you’d like to learn more about empowering women in your community, growing your small business and joining our community of women supporting women, click here, call 512/459-6700 or email us.