Alum Spotlight: Lani Geistwalker

Lani was a student at MCWS from nursery school through grade 8.  She currently is the co-founder and owner of Cultivating Thyme Wellness and serves as the Wish and Volunteer Coordinator for Make-A-Wish Maine. Lani gives much credit to her Waldorf education and the relationships made here for preparing her for a career helping others. “Waldorf school affected everything in my life. Nothing was superficial, everything came from love. This kind of learning environment allowed me to connect with my teachers and peers on a very deep level”. 

Q: Please tell us more about your business, Cultivating Thyme Wellness and your role as an Integrative Health Coach.

A: We are a Maine-based virtual health coaching company who works with adults of all ages and backgrounds, helping them to achieve their health and wellness goals. With Integrative Health Coaching, the overall approach to health and wellness is through a holistic lens, looking at everything going on in our clients’ lives when addressing concerns and challenges. We have the opportunity to work alongside clients, educating them and providing accountability for them so they can make lifestyle changes that are sustainable and long-term. I have the pleasure of working with many clients in identifying negative thought patterns, replacing them with positive ones, and creating change through a cultivation of self-love.


Q: You have been working for Make-A-Wish Maine for almost four years. How did you get involved with this organization and what is your favorite part about your job?  What is the process for granting a wish? 

A: I actually job-shadowed the current CEO when I was in high school. After working in a management position in the food service industry in Portland alongside a few other MCWS alums, I wanted to try my hand at a job that provided more structure. I was delighted to see that Make-A-Wish Maine had openings as I am passionate about making a positive impact in my community. There are so many things I love about the work we do, but I think one of my favorite things is witnessing the unique wishes that wish kids dream up. For instance, a superhero go-kart! Because we unfortunately don’t have the ability to give a go-kart superhero powers, we instead made sure the wish kid had his very own superhero cape and logo so he could feel like the superhero he is! When we grant wishes, we work with volunteers and the wish family to identify what the child’s most heartfelt wish is, what will bring them the most strength and joy during a very dark time, and then we go about creating it! I feel lucky to have the opportunity to train and support so many amazing volunteers across the state who are dedicated to creating an impactful experience for our wish kids. They are truly the backbone of our organization.


Q: If you could relive an experience you had at MCWS, what would it be? Why?

A: Do I have to pick just one? Anyone from my graduating class, I hope this makes you smile. Mrs. Moser, I’m sorry. To this day I don’t think I have ever laughed so hard in my life. We were in 5th grade and it was the first time we ever performed in the new Community Hall. We were performing at night so it felt like a pretty big deal. We were so excited and ready to make our parents proud, but there was something we did not plan for—the darkness. When it came time for a scene change involving a blackout, it was pitch black. We couldn’t see a single thing. We did our best to assemble ourselves on the risers for the chorus, but instead of a smooth transition, there was a lot of stepping on each other’s costumes, fingers in people’s mouths as we tried to scramble into place, and classmates colliding straight into one another. As you can imagine, being in 5th grade, this was funny! So to the horror of the audience, instead of a beautiful show that had been rehearsed over many weeks, they witnessed a display of giggle fits, laughing snorts, and shouts of joy and surprise as we bumped into one another. Though we certainly didn’t accomplish what we set out to do, I will always remember the pure joy and comradery the series of events created. We were all in for the show, and then we were all in for the laughter. I have so much love for every person who I shared that day with.


Q: What are your plans for the next 5-10 years?

A: After getting married this past summer, we are now expecting a little boy this June, which will certainly keep us busy in the years to come! We hope to find land and build a house that gives us the opportunity to garden and farm on a small scale. My dream is to incorporate health coaching into our version of homesteading and providing education for community members who want to learn more about where their food comes from. We can assure you that MCWS is in our little one’s future plans and we are excited to experience it from the other side of things! He will be kneading bread and practicing the javelin before we know it!