Hello! I’m Leisa Watkins.

Blogger | Speaker | Author | Life Coach | Change Maker

I get it…

Life can be full of surprises.
Life can be challenging.
At times life can be hard.

Here’s my story!

My family has faced many challenges. We’ve faced diseases (over 25), injuries (including traumatic brain injury), sexual assault and other trauma, multiple miscarriages, seven car accidents, financial hardship, and so much more.

And, much of it came in waves. I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis the same week my husband was diagnosed with cancer. This was at a time our daughters were struggling with some health issues of their own.

Years ago, we had one terrible week when things seemed impossible to overcome. We lost our car, had our power and water turned off, and I had to beg total strangers for help.

Another time, a drunk driver hit the automobile my husband was a passenger in. He was out of work for several months. At the same time, our daughter spent 30 days in a children’s hospital while I faced my own set of health challenges.

There was the year I had 3 surgeries in one month, lost a child to ectopic pregnancy, and an elderly gentleman drove his pick-up truck into my tiny car. This was my second of three automobile accidents.

As I tackled each of the challenges we faced, I did plenty of research. I joined groups of other people who were facing the same things we were facing. So did my husband. In those groups, we found so many people full of despair, even suicidal. Many felt that life was not worth living if they had to deal with the disease.

But, life is worth living and living well!

I am on a mission to provide inspiration and resources to assist others in cultivating more health, happiness, and joy in life, despite life’s challenges.

I built Cultivate An Exceptional Life™ as a place to record research we’ve done or found related to various medical conditions we have faced. As a place to tips and tricks for increasing health, information on what it is like to deal with a variety of medical conditions, and of course – what one can do to cultivate more health, happiness, and joy in life.

I also share different things we do to create more happiness. It could be hobbies, restaurants we love (I do love to eat), travel we’ve done, and more.

I hope that some of this, or any part of this, will help make an impact in your life and an impact in the world.

Also on this page:

I Am a Conflicted Vagabond

I often dream of selling every earthly possession so I can travel the world making friends while eating croissants, curry, and other regional fare.

But, I love the appeal of a Brownstone in the city so I can regularly partake of the city’s pulse – the ballets, dining, museums, dining, culture, dining, football games, dining and shopping.

And yet, still, I absolutely adore the thought of settling down on a homestead in the country, raising chickens, reading on a front porch, and doing everything else that goes with “a country life.”

Yep, I am totally conflicted.

  • Live in a Big City Brownstone 90% 90%
  • Travel the World 100% 100%
  • Live in the Country and Drink Lemonade 90% 90%

Careers I’ve Had

My first career choice, for most of my childhood was to be a prima ballerina. That didn’t happen, but I taught ballet lessons to a group of neighborhood girls and to a college football team. (It helps them learn to change direction quickly and to jump).

Most of my life I wanted to be a FBI agent, or a criminal profiler. The closest I got to that was being offered a job as a secretary for the FBI.  Being a secretary simply didn’t sound nearly as interesting so I headed off to college.

One thing remained constant. I wanted to be an entrepreneur.  I’ve had owned a business in some shape or form since the age of 14. Well except for the times I put things on hold due to illnesses. I am most passionate about helping people overcome stumbling blocks in life.

I’ve been a banker, a traveling art teacher, a craft and hobby designer, a Chief Executive Officer, head of marketing, Digital Assets Director, web developer, and more.


I Love to Travel

I LOVE to travel. I was serious about that vagabond part of me that could travel the world for years.

It blows me away that some people don’t like to travel.

I heard they exist.

If that’s you – I respect you.

But I have questions…


You really don’t like to travel?

Are you sure?


I don’t even know where this is. Do you? I want to walk down that street. I want to photograph it.

I want to see a scene like this.

And this.  Isn’t it incredible?

I Love to Create and View Art

Art is one of those things that really helps enrich life. I used to teach mixed media art at art retreats and stores throughout the county. Art contributes to my happiness level.  So I have an entire blog section dedicated to it. There is not much there yet. But this site is still new.

I Love Photography

I also love photography.

So, I have a gratitude project where I share photos of things I am grateful for.  Things that make life more enriching.  You can follow it here or on Instagram.

Most of my photos are taken with my cell phone. So the number one thing I care about when it comes to a cell phone is camera quality.



Some of the medical issues we have been dealing with.

Some afflict more than one family member.

  • Cancer – Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma
  • Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
  • Median Arcuate Ligament Syndrome (MALS)
  • Mast Cell Activation Disorder (MCAD)
  • Traumatic Brain Injury
  • Post-concussive Syndrome
  • Undetermined Auto-Immune Disorder(s)
  • CSF Leak
  • Dysautonomia
  • Diabetes and Blood Sugar Issues
  • Lyme Disease
  • Epstein Barr Virus
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Connective Tissue Disorder
  • Complex Regional Pain Syndrome
  • Hashimoto’s
  • MTHFR Gene Mutation
  • Congestive Heart Failure
  • Workplace Injuries
  • Heart Issues
  • Blood Sugar Issues
  • Asthma
  • Internal Hemorrhaging/ Bleeding
  • Chronic Kidney Disease
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Sepsis
  • Blood Clots
  • Post-traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Osteoporisis
  • and a few other issue like appendicitis, gall-bladder removal, torn meniscus

The Cultivate an Exceptional life Podcast is where Leisa Watkins uncovers stories, strategies, and resources designed to inspire and encourage you to cultivate better health, more happiness, and joy, despite the challenges life throws in our path.


Podcast Episodes
Recommend a Guest/Be a Guest


Guest Appearances