And I'm going to share my story with you...
It was 1999. I was 29 years old and living away from my family on the other side of the country - the west coast of Canada. I was about to go into my final year of university to get my Bachelor of Education degree, and I was living with my partner of five years, who had a solid job and was also on track to getting his masters degree in Engineering. When we weren’t working hard on our studies, we were hosting dinner parties and going on outdoor adventures with our friends...life was strumming along perfectly.
Until I got the phone call…
My mother had been diagnosed with breast cancer.
Needless to say, I was devastated. And, it was a big wake-up call.
Because when faced with the potential death of someone that close to me, I realized life was precious and anything could happen. It made me take a closer look at my own life and ask myself some seriously deep questions...
Am I living the life that I was meant to be living? Am I being true to my heart? Am I in right relationship to myself and those around me?
Then came the panic questions, like…
What causes cancer? What do I need to do to avoid getting cancer myself? What should I be eating so I don’t get cancer? Am I treating myself well?
These questions led to me making some drastic changes in my life.
First, it only took me a few days before I FINALLY admitted to myself what I had been afraid to say out loud for several years now…
I wasn’t happy with my relationship, but I kept hoping things would change...which is why I stayed.
Although things looked perfect on the outside to our friends and family, on the inside it wasn’t. We were the perfect roommates, but we weren’t connected at a very deep level...physically or emotionally....there was a dead-zone between us.
So, much to the shock of him, our friends and our family members, I walked away. Right out the door.
I didn’t know what lay ahead, but I knew down deep inside that I wasn’t where I was supposed to be.
After staying with a friend for a few weeks, my ex came to me with a “Roommate Wanted” poster he saw at the laundromat. Soon after, he and his best friend were helping me move into an ‘all vegetarian’ house with four other women.
It was exactly what I needed, and I believe I was guided there by some greater power who heard the buried longings of my soul.
Because it was in this house, with these women, that I began my journey of learning how to treat myself well - physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.
Along the way I've experienced personal illness, financial struggles, death of loved ones, a broken heart (more than once), and the experience of cancer in a person that's closer to me than anyone else, my mother (thankfully, she's alive and well many years later).
Although these things have been hard, and sometimes devastating, all of it has made me more open-hearted and tuned in to the wonder and mystery of life. I'm committed to a journey of self-discovery and seeking the truth of who I am, which isn't always a pleasant process, but it's all worth it when it opens me up to more of the love that is there waiting for me.
I struggle in life like any other human being. Mostly with myself. I'm talking about the thoughts and fears I have that threaten to hold me back and get me down. Over the years, I've learned how to face these things (instead of running from them), and I can now make friends with these dragons with much more skill and compassion for myself than I used to.
After finishing my Bachelor of Education degree several years later, I went on to become a certified Life Coach Practitioner.
And my desire for deep transformation in my personal life led me to study whole foods nutrition, yoga, meditation, compassionate communication, re-evaluation counseling, and learning about natural healthcare options. In essence, I took ownership over my own health.
While gaining all of my skills and experience, I developed and honed my natural ability to offer intuitive, insightful and practical feedback that helps people move forward into their greatest potential - personally and professionally.
I’ve become an honest, compassionate, clear communicator with intent listening skills, and my wide range of training has given me a deep level of understanding and experience in helping to develop self-awareness and leadership skills in others. People tend to feel clearer, more directed and more confident after working with me.
In all areas of my life, I use these strengths to invoke growth and change in others. In fact, I have been referred to as a change-maker - helping people go beyond old boundaries.
When I need to give myself a break and recharge, I go for a walk in nature, on a date with a good friend, cook up some healthy and delicious food, go dancing, or simply get into my pjs and eat popcorn while watching Netflix.
Along this journey, I’ve also had my eyes opened to the hundreds and thousands of toxic chemicals that have been introduced to our modern day lives that overload our immune systems and allow cancer to flourish. These are not only found as environmental emissions from cars and industrial manufacturing, but they are also being added to our food, body care products and home cleaning products.
Although we have no immediate control over environmental emissions, what I did realize is that I have direct control over what I put in my body, on my body, and what I use as cleaning products in my own home.
This led me to change over to eating organic and pesticide-free whole foods, as well as using non-toxic products for body care and home cleaning.
Also I do my best to stay physically active and make time to reflect and meditate.
I say no to things that don’t make me happy and yes to things that do.
Most importantly, I speak my truth. Always.