I like to hide.
My struggles, my pain. All of it.
Sure, I'm comfortable talking about the battles I have already won; the strides I have already taken. But it is the current challenges, the current battles that I try to suffer in silence.
I have decided that I need to share and be open with you about what I have been going through lately, because inspiration does not only come in the form of won battles but in the wounds themselves. So let's begin...
In September 2015 I was very sick for about two weeks. I couldn't eat (literally - and I can always eat!), I was exhausted and my belly seemed puffier than usual. But then I got better and assumed it must have just been the stomach bug that was going around.
In December my belly started to really swell and I was sure I had accidentally eat gluten or corn (both which I avoid due to allergies and intolerances). My game plan was to ride it out like other allergy reactions, knowing that the symptoms usually subside in a few weeks.
By January I was starting to think maybe there was more going on. By February I was barely able to get any food in to me and was living on green juices (which I didn't have the energy to make so I bought them from the local health food store) and brown rice cakes called Mochi. I also started running low grade fevers every single night.
Now, if you're like me and you enjoy a good medical mystery, you'll understand that the first thing I did was start researching online. That's right, good 'ol Dr. Google to the rescue! But here's the thing... Symptoms can be tricky and sometimes you get more than you bargained for with Google. Imagine my dismay when every article I found after searching "persistent bloating and nausea" pretty much every article warned of ovarian cancer. Yup - the big "C".
And that's when I called my doctor.
As bizarre as it may sound, I was fortunate to be sick often as a kid so I learned young that the medical system is only as good as your own knowledge and understanding. There are holes in our system the size of a Mack truck and I have fallen through them before. Multiple times. Which is why this time would be different.
Luckily, I have a fabulous family doctor (shout out to Dr. Yves Petcho!) who took me seriously and sent me for a battery of tests, all of which came back as normal.
By this point I had gained about 20 pounds while existing on maybe 800 calories a day. So something was definitely going on, but every test we did showed nothing. Blood tests, urine tests. Ultrasound, MRI, CT Scan. All showed nothing, which is unfortunately consistent with ovarian cancer (which I learned is one of the hardest cancers to diagnose and is typically deadly because it is found so late). Needless to say, I was not feeling relieved by the lack of diagnosis.
I finally demanded an appointment with a gynecologist (which took over 4 months to get in!) and after close to 9 months of pain and fear and the "C" word, I finally had a diagnosis: endometriosis.
Endometriosis is something I had heard of before, but never really investigated. Only now that I'm living it I have become a veritable expert on the topic (as is my style).
And here's the thing. It's not big deal. Sure, every medical article paints a grim picture and talks of "chronic suffering" and "lifelong battle". But I've heard these words before. When I battled anorexia. When I struggled with bulimia. When I felt the crushing weight of depression and anxiety. And each time I have risen; I have proved them wrong. And this time will be the same.
So there you have it. Me, out of hiding. Me sharing a part of myself that I thought I needed to hide and am now realizing, these are the moments I need to share the most <3
Live. Life. Unbroken.
It's three little words but they have had such a big impact in my life.
I have a lot of people come up to me and tell me that they are broken. That their problems are insurmountable. They they cannot be fixed.
It hurts when I hear this. Not just because it is awful to see a beautiful soul in pain, but because I have been there. And here's what I learned: no one is ever broken.
Life is a process of change and re-birth. The old systems and ways break down to make way for new learnings and realizations. It is beautiful and painful and poetic. It is simultaneously wonderful and horrible.
Change is inevitable and yet we hold on to the old ways so hard that it is not the change itself that hurts, only our reluctance to embrace a new way. I never really understood the idea of surrendering but I am beginning to get a glimpse now. Learning to surrender is about learning to let go even when every fibre in your being wants to cling tight. Because letting go is harder but it will hurt less when you surrender.
No one is ever broken because we were never whole to begin with. We are in a constant state of change, of breaking down and building back up. Each time learning more. Each time getting stronger.
A broken bone is known to heal stronger than before the injury. A broken limb will never lose the scar of its journey but it is stronger for having healed and can never break the same way again. It is unbroken.
And just as our bones break and heal stronger, so too do we.
And so the goal is not to be whole for that is just an illusion. Aim instead to be stronger. Wiser. Unbroken.
Happy New Year everyone and welcome to 2016!
We all know that the New Year is traditionally a time to reflect on the past and set a course for the days ahead. But what is it about a new calendar year that prompts us to make impossible resolutions to try to obtain goals that we were unable to achieve in the previous 365 days?
Let’s face it; whether it’s a pledge to eat better or exercise more, we all know that statistically most New Year’s resolutions are abandoned within the first few weeks of the New Year. So why do we feel the need to torture ourselves this way??
If you’re anything like me you don’t really buy into the whole ‘New Year Resolutions’ business in the first place.
As someone who used to live and breathe marketing, I am smart enough to know that most resolutions are the result of clever advertising tactics that target our self-esteem and attempt to convince us that there are aspects of ourselves that are broken.
That’s why this year I challenge you to not make any New Year’s Resolutions.
Instead, why not just resolve to be the best “you” possible?
Whether that involves improving your overall health or making more time for family and friends, simply aim to live your life in such a way that you are true to yourself. This way, any goal you then achieve will be contributing to your greater journey!
I am truly excited about the days ahead and we look forward to sharing in your 2016 journey and making you a part of mine.
Life Coaching is not therapy.
Therapy assumes people are broken and attempts to "fix" them. Life Coaching knowns you are whole and supports you on your life journey.
Therapy deals with the past; Life Coaching deals with the present and the future.
Therapy asks WHY; Life Coaching asks HOW.
In therapy the therapist has the answer; in Life Coaching you have the answer.
In therapy the progress can be slow and painful; in Life Coaching growth and progress generally are rapid and enjoyable.
People come to coaching because they crave inner growth and change
Wondering if Life Coaching is for you?
If you are looking to bring more balance, clarity and fulfilment to your life or are frustrated with other therapeutic modalities that make you feel broken and unfixable, Life Coaching is for you.
The first step of your journey is waiting for you - are you ready?
If you're a smoker, you have likely, at some point, wished to quit.
In fact, over 70% of smokers have actually attempted to quit at least once over their smoking past, often with little success, turning to nicotine patches, gums and even anti-depressants.
Many people don't realize that Zyban, a common drug prescribed for smoking cessation is actually an anti-depressant that affects levels of norepinephrine and dopamine, neurotransmitters responsible for stress and good feelings. And while it may be effective for smoking, it also has profound negative effects on hormone regulation, particularly in women, and lowers the seizure threshold, putting you and your health at risk. Seems like quite a high price to pay just to quit, doesn't it?
And yet millions of people are willing to take the gamble because the desire to quit smoking is just that high.
What if I told you that you can quit smoking AND it is easier than you think?
When you have the right tools, and when you work on the underlying process of HOW you choose to smoke, it makes the process so easy and so effortless.
The fact is, if you've tried to quit smoking a number of times and still are not getting the success you want, it typically means there is something going on at the unconscious level that is keeping you stuck.
Gums and patches can be effective but they work only at the conscious level of knowable behaviour.
In reality, only 5% of what we experience makes it into our conscious awareness which is how many people find themselves repeating the same mistakes over and over and over again and why results are only short lived.
It is the unconscious drivers that cause people to choose to want to smoke and it is the same drivers that can sabotage your efforts at recovery.
Do you know why you smoke? I mean, do you really know?
That's actually a trick question. You see, when people say they "know" why they struggle to quit ("I have no willpower", "I'm weak"), it is a misnomer because to "know" is to be consciously aware of and the underlying reasons for smoking are ALWAYS unconscious.
And since you cannot be consciously unconscious - that is, you cannot know what you don't know - it takes the support of someone who can work with the unconscious mind to get you unstuck so you can reach your goals and become a non-smoker.
If smoking is so addictive, why isn't everyone a smoker?
Think about it. We have all been told that smoking is highly addictive - ironically by the very company that manufactures cigarettes - but is that really the absolute truth?
Have you ever been in a smoky bar or walked through a cloud of cigarette smoke? Unless you have locked yourself in a bubble, you have likely inhaled second-hand smoke at some point. In fact, it's quite common, isn't it.
So if nicotine is as addictive as they say, and second hand smoke contains the same harmful levels of chemicals that smokers inhale, shouldn't everyone who has ever inhaled second hand smoke become a smoker?
The reality is that nicotine is only mildly addictive - in fact, it is 20x less addictive than sugar. It is not nicotine's addictive qualities that keep you hooked.
It is the need that smoking fills, at the most basic unconscious level, that is addictive.
From an unconscious perspective, smoking is literally a smoke screen that you create around yourself in an attempt to shield your unconscious mind from something. For many people it gives them an escape option from unpleasant circumstances. Or maybe you hide behind smoking as a means of feeling more confident. Whatever the reason, chances are you are not aware of it because if you are then it means you are conscious of the reason and remember - the underlying reasons for smoking are ALWAYS unconscious.
Get the unconscious mind on board, and your success will follow naturally!
Hypnosis is only one of the tools that can be used for smoking cessation success and there are a whole host of other unconscious processes that I have used with my client's that are extremely successful including Neuro Linguistic Programming and Time Line Therapy Technique, both which allow us to discover and release the root cause of why you choose to smoke so that you can instead choose another way to get that need met. It's really quite simple!
The key is to transform your life so dramatically and so wonderfully that there is no longer any room in it for smoking anymore.
When that happens, you no longer feel the need to push against this uncontrollable urge to smoke; to constantly battle your own sense of willpower and worth.
How would you like to make an extra $3650/year?
The average smoker smokes a pack a day which will cost approximately $10/day. This means that in the course of a year, you are spending around $3650 to maintain your habit. Over a 10 year period, that works out to $36, 500! And if you smoke more than a pack a day, that number will go up!
When you're ready to make some real change, contact me and let's change your life from the inside out so you can quit smoking and feel great for good!
FACTS ABOUT CIGARETTES AND SMOKING YOU MAY NOT KNOW:
Ultimate placebo effect:
Smokers generally report a variety of after-effects; such as calmness, relaxation, alertness, stimulation, concentration and many others. In fact, smoking will produce a different effect in each individual depending on ‘what they expect to get'; turning the cigarette into the worlds most popular placebo (satisfying the brains hunger for nicotine being the only ‘relaxing’ factor). The smoker will then use these expectations as a means to continue the habit.
Rite of Passage:
Some people perceive smoking to be a rite of passage along with aftershave, wearing stilettos, alcohol, and sexual intercourse.
Nicotine addiction or sugar addiction?
Sugar approximates to roughly 20% of a cigarette, and many diabetics are unaware of this secret sugar intake. Also, the effect of burning sugar is unknown.
Nicotine not that addictive
Think about it - if nicotine were really that addictive, would you be able to buy it in a gum over-the-counter? I mean, really! I can't even buy a razor blade to shave my legs without a bunch of alarms going off at the drugstore but I can buy as many boxes of nicotine gum or patches that I want. If it were really as addictive as we have been led to believe it would be a controlled or monitored substance. But it is not.
We live in a go-go-go society where running ourselves ragged is looked upon with a certain level of awe. But pushing yourself beyond your limits can have far reaching health consequences and, over time, your body will start to let you know that it needs a break.
The question is, are you listening?
In the beginning it may start out as fatigue.
And if you don't listen it will get a little louder and then louder still until, eventually, you have no choice but to slow down and listen. This usually happens when we have pushed ourselves so far that our body breaks down - think sickness or dis-ease.
Our society has built such fear around the word "selfish", but at the heart of it, being selfish just means that you take care of yourself and your needs. And there's nothing wrong with that, is there?
Learning to slow down and take care of yourself is not indulgent or selfish - it is 100% necessary for your health and well being.
Learn more tips on how to slow down and take better care of yourself
Floating on a cloud of happiness after two amazing sessions this week with my super awesome clients. This is what one of them had to say about the work we're doing together:
"This has been the most positive experience of my life and I am so glad we met and I engaged with you for this journey. I feel so good and strong and free from my old habits. Only place to go is up!"
Feeling overwhelmed with love and gratitude! <3
When you set off to explore a new city, having an accurate map is critical to getting where you want to go. Without that map, you end up just aimlessly wandering around hoping to stumble upon something familiar.
It's official! The "i"'s are dotted and the "t"'s are crossed.
I am officially an Associate of Partners Counselling in Bradford (Ontario, Canada) and I am truly honoured to be part of such an amazing group of caring and wonderful individuals.
When I was first introduced to Jon, Tina and the rest of the Partners Bradford team, what struck me as incredible was the method with which the practice is run.
Their philosophy is simple: No waiting lists. No red tape.
Just the ability to reach out and get help whenever you are ready.
When crisis strikes, and you need a helping hand, waiting lists can feel endless and the idea of recovery can seem hopeless.
When I was struggling with my own self worth and anxiety, I was continually turned away from programs because I was told I was too old, statistically, to have an eating disorder since most programs are designed for adolescents between the ages of 11 and 18.
I was 22, clearly too old to still be struggling with an eating disorder according to the system.
I wanted desperately to be well and yet everywhere I turned, I found a lacking of available resources for someone reaching out who didn't fit the typical diagnostic mould.
When you are surrounded by pain. When every moment of your day is spent battling your own inner demons to the exclusion of the love and joy around you.
When you finally gather up your hope and reach out for help, being told you need to wait six months can seem overwhelming and hopeless.
That's why it's so important to have options. Places you can go when you are in crisis and have found the courage to ask for help.
I am so excited to now be a part of a team of amazing counsellors who are dedicated to providing that help so that it is available whenever you need it.
Because the first step - admitting you need help - can be the most difficult and most amazing step on your journey.
And one day you'll look back in awe of the your strength because, despite everything, you are still here, reading these words and knowing that help is just a phone call away.
Believe it or not, I never intended to start my own Life Coaching business.
When I attended the Life Coaching, NLP and Hypnosis course and training, my goal was simply to learn more about myself and to get a glimpse of the so-called "Wizard" behind the curtain of human behaviour.
My own experience with this process was so transformational, so wonderful, that I just had to know the secrets.
How could something that, on the surface, appears so simple result in such amazing changes?
How did 3 months of life coaching result in more personal growth than over 13 years of traditional psychotherapy?
I needed to know the Matrix code behind the system.
And so I took the course, fully believing that I was there just to learn and then I would return to my regularly scheduled program.
As always, it seems my unconscious mind knew me better :)
Though I received my BA in Psychology over a decade ago, my own less-than-wonderful experiences with our mental health system left me feeling hopeless and wholly uninterested in pursuing a career in counselling.
There are cracks in our system that a Mack truck could fall through. Did I really want to be a part of it?
Nope. Not even a little.
And yet here I am.
I've always had a desire to help others; to inspire them to live a more authentic existence. And on my way to realizing my dream I found myself taking some amazing detours that I am still a part of to this very day.
I have worn many hats in my journey including:
Bingo hall associate
Veterinary manager and assistant
Bookkeeper & HR rep
Hula Hoop Dancer (yup - you read that right!)
And now, Life Coach.
Every step of my journey has led me to where I am today and I couldn't be more grateful for the fabulous people and lessons I have learned along the way.
Life often takes us to places we never dreamed we could ever be.
Sometimes, it's just a matter of having the courage to follow the winding path that makes the difference.
After years of dealing with frustration and blame from the medical community, I finally chose to take control of my own health journey; a path which has led me to where I am today.
Who am I?
I am on a mission to help spread the idea that no one is broken (no matter how broken they may feel) and that healing emotional health can be achieved.
So who am I? I am someone who has walked the path of brokenness and lived to tell the story. I specialize in bringing a mixture of humour, honesty and personal truths to help inspire a new perspective on health, growth and change. I am also a self-proclaimed "Hippie Nerd" and love to combine my love of all things nerdy and science-y with a little infusion of "woo-woo" spirituality.
PLEASE NOTE: Time Line Therapy®, Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) and Hypnosis are alternative, complementary therapies that utilize guided relaxation, visual imagery, creative visualization, hypnosis, NLP and stress reduction processes and techniques for the purpose of self-improvement. The coaching process is not a substitute for traditional medical care and we encourage you to discuss your coaching journey with your primary health care team. Additionally, you should continue any present medical treatment and consult your regular health care provider for treatment of any new or old illnesses.