Year in Review Musings

First off: Happy Thanksgiving to my American readers!

With only 4 more weekends to this year we are officially entering my "month off" from doing anything really constructive beyond reflecting on what happened this year, making merry, spreading happiness, and inviting in new direction for the coming year.

I get a sneaky suspicion I'm going to be working away though thanks to major inspiration that's been happening lately and you'll understand why by the end of this.

I actually started my reflections really early this year. Back in October, just after Canadian Thanksgiving, I was feeling pretty adrift and didn't know what to do with myself. October (10th to be precise) brought huge change into my life that I had surrendered completely to, but in the wake of it's devastation (more on that later) I didn't really know up from down and feeling really directionless, I pulled out my journal year and started looking for the goals I set at the beginning of the year... except there were none.

I'd forgotten that beyond writing my final exam and graduating from school I didn't set any goals for this year.  I wanted to be completely focused on just one thing at that point and I was nearing the end of my allotted time to complete the program putting some fire under my butt.  I also knew that this graduation was going to be a portal for me, that on the other side I would be free to really do what I wanted, that I would be able to focus all my time and efforts then, so I didn't set any goals.

I was right.  Graduation was a portal, one that I could not have comprehended or anticipated in advance.  I'm only really grasping it right now as I write.  That graduation was a sort of coming of age for me.   I just grew up and got released into the world to work, for the first time, at what I wanted to do.  To do not what was expected of me, but what my heart and intuition guided me to do.

When I got out on the other side I did truly feel a freedom and something changed internally that made me throw all my previous thoughts about what I was going to be doing out the window.  I gave myself some time off to savour my accomplishment and to just enjoy the feeling of freedom.  To enjoy whatever inspiration came my way.  Plus it was that time in the garden where you've got serious work to do daily.

I floated into the summer not really thinking about goals per se, but I certainly had some determination to get things sorted out re: my business but instead of trying to muscle my way through it as I normally did, I chose a gentler path. I chilled out and just let it happen as things do when I'm hanging out lots in my garden.  I began receiving all kinds of inspiration and ideas.  I had new ideas about my business and what direction I was going into.  I revisited the original inspiration behind all the schooling I've been doing and what that really meant.  It was good times.

I will tell you, that once you give yourself permission to just chill out and not bust arse on anything in particular, it is amazing the ideas you will get!

I did end up spending some time trying to figure things out and (surprise!) nothing felt 100% right.  I never could seem to finish anything I started which, as it happens, has been a big theme in my life that I've tried to get to the bottom of over the last couple of years to no avail.

Also this summer I was doing a lot of work with a mentor of mine that included  learning how to really get connected with my soul and how to do it consistently.  Did I ever jump on that one!  I also learned a really wonderful process of manifesting based on your souls desires, totally new and exciting territory for me.

Now I'm not going to tell you I manifested all kinds of material things.  I'm not going to tell you I manifested the usual things that people want.  If any of you follow coaches and healing guides you'll know that's what they are usually talking about and quite frankly, I get the feeling like they are just bragging.  It’s kinda irritating to me.  Maybe it's just the whole idea that someone other than me got what they wanted and there is a little part of me who thinks it is unfair.  Who knows...

Up until this exact moment I didn't really think that I had manifested any of my desires from the summer but suddenly I no longer believe that.  I have manifested some things, like the end of my back and hip pain (for real), greater structural stability in my hip and glute... I'm going to have to pull up my writing and see what else has happened while I wasn't looking... But this makes sense to me because I have just gone through an extremely intense period of (inadvertently) working one of the most important steps in manifesting: making space.

Making space.  I laugh at it now because it is so brilliant.  I see it was the next big thing I needed to learn about in order to become the coach I dream of becoming.  And true to form, I had to put myself through it before I could share it with the world, and really come into my own.  It has been the means of me healing deeply and profoundly, and learning so much about myself and what I'm here to do.

It began with my desire to manifest better physical health.  The obvious place to "make space" and create more harmony that would support my health goals was the kitchen.  So I cleared out and reorganized my kitchen.  But in the end that didn't feel like that was it.  Something wasn't done.  I had this ping to go clear up the basement so I could reclaim my dedicated workout space.  What ended up happening was me hard core crying like I haven't cried... ever?  I sat and just balled for an hour.  I had so much grief and anger inside of me.  There was guilt and blame towards myself... and this was just related to some bathroom renos and the unfortunate early departure of a beloved cat.

I remember sitting there in a sort of eye of the storm moment marveling at all this emotion I had welling up.  And I was totally cool just giving myself permission to ball, really loudly and violently as much as I needed.  I believe completely, that our emotions are a beautiful and just part of us, stuffing them down and not letting them out is a form of self rejection.  It is a violation of self.  So sitting there and just allowing myself to come apart at my seams was a profound moment of acceptance.  A true and beautiful moment of indulgence.

Afterwards I felt so light and amazing.  And realizing that I absolutely had more anger stored up I made a decision to really sit down and purge it, which I did.  That was actually when my hip first started feeling WAY better.  Certainly not 100% but I took note at how much I felt better physically.  After that purge I made a bit of a commitment to myself, to turn inwards and see what else I was holding on to.  What ended up happening was a slow and steady clearing out of psychic debris.

I started doing a lot of journaling to release emotions I had been hiding.  I started to face where I felt out of integrity with being a health coach and where I was ashamed or hiding from reality in other areas. I looked at where I was unhappy in my relationships, especially my relationship with myself.  I started asking myself what I needed to do in order to resolve whatever internal turmoil was facing me at any given time.  I would just sit, ask a question and wait for the response.  I also started looking at who I really wanted to be in the world, what my next level was and asking what it was I needed to do to become that next evolution.  One day in August I wrote: Coming undone yet coalescing, this is the energy of my life.

I had so much internal chaos during this time and I know I made some really deep and heartfelt pleas for direction and understanding and an end to all of the drama.  I acknowledged stuff that had been running my life for YEARS, stuff that I really wanted to be done with.  I wanted so desperately to be done with it.  I felt like I was being turned inside out over and over again.  Each time I righted myself I felt so amazing, the understandings I came to about myself were priceless and the synchronicities confirmed to me that I was doing the right thing.

All I have to say is: Be careful what you ask for... you might just get it and not in the way you imagined.

HAHA!  All kidding aside, I manifested the end of some real internal frustration and drama.  The end of stuff that was consuming my mind and making me go crazy.  Surely you know what I'm talking about, that stuff that is always in the back of your mind.  The stuff that you think about every. single. day.  The stuff that always gets in the way, it's always tripping you up, it's always bringing you down somehow.  The stuff that you are afraid is going to rule your life, till the day you die.  I really wanted to be done with it and that is what I asked for, and I got it.

On October 10th of this year, the understanding came about that I had been sexually abused as a child and I had been suppressing it for my entire life. 

It's hard to know what to say about it at this moment.  I want to call it the single most important thing that has happened to me, the single most important thing that happened this year and yet it's not, because so many amazing and important things happened this year.  Most of which were in preparation for that moment.

What I can say for certain is that it catalyzed me making a commitment to myself, on a level I had never gone to before, to do what I needed to do to move past it.  It has helped me to understand myself at such a deep and fundamental level and to release so much pain, grief, fear, shame etc. most of which is completely unrelated.

In the weeks since, right up to today I continue to turn inwards and face my demons.  To continue to let go and heal and make space.

What happens when you make space on a grand scale like this?  Grand scale inspiration and understanding!  Along with way better health, mass removal of anxiety, out of control, self sabotaging, behaviours and more.  I marvel at my ability to sit in meditation like it's nothing now where before it was actually really hard to sit still.  It's just amazing what happens when we turn and face what we are running or hiding from.

The grand scale inspiration is that I feel like I've finally got it, what I'm here to do.  I had a sense all year but I didn't quite get it 100% till some recent aha's that further refined it.  It has to do with helping women work on their inner eco system.  To resolve the mental architecture and emotional debris that keeps them stuck and rejecting themselves, the structures that hold them back from getting what they want and being able to direct their life.  To help them upgrade their physical foundation for a better quality of life. 

I can't tell you how strongly I believe now that health is an inside job.  Most of us assume it's just a physical thing but it is so much more. In fact I just learned this week that there are medical professionals that suggest, with studies to back it up, that 85% of physical ailments have an emotional component attached.  We've just forgotten that there is more to us than just our bodies.  That our mental landscape and emotional health are part of us and need to be tended to as well.

It is clear to me that 2015 was the year for me to really learn about emotional and psychic healing and I learn best through personal experience.  Everything that I had previously been searching for a physical cause/problem/fix for was resolved through releasing emotional debris, which let me see and resolve the mental structures keeping me stuck.

I find it amusing since I began the year reading a book that profiled the effects of mental and emotional stress on the body, and it's hand in creating conditions like mental disorders, autoimmune diseases and cancers.  I understand addiction in a whole new way now too.


So I guess overall I just really got to know myself this year and I got to set my heart and soul free.  I mean, that one event from my past was certainly the most notable as far as affecting my life's trajectory, but just one of many moments in time that I have visited and released.  My heart is more at peace that I can ever remember and while I still have more internal junk to deal with (like some lingering fear of talking to people!?) I have so much excitement for the future because I feel like I found the golden ticket this year.  And for that, I am oh so truly thankful.

When you take time to review your year, what are you most grateful for?  What were the most notable moments for you?  What miracles occurred, large or small? How have you progressed? Please share below!

Identity and understanding how we fit in the world

This summer I was going through a really interesting process of discovering how I identified myself and this post was a capture of what I was thinking at the time.  It was almost a full blown "who am I?" without me actually asking that question.  It was more of a how to I identify myself?  What do I like?  How do I represent myself? What is the essence of my spirit?  It was a "who am I?" with some concrete labels and other identifiers behind it.  What it served to do was broaden my own definition of myself since, as you'll read below, I had traditionally had a very narrow view on who I was and how I fit into the world.


When I quit my career in HR to go back to school to be a nutritionist I had an identity crisis.  The plan for 4 years at that point had always been to save up money so I could quit my day job and dedicate myself to my studies. I was really excited when I finally quit, beyond the part where I could get up and not have to go to a job that brought me no joy. What I wasn't expecting was the total identity crisis that happened.

What is identity?

Identity is a really subconscious and subjective thing.  I certainly never thought about it much beyond my coach training and never in the practical context of my own life till it was smacking me in the face.

Identity can be summed up with the question: who or what am I the same as? When we can identify ourselves as being the same as something or someone we gain safety in knowing that we fit in.  To our deep critter brain programming, if you fit in in society you won’t be an outcast and die. That identity piece gets a little more sophisticated as our brains develop and we begin to perceive how we fit in in the greater world around us.

We often identify ourselves with the roles we play and the jobs we do. We first learn how to identify ourselves through our family relationships; we are first a girl or a boy, then a brother, sister, son, and daughter.  We begin exploring the world and applying more labels when we go to school and beyond. When we leave home our identity is further shaped by how we spend most of our time or what takes our focus.  

Think about any time you have switched jobs or organizations.  There is always that tentative period in the beginning where you are acclimatizing to the new environment, to the new culture of the team or organization.  In this period of time you are figuring out how you fit in.  Gradually you relax once you begin to understand the environment.  If you re doing the same sort of job as before, the process is a lot easier since you have previous knowledge to fall back on and can feel secure in.  You already know half or more or what you need to know to do the job, you can feel assured in your own ability.

The reason it was so hard for me to transition into being a student was that I really strongly identified with my job, it was actually the primary way I identified myself to others, that was how I fit into the world so once I turned my back on it, I was on shaky ground. Plus I didn’t know how “student” worked so I was in full blown internal chaos.  It should have been bliss!

Without realizing the state of chaos I was in I made it worse (in my search for identity and survival) by plunging headlong into creating a coaching business.  I automatically added a couple more layers to figure out and made it so I couldn’t even fully focus on one thing.  I was forever multitasking and couldn’t understand how these aspects of me worked together.  I was trying to combine two or more labels while I was still learning how to operate as them.

I also understand now that a large piece of my worth as an individual at that time (another big topic in life!) was wrapped up in being outwardly productive.  It could be described as looking like I am busy, having a pile of work that was done at the end of the day.  I had real difficulties working on projects that couldn't be done in a day or two since the conceptual, problem solving aspects did not amount to having a pile of stuff done at the edge of my desk by the end of the day.  I still bump up against that now from time to time.

My big epiphany came when I got the message:  What you do, does not define who you are.  You are a person, and your job is where you spend a large amount of your time; however, you are not your job.

Up until recently this was still a big mess for me.  I was still identifying myself by what I was doing (and that pile of done stuff at the end of the day) but "Who I am" and "What I am here to do/how I am spending my time on this planet" are two totally different things. I am here on this earth to have an experience of life.  I just happen to have made it my job to share what I have learned in order to help others, but my primary mission in life is to live life!  Not to be my job. 

I’m sure if you look around you, you can point out at least one person in your life that does not have this sort of definition between themselves and what they do.  These two things are merged.  I am not saying that it is wrong, it’s just one way of doing it.  But what happens to that person if they don’t have a strong sense of self and you take that job away from them?  They go into internal chaos and crisis just like I did.

I think it’s important that we explore who we are as a way of broadening our own definition.  If I hadn’t been so tied up in who I was through my job I might have been able to make that transition in a much more graceful way.  Also sticking to what I was doing in the immediate moment instead of trying to define my future self who hadn't arrived yet (and would never arrive in that manner anyways) would have helped immensely.  But I don't think too many people really take the trouble to look at themselves this way unless they have something that forces their hand.  Or maybe everyone does and they're not talking about it?

Now that I have graduated from school and started to understand what it is I want to do (not what I thought at all!), I am having this great opportunity to go through a process of definition of my business and myself.  I realize that my business is a separate entity from me with it’s own identity. I am not required to be my job or my business in the way that I would have become the organization or job before. I don't have to conform myself to a cultural identity and what's more; I actually get to decide what the culture of my business is.  Still that doesn’t mean that I become it.

In this pursuit of indentifying myself I am also in the process of defining the purpose and reason behind practically everything I spend my time creating.  This is another way of identifying myself by defining the things and concepts around me.  This helps me focus my energies more and creates boundaries to channel the energy instead of being all foggy and distracted by not really understanding what it is I'm working on or the purpose of my environment. It's hard to explain, but by defining all the edges my own edges and essence become more solid.

  A surprising part of this whole process of definition that came up is the understanding that my personal style is separate from the aesthetics of my brand. It seemed ridiculous that I hadn't realized that before but it was a necessary distinction and further reminder that I am not my job.

When we work in an environment and culture with a lot of people and have to adhere to a dress code we might not be able to express ourselves through our style as we would have otherwise.  I used to just get clothes that ticked the job boxes of looking respectable and upholding the dress code, with little though to identifying myself through these clothes.  Now a whole new realm has been opened to me where I get to make decisions about how I represent myself visually and how clothes make me feel.  Turns out the colours I wear are the most important factor for me.  Clothes shopping as I’ve known it has been turned on it’s head and I have a new set of parameters beyond getting what’s on sale at Banana Republic.

My business also has a visual identity that expresses certain beliefs and evokes particular feelings.  It has an essence of its own that is separate from me.


So what labels or identity pieces do you apply to yourself?

If you met a stranger at a party, (assuming you aren’t deliberately trying to network for career reasons) how do you introduce yourself?  This is a clear indication of the primary ways you identify yourself and what is important to you.  Do you identify yourself as a mother or hobbyist of some sort or do you immediately blurt out what it is you do for a living? 

What you say about yourself also says something about what you believe about yourself and what you value as important.

How do you define the essence of your spirit?  What colours represent it?  What shapes?  What pictures? What calls to your soul when you consider this?  Creating a mood board can help you to capture your essence or the essence of the thing you are trying to define.  I now have a mood board for myself that holds the things that I consider important along with a couple of pictures that capture the essence of the person I strive to embody and how I want to navigate my life.  I have a separate board for my business to capture its spirit and how I want it to inspire others.

Other tell tale signs are what makes you feel good, comfortable or otherwise happy?  How do you spend your time?  What lights you up? These are also identifiers of who you are.


Now having gone through this process I see myself merging with my business in a different way.  After all, it is my playground where I get to have fun and be myself in so now I am considering how I want to interact with it, but with a strong sense of self where before it was just a messy muddle.

Money and the Legacy of Family Values

I got a ping to explore a generational legacy of a belief I have about myself and man did it ever balloon into something really cool. I had written it down on a post it and the original thought was temporarily forgotten while I later looked for an exercise I thought I had.  I never did find the exercise but no matter, what came out of the thought process was brilliant enough.

Someone asked me once to write about money and I kinda brushed it off. Sorry to that individual, you know who you are. Firstly I did have an agenda for my blog posts for the year, I wasn't lying.  I did feel slightly bad about using it as a cop out though since I did veer off from time to time and eventually just stopped looking at it, preferring to write from inspiration instead. I did add money to the list of topics though, it has never been far from my mind but I never really felt like I had much to say about money other than assuring you that it is ok to use it. I’m no expert and I am certainly going against the grain of popular financial thinking by using my retirement savings to fund my life, which I had actually planned very consciously to do, but the truth is I have never made those withdrawals without a TONNE of emotional baggage dogging my actions and now I can talk about why. 

My relationship with money is mostly one of avoidance. It is a black hole for me. I might give it some lip service, (I have successfully tracked my income and expenses for 2 years now!) but I don't have a real relationship with my money. What I do, I mostly do because I "should".  I know stuff about money and finances, I know stuff about investing. How about the concept of using all the credit you are given to invest in yourself and not make it an absolute priority to pay back right away? That's a different idea I picked up at some point and very conflicting internally as well.

Every time I needed to make a withdrawal, I really had to convince myself that I was allowed to access the money I had worked hard for, the money that was rightfully mine. I would agonize over emailing my financial advisor. I would procrastinate and put it off as long as possible. This summer I left it for over a month beyond when I really needed it and there was an issue with the transfer and it went on a full three weeks of me without my money before I said anything. This is me in a really poor relationship with something that is rightfully mine and very valuable. If that was my paycheque I never would have acted that way.  So what the heck? 

I wonder if all my savings were in my regular account would I have felt differently accessing or spending it? I'm not sure the answer to that. Me and my money relationship have a long way to go but I have started my journey thanks to thinking about family values.

Our family values have an extraordinary impact on how we live our life. They are the beginning basics of what we feel is important, how we act,  what takes priority and unfortunately sometimes, what we can and cannot have.  Family values are what your family of origin holds as important. These are often multigenerational, a legacy being passed on unknowingly from generation to generation, parents to children and so on.

The uber cool thing is that we can excavate them and upgrade!  Or we can choose to honour the legacy of our forefathers and continue with them. The choice is ours. 

When I sat down to do this, well really it started with my hands in the sink doing dishes and was a bit surprising to me. I was able to clearly identify the values, the beliefs behind them, what they meant, how they related to other important things and how they informed my behaviour. I saw immediately some conflicts of interest between what I had been brought up to value and what I value personally today. I'm in a constant state of conflict in certain areas. 

The dish sink realization went like this:  “What does my family value as important?  Money, and it is used to buy love.  To manipulate people and to hold it over their head.”

That is so not cool...

Now given that those were the first things that came to mind maybe you can see why I haven’t had a good relationship with my bank account?  Money has not felt good to me. It's icky, negative, and I am repulsed by the pursuit of it. It's very superficial. So why would I want to have a relationship with it?  Clearly this is an area where some upgrading was in dire need.


Here is an exercise for exploring the legacy of your family values and an opportunity to upgrade or modernize them.

1. What are the top values of your family?  These are the things that they hold as the most important in life.  They are likely unspoken but very much in physical practice.  

2. Once you’ve figured out the top 3 - 5, elaborate on what each means.  What are the core beliefs behind that value? How does it show up in action?  How does it show up in your life?  ex. If Family is one of the values, what is it about family?  Is it putting family members first no matter what?  Is it related to communication and gatherings?  

3. What is the positive intention behind these values?  How have they positively served you and how are you grateful for it? Is there anything to forgive?  ex. For me and Money, even though how I felt about that value is very negative there were positive intentions behind the pursuit of money and amassing wealth.  I can appreciate that money, and the gifts it buys, is a vehicle that some people use to show their love for me when they are perhaps unable to show me love in another way that I may prefer. It's not necessarily about trying to manipulate me.

4. With the positive intention, gratitude and forgiveness in mind, make a decision: Is this a value that you want to continue to uphold in my life?  Does it need to be upgraded a bit with intentions that are more aligned with who you are now?  Or is it not important anymore and needs to be let go of (with love)?

5. Upgrade as necessary or let go:

Consider how that value can be brought more in alignment with what you find important now or how it can serve you better.  Write a new story for it.  For me and Money, I can embrace the positive intention that money serves to meet my physical needs and keep a roof over my head and I can upgrade to the idea that amassing wealth can be noble if I am using it to support and lift up others.  I can let go of the idea that money is used to manipulate people or buy love, while I understand the positive intentions behind these beliefs, they are no longer relevant in my life going forward and can be lovingly laid to rest.

Let go with Love.  These beliefs and values have been a part of you and your life thus far.  It is important to honour the legacy of your family and their positive intention for your survival in the world.  Writing a letter is a great way to tip your hat to them and lay them to rest.  burn, bury or release in any other way that feels good.

6. Create your new values and the core beliefs behind them that serve your family today and moving forward.  This is a great opportunity to look at your life and determine what really is important to you and to bring them into the family realm if applicable.  If you have kids it might be cool to bring them into this part of the exercise so they can have a hand in shaping the family destiny.


This exercise has been really helpful to me.  All of my family’s values and many of the beliefs behind them are in direct opposition of what I hold as important in my life and business now.  They really are a product of socialization and the development of the modern world that was the hallmark of living through tougher times, and the importance of fitting in for survival.  I love that my parents have upheld them the way that they have, with steadfast loyalty, and that they passed them down to me.  It makes me appreciate my own rebellion so much more, and how conflicted I have felt every step of the way.  Everyday I have been living in opposition of my family of origin and this exercise gives me an opportunity to make peace with who I am on the family identity level and move forward with loving acceptance, and a few upgrades ; )

Peeling back the layers of the onion

I have this habit, its a good one I think, where I write when inspired.  All manner of stuff will suddenly coming pouring out of me and I let it out, trying to capture the essence in the moment, not just a one liner idea.  What happens is me ending up with half written articles and other bits and pieces of brilliance, some of which get used and others don’t.  

This weeks article was me having a moment Tuesday morning, outside in subzero temperature, furiously typing away on my iPhone.  I thought at the time it was brilliant, even if slightly induced by halloween candy blood sugar fluctuation and some serious internal frustration.  Then a couple of days later I was considering going backsies on it and posting something else that was a little more “acceptable”.  Now in front of my deadline I’m wondering what it is I’m going to be reading and if it really was sugar induced neurosis or if it really was me making a stand for speaking my truth.  Here goes…


Where do I start?

In the past year I have begun to embrace a serious belief that there is an order to things that exists on a grand scale, a universal scale in fact.  Yes, I am one of those people who believes that things happen for a reason, usually for our greater development. 

It began as a glimmer of understanding back in November last year when I was prompted to think about what iconic or classic artwork I was inspired by. I love Moroccan/Islamic geometric art. I want to visit Alhambra in Spain so I can see the magnificent Islamic art there that is both so beautiful, purposeful, scientific and orderly. When I thought about it, I got this flash of understanding that this is the way of the universe, beautiful, structured and purposeful. Scientific and poetically beautiful in its function. Everything and everyone has a place in it and a reason. I understood that I had a place in the grand scheme, in the lattice work. Later I received more insight that I am here to help others discover and free themselves so that they too can take their place in the grand scheme as their natural soul expression and thus help to restore the balance to the natural world. 

Yes it was amazingly profound, I don’t know any way to explain it.  How do you explain something that you believe right down to your bones with absolute surety?  It’s faith baby.  

Since this understanding came about I have been confirmed over and over again this year that there is a scheme, for how else can I explain the combination of events and understandings that keep coalescing in perfect order and timing that help me to free myself a little bit more?

I just had another one happen that I feel strongly called to share because it involves me embracing myself and speaking my truth and following my path. I am leading by example in hopes that others might be inspired. I am surrendering to my purpose.


In a nutshell I've been banging up against an invisible wall for a while, not able to get traction and move forward in a couple areas of life, and it came to a culmination where I got to peel back another layer of my metaphorical onion, have a good cry, then move forward with purpose and understanding once more. 

When I took a look at it through a good bout of journalling, it came to me that I haven't been accepting myself. And on closer inspection it came out like this:

I have to manipulate myself, my expression, what I say and do, in order to be accepted. I cannot express myself freely, I must be polished in order to be accepted and for people to listen to me. 

That's some pretty heavy stuff. 

And it’s in direct opposition to what I stand for, which is being able to express who you really are, as nature and the universe intended. You know, like how you did when you were a kid, before you shut down and abandoned your true self. I am here to be a beacon for others, to show the way, to be a leader for expression and freedom… and apparently I have a belief that doesn't even allow myself do it. Hello invisible wall of Nope getting in my way...


I've been trying to re-write my website for a while. Like, months. After I graduated from school in May I started getting a good idea of what I’m here to do, which was not what I had planned or intellectualized previously, and in June I really started to "pull it together".   I was trying to figure out how to market myself and what I'm here for, to make what I offer acceptable somehow. But in trying to figure it out and put it forth in a way that makes sense to others and is “polished and acceptable”, I was turning my back on what I truly believe, which is total freedom of expression.  Wild, untamed, natural, authentic, truth.

No wonder it is so painful inside! No wonder I couldn't seem to make any movement forward. No wonder I didn't feel called to go out and meet people and talk about it. No wonder I never knew what to say when people asked me what I do. Having to manipulate my message to be acceptable to the masses is perpetuating the problem I am here to work against.


By the way, this is what I do:

I help women get free from the crap that holds them back from connecting with and expressing their true selves and getting what they want.  I also help women navigate their lives connected to their souls with an emphasis on seeing to self first.


The whole point is to get out of the socialized and intellectualized world that has us wrapped up and living in something that isn't real. Striving for something that isn't real. Or put in a box that makes sense and conforms.

The whole point is to get your soul free so that you can be who you really are, unapologetically. 

It's also about reconnecting to your body and the natural world. We manufacture everything now. Our food is made by man and serves to make us Ill, to reject our bodies. The solution is another man made thing: a pill. If we just reconnected and listened to our bodies we wouldn't be in this situation but we've been conditioned to reject our body, our intuition, and common sense. We've lost our way. 

One of the biggest learnings I've made this year, also through divine timing and coincidence, is that the body keeps score of our psychic imbalances. My own healing has been in the emotional realm, it was never about what was “wrong with me physically” although I have certainly not helped in that arena. But my addiction issues had everything to do with past trauma. My inability to do what I needed to do, even on a basic personal hygiene level had everything to do with trauma and limiting beliefs like that one I just uncovered. What is the man made answer to trauma?  A pill that does nothing but mask symptoms, an illusion for feeling better that creates a whole other host of problems. 

The ancient cultures used to value self exploration and improvement but we have turned out back on it. We have turned away from what is real in order to be entertained. To distract ourselves from reality. 


What are you distracting yourself from?  What are you not willing to face?  Is it the reality that you are unhappy? Maybe that you are unable to embrace yourself and be yourself without censure?  

I can tell you without a doubt that I have been running from so many things.  Even this morning (Friday) I found another one: that there must be something wrong with me if my mother was unable to love me.  My adult self knows and understands more now than my childhood self that made up that belief, but unless we stop running and turn to face ourselves, to look inside and upgrade these beliefs we will never truly be at peace and free to be ourselves.

The journey to true self expression does not occur overnight. It is many layered like an onion. But with each layer you peel back, with each veil you pull away from your eyes and your heart, you get closer to who you really are. You are able to embrace yourself, to fully accept yourself and understand the real truth: that there never was anything wrong with you in the first place.


This summer I got another one of those divine understandings about how to consciously go about it. There is a process for navigating life, not only your day to day, but also this journey towards self that I've been doing it all my life unconsciously. But since I got that understanding of how it all fit together, now I do it consciously and with purpose..

The shame is that I've been totally hung up on how to reveal it to the world and market it in a way that is “polished”, “acceptable”, “makes sense” and "that sells". But absolutely nothing has felt right about what I've attempted to do. Just like my website that I can't figure out how to write. Nothing feels right when I try to manipulate it, but I'm scared that it won’t be accepted in it’s truth.

Well enough of that…  It's time to be real.  To bust out and be wild, untamed, raw, natural, pure expression.  Unapologetically me.


OK, that wasn’t so bad.  Nothing like onion peeling to get you back to yourself and what really matters.  The more you practice, the more you get into reality and connected to who you really are and what you really want.  I can’t tell you how much I have received since I surrendered to that process of self inquiry, it’s been amazing.  Since Tuesday I have been a well of inspiration again so hopefully I will have some more honest truth for you and a new website shortly. 

<3 Melinda

Embracing your Dark Side

The path to healing the body is different for everyone.  For various reasons when things are going wrong in life or don’t feel right we gravitate towards “fixing” ourselves physically, it’s a way of controlling the outcome of life.  I was no different.  

What many of us don’t realize is that the path to healing isn’t always a physical one.  There may not need to be a diet change, small or large. You may not need to start going to the gym to work off any excess pounds.  You may not need to go to a specialist and have a battery of tests done or take any drugs to correct anything.  Those vague and often unexplainable physical symptoms that you are feeling may not have to do with anything physical, the answer may lie in a completely different direction.  This has been my lesson this year.

In the last few years my health really tanked despite all my efforts to care for myself and educate myself on how best to go about it.  I just kept feeling worse and worse, I was steadily gaining weight, I stopped being able to sleep through the night, I had constant eczema, always with the aches and pains and the mechanical problems with my hip steadily worsened no matter what specialist I saw or what I did.  There were all kinds of other symptoms too, too many to count in fact.  It got to a point last year where I was so miserable and I looked so miserable that I started taking a picture of my face every morning because I looked like total crap, I looked totally sick.  At that point I had more or less finished my education as a nutritionist, I knew a lot of stuff about the body and had some decent ideas of what was wrong with me.  I ended up joining a gut healing program that had me go one a very hardcore food and supplement regime that was possibly one of the hardest things I’ve done in my life, but I was so convinced I needed to fix my physical body I was willing to do anything.  I lasted 2 weeks… maybe.  In some respects ended up worse than before, I went into a depressive state and completely lost my appetite and interest in food.  The whole miserable experience lead me toreally question what I believed about food and health and what was really important.  And what lengths I thought was acceptable for a person to go in order to fix themselves.

It is amazing what we will do to ourselves out of fear.  Out of a need to fix ourselves.  I needed that experience to be ready to learn a whole heck of a lot of lessons this year, and the one I want to talk about today is that the path to healing is often an inside job.  At the end of the day what was “wrong” with me had to do with something I was ignoring.  Something inside of me that existed in the shadow realm, the dark side of me.

The dark side of us is a messy and scary place.  Full of all the things that we would rather not know about, would rather not acknowledge as part of us.  Our darkest thoughts live there.  The scary bits about ourselves.  The ugly bits... This is where we stuff the emotions that we refuse to acknowledge or refuse to deal with. This is where our rage, our sadness, our confusion, our sense of unfairness and everything else we don’t embrace hides.  This is where all our unshed tears hide.  Where the stuff we deem unacceptable to society is as well.

I’ve talked before about social conditioning and the pursuit of the idealized self.  This is what has most of us looking externally for the answers or for a fix.  It also has a massive part to play in us creating our shadow self or dark side as we learn that certain emotions, thoughts or behaviours are not acceptable in society.  We stop emoting in many ways, but those emotions are real and they don’t just disappear.  If you felt disappointed about something that disappointment lingers on in the body.  I heard a quote recently that was brilliant: The body keeps score, and it always wins.”  It keeps score by holding on to all those emotions, all that dark stuff you are ignoring and it wins by beginning to fall apart as it reaches capacity to hold onto that psychic energy. 

Where are you segregating yourself or ignoring a less savoury side of yourself?  That less polished side of you, that holds your fears, doubts, anger, sadness… I hate to break it to you but it is still a part of you and part of life.  The human experience is not all sunshine, rainbows and unicorns.  It sucks.  It’s full of emotions that we would rather not have, but they are still a part of us.

The effects of ignoring parts of ourselves and suppressing them are very real.  There is a lot of material about it that people ignore because it’s not always logical or scientific to the more cerebral of us.  For my part it took somewhat of a leap of faith to embrace my dark side.  Sure I had read, even studied, about the physical effects of emotional stress in the body.  I started my education on the subconscious and behavioural patterns back in 2012 but it wasn’t until this year that I really started to accept and take a look at my own dark side.

I was just flipping through my journal from this year last week and it fell open to this entry I made on May 6th where I took my first steps to looking at and embracing the stuff I didn't want to face.  I openly admitted to not wanting to write anything negative in my journal in that entry, despite knowing that writing was my number one way of processing stuff that was troubling me.  For whatever reason, I had never liked the idea of having a negative diary or one that I only wrote upsetting stuff in, but there I was openly acknowledging that I was segregating and rejecting parts of myself by refusing to write about anything negative I may have been feeling in my book.  By only writing about the good stuff I was rejecting my dark side, but I didn’t want to have a separate book just for the bad stuff…  I was/am a whole person and not two people, why should I have two books?  The last line I wrote in that entry was: help me, my soul is sad and lost.  Yeah, that was for real, that was me embracing what most of us would rather not acknowledge the reality of.

The result of that tentative first step was me processing emotions, releasing anger, and ultimately ( just less than a month ago) uncovering a repressed memory of childhood sexual abuse.  Suddenly a good 80% of my struggles in life make sense!  Now that I am aware of it and have fully embraced this trauma, I have felt more at peace with myself than I ever have in my entire life.  The rewards of this far outstrip the pain. I credit my ability to take it in stride and not become a victim or a complete mess (there were definitely some messy days) to my steadfast commitment to look at the shadows and to shine the light of my attention in there.  Once I made a commitment to face the ugly stuff, to release that which I was ignoring conciously or unconsciously, to feel the full force of everything, I became whole.  I was embracing all of myself, light side and dark side.  And my gut stopped hurting and relaxed.  And whatever lingering malfunction I was experiencing in my hip just magically went away as if I didn’t just spend the last 5 years in misery…  


Every time I looked at, acknowledged or released some of my dark side this year, I felt emptier in a way that is hard to describe.  Physically, my constant chest constriction and chest pains vanished, my breathing became easier and deeper.  The lump in my throat all but disappeared, my back pain lessened.  My anxiety started to go down as well and not totally rule me.  I began to have feelings of peace, my happiness increased and I began to have amazing flashes of inspiration and intuition.  I became a little more spontaneous and I dare say, more fun to be around.  I think the best part is that I began to feel whole again, in a way I never did before, simply because I was looking at and accepting that which I was hiding.

This didn’t all happen over night. I’d say it was a good 5 months of continually recognizing when I was feeling less than happy, flagging the flashes of memory that needed to be looked at closer and released, recognizing when the anxiety was cranked up high and constantly surrendering to the emotion.  It wasn’t easy in the beginning because I am a lifelong bottler of everything and we are oh so good at kinda telling ourselves “later” because we are too busy, but it became easier and easier as I just surrendered to it or at the very least made a promise to get to it later and kept that promise. It is now on my daily agenda to chill out with myself for a bit and to look at what I might have hiding or what needs to be felt.  The more I do this, the better and lighter I feel.  The more joy I experience.  The more spacer possibility I have.

Each person is unique.  What you may be feeling now and what relief you may get will likely be different from mine but make no mistake, you will feel different, better in fact.  The road to healing is not always where you think it should be.  It’s not always about something physical or measurable.  Embracing your dark side leads to greater emotional health.  Traumas that are being held in your body can be dealt with and released.  Vague aches and pains, digestive difficulties, addictive behaviours, anxiety, and so much more may miraculously disappear.  You may begin to express yourself more freely where before you would have held yourself back.  All it takes is a commitment to look at the tough stuff, that stuff you would rather ignore.  To look at it, excavate it, truly feel it and let it go.  When you make space, you are allowing the potential for greater happiness to come in instead of just creating a world almost exclusively of dark emotions that become your physical and mental reality.


“We are not meant to be perfect, we are meant to be whole.”

                        ~Jane Fonda


If you want some good resources for processing emotions or are interested in knowing where to start on your own path to healing hit me up: or check out your local resources.  There are places you can call for free with people who will just sit there and listen to you.  In Calgary call 211 and they will hook you up with the right resource.