I WAS RAISED ALONGSIDE NATURE;
A vast cornfield beside and a forest with a pond full of turtles and fish behind. At a young age I repetitively spent time away from civilization with my Father.
FOR WEEKS, WE CANOED OUR WAY TO A DEEP UNDERSTANDING OF STILLNESS, WHOLENESS AND A CONNECTION TO ALL-THAT-IS.
This nature time created an intimate relationship to Spirit as I watched my Father worship the Earth - I can still remember his mouth agape with awe each time we moved through the woods. The reverence and wonder was contagious and I adopted a heartfelt appreciation for Mama Earth and all the ways she invites deep listening.
THIS TAUGHT ME TO WITNESS AND NAVIGATE MY THOUGHT PROCESSES IN A WAY I WOULD ONE DAY RETURN TO THRU MEDITATIVE PRACTICES.
I was raised with a religious upbringing, and as a child I consistently pushed the boundaries put in place to keep me in ‘God’s good books.’ I couldn’t understand why I had to change who I was to receive God’s love so I began to obsessively battle between what I was told was “right” against “what feels right.”
THIS UNLEASHED A WILDNESS IN ME AS I CHASED THE FREEDOM TO FOLLOW MY HEART.
I also grew up as the youngest of 4 siblings in age, but not in spirit. My brother has down syndrome and as the youngest sibling I struggled to find one on one time with my Mother. Her devotion to supporting his special needs was immense, beautiful, and also, overwhelming for all.
I DEVELOPED A FIERCE INDEPENDENCE WHICH WAS AT TIMES A CURSE AND AT OTHERS, A BLESSING.
When I was 18, I was initiated into the field of energy work (thought to be “new age” by my family so I kept it a secret) with a Reiki 1 & 2 attunement. The initiation was powerful and had me asking some big questions. Answers would arrive years later and until then, I stumbled into the world of drugs, alcohol and University. My life was either about being shamed for who I was and what I was doing, or about pushing that shame away by doing more of it. I had no idea how to separate from the inner shaming I was programmed with, or from the system that created it. I tried a number of paths including art and physical exercise, all the while battling a constant shame for not following a religious path.
I BECAME A HUNTRESS SEARCHING FOR MY TRUTH.
Which path was mine to follow? Where did I fit in?
In religious circles I felt suppressed.
Partying left me feeling terrible although it did provide reprieve from feeling lonely and different.
Studying Fine Art provided some relief to my relentless inner battle and I exploded onto the scene dedicated to being unconventional and expressing what felt unsaid.
Physical exercise reminded me of my childhood - grounding into my body and into the Earth.
Through this adventurous time I was pulled home each night because of my dog Brooklyn. He was my lifeline and the reason I returned. One sunny afternoon he had a run-in with a much bigger dog. He limped over to me and I instinctually placed my hands on him as he laid at my feet. The forgotten energy of my Reiki attunements surged through my hands and into his body. Moments later he stood up, shook, and ran off to play.
THE ENERGY WAS IMMENSE AND INVITED A DEEP REMEMBERING OF A NEW WAY FORWARD.
Life continued similarly beyond graduation and into my first few jobs. Yes, I had a glimpse of healing, but I needed the right people to take me deeper. I placed a job in advertising and my partying ways fit in well there. I remember waking up feeling relieved when I was hungover because the physical pain felt better than feeling lost.
I had no experience in the advertising industry so I worked hard to reinvent myself. I ended up working in senior roles on two of the largest marketing accounts in Canada. Amidst these roles I found yoga. It was offered at the office and seemed the only way to fit in a workout… which I felt I needed for a ‘nice butt.’ I also knew I relied on movement for stress release and I needed that in my around-the-clock job.
YOGA WAS AN INVITATION TO TRANSFORM AND I FINALLY SAID YES.
After years of practice in yoga and meditation, I joined an immersion program for depth studies in Anusara yoga, followed by my first, second and third yoga teacher training programs.
IN 2005, DEATH WOKE ME UP, SUDDENLY AND PAINFULLY.
I was 25 when my Father passed; old enough to process death spiritually and young enough to be shocked by mortality - including my own. Two months later, my dear Grandmother passed as well.
I spent the following year in turmoil; grieving and deeply fearing my own sudden death. I moved three times and lived with all the wrong people including an alcoholic which revealed what I did not want to become. I worked myself sick, chose partners that didn’t respect me and had little connection to Spirit (“fuck God - he took my Daddy!”). I developed a heart palpitation which I believed was inherited and I convinced myself I would die any minute.
I BEGAN TO MAKE CHOICES FROM MY IMMINENT DEATHBED, AND UNKNOWINGLY FAST-TRACKED TOWARD MY SOUL PATH.
I had little idea of what my personal dreams were but I did know however, that I wanted to leave what I felt to be a “soul sucking” advertising industry. My resume looked great but each time I asked questions from my imminent deathbed, I knew my soul wasn’t fulfilled.
Each time I ignored my Truth and my Heart’s messages, the skipped beats would have me dizzy and panicked.
I SURRENDERED AND ENTERED INTO A DEEP STATE OF DAILY PRAYER - A PRACTICE THAT WOULD CONTINUE.
The Universe had a path for me and I was being asked (rather abruptly) to follow.
I LEFT MY CAREER.
It was a stable and fruitful career of 10+ years in the advertising industry and I left to teach yoga. It was one of the best things I’ve ever done, but definitely not the easiest. Some people (myself included) considered it a risky move – something out of the ordinary.
I FOLLOWED MY HEART.
That Heart feeling fed my Soul and created a domino effect of life changes in me and the people around me. I received countless emails and Facebook messages from colleagues who were inspired to listen to a deeper calling.
Things were changing for the better, so I kept listening.
I DOVE INTO STUDIES OF ENERGY WORK AND FOUND MY HEIGHTENED INTUITION A PROFOUND GIFT.
Via Reiki, I found my new teacher in Savannah Georgia and I received my Reiki Masters as well as a Masters in Seichim Energy. Once back in Toronto, I studied my Masters again (I wanted more!). Following that, I was gifted the first set of the Munay-ki rites and was nudged by Spirit, to offer Reiki courses.
Amidst these Reiki offerings, I began to offer yoga retreats, workshops and even make free yoga videos with a beloved friend - all for the love of the practice. We began to build an online business sharing our personal and detailed discoveries within the practice. We were obsessed with knowledge, curious about possibility, and dedicated to depth.
AND THEN I WAS PREGNANT.
This brought up a number of emotions in me, mostly fear and a knowing that the timing just wasn’t right. I knew I wasn’t ready as my current sole/soul focus was on building my career.
THROUGH A PERSONAL RITUAL I INVITED MY OWN MISCARRIAGE, AND AWOKE THE NEXT MORNING TO EXACTLY THAT.
Both my soul and my baby’s soul made an agreement during that ritual. At the time I wasn’t sure what that agreement was, but I knew it was right, albeit sad. It was through this meaningful and painful journey of miscarriage that I found my love and reverence for the power of ritual.
It became clear that the fear I felt when I was pregnant was my lack of knowledge about birth. I knew I wanted to be a Mother one day, so I dove into birth studies and became a DONA trained birth doula, passionate about empowering women through the process.
I OBSESSIVELY STUDIED PREGNANCY, MISCARRIAGE, BIRTH AND MOTHERHOOD FROM A SPIRITUAL PERSPECTIVE AND BEGAN TO COACH WOMEN FROM THIS VIEWPOINT.
As I continued my studies on spirituality, I discovered a number of books and teachers relating Jesus’s original words with my current practices of yoga, meditation and breathwork.
I WAS ECSTATIC TO ACCEPT THAT MY SPIRITUAL PRACTICES WERE NOT IN FACT SHAMEFUL TO MY RELIGIOUS UPBRINGING, BUT INSTEAD, VITAL FOR MY CONNECTION TO SPIRIT.
Finally, the shame I held for not following my deceased Father’s and Grandmother’s desire’s for me to attend church and follow a religious lifestyle dissolved. I felt blissfully connected to my late Father and to Spirit.
At this time my Grandfather turned 96 and until his passing at age 98, I’d visit him to ask his thoughts on life and death. I created a website with our conversations (with his permission), and shared intimate discussions on fear, faith and aging. We met on middle ground - his religious beliefs and my spiritual understanding of them. His desire for me to attend church was now received as love - I no longer felt the shame I grew up with. I loved him fully and was elated to finally understand him.
I WAS ALSO CAPTIVATED WITH DEATH AND DYING.
What started as a curse, has become a blessing. Daily, I feel that death is right next door and it acts as a constant reminder to fully live this life. It was this feeling that had me travel for 2+ years to the U.S. for a Priestess mystery school that focused on women's empowerment. I can't tell you much about that (I have to hold the mystery!) but I can tell you that we worked with archetypes, the elements and held ancient ceremonies and rituals, often inspired by Shamanism.
I WAS CONFRONTING MY FEARS IN A WHOLE NEW WAY.
With this experience I began my own mystery school called Seers Way, held in partnership with a dear friend. We facilitated groups through deep immersions of transformation work. The weekends were intense but so profound that we’d find our next immersions full with previous participant’s friends.
During those 2 years as a participant in Priestess mystery school, I was in the amazement and agony of my second pregnancy.
INTUITIVELY I KNEW THAT TO PREPARE FOR MY BIRTH, I WANTED TO PREPARE FOR MY DEATH.
This was no small feat and I scoured for teachers, guides, resources and tools. When the time to birth neared, I felt ready. I birthed at home, roaring my daughter into the world with my husband by my side. It was everything I wanted it to be.
AND THEN I BLED.
A lot. I was floating in and out of consciousness when spirit guides began to circle the bed and whisper to me. I felt so relaxed - so incredibly heavy and I wanted to stay in that space. I could hear the midwives too, asking me to respond.
WHEN I REMEMBERED MY BABY I DECIDED TO STAY IN THIS WORLD.
Motherhood shook me to my core as it mimics depth ceremonies from across the globe, however, there was no end to this ceremony. It consistently asks for generosity of oneself and offers a dynamic mini-me reflection to learn and grow with.
I FOUND MYSELF IN AN UNEXPECTED TIMELESS CYCLE OF FASTING, SLEEPLESS NIGHTS & LESSONS FROM SOLITUDE.
I began to offer women’s circles in partnership with a dear Mother-friend called Matriarch Rising, in support of sisterhood, Motherhood, and women’s work. We invite all ages as we feel this is what community looks like - the blending of the wisdom of elders, children, maidens and Mothers.
As I integrated my miscarriage, my daughter’s birth story, my transition into Motherhood, and my previous experiences with death and dying, death began to feel like something I was called to work with.
I STUDIED PAST LIFE REGRESSION AND WAS BLESSED (AND CHALLENGED) WITH THE ABILITY TO SEE SOUL’S AFTER THEIR PASSING.
I decided that wasn’t how I wanted to work with death, and studied how our culture approaches (well… avoids) death and considered what I’d like to do differently. This study is ongoing with many new angles and paths to discover. (Why is death something our culture for the most part, ignores when it’s one of the few guarantees we get in this life? How can we move towards our own death without fear? How can self-awareness support the dying process? Does medical support prolonging life create more fear of death or more comfort for life? Are our afterlife practices providing enough closure for those left behind? How can we live fully in order to die well?)
AS PART OF MY WORK, I NOW COACH PEOPLE ON PREPARING FOR THEIR OWN PASSING - IMMINENT OR NOT - BECAUSE WE ARE ALL DYING.
No longer out of fear, I purposely make choices from my imminent deathbed and use it as a tool to fully live this precious life.
I am committed to transformation and naturally ignite that in others through connection, deep listening and love.
Oh.. and my intuition helps too.
Interested in heart listening? Want to chat? Share a story? Ask a question? I’m here!
I reside in Toronto (and deep in the woods as often as I can) with my husband and daughter (who by the way, admitted on her own at 2.5 years, that she came back to us).