I am a 52 year old faith- filled lover of life. I am also a wife, mother, daughter, sister, and friend. I grew up outside the small town of Goderich, in Southwestern Ontario. My family owned a small business in which I worked from the age of 5! I suppose this is where my love of people and entrepreneurial spirit comes from. I learned from a young age that treating people with respect and courtesy and living from a place of integrity, love and honesty was really what is most important in this world.
I married my university sweetheart and we have raised two amazing young women.
I love to bake, cook, and sew (I have a fashion design diploma, and had a business called Jellybeans Wee Wear). I love to paint (I used to own a mural/painting business called Brushes with Colour), and re-purpose/refinish furniture. I love to throw parties and coordinate events( I am a certified wedding planner and have done over 200 weddings). I love to read, and go to the gym ( I am a certified Personal Trainer). Basically I love to do lots of things and have done lots of things over the course of my life.
But the thing that gives me the most joy is my family and anything creative. Thankfully my two grown daughters are also creative so we can spend time together doing what we all love.
I am also passionate about all things concerning health/wellness and fitness. I love to inspire and encourage other women to live their best lives and to practice self love and self care. My current business allows me to meet women where they are at and help them to see their strengths, and potential but also to conquer their weaknesses. Watching my clients overcome obstacles whether it’s fear of fitness, unhealthy eating habits or fear of really becoming who they truly are is such a high and a blessing for me. I genuinely care about my clients’ holistic lives, and love showing them how they can show up in and to the world in all of their glorious-ness and fierceness.
Who inspires you in your life and why?
Women inspire me! We are all so different and all so incredibly unique and yet at our core we are all the same. We have many of the same struggles with family, finding balance and keeping our lives running but we manage, most often, to rise above all of the mess and madness in this world by counting on our sisterhood and our tribe.
My mother inspired me and continues (even though she is no longer alive), to remind me every day of lessons that she taught me.
My daughters inspire me on a daily basis with the love they have for their partners, their lives, their work and their friends.
My friends, near and far, through face to face and on social media inspire me. They are such kind, caring, loyal, compassionate, spiritual women that I can’t help but be in awe of them
What have been some of the biggest challenges you have had to overcome in your life?
I have had many challenges in my life but I would say that the 3 biggest ones have been the rebuilding of my marriage after a crisis almost tore us apart (we have now been together 31 years), healing the pain after the death of my mom, and the third one would be dealing with anxiety and depression on a daily basis.
What did you do to move through them? What did you learn?
With all of the challenges, I prayed a LOT. I learned to lean on my faith and to believe that God had/has a plan for everything in your life and He will make something good out of something terrible.
I also learned to listen to that still small voice within, that will guide you if you are conscious of it and open to listening. I believe that inside, you know what is best for you.
I learned that marriage is hard, and you can’t always believe in the fairytale. People are human and make mistakes but if you truly love someone and you both want to rebuild a relationship, it can be done with God’s help.
With my mom’s death, I learned to ride the wave of grief and to let it take me down into the depths of sadness and also to rejoice at the top of the wave when I wanted to be happy about memories of her. There is no one way to grieve, each person does it in their own unique way.
My anxiety and depression are also helped with daily prayer and a belief that this too will pass (also medication helps. :)) It took me a long time to succumb to the need for medication but when you realize that you are truly not your “regular” self in social situations, and you have panic attacks at the gym or church (your happy places) and you can’t even make simple decisions, it’s time to consider that having a little help is the best thing for you.
What are you most proud of?
Always my kids! But since this seems to be a typical answer, I will say I am most proud of who I am becoming. I have come a long way from the little country girl who moved to the big city for university and didn’t even know you had to pay for a city bus, to a grown up woman, living her life out loud with joy and courage. I have learned to be true to myself even when others don’t agree or believe in me. I am learning and I am proud that I can quiet the self sabotaging voice in my head and also not care what others think of me. I am proud of the businesses that I have creatively designed, built and run over the years. I am proud that I am continually learning what truly matters to me: faith, courage, compassion, strength, creativity, authenticity, health and wellness, and family and friends.
What do you want younger women to know?
I would like younger women to know that as they go through life, learning how to become their authentic self is what life is really about. Often this takes courage, being open to fear, and being vulnerable with ourselves and others. This is YOUR journey and we each walk our own paths. We are each designed to be who we are with all of our gifts and talents and it is up to us to use them to benefit others as well as ourselves. We often think that figuring out what we want to be when we grow up and what our job/career will be is what is most important. I would argue that learning how to be the best version of yourself is what God designed us for. After all, we are human BEINGS, not human DOINGS. What we do for work does not define us. Who we are as a person defines our role on this earth. Being true to yourself, despite what others say, being kind, considerate and strong in your values and beliefs is what will make your life joyful and rich and allow you to live life fully!
What does living fully mean to you?
Living Fully means everything to me. If we are not fully living then we are missing out on all the lessons to be learned, and the joy and fun of being alive! Living fully also means loving myself and others unconditionally. It means knowing that living out my faith gives me freedom, because I do not know all of the answers but God has a plan. It means being authentic, open to all possibilities, and being courageous. It means living from a place of grace and gratitude and embracing who I am and who I am becoming. It means serving others and encouraging and supporting them in their needs.
I love Brene Brown so a couple of my favourite quotes are from her;
No matter how much I get done or is left undone, at the end of the day I am enough!
You are imperfect, you are wired for struggle, but you are worthy of love and belonging
Courage is to tell the story of who you are with your whole heart
Authenticity is the daily practice of letting go of who we think we are supposed to be and embracing who we are.
AND, my two of my favourite bible verses: Philippians 4:13- I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me, and Joshua 29:11 – For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.