For as long as I can remember I’ve always had a deep sense of knowing that I was/am different.
I knew that the path that lay ahead of me would be full of triumphs and hardships, all with great purpose and meaning. I had/have a large responsibility, a privilege, a high duty. My soul was born into a body that was the perfect match for it to live out and express the message that was ready to be shared.
I’ve always had a way of self-navigating and self inspiring, and although I never went without, the things and support that I desired the most were not readily made available to me. I went through the motions and played through the stories moving through the different grades, attending school, making friends, and doing what I had to do. I experienced great privilege, as well as deep pain and suffering from a young age, and always trusted that it would metamorphosize into something much greater and beyond my comprehension at the time.
During my early teenage years, life became more complex and the hardships started to present themselves to me. But throughout even my most darkest of times, I always felt as though I was being guided and supported by the light, and the great beyond.
Always quite the social butterfly, as well as considered wise beyond my years. Whatever I was experiencing, somehow I knew that it was important for me to do so, so that it could be turned into something for the greater good. I had to have personal experiences and personal hardships so that I could offer support to others who were going through similar situations, sharing transparent and genuine perspective as guidance.
I never saw that level of support anywhere else. I didn’t really understand certain rules or regulations or stages of authority, and the system never really made sense to me. And so I jumped through whatever hoops I had to, knowing I could tick a couple boxes along the way and get to where I needed to go.
I asked my guidance counsellor I when I was sixteen if I could start talking to divorce support groups and troubled teens. These were things that I knew from my own experiences that I wanted to share from a real, uncensored, and connected place. I didn’t really see any other way. I knew that whatever I had experienced could then be transferred into a light so that people could take what they needed to from my lived experience.
I would get up in front of rooms of people and just start talking.
Never feeling like I had to plan or prepare, my presence and truth was what I had to offer.. Whatever needed to flow through me could, and it would.
People would ask me, “Where did you learn this from? Who taught you this? How did you become so brave? Who helped you through this?”
And I never had an answer. In some ways I was embarrassed not to give them something they were seeking an answer for, but I always tried to make it light and just shrug it off.
I experienced a deep calling for travel from the time I was fifteen, after going on a vacation to the Dominican Republic with my mom. I saw the life that was being lived there, and thought “Damn! People are hired, and get to create this welcoming and hospitable environment for people from around the world, contributing to memories for years to come, getting to meet and connect with people from all around the world?! I’m going to do that one day, and soon”
And so when I was eighteen, I had saved up and head off on a solo trip to Europe.
So keen and curious to know and experience and meet different versions, angles, languages, and perspectives, of this planet we call home. That was just the very beginning. When I came home I was already keen for the next adventure. A “travel bug” some people called it but I knew it was much more than that.
In some ways I knew I had a mission to set off on - one without a specific destination - all so that I could get closer to what it was that I came here to do. I had to meet a lot of different people, try a lot of different things, eat a lot of different foods, and get a closer look at several different cultures… all so that I could develop a deeper understanding of who I was, and what it all means.
And so the dreams of my 15 year old self came true, and I was hired as a bartender for Club Med in Turks and Caicos. My life was one big party and I didn’t want it to be any other way - I couldn’t imagine it any other way, and I didn’t have to.
It was during that time that I developed my deep love for Scuba Diving.
It was so much more to me than just the diving, and/or the ocean itself. What captured me the most was the connections that were fostered between people from the unique shared experience of entering a different world with each other. I was fascinated by what was possible between people when they were taken out of their natural environment.
The traveling path played out over the next 9 years. I scuba dived, bartended and backpacked my way across the world. I’ve always been very independent, and guided by my own natural current. At the end of a season, it’d be like the ping of an oven, and I knew my time was done.
My favourite memories over the course of my life have always involved making genuine connections with people in the most candid of moments. Conversations that would extend the containers of space and time and we would be the only two or three or four people in the entire world. Moments that allowed us to be free, expressing ourselves openly, honestly, authentically. And getting to know parts of ourselves that we didn’t know existed or were accessible.
And much as I lived a very liberated, and in some ways care-free life, I still held onto very deep wounds that would resurface from time to time as reminders that I had some deep healing work to do, and that I would be called into it when the time was right.
In June 2015 I hung up my BCD (Scuba gear) and knew that it was time for the beginning of a new chapter. As much as I loved my time scuba diving and living abroad, I felt that there was something much deeper and richer available to me now. This yearning led me to embark along the journey of the Camino de Santiago. It was along the way that I came to realize - perhaps for the first time in my existence up to this point that - I was really inhabiting this body. I really felt it and heard it and was curious to understand it for the first time. Seven days into the pilgrimage, I experienced what could only be described as an acute gout attack. It took me off the physical and external path, and into a much deeper and more complex path that was infinite and housed within me, and for the first time I was forced to develop a new form of communication between my mind, body, and spirit. In many ways I thought that I could perhaps bypass getting to know my physical self, as I could overcompensate with my emotional and spiritual self - rather naive to think, I know. It was from that experience that I developed an unquenchable thirst to dive deep into the realms of physicality and metaphysicality. Upon arriving at the destination which was really only the mark of a new beginning, I began my search (and it didn’t take much time at all)
Wanting to find a course or program that could be recognized in the world that would grant me access to explore connection and what it means to be human, so that I would be “allowed” to share my natural gifts with the world. In some ways I knew that that was just a hoop to jump through, but I was more than happy to play the game. I looked far and wide before landing a thumbtack on Vancouver Island. Canada. The country that I come from was the last place I looked (funny how that works).
The West Coast called out to me and I began my studies of self. My schooling was just a diving platform that gave me permission to uncover the layers and the powers that had always resided within me, so that I could remind and support others in remembering theirs.
When people ask me how long I’ve been doing what I do, I humbly respond: for centuries.
And with an oh so cheeky smirk, I follow up by saying “and I’ve been applying the practice as a vocation for the last few years.”
The practice and the work that we do together isn't a practice of modalities, tools, tips, and tricks of how to become less stressed, and more healthy. It’s about remembering yourself whole. It’s about being empowered and inspired by your wholeness, and remembering that you were never anything less. We’ll do whatever it takes, starting with connection, and building with trust.
I believe in the power of connection and the potency of presence and I believe that everything is possible and available if you so choose it to be.
There is such great work to be done and at the very same time, you have already become.
And so have I.
And so it is.