What Influenced You Growing Up?
I grew up in a small town in South Eastern Ontario, Canada. My grandfather was an immigrant and my family was one of a handful of visible minorities. There was a lot of misunderstanding but it definitely shaped my perspective. My grandmother, Agnes, was an entrepreneur with multiple businesses. She also was a significant driving force in the women’s empowerment movement. She taught me the power of discipline, staying positive and the benefit of serving others.
What Is Your Education?
I am a lifetime learner and definitely a geek. In university I was in the Biology Club. I enjoy myself a good pocket protector and have been known to read journal articles for fun. I have a science degree and some post grad studies in the psychology of learning. I am definitely interested in how human beings function from our physiology to our thoughts.
What Was a Defining Moment In Your Life?
Aside from the births of my children and meeting my husband it would definitely have to be getting diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis at age 27. It was humbling and empowering at the same time. When I was told that I would be dead within 20 years, I decided to live life at its fullest. Today, thanks to faith, trust and being willing to surrender, I am healthy. Praise God.
Who or What Inspires You?
I feel really honored to have met some extraordinary people. I am inspired by people every day from the woman who has the courage to go back to school in her forties to the child who makes a decision to get healthy when the rest of her family is not. I am inspired every time I travel to the third world; people are so remarkably resilient. I listen to and read books from a lot of different teachers from Dr. Wayne Dyer to Joel Osteen. I love that there are so many teachers out there sharing their wisdom.
What Do You Want To Accomplish?
My mission is to create a safe space where women, and the men who support them, can download books, audios and videos that provide them with the tools to step into their power. If a woman is struggling with identity, overwhelm or feeling less than capable I want her to be able to quickly receive the tips and tools to transcend whatever she is going through. My primary objective is to help women.
Where Do You Draw Your Strength From?
God. I am grateful for God every day. My husband is also my rock. He supports me no matter what. I could tell him that I want to go live on a mountain top in the Andes and he would start to pack the bags. My kids are also huge anchors in my life.
What Would Surprise People About You?
Before my science degree I wanted to be a fashion designer. I love fashion. In my downtime I love to read fashion magazines, surf the fashion sites and have a deep appreciation for how a garment is cut, sewn and put together.
How Do You Manage Stress?
I am a runner. I have been running since I was eleven years old. Even at the peak of MS, I still went out and ran. I love to just go out and run. Lots of problems have been solved with my running shoes and beads of sweat. I also do yoga, meditate and pray every day. When my view needs perspective I book a flight to Cambodia, Africa or somewhere else that one of the charities I support operates. Nothing diminishes my perception of what is stressful like doing field work with women and children whose daily life includes being nourished, finding water and firewood and dealing with life threatening circumstances.
What Are Your Challenges?
Like any woman with four children who is working, I have my share of work/life balance issues. I have learned how to compartmentalize and prioritize. This is one of the reasons I am so passionate about teaching people how to organize their lives. I am madly in love with my husband and a big challenge is carving out couple time but we do it. I also get a little bit sad when I see people who are extremely negative and judgmental. I believe that we all have greatness within us and when someone is being critical and hurtful I know that they are someone who is hurting themselves.
What Would You Say To Someone Who Is Struggling?
Be grateful now. Write out at least ten things that you appreciate about your life. It could be the air you are breathing, a roof over your head or a kindness someone has paid you. Sometimes it feels as though life is hard, a struggle and that there is no hope. Know that there is always something more for you out there. By appreciating what you have you are destined to receive more.