Everyday Superheroines: The women who saved my life

I wanted to take the time to write an article about a few of the amazing women that I have had a chance to work with/spend time with over the years (but mostly the last few months). I think it is so important to express gratitute for the blessings in our lives. And it’s even more crucial to take the time to let people know when they have influenced us, inspired us and helped us grow.

I got to where I am today because of all my hard work, because of the challenges I have overcome, and also because of role models that have showed me what is possible. They were examples of what the future could hold for me. They shared their passions with me. Mostly, they believed in me when I couldn’t believe in myself.

And although stating that they “saved my life” may seem (and probably is) a little dramatic, I want to highlight how influential they have been in my journey to wellbeing.

So here are eight wonderful ladies who have helped shape me into the woman I am today:

Kathy Smart (Personal Trainer)

I met Kathy in 2005 or 2006 at the old Orleans Recreational Center. I was in grade 9 and Kathy was leading a weight training group for adolescent females, for which I registered. Although this was a long time ago,I distinctly remember Kathy’s energy and passion for health and fitness. She was an adult female that I sincerely looked up to – she was confident in her skin and body, she was down to earth and relatable, she valued health and wellbeing and she overflowd joy and positive energy. She would even take our training outside at times and taught us about the benefits of spending time in nature, and how health went way beyond the walls of a gym. I haven’t really had any contact with Kathy since then, but she is now super successful in the health and wellness industry and I continue to look up to her for her authenticity and realistic teachings.

If you want to find out more about Kathy or follow her on social media, her Instagram handle is @Kathyissmart and she also has a website http://www.livethesmartway.com

Stephanie Kay (Nutritionist)

I found out about Stephanie in 2016 through by then boyfriend, Eric. He had worked with her and gushed about how amazing she was, so naturally, I hired her. Stephanie is a holistic nutritionist and I absolutely love her no-bullshit approach to nutrition. What I loved even more about Stephanie was the bond I felt that we established even though we only ever worked remotely via Skype for a few sessions. At the time, I was about 1 year out from a bodybuilding competition that absolutely ruined my relatinship with food as well as my body image. I almost had to re-learn how to eat. Stephanie was super supportive and understanding and knew exactly how to work with me to help me heal my relationship with food. She also has amazing resources online – you should definitely check her out!

Website: https://kaynutrition.com

Instagram: @stephaniekaynutrition

Kamia Presentey (Personal Trainer)

Kamia and I virtually met through instagram back in 2016 when we were both prepping for a bikini competition. We cheered for and supported eachother through the insanely difficult process and met in person the day of the competition when we were both getting our hair and makeup done. We kept in touch and got closer when our social circles collided, and again when I hired her as my personal trainer in the fall of 2018. Kamia has been my therapist as much as my PT (not by choice haha). I always look forward to our sessions together and never dreaded a single workout – not that they aren’t challenging! Kamia just knows how to make me feel at ease, and what is more, she has continually adapted our plan as I have gone through some major life changes in the past 6 months. Her knowledge about health and the body is endless, and, having gone through her own journey, she is a continued inspiration and support as I go through my own journey.

You can find her on instagram @kkamyaa

Cassandra Henry (Visionary)

I met Cassandra in January 2019 when she hosted that famous Visionboard Workshop I am always talking about. Cassandra is a ray of sunshine. She is beautiful inside and out, and she just has this radiating energy about her that is contagious. The moment I really felt connected to her, though, was when she shared her own history of personal struggles at the workshop. It made me realize that it was possible to go from feeling broken to genuinely feeling joyful; from feeling lost to having a purpose; from hating yourself to loving yourself. Cassandra organized the event that truly forced me to face my reality, and supported me through that process and the months that followed as well. She introducedd me to Tony Robbins and we even went to Los Angeles to see him live at his event Unleash The Power Within! Although we don’t talk on the daily, I continue to feel inspired and supported by Cassandra through her online presence.

Her insagram handle is @casshenry 11; you can find her on facebook by searching Transformed Spaces or Cassandra Henry.

Oh! and her next Visionboard workshop is July 27!!

Amber Smith (Meditation Teacher)

I met this beautiful soul on March 3rd, 2019. I only know this because I checked the exact date on my phone haha but meeting Amber was pretty life altering. In fact, everything leading up to me meeting her was kind of like the stars aligning. So I was met to go to a yoga class with my friend Danika who was headed to India/Europe for 3 months on that Sunday. However she got vaccines and her arm was too sore for yoga, so I suggested a meditation class at the Peace Room instead. So we made it to the Peace Room and to Amber’s Soothing Sounds Meditation class – which was blissful. After class, I reached out to Amber and asked her about how she became a meditation coach – I was super intrigued and in a deep period of quesitoning. I was trying to explore as many options and gather as much information as possible. Amber was nice enough to meet me for coffee the following week after class, where she shared her journey with me. She is the kind of person that you meet and you feel right at home. She is so peaceful, loving and accepting. She showed me an alternative to the life path I was on, and encouraged me to follow my heart. I felt absolutely amazed by her courage and her journey, and hands down, meeting her and talking with her is the single most impactful thing that eventually led me to the decision to leave my soul-sucking job as a NP in LTC. Thank you!

Check her out on instagram @animamundimeditations or on her new website http://www.animamundi.ca

Chantal Beahen (Life Coach)

I stumbled across Chantal’s facebook page back in February. It was pretty serendipitous: I was taking a few days off work because I was completely burnt out and couldn’t handle any stressful situation without breaking down; I was spending a lot of time browsing social media on my phone because I was off work, and that’s why I saw her page that a friend shared on facebook; I had recently started paying more attention to this friend because she had reached out to me to offer support. So I took a chance and contacted Chantal and we arranged to meet to see if we were a good fit. I was immediately at ease with Chantal and appreciated her honesty and authenticity in her approach. I gave her a run down of my life in the last few months (we met in March) as I faught back tears. As I explained that I wasn’t happy at work, and was contemplating leaving my position, she asked why it made me sad. No one had ever asked me that so plainly, yet lovingly. “Well,” I said, “I guess I’ve just faught so hard to get to where I am, and now I am unhappy, and exhausted, and I am not sure that I have anything left in me to give.” Chantal had a way to support me that was exactly what I needed. She helped me see that my most important job, from this point forward, was to take care of myself. She will deny that she did anything special to help me during the last few months, because she is that humble and amazing, but she has truly been someone to lean on and walk with me through these tranformative times. I saw her the day that I broke things off with Eric, which coiincidentaly was the day before I officially announced my resignation at work. I knew the moment she laid eyes on me that day that she could see how distraught I felt – that was the tipping point, and she was right there with me. Chantal will no longer be my life coach because she is that confident that I am now well enough to walk my road alone (I say this jokingly). But seriously, I think that the most important thing that Chantal offered me through this journey was her belief in my ability to blossom, when I most seriously doubted it. And blossom, I did.

Chantal offers life coaching services and you can find out more about her on her Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/chantalbcoaching/

Veroniqe Perrier (Friend)

Ah ma belle Veronique. I actually remember the first time I saw her – I think I was in grade 10 and she came to dance at our high school for a show, and she wasn’t yet a student there. Naturally, I studied every detail about her as she threatened my status as the cool “new girl” at our school. Fast forward 12+ years later, and this woman has been by my side through it all. Veronique is the type of woman that everyother woman looks up to, and although most would tend to feel jealous, she is the type of person that you just can’t help but love. She knows what she wants and she goes after it with all her might. She is small but powerful. She is the most loving human and is always thinking of others, keeping us all in check because this girl has got her shit together. She juggles a gazillion responsibilities and still finds time to spend meaningful time with her loved ones. She has always been my personal cheerleader, counsellor, the voice of reason, and living proof that “Work Hard, Play Hard” is an actual life strategy. I can’t speficially describe all the ways in which Veronique has inspired me, supported me and loved me along my journey, because they are just too numerous. All I can say is that I am immensely grateful for our friendship and for the role she has played in my becoming. Je t’aime guidoune.

Vรฉro is too cool to be very active on social media but she does sell DoTerra oils and products (told you she juggles a gazillion things) and if you are interested in finding out more, you can ask me for her contact info ๐Ÿ˜‰

Lucie Delorme a.k.a. Mom

Ah last but not least, My maman. This list wouldn’t be complete without mentionniong the most significant female role model of my life. My mom has loved and encouraged me since the day I was born; throughout my happy childhood years, to my heartrenching and scary teenage years, to my now “adult” years (because let’s be honest, “adult” is an overrated title). I have taken her through the ringer. And she still stands proud as my Mama. She has been my confidant over the years, and although I haven’t always been 100% honest and open with her about my journey, she has shown me unconditionial love and devotion. My mother has always been a source of inspiration and power, but I have to say that one of the most amazing thing has been to watch her go after a passion of hers despite how much it may have pushed her beyond her comfort zone. Last spring, she went to Montreal to become a Groove instructor. She brought her experience back to Ottawa and has since worked fevershily to establish a Groove community here, despite the very competitive environment. She put herself out there without a care in the world, because she found something that made her truly feel good, inside and out. I think that that is the most powerful thing a mother can do – lead by example. So merci, Maman, for showing me that as long as I am acting and speaking from my heart, that I should feel confident going out in the world and sharing my passion.

If you want to find out more about Groove and how amazing this stuff is, check out their Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/TheWorldGROOVEMovement/

To wrap things up, I want to extend my love and gratitude to every other invidual who has been a part of my life journey. Whether you are family, friend or acquaintance, know that you matter and you have had an impact on my life.

The deeper I go into this self-discovery experience, the greater my appreciation for the connections we experience as human beings. Although I recognize that no one can walk this road for me, I also realize the importance of going through life with the love and support of a community. As I mentioned in my very first blog post, it really does take an army, guys.

And boy do I ever have an army๐Ÿ’œ

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