The road to now
Before I was a mother, entrepreneur, personal trainer and doula, I knew that in this life all that I endeavour to do I would reach for the stars and that I was pulled to help humanity and positively motivate people.
At a young age of 17 I decided to move from the rural Alberta town that I grew up in into the big city. I worked to make ends meet as a junior administrator at a legal firm. I had my first taste of entrepreneur life in my young 20's supporting my family's business. I developed an inside sales network for the company that to this day is still thriving. Not entirely sure what to do with my life at this age but allowing my passion for movement with dance and theatre to guide me, I pursued the arts and my classical singing training.
I have also struggled for most of my life with body image. To face this issue straight on I decided to go to college and get a diploma in personal fitness training. In 2009 after graduating from NAIT I opened my first business, a training studio. It became successful almost immediately, welcoming clients with all types of goals and trainers with many modalities to offer. The harder that I worked the happier I felt. Clients were achieving goals and things were great!
But it was also a continuous hustle that I soon learned was not sustainable. I was burnt out and had to learn the hard way about listening to my body and finding some physical, mental and emotional balance while still continuing my business journey. In December of 2014 we moved locations as I was preparing to welcome my daughter early 2015 and wanted a different pace for myself and my growing family.
I birthed my daughter in the hospital. It was an augmented labour partnered with a failed epidural and a posterior baby (or “sunny side up”). At that time I had no idea about what my choices were or what I could have advocated for. During my fourth trimester, I suffered with undiagnosed depression and anxiety and unknowingly fell into what I call the dark hole. I stepped away from work at this time knowing that I needed to figure out how I could heal and create balance once again.
I reevaluated my values and goals and began incorporating physical movement knowing that this had always been my go to for balance. Unfortunately, movement alone was not enough and I became even more depressed and tired. This time what I needed was a holistic approach to my healing.
I wanted to fully understand how I had gotten here and my brain needed the science behind it. I cracked open my anatomy and physiology textbooks and decided to enroll in a doula certification to understand more about birth and particularly my birth experience. I immediately knew that becoming a birth worker was supposed to be part of my life journey and in 2016 I created my second business as a birth doula. My passion for movement, understanding of anatomy and physiology as well as my background as a personal trainer made it easy to marry both modalities together.
After my birth experience, I wanted to educate and teach others about their options during pregnancy, the anatomy of their birthing bodies, and how to create balance during their transition into postpartum. As a birth-worker I have certified within world renowned training organizations and wholeheartedly embraced evidence-based practice so that the information my clients receive supports their ability to make informed choices during their journeys.
In the fall of 2018 I was elected as the Chairperson of the Doula Association of Edmonton which was not only an honour but an opportunity to elevate and love humanity. As doulas the COVID-19 pandemic has presented so many unknowns and I worked to ease that uncertainty by advocating day in and day out for both doulas and families. This commitment was all consuming, and continued for several months. I feared that I would let my community down, but I was tired. It was that all too familiar situation I had experienced earlier in my entrepreneurial journey of the “burnout hustle”. I had forgotten that having fear and being tired is not being in balance! I decided at this time to refocus my energy on what is now the thriving provincial body, the Doula Association of Alberta. It was clear that what was happening in my city was happening in all areas of the province and it was time to unify and support each other.
At the same time that I was serving my community, I also birthed my son at home as planned in the spring of 2020, just as the COVID-19 virus was deemed a “pandemic”. Knowing I was headed into a birth and postpartum time unbalanced I tried to armour myself with knowledge and support to help build me up and get to a more stable place. I had an incredibly empowered birth and early postpartum time. The first 6 months of my son’s life were joyful. The scale was however tipped before entering this journey and the toll was my body telling me to be still.
I experienced fatigue, debilitating body and joint pain, my cortisol levels were extremely elevated and I was now battling insulin resistance. This was next level burnout that I never thought could be me. Reflecting on what had led me to this point it was as if a light switch turned on. My healing journey began first with allowing myself grace and the space to see how I got here. I realized I do not need to grind, I need to heal. By healing, NOT hustling, my way through my journey I have the ability to feel well, show up for my family, support my clients, and have continuing success. I lean in to my intuition and create space for change. I focus solely on balance for my mind and it shows up in my body.
My offering combines experience and knowledge with a beautiful marriage of modalities. I know what it takes to transition into a birthgiver, to be a successful entrepreneur, partner and most importantly a lover of myself.