Animal Lover ~ Successful Autoimmune Warrior ~ Life Coach ~ Discipline Coach ~ Photographer ~ Drama & Negativity Avoider ~ Sprinkler of Sarcasm ~ Straight Talker ~ Encourager of women to step into their personal power and design the life they want with oomph and gumption.
Animals were my absolute best friends when I was a kid. So much so, that the loss of a couple of really important ones hurt so much that I still get tears in my eyes when I think of my 10 year old self finding out our family's black Labrador was too sick to come home from the vet. A couple of years later I had been allowed to get my very own calico kitten - she wasn't the "family" kitten; she was my very own! When she was hit by a car in front of our house, I was traumatized all over again.
You might think I would decide never to get another pet, but in short periods of my life that I haven't had one, it has felt like a piece of me was missing. The loss of the special ones never gets any easier, though.
I grew up in northwestern Ontario, with two sets of parents. My mum and step father gave me my first sibling when I was just 5 years old, and my bio dad and step mom gave me two more siblings when I was a teenager. When I was 15 I moved in with my bio dad and his family, and I've often wondered if living with two toddlers while I was in my teens, and changing my sister's diapers, was why I decided not to have my own kids. (lol)
Money was tight when I was a kid. We never went without the necessities, but I do recall some arguments between the grown-ups at the dinner table over finances. I began to worry about money fairly early on - even buying small gifts for family members was a stress trigger for me because I felt, somewhere deep down, that for some reason I shouldn't spend it. Our limiting beliefs are often formed in our very early years, and stay with us until we recognize them and change them.
Animals have always been my source of comfort and belonging. I was a professional dog groomer in my 20s, and worked as a veterinary assistant, but had so much trouble processing my own grief when clients needed to have their beloved pets put to sleep, I had to change careers.
I then worked in for 15 years in Social Services, Finance & HR. Even though my high school year book write-up said I didn't want to ever open a math textbook again, I gravitated towards finance roles in government as well as in small business. I must say, I do love keeping myself organized with lists and graphs, and get a huge sense of accomplishment when I can get the spreadsheets to balance!
Accomplishment builds confidence. I began teaching my friends how to track their finances with some easy spreadsheets I set up, and some simple-to-follow methods that were working for me.
I also knew by the time I was in my early adult years that I wanted a formal education so that I always had "options" - meaning, I could be self sufficient on my own, as a woman, without needing financial support from a man. I didn't want to go into debt for my education (spending money hasn't gotten emotionally easier for me, so I try to be strategic about it), and I was able to take advantage of a work-funded education program to have my Bachelor of Commerce degree fully paid for! The only requirement was that I work full time and do my schooling in my "off time." It was a hell of a lot of work for that university degree, and then I went on to get a financial management certificate as well, and it helped me get promoted to higher levels and higher salaries.
I had what should have been a dream career but honestly I felt depressed and uninspired for the last 10 of those years, as I dealt with a toxic work environment, a failing and dangerous former marital relationship, and eventually I was hit with chronic autoimmune illness.
My inspiration and "emotional escape" during tough times was having fun hobbies that have now, years later, turned into additional income streams because what I came to learn is that I LOVE helping other people.
Months after the long overdue break-up with the long term toxic ex-spouse, I made the intentional decision to attract the right person into my life.
I had some specific criteria in mind, and I didn't know who it would be at the time, but not long after the day I made the decision, Mike and I reconnected. Almost 7 years later, so far so good! We have lots of things in common and similar dreams and goals.
In 2016 I made another life changing decision - to wean off my prescription medications and go with a more natural health strategy. The autoimmune symptoms I experienced were debilitating and the pills I was on were causing all kinds of terrible side effects, with pretty much a promise of liver and kidney issues down the road.
I was unable to work, couldn't ride my horse anymore, and was sick and tired of being sick and tired, with no help from my doctors. I needed to take massive action. So I made some drastic changes. And I mean DRASTIC.
By 2017 we were living in Nicaragua, eating fresh healthy foods, I was off all of my prescriptions, and we were building our future vacation home on a remote Caribbean island! Intentional choices have gotten me (and Mike) to where we are today, and we aren't stopping yet!
In 2019, I completed a 150-hour Aromatherapy Certification just for fun, and I also run the websites & social media for several of our income streams. I am a life coach and discipline coach - I can help you figure out your limiting beliefs and keep you on track to crush your goals!
My bloodwork is now significantly improved: normal Thyroid, negative ANA (the Lupus test), and my chronically elevated cholesterol (a common issue with Lupus) is also normal. One test is still positive for Mixed Connective Tissue Disease, but I am pretty much symptom-free because of how I manage my health now. The results are that I am working full time, managing multiple additional businesses and able to lead a 'normal' life. If you put your mind to it, you CAN turn this thing around!
I am now finished writing my first book about how I healed from autoimmune illness and how you can improve your health too! Within the first few weeks it went to the #1 Best Seller ranking in the Lupus category on Amazon, and #1 Hot New Release in multiple other categories too! (Naturopathy, Holistic Medicine Books, Immune System Diseases, and the eBook also went #1 Hot New Release in Naturopathy & Lupus as well!)
I also created my Autoimmune protocol course to help other autoimmune warriors learn what exactly I've done to manage and recover from the effects of my conditions. This is a more hands-on, deep dive from what I talk about in my book. My recommendation is to get the book first, and then do the course.
If you are struggling with autoimmune issues, I'm offering a FREE download as a sneak peek at what you can learn from the full Autoimmune Protocol course. I also have a few You Tube videos posted that talk about some of the things I've done to heal from autoimmune illness as well.
Come join my FREE facebook group. This "ain't your momma's" support group. I keep it positive, share science based info & focus on taking action!