Tell us about your background; education, nationality.
I was born and raised in Montreal, but both my maternal and paternal grandparents fled the Ukraine in the 1920’s to escape the famine and genocide. My heritage and my orthodox faith are very big part of who I am today. I have a B.A 2000 from Concordia University. Major History and Minor in Sociology. I worked as a Marketing Director for a Canadian Sports subsidiary right after Graduation as I have always been a competitive athlete. I am a certified NASM personal trainer and hold a Mindfulness Coaching certificate. I am in the process of completing a graduate certificate from the University of Toronto in Applied Mindfulness.
When did you decide, you were going to start your own business?
After I was fired from my first job. I spent 7 years working as a marketing director for a Canadian subsidiary, 40-60 hours a week. I gave them my everything, but they took advantage of a naïve, young, underpaid, work horse and I vowed never to work for anyone else again.
Tell us about the programs you have set forth for employee and stress management
Companies today are looking for happy, and healthy employees. It’s scientifically proven that healthy, well balanced employees are more productive, take fewer sick days, and are more likely to stay with a company for a longer mandate. I am currently offering workshops on re- integration to office life (post pandemic anxiety), general stress management, holiday stress management, and mindfulness work shops. I advise teams how to create a better work/life balance by living mindfully. Once the mind slows down you become more relaxed and process your thoughts more efficiently. It’s something you can use everyday.
I also offer individual sessions for people who are looking for a customized program that focuses on Physical Health, Mental Health, Spirituality, Nutrition, Work/Education, Family, and Social fulfilment.
Did you have women mentors in the industry? Name someone who has inspire you?
The one woman who truly inspires me in this field is Ariana Huffington. She started a company called ‘Thrive Global’ after her own burn out. They offer “Companies and individuals sustainable, science-based solutions to enhance mental and physical well-being and performance.” It is based on the science-based solutions of living well. Burn out is a major epidemic in the western world because people live to work and not work to live. We neglect our mental and physical health for our jobs, so much so, that some of us never get a chance to turn things around.
What is your goal in business for the next 5 years?
I definitely want to continue growing my Spa Products, because I believe we need natural, quality products to help us feel good. Good things come from the earth and are not necessarily made in a lab. I also hope to target bigger audiences as well as schools. I am very passionate about teaching young people to live mindfully. I have a lot of young clients who are on the verge of burn out at the age of 25. We are putting to much pressure on performance and not on self satisfaction. I truly believe that you can be both passionate and successful with your career if you take the proper steps and listen to your gut. The early we can teach mindfulness to our children, the less unmanageable stress they will have in the future. I am also working on a series of wellness books, that I hope to have published by then.
Throughout your journey, what has remained the one thing you would give yourself as advice, or advice to other women?
That’s a great question. Always believe in yourself and go with your gut. Only you know who you are, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Once you lose yourself you will feel unfulfilled. Always listen, and if you are unsure of something ask for help.
Biggest challenge you have surmounted this far?
Well-being and Mindfulness are relatively new to the western world. They are not well received by certain rise and grind industries. Luckily, the field of neuroscience is proving new health benefits of mindfulness every day. There are many on-going studies at Harvard, UCLA and Standford. I truly believe we are on the bring of a new way of life. We have to get rid of the stigma that mindfulness is for the weak, when it is in fact a strengthening tool.
Are you also a brand ambassador / public figure : how do you manage being in the spotlight and also a recognized professionally?
I’m very passionate about the products I use. Anything I put out there, is based on my own personal preference. I am not sponsored by anyone, but I am open to supporting the brands I love.
You are Reiki Master, how did you get certified and what were the benefits of it?
I love exploring the natural and alternative medicines of the eastern world and I fell in love with the Japanese practice of Reiki. It is based on the premise that every living thing has an energy field and when we are stressed or ill, blockages will occur in this field. Reiki encourages deep relaxation and returns the bodies energy flow back to its natural state. I encourage everyone to try it and use it as a way of stress prevention, just like massage, or acupuncture. It works wonders! In places like India Reiki Masters and Medical professionals work together in hospitals. It’s an east meets west philosophy, and I personally think there is room for both in this world.
I’ve been studying energy medicine with Gurus for over ten years as well as Ayurveda head massage. I think these practices are best learned from the masters of their culture, but I’ve also been certified by Canadian Standards by the Canadian Reiki Association. I offer this as a private service @clinispa.ca in Saint-Bruno, Quebec.
How do you stay balanced? What rituals do you have in place to stay “grounded” or come back to yourself?
That’s easy…. I spend as much time in nature as possible, because that is my happy place. When you look up at the trees or out on a lake, you realize that you are a very small part of a big picture. I also have 3 children, so keep me in check. They also constantly remind me that I’m doing all of this for them and to make a world a better place for their children.
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