From Marketer to Mindfulness Influencer   

I first met the practice of mindfulness on a yoga mat. The act of deliberately linking breathing and stretching complimented the demanding world I lived in.  Long-distance running as preparation for marathons (in my “down” time!) and leading an A-Team of ad agency professionals across North America, with the world’s most iconic hotels and resort destinations as clients, consumed my time and focus. Life felt intense all the time. Consistent mindfulness practice built my capacity as a resilient leader, helped me to navigate the demands of my career, and set the stage for Mindset of a Leader, my signature group training offering. 

My purple yoga mat went everywhere; it became more than just a place to complement miles on the trails and hours in the boardroom. By anchoring my mind with breath and movement as the objects of my attention, I started to experience windows of mental calm and ease. During these periods of reflection, I was able to connect to perspective and mindful awareness. My thoughts weren’t cluttered by team dynamics and competing demands; I could step out of my own way, bring ease to the anxiety of client expectations and the incessant pace, and act as the thoughtful, composed human I aspired to be. 

The benefits that I experienced through yoga and mindfulness practice piqued my curiosity and prompted me to deepen my knowledge through formal study. While working and traveling in my role as an agency strategist I enrolled in a three-year advanced studies program where the highlight of the curriculum was applied, experiential learning in the disciplines of Iyengar yoga and Vipassana (Insight) meditation. I began teaching yoga classes in 2007 and have had a dedicated meditation practice since before that time. 

As I shared the benefits of yoga and meditation as a teacher my own resilience and ability to navigate the constant flux and flow of life was enhanced. Being resilient and mindful helped me to understand my own inner responses with insight. Mindfulness helped me be more compassionate, open minded and patient in agency/client work interactions and with enhanced awareness and clarity I was able to be present and connected with the people I cared about most.

Inner resilience was essential during the 2008 financial crisis when the foundations of my life began to topple like dominoes one after another.  Jobs in marketing and resort development were some of the first to go during the economic collapse and mine was no different. Like countless other leaders across the country in finance and real estate the projects I was working on were shuttered. The timing was disastrous as I had just navigated my way through a recent divorce and had also lost a family of in-laws I loved. 

Recrafting every aspect of life felt like a tall order but, the only option was to move forward, one step at a time. While I was resettling in a new home and neighbourhood my family was impacted by several life-changing health crises. Mindfulness, as a pillar of resiliency, was essential to navigating this time of upheaval and emotion where it was clear my roles were health care navigation and caregiving.  Being resilient and adaptable and taking care of my own wellness were key. Mindfulness was the foundation of my resilience and the touchstone of my ability to be present and focused each day. Mindful awareness helped me bring my most compassionate, wise self to caring for my family and steering through medical appointments and treatment plans.  

This challenging period became the inspiration to recraft my career.  I applied to, and was accepted at UCLA, Mindful Awareness Research Centre, Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behaviour, where I received certification as a mindful leadership facilitator. This intensive training program was the ideal compliment to decades of business experience. 

Bringing mindfulness into my own life bolstered my resilience when I needed it most. This experience became the catalyst to create new possibility from challenge. My signature offering, Mindset of a Leader, blends my own journey of resiliency, decades of knowledge as a mindfulness practitioner, and a depth of leadership experience in an offering that is practical, accessible, and engaging.  

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