I was curious about plants, people and critters of all kinds—and still am!—but my path to this business was not a linear one. In fact, I took the longer, meandering road, but the one destined for me. And today I want to share a bit of my story with you:
I was born and raised in the then small town of Milton, Ontario where my creativity and imagination ran wild. If I wasn’t up a tree reading about dreams, I was drawing people and eyes, or barefoot in the dirt, belting out a song. I simply loved playing in nature, singing and dancing, writing and drawing.
I doodled eyes and portraits my whole life, but my preoccupation with the body and healing didn’t truly begin until I found Yoga in my mid-teens when I was struggling with acne and recovering from anorexia. Something about it drew me in and slowly, it became a regular practice, which sparked an interest in Traditional Chinese Medicine, Reflexology and Ayurveda.
At the time, I was working at my local library, so I dove into all kinds of books on these topics with the goal of better understanding myself. I filled sketchbooks with notes and drawings, and after high school, I pursued Art and Illustration, partly inspired by the scientific illustrations I’d come across in my textbooks.
From 2008 – 2012, I attended Sheridan Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning, and while my Yoga practice came and went through the years, the art and design world offered me another perspective on the mind and body:
I got to learn anatomy, and practice figure drawing from live models. I was also reunited with music and colour, and opened up to a new world of individuality and self-expression.
I graduated with my BAA in Illustration in 2012, and for years, I worked a multitude of creative roles in advertising, tech, teaching, and writing. At 23 I bought, rented and renovated my first home, and started writing for Design*Sponge and blogging about my home and life. And at 25, I was offered the role of co-host of my own HGTV show.
At the time, this was truly a dream! and by 26, I felt like I “had it all” on paper: I owned my own home; I was HGTV’s newest Designer and host; I had commercial deals and sponsorships; and all the trappings of modern success. But despite this, I was unhappy, burnt out, and newly diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, an auto-immune condition which impacts your throat, the centre of your voice.
After filming the very first season of my HGTV show, I found myself with time off for what felt like the first time since I began my career. Suddenly, I wasn’t “on” for 12+ hours a day, commuting in traffic for hours more, eating when I was too hungry, and constantly working. It was the first time in my adult life I really had (and took) time and space to reflect.
I was 27 (on the cusp of my Saturn Return, of course), and since I began school, I hadn’t really stopped striving. And now I found myself with a platform and nothing to say. With my remaining time off, I pulled the plug on my life and started over: I broke off my relationship and attended a two-week wellness retreat in Bali, Indonesia.
I spent October 2017 at Escape Haven with an intimate group of 11 other women. There, along with exposure to fresh water and ample sun, I rediscovered my passion for Yoga and began a simple regime of eating lots of fresh fruit and vegan food.
In addition to a morning Yoga/Meditation practice, we were also exposed to energy and bodywork, along with some self-care practices like scalp massage, gua sha and Abhyanga which I hadn’t experienced before then.
And while I didn’t adopt these practices gracefully, I was drawn in because of how they made me feel and became fixated on understanding exactly what made me feel so radically different than the burnt-out girl I was weeks before. I didn’t know it at the time, but that trip was not only the catalyst for my healing, but for inspiring what eventually became Heelr.
Returning home that November, I dove right back into my fast-paced job in television, but my passion remained finding wellness and I signed myself up for a 200-Hour Yoga Teacher Training course in Thailand for the following spring.
In February 2018, with another few months off from work again, my second soul-searching trip throughout Southeast Asia began. I spent time in Taipei and Chiang Mai, ending my stay with six weeks in Koh Samui at Vikasa Yoga where I was immersed in the dedicated study of Sanskrit, ancient yogic texts, and the healing modalities of Yoga, Pranayama, Meditation and Anatomy.
By March 2018, I had become a certified Yoga, Pranayama, Meditation and Anatomy instructor, and that same month, I fell in love with a man back home, whom was dog-sitting my Blue Heeler, Piper.
This time around, returning home didn’t feel right. I missed the wild, and I missed feeling so connected to my body. I hadn’t even realized it, but bit by bit over the year past, I had rediscovered my own natural state of peace and balance. As a result, my body changed, and so did my mind. I was no longer stressed or struggling with expressing myself, and I had stopped taking all my prescription medication entirely.
By the following autumn, I’d visit and fall in love with super-natural British Columbia and decide to sell my home and move across the country with my dog and my new love. And there, I’d explore the mountains and beaches, and connect again with Earth and nature again.
Within a few months of moving, I’d decide to quit my career in television and start teaching yoga. And in 2020, I’d enrol and graduate from Outlier’s Intro To Astronomy in addition to studying Botany, all of which helped me put together the pieces of my lifelong puzzle, circling self-healing.
After applying what I’ve learned to my own body, I’ve been able to restore my health, naturally. And while my path to self-healing hasn’t been straightforward, I truly believe I needed the experiences to see for myself how one can transform their life when they commit to healing themselves.
Now I’m on a mission to use what I’ve learned to help others find health and happiness, on their own! Every Heelr course has been carefully written and designed by yours truly, and I’ve formulated all of our natural products with a team of Aromatherapists in Vancouver who distill, mix and bottle everything right here in British Columbia, Canada.
It is truly my honour to bring you the simple and potent power of vibrational healing and plants, wherever you are!