Michelle gives some advice on how to deal with difficulties and still have hope. We can all shine our light.
When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.” – Viktor Frankl
Success is a strange thing. It’s never a linear path, but a collection of events and our reactions to them. What we do with what we are presented is up to us. It makes sense then that our success is also up to us.
My path has not been a linear one, as so many of us have experienced. Growing up with emotional abuse in a constrictive house my sense of worth and worthiness were eroded, obscuring my identity. I learned that in order to be safe, I must become invisible and silent. I lived by others’ expectations, never realizing my own. I remained this way into adulthood, my marriage and new motherhood.
But then the unthinkable happened.
My husband of 12 years, my best friend, died by suicide. With two young children to look after, I shifted into survival mode without ever processing my own grief, confusion and anger. Meanwhile, my husband’s suicide lingered over me, the stigma stripping me of my ability to speak the truth of both him and what happened. I remained shame-driven.
Climbing out of silence.
I lived that way for over ten years, until I was longer able to carry this backpack of shame and guilt and silence. I was forced to confront everything–my childhood, my husband’s death, and my identity as a widow, all while raising my two beautiful children alone. I started going to therapy and began the hard work of healing and discovering who I was. I learned that my voice was stronger than silence and that I was more than the singular events that brought me to this place.
The true me.
It’s from these experiences that my coaching practice was born. Throughout my healing and discovery process, I learned what it meant to guide others living with mental health challenges, and the lethal impact of stigma and silence.
This is what I do: I help strip the silence, shatter the stigma, and get you on the path to becoming who you truly are. I work to support families faced with mental health challenges, individuals who are ready to stop their own cycle of self-sabotage, and professionals struggling with balance. This is my mission.
I hold a BA in Psychology from York University, am a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach (CPCC), and a Professional Certified Coach (PCC). I am Mental Health First Aid certified through the Mental Health Commission of Canada. I am also trained in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, and am an active public speaker and educator.
I’m an avid lover of dance, reading and general decompression. My sons, Eric and Zack, are my world, although they love to roll their eyes at me, particularly when I’m dancing.
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