Word // 04

The sleeping Ks copy

“If I should have a daughter, instead of “Mom,” she’s gonna call me “Point B,” because that way she knows that no matter what happens, at least she can always find her way to me. And I’m going to paint solar systems on the backs of her hands so she has to learn the entire universe before she can say, “Oh, I know that like the back of my hand.” And she’s going to learn that this life will hit you hard in the face, wait for you to get back up just so it can kick you in the stomach. But getting the wind knocked out of you is the only way to remind your lungs how much they like the taste of air. There is hurt, here, that cannot be fixed by Band-Aids or poetry. So the first time she realizes that Wonder Woman isn’t coming, I’ll make sure she knows she doesn’t have to wear the cape all by herself because no matter how wide you stretch your fingers, your hands will always be too small to catch all the pain you want to heal. Believe me, I’ve tried.”


I fell in love with the spoken word performance “B” by Sarah Kay featured in her TED talk.


It will move you.


The first 4 months


Dear Kalista,

You celebrated a significant milestone on Saturday, June 21 – the 4 month anniversary of your birth.
A lot happens in the first four months of life: bonds are formed, major developmental milestones are reached and a tiny human becomes a small person.

Here is what I have learned about you so far:

You have great timing. Full stop.

Most of your behaviour points to “extrovert” but I can see that you are also deeply sensitive. That is a powerful and tricky combination. You absorb the energy around you and then project it right back. Thankfully you are happy and going with the flow 99% of the time.

No one would ever guess to look at you that you have a temper. But you do.  You really do. (So that’s the 1%.) Sometimes that means I’m jumping through hoops to keep you content. Other times it means that we butt heads because we get frustrated that things aren’t going the way we want. Most of the time, we move on pretty quickly. What’s a few temper tantrums between friends?

Your eyes are constantly changing colour. By the hour. Sometimes they are a blue-grey, sometimes they turn a dark olive green and other times they are hazel. This fascinates me to no end. It’s almost like a changing art exhibit. Everyday – a new masterpiece.

You love to be read to daily. I watch you memorize the images as I rhyme the words. Your list of favourite books is growing. (And so is mine!) But you cry every time I attempt to read you Maurice Sendak’s book Where The Wild Things Are. You are a mystery.

You adore Mojo your monkey. He makes you smile instantly when you see him. I am almost jealous.  I say almost because I get the same reaction from you when I sing: “If You’re Happy and You Know It”.

You like to party. We often put on some retro latino music and salsa dance in the living room. More than once this has resulted in spit up all over me. But you always have a smile on your face and that has taught me to “just go with it”.

You grin and laugh at the funniest and least sophisticated words. Potty humour totally does it for you.

You are mesmerized by the sound of running water, entranced by our ugly kitchen cabinets (for some completely unknown reason) and fascinated by other babies.

You are the most engaged audience member of my daily un-televised cooking show. When we’re in the kitchen together, you seem curious about what I’m doing. Out of all of the ingredients I have ever used for my lunchtime meal, to date, the lemon is what fascinated you most.

You love to sit up, push yourself forward, and stand on both feet. (Supported, of course.) You demand to be upright almost all of the time. Oh and you demand to be with me all of the time. You don’t like to be alone. I’m not yet sure if it is a “baby” thing  or a “personality” thing. Only time will tell.

You are choosy about how much you “talk”. It seems to me that you vocalize only when you really have something to say.

You like to sleep. (At least, for right now.) While this is good news for your previously sleep-deprived mama, it does mean that sometimes you use sleep to work out emotional challenges. You are a sensitive soul and I hope that you find peace in your slumber. But when you don’t, I will be there.

You are growing at the speed of light. Once a petite 6lbs 8oz (then 5lbs 14oz) and 18 1/2 inches, you are now 15lbs 4oz and 25 inches long. I take personal pride in every roll, dimple and ounce on your little body.

Over the last four months, you have had some important firsts. The kind that all babies experience. But instead of keeping record of your first spit up and laugh, I have instead documented your first adventures. Like your first photo shoot, first walk in the neighbourhood, first flight, first party, first 10k hike, first library card, first yoga class, first play date, and first piece of artwork.

The wonderful thing about firsts is that they are just the start.

With love,

(a.k.a. best bud, co-adventurer & dance partner)

*Photography by Michele (www.photographybymichele.ca)

Word // 03


This was the poem that kicked off an exploration of “motherland” at a workshop yesterday.

The Peace of Wild Things by Wendell Barry

When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

Word // 01

The Alps (Saints Bowing in the Mountains)

I came across this poem recently as part of a guided meditation on happiness. I fell in love with it immediately.

From “I Heard God Laughing: Poems of Hope and Joy” by 14th century Persian Sufi poet Hafiz and translated by Daniel Ladinsky.

Saints Bowing in the Mountains

Do you know how beautiful you are?
I think not, my dear.

For as you talk of God,
I see great parades with wildly colorful bands
Streaming from your mind and heart,
Carrying wonderful and secret messages
To every corner of this world.

I see saints bowing in the mountains
Hundreds of miles away
To the wonder of sounds
That break into light
From your most common words.

Speak to me of your mother,
Your cousins and your friends.
Tell me of squirrels and birds you know.

Awaken your legion of nightingales –
Let them soar wild and free in the sky
And begin to sing to God.
Let’s all begin to sing to God!

Do you know how beautiful you are?
I think not, my dear,

Yet Hafiz
Could set you upon a Stage
And worship you forever!


21 things I want my kid to know about me

Back in 2010, I added a section to the Inspired Practice website called 10 Things I Want You to Know About Me. Instead of a boiler plate bio, I thought it would be a great way to shine light on the person behind the business so that prospective clients and collaborators could gain insight into who I truly am.

Now that I have added a new role to the many I already play in life, I was inspired to write a personal post with little known facts and perspectives for an even more important audience – my kid.

Me and You2

My darling Kalista,

Now that you are here, we spend our days growing together as mama and baby – learning about one another and how to thrive in this new NORMAL. Being a mom is one very important part of who I now am but I wanted to find a way to communicate other non-mom related things about myself. The kind of stuff that has evolved over the last 32 years of life and that contribute to my substance and character. So I created this list of 21 things I want you to know about me.

  1. I am an innovator, facilitator, coach, creator, mountain climber, world builder, dog lover, people hugger, prairie girl, daughter, sister, wife and mother.
  2. My greatest ambition in life is to laugh. Any day that someone makes me laugh is an awesome one. Any day that I can make you laugh will be an extraordinary one.
  3. As a young person, I never imagined being married (it was a delightful surprise!) but I always knew that I would be a mother. Your very presence is proof of that.
  4. I developed a passion for running late in life. I was always the kid huffing and puffing during school fitness tests. I never seemed to have enough physical energy for long-distance running. (Yes we were actually tested on how well we could keep pace. Talk about a dumb way to get any kid interested in physical activity. But I digress…)  The truth is that it had nothing to do with my physical ability and was entirely a mental challenge I had to overcome. In a way, my age and life experience allowed me to return to a beginner’s mind and grow into new passions. Now that you are here, I am so excited to embrace the “newness” in everything again.
  5. I don’t subscribe to any one religion but I know that I am a child of God. I know from personal experience that prayer and meditation bring me great comfort because it helps me to ask the questions and find the answers from within.
  6. I am hardest on myself so I often struggle to find value in a critic’s words. This is especially the case when those sitting on the sidelines comment on my actions in the arena. Teddy Roosevelt said: ” It’s not the critic who counts…. It is the [one] who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood…” I couldn’t agree more.
  7. You will never find me choosing jeans over a classic dress no matter the occasion. Other people may think differently, but I don’t believe it is possible to be overdressed. I credit your Grandma with this philosophy. She has already made me promise that you will never leave the house in a sleeper. For that matter, if we ever head to the grocery store and I’m in my pajamas, something has gone very wrong.
  8. I am a citizen of the world but Canada is my home. I love embarking on travel adventures but I always feel so grateful when I return home. We are very blessed that members of our family journeyed to this land and built a life from which many generations could benefit. Their vision and bravery is our treasure.
  9. I have a photographic memory and I am a visual learner. I think this is why I never struggled with spelling. (Except while pregnant with you.)
  10. I don’t see arguments or disagreement as a negative. Instead they are opportunities to learn because they test your ability to become a better person. I hope to teach you how to deal with disagreement instead of fleeing from it.
  11. I am a mutant but I don’t mind. Apparently my ear drums are located closer to the surface of my ear than the average person and I also have an extra tiny bone in my right foot that most people do not.
  12. Secretly I have always wanted to be a jazz singer. I don’t have the chops for it but I still appreciate the music.
  13. As a kid, my independent play was 90% make believe and included a range of imaginary people. I was always teaching, pitching, advocating for, or advising someone. Not much has changed except for the fact that these characters are now real.
  14. If I like a movie (or classic 90s sitcom episode), I will watch it again and again. If I laughed the first time, I will continue to laugh every time I watch it. That I have seen it before does not diminish my enjoyment.
  15. A clean and tidy space goes a long way towards making me happy. So does a thoughtfully-cooked meal. Gestures of this kind may seem unglamorous but I view them as generous acts of love, respect and time.
  16. I consider myself to be a very resourceful person. And because of that, my biggest pet peeve is when people ask me for information or the whereabouts of a possession before investigating for themselves.
  17. There is little work I do or have done that does not fulfill a key personal and professional value of mine – whether that value is in generating social impact or achieving financial independence.
  18. I have only ever dyed my whole head of hair once. I decided I would give it a try then realized that I actually like my natural hair colour. I have found that when you appreciate what you have been given, you embrace the beauty in it. There is no cosmetic or esthetic improvement available that can make me feel more whole than I am. I pray that you will feel this way too because, to me, you are already the most beautiful person ever created.
  19. I am proudly non-partisan. I respect those who have political affiliations but do not choose this for myself. I believe that political beliefs are not a package deal. I always vote for a person and not a party. I have actively and passively supported leaders within all of the major parties on the basis that I believed in what they could offer my community. As a result, I feel liberated instead of resigned by my choices.
  20. Being driven by recognition has always taken a back-seat to being driven by results. Although I wouldn’t consider myself particularly modest, I have often found that those who are very good at “doing”, have little time to do a lot of “bragging”. Tuck that bit of wisdom in the back of your mind. It will help you to more accurately see others and the true value of their contributions.
  21. I am not perfect. No matter what you may think or how it may seem, I am not nor have I ever been perfect. I will make plenty of mistakes in life and with you. I guarantee it. I have learned (and I hope you will too) that mistakes are just stepping stones to better future outcomes.

With love always,

(from the PERSON you know as)


Welcome Kalista


Today is a special day. It is March 14, 2014 – otherwise known as the due date of my first child. It also, incidentally, marks 3 weeks since the birth of said child. That’s right!

On Friday, February 21, 2014 at 3:13am, my daughter, Kalista Isabelle, made her way into the world at exactly 37 weeks. The child in womb who we affectionately called Bear arrived with larger than life cries bellowing from her very petite and compact 6lb 8oz and 17 inch long body. Her early arrival surprised us all but because she was so wanted, people mobilized quickly to come from far and wide to celebrate this darling little girl.

Kalista is healthy, happy and thriving. And we are so blessed to have her in our lives.

Welcome Bear. You have arrived!

All over again

4 Year Anniversary

On January 1, 2010 in the most beautiful winter city in the world, I married my favourite person, best friend and great love. At 5pm EST today I will celebrate 4 years of marriage to my husband.

When asked if it feels like 4 years, I said that it seemed longer actually. That could be because Mike and I cultivated an amazing friendship over 7+ years before we walked down the aisle. Since we began dating in 2007, we have been on what is, for some, a lifetime worth of adventures. We live a full life and magic-making is a daily experience. There are a million more minutes, hours and days to live. Lots of challenges and triumphs yet to encounter.

This is an amazing video that makes me treasure the days and moments I have already experienced and have yet to come in my own marriage. The story is about a man who spent 75 years married (!!!) to his now deceased wife. He wrote a song for her as part of a song-writing contest and this is the magic that happened.

I loved this story in part because my wonderful husband is quite the song writer himself. He has written many humorous and sentimental song lyrics (usually put to the music of classic songs). He sings them to me, our dogs and even little Bear. It is such a talent but more importantly, one of those personal quirks that makes life together very, very special.

Happy Anniversary to my darling husband! Wish I could do it all over again.

Songs for Bear

Songs for Bear

A month ago I began thinking about curating a collection of songs for Bear. Babies develop their hearing quite early. At first, they can really only use that sense to hear sounds that are inside their own environment such as their mama’s heartbeat and voice. Later on, they develop the ability to hear sounds – quite muffled – coming from outside of the womb such as barking, talking, music, etc…

I am such a music lover that I immediately became overwhelmed with all of the possibilities I could expose my Bear to at this early stage. So instead I thought about the kind of music we could listen to in our early days as new mama and infant to help us bond and gel together. I didn’t want old-school lullabies or heavily-synthesized kiddie-sounding versions of classics. (Sorry but the latter does not mesh with my interpretation of music.) But I did want to find some favourites that would be soothing and calming.

Songs for Bear is a selection of popular songs with beautiful messages and melodies. (Click on the image above to listen to the playlist.) I chose songs that originated from Bob Dylan, The Beatles, Guns ‘n Roses and Elvis to name a few and then found arrangements (sung by other artists) that fit with the general mood I was aiming to create. There are also two songs on the playlist that have a very special place in Bear’s parents’ collective history. One of which was, in fact, our wedding song (Over the Rainbow sung by Ray Charles).

I can’t wait to curate a playlist for our many dance parties. 🙂

No longer zero

Winnie's 1st Birthday

Happy Birthday to our mini Winnie! She is our baby dog with a fauxhawk, polka dot belly and partially pink nose. As her papa bear said, today she is no longer ZERO. She has been with us since February and every day sets off on some kind of adventure – with me usually chasing after her.

Her favourite things to do include cuddling the Baby Bear belly, stealing her sister’s treats, eating mud, leaves and sticks, and hanging out on the heating vent inside of the front door. She is a weirdo and we love that about her.

Happy 1st Birthday Win-Win!


Announcement (Blog)

I am excited to announce the addition of a new member to the Inspired Practice family in March. Mike and I are thrilled to be taking on the added roles of Daddy and Mommy in 2014!

When asked to comment on the expansion of our amazing little team (and household), Khailee, our Zen Master-in-Residence, responded thoughtfully with a quiet tail wag. She then rolled over, exposed her belly and waited for a belly rub.

Winnie, on the other hand, was not surprisingly confused by the news. Since her arrival in February, she has worked so diligently to claim the title of Chief Troublemaker and cement her future in that role. After some reflection (and cuddles), she was happy to take on her new role as Ambassador of Curiosity. She added that after consideration, a child bearing DNA from both her Mama and Papa seemed uniquely qualified to live up to the Chief Troublemaker standard.