Finding Your Wings On The Way Down

Finding Your Wings On The Way Down

How do you know if you’re ready to jump?

If you have to make a big decision in your life or take a step into the unknown, how do you know if you’re strong enough, can handle what’s ahead or will be finding your wings in the fall?

The thing is, you don’t.

My story begins in Australia over 3 years ago when I woke up inside an incredibly abusive marriage and realized I didn’t want to be there anymore. With a young boy of 2 years old it became clear to me that I didn’t want to bring my son up in this chaotic and dangerous atmosphere. I realized that I wanted my son to respect me and respect women. And I knew that wouldn’t happen if I stayed here.

But how did I get here? I used to be such an independent woman. I used to be a hike guide and a world traveller. I travelled around the world when I was 20 by myself and hitchhiked by myself all over New Zealand. So how on earth did I get here, in this situation?  What happened to that woman that I used to be?

And so it was in that moment I decided I was going to get her back.

But the thought of leaving and the fall-out from it, terrified me. I was so exhausted and beaten down. And so much of me had been lost, after years of lies, deceit, manipulation and living in shame and fear every day. Not only was I afraid of the man I was leaving, but I also had to accept the failure of my marriage and everything that came with that.

This was, to be honest, the lowest and darkest time in my life. And to make it worse, nobody knew about it. I didn’t tell anyone what was happening and how bad things were because of the silence I succumbed to in the web of manipulation and intimidation. I was so ashamed of my situation and so afraid to get out.

This is when I began my fall.

I had no idea what was at the bottom, I couldn’t see a thing. It was completely black. I had no idea what I was going to do, I just knew I had to get back to Canada to my family and friends.

And so I started to make a plan. By December of that year I was going to be back in Canada with Cody living permanently, whether my ex wanted to come or not. And before I left I was going to have an epic adventure and find myself again.

And so the universe delivered.

I found the perfect epic adventure and was blessed to have my dear friend Kevin join me and wife Bronwyn to be our super and solo support crew along the way . We rode the Munda Biddi Mountain Bike trail in Western Australia, an 1100km off-road mountain trails, in 18 days. It was on that ride that I found that woman again, that adventurous spirit that I once was. It was through the physical challenge of riding on average 80km per day off road through sun and rain and multiple challenges, where I built up my confidence again and where I experienced a sense of achievement and fulfilment. It was here that I believed again that I could overcome huge obstacles when I put my mind to it.


Four months later I left my husband, after another chaotic and disturbing situation. And I was living safely in Canada with my son.

I began to reach out to those around me for love and support. I asked for help. I focused on taking one step in front of the other, even when I still couldn’t see what was in front of me. I surrendered to the experience and allowed for grace and compassion for myself. I gave myself permission to be ok with the process and trust that this hard time would pass. I practiced yoga and meditation almost every day.  And the biggest thing I did was that I decided to use this enormous challenge and adversity as an opportunity for massive personal growth. I decided to learn what I could from this experience and read every book I could on the topics of overcoming challenges, getting up from the fall, and how to rise again.

And so, I rose again. Like a Phoenix from the ashes.


I then enrolled in a coaching program, became a certified coach and developed a successful coaching business called Courage Space Coaching. I now help people overcome their obstacles and turn their challenges into opportunities. I also run coaching and fitness retreats with my friend and colleague where we offer a transformative experience called Get Fired Up Retreats on Bowen Island.


I’ve also found other epic adventures to keep building my confidence like the Seek the Peak in 2015, a 16km race from Ambleside to the Peak of Grouse. And this September I ran my first half marathon trail race called the Handloggers Half, circumnavigating Mt Gardiner on Bowen Island. And as for the years ahead, I will be always searching for new goals that will push myself even further and show me what I’m capable of.

So, how do you know when you’re ready to make a jump or start your fall?

You don’t. You just have to trust the process and fully surrender. Because it’s in the fall where you build your strength and gain wisdom. And it’s in the fall when you find your wings.


Trust the Process

Trust the Process

Note to self: Hold the vision and trust the process. So often we get stuck in the process of achieving a goal or our vision. Fears come up, obstacles get in our way, we become our own obstacles, or we just lose our way thinking it’s too hard or doubting if it’s the right path.

But you must trust the process, allow yourself to be vulnerable, all yourself to not know and not have control. Because it’s in these moments where the learning and growth is. And it’s in these moments when you take another step towards your vision. So don’t give up ok?

7 Quotes to Inspire You to Thrive Through Challenges

7 Quotes to Inspire You to Thrive Through Challenges

It’s not about overcoming a challenge, it’s about who you become and what you learn when you overcome a challenge.

But when difficulty is upon you and you’re at the grips of uncertainty, discomfort, unknowing or perhaps grief, how do you keep moving forward? How do you remain optimistic and positive about the future when you can’t even see past the challenge you’re in?


It starts with courage. It takes courage to believe in a future different from where you are. It takes courage to be honest with yourself about your reality. It takes courage to believe you are strong enough, smart enough and able to overcome the challenge that you’re in. And it takes courage to step out, spread your wings and have faith that you will learn to fly and build your strength on the way down.

May these quotes inspire and motivate you amidst your challenge, however big or small, and assure you that you will get through this, you will overcome this blip in the road and you will come out smarter, stronger and more resilient for the next challenge to come your way.

More inspiration and motivation on Instagram @couragespacecoaching.

The One Who Falls

The One Who Falls

We don’t want to fall, or fail or mess up. But it’s in those moments where the biggest learnings are, where the growth happens and where expansion comes. Be courageous, lean in, fall, keep your heart open, practice optimism and watch what happens.

Why EQ is More Important than IQ for First Year University Students

Why EQ is More Important than IQ for First Year University Students

The biggest mistake parents make when preparing their kids for university is to focus on academics.

Kids feel pressure early on for getting top grades so they can get accepted into university, and preferably the university and program of their choice. This pressure can start as early as grade 9 and 10 and sometimes means extra hours studying, working with tutors and engaged in extra academic programs to get a step ahead.

The #1 challenge most high school kids face when leaving high school is that they are not emotionally or socially prepared for the next step.

In a recent study of more than 1,500 first-year college students, carried out by The Harris Poll, a majority of first-year college students in the U.S. (60%) feel emotionally unprepared for college, and these students are more likely to report poor academic performance, regularly consume drugs or alcohol and rate their overall college experience as terrible/poor.

The Challenge Faced

Transitioning from high school to university can and will be for many students the most challenging experience they have faced in their lives. Getting accepted into university or college and maintaining good grades are just the beginning when it comes to challenges for young students. For most, the challenges go far beyond academics and finances. Most students aren’t ready for the social and emotional demands of their first year.

The 4 Biggest Changes

★  Personal Responsibility – students are in a new experience of being accountable and responsible for themselves.

★  Independence – students must balance course workload, social life and day to day living demands on their own.

★  Time Management – students must create their own schedule and spend their time effectively in a way they are not used to.

★  Social Demands – students will need to recreate their social world and feel social pressure to make new friends.

Students often feel overwhelmed, lonely, isolated and have difficulty adjusting. And for kids who are not emotionally prepared, transitions can sometimes be danger points because of the stress experienced with it. Students often struggle to get emotional support when they need it and often experience mental health issues such as depression and anxiety. Some turn to drug and alcohol or high-risk behaviour for relief. The overall result is poor academic performance, regardless of how intellectually smart they are.

As a parent we can often feel overwhelmed when we consider the challenges our young students will be facing during this time. So how can you support your child as they transition into independence? How can you get them onto the best foot possible as they take the leap from high school to post secondary education and learn to navigate change effectively in their lives? How do you build resiliency in your young adults?

Emotional Intelligence (EQ) Skills for Resiliency

Research strongly shows the link between success in life and emotional intelligence. And for older teens and young adults, this also rings true and makes a difference in their academic and personal lives.

We’ve heard this term emotional intelligence. But what does it really mean? According to Dr Reuven Bar-On’s definition, who originally coined the term ‘Emotional Intelligence’, he defines it as:

“A set of emotional and social skills that influence the way we perceive and express ourselves, develop and maintain relationships, cope with challenges, and use emotional information in an effective and meaningful way”.

But what does this mean for our young students? Can our students increase their emotional intelligence? And what key EI skills do our students need to be successful in their post secondary programs?

Studies show a strong link between academic achievement and the below dimensions of EI:

✩  Interpersonal

✩  Adaptability

✩  Stress Management

✩  Empathy

✩  Social Responsibility

✩  Flexibility

✩  Impulse Control

✩  Optimism

✩  Self Regard

✩  Problem Solving

✩  Independence

According to the research these skills are what’s needed to be successful in forming new relationships, learning new study habits, adapting to the increased academic demands and learning to live more independently.

And yes, our young students, and anyone for that matter, can increase their emotional intelligence. There are many effective exercises, behaviour modification techniques and programs for increasing your EI. Some I recommend are:

★  Mindfulness – a powerful approach to changing destructive behaviour, managing stress, encouraging self-care and increasing overall emotional wellbeing.

★  Applying the ABCDE’s – a system for altering your perceptions, attitudes and behaviour pioneered by Dr. Albert Ellis.

★  Get educated and start reading about emotional intelligence and learn about areas you would like to develop. The Student EQ Edge by Steven J. Stein, Howard E. Book and Korrel Kanoy is a great place to start, providing a definition of emotional intelligence and a road map for mastering EI skills. The adult version is also an excellent resource.

★  Get an EQ-i 2.0 Higher Education Assessment done for your student. This assessment tool provides a snapshot of a student’s emotional operating system and a framework for understanding their emotional intelligence skills. This includes a comprehensive report including interpretations of their EI skills and development strategies to increase the skills where they see some opportunities.

★  Hire a coach that specializes in EQ skill development that can work closely with your student to create a space for them to explore themselves deeply, discover their own resourcefulness and develop their own resilience to be effective in their lives.

I offer a program in my practice called the Courage Space Youth Transition Program – Leading the Next Step with Emotional Intelligence. This program is for those parents who are deeply interested in sending their kids off on their best foot, with the resources they need and the resilience required to not only survive but to thrive in this next step.

I give students perspective on how their emotions have a role to play in their own self worth, their self expression, their relationships, the way they handle stress and how they make decisions. I work closely with students through a combination of an assessment and coaching to help them develop their emotional intelligence skills. The focus: helping students build emotional resilience for their next stage.

What students get:

★  Tools and a compass for personal effectiveness

★  Map of emotional operating system

★  Learn how to turn adversity into opportunity

★  Learn foundational emotional skills

★  Develop okayness about self

★  Strengthen emotional immune system

★  Build resilience

★  And much more…

Learn more at

To register your student contact me at for an information package or call me at 604-880-7189.

Together let’s make future leaders out of our kids!