Every moment is a perfect moment to bring awareness to what is unfolding and thereby grow and heal.
/ JON KABAT-ZINN /
CERTIFIED MBSR Instructor / Centre for Mindfulness @ U of MASS Medical School & BROWN UNIVERSITY / Trauma-Sensitive Mindfulness Trained (Trauma-sensitive means that I am aware of the unique needs of people struggling with trauma. I am equipped to recognize trauma symptoms, respond skillfully, and prevent re-traumatization in the work -TSM).
Ten years ago I experienced a catastrophic event; a serious head injury and with
it all the typical symptoms of a mild traumatic brain injury; memory loss, balance
and locomotion issues, emotional dysregulation, aversion to bright light,
including some strong sensations of pain at the region of the impact at the back
of my head and down my neck. Rather than ride on a course of strong pain relief indefinitely, I searched out alternative paths of literally getting back on
my feet again. Word of mouth eventually led me to a popular MBSR meditation
program here in Toronto.
I admit I was cynical at first. How could being in silence heal anything? I was also
thinking I couldn’t possibly sit still for five or ten minutes, let alone twenty minutes in that first class! My doubts were soon dispelled; there was nothing weird or out of the ordinary about meditating other than to simply pay attention to your experience in a kind and compassionate way. By the end of the course, I had weaned myself off my dependence on strong pain medications by cultivating my own inner resources for relaxation and managing my chronic pain. Also, I came to understand different ways of being in healthy relationship with so many other aspects in my life not withstanding dealing with ‘stress’. My mindfulness meditation practice saved my life. It was transformative and continues to transform my life every day.
Mindfulness has become a compassionate act of knowing myself freshly. It felt
like coming home to myself again. Much like remembering who I
am beyond all the 'stories' I tell myself. I could say, I discovered 'falling awake'.
Jon Kabat-Zinn Ph.D., who developed the MBSR course, talks about it being a radical act of love and sanity to give yourself this kind intimate attention.
Just when I thought my injury had ruined my life, I found I was actually profoundly impacted for the better. It bestowed me with an unexpected and insightful gift: the journey of a lifetime towards deeper growth, acceptance of what I can and cannot change, and a profound sense of healing in many aspects of my life. It was truly transformative and continues to be everyday.
Gold Standard Training
After over 20 years as a professional actress, I felt called to teach this course myself. I first entered Social Work Studies, which would be a practical foundation towards the highly standardized teaching pathway program of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) through U of Mass Medical School, department of behavioural medicine. Eventually in 2021, after taking seven years of rigorous mindfulness study, I reached the lauded teacher designation of 'Certification' at Brown University (The Mindfulness Centre) in Providence, Rhode Island. I have taught countless participants in the the 8-week MBSR course since 2016. As a certified teacher of MBSR, I have found that I have arrived exactly where I was always meant to be: in the world of kindness, generosity and healing.
Millions of people around the world have taken up formal mindfulness meditation
practice as part of their daily lives. As wonderful as this sounds, there inevitably
comes a degree of commercialization along with some teachers of limited training. With my MBSR studies at UMASS, I am the beneficiary of decades of wisdom and I am deeply honoured to be a small part of this esteemed mindful teaching lineage, joining with my many MBSR teaching colleagues around the world to safely and effectively deliver the 8 week Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction course. As a practitioner, I guide and teach by example: by having a dedicated daily practice as well as attending week long rejuvenating silent retreats throughout the year to further enrich inner exploration. I aim daily to embody an ethical, non-harming presence as best I can in my teaching, in my own practice and in my lived life day to day.
My passion for wanting to share mindfulness meditation with others grew from my own personal journey of healing. Very soon on, I knew I had to investigate and nurture this practice further and eventually teach the evidenced-based benefits of MBSR. I am continually in awe of the healing power that resides within each and every person. It continues to be an honour and privilege to companion people on their healing journey and to teach them how to better manage stress as it comes up.”
Education & Certification
University of Massachusetts
University of Waterloo
Advanced Trauma Sensitive Mindfulness
George Brown College
The Mindfulness Centre at Brown University, Rhode Island, - Graduate
Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society - Graduate
Conrad Grebel Conflict Management Certificate Program - Ongoing
Competent to recognize trauma, respond to it skillfully, and prevent re-traumatization. - Ongoing
Community Service Worker Graduate with Honours
Advanced Counselling 2015 - Present
The Sashbear Foundation
Currently sitting as member on the CAMH Constituency Council
Presently serving as Ambassador of Mental Health
Since 2015, I have been living my passion in the practice and teaching of
mindfulness, which has nourished me and transformed my in ways I could never have imagined. I know directly from my own experience and what my many students report, in these particularly uncertain times, mindfulness can offer all of us much needed support.
The only leverage in life you really have is to inhabit the present moment fully - one moment after the next. I invite you to learn more about reclaiming your life by clicking here.
FB : @momenttomomentawareness