My life experiences have taken me on a journey filled with twists and turns.
I always loved animals, but grew up in the city, with only occasional forays into rural life. The only pets I had as a small child were guinea pigs and turtles. When I was ten, my grandmother intervened on my behalf and I finally got a cat. The few times I was on a farm, I felt like I was where I belonged but had few of those opportunities.
Eventually, I married into a ranching family, and was gifted with an amazing horse and got my first dog. I realized over time that animals helped to soothe some emotional wounds I’d carried since childhood. Horses, in particular, taught me lessons around honesty, trust, leadership and compassion that I needed to learn. I became less driven and more accepting of the perceived shortfalls of myself and others. I wanted to find a way to share that with others.
In 2012, I became a certified practitioner of the Equine Gestalt Coaching Method. Through the certification process, I did a great deal of soul searching and more emotional healing. I believe that these teachings were the “grade school” that set me up to be able to deal with the rigours of radiation and chemo-therapy when I was diagnosed with Stage 4a cancer of the tongue. I refer to this part of my life as the University of Cancer. I am glad to say I am a graduate of the class of 2014. With my life lessons learned, that schooling is thankfully in the rearview mirror.
I have found meaning in my life through assisting others in reframing their life experiences as lessons to learn from rather than permanent roadblocks. Overcoming trauma can require us to reframe challenges in a way that perhaps nothing else can.