Big life transitions challenge us to review our lives and assess whether we are on our path. Whether you are going through a divorce or separating from a relationship, the level of grief and loss can be traumatic, depleting and debilitating. You have the choice to move through this challenging life event quickly or slowly. And you have the choice to stay in the same patterning that got you here, or to change it so that the next phase in your life is more fulfilling and joyful. Get the support you need. You aren’t alone in this.




Recent Blog Posts

Eat Your Way to Happiness

One of the first things to go when we’re in heartbreak is our diet. We will do anything to feel better and that includes eating all the foods we know are bad for us. I did it. My go-to feel better food is sugar. I now know that it’s an addiction, but back then, all I could do to feel better was start on the sugary food, the chai latte’s, the occasional dark chocolate (that’s suppose to be healthy right?). I would binge on desserts before I ate food. I would eat cake and cookies late at night. I would convince myself that dried fruit was a healthy snack but found out that they are like candy. Then I would throw the occasional salad in there somewhere to convince myself I was eating healthily. Why do we do it? We do it to numb. The feelings of sadness are sometimes too great and all we want to do is not feel badly. Some of the more common numbing foods include: – red wine – chocolate – ice cream – cookies – sugary drinks – creamy hot drinks We also do this because we want to feel happy again. Our feel-good neurotransmitters tend to decline when we are in heartbreak grief. These neurotransmitters; oxytocin, serotonin, dopamine help us feel good but are also important for keeping us healthy. Producing these feel good chemicals is vital to our wellbeing. The foods listed above, give us a quick fix good feeling with the sugar intake. But this over time can cause serious problems and more importantly it can repel the love you so need. Eating sugar of any kind causes blood sugar imbalance. Low blood sugar can cause a drastic change in your mood. When your blood sugar drops, you become hungry, irritable, lack concentration, and you start to crave carbs to increase your serotonin production. And the vicious cycle repeats. HOW TO AVOID SUGAR ADDICTION: Start your day with 20 grams of protein. Protein slows down the rate of sugar absorption in the blood and this ensures your body gets what it needs in a balanced way. Eat something every few hours to avoid any spikes in blood sugar levels. Eat some protein with each meal and snack. Reduce or eliminate sugary drinks and snacks. Replace the “white” stuff (white bread, white pasta, white rice) with whole grains. WHY ARE PROBIOTICS SO IMPORTANT? Probiotics help our gut microbiome stay balanced. We have good bacteria and bad bacteria and our body is constantly trying to keep things in balance. And probiotics aid our gut by promoting this balance. More importantly, there is tons of research to show that our gut health dictates our mind health. We now know that 80% of our neurotransmitters are produced in the gut. So, if we are eating foods that create an imbalance of bad bacteria (such as Candidiasis) via sugary foods, we guarantee a low production of our happy neurotransmitters. This ensures that we’ll continue to feel unhappy. But when we eat foods that promote good bacteria and eat probiotic food and supporting supplements, you help your gut produce those happy neurotransmitters. FOODS THAT PROMOTE GOOD BACTERIA: Greek yogurt kefir sourdough bread kimchi miso sauerkraut chutneys kombucha probiotic supplements Eating foods high in sugar is something we all do more often than you think. It has become an epidemic because we are all in heartbreak to some degree. Sugar is the greatest quick fix addiction that our society has. But over time, it can cause more harm with serious health issues, as we are seeing with diabetes. To avoid this, start eating foods that are guaranteed to make you feel good. By practicing good eating habits and picking those foods that promote a healthy gut and the production of your happy neurotransmitters, you help your body recover. xo

How Breathwork Can Heal your Heart

I’m in a big dark room, laying on a camping mat in my dusty sleeping bag and blanket, with a stranger watching over me “sitting” on a chair at my side. Loud dramatic music starts to play and then I hear it. The breathing of 8 other people is pronounced but barely audible through the music. That’s my cue to start my breathing. In through the nose, out through the mouth. Rhythmic, intense, diaphragm heaving. Bang! I am in complete and utter darkness. I can’t stop the flood of emotions from coming and I hear a baby start to wail. Is that me? I calm my fear by asking my angel guides to show me what I need to see. I repeat, “I surrender, I surrender, I surrender…”.  The blackness dissipates and then I am in the desert, hot sun, calm, grounded. My angels show me a gigantic white oval pod that looks like a cocoon. They start to tear it apart, piece by piece. Then I find myself growing up, up and up above the tree-line. I look down and see myself as a tree. My legs are a tree trunk and I sense my feet as roots. Wow! This is so cool, I think to myself. My journey continues through realms of space, the ocean, the desert and back as a tree. Over and over again I travel. And then it’s finished. My “sitter” answers my question. It’s 3 hours later. I’ve done a lot of “out of the box” things in my life, so this experience wasn’t weird by any means. This was a Holotropic Breathwork Workshop. And I’ve come to see breath work as an important element in all of my practices. It’s not only essential to life but it’s been around for a millennium. From Ancient Yogic and Buddhist practices, Tai Chi, to all forms of Meditation, breath work is the link to guide us on our path to enlightenment and our evolution. Breathing is the first thing we do when we are born to the last thing we do when we die. It is the thread that keeps us in this realm of existence. We hold our breath when we are fearful and we breathe out as a sign of relief. We can exist for days without food or water but we die instantly if we stop breathing. It is essential to life. But what’s so phenomenal about breathing? Scientifically speaking, we need oxygen for our cells to function, for our blood to flow and our organs to work. Diaphramatic breathing in particular, has been shown to reduce cortisol levels, improve our cognitive ability, level off our emotions so we can cope with stress and anxiety, help us sleep better and ward off dementia . But more importantly, it helps us heal our heart by allowing our bodies to start producing happy neurotransmitters like serotonin, dopamine and oxytocin. One study suggests that breathing through the nose most significantly increases the electrical impulses in the brain necessary for cognitive ability, whereas breathing through the mouth does not. Max Strom, teaches how 10 – 20 minutes of breathwork can change your health significantly. Stanislav Grof, a Czech Psychiatrist, one of the founding fathers of “Transpersonal Psychology” (think Ram Das and Timothy Leary) was known for using LSD in his therapy sessions. Dr. Grof , invented Holotropic Breathwork (after the war on drugs  happened in the ‘70’s). And Wm Hof , a.k.a. IceMan and 26 time Guinness World Record holder, has proven that through his technique you can withstand extreme temperatures and become super strong. I did this one as well. 😉 3 Essential Breathing Techniques These are three of my favourite techniques that everyone should have in their arsenal of practices. Clearing Breath. According to the Dalai Lama, this technique will “clear away impulses toward lust or hatred” or “counter-productive currents of energy”. Whether you suffer from “lust or hatred” isn’t the point. This technique serves to clear the mind so I recommend you do it first thing in the morning. Start with your left hand, using your thumb and middle finger. Placing your thumb on your left nostril, breathe in deeply (allowing your diaphragm to expand), then release the left nostril and with your middle finger hold your right nostril and exhale. Do this 3 times. Then reverse by closing your right nostril with your middle finger and inhale through your left nostril. Place you thumb on your left nostril then exhale through your right nostril. Do this 3 times. When complete, lower your left hand onto your lap and take 3 breathes in both nostrils, remembering to fill your belly. Watch the clarity come. Fire Breath. This technique is a staple in many yogic practices. It is perfect to do in the middle of your day if you are feeling a bit tired and lethargic. It also helps to activate your 3rd chakra, which is your power centre. This technique is most helpful if you’re nervous about a presentation or have an interview. First, sitting cross-legged or Japanese style on your knees (my preference) or standing, close your eyes and focusing on your exhale only, use your diaphragm to sharply push your breath out of your nose. Do this as quickly as possible, 30 times in one set. Do 2 more sets. Go get it girl! Calming Breath. Becoming aware of your breathing and slowing it down is scientifically proved to reduce cortisol levels, support your immune system and increase your feel-good neurotransmitters. Start by taking in a deep diaphragmatic breath through your nose on the count of 4. Once full, hold that breath for the count of 4. Then slowly release on the count of 6.  Do this 20 times.  Watch the tension melt away. In this day and age, when we are challenged to be the best we can be; we can become smarter, stronger, sleep better, and be super calm, by doing the one thing that we were born to do… just

How To Tell If You’re Really Done?

You think you’re over it. Your friends are pushing you to get online and start dating again. Or even worse, they try to set you up. But after all this time, are you really over your ex? In order for you to answer that question, you first have to understand the phases of heartbreak and where you might be stuck. Make no mistake, heartbreak is grief. It’s the most common form of grief and most prevalent because it happens all the time in our lives. We have little heartbreaks all day long. Remember the time your friend said she would go out to that show with you and then later forgot that she double booked herself and could no longer go. Or that time you thought you were going to get a promotion or lead a project and you were passed over for someone else. These little events of social rejection have the same effect on your body and mind as do the big heartbreaks, like a romantic break-up, divorce or death of a loved one. They challenge your self value. Heartbreaks are Heartbreaks According to a study conducted at the International School for Advanced Studies (SISSA) of Trieste was published in the journal Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, when you are in heartbreak, your brain actually thinks that your body is hurt. We will often say things like, ”my heart has been ripped from my chest” or “ someone just punched me in the stomach”. The area in the brain that gets activated when you are physically hurt is the same area that gets activated when you suffer social rejection. This is called “Broken Heart Syndrome”. And when we are romantically rejected we feel it in our bodies as if we were actually punched in the stomach. And it’s not an easy thing to get over in our society, simply because we don’t recognize it as a major life trauma. We are taught to get over it quickly, find someone new to make you feel better. We don’t like to feel badly so we do everything we can to distract ourselves. And this is where we get stuck. If we don’t allow ourselves to move through the grief of heartbreak we are destined to repeat it over and over again. So where are you in your heartbreak recovery? The 6 Stages of Heartbreak Shock – In the moments after being blindsided by a breakup, your heart rate might drop, suggests research in Psychological Sciencethat looked at people’s heart rates following a social rejection they didn’t see coming . Trauma – Once the shock subsides, major emotional stress sets in (What did I do wrong? Am I going to be alone forever? Is it time to start adopting cats?). That stress can ramp up your sympathetic nervous system, which also leads to rising cortisol and inflammation levels. Your sleep, digestion and immunity might also suffer (you’re up all night, have no appetite and seem to be catching a cold every other day). Pain. You feel like you’re in physical pain. That’s because the brain regions that process the pain of social rejection or loss also process physical aches, according to research in Current Directions in Psychological Science. You might experience neck ache, headache, overall physical malaise. Anger – You’re not thinking straight (waiting in the conference room for the weekly Thursday meeting—but it’s only Tuesday), and you’re being more impulsive than normal. Critical thinking skills and self-control both take a dive after a social rejection, according to research. This is when we eat tubs of Haagen Das or decide to make red wine your new best friend. Denial – You swore you wouldn’t, but you look at a picture of the two of you or scroll through their Facebook feed. Your inner voice says,”If only…” The areas of your brain that show increased activity when you’re high or craving a drug light up in response to their image. According to research in the Journal of Neurophysiology , this reveals that you’re still powerfully drawn to them. You need that hit of oxytocin and dopamine to make you feel like you’re still in love. But at the same time, your brain is trying to adjust your behavior and make you see that it’s finally over. It’s time to unfollow them. Isolaton – At first, nothing appeals to you less than going out to a club or being social. You can’t stand the thought of talking to anyone but the pizza delivery man. Eventually that fades, and progesterone levels rise when you start to feel lonely. That’s a very good thing—researchers say the hormone can motivate you to seek out social contact. Denying the healing process can cause serious problems It’s important to allow yourself this journey, as painful as it might be. Why? Because if we don’t allow the full range of healing, we get stuck in the heartbreak. Over time, in rare cases, the stressful effects of heartbreak can actually create heart problems. In a small study in the New England Journal of Medicine, researcher found that emotional distress precipitated serious heart damage in some patients without coronary heart disease, possibly due to an exaggerated response in the sympathetic nervous system. Nobody wants to feel the pain of heartbreak. We are the best distractors when there is a threat of pain. It’s a primal response. But as we become more conscious of the power of our actions and choices in our lives, we must also start taking responsibility of our recovery from traumatic events that cause heartbreak. And by allowing the full range of feelings in a proactive way can alleviate the deep painful effects caused by the denial of our heartbreak pain. xo  

The Power of the Past

The many ancient mystics and modern day gurus will teach you to be in the present and not dwell in the past or look to the future. Even modern day psychologists are realizing that bringing their patients back to look at past traumas only serves to re-traumatize and not necessarily heal them. But I say, in order to learn and grow into the beings we are here to become, that looking at the past events is necessary in order to dissect the stories that become engrained in our psyche. The trick is to look from different eyes. If there was one thing I could tell my younger married self, it would be to trust my red flags. Listen to what your body is telling you and then act to protect yourself at all costs. Because it was at the very beginning that I saw my future divorce and I didn’t even know it. There was the Friday night my ex decided to review some “floor plans” of his then colleague. He was in real estate development. She was attractive and very similar to myself. The only difference was that I was at home in the first month of nursing our new born, recovering from a traumatic birth and a cesarean section. There was no family around to help me or assist in any way. So, I relied on my ex to take an interest and at least come home after work. But the quick visit to check out her floor plans and promise to be home at 9:30 pm turned into him rolling in at 1am. I was shattered. We argued. He never apologized for leaving me waiting or hurting my feelings or betraying our sacred bond. Could I have married such an insensitive narcissistic misogynistic man? I refused to believe it. I shut it down. Blamed myself for being so needy and even made excuses for him. He was tired, he worked so hard, he deserved to go out. So what if he fell asleep on her couch like he said he did. I believed him. He is my husband after all. My body was telling a different story. Like I had been sucker punched in the stomach, my whole being ached with the effects of heartbreak. I cried myself to sleep, feeling even more alone than ever. It was years later, in a therapy session, where I was given the greatest gift. She said, “all you have to take is a 2-degree shift from your present reality”.  The ability to see a situation from a different point of view, can change everything. I have found that the key to looking at the past without reliving the trauma is to remove yourself from the story completely. Now when I retell that story, I pretend I’m the big sister listening to my little sister who is asking for advice. By removing myself as the main character in that story I can observe it from a distance, without feeling the feelings I had when I was in it. That’s the 2 degree shift. Now, when I look at that story from the Big Sister point of view, I can give objective advice. Here’s what I would say to my little sister with the new born baby and insensitive narcissist husband. First, I would support her in any way I could and tell her to start thinking about her needs first. I would encourage her to ramp up her self-care. Go for a massage, get a baby sitter, have someone come in to cook for her and take the baby off her hands for a few hours of rest each day. Then I would encourage her to rethink what she wants in her partner. Since she is at the beginning of her marriage, what does she see it looking like, how is she going to be in the partnership and what does she expect from her partner. I would encourage her to write it down and then discuss it with her partner to make sure that he is on the same page. In essence, the goals of each partner/parent must be the same in order for the marriage to flourish. I didn’t know this then. In fact, we really didn’t have any of those discussions as the marriage progressed. Would it have changed things then? Probably not. But that’s not the point of the magic of hindsight. We have to screw up in order to learn and grow. Our mistakes are where the learning is, not in the being right and striving for that illusive perfection that never exists. If only I had the wisdom that I do now. But that’s what hindsight is all about…seeing where it went wrong in order for you to make different choices and not repeat the mistakes. Right? I know that, for where I was then, I would have picked the same kind of partner… selfish, detached, inconsiderate, needy, egotistical, misogynistic. Why? Because that is what I was being to myself then. Yes, you read that right. All of the characteristics that my ex had, were a reflection of what I was on some level. Perhaps not as overt in the way he presented these traits, but they were there because I accepted them to some degree and therefore I was them as well. It was easy then to point the finger at the offender. But at the end of the day I attracted that type of man into my life. “Well, you picked him”, said my 3rd Lawyer. This echoes in my ear every time I recall a scene in my story. When you can see your past as a story. A cautionary tale. A lesson to be learned. Then you can look at it with different eyes. From the eyes of a big sister. From that 2 degree shift. The mystics and gurus are still correct. It’s never a good a thing to dwell in the past. But it is important to reassess the