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Boussole Wellness
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Let’s navigate the journey from burnout to blissful balance together!

Learn how I turned exhaustion into empowerment, and am now living a life full of energy and love.

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Why a Life Coach? 

March 13, 20246 min read

“What are your five-year goals?” 

My new principal asked me in July 2014. We had just finished four days of professional development in Vancouver and I was heading to southeast Asia for seven weeks the following day. 

“Um, personally or professionally?” I stalled, not having a clue on either front and not wanting to look like I had no idea what my future looked like. 

I gave him some lame answer about how I’d probably be in the classroom, but perhaps at an international school because I loved to travel. He seemed happy enough with my response and I left it at that. 

On the flight to Phnom Penh, I reflected on his question. What were my five-year plans? What did I want to do as I headed toward 40? I honestly didn’t know. I wish it weren’t true, but that was the last I thought of it for a long while. 

A few years later, I met a boy. He was Australian, he was eager to return home, and he wanted a family. 

It was all I needed to hear.

He was offering me the two things I did want: children and living in the country I considered my second home. I was in. 

I had lived in the land down under for two years (once as a backpacker with a working holiday visa and once as a teacher on exchange) and I felt more at home there than I ever did in Canada.

Children had been on my mind since returning home in 2014. I realized that I wanted them more than I thought, but I wanted to raise them in a loving relationship, which was something I hadn’t prioritized in my twenties and early thirties, one of the sacrifices I made for my career (read My Burnout Story for more). On the cusp of 40, it was now or never, and I was overjoyed that this handsome Australian wanted to have them with me. 

I now had a five-year plan: 
  1. Quit teaching 

  2. Move to Australia 

  3. Get married

  4. Have babies

  5. Find a job that I loved while living close to the beach and spending most of my days outside with my children

I was eager and excited about each step and I couldn’t wait to get started. My life was finally coming together and I could see the ‘happily ever after’ in my future. 

Life was wonderful, until—

It wasn’t.

My beautifully laid-out plan blew up in my face. 

It would be easy to blame the pandemic, but it wasn’t the only reason why I had to pull the plug on my Australian dream (and that will be the subject of a future post—stay tuned!).

For six months after we severed ties (following a near-death experience while scuba diving—thank you, universe!), I grieved the loss of the life I had dreamt of. The loss of the relationship, the loss of children I would never bear, the loss of living in a country I loved and considered to be so much a part of me… I refer to this time as the dark night of my soul—it was truly the most difficult and painful period of my life.  

Serendipitously (and rather ironically), I met a life coach through the Australian the October before.  I knew when we met that we would connect again at some point, and that time came in the summer of 2020. I reached out to her in an attempt to get my life back on track. It was the second-best decision I made that year.

Why a life coach? You might ask—I’m sure my friends and family did. How was she going to help?

As someone who has struggled with her mental health since adolescence, I had worked with psychologists before and while some were beneficial, this particular instance didn’t seem one where their guidance would be helpful. 

At a loss for what to do next, I needed to re-dream my future since the old dream had gone up in smoke. In my personal experience, a traditional psychologist wasn’t going to be future-focused. 

Talking to Debra Kasowski was a breath of fresh air. She was kind, warm, and welcoming, and she spoke about the future in terms of possibilities. Instead of delving into my trauma, we looked outward and imagined what was possible. We also journeyed inward as she asked questions that prompted deep reflection on what it was I truly wanted moving forward. 

She introduced me to two practices that I hadn’t really considered using to set goals and change my life: journaling and visualization. I was slow to grasp the potential power of each practice, but as it became more of a habit, it became clear that I was the only one responsible for how my life turned out. 

What if I had been clear about what I wanted earlier? 

What if I had dug deep in my twenties to figure out what I wanted my life to be like? 

How was my life supposed to change if I never did anything differently? 

What was I afraid of?

I don’t ask these questions with a feeling of regret as I recognize the beauty in the journey I did take. I wouldn't be where I am today without having gone through the trials and tribulations I did. It took me a while to get there (it didn’t happen overnight), but I am so grateful for my life now that I wouldn’t change a thing. 

But wherever you are now, know that you can take steps to positively change the direction of your life.

If you’re not happy with the current status quo, do something about it! Figure out what you want and focus on what you can do to make it happen. 

The only person responsible for your life is YOU. 

You are the only one who knows what you want. 

You are the only one that can change the trajectory of your life. 

YOU are the only one.

If you’re not sure where to start, here are a couple of suggestions on how to begin:

  • Journal.  Start by writing “What do I want?” at the top of the page. Then just write and see what comes up. Do it again the next day. And the next. And after five days, you’ll have a clearer vision of what you see for yourself in the future.

  • Visualize. Set aside some time to get quiet and SEE your future. What does your perfect day look like?
    What are you doing?
    Who are you with?
    Who are you being?
    How do you feel? 

  • Hire a coach. Since Debra, I’ve worked with coaches I’ve hired as well as coaches I’ve trained/certified with and each has helped me clarify my vision, set new goals, and stay on the path toward making my dreams a reality. Working with a coach can be an enriching, powerful, and transformative experience. 

The important thing is to begin. Get out your journal and write. The life of your dreams is right around the corner.



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blog image

Why a Life Coach? 

March 13, 20246 min read

“What are your five-year goals?” 

My new principal asked me in July 2014. We had just finished four days of professional development in Vancouver and I was heading to southeast Asia for seven weeks the following day. 

“Um, personally or professionally?” I stalled, not having a clue on either front and not wanting to look like I had no idea what my future looked like. 

I gave him some lame answer about how I’d probably be in the classroom, but perhaps at an international school because I loved to travel. He seemed happy enough with my response and I left it at that. 

On the flight to Phnom Penh, I reflected on his question. What were my five-year plans? What did I want to do as I headed toward 40? I honestly didn’t know. I wish it weren’t true, but that was the last I thought of it for a long while. 

A few years later, I met a boy. He was Australian, he was eager to return home, and he wanted a family. 

It was all I needed to hear.

He was offering me the two things I did want: children and living in the country I considered my second home. I was in. 

I had lived in the land down under for two years (once as a backpacker with a working holiday visa and once as a teacher on exchange) and I felt more at home there than I ever did in Canada.

Children had been on my mind since returning home in 2014. I realized that I wanted them more than I thought, but I wanted to raise them in a loving relationship, which was something I hadn’t prioritized in my twenties and early thirties, one of the sacrifices I made for my career (read My Burnout Story for more). On the cusp of 40, it was now or never, and I was overjoyed that this handsome Australian wanted to have them with me. 

I now had a five-year plan: 
  1. Quit teaching 

  2. Move to Australia 

  3. Get married

  4. Have babies

  5. Find a job that I loved while living close to the beach and spending most of my days outside with my children

I was eager and excited about each step and I couldn’t wait to get started. My life was finally coming together and I could see the ‘happily ever after’ in my future. 

Life was wonderful, until—

It wasn’t.

My beautifully laid-out plan blew up in my face. 

It would be easy to blame the pandemic, but it wasn’t the only reason why I had to pull the plug on my Australian dream (and that will be the subject of a future post—stay tuned!).

For six months after we severed ties (following a near-death experience while scuba diving—thank you, universe!), I grieved the loss of the life I had dreamt of. The loss of the relationship, the loss of children I would never bear, the loss of living in a country I loved and considered to be so much a part of me… I refer to this time as the dark night of my soul—it was truly the most difficult and painful period of my life.  

Serendipitously (and rather ironically), I met a life coach through the Australian the October before.  I knew when we met that we would connect again at some point, and that time came in the summer of 2020. I reached out to her in an attempt to get my life back on track. It was the second-best decision I made that year.

Why a life coach? You might ask—I’m sure my friends and family did. How was she going to help?

As someone who has struggled with her mental health since adolescence, I had worked with psychologists before and while some were beneficial, this particular instance didn’t seem one where their guidance would be helpful. 

At a loss for what to do next, I needed to re-dream my future since the old dream had gone up in smoke. In my personal experience, a traditional psychologist wasn’t going to be future-focused. 

Talking to Debra Kasowski was a breath of fresh air. She was kind, warm, and welcoming, and she spoke about the future in terms of possibilities. Instead of delving into my trauma, we looked outward and imagined what was possible. We also journeyed inward as she asked questions that prompted deep reflection on what it was I truly wanted moving forward. 

She introduced me to two practices that I hadn’t really considered using to set goals and change my life: journaling and visualization. I was slow to grasp the potential power of each practice, but as it became more of a habit, it became clear that I was the only one responsible for how my life turned out. 

What if I had been clear about what I wanted earlier? 

What if I had dug deep in my twenties to figure out what I wanted my life to be like? 

How was my life supposed to change if I never did anything differently? 

What was I afraid of?

I don’t ask these questions with a feeling of regret as I recognize the beauty in the journey I did take. I wouldn't be where I am today without having gone through the trials and tribulations I did. It took me a while to get there (it didn’t happen overnight), but I am so grateful for my life now that I wouldn’t change a thing. 

But wherever you are now, know that you can take steps to positively change the direction of your life.

If you’re not happy with the current status quo, do something about it! Figure out what you want and focus on what you can do to make it happen. 

The only person responsible for your life is YOU. 

You are the only one who knows what you want. 

You are the only one that can change the trajectory of your life. 

YOU are the only one.

If you’re not sure where to start, here are a couple of suggestions on how to begin:

  • Journal.  Start by writing “What do I want?” at the top of the page. Then just write and see what comes up. Do it again the next day. And the next. And after five days, you’ll have a clearer vision of what you see for yourself in the future.

  • Visualize. Set aside some time to get quiet and SEE your future. What does your perfect day look like?
    What are you doing?
    Who are you with?
    Who are you being?
    How do you feel? 

  • Hire a coach. Since Debra, I’ve worked with coaches I’ve hired as well as coaches I’ve trained/certified with and each has helped me clarify my vision, set new goals, and stay on the path toward making my dreams a reality. Working with a coach can be an enriching, powerful, and transformative experience. 

The important thing is to begin. Get out your journal and write. The life of your dreams is right around the corner.



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~ Louisa May Alcott

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