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Authentic, raw and vulnerable storytelling about the lights and darks, highs and lows of life, in a judgement-free zone.

February 17, 2020

Carolyn Kooymans recounts their journey as parents of a son who is now on the other side of leukemia and five rounds of chemo.

Carolyn and I met in university as Frosh Leaders at Nipissing University, and she and her husband Josh welcomed me into their home to record one of their most life-altering stories. 

After teaching and traveling abroad, Carolyn and Josh returned to Canada, and got jobs teaching in Churchill. After they got married, and Carolyn's near-perfect pregnancy, they welcomed Malcolm into their lives in September 2018. Shortly thereafter, they debated moving closer to family, but were forced to leave Churchill for a very different and unexpected reason.

In January 2019, Malcolm started showing some serious signs of being unwell, but without answers. Numerous trips to the emergency room and with different doctors, there seemed to be no answer as to why this sweet and healthy little guy was so sick, without any signs of getting better. There were no answers until the answer became: your son has Infant Acute Myelogenous Leukemia (AML) 

In this episode, Carolyn (and Josh in the background!) tell us about their journey as parents of a son with AML.  They share how they worked to maintain their own mental health and balance their lives to keep their relationship strong throughout this stressful and emotional time. They talk about normalizing life as much as possible while living in the hospital, and how they'll work towards a label-free life for Malcolm.

Carolyn and Josh also open up about some strategies they adopted to heal and cope, and though they might not be the same, they encourage each other in their every endeavour towards healing and processing the last year and a half. 

Carolyn and Josh, I appreciate you both more than I can articulate. Thank you for everything you do and have done, supporting other families dealing with cancer throughout this process and continuing to advocate for Malcolm.

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LINKS:

Carolyn's Email: carolyn.kooymans@gmail.com

The Safe Haven Podcast:

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February 13, 2020

TGIT - The universe is magic!

So the cool bartender I mentioned in the last TGIT from The Banded Goose in Kingsville is going to be on the podcast! So is his incredibly resilient wife, whom he mentioned he was so proud of! 

Amy helped make connections in Kingsville that exploded in the best way possible, and I'm going to a super interesting and uplifting Soul School event on the 22nd! 

Future release updates, some new affiliate codes, and curiosity about... what the heck is actually going on on the Bachelor?! Like does Peter even know these girls yet?!

Just a fun release for this week's Thank Goodness it's Thursday!

Happy long weekend!

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LINKS:

The Safe Haven Podcast:

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February 10, 2020

Jenna Morton dives into her realities of overcoming trauma and using her life experiences to help others.

*TRIGGER WARNING - Content relates to sexual abuse and related traumas*

Jenna Morton is a health coach, a speaker and an entrepreneur.  She has overcome and is still healing from some significant traumas in her life, but leads a life of grace and gratitude.  She works hard at bettering herself, so she can positively influence the world around her. 

From being adopted to not fitting it, dabbling in drugs, alcohol, and troubles with the law, this episode weaves through trauma, healing, rebellion and triumph. 

Even through the lowest lows, Jenna always felt a pull forward and upwards from a connection to a higher power, that urged her to keep going and that everything was going to be okay. 

We also have a discussion about the terms "triggered" and how it's more realistic to use the word "activated" as moments, words or experiences present us with a space to heal or to process.

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LINKS:

Jenna's Instagram: @jennadmorton

 

The Safe Haven Podcast:

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February 3, 2020

Sammi Jackson and I chat about life changes, honouring emotions and being the best people we can be.

Sammi and I met in the middle of Australia, and walked around Uluru together. We've had a unique and undeniable connection ever since!

We met up in Calgary while I was driving back to Ontario, and I lured her into my hotel room to visit and record! We talk about how we met, the power and importance of communication, and how simply re-phrasing your words can completely change your intended message.  We talk about honouring emotions, and the importance of identifying them as we experience them, without identifying "as" the emotion itself.

Listen along as Sammi shares some insights into how life has changed as she has become a Mom, and how she works at being the best wife and Mom she can be.

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LINKS:

The Safe Haven Podcast:

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January 30, 2020

TGIT - Winter road trip from BC to Ontario highlights, contest wins and guest updates!

I've made it back from #Nakusp, BC! (Hashtag isn't a typo... it's for Riley and Jay! Ha!) 

Road trip last week: Nakusp - Calgary - Regina - Winnipeg - Thunder Bay - Sault Ste Marie - Kingsville (via Michigan!) - Minden! Family visits are feeling really good! 

So you wanna be a guest on The Safe Haven Podcast? Perhaps you know someone with a story to share? Please reach out! This is how the podcast continues to grow! It's been growing super organically so far, and it's when guests know someone I should reach out to, (or contests that I win lead me to more cool people!!) - or, someone that I meet naturally and find a window to invite them in! 

That's exactly what happened at The Banded Goose in Kingsville last weekend when one of the bartenders, Chris, brought around a card that asked us: if your life was to flash before you on a film reel, what are the top three moments that stand out, right now?!

... what are yours?! Send me a message! 

Have a great weekend! 

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LINKS:

Banded Goose Brewing, Kingsville

Bear and Fox Apparel

 

The Safe Haven Podcast:

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January 27, 2020

Amber Peters, biologist and activist shares her efforts to protect wildlife habitat in British Columbia.

Amber Peters is a biologist and a campaigner for the Valhalla Wilderness Society. Her passion for nature, the environment and giving a voice to the voiceless is incredibly infectious. 

Amongst many staggering statistics, in this episode, Amber shares the personal practices she's adopted to stay grounded through these confronting and often stressful times, grounding herself through her yoga and meditation practices, which allow her to remain focused on her work. There are so many negative forces that are in Amber's line of work, and this path of powerful change is laced with evil and unexplainable forces. 

Amber's knowledge and deep rooted wisdom is unique and inspiring, and I hope you find as much value in this chat as I did!

 "We need to love the earth and fall in love with it again." - Amber Peters

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LINKS:

Valhalla Wilderness Society (VWS)

Documentary: Primeval: Enter the Incomappleux

Grow BC Parks - Petition

 

The Safe Haven Podcast:

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January 20, 2020

Taylor Aeichele chats about being a woman in the trades!

Taylor Aeichele is a 22 year old gal, very close to acquiring her certification as a Red Seal Electrician! (Get it girl!) 

In this episode, she shares about the encounters and experiences in her life that helped direct her towards this career path - something very different from the vet she wanted to be as a little girl. 

Enjoy her lighthearted "sasshole" (hey! - that's what she calls herself!) nature and sense of humour! 

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LINKS:

The Safe Haven Podcast:

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Email: thesafehavenpodcast@gmail.com 

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January 16, 2020

TGIT - The power of “I AM” affirmations, my love of tea, some exciting content updates, and planning for my drive back to Ontario!

Ever heard of "I AM" affirmations? Do you believe in the power of the spoken word and the ability to retrain and rewire your brain? It is doable!  I share my love for Love Powered Co.'s FEMME "I AM" affirmation cards, and how I've turned them into a pre-recording ritual. Check them out! 

I share my love of teas, more recently, New Moon Tea Co.'s teas! 

I am officially going to two gigantic events this year, one in April and one in October, and I am so excited about them both! They're both going to keep my 2020 fire lit, I can feel it!! 

Thank you so much for listening! Have a fabulous Thursday, friends!  

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LINKS:

New Moon Tea Co. - Instagram: @newmoonteaco

Love Powered Co. - Instagram: @lovepoweredco

Harmony Yoga Haliburton - Instagram: @harmonyyogahaliburton

Woman On Fire Summit - April 5, 2020 in Vaughan, ON

The Great Canadian Woman Summit - October 5, 2020 in Canmore, AB

The Safe Haven Podcast:

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January 15, 2020

Claudine shares her stories of her early introduction to alcohol, a life laced with abuse and addiction, and her 17 years of sobriety.

*TRIGGER WARNING - Content relates to physical abuse, drug and alcohol addiction and pregnancy*

Served her first shot of alcohol by her parents at 9 years old and her first pot brownie at 11 years old. This was her normal. This episode presents some very confronting topics and personal experiences for Claudine, some of which could be considered very controversial and challenging.  Claudine demonstrates bravery and courage in this episode.  I know Claudine personally, and know who she is, and I applaud her ability to share these stories in such a vulnerable way. She hopes that this will reach the people who need to hear it the most, and that this story and this vulnerability encourages people who need to attend a meeting or seek help do so.  That they find that one person who believes in them, as she did. 

She maintains her strength and her 17 years sobriety by owning her truth and sharing her story, and I admire her resilience immensely. 

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LINKS:

The Safe Haven Podcast:

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January 6, 2020

Mary Pichette, a survivor of sexual abuse and exploitation uses her past traumas to help others heal.

*TRIGGER WARNING - Content relates to sexual abuse and exploitation*

 

Mary Pichette is a survivor of sexual abuse and exploitation - but she will be the first to tell you that these aspects of her life do not define who she is. 

In this powerful episode, Mary sheds light on the lack of power she had in her childhood and certain events in her life growing up in the 50s and 60s, as well as various injustices she's faced throughout her life. 

Mary elaborates on why she's been so silent about the horrific things that have happened in her life, and how she's been able to move forward from her past as she heals.  She shares the challenges she's faced sharing her story of being prostituted and how people's opinions and perspectives shift so quickly based on the story she shares from her past based on misconceptions or deep societal beliefs.

Much of Mary's work today deals with "Relating Effectively," as a speaker, author, trainer, and relational coach, helping people overcome their PTSD due to surviving exploitation, addiction and homelessness. She speaks to the importance of the phrase "I believe you" and how much weight and power that can carry while supporting others on their healing journey. 

She shares her personal strategies for dealing with PTSD, as well as her perspectives on exploitation and prostitution vs being prostituted.

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LINKS:

Vancouver Podcast Festival

Mary's Website

Book: Wow Woman of Worth: 15 Empowered Entrepreneurs Share Success Stories with Soul

The Safe Haven Podcast:

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January 3, 2020

HAPPY NEW YEAR! - TGIT turned into a TGIF after being stuck in the mountains!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

A day late for this TGIT! I'd say no excuses, but I was stuck in the mountains because of road closures and avalanches... can't even make that stuff up!

I hope your holidays were awesome. This episode gives some updates on the holidays here in the mountains and how fun our New Years was, including 2 x 1000 piece puzzles, Mandalorian binge sessions, GT races, game nights, 8 ft snow buddy named Billy Beaton and what being stuck in the mountains can be like!

...

New Years resolutions anyone?

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LINKS:

Cobble Hill Santa Puzzle

Disney+ Mandalorian

JACKBOX.TV - QUIPLASH 2

Amazon.ca - HIVE Pocket - SUCH A GOOD 2 PLAYER GAME!

Billy Beaton!

Amazon.ca - CODENAMES - A really really great game!! 

The Safe Haven Podcast:

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December 30, 2019

Tim Ting, a musician and cruise ship music director talks about his recent career shift into real estate.

Tim Ting worked as a musician and a musical director on a cruise ship for eight years! He sheds light on what living on a ship is like, and what his work life balance was like during this time. 

Tim has recently changed his career path, and is now working as a Real Estate agent in the lower mainland. 

Listen along as he shares a few stories about his early years and some unique perspectives he's acquired during his life, laced with his quirky sense of humour! 

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LINKS:

The Safe Haven Podcast:

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December 23, 2019

A phone call with Katie Sobil about Mom life and how damaging our internal dialogue can be!

 Trying something new heading into the holidays! A phone call with one of my closest friends, Katie Sobil!  She's been one of my partners in the photography world, and is always a source of inspiration when it comes to trying something new. 

 A Mom of two busy kids, Katie shares some challenges she's faced with going back to work as a nurse, and how that has had her questioning her next moves in photography and videography while giving as much of her time to her kids as she possibly can.  She shares some cringe-worthy stories about things her busy kids have done, including beads up the nose, and painting the walls! - Stories I'm sure some parents out there can relate to!

 Katie and I talk about how important our friendship has become to one another, being each other's sounding board... having someone who can talk you through your self-doubt when it comes to natural talents, career choices, and over thinking habits - even when you're setting up for an epidural, right Katie?! These voices in our heads can be so challenging, and somehow we allow them to tell us we aren't good enough, we aren't capable enough, we should be doing something better than we are... We wouldn't tolerate someone else speaking to us the way we speak to ourselves... so why do we speak to ourselves to poorly? We talk about how crucial it is to start catching yourself in these moments and actively changing your thought patterns. 

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LINKS:

The Untethered Soul - Michael A. Singer

The Safe Haven Podcast:

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December 16, 2019

EA Douglas discusses her personal challenges related to mental illness, and how for her, creativity is healing.

Settling into Vancouver after a big move from Toronto, EA is figuring out how to find balance in our busy world while managing her mental health and wellness. In this episode, she opens up about some really low times she's experienced that landed her in the hospital, and how writing, photography and art help her look after her mental wellbeing. 

EA demonstrates some incredible vulnerability on her social media platforms, and opens up about some personal stories from her past with us during this conversation. Her self awareness and ownership of behaviour is really admirable, as you'll hear in the stories she shares. She opens up about MDD, and what living through psychotic episodes can feel like. 

EA shares the whys and whats behind her "zine" - her self published booklet called "Strange and Mysterious Creatures," and how this personal diary helps her maintain her creativity and share her sense of humour and even the darker sides of life as she knows it.  This platform allows EA a space for her own personal narratives through her past, which is woven with emotional and physical abuse, self-harm, trauma and substance abuse. 

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LINKS:

Broken Pencil - Canzine

EA Douglas's Website, Newsletters, and Online Shop!

The Artist's Way - Morning Pages

EA's Instagram @ea.douglas 

The Safe Haven Podcast:

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December 12, 2019

TGIT - Happy Full Moon! Giveaway updates, holiday sweaters, podcasts I love, and some laughs along the way!

 Happy "12-12" Full Moon my friends! Do you set intentions with the moon? The full moon is a perfect time to reflect on where you've come in the last two weeks, working towards goals or reflecting on the intentions you've set! It's an excellent time to release or purge things that no longer serve you... that could mean food, toxins, drugs, anything in excess, tension, stress, negative or hurtful relationships, etc! 

 In this episode, I share some fun updates about a giveaway that I won, and share the excitement I have about a giveaway that I'll be doing with Welo Probiotics and Love Powered Co. in the next few weeks! 

 Find out what I'm reading, what I'm watching, how much fun it is updating instagram accounts... (insert eye-roll emoji!) and how things are going in #Nakusp! 

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LINKS:

Love Powered Co. Instagram: @lovepoweredco

Welo Probiotics Instagram: @welo.probiotics

The Birds Papaya Instagram: @thebirdspapaya @thepapayapodcast

The Universe Has your Back - Card Deck

Mitch's Company - Starting Lineup Uniforms and Apparel

Over The Top - Jonathan Van Ness

Dare To Lead - Brené Brown

The Lodge ("K2")

Honey (for discount codes! THE BEST!!)

Star Wars

The Safe Haven Podcast:

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December 9, 2019

Juan (JD) Leaño shares beautiful insights after recently returning from his SoulCycle training in NYC!

 Juan (J.D.) Leaño has the most infectious positive energy I’ve come across in a while.  He’s vibrant and kind, ambitious and humble. 

 Has anyone ever told you that an indoor cycling class could change your life? It’s true. I’ve experienced it myself. Recently back from an intensive training in New York City, JD has officially crossed off a life goal of becoming a SoulCycle instructor - but it didn’t come easily! Four applications and three auditions later, JD has navigated deep self-discovery, diving into his true motivations, and now holds space for others to live their truths. In this episode, JD sheds light on growing up internationally, shaping his own true identity, and moving through shame he has felt associated with being Latino. We talk about the importance of exercise and movement, nutrition, limiting beliefs, the stories we tell ourselves, and how “cyclical” (my cycling pun!) the highs and lows of life are.

 You won’t want to miss this uplifting conversation!

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LINKS:

SoulCycle

SoulCycle Vancouver

Lewis Howes

JD's Instagram - @jdleano

The Safe Haven Podcast:

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December 2, 2019

Kelly Lamb unfolds the challenges faced with stating her faith in Vancouver, while exploring the role of women in the church and the gospel.

 Kelly Lamb is a highly educated, well-travelled, motivated, kind and compassionate woman, and I feel extremely grateful for having made her acquaintance. In this episode, Kelly openly shares the challenges she’s faced stating her faith in Vancouver. She delves into her opinions and perspectives she’s gained after asking questions loudly about the where women fit into the narrative of the gospel and into society and into church life, with both passion and grace. Exploring such topics has created rifts in her life, often resulting in her being asked, “Why are you so angry?” She shares questions she’s been asking recently, inwardly and outwardly, highlighting the importance of being able to live in tension, building bridges in society, and how you really need to go into “your basement” and do the work. Get into the ugly, face it, and move forward.  Listen along to hear about her incredibly unique life experiences, her “switchback lifestyle,” while exploring her life’s purpose.

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LINKS:

Adventure Teaching

Parker Palmer

The Safe Haven Podcast:

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November 28, 2019

TGIT - Gratitude and grief both offer powerful learning opportunities.

 Thank Goodness It’s Thursday!

A gigantic shout out to Jessica Lee for opening up her space this weekend, granting me the opportunity to record four incredible episodes! They offer very different but very moving content, so buckle up! This week’s TGIT holds few updates about my work contract, and some exciting adventures I’ve been on with the students, including WE Day in Vancouver seeing Frozen 2 in reclining chairs! Not sure who enjoyed that field trip more, me or my students.

I open up about how distance in relationships has never felt hard for me until last week, being on the other side of the country while Riley was grieving the loss of his Opa.  

I also share how much I am looking forward to being an extra set of eyes, ears, hands and an extra heart for my sister next semester while living in their basement “Auntie” suite! 

PS - Check out The NaturoDetox Show! 

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LINKS:

The Safe Haven Podcast:

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November 25, 2019

Chad Gilmour highlights some deep and interesting insights into the role of a father and lessons while becoming one himself!

Chad Gilmour has recently turned a gigantic page in his life story, taking on a brand new role as a Father!  This has Chad reflecting deeply on his own life choices, the role of his own father in his life and the role of his Grandfather on his Dad’s life, or lack thereof. 

“How can I be the best person in his world? How can I be as present in my son’s life as possible?”

Self examination is something that Chad has become very familiar with, and in this conversations, you’ll hear Chad open up about some of the deep conversations he’s had recently with his friends. He’s learned some hard lessons along the way, and opens up about some lessons he’s learned with regards to alcohol and the way his life has changed without it. Chad is definitely a lifelong learner, and shares some lessons he’s learned through experiences, and things he’s read, including the importance of expressing yourself effectively and respectfully.

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LINKS:

The Long War

Julia Cameron - The Artist's Way

The Safe Haven Podcast:

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November 18, 2019

My best friend Jessica Lee opens up about her struggles with weight and body image on her journey towards self love!

 One of my best friends, Jessica Lee, has officially made her debut on The Safe Haven Podcast! 

 I really couldn’t be more excited to share this deep chat with you. Jess is moving through some major confrontations and epiphanies with regards to her weight and self-image.  She opens up about the healing she is working through right now with her body image, body positivity and appreciation. She is exploring the concept of disordered eating and how this has shaped her life and her views of herself throughout her life. We discuss body issues we’ve both experienced, what inspiration looks like and feels like for us, and how some insecurities present themselves. Jess and I are deep-divers when it comes to conversation and vulnerability, and this conversation is a great example of what a safe space for sharing and growth can feel like. 

 Jessica Lee, I appreciate you so much, and feel honoured to call you my bestie. 

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LINKS:

The Long War - Instagram: @thelongwarband

The Birds Papaya 

Mik Zazon

Jess's Instagram: @jessnewtonmusic 

The Safe Haven Podcast:

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November 14, 2019

TGIT - A perfect girls’ weekend and podcast festival lessons!

Back at it after an incredible girls’ weekend in Naramata, BC, with games and some wine tasting, lots of lovely chats, heaps of laughs, and something extra exciting... Sam got engaged!

The new teaching gig has officially started, and it’s great! I’m feeling super grateful to have been asked to step in while another teacher is away.

I also learned some big lessons last Friday at the Vancouver Podcast Festival while discussing the frequency of content release and burn out. I’m nowhere near burning out, but gained some new perspectives on what it can do to your podcast’s success and how you need to maintain momentum by keeping your head and your heart in check.  TGITs will become a bi-weekly release, in order to maintain quality content and to continue chasing interview and storytelling content!

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LINKS:

The Safe Haven Podcast:

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Email: thesafehavenpodcast@gmail.com 

Use code SAFEHAVEN for 15% off at Love Powered Co.

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November 12, 2019

Nature loving herbalist Nikola Barsoum shares stories about grief, gratitude, emotions, togetherness, and sustainable living.

Nikola Barsoum and I met recently in BC, after being put in contact through a mutual friend, Kathryn (Berube) Darling, and we clicked immediately. As a herbalist, Nikola lives in a sustainable community of 40 people in the Kootenays offering her herbs, herbal medicine and tinctures, and is one of the most interesting people I have ever met. In this conversation, you’ll hear about many of her journeys and life experiences which brought her to where she is now, working with herbs in her garden, with the most genuine love of life and nature and the environment. During our chat, Nikola shares an unexpected story about how her partner died in a hiking fall, and the steps she has taken to heal through this significant loss. Her interest and passion for understanding environmental issues weaves through her stories, along with the deep emotions and connections she has with our world. She shares her perspectives on water use, conscious eating and sustainable living.

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Links:

Vandana Shiva

Permaculture BC - Reflections on food forester Richard Walker

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November 7, 2019

TGIT - A Halloween robbery, some great conversations, and learning lessons along the way.

Thank Goodness It’s Thursday!

Already a week into November, what the heck?! Back to work after a really fabulous ten days out in the mountains! In this episode, I share about some Halloween shenanigans, (including a robbery!), what meeting a best friend’s best friend feels like, how a podcast was the catalyst to a good cry on the phone with my Dad, and what karma can look like when you say something you shouldn’t say, ever, but in this case, online! - and get caught doing so. Forgiveness is key. We all say things and do things we shouldn’t, but that’s where so many lessons are found. Hey, I asked a life-long friend something today that made me feel so embarrassed afterwards, but she’s so full of grace that she just left it go… gah, there are so many good people in this world.  Have a great Thursday and enjoy your (long) weekend! 

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LINKS:

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November 4, 2019

Anna Swisterski shares her story of nature, travel, and her journey as a Shadow Guide

Back in July, while chasing content around Western Ontario, I met Anna Swisterski. Our mutual friend Urszula put us in touch when the podcast was still fresh! 

Anna grew up in Windsor, Ontario. In her later teens, she started to feel a pull that she needed to leave and explore somewhere else and be in nature. Confused about next steps, she was sure she wanted to be in nature, so she jumped into the a Parks and Outdoor Recreation program for two years. The science and outdoors really interests her, but there was more depth with healing and intuition that was pulling her in other directions, along with a relationship!  Later on, it was through a breakup and some self-healing and growth, Anna found herself as a Shadow Guide, and continues to live her truth and realities today!

Today is also her birthday! Happy Birthday Anna. Thanks for sharing your story! 

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Links:

Anna's Personal Website; AnnaSwisterski.com

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October 31, 2019

TGIT - Reflections on Halloween and “sexy” costume mentalities while entering 2019’s final Mercury Retrograde!

Thank Goodness It’s Thursday!

Not only is it Halloween today, it’s the first day of the last Mercury Retrograde of 2019! Unsure of what that means? I share a little in this episode about what retrograde means, and why the next three weeks may feel rather emotional and intense! I also share some perspectives on some chats with Jess and a few articles I’ve read recently about Halloween, costumes, the expectation and/or acceptance around “sexy” costumes, and why freedom of expression should really be embraced - especially for Halloween.  I read an article about “slut-shaming” this week, and how it’s the most scary thing about Halloween. Halloween is loved by so many people, disliked by others, and misunderstood by a huge majority of the world that doesn’t even recognize the day! So enjoy, embrace, and accept. 

H A P P Y   H A L L O W E E N ! 

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Links:

Retrograde

Article - Mercury In Retrograde Is Around The Corner, And It's Time To Be Cautious

Article - How Parents Should Talk About Sexy Halloween Costumes With Teens And Children

Article - The Scariest Part Of Halloween Is Costume Slut-Shaming

The Safe Haven Podcast:

Become a Patron - Patreon: The Safe Haven Podcast

Podbean: The Safe Haven Podcast

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