BWB Business Member KASIA RACHFALL a Quick Profile by Tom Kernaghan


How do you take charge of a frigging monkey on an emotional rollercoaster? First of all, stop listening to its crap. Secondly, don’t get on the ride just because it wants you to. Thirdly, create a new reality ride for yourself and shift in that direction. If all of this sounds as compelling as it does daunting, then you are ready to meet Kasia Rachfall, an intuitive natural health practitioner, life coach, healer, and artist for women who want to “ditch the midlife funk and live with no regrets, and create the impact they long to be recognized for.”  

Kasia understands how past stories, programming, and belief systems can block and limit the potential for living fully and happily. Not only is she educated/certified in transpersonal psychology, life coaching, Akashic Records reading, neuro-linguistic programming, Specialized Kinesiology, Stress Indicator Point Systems (SIPS™), Time Line Therapy™, Thought Field Therapy (TFT), and Reiki, but she has gone through her own long healing journey and discovered why “ticking all the boxes” of life did not leave her feeling fulfilled.

Kasia fully admits that she is not for everyone. She is feisty, forthright, and fun, and absolutely here to help other women over 40 who are determined to gain self-knowledge, trust themselves, and move toward what they want. She has attained mastery over her own rollercoaster monkey mind and is ready to help you with yours. So we were thrilled to learn more about her and how she rolls (pun fully intended). 

I remember my female friends in university. They seemed wild, fierce, and unapologetic. But more and more I hear about women roughly my age who are struggling to live authentically. The outside world has no shortage of pressures,  I know, but what happens WITHIN women by midlife that hijacks their true selves? 

Life happens, and it can be so hard that we forget our true nature, which takes the wind out of our sails and makes us feel like we are drowning. But it starts early. There are so many expectations, belief systems, programs, traumas, and epigenetic influences that get heaped onto us as soon as we are born into this world. We may have dreams and goals and yet feel so incapable and unworthy of them because of all that crap that bogs us down and makes us forget that we have a choice and that we are actually really powerful. 

For so many women life becomes what they believe they are expected to do. They get a career, buy a house, have a relationship and then kids, have friends, support their kids’ interests, et cetera. At the same time, they try to deal with their emotions and take care of their bodies, and this can often feel like an existence more than a thriving life. They feel like they should be happy but deep down they aren’t and this carries with it secret shame. 

After taking care of everyone else, they feel they’ve lost themselves. They know they are meant for more, but the shoulds and expectations have eaten up all their time and energy, leaving their bodies tired and sick, their brains foggy, their sleep patterns compromised. They yearn for more meaning and joy, and try a bunch of things to help themselves, but this only chips away at the problem and makes them feel they are doing it all wrong, losing traction and momentum towards their own dreams. 

Right around age forty they are faced with a midlife funk and that craving for more from life becomes too strong to ignore. They begin to choose and invest in themselves and their own well-being. This means asking for help and being willing to receive it, so that they can truly commit to the healing work that reconnects them to their own spiritual journey, helps them to say yes to making an impact, and removes the layers that keep them from remembering their wholeness. 

You offer many modalities — Specialized Kinesiology, art channelling, and Akashic reading work — but where do you start? What do you look for in the women who seek out your services, and what is the essential desired outcome?

I’ll start with your last question. My deepest desire and vision for our world is that we stop passing down our pain to our future generations. This is why I do this work and why I’m so dedicated to learning about mental, physical, and emotional health and mastery. I believe we are never broken. We simply forget how powerful and capable we are because life puts layers of limitations, beliefs, programs, and conditioning on us. The more we know and understand how we work and how the Universe works, the easier it is to embrace our own power and make decisions and choices to help ourselves and others. We heal, grow, and thrive faster when we take a holistic approach and include the mind, body, and spirit.

I work with a 4-stage model of the healing journey and I tend to work best with the women who are at stage 3 of healing: they are truly ready to finish healing rather than just dabble in another thing that sounds cool. These women have been on the spiritual path for some time and no longer believe they are victims of their past. They are ready to work with me to take responsibility for healing their pain. This doesn’t mean any of it is their fault. It simply means that they are finished living with it and are ready to do whatever it takes to feel better, to remember their wholeness, and no longer carry the past like a concrete backpack. They are ready to step onto the growth and thriving path; to become the version of themselves who trusts, believes, and takes action with confidence; and to make an impact and be recognized for it.

This doesn’t happen overnight, but it can happen faster than you think. Healing doesn’t have to take a long time and doesn’t have to be hard work — but you’ve got to be ready for full commitment and participation. I don’t tend to attract women into my practice who are still committed to their pain and suffering.

I love the integration of Specialized Kinesiology and the Akashic Records in my work because it allows me to give both the body and the soul a voice, understand what they want, and help women to release the layers of stress, trauma and drama held in the body and energy fields so they can move into possibilities and potential. This involves identifying limiting beliefs and feeling their backlog of emotions in a way that releases them rather than fuelling and perpetuating them. It’s a wild emotional ride at first because so many women feel unworthy, not good enough, and are easily triggered by their circumstances. They just want to know what to do and have the courage to take that first next step. 

My clients also learn about neuroplasticity to rewire their brains and bodies for the habits and beliefs they want to have. I guide my clients to avoid and navigate the post-healing apocalypse loops of habit, behaviour, thought and emotion that are so easy to slide back into while on this path. They uncover their own definitions for success, impact, spirituality, self-love, and connection. They cross bridges of change and build strong foundations on which to build their lives after the healing work is finished. They become the self-trusting versions of themselves that fully believe in their missions and purposes, trusting that the process and the Universe will have their backs and illuminate their paths in divine timing.

This brings us back to your first question. The Akashic Records — the quantum Universe’s information field, or vibrational archive of the soul’s path — are usually where we begin because they offer clear insight into the purpose of the patterns and struggles that my clients have. The Records fill in the blanks and explain a lot about why my clients find themselves in the circumstances they do and what they can do to shift and redirect towards what they want instead. We then turn to Specialized Kinesiology to identify and remove the muscle memory of stress and old programs from the body and energy field. We continue to work with both the Akashic Records and kinesiology to peel back and release the layers that are no longer necessary for the client’s growth and focus on what the client wants to create in her life.

I know you also have also studied business communication and love to connect by speaking and reaching out to people through your podcast. Tell us a bit about this work! 

I love to speak and teach. In fact, according to my numerology I am an innovator and I am meant to teach what I learn. Over the years that I’ve been doing this work, I’ve created many resources and tools (videos, courses, articles, flowcharts, and more) to help women navigate the mental and emotional rollercoaster. To this day, I use these whenever I myself need them — because they remind me that I’m in charge. Many of these are free on my website and my YouTube channel. 

I also host a podcast called Permission Granted Podcast with three colleagues, and we discuss topics and concerns that matter to women today. We’re scattered across North America (New Jersey, Minnesota, and British Columbia) but manage to coordinate ourselves every couple weeks to record our episodes, which are available on Soundcloud. It gives us a way to connect with each other and support each other as we live our lives and run our businesses — and to support other women who are seeking a community and are ready to thrive and lead in their lives unapologetically. 

I remember your talk at BWB’s Storytelling Tuesday a few months ago. It was honest, engaging, and powerful — very much related to the work you do. Can you tell our readers a little about how your journey has inspired your passion to help other women? 

I had no idea why I was unhappy. As I saw it, I hadn’t really experienced any trauma and thought that only people who had “bad things” happen to them were unhappy. My family immigrated from Communist Poland to Canada when I was nine years old, and then my parents got divorced when I was a teen. And like many teen girls, I had body image and self esteem issues. But otherwise, over the years, I felt like my life was okay. 

That changed after the birth of my children, when I experienced horrible suicidal postpartum depression and saw no meaning in my life. I felt a lot of shame about this because I had so much to live and to be grateful for — my amazing husband, my healthy kids, my family, my job, my home — but I felt incapable of feeling any gratitude. I wanted to escape because I felt trapped in my life by responsibilities and expectations. 

I hated being alive. I hated being a mom. I thought life on this planet was a sick joke, and felt like a victim of circumstances and suffered deeply. I didn’t know how to handle my negative emotions and so I numbed myself to them and pretended they weren’t there. The problem there is that we can’t selectively numb ourselves and so I couldn’t feel any joy either. 

I tried counselling and antidepressants but when I didn’t feel any better after a month or so, I knew there had to be something different. One night, as I contemplated how one actually ends one’s life, I heard this voice in my mind that said, “You created this, and you can uncreate it.” I was blown away by this thought. Although I had no idea how I would change my life, I was relieved that there may be another way, a better way. 

Then I discovered the work of Dr. Wayne Dyer and began devouring all this teachings. None of it made sense at first, but I felt compelled to keep learning. Incrementally I felt better and better all on my own. I began following the crumbs of inspiration and one thing led to another. I read more books, took programs, and met people who showed me how much potential and choice I actually had. I went back to school to get various certifications and a master’s degree in psychology. I began working with other moms who wanted happiness but didn’t know how to go about it. I was intrigued by neuroscience and energy work. By following these crumbs, I continued to help myself, to discover my own spiritual path, and I was able to fully heal from my depression and my shame.

I firmly believe that we are always whole but life causes us to forget this, and that by choosing to walk a healing and a spiritual path we remember our wholeness and take charge of our own power. 

What do balance and well-being mean to you?

I used to think that balance meant every slice of my life pie had to receive equal amounts of my attention and energy. This was crazy making and impossible because inevitably something would slip through the cracks. It was when I honestly looked at what was important to me and what I wanted to say yes to that I was able to balance my life more easily. Some slices of my pie get a lot more of my attention than others. My family and my mental, emotional, and physical health are the most important, and next is my work and my community. There are other smaller slices, of course, but they are not priorities as such. 

By being clear on the true priorities I can manage and dedicate my time and energy accordingly. Sometimes one slice requires all of my attention and I know that I can easily give it because the other slices are also taken care of. All that to say that balance to me means knowing what’s important to you and having the energy to devote to those priorities. This knowing brings a sense of peace and freedom because it’s easier to say no to things that don’t fit and yes to things that matter. Well-being means feeling content and settled in our own life and trusting that we can take care of what we say yes to and also be taken care of in return. 

Now for the fun finale! Care to share something quirky or interesting about yourself that our readers may not know?

Ha ha. I feel like I’m pretty much an open book! Speaking of books, I love to read and I usually gravitate towards stories with happy endings and warm fuzzy emotions. I don’t like to be scared or stressed out when I read! So, when I do come across a book and I don’t care for the ending or I disagree with the author’s story choices, I rewrite the scenes or the ending to suit my taste. I don’t let anyone read these rewrites, but it makes me feel better to change the story to how I think it should have gone. 

Kasia’s Facebook Page
Kasia’s YouTube

Tom Kernaghan, owner of Oak Writer
I write stories about people, businesses, and communities so that people will remember what makes them uniquely powerful.
Tell me your story!

(250) 863-6297

BWB Business Member KAREN BOWEN (MKH) a Quick Profile by Tom Kernaghan


You’re at the centre of it all. Your potential influence, that is. For Karen Bowen and her team at ManagerKnowHow (MKH), high leadership effectiveness begins with personal mastery and radiates outward to impact all aspects of life and work. It’s about harnessing self-awareness to maximum effect in all decisions and situations, and Karen has seen many of both. She has over 25 years of combined experience in leading teams, understanding organizations, and helping leaders to transform their cultures and improve their performance. 

Originally from Nova Scotia, Karen has a BA in English from St. Mary’s University, an MA in Leadership from Royal Roads University, and a Certification in Adult Continuing Education (CACE), in addition to myriad certifications in standardized tools for behavioural and workplace assessment. Her own leadership roles encompass many descriptions, including, among others, teacher, planner, designer, and coach. Always striving to live and lead holistically, Karen is also a fitness trainer and yoga instructor, and an outdoor enthusiast. She is a woman who knows the sphere and nature of her influence. 

So we were thrilled she took some time to share some wisdom from her work. 

Let’s jump right in at the MKH Model. In the centre of the circle is “Leading Self.” What, fundamentally, are managers looking to acquire when they come to MKH — in terms of self-awareness and skills — and what is often their ultimate goal?

Great question, and the importance of self-awareness is becoming more recognized as the absolutely essential first step in leadership. Leaders and teams that look for a deeper understanding of who they are express curiosity about how they show up, and what aspects of personality, emotional intelligence, values, biases (just to name a few) impact their interactions with both themselves and others. It is critical to recognize that understanding oneself does not mean judging or labelling any aspect of who we are as “good” or “bad.” Rather, it is an exploration in why and how we perceive our world around us, how that impacts our relationships, and the leverage points where we can increase our effectiveness. Astute managers, leaders, and teams show inquisitiveness, tolerance, and open-mindedness when exploring self-awareness.

Having worked in a variety of organizations myself, I am keenly aware of the vital role leaders play in setting and influencing the organizational culture. Another term about your brand stuck out for me: “Workplace Culture Partner.” What does that mean in terms of the collaborative exploration you undertake with leaders?

When I chose “workplace culture partner” as a descriptor, it came from experiences  where I was asked to “fix” things, or to “solve” issues commonly referred to as “dysfunction.” In our world of quick fixes, there can be a perception that I come in, deliver a workshop, and somehow make a culture better. While learning opportunities can be a powerful part of any team initiative, the work really happens on the ground, in the day-to-day interactions, communications, processes. For example, I can teach people communication skills, but I can’t teach them to be good communicators; that is a personal commitment individuals need to undertake. 

Positive culture is not a finite problem or endgame that can be solved and forgotten about; it is an ongoing challenge you keep working at every day. I often refer to “sticky issues,” a term I learned in my Human Systems Dynamics certification. Sticky Issues are those ones that will not stay solved, that are complex, and that can only be influenced by those directly involved in them. By this definition organizational culture is a sticky issue. 

I am a partner in the process of learning new skills, identifying the positive patterns that you want to foster, and then fanning and supporting change through dialogue and intervention. I help to leverage “pockets of positive deviance” and coach you through the inherent challenges of change, but I cannot “fix” your culture. That is up to you and everyone in your organization to recognize and get on board with. Pursuing excellence can be simple in premise but it is not easy to do, and it requires persistence. I offer support.

Having worked with a few leadership coaches in my career, I know this journey can be complex and challenging, but also highly rewarding. What drew you to this work? Can you point to events in your life, or did you have an innate desire to help others?

My journey was indirect, with many twists and turns, as most are. In my very first “real” job I was involved in supporting customers and training. The first eight years of my career were spent with a payroll company, and I travelled the Atlantic Provinces connecting with our customers, supporting them, and helping them to learn the system and manage the change. Then I shifted completely to managing internal training and on-boarding the company’s new employees for a few years. 

I have been heavily involved in technology, foreign exchange, and most recently healthcare. My industry background is a bit eclectic, but the thread was always helping others to succeed. Through my direct experience in managing and leading teams, I realized I have a passion not for being the manager, but in helping other leaders. I often joke that I tried to leave my career a few times, but it kept finding me, which is as close to a calling as I can imagine. And while my technical knowledge and my understanding of leadership in human systems allow me to design high-quality and powerful sessions, I feel it is my empathy, vulnerability, and compassion for those leading in complexity that keep me successful in this field. 

I am fulfilled by watching people grow, shift, and stretch into their effectiveness and potential. I learn every single time I interact with my clients, and the richness I receive from working with amazing people, teams, and leaders inspires me to continue to grow, fail, and stretch into my own personal leadership as well. I am so blessed to love what I do!

This is a short one. What do the terms balance and well-being mean to you? 

Can I “LOL” here? I think the answer to this could be very long. However, in short, and to me, balance is all about feeding your mind, your body, and your soul. If one is neglected, the others will suffer, and it is incredibility difficult to be optimistic and resilient if you are off-balance. I also think this is personal, so I would not define balance for anyone but myself. For example, what is the best work-life balance for me may not be the same for another. And I think the two are very closely linked: knowing what balance means you is, in my opinion, the foundation of well-being. 

There is a myriad of ways to support your own well-being. Reflecting on the areas and strategies that will support you is key. Well-being is honouring all aspects of health: physical, emotional, mental, and perhaps spiritual. This includes high-quality and positive relationships with yourself and others. As for myself, if I am unwell in any of these categories it directly impacts my sense of well-being. Being balanced feeds into my well-being. And if I find myself unhappy, I look to where I am lacking balance. 

While MKH operates mainly in the realm of business-to-business, you are offering a public course in March 2019 called “Essential Facilitation Skills.” Tell us a bit about this event. What sort of experience are people in for? 

I am very excited about bringing this course to the general public. During my sessions and workshops, clients often ask me where I learned to be “such a good facilitator” and if I know of a course that will help them to better manage groups, teams, and sometimes individuals, in various scenarios. It could be a team meeting, a larger training session, or something as simple as a project update or a workshop to gather ideas. 

The theme of the event is that many people “wing-it” without process and techniques that support good group management. I am looking forward to sharing what I have learned over the years on how to have a strong presence in a room and allow flexibility for exploration and structure/agenda management at the same time. Also how to create activities that have an element of fun, but are practical and effective for solving problems, identifying goals, or generating ideas. The biggest concern, not surprisingly, is how to manage the different personalities that show up, sometimes in a challenging way, and how to avoid “derailment” due to personality conflicts, power dynamics, or the context that each individual brings. 

As an aside and little sneak peek, the premise is to always find a way that allows individuals to retain their dignity; every interaction should be based on kindness and grace. We go through all of this, and more, in this course! I also have a passion for making BIG topics digestible and as simple as possible. Participants will walk away with templates, tools, and techniques they can use immediately, regardless of their experience. My hope is to help others become confident and effective in any type of scenario involving groups.

We are also looking to develop “sister” workshops to this event, including “Meeting Management” and “Presentation Skills,” to cover any type of organizational meeting and/or speaking engagement. Stay tuned! 

The link to Essential Facilitation Skills is here.

Our last question is always a playful one. Care to share a fun fact about yourself that most would not know? It can be a personal tidbit, a habit, or a story, etc. 

Hmm, this is hard, as I am a very transparent person and a bit quirky, so hopefully my sense of fun and humour is obvious. I love to laugh! I have a deep love for animals and can lose hours watching silly pet videos. And I have been known to make my own here and there with my two cats or my pug (he loves cameos in my desk yoga videos). 

As my company can be seen as very corporate focused, I would like to share my interest and curiosity around how we connect more deeply as human beings and how extremely powerful simple compassion and touch can be. Currently I am working on my certification in Thai Yoga Massage, and when I teach my fitness classes my participants are gracious enough to let me practice with them — so much so, I think the reason they show up for the tough classes is to enjoy the relaxing head massage at the end! 

Thank you so much for the opportunity to share a bit more about what I do and who I am!

Contact Karen at, or learn more on the web via our  Website,  Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.


Tom Kernaghan, owner of Oak Writer
I write stories about people, businesses, and communities so that people will remember what makes them uniquely powerful.
Tell me your story!

(250) 863-6297


BWB Business Member JOLANDA HIMMELSTEIN a Quick Profile by Tom Kernaghan


Relax, release, and recharge. If this sounds straightforward and doable, then you already have an idea of how Jolanda Himmelstein works and what she offers. For Jolanda, a multi-skilled holistic practitioner and owner of Health Flows, balance and well-being do not have to be complicated or out of reach. It is about addressing whatever is keeping our energy from flowing nicely. But then, she has been on the path of supporting people for years. 

After growing up in Switzerland, Jolanda studied in Germany, Taiwan, and China, and also taught in Hong Kong and Singapore. Her passion for Asian culture and her life as a mother inspired her to explore the mind-body connection and how to encourage a person’s innate healing powers to bring balance to any disharmonies. She has certifications in sound therapy, Jin Shin Jyutsu®, Access Bars®, foot reflexology (RCRT certified), and is an experienced Qi Gong teacher. Fluent in four languages, Jolanda originally loved working with children and adults as a language teacher. Today, describing herself as a “global citizen who endeavours to listen to the voice of her heart,” she offers illuminating classes and workshops to help others get in touch with themselves and pursue ongoing health and well-being.  

So we are thrilled she has shared some of her wisdom with us. 

In preparing for this profile, I noticed one term kept popping up — “gentle.” This appears to be not only an essential element of your approach but also something clients seek and appreciate. What, in your experience, is not gentle in people’s lives that they seek your services?

As we all know, not every experience in life is a gentle one. That in itself needn’t be a problem, as we sometimes grow stronger in the face of adversity. It only becomes a problem when a person loses a sense of who they are and believe what others say about them. This happens often during childhood. When people internalize others’ harsh opinions or judgments, they tend to become unkind towards themselves through their thoughts and actions, often unaware of the root cause of their behaviour. 

I believe in creating a safe environment for my clients and students where gentleness is a crucial element. Any challenge that a client brings — be it physical, mental, or emotional — can be seen as a hardening, a stagnation of energy. A gentle approach will encourage the innate healing powers within an individual to become stronger, similar to warm sunshine encouraging the frozen water in an icicle to melt and the water to flow again.

Your services all serve to restore health through awareness, harmony, and transformation. One discovery, in particular, piqued my interest. The translation of Jin Shin Jyutsu breaks down into “human being,” “creator,” and “art.” I love this language connection suggesting people create their own lives through one or more of the modalities you offer. What’s the first thing you look for when an individual comes to you?

When I meet a client, there is more than one consideration going on at the same time. Firstly, I am always excited about meeting another fascinating human being who is led to my practice and ready for more harmony in their life. Simultaneously I learn about the obvious reason why a person comes to see me, such as a severe pain somewhere in the body. I observe and listen with all my senses to pick up some indication of the hidden reason behind that physical discomfort. Often there is an imbalance in the person’s life they are less conscious about, which needs support. This helps me decide which kind of treatment to start out with. Usually I receive more information on how to help an individual during the course of their treatment. This can lead to choosing some sound healing during a hands-on modality, for example.

Having lived in many cultures, you must have found some deeply common aspects of being human that connect us, even as our individual expressions of them vary. Fundamentally, how would you define or describe balance and well-being? 

Allow me to answer this with a metaphor from my Qi Gong classes. We can find balance when we fully exhale what we no longer need and, reaching the turn of the breath, welcome the new breath to freely flow into us, with all the goodness from the earth and the universe (heaven). If there is no resistance anywhere in this process, we are living true to our heart, we are at peace, and thus at home in well-being. Clothes, customs, and beliefs can differ depending on culture, but essentially human beings are in similar situations, experiencing some hiccups, metaphorically speaking, and striving for balance and well-being.

I’m curious about your decision to move from Europe to Asia. What inspired you to embark on such a journey? Was it something about life in Europe that motivated you, something fascinating about Asia, or both? 

It’s all a matter of perspective. For some of my friends in Switzerland, studying in Germany seemed unimaginable. Others felt living in Asia was a big deal. To me, none of those moves — which were motivated by a good university, Chinese language studies, and following my boyfriend, later my husband — were any different from someone choosing this career or that partner. However, it did take a great deal of effort to apply for immigration in Canada (especially since we needed background checks in half a dozen countries where we had lived), uproot our family in Hong Kong, and move to Kelowna. But then again, it was just another stage in life. Personally, I am very grateful for all the stages that led me here, to the beautiful Okanagan! I have happily put down roots in Kelowna. Will there be another move some time? Who knows?

As you may know, we like to finish our profiles with a fun fact about our members. Would you care to share something personal about yourself most would not know? 

Over twenty years ago, when I lived in Singapore, I was on TV playing in the Pyramid Game, a local quiz show. I lost in the first round, but people recognized me in the street afterwards. All in all it was a very interesting experience!

Health Flows is located in beautiful Magic Estates, Kelowna

txt/ph 250 718 5565

Tom Kernaghan, owner of Oak Writer
I write stories about people, businesses, and communities so that people will remember what makes them uniquely powerful.
Tell me your story!

(250) 863-6297

BWB Business Member ANNETTE ADKIN a Quick Profile by Tom Kernaghan


It is never too late to become the person you are capable of being. But what is getting in the way of you reaching your potential? That is exactly what Annette Adkin of Pure Insights Counselling can help you to explore, reveal, and ultimately move through.

For 28 years, Annette has been helping individuals, couples, families, and groups explore their stories and create safe places to understand themselves and how they show up in their lives. She knows that none of us gets through life unscathed and we are all trying to recover the parts of ourselves that did not get activated during childhood. We conceal our hurt by developing coping strategies to help us deal with painful experiences. However, life’s painful events are often the catalysts forcing us to get past our old patterns. Annette helps people identify those patterns, deal with their distress, and take steps to create what they truly want in their lives.

Annette is a Registered Professional Counsellor through the Professional Counselling Association. She has studied social work at UBCO and Canyon College, child and youth counselling at Douglas College, as has had training in addictions and trauma at the Justice Institute. She stays current in her field through yearly supervision, training, and workshops. Currently Annette does individual sessions, couples, families and workshops in the community.

We are thrilled she shared some of her insights with us.

First of all, I love your clear and inspiring website! One line that leapt off the screen for me was the “struggle to maintain authenticity, access our abilities and remember our strengths.” So often the our essential selves get lost along the way through life. What happens? Is it taken from us or do we give it away?

Seventy-five percent of our emotional mapping happens before we’re 6 years old. Factors such as how we were corrected, whether we received love and affection, whether both of our parents were available daily, whether we could communicate strong or vulnerable feelings directly to our parents when they upset us, whether we felt significant, and patterns of sameness (we watch our parents and get the download from their family of origin) — these all can play a role in coping strategies and communication patterns, etc.

We learn from our parents and life experiences. Perhaps we had a parent who over-corrected our behaviour, and so later on in our lives when our partner is angry and upset with our behaviour, we turn away from the situation or react to our partner without understanding our wound and how to communicate our emotional truth, or trying to understand each other’s needs based on our histories. While this allows us to avoid in the short term, these strategies get in the way of resolution and keep us from growing and healing in relationships.

If we stay in patterns, life will give us opportunities to grow, so it is helpful to understand our early style of attachment. Our model of early attachment influences how each of us reacts to our needs and how we go about getting them met. In a secure attachment, we are self-possessed and able to interact with others, meeting both our own and another’s needs. However, when there is an anxious or avoidant pattern from our childhood, we can project this onto a partner or we may seek to duplicate similar patterns which end up feeling painful. Counselling is a great place to understand our patterns and find new ways to show up in life.

To a layperson like myself, it may seem that trauma and addiction are different challenges than, say, the feeling of being stuck and sad without an obvious reason. From a counselling perspective, is it helpful to make categorical distinctions, or is each person’s pain and struggle a purely a one-of-a-kind journey?

When someone struggles with an addiction, they have experienced trauma. This term is fairly broad, as it encompasses responses to one-time accidents, natural disasters, crimes, and other violent events. It also includes responses to chronic or repetitive experiences such as ongoing conflicts, blocked communication, child abuse, neglect, battering relationships, and endured deprivation. When people are stuck and feeling sad, this can be related to trauma, but they may just need to explore their histories or current relationships to get some perspective or learn ways to face the difficulties they are going through.

How would you define balance and well-being — broadly or with respect to your work?

Balance and well-being for me is categorized in four areas. One is love and belonging: who loves and supports me, and who do I love and support. Another one is power and recognition, which for me means feeling significant, keeping boundaries, holding our power, following our purpose, and dealing with our feelings of unworthiness or shame. The third one is freedom of choice. We always have daily choices we can make. If there is no self-care, we will feel like a victim, discontented or frustrated. Finally we need to have fun, or what I call “soul care.” This includes exploring what we enjoy and learning how to play. Examples are adventure, friendship and family time, hobbies, etc. When someone struggles with addiction, they are often trying to feel peaceful and at ease, but they haven’t found healthier ways to meet this need for fun and soul care.

In your video, you allude to a story behind your decision to become a counsellor. Would it be fair to say it’s a calling for you? Where did the passion for this path come from?

I laugh because my decision to become a counsellor came from my own dysfunctional patterns from my history. I have had to work on my own family of origin in order to feel like I can be helpful to others. I truly believe that a good counsellor is willing to do their own work and practice what they are teaching. But I also know that I have always been a compassionate person and experience has taught me to be strong, to become a lifelong learner, to take care of my health (issues in the tissues), and, for the most part, to make daily choices that help me stay in a positive frame of mind. When I get off track, I know how to get back on track. The key is to take one day at a time and focus on our daily victories.

As you know, we finish each profile with a fun fact. Is there something personal you’d care to share?

A fun fact about my family history… My grandfather was from the Mauritius Islands. (I called him “Papa” because he was French.) He came from a large and interesting family. His father’s first wife died after having 10 children, so when her sister came over to help with the kids, my great-grandfather married her and together they had 9 more children. So there were 19 children in total, which is crazy! Needless to say, I am sure there were some attachment issues. Lol.

PHONE (250) 878-7035
Pure Insights Counselling Services is located in the Lower Mission, in beautiful Kelowna BC.

Tom Kernaghan, owner of Oak Writer 

I write stories about people, businesses, and communities so that people will remember what makes them uniquely powerful.
Tell me your story!

(250) 863-6297


BWB Business Member ELIZABETH BEEDS a Quick Profile by Tom Kernaghan


Let loose and find your childlike self, where all things are possible! This is just one of the many wonderful messages you will find on Elizabeth Beeds’ engaging Interior Wellness Show videos, which clearly convey that the quest for health is not only necessary for an enjoyable life, it’s doable and fun right now! But then, Elizabeth knows this stuff inside and out. With over 25 years of experience as a yoga instructor, wellness coach, business trainer, event planner, and the publisher and editor of Interior Wellness magazine, she knows how to inspire individual and community wellness.
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BWB Business Member SHRI ANANDA a Quick Profile by Tom Kernaghan


For Shri Ananda, the path to peace starts by journeying inward and holding a lamp to our lies. He has walked this road, knows the signs, and carries a light to help others find their way toward healing. As a spiritual life coach and the visionary founder of Wellness Realization, a multifaceted company committed to supporting peace, love, and self-discovery, Shri understands there are many ways to find and tell our truths, but first we must awaken to the damaging stories we keep repeating and write new ones. 

This may sound daunting, but Shri can help. An inspirational speaker, storyteller, certified Kripula yogi, Komya Reiki master, musician, filmmaker, and retreat host, Shri has 25 years of experience in guiding people through their fears and out of harmful cycles. The author of the bestselling book The Road to Resiliency, his poignant tale of abuse and struggle, Shri (née Troy Payne) has also found other forms of powerful expression through his band, Aside from Sorrow, and his award-winning film debut, Out of the Darkness. And there is more to come. 

So we were thrilled Shri shared some gems of wisdom he has gathered along the way. 

Shri, when I heard your story at BWB’s Storytelling Tuesday a couple years ago, I found it compelling and moving. Most of us have places in our past we avoid at all costs. What is it about pain and fear that we cling to them so fiercely, to the detriment of our well-being? What do we imagine will happen if we let go? 

Fear is the expectation of pain. The pain may be psychological or physical.

Clinging to fear is based on habit, whether it is from a more ancient form of habit like instincts passed along for millions of years — the habit of involuntary reactions — or newer types of fear formed in this very lifetime. It is rooted in our lack of presence — the inability to be here in this moment. You see, each one of us has approximately 60,000 thoughts each day, so we are a little distracted. When we become emotionally hijacked with an energy such as fear, these thoughts take us to one of two places: past pain stories or future fear.

Fear being a habit can be broken, or the mind can be trained to see the world differently, without fear arising. The mind will draw a person back into the same dynamic over and over. The only way to get out of it is to interrupt the pattern and change your ways of thinking. I am actually dedicating an entire retreat to “Releasing the Fear” in May. 

What also speaks to me about your story and work is the courage and calm you maintain. You seem to embody balance. What is one of the first things you look for when helping a new client face fear and move toward realizing their own wellness?

Thank you for those words. One of the first things that I explore with a new client is identifying their rituals of creating presence. Since we can only effectively work with the present moment, how do you find it or come into it? There are so many beautiful practices to finding presence or dropping into “heart space,” as I like to call it — the natural state of who we really are. A walk in nature, breathing and meditation practices, yoga, even art, food, or music can help us arrive to the present moment. 

I once read “writing is rewriting.” In my work, I am keenly aware of this truth. Life is an ever-changing story, and yours appears to be evolving in a rich variety of ways. What does change mean to you, personally and with respect to the world at large? 

I like that you used the word evolving in your noticing. The change that unfolds in our lives as individuals and as a collective is our evolution. Think about it for a moment: the biggest shifts, growth, and expansion you have experienced mentally, emotionally, and spiritually, were birthed from your ability to navigate your way through the change that unfolded in your life story. It is in our ability as a global collective to change the current systems, structures, and stories on the planet that no longer serve us. The level or degree of change that we embrace collectively around those issues shows us our cultural and global evolution.  

I see you have a new film in development right now. This is exciting! Tell us a bit about it, and how the community might help. 

I am very excited to be working toward producing a feature film around healing the wounded child who resides inside of us — an archetype of our inner child. The wounded child is created by a childhood pain story that is unresolved or unhealed and impacts who we are as adults in almost every aspect of our lives. This film explores some powerful content and I do need the help of my community to keep the project moving forward. At this moment I am raising funds to develop demo content and launch Phase 1. To learn more about the film and how you can help, or if you feel called to donate, please visit

We like to finish our profiles with a fun fact or quick quirk about each member, something our readers may not know. Do you care to share? 

I have such a love for songwriting and music that I have organized over 11,000 songs into 400+ themed playlists. Music is one of the most powerful forms of storytelling we have. 



Phone: 403-999-6976

Tom Kernaghan, owner of Oak Writer 

I write stories about people, businesses, and communities so that people will remember what makes them uniquely powerful.
Tell me your story!

(250) 863-6297

BWB Business Member HEATHER HENDERSON a Quick Profile by Tom Kernaghan


If it takes a village to raise a child, sometimes a farm can help to grow a community. As a certified therapeutic riding coach, a graduate of hotel and food administration, and the founder of Arion Therapeutic Farm, Heather Henderson knows about cultivating memorable, nurturing experiences. Starting Arion as a horseback riding program in 2009, Heather’s dream of inspiring physical wellness soon evolved into a vision of building a larger facility where anyone from tot to senior could visit a natural environment, be themselves and gain a sense of belonging, and reach their personal potential — ultimately for a better society.

Spend some quiet time with the animals. Volunteer to work on the grounds while the birds sing above. Join in on a cooking class. Sip tea with a friend in the café of the new Creative Centre. Connect with others facing similar challenges. For Heather, the way to sustainable well-being is through the empowerment born of heartfelt choices, shared experiences, and fun participation. Everyone who comes through the gates leaves feeling better.

Many individuals and organizations in Kelowna share her vision. She has seen the Arion community thrive with visitors, partners, and sponsors, and they are poised for growth in the coming year. So we were excited Heather took some time to tell us about herself, Arion, and some wonderful plans for the future.

First of all, what a fantastic world you’ve created! What struck me was the broad, inclusive nature of the farm. You have something for participants and volunteers of all ages, and yet there’s a common goal at the heart of it: well-being. What does this term mean to you?

My experience has taught me that well-being is all about how you feel, and feeling a part of something, and that can mean something different for everyone. That’s what appealed to me about focusing not on rigid programs but broadly on a facility as a safe place to come and create your own meaningful experience. Whether it’s riding, visiting the horses and helping in the riding lessons, or weeding the garden, we encourage visitors and members to come and go freely, to enjoy their time here in whatever way matters to them.

What always bothered me about many stop-and-start programs is not only that their effects are not lasting, but they aren’t inclusive; they’re limited by diagnostic and demographic factors. As a result, some with challenges fall through the cracks. I saw the need for a community where people could be at ease, develop at their own pace, and empower themselves to become healthier and happier members of society. It was more important to offer a place regardless of program funding. The place is what is healing to everyone!

We’ve had stressed-out adults, at-risk youths, and special needs children come here, and each one has a unique experience. Some come for a quick ride, some to quietly feed the horses, and others volunteer full-time for months. I’ve seen people come here for years, eventually offering tours to new visitors. There are no time restrictions. And the door is always open for people to return, as well as their family members, like being part of a little town. For some, just being here and away from their troubles for an hour is enough. It’s like watching a silent therapy session. People simply want to feel better, and seeing them find creative ways to do that is a big part of the fun and satisfaction for me.

I’m always fascinated by people’s journeys and the motivations that have compelled them along the way. What inspired you so deeply to create this space and help others?

In Bermuda, where I was born and raised, we were always outside playing, riding, and climbing trees — often barefoot. We even had tree forts. So engaging with nature was just a given for us. But then one day I broke my back during a nasty fall, and my dreams of competing in the Olympics were over, so I became a riding coach.

Needing a change, I moved to Toronto and studied at George Brown College. Then I got married and my husband and I moved to Bermuda to start a family. There we saw WindReach Farm, which offers all sorts of learning and recreational activities for the community. I thought it was super cool! You could say the first seed of the idea was planted then. Later we studied the model of Maplewood Farm in North Vancouver. It operates on a much larger scale, but the principles are very applicable here in Kelowna.

After running a landscaping company in Bermuda for eight years, we decided to move back to Canada, settling on Kelowna for the weather. Once here, I heard the call of my love for horses. When I got certified to teach therapeutic riding and started Arion Therapeutic Riding Association, I never imagined we would grow into such a thriving and broad social enterprise. This amazing transformation has presented both learning and financial challenges along the way, but these have only helped to shape the farm and clarify the role it can play in the greater Kelowna community.

We now offer a vast array of fun activities and helpful services for families and businesses — catering, classrooms, and a B & B, and more.

We are excited about the future!

Speak of which, I see some fantastic developments are afoot at Arion! Can you talk briefly about your upcoming projects and why they are important to Arion’s mission?

Two of particular note are the Accessible Nature Playground and the Creekside Habitat Garden Project. We’re looking forward to these starting, as we think they will really kickstart a greater awareness of Arion and what a great place it is for families to spend some rewarding time together. These two projects offer something for everyone, to create and play. Besides, who doesn’t want to play with dirt and rocks out in the sunshine? We’re currently seeking sponsors for these exciting new amenities. Please contact me to find out how to get involved!

We like to wrap up our profiles with a fun fact, something about you others may not know. Anything you wish to share?

Growing up in Bermuda, we didn’t watch much television. We didn’t even have a movie theatre! As I mentioned, we were always active, enjoying the outdoors. So it wasn’t until I moved to Canada that I even heard about the Bermuda Triangle!

2457 Saucier Road
Kelowna, BC   V1W 4B8
Phone: 778-477-1006

Tom Kernaghan, owner of Oak Writer 

I write stories about people, businesses, and communities so that people will remember what makes them uniquely powerful.
Tell me your story!

(250) 863-6297

BWB Business Member JOHN GLENNON a Quick Profile by Tom Kernaghan


Selling happens by design, not by chance, and embracing this truth is essential in achieving desired success in business. Helping you to do that is John Glennon’s business. With ten years of experience as the president of Sandler Training, BC Interior, and as many years in a variety of sales and marketing roles, John knows not only the vital importance of reliable revenue to an organization but also how entrepreneurs can increase, master, and maintain their sales volumes.

There’s a system to it, which is what Sandler Training has perfected since it began in 1967. Now a global network with more than 250 offices, Sandler has distinguished itself as a leader in sales management, customer service, and leadership training through a simple but powerful approach: clear methods, experienced trainers, and continual support.

For John and Sandler, however, all the classes in the world won’t matter if improvement isn’t immediate, measurable, and sustainable. Whether you’re a small, medium, or large outfit, your future should not be gamble. Sandler gets results. They are also a partner in supporting Balance Well-being, so we are thrilled John shared his sales insights with us.

Thank you, John, for chatting today. Selling is crucial to the well-being of any business, and yet many of us have trouble getting a handle on it. And we often talk about the importance of network relationships, but there’s more. What are many missing?

You’re very welcome, Tom. It’s my pleasure. There are a few reasons why many struggle with sales and sales management. Firstly, there is a gap in our education. We prepare for our chosen professions, learning all the necessary aspects to perform at our best, and yet the one thing we overlook is how to properly sell. There’s no formal education for this, which astounds me, as it’s absolutely critical for success.

Well-meaning people will have dreams and aspirations, and even develop marketing plans. That gets them to hello. Sales is about everything that happens after that. I’ve yet to meet a person who doesn’t want a relationship. But the difference with an effective sales professional is that they know what should happen next. Most do not. They lack a system and process to follow.

Also, people are often in denial about the fact that they need help at all. Even when they’re not achieving the revenues they need, many don’t realize that selling, like all facets of life, requires correct and repeatable skills. Some will talk about quotes and coffee visits, for example. Unfortunately, the bank doesn’t care about quotes. People need to be honest with themselves when they’re not getting the sales results they need to be viable, and then look at what’s not working. That’s where we at Sandler come in. We have a proven system that can be customized to the needs of your organization, guiding you from a place of not doing the right things to turning them into habits that deliver.

That is great news! Why is the Sandler approach more effective than other methods?

First of all, our approach is clear and simple, not convoluted and over-engineered, as some are. People have to understand it before they can do it. Yet there is science behind our techniques, like muscle memory; it can be developed.

Secondly, we understand that adults learn through repetition and reinforcement. Most other approaches treat sales training as a one-off or add-on. The problem with that is very little of the material is either learned or implemented. We continually follow up with you to track and measure your progress, like providing a gymnasium for the mind. We believe in ongoing reinforcement.

Thirdly, our team knows what works. Many sales consultation services lack the wealth of real-life know-how our trainers bring to the room. Sandler is rich with experienced sales managers who get the Sandler approach and can easily teach it to others. They also understand the absolute necessity of ongoing sales in building and maintaining a healthy, successful company.

Balance Well-being is all about building connections and community, to help everyone reach greater success together. We see Sandler’s partnering with us as a perfect example of values alignment in action. What drew you to BWB?

For us it’s about giving back. We’ve been serving the BC Interior for 10 years now, with great success. When Shawna approached me, I liked the spirit of what she and Balance Well-being envisioned for business in the region. When you see someone trying to do good and make the community a better place to live and work, and you can be a part of it, then why not?

For me, the most powerful underpinning of Balance Well-being’s vision is that our four pillars can be flexibly interpreted and applied to many aspects of our lives. The terms balance and well-being can mean different things to different people. What do they mean to you?

Here at Sandler Training, we refer to the Balanced Wheel of Life, which encompasses eight main areas — financial, work, emotional, physical, social, et cetera — we see as necessary in creating lasting well-being, at least in the life of a business or entrepreneur. Our founder, David Sandler, understood this back in the late sixties, which was groundbreaking at the time. Business success is only one aspect of balanced success.

Today we continue to see the importance of taking inventory of specific goals on a regular basis, to ensure you have financial freedom through your sales efforts, not only to sustain a thriving enterprise, but also to enjoy all aspects of life in a way that matters to you.

We like to finish our profiles with an invitation to reveal something personal — a fun fact, a quirky hobby, or even a credo — to connect further with the reader.

I like these lines by Sun Tzu, from the Art of War: “Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.”

One without the other is dangerous ground for a business or entrepreneur. These words still apply after more than two thousand years.

We invite BWB members and anyone who wants to learn more to come and “crash a class,” to see what we do. Simply contact us and we’ll be happy to show you how Sandler can help you and your team achieve victory.

Contact info is

John Glennon
Sandler Training
109B-3677 Highway 97 N
Kelowna, British Columbia, V1X 5C3
Phone: 250-765-2047

Tom Kernaghan, owner of Oak Writer 

I write stories about people, businesses, and communities so that people will remember what makes them uniquely powerful.
Tell me your story!

(250) 863-6297

BWB Business Member Sheila Soule a Quick Profile by Tom Kernaghan


For Sheila Soule, living well means living optimally. As the owner of Pure Heart Wellness, a full-range holistic service, Sheila understands that the paths to health and happiness can vary as much as the people seeking them. Fortunately, she is a skilled path finder. Sheila has her B.A.Sc in Clinical and Human Nutrition, is a Reiki Master, and has facilitated many wellness retreats, so she is ready and able to help you harmonize your body, mind, and spirit.

Sheila’s approach is an integrative one, focused on self-discovery and customizing multi-modal strategies that encompass diet, energy medicine, exercise and lifestyle, and various wellness products online. With over 20 years of experience in the healthcare field, she has established herself in the wellness arena in Kelowna.

So we are thrilled she has offered some of her valuable insights with us.
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