BWB Continues to STRIVE to be the BRIDGE 
…connecting the pubic to LOCAL Well-Being Practitioners

What we have in the WORKS:

BWB Well-Being WEDNESDAYS Column in powered by

Cleaning up at work, in life

BWB Podcasts and Videos – in development
but you can check out the BWB Youtube Channel NOW

Community Membership Platform – Creating a success path to Well-Being through the guidance of BWB Business Members

BWB Networking Referral Group

Retreats and Workplace Collaboration and Hosting


Reflecting on THE Well-Being SHOW


BWB held it’s FIRST SHOW on April 12-14, 2019.
Much care and attention went into orchestrating a well Balanced list of exhibitors and presenters representing the four pillars of Well-Being.


Fitness, Purpose, Counselling, Yoga, Financial Health, Neuroscience, Sustainability, Community Support, Allergies, Sound Therapy, Legal Health, Change, Chiropractic, Homeopathy, Nutrition, Water, Meditation, Mental Health, Personal Development, Performance

Anticipation and nerves led up to THE SHOW.
It exceeded expectations:

BWB Welcomed hundreds of people to the first semi-annual Well-Being SHOW!!!

The combination of exhibitors | speakers | sponsors was a fantastic representation of the Well-Being options in our community. It was wonderful to see the new connections and relationships that were created.  



It’s Mission is to connect the public to LOCAL Well-Being Practitioners.

We got Amazing Feedback from the participants:

“The caliber of the presentations were first class”
“If the BWB community didn’t exist I wouldn’t stay in Kelowna”
“I came for just half an hour, that was 3 hours ago”
“I had to come back for another day, too many excellent speakers”
“I had never tried yoga before, I loved it”
“The food trucks were a great addition to the SHOW”
“I really connected with a lot of good people who truly want to help make a difference in the lives of those struggling to find their own path”

* Were introduced to various WELL-BEING options available in the Okanagan
* Took the opportunity to meet & learn about various LOCAL WELL-BEING practitioners!
* Took the opportunity to hear WELL- BEING practitioners speak & share their wisdom!
* Came away with new knowledge, feeling inspired and pride for our community!

You can find pictures of the event on the BWB website:

And on the BWB Facebook Page:

Want to connect with those AMAZING
Exhibitors | Presenters | Sponsors
you met at THE Spring Well-Being SHOW?
You can find them ALL here!!!

THE Fall Well-Being SHOW coming Oct 4-6
Body | Financial | Mind | Social

Business Member SPOTLIGHT – Cherie Hanson by Tom Kernaghan


“To be human is to have a limited understanding of what it is I think I see.” This line, from one of Cherie Hanson’s many mind-jolting blog posts, says volumes about the awakening effect she can have on people. I’m going go a little gonzo and put myself in the story, because to know Cherie is to know that she delights in connection and electrifying exchanges that push beyond convention and conformity. She is one of the most challenging, engaging, and prolific individuals I have ever met, not just here in Kelowna but anywhere. 

Cherie is a spiritual fitness coach, poet, artist, blogger, playwright, director, producer; and a former choreographer, dancer, and English teacher. Her thought-provoking blog and Facebook posts inspire thousands and may even irk some, but they have certainly stopped my scrolling and reminded me that I may not be seeing the whole picture — personally, culturally, or politically speaking. And yet, beneath her staggering urgency and bracing honesty is a playful humour that speaks to the thrilling potential of hope in all of us. If we dare to run with that responsibility! She also holds writing workshops, entitled Writing The Self, which are designed to help you find your authentic voice and make a plan to “rewrite” your future.

A self-described outlier (with which I would agree), Cherie has risen above many challenges in her life to find the joy of discovery through sharing and teaching. With multiple degrees, including post-graduate work in creative writing and contemporary poetry, she is armed with a power to wield words that feels fully aligned with her hard-won fearlessness. She is brilliant and tough, qualities I find encouraging, not intimidating — when I am willing to confront myself.

I was stoked to have another exchange with her. 

Your posts and poetry fill my mind with electric lucidity. I understand what I’m thinking and feeling even before I’m aware I’ve read or heard the words. And your vibrant artwork wastes no time in seizing my sight. Your work is compellingly self-assured. What are you looking for in people and experiences, and through your work? And why? 

I step back and allow. My practice is to connect through submission. My hand draws what it wants to draw; my words say what they want to sound; I dance the energy I feel. When I stand on a stage, I dissolve and just deliver what comes through me. My entire life I have found that when I no longer am “seeking” and just let IT flow, I am at peace. By letting go of some tattooed-on-my-psyche narrative of who I am as a singular identity, I dissolve into a joyous rush of energy.

I have found it puzzling when people ask me: “How have you been a dancer and a choreographer? How have you been a playwright, a producer, a director? How have you been a visual artist? How have you been a writer of poetry, of non-fiction, of plays, of fiction? How have you been a performance artist? How have you been a disciplined academic and a creative?”

For me, it is all one. Everything we do as human beings, is an expression of our soul’s voice. There is no lesser. There is no greater.

The way a person places objects on a table is art. The way a person plants their garden is a deep emotional expression. The way an individual touches another is an expression of all he or she is.

We are here to love, and to create is an expression of that desire.

I’ll tie my first line into our last sit-down conversation. You called “bullshit” on a limiting belief I had. I was intrigued, a bit annoyed, and then grateful for the mental pathway you pointed out! And it made me wonder, what motivates you to be so frank?

Now is the time of a massive energy shift. The world has spun around in the same circles, the same patterns of war and recovery and yet we are not learning. We all share the knowledge that we are in a state of urgency. 

All of the systems are imploding. The earth itself is headed into the extinction cycle. What is of paramount importance is for each of us to stop lying to ourselves, to stop doing the routine, repetitive self-comforting and self-destructive rituals in the face of monumental change. 

I see my purpose in the midst of the arising chaos as that of a teacher. 

When I was four, I put chairs in rows for my dolls and set up a blackboard. I knew I was on the earth to teach my stuffies.

I know about chaos and confusion and betrayal and fear of death. I knew as a child. I have served an apprenticeship in the methodology of grounding. One is only “safe” in a shifting world if one is able to let go of old victim scripts and clearly find a purpose. 

It is a skill. And it can be taught. My calling is to help others find a footing in a shifting landscape. When the world that we know is disintegrating is when we most need to find out who each of us is, as a separate being. The mask must be discarded. 

Anyone who follows you on Facebook will know the furious pace with which you post, particularly with respect to social inequities, political corruption, and cultural stagnation. What bothers you most right now about the way people are (or are not) engaging with the world? Are people afraid of themselves, or too comfortable with complacency? 

I am filled with compassion as I watch people who are “frightened out of their minds.” They are terrified. We know from scientific studies of the function of the brain that when fear is the trigger, the prefrontal lobes cease receiving information and the parent, the wise adult, is turned off. What we are seeing is frightened children whose early childhood damage is now running the show. The corporate control of individuals becomes easier, more pervasive. 

In the deep South, the antebellum society kept a class of people as enslaved as when they were the peasants in feudal times. The system of slavery was operated by manipulation of hatred. The share croppers were told to hate blacks, to brutalize them. As long as rage can be successfully misdirected and encouraged, the human being cannot think like an adult. Nor can he understand that the power he feels in attacking another is not true power. In other words, the more unstable the world appears to be, the more volatile the human emotions become.

My goal is to educate, to present petitions for action, to post success stories of people working together for the greater good. I know what is happening and it is not something that draws me in emotionally. I just do what I am called to do and release a need to see an outcome.

You have another two-day writing workshop, Writing The Self, coming up on June 22. Tell me about this event and what people you want to discover though the experience. 

What HAS happened every time I teach the writing retreat is people are no longer in the dark about what they are doing in their lives and why they are doing it. I have spent nine years as an academic and I research to discover valid information. Family imprinting; ancestor’s trauma, brain function; the effect of our social amoeba upon us is all necessary information. I have watched people understand for the first time in their lives that they are not solely responsible for their life path. And it is only then that they can move forward with confidence. When we all can be so bold and brave as to walk on the earth without a mask, we will no longer fear one another.

I am working with a prize-winning editor, Elee Kraljii Gardiner, on my book Walking the Streets of Blood about my personal experience during the Paris Attacks in 2015 and tying it back up to my ancestors’ story of trauma damage. I ask, When does brutality become the norm? There are also YouTube interviews of me during the attack. 

You have been very public about your fitness progress. You look strong, and not just for a 70-something! Apart from the health benefits of exercise, and the visual benefits of getting ripped, what do you want people to take away from your posts?  

Each of us has a path that serves us. I shy away from being a “spiritual nazi” and saying only my path works. My goal when I work with people is to just help them return to their bodies. I see with so many their spirit is attached to the brain and there is a thin line connected to the body. 

What is your body telling you right now? Where is your energy right now?

We re-attach and come home to the body as a safe and comforting nest when we make a contract to take care of it. Some find this with rock climbing, or swimming, or yoga, or gardening. It is your body. It is your contract with your body that you are creating.

For me being strong is an old story. I have seen in past life regressions I was a warrior. In my childhood, the threat of death was present from the age of 18 months on, so feeling strong in my body is a signal to my protective personality that “I have got this!” I am capable and strong. I can feel it and see it.

I’ll quote two lines from your blog: “I am as you find me” and “my mind constantly amuses me.” Let me flip those over and ask you to share something amusing people likely wouldn’t see or assume about you upon first meeting.

I am as you find me is a direct recognition that how you respond to me is coloured by the experiences in your childhood. It is why we react automatically to certain qualities or behaviours of another person. Until we have mindfulness practice as part of our operating system, we are unable to bypass automatic activation responses. For me to be authentic, I know that I cannot rely on other people to tell me how to be good, virtuous, attractive, acceptable. 

The more I understand not to take anything personally, the more confident I become in being who I am — and surprise, surprise the more people trust me.

My trigger-quick sense of the absurd can remove the sting from any situation. This morning I was describing that during my elementary years we practiced curling up in a ball under our desks when the teacher yelled “FLASH!” I explained that I could understand how much easier that made it to scrape us up after the blast. These are the thoughts of an eight-year-old laughing at the futility of adult responses.

And how you respond to this interview, is none of my business.

  • 250-215-5521 (Mobile)

Business Member SPOTLIGHT – Sharon Strang – by Tom Kernaghan


Give a person a massage and they can reach a state of well-being. Teach a person how to massage and they can reach their potential. For Sharon Strang, instructor and owner of Focus Bodywork, life is about seeing possibilities and literally using your hands to fulfill your dreams. 

Sharon is a 25-year veteran masseuse and gifted instructor who helps her students to learn the art of massage while inspiring them to embrace the art of living well. As the former owner of The Wellness Spa, former massage teacher at Okanagan College, Kelowna, and a lifelong student of spirituality and wellness, she now offers fun, easy-to-learn private courses in healing massage. She also offers workshops in hot stone work, and guides practitioners in launching or expanding their massage businesses. 

She has expertise and stories born of experience, and she is here to help you on your journey, both personally and professionally. 

We were thrilled to learn more about Sharon and her work. 

Recently I heard someone describe the feeling of being a “walking head”, oblivious to the needs of the body. We often talk about thoughts and emotions manifesting physically. How can addressing the body’s stresses improve our well-being in the other direction? 

Stress has been proven to be the main cause of poor health. It is held in our bodies as suppressed emotions. I believe emotions are the glue that holds thoughts in place.  Stress manifests physically as tight muscles or what I call energy blocks. 

We actually hold emotions in common places throughout the body, which you can read about in You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay or in Debbie Shapiro’s Your Body Speaks Your Mind. For example, one place we hold fear is in our stomachs, thus the expression “butterflies in our stomach.” Fear is also held in our legs. We hold frustration and anger around our shoulder blades, along our trapezius muscles at the top of our shoulders, and in our arms as well.

So when we receive a massage, or bodywork, or when we exercise, it helps to relax the muscles, improve body circulation, and release suppressed emotions or pain. In my massage, I also make sure that I support my clients in breathing “into the sore spots.” The breath is a very powerful tool to release stress. And when we exercise, we naturally breathe more, making it great contributor to maintaining well-being.

Your work is about restoring balance, creating harmony, and supporting others in meeting their potential. Why were you first drawn to teaching in addition to offering healing massage? 

That is a good question! I just have a passion for helping others to succeed. And I have always wanted to be a teacher, since I was a little girl. So when I learned how life can be easier by becoming more conscious of my Self, I just wanted to help other people be happier too. During my life of personal growth training, I have learned that there is always a solution to every problem — or challenge, as most people like to call it. 

I was a single mom, trying to make ends meet, and was able to successfully become a business owner. I am basically a self-taught entrepreneur with my massage business, through my training as a Master Breath Integration Practitioner. It taught me that we all have the power inside us to create our dreams and to be successful, whatever that may look or feel like. My main goal is to teach this and inspire others through my massage courses.

You offer a variety of courses and workshops.  Your eight-month certificate program sounds comprehensive and full of resources, including small business tips.  What challenges do you address when you work to empower your clients and prepare them to run a massage business? 

The main challenge most people face, in my opinion, is the fear of becoming successful, not the fear of failure, as Marianne Williamson says. Discipline and commitment are the key to success, and I find that most people only stay committed some of the time. In our minds, we can make discipline and commitment very difficult by procrastination, which is simply fear. I point out that this is the block, and we have to “feel our fear and do it anyway,” to borrow from the title of another great book. Fear is not always real! Make a plan — intention and specific goals — and then follow it through, no matter what! It is also very important to be disciplined in staying balanced and taking care of all parts of you — mind, body, spirit, and emotions. It helps you to stay strong in all ways, so that you can maintain your commitment to your goal. It’s all connected.

Your couple’s workshop sounds like fun! Considering that wellness can vary from person to person, is it important for couples to improvise or custom-fit the massage techniques to suit their relationship? 

Yes! When it comes to massage, everyone does it a little differently, and the quality of the experience comes mostly from the energy of the person who is massaging. It is just an inherent thing, since we use our intuition as well as our knowledge when we massage properly. So everyone custom-fits the massage for each person they work on, even though they use the same basic techniques. And when it involves your partner, with whom there is a closer bond, I am sure there is custom-fitting to suit the relationship!

Describe what balance and well-being mean to you.  

For me, balance and well-being mean: 

  1. I am taking responsibility for my part in whatever happens in my life. For me this means first being aware of my thoughts and feelings, because this leads to my circumstances. If I do not like my reality, then I need to change something, starting with my thoughts!  
  2. I am asking for support! When the going gets tough, I feel that it is important to ask for support. We are not alone on this planet. This can include receiving bodywork such as massages, physiotherapy, or energy work such as Reiki or Healing Touch, or just simply talking with friends. There are many more ways to receive support. 
  3. Having a regular exercise routine, three days a week, while eating healthy and drinking lots of water.  
  4. Having compassion for myself in that I am not perfect, and forgiving myself when I do fall from my path.
  5. Having a close relationship with my spirit. Meditating daily or at least five days a week. Also praying, doing yoga, going to spiritual gatherings, and reading spiritual books.
  6. Keeping an open mind. Continually learning through courses, but always being aware of my intuition as well — and then balancing those two together in my life.

The fun finale! Share something quirky or interesting about yourself — something many would not know. 

When I was 25, I made an amazing, life-altering trip to Europe, Morocco, and Asia for sixteen months. I spent at least a month in each country that I visited. Travelling by bus from Turkey, I went through Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan, and then into India and Sri Lanka, where I spent four months. 

Sharon Strang



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 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 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