At Home in the Valley of Stories – Oak Writer


– originally released on July 14, 2016
You never really know someone’s story — that is, until they have the courage to stand in a room of strangers, wrestle with fear, and turn the visceral into the verbal.

Such is the remarkable human spirit I witnessed last month at 97 Street Pub when I attended the fourth monthly Storytelling Tuesday (STT), hosted by Balance Well-Being Centre Inc. (BWB), a Kelowna organization of passionate individuals deeply committed, as the name suggests, to balance among four of life’s pillars of well-being: financial, social, mind, and body.

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Business Member SPOTLIGHT – Layton Park – by Tom Kernaghan


I started by reading his “Last Chapter” blog post, which is about his own death. When I  found myself bursting into laughter, I knew I was in. I could see that Layton Park is a natural storyteller who knows good storytelling is about the writer’s relationship with the reader, oneself, and the roads of life. Layton — a lover of motorcycles, hotrods, and horses — has certainly travelled many literal and figurative roads at full throttle. And he has the playful, quirky, insightful wit of a man who knows how to live and how to get plenty of guffaws while delivering important messages.  

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Business Member SPOTLIGHT – Rochelle McFarland


“Live life with less stress and more love.” 

For Rochelle McFarlane, the founder of ESP Parent Inc., a family-focused health practice and educational service rooted in both specialized kinesiology and spiritual insights, this is more than a tagline. It’s about rising to our best selves through the science and art of touch and movement, and raising children to be healthy, happy, caring individuals. 

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Business Member SPOTLIGHT – Serge Mazerand by Tom Kernaghan


pastedGraphic.png“Be the composer and conductor of your own life.”

For Serge Mazerand, music itself is life, as our essence is vibration. A pianist, composer, keynote player, and the award-winning author of the delightfully inventive book 7 Keys to Serenity: Creating Harmony Within, Serge knows the magic of music lies in its power to heal us by connecting us to our true selves. It is a journey he knows very well. 

Serge began playing piano as a young boy in France, learning the work of masters such as Schubert and Chopin, but like many of us he went on a detour into the world of practicality and business, which took him through 30 years of corporate life in marketing. In 1996, feeling the call back to his musical roots, he bought a grand piano and became inspired by his other love — nature. 

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BWB Podcast


There is now an additional way for people to CONNECT to BWB Business Members – podcasts.
Check it out and please subscribe to wherever you listen to podcasts:
Your podcast, BWB (Balance Well-Being)
is now available on RadioPublic:
is now available on Breaker:
is now available on PocketCasts:
is now available on Anchor:

Can You Forgive? – Trent Janisch



Every person has moments in their life when they are being mistreated by others. All of us experience it. Some more than others. No, it isn’t fair. And no, it isn’t right. Mistreatment is cruel at any level.

I am inspired when people who have been so horrifically abused find the ability to forgive. These are people who have been so unjustly mistreated – innocent, yet still being harmed.

The worst criminals of this world most often began as innocent children who were terribly mistreated. They repeat the pattern because mistreatment is all they know.

Forgiveness is the only way to break this pattern.

Forgiveness is NOT saying that what was done was okay. It wasn’t okay.

Forgiveness literally means ‘to give for’.
Give up your resentment and hatred for peace of mind.
Exchange it like you would an item in a store.
Exchange what you hold for something better.

How can a person forgive another?
It happens when you realize 3 things:

1) You forgive people, not their actions. People always do the best they know how in order to get their needs met. If they are being cruel, this is the best way they know – they have only ever known cruelty. Their real crime is ignorance. If they knew a way that worked better to get what they wanted, they’d do it.

2) People can change. We are all bigger than our behaviours. We can learn new and better ways to get our needs met. Forgiveness offers people the space to grow and change.

3) You don’t forgive others for their sake. You forgive others for your own sake; for your own peace of mind. You accept the possibility that, had you grown up with their families, their life experiences, and told yourself the same stories about those experiences as they did, you would BE them. And in being them, you would do what they do. You realize that by forgiving someone else and giving them space to do better, you are also forgiving yourself for the times you have hurt other people. You also give yourself the space to do better.

Resentment is not a good roommate to have. Evict it.

Let Peace of Mind be your new roommate.
Simply take comfort in the resilience of humanity and the wonderful fact that people can heal.

Forgiveness is medicine for a hurting soul.

Business Member SPOTLIGHT – Judy Holt by Tom Kernaghan


Love your life from the inside out and you will discover and maintain your complete wellness. For Judy Holt, owner of JH Health Coaching, this is a way of life, one she has been committed to for 29 years. As a Certified Holistic Life Coach and an Independent Shaklee Distributor, Judy knows the inner journey to well-being starts with what we put in our bodies.  

Shaklee health products are thoroughly tested to be safe, proven, and guaranteed. But it goes even further than the amazing vitamins, supplements, and personalized health plans she offers to her clients. Having met Judy, I can say there is something about her outlook, and her nature, that embodies and harmonizes all four pillars of Balance Well-Being. Her guiding principle is that by living from a heart-centred place, we can do the most good for ourselves and for others.

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