Who we are

We are women who, like many, find that we need a space to get away and reconnect. We come from different backgrounds, and have different lives, but we found we were both seeking something similar. And we thought you might be too!

We are so excited to meet you – and want you to know us a bit too. We’ve answered our own questionnaire (the one you see in the #FabulousFemaleFriday blog posts!) to give you a glimpse! In these questionnaires, we ask women to choose the questions which resonate the most with them – although the first two we ask everyone to do. We hope you enjoy getting to know us, because we can’t wait to meet you!

Shelley

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Tell us who you are in five words or less. 

Visionary. Advocate. Passionate. Driven. Compassionate.

Where did you grow up, where do you live now, and if you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?

I was born in Penticton, BC and grew up in Kelowna, BC. And, actually when I was living in Alberta with my family, I took some to reflect on my family needs, career ambitions and where I wanted to raise my daughters. Interestingly, my education and expertise coupled with my husband’s international experience, it truly could have been anywhere in the world that we could pursue, but it was returning home to BC that was the clincher. This narrowed the search and we landed in Parksville, BC, which is truly the only place that I would want to be to raise Island girls, and ideal location for my parents to thrive, a spot for my husband to land as he pursues his international career and that also allows me an opportunity to reach, grow and thrive in my career.

What challenges you, and how do you overcome?

I am driven to create space for people to have a voice. As a society we need to hear and learn from the voices that have not yet been heard as it is these stories and experiences that deepens our awareness of the human experience igniting compassion for everyone and breaking down barriers from us vs them to WE.

What is your favourite quote, and why is it meaningful?

I heard this quote from a colleague when I was in my early twenties fresh after completing my undergrad at University of Victoria.

“When you come upon the edge of all that you have known, you can either step back into what is familiar or you can learn how to fly” ~ Anonymous

This quote has gotten me through many pinch points in life when I had this very choice to make. Thankfully, I chose to fly every time, learning as I go and never staying within confines of a preconceived blueprint. It is through these moments that I learned the most about myself.

What is the thing you are most proud of in your life? Why?

I was invited to attend a conference in Alberta of university leaders on the topic of Mental Health. I was struck by how integral this new generation is with a fierce – no one left behind – philosophy that puts these future leaders in the vortex of creating positive inclusive change. It was on the most profound awareness that I experienced.

What does a balanced life look like to you? How do you achieve it?

The image of teetering on the top of a ball is the image that comes to mind while juggling several balls in the air. I am not sure if I achieve it or if each day that I don’t fall off the ball that is one more day of moving forward. As a Mom of two daughters, with a husband who works away from home on international tours, has an intense leadership role in the healthcare system and trying to ensure that I keep my energy pools intact and replenished is a mammoth task which I attempt to manage by taking one step at a time.

What are you most grateful for? Why?

I am most grateful for my family as they are supportive, bring laughter, passion and excitement flowing in our home.

Emma

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Tell us who you are in five words or less.

I am a grounded daydreamer.

Where did you grow up, where do you live now, and if you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?

Halifax, Vancouver, Gulf Islands.

What challenges you, and how do you overcome?

I find myself challenged by my desire to say yes to everything. I have a tendency to agree to participate or lead nearly everything, to stretch myself thin, and I end up dropping balls which are important to me. I’m learning how to say yes in different ways now. Yes to time for myself. Yes to being able to focus on the things which are meaningful to me. Yes to the people who matter most in my life. And very importantly, being able to have the time and space to say Yes when there is an opportunity which truly excites me.

What is your favourite quote, and why is it meaningful?

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” ~ Eleanor Roosevelt.

This quote is meaningful because it continually rings true for me. People make change because they believe their dream is worth having, and then they relentlessly pursue that dream until it becomes a reality. For me, this quote is all about dreaming big, believing in yourself, and making positive change in the world.

What is the best advice you have ever received?

My uncle has a saying, “Don’t borrow future pain.” We are all so good at reaching into the future and anticipating all of the things which might challenge us then, rather than being present in the moment. I think sometimes it’s all too easy to get lost in the ‘what might be’ rather than focus on how we can be our best selves today. Although I’m not always the most adept at following it, I think it’s probably the best advice I have ever received.

What does a balanced life look like to you? How do you achieve it?

It has been suggested to me that perhaps what we are all seeking is not a balanced life, but rather one where all of life’s parts work in harmony. Balance implies some form of equality of each of the parts of our lives, and at least in my life, that is unlikely to ever be the case. There will always be some part of my life which takes up more space than another. So now I strive for harmony, rather than balance, by making sure I leave time and space for each important piece, and cut myself some slack when I need to slow down or pause some of the things I have underway.

How did you choose the path you are currently walking? (Running? Sprinting?)

I’m currently working on my PhD, and it certainly feels like a sprint! A few years ago, when I ended up on this path, I had a plan, and this wasn’t it. Although I had planned to continue working in my field for at least 5 more years before going back to school, I encountered a friend who became a kind of cheerleader. My confidence wasn’t particularly high, and I really didn’t feel as though I was capable of returning to school in this capacity. With some (less than gentle) encouragement, I found myself in a whirlwind of applications and offers, and there was one which I couldn’t refuse. I started my PhD work 4 months later, and three years down the road, I couldn’t be more pleased with the way things turned out.