I help messy humans like me quiet the noise of comparison, perfectionism and fear and show up fully to life in every season.
Hi there. I’m Krista, mama of three cool and creative kiddos (15, 20, and forever 23). My beautiful son left the world on Oct 23/19 at 23 years of age.
26 years ago I married a West African man who I found in Québec when I had sworn off relationships forever and later dragged back to Alberta with me. I come from a big, colourful family of 14 and have the utmost respect for my mom and dad (both left this world too young from cancer) who lived humble and simple but purposeful lives, fully aligned with their core values.
My core values are freedom (this is a biggie!), compassion, community, curiosity, integrity, and living on purpose. All of my work and the small daily choices I make each ordinary day flow out from these values.
An Unshackled Life
My life has been a journey of learning to love and care for myself well. A journey to freedom.
I used to have an addictive personality and this got me into trouble until I learned to live fully conscious, eyes and heart wide open. I have walked through suicide attempts, anxiety and panic attacks, intense chronic pain, loss & grief, binge eating & body shame. Not necessarily in that order.
For most of my life, I did not find living easy. I needed to choose to live. Today, I choose to say yes to an awakened and full life in every season.
Along the way, I’ve learned that joy and pain can coexist and that life does not have to be perfect to be beautiful. That I do not have to be perfect to be brave, beautiful, and wired on purpose.
One day I decided to like myself and to institute a no-bullying policy. I embraced my “good enough” and started treating myself like my own best friend.
I’ve learned to forgive myself for all my struggle and messiness, learned to approve of myself, and realized that I am far stronger, braver and more resilient than I ever understood before. I’ve put down strong, hardy roots of self-awareness and self-compassion and learned to take imperfect action through fear to build the life and business I want. I now help my clients do this life-giving work.
(I’m writing a book UNSHACKLED – it’s been a long while since I could prioritize this work but it’s still on my heart and in progress)
Becoming a Safe House
Long before I launched my work at A Life in Progress, I had a dream in which I felt called to BE a safe house for others. To put a light in the window and make space for other weary travellers to rest, be nourished, and equipped for the journey ahead.
Though my sense of mission has never wavered, it took me years of wrestling to learn to use my voice with confidence, to trust myself, and to believe I had something worthwhile to offer.
I was afraid.
I was afraid of not being good enough, afraid of allowing others to see the real me, afraid of loss and pain and rejection and owning my strengths. Afraid of the next bad thing that lay around the bend. Fear has been a common refrain in my life. It’s a common thread in my clients’ lives too.
In late 2018 I had an interesting experience in which I saw “in my mind’s eye” a big gaping wound being stitched up and *heard* the clear, resounding thought: “This is no longer your story. You will write a new story.”
I thought I knew what this meant. I thought it meant that 2019 would feel amazing, joyful, refreshing. But what it meant was that I would walk my son home. That as a family we would walk him through crisis and the end of his short life on earth, then walk without him through the thick wilds of grief and trauma and somehow not lose our footing.
Today I can look back over the decades of my life and see the truth – I was incredibly brave, strong, and courageous all along. All the stubborn work I’ve done over the years is what has kept me rooted and resilient through the fiercest storm of my life. It is what allows me to show up imperfectly – on purpose in every season, to use my voice in service to my beautiful clients and community, to find purpose, wholeness, and joy in the midst of this incredibly beautiful and messy life of mine.
Some of us walk through life feeling bad, broken, wrong, or never quite enough. The truth is, I was wired on purpose as a highly sensitive soul. My son was wired on purpose as a highly sensitive soul. You were wired on purpose. Feeling at times like we don’t fit well into this noisy, busy world has nothing to do with being “wrong” and everything to do with living in a world that isn’t skilled at honouring diversity.
Life takes us places we never could have imagined or planned for ourselves.
Honouring Our Wiring to Build a Kinder World
My background is in French Immersion Education (6 years for a B.Ed. and to become bilingual, although I never completed my final practicum so don’t actually hold a degree), I spent years homeschooling and raising a strong & stubborn family (which totally should have earned me a Masters!), and then studied again in natural nutrition and functional health and today serve women-around the globe as a Writer & Joyful Living Educator.
I work part-time and constantly walk out the tension between my love of a new learning curve with my need for rest and permission to simply BE. I’m not interested in hustle or constantly striving for more or better. I require ample solitude and calm, an abundance of rest, and swaths of unscheduled time in order to feel body, mind, spirit healthy; I want space in my life to savour, notice, and connect.
For those of you geeky folk like me, I’m a strong introvert, hopeful reformer, and stubborn questioner with rebel leanings, ISFJ (often mistaken for an IN), a Highly Sensitive Person, and dominant Enneagram 1w2.
Story, like truth-telling, is healing and by sharing our stories we break the power of shame and bravely lift up the light of hope and encouragement for each other.
I think STORY as much as truth-telling is healing and believe that by sharing our stories we break the power of shame and bravely lift up the light of hope & encouragement for each other. I am changed by story – largely because it is “descriptive, not prescriptive.” It makes space for us to ponder, grapple with, and then find the application to our own life.
As such, although I spend a lot of time in research and distilling big ideas into practical application for my community, my blog is primarily a tool for sharing stories and encouragement to remind you that you are not alone. That you are not the only one who struggles. That there is hope.
I take all my struggle and study and offer it to remind you that you matter. That you are worthy of acceptance, compassion, and even JOY right now in the full, messy, glorious truth of who and how you are – Imperfect and beautiful.
Not if you lose 50 pounds or no longer struggle or get your life perfectly pulled together. Right now in the middle of the storm.
From one messy human to another, you are welcome here.
NOW WHAT? Sign up below for The HOPE Map, my mostly-weekly email designed to build community and help YOU show up with joy and on purpose to your messy & beautiful life in every season.
*This photo is from a girls’ trip to the UK in Feb 2019 (with my daughters) shortly after our son/brother died; we met my beautiful friend, Betsy Huggins (bottom right), face-to-face for the first time. xo