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The story behind Heelr

The story behind Heelr

It all started with a bath and a blue heeler…

My path towards a healthy self-concept is a journey that lasted a decade, with roots spanning back a decade more still.

A curious girl always playing in nature, I grew up reading books on everything from reflexology and traditional Chinese medicine to dreaming and anatomy, but my preoccupation with my body first expressed itself in a negative way.

Having grown up in the generation of 90s media like Seventeen Magazine, I turned every self-criticism into self-loathing and stagnation, which developed into an eating disorder that lasted from 2003 to 2016.

I managed it through art school, graduating with Honours, working long hours as an Art Director in Toronot's Advertising world, and even through the purchase and DIY renovation of my first home. It wasn’t until well into my twenties that I began getting into my own routines and rituals, like practicing yoga and going for walks with my new pup, Piper, that I began to shift from a mindset of restriction to one of nourishment.

With a space to call my own and a newly renovated bathroom , I found myself taking baths for the first time in my adult life, and playing with skin and body care for the first time. But life marched on, and all of my hard work in the fields of design, illustration and blogging led to the opportunity of a lifetime: co-hosting my own show on HGTV!

I got scooped up in the entertainment world, where I felt like I had to be “on” full-time, and without knowledge of or respect for myself or any boundaries, I began neglecting myself, just like I had as a teen. Despite having a platform and cameras on me to share whatever I wanted with the world, I ignored my inner voice and played a part, while working long hours, not getting adequate sunlight or exercise and eating takeout for nearly every meal. It's no surprise after filming just one season of my series, I was diagnosed with Hashimotho's Thyroiditis.

Despite “having-it-all” on paper, I was unhappy and burnt out. So I did something drastic. Instead of ignoring to all those inner urges,  I listened: I broke off my engagement and 9-year relationship I knew wasn't right, and I booked a solo wellness retreat in Bali that would change my life forever...

In Indonesia, after learning more about Ayurveda and experiencing two weeks of healing modalities from yoga and meditation to body and energy work, I felt more like my true self. I felt my nervous system calm down, my inner voice become more kind, and my body felt more safe and grounded. I became addicted to feeling better, but returning home in October to film season two stunted that just for a few months. 

With a serendipitous filming break earlier the next year, I flew to Thailand where I traveled for February and March to pursue my yoga teacher training certification, learning about Yoga, Breathwork, Yoga Philosophy and Anatomy. By the time I graduated and flew home, I knew something inside me had shifted and home felt, unfamiliar and old at the same time. 

I finished filming throughout that summer, all while I fell in love — with myself and with my dog-sitter and together, in late 2018, we moved across the country from Ontario to Squamish, British Columbia after a short trip there that August.

Closer to nature, I spent my first year teaching yoga at a local studio and spending more and more time away from my devices and deeply immersed in the outdoors. With a newfound appreciation of plants and my body, I finally stopped counting calories for the first time in 18 years and began eating and moving intuitively, not for an event or an after-photo, but for improved strength, mobility and mental toughness.

Self-care practices new and old became a regular ritual, and through it, I developed a deeper understanding of my cycle, my skin, and my mind. I began to study the healing benefits of plant oils at the same time I became enlightened about the toxic ingredients I had been using in her home, bathroom and beauty products my whole life.

After months of research into local Aromatherapists, suppliers, formulators etc, I began developing my own oil perfumes, chakra healing blends and body products for personal use, and in 2021, I launched Heelr as a wellness community and way to share my creations with the world!

If you're keen to keep up with me, you can follow me on Instagram and visit my website where I coach and teach intuitive movement classes.

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