leadership is a way of thinking, a way of acting, and most importantly a way of communicating
Where I'm from
Just the facts: I was born in Toronto, Ontario from an incredible set of parents, my Mother immigrated to Canada when she was twelve and my Father is born in Fredericton, New Brunswick with roots of: Scottish, Métis, and black roots (Hienz 57).I have one older brother. I grew up in Scarborough, Ontario and have lived/worked in Unionville, On., Toronto, On., and Whitby, On. (in that order!). I now live in Whitby, Ontario with my fiancé and grown children.
Just as true: As growing up with an immigrant mother and grandparents, home has always been a question of heart as much as place. Even as a kid, I understood the limits of geography to express identity. As an adult, I've continued to be a traveler. Now I think of home as the memories and connections that bring me back to a sense of belonging: the memory of sitting with my grandmother as she brushed my hair, the smell and taste of my mother's cooking, every book I've read that has magnified my soul, the warmth of my children's bodies as they press against me in sleep. My work as a coach is also a part of what feels like home.
Why I coach
Other kids dreamed of being a doctor, scientist, lawyer. My fantasy was to be a teacher. Lots of barriers of course -- not focussing as much as I should have in school. But what drew me was the idea of a life committed to seeing and loving people in their full potential. Four decades and some odd years later, this is still what moves me.
Some people think coaching is about performance (as in peak performance). Yes, it's a by-product. But at its core, coaching is about living your life with meaning and courage, and claiming the full beauty and potential of what you have to bring to the world. Seeing the unique magnificence of each client emerge and brilliantly shine -- these are the moments when I feel truly alive.
My path to coaching
I grew up thinking that choosing a profession was about being practical and safe. The question of whether you loved your work -- that was a luxury I couldn't afford, especially because it was my dream to be a homemaker, raise my kids and look after my family.
Once I decided to go back to work full-time, being practical and safe was a logical and practical choice. I liked working with people and helping, which working with the school board would enable me to do. And, by focusing on being an Educational Assistant, I could even be true to my values. However, after separating from my ex-husband, my income with the school board could not support our lifestyle, so I had to change paths. Real Estate was the full-time choice and I also decided to become a Online Health and Fitness Coach. Health and fitness is a hobby and passion for me and was in line with my values of “helping” people.
It was a worthwhile and noble path, just not mine for Real Estate as a lens for engaging with the world never resonated with me, and I lived with a constant feeling of needing more. Meanwhile, I felt a tug toward something very different. In 2015, I was in my most successful year and I was not content.
I mentioned to my friend once, I would love to be a coach and I also had a Coach at the time. On one of our coaching calls I felt more alive than I had in years. Hearing her describe her work of engaging deeply with each client to unearth their purpose and find fulfillment in their lives, some core part of me woke up. When she asked if I could imagine myself doing something other than my then job, I surprised myself by saying, "I could imagine myself doing what you're doing right now." As soon as I said it, I both knew it was true and was completely terrified.
I then spent the next 4 years yearning for this truth, and successfully convincing myself that it was unrealistic. Meanwhile, I tried to move toward it in ways that felt safe. I counselled those around me, professional (health and fitness business) and personally (family and friends). This enabled me to focus more on people and to support them in their growth. In the end, though, it still wasn't a fully authentic expression of what was in my heart. I was still focusing on real estate, when what really moved me was connecting deeply at the human, individual level.
Looking at my life from the outside, I was doing great. Positions of real responsibility and impact, a wonderful man and beautiful kids. Inside, I was paying the price of living someone else's life. A lot of the time, I felt blank, disconnected from myself and the people around me, exhausted yet unable to stop striving.
Ultimately, it was my leadership positions that broke me down enough to be brave. The thing about leadership -- it calls us to courage and integrity, to our full hearts, and to our authentic selves. Being in those positions and being disconnected from myself, was one of hardest emotional experiences of my life.
I was finally too exhausted to be scared. Soul-searching, working with a coach of my own, and the encouragement of friends and family got me into a Neuro Linguistic Practitioner course. The feeling at the end of the first day was incredible -- I made sense. The parts of me I had suppressed because they felt irrelevant or like weaknesses in my prior work, had a place. I can only describe it as the feeling of coming home.
That was March 2019, and I haven't looked back. The result of living in alignment with your internal blueprint is nothing short of transformation. The resentment, anger, sadness and guilt that was a constant undercurrent for many years has lifted. I know the joy of making my own unique expression in the world. The connections I make with family, friends, even the occasional stranger are deeply nourishing because I am bringing myself as I really am. I am rediscovering my gifts of coaching, which had felt mechanical in prior jobs because the words were not mine. And, it continues to evolve. One of the great gifts of living from our true selves is that fear, about the future and the unknown, can finally take a back seat. Whatever happens (even and especially the hard stuff), we know we're on the right road.
My training as a Master coach
My training is was through the Tad James Co. and Avalon Empowerment, who was also trained under Tad James Company. The coaching model I am trained in is the coaching relationship is designed as an active and equal partnership between coach and client. Read more about the approach here. I have coaching certification from The American Board of Hypnotherapy and NLP
Education & Qualifications
To give you peace of mind, and confidence that you are working with a leading professional, below are a selection of Tanya's qualifications and memberships
Internationally Certified and qualified Master Practitioner of NLP
Internationally Certified and qualified Master Hypnosis
Internationally Certified and qualified Creating Your Future (Time Line Therapy™)
Internationally Certified and qualified Practitioner o Masterf NLP Coaching
Member of the American Board of NLP (ABNLP)
Member of the American Board of Hypnotherapy (ABH)
Member of Time Line Therapy™ Association (TLTA)
Member of the ABNLP Coaching Division
Associate Member of the Association of Coaching (AC)