10 Things I Want You to Know About Me

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1. My first name is hard to spell and my last name is hard to pronounce.

I don’t get offended when people misspell or mispronounce my name. But I will correct you. Part of my charm is in being different. Not average. I think that’s a good thing. I am betting that you do too. Call it ESP, intuition or my crystal ball, but something tells me that you don’t wake up in the morning setting out to find mediocrity. If you are looking for business-as-usual, that’s not me. I am a testing ground for innovation.

2. I believe it takes courage to grow up and become who you really are. (Just like e.e. cummings said.)

In my time on this planet I have tried my hand at many things – not all with great success but I have tried.

At the age of 24, I discovered that my lifelong dream of becoming a lawyer wasn’t such a fairytale after all. So I said sayonara to my life plan – 20 years in the making (yep, decided at 4 years of age) – and set out to find a dare-to-be-great situation. And I found it. Or rather it found me. The concept of Inspired Practice came to me years earlier but got pushed back into the corners of my mind while I was pursuing a different path. It was there all along – just waiting for me to grow up and become who I really am.

3. I am a citizen of the world but Canada is my home.

I have wandered the Western Saharan desert, stalked a cougar in the Serengeti, walked the Great Wall of China and cycled through the Region of Provence. All of my travels have been with purpose. Every place I go allows me to meet new people and learn new things. I have seen – in real time – some of the most disheartening tragedies and empowering realities. I travel to experience the diversity of the world, build new relationships, share stories and bring back innovative ideas. Here – to my home.

4. My greatest ambition in life is to laugh.

I am a pretty intense person with lots of passion and tenacity – a highD/high I. I basically came out of the womb ready to jump hurdles. (And yes, it drove everyone bananas at first!) But work and life should also be filled with silly, seemingly unproductive moments that allow us to unleash belly laughs and experience pure joy. There are two amazing men in my life – my dad and my husband – who help me achieve my greatest ambition. It is because of their silly stories and goofiness that I add new lines to my face as proof of laughter and smiles.

5. I possess several hidden talents.

For whatever reason, I was blessed with the ability to think big picture while remembering the details. I consider this one of my hidden talents since most people either get lost in the minutiae or get overwhelmed by the whole. As far as my other hidden talents go: I can bake the best vegan chocolate chip banana bread you have ever tasted and I have a strange magnetic ability to draw babies and dogs to me with a word and a smile.

6. My music library is full of obscure b-side songs.

That means I dig and look for the diamonds in the rough. I take the time to discover the less obvious things in life. I am willing to push myself to “learn” when I don’t “know”. I may not be able to address every question you have right away but I have mad skills when it comes to finding answers.

7. My favourite books of fiction are Charlotte’s Web and The Alchemist.

So much of reality is fiction anyway. So why not embrace it? (For more on good books to read, check out: The Modern-Day Superhero Book Club.)

8. “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” could be my theme song.

I am probably the only acrophobic prairie girl to successfully climb to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro. I have never experienced a greater high than I did on August 11, 2009 at 7:15am when the sun rose to meet me at Uhuru Peak. No fear of heights, altitude sickness, or frigid temperature was going to keep me from reaching the Roof of Africa. I persisted and reaped the reward. That led to a new love and life goal: to summit a mountain on every continent.

9. I like pistachios, Bizarro cartoons and the colour orange.

Feel free to send me anything resembling the above and I will respond in kind.

10. I am grateful for all who have nurtured my spirit and supported me in my journey as an entrepreneur.

My parents are two extraordinary Açoreanos who work daily to break down cultural, generational and gender barriers to economic success. As parents, they didn’t just educate me but taught me how to educate myself and create my own opportunities. So did my little brother, Khorie. He helped me grow up in a multi-cultural household and schooled me in dancing with adversity. I am also truly thankful for the divine human being to whom I am married.

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