Intimacy Requires Vulnerability

She is driving; he is sitting next to her. Suddenly, he blurts out, “My God! Will you get off that guy’s ass!”

Her response to being yelled at might be to react defensively and say something along the lines of, “Who is driving here, you or me? You always criticize my driving!”

Not constructive communication, wouldn’t you agree?

What happened in that situation? He went from fear to anger in an instant. Had he been more in touch with his vulnerability he might have been able to say, “I feel a bit unsafe right now. Could you give us some more distance from the car in front of us?” Her response to that would most likely have been to meet his needs with understanding.

When that vulnerable part in us—our inner child—is threatened, we tend to step into a power sub-personality to protect ourselves. One of those power parts is our angry self. Another one might be the rational self, the perfectionist, or any other personality that feels safer and more comfortable. However, to be really close to somebody, to be truly intimate with the people we love, we need to be in touch with our vulnerable self.

In her fabulous TED talk, “The Power of Vulnerability,” Brené Brown analyzes what is needed to make deep connections and why we would want to do that. Connection gives purpose to our life; yet shame keeps us from making those deep connections. Shame is based in the fear or limiting belief of not being worthy of connection. For connection to happen, we have to allow ourselves to be really seen. Courage is required to allow others to see our vulnerable self. Cour is the Latin word for “heart” and the original meaning of courage is to “tell the story of who you are with your whole heart”.

According to Brené Brown’s research, we also require compassion. This means having compassion with others, but also treating yourself kindly. Connection requires authenticity and vulnerability. It means having the courage to love without guarantees. It requires us to stop controlling and predicting, numbing our feelings, pretending we are not vulnerable, and striving for perfection when the beauty of life is imperfection. Vulnerability after all is “the birthplace of joy, belonging and love” (Brené Brown).

Shadow Energetics work is designed to make us aware of our personality parts—the power selves as much as the vulnerable inner child or the inner critic. They are all important “players” when we make connections with others. Treating ourselves kindly means achieving separation from that inner critic whose only job is to find something to criticize. Instead we can bring in the supportive and loving parent voice to encourage us with kindness. Only if we strive to love ourselves unconditionally can we love others in the same way.

Belief change work and shadow work allows us to re-connect with who we truly are. It brings us back to wholeness and allows us to be more authentic with others. Our relationships can unfold their true beauty. Those individual connections then have a domino effect. My vision is a world in which we all feel safe to connect from love and our authentic core selves.


To find out about an individual belief change and shadow work session or the upcoming Shadow Energetic Workshop in Toronto please contact me:









Does Stress Really Cause Illness and Shorten Our Life?

We have all been warned many times that stress can make us sick, cause heart attacks, and reduce our life expectancy. Is that really true?

First of all, we have to distinguish between different kinds of stress because stress hormones have multiple roles. According to Bruce Lipton, there are two types of stress: distress and eustress.

Distress occurs when we perceive that our survival is threatened. Cortisol and adrenaline cause us to shift into protection mode. That response would be very helpful if we were being attacked by a mountain lion. However, everyday traffic or a job we hate can have the same effect. We experience chronic stress that can cause illness. Important to note though is that the chronic stress is based on our perception!

Eustress literally means “good stress”. It occurs when we engage in physical activities, like exercising, or mental activities, like writing a book. Falling passionately in love has the same hormonal effect. Cortisol is released in all of those situations.


Newer stress research even suggests that stress may only be bad for you if you believe that to be the case. As a belief change coach, it does not really surprise me that our physical responses depend on our beliefs. When we believe stress causes us physical damage, it does. When we don’t view stress as dangerous, it does not have the same negative effect.

“When you change your mind about stress, you can change your body’s response to stress,” says health psychologist Kelly McGonigal in her Ted Talk, “How to Make Stress Your Friend”.

In a study in which participants were trained to view their stress responses as helpful rather than harmful, their physical responses were affected. Participants’ hearts still beat faster, but their blood vessels remained relaxed. They showed a much healthier cardiovascular profile, similar to the profile we see in moments of joy or courage.

McGonigal also points out that stress makes us social. The hormone Oxytocion is released. Oxytocin is a neurohormone that fine tunes our social instincts, makes us crave physical contact, enhances our empathy, and makes us more willing to help and support others. It is part of our stress response just like adrenaline. It motivates us to seek out others for emotional support. We want to be surrounded by people who care about us.

Oxytocin is also a natural anti-inflammatory. It helps our heart cells regenerate and heal from any stress-induced damage. We could say that our stress response has a built-in mechanism for stress resilience. That mechanism is the yearning for human connection caused through oxytocin.

McGonigal sites a third study in which people who spent time caring for others lived longer. Caring created resilience, despite stressful events in their lives.

Interesting for me as a hypnotist and belief change coach is that how you think about stress transforms your experience of stress and consequently your physical responses. When you choose to view your stress response as helpful and connect with others under stress, you increase your health and your life expectancy.

How you think about stress matters! It makes a big difference as to whether stress is actually harmful or not. Here are some constructive ways of thinking about stress:

“My body is helping me to rise to this challenge!”

“My body has the built-in mechanisms to deal with stress.”

“I trust myself to handle life’s challenges well.”

“I remember that I am always supported to face life’s challenges!”

“I love my job.”

“I thrive on being busy.”

“I handle deadlines well.”

“I am peaceful and calm in every moment.”



To shift your personal stress perception and clear out limiting beliefs that cause unhealthy stress, contact me


What message does my headache have for me?

Headaches or even migraines seem to be a common complaint from many people. We can just take a pill and suppress the symptoms or we can listen to the mind-body dialogue that is going on with each physical issue that occurs.

If you suffer from headaches that regularly occur or are particularly severe, have them checked out. You can also help yourself. Keep a food diary to find out if there is a connection between the headache and what you put into your body. Also monitor your thoughts and feelings. A journal helps to find out what particular thoughts, stories and emotions are going on prior to the headaches.

A good question to ask for headaches is, “Am I spending too much time in my head instead of in my heart?” and “Am I trying too hard to be perfect?”

Deb Shapiro outlines 7 different causes for headaches in her book “Your Body Speaks Your Mind”:

1.    Too Much Time Spent in Your Head

2.    Pushing Yourself to Achieve

3.    Repressed Feelings

Emotions—especially feelings of anger, resentment, frustration or anxiety—rise up from the subconscious into the head: they are a built up energy.

4.    Rigid Personality

Do you tend to be stubborn, intolerant or controlling?

5.    Avoidance Behaviour

The headache is “a way out.”

6.    Lack of Exercise (lack of oxygen in the blood)

7.    Food or Chemical Allergy

Like with any illness or physical issue that shows up, we have to keep in mind that our body is our friend trying to help us. Contemplate what this illness or pain is preventing you from doing and/or having? Also be honest with yourself about how this issue is serving you. Are you for example getting rest or attention that you feel you would under other circumstances not get?


What message does my pain have for me?

Pain is a friend—an ally—who has come to give us a message

Pain in any area of your body is a signal that something is out of balance. You need to pay attention and listen to what the pain has to say.

– Are you doing too much and stretching yourself too thin?

– Are you forcing something instead of allowing things to just be?

– Are you going in the wrong direction in one or more areas in your life?

– Are you repressing strong emotions, like resentment or anger?

– Are you feeling overwhelmed or without support?

– Are you longing to rest and be taken care off?

The pain is not an enemy! Your body is trying to communicate with you. The pain is a friend who has come for a visit to alert you of something. It wants to show you what needs changing.

You need to stop and listen! One way to do that is to surrender to the pain and to enter into its core. Sit or lie with the pain and breathe deeply into it. If we hold our breath, or if we go into a fear mode about the pain, we add tension and the pain gets worse. Emotional and mental tension causes more nerve and muscle tension.

Make yourself comfortable and begin to breathe all the way into your belly. Let you breaths be slow, deep and complete. Breathe out any tension, let all parts of your body drop and relax, especially the area in which you are experiencing the message. On each inhale, breathe in relaxation, ease and acceptance of what is. On each exhale, let go of tensions. Silently in your mind welcome the pain as a friend and ally. Then begin asking questions and let the painful area talk to you.


Deb Shapiro in her book “Your Body Speaks Your Mind” gives us different questions to ask ourselves when we are in pain:

  1. Are you unable to ask for help?
  2. Are you feeling trapped by negative feelings, such as revenge, resentment, guilt, or shame?
  3. Is there someone or something you are holding on to?
  4. What part of your inner being is hurting so badly?


Louise Bourbeau’s key questions from her book “Your Body’s Telling You: Love Yourself!” are:

  1. What is this illness/pain preventing me from doing and/or having?
  2. If I allowed myself to achieve these desires, what would I be?
  3. If I allowed myself to be _______ (fill in answer from previous question) what unpleasant situation could happen to me AND what would people think of me?


In my next blog I will elaborate more on headaches and communicating with the pain in our head.

To uncover emotional and mental aspects of our physical issues contact me


The 3 Keys to Conception

For the last four years, I have been incredibly blessed to help couples with fertility issues. We clear out their subconscious fears: their emotional or mental blocks to conceiving a baby. It is a work that is especially close to my heart.

Many years ago I was in the same place, convinced my deepest wish would never come true, devastated by the suggestions of medical doctors, feeling like I had failed myself and my husband. I am a walking example that by shifting your energy, clearing out your issues and by letting go, your dreams manifest.

I have been asked by other practitioners if I see a common element with my fertility clients. Yes, I do. Most women who struggle with “unexplained infertility” are type A personalities. I always have to smile, because I used to fit that category as well. They are perfectionists, they are super reliable, they are workaholics, they strive to be in control, and they like to have things “just so”.

Sound familiar?

Conception is the one thing we cannot “will” to happen. It is about exactly the opposite of making things happen. Conceiving a baby is about surrendering, about letting things happen, about not being in control. Being pregnant is going with the flow. Being a parent means being flexible and letting go of needing things to always be “just so”. Nobody can turn our life more upside-down than a child.

Type A personalities know how to “do” things. However, you cannot “right brain” your child into existence. Receptiveness is the opposite of doing. It is about being. It’s about letting go, about shifting your perception of the world around you, about giving yourself permission to just be in every moment. The Latin verb “esse” means “to be”. Being is about connecting with your own essence.

The point is not to turn a type A personality into a type B personality but to bring things more into balance for a type A. Hypnosis, meditation or other techniques of going into the silence inside are all about surrendering to the energy of being. That shift in energy coupled with releasing fears and blocks to conception bring the woman into the right alignment to receive the spirit baby that is waiting for her.

Surrendering happens as we follow our heart, our path and our intuition. Lynsi Eastburn, who has been dubbed the “Baby Whisperer” for her decade-long successful work in the field of hypnosis for fertility and who was my teacher in 2009, names three keys to conception in her newest book:

1. Meditate

Meditation and hypnosis both take you into the silence inside. They allow you to quiet your mind, centre yourself, release your fears and limiting beliefs and feel connected again.

2. Listen

Meditation and the hypnotic state help to develop your intuition. As you are spending regular time in the field of intention, connected to something greater than your physical self, you are able to listen to messages from a deeper or higher mind. The wisdom is right there to be accessed. All you need to do is listen.

3. Trust

Connecting and listening need to go hand-in-hand with trust. Trust the guidance you receive, trust your own innate wisdom. Surrender to the knowing that your baby is coming to you in the right way and in the right time.


Lynsi Eastburn’s book “The 3 Keys to Conception”

is available through Mary Wileichuk at the

Akasha’s Den

312 Lakeshore Road East


Tel. (905) 844-5055

or directly through me


For Fertility Work contact me for a consultation


Happiness – Do it Like the Ducks

Last week, I was on vacation with an old friend of mine. She is an amazing, conscious soul and throughout the week, when “life just happened,” she would smile at me and say, “Let’s do it like the ducks and shake this off.” She would literally pretend to flap her “wings”, make us all laugh out loud and then move on.

She was referencing Eckhard Tolle. In his book “A New Earth” he explains that in order to be happy with what shows up, we have to make peace by letting go of any negative thoughts. Tolle observed that after two ducks get into a fight they each flap their wings vigorously a few times to get rid of the surplus energy.

As human beings, we get stuck in our stories. We are resentful because of what happened or because things did not go according to plan. The lesson we can learn from the ducks is: flap your wings. Shake off the energy you feel after a negative encounter, let go of the stories you tell yourself, turn off that voice that wants to hold onto negativity, and return to the only place of power: the present moment. Give yourself permission to be happy right here, right now.

Stop complaining! Instead of focusing on what is negative or lacking or did not go according to plan, let it go and move forward. Complaining is a choice. Happiness is a choice. Being in the moment is a choice. You can do it like the ducks and shake off any energy that keeps you from being happy in the moment.

“Let us waste no further time looking for the secret of success or the key to happiness. Already the door is open and whosoever will, may enter.”

(Ernest Holmes)


Life and Spiritual Coaching in the GTA (Mississauga)