1. Hood: Where do you live
I was born in Scarborough, and my parents moved us to the suburbs when I was 11. But once I moved to downtown Toronto in adulthood, I promised myself that wild horses wouldn't drag me from it! I love downtown living, because I can walk almost everywhere I need to go. I also love Toronto’s diversity, and how urban it is without being over the top. The food, entertainment, arts, and numerous rich cultures existing side by side are what keep me here.
2. Innovation: What do you do by day/your passion
I’m a leadership, inclusion, and empowerment focused speaker, consultant, and author. I’ve been delivering speaking engagements around the world for the past 8 years, and published my first book, The Authenticity Principle, last fall.
In all of my work, I’m about disrupting the status quo to help people embrace their differences and live better. Mindfulness is key for doing this work. You simply can’t interrupt biases or engage in self-reflection without using mindfulness.
I also integrate a number of meditation and mindfulness practices into my life to stay sane as a busy entrepreneur, including seated meditation, mindful breathing, mindful eating, and more. The benefits of these practices are too numerous to list!
3. Inspiration: Tell us about your fav place to meditate
The place I meditate most often is in bed. I’ve found that meditating each morning when I first wake up, before I even set foot on the floor, helps me to be consistent in my practice. I simply sit up, set a timer, adjust my posture, close my eyes, and breathe mindfully for a few minutes until the timer goes off. But when I have the chance, my favorite place to meditate is in nature. Meditating with the sounds of nature as my backdrop—flowing water, birds chirping, wind in the trees—is ideal!
4. Bliss: What is your perfect sit posture + cushion
I prefer to sit cross-legged on a meditation cushion. I use the REALthings Runa cushion because it’s versatile, foldable, and perfect for travelling. I can use it to sit in a chair, on the floor, or in bed, and I also use it sometimes as a backrest or neck pillow. It’s a handy, multi-purpose meditation tool.
5. Happiness: meditation changed life %
I can’t quantify how much meditation has changed my life, but I can say that taking yoga teacher training and integrating mindfulness practices into how I live has changed me in many ways. I’ve noticed that overall, mindfulness has calmed me and slowed me down. My morning meditation practice is also great in that it helps me set an intention for the day and take a moment to pray, which I may not otherwise take the time to do.
Engaging in mindful breathing when I’m stressed is huge for me—I experience the benefits immediately when I do it. This is part of the mix of strategies that keeps me grounded in a busy life.