Thanks for stopping by for a deeper meeting. A kindred spirit of mine whispered to me the other night when I was feeling sad, "You're making flowers – that's part sunshine and part rain." It was a good reminder, and is in many ways what I have been doing all along.
I went through some serious mental health challenges when I was in high school. As I struggled through an eating disorder following winning the Ontario provincial gold as an 800 metre runner in grade ten, I looked around and realized that so many of my friends were fighting a similar battle. These weren't friends I felt safe and close with, but they were the ones I walked beside in the school hallways and sat with at lunch. I often felt lonely when I wasn't alone. Little did I then realize how the hard times I went through could lead me somewhere really beautiful – where I am today being a light that reflects back to young women what they too can discover within them.
My biggest discovery along this journey? The power of connection to nourish and sustain us. I found connection within when I discovered mindfulness practice. Returning to breath and body is a practice I have embraced as a touchstone for life. When I practice in the mornings, my days are happier. I love the girls I have the privilege of standing before. I love the conversations we have in my talks, the private Instagram messages they send me, and the dialogue we have about what really matters. When girls feel connected with one another, anything is possible. I am inspired to continue this campaign because never has it been more important to remind young women that the most important part of a girl's body is her heart. It is the privilege and heartbeat of my existence to remind youth of the endless beauty and connection that living with an open heart offers us. Having an open heart happens over time, as we surrender to what it is to choose life, moment by moment, breath by breath. Thank you for joining me as we are inhaled and exhaled by the great mystery together.