I have to say, my head has been moving at a million miles per second that past while. Ok, maybe not that fast- but seriously… life is running wild! February is always a bit of a crazy month for me with birthdays, beginning of the year and all sorts of other things (and events). I keep noticing that I am so synched with nature. I swear, I really am. It’s quite strange sometimes. What do I mean? The change of seasons truly does mess with me. As soon as you can feel the change in temperature and the colours of nature begin to change- I get this strange mental fog/confusion come over me. This is most definitely happening right now!
It’s like every morning I wake up really SO tired, even though I’m getting a solid amount of sleep per night (as in like 8-9 hours)! The same thing happens to me when fall rolls in and winter begins. Our emotions are totally tied to the seasons and the movement of the planets. I am convinced of this. For me this is still something that has taken some getting used to because for most of my life I lived just off of the equator, in Malaysia- where it is summer time all year round (with the exception of monsoon). Although it’s been 7 years here, in Canada- I spent the first 4 years complaining about the rain and darkness that takes over the city during the winter months. This is the first year I think I really am appreciating Vancouver for everything it is, the rain and the cold. By embracing it, instead of resisting it- I think I have been able to pay more attention to the way these cycles and seasons effect my body!
In terms of what is going on with me- there is SO much I want to share! However, some things are still in the beginning/working phases and require a bit more TLC before they get released into the world. I’ve been doing a lot of behind the scenes work (of my life)! One thing that I do want to share is the program I have been attending for the past two weeks (and lasts for the month of February).
Today marks the mid-way mark (week # 3) of the outcome of a major, life-changing decision I made. This decision is one which I know, has changed my life forever! I have a feeling you’re probably brainstorming in your head- what that decision could have been (unless you speak to me on a regular basis, in which case, you already know where I am going with this).On February 1st, 2013 I, along with 11 other fabulous, beautiful, talented women began a journey into an abyss that is known to us now as the world of holistic entrepreneurs.
What exactly am I speaking to? The Jiivala Holistic Entrepreneurship Program! This fabulous program is the first of it’s kind- and was created and envisioned through the eyes of beautiful Sherry Strong. If you have read my blog before, then this name should come as no surprise to you! She is quite obviously become a huge mentor in my eyes and a very important symbol in the illustration of what is becoming my life and unfolding as my journey. Sherry illustrates herself as a Food Philosopher Nutritional Strategist. What does that mean? You’d have to meet her to get the real, meaningful 1 minute elevator pitch- however, in Chloe’s Countertop terms: she dedicates her life to understanding, loving learning &sharing from her guru, nature. Sherry began this program on a note of intuition- fleeing her structured, safe life in Australia to return to Canada. Having not been in Canada for many years, Sherry started from “scratch” (so to speak)- in creating what is now known as Jiivala.
At Jiivala, Sherry’s vision is to mentor individuals in learning how to become their own hero and through JHEP, learning how to: cook holistically, speak powerfully and; to make money authentically. Jiivala is sanskrit for “full of life”- and truly, that is what the holistic culinary academy is all about. This is not a program which focuses on one facet of life or one talent. JHEP is all about identifying and broadcasting those passions, strengths and talents that every single person in the world has- and developing them in a way where we are a) all supporters of each other b) we believe in ourselves c) we are able to express them from a place of love and hope. Now, don’t be fooled- this is not a retreat where we hold hands in a circle and sing “kumbayah” all day long (although there is singing, hand holding & circles involved at times). JHEP is thoroughly business savvy and intellectually stimulating- the difference is- Sherry devotes her time and experiences to teaching us a way to work hard, challenge ourselves and be successful- and facing our egos head on! The course material, activities and challenges are heavy! Some moments there’s not a dry eye in the class! However, the point is that you practice the way you preach.
I had a conversation with a friend recently about track & field and cross country and training. Ultimately, in sports- you train the way you would play or compete on the day of competition! You push yourself to those limits to grow and to get better (or faster). This is the same thing in life & in business. The way you handle yourself in your work, your relationships and your school should all reflect each other. Otherwise, whats the point! So, what is a Holistic Entrepreneur? Or, how does it differ from an Entrepreneur? To me- so far, it means believing in the power of my change and inspiring others to fall in love with their selves and the world around them through food, love & sharing.
Before I go on, I can’t forget about the FOOD! Cooking. We spend the first half of each day in the kitchen, learning and practicing different techniques and styles of cooking. It’s really helping me to expand my horizons, try new things and increase my confidence in the kitchen. Also, there’s something about cooking with a team of people who have a similar love for food and it’s effects on the bodies that really makes dishes taste THAT much better. Each day we are blessed to devour plates of delicious foods like: decadent salads, soups of all kinds, daals, potato salads, stews, sweets and tons of different styles of dips and sauces!
Also, a major part of this is that every role you have played, everything you have done & worked towards & experienced are all a part of who you are now. In other words, nothing gets wasted! I cannot say enough about how amazing this program is. I am so excited for the growth, transformation & passion that is coming out of the amazing group of women that I have the privilege of spending my month around. The hub of this growth is of course, Sherry- she has created a space where we feel safe to shining with our true colours, be honest with our emotions & to be perfectly imperfect (on a moment to moment basis). Minimizing nutritional confusion, learning how to speak professionally and believing in living your passion and being successful. That’s it; that’s definitely not all!
If you are interested in the program or would like learn more about Sherry and her philosophies on food and nutrition: Click here to see her TedxTokyo talk on Food & her food philosophies; Click here to read more about the JHEP program; Click here to read about her classes offered throughout the month!