Diagnosed with clinical depression at age 16, I tried many forms of therapy to overcome it for the 20 years that followed. Being a high-functioning person, I persisted despite the struggle, becoming a classically trained dancer and an Ontario Scholar, graduating from York University in Toronto and rising to relative success in my corporate career. Workaholism became a coping addiction. I did take short career breaks in 2009 and 2011 to focus on healing, which helped but did not eradicate the disease.
In December 2012, determined to do whatever it takes to find freedom from depression, I unexpectedly quit my job as a Global Marketing Director, with no plan or clear next step. Without my career as a coping mechanism, I hit rock bottom over the following few months and planned to end my life. It was during this ultra-low point that I heard a loving inner voice begging me ‘try one more time’. Exhausted from wearing the ‘perfect/happy’ mask, I dropped the facade and accepted depression for what it was. I found new strength to recommit to freedom through exercise, yoga, meditation and eating healthy; this time without the ‘mask’. Then, I learned of using plant medicine in the Amazon jungle to treat depression.
After weeks of research, with only a backpack containing all my essentials, I moved to the Amazon for months to work with highly reputable shamanic healers. I went back and forth to the Amazon over the next two years, allowing integration time between the healing. After 18 months, I was completely free of depression. As the depression cleared, an ancient wisdom began unfolding within me – a wisdom that’s in all of us.
In between trips to the Amazon, I travelled to India to work with Panchakarma, Ayurveda’s primary purification and detoxification treatment, and spent time at various spiritual places before being in the presence of the Dalai Lama. I received his blessing and was taught the essential lesson of ‘emptiness’, the meaning of which I experienced over the following few months. On my final trip to the Amazon, I began redesigning my life. I sold everything and moved to Ubud, Bali to reduce cost of living and benefit from
the loving energy of the Balinese people and land.
It was in Bali that I once again heard the now familiar inner voice that saved my life four years ago, urging me to come forward, and not only share my story with the world, but make it accessible to all, regardless of their financial situation. Being a private person, I resisted the call to serve for months, until the message became too loud to ignore. This lead to the conception of my upcoming book, My Pursuit of Peace, and it’s why the audiobook and e-books will be available for free or pay-what-you-can.