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Meet Kim 

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An Inspired Life

Since a young child, I have been fascinated by stories. Some would inspire me, others would teach me life lessons. It was the wise elder stories that I enjoyed the most. Synchronicity, always brought forth, these wise-elder teachings, into my world.

Each elder I encountered, took a shine to me, and, I, too them. They would take me under their wings, train me, certify me, and then off to the next. I felt like a butterfly. Each elder I trained with, I had to rebirth, transform, and adapt quickly. I had a thirst for knowledge, which has never left my side. Then one day these synchronicities came to a halt, After a year, I soon realized, that is was my turn to be the seasoned-elder and teach my crafts.

In 2016, I got down to business. I wrote my first book, Thirteen months later it was published! I had a big launch party, and signed up to train as a podcast host. I was on a roll! Then adversity would hit so hard it flipped my life in the opposite direction. 
 
Seeing I am a story teller, I will continue this pivotal moment in my life, towards the end of my story. But first lets go back in time, to where it all began. See you on the other side!

 

Image by Timur Romanov

Growing Up In The Cariboo

Growing up as a child, in our hometown, Burnaby, B.C., I was surrounded by construction and design. My mother was a display and merchandising artist for The Bay department store. My father wasbrilliant house and fireplace builder. He never went to school, but he could design architecture blueprints better than most. At the age of 72, my dad built a Roman spa bathroom. It was surrounded by Roman pillars and marble. Statues of the 'bather's, rest inside the carved-out shelves, he built, inside the clay walls. Funny, still to this day, I am fascinated by Roman, & Italian architecture. Every home I have ever owned, I have created an Italian like bistro kitchen, with grapes and wine bottles, table clothes, and bits of rod iron. 

THE INTUITIVE KID

Although I inherited my parents' creative genes, I was not a normal child. My parents did not know what to do with me. I had an intuitive ability to feel people's energy, emotions, health imbalances, and see the potential in all things, even animals. I would also find out early in life, that I had an innate, Feng Shui ability, to feel stuck energy blockages in most spaces, and environments. When my mother wasn't looking, being the mischievous spirit I was, I would change my mother's pillows and decorations around to my liking. I felt they were in the wrong place, energetically.

In my early teens, my parents purchased a 130-acre ranch, in 100 Mile House, B.C., which was known as the Cariboo country. We sold our house in Burnaby, packed our bags and headed north. During the first month we settled in, my dad surprised. each of us, with a horse and a snowmobile. Such a different lifestyle from the big city.

Life seemed so simple in the country. We had to walk a mile to our school bus driver's ranch, to catch the bus, as our school was 10-miles away. In the winter, sometimes the pipes would freeze, so we had to melt snow, in order to wash up for school. On the occasional evening, my dad and I took flashlights down to the creek, and we did flashlight-fishing. No one could ever find us! We were so far away from our neighbours, and people! 

 

Unfortunately, my mother was in disagreement with the move, and many arguments became the norm. This was not the environment for my creative and sensitive soul to flourish. One day I decided to saddle up my horse and went for a long ride. In my mind I was thinking to myself, how I could make my own money, so I wouldn't have to be dependent on my parents.

 

LIFE WAS HAPPENING FOR ME, NOT TO ME. I was about to learn what the life of an entrepreneur. was all about, now recognizing later in life, that the spirited little 5-year-old, was truly, a determined, entrepreneurial-spirit.

 

Image by Chema Photo

Out On My Own

My horse, Gidget, was my solace. I came up with the idea to babysit. I knew I could do it. I knocked on many of my neighbour's doors, that day. However, because I was riding a horse, they asked me to house-sit their ranches, and animals, instead. Cool!

A year later, just after my 14th birthday, my parents divorced, and my mother moved back home to Burnaby. I had to grow up fast and take care of the laundry, the cleaning, and the horses, as my dad did the cooking. It wasn't long before my dad fell in love and moved this new woman, with her two kids, into our home. I was moved to the basement bedroom. At the time, I had teenage acne really bad and got teased a lot at school. It was those years when one is building one's confidence. My self-esteem was nil. This situation didn't help matters being put in the basement. Luckily, I had my little entrepreneurial business to focus on.

So, mom and I came up with an idea. She signed for me to receive welfare, so I could finish school. However, that meant moving into town to live near the school. I couldn't tell my dad, so I ran away from home one night. It was very hard to leave my animals behind, and especially my horse and ranch sitting job, where I felt independent, but life was calling otherwise.

My monthly welfare check was $380.00 a month. It was back in the '70's, era. My rent was $180.00. Calculate how much I had to live on, not much. This taught me very early in my life, how to stretch a dollar and make it last. 


Later in life, if I had slow months in business, or I was given a staging budget, that sometimes was less then I actually needed to stage the house for sale. This early life training was a blessing in disguise. I knew how to make a dollar last and would always keep on budget with my staging jobs.  AGAIN, LIFE WAS HAPPENING FOR ME, NOT TO ME!

Blessing In Disguise

So how was this early part of my life a blessing in disguise?

I had to grow up fast and be responsible for my own future. After I graduated, I moved back to the city and started a home cleaning and pet-sitting business. My early life taught me how to make something out of nothing. It definitely taught me how to take risks. These are all the abilities you need to survive as an entrepreneur. I have been able to re-invent myself over the years, because of this early-life training.

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The Space Stager Was Born

It only takes one person to change your life forever. One day I was cleaning a house for one of my elite clients. It happened to be her birthday that day. I decided to change her whole house around for a surprise birthday gift while she was away all day at work. Delighted and surprised, when she walked in the door, she rang up her neighbours and invited them over to see her re-designed house. The rest is history!

 

I freelanced under the name, "Display & Design" to get my feet wet. Over the years, I landed contracts in photography styling, trade show events, corporate product, seminar room set ups, weddings, displays for The Bay department store, Christmas parties, to landing a 2-year contract with a modeling agency, then turning around and becoming a petite model myself and teaching modeling and designing fashion shows.

 

One job I was called on was to decorate a yacht at the Bay Shore Marina, in Vancouver, B.C. The clients wanted to sell their boat and asked if I could make it look pretty. 

 

Around this time, my husband, and, I, had just put our house on the market. On the first showing the house sold, double the asking price. The realtor asked me if I staged homes for a living. I had no idea what he was talking about (STAGED WHAT?). However, I went along with it. Every once in awhile a good bluff is okay, if it means opportunity is knocking at your door! He told me to make up some business cards and call him in a week. I stayed up all night to learn everything I could about staging. Then it hit me, This was what I did for the boat, but they never called it 'staging'. I didn't waste anytime. I was at his office a week later. Opportunity was knocking! The Space Stager, was born.

The Feng Shui Guy

Back in July of 2005, my first client was a doctor with a 1-million dollar home. The builder was a well-known,

West Coast-Fred Hollingworth design. This staging job led to a front cover story in West Coast Homes, and several newspapers. See articles

Then it happened. This one staging job I did for a client, turned out to be a Japanese style home. It was the thrill of my life. At my clients first showing, I stuck around to see people's reaction to my Japanese style of staging, While drinking some Japanese tea, with the owner, I heard a voice ask the realtor, "Who staged this home?" I peaked my head around the corner with a grin on my face, "Me," I replied. "Who did you train with in Feng Shui?" "Nobody," I replied back. His mouth dropped, "You are a natural. Don't go to school, it will confuse you." In a flash he was gone. His age and the way he was dressed, we all agreed he looked like a Feng Shui, mystical-master of some kind. He wasn't interested in buying. He was curious to see who's design this was. I was left in aw, but flattered, indeed!

 

My curiosity about Feng Shui, did indeed lead me to train in both western and classical, Feng Shui. The Feng Shui guy was right! The training confused my natural flow. Today, I use some theory, and the rest is my own feeling and intuition towards architecture, colour and the missing elements, and my innate design ability. 

Business was booming. My clients began requesting that their new homes and offices be set up the same way I staged them, yet geared for living, I often travelled out of town to style my clients homes. However, unexpectedly, I become very ill. I would later find out, it was the chemicals and off gases from all the furniture, new rugs, laminate flooring, and cleaning items people had in their homes; especially the EMF's, (electrical magnetic fields), in people's home offices. It was the HOME-BASE-CRAZE back then. Builders were now adding extra rooms for a home office. I was setting up many home-based offices at the time. Needless to say I had to lesson the load of my clients, and figure out how to deal with toxins and my business.

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Adversity Hits Hard

Around this time, my sibling and I had been losing family members, left and right, to cancer; mostly through our late 20's to 3o's. It was the combination of my stepfather passing, and then two years later, my mother passed to cancer, a day before her 59th birthday, when I finally woke up and got suspicious! Why did my family all die of the same disease, yet in different organs? A majority of my family were around the 60-age-bracket.

 

Standing beside my mother in the morgue, staring at the hole in her neck from smoking too much, I was horrified to think of what type of pain she was carrying to do this to herself. 

 

They rolled my mother into a special room where I was given an hour to be with her. The room became very calm, as I reminisced about our life together. It was a very beautiful experience. I cut a piece of her hair, not only for sentimental memories, but I was curious to see what chemicals I would find in her hair analysis.

 

As I drove back to my sisters place, I took a deep dive into the lifestyle history of our family generations. Smokers, drinkers, fast food. processed boxed and canned food, hair dye, plastics, and floor to ceiling toxic chemicals, were prominent; the same thing I was witnessing in my clients homes. Not to mention, my family was very talented. However, no one believed in themselves. Their was a lot of self-sabotage and pain from with holding what they came here to do. A majority of my family died with their music still in them. 

 

Health-Safari Journey

Now in my thirties, and already, 11 family members lost to cancer. This was the kick start that became my life-long-purpose. My mission was to learn all I could to live a healthy lifestyle, myself, and then incorporate this as part of my interior styling and consulting business.

 

My first stop, was to find out the 'why' of cancer.  So, I joined the Cancer Prevention Coalition. At the time I trained under the education of Dr. Samuel S. Epstein, author of "The Safe Shoppers Bible." As I mentioned in the beginning of my story, I was led to elder teachers from here to there. There are too many to list. However, I have put them in my credentials at the end of my story. 

 

I changed my life, practically overnight, and got rid of all the toxins. I didn't want to waste time. Step by step, I began to move into living an organic lifestyle; 30 years later I am still living this lifestyle, 

 

I had many synchronistic opportunities land in my lap, in the most bazar ways. I just listened and followed. For instance, I once attended a health seminar and sat beside the editor of Alive magazine, to my surprise. Later, I offered her a ride home, as she was heading to my destination, as she had taken the bus into attend the seminar.

 

During our chat, she happened to mention that she lost her writer for her front cover story. I immediately put my hand up. Opportunity was knocking! I had no idea how to write for a magazine, however, I had written flyers, and product knowledge education for health companies, when I was styling their design tables. I loved to write. Once again, I bluffed my way through!! I went on to write for several magazines across Canada. VIEW MY ARTICLES.

 

Another life transition was in order. It was time to sell my home staging business. I took a course with Harv Ecker, which taught me how to sell my business. I sold it in a week. I then opened up, Tranquil Places Consulting Group. I focused solely on setting up my new clients homes, and offices, for healthy living, while I trained on the side with more elder, holistic-teachers.

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Questioning Life 

So landing where I left off in the beginning of this story, my husband was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2015, and had surgery.

I put my business on the shelf and took care of him. Luckily my husband went into remission, and was healthy enough to go back to work. It was here we both decided it was a good time to write my book.

My book was birthed a couple years later. I had a great book launch, and as I shared, I was about to start a podcast, when my husband was diagnosed with stage 4 liver cancer.  The cancer had spread. After a heroic battle, he passed in 2019. I never imagined, at 59 years old, that I would be a widow.

Then for the next six years, right after my husband's passing, one by one, I lost my father, to pancreatic cancer, my father-in-law, to old age, my mother-in-law to cancer, and my sister-in-law, to ovarian cancer. 

I began to question my own life, and what was I to learn from losing, so many family members to cancer. Also carrying the guilt, I felt from being a nutritionist along my life training, and not being able to save any of family members.

A New Path of Learning

When I revisited my mission, I realized there was a huge component that I had not attended, too. Grief woke me up to the emotional component that is usually a big factor behind cancer, as I dived deeper into the emotions of my family's health habits. The strongest component was their self-sabotage, behaviours, that lead to their unhealthy lifestyle habits. No matter how healthy I was around them, and tried to help them, they didn't want to change.  

When the student is ready the teacher appears. A life coaching school that teaches about self-saboteurs. as one of their components, happened to drop in my lap. I signed up last December to become a coach. As I have said throughout my story, life is happening for you, not to you.

 

Although loss and death was one of the hardest adversities I went through, or anyone can go through, losing your entire family, it has not only given me a deeper compassion for the human spirit, and greater diversity to be able to communicate with all types of relationships, and circumstances, but I had to go through it in order to understand mental wellness through grief, and how it affects our spirit, mind, and our bodies, and how to get to the other side. Although, I set out to find the WHY? to cancer, in my 30's, the universe had a much bigger plan of passing many tests of a vast array of life experience so I could bring the gift of healing to my work, so I can be of greater services to my clients.

 

"You cannot put out a forest fire with just one hose, you have to come at it from all angles". This is the mantra I work with when I help my clients, as a Lifestyle Designer.  I offer a very unique service, where I first help you to remember who you are, and then align this knowing to your life, purpose, relationships, health, spaces, and business. 

If you are ready to get started to live your best you, and design your best life, let's connect. Book a 20-minute discovery call with me and let's get started! 

VIEW KIM'S CREDENTIALS

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