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. Let's go back in time, to where it all began.
May my story inspire you to never give up on your dreams, no matter what adversity, or obstacles, life throws your way. Life is always happening for you, not to you, all for a greater purpose. Always follow what calls your soul. See you on the other side! Kim.
Growing Up In The Cariboo
Growing up as a child, in our home town, 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 was a brilliant 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, with marble and all the pillars. 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 also had an innate, Feng Shui ability to feel the stuck energy blockages, in most spaces, and environments. I had a lot of mischievous spirit in me. I would always change my mothers pillows around or her decorations. I didn't like the way they sat on the coach, energetically, they were in the wrong place.
In, my early teens, my parents bought a 130 acre ranch, in 100 Mile House, B.C., known as Cariboo country. We packed our bags and headed north. During the first month we settled in, my dad surprised us each with a horse and a snowmobile. Such a different lifestyle, from the big city.
However, life seemed so simple in the country. We had to walk a mile to our school bus driver's ranch, and catch the bus, as our school was 10 miles away. We melted snow in the winter when the pipes froze. Dad and I took a flashlight down to the creek at night and did flashlight-fishing. No one could ever find us! We were so far away from our neighbours, and people!
Although I paint the picture like we had a happy home life, my parents always argued. They were like fire and water. I rode my horse a lot to get away from the arguing. This was not the environment for my creative, sensitive soul to flourish. One day I decided to saddle up my horse, and went for a long ride, thinking about 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.
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, instead, to house-sit their ranches, and animals, while they were away. Cool!
A year later, just after my 14th birthday, my parents divorced and my mother went back home to Burnaby. I had to grow up fast and take care of the laundry, the cleaning and the horses, as my dad was the cook. 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. 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. But 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. She would move back up to the Cariboo, and we could live together after graduation.
I had just turned 15-years-old. I ran away without telling my Dad. It was hard to leave my animals behind, and my house and pet-sitting business, as I moved into town, into a small apartment across from the school, away from all the ranches. 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, and or I was given a staging budget, that sometimes was less then I needed, this early life training was a blessing in disguise as I knew how to make a dollar last. clients home, 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.
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, so I and decided to change her whole house around for a surprise birthday gift. Delighted and surprised, when she walked in the door, she rang up her neighbours and invited them 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
My first client was a doctor with a 2-million dollar home. It was a famous Fred Hollingworth design, which led to a front cover story in West Coast Homes, and several newspapers.
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. Just like I did as a child.
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, I began to become very ill. I would later find out, it was the chemicals, and off gases from all the furniture, new rugs, and flooring; especially the EMF's. At the time, I was designing and setting up many home-based offices. It was the HOME-BASE-BUSINESS craze, back then. Builders were now adding extra rooms for a home office. Needless to say I had to lesson the load of my clients, and figure out how to deal with toxins and my business.
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? And, a majority of my family were around the 60-age-bracket.
Standing beside my mother in the morgue, starring at the hole in her neck from her throat cancer surgery, from smoking too much, I was horrified of what type of pain was she carrying that she would do this to herself.
They rolled my mother into a special room where I was given an hour with her. The room became very calm, as I reminisced 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.
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 fengshui and styling 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 said 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 am grateful you have come along this far with me.
I changed my life, 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 and had taken, the bus in 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 but I wrote flyers, and product knowledge for health companies, prior, when I was styling their design tables. I loved to write. So I just bluffed my way through, once again! I went on to write for several magazines across Canada. View my samples.
Another life transition was in order. I took a course with Harv Ecker, which taught me how to sell my business, properly. I revamped my business name to, 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.
TO BE CONTINUED , , ,