Posts in Professional
SPOTLIGHT | Meghan MacPherson
Meghan.quote.byamygrace

Meghan MacPherson

Massage Therapist & Business Owner

Meghan can be found running and working at her registered massage therapy business ‘Aura Massage Therapy’ while also working individually with her clients to support both their mental and physical health.

Meghan is passionate about making one on one connections with her clients and seeks to create a safe space that matches their unique individual needs.

She also happens to carry an open atmosphere about her that allows for easy communication, depth of insight and quick empathy.

MORE MEGHAN

Website

https://www.auramassagetherapy.ca

Instagram

https://www.instagram.com/mghnmcphrsn/

WORK | Redefining 'Productivity' in Creative Work
redefining.byamygrace

Pursuing and being in creative work is a double edged sword.

On one side, it’s amazing and highly rewarding. Ideas can come and flow and connect with others and the on the other side, it’s fraught with pressure, uncertainty, and a pacing that is quick and slow without warning.

It can feel as if you are treading water and trying to make the next thing happen without any clarity on why or how or when.

& we start getting caught up in the word ‘hustle’ as if it is something to be proud of to have too many irons in the fire and the more you can show for yourself despite how ragged and tired you are beneath the surface the more you are celebrated.

The hustle I want to be defined by,

is the hustle I have that creates a healthy home for my family, a healthy life for my body and an inspiring and well rounded work life.

What if being productive meant bringing your whole self to each part of your life with out exhaustion or comparison? What if our CV wasn’t the point of proof, but how we walked our fulll and whole lives?

Over this year I have been working on finding a new way of being in my personal and professional life that produces more quality with less stress. The theme I have found is that ‘more’ so often doesn’t produce ‘more’ in return.

‘More’ is often the distraction from the ‘less’ that you need to focus on.

It’s hard to remember to do.

But onward I go…

SPOTLIGHT | Denika Coakley
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Denika Coakley

Designer & Woodworker

Denika can be found working and running her own business ‘DC Woodworks’ while also thoughtfully investing in her two daughters lives.

Denika is passionate about bringing both artistic design and woodwork together, is constantly working with her hands in all forms of creativity and expression and believes that being your most raw and true self is of value in this world.

She also happens to bring a depth and sense of ease in the room that welcomes others to relax and be themselves.

MORE DENIKA

Shop

https://www.etsy.com/ca/shop/DCWW?ref=search_shop_redirect

INSTAGRAM

https://www.instagram.com/dc_woodworks/

FACEBOOK

https://www.facebook.com/dcwoodworks902/

WORK | FIN Festival 2019
Heading into the screening of our Brilliansea Documentary:  ‘Her Business Our Story Your Calling’

Heading into the screening of our Brilliansea Documentary: ‘Her Business Our Story Your Calling’

Having ‘Her Business Our Story Your Calling’ accepted into the FIN ‘Atlantic International Film Festival’ was an honour. I am so proud to have had the opportunity to work with Claire Fraser on this short documentary and work towards creating it into a feature.

Although I have written and produced theatrical plays, written and collaborated on various screen pieces, this is my first screening of a produced work of film.

The Festival was packed with various opportunities and events as a film maker to enjoy and be inspired by. The opening film Murmur was a perfect way to celebrate locally made films and various colleges. Murmur is a perfect example that quality is better than quantity. It had a quiet confidence about itself and was made with excellence.

I found the Mussel Bar reception hosted by WIFT-AT a time of solidarity and connections with my peers. I am looking forward to seeing more of them both at events and also by design.

FIN gave me the opportunity to see my local film and television community on a broader scale, find solidarity and get inspired for what can be possible.

Onward I go…

SPOTLIGHT | Rachael Delano
Rachael.delano.brilliansea.

Rachael Delano

Musician, Teacher & Director

Rachael can be found exploring how to combine sustainability, art, and music in all aspects of her work, while also maintaining her many independent contracts by directing choirs, teaching her own students, and being the co-lead arranger for a community singing group, ‘The Big Sing’.

Rachael is passionate about all aspects of the work that she does and this leads her to be consistently changing and innovating in how she approaches her work.

She also happens to carry a quiet rhythm to her presence that is calming to all those who are around her. It’s that authenticity and genuine joy for the moment she carries that reminds us to stay true and present in all that we do.

MORE RACHAEL

WEBSITE

https://www.rachaeldelano.com/teaching.html

INSTAGRAM

https://www.instagram.com/rachaeldelanomusic/

WORK | Discussions with Ruth on Optimistically Depressed Podcast
optimistically.depressed.ruth.byamygrace

Recently I sat down with Ruth McMullen on her Podcast Series ‘Optimistically Depressed’ where she creates space for ‘shame free’ discussions on mental health, life and the personal journeys of each guest she talks with.

Ruth has an incredible rooted presence and peace that surrounds her. It is a healing thing to have the opportunity to sit with her and share in the openness that can happen when a room feels safe.

In this episode: Amy Lai on Healthy Anxiety and Taking Responsibility | Ep 48.

I share with Ruth my own personal discovery and understandings through the years of how anxiety manifests itself in me and how I have learned and am still learning to deal with it.

We also end up unraveling the ways in which learning who you are, where you have come from, how you can honour your own humanity and overall wellness can be an empowering and beautiful thing.

Overall, I realize that any of these opportunities to sit and share, are not just opportunities for the listener to hear a new episode, but for the person sitting across from Ruth, they are also opportunities to learn, heal and feel cherished just a little bit more than before.

optimistically.depressed.podcast.byamygrace
SPOTLIGHT | Adrienne Kehler
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Adrienne Kehler

Birth Doula & Child Birth Educator

Adrienne can be found educating and supporting new parents and others in the various aspects of birth, while currently relocating her family and ‘business’ from Halifax, Nova Scotia to Ottawa, Ontario.

Adrienne is thrilled by the process of educating and supporting women in their Individual birth journeys and works to give space for a variety of information, methods and insight while also creatively thinking outside the box to create a wholistic birthing experience that uplifts and equips.

She also happens to empower the women and men she works with by her ability to listen deeply to their specific needs and desires and connecting them with the information they need.

MORE ADRIENNE

Website

http://www.newbirthdoula.ca

Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/NewBirthDoulaServices/

WORK | Her Business Our Story Your Calling - A Short Documentary
Poster made by one of the featured entrepreneurs ‘Élana Camille’.

Poster made by one of the featured entrepreneurs ‘Élana Camille’.

We were so thrilled to announce that our short documentary ‘Her Business Our Story Your Calling’ has been accepted into ‘FIN’ the ‘Atlantic International Film Festival.

There are two Screenings:

14-SEP-2019 03:30 PM | PARK LANE: 8
17-SEP-2019 08:50 PM | PARK LANE: 2

“Her Business, Our Story, Your Calling.”

A short documentary featuring various entrepreneurial women and the story behind their businesses. Through sharing their experiences, they aim to inspire and encourage other people to pursue their entrepreneurial dreams.

Our documentary features in order of appearance:

Élana Camille Saimovici | Elana Creates

Korayne Romanchuk | Koko Mod Floral Design

Kate Pepler | The Tare Shop

Victoria Smith | Fluke Boutique

Sharlene Loveless | The Globarre now known as Rehab Body Lab

Colloberations & Credits

Elana Camille Saimovici | Poster designer

Rachael Delano | Musician

Devon Drake | Filmography & resident bestie for bouncing ideas off of

SPOTLIGHT | Amy Chandler
Amy.chandler.qoute

Amy Chandler 


Hand Embroidery Artist 

Amy can be found creating whimsical, colourful and high quality embroidery pieces while also making space for herself and others who deal with mental illness by sharing her own life and  methods of coping by ‘crafting it out’.

Amy is inspired by and finds deep satisfaction in creating a home that is reflective of her creativity, is cozy and brings her and those who inhabit her space, joy.

She also happens to lighten up the spaces she inhabits with a bright and tender atmosphere that brings us closer as people and encourages us to be tender with ourselves. 

MORE AMY 

Website / Shop

https://www.etsy.com/shop/friday55

Instagram 

https://www.instagram.com/friday55/

WORK | Writers I am Inspired By
writers.inspiration.byamygrace

We grab our inspiration in various places, here is a sampling of where mine has come from:

Sarah Polley

I think it’s safe to say there is nothing that I have taken in by Sarah Polley that hasn’t moved me. Most notably, Stories We Tell and Take This Waltz. Both of these pieces, one documentary and one fiction, has left me in awe about the complexities of life. I found peace and solidarity with the concept behind ‘Take This Waltz’ as it shows the process of a woman coming to terms with her choices in life, finding out her why’s, her how’s and how maybe life is not as simple as we thought it was. Stories We Tell gave me a deep dive as a human and storyteller how perspective and personality is everything. We are marked by our families, our DNA and our circumstances, no matter how we may fight it all.

Diana Gabaldon

This year I have been quite literally taken by Diana’s Outlander Series. I have only read four out of the eight already published in the series. (apparently there is to be 10 books in total.) What grabbed me with Diana’s writing, is her ability to weave together a time travel concept into history, romance, adventure, and so many more genres. She writes her characters deeper than three dimensional and has a way of making everything mundane in a persons life an integral part of the story. You believe in the characters as much as you believe in yourself, because that is how much she is able to give you in her writing.

Maya Angelou

Although I read ‘I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings’ when I was a teenager, I fell in love with Maya’s words as I listened to her in various interviews. Interviews such as these: ‘Power of Words’, ‘Be a Rainbow in Someone Else’s Cloud’ , Best Advice Given, captivate me & still does. Her words are timeless, empowering and insightful and I turn to them when I need reminders to come back to myself, my values and my worthiness as a human. I will always hold her brevity, sincerity and intolerance for inhumanity close to my heart.

Elizabeth Gilbert

What I love about Elizabeth Gilbert is that not one of her works is remotely the same. Every book she has ever written is a complete departure from the last. It’s as if she shows up for the project and let’s it speak and if anything, the only thing that I can put my finger on about her, is that her own personal physical voice has a distinct soul to it that speaks of raw unashamed re-learned childlike abandon. My favourite of her works: ‘Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear’, ‘City of Girls’ and various of her clippings of words captured on the internet.

This short list didn’t even touch on ‘Anne Lamott, Amy Sherman-Palladino, Shonda Rhimes, The Brontë Sisters, Liv Constantine’…. it’s an endless list.

What writers or people inspire your work?

SPOTLIGHT | Kaitlyn Adair
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Kaitlyn Adair

Nurse & Filmmaker

Kaitlyn can be found teaching yoga, running two film companies which focus on feminism and social justice, community empowerment and mentorship, while also working as a nurse

Kaitlyn is a woman who sees beyond the surface and reaches deep to create spaces for those she works with and the broader community to feel empowered, safe and inspired.

She also happens to maintain a personal self awareness that moves those around her to become more self aware and in turn, become more aware of others.

MORE KAITLYN ADAIR

WEBSITE

http://kaitlynadair.com

FEAST MEDIA

https://www.facebook.com/feastmediainc/?ref=profile_intro_card

FACEBOOK PAGE

https://www.facebook.com/creativewellnessandyoga/?ref=profile_intro_card

INSTAGRAM

https://www.instagram.com/creativewellnessandyoga/

WORK | Summer Write Nights
summer.write.nights.byamygrace

Creative writing lends itself well for me to write in the evenings.

In particular, I find there is something magical about writing in the summer evenings. The window by my desk open, allowing any small breeze to come in, a train rumbling by and shaking everything including my heart, the light dimming slowly as the summer sun relents to bed…

I light a candle, put on my twinkle lights, pour some white wine and turn on some music to enter into a state that can only be explained by writers.

If I could, I would stay in that state forever. It is a lot like bliss and ecstasy mixed with a bit of earth to meet you where your feet are. Somewhere in that state you are both high and grounded at the same time.

An excerpt from my write nights:

“Words are like rain.  They pour out of us and seek to cover the dry parts of our lives.  Like rain, words can come in a pitter patter, or a flood.  Like rain, words can be a deluge or a storm or even a simple dewy soft and tender pattern of affection.”

SPOTLIGHT | Élana Camille
elana.camille.brilliansea.

Élana Camille

Illustrator, Artist & Creative Content Producer

Élana can be found collaborating with brands, media publications and various companies, while also embracing and finding new ways to honour the evolution and change in her own unique journey as a creative entrepreneur.

Élana is motivated to create illustrations that connect with her clients intentions and also finds an ability to be inspired and refreshed through her love for travel.

She also happens to have a tenacious spirit that has carried her through each new step of her personal and professional life and is a carrier of enthusiasm for anyone who wants to step out and try something new.

More Elana

Website

https://www.elanacamillecreates.com

Instagram

https://www.instagram.com/elanacamillecreates/

WORK | Mama, Writer, Producer etc.
On set with mama. 2019

On set with mama. 2019

Over the past year I have been on a journey on what it means ‘for me’ to be both my daughters primary care giver and to be active in my chosen career.

What I have found thus far:

I schedule around the time with my daughter.

Before a new work week begins, I sit down and see where the windows of time will be where she is on a visit to a grandparents, will be doing activities with her father or anyone else. Then I schedule in my work after that. (notwithstanding, previously arranged meetings, appointments or filming shoots.)

I honour the work and my daughter.

There are days I would rather just kick it around the house or goof off with a friend, but I realize if I don’t show up for both my daughter and my work I become resentful to whatever has distracted or is keeping me from either.

I grow at my own right pace.

As I grew into this motherhood thing, I realized that I valued my work and wanted to grow and mature professionally in a manner that was steady, healthy and challenging in all the right ways. My pace and someone else’s pace will be different and that’s okay.

What I wish others knew

I work really hard to be present.

I give you and my life 100% of me, which is naturally just a part of who I am as a person. It also means I can drain my reserves quickly if I am not managing myself properly and keeping margin in my daily life.

I love being there for both my daughter and my work.

There is nothing that makes me happier than having a day with a meaningful activity with my daughter and getting some work done amidst it all.

I need you to reach out to me too.

I take maintaining relationships seriously, and I have realized that although I am the driving force in many relationships, I need someone else to take the drivers seat off and on.

*A Note on ‘Being Busy’ & Celebrating the Exhaustion…

There is this unfortunate celebration of the woman who is balancing everything and continues to take on more and more. We like to enjoy saying ‘look at her, she does it all!’ We don’t take the time to look at how all of those things are affecting her personal and professional life in ways that are unseen. We just see the list of tasks and roles and celebrate , like it’s a ticket to success to be run into the ground with nothing but a few hours to sleep at night.

fyi: that’s not long lasting success. That’s a fast ticket to a burn out. I won’t be boarding that train ya’ll.

SPOTLIGHT | Kirstin Howell
kirstin.howell.quote

Kirstin Howell | “Kiki”

Actor & Teacher

Kiki can be found acting in theatre, film and television, while also coaching and teaching a variety of students in their projects and performance skills.

Kiki is motivated by bringing humour to the table in her work and life and finds a unique way to create and share in unity and abundance for not just the experienced performamce artist, but the new and up and coming.

She also happens to have a way of carrying a gracious, encouraging and uplifting spirit while also leaving you with incredibly constructive feedback and advice that leave you inspired and wanting to strive further in your life and work.

More Kiki

The L.A. Technique

https://www.facebook.com/TheL.A.Technique/

The Insta

https://www.instagram.com/auntiekiki/

WORK | Spotlight Series - Summer 2019 Update
Making the last day of filming happen in heat & with little in tow.

Making the last day of filming happen in heat & with little in tow.

Two weeks ago we wrapped up our last set of Spotlight Interviews until the Fall. Right now our studio is in an attic which quickly becomes an oven during the warmer seasons, so we are forced to take a mini but much needed filming hiatus.

In many ways, this is a great opportunity for us to review our series so far, catch up on editing and implement a few more items into our series that we haven’t had time to do.

During this break

We want to create a proper intake and documentation of those interviews we have done and those we have on our ever running docket list.

Up until now everything we have done has been very ‘on the ground’ and informal. We started by reaching out to the women we believed would be interested and an asset to pushing the series forward and then we began asking for recommendations. For the fall we hope to be able to better keep track of the women on our various ‘lists’ and our aim is to make sure we curate and produce a series with various ages, mediums of work, backgrounds and diversity.

Creating an opportunity for funding.

Now that we have 20 interviews under our belt we are going to be seeking support and funding so that we can continue to create this series in the ways that will better honour the project and ourselves. We recognize that in order to continue serving and creating in a way that develops this series to it’s fullest potential, we need the financial freedom in order to give it that attention.

Until then, keep watching as we continue to drop two interviews monthly!

SPOTLIGHT | Gwyneth Christoffel
Gwyneth.quote.brilliansea

Gwyneth Christoffel

Animator, Illustrator & Film Editor

Gwyneth can be found working during the day as an editor and illustrator while also bringing smiles to faces with her creative outlet ‘Gwyneth Draws’, on instagram.

Gwyneth is driven to create inspiring, quippy and impactful work and has fully embraced her own unique way to inspire a sense of solidarity and joy through what she does.

She also happens to have a calm and joyful presence that surrounds her that makes it easy to see where all those quippy and light hearted illustrations flow from.

More Gwyneth

Instagram

https://www.instagram.com/gwynethdraws/

Store

https://society6.com/gwynethdraws

WORK | 5 Things to Do to Start Anything
At Claire Frasers Studio where we collaborate on the Brilliansea Projects.

At Claire Frasers Studio where we collaborate on the Brilliansea Projects.

A creative entrepreneur’s reality is that they are often creating things from nothing that are not always easy to communicate to their audience or even, to themselves.

When starting anything here are 5 things to do.

Have an Anchor Point

In any concept an anchor point to the project is what you can keep coming back to & it becomes something that others who are your consumers understand to be uniquely you. Be it a symbol, a mascot, a specific action you do within your ‘making’, make sure it’s there and you know why you do it.

Use What You Have

It’s so easy to get caught up in trying to have the right set up, the right products etc. Comparison is the thief of joy. All good things come in time, so use what you have and make do. Podcasts, vlogs, film makers, artists of any medium learn to use what they have and build on that over time.

Stay Consistent

Consistency is key. You will never improve or gain traction if you are spotty in consistency. Maintain a consistency that works for you. Once a week or once a day is better than here and there.

Do it For You (& one other person)

Never do anything to impress others. Do the thing to bring satisfaction to yourself and to at least one other person. That one other person doesn’t need a name, it could just be the ‘you’ out there you wish it would have been available for.

Aim To Improve Each Time You Do It

Every time you produce or create or bring forth whatever it is you do, aim to improve it. Ever piece of work you make has a new perspective from something you learned along the way.

When starting anything these five things are not only essential but they are also life rafts when you are unsure of where to go next or how things are going. It’s not always clear where the ‘motivation’ comes from to start things and continue them and circling back around to these foundational things can help remind, refresh and bring revelation to your doing.

WORK | Spring 2019 Work Reflection
spring.2019.

Spring was jam packed with personal endeavours.

Birthday parties, our first home renovation and many regular/additional ‘spring cleaning’ items on the list. I was able to give that heavy and long list of personal items a lot of my attention, while also leaving my creative self longing for more luxurious time at my desk.

This spring I have been learning the art of ‘curating time’.

I would say I had already learned this, since anyone who has a baby knows that the time between the ages of 0-3 years of age are years that one looses their hold on ‘having control of their own time’. That being said, I am on a new journey of what it means to take on more, handle bigger projects both personally and professionally and enter into them acknowledging the potential of overwhelm while also creating boundaries for my own mind and spirit to maintain and curate peace in all that I do.

I have learned

when tackling big projects I need to stick to the matter at hand, stop myself and even at times, my partners in crime from wondering too far ahead so as not to feel the weight of what has yet to be done.

I have learned that unplugging for 24 hours once a week is exactly what I need to monitor my anxiety as well as give my every fast paced mind a forced break.

I have learned that I do extremely well when my expectations for myself and from others are clear and I have prepared a bit in advance to meet them.

Overall, this Spring has been full personally, and professionally I have gained a lot of strategies to handle the projects and work that lies ahead.

What my work space looked like for almost 3.5 weeks & still has a lot of kitchen items chilling with me as I post this.

What my work space looked like for almost 3.5 weeks & still has a lot of kitchen items chilling with me as I post this.

SPOTLIGHT | Kayla Short
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Kayla Short

Lifestyle Blogger

Kayla can be found documenting her journey on her personal social media platforms, exploring the corners of Halifax and beyond while also sharing with others that staying true to who you are both inwardly and outwardly is not only of value, but possible.

Kayla is grounded by finding a well rounded wholeness in life and maintains that wholeness in everything she shares allowing us to take part in the discovery of self, others and the world around us.

She also happens to have a lovely way of skimming past the surface and taking you into the deep of life that is full of insight and celebration.

More Kayla

Website

http://shortpresents.com

Instagram

https://www.instagram.com/shortpresents/

Youtube

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCewIEH9yFK_li-5J_Ev3Gyw

Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/shortpresents