Well, hello there!
I'm Jilly, a credentialed and certified professional coach, group facilitator and creative-type who strives to live from my heart.
I work collaboratively with my clients to help clarify who you are and what you want to do, then support you to create plans and take action to get there.
I balance blue-sky dreaming with practicality (it’s my prairie upbringing!) to make sure you can be the most YOU you can be. I’m all about helping you live authentically, courageously and aligned to your heart.
I believe we are all here to live OUR UNIQUE LIVES, led by our hearts, and not the lives society / our families / our friends / our religions / social media / whoever says we should.
That’s partly why I created HEARTRAGEOUS Life. It’s a passion project fuelled by the rage of my heart.
I love working with beautiful, heart-led humans. My clients tend to include:
Folks of any age who are facing, embracing or navigating end of life (your own or someone else’s), a scary diagnosis or other unexpected “gift” from the Universe
Creative types and entrepreneurs (artists, musicians, chefs, educators, writers, dreamers, personal business owners...) who are bringing themselves into the world and often need support in feeling courageous
Fresh, seasoned and soon-to-be parents (and grand-parents!), whether partnered, single, newly-divorced, whatevs, who want to parent from their hearts, and especially mamas who are discovering who they are after the dust settles (does it, ever?) from bringing kids into their lives
Corporate and organizational leaders (at any level -- from no particular title to the big cheese) who want to lead from their values and with integrity
And, I have a soft spot for fellow introverts and closet introverts who happen to fit into any of the categories above
If you want to see my credentials and what makes me legit on paper, jump down to the bottom of this page.
If you want the juicy tidbits that make me legit at life, read on...
Heard this story before?
I was one of those people who grew up, got the degrees, got the job, got the house, got the boy, got the dog(s) and then somehow became a person who woke up every morning, put on slacks (egad!), went to an office and sat in front of a computer all day.
It’s not that my work wasn’t interesting or important or valuable or contributed to the world in some way, and it’s not that I wasn’t challenged and rewarded (quite nicely, most of the time), but I knew something was amiss. Outta whack.
My soul, my spark, my essence was being eaten away, or shrivelling up bit by bit until, after a few years, I forgot who I really was inside. And that meant I stopped shining on the outside. I had become beige and pretty darn boring. My 18-year-old combat-boot-and-patchwork-baby-doll-dress-wearing, shaved-headed, pierced-nosed, tattooed, “I’m gonna change the world” self was whimpering in the corner. And wearing slacks. SLACKS. In public. E.V.E.R.Y.D.A.Y.
Well, that simply wouldn’t do. So what changed?
I started finding and following my heart more and more. I bought a farm and moved to the country. I spent more time outside, connected to the earth and the seasons. I got back into writing and creating and dreaming.
I still went to the box everyday and sat in front of the computer, but escaping to the country seemed to help. A bit.
I got married on said farm to an open-hearted, patient, communicative, amazing man while wearing a red dress and rubber boots. Me, not him. That might have been weird.
Then, I grew and birthed a child. Now, that’s a sure way to rock your entire world view. And – maybe more importantly – your self-view. At least for me. The first few months of my daughter’s life were honestly THE WORST TIME OF MY LIFE. That’s right, I said it. The. Worst.
And also kinda the best. (I have learned to love paradox.)
I had post-partum depression and anxiety, and was suicidal. I wanted to run screaming from my life. Some days I did. I single-handedly kept the Kleenex company in business. The almost immediate shift from being totally in control of my life (well, mostly, or so I thought) for 35 years to being totally controlled by a squishy little helpless creature really messed with my noggin. Her arrival was the catalyst for me to really look at my life, my choices, who I was and who I wanted to be. I just didn't know it at the time.
After several horrible, challenging and scary months, I decided to take back control of my life by asking for help and demanding time for myself. After all, I was someone's mama now. I needed to set an example - preferably a healthy one. I got some counseling, enrolled in some Brave Girls Club classes and used art and writing to bring myself back from the brink.
Through that hard self-work, I started to get clear about the kind of life I want and the kind of person mama wife sister daughter aunt friend colleague leader dog-parent I want to be.
Then I found coaching, and I knew it was time to let my inner Jilly shine again. Reeeaaally brightly.
I enrolled in the Coaches Training Institute (CTI) Fundamentals course in January 2014 and was smitten. I completed 104 classroom hours in Calgary, Vancouver, San Rafael and Chicago throughout 2014, and then completed the rigorous certification coursework from January to July 2015. I passed my written and oral exams and am a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach (CPCC). I'm also accredited through the International Coach Federation (ICF) and hold the Associate Certified Coach (ACC) designation. And, I’ve since completed tonnes of other related training in group coaching, emotional intelligence, appreciative inquiry and a whole schwack of other things.
After coaching for a few years, as well as working a full-time corporate job, I started to feel shiny again. I was doing work I love and value, and felt loved and valued. I was spending time with the people I love and value most. I was clear about what’s important in my life and what’s not, and taking steps everyday to bring more of that important stuff into my life.
Then I got a touch of the cancer.
Sooooooo…..after that was all dealt with, I REALLY had to figure out what was most important, like for real for real. Impending death has a way of doing that.
I decided life is too short to put up with poop that’s not mine, and that since I’m an adult, I get to choose how I live.
I decided braving Saskatchewan winters, spring and fall winds, and summer mosquitos, just to enjoy about three perfect weeks outdoors per year was not something I wanted to continue doing with my precious time.
I decided working with people to face their deaths, or scary diagnoses, and talk openly, plainly and truthfully about death, was calling me.
I decided working with people to be themselves, to live authentically, from their hearts, before their lives are over, is my earthly work.
That’s why, after a bit of dreaming and scheming, plotting and planning, and the stars aligning, our family relocated from the Canadian Prairies to Vancouver Island in 2018-ish (it was a staggered process…read about it on the blog!).
So here I am, having let go of the security of a corporate job and striking it out in a new community as a self-employed coach and facilitator. It’s scary and exciting and liberating and risky and is teaching me more about myself than I could have imagined.
AND, I’m getting to work with the MOST AMAZING people, so it’s all totally worth it.
More about why I coach:
I love coaching because of the foundation on which it is created. The whole point of coaching is to support, see and help propel people through their lives, toward whatever their unique definition of themselves and their goals are. It's completely personalized to you!
Coaches believe that all people are creative and whole, not broken; that nothing is “wrong” with you or needs to be fixed. You have all the answers in you; I just help you find them. And – I love this the most – there are no wrong answers in coaching. How freeing is that? It's all about setting your intention or establishing your goal, trying something, learning from it, trying something else, learning from that, and so on. Coaching is a journey we go on together to get you where you want to be.
Coaching lets me use my innate and acquired skills in service of you, my client, and the life you imagine for yourself.
More random tidbits about me:
I provide free coaching through The Humanitarian Coaching Network to people working in humanitarian fields, like the United Nations. This work aligns with my values of equality, freedom and access to education for all people.
I worked as a children's educator/entertainer for three years. My job included performing stage shows about various scientific topics and handling and caring for large snakes including a boa constrictor and a python.
I was a television reporter for the CBC in Alberta, Canada. My favourite story was about what happens to all the, ahem, fecal matter produced at large livestock shows and events. It was a shitty story, but someone had to do it.
I love puns!
I won the Best Female Performance award at the provincial high school drama competition....way back when. I played a pregnant woman abandoned on the Prairies during the colonization of Western Canada.
I was a founding member of the Pile o'Bones Roller Derby League.
I have been IDDM (Type 1 diabetic) since I was six years old.
I lived on an 80-acre farm with my husband and daughter, our dog and cat, and lots of prairie wildlife, wind and wide open skies for 12 years.
My husband and I designed our super-insulated, energy-efficient, prairie farm house....then sold it a few years after it was built to relocate to an island!
I think cheese may be the single greatest invention of all time.
I wore rubber boots to my wedding. I collect rubber boots and take every opportunity to wear them, rain or shine. You can't help but smile when you're sporting galoshes!
I shaved off my long locks at my 38th birthday party to raise money for some charitable causes I support.
Credentials, Designations and Whatnot:
Certified Professional Co-Active Coach (CPCC) - The Coaches Training Institute (CTI)
Associate Certified Coach (ACC) through the International Coach Federation (ICF)
EQi-2.0 and EQi 360 certified
Certified Meditation Teacher through Lifestyle Meditation
Trained in ORSC (Organization & Relationship Systems Coaching)
Certified Appreciative Inquiry Facilitator
Certified Change Management Professional (Prosci/ADKAR methodology)
Alumna of the Sage Hill Writing Experience (one the the best writing retreats around!)
Bachelor of Arts, Journalism and Communication (Distinction) - University of Regina
Bachelor of Arts, English (Distinction) - University of Regina
Certified Reflexologist (non-practicing)
Completed continuing education/designations and collected real-life experience in:
event planning and management
business planning and consulting
print and multimedia design
development and delivery of adult training modules
and probably some other stuff I'm forgetting. Like brick-laying and tree grafting. Yup. Those things. I've got training and can do 'em too.