~ a conversation between Laura-Jean, CEO and Founder of Fresh Collective and Clare Kenty, a Fresh Collective Role Model
Clare, you’re so amazing to be around! I always feel great energy in your presence. Is that a side effect of the career you’ve chosen? Or is that kind of energy something that comes naturally to you?
That’s so sweet! I think it’s a combination of loving my work and taking care of myself so that I’m able to emit that kind of energy. It’s really important for me to be my best self, especially when it comes to my work and my business so I do what’s necessary to be my best self or figure out what I need to do in order to be that version of myself.
Tell us about your work- you do Coaching, Reiki and your Womb Wellness Program. How do those areas work together?
Yes, I’m an Integrative Health Coach and I also offer Reiki and a program for Womb Wellness. They all intermingle a little which I love. My coaching is a part of everything I do, even in a Reiki session, my coaching skills are a great advantage in how I work with clients. The Womb Wellness program is actually a combination of the two. I use coaching and Reiki for clients in that program.
How did you arrive at this career?
Honestly, all of the work I do is a result of my own personal healing journey. My interest and eventual love for health and wellness began with me searching for ways to feel better in my body. I was teaching ESL in South Korea at the time and felt really lethargic. I made a few changes to my diet, saw almost immediate improvement and it grew from there.
When I moved to Toronto I went back to school and became a Certified Integrative Health Coach. Not too long after that I found myself feeling the need to deepen my relationship with energy healing and the opportunity to learn Reiki presented itself.
Even the Womb Wellness Program is a direct result of my own healing journey. I experienced a miscarriage a few years ago and in an effort to do the work to heal, I dove into the world of womb healing and found that others were interested in doing the same. Womb Wellness 101 and the Womb Wellness program were born out of my own experience and now it’s something that combines both my coaching experience and my energy healing practice.
Do you find the business side of your work challenging? Or fun? What do you do to find clients and build your business?
Not at all. I find the business side to be quite fun. I mean getting down to the numbers around tax time isn’t my favourite thing to do but I’m super passionate about it because it’s my business and if I don’t do the work, it won’t flourish. I enjoy the responsibility of it actually. I find myself being quite old school when it comes to clients and building business. I enjoy marketing through social media but there’s nothing like word of mouth.
You recently lost your father and you shared quite openly on social media about that journey. Did you learn anything you can share with us about dealing with sadness and loss?
There have been so many lessons (I wrote about a few of them in a blog). I’ve experienced my own death and rebirth in these past few months. The only thing I can say is that each person will have their own process and they will have to honour that. My experience with my Dad’s passing and my relationship with the grief and the loss looks different to that of others, even within my own family. No two people will respond the same way.
In my experience I find it really important to do the work. By that I mean taking the time to feel whatever it is that comes up, to sit with it and to work with it. I consider myself lucky in the sense that I was able to press pause and really explore all of the emotions that came up for me. Grief is so interesting, it’s not just the person you grieve, but your relationship with them and all that you went through together. There’s so much that comes up when someone close to us passes. It’s important to do the work and honour yourself as you explore.
I made a conscious choice to share my journey. I really feel that as a society we’re not transparent. We encourage one another to share the celebrations and the successes, we filter out anything negative which causes isolation and suffering in challenging times and that can be very problematic. I absolutely felt alone in grieving my father, I still do in some respects and so I wanted to do what I could to help others not to feel the same way.
It was very hard sharing my pain so publicly, it still is, no matter what aspect of my life I’m talking about, if I’ve been through something heavy, it’s challenging to share, we’re all afraid of judgement and ridicule. But I truly believe that the more we share what’s really happening in our lives, the more we can unify as a community and support one another and the less we’ll need to suffer alone.
Clare is wearing a one of a kind poncho from Taska, (only available at our 401 Roncesvalles Ave. location) and Yoga Jeans.
I know you’ve had your own battles with anxiety, like so many of us. Can you share a bit about that and some solutions you’ve found?
Anxiety has been present in my life since I was bullied in high school. It wasn’t until I was in my mid to late 20s that I really started to look at it and find holistic ways to heal. I’ve been on medication, I’ve seen therapists, but the thing that has helped me the most is working with my anxiety rather than against it. Doing so reminds me to slow down, to step back and to gain some perspective. Now I treat my anxiety like a friend, I want to understand and explore it instead of shutting it down or ignoring it.
Self care has been huge in my healing journey, not just with anxiety. I make it a point to have baths, to get out in nature, to take time off from work and to generally look after myself be it by eating well, reducing stress or making time for my relationships. Reiki has also been a huge tool in minimizing my anxiety. Both receiving Reiki and practicing it.
Understanding my triggers, being present in what I’m feeling and asking why I’m feeling what I’m feeling is another thing that’s helped me tremendously. We tend to not want to feel anything that isn’t positive while we look outside of ourselves for solutions. We need to feel our feelings rather than ignore them. Without sounding cliche, the answers to what we’re looking for are often found within when we look inwards and do the work.
I know you’re big on the mind body connection. What effect does what we eat have on our moods and outlook on life?
Our bodies are our vessels. They carry us through life, pretty similar to the way a car takes us from place to place. If one doesn’t keep that car in good condition it will break down or at the least not work the way it should. Our bodies are the same.
When we don’t feed our bodies what they need to work optimally, they won’t work as well as they could. Eating foods that lack nutrients and denying our bodies the nutrition it needs has consequences. This could show up as having a lack of energy for example. Symptoms could include headaches, mood swings, migraines, fatigue etc. We may not think about it at the time but this most definitely affects our mood.
Can you tell us more about the Womb Wellness Program and what clients can expect to experience?
Essentially the Womb Wellness Program is a coaching program. All of my coaching programs provide the space and the support for you to do your work, to explore the deeper parts of ourselves and do what’s required to heal. We work from a holistic view point, meaning that together we look at all aspects of life to find balance and optimal living for you.
Womb Wellness Program is a program unlike any other. It has been designed for women who want to deepen their relationship to their womb, go within and heal what lies in that space. Symbolically, the womb is a container and holds everything from our traumas to our triumphs. Everything we experience, from this life and previously (if you’re open to go there) lies within our womb.
This is not a program about fertility. It is a coaching program created to support those who are ready to go deep within their womb space, to face whatever may be there. I love this quote from Nicole Angela “Womb healing is the act of consciously entering this space with the intention to heal with lies within”. This program supports and guides clients through what comes up and further supports this journey with Reiki.
Clients can expect to explore parts of themselves not seen before and find strength they never knew they had. We will journey into the shadows and work with what’s there to release and heal. We work with nutrition, energy healing (Reiki), and coaching, we also explore what’s working and what isn’t working in life so that change can take place.
Clients learn sustainable and supportive tools that they can use going forward after the program and I am right there with them to cheerlead, assist and guide the whole way through. I know from experience that although the work is ours and no one can do it for us, it’s much easier to do that work with support.
Do you have anything fun planned coming up- whether on the personal side or in your business?
Personally, I’m enjoying the summer with my love and continuing to work my way through my grief. It’s only been four months since he passed so it’s still very fresh.
Within my practice there’s lots happening! Womb Wellness 101 is having a workshop in September focusing on Body Love which I’m super excited about as it celebrates our beautiful bodies and also gets us to explore or relationship with them.
I am also partnering with Cue Kirk, a phenomenal Toronto Dub Poet to offer Open Truth, a explorative healing workshop using poetry. Participants can learn skills in both writing and performing poetry as they use experiences from their lives. That begins in September too.
Later on in the year I’ll be offering the Womb Wellness Group Program where a group of women will gather to dig deep, do the work and support one another together. There’s such strength and power in community, I’m looking forward to facilitating this one, it’s going to be really powerful.