My Thoughts on “Footprints: The Path of Your Life” Movie

by Maria Koropecky, Ammolite Wellness Coach

I’ve just realized that in two short months, I’ll be flying to Spain to walk the Camino. There’s still so much to do to prepare!

"Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you've imagined," Henry David Thoreau
Photo by Mark Koropecky

Although I’m not yet physically on the trail, I feel I’ve already started my pilgrimage.

I’ve been talking with many people who have already walked the Camino and on Monday, perhaps the first person to plant the seed of going on this journey for me, one of my friends, Alexander, came over to watch the movie, “The Way” with me and my mom.

My mother had also invited Caroline, who had also walked the Camino, and Peter and his mother, who were interested in seeing the movie.

Well, somehow, we had gotten off to a rough start. We couldn’t get the DVD player to work and once we put the disc into an old laptop, not everybody could hear the dialogue and see the screen. Our old technology just wasn’t working and it was an exercise in frustration!

Finally, we decided to switch gears and watch another movie on the same subject on Netflix called, “Footprints: The Path of Your Life.”

Footprints is a documentary that follows a group of 10 men while they walk the Camino de Santiago with their Parish Priest.

crossing street.
Photo by Matthew Henry, Burst

I suppose fighting with the technology and then figuring out that we could watch another movie on another platform was a lesson in not forcing something to go in a certain way and letting another option – a better one – emerge instead.

Once we made that choice, the energy in the room calmed down somewhat.

As it turned out, Footprints was actually the better choice for us to watch because it was more “realistic” of what I could expect on my journey, according to Alexander and Caroline.

In the beginning, each of the men were really struggling with their own fears and challenges and sadly, a few of the men in the group had to bow out and leave early.

man waiting at airport.
Photo by Matthew Henry, Burst

That’s what happens with any new, ambitious project – stuff comes up. We have all of the best of intentions but somehow, all of this emotional baggage that has been buried deep down over a lifetime, gets stirred up. That’s the struggle! It’s how we deal with all our stuff that we’ve collected over the years that will make our break us.

The fear and the obstacles are saying, “I know you want to get to Santiago de Compostela, [for example] but here’s what you have to deal with first, and once you face this garbage head on and clear it out of the way, the world will be your oyster and you can be, do, or have whatever you want!”

For some of the men in the movie, it was too much too soon. The stuff that came up for them was too much to bear. I know they gave it their best and it wasn’t an easy decision to make to not finish. I hope they have a chance to try again and succeed.

Photo by Scott Murdoch, Burst

But after a couple of weeks and many miles under their belts, the remaining men got a rhythm and got stronger.

By the end of their 500 mile, 40-day journey, they were laughing and dancing and walking barefoot! It was beautiful to watch the men go through their spiritual transformation!

I think the turning point occurred for the group after they saw the cross of Jesus with their own eyes – which would have been amazing! – and then suddenly the men were inspired to work together as a group, not letting the weakest fall behind.

That’s the choice we all have – either we continue to carry our heavy baggage that is weighing us down and give up on our dreams, or we face our challenges and let them go and leave them at the side of the road and move on and help others along their way as well.

Going on a pilgrimage gives us the opportunity to release our rocks and burdens, once for all!

And in the same spirit, working with a Wellness Coach like me would also be valuable.

Photo by Mitul Shah, Burst

Both coaching and pilgrimages open up new options that we may not have seen before (like watching a different movie at the last minute like we had) and give us the chance to make new choices and start fresh.

If we can make it through that initial turbulence and interference, we’ll be stronger for the rest of the journey.

That’s where the expression, “what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger” comes from!

And with wellness coaching, there’s extra support during the rough patches so you don’t have to travel alone.

Have you ever noticed that fear is built into interference? Some people let the fear interfere and stop them from experiencing a blissful miracle because whatever came up was just too much. The turbulence was too scary and the plane was shaking too hard!

Meanwhile, other people on the same flight will just push through and keep going and make it through with flying colours.

Man jumping fence.
Photo by Brodie Vissers, Burst

So I asked myself, “What kind of person am I?” Will I let fear stop me in my tracks as I’m attempting a challenging leg on my journey? Will I let those excuses block my path and give me an out to turn around and go home?

Or will I rise to the challenge and dig deep and keep moving?

That’s why I think the pilgrimage has already started for me. The more emotional baggage I can release before I physically set foot on the Camino, the easier and the lighter the walk will be.

I’m not going to let potential turbulence keep me from getting on that flight or let fear stop me from living my best life!

Buen Camino, Maria

If you’d like to talk with me more about my Wellness Coaching services, especially if you’re interested in focusing on Intermittent Fasting and Wellness Walking to start, book an appointment for a Crystal Mapping Session today!

Wellness Coach Maria Koropecky Ammolite Coaching Home of Crystal Mapping.

If They Can Do It, So Can I!

by Maria Koropecky, Ammolite Wellness Coach

Have you ever come up with an off-the-wall, harebrained goal for yourself, a dream that was so out there, so against-the-odds of seeing the light of day, that most people would never even think of it, much less attempt it, yet for some reason you were compelled to see it through?

walking path curving right.
Path to the Unknown. Photo by Maria Koropecky, Ammolite Wellness Coach.

Perhaps it was something like Alex and Andrew’s idea to clean up plastic from our oceans which lead to 4ocean, a global movement!

Or perhaps it was something like Lorna Byrne who never finished primary school because of her dyslexia, and now she writes best-selling books about angels.

I recently attended an inspiring talk given by a woman named Casey who, while riding her bike in 2009, was struck by a car, which left one side of her body non-functioning. She has been relying on a wheelchair for mobility ever since.

Well, Casey came up with one such inspired goal and this past May, she managed to complete an ambitious, amazing, and extraordinary achievement in her wheelchair!

Casey and her husband, Jason, went on an adventure of a lifetime and together for five days, they crossed the Camino de Santiago to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela!

Wow!

map of El Camino.
Map of the Camino with Ponferrada highlighted.
Photo by Maria Koropecky, Ammolite Wellness Coach.

History of the El Camino

The Camino de Santiago (Pilgrimage of Compostela), known in English as “the Way of Saint James,” is an interlacing network of trails for pilgrims which eventually leads to the Shrine of the Apostle Saint James the Great, in the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, in northwestern Spain.

By the way, Saint James was one of the 12 apostles of Jesus and he is also the patron saint of pilgrims. Saint James’ feast day is observed on July 25th – which is coming up soon – and I’m planning to go on a walk and BBQ with the Canadian Company of Pilgrims, Victoria chapter, to celebrate.

People have been walking the El Camino trails since the 9th Century, often for spiritual or religious reasons, but not necessarily, especially these days.

The El Camino network of trails, which travels through Spain, France, and Portugal and further into Europe, is also popular among hikers, cycling enthusiasts, horseback riders, solo travellers, and tour groups.

Mountains in Spain. Photo by Matthew Henry, Burst.

People come from all over the world to have a pilgrim’s experience on the El Camino. There’s something mystical and sacred about travelling day after day after day, rain or shine, along a well-worn route, in the footsteps of millions of others who came before you, with just the clothes on your back and stopping for meals and rest, until you ultimately reach your destination.

Going on a pilgrimage should be available to anyone who wants to go, but unfortunately, the trails are not designed for wheelchairs.

During her talk, Casey described some of the challenges she faced. Just getting to Europe from Victoria, Canada, by airplane would have been difficult enough.

She planned this trip for a year and she and her husband trained to prepare themselves as best they could for the obstacle course ahead of them.

While on the trail, Casey and her loving husband, Jason, (who didn’t come for his own reasons and only came to help her), encountered rocks the size of watermelons on the road, passages too narrow for her chair to go through, streams blocking the way, mud, stairs, uphills, downhills, tight washrooms, hot sun, rain, and once she even fell, but somehow they managed to get through it all and lived to tell the tale!

For the most part, Casey’s husband pushed her chair along the dusty, gravelly roads but they also relied on pulleys, friends, pilgrims, and strangers to help them along the way.

They ended up becoming trail celebrities with every new photo that was taken.

In a way, they enhanced other people’s pilgrimages too by giving them the opportunity to give back and be of service to someone who they met on their path, who was in need.

I’m sure it was a very spiritual experience in its own way and miracles did happen! Casey and Jason made many new friends, one of whom they found by chance who is also from the Victoria, BC area! Small world!

Cover of Tapas Cookbook. Photo by Maria Koropecky, Ammolite Wellness Coach.

Going on a Pilgrimage isn’t for Lightweights

As Casey said to me, “If it was easy, everyone would do it.”

Casey’s experience just goes to show, that even when there are rocks and hills and mud in the way and even if you cry and you argue out of sheer frustration, there’s a way to get through it. Don’t give up! You can do this!

There are plenty of challenges that come up, that are hard for anyone to get their head around. I can think of a thousand excuses not to embark on such a journey but now that I’ve met Casey and her husband, those excuses don’t hold any water.

If they can do it, I can do it!

My Own Pilgrimage

So, I’m excited to say that thanks to a gift for my 50th birthday from my generous family, I’ve got my tickets and I’m heading to Madrid, Spain, on September 17, 2019!

passports.
I’m so grateful I’m Canadian and I have the freedom to travel.
Photo by Maria Koropecky, Ammolite Wellness Coach.

I’ll be gone for two weeks, starting my walk from Ponferrada and then I’m going to walk with my backpack for about 275 kilometres (20-30 kilometres a day) through Spain, to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela!

It’s going to be amazing! I’m looking to have a spiritual experience however it shows up for me and I can’t wait to meet the people who will be walking along side me on the road.

“Hola, buenos días.”

And I’m planning to blog about my experience here in my Ammolite Goddess blog so you can follow my adventure.

Open Invitation

If walking the El Camino sounds like something you’d like to do, I recommend watching the movie, “The Way,” a 2010 film directed, produced, and written by Emilio Estevez, starring his father Martin Sheen, among others.

If you’re feeling called to do this, find a way!

To make things easier, I’m inviting you to join me in September. There’s still time to train and buy your gear and plan your trip!

As an added bonus, if you walk with me, I’ll be happy to give you your choice of foot and/or neck and shoulder massages every night! Just my way of giving back.

Also, as my friends had done for me, it will be my honour to take your prayers with me so if you’d like for me to pray for you or your loved ones, just contact me and I’ll add you to the list. There’s no charge for this and I’m happy to take your petitions the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela and lift them in mediation and prayer.

I’ve been walking nearly every day to get in shape for my journey and I’m so grateful to my brother and nephew and my friend Jenny from California who have already gone on 3-5K nature hikes with me this summer. I consider them as part of my pilgrimage!

I’m open to walking with anyone else who is interested, either to help me prepare for my trip or to actually go with me to Spain! Let me know if you want to talk more about this.

Consider this an invitation. If you’re reading this post, it may be a sign that you’re meant to do this, too.

Don’t let excuses stop you from challenging yourself and experiencing something amazing and wonderful! If Casey can do it in a wheelchair, then we can finish the El Camino too!

Contact me if you’re interested!

Buen Camino, Maria

Wellness Coach Maria Koropecky Ammolite Coaching Home of Crystal Mapping.

Here Comes the Sun!

by Maria Koropecky, Wellness Coach

Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you’ve imagined,

Henry David Thoreau
"Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you've imagined," Henry David Thoreau
Maria standing on a rock at Sooke Potholes.
Photo by Mark Koropecky

Wherever you are on the planet, on this 21st day of June, I’d like to wish you a beautiful, sunshiny day, and a fun, busy, and productive summer!

Today is the day in the Northern Hemisphere when we get the most daylight hours in the whole year and it just inspires everyone to wake up, stretch, and go outside!

Sunshine and summertime go hand in hand. Sunshine brings golden yellow light into our lives and the colour of yellow is all about personal power, confidence, and ambition!

Tapping into cheery yellow energy, via standing in the sunshine and our own solar plexus, helps connect us to joy, belly laughs, our gut instinct, and the Divine Masculine.

Summer is the time of year to go out there and take action towards your goals and dreams!

Let the long, bright days of the summer season inspire you to go to work and be seen in the light of day for the talented person you are. Be confident expressing your creativity as you earn a living. Go ahead and work up a sweat, get in shape, and get a healthy tan!

The sun shines on all of us equally!

Alternatively, if we don’t have enough sunshiny, yellow, summertime energy in our lives, we may experience low self-esteem, poor vision, a big Ego, difficulty going to work, a hard time making decisions, problems with digestion, or anger or control issues.

If that’s the case, you can remedy those issues quickly by choosing self-care activities that will help you feel full of energy and confidence and will get you out of the house and out in the world at large!

To inspire you to go outside already, please enjoy the photos I took of sunshine in all of its glory when I went to Sooke Potholes with my brother and nephew on June 15, 2019.

Sooke River, BC
Sooke Potholes near Victoria, BC.
Photo by Maria Koropecky
sunlight thru trees at Sooke Potholes.
Sunlight through trees near Sooke Potholes.
Photo by Maria Koropecky
sunshine reflecting in the water.
Sunshine reflecting in the water showing us waves and particles!
Photo by Maria Koropecky
heart shaped pool at Sooke Potholes.
I couldn’t resist taking this heart-shaped photo at Sooke Potholes.
Photo by Maria Koropecky
Clear green water at Sooke Potholes.
Look how clear the water is at Sooke Potholes!
Photo by Maria Koropecky
sunlight thru tree near Sooke Potholes.
Notice the solar flares dancing in the leaves of this tall tree!
Photo by Maria Koropecky
sun reflecting in the water.
The sun insisted on getting into this picture!
Photo by Maria Koropecky
Amidst the tall trees.
Tree friends standing with me in this photo near Sooke Potholes.
Photo by Mark Koropecky

Ultimately, summer is the time of year to make hay while the sun shines!

So go out there and get busy! It’s your time to shine! You can rest all you want in winter. 🙂

Crystal Mapping Sessions

Is spending time in nature something you’re interested in? Would you like to have some spiritual guidance on this topic? Consider signing up for a Crystal Mapping Session with Spa Therapist and Wellness Coach, Maria Koropecky. Email Maria to book your Crystal Mapping Session today!

20 Ways to Save Money on Gas for your Car

by Maria Koropecky, Wellness Coach

Initially, when I heard that gas prices in Victoria, BC were going up to $1.619/Litre for regular gas ($4.61 US Gallon), I was angry. It’s crazy how expensive it is to fill up a car these days.

HHR car.

I suspect the jacked up gas prices are politically motivated — something to do with the pipeline from Alberta that BC is protesting.

From what I understand, the rest of Canada is paying 25-50 cents a Litre less than we are. Well, you have winter, we have high gas prices. Take your pick.

Regardless of the reason behind the gas price spike, (1.539 sounds like a bargain now) this is actually a great opportunity for all of us to go even more Green and do what we can to drive our cars more mindfully.

We can’t afford to waste this precious natural resource and until we figure out a way to get around without burning fossil fuels, we all need to drive our cars less.

Look at what people did back in the 1970’s when there was a huge gas shortage — cars got smaller, for one, and fuel efficiency became the buzz words for new car sales.

As a Wellness Coach, I’ve been brainstorming some ideas on how to save gas, save money, and be Greener in this uncertain Canadian climate.

20 Ways to Save Money on Gas for your Car

  1. Keep to a gas budget. I’ve started at $35/week which is $5/day. If you spend the same amount every week, then the fluctuating gas prices per Litre won’t bother you as much.
  2. If $35/week doesn’t seem like enough for you to get around, think about where you can cut back on your driving before raising your budget.
  3. Instead of driving your car, consider alternative transportation — taking the bus, or riding a bike, or walking on your two feet can get you from A to B too!
  4. Make sure your car is being maintained regularly. I had the oil changed in my car today and I got new tires last autumn. Tire pressure and clean air filters also help with fuel economy.
  5. Don’t carry any unnecessary weight in your car and try to distribute the weight you’re carrying evenly across the whole vehicle.
  6. Don’t let your gas levels go below 1/4 of a tank. Riding the line is not good for your engine.
  7. A cool Litre will go further than a warm Litre so try to refill your gas tank first thing in the morning when your tank is cool. This will give you more bang for your buck because as the gas warms up, it gets thinner and more volatile, which decreases it’s shelf life and you’ll end up paying more for less.
  8. Same goes for the gas station. Don’t fill up just after their tank trucks have left the station or in the middle of the afternoon after a lot of traffic has come and gone. All of the gas will have been stirred up and will be more diluted with air.
  9. If you’re running errands, try to turn 4 trips into 3 trips. The less often you start your car, the longer your gas fill-up will last.
  10. If you and your neighbours are heading to the same place, why not suggest a carpool?
  11. Keep to the posted speed limits. Excessive speeding burns more gas faster.
  12. Don’t accelerate too quickly.
  13. Don’t idle in one spot for too long.
  14. Don’t ride your breaks — nobody likes a tailgater!
  15. Pay attention to weather conditions, road conditions, and road construction sites. If you don’t need to travel, don’t.
  16. Use air conditioning instead of rolling down your windows because nowadays, the A/C will create less drag for the vehicle than wind from your open windows.
  17. Don’t pay for fuel by credit card because you can potentially be paying interest on that $50 purchase for years. That will make the already expensive fuel price that much worse! Of course, if you collect air miles and don’t keep a running balance on your credit cards and pay off your cards each month, this one doesn’t apply to you.
  18. Just like you’ll find seat sales and better deals on flights on Tuesdays, buy your gas for your car on a Sunday, Monday, or Tuesday. Prices often go up on Wednesdays to Saturdays, but stay lower during the first part of the week.
  19. Consider driving a Green Hybrid Electric Vehicle.
  20. Join a gas co-op if there’s one available in your area. We have one here on the Island and each December, I get a nice rebate cheque!

At the end of the day, be grateful! Not everyone has access to a car, a valid driver’s licence, car insurance, money to spend, and decent roads to drive on. In many cultures, having a car means freedom, so enjoy the ride!

And instead of getting angry about gas prices that are out of our control, get creative and resourceful! Do you have any ideas to add to the list? Please share them with us in the comments.

Crystal Mapping Sessions

Would you like to have some spiritual guidance on this topic? Consider signing up for a Free Crystal Mapping Session with Spa Therapist and Wellness Coach, Maria Koropecky. Email Maria to book your free Crystal Mapping Session today!

Request a free crystal mapping session with Maria today!


Seeking to Build a Wellness Meetup Leadership Team

by Maria Koropecky, Wellness Coach

Calling all Wellness Professionals in Victoria, BC!

I have an idea for a Wellness Meetup-type Group that I’d like to launch here in Victoria by the start of summer, 2019.

by Matthew Henry from Burst

Essentially, as a Wellness Coach, I’d like to collaborate with other wellness professionals in the area like:

  1. Acupuncturists
  2. Aromatherapists
  3. Artists
  4. Athletes
  5. Authors
  6. Bloggers
  7. Caregivers
  8. Chair Massage Practitioners
  9. Chefs
  10. Chiropractors
  11. Counsellors
  12. Energy Healers
  13. Entrepreneurs
  14. Estheticians
  15. Event Planners
  16. Financial Planners
  17. Hair Stylists
  18. Health & Safety Officers
  19. Holistic Dentists
  20. Life Coaches
  21. Massage Therapists
  22. Motivational Speakers
  23. Musicians
  24. Nurses
  25. Nutritionists
  26. Personal Trainers
  27. Physio Therapists
  28. Reiki Masters
  29. Retreat Leaders
  30. Social Workers
  31. Spa Therapists
  32. Spiritual Advisors
  33. Teachers
  34. Tour Guides
  35. Veterinarians
  36. Wellness Store Staff Members
  37. Workplace Wellness Coordinators
  38. Workshop Facilitators
  39. Yoga Instructors, etc…
by Nick Chung from Burst

And create a monthly event that will allow us to showcase our wellness products and services to health & wellness enthusiasts here in the Greater Victoria area.

The yet-to-be-launched Meetup-type group will center around the importance of practicing daily Self-Care.

So if helping people practice self-care is part of your family-friendly business, join us!

Member participation involves attending a Wednesday night planning meeting and renting a booth at the Self-Care & Wellness Fair on Sundays, once a month.

You’ll also have opportunities to speak and give presentations to further extend your reach.

by Matthew Henry from Burst.

And of course you’ll get to know and have a chance to collaborate with other like-minded Wellness Professionals in a positive environment.

This is a big idea and I’m going to need some help getting it rolling!

So, if you’re a Wellness Professional based on Vancouver Island near Victoria, who’d like to:

• volunteer on this Wellness Meetup Leadership Team,
• get in on the ground floor of this opportunity,
• be the go-to practitioner in your field, and
• organically build your clientele here in Victoria,

please express your interest to me, Maria, by email.

Wellness Coach Maria Koropecky Ammolite Wellness.

In your email, let me know your area of expertise, why you like this idea, and anything you can contribute to Meetup group (like a venue for example) and we’ll arrange a time to meet.

Also, if you know someone who’d be so up for this, kindly share this blog post with them!

If by chance you’re only interested in joining the group once it’s up and running and not joining the leadership team, and would like to be notified of our next meeting, that’s OK, just send me your contact details and I’ll keep you posted.

I’m looking forward to hearing from you.

I believe this Wellness Professionals Group has tremendous potential!

Let’s make Victoria, BC the wellness and self-care capital of Canada!

by Nicole De Khors from Burst.

The Top 1970’s TV Shows that Influenced my Life

On Friday nights, back in the 1970’s, when I was a kid growing up in Nova Scotia, I used to love opening up the hide-a-bed, popping a bowl of popcorn, choosing a bottle of pop from the Poppe Shoppe, and watching the TV show, Donny & Marie.

top 1970's tv shows that influenced my life.

Maybe you can relate to the days when TV’s were:

  • square,
  • when they were either black & white or colour,
  • when they had rabbit ears that never quite sat in the right place for best reception,
  • when you had to turn a chunky dial to change channels,
  • when remote controls were a luxury and some even attached to the TV with a chord,
  • when there were only three major networks,
  • when there was only one TV in the house, and
  • your parents said, “Don’t sit too close to the TV or you’ll hurt your eyes.”

If you can remember those days, you’re probably a Gen-Xer (born between 1961 and 1981) like me.

When I think back on all of the TV shows I used to watch when I was a kid, I’m struck by how inspiring many of them were.

I have a CD of TV show theme songs which I listen to every now and then when I need a little pick me up. How can you not feel better when you hear, “Who can turn the world on with her smile…” or “Well, we’re movin’ on up…”?

Yes, listening to music is part of practicing self-care and I like to call it, “Music and Sound Therapy.”

The theme song lyrics are really empowering, especially for women, who were breaking new ground in those days and the messages are just as powerful today!

I believe these TV shows from the 1970’s shaped my values and my dreams and expanded my ideas of what was possible for me to do in my life!

My Favourite 1970’s TV Shows

  1. Donny & Marie
  2. the Carol Burnett Show
  3. the Mary Tyler Moore Show
  4. the Brady Bunch
  5. Wonder Woman
  6. the Bionic Woman
  7. Charlie’s Angels
  8. Happy Days
  9. Laverne & Shirley
  10. The Love Boat
  11. Bewitched
  12. Little House on the Prairie

I know these TV shows might be a little cheesy and campy in today’s world, but that’s part of their charm. I, personally, appreciate their wholesome inclinations.

As you may have noticed, these TV shows, in their own way, are all about striving to have a better life, regardless of your humble beginnings.

All it takes is a little love, creativity, imagination, resourcefulness, smarts, physical fitness, a sense of adventure, a sense of humour, and close friends and family!

How about you? What are some of your favourite TV shows from your childhood? Please leave a comment and share your memories.

If you also watched and enjoyed many of the TV shows I mentioned (though of course there are many more) when you were in elementary school, please contact me.

Perhaps I can help you navigate this next chapter of your life as you approach perimenopause and menopause. Yes, Gen-Xers are currently in our 40’s and 50’s and that’s worth celebrating!

Let’s continue to carry the torch of empowerment and keep running the good race!

Wellness Coach Maria Koropecky Ammolite Wellness.

Crystal Mapping Sessions

Would you like to have some spiritual guidance on this topic? Consider signing up for a Free Crystal Mapping Session with Spa Therapist and Wellness Coach, Maria Koropecky. Email Maria to book your free Crystal Mapping Session today!

The Secret to Creating a Masterpiece

by Maria Koropecky, Spiritual Wellness Coach

If you’ve lived in a city for any length of time, you’ve probably watched a building go up in a space that was once a parking lot or a vacant lot with tumbleweeds. 🙂

It seems one day it’s the same fenced in property that you’ve walked past a thousand times and then the next day, you notice a big square hole in the ground the size of a city block, and a crane, and people wearing yellow construction hats carrying 2×4’s, and big loud trucks pouring cement.

foundation of new construction.

This goes on for weeks and weeks with no visible progress to write home about, but at the same time, it’s fascinating to watch! I’m sure having a birds’ eye view of an active construction site with silent cameras zooming in on different trades and jobs would make for a great tv show — just like the burning log at Christmas time. I’m serious!

Then all of a sudden, one day, the fence is gone, the crew is gone, and a huge condo and office complex is standing there proudly, and you say, “Where the bleep did that come from?!”

Capital Park.
Leeds Certified, Capital Park, Victoria, BC. 2018

And you also may be thinking, “What does this story have to do with the secret to creating a masterpiece?”

Well, a masterpiece can be anything like a skyscraper, house, painting, sculpture, photograph, novel, poem, song, dance, meal, garden, lecture, business, invention, product, idea, or goal that captures a unique moment in a grande manner. It’s timeless and it’s technically near flawless.

A masterpiece can also be something more ethereal or ineffable like a relationship, or a conversation, or a political movement, or a meaningful life. There’s something breathtaking about its energy.

Would you like to know the secret that leads to creating any of these types of masterpieces? The truth is, they all start with a solid foundation!

Yes, the foundation is the secret!

In a construction site, the foundation sets the tone for the rest of the structure: if the foundation is sound, the whole building will be strong. That’s why they spend such a big chunk of their time, energy, budget, and resources at the foundation stage. That’s why it seems like nothing is happening at the ground level for so many weeks and then the rest of the floors go up in what seems like a matter of days.

Foundations are all about integrity, stability, intention, respect, rules, trust, and vision. If you focus on building a strong foundation first and keep these values in mind as you’re launching your project, you will create a magnum opus!

But if you take short cuts or cheat or skip the foundation all together, you’re building a house of cards on a pile of sand that will topple in a soft breeze. Yikes!

rayner institute logo.When I was in coaching school, we spent many hours talking about the importance of a strong foundation and establishing our foundations. You might say the idea of the foundation was drilled into us! 🙂

We learned that taking the time to build a solid foundation at the beginning of our coaching conversations would lead to amazing transformational and transcendent breakthroughs for our clients — and it’s true!

Once the foundation is established, the rest of the coaching conversation is fluid and easy and even healing! It just goes up and up and up and it feels amazing!

So, if you want to talk to a spiritual wellness coach who takes the time to establish a strong foundation with you by asking thoughtful questions and listening with reverence as you express your deepest thoughts and feelings, and you also aspire to create your own masterpiece, whatever the looks like for you, please contact me, Maria, to talk. I’m looking forward to meeting you!

Wellness Coach Maria Koropecky Ammolite Wellness.

Crystal Mapping Sessions Available

Would you like to have some spiritual guidance on this topic? Consider signing up for a Free Crystal Mapping Session with Spa Therapist and Spiritual Wellness Coach, Maria Koropecky. Email Maria and book your free Crystal Mapping Session today.

7 Inspiring Celebrity Self-Care Quotes

by Guest Blogger, Paul Joseph from Health and Fitness Travel
and Maria Koropecky, Wellness Coach

Now a trillion-dollar industry, wellness has become a buzzword and a lifestyle of choice for many. Each day, as countless people are becoming more proactive about their health and wellness, new companies are sprouting up to serve them. With all of the choices out there, sometimes it’s hard to know what to do next to keep things fresh.

That’s why I’ve teamed up with Health and Fitness Travel to write this piece. As avid promotors of healthy living, Health and Fitness Travel, the wellness holiday specialists, explore the famous faces responsible for inspiring us to shift our attitudes towards wellness, self-care, and healthy living. From actors, to musicians, to athletes, here are 7 celebrity self-care quotes to inspire and encourage you on your healing journey.

lounging in Cali.

1) Self-Care Tips From A Friend: Jennifer Aniston

With her sparkling blue eyes and phenomenal figure, you can just tell Jennifer Aniston takes good care of herself. As a long-term yogi and an open advocate for organic nutrition, Jen promotes a wholesome diet, getting your beauty sleep, and applying nourishing skin care products daily to encourage a healthy mind, body, and soul.

“Sunday is my spa day. I usually do a little mini facial time where I just give myself a good scrub, use a mask, and then the new Aveeno hydrating facial. I leave it on overnight and when I wake up, I have that dewy, glowing, twinkling skin,” ~ Jennifer Aniston

spa treatment.

2) Music For Mental Health: Zayn Malik

A long-time sufferer of anxiety, Zayn Malik, the ex-One Direction singer, has shined a light on the topic of mental health, especially for men. After pulling out of the 2016 Capital Summertime Ball because of his struggles, this defining move opened up the conversation and lead him to the recent #ITSOKAYTOTALK campaign that has raised an alarm to the growing male mental health crisis. With the single biggest killer of men under 45 being suicide, many celebrities including Ricky Gervais, Matthew Lewis, and Harley Bonner are taking part in the campaign to give men the confidence to talk about their mental wellness. Regardless of whether you’re a man or woman, or older or younger than 45, if you’re going through a mental health crisis, please reach out to someone and get help right now. #ITSOKAYTOTALK

“This is for girls who have the tendency to stay up at night listening to music that reminds them of their current situation. Who hide their fears, hurt, pain and tears under the smiles, laughs and giggles on a daily basis. The girls who wear their heart on their sleeve. The girls who pray that things will work out just once and they’ll be satisfied. The girls who scream and cry to their pillows because everyone else fails to listen. The girls who have so many secrets but wont tell a soul. The girls who have mistakes and regrets as a daily moral. The girls that never win. The girls that stay up all night thinking about that one boy and hoping that he’ll notice her one day. The girls who take life as it comes, to the girls who are hoping that it’ll get better somewhere down the road. For the girls who love with all their heart although it always gets broken. To girls who think it’s over. To real girls, to all girls: You’re beautiful,” ~ Zayn Malik

3) Age Is Just A Number: Cameron Diaz

One of Charlie’s Angels is now a vocal advocate for the natural process of aging, stating that beauty is not just about your face… it’s about how you take care of your whole body. Her principles, accompanied by a healthy dose of science, are printed in ‘The Body Book” and “The Longevity Book.” Together, these are revolutionary wellness bibles on how to look and feel well. Her wholesome, holistic, and all-loving approach to aging is truly refreshing, especially these days where women are constantly pressured to keep themselves looking young.

“It is the responsibility of every human, not just dancers, sports stars, kids, and Olympians—to move. To embrace movement. To become movement. To live movement. Because moving can turn a regular Monday into an extraordinary start to your week. It can turn Tuesday into a quest, Wednesday into an adventure, Thursday into a triumph, Friday into a feat. No matter how you spend your days, claiming your right to MOVE is like claiming your FREEDOM,” ~ Cameron Díaz

Beach fitness.

4) Feeling Fabulous: Kate Hudson

Kate Hudson is incredibly passionate about inspiring others to lead happy and healthy lifestyles. In 2013, she started her own line of athletic wear called, ‘Fabletics’ and it has truly taken off! With her stunning and inspiring Instagram posts of her cardio and Pilates routines, it’s no surprise that Kate has inspired both men and women to ramp-up their fitness while having fun and looking fabulous, too. She’s also been known to emphasize the importance of good skin care, stating that she loves a facial massage and toner to keep her skin looking fresh and rejuvenated.

“The irony is that when we take care of ourselves first, we are in a much stronger place to take care of those we love,” ~ Kate Hudson

5) Meditation For Peace Of Mind: Russell Brand

With Russell Brands’ loud personality and flamboyant wardrobe, it’s hard to imagine him in a moment of serious quietness. After years of struggling with addictions, he realized that to recover, he needed to dig deeper within and confront the side of himself that he’d been trying so hard to cover up. With the help of meditation, the well-known comedian, actor, and activist was able to find peace. A true inspiration within this wellness revolution, he’s also the author of “Recovery: Freedom from Our Addictions” and is now helping others by sharing his story and promoting the David Lynch Foundation, which provides transcendental meditation classes to people in at-risk communities.

“You need only allow gentle hope to enter your heart. Exhale and allow hope, and give yourself some time. This is a process of change that requires a good deal of self-compassion, which is neither stagnant nor permissive. We can just start by being a little kinder to ourselves and open to the possibility that life doesn’t have to be bloody awful.” ~ Russell Brand

man in pool.

6) Serving Up The Sun Protection: Maria Sharapova

Playing tennis all day and living in the “Sunshine State” certainly have their perks, but like Maria Sharapova will tell you, you have to remember to take care of your skin health while you’re out there, too. Following sound advice from her mother, the international tennis champion grew up with a great awareness about the effects of the sun on our skin. Inspired by shocking skin cancer statistics, Maria co-founded the sun-cream brand Supergoop to encourage others that no matter how old or young you are, or where you live on our planet, the time to start wearing sun cream is now!

“I still love things that you don’t even need to pay for. Going to the beach and being around five of your friends and having a good time means so much more than going out and spending hundreds of dollars,” ~ Maria Sharapova

7) Queen Of The Green: Beyoncé

After confirmation that Beyoncé would be headlining the much-anticipated Coachella Festival this year, the ‘Single Ladies’ star went vegan. She followed a 22-Day Nutrition meal planner, a program which she co-founded with her husband, Jay Z, and celebrity trainer Marco Borges. The aim of the program was to challenge both themselves and the public to move towards a plant-based lifestyle to benefit not only personal health, but also the health of our planet. She’s a Green Leader through and through! With environmental awareness growing and the love for animals spreading, veganism has been hailed as the single biggest way to reduce our environmental impact on Earth.

“We have to care about our bodies and what we put in them. Women have to take the time to focus on our mental health — take time for self, for the spiritual, without feeling guilty or selfish. The world will see you the way you see you, and treat you the way you treat yourself,” ~ Beyoncé

So, that’s it for now. If you’d like to refresh your wellness and self-care practices with some new ideas, we hope these 7 celebrities have inspired you! Whether you’d like to fuel your body with more nutritious food, or change up your skin care routine, or become a Green Leader in your community, or lengthen your meditations, or spice up your wardrobe, or try a new sport, the important thing is to just go for it starting today!

Looking to go on a Wellness Holiday?

With offices in London, Melbourne, Manila, and Toronto, Paul Joseph is the co-founder of Health & Fitness Travel, the Wellness Holiday Specialists. For advice, guidance, and booking, visit: www.healthandfitnesstravel.com or call 0203 397 8891.

Spiritual Guidance Available

Would you like to have some spiritual guidance on this topic? Consider signing up for a Free Crystal Mapping Session with Spa Therapist and Spiritual Wellness Coach, Maria Koropecky. Subscribe to this Ammolite Wellness Coaching blog and book your free Crystal Mapping Session today.

How I Found Out About the Rayner Institute

Editor’s Note: I originally published this article on my Homespunspa blog back on September 19, 2015. You may still see the expired link when you do a search. I’ve decided to re-post the article here on this coaching blog because it fits better on this website.

Over the past few years, many people, who have been looking for a coaching school, have reached out to me because of this blog post and I think that’s great.

If you’re trying to decide which coaching school to sign up with and you’d like to talk to me as well and ask me any questions about the Rayner Institute as a coaching school, please contact me, Maria, by email, anytime.

How I Found Out About the Rayner Institute

by Maria Koropecky, Wellness Coach

Secretly, I’ve wanted to be a life coach for at least a decade but it didn’t seem like it was possible for me. I would not have known where to go to get coaching training even if I had given the thought any serious consideration.

I hired a business coach back in 2005 and I loved our conversations about the spiritual laws of the universe but this particular coach made things more about her than they were about me (as the client) and after a few months, she pushed me away and that was that. We’ve not spoken since and that experience left a bad taste in my mouth about coaches in general.

I’m glad I didn’t give up on coaching forever because of one bad apple. Much has changed in the coaching profession in the past few years and life coaches are being recognized for doing some wonderful work for the people of this planet.

I wish I had had the sense to become a coach sooner but the timing wasn’t right for me. I still had a lot of living to do first before I could embark on this career. Like for example, I had to go to esthetics school in 2010 so I could awaken my healing and nurturing side and learn how to work with people hands on.

Had I just jumped ahead and gone to coaching school at that time instead, (which would have worked for other people), I personally would have been missing some key ingredients for my recipe and my coaching practice would not have flourished. I also would not have opened my mobile spa, which, as you’ll see, is integral to this story.

Anyway, fast forward to the summer of 2014. It was a challenging summer for me personally. My finances were not in good shape and on top of that, my Uncle, who was also my Godfather, died and then my friend from high school had committed suicide. In the bigger picture, you may also recall that in August of that year, Robin Williams committed suicide and Joan Rivers died as well. The world had taken on a serious tone.

Meanwhile, I got a call from a woman who was looking to hire someone to give her 90-year-old mother a manicure. So, I went to the seniors’ care home, just going about my business, and that was the day I met June, her daughter, Carol, and Carol’s husband, Peter. I had no idea how pivotal that day would be for me.

The manicure appointment went well enough that they called me again for another appointment and I started visiting June every five weeks or so. Often, Carol was present also.

In November, Carol mentioned something to her mother about going away for a week to upgrade her coaching training and my ear’s perked up.

Rayner Institute logo.“Did you say coaching???”

As it turned out, Carol is a coach and a facilitator at the Rayner Institute and she said there was a course starting in February, if I was interested. So I took her card and thought about it long and hard.

Eventually, in April of 2015, I took the plunge and enrolled in the Self-Actualized Coaching and Mentoring Program at the Rayner Institute and I have since passed my exams and graduated.

Currently, I’m going through the program again but this time as a Ride-Along where I get to hold a healing space for the new students and support them on their journey as they enter the coaching profession and become certified coaches themselves.

And last night during class, I had my own personal insight that made a big difference in how I see my life. Mark Rayner, the founder of the Rayner Institute, was coaching Carol to show the students the beauty of a transformational and transcendent coaching conversation.

(Normally, I wouldn’t share what goes on in a confidential coaching class but I will have asked for permission from Carol and Mark before publishing this post).

Carol spoke about her mother. She wanted to enjoy the time she spends with her even if it’s just flipping through a catalogue together. She said that 18 months ago, her mother became very ill and she was in hospital in Calgary for a month, and they didn’t give her much time to live. Somehow during that difficult time, they sold her mother’s house and moved her to Victoria.

As I listened to Carol describe the process of moving her mother to the Island where she would be closer to the whole family including her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren, I marvelled at how those events and decisions also affected me, someone they didn’t even know existed yet. It struck me that an act as personal as caring for an elderly parent could also have so much influence over other people’s lives, known and unknown, as well.

To me, if June hadn’t moved to Victoria and if Carol hadn’t gone looking for a manicurist for her mother and if Carol hadn’t mentioned coaching, then I would not have found the Rayner Institute and I would have probably postponed my dream of becoming a life coach indefinitely.

Suddenly, the timing was right. A lot of things had to happen behind the scenes in order for me to get to this place in my life and my point is, you can’t write this stuff, you can’t script it, and you can’t force it. You just have to follow your heart wherever it wants to go.

Also, and this was my insight last night,

you have no idea whose lives you touch even if you never, ever meet them directly.

That’s the beauty of coaching. You get to touch the lives of people and help them get to where they want to go just by being you and doing what you do. And in turn, the people who are getting coached are also spreading love and kindness and healing energy to the people in their lives and day by day, the world becomes a better place for all of us.

I’m truly grateful for June and Carol for leading me here and for my extraordinary coaching training at the Rayner Institute and now I can pay it forward as a coach to my friends and clients.

Wellness Coach Maria Koropecky Ammolite Wellness.If you’re thinking about becoming a coach, I’d be happy to talk to you about the Rayner Institute. Also, if you’re thinking about hiring a coach, feel free to contact me to make an appointment.

We’re all connected and don’t think that what you’re doing isn’t affecting someone else’s life. The ripples in a pond are endless.

Girl Friday at Your Service!

by Maria Koropecky

Did you know the term, “Girl Friday” comes from the movie, His Girl Friday (1940) with Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell?

Here to help.A Girl Friday is:

  • a ‘go to’ girl;
  • someone who will help you get things taken care of;
  • a person you can count on to help you out with your to-do list;
  • someone you can rely on when you are in need of extra assistance;
  • an extra pair of hands on a big project; and
  • someone who acts as a ‘jack of all trades’ and is capable of doing almost anything!

Contact Maria Koropecky today. Services starting @ $22.

Conversations

Life Coaching; English Tutor; Conversational English practice; Visiting; Reading Stories; Interviews (you interview me or I interview you); Speaking at conferences, events, & retreats; Speech Rehearsal.

Writing

Website Content; Blogging; Social Media Posts; Co-Author Books; Biographer; Journalism; Letters; & Resumes.

Proofreading, Editing, & Formatting

Books; Articles; Blogs; Reports; Essays; Websites; & Resumes.

Photography

Events; Weddings; Workshops; & Websites.

Websites

Creating; Updating; Content Writing; & SEO using HTML, WordPress, & Shopify.

Personal Assistant

Admin Assistant; Virtual Assistant; Event Planning; Organizing Collections; Trade show Booth Set Up & Sales; Shipping & Receiving; Estate Sales; & Personal Shopper.

Spa Therapy

Chair Massage; Relaxation Massage; Facials.

Spiritual

Prayer Requests.

Food Prep & Catering Support

Menu Planning; Party Prep; Cooking Food; Serving Food; & Hosting.

Pets

Cat-sitting; House-sitting; & Dog Walking.

Driving

Pick up/drop off; Errands; Long Distance; & Car Washes.

Travel

Travel Companion; Tour Guide; Location Scouting; Packing; Photographer.

Seasonal

Fruit Picking; Weeding; Snow Shoveling; Gift Wrapping; & Home Staging.

Not available for:

Electrical, plumbing or any construction trades; Car maintenance; Nursing; Childcare services; Outdoor or high window washing; Exterior painting; Carpet cleaning; Hoarders’ trash removal, & obviously anything illegal.

Let me know if I can help you out in any way!