My Mystical Moment

by Maria Koropecky, Ammolite Wellness Coach

“Into the Mystic” by Van Morrison is one of my favourite songs and I feel like I “sailed into the mystic” myself this past weekend.

The strangest thing happened to me after I posted my blog, “Coaching is a Creating Conversation.”

In the post I shared a video clip from the movie, “Elizabeth the Golden Age: The New World,” where Sir Walter Raleigh describes the New World to Queen Elizabeth I.

To me, Mr. Raleigh really captures the essence of coaching. It’s a creative process that starts as a smudge on the horizon of your imagination and then somehow grows into something you can actually walk into in real life.

Anyway, for my blog post, I chose to include a photo I took a couple of years ago from Island View Beach near Victoria, BC. It was the closest thing I had to seeing land from the sea as in Mr. Raleigh’s story.

Sandy cliffs off in the distance. Photo by Maria Koropecky

I like the photo because there’s symmetry with the birds, and off in the distance, across the water, you can also see some sandy cliffs on an island.

In my own head, I’ve always called those sandy cliffs, “The Cliffs of Dover” because I didn’t know their real name.

Two days after I posted my blog, I got a completely unrelated text from my sister-in-law asking if I’d like to come and visit the mainland for her brother’s 50th birthday party. She also said for me to bring my passport.

“Why would I need to bring my passport?” I asked.

“Because we’re going to Point Roberts first and that’s in the States.”

“Oh. Good to know.”

I figured this would be a good opportunity for me to do a dry run travelling with my new backpack and my passport, 10 days before I set off to walk the Camino in Spain, so I said “Sure, I’d like to come.”

So, on Saturday, my brother and his family picked me up from the ferries and we headed to the U.S. to visit his friends from architecture school who had just bought a house in Point Roberts.

Until then, I had never even heard of Point Robert before even though it’s just a hop, skip, and a jump from Vancouver Island.

After we crossed the border, it was like we had stepped into a mythical forest – everything was so green and lush!

We arrived in the middle of the afternoon. My brother’s friends offered to take us on a short hike from their home to the beach and we all enthusiastically took them up on their invitation.

And that’s when I saw the “Cliffs of Dover” up close!

Sandy cliffs in Point Roberts, Washington

I had actually walked into my own photo that I was looking at a few days before!

Also, just by chance, purely for dramatic effect as you’d find in the movies, there was a major thunder storm brewing further south and we saw some lightening strike across the sky, too!

Later at the 50th birthday party, there was a Mariachi band — it was quite the day for me!

Days ago, I had no idea that Point Roberts even existed. It never occurred to me that I’d actually go to those sandy cliffs myself someday. I just admired the cliffs from afar for the last 22 years.

And then through no conscious effort on my part, no force, no ego, and no wheeling and dealing, I went there in person anyway!

Sandy Cliffs in Point Roberts, Washington

It’s the magic of coaching! One day you’re staring off into the distance, dreaming about something with no agenda or attachment, and the next day you’re experiencing it for real!

I think that’s so cool and I just had to share this update with you.

Have you ever had a mystical experience that you can’t explain? I’d love to hear about it. Please send me an email and let’s make an appointment to chat.

In the meantime, embrace the mystic — it’s all around us!

View from Point Roberts back towards Vancouver Island

About the Author

Maria Koropecky is a Wellness Coach and Blogger who specializes in self-care. Maria is currently accepting new wellness coaching clients. If you’d like spiritual guidance on this topic, please make an appointment for a Crystal Mapping session with Maria today!

Self-Care Ideas for Each Type of Intelligence

by Maria Koropecky, Ammolite Wellness Coach

When you hear the word “intelligent,” what comes to mind?

Toronto Reference Library
Love the Toronto Reference Library! Photo by Matthew Henry, Burst

Brainy, whiz kid, genius, prodigy, brilliant, smart, or my personal favourite, rocket scientist…

I always think, “good at math” first but I know there’s way more to intelligence than being able to ace a calculus exam.

Chances are that if you weren’t good at “reading and writing and ‘rithmetic” (as the old song goes), you felt like something was wrong with you and school was a chore that you had to endure until you could escape.

Sadly, many people slip through the cracks and never graduate even though they’re smart and brilliant in their own way.

What if our education system nurtured and celebrated kids with different intelligences other than the traditional, linear thinking ones?

What if kids with a knack for growing vegetables in a garden, or reading other people’s energy, or inventing new games to play, had room to explore their talents in the classroom, too?

In 1983, American psychologist, Howard Gardener, described 9 types of intelligence:

  • Naturalists (like animals and plants)
  • Musicals (like playing with sounds)
  • Logical-Mathematicals (are good with numbers and problem solving)
  • Existentials (will ask life’s big questions)
  • Interpersonals (are people-people)
  • Bodily-Kinesthetics (are physically coordinated)
  • Linguistics (like playing with words)
  • Intrapersonals (are self-aware)
  • Spatials (can visualize in 3D)

If any of these intelligences resonate with you, I’ve come up with a list of self-care activities that you can weave into your life – starting today – that will play to your strengths and preferences and will be like music to your ears!

Honouring and understanding your own intelligences and ways of being and of perceiving the world, is empowering!

And if you happen to stumble upon a self-care activity and a career that speaks directly to your intelligence, you’ll feel like you’ve hit the jackpot and you’ll be able to soar to new heights!

1. Naturalist Intelligence

Naturalists relish interacting with the natural world and have an affinity for plants, animals, rocks, and Mother Earth.

Good Careers: Botanist, Chef, Geologist, Naturalist, Veterinarian, Wilderness Guide

Self-Care Ideas: going on a nature walk, wearing crystal jewellery, petting a cat or dog

Maria Koropecky Ammolite Wellness Coach with Dragonfly.
Naturalists have a way of communicating with wildlife.

2. Musical Intelligence

Musical geniuses have rhythm! They work with sound and can create emotional responses by changing notes, pitch, rhythm, timbre, and the tone of a song. They’re also sensitive listeners and can pick up on nuances others may miss.

Good Careers: composers, conductors, folio artists, musicians, performers, rock stars, song writers

Self-Care Ideas: going to a concert, listening to music, writing poetry, singing in a choir, playing an instrument

3. Logical-Mathematical Intelligence

Logical-mathematical intelligence is the ability to solve problems by coming up with theories then calculating, quantifying, and figuring out the number sequences that work. Math is the language of the Universe and it helps us to perceive relationships, connections, and patterns and it brings abstract concepts to life.

Good Careers: accountants, bakers, computer programmers, detectives, entrepreneurs, financial advisors, inventors, mathematicians, realtors, scientists.

Self-Care Ideas: Working on a crossword puzzle, reading a murder mystery book, organizing a collection

4. Existential Intelligence

Existential Intelligence is about asking the deep questions of human existence like: What is the meaning of life? Where do we go when we die? and How did this whole she-bang start?

Good Careers: astronomers, life coaches, monks, nuns, philosophers, priests, rabbis, spiritual teachers, writers, yogis

Self-Care Ideas: Looking at the stars in the night sky, meditating, journaling, travelling to sacred places

Saint Mother Teresa 3rd class relic.
Saint Mother Theresa

5. Interpersonal Intelligence

People with Interpersonal intelligence are good with people and have the ability to connect and communicate well with others. People-people are the leaders among us, know how to read feelings and motives, and are good at influencing others.

Good Careers: actors, life coaches, politicians, social workers, teachers, talk show hosts

Self-Care Ideas: hosting a party, putting on a play, talking with friends, teaching concepts to another person

6. Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence

People with Bodily-Kinesthetic intelligence are very aware of how their body moves through space and time. It’s about having hand-eye coordination, dexterity, and balance. It’s also about learning by doing and feeling.

Good Careers: athletes, dancers, magicians, massage therapists, personal trainers, surgeons

Self-Care Ideas: dancing, getting or giving a massage, playing a game of tennis

7. Linguistic Intelligence

People with Linguistic intelligence have the gift of the gab and also write well. They have the ability to express ideas and concepts in meaningful ways. They like communicating with all kinds of people and playing with words – for Linguistics, puns are fun!

Good Careers: journalists, life coaches, novelists, poets, public speakers, standup comics

Self-Care Ideas: journaling, reading, telling stories, writing a blog post

Journalling is very therapeutic. Photo by Samantha Hurley from Burst

8. Intra-personal Intelligence

Intra-personal intelligence is a personal awareness. It’s the ability to understand and appreciate your own thoughts and feelings and by extension, the human condition.

Good Careers: astronomers, life coaches, monks, nuns, philosophers, priests, rabbis, spiritual teachers, writers, yogis

Self-Care Ideas: meditation, reading, taking a yoga class, travelling, writing

9. Spatial Intelligence

Spatial intelligence is the ability to visualize in three dimensions. People with this intelligence are the artists among us and they can rotate an object in their imagination and see it from all angles, as if they’re physically holding it in their hands.

Good Careers: architects, artists, designers, engineers, painters, pilots, sailors, sculptors

Self-Care Ideas: Day dreaming, doing a jigsaw puzzle, drawing pictures, play a game of pool, walking a labyrinth

sketching heart in book.
Artists help us see new perspectives!

How many of these intelligences do you recognize in yourself?

Hopefully my summaries of the 9 Intelligences will help you gain some personal awareness of what makes you special and unique in our diverse world.

I’m sure you’ll find that you have an affinity for more than one of these intelligences and they each complement each other in some way.

The truth is, you can be successful in life with any combination of these intelligences.

Don’t ever let anyone else make you feel bad or wrong about your unique talents and gifts and your way of processing information! The world needs what you have to offer, so shine your light!

Whenever you feel down, keep this in mind: If we were all just good at math, the world would be a really boring place!

Keep Art and Jim in school!

About the Author

Maria Koropecky is a Wellness Coach and Blogger who specializes in self-care. Maria is currently accepting new wellness coaching clients. If you’d like spiritual guidance on this topic, please make an appointment for a Crystal Mapping session with Maria today!

I Love Myself, Therefore…

by Maria Koropecky, Ammolite Wellness Coach

Several years ago around 2005, I was working as a housekeeper at a fancy B&B and I started to develop a sore shoulder from vacuuming too much. Occupational hazard, I guess. 🙂 The dull ache was interfering with my availability for work, so I went to see a healer called Magdalena.

Magdalena introduced me to energy healing and come to think of it, I haven’t had any problems with my shoulder since.

I remember after my visit with Magdalena, she read Louise Hay’s “Self Love Affirmation” to me and I have re-read the words and have thought about what self love looks like many times over the years.


I Love Myself, Therefore

Deep at the center of my being, there is an infinite well of love.
I now allow this love to flow to the surface. It fills my heart, my body, my mind, my consciousness, my very being, and radiates out from me in all directions and returns to me multiplied. The more love I use and give, the more I have to give. The supply is endless. The use of love makes me feel good, it is an expression of my inner joy.
I love myself; therefore, I take loving care of my body. I lovingly feed it nourishing foods and beverages, I lovingly groom it and dress it, and my body lovingly responds to me with vibrant health and energy.
I love myself; therefore I provide for myself a comfortable home, one that fills all my needs and is a pleasure to be in. I fill the rooms with the vibration of love so that all who enter, myself included, will feel this love and be nourished by it.
I love myself; therefore I work at a job I truly enjoy doing, one that uses my creative talents and abilities, working with and for people I love and who love me, and earning a good income.
I love myself; therefore, I behave and think in a loving way to all people for I know that that which I give out returns to me multiplied. I only attract loving people in my world, for they are a mirror of what I am.
I love myself; therefore I forgive and totally release the past and all past experiences and I am free.
I love myself; therefore I live totally in the now, experiencing each moment as good and knowing that my future is bright and joyous and secure, for I am a beloved child of the Universe and the Universe lovingly takes care of me now and forever more.
And so it is.

~ Louise Hay, You Can Heal Your Life

Thank you, Louise Hay. There’s so much around self love to explore including:

  • self care
  • self acceptance
  • self worth
  • self esteem
  • self respect
  • self compassion
  • self healing
  • self forgiveness
  • self talk
  • giving thanks
  • being present, and
  • divine love.

What would it be like if you were to feel incredibly loving toward yourself?

One day I asked myself this question in my journal and this is the answer I received:

Show up and dance with me!

What if I felt like I AM an empowered woman of the Universe, standing strong and wise, first? What if I presented myself as a whole being, fully and completely loving, trusting, and accepting myself in this grande Universe now?

I’d be smiling. I’d be taking action steps from a place of strength and power. I’d feel lighter. I’d trust myself and my footing, I’d trust the moment, I’d trust my partner, and I’d trust the music that surrounds us and is within us. That would be amazing!

OK. Let’s be amazing!

Maria Koropecky, Ammolite Wellness Coach

Self love is a radical concept!

In my experience, people have been talking about self love for years, but I’d like to put my own spin on it. It’s not enough to know about self love; now’s the time to actually feel it for yourself.

So how do you go about loving yourself and how do you know you love yourself?

I used to find it hard to believe myself when I said to myself, “I love you, Maria.”

I also didn’t acknowledge or even remember all of the things I did that would be considered acts of self love, like

  • leaving an unhealthy situation, or
  • writing in my journal, or
  • paying my bills on time, or
  • choosing wholesome, organic vegetables over potato chips, or
  • not putting poison into my body like cigarette smoke or alcohol, or
  • putting on sunscreen before I walk outside, or
  • any number of seemingly little things that add up over time.

I couldn’t quite feel the love even though I had been taking pretty good care of myself.

Then something clicked! I realized I wasn’t using my own personal love language!

You’re probably familiar with the book, “The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate” (1992) by Gary Chapman.

As a refresher, Gary Chapman’s, 5 Love Languages that help people express and experience love are:

  1. receiving gifts
  2. quality time
  3. words of affirmation
  4. acts of service, and
  5. physical touch.

How do you like to show your love to the people and animals in your life? Your go-to’s are a clue about how you can show love towards yourself and receive the message loud and clear!

I think revisiting “5 Love Languages” is a good place to start but this time, instead of expressing them to others, try applying them to yourself.

That’s what I did and you know what I figured out? My personal love language doesn’t exactly fit in any of these five categories. (I left a clue in my journal entry above about what my love language is).

Sure, I’m able to give and receive love by giving my time, energy, healing touch, or words of encouragement to myself and others, but what I personally really respond to is music!

Jazzercise front row center.

I love to sing and dance and I’ve had a soundtrack playing in the background of my life since day one with my mother singing to me.

I especially love it when I hear a song on the radio that speaks to whatever is going on in my life, as if angels were giving me a special message.

I didn’t realize how much I enjoyed singing and dancing until this past Easter when my sister-in-law, Veronica, and I had an impromptu, sing-a-long, karaoke (of sorts) evening together.

She was outside on the deck and I joined her. I started humming a tune and she asked, “What are you singing?”

Then she looked the lyrics up online and before we knew it, we downloaded a 1970’s-80’s playlist and were singing all kinds of songs including, Air Supply’s, “I’m all out of love” and Queen’s, “Bohemian Rhapsody.”

So fun!

We danced and sang at the top of our lungs and I pretended the trees were our audience. Any inhibitions I may have had blew away with the wind!

We didn’t care what the rest of the family was thinking or if the neighbours were bothered. It was truly a liberating and healing experience!

Thanks, Veronica for playing along! I’ll cherish that memory of us singing together for the rest of my life!

These days, music, singing, and dancing are the best ways for me to communicate straight to my own heart and actually feel love towards myself. It’s my way of giving and receiving love and feeling love from the inside out!

So, if I’m ever feeling low or discouraged, I sing my heart out! Singing songs allows me to feel the love and once again, I know deep down in my heart that I love myself unconditionally.

I am lovable and worthy.
“I am lovable & worthy.” Photo by Maria Koropecky, Ammolite Wellness Coach.

Once I started singing outloud and dancing like when I was 6 years old, the more I began release some pent up emotions and to love myself on a deeper level.

No matter how you approach it, loving yourself is a powerful source for good! You have to love yourself first before you can truly enjoy the blessings of life.

If you don’t love yourself first from the inside out, you will have trouble creating what you want, and if you do find some success, you will not feel fulfilled.

Don’t settle for a dull, ho hum, or uninspired existence.

Remember to love yourself first!

If you’d like to know the best recipe for an amazing life,

  • contemplate the idea of self love,
  • communicate to yourself in your own love language, and
  • love yourself wholeheartedly!

And on that note, I’d like to add to Louise Hay’s lyrics from above:

I love myself; therefore, I sing and dance to my heart’s content!

How about you? Do you like music as much as I do? Do you have a favourite song that always lifts your spirits? Let us know in the comments!

About the Author

Maria Koropecky is a Wellness Coach and Blogger who specializes in self-care. Maria is currently accepting new wellness coaching clients. If you’d like spiritual guidance on this topic, please make an appointment for a Crystal Mapping session with Maria today!


Bonus Journaling Prompt

Bonus Journal Prompt.

We often forget the nice things we do for ourselves each day.

To keep the well of self love topped up and to remind yourself that you’re lovable, worthy, and enough just as you are right now, with or without this, that, or the other, consider exploring the topic of self love in your journal (along with your gratitudes, if you want).

Loving yourself has to come from you, for you – not from anyone outside of you.

Make the decision to know you accept yourself just as you are without looking to anyone else for validation, permission, or approval.

Keeping a journal of your self love journey is a sign of a healthy person. Journalling is not about beating yourself up for making mistakes, or complaining about the people in your life or what’s not working.

Part of loving yourself means building a positive case for yourself. You can start collecting evidence that you’re a wonderful and amazing person by recording all of the lovely things you do each day.

I know there’s something that you’ve done today already that is sweet and generous. The next time you catch yourself doing something kind and loving toward yourself, “Say, I’m going to put that in my journal!”

Each day in your journal, start with, “I love myself for…”

Like: “I love myself for taking the stairs instead of the elevator today.”
Or, “I love myself for the witty comment I said at work and everyone burst our laughing.”
Or, “I love myself for listening to my intuition.”

It all counts!

Add gratitudes to your list and you’re off to the races! Green lights all the way!

Keep a running list in your journal of positive things about yourself, such as favours you’ve done, positive qualities you have, and things you like about yourself and then you can refer to your list anytime you need a little boost in your self esteem.

The beauty is, eventually, you won’t need to find more reasons to love yourself and you’ll naturally reach a point where you’ll simply say, “I Love Myself.”

Wellness Coach Maria Koropecky Ammolite Coaching Home of Crystal Mapping.

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.

Why Ammolite Inspires Me!

by Maria Koropecky, Ammolite Wellness Coach

I’m wearing my Ammolite ring as I write this post.

Ammolite ring with angel.
Can you see the angel in the Ammolite? Photo by Maria Koropecky, Ammolite Wellness Coach.

I love my Ammolite ring because I feel I was in the flow state when I bought it.

I went to a Gem Show a couple of years ago at the Pearkes Recreation Centre in Saanich, BC. I remember when I first entered the space on the Saturday morning in August, the room was just buzzing! All of the people were in good spirits and it was as if all of the gemstones and crystals were waking up!

I didn’t know what I was looking for exactly at the Gem Show so I just kept my mind open to whatever jumped out at me. When I go to these types of shows, I like to start at one end and go through all of the booths, one by one, in order, all around the large room to see everything available before I make any decisions.

Somewhere in the middle of the room, there was a man selling loose, polished Ammolite gemstones for custom jewellery.

I’d heard about Ammolites before from my friend who wore her Ammolite necklace one day and I asked her about it because it was so colourful, unique, and lovely.

She said it’s from Alberta and she bought her jewell as a present for herself for her 50th birthday!

I made a note of the name, Ammolite, for future reference.

Meanwhile, before I left for the gem show, my mother had given me a gold ring that didn’t have any stone in it to see if I could find something for it. She said it used to have an unknown pink stone in it but when she had it cleaned, sadly, the pink crystal disintegrated! Afterwards, the naked ring sat in her jewellery box for years, waiting for a second chance to shine.

The gold ring itself has its own history. According to my mother, her parents somehow procured the ring while they were living in a displaced persons camp in Austria in the 1940’s while they were en route to immigrate to Canada.

So, my gold ring is an antique and has an ancestral tie to my family and I’m grateful for the sacrifices my grandparents made to ensure future generations (i.e. me) could lead a better life.

By the way, because Ammolite is from pre-historic times, it also symbolizes our ancestors!

Anyway, I showed the gold ring to the Ammolite sales rep/jeweller. He thought he might be able to help me find something suitable.

As we were looking at the different configurations and narrowing down the options, it seemed like the noise around us in the big room hushed and I lost track of time. I was in the zone.

We looked for colours, shape, and size, and I trusted his recommendations. Together, we found a beautiful square-shaped cut that has all of the colours of the rainbow in a pleasing pattern!

But would it fit? What if it cracks? What if the prongs that hold it in place snap off? The pressure to marry the two pieces together was on!

I held my breath and stared at the ring and the jeweler’s nimble hands as he fastened everything in place!

And then it happened! Everything came together beautifully!

The Ammolite jeweller carefully inserted the delicate Ammolite gemstone into to gold ring setting. He gently folded the prongs down to secure the stone in place and voila! A new ring was born!

Exhale!

I put my new Ammolite ring on my finger and beamed with delight!

Not only does my Ammolite ring connect me to my grandparents, it also taught me a valuable lesson about how creativity and manifestation work.

Earlier, I said I felt like I was in the flow state while I was buying this ring and I meant that I just let things unfold in their own way without trying to force my ego, or try to control the details, or insist on my own agenda.

I just played it by ear and followed my nose and let whatever wanted to emerge to show up. Not always easy!

I felt like I was trusting my intuition as I followed the metaphorical breadcrumbs, and somehow I managed to create this beautiful and powerful Ammolite ring for myself.

The next time you have an opportunity to bring different worlds together and create something new that never existed before, I hope you feel inspired by my Ammolite ring story.

Ammolite inspires me because it’s a natural miracle. The events that were set in motion millions of years ago, that had to take place in order for me to wear this ring today on my finger, are beyond incalculable. It’s literally the impossible becoming possible!

If you’d like to learn more about how crystals can influence your life for the better, sign up for a Crystal Mapping Session with me today!

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!

Intermittent Fasting: How I Lost 12 Pounds During Lent

by Maria Koropecky, Wellness Coach

On Fat Tuesday, I went to a birthday party and ate a few slices of really good pizza along with a piece of fancy birthday cake from a bakery.

Two days later on March 7, I spontaneously decided to give up eating snacks and desserts for Lent.

I really like to eat potato chips, cookies, and ice cream whenever I have the chance but during the six weeks of Lent, I was only allowing myself to eat three square meals a day, with nothing in between, often for five, six, seven, eight plus hours each day, my version of Intermittent Fasting.

sushi on the table.
Photo by Sarah Pflug @ Burst

What is Intermittent Fasting?

Intermittent Fasting (IF) is a scheduled eating plan that is more about when you eat than what you eat. If you leave several hours between meals, (rather than eat a little bit here and a little bit there and a lot over here), you give your body a chance to process and digest your food more efficiently.

Basically, I ate whatever I wanted during my three meals a day (including bread, potatoes, meats, and cheeses) but that was it to the next meal.

To me, Intermittent Fasting is related to the Keto Diet in the sense that Ketosis occurs when the body burns stored fats for energy rather than using quick sugars and carbohydrates.

It’s like going back to the warehouse to buy something rather than taking it off the shelf in the store.

Once you start burning fat for fuel, you’ll start losing weight. But remember, one little grape will knock you out of that process, so it’s important to not introduce any sugars what-so-ever into your fasting time.

Did you know the word “Breakfast” comes from “breaking the fast” from the last meal you had the day before?

I had tried Intermittent Fasting a couple of years ago with great success so I already knew what I was getting myself into but this time was quite different from the first.

The first time I tried Intermittent Fasting, I basically coasted through it.

I didn’t realize that this time I’d be embarking on a spiritual quest, filled with days of emotional upheaval.

Yes, I often felt hungry and cranky and tired but I stuck with my eating plan because I realized that I no longer wanted to stuff down my feelings and numb myself out with food. Emotional eating wasn’t going to be my coping strategy anymore and I wanted to face my feelings and my demons head on.

In my mind, as hard as it was to get through the rough patches, the intense emotions actually meant that I was dredging up a lot of old emotional junk that I had been hanging onto for decades.

Each day as I fasted, I was releasing and clearing tons of emotional baggage so it wouldn’t weigh me down anymore and keep me from living the life of my dreams. Being emotional was actually a good sign!

To me, snacks and desserts represent too many extra and unnecessary calories and I was trying to run on approximately 1500 calories a day, without actually counting anything. I’ve learned that we really don’t need as many calories as we think we do.

The good news is, as of Easter Monday, I’ve managed to release 12 pounds in just over 6 weeks, which is less than 2 pounds a week, which is a very healthy and sustainable pace. I plan to keep going.

drinking tea.
Photo by Matthew Henry @ Burst.

My Guidelines for Intermittent Fasting

Of course there are many approaches you can take if you want to try Intermittent Fasting and/or the Keto Diet but here are the guidelines that I personally follow.

  • Talk to your doctor before attempting any kind of significant dietary changes.
  • Know your big why — I happen to have a big 50th birthday coming up so that’s motivation enough for me!
  • Weigh yourself and record the weight in a journal. It’s not really about the weight and how many pounds you lose but it’s a good idea to know where you started. The real evidence is how you’re feeling about yourself.
  • Reduce carbs and sugar — less bread, potatoes, pasta, and rice.
  • Eat more fat because it helps you feel full and it helps your brain function better and it helps keep things running smoothly.
  • No snacks, no desserts, no wine or alcohol.
  • Drink lots of water and tea. In another blog post, I’ll share a Turmeric drink that I discovered that I found helpful and I really enjoy.
  • See websites that talk about Ketosis and Intermittent Fasting.
  • Eat three times a day: breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
  • Try not to eat past 7pm.
  • Eat mindfully and taste each morsel of food you put into your mouth. Food does start tasting better and better as you go along.
  • Take supplements including: Vitamin B, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Omega 3’s, Women’s Daily or Men’s Daily, and Magnesium.
  • Take Wellness Walks 4-5 times a week.
  • Workout and lift weights at least once a week.
  • Train to run — I’m up to running 8 minutes!
  • Find an Acupuncture Clinic and go as often as you can — they can tailor your treatments to help support your digestion and weight loss efforts and it’s really relaxing!
  • Do stretches daily.
  • Reach out to old and new friends and have one meaningful conversation, (preferably face to face and in person), each day.
  • Get a good night’s sleep every night.
  • Crystals that might help include: Amethyst, Angelite, Bloodstone, Blue Apatite, Calcite Alabaster, Carnelian, Citrine, Garnet, Labradorite, Red Jasper, Rhodonite, Rose Quartz, Sunstone, Tiger’s Eye, Turquoise.
  • Good foods for weightloss include: Low carb/high fiber veggies, avocados, Greek yogurt, eggs, cheese, olive oil, coconut oil, berries, nuts, dark chocolate, fish/seafood, meat, poultry.
  • Eat lots of orange foods like carrots, salmon, and mango — they’re about honouring the Divine Feminine within all of us.
  • Meditate every day.
  • Check weight at least once a week and record your progress in a journal along with any other significant details (like your mood or wins or the weather, etc).
  • Practice daily self-care.
  • Relax and manage stress.
  • Clear clutter in your environment.
  • Live from your essence and take your ego out of it.
  • Assure yourself that this isn’t starvation and that you’re doing this for your long-term health and you will eat lots of good food every day.
  • Talk to a Wellness Coach, like me!

Intermittent Fasting isn’t easy but eventually you get used to not eating as often. Somehow, I managed to get through baking without sampling, cooking breakfasts for crowds, 3 dinner parties, 1 restaurant lunch, potato chips in the house, and Easter brunch without giving into temptation.

Now, my skin in clearer, my hair is softer, my eyes are brighter, my pants fit better, and I’m living more as my authentic self. To me, that’s worth it and I’m planning to continue to eat like this for the foreseeable future.

If you have any questions about Intermittent Fasting or would like some Wellness Coaching, please contact me, Maria, by email.

Wellness Coach Maria Koropecky Ammolite Wellness.

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.

Love this Song! Thanks, Natasha!

Unwritten, Natasha Bedingfield

I am unwritten, can’t read my mind, I’m undefined
I’m just beginning, the pen’s in my hand, ending unplanned
Staring at the blank page before you
Open up the dirty window
Let the sun illuminate the words that you could not find
Reaching for something in the distance
So close you can almost taste it
Release your inhibitions

Feel the rain on your skin
No one else can feel it for you
Only you can let it in
No one else, no one else
Can speak the words on your lips
Drench yourself in words unspoken
Live your life with arms wide open
Today is where your book begins
The rest is still unwritten
Oh, oh, oh

I break tradition, sometimes my tries, are outside the lines
We’ve been conditioned to not make mistakes, but I can’t live that way
Staring at the blank page before you
Open up the dirty window
Let the sun illuminate the words that you could not find
Reaching for something in the distance
So close you can almost taste it
Release your inhibitions

Feel the rain on your skin
No one else can feel it for you
Only you can let it in
No one else, no one else
Can speak the words on your lips
Drench yourself in words unspoken
Live your life with arms wide open
Today is where your book begins
The rest is still unwritten

Staring at the blank page before you
Open up the dirty window
Let the sun illuminate the words that you could not find
Reaching for something in the distance
So close you can almost taste it
Release your inhibitions

Feel the rain on your skin
No one else can feel it for you
Only you can let it in
No one else, no one else
Can speak the words on your lips
Drench yourself in words unspoken
Live your life with arms wide open
Today is where your book begins
The rest is still unwritten
The rest is still unwritten
The rest is still unwritten
Oh, yeah, yeah

Songwriters: Danielle A. Brisebois / Natasha Anne Bedingfield / Wayne Steven Jr Rodrigues
Unwritten lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

Unwritten
“The rest is still unwritten…”

I’ve adopted Unwritten as my own personal theme song for this year. It’s so upbeat and fun and inspiring and the video makes me smile.

I’m going to sing this song to myself whenever I like! Maybe even dance a little, too!

I’ve always liked this song, first released in 2004, even though it made me a little uncomfortable — I didn’t quite get it — but now some of the lines really jump out at me.

“Open up the dirty window” — it’s like, let some fresh air into your past and let it breathe.

“So close you can almost taste it” — I feel like I’m on the verge of a breakthrough and it’s within reach.

“Release your inhibitions” — that’s about accepting yourself as you are and just going for it.

“No one else can feel it for you” — you can’t look outside of yourself for validation or live vicariously through other people.

“Live your life with arms wide open” — that’s about surrender.

“Today is where your book begins” — You can only create from here, the present moment.

“The rest is still unwritten” — Endless possibilities.

Wow. That’s a really powerful song!

Wouldn’t it be wonderful to be able to live your life as your most authentic and vulnerable self — no shame, no inhibitions, no fear, and be able to connect with other living beings on a genuinely deep level — no egos, no games, no agendas — just being and letting things unfold naturally?

How refreshing is that?

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!