Blog Archives

Another Chance to Design Your Health for 2021




If you are struggling right now,  you are not alone.  Life at this unique time is especially hard.  This is why we decided to open up another chance for members of this community to join the Design Your Health Group, a 6-session facilitated group experience plus online community where participants come together to support each other while learning the tools and mindset to truly design their health, not just for right now, but for life!

For the past few weeks, our very own Gabrielle Iwaskow has been facilitating this group and private facebook community and the engagement and impact has been incredible.  We are thrilled to have created a space that people are using to inspire and support each other in the process of becoming well at every level, particularly now when being as healthy as possible is so important.

So if you are having a hard time following through with what you know you need to do right now to feel better, are yearning for a sense of community and meaningful engagement with others who are motivated to show up for you, and if you appreciate the benefits of having professional guidance to maintain the focus as well as the vibe, join us.

Experience what its like to feel supported as you build a life rooted in joy and wellness (rather than shame and sacrifice) while also having so much fun.

The group will meet every other Saturday morning from 10:30 am to 12 pm starting January 30th.  If this sounds like the thing you need right now, please don’t wait.  There are only 10 spots available and we’d hate for you to miss out.

Click here to learn more and register today.

There is no better time than right now to commit to investing in yourself to design your health.

We look forward to welcoming you and seeing you soon!

Dr. Stacy, Gabrielle and the Design Your Life team







Together We Rise – The Mantra for Growing Forward Intentionally Into 2021

This has certainly been a year! And we cannot let it go by without some reflection and intention to mine all of the awareness we gained for what it has to give us to help  design our lives in the year to come.

Last week I let you know about the FREE Design Your Health for Life! Webinar I did with our very own Gabrielle Iwaskow on what it really takes to go from not being ready for change to making it happen  without having to “should” all over ourselves to get there.

We were thrilled to see so many people join us on a Saturday to take in what we had to share.  The webinar also gave us an opportunity to introduce a new offering we are really excited about:   The Design Your Health Group, a private group experience where we come together in community under the guidance of one of the therapists here at the Design Your Life Centre to amplify the impact of the kind of conversations we would often have one-on-one.  Groups are not only cost-effective, they are the most effective way of   mobilizing the support and the genius of the collective, which is just what happens when people come together for themselves and others.  If you didn’t get a chance to attend the webinar, you can watch it here.  And if the Design Your Health Group sounds like it is the thing you need now to ensure a healthier 2o21, click here to learn more and to register today.  We are extending our special rate until Dec 21, 2020 to our people in our Design Your Life community.  Use the Promo Code SELFCARE to get your preferred pricing.  Once you purchase, you will get instant access to the private Facebook group so you can get started connecting and primed for change even before the group officially meets in January.  Click here to sign up.

And there’s more…I can’t let 2020 go without getting people together to reflect and set intentions for the year ahead.  And so on December 20, I am also offering one of my signature Growing Forward Through Writing Workshops where we will come together to reflect on the growth that has happened this year, share our insights with each other, and leave with an affirmation that you will learn how to integrate for maximum impact to design your life intentionally in 2021.

If there is a theme that is already coming out of this year of chaos it’s this:  Together We Rise.  And so in keeping with giving back, half of the proceeds for the workshop will be going to the Red Door Family Shelter, an incredible charity in the Leslieville area of Toronto that provides housing for mothers and their children often displaced due to domestic violence.  So sign up and experience the transformation that happens when we connect to the truth within and witness the impact it has on others.  We are all in this together. Join us.


Dr. Stacy

It’s time to stop “should-ing” and learn how to really design your health, for life!

When it comes to health, everyone knows what they “should” be doing. And if you don’t, finding the information you need is only a google search away.

The fact is, none of us is lacking access to information. So why is it that so many of us struggle to do what we know is good for us?

The answer has nothing to do with what we know and has everything to do with how we feel.

Here is the truth about the human brain: It is all about the short term gain. The promised benefits of that beautiful body, increased energy, vibrant skin, great sleep etc, etc… sound great. We might even be convinced to sign up for that program, gym membership or online course because someone who was just like us did it and… look at them now!

As wonderful as it all sounds in 2 dimensional space, when we enter the real world it tends to all fall apart. Why? Because the short term reality often sucks. It’s uncomfortable and sometimes even painful, and not just physically.

Making change forces us to acknowledge where we are in our lives now. And coming to terms with that reality can bring up a lot of difficult emotions… the worst of all being shame.

This is precisely why doing what’s good for us takes so much “will power”. We need it not just to lift the physical weight but to push through the emotional weight as well.

The tone of this entire discussion needs to change and we are happy to lead the way.

Come join Me and Gabrielle Iwaskow from the Design Your Life Centre for this FREE WEBINAR where you will learn how to drop this tone of “should-ing” yourself and move into a space of creating real change, for life!

During this FREE WEBINAR you will:

-learn the science behind how people actually make lasting change

-understand what you can do to move yourself through the process of change no matter where you are at (even if that means change is the last thing you are ready to do right now)

-leave with a tool you can use that will not only help you understand how to motivate yourself, but also how you can be more effective supporting others move forward in their process of making change

PLUS…you will get a chance to take advantage of an exclusive bonus offer that will only be available to webinar participants, that you will not want to miss.

Here are the details:

When: Saturday December 12, 2-2:45 PM EST

Where:  ZOOM (click the link to register)

The time to start the process of of designing your health is not January – it’s right now.  So come, learn and get inspired to Design Your Health, not for that special event,  not for a few weeks,   but for life!

We look forward to seeing you there!

Dr. Stacy & Gabrielle

Leveraging Community for Greater Impact


This past weekend, I spent 3 days among a group of clinician entrepreneurs brought together by Dr. Meghan Walker for an event called IMPACT LIVES.  I was honoured to have been invited to give the opening keynote talk and then I was honoured again by being awarded The Paragon Award for excellence as the Clinician of the Year. 

As good as it feels to have been chosen and recognized, the shine of the moment quickly faded in the face of the reality of this most recent lockdown in response to the pandemic.  The need for our services is higher than it has ever been and the sobering truth is that we are not currently doing enough to help. 

While we are continuing to grow our team to meet the demand for 1-on-1 care, this situation clearly illustrates that an exclusive individual model for delivering services is not only unsustainable but cannot serve our community at the level that’s needed right now.  As Dr. Meghan stated several times, when times are challenging, what matters most is not our resources but our resourcefulness.  And when I stand back and look at the genius that exists among the people within this community, it strikes me that we actually have an abundance of both.

This community is filled with incredible leaders, not all of whom recognize their power, but we do.  We also have been privileged to have witnessed transformation happening among our individual clients at a rate that we have never seen before.  This is the positive side effect of this unprecedented time:  it is pushing us all to grow exponentially.  Can you imagine what could happen if we connected you with others interested in designing their lives?  I know that the impact would be through the roof!

As per usual, I have a ton of ideas. But to ensure we are going to best serve your needs, we would really appreciate it if you could spare a minute to complete this brief survey to ensure that whatever we offer is in line with your needs.  You can access the survey here.   

And while you are waiting to get started in a new group offering with us, I urge you to take advantage of the offerings I helped develop with Mindful World that are full of incredible content you can use today: The 2020 Mindful World Parenting Summit, The MIlton’s Secret Conscious Conference featuring yours truly along with Dr. Shafali Tsabary, Eckhart Tolle, Dr. Laura Markam, Lisa Nichols, and Barnet Bain as well as Milton’s Secret, the first feature film based on the teachings of Ekhart Tolle.  All of these offerings provide insight and tools for addressing anxiety, stress, and bullying and will be free only until November 25, 2020.  

For those of you who would like to get started in a group experience asap, I invite you to join me on Instagram, every Tuesday morning from 7 am – 7:30 am EST @growingforwardsoulschool for the Flow to Grow expressive writing practice.  If you can’t make it that early, no worries:  you can register to receive the recordings of each session through the link in our bio.  

Lastly, as some of us begin to shop for the holidays, I urge you to support your local small businesses whenever you can.  One such business is Allwood Market, my go to place for ethically, hand-made, organic, vegan, non-toxic, fashion made with love by the infinitely creative Kevin Allwood like my sequined touque and “Be You Til Full” hoodie.  Get yours while they last.  

Thank you again for being part of the Design Your Life Community.  We look forward to seeing all that will unfold as we use this moment to come together like never before.

All of Our Best, 

Dr. Stacy & The Design Your Life Team.


Dropping the “Imposter” Dialogue & Embracing The Call to Lead

Not too long ago, I was honoured to be featured as a “black boss” leader in this community and was asked whether leaders are born or made.  The turn around required for my response did not allow me the time to look up the data, so I went with my gut response:  probably a little of both but if I have to chose, leaders are made.  And indeed, when I checked the data, it confirmed that my instinct was correct.

The attention recently on the US election has had us collectively consider what it takes to be a leader.  For me, a leader is not necessarily someone who is an outspoken extravert, comfortable or craving the spotlight.  It is someone who is willing to take a risk and put their ideas into the world for the benefit of the greater good.

We here at the Design Your Life Centre pride ourselves on being leaders in our field, determined to fulfill our mission of fundamentally changing the conversation about mental health to being about health.  We are also determined to change the way mental health care is delivered by creating an exceptional client experience.

As part of this mission, we decided to put it in writing, all of it – our mission, our core values, and our why. We also asked our clients for their stories of transformation in order to help new and potential clients get inspired and excited to collaborate with us to design their lives.  It is with great pride that I share with you  The Design Your Life Centre Culture Book.  We welcome you to take a look and to share it with anyone you believe would benefit from this fresh perspective we hope will inspire more people to care for their mental health.

I am also excited to let you know that I have been asked to give my first key note speech ever! Yes, I am the first speaker to kick off  Impact Lives, a  3 day, online conference/workshop for clinician entrepreneurs from November 19-21, 2020.  I have been asked to speak to a condition that I know too many striving professionals struggle with: The Imposter Syndrome.

I am excited to address this group of clinician entrepreneurs and help them transition from asking themselves “Who am I to lead?”  to embracing the call to lead and come into their purpose.  Now more than ever, we need clinicians to be in the world, sharing what they know to empower as many as possible to optimize their health.  If you are a clinician or a coach that is feeling called to really increase your impact, this is an event that you do not want to miss.

Finally, my hope is that you had a chance to check out The Mindful World Parenting Summit last week while it was free.  If you missed it, don’t worry.  There is another event coming that I am about to start shooting (literally in a few minutes after I finish writing this newsletter)  that will be bringing together some of the most relevant talks from the past two years of the summit combined with the teachings of Ekhart Tolle and Milton’s Secret, the movie, based on Ekhart’s teachings that shows us a way to address stress, anxiety and bullying from a compassionate lens.  While access to the  Mindful World Parenting summit is now only available for purchase,  you can still watch Milton’s Secret for free. Click here to get your ticket.

Some have asked me why I give my time to events like the Summit.  It is simple:  because it aligns with my mission  to change the conversation about mental health so we can all come together, to create something better for all of us.  And the bonus gift for me as I go into unchartered territory, is the opportunity to witness what happens as I align with my highest self to serve the greatest good.

Thank you for listening and for joining me on this journey.  It is the fuel that keeps me going.


With Deep Respect, Always

Dr. Stacy & The DYL Team




What We Can All Learn From High Performers In Order To Thrive In The Face Of Challenge

I recently had the pleasure of giving a webinar for a corporate client who asked me to speak to their staff members in support of their mental health. My talk, titled, “Surthriving in the Face of Uncertainty,” perfectly describes the situation we’re all facing and what we need to learn to do to make it through this pandemic.

Check Out Surthriving

My experience helping people through the most difficult times in their lives, including high performers who want to perform at their best when it counts, has taught me a lot about what it takes to navigate and actually thrive in the face of challenge. Our high performers have a lot to teach us when it comes to the latter.

All great performers, whether it’s in athletics or the arts, are willing to accept the discomfort that comes with challenge. Training for anything always involves discomfort. Physical discomfort, whether it be sore muscles, or having to wake up at an ungodly hour to make it to the gm are experiences that the dedicated athlete comes to accept. The person who is focused on expanding their potential by embracing challenge does not resist discomfort; they accept that it is part of the process. This is what it takes to get through any challenge, regardless of whether we asked for it or it came into our lives, uninvited.

Check out our latest post on Joy – A Resiliency Practice for Navigating Uncertain Times

After witnessing some of life’s hardest journeys, I can tell you that the pivotal moment that turns everything around is when people stop resisting and avoiding the unpleasant aspects of life. For some people, getting to this point of acceptance is a long and painful process. But regardless of the time it takes to get there, the final destination is beneficial for everyone.

Once they achieve this mindset of acceptance, they quickly mobilize what they need to do to adapt. And they get better. The distress decreases, they start making better choices to fit their situation and step by step they start to climb out of the hole that they dug themselves into while spending weeks, months, and maybe even years in a state of resistance. Often, what emerges is someone who, in many ways, is better than they were before.

The current situation we’re all experiencing, is a paradigm shift. We are being forced to let go of the past. Recognizing what we yearn for helps bring clarity to what is really important. And this is the opportunity that is available to all of us. Because if we can listen to all of it, the pain and the joy of this moment, we will be able to create something even better. Indeed, it is very possible that we might not ever want to go back.

Take Care,
Dr. Stacy & The Design Your Life Team

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Joy – A Resiliency Practice for Navigating Uncertain Times

These unprecedented times have been hard for most of us. But while turmoil always accompanies trauma and change, another thing that happens at times like this is post-traumatic growth.

Yes, believe it or not, situations like this, do result in us becoming stronger in ways that serve us. However, this is not a passive process. The science on post-traumatic growth suggests that integrating practices that build resilience is a way of guaranteeing positive growth that allows us to feel better in the process.

Many have heard of gratitude as a practice that helps. Among its many benefits, paying attention to the things we are grateful for allows the nervous system to shift out of survival mode and into a state of restoration, which is what we want to ensure we are operating at our best.


Another proven resiliency practice that gets less attention is joy. Gratitude and joy sometimes overlap, but are not quite the same and are worthy of reflecting on separately.

Joy refers to the everyday moments that you love and enjoy. One example is enjoying the weather on a beautiful day. I live in Toronto, where it’s often cold. Leaning into the feeling of the sun on my body, the colours all around me, and the sound of the birds on a beautiful day, allows me to be present with the good in the present moment. In addition to getting a good dose of positivity, taking the time to enjoy the good with all of my senses is a concrete reminder that, even in times of stress, good things continue to happen. Archiving the joy of a beautiful day in the inner-highlight reel of my life, also serves to assure me that there will be more joyful moments that I can look forward to discovering and experiencing in the future.

Once you’ve been practicing gratitude and joy, recognizing those moments as they occur gets easier. We get better at leaning into them and absorbing all that they have to give us. This is how we build inner resiliency that helps us feel grounded and confident in our ability to face anything, including these uncertain times.

So what are the moments of joy you had today? Consider sharing yours with those you know and with us too in the comments below. It’s a conversation that we all need to be having now.

Take Care,
Dr. Stacy & The Design Your Life Team

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As humans, we tend to resist change in our lives. We’ll do anything to avoid change despite its certainty and our incredible ability to adapt. Learning to move through change vs resist it is what makes all the difference in our ability to successfully navigate whatever life might bring. As scary and hard as it might be, the faster we can get to a place of acceptance, the sooner we transition to a place of positive change.

By accepting the reality of any situation, it enables us to discover appropriate solutions in our lives. Rather than employing solutions based on what was or for a future that has yet to happen, staying grounded in what we know allows us to align our actions more appropriately with our current reality. As a result, we solve problems more effectively, make use of solutions that can actually work right now, and give ourselves the opportunity to appreciate our own competence and resilience. The more we do this, and pay attention to how we are doing, the more evidence we acquire to build our confidence in our ability to cope with whatever might happen next.

But how do we reach this stage of acceptance? What if we’re dealing with a particularly challenging situation? Breathe, grieve, and identify what you need. This is a saying that I want you to remember when you’re dealing with a difficult situation or a change in life.


The first step is to breathe. Finding our breath helps in combatting our fear, allowing us to access our wisdom and higher selves. Rather than avoiding a challenging situation, breathing empowers us to travel through these scenarios by calming our nerves so we can see it more clearly for what it is.

Next, we must grieve. It’s important to recognize that with every change we also face loss. Loss of what was, loss of what was familiar. Moving into the unknown is scary. Letting go of what was, allowing ourselves to recognize it as a loss, and feeling our feelings about that is the process we need to go through in order to let go and move forward.

Once we’ve calmed our nervous system and have taken the time to grieve, we’re better equipped to identify our needs. What can I handle now? What resources do I have? How can make best use of the supports and resources available to me? What other supports do I need? These questions combined with the commitment to act to make a difference for ourselves is what allows us to not only survive adversity but thrive in the face of it.

If this was helpful, please share it. We are all in this together.

Take Care,
Dr. Stacy & The Design Your Life Team

The Power Of Mindful Breathing


It may sound unusual, but one of the most important skills to successfully design your life is breathing. This is something we do all the time, but it’s also something we take for granted. The key to mastering this skill is mindfulness, as opposed to forcefulness, in your breathing.

You should never underestimate the power of mindful breathing. By taking deep breaths and focusing on each one, we’re able to completely alter our perspective on any situation. It’s a way of communicating to our nervous system that there isn’t a reason to be panicking.

Some people experience panic and anxiety attacks in certain scenarios, but focused breathing is a valuable technic to process a triggering incident. You can start practicing by checking in on your breath, observing how it changes from one instance to the next.

Check out our post on Yes, You Can Step Out of The Matrix and, Into a New Reality

A deep breath is one that travels below your lungs and down to your diaphragm, allowing your stomach to expand. Once you exhale, your stomach will collapse and the carbon dioxide will slowly leave your body. Focus on it, but don’t force it.

This regulates our emotions and manages our stresses. As soon as you change your perception of breathing, you can change your perception of the world.

Take Care,
We look forward to seeing you soon and continuing to help you Design Your Life.

Dr. Stacy & The Design Your Life Team


A Gift to Support Your Self-Care on Mother’s Day & Every Day

Mother’s day is hard for so many, especially now.
For those who want nothing more than to hug their mother, or embrace their children rather than give a distant wave.
For those who have lost a child, or have been trying for the child they have yet to hold.
For those who grieve the mother they loved dearly and has passed on, or the mother they had wished for but never had.
Mother’s day can be hard

And so… for all of those who are mothers and for all who have had a mother , we offer this little gift: an affirmation we hope will help you connect with the infinite love that created you that you can tap into and give to yourself.

Many thanks to @zachkellum for offering this opportunity to combine my voice and this message with his beautiful music. Follow him on Instagram for a dose of his vibes that will make your spirit soar.

Our hope is that you listen to this affirmation daily, maybe even several times a day, to absorb the truth of the message so that you can and will show up even better for yourself. And if you love it, please do share it. We all need this now.


Sending you all a big virtual hug.

Dr. Stacy & The Design Your Life Team