I was introduced to Treena through my sister, Emily. Treena and Emily worked together at Aphrodite’s Cafe in Vancouver. I remember Emily calling me in Kenya or writing emails about the words of wisdom that Treena passed down to her. I was constantly in awe of the friendship they had built, full of insight, companionship, and a desire to help each other be their best selves. As Emily and Treena’s friendship has grown, I am now fortunate to call Treena my friend as well. She is inspiring in so many ways and I am so happy to share her interview on living HER authenticity with you.
Can you share a bit about yourself?
I feel my purpose on this earth is to extend love and compassion, to myself and others, and to live and evolve from my radiant heart, to BE the radiance that is inherently within me and within all of us. Whatever I give is given to myself. I am passionate about empowerment, authenticity, vibrant health… and more! Healthful eating is a huge part of my life, and I eat a primarily plant based, raw vegan diet. I love bringing people together and building community, via circles, classes, workshops, dinner parties, beach fires, garden parties, whatever! I am proud to admit that I make a gigantic yet creative mess in my kitchen on a daily basis.
I work as a registered counsellor, and I view the places we are stuck or the crises we experience as profound opportunities for growth and change. I provide my clients with an opportunity to delve more deeply into who they are and discover what is there within, waiting to be acknowledged, honoured, nurtured.
How do you define authenticity?
This question seems difficult for me, because authenticity is something I feel rather than define. The feeling is freedom. There is an image too, of me with my arms outstretched, vulnerable yet open, showing up fully in the moment, however that moment might look, whatever it might have to say, or feel, or express. THIS IS WHO I AM. There are no excuses, or explanations… just me. Real. Raw. ENOUGH. That is my authenticity. And that is freedom.
Can you describe the path you took to get to the place where you are today? As in, how did you find your calling?
I struggled as a young woman. I became addicted to alcohol at age thirteen, and spent time living on the streets of Victoria and Vancouver, seeking excitement and escape in the dark path I found. I had several intense wake up calls which changed the course of my life, but it wasn’t until I was almost 30 that I finally decided to listen. Infact, I knew I had no choice. My spiritual path revealed itself the moment I became willing to surrender. The powerful text A Course In Miracles came into my hands, and I began what would be several years of soul searching and excrutitating inner excavation. Miracles happened. The right people and books and lessons arrived to support me. I worked to mend my broken existence, and in so doing, I found a new life, a peaceful life. Having struggled and found my way through the darkness, I knew I wanted to be of service and help others.
How does your current career and soulful journey reflect your authentic self?
When I am in session with my clients I am being me. I am not “trying” to be anyone else. I am in relationship with my clients, and I am entering the room as a real person with my own story, my own struggles, my own humanity. This is essential. When I can be authentically me I allow others to be authentic too.
Who inspires and motivates you to continue your path to being your authentic self?
I would not be here without the continuous love and support of my family. Having come through difficult times together, we have all grown so much and continue to learn from each other. I have incredibly creative and inspirational friends, each of whom are busy with fantastic careers and activities.How privileged I am to be surrounded with such wise and beautiful mirrors! Being a lover of nature and feeling deeply connected to Mother Earth and all her inhabitants, I find endless motivation in the world that is constantly and miraculously unfolding around me and sharing her abundant gifts. And, I am endlessly inspired by authors and speakers like Wayne Dyer, Marianne Williamson, Oprah Winfrey, wow…. the list goes on.
How do you ensure that you maintain your own authenticity, when often it can be a struggle?
On days when I struggle, I do my best to bring awareness to and ALLOW the struggle, to live in it, instead of trying to hide it, shove it down, or just plain annihilate it! Presenting a facade, especially to those who know me well, is torturous, both to myself and others. What is not expressed, is felt. By allowing the struggle I am allowing my authentic self, I am loving myself unconditionally, I am saying that it’s beautiful to be me, whatever I may be experiencing. Although I didn’t always think so, my mess and struggle are just as beautiful as my clarity and my flow. Even in moments when it may not be appropriate to scream at the top of my lungs or sob uncontrollably, I can still acknowledge the feelings that are present within me, and let them know I will tend to them as soon as I am able.
For people struggling to find their own authenticity, what advice can you offer?
Allow the struggle and have love and compassion for yourself in the middle of it.
If you had to use one word to sum up your year, what word would that be and why?
My word for 2011 so far would be TRANSITION. There have been many changes for me both in my inner and outer worlds, and with them new lessons in acceptance and surrender.
Lastly, where can we find you in the web-o-sphere?
Please visit my website for more information about my business, at www.livingradiance.ca, or “like” my page on facebook – Living Radiance Wellness Services. I’m also creator and admin of a facebook group entitled ” West Coast Women’s Empowerment“, an online gathering of supportive, creative, amazing women sharing events, ideas, thoughts, inspirations. For all you women out there, please join us!
Treena, thanks so much for participating in the series. If YOU would like to take part in the interview series or know someone who you believe truly lives an authentic life, please send me an email: amanda[dot]coolidge[at]gmail[dot]com.