It takes a Village

They say it takes a village to raise a child.  Well, it’s taken a community to raise this woman to who she is today.

If I listed out all the people who have had an impact on my life and my business in the past 6 years, it would turn into a short novel.  My Heart of Networking crew is amazing!  When I released my first book almost everyone bought a copy. When I was coming to terms with the fact that my marriage was ending, I got hugs and offers of help and discovered that almost everyone had some sort of connection to Lindsay … my new home town.  I’ve made friends, business associates and clients through Heart of Networking and almost all of the people I introduce you to below have some affiliation with it.

Krisha Young.  Empowerment Coach, Badass Spiritual Babe.  Intuitive.   My relationship with Krisha started several years ago at a workshop by Marlon Shaw that we both attended.  I had been waiting on a corner for my ride (Marlene Marco) to pick me up and thought nothing of it.  We walked into the workshop and I turned around to see this little bit of a woman look at me and say “hey, I just saw you on the street corner”!  And that was my introduction to Krisha.  Fast forward about 3 years and she had popped back into my Newsfeed on Facebook.  The changes were amazing.  There was one post in particular that really caught my eye.  She was dancing with such freedom and abandon … and I had been struggling with coming to terms with my marriage ending.  I had been feeling so stifled and desperately wanted my freedom … I knew I had to work with her.  Several months later, I had indeed left my husband, moved from Ajax to Lindsay and was really struggling to get my business back on track.  I was hosting a show about sex at the time and I really wanted to interview her.  So I contacted her and we were chatting on zoom (she said yes by the way) and she noticed that I had my hand over my mouth all the time.  It was a clear indication to her that I had lost my voice … which I certainly had.  Long story short, we started working together and we talked about so many things.  From healing childhood wounds to learning to forgive not only others but mostly myself to getting my voice and my confidence back.  She introduced me to a wonderful EFT practitioner Jill who helped me deal with my feelings of unworthiness and so much more. I’m looking forward to working with both of these women in the future.

Claudine Pereira.  I met Claudine (aka The Pink Coach) about 6 years ago at a Heart of Networking event.  An amazing business coach and strategist, she captured me with her warmth and openness and how much everyone just LOVED her.  I knew so many people who were her clients and I vowed to become one someday.  Finally the time was right after I separated from my husband of 20+ years, moved to another town where I knew only 2 people yet everyone seemed to have a connection to this town.  Did I mention I moved during the first wave of the pandemic?  Once I got moved into my new apartment and got somewhat settled, and after I worked with Krisha for a few months and healed a lot of old wounds and got my voice back, I hired Claudine to help get my business back on track.  She helps guide me, offers suggestions and I’m accountable to her so it helps keep me focussed.  I’m so excited to be working with her and can’t wait to see what we can accomplish together.

Lynn Milne.  What can I say about Lynn.  She is one of the most loving, caring, moon people I have ever met.  I’m more of a sun worshipper; she balances me with her love of the moon.  I love the heat; she loves the snow.  But despite our differences, we balance each other.  I’m trying to convince her to move to Lindsay; I need her energy more than I can express.  She helps calm me when I start to lose my mind.  She cheers me on whenever I put my mind to do something.  She’s always there for me … even when we don’t talk for a while.  I miss her face, her smile and her hugs.  She’s just one of those people who everyone loves and nobody has ever said anything bad about her.  I am incredibly grateful that she is in my life.

Heather Chapman.  This wonderful, calm, intuitive, peaceful woman just wraps you up in love from the moment you meet.  At least she did with me and she’s another one I haven’t heard one negative comment about.  Heather is an extraordinary, intuitive graphic artist who provided me with an incredible logo and brand and who has designed my new book cover … and oh my, it’s beautiful!  Even when I didn’t really know Heather, every time she saw me at Heart of Networking she would greet me so warmly … like we were old friends.  She would give me wonderful hugs and always inquire how I was.  Now that we live 25 minutes away from each other, we’ve started going for early morning walks.  I am NOT a winter person but living in Kawartha Lakes … I’ve decided to embrace it.  LOL

Marlene Marco. The Queen of Networking, and owner of Heart of Networking, I met Marlene about 6 years ago.  I had started my own business but was still working full time.  I was a member of 100 Women Who Care Ajax/Whitby and their guest speaker one night was the amazing Crystal Andrus Morrisette.  I was so intrigued by her that when I saw she was the guest speaker at the Heart of Networking International Women’s Day Celebration, I booked the day off work and got one of my girlfriends/neighbour (who was no stranger to networking) to go with me.  She picked up one of her friends and off we went.  I felt  like such a fish out of water!  At the time I was very timid to just start talking to someone.  Once I got to know them a little they couldn’t shut me up … but getting me started could be a challenge.  Anyway, Marlene was the epitome of a professional, graceful, elegant, warm and inviting woman.  I didn’t get a chance to really talk to her that day but it was my second introduction to her (the first was at 100 WWC) and I knew that when I was able, I was definitely going to attend Heart of Networking.  In the years that have ensued, Marlene has consistently been one of those people who I admire, respect and appreciate.  Always willing to lend a hand when she can, make introductions where needed and provide us with a place to meet other like-minded women. 

Marlon Shaw.  For the life of me I can’t remember where I met Marlon.  It was several years ago and other than the workshop mentioned above, he’s always been in my networking circles.  At the time he held a monthly MARSTalk event at a local cafe.  We would gather at Debbie’s Cafe in Ajax and there were featured speakers and impromptu speakers as well as some improv.  For some reason, Marlon always seems concerned when I would take the “stage”.  He would always remind me to “keep it PG”.  Marlon was a challenge for me.  I’m used to being able to charm just about any man and get him to talk and open up.  Marlon … not so much.  I didn’t know for the longest time whether he liked me or not.  After a while he started to warm up to me and invited me to the Entrepreneur’s Breakfast and eventually we worked together on improving my speaking abilities.  After he had turned MARSTalk into a fundraising event, held at the Arthur Murray Dance School in Ajax, I vowed I would speak on that stage.  And I did … along with six Speaker Slam Speakers, including that year’s champion.  Talk about intimidated; but I did it.  And it was an amazing experience.  I even submitted a speech for the virtual Speaker Slam … during all the upheaval of getting settled in my new home.

Edward Lam.  What can I say about Mr. Lam.  If Marlene is the Queen of Networking then Ed is the King.  He loves to tease me by calling me a plumber.  You know … I can clean out your pipes 😉  He’s about the only person who actually makes me blush.  Why?  I have no idea. He’s down in Panama City at the moment and takes time out of his day periodically to video chat with me.  I can’t tell you how much that means to me now that I live alone.

Natasha Jamieson.  I met Natasha at one of Marlon’s MARSTalk events.  I couldn’t get over how gorgeous she is.  She’s a hair stylist and makeup artist so … shocker.  But what’s so much more important is how gorgeous she is on the inside.  We didn’t know each other too well until I posted a very real, very raw, very emotional Facebook live.  It was about body image and it inspired her to post her own video.  When we saw each other at MARSTalk about 10 days later, we talked and talked and hugged and talked.  She has one of the most beautiful souls I’ve ever come across.  I’ve made an appearance on a couple of her shows in the past, talking about sex of course.  She really helped me get more comfortable in front of a studio camera. She will always be one of my favourite people.

Delora Guinon.  Delora runs Mindsex Mastery and is a business/sex coach.  The two most taboo subjects and she’s combined them.  I was first connected with her through a couple of people who follow her.  I loved her easy, no nonsense way about things.  Unknowingly, she gave me permission to be myself, unapologetically.  Delora and I had exchanged comments back on Facebook and we followed each other but I didn’t know her.  I had the thought that I wanted to invite her to speak on the show I was hosting but I thought “why would she”.  Then I thought … well ASK HER!  What’s the worst thing that could happen?  She would say no.  Oh well.  But guess what??  She said YES!  It was such an awesome show and I can’t wait to have her on Let’s Talk Sex with Sandy.

Gina Hatzsis.  What can I say about Gina.  Her viral speech “Too Much Woman” started a movement that has changed women’s lives all over the world.  Gina is such a great living example of owning who she is and not apologizing for it one bit.  At the Speaker Slam finale in November 2019, I mustered up the nerve to go talk to her.  She was amazing, warm, kind and took the time to talk to me.  I felt like a giddy school girl wanting to talk to her female crush.  Months later, after I had moved to Lindsay, I got up the nerve to ask her to appear on my show “Let’s Talk Sex with Sandy” and SHE SAID YES!!!  The fact that we were in lockdown and she wasn’t flying all over the place opened up a lot of time in her schedule so she could join me.  It was definitely a highlight of 2020.

Tracy Turberfield.  She’s my dancing partner.  My huggy bear (guys seems to love watching us hug LOL).  My inspiration.  Tracy is at the heart of my closest group of friends, always there to dance with me (or get me on the dance floor), inspires me, encourages me and while I don’t see her near enough at the moment, is always on my mind and in my heart.  I am so blessed to have her in my life.

Barb Takeda.  I still remember the first day I met her at Heart of Networking.  We were seated at the same table and after we did introductions, I knew she would become a big part of my life.  She blessed me with an opportunity to speak at her first Exceptional Woman event and at the (H)Art of Conversation.  We have celebrated so many events together and she, Tracy, Shairoz and Marlene and I shared a rather exciting time with ice cream just after we met.   She is one of my spiritual rocks and I am so grateful she is in my life.

Last but certainly not least, there is Celia M.  Celia has a very special place in my life.  We met about 12 years ago.  She was hit by a car and had suffered a catastrophic brain injury, broken bones and spent 6 weeks in a coma.  I met her a couple of years into her healing journey. I have never been so impressed and blown away by someone’s resilience to come back from a devastating injury.  She’s basically the woman who started this all for me … back in my blogging days.  She told me I would become a speaker, sharing my story and educating people.  That was long before I even had a thought of going back to school and all that has ensued.

This post was initially written a couple of years ago.  I’ve been focussed on getting the second draft of my next book “From Invisible to Technicolour” done, that I haven’t been blogging much.  But this message was important to me.

I encourage you to never take your people for granted; to say thank you.  You never know who YOU are inspiring.

With much love


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