THE SUNDAY SERIES: 8TH EDITION! LINDSEY ECKER || INTERVIEWS WITH INSPIRING WOMEN IN AND AROUND LEAMINGTON ESSEX COUNTY


THE SUNDAY SERIES: 8TH EDITION! Lindsey Ecker  || INTERVIEWS WITH INSPIRING WOMEN IN AND AROUND LEAMINGTON ESSEX COUNTY



Sometimes, ideas and inspirations get lodged way back behind all of the 'to dos' and the messes. Our souls need movement. For me, my ideas seem to come while on a walk, the pounding of my feet like a meditation of sorts numbing the day to day worries, allowing my daydreaming to take over. 

Last summer, while on one of these meditative journeys, it dawned on me. I was frustrated with the status quo. My work with photography felt a little stuck, and the conversations with other creatives seemed to be on one of those hamster wheels. The same themes running their way through conversations about value and time and maybe sometimes feeling voiceless in our dreams for our work and our lives. 

This is how 'The Sunday Series' was born. It dawned on me that there could be a space created for sharing, a space created for inspiring and a space created for a change in this conversation. 

If you are like me, a creative, a dreamer, a seeker and maybe a little lost - this might me the inspirational conversation that brings a little shift to your week. The conversation that reminds you that anything is possible.

Enjoy!

Meet Lindsey. She's a powerhouse if I ever met one. I've watched her head out on incredibly long hikes, share about her struggles, encourage other people to live healthful lives. She's honest and she's authentic about her journey. When I asked her to be a part of this series, she agreed right away. And even though it meant sharing parts of herself and her life that maybe she hasn't shared so openly just yet, she answered my questions with a genuine quality not easily found.

Lindsey has her hands in teaching, meditation, healing modalities, she's a business woman and a community builder. I hope you find this interview as honest, raw and inspiring as I do.

Thank you, Lindsey!


1. You wear many hats. Can you tell us about them?

I am a high school teacher. I teach French (and English) at Leamington District Secondary School.  I am currently teaching grade 9 and 10 French.  I am also the Mental Health Advocate at our school so I offer lunch time mindfulness and meditation activities to staff and students.

I created and run two programs related to mental health and mindfulness. 

Wildhood is a nature immersion program for families that runs on Saturdays out of Two Creeks Conservation Area in Wheatley.  We have child-directed play from 10am-12pm.  We often start at the "campsite" the kids created by gathering sticks for a "fire".  



We share a potluck snack and then discover what nature has in store for us.  It has been getting lost and learning some orienteering skills, problem solving making a wooden bench out of sticks, climbing trees, cleaning up garbage, identifying plant species and animal tracks, listening to birds singing, sticking our tongues out at snakes, building real fires and so much more!  It is a wonderful time to take deeper breaths, receive some vitamin D and allow kids to practice and develop their balance, self confidence, problem solving skills and communication skills.  We have 6 families that participate in varying degrees in the program.




The second program is called Mindful Movement and has an adult only option and a Moms and Kids option.  This is a series where mindfulness is explored via the 5 senses over 4 sessions.  Each session looks at one of the senses and how to focus in on that sense while practicing breath to learn to value the present moment and savouring life rather than guilt about the past or anxiety about the future.  I incorporate brain-based movements into each session as well as a short visualization meditation (Sawyer calls these my stories from my mouth) and a craft that remains as a visual reminder for parent and child to use throughout the week until the next session.  Adult sessions focus more on quiet  and go deeper into each sense and the emotions that may come up.  I offer group sessions but mostly work with people one on one in their homes with their children.  Sawyer attends with me as my role model when I work with families. 

I am also a Wellness Advocate for doTERRA essential oils.  I teach here as well.  I teach primarily women how to take care of themselves holistically so that they feel their best.  We look at how chemicals in the products we use cause side effects and illness from repeated exposure and how we can start to make small changes towards more natural products that have side-benefits :)  I also help people find natural solutions to other struggles they are experiencing by supporting the body's natural ability to heal itself.  Mental health comes into play here as well as we talk about stress and emotions and how to support those on a daily basis. 

I started doterra to help Levi with his food allergies because he wasn't sleeping well at night and he had eczema throughout his scalp and neck.  We used the digestive blend and he slept through the night!  With the support of Anna who helped me use the oils we figured out he had a food allergy and made a homemade cream to eliminate the eczema!  I was so thankful for the help of another caring mom and also the results that helped my son.  We started using them for more things in our home.  That January I was diagnosed with depression and realized that God's divine timing had brought the oils into our home.  I was able to use the oils as a support for stress and depression which helped me and also got support from the groups of women I was teaching by getting out of the house and sharing my story.  The more I told my story the more I felt free and the more stories I heard from the people I met. Stories about their own lives and also about their spouse, parent, child, friends, family members.  It made me realize I wasn't alone but also that a large group of people needed new solutions.  The old ways of treating mental health weren't serving me and they weren't serving others.  I wanted to learn a new way!

I'm also a PSYCH-K Advanced Facilitator and an Access Consciousness Bars Practitioner.  These two modalities complement all that I do to support overall health.  Both modalities help people to look at negative patterns in their thoughts and feelings and change them at the sub conscious level so that the changes are lasting.

I'm the creator and organizer for the Holistic Health and Wellness Expo with lots of beautiful people who help in various ways!  This March at only our second expo we had over 40 practitioners and more than 300 participants! 




2. Over the last number of months you have been shifting your focus. Would you be able to share your journey with us? What started your shift? Where has it lead you? 

I've been on the road of developing gifts in healing and health since I was in high school.  I took counselling and healing courses in my first year of university.  Then when Jason and I were getting married and we took PSYCH-K marriage prep sessions with Monica Schartner Hansen where we began to learn about how our thoughts and beliefs shape our experiences and relationships.

When I became pregnant with my first son, Sawyer, I had this deep desire to support his entry into the world in every way possible.  That is when I trained with a teacher from California for PSYCH-K and started being more in tune with my health, meeting with naturopaths like Kelly Upcott and homeopaths like Jay Patel.

I started counselling my own clients and saw beautiful shifts in their lives and realized that when I worked with them rather than my energy depleting it grew. I was energized by their positive results. 

The biggest shifts happened once I got sick.  When I got sick I realized that I couldn't put it off any longer. I needed to make changes to my life in order to get healthy and stay healthy.  I read A Mind of Your Own by Dr Kelly Brogan and implemented her suggestions.  I started meditating with Jeffrey Allen and Deepak Chopra and started back at the gym exercising.  I took my vitamin D, B complex, fish oil and magnesium.  I started seeing Homeopath Bev Chortos and switched to the doterra lifelong vitality pack vitamins based on my test results with it.  She also recommended arborvitae essential oil 2x per day. 

My word for 2016 was Excited.  I wanted to feel excited again.  Teresa Mazella had said to keep a journal just for inspirational things.  Only things that were interesting or exciting to me.  So I did and I tried to do things from the list and also to bring excitement to things I had to do that were not inherently exciting.  In terms of going back to teaching that meant collaborating with a great friend Mikaela Batke.  I also started attending the LIFT events, upon Teresa's invitation where she was the guest speaker.  I won her intro package and when we met was when she encouraged me with the journal.  At the LIFT event at Pelee Winery that year, my beautiful friend Sue Rice spoke about her struggles with Celiac and at the end she challenged the audience to do something they had been encouraged to do but were afraid.  I immediately thought of my friend Leanne Carchedi who had mentioned that I was always so happy when I was talking about essential oils and healing and nature.  That night when I got home I emailed 10 people for my first class sharing about health.

The class was amazing!  We laughed, we cried, we hugged, we shared ideas, inspiration and encouragement and we even prayed!  I knew deep in my heart that I was there for a reason and I wanted to keep seeing what would unfold if I stopped quieting the voice deep down that had been whispering to me for so long.

I had thought that I had to play small to avoid pain.  That if I kept my head down and worked hard but not too shiny I would stay out of conflict or judgement from others.  It didn't work... As I tried to play small little parts of me died away and I got sick.  If I had one piece of advice to share it would be: be you! all the way! don't play into what other people may think or say. They're going to hurt you no matter what because they are hurt.  so get strong by listening to yourself and you'll be strong enough and full enough of your own joy that you won't notice anyone else anymore and you'll have such a beautiful tribe of others doing the same thing that even if you do get knocked down they will all be right there to catch you and lift you back up!


Mixing up some natural sunblock! I need to get my hands on some of this for my family!


3. Learning about mental health has opened so many doors for you. I see all the time different workshops and projects you are asked to speak at or even create yourself. What are a few you're really excited about?

Hmmm.  I'm excited to speak at the next Expo September 30 - October 1.  I'm writing a creative non-fiction book about the generations of mental health warriors leading up to me.  I'm also speaking to groups of young women which makes me honoured and excited because if we can have those healing conversations earlier that's a beautiful thing!  I'm also collaborating on a Women's Wisdom circle for my 35th birthday that will be really powerful at summer solstice and a women's winter retreat in 2018 which I hope will be unlike anything I've seen before.




Resources for families to use like this book about feeling rocks helps to guide people Lindsey works with to growth in their personal lives and that of their families.


4. If you were to pull out two of the most impact-ful components to getting you to where you are, what would they be? What is something you wouldn't be able to do without with regards to growing in health?

2 things... hmm :) it's hard!  If I had to say right now?  Quiet time and oils.  The creativity and intuition that has come out of me discovering the oils and walking with others towards health has made me healthier and more confident.  And quiet time of meditation, mindfulness in nature, journaling and reading carefully selected texts have grounded me and again brought me back to so much wisdom I forgot I had.  If I could keep going with more things I would 😊 I think community is a close tie with the oils but I think that's because the oils have been a catalyst for creating the beautiful community of wise women I so desired to be part of.  Being around others who are inspired to change and be at their best helps me to continue to strive for my best self and best life and it's an energy that makes everything feel easy and joyful.







5.  I have found that I have never walked through the fire of uncharted territory. There has always been someone before me who has walked the path. Finding mentors or having coffee to listen and learn from others has made some struggles just a little bit lighter. I love getting to recommend books, web sites, and friends to others that have helped me. What are some of the resources you would recommend to others who may be struggling or who may love someone who is struggling?  

A Mind of Your Own by Dr Kelly Brogan absolutely!!!!



Jeffrey Allen (his old stuff more than his new honestly)

Bev and Jay and Monica 

Deepak's free meditation series' (there is one that started today)


Yourself!

The Bible (but porabbly not the way most people read it)

Angel Cards (porbably not always the way many people read them)

being creative (playing piano, guitar, colouring, making oil blends, making potions, photography)



Lindsey has a gift that combines our natural world and children. She encourages discovery in an authentic way.  Assisting parents with the dialogue and the tools that they need to follow their instincts.  Parents welcoming their children's learning in natural landscapes while touching, smelling and being a part of Mother Earth. 






Families that meet up for Wildhood come with binoculars, rain boots and curiosity. They learn names of plants and bugs, they touch the bark of the trees and crouch down to get a closer look at habitats of all kinds. 





I didn't hear one child shy away from touching a worm, or asking questions about why or what.  





Finally, where can people find out more about you? 
 (Some of these things have passed by already - due to my schedule I wasn't able to get this published earlier - but wow - a 68km hike!!)




The 3rd Holistic Health and Wellness Expo Sept 30-Oct 1 Kingsville


Leading a hiking group May 26-27 for the Blue Mountain End to End 68km Hike on the Bruce Trail


I am so honoured that you trusted me with your story. I believe that people find the right things at the right time in order to move forward and grow. Your ability to share yourself so openly will surely impact many people on their own personal journey. I look forward to seeing where you go!

Thank you, Lindsey!

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