MY STORY

I was born in Abu Dhabi, U.A.E. to two wonderful Indian parents and migrated to Canada when I was nine years old.

My mother, who suffered three miscarriages since giving birth to my brother, along with my father, travelled to Lourdes, France in 1981. They prayed at the Grotto to Our Lady of Lourdes for a baby girl. Shortly after, mom conceived, and when I was born, I was given my name out of gratitude for the answered prayer. Mom’s always been grateful to have me in her life. However, she occasionally likes to remind me of how difficult her pregnancy was, telling me, “You gave me so much trouble!”

Indeed, as far as I can remember, I was a feisty little shit. I had quite the temper. This temper was mostly exhibited at home as I was raised to avoid conflict and be polite with others, and was told, “don’t say anything.” I had no idea how to deal with my anger. But it wasn’t just anger. Whenever I discussed many of my feelings at home, the response I had received the majority of the time was that “you shouldn’t feel this way.” (No shade to my parents who were doing the best they could at the time). I grew up not knowing how to validate my emotions and being very confused about what I was feeling. I often questioned whether I had the right to feel the way I did and did not know what to do with what I felt. All of this made matters worse as I endured several traumas throughout my life.

LOURDES PEREIRA

Emotional Intelligence & Mindfulness Coach

I had been bullied through elementary school in Canada, sexually assaulted in high school by an ex-boyfriend, and was sexually harassed during my university years by a family friend. I had no idea how to cope with any of it. Traumas aside, I can tell you with an unflinching candidness that I was a mess. 

I was great at people pleasing, not standing up for myself, behaving passive-aggressively or aggressively, striving for perfection, and engaging in some unhealthy behaviours and relationships.

I suffered from low self-esteem for most of my life, and I looked for approval and validation from all the wrong sources. I have been through some tough times, both of my own doing and those out of my control. Internally, all I felt was constant emotional turmoil. It was like being in a tumultuous roller-coaster ride on repeat 24/7.

Funnily enough, I am gifted at sensing the undercurrents of emotions that people feel beneath the surface and am therefore very good at supporting others. Consequently, it made sense that I felt a calling towards helping people, most notably through listening and providing encouraging and uplifting guidance in many different ways.

I’d also been intrigued by human nature. While most of my family picked more traditional career paths, mine was completely different. Though I always felt like the oddball, I nonetheless decided to pursue my passion through formal education, work, and volunteer experience.

The thing is it was apparent I was terrible at supporting myself, and life was going to have to intervene to get me onto the right path.

 

The Breakthroughs

The Accident

In April 2011, at the age of 28, I was t-boned by a 5-ton, fully loaded commercial truck. I was lucky, blessed, and grateful to be alive and relatively unscathed visibly, physically.

Inside? Chronic pain, anxiety, and major depression took over. They seemed like the only constants in my life. There was a time when I was on anti-depressants and anxiety medication, and later, I found myself cycling between pain and sleep medication. There were many weeks at a time when I could not get out of bed.

Spiritually, I was enduring “the dark night of the soul.” Everything came into question, especially my identity and what was I doing here? I lost whatever little confidence I had, I went into self-doubt, and my insecurities stared at me in the face for far too long. I spent most of my time in isolation, either resisting or trying to figure out what was happening. While I was never suicidal, I painfully remember begging and pleading to be taken away.

 It was tough having to endure changes in most areas of my life all at once. Life, “the school of hard knocks” was kicking and coaching my butt at the same time.

There was no going back either. No matter how uncomfortable it was I had to make choices that were in alignment with my best interest.

Man, that was some gruelling stuff. Am I happy one of the hardest trials in my life is over? Yes! Am I grateful for the wealth of wisdom I acquired, and lessons learned? Yes!

Recovery

The post-accident period has been one of recovery, reflection, and hard-won trials. Most importantly, it has been a brilliant opportunity to recreate and reinvent parts of my self and my life. It hasn’t always been easy. I have had many obstacles to deal, both internal demons and external forces, but here I am!

Because of the shifts that took place as an outcome of the thought-provoking questions/inquiries during that time of stillness, I was compelled to enhance my education. I pursued coaching training with further specialization in social and emotional intelligence. I am looking forward to using the knowledge and abilities I’ve gained to coach you!

The Tranformations

I have a greater sense of appreciation for how and with whom I would like to spend my precious time, and how I would like to contribute my talents and gifts

I have successfully overcome driving anxiety, using mindfulness in conjunction with a goal-oriented action plan. I've completed two solo road trips to Muskoka and Tobermory in Ontario. I am looking forward to planning another road trip covering Western Canada.

My motives and activities are more in sync with my values; though of course, there are times I do slip up.

I continue working on being a healthy, wholesome being, learning to be in tune with what my body, heart, mind and soul needs

I try my best to live by the principles of acceptance, responsibility, and freedom. I accept where I am, who I am in this moment. I take responsibility for who and where I want to be. I am open to the freedom to let life be as it sometimes is.

I practice mindfulness daily

Self-respect and self-love are my biggest priorities.

I am a work in progress, of course, so I am always learning and growing. We walk this life together! You'll learn more about me through my blog posts.

Let me be transparent with you as integrity is one of my most important values.

My life is not perfect.

I do not want to paint a picture that my life is some neat, pretty package all the time. That’s just cute bullshit. This life isn’t about continuously being on the self-improvement hamster wheel either.

It is inevitable, as humans, we will screw things up from time to time, and of course, there will be significant stressors and curveballs thrown our way. The skills that I believe are essential to coping with these inescapable realities are mindful self-compassion and mindfulness-based stress reduction. These are resources that I use to stay grounded and am happy to help you develop these skills when I facilitate 8-week group programs in the future.

Stay tuned!

 

Blog

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Manage Emotions

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What I learned from my first solo road trip to Muskoka

What I learned from my first solo road trip to Muskoka

I choose to share my personal stories because I value authentic, genuine connection, and I believe we are all connected. I hope that they are helpful to someone or many out there who feel isolated and especially to those who feel the pressure to show up well put together all the time.

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