"Why would you like to be a part of this project?

I have felt so much inspiration from the other women who have participated. I wanted to treat myself to this beautiful opportunity as I rarely make time for me. I am taking steps down a new life path and wanted a memory to be able to look back on.

What about the project speaks to you, and how do you think you would benefit from and to the project?

I love that this is a safe and welcoming space for all stories to be shared. As someone who usually shies away from social media I am excited for the chance to add my voice to the collective.

What kind of inspiration can you contribute?

Trust yourself. These words are repeated in my mind often. I for so many years have not listened to my own voice, always looking to others to decide for me. I am finally coming to a space where I am regaining control of my life and am feeling powerful. Not every day but more often than I have for a very long time. As a child I felt passionate about standing up for injustices that I saw. When I was twelve, my seven year old brother was being bullied by the children in his class. I witnessed this and saw that the teacher was not willing to help. I went to the school principal because I was so hurt that this could be happening. I was told it was not my problem. I am working on harnessing this natural wisdom that I felt as a child.

What's your story?"

I chose to gather a large bouquet of yarrow flowers for the photos because it is a powerful plant that I have been connected to since my childhood. My grandmother was often harvesting, drying and using yarrow. I feel safe and protected when I am around these flowers which grow in abundance in my yard. My one year old daughter was named Yarrow in honour of my grandmother. I hope the fire inside her is never extinguished. I have been afraid of claiming the power within me for a long, long time. I am a quiet person who notices but doesn’t always want to participate. I have ended a decade long relationship that was very unhealthy for me and my children. I have slowly reached out for help and am working on creating a life free of violence for me and my children. My two brothers and I were raised by my single mom who really struggled to be present and supportive for us. I am growing and pushing through my own emotional discomforts so that I can support my two children. I feel as though I was living in a fog, being told a story I could never quite believe, convinced that things were okay. I am laying down new pathways in my mind, relearning what behaviours are appropriate and acceptable. I constantly check in with friends for help with this.I am harnessing all the strength I have to set firm loving boundaries as this is something I have always struggled with. I have been blessed to have so much support from friends, family and community in this process. I know I cannot heal all my family’s generational traumas but I want to try. I am no longer willing to live with the shame and secrecy of the abuse my household has endured. I am going to be a strong role model for my children teaching them values and morals that align with me. I am filled with so much hope for the next stage of my life. My heart is slowly feeling the warmth of love trickle in after being numb for years. My eyes are open and I see the path clearly laid out in front of me. I will teachkindness to myself and my children.