MONCTON – Jodi McMackin thought self-care was reserved for those who have the means to go to spas and get massages. But last year she attended a day-long event organized by Work of Heart, a company that helps people focus on health and wellness issues. That changed her perspective.
“Going into it, I had the perception that I’m not a crier. And I don’t want to ever be seen as a crier. But why not? It’s okay. I knew going in there I had to show a little bit of vulnerability, but I didn’t expect that much vulnerability,” she said.
Work of Heart is staging the event again this year, although it will be larger this time around with three days of speakers and workshops. McMackin said she will be attending again after last year’s event put her in touch with her vulnerable side and inspired to make this kind of learning about herself a year-round endeavour.
McMackin has since started a reflection group with Krista Osmond and Sylvie Hebert, whom she met for the first time at the 2017 event. The Coffee & Ideas sessions allow people to share their learnings and explore themselves deeper.
“Everybody brings something to the table where they have perspectives they can share that made me think differently about myself and my experiences. And I hope people around the table were experiencing the same thing,” she said.
Work of Heart Founder Angela Harris was inspired to launch her company after a cancer scare in 2015.
“I was super stressed out about my health. I was super stressed out at work. I was travelling all the time. I wasn’t taking care of myself,” she said.
The health scare was a “punch in the face” for the self-confessed workaholic. It led her to learn how to slow down.
“I was on my own path of trying to find what I wanted to do, what my purpose was and how to find happiness. I have an amazing husband and family but there was still something missing. I felt like I was supposed to be helping people and had another purpose,” she said.
This year, in addition to one day of speakers, Harris will offer a coaching workshop for up to 40 people who have the weekend passes.
“For people that really want to take more steps to walk towards their goals and their dreams, one day is not enough. I do have quite a few people that were there last year or that have connected with me in the last year that really want to dig deeper. So, the weekend pass is what I created.”
This year’s event will have eight speakers. Clutter coach Kim Sneath is one of the new speakers. Her talk will focus on how to get “unstuck” and find one’s passion.
“Clutter is unmade decisions, it’s a visual representation of that,” she said. “So I think unlocking all of that and where they have it and why they have it, that helps them break through self-limiting beliefs and their fears so that they can get to where they want to be.”
She recently moved back to New Brunswick after living in Toronto for more than 10 years. There, she ran a business as a decorator for homes that are up for sale.
“I’m a Maritimer, so it’s really great for me to get reintroduced to a community that’s so soul-centred and heart-centred.”
Work of Heart 2018 will take place at the Wingate Hotel in Dieppe February 23-25.