A Transition Story - Why I Chose to Leave Wellness Within

by Caroline Stewart

It’s taken a long time for me to feel comfortable sharing this.  And for good reason.  Transition is a necessarily sensitive and introspective time.  And often very private.

It takes time, and energy, and patience, to get comfortable with what our heart already knows to be true.  And this time is sacred.  It’s in the crucible of this space that we forge the new.

And yes, now I’m ready.

I’m no longer a part of Wellness Within, and am so incredibly, over the moon, happy and grateful with this choice.

I started Wellness Within some 13 years ago as a small 2-room biz in Meadowlark (Edmonton) as a solo Massage Therapist.  Over the years this wee little biz has grown into a full on multidisciplinary Wellness Centre, Spa, and Yoga Centre (it’s huge guys, like 10,000 sq ft huge) now at The Enjoy Centre in St. Albert.  And I grew with it.

I can’t even begin to express the magnitude of the ups and downs of owning a business this long, and how many times we seriously considered throwing in the towel.  And thank God I wasn’t alone in this!!

My husband at the time, Michael, stood by me and supported me and the biz every single step along the way.  Truly, the business would not exist today without him and I certainly wouldn’t be the same.

For almost a decade I worked at my dream without taking a paycheque.  All because I was super clear on my Why - to create a resource and hub for health, vitality and wellness; to offer a beacon of light for the seekers on this path to connect, share and grow, but lacking the necessary understandings of worthiness, abundance and putting myself first.

Then, as people do who continue to do anything that is not fully supporting them, I got so run down that I had no choice but to stop.  And I mean stop everything.

I literally dropped every single thing I was doing that wasn’t serving me, and simplified IT ALL.  Wow!  I had never felt freedom like that before .  It was like a boulder had been lifted from my shoulders and I could walk upright for the first time.

Now, that period of my life wasn’t all sunshine and roses.  A part of the transition included a separation of my marriage.  I have never experienced grief like that.  It was debilitating.

And so the recovery began.  I know now that on top of the grief I was feeling, my adrenals were totally shot and deep sustained rest was the only solution.  In addition to this, I was going through what many would call a spiritual awakening.  But I gotta tell ya, I didn’t feel so “spiritual” at the time (like, the airy fairy, hyped up bullshit kinda spiritual that we know doesn’t exist anyway).

There was a lot of darkness and repressed shadows that showed up.  And more tests of faith, sanity and strength than I knew I could handle.

Michael took over the biz for me and ran it like a pro.  Truly!  Again, I couldn’t have done this part without him either.

With some rest and perspective under my belt, Michael and I explored different ways we could work together in the biz and continue creating together in a new, more honest and open way.

We worked our butts off at it!  Trying everything from me being an employee to full-on ownership of the Yoga Centre portion of the business.

But there was always something that didn’t feel right.  Like a nagging thought, memory or intuition that I just couldn’t bring into focus.

Until last year.

Early last year I realised that it wasn’t meant to work.  That I was being called to something else.  Something more in alignment with my emerging Vision.  And that all my efforts to ‘make it work’ simply wouldn’t, because what was emerging through me simply wasn’t aligned with the efforts.

It was this realization that finally set us on this path of transition.  Together, we created a plan for my exiting of the business in such a way that I could build the Vision that was beginning to take shape.

Again, a crazy amount of support from this guy, right?!

So, at the end of December 2017 I stepped down for good from my role as Owner and Manager of the Yoga Studio with Wellness Within and with trust (though not without some fears and a mind-bending emotional rollercoaster) released the baton to Michael.

Nope I didn’t pass it.  I didn’t have to.  The truth is that he had been holding it for a long time and I just wasn’t ready to let go.

And so here we are.  In transition still, yet coming out the other side.

I’ve come to really appreciate this space of transition and no longer wish it away.  It’s an ongoing process really.  A reflection of the natural cycle of birth-growth-maturation-death-rebirth and so on.

It is because of this appreciation and a rock-solid trust in my emerging Vision that I can say how truly and deeply grateful I am to be leaving Wellness Within.

Michael’s Vision and endless support will continue to carry Wellness Within forward.  He is such a strong leader and knows exactly what to do to build a business that is sustainable and supportive for everyone.

And now, I continue on my path.  My work is always evolving, which is exactly how I like it!  Most of what I offer is through my company Inspired Me.  From Meditation workshops and Teacher Trainings, to Vision Work, and both Business and Personal Mentoring.

I am also in beautiful collaboration with Timmie Horvath of Sacred Wellness for our joint venture Wellpreneur.  All about helping owners, creatives and professionals navigate the tricky waters of Wellness business (and I should know - I’ve been all over THAT map and back again).

And on the horizon I sense a further expression of the Vision - a move and reconnection with the natural world with my incredible partner Matt.

My favorite part?  I can finally say I love it all!  Every single thing I do is done intentionally and in support of my Vision, my Self (mmm hmm that’s Self with a capital S as in all parts of me including my Soul Self), and the people I serve.

I am so incredibly grateful for the experiences I’ve had with Wellness Within and you can bet your boots these experiences inform all that I do today.  I’m also so looking forward to the continuing relationship I’ll be having with Michael and Wellness Within as I offer many of my in-person workshops and courses there.

 

A PRAYER OF TRANSITION

I bow my head in reverence and gratitude as the fear of change is burned up.  The light within me shines so brightly that it is seen and known in all that has been and all that is to come.  I embrace this present moment, opening to the path of fulfilment and service laid before me.

Om Mani Padme Hum 🙏

Caroline Stewart-Transition-Wellness Within