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AM I?

WHO

MY DAILY INTENTION

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I am my authentic self.

I am my multi-dimensional self.

I am the creator of my own reality.

I am my highest purpose for the highest good.

I am compassion.

I am peace.

I am abundant.

I am grateful.

I am love. 

I am light.

I wake up out of the darkness.

I take it all into account.

Holistically, Holy.

I am committed

to lead and be led.

Show me how to help,

how to heal.

I graciously ask my parts to step back

so I have space and presence to be.

I am grateful to the spirts of my highest good

for their protection, love and guidance

Past, Present and Future.

I call upon fire for transformation and action.

I call upon water for flexibility and fluidity.

I call upon air for clarity and calm.

I call upon earth for stability and strength.

I call upon light for illumination and connection.

I have the magic in me.

My worth is inherent and not defined by others 

or what I accomplish.

I trust myself.

I believe in myself.

I trust the universe.

I believe in love.

I surrender to my authentic self and higher purpose.

NOVA RAE

I wasn't born Nova Rae but chose this name as an integration and symbol of my past and future.

 

Many of the conventional meanings of Nova apply - from the concept of 'new' - a commitment to surrendering to new versions of myself as I change and grow - an acceptance that the world and consciousness are moving the same way... to  'a bright light that eventually fades into obscurity" - a reminder that this physical form is bound by our perceptions of time and that we all will fade from this life but leave the light of our existence amongst the other stars. Even the Spanish definition of 'no go' fits as one of my most profound lessons was with setting boundaries - this a reminder of where my integrity lies . Lastly, most of my deep inner work took place in Nova Scotia, so as homage of the impact that place had on my present and future.

 

Rae is the middle name I was born with - a remembrance of my father's oldest brother who died in Vietnam. This name, not only in honor of him but most significantly the remembrance of the forced sacrifice of his life by the war draft by people who didn't know his name.  Often wars are sold to us as a "fight for our freedom'  but I find it difficult to reconcile the concept of the war draft to this slogan - as his freedom of choice was nonexistent.

 

I do believe in freedom - our free will - I endeavor to empower mine to imagine a world where we can thrive, have compassion and see the beauty of life despite circumstances. I also feel this name connects me to my ancestors and being grateful for all they endured to move us into a place where I believe we have a greater capacity to build a future we can all stand behind. As well, an understanding that they did not have the same access to the internal space, knowledge (emotional intelligence, trauma informed, etc.) or technological advances that we now have to bring a more hopeful world into existence through our shared wisdom.

WHAT I HAVE LEARNED BY KNOWING WHO I AM

I can wholeheartedly say that I have committed myself to the process of my own growth now for about 12 years - consciously. The first years were slow going but the last 5 have been a whirlwind.  While I have the academic credentials to call myself a therapist, I believe my spiritual experiences have been more instrumental to how my 'process of becoming/knowing myself unfolds. I have experimented with various types of therapeutic and spiritual practices to understand myself and to bolster my faith that healing and growth are possible. Here are three key areas where I share a brief overview of my growth. 

 

ACCEPTANCE

In order to heal my wounds, I had to learn to accept all parts of me - even the parts I wanted to keep hidden - secret - so no one would judge me the harsh way I judge myself and others who mirrored the parts of me I didn't want to claim. By accepting all of me, I could better accept other.  Acceptance came with forgiveness for the ways I behaved in the past that left me filled with shame - as I found these parts were often trying to protect me but had never learned, considered, or had space to understand how I affected others.  One way I was able to forgive myself was by seeing that when I was younger (and even now), I am testing the boundaries of my integrity - I ask myself, Is this really the type of person I want to be? Would I want to be treated this way? Is this who I want to be remembered as?

 

INTEGRITY

On my path, originally as a therapist, I thought it was imperative to know if healing was possible. How could I give a service if I hadn't reaped the benefits of what I was standing behind? How could I give space to others pains and hidden, darker parts if I couldn't do that for myself? That was where my integrity lie in wanting to follow this meaningful path - I was suffering and I needed to understand why and be able to give the needed space so I could help others who were suffering. My integrity is a core value for me - when I hurt others, get feedback, or make choices - I always attempt to stay aligned - even if at first I need to get through my own emotions and perceptions  - I trust myself that I will eventually apologize if warranted, consider feedback to see if it aligns with me, and make personal ethical choices. I don't always get it right but I don't give up on myself - as this is the version of myself that I am always growing towards. 

 

COMPASSION

To be perfectly honest, compassion was a practice that was hard earned for me. It began by being mugged and after many years of suicidal ideation - I found that I actually wanted to live. That changed my perspective on life and on how I wanted to connect with others. There was a lot of trial and error on my part - and a lot of testing of my integrity happened after this incident. Cannabis and psychadelics were another change agent for me - one I didn't feel comfortable exploring until later in my 30s. It not only changed my perspective but opened me up to many perspectives and a sense of oneness. Now I want to caution while I think psychedelics and cannabis can be helpful on the path - it is important to note from my own experiences - intention, setting, mood and who is with you can affect where you go. You can go into very dark spaces and if you do not have someone to support you and anchor you into reality, you may bring up painful experiences that may take longer to heal. I believe that dark spaces are not to be feared as often it is shadow content that needs to be healed - but I believe you need the right setting and intention so you have enough awareness and trustworthy support present to navigate these more difficult spaces.  While using these substances was helpful for me for a time, it is something that I have decided not continue with -at least at the time I am writing this. 

 

Like acceptance and integrity, compassion became more ingrained for me after doing many years of self-healing work - as I learned to have compassion for myself - compassion for others came more naturally. I define compassion as integration of all your parts, acceptance of all vibrations (emotions & energy), and seeing yourself mirrored in others. 

MY EDUCATIONAL BACKGROUND 

NOTE: I DO NOT PRACTICE PROFESSIONAL PSYCHOLOGICAL SERVICES

2022 McGill University, Counseling Psychology Master’s degree including:

  • an academic year of supervised (1 supervisor) practicum with 4 clients
  • an academic year of supervised internship (3 supervisors) with 11 clients.

 

2014 Saint Mary’s University, Psychology honors, BA degree

 

I have attended courses on the following:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) Full Year Course

  • Psychodynamic therapy, Full Year Course + Internship

  • Intensive Short-term Dynamic Psychotherapy (ISTDP) Workshop

  • Internal Family Systems, Several Workshops

  • Somatic Psychotherapy, Workshop

  • Bio-Emotive Framework, Workshop

  • Authentic Relating + Bio-Emotive Framework Circling Facilitation Training

 

My spiritual practices are self-directed as I surrender to the teachings, tools and experiences that come across my path and resonate with me - I suppose you could say I move with trust and faith that the universe will give me the puzzle pieces I need when I am ready.

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