A Personal Crossroads

by Carole Ames, BES, DipC, RTC

I was a successful 34-year-old single professional on disability leave for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome when I participated in Living Alive: Self Awareness in 1992. I knew I was at a potential crossroads emotionally, physically, spiritually and professionally. However, I had no idea how to go about making changes, what changes were possible, or even how to access the energy required to think and move. Thankfully I had been encouraged (repeatedly – I’m stubborn if nothing else) to take Come Alive and had done so in 1990, so I knew that The Haven was a potential resource.  I took my bedraggled self there.

During the 25 days of Living Alive, I experienced connection, frustration, peace, joy, anger, intrigue, sexual attractions, fear, excitement and discovery. Of course to do that I needed to be alive in my body, and I was. That was the biggest discovery for me in the program – that I could shift my lethargy, discomfort, isolation and lack of purpose this dramatically in such a short period of time. I left the program with knowledge, experience and tools to live my life differently, which I have. I have stumbled many times, and yet I have never lost what I learned, nor my appetite for what has been aptly described as ‘self-responsible relational living’.

My participation in Living Alive: Self Awareness was the catalyst for many shifts in my life including my place of residence, my career, my health and my vocation. Beginning with a decision to intern at The Haven, my health gradually improved as I applied what I had learned.  I eventually moved to Gabriola, working in management at The Haven while completing a Diploma in Counselling and then a Masters Degree.

Today I manage my own business as a consultant, facilitator and counsellor.  I’ve been on Core Faculty at The Haven for many years. I have embraced the many facets of myself including my childhood loves of drama, comedy and writing.  I am less compartmentalized and more whole.  My sense of purpose, connection and fun show up in all areas of my life.

In my experience, Living Alive: Self Awareness is an exceptional opportunity to learn and grow in the company of others; I am honoured to be a co-leader of this program with Jo-Ann Kevala, May 29 – June 23, 2023 at the Haven. Learn more here and join us!

About the Author

Carole Ames BES, DipC, RTC supports people, couples and groups in meaningful reflection, creative exploration, and effective integration. Her communication skills, humour and insight have been key in her career as a professional planner, trainer, facilitator, mentor and counsellor.

Associated with The Haven since 1990, she leads programs including Come Alive, Living Alive Self-Awareness and Getting Unstuck: The Alchemy of Humour in both Canada and China. She is the founder and principal of Creative Pursuits in Victoria BC, offering Facilitation for Individuals, Relationships & Teams.

Carole has recently collaborated on a book, The Miracle Mindset, where she writes about her relationship with humour. Carole’s website is Creative Pursuits.

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