Schedule a Complimentary 30 Minutes Discovery Call - Click Here

My Wheel of Change.

My Wheel of Change.

So here I am in 2023 with some monumental changes in my life. I decided to sell my business that I have been dedicated and passionate about for the past 40 plus years. A business that has survived arson, massive floods, back ups from city sewer systems, boiler room leaks, ice storms that knocked out hydro for days etc…..and yes, the pandemic in 2020 when childcares were mandated to close. Yet, all the while giving back to the communities that we serve. A special place is in my heart for the charities that we have contributed to and partner with.

It has been an incredible journey. A journey of resilience, courage, fun, tears, joy, sadness, laughter, adventure, and intrigue. Most of all it has been a journey of humility, gratitude, and appreciation.
I have been blessed to meet, mentor and be mentored by some incredible team members (I never really embraced the “staff or employee” word).
I love the people side of things and my work overflowed into more of a coaching style. I have always had an incredible passion for people. As an owner and CEO of a team of 145 plus, I set an intention to bring out and tap into the talents and passion of others. I believe that everyone has something to bring to an organization and in discovering what that is, has allowed people to step into their highest self. To stand in their power and embrace their greatness.

Leading up to the sale of the childcare centres– 7 in total proved to be an emotional roller coaster.
This is a massive change and so the wheel of change that I am embarking on can only come with emotional shifts of relief, regret, joy, sadness, doubt, gratitude, and around the wheel we go again.
There is also a great sense of optimism that this decision will allow the business to flourish for 50 more years.

It began as a family business in 1972. I stepped in to assist when my mother took ill in the early 80’s. Leaving corporate travel I had an opportunity to be a flight attendant. Training in NYC was an experience that I will fondly remember. Then during a layover back in Toronto, I was involved in a car accident. My leg was severed, and because the injury was problematic it left me with beginning stage of gangrene. I was told a partial amputation of my foot was possible. Not happening I said!

Unable to perform my duties I was fired from my job as a flight attendant. It was a devasting blow as I loved the job and serving and meeting people from all over the world. While I was healing, my mom was ill in the hospital for many months. At my father’s request I stepped in for 3 months to support the family business. The year was 1983. I told him 3 months…that’s my limit!
It has been an incredible journey of 40 years. Well after the due date had expired on my commitment to 3 months, I found a love and passion to serve. I became to adore excellence and proficiency. I committed to continue to make a difference in the lives of children but also a difference to all the incredible team members that have dedicated their lives to children and to the success of the organization to this day.

Through the years I realized my style was more on the coaching side with the team members. The perfect blend, a love of coaching and the opportunity to tap into the super-powers of teams and individuals. A culture of gratitude, appreciation, compassion, and empathy emerged.

Weeks leading up to the final sale life was surreal. I realized the reality that was before me. It became a silent inflammation inside of me. So, I began to adapt measures to minimize the anguish that I felt at times. I knew from coaching and doing a lot of work on myself, that the critter brain had kicked in full throttle. That voice inside that says, not good enough, you have made a monumental mistake, you are so stupid, what were you thinking, you are doing it all wrong, …. etc.

I knew that I had to adapt measures to minimize this silent inflammation inside of me.
It was like switching to a Mediterranean Diet for the Soul. Nourishing myself with thoughts that served me better, thoughts that would quiet my inner critic. Looking at all the positive that this change would bring. You see when we go down the rabbit hole or down into the pit whatever you want to call it, there it is, more silent inflammation offered on a platter.
I refused to bite this time. I have done a lot of work to heal past traumas and I knew that these thoughts were the imposter syndrome kicking in and running me. NO MORE!

I began to remove thoughts that drained me and this way of thinking certainly did. I began to learn to be at peace with the unknown. Looking for glimpses of the future pulling towards a life that serves my highest self.

As a Health, Life Coach and Equine Practitioner…what questions would I ask my clients? How would I prefer to feel? What is my desired state? What if you choose a different thought?
I became a client to myself.
I began to embrace the change and embrace the sale as an opportunity for the legacy to continue. It takes courage to make a decision outside of your own self. I have made the decision to get out of my way. To stand in my power in a way that gives a perspective of positivity and what is possible. I started to notice that my life exists because I am alive, and I began to have positive self talk such as “everything happens for my benefit.” I am beginning to let go of resistance, pushing through victim speak and negative thoughts. Finding equanimity and harmony in each feeling and moment. The quality of my thoughts and what I feed my mind matters. I choose quality thoughts. Yes, I am embracing the Mediterranean Diet for my Soul. Quality thoughts therefore are not an act but a habit. As Aristotle said “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act but a habit.”

It is with great humility and gratitude that I will be continuing with the company for a few years as a team member. I realize this monumental shift will be difficult at times. I feel blessed that the new owner is aligned with the culture and depth of the team. He has demonstrated kindness, and leadership.
I believe his integrity will assist in the process of forward transformation and the continuation of the legacy of the business that flows through my veins and is rooted deep in my soul. I did not sell a company; I have passed the baton to another soul to nurture and provide the excellence that is customary and yes, a habit of this soulful organization, a Legacy.
I am so grateful for the many beautiful souls that I have had the privilege of working with and the opportunity to continue working with. My wish is that each team member spread their light, love, and peace. Be the one that uplifts every single soul you meet regardless of the circumstances.
This quote by James Baldwin seems to align with my journey in this present moment.
I speak of change not on the surface but in the depth–change in the sense of renewal.

If you are faced with change, I invite you to spend some time with the herd. They are here to hold a sacred space for you in the present moment. I would love to hear in the comments what changes you are going through or have gone through.

Joan Willms
Certified Health, Transformation Life Coach,
Equine Facilitator, “Life and Leadership Coaching with Horses.” Stand In Your Power!

Step out of your comfort zone and see the transformation. Discover the healing energy of horses with Equine Assisted Learning.