• Candice Smiley, KA

It’s born from a desire to help people. Like, if it doesn’t add value, make an impact or help someone - then I likely don’t want to do it. Or, it feels like work… and while I love the feeling of making an effort, or getting my sweat on or having to put energy/brain power/time into something - when it begins to feel like a “job” or task that must be completed - I’m out.

My enneagram number is a Two. I’m a helper; through and bloody through. This means I’ve spent so much of my life playing a very supportive role in people’s lives, businesses, dreams and plans. I enjoy working “in tandem”. I like playing as a team, a small team mind you. The smaller the better.

Over the years I have worked with larger groups in an attempt to change myself, after some well-meaning (?) male leaders recommended I become something/someone I wasn’t to be better at my career. That “being better” mentality almost killed me… well, in a way it did. It killed me on a soul level and just about murdered my creativity.

And between you, me and the fence post? I am still struggling with the lingering feeling of burnout. I literally cannot seem to find my mo-jo, my groove, my jam, my drive like it once was. I still feel the overwhelm to pay the bills, the push to be and the need to always be performing.

And perform I can and do, or did I guess.

Now it seems that if any part of my life, especially my professional life moves out the feminine receptive space and into the masculine, do-done-getter-done space, I am unable to move.

It is highly frustrating.

And then the escape, the shift, the move to the space of why. The why has always been pretty clear. All I have to do is look into her eyes or feel him kick inside and I remember the Why.

Or I consider the Create the Ripple Campaign, the need to set it right… and then I really want to achieve success on a whole new level.

Or as I reach for my keys, toss the camping gear in the back of the van, and set the mountains in my sights… And I want more of this…

More time, for deep meaningful conversations.

More energy less clouded by day-to-day worries.

More money, to put into causes I love, things I enjoy and experiences I want to create.

More hope, to give away.


And it’s at that moment that I remember that less is better.

That I must follow LESS to lead more fully.

That I must FOCUS on my own healing to be of use to anyone else in my life.

That I have to be my best advocate.

And that I remember that it is easy to do the work, put in the effort and it all just flows more fully and completely -- clearly rigged in my favour -- when it moves forward from the space of helping people.

Helping, Supporting.

Creating, Collaborating.

In Tandem.

Staying in our Strength Zone kind of collabs.

As in our Best.

As our Best.

To go Fast, go Alone. To go Far, go Together. (African Proverb)

That one always leaves me wondering what we could create together?

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  • Candice Smiley, KA

It has become something of a philosophy.

So here is the mission… to do the right thing, to set it right, to go back and attempt to right the wrongs I did to other people when I was pinned between a rock and a hard place.

My dad has a saying, when someone will say, “how can I say thank you” or “what do I owe you for this thing, time, effort or energy”, and he says “Speak well of me when you go.” I can remember the first time I heard him say this; we were standing in the cool cement hallway of his work at the ARC in Vegreville. I wanted to keep going on whatever mission we were on, but he had been stopped to talk by someone who wanted to thank him for something. That was his comment, accompanied by a smile, a handshake and a dip of his head. My dad is one of those old-school and you-do-a-good-job-just-because-you-always-do-a-good-job kind of guy. Men like him are a dying breed now in the age of do-it-if-it-benefits-me-somehow or what’s in it for me mentality that seems to plague the men of the generations that follow.

I think of that often as I have been slowly righting the slights, wrongs, misunderstandings and mistakes I’ve made. The why? A clear conscience. I feel the injustices I have caused, the subtle and not so subtle hurts, the acting out of integrity… I cringe, wince.

I wish it could be different, something went horribly wrong in my life and the fault rests with me. I am responsible for my choices, for being who I was, for being with who I was with, for not doing the right thing more often or all the time. I will learn from this so that it never happens again. I will speak openly about it so that someone else will learn from me, and perhaps not feel so desperate to make the same choices.

I will speak openly about it to kill the shame that is so wrapped up in it. Shame is a dream stealer and light killer. Shame will hold you hostage for years… and years; and make you easy prey for the ones who would like to take your light for others who would use and abuse.

I will speak openly about it so that I can live and live fully, freely.

I will speak openly about it so that I can one day get to the place where someone, anyone… would only speak well of me when they go.

For more information on the Create the Ripple Campaign, click the button below.

Or Find me on Instagram for the same.

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  • Candice Smiley, KA

When I was left with over 350K of bad debt, a ruined credit score and reputation. My self confidence and self trust was shattered. I found myself swiftly assaulted with a myriad of legal hoopla, overwhelming conversations, and a lot of how-did-I-get-here and what will you do now. The individual who left me in this bind, left the country and me - literally putting the pieces back together.

I did not feel safe. I felt exposed. I felt used, abused and foolish, more foolish than I can possibly explain. Why or how can I have allowed myself to trust someone to let this happen? How did I contribute to this? What warning signs had I deliberately ignored that had landed me here.

No one I knew had ever dealt with this level of embezzlement, fraud or situation. I was lost and what followed was years of me muddling through the legal processes, stumbling through options and desperately trying to recover my pride and my self respect.

This desperation further put me in a vulnerable position... add to that that I kept the mess, the fear and the overwhelm to myself. I rarely spoke to someone about what was going on behind my closed door. I lost friends, ruined relationships and generally crashed anything that was still good in my life.

I was living completely out of integrity with my own values. I wasn't telling the truth, to anyone. I was hiding my "head in the sand", rather than taking life head on. I would so want to do things, follow through on bills, payments, commitments, friendships, ideas... you name it. My word was completely worthless. Utterly completely worthless. I was desperate to recover my life and not let go of my dreams. And, in typical fashion, hurt people hurt people. I was unable to maintain relationships, people often felt used by me as I tried to rebuild my life, or they felt the in-congruency and couldn't trust me as I tried to make the right connections or just desperately sought a safe place...

I own this. All of this.

I look back on myself now, and I cringe. I was living in terror. I felt like the bottom had fallen out of my life. I would like to go back to that girl and tell her to just let the facade go. To ask for more help, to seek more support and to tell the truth about my life and what I was dealing with more fully, more often and with the clarity that I believe I do now. I would tell her too, that it was important first to seek therapy, the rest not nearly important as this one part that never seemed to be the most important. No one's opinion or harsh words of "how could you be so stupid?" was ever or would ever have been louder than my own vicious internal dialogue. ​

Fast forward a few years.

I've healed. I've done the work to own my part in all of this, and have begun to make amends. Yes, amends. I have found such peace as I've decided to take radical responsibility for this whole thing, and move to radical acceptance of what was and now what is.

This campaign is born from a promise I made to myself when the whole mess began. A three part promise; first, to myself - to not give up and to do what I had to to recover, to heal and to thrive (the best revenge is a life well lived!); and second, that one day I would make it right with anyone and everyone I who paid a price for or in my recovery journey; and third, I would honour and thank the ones who stood with me or believed in me or showed me grace and kindness despite of where, who or how I was.

This campaign is the fulfilment of that promise.

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