Thank you so much for all of your inspiration from those sessions, and just by being who you are. I’m like a dog with a bone in the sense of wanting to create positive organizational change that will benefit everyone associated with our enterprise. And, what an opportunity for me to learn how to stand up and still be kind. (2018)
Thoughtful words to self, Helen. Thank you. As I am reflecting on the big changes in front of me I must express my gratitude to you. Your writing therapy classes and meditation practice changed me forever. I finally returned to the joy of writing (still now only typically when I am in “survival mode” and on my knees from the pressure I put on myself) but I am well aware of what is possible. The brave sharing of the other students and the other women who assisted you with the classes was remarkable to witness. I was then and will always be inspired by the experience. I keep my journal close by like a life preserver including whenever I travel. I will forever be grateful for your class teachings. (2016)
Carolyn S. Welsh
What an enlightening (and lightning) experience when I realize that what I’ve been doing all along is trying to exert control over something that I can never have control over. Instead of confusing, it feels right. Integration happens quickly when the truth is obvious and right in front of me.
Thank you so much, Helen, for sharing your wisdom with me. (2014)
I am a very grateful beneficiary of Helen’s wisdom, insight and significant life experience. She brought calm, graciousness and integrity to an emotionally charged setting where perspectives had long been lost. With Helen’s skilful coaching and compassionate way of speaking the truth plainly, I found my way through the firestorm and regained my life-giving reality. (2010)
Helen has challenged our way of thinking from simply managing people to coaching for success. She has provided innovative ways to bring together employees, management and union to move towards a trusting and productive relationship. Coming together and understanding each other was the beginning, but working together has been the success. (2010)
Having worked with Helen as part of the Winnipeg Transit working conditions committee I learned that an organization can listen to its employees, its union and its management and create a win-win-win situation. (2010)
Dave Bevan, Bus Operator
Blessings and great job!
I first met Helen as coach/facilitator of a Result Centred Leadership course. What struck me was her honesty in sharing her own experiences in leadership roles and in providing the course participants constructive feedback with regards to challenges and opportunities in their roles. Her ability to assess and then reflect back to us her observations and suggestions was very helpful and gave us a “mirror” to broaden our perspective of dynamics, strengths and areas for development. When the course ended, I was fortunate to have Helen as a Coach, giving me guidance and very practical suggestions related to personal and professional development. Thanks, Helen! (2010)
Laura Goossen, Director
Addictions Foundation MB
I’ve chosen to study International Development because world issues are my passion. They provoke me, get me emotional, create joy, sadness, anger, and the desire to learn more as to why the world works the way it does. I want to thank you for being the spark that ignited my desire to “learn” and to pursue higher education. This time I’m doing it for my own personal interest instead of doing it just to get a “better job.” It was your inspiring coaching that helped me come to these realizations. Thanks again Helen. (2006)
Corporate Services, HR
City of Winnipeg
I really enjoyed my time working with you and while there were some difficult moments throughout our organizational change process, I could always count on you to keep my head straight. Bravo!! You definitely made Transit a better place to work and if asked to do this all over again, I would. Thank you. You’re a beauty. (2010)
Glenn Cormack, Bus Operator
A Write to Joy is a life-enriching experience that touched my soul. With Helen’s able guidance we honoured distant memories, present thoughts and future dreams by writing and sharing within a supportive community of wonderful people. Their wide variety of life experiences reinforced the thread of humanity that runs through us all.
I want more, more, more of this amazing personal exploration through writing. I found our weekly sessions challenged me to reach higher and farther in fulfilling my goals. Can I just take these courses over and over again?
Without Helen, there would no journey into joy … no seven souls igniting into flames. I did the math and came up with well over a thousand days, over the past three years, when Helen gave someone something wonderful to look forward to when they got up that morning. Those 2 1/2 hours with Helen are a can’t-wait-for, couldn’t-miss, magical time. Just like Christmas only better, because its once a week and there are way more gifts!
Helen’s greatest gift to us is the connection we have with her, with each other and with ourselves. She shows us exciting new ways to observe and participate in life. The common becomes remarkable, dog days are really glory days and it’s lucky to be a loser. Helen is our collective outer encourager … our champion leading by example. She leads us, and at the same time is with us, as one of us, on the same lifelong quest. No matter if our voices don’t harmonize or we are not singing from the same hymnbook. Helen is holding the light that illuminates every word!”
What an incredible experience! My love of creative writing surfaced and improved after a lapse of 30 years. I healed several long-buried hurts through working with the Transformative Writing Process, and I made new friends. We shared highs and lows with an honesty made possible by Helen’s nurturing and encouragement.
Here was a safe place I could try out my “writer’s voice” knowing no criticism would be allowed. Instead, I received “Power Notes” from each of my Council members telling me how my writing had impacted them. Now, I can’t wait to read aloud my writing. I’ve written over 40 poems, prose and short stories and my pen keeps flowing.
Lazer Office Supplies
The most beneficial, although not necessarily the most comfortable, part of participating in A Write to Joy has been getting in touch with areas of my life I had long forgotten and hoped I would never remember. Writing has helped me to close more of these issues, and I recommend this transformational writing to all who are willing to enjoy a greater freedom in their lives.
Jake Schmidt, Owner
The greatest gifts I received on this journey were the experience of inspired writing and the joy from letting creativity flow through me to others and from others to me. I hear my writer’s voice and now have the desire and confidence to keep it active in my life.
Hedy Wiktorowicz Heppenstall
I came hoping to find my own “writer’s voice”, to beat my writer’s block and get published. But after a few weeks in the program, the experience became more important than the end result. It was a time to bond with others interested in writing and take a journey to new places within myself. Helen helped us to journey into ourselves and find parts we had forgotten. It was very liberating.
A skilful and sensitive group leader, Helen succeeded in creating an atmosphere that maximizes the creative potential of each individual.
I credit A Write to Joy for the disappearance of my writer’s block. It used to happen a lot but now my writing flows.
I’ve gotten a glimpse of the poet within and the feeling of safety during the creative process. I now have the beginning of a writing habit!