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Changing Patterns

When it comes to making change in our lives, there is an old adage – “If you do what you always do, you’ll get what you’ve always got.” It makes sense. Most of us know it. But to change the patterns of what we’ve always done can be the challenge. We slip into grooves. Comfort zones. And while perhaps we may crave a different and improved situation, the mere idea of change may incite panic in many of us. We want to move to a new place within our lives, but we aren’t prepared or don’t know how to take the steps to get there.

What can we do when we are stuck on our path, perhaps riddled with frustration and confusion, wishing to be somewhere else but unable move forward? The good news is that simply acknowledging our situation is a signal that we’re open to making the change. This awareness allows us to open the door and simply look at the situation more clearly. But we may need to dig a little more deeply.

According to business studies done by Chris Argyris, a business theorist and Professor at Harvard Business School, people have mental maps with regard to how we react in situations – the way we plan, implement and review our actions. Despite our personal theories and our best intentions, which may be different, these mental maps become our default and influence our actions.  “Think of these rules as a kind of “master program” stored in the brain, governing all behavior. Defensive reasoning can block learning even when the individual commitment to it is high, just as a computer program with hidden bugs can produce results exactly the opposite of what its designers had planned.” (Chris Argyris, Harvard Business Review May-June 1991 Issue.)

So how do we change or reprogram these mental maps? According to Argyris, we should begin with our approach. As explained in his study, many people approach learning as merely problem solving – identifying and correcting errors in the external environment. He has described this as “single loop” learning. In order for people to change how they act, they must also look inward – reflect critically on their own behavior, identify ways they may inadvertently contribute to problems and then change how they act. His studies refer to this as a “double loop” learning process.

According to an interview and article in the New York Times, David Chang an internationally renowned, award-winning Korean-American chef, restaurateur and owner of the Momofuku restaurant group, did the tough work of “double loop” learning to reengineer his path. He spent years cooking in some of New York City’s best restaurants and apprenticed in noodle shops in Japan. When he started Momofuku Noodle Bar, he worked 18 hour days and could barely pay himself a salary. He couldn’t figure out why the restaurant was failing. But rather than point fingers or even quit, he did a brutal self-assessment. Then he dramatically changed course. He and his cooks worried less about what dishes to cook and looked for inspiration in fresh produce at the market to come up with wild, flavor-packed food combinations of things they would like to eat. Everything shifted – people started showing up, rave reviews and awards accumulated. Today, Momofuku and David Chang are well-known culinary stars.  
While this is a simplified version of a well-known business theory, it can also be applied to our everyday lives. Here are a few suggestions on how to simplify changing our patterns to affect change in our lives.

Awareness – Identify the problem or obstruction that’s blocking your path. Sometimes we need to step back from the confusion and emotion. It can be as simple as saying I’m stuck or this is working anymore.

Ask Tough Questions – The questions may be tough because the answers tap into our emotions. If we need to lose weight, it may sound as simple as cutting back on food intake and increasing our activity. But if it were only that simple there wouldn’t be millions of people struggling with weight issues. We may be stuck in a job we don’t like or a relationship that’s toxic. How did we get here and why can’t we seem to make the change?

Be Honest with the Answers -It’s tough to be brutally honest with ourselves because we are admitting that we are less than perfect. But when we are able to cut through the emotion, a more vibrant picture of the situation shines through. The only caution is to also inject some self-love into this process. We may not always like the honest answers and we often beat ourselves up for perceived missteps. Or conversely, we may begin to point fingers at others for our predicament. Either approach can be destructive and self-limiting. We always contribute to our own circumstances. We need to examine our role and be honest with it.

Let Go of Comfort and Embrace Fear –Personally, when I am stuck in situations that are less than ideal, it usually takes me a long time to make change. I hold onto things for longer than I need to. For me, it usually boils down to two words – comfort and fear. Despite the feeling of being ‘stuck’ in less than ideal circumstances, there is a certain degree of comfort in the situation. When it comes to finding a new job, learning a new skill or doing something totally out of my comfort zone, it means a leap of faith into the unknown. The learning curve might feel steep. The people might not be friendly. What if it’s too time consuming and interferes with my family life? What if I fail? Ultimately, I have stepped away to begin something new – a few times. The end result was sometimes rocky but I when I took the leap of faith discovered a few things: I could still land on my feet, I actually learned something new, I met some wonderful new people and it opened up doors to more knowledge and experience. It was part of my learning curve. A step closer to where I needed to be.  

Courage – It takes courage to change the patterns in our lives. There is so much advice on how to implement change but it is ultimately our choice and our actions that will steer the course in our lives. I have only walked in the steps of my own life. I recognize my patterns. Some I have successfully rerouted my path, but there are many grooves that I continue to slip into and follow despite my best intentions. When I have stepped forward into the unknown, there was a degree of worry and fear. But in those situations, I had the courage to make the change. And the knowledge and memory of this courage, along with any subsequent successes or failures, gives me the strength and courage to move forward and make changes as they arise in my life.

In some situations taking the leap of faith feels like a destiny, but sometimes that debilitating fear has me hovering at the ledge longer than need be. In those situations I look for the wisdom of my life lessons and use the tools of my yoga. Pause. Take a deep breath. Stay in the moment with each breath. Find my center. Move forward with confidence that I have all that I need within me. And trust.

Then I remember the words of Lao Tzu:

“The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”


Workout for Workplace Performance

Everyone knows that working out helps you look and feel better, but there are many reasons for those of us who aren’t ‘athletes’ to take performance training seriously.

When I first graduated university I struggled to buy into corporate culture. Growing up I was into sports and working out, so when I was assigned to a desk and sitting most of the day I found it challenging to continue my fitness habits. This was until I discovered Jim Loehr and Tony Schartz’s book The Power of Full Engagement. In this book they outline the concept of the ‘Corporate Athlete,’ drawing comparisons between work performance and physical performance.

“Managing energy, not time, is the key to high performance.”  

Here are three reasons everyone should take their fitness seriously:

Improved brain power

According to a 2007 study, regular physical exercise improves cognitive functions and lowers the risk for age-related cognitive decline. Learning performance was assessed directly after high impact anaerobic sprints, low impact aerobic running, or a period of rest in 27 healthy subjects in a randomized cross-over design. The study found that vocabulary learning was 20 percent faster after intense physical exercise as compared to the other two conditions.2

Reduced Stress

Science supports that exercise does in fact reduce stress. “These improvements in mood are proposed to be caused by exercise-induced increase in blood circulation to the brain and by an influence on the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and, thus, on the physiologic reactivity to stress.”3

“Not only does training increase energy levels, it also affects how we deal with the energy in our lives. Participants in interval training noticed lower blood pressure and stronger immune system.”1

More control over the rest of your life

Not all the benefits are completely scientific, for us to buy into these ideas we need to feel the difference as well. As entrepreneur Joshua Steimle says, “With the loss of physical health my productivity at work goes down. I become depressed. I lose motivation to do the things that makes my business successful. I’ve learned firsthand that excellence in one area of my life promotes excellence in all other areas of my life. Exercise is the easiest area of my life to control.”4

Making Space

Identify goals / bad habits

So let's look at ourselves currently. To make room for something new, we need to cut something old. Let’s say for example I’m going to cut TV (I love live sports). Regardless, I don’t need to catch every game on a nightly basis. And I’m sure everyone has a guilty pleasure or something they can swap with a more positive habit such as working out.

Zorro Circle

In his book The Happiness Advantage, author Shawn Achor outlines the benefit of setting small manageable goals with a concept called the Zorro Circle. “The concept of the Zorro Circle is a powerful metaphor for how we can achieve our most ambitious goals in our jobs, our careers, and our personal lives...Yet when our stresses and workloads seem to mount faster than our ability to keep up, feelings of control are often the first things to go, especially when we try to tackle too much at once. If, however, we first concentrate our efforts on small manageable goals, we regain the feeling of control so crucial to performance.”5

So I set aside 15 minutes to exercise, which is enough time to start. Keep it in the Zorro Circle and build momentum. There are few options available: go for a walk or run, ride a bike or do a bodyweight workout.

The Seven Minute Workout: The easiest way to start!

The Seven Minute Workout: The easiest way to start!
Image courtesy of New York Times

Even a brief walk at low intensity can improve mood and increase energy. As little as 10 minutes of aerobic exercise can have a positive effect.

“The best workout is the one you do.”

We need to make it easy on ourselves and lower the barrier to entry.

20 Second Rule

If you’re interested in ideas on how to take more control of your life, The Happiness Advantage is a must read. Another great concept that helped me was the 20 second rule. “Lower the activation energy for habits you want to adopt, and raise it for habits you want to avoid. The more we can lower or even eliminate the activation energy for our desired actions, the more we enhance our ability to jump-start positive change.”5

For example, if you want to work out in the morning, lay out your clothes the night before. If your gym is too far, sign up at a closer one. If that’s not close enough, clear out your living room.

Building Momentum

Momentum is the key to making this habit actually stick. Now that we’ve lowered the barrier to entry and are doing some light workouts, keep doing them! One of the great things about working out is the endorphins released by your body. It feels great, and your body will eventually be craving them (to the point where you’ll need these workouts).

Workout for Workplace Performance
  1 Loehr, Jim, and Tony Schwartz. The power of full engagement: managing energy, not time, is the key to high performance and personal renewal. New York: Free Press, 2004. Print.
  2 Winter, Berward. "High impact running improves learning." Neurobiology of Learning and Memory 87.4 (2007): 597-609. Web.
  3 Guszkowska M.. Effects of exercise on anxiety, depression and mood [in Polish] Psychiatr Pol. 2004;38:611–620.
  5 Achor, Shawn. The happiness advantage: the seven principles of positive psychology that fuel success and performance at work. London: Virgin, 2010. Print.


TQS Transformation Supports Lymphoma Canada through Yoga

Thank you so much to all of you who participated in yoga classes during the months of October and November in support of Lymphoma Canada’s take it to the mat, the Great Yoga and Wellness Revolution. Through your participation, we were able to raise $1500.

This year TQS Transformation was unable to attend the take it to the mat event held on November 13th but decided instead to offer yoga classes within the community to create awareness for Lymphoma Canada as well as promote healthy living through yoga.  All ages enjoyed the benefits of yoga, ranging from students in grades 7 and 8 at Our Lady of Mercy Elementary School to semi-private and private classes held at TQS Transformation.  

It is always such a pleasure to introduce yoga to students young and old. All participants enjoyed the experience of new movement, but many of the young students seemed to especially enjoy the final few quiet moments of Savasana meditation.

TQS Transformation will continue to raise funds for Lymphoma Canada’s take it to the mat event by offering yoga or meditation classes throughout the year, so please feel free to contact us if you have a special event or group who would like to experience a yoga classes or short guided meditation.

Thank you once again to everyone who participated!



TQS Transformation had the wonderful opportunity to participate with well over 150 people at the annual "Noah's Bowl for 18" event. This was the 3rd Annual Noah's Bowl for 18 held on Sunday November 6, 2016 from 1 to 4 pm at BURLINGTON BOWL. It was a huge success, thanks to the generosity and friendship of all who participated along with family and friends who donated prizes for the raffle and silent auction.  Congratulations to the Banton Family, Natalie, Jeff, Nathan and Noah, your tireless commitment to raising awareness towards Chromosome 18 Registry and Research has touched so many lives.  

Since the inception of TQS Transformation as a non-for-profit organization created to promote Health and Wellness along with being a vehicle to allow our chosen Community Reach Programs to Trust Your Journey, we have been blessed with the close relationship we have experienced with Noah. To paraphrase a quote from our Share Your Story Blog – Noah’s Time - Noah’s unique character is described.

Gentle and kind are the two words that best capture his personality. He loves life and he is happy every day. He would never say a bad thing about a person, no matter how difficult the personality. He always sees the good in everyone and everything. He lives life to the fullest. Everything that he has wanted to achieve he has on his own time. He has so much more that he wants to achieve in life. He has a strong desire to learn more and more each day and he sets out doing this daily. Noah will achieve everything he wants to in life on “Noah’s time.” He plays the piano. He’s passionate about baseball and hockey. He can rhyme off stats of his favourite sports and players. He rides his bike everywhere. He loves to read and play games. He is an excellent Euchre player, he enjoys travelling and exploring. Noah is very active in Special Olympics and participates on the floor hockey, basketball, bowling, soccer and on the track team.
From the TQS Transformation Team to the Chromosome 18 Noah’s Bowl Team Congratulation’s!

Dear Chris, Catherine and Cameron,

Thank you for joining us on Sunday, Nov. 6th in support of raising money for Chromosome 18 Research.

Our 3rd Annual Noah’s Bowl for 18 was a huge success. We had 206 bowlers of whom were family and friends. We were surrounded by laughter, smiling faces, kindness and love. As a result, the bowling alley rocked great energy! It was really special to have so many of our family and friends take the time to spend a Sunday afternoon with us raising awareness and generating money for research. The variety of items donated by friends, family and people in and around our community was incredibly overwhelming.

Thank you for your continued generosity and support it means so much to us.

Natalie, Jeff, Noah and Nathan.

TQS Transformation is proud to participate in “Noah's Bowl for 18” fundraising auction contributing Blue Jay tickets (valued $550.00). More info >>



Reconnecting to Positive Emotions for Good Health

We all know that negative emotions can lead us to a dark place of sadness, unhappiness and depression. But they can also negatively affect the nervous system by increasing the heart rate, constricting blood flow and increasing the blood pressure. Over time, when we stay in this negative state, keeping our bodies in constant sympathetic state – that fight or flight, we can negatively impact immune system to cause long health issues such as heart disease or even cancer. In contrast, positive emotions can undo the lingering cardiovascular effects of these negative emotions by calming the nervous system and slowing the heart rate to its baseline activity.

According to Barbara Fredrickson, renowned researcher on positive emotions and author of Positivity: “experiencing positive emotions broadens people's minds and builds their resourcefulness in ways that help them become more resilient to adversity and effortlessly achieve what they once could only imagine.”

While this is encouraging and we may even know this already, how do we get there? And then, how do we stay there consistently? Life is stressful. Sometimes even messy. Just the day to day stuff seems to send us over the edge, but there are so many things beyond our control – illness of family members, trauma, financial or work-related challenges. Sometimes we sink into that place of negative emotion and it seems like it sucks us in like a dark pit. And of course, when we have had trauma in the past, we begin to anticipate or even create a future trauma event in our mind. It may not even be reality, but because our bodies believe and react to it, it becomes our reality.

So where do we begin. This is definitely part of a life-long lesson for me. But as I experience each birthday, apart from being grateful for another healthy year, I have started an internal quest on how to make such changes for my own well-being – physical, emotional, mental and spiritual. But then it’s all part of the same whole, isn’t it? As much as we try to separate one aspect of ourselves from the other, we quickly realize that everything is interconnected within us. While I strive for healthy living, I don’t profess to know all the answers. But I do know what works for me.

  1. Connecting to the present moment. It seems like this phrase is used so often but I’m not sure if everyone understands what it means or how to do this. For me, it means acknowledging how I am feeling right at this very moment. When it involves anger or tears, there is usually a fair amount of judgment sometimes directed at someone else or even myself. And because I am conflict adverse, it is difficult for me let go of these emotions. Sometimes it means allowing the emotion to surface – anger or sadness – and then hopefully let it go. But I usually have to dig a bit deeper.
  2. Breathe. I use this word a lot when I am teaching a yoga class. And I have had it directed to me when I am in a state of panic. When I’m in that negative place, someone telling me to breathe doesn’t help much. It only aggravates my emotion. But when I take a moment, close my eyes and tap into conscious breathing, it’s like taking a magic pill. Everything comes into focus. My body calms. My head stops spinning. The colour red raging within me dims to a gentle soft pink. Nothing seems quite so urgent.
  3. Gratitude. When we have a sick child, lost our job or our own health is at risk, it may be challenging to find gratitude. I have discovered that there are always blessings if you look more closely. When our son was sick, the blessings were the incredible care he received, the support of family and friends and the beautiful blessing of our own little unit closing ranks and taking care of each other. Those blessings have become the backbone of underlying respect and love among our family. The worry was real. But the love and the blessings turned out to be stronger. I find truth in the words of Walt Disney: “The more you are in a state of gratitude, the more you will attract things to be grateful for.”
  4. Meditation. “The most significant health benefits of meditation are stress reduction, better sleep, lower blood pressure, improved immunity and the ability to stay centered in the midst of all the turmoil that's going on around you. Meditation helps you do less and accomplish more,” says Dr. Deepak Chopra, renowned author, public speaker and spiritual leader. I began incorporating meditation into my daily habits after following a 21-day guided meditation series offered by Dr. Chopra and Oprah. From there my practice started slowly, but has gradually evolved over the last few years. There are days when I don’t feel as though I am truly meditating. I can’t seem to shut out the morning noise of our home, people shuffling around the house making breakfast and chatting over coffee. Setting distractions aside, every morning I begin by setting an intention for my day. I connect with what’s going on in my body, my mind and my heart. Yes, somedays are a little precarious, but then others are a peaceful, gentle way to start off the day. On the days I don’t have time to meditate, I feel off-balance. It was only in comparing these off-balance days to the others that I realized my daily meditation practice has positively impacted my daily mood. It sets the tone for my entire day.
  5. Lifestyle changes. We all know physical activity has many health benefits – it strengthens the heart and improves lung function, it reduces risk factors for coronary disease and diabetes. Also, people who are physically active have reduced risk of depression and declining cognitive function as we age. For me, yoga is my magic potion. And I also walk. It doesn’t really matter what you do, just keep moving. Any sort of body movement is like an instant jolt of happy for me. Diet is also important. Not only does it help with our weight, which can negatively impact our heart on overall health, there is so much new research on the foods we eat and how it affects our brain health. Over the last few years, I have made some drastic changes in my diet which have positively impacted my mood and well- being. At first it was eliminating a few things, and then adding more healthy options but it has been a gradual transition. And I definitely savour the treats when I can, although not as often.
  6. Changing the movie in our head. This has been a work in progress. I have a tendency to go over events and situations in my mind, as I’m sure we all do. Usually these movies are negative events. When we do this, we are definitely not living in the present moment. In fact, we are actually bringing the past into the present and allowing it to also impact our future. Dr. Joe Dispenza, author of Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself, says “We are capable of reliving a past event over and over, perhaps thousands of times in one lifetime.” He says this unconscious repetition trains the body to remember the emotional state better than the conscious mind so that this becomes a habit. Now when I find myself doing this, I try to push the stop or pause button right away, take that deep breath and redirect my thoughts. With each breath, I try to release and let the negative thought and subsequent emotion go. Sometimes it may involve forgiving someone or even myself. If I’m walking, I connect to my surroundings. The fun part is creating a new story to replace the old negative thought pattern, but the key is in believing your new story. Now I focus on what’s good in my world, what I am working on and why it will succeed. I’m a sucker for movies with happy endings, so that’s the story I have started telling myself in my mind. There are still many days when that same old drama seems to play on rewind, but I’m optimistic I can change that habit much like I have with the other positive habits I have introduced into my life.
  7. Letting go of Guilt. This one has been a challenge as well. I was brought up Catholic and I am a woman, sometimes it feels like guilt was built into my DNA at birth. But I am becoming more aware of why I do things. Now if there is something I feel uncomfortable in doing, I take a moment to ask myself why I’m doing the task or attending a function. If it’s not coming from my heart, I have to ask myself some tough questions. Sometimes saying no, has repercussions so I give in to the guilt and do things despite my misgivings. But I am slowly reaching the point of understanding that saying no often  means saying yes to me and my personal well-being.  

These are just a few things that have worked for me on my quest to welcome more positive emotions into my life, rather than dwell on the negative. They aren’t hard and fast rules because I am human and I definitely falter. Not every day is a ray of sunshine, but I can honestly say that I have more happy days than unhappy. And when I slip into the negative emotions, I can usually catch myself before I get too deep into the rabbit hole.

I agree with Dr. Dispenza when he says: “if we want to change some aspect of our reality, we have to think, feel and act in new ways; we have to “be” different in terms of our responses to experiences. We have to “become” someone else.” But it doesn’t have to happen overnight. In fact, I believe for change to last, it has to be gradual, an exploration of who you are, where you are right now and who you would like to become. Hopefully, when we make these changes it becomes easier to tap into more positive emotions to embrace well-being and a happier approach to life.

*The opinions expressed in this blog are strictly my own. Material presented is provided for informational purposes only. It may not apply to you as an individual, and is not a substitute for your own doctor’s medical care or advice.


Taking a Hike in Nature is Good for your Brain Health

While the old adage that a walk in nature is good for the soul, two separate studies have taken the belief a step further to find that it is also good for our mental health.
Environmental factors play a critical role in how we think and behave. In today’s society, with more than 50% of the population living in urban areas filled with intense technology, loud sounds, and a multitude of disruptive activities, our surroundings can play havoc with our energy and stress levels. Our lives have strayed far away from the calming, restorative natural ecosystems. In fact, they are almost foreign to us.

One study, conducted by the Public Library of Science (PLOS), found that backpackers who spent three days hiking had increased creativity and cognitive ability.

“Attention Restoration Theory (ART) suggests that nature has specific restorative effects on the prefrontal cortex-mediated executive attentional system which can become depleted with overuse. High levels of engagement with technology and multitasking place demands on executive attention to switch amongst tasks, maintain task goals and inhibit irrelevant actions or cognitions.”

ART suggests that interactions with nature help replenish depleted attentional resources. Natural environments contrast the harsh jarring interactions of our modern society – the loud sounds, the fast pace, the multitasking – with a gentler, softer fascination which allow the executive attentional system to replenish. In fact, studies found that taking a wilderness hike led to improvements in proof reading and performance on the backwards digit span task. Also exposure to nature may also engage the “default mode” network which emerging literature suggests is important for peak psychosocial health. The default mode can be disrupted by multimedia use but on a hike with exposure to natural stimuli, the mind is better able to enter a state of introspection to engage the default mode.

While it is unclear why, people who live in urban settings also tend to have higher incidence of mental illness and rumination (repetitive thought focused on negative aspects of the self, a known risk factor for mental illness.) Another study conducted by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that spending time in nature decreases these obsessive, negative thoughts by a significant margin.

“Participants who went on a 90-min walk through a natural environment reported lower levels of rumination and showed reduced neural activity in an area of the brain linked to risk for mental illness compared with those who walked through an urban environment. These results suggest that accessible natural areas may be vital for mental health in our rapidly urbanizing world.”

Both studies suggest that there is still more work to be done, but these initial results can offer a viable alternative to restore brain function, provide stress relief or lift a dark mood. And the remedy may be as simple as putting on a pair of walking shoes and heading for the closest park or open space.


Office Yoga Classes in Support of Lymphoma Canada

For the past two years, my son Cameron and I have participated in Lymphoma Canada’s  fundraiser – take it to the mat, The Great Yoga and Wellness Revolution. While we are unable to attend the actual event to be held in November this year, we would like to continue to raise awareness for this very important cause and contribute in another way. As a yoga instructor, I would like to offer to lead a community yoga class at your office for co-workers or in your home for a group of friends. We could arrange for a time for me to lead the class - I would simply show up at the venue of your choice. The cost would be a donation toward the take it to the mat event – either a per person charge or set fee.

I would be happy to work directly with you to customize a class for your group.
Please contact me if you are interested.


Catherine Mattice

Read more about Lymphoma Canada and take it to the mat event.

Read our blog on benefits of Office Yoga and how to stay healthy at work.


Cameron Mattice shared his story at Toronto Fundraiser hosted by Lindsay’s Angels in support of the Canadian Childhood Cancer Foundation

Cameron Mattice recently shared his story at an annual Toronto Fundraiser hosted by Lindsay’s Angels in support of the Canadian Childhood Cancer Foundation - Scholarship Program for children who are in treatment or who have survived cancer. Lindsay’s Angels was created by seven sisters who lost their brother, Lindsay, to Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma in the prime of his life. His family took the worst time in their lives and changed it to making a difference in children’s lives. As a childhood survivor of cancer, Cameron is past scholarship recipient and has recently graduated with BA in Kinesiology from York University. This year Lindsay’s Angels surpassed their goal to raise $24,400!

“Cameron, my family was so happy to meet you and I must tell you, you are an amazing speaker.   I can't believe how many people approached me looking for you, as they were so touched by your story,” said Denise Liscoumb, one of Lindsay’s Angels. “We felt a connection with you and your family because "family" is what this is all about. I want to thank all of you for coming, for speaking and for helping us make a difference!”

Learn more about Lindsay's Angels!

Learn more about Canadian Childhood Cancer Foundation!

Cameron Mattice recently shared his story at an annual Toronto Fundraiser hosted by Lindsay’s Angels in support of the Canadian Childhood Cancer Foundation


Together our team raised over $4,000! Lymphoma Canada’s 2nd annual take it to the mat, the Great Yoga and Wellness event

Lymphoma Canada’s 2nd annual take it to the mat, the Great Yoga and Wellness event

On Sunday, November 15, 2015, Cameron and I participated in Lymphoma Canada’s 2nd annual take it to the mat, the Great Yoga and Wellness event held in Toronto’s CBC building. This year we were so pleased to welcome Linda Philp and Chantal Elward to our team. Together our team raised over $4,000! A special thank you to all of you who generously donated and participated in our Karma classes, we couldn’t have done it without you.

We enjoyed every moment of the day. During the morning, Master of Ceremonies and one of Canada’s leading Alternative Health experts, Bryce Wylde, shared his wisdom on healthy living; Keynote Speaker Louisa Jewell - Founder and President of the Canadian Positive Psychology Association – opened the door to how our emotional well-being affects our physical well-being through her talk The Science of Happiness;  and, Lymphoma Survivor and Kindergarten teacher Sarah Horgan spoke from her heart to share her poignant journey from illness to living cancer-free. In the afternoon, we practiced 108 minutes of yoga in the Barbara Frum Atrium with 100 participants. This year’s event raised approximately $140,000 in support of over 100,000 families living with Lymphoma.

Lymphoma Cancer is a challenge to explain as it encompasses over 50 types of cancer. But one statistic that resonates with our family is that Lymphoma is the number one cancer in young adults between the ages 18 and 39, and Hodgkin lymphoma is on the rise. It affects young people at a time in their life which should be filled with hope for the future. In listening to survivor stories, there are often challenges in the diagnosis. Patients may have symptoms of fatigue, a rash, trouble breathing, night sweats or loss of weight but the family physician couldn’t seem to pinpoint the cause. In some instances, it has taken over a year for a proper diagnosis. Just in the past few months, we have heard three separate stories of a delay in the diagnosis when success for survival depends on early treatment. Many of you will remember that Cameron was diagnosed with asthma before determining it was Stage 4b Hodgkin Lymphoma. So whether it’s a cough or overwhelming fatigue, we encourage you to be mindful of any abnormalities in your health. No one knows your body better than you. Trust yourself if it feels like something isn’t right. Be your own advocate to push for more answers to get to the root of an issue. If you have any questions about Lymphoma  or the organization, please access their website at

For our family and friends, take it to the mat has become a celebration of wellness that goes beyond the day. In the 10 years since Cameron’s diagnosis and treatment for Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, we are forever grateful for the gift of Cameron in our lives – a son, a brother and a friend. And we also try to take steps to celebrate our own lives. One of the blessings in the adversity of cancer – for the individual and family and friends – is gratitude for our health and each other.

Once again, thank you for your generosity and support. We are so blessed and grateful to have all of you in our lives.

Catherine and Cameron

See our image gallery below.

For more photos from the event, please visit Flickr page or Facebook Page.

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These Canadians are Winners............ In Life
JUPITER, Fla. - Jim Ecker - There were lots of big smiles and happy faces after the Ontario Blue Jays clipped the Kansas City Royals Scout Club Team, 4-1, in the first round of the WWBA World Championship on Thursday, but two of the happiest Canadians had to be Cam Mattice and Chris Branciere. Read More >>.


The secret of making something work in your lives is, first of all, the deep desire to make it work. Then the faith and belief that it can work. Then hold that clear definite vision in your consciousness and see it working out step by step, without one thought of doubt or disbelief.

Eileen Caddy

Healthy Living Blog

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Changing Patterns

Thursday, 06 April 2017

Workout for Workplace Performance

Monday, 16 January 2017

Your Stories

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Noah’s time

Tuesday, 06 November 2012

Wellness Programs

ThreePL Quality Systems Inc.

 Cameron Mattice Fitness

Catherine Mattice Yoga Reiki Meditation


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