Tag Archives: Spirituality

Problem Solving with Camille Boivin

31 Mar

This week I had my colleague Catherine interview me on problem solving. Why? Because I have a very special relationship with this topic, and want to share a personal experience that really fits into this Logical Smart meets Spirit Smart theme. I’m going to be talking about my experience with breast cancer in this post. This is my experience, please keep that in mind as you read. But also, it’s one I believe others can have when the logical can tap into the spiritual. So, here we go.
Cam, what was one of the most challenging problems you have ever had to solve by tapping into your spirituality?

 Think. Live. Be. The impossible is possibleIn 2007, I was diagnosed with stage 2 Her2+ breast cancer. It was around the month of May and I had a lumpectomy scheduled. But at the same time I needed to have several scans to check whether the cancer had metastasized. They sent me for an ultrasound. I went in and they spotted something vascular during the scan. It was a mass of some kind on my kidney, about 1.4 cm by 1.8 cm . . . the mass was big enough and worrying enough for the technician to call in the doctor for review. So, in comes the doctor and after looking it over they decided to order an MRI.

I had to wait five weeks for that MRI. That’s five hard weeks of not knowing and wondering how bad my situation might actually be. It was a really challenging time in my head.

My logical mind was racing over the possibilities, the chances, the statistics, and as I did that, it all started to feel so incredibly heavy. This new reality was so heavy. So I had to get it out. I went to my mom and told her how I was feeling. She, being a HUGE hockey fan, gave me advice inspired by Mike Fisher. She told me that Mike Fisher said when his problems were too much, he gave them up to God – just passed them right along. “You should give them up, Cam,” she told me.

LOGICAL-MATHEMATICAL (3)Here’s where my mind struggled between the Logical Smart and the Spirit Smart. Part of me was critical, and couldn’t see how it would help. But a bigger part of me was curious. I’d read books by Louise Hay about manifesting illness and New German medicine, and knew that thoughts could create physical states. So my Logic side was able to meet with my Spirit side, and I decided to just do what felt best and pass my problems up to God. They could stay up there, and I could focus on simply healing and feeling as good as possible. I decided to believe that I was being taken care of, and just surrender that fear, give it up. It was so freeing and kept me sane for those five weeks.

Five weeks later, the MRI results came back and there was no spot. My kidney was totally clean. The doctor couldn’t explain it to me. He suggested it might have never been there – but two people had seen it before, and it disappeared. So, that moment basically fused inside of me how when the problem becomes too big, you just give it up to that higher power.

That is an inspiring story. I can see in your entire body how connected you are to that bigger picture of Spirit. How does that connection help your ability to coach others in their problem solving, Cam?

Problem solving is an essential element of emotional intelligence – one of the core competencies. Every day we have 200+ problems to solve. If we can increase our ability to find alternatives or reframe problems, then that can reduce the stress, which is huge. Stress is created by not being able to resolve this tension – it’s a real barrier to solving problems.

What I do is help open the door for others to have expanded awareness so they have increased choice. If you see the choices, you can see the solutions. I read this great saying, “Awareness creates choice.” To be able to problem solve and reduce that stressful situation, you need to loosen up your world and expand your awareness. That’s done by reframing, passing the worries to a bigger source, and asking better questions that relate to the core issue. If you can widen your awareness, you are mastering a fundamental life skill.

So when you are in Spirit – it just gets bigger, you are tapping into a bigger resource. When you are coaching someone and they can tap into that spiritual intelligence (as opposed to the logical/thinking one) they are going to feel that flow. They’re so much more flexible at this point and the solutions bubble up naturally.

Cam, can you tell me about a time when you made a decision that didn’t feel connected to your higher purpose in life?

The only moment that springs to mind is from around 1999. I was commuting from Rockland, Ontario to Ottawa West. And I remember that one day the whole backyard was going haywire. The pool wasn’t working, there was so much to do. A part of me kept saying, “don’t go to work.” But the logical part of my mind kept replying, “I have to go to work.”

On the drive in, I was rear ended. The guy just came up right behind me. And today – so many years later – I’m still realizing my hip alignment problems are largely connected to that moment. The accident was a mess and I was taken away in an ambulance (funny enough, I can remember that I was dreaming of ambulances the night before this happened, and when I met the paramedic, I told him I’d been dreaming about him!). For a while the back pain was so bad, I was crawling around on all fours.

So, that’s a moment where I had ignored my little voice that was urging me to stop and stay at home. If I had listened, I wouldn’t have been on the road. It’s funny, I can clearly remember standing at that pool pump with the strongest feeling not to leave. I didn’t follow that feeling, and ended up in an accident.

You are sharing an infographic with us today which depicts how we interpret an experience and how we use our multiple intelligences which makes us smart in so many ways. Can you share a personal story of how this problem solving and thought process works in the mind?

I’ll break it down with my story of the vascular mass which was found after I was diagnosed with breast cancer.

The cancer was obviously my External Event. We call that digital/auditory thinking in NLP. I saw the vascular mass on the screen, a report was created, they sent me for more scans. My Logical Smart side dove into that fearful state, which was my Internal Processing.

Mapping Across Multiple Intelligences – well I think it’s easy to say my Logical and Sprit Smarts were pushing back and forth. With the prospect of a five week wait, my mind had nothing to do but think it over! At least, at the beginning, until that became too much. That actually ties into how I Delete,d Distorted & Generalized all the information. But this is when I actually made a decision to shift my focus. Instead of getting fixated on the states and the analytics of cancer, I let go of the need to prove anything during those five weeks of waiting. I just let it all go, and realized I needed some new beliefs – hence my giving up the fear and the belief that our very thoughts can create our realities and even vascular masses in our bodies.

My Outcome was to grow closer to God and my Spirit self. No matter what had happened with those results, I had lived the relief of just giving up those worries. It connected me in a way that was so very empowering.

UntitledAnd just for fun, can you share with us a favourite fictional character, maybe from a book or from the movies, and how it plays as a metaphor in your life?

That’s a hard question! I’ve been making some really hard questions for myself. Well, I used to identify with Jeanne d’Arc very strongly. But at this moment in my life I feel a strong connection to Mother Mary, actually. And in my mind, there’s nothing fictional in this (much like Jeanne). To me, Mary represents the divine female in God. She’s the mother of mothers, and there is that sense of nurturing that I feel to which I am strongly attached. She was really courageous for what she did for women in her time.

That connection for me is really beyond words.

Thanks for being so candid, Cam.

If you would like to join us in this Logical Smart series on SQ and Spirit Smart, you can get in touch via email at Camille@SisterLeadership.com
Till next week!

Camille Boivin is founder of Sister Leadership, certified in EQi 2.0 and EQ360, a master practitioner of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), has been coaching high-level women and men for over six years, and is now opening her expertise to those emerging in business. Camille pulls her blog topics from her unique coaching approach that combines her training as a EQi 2.0 and EQ360 certified facilitator with the dig-deeper tools of NLP.

Get in touch here if you’d like to talk with Cam about group or one-on-one coaching, and EQ assessments. With the miracle of Skype and telephones – distance is no issue!

Talking Spirituality in the Workplace with Nicola Martin

18 Feb

Photographers Inc portratThis week we are sharing the story of an incredible lady, Nicola Martin who I was blessed to meet during her visit to Ottawa. Nicola introduced herself to me, and shared her knowledge of Sister Leadership, and how she carries that connection to spirit in every moment of her life. So today we’d like to introduce you to Nicola Martin, a business woman who has held many positions of governance including Depty Chairman of Focus 2000, Chairman & Trustee of the Cerebral Palsy Society Endowment Fund,  General Manager of Annies Marlborough Ltd, and more—and who sanctifies everyday experiences in gratitude and celebration by carrying her spirituality with her into all aspect of life.

What is Sanctifying Every Experience in Gratitude and Celebration (SEEGC)?  Sister Leadership defines it as appreciating with gratitude and awe an experience with all senses and holding enough space inside to be curious to ask fundamental “How is it important to me or others?” questions.

This week's Spiritual Intelligence theme is
This week’s Spiritual Intelligence theme is
Sanctifying Every Experience

SEEGC is to need to get to the root cause of what is fuelling a behaviour, action or thought, and what deeply ignites purpose in life. Gratitude is seeing what is rich and good around you and expanding your awareness with the learning from overcoming fears. The greatest time of growth is when things are challenging and unknown.

Nicola is a wonderful example of tapping the root cause of value and behaviour. She carries God with her in every choice, and trusts that guidance implicitly.

When did that big moment of trust in God begin, when did she absolutely stop doubting?

She shared with me the story of climbing the Camino in Spain. Before leaving for that challenge, she was full of reasons why it could not happen. She was alone, she couldn’t leave work, she wasn’t physically fit enough for the challenge.

Amongst all of this doubt, “This voice came over my right shoulder, ‘You’re not going to Spain alone, I’m coming with you,’” explains Nicola.

“Eighteen days later, I found myself at the base of the Pyrenees. God promised me he’d get me through the Pyrenees, he promised me he would get me over it, and he did. It was a hard day. And afterward I realized very quickly that he had honoured his word. It was a real challenge of the mind body and soul.”

So how does this translate to the workplace, and women leading in business? Well, that’s quite simple. With that total trust Nicola has in God, she is able to carry it into her work environment.

“In my workplace I use my faith a lot, and I have a strong belief that God has put me into situations to help sort them out. There was one particular situation where I think that because I know the voices of God, and when I heard the warnings or words of wisdom, I had the ability to do this in business. I’ve been chairman of the board for organizations in New Zealand. Sometimes when I see something or feel something or get an idea that something’s not quite right, I will ask God to show me what’s going on.

“There was particular case where I was working and I knew there was something going on. I could see it, but I didn’t know the source of the problem. So I went to my office and shut the door and said, ‘God, show me,’ and within 20 minutes he showed me the first thing, twenty minutes later he showed me the second thing, and twenty minutes later he showed me the third thing. It was quite shocking what I discovered.

“It was good my boss wasn’t there because it gave me 24 hours to sort out what I needed to do to fix it. And when I went and told him the next day what I’d found, I said I have a plan and we executed that plan.

“He said to me how do you know these things? I said, well, do you want my business answer or do you want my Christian answer? And I said my business answer is because I’m really good, and then I told him the story of how I prayed.

“Because I leaned on God doesn’t take away from being really good. I am really good at what I do, but part of what I do, I cannot diminish the fact that the reason I’m good at what I do is because God helps me. I’m his agent in the workplace. And we often forget that God is central to everything that we do. God is central to daily life, and we can use God in the workplace.

“You just ask. You just ask for God to be involved in your business, to be your business partner and to help you work through. And it’s the simplest thing.

“I’ve been in very complex situations, very complex and very challenging, and God has always been at the centre of it. He’s given me things to do that the human part of me is going , ‘Really?’ you’ve got to be joking. And once I do it, surprisingly God is right. And I go, ‘Really? Wow, I shouldn’t’ be surprised.’

“I think we need to start putting God everywhere. He doesn’t want us for just the out of work hours. He wants us 100% all of the time.”

When I asked Nicola if she’d like to leave us with one last impression, she had this to share with us on Sister Leadership: “We need to freewheel with God. If we’re controlling everything, we’re not giving the opportunity for God to enter our lives.”


Sister Leadership would like to thank Nicola for being so forthcoming with her spirituality. It is uplifting to hear of her stories, from the Pyrenees to the workplace to all parts of life. As she says, if only we had the courage to talk about our spirit in more contexts—whether you define that bigger guidance as God, or intuition, or serendipity, or the universe (your approach to sprit is your approach, so call it what you like)—then women and men wouldn’t need to feel less competent for following their instinct/soul/gut/intuition, etc.

Can you share any stories of bringing spirituality 100% into your life? What sort of reactions have you had in being forthcoming about your beliefs, and how have you been impacted by those reactions?

We invited you to share in the comments. This is a conversation worth having.

Till next week,


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