Business emerges from personal adversity
Salintae Tuzo-Smith’s counselling business Metanoia Power came out of a very bad time in her life.
Back in 2016, she was contemplating whether to commit suicide or continue to live.
“I had a lot of health problems,” the 32-year old said.
Doctors diagnosed sickle cell anaemia when she was three months old, a genetic blood disorder that causes pain, anaemia and joint swelling, among other things.
“I had to have three blood transfusions when I was 30,” she said.
And to make things worse she’d developed a dependency on pain medication.
“I chose to live a life of joy, but it took a big shift in my thinking to make it happen,” she said. “I reached out to my friends to let them know where I was mentally, so I didn’t harm myself.
“I just made a commitment to get better. I had sought professional help in the past, and I do recommend that anyone going through this seek professional help.”
Wanting to help others going through something similar she earned certifications in life coaching and mindfulness.
“I already had a master’s degree in counselling,” she said. She set up Metanoia Power in 2018.
“Metanoia means to have a profound change of heart through thought pattern,” she explained.
She gives her clients a number of resources to help them identify negative mindsets, and uses mindfulness training to help them develop greater awareness of their bodies, breathing, and the world around them.
So far, she has five clients ranging in age from 25 to 45. She works with them through video conferencing, or face to face out of her Warwick home. Some of the people she helps are dealing with illness, while others are simply dealing with persistent negative circumstances.
“I am an agent for everybody,” she said. “Some of the people I see are on the brink of hopelessness and despair. A lot of times people get stuck in ‘this is how I am’. I wanted people to know that their power is found in changing their thought patterns and growing as an individual.”
She has designed a self-test that helps people identify their negative thought patterns. One such pattern might be catastrophising, basically blowing all of life’s hiccups out of proportion.
“I tended to do that,” she said. “If I felt a pain coming on, I would think ‘oh my gosh, I am going to have to go to the hospital. I am going to miss this event. I will have to call in sick to work.’ In reality if you just focused on that one pain happening you could possibly eliminate that whole scenario. Because we tend to get trapped in our minds we make our problems bigger and by making them bigger our body reacts.”
On June 22 she plans to launch a four-part video series to help people zero in on their negative thought patterns.
“We will focus on your triggers,” she said. “We’ll look at cleaning the slate and creating new behaviours and a new lifestyle. Resources for that are included.”
She made the videos herself. It’s no small task for her to run Metanoia Power. She works full time as a business analyst. She is also a single mother to a one-year-old daughter, Satya.
“I also have my illness to deal with,” she said. She manages it all through careful planning.
“I have a schedule for everything I do,” she said. “Some days may look different from others, but there is a baseline for everything.”
But she said working on Metanoia give her energy. “I usually get work done when I put my daughter to sleep, or I work on my lunch breaks,” Ms Tuzo Smith said. “I try to commit to something each day and it gets done.”
To register for the video tutorials before July 17, the cost is $188. After that the price is $235.
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Ada Foggo (1928-2020)
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