I had this photo taken in September, 2020 by a friend/photographer. I had reached out to him a week earlier and said, "hey, it's time for a shoot.". This is a time in my life that I want to document - I'm living in a place that at one point, was inconceivable. That obviously was not true, but it's certainly what my beliefs from years prior forced me to accept.
It was a late Saturday night in early July in the middle of a global pandemic, that I was in my office organizing my week with studio headphones on playing a favorite track loudly that holds deep messaging for me; a story of breaking free and into your power ("Giant" by Calvin Harris). I share this because on the 3rd loop of the song, I came to tears. I had a moment of clarity that reminded me that I never thought I could be where I was in that exact moment. I felt 100% free and 100% worthy of all that I have. I was able to feel what it meant to be living a life drenched in purpose.
Here's the thing; I lost my Dad when I was 19. He was my hero. He was a powerful man; not just in his work professionally, but wholly as a man. He was a leader and trailblazer in our community that transcended barriers and social norms to make his mark in the world around him. His impact as a Father was deep on me. He left a legacy of being in service of others, to "leave no man behind". I recall hearing while growing up, and still at times today when he's brought up in conversation - that "he was always helping people."
My life after Dad passed, did not resemble that of the once confident young man that I was. Athletic, witty, charismatic, warm hearted, and decently handsome. I struggled deeply and privately for the better part of 9 years. I came to realize that they called this dark period, depression. If we met in the 2000's, you probably wouldn't see the insecurity that was dictating my thoughts, actions and words. I became deeply committed to breaking free of "it" through the help of some incredible professionals, including my coach, James Boileau.
I lived through what I have described as being a rebirth. I broke off the shackles of past pain, guilt, shame, fear and uncertainty. I was promised that "it is going to get far more difficult, before it gets easier." I now understand that statement as a part of the process in growth; and it has held true in all of my ambitions to this point in my almost 40 years.
In 2013, I decided that one day soon, I would step into my higher purpose in this lifetime by moving away from my entrepreneurial endeavours and committing to learning more about human behaviour so that I could effectively serve those around me in need. I earned my first coaching credential soon after, and it was time to get to working with individuals by giving back the gift that is available to all of us: moving forward to a better place.
My work has provided me with the opportunity to connect with and help guide over 700 people move the needle in their careers, and lives as a whole. I work in the corporate world with executives and leaders from global brands and more recently, with individuals from the general public. I've worked within the world of professional sports in the NHL, NBA, CFL and MLS - for a sports fan, this is very cool to mention every time that I do!
Here's the affirmation that I have been offered after over 1000 hours of one on one work with clients independent of personal or professional background : everyone struggles with something that they want to improve. The challenge for most, is not knowing where to start. I say, it starts with a conversation. It did for me, and it can for you. Step into your discomfort, be vivid with yourself. It's not for everyone, but there is an infinite amount of peace and success on the other side.
I'm now a Dad to two boys aged 2 and 4, and a Husband to the woman that I never thought existed. Greater Vancouver, Canada is home for us today and we love the diversity and natural beauty that it offers us.
Thanks for spending time reading this. I look forward to sharing more with you, and hearing about what is getting in the way of where you are and where you are meant to be.
Kav HS Salh
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