Daily Archives: February 8, 2020

Meet Amanda Carson…Social Entrepreneur

This is Amanda Carson. She is the owner of Shift Wpg, her integrative therapy and coaching business. Amanda is also a yoga instructor and teaches classes and workshops throughout Winnipeg. I’d like to thank Amanda for her participation in this interview (including allowing me to use her posts from Instagram) as well as for the work she does in our community. You only need to meet Amanda once to know how genuine she is and how much passion she has for helping people. She also has the most calming voice!  I personally have become so relaxed while listening to her that I have fallen asleep or shifted into a deep meditative state!

Please enjoy learning more about Amanda Carson and Shift Wpg.

 

These are the types of messages that you will see on Amanda’s Instagram account (@shiftwpg). As you scroll through her account you become uplifted and find yourself beginning to think about things in a different way. Amanda offers her own thoughts and shares resources from others to help shift your way of looking at yourself and others. Amanda does this in a way that you know comes from a place of kindness and concern for the wellbeing of all humans.

I first met Amanda in 2016. She was working as a Yoga instructor at a new studio near me and I had made the decision to give Yoga a try. I started off with an introduction to Yoga class that went through some of the basic poses and shared what a Yoga practice can do for us mentally, physically and emotionally. Amanda was one of the workshop leaders. Her and I were partnered for an ice breaker activity and I instantly felt at ease with her. Trying new things can be very challenging for me. On that day I signed up on a whim and I’m so glad I did! Fast forward 3.5 years and here I am submitting an interview of Amanda and have the opportunity to share the amazing work she has been doing. I have thoroughly enjoyed our conversations throughout the years about mindfulness and how I can use it in my classroom (we are hoping to work it out so Amanda can come visit us one day). What I learn from Amanda’s classes gets put to use with my grade 3/4s as we practice mindfulness daily at school.

This photo was taken at one of the introductory workshops I attended with Amanda in 2016!!

Since 2016 Amanda has completed many courses geared toward helping people. Her passion is to help, heal and teach people to practice self love. When we love each ourselves we will also love each other. Amanda’s work fits so well within social entrepreneurship as she has developed a business in which addresses social issues. Positive Mental Health is becoming a well established focus in today’s world. Amanda’s approach to integrative therapy and coaching is very powerful and healing. She doesn’t only focus on one or two areas of stress or anxiety for people but understands that by working collaboratively with people they can find each client’s inner challenges as well as their strengths. One unique things about Amanda is that she acknowledges that we all have stressors, trauma and pain in our lives that we would benefit from seeking help to understand. Her work is about all people’s Mental Health, and not only those with a diagnosed illness. Amanda is open with her own challenges and this openness encourages others to be willing to seek and accept help for their own challenges. A variety of support and treatment options allows Amanda is able to reach a wide audience. She works with people in person at her new office (which I am planning on visiting soon!), virtual sessions are available, group sessions are an option, she is always planning workshops alone and with other local businesses. Amanda can really cater to what your specific needs are. This range of support  options is so effective as she understands that not everyone has the benefits through their jobs that can help pay for these services. To participate in a group workshop is very cost effective and Amanda is always there to listen to your questions and concerns before or after these workshops and help you with your next steps. Her choice to offer a sliding scale for payment is another way that Amanda shows that her desire to help others is her top priority. Yes, Shiftwpg is her business and is how she supports herself financially, but it is also her platform to help those in need and sometimes those in need also require a break in cost of services. Amanda uses Social Media to share resources, announce workshops, educate people about the work she does and inspire people to take care of themselves and each other. In a world where Social Media can be viewed as damaging to our self love, Amanda offers the perspective of how it can also do the opposite. “It is important to be aware of accounts we are following…do they lift us up or do they trigger us in some way?”

Amanda has a beautiful soul. She truly wants to make the world a better place and because of that has created a career where she can support herself financially and fuel her desire to help others. Amanda always speaks highly of other people in our city and finds ways to support them work with them through collaboration. Her intent is not to complete with others who might be doing similar work, but to work together to achieve the ultimate goal of helping people.

Thank you again Amanda for all that you’ve done for the people of Winnipeg and beyond.

If you live in the area and you want to take a class with her let me know! Your body, mind and soul will thank you!

For full interview details please continue reading!

Amanda owns Shift Wpg, which is an integrative therapy and coaching business. She provides therapy and coaching to her clients privately, in groups, and in workshop settings. Amanda’s background is in social work, hypnotherapy, coaching, yoga and mindfulness. She utilizes all of these approaches in the work she does with her clients so that it is holistic in nature. Amanda support those going through various challenges in their life including managing stress, anxiety, depression, grief, loss and chronic pain/illness and teaches people tools and techniques so that they can live in a positive state of wellbeing and health.

Human beings are certainly complex! Each with their own set of unique challenges and also their own unique strengths. The work that Amanda does is very much a collaborative effort with the clients she sees, which means they have to be willing to hold themselves accountable in order to make positive changes in their lives and Amanda needs to believe in their ability to heal, grow and evolve. It can certainly be challenging, but it can also be very rewarding and humbling. We, as humans are resilient creatures and Amanda’s belief is that we all thrive when we utilize our inner resources while navigating what life presents us with.

When Amanda was asked motivated her to take the steps she has taken to realize the social entrepreneurial accomplishments she has attained she answered very honestly:” Definitely my own personal and professional challenges. I have been very fortunate and have received assistance from helpers from various disciplines and have always had a good support network of family and friends in my life. I have witnessed that we are always better together and every one of us can use a bit of guidance and support from time to time. I started working in hospital and health care centres after finishing my degree in social work but quickly knew I wanted to work on a much deeper, personal level with my clients than I was finding I was able to in previous job settings. I created my business based on these personal and professional interests and values.”

Amanda admits that there are many barriers she has had to overcome throughout her entrepreneurial journey.

The first barrier she speaks to was: imposter syndrome. “That feeling of “not being good enough” to be doing what I am doing. Dealing with those thoughts that there is always someone who is doing it better, that I am not skilled enough or experienced enough. This is something that still pops up every now and then but what I like to focus my attention on is all of the positive work I am doing with my clients, witnessing them improve their life circumstances and stand in their strength reminds me I am right where I am meant to be.”

Another challenge for Amanda is charging professional fees for her services. “That was a tough one to get used to. I personally have chosen to offer on a sliding scale to make my services more accessible for those who do not have insurance coverage, I offer donation based community workshops through out the year. I provide referrals for people to access mental health services that are free or income based in our community. This is definitely something that is important to me. Our system needs to do better at prioritizing mental health. I’m not sure what the all the answers are but I do my best in supporting people in the ways that I can while also recognizing my own worth as a practitioner.”

Amanda has some recommendations for fostering more creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship in people . One of which is simple and effective: “Allow people the opportunity to stay curious. I tell my clients all the time to “imagine” their various possibilities, goals, desires. Our minds are more powerful than we often give them credit for. Everything was once only an idea. One of my favourite aspects of this is encouraging people to learn from others instead of compare themselves to others. If you see someone doing something you love or also want to do, then that means you too are just as capable of accomplishing it or anything else for yourself.”

When asked if Amanda sees her efforts as contributing to social, economic, cultural, or environmental health and well-being her response was…Absolutely! “I would say all of the above. My work is very holistic, so when I meet with clients we really take into consideration all of these aspects of our wellbeing. I am a big fan of educating people on the different resources available to them in our city, whether that be services that are focused on mental, physical, social or even professional/educational wellness. I value informing clients on resources they can access whether they be free of charge, support our local businesses, or focus on culturally specific traditions and teachings. I work with clients in person but also virtually which allows me to support our community but also those throughout our country.”

Amanda’s concluding thoughts are:

“I love spreading valuable and informative content for the public over social media platforms such as instagram or facebook. People can connect with me there @shiftwpg or www.facebook.com/shiftwpg. Speaking of social media in general, it is important to be aware of accounts we are following, do they lift us up or do they trigger us in some way? Social media has been the number one tool for growing my business. I believe in our ability to use it as a way of connecting with like minded individuals, creating community and sharing/learning with and from others.”