Break Out of Character with Me
Welcome, friends and allies!
Your curiosity probably brought you to my site because you are looking for coaching.
My name is Melissa Armstrong, and it’s great to meet you.
I was born under a full moon, and My Sharona was the #1 song on the radio. I am a developmental coach and mindfulness teacher. I coach people through personal change, by providing a relationship space for them to reflect, process emotions, and create new behaviours and habits. I help people relate better to themselves and to others, and I help people in recovery to unshackle themselves from the pain and numbing of addictions.
I believe in individual awakening for collective freedom. To do my part in working to end systemic oppression, I actively work on myself and in my coaching and facilitation practice to: embody inclusive values and inclusive language, to recognize and unpack the privilege I have as a white, straight woman, to try to use my privilege to help other people get free, to be open to feedback, to correct my mistakes, to learn and unlearn, to offer reduced fees and scholarships for my one on one coaching to BIPOC and people from other marginalized groups, to be an ally, and to listen. My Wonder Recovery coaching group is pay-what-you-can. I also make recurring monthly financial contributions to groups who are doing people-liberating and climate-saving social justice work. I am inspired by the Buddhist Peace Fellowship's framework Block, Build, Be. Block harm and oppression, Build inspiring alternatives, and Be in alignment with spiritual truths. I try to use this framework as my personal rubric (or simple and explicit guideline) for checking with myself: how's my anti-oppression work going? What am I blocking? What am I building? And how am I being?
None of us are free until all of us are free.
How can I help you? You are a great fit to work with me in coaching if any of the following apply to you:
You want help to free yourself from old, habituated patterns that aren’t working for you anymore.
You are in addiction recovery and feel stagnant, and want to get in touch with your aliveness and sense of wonder.
You are wrestling with big, difficult emotions and are having a hard time finding emotional peace.
You are experiencing a lot of stress and are ready to experience wellbeing and resilience.
You are interested in learning how to make mindfulness a life practice.
Some of my most beloved interests are:
Mindfulness or the exploration of consciousness,
Magic and the Tarot.
Expansive approaches to addiction recovery,
Lifelong development (waking up and growing up) so that we can take care of the world we live in.
My clients repeatedly say that I am a brilliant sounding board. I will help you to draw out your inner experience, which might include your confusing, conflicted fears, your limiting beliefs, the things you most hope for but are afraid to say, the challenges you keep coming up against, or the permission you want to give yourself. I create the space for you to be seen and heard, and to get in touch with a more spacious, expansive sense of self. My clients say they feel extremely comfortable with me, that I am a great listener, that I’m warm, super honest, and that they love my perspectives and the resources and practices I share with them.
I am a devoted learner. I have deep training in a bunch of systems and models that I weave into my coaching. I am an Integral Master Coach*, a certified Integral Facilitator, a Level 2 Unified Mindfulness coach, and an Integrative Enneagram Practitioner.
I draw on my lived experience in healing from addiction, anxiety and depression, and my career experience as a leader in social policy and systems change in the public sector for over fifteen years.
I'm an expert coach. I have master-level training, and I've been running my private coaching practice since 2016. I created and ran a coaching program for managers at the City of Toronto from 2015-2018. I've been coaching full time as an executive coach at Shopify since April 2018. I have coached hundreds of people and have thousands of coaching hours.
I'm a creator. I never knew that I was an artist until I started creating programs for people. I always thought that artists were people who paint or write music, and since I can't do those things very well, I thought I wasn't an artist. I have learned that I have tons of creativity, and that my creativity is best expressed through my development of coaching and development programs. In addition to the coaching programs I've already mentioned, I have also developed and run lots of different sorts of mindfulness programs: weekly drop-in groups in my local Toronto community, introduction to mindfulness courses for corporate and non-profit audiences, and a mindfulness network at the City of Toronto. Lots more. I love finding ways to help folks connect to mindfulness, and to develop the practice in their own lives. Check out my mindfulness page for more details. I've also created Wonder Recovery, my online group coaching program for people in addiction recovery. Wonder Recovery is a new iteration of a recovery group coaching program called Integral Recovery Toronto. I create, experiment, learn, discover something new, pause, and then keep moving.
Finally, we probably won’t be a fit:
if you’re looking for someone to tell you what to do. I believe you are the authority on your own life. While I think that it’s important for us to consult teachers, guides, therapists, books, and all sorts of other resources, we are ultimately in charge of deciding what is best for us as individuals. I am here to be your ally in that work.
if you're not sure what to work on in coaching, or if you're not sure if you're ready. I lovingly encourage you to get clear on your intention for coaching before you book with me, because you'll get a lot more out of our time together that way.
*Integral Coach™ is a registered trade-mark in Canada owned by Integral Coaching Canada Inc. and licensed to Melissa Armstrong