Author Archives: athena

NEW! RENEW YOU Coaching Program!

Are you living your best life? Or simply feeling like it’s just the same old grind?

Why WAIT for great life moments to “happen” to you?  RENEW YOUR LIFE!

Hit the “refresh” button on YOU and start creating a fresh new approach that makes your heart SING!

Find out how my RENEW YOU life coaching program can help YOU.

Click the link below for further information

PowerVision Coaching- Renew YOU! Program


Athena Westlaken 416 587-3512

How to navigate career/life balance through a crisis.


Are you of those enviable souls who’s being pulled equally hard in ALL directions simultaneously? Do you struggle to balance the demands of raising kids, managing a career or growing a business while simultaneously taking care of ill or disabled parents? Well, you’re not alone! You are part of the growing demographic known as “the sandwich generation.” But, what happens when you’re juggling multiple priorities and crisis hits?…
It’s time to grab your oxygen mask! You feel depleted right? Stuck between those seemingly insurmountable boulders that rolled down your path. The greatest challenge is to actually find and carve out that elusive yet invaluable time to care of yourself!
You’ve likely heard the metaphor about the “OXYGEN MASK” scenario. Classic emergency training response says – YOU should take the oxygen first to empower yourself save others. Easy right? Not so, when you are utterly immersed in a crisis management scenario, or have become absorbed as a primary caregiver.

Last year, when my mother’s Mild Cognitive Impairment (M.C.I.) rapidly progressed to onset Alzheimer’s, she went from forgetfulness to dangerous bouts of wandering. After disappearing for hours and being returned by Police, my 91 year old father could no longer contain her or chase after her when she took off. Although physically, she’s remarkably strong, fit and able-bodied for her 87 years, we decided the safest solution was to put her in a secured home. A very sad day.
Moving my mother away was depressing enough, but what ensued over the next few months was the unforeseeable series of crisis management issues at the new senior’s home! My life toppled out of control – while struggling through changes and over-loaded responsibilities of my own family, career, volunteer work and business needs – to suddenly rushing out to emergency calls, centred around issues in the new seniors home. In addition, we were managing the devastating depression that impacted my father. Now, emotionally lost and separated from his love of 63 years of marriage, he struggled to accept the new reality. Alzheimers is a disease that robbed us of one of the most witty, clever, highly intelligent, literate and fun-loving, age-defying women I know: my mum.

I took charge, after an alarming series of crises occurred during my mother’s so-called “care”. The pricey for-profit seniors home (with the alleged secured floor she escaped from on the first day) seemed deceptively suitable at first. But, mounting incidents of subpar “care” forced us to push emergency buttons to get her moved to a more suitable LTC facility which finally provided some necessary relief, after months of sleepless nights.
Everything was overwhelming. My own life ground to a halt. I lost valuable business time, money and focus. I stopped doing the things I valued that fed my soul. I withdrew from friends not wanting my sadness to burden them. I was heading for a crash landing and had to don my “oxygen mask”. After allowing myself time to mourn, wallow and eat carbs (grieving is a necessary step in extreme situations) I put on my “spiritual” oxygen mask and inhaled deeply and here is what I did…

I thought to myself “I’m a professional coach. How would I coach someone else through this?”

FIRST: Focus on what’s important right now!

VISUALIZE STABILITY: What can you control within the chaos? What’s the worst case scenario? What would be a best-case scenario under the present limitations? What changes do you need to put in place to ensure your life is manageable right now?

DETERMINE YOUR PRIORITIES: Communicate and negotiate these to fit with expectations of others. What do you need most right now? What’s a priority? What could you survive without right now? Decrease or delegate your workload if possible. Let “good enough” prevail over perfection – for now. Try managing only 2-3 top priorities instead of juggling 10 things. Recognize that the world won’t crumble and these changes are circumstantial and temporary. Decide what actions or choices would best fulfill your current needs.

TAKE POSITIVE ACTION: Feed and protect your emotional needs. What/who do you personally need most to help you re-focus, re-oxygenate and re-generate right now? Communicate your situation. Line up your best emotional support network for emergencies. Talk to a trusted friend, partner, life coach or therapist. Focus on what’s most important right now. Grieve a little, but do take baby-steps and create actions toward positive solutions. Ponder what regrets you might have later, for choices you could make now.

REMEMBER YOUR OXYGEN MASK! BREATHE DEEPLY. Focus only on healing your mind, body and spirit. Take valuable time for yourself and be with those you love most while you can. Thankfully, my crisis situation has settled now: my parents needs are being managed and I’m not on daily high-alert anymore. I’m sleeping, exercising, working and socializing again. I feel re-generated with renewed inspiration to bring my best self forward again. But mostly, I’ve recognized the value in taking time to re-fuel and strengthen myself first in order to return to being strong for those who put their faith in me. I’m ready to help others remove their respective boulders and live life fully again.

Why wait for January 2016?




The first 5 people to sign up for this 1:1 coaching program


Will receive ONE FREE COACHING SESSION per package.

Unleash your creativity, create your personal vision board, and embrace new possibilities.

Ignite your potential to create 2016 as your personal best year yet!

Hurry! Spots are limited!


For more information: book your free coaching consultation.

Call coach Athena Westlaken @ 416 587-3512

Overcoming Setbacks

Overcoming disappointments and setbacks are a huge part of life. Show me a person who always gets exactly what they want all the time and I’ll put on my Superwoman cape now, and save the world from pain, anguish, poverty and despair too! Yeah right!

The true definition of success is not about winning, but rather how you deal with adversity or failure, then come back from loss. What makes someone a real “winner” is how they reinvent, reposition or repurpose themselves after failure. Think of inspiring movie themes or stories that have a compelling protagonist who had to push past seemingly insurmountable odds, or painful setbacks and heart-wrenching disappointment – and you’ll also see this underdog propel from rags to riches; from distraught to distinguished; from hurt to hero. That’s success!

10 Examples of Movies with Inspirational Themes:

  1. Pursuit of Happiness (true story about journey, hardship, and determination)
  2. The Blindside (true story about overcoming odds and limitations)
  3. Soul Surfer (true story about persistence after life threatening event)
  4. Slumdog Millionaire (surmounting limitations and hardship)
  5. Billy Elliot (pursuing your dream, despite others expectations)
  6. Pay it Forward (being a “game-changer” acting with purpose)
  7. Cast Away (the power of survival and never giving up)
  8. 127 Hours (true story about hope, survival and determination)
  9. Forrest Gump (perseverance and hard work triumph over smarts)
  10. Little Miss Sunshine (a dysfunctional family, pulls together through tragedy)

Pushing through disappointments, setbacks and obstacles takes grit, strength, persistence, inner confidence and the inner self-belief that you know you have what it takes. Deep down, you know that you can do it.

In his book “The 8 Traits Successful People Have in Common” Richard St. John conducted 10 years of research and 500 face-to-face interviews with extraordinarily successful people, including, Bill Gates, Martha Stewart, Richard Branson, Jane Goodall and the Google Founders. He culls his findings down to these 8 common traits:

  1. Passion
  2. Work
  3. Focus
  4. Push
  5. Ideas
  6. Improve
  7. Serve
  8. Persist

What do you want to shift, change or repurpose to write your own success story?

Career Switching: Are you ready?

CAREER SWITCHING: How to be realistic and successful in your ambition and desire for change.

Interested in making a career move? Do you crave a NEW more desirable job or career change?

Are you excited by the idea of moving to a fresh new industry, or shooting for a new and slightly more challenging role or promotion? Maybe you want to experience a new type of company? Whatever that big change entails, it can be daunting. Here’s the good news…our greatest fear often stems from a simple lack of information. Once we fill in the blanks, it’s not so scary!

Many job switchers are too fearful to push themselves out of their comfort zone to go after the career or job they really want. In reality, they may be closer to success than they even realize, but they simply didn’t have enough information to know that! They may get discouraged or feel stuck before they even venture down that path, forcing them to potentially stagnate, doing what they already know.

Here’s the thing…most employers love people who aspire to grow, learn, adapt and challenge themselves. It says a lot about your character and potential when you’re willing stretch and grow. As long as your transferable skills hold enough relative value to the desired role, and you demonstrate passion for the opportunity and capability to rise to new challenges — you may be well worth the risk. Employers love candidates who bring fresh skills, new ideas, different industry perspectives and experience to the table. Perhaps your hybrid industry knowledge, special skills or previous experience could prove to be just the right new mix to make you uniquely great for the job, and highly desirable!

It all boils down to knowing your PERSONAL BRAND and learning how to capitalizing on your TRANSFERABLE SKILLS.

When assessing unknown opportunities, listen to your gut. Does it feel right? Find out as much as you can to turn any “unknowns” into “known facts”. Take action: Confidence comes from what we do or don’t do. The more you know, the less you’ll fear.

Take my Self-test now to see if you are you ready for a big change.
• How well do you know your strengths and your most transferable skills?
• How confident are you, expressing your Personal Brand and unique qualities?
• How passionate are you about this area of change?
• How comfortable are you with change?
• Are you ready, open and adaptable to learn and grow?
• Are you a quick, capable and willing learner for the new subject matter or skills required?
• Are you assessing the opportunity realistically against your natural or transferable skills combined with any new skill areas you’d be challenged to stretch?
• Does this opportunity for change require special skills, talent or credentials you lack? (Be real about this. Remember – if you’re tone deaf, you’re not cut out for that music career you always fantasized about).
• When you read your desired job description, do you feel confident saying, “yes I have this” to 80% of the desired traits listed?
• Do you feel confident that you can learn, grow and manage the other 20% required to “stretch” for this job?

Most job changes are realistically achievable with the right skills, attitude, network, support, resources, effort and passion to succeed. The only thing stopping you is FEAR OF THE UNKNOWN. Step out of your comfort zone – FIND OUT MORE! Ask lots of questions, research the area of change: learn about new companies, industries or roles. Gather as much information as you can to feel comfortable and confident moving forward. Interview people already doing the job. Find people who’ve made similar career changes and learn how they succeeded. Don’t be afraid to ask questions: people are flattered when you take a genuine interest in their experiences and stories. Once you succeed – pay it forward for others.

“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself” -Franklin D. Roosevelt

Change Your Mindset – Change your Life!  


How fulfilling would life be if nothing really changes?

What important transformation or change would you really like to set in motion for the year 2014?

“If you always do what you always did. You’ll always get what you always got.” – Unknown

Sure…change may be stressful. Most people fear the unknown. Have you ever done something new with unexpectedly great results?  Think about that and ask yourself: “If I’d never done that, or taken that risk – I would never be where I am today!”

What happens when you step out of your comfort zone? When you set new goals you create NEW opportunities, with new opportunities you have a higher likelihood of improving something about yourself. If you set goals to stretch yourself and improve or try something new – you just might experience one of the most fulfilling, most successful years of your life.

My personal experience has taught me: The greater the risk – the greater the reward! What’s holding your back?

If you want to really experience your best year ever…explore your power, create your vision and LIVE IT!

You only have one life to live. Live it!

Step out of the box and say…

“THIS IS THE YEAR THAT I WILL__________________”    (WHAT?)