“I realized I am capable of so much more than I ever dreamed of.”

Photography of Yvonne Heath giving a presentation.
Yvonne Heath

Meet Yvonne

I am married to my best friend Geordie, have three amazing children, and I am loving life in beautiful Muskoka, Canada.

I’ve been a registered nurse since 1988 working in ten different hospitals in the US and Canada in many areas including emergency, intensive care, chemotherapy and hospice.

I became disheartened by our society’s reluctance to talk about, plan and prepare for grief and how it causes excessive suffering in life and at the end of life. I suffered too, not knowing how to do it differently. 

So, in 2015, I took a leap of faith, left my nursing career and blazed a new trail. I share my message as an author, speaker, television and radio host, and through social media. 

My TEDx Talk—Transforming Grief, by Just Showing Up, was launched in May 2019.

I am travelling and sharing with the world and helping great organizations along the way. I’m also so excited to share the I Just Showed Up movement.

What would you say has been the biggest shift in your life since turning 40 (or 50)?

After taking that big leap of faith at age 50, which required vacating my comfort zone, I realized I am capable of so much more than I ever dreamed of.  And, that learning to deeply love my weird, flawed, vulnerable, and imperfect self is being the very best version of me. That is my greatest gift to myself and to the world. I am truly, truly happy being my authentic self and living my purpose.

When do you feel you are most powerful?

I was terrified and refused to public speak most of my life. When I realized I’d have to speak if I wanted to create social change and share my book and other work, I froze. But passion and purpose took over and now I LOVE to be on stage sharing my message as an Inspirational and Transformational Speaker! I did not ever believe this could be possible!

What are the top 3 most important things to you right now?

  1. My health and happiness
  2. My family and being a great example so they are healthy and happy
  3. Sharing my message with the world and creating social change

How do you make sure your actions are aligned with what’s most important to you?

My actions are aligned with my values, integrity and purpose everywhere, every day—even when no one is watching. 

What seeds are you planting today for the future?

I am sharing my message of living life to the fullest, learning to grieve and support others, and having “The Talk” about end of life long before it arrives and diffusing the fear with my book, speaking, social media, and now with my online program. I want this information to be available to anyone, anytime, anywhere, forever. 

The seeds I am planting are creating social change now and in the future. This is an important part of my legacy.

What advice would you give someone who is interested in redesigning midlife?

Remember that it’s all made up, so create a life you love. It doesn’t have to make sense at first (did my becoming an author and a speaker with no experience and being terrified make sense?). But it has to come from passion! It can be frightening and exciting being out of your comfort zone. Do it anyway. That’s where your new life is!

How can people connect with you and your work?

They can visit my website. All social media links can be found there too!

Welcome to my Power Profiles series.

Here I introduce you to powerful midlife role models in our community. May these stories inspire you, motivate you, and show you what is possible.

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About the author

Sara Smeaton

I help you discover the joy and power in midlife and navigate the transitions on your own terms. I am passionate about changing the narrative about aging and am trying to fill the world with profiles of real life people who are thriving and more alive after 40 than ever before. The best is yet to come and there are role models all around us. Book your free 30-minute connection call.

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