PowerHouse: Leisse Wilcox

Welcome to PowerHouse! An interview series with Kimberly Garner

Motivated by a passion for how home influences one’s life, I decided to start an interview series called PowerHouse. I became curious about the role home plays for people I admire, people living their passion. I want to know how home supports them, how home influences their work and how their work influences their home. PowerHouse has dual meaning. On one hand, it’s about the individual. This person is a PowerHouse, fearlessly following their passion. Additionally, the place they call “home” is a PowerHouse because it’s supporting and inspiring their life from behind the scenes. When our home supports the life we desire it naturally becomes our PowerHouse. This is the essence of Dwellosophy. Every single one of us is a PowerHouse, we’re in various stages along our unique path, some of us are living it, some are fiercely seeking it and some of us feel it within just waiting to blossom. My new PowerHouse series shares the inspiration and experience of home from favorite “movers and shakers”. We’ll learn how these remarkable people experience home, what ingredients make their home a PowerHouse and I’ll share how these ingredients might be incorporated into your own home. We’ll see images of their space and I’ll share where I see Dwellosophy show up. I’ll pose questions for you to consider with your home and how to bring Dwellosophy to life in any space. I hope you love it as much as I enjoy sharing it with you! I chose Leisse Wilcox to kick off the PowerHouse series after following her and especially being impacted by her work...her message. She is a voice of empowerment and inspiration. Once I saw her home featured in Gabrielle Blair’s Living with Kids series, I knew we HAD to meet! Leisse and her home are beautifully tuned to everything Dwellosophy epitomizes. In the following pages you’ll discover how! Let's meet Leisse! Personal: A single mom of three girls, a victor over cancer, and a powerful advocate for fierce personal growth, Leisse lives in Canada and is in the process of selling her home. Career: Leisse is a mindset speaker, coach, and writer trained in Neuro-linguistic Programming (NLP). Her eloquence for words speaks a language in tune with the heart and soul. I think that’s one of the things that makes her so inspiring. Given this, I was eager to learn more about how her home influences her work and life experience. And let me tell you, Leisse could be the poster child for Dwellosophy. Leisse is one of those people you immediately want to call “friend”. Her enthusiasm and delight are contagious. Her passion for life, her girls and her work shines through in who she is...it just does. And her open-hearted insight is spot on! I felt it within the first few moments of our conversation. She’s like that friend who really sees you and can cut through all the b.s. and call it for what it is. The one who holds up the mirror, takes you by the shoulders, turns you face to face with that mirror and says, “Remember, this is who you are!!” Leisse is that friend. It was still dark outside, 6:30am my time, 9:30am in Toronto. I was sitting in my kitchen, green tea in hand, pen and paper at the ready, with all the interview questions I wanted to ask Leisse about her home, her life and work. My Virgo nature decided a sequential order for the eager questions. But that’s just not how it rolls...with Leisse, it flows...effortlessly and beautifully...because after all, isn’t that the way life happens when we follow our passion, with passion?! Yep, at least when it comes to Leisse Wilcox...and that’s where our conversation began and ended with flow, passion and ease. We started with Leisse telling me a little bit about her home. The timing of our interview is interesting because she put her house on the market to sell, marking a shift in her experience of this home. Based on our conversation, I felt Leisse brought a captivating dazzle and vitality to this 1930’s cottage. Here we go! Let's step into her POWERHOUSE! What do you love most about your home? “It’s a true reflection of me and my family. You can feel it as soon as you walk through the door.” That’s the consistent feedback she hears from friends and guests when they come over, her home feels like a reflection of her. This is the very essence of Dwellosophy! Your home should sing your song! Dwellosophy: Life Design Principle #1~ Your home is a reflection of you and your life. If you don’t like that statement, if your home isn’t the reflection you want, prepare to get excited!!! Curious as to what her entry looked and felt like, I asked her to describe what I would experience stepping through her front door. What she described in words captured an experience of place and energy that must be palpable for those lucky guests. Warmth, and the sparkle only laughter leaves in its trail are what came to mind as Leisse so vividly described her entry. What makes this space SO Dwellosophy? It feels good and reflects Leisse, her family, her values and how she approaches life! Gold radiators!! Who spray paints their radiators gold? Leisse does! Festive pink pom-poms Fun & whimsical art The entry exudes a playful light-heartedness Gold peony wallpaper Female pen & ink Fairy doorway on the staircase landing..pure magic! Refrigerator: free form creative expression!! Girls art taped to the glass door Leisse is a master of clear, clean and healthy boundaries and she carries that mastery throughout the space of her home. “Every single thing allowed in my home feels good at the heart level.” Leisse curated a home full of reminders and happy memories, from a red vintage viewfinder with images of Southern France to her girls’ art, and even a vintage record player they regularly use... happy memories live and grow within these walls. When we have clear boundaries we are saying 'yes' to that which supports and 'heck no' to the riff raff that tries to sneak in and sabotage our best life. Dwellosophy: Life Design Principle #2 Maintain clear boundaries. What you bring into the space of your home matters. Did you notice your home change as your work life changed? “I’m packing up a highly curated home and had a profound realization. Deep inner child healing has taken place in this home over the last 2 years.” The mementos that were so healing when she moved in are no longer needed because what they symbolized and spoke is no longer necessary or even relevant, yet those objects informed and supported her process at the time. This is the power our home holds for us. Home wants to be our steadfast friend, holding up the mirror and reflecting back to us that which we need and want to be reminded. So cool! Her next home will likely be very different and and no doubt, beautiful! I can’t wait to see the new space and how it reflects Leisse and her life! Dwellosophy Life Design Principle #3: As you evolve and change, your home evolves with you. Do you have a space from your childhood home that looking back inspired your home? “As a child our house never felt like my home.” Peace, freedom, flow and coziness make her house feel like home. The girls’ artwork lives framed and displayed around the house. “I remember not having that as a child...everything was “perfect.” My house isn’t like that now. Nothing is too precious, except for the couch I bought, which turns out was not made for kids...also, the girls have learned to tiptoe in front of the record player so it won’t skip while we’re dancing and listening to our music.” Dwellosophy Life Design Principle #4: Your home is the living vision board for your life. You can superimpose what you want for your life in the canvas of your home. I’m curious about your passion around being a momma and how it’s juxtaposed with following your passion? “I’ve been fortunate and very intentional. My work is structured around the girls, they’re my priority. It’s very rare for me to work when they’re home. Working from home gives me the flexibility to work during school hours and after the girls fall asleep...Eighty percent of my time I’m with my girls, the other twenty percent, when they’re with their dad, I spend recalibrating.” How did you discover your passion? “My background is in Montessori education, with an interest in developmental psychology. I wrote a newspaper column on parenting, which I turned into a blog, which I turned into a highly active and engaging Instagram account.” Leisse and a friend started a boutique creative agency five years ago. She found their clients gravitating toward her with their work related personal issues like goals, limiting beliefs, blocks and inability to truly do what they wanted, the thing that was truest to themselves. From here, her work naturally evolved into her coaching career, inspiring others and reminding them everything they need already exists within them. “I like to reframe my work as ‘late onset mothering’ for people. I offer the parenting messages that get lost along the way. Things like you are enough exactly as you are. You have value and are worthy of feeling good. You are allowed to do the thing that makes you feel most like YOU.” Through her own brand of guided self inquiry and curiosity, she provides an invitation to experience true feeling. It sounds so simple yet it’s a message most of us haven’t considered, especially when it comes to the uncomfortable. Leisse shares, our freedom lives on the other side of those feelings. “The key is to allow ourselves to feel the uncomfortable emotion. When you have the courage to face what you’re fearing, you get clarity on what it is that’s scaring you. And when you allow yourself to get to that place, you can start to appreciate that even if what you fear the most happens, you’re still going to be ok. This is how you find freedom, allowing yourself to feel the icky stuff, and walking yourself through what it is that’s happening behind the scenes of your mind.” Your Talent + What You Love Doing = Dream Job How does your home environment set the tone for your life? “My core values are peace, ease, comfort, freedom, flow...if that’s off, nothing feels right. Making our home rich in expressing each of those values is essential to our family flow.” Of all the homes, places and people on this planet, where is home for you? “I put ‘Home is wherever I’m with you.’ on my letterboard, because I create home wherever I am. I’m the person who goes to a cottage and before I’m even unpacked, have set up a fruit bowl on the table. Wherever we are together, my girlies and I, that is home. Leisse brought her little cottage back to life and if I were to personify her home, I bet having Leisse and the girls live within those walls felt like sunshine. I have to wonder if her home isn’t quite ready to let them go? If I were that house, I’d definitely want to hold on to them for as long as I could! My walk away three words when I think of Leisse: passion, openhearted and intention. Leisse, thank you for sharing yourself, your radiance and your home with us. You are a POWERHOUSE! You inspire! Parting wisdom from Leisse: Nothing is finite everything is fleeting. Learn to be less attached to the outcome. Begin to question this relentless pursuit of what we don’t have. We’re constantly feeling the need of chasing more…there exists so much good in the present. When we experience inner peace we don’t need a break from our own lives. We are designed to evolve. You have everything you need inside you. Leisse inspires thousands daily via her Instagram handle @leissewilcox and can be found at her home on the web at https://leissewilcox.ca/