Julie-Anne Nayler grew up always knowing she loved to help people, but it wasn’t until a month-long trip to India in university that her true calling suddenly made itself known.
“I worked with prostituted women in the red-light district, and that’s where a lot of my passion stirred and a lot of my awakening of ‘Hey, I really want to speak to the lives of women who don’t know their value and worth’ happened,” she said.
“Now, my heart and my passion are in creating safe spaces where women can connect and see how beYOUtiful, valYOUable and YOUnique they are.”
Since graduating from Yorkville University’s Master of Arts in Counselling Psychology program, Nayler has carved out a space for herself to do just that with Her Inner Heart – a women’s empowerment initiative she launched three years ago.
Drawing on her background as a registered psychotherapist, motivational speaker and event host, Nayler devotes her spare time to organizing events whose aim is to allow women to connect, while also exploring, discovering and empowering their hearts.
“I work full time in a hospital as a psychotherapist dealing specifically with addictions and mental health issues, but all of the side things I do in terms of my women’s events are really all about helping women know their worth, their value, their beauty, and how unique they really are,” she said. “That’s where my passion lies.”
Nayler’s next event, Her YOUnique Purpose: She Believed She Could, So She Did, will take place virtually this Sunday, Sept. 20 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Featuring special guest appearances from award-winning spoken word artist Lamoi Simmonds, former LOVE Inc vocalist Simone Denny, Team Canada Olympic hurdler Nikkita Holder, Breakfast Television makeup artist and beauty expert Tracy Peart, and Black Women in Motion Founder Monica Samuel, Nayler said the focus of the event will centre around purpose, passion and the power of resilience.
“Each of these powerful women will talk about their journeys – how they got to where they are today, what they do to live authentically, and what they did to push past any of the setbacks they encountered along the way,” she said.
“The hope is to stir that relatable-ness – for people to say, ‘Okay, those were pretty big limits these women faced, maybe I can relate. If they could overcome their limits, how can I get past mine, too?’”
A portion of the event’s proceeds will be donated to Black Women In Motion Toronto, a Toronto-based, youth-led organization that empowers and supports the advancement of black womxn and survivors of sexual violence.
Nayler is also scheduled to host a special webinar for Yorkville University next month as part of its ongoing MACP Insight and Inspiration series.
Entitled Understanding Your Purpose: Why It Matters & How To Do It, the upcoming discussion will draw on the teachings of Dr. Paul Wong and his PURE model espousing Purpose, Understanding, Responsible action and Evaluation/Enjoyment.
“What I’ll be discussing in the webinar is how we can practically apply the PURE model into the different seasons of our lives,” Nayler said.
“What is my purpose or meaning? How do I understand what’s going on in this season of my life? How am I reacting to it? What are some actions I can take? And how do I enjoy and evaluate it? The model shows us, practically, how we find purpose and meaning in any season of our lives, but also to use it, practically, with our clients.”
Understanding Your Purpose: Why It Matters & How To Do It will take place on Wednesday, Oct. 14 at 12 p.m. (EDT).