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  • Writer's pictureMichelle Henderson

Unleash your Inner Magic: Isabelle Fortin


Woman unleashing magic
Unlease Your Purpose

In the realm of personal development and empowerment, few stories are as inspiring as that of Isabelle Fortin. With a journey marked by resilience, self-discovery, and a commitment to helping others unlock their full potential, Isabelle's path from Air Force veteran to mindset strategist is nothing short of remarkable.

 

Courage Before Confidence: A Guiding Principle

 

Isabelle's favorite inspirational quote, "It's okay if you're scared. Just do it scared," encapsulates her philosophy on life. She believes that true courage is taking action despite fear, emphasizing that waiting for confidence before taking a leap often leads to stagnation. This principle resonates deeply with her own experiences, where stepping into the unknown has been a recurring theme.

 

From Military Service to Massage Therapy: A Serendipitous Journey

 

Isabelle's journey began with a decade-long stint in the Air Force, a tradition deeply rooted in her family history. However, her path took an unexpected turn when she stumbled into the world of massage therapy almost by chance. What started as a casual invitation to a massage workshop blossomed into a 24-year career fueled by a passion for human connection and empathy.

 

Embracing Vulnerability: The Heart of Massage Therapy

 

As a massage therapist, Isabelle found fulfillment in the intimate connections forged with her clients. Beyond the physical aspect of her practice, she valued the opportunity to create a space where individuals could embrace vulnerability and share their stories. It was this genuine human connection that kept her engaged in the profession for over two decades.

 

Transitioning to a Mindset Strategist: A Journey of Self-Discovery

 

Isabelle's evolution from massage therapist to mindset strategist was catalyzed by a client's insightful observation. Recognizing her innate ability to offer perspective and guidance beyond physical therapy, Isabelle embarked on a journey of self-improvement and learning. Armed with tools from neurolinguistic programming and emotional freedom tapping, she transitioned into her new role with a focus on empowering individuals to break free from limiting beliefs.

 

The Power of Humor in Healing

 

Central to Isabelle's approach is the power of humor in healing. She leverages laughter as a tool to navigate challenges, foster self-compassion, and lighten the weight of life's burdens. By encouraging clients to find humor in their flaws and imperfections, she helps them embrace their authentic selves and cultivate joy amidst adversity.

 

Lifelong Learning and Personal Growth

 

Isabelle's journey serves as a testament to the importance of lifelong learning and personal growth. Despite her extensive experience and expertise, she remains humble and open to new experiences. Her commitment to continuous self-improvement underscores the belief that growth is a never-ending journey—one that requires curiosity, adaptability, and a willingness to embrace change.

 

Conclusion: Inspiring Others to Rewrite Their Stories

 

In sharing her story, Isabelle Fortin exemplifies the transformative power of resilience, self-discovery, and human connection. From her humble beginnings in the Air Force to her current role as a mindset strategist, she has inspired countless individuals to rewrite their own narratives and embrace the fullness of their potential. As we reflect on her journey, may we be reminded of the courage it takes to step into the unknown and the profound impact of embracing vulnerability, humor, and lifelong learning along the way.

 

Isabelle's journey is truly inspiring, isn't it? Her story reminds us that no matter where we come from or what challenges we face, we have the power to rewrite our own narratives and embrace the fullness of our potential. Unleash Your Inner Magic!



Transcript before Editing:


Michelle Henderson :

Hello. Hello, Isabel. Thank you so much for being a part of the program. I am so excited to hear about your background, your inspiration, and where you are now. Thank you. But before we get started, before I ask you any of those wonderful questions to learn more about you is I want you to go ahead and tell us about an inspirational message that you love to tell people that need to be inspired, and then we'll go on from there.


Isabelle Fortin :

Oh, that's easy. My favorite inspirational quote is, it's okay if you're scared. Just do it scared, and that's it, because I love it. It is courage before confidence. It's not the other way around. If you wait until you're confident, you're never going to get off the couch. You're going to keep on watching Netflix. So it's courage before confidence, do it scared.


Michelle Henderson :

And that is very true, and I understand that because yeah, Netflix is kind of a great thing because, well, a great thing when I say that because a lot of people do, they want to make their mind busy, so they're not really thinking, you know what I'm saying? So I understand that completely. So now let's talk about what has inspired you in your life. What I understand is you were in the Air Force


Isabelle Fortin :

Yeah. For a Decade


Michelle Henderson :

Oh my gosh. And then massage therapist and then your mindset facilitator. So tell us how you got started and what inspired you to go this way.


Isabelle Fortin :

Well, I joined the military because being in the Air Force was the family business. Both my parents had served in the Canadian Air Force, and when I joined, my brother was still an Air Force pilot. So right out of high school, there was just no question, you just join the Air Force and you do your time. And that was it. Excuse me. Again, excuse me. And I became a massage therapist actually, by accident, to be very honest with you, Michelle, because I had a friend who had registered for a 15 hour introduction to Swedish Massage weekend. And she really, really did not want to go alone. And for me, as a general rule, when it comes to activities and stuff and invitations for dinner or gathering or any sort, if I have no reason to say no, then I accept. Then I was not inclined to become a massage therapist at all. But she was inviting me and I had real no valid reason to say no. So went and the teacher was intriguing and passionate and interesting and funny, and at the end of the 15 hours, I just went to see her, to thank her, and I said, I feel like I don't know enough. I just wanted more of what she was doing. I was very inspired by that woman. And she said, well, the next step would be 200 hours in Swedish massage. And so I registered to that. And then during the 200 hours, then the school teacher, the school principal came to see me and he said, well, you're going to need 30 hours of this. And that turned into 45 hours of that, and that turned into 75 hours. And another thing, and I just became a massage therapist.

I was just going to say, just because I was curious.


Michelle Henderson :

Oh yeah, absolutely. Now becoming a massage therapist. So what did you, I love to go to massage therapy. Absolutely love it. And so what really drew, you were inspired by somebody else, but what really made you stick with it? What did you think about, I mean, how did it fulfill you?


Isabelle Fortin :

It was the contact with humans, because when you're a massage therapist, your client is very often literally naked, but in every sense of the word, because it's not only that they have to be either in the nude or in their underwear, but there's something about taking your clothes off. And I don't mean that in a sexual way. I just mean physically taking your clothes off. That brings the opportunity for vulnerability. And I've always been a very empathetic person. So even during massages, people started confiding in me, and that kind of privileged relationship was very fulfilling for me. It's the human. I'm always interested by humans. I find people have, everybody has a story, everybody. And that's why I did it for so long.


Michelle Henderson :

Oh,


Isabelle Fortin :

Wow. 24 years.


Michelle Henderson :

Wow. And I love how you said that because it's almost like when you go to a hairdresser or you go and you have a couple of drinks with the bartender right there, people do, they open up and you get to learn more about them. It's almost like you're a psychologist, a counselor or whoever, but they can find in you and they trust you. And you're right, there's so many people that I interview on the show that started out as massage therapists and they become lightworkers or coaches, like you said, that human spirit, it's almost like they felt a belonging. And that's exactly what you did, it sounds like then you


Isabelle Fortin :

That's exactly what I did.


Michelle Henderson :

Yeah. And you moved on to mindset facilitator. What exactly is that?


Isabelle Fortin :

Well, it's a similar story to how I became a massage therapist. It's when I have no reason to say no. I say yes. And at the end of an appointment, a regular client that would come to see me every month, and she did that for 15 years, and she was paying and getting her next appointment. And I live in Canada, so we have harsh winter. So putting on, I was helping her putting on the jacket, the coat, the whatever, and the scarf, boots, whatever. And she said, she took kind of a pause and she looked at me and she said, Isabelle, I actually don't come to see you for the massage. And I took a little bit of a step back because I didn't know where she was going with that.

And she ended up saying, don't get me wrong, you're great at it. And my body needs it, and it always does my body good, however I come here to talk to you, because whenever I leave your house, I always leave with a different perspective about anything that I am going through in my life, whether it's with my husband or my kids. And her kids were really troubled youth at that time, and she's a high school teacher, so well, she was getting a different perspective. So she looked at me, she said, so you are more than just my massage therapist. Not that it simply not just, you're more than simply my massage therapist. You're like my life coach. And Michelle, I got to tell you, I hate that term. I hate that term. If you're listening and you're a life coach, it has nothing to do with what you do for a living. It's the term I don't like. So life coaches are great. Most of them are great, and they are much needed, but I just didn't know how that would apply to. So I decided to just go back to school, and I took neurolinguistics programming and I took emotional freedom tapping and this and that, and it just snowballed like massage therapy had. And eventually I became mindset strategist. I just changed my title to a mindset strategist.


Michelle Henderson :

Oh, I love it. I got to write that down. Mindset strategist. I like that because yeah,


Isabelle Fortin :

Thank you. Don't think that I am a coach. I find that coaches tend to, even if I think about sports, coaches tend to tell people what to do. That's not what I do at all. I just help come up with strategies so you can improve your mindset and therefore improve your life. So that's why I changed my title.


Michelle Henderson :

I love it. Because you're strategizing, you're helping others strategize. You're not telling them what to do, like you said, as a coach. And I think when you say life coach, I think a lot of people don't realize how general that is.


Isabelle Fortin :

Yeah, it's very broad.


Michelle Henderson :

Exactly. Exactly. And I absolutely love the fact that you go, okay, I'm going back to school for more hours. I'm going to go ahead and learn. So you're lifelong learner.


Isabelle Fortin :

Yeah, I did that so many times it's not even funny. And even when I was in the military, I changed trade within the military, so I went back to school then I am going to be 84 years old, and I'll be going full-time to college studying philosophy. I truly am work in progress, and I will never be done learning. Thank God for that. Thank God for that. But some days it's harder because when you are a lifelong learner, you never get to a destination. You're never done. I never feel accomplished, ever, because there's always something else to learn in some new journey to embark on. So I'm aging. So some days it's a little bit tiresome.


Michelle Henderson :

No, I understand completely. And I feel like you and I are very similar in that aspect because my husband, he goes, what else are you going to do next? Because I went back to school three different times, and he is going, what are you going to do now? And then when I was going to school, I was multitasking, was doing two jobs and then going to school, motivating. And like you said, we need to continue to improve ourselves. What I want to show everybody is a picture of, I found this on your website,


Isabelle Fortin :

On my website,


Michelle Henderson :

And I love it. It says, rediscover your purpose and unleash your inner magic. And then it says your name, it says, empowering people to break free from limiting beliefs and embrace their authentic self. And I absolutely love that statement. Thank you. Oh, you're welcome. Do you feel like there's any time in your life that you were not showing people your authentic self?


Isabelle Fortin :

Oh yeah. All the time. It's sneaky. It sneaks up on us. We don't even realize that we're not being connected to ourselves. And actually, I have a very, very recent example for you. I was sharing with you off air that I had a hard fall. Not that I fell physically, but the season of fall, I've had covid and I was really sick. And when I recuperated from that, I had a car accident and I broke a collarbone. It could have been much, much worse because the gentleman who, and it was my fault actually, but the gentleman who hit my car, had he not have very, very good reflexes, his SUV would've hit me in the driver's door. So I mean, I am kind of even lucky to be okay and to be alive because it could have been fatal. And right after that, I got a nasty cold, which I'm still coughing from all of these events leading up to Christmas. And the last, I'm a solopreneur, so the last quarter of the year and blah, blah, blah. And you're looking at your finances, and I've had to take time off. And when you don't work, you know how it's like when you're an entrepreneur, if you don't work, you're not getting paid, right?

And I forgot, I really forgot. I forgot the funny, I forgot the humor. I forgot to laugh. And that is extremely, extremely away from who I am. I see humor in everything. I laugh at everything. And of course, for those who are listening, of course I don't laugh at rape or wars or anything like that, but if I find this much like half a quarter of an inch of possibility to find something funny, I'll use that. Because I find that humor is how we release stress is how we can cope with the hardship of life. I mean, being human is not always fun. We know this. So we need to cultivate joy And Michelle for three and a half, four months, I forgot to laugh. That's terrible. That's terrible. And it is extremely disconnected from who I am. So we all do it. We all do it.

We all get lost in the hardship of life, and we all get lost in the hardship of the daily living. Life is time consuming. It's not even funny. Going to the grocery store, coming back from the grocery, putting the food away, preparing food, washing dishes, putting the plates away, planning your next meal, washing the dishes, washing your clothes, changing your bed. All of that is time consuming. So if you don't consciously keep joy, it's so easy to lose it. And the proof is in the pudding. I am a mindset strategist and I forgot I got disconnected from myself, and I have all the tools. So it, it's very, very easy. So that would be my example.


Michelle Henderson :

And I love it because I think that you are human and you can show your clients, you know what, or tell your clients, I have been through the exact same thing that you're going through. You know what I'm saying? And that you are able to wake yourself up consciously and go, you know what? I need to start laughing once again. And I think that's wonderful. Don't you think that we go through certain events so that we can help others go through it as well?


Isabelle Fortin :

Amen. Amen. Seriously. Amen. I tell my clients that all the time, I tell anybody who wants to listen that coaches, regardless if it's mindset, life coach, we are not sitting on top of the mountain singing kumbaya because we've got it all figured out. We are climbing and we see your path better, more easily, more clearly than we see ours. And a coach that does not have a coach should not be trusted.


Michelle Henderson :

That's a good point. I mean, it really is because yes, keep going. I'm sorry.


Isabelle Fortin :

No, no, no, no. Don't apologize. I was just going to say we have to be coachable. And it's actually my coach while I was in the session that looked at me, and I've been going to her for years and years and years. And at one point she looked at me and she says, when's the last time you laughed? I kind of looked at her not knowing the answer because I mean, do you count how many times you laugh in a day? And I said, well, what do you mean? She says, well, Isabelle, you've been coming to see me for at least a decade and some periods of time. I'll go every week for three months and then I won't go for six months. And then so it's when needed kind of thing. And she said, for the last decade, every single time you are in my office, even if you are going through something very emotional, you always find the humor. And today you've been sitting in my office for 50 minutes and you haven't laughed yet. And I had to look at myself and go, man, I forgot the funny, I forgot how important. Seeing the light and making things lighter is important, and that the way that I do it is through humor.


Michelle Henderson :

Oh, I love that. And thank you so much for sharing. Let's get back to your webpage. And the next thing that I see is the question is, are you feeling stuck and unfulfilled despite having it all together on the surface? It's time to let go of the limiting beliefs and embrace. And I love how you put that on your website. I just love the wording. Do you have people that come to you that have problems with their belief system?


Isabelle Fortin :

We all have limiting beliefs. All of us, we have limiting beliefs from our upbringing, from our siblings, from our parents, from our community, from our culture, from our religion, from ourselves, from our past trauma, from, I mean, a lot of our beliefs do come from our upbringing, and some of them are just beliefs that we took, that we accumulated along the way. As we grow older, and some of us are older than others, and we forget, myself included, to reevaluate these beliefs and see, okay, is that still serving me? And if yes, fine. And if no, then perhaps it's time to move on and change your belief. So we all have that, all of us. It's part of the human experience.


Michelle Henderson :

Oh, I love it. Absolutely. Now, whenever you have a client, and I know that it varies, it depends upon the client that you have, but what strategy, when you're talking about strategist, what kind of strategies do you find really works for you as a therapist?


Isabelle Fortin :

Funny, funny,


Michelle Henderson :

Funny. Okay. And when I say therapist, I mean facilitator. No, no,


Isabelle Fortin :

No. I understood. But yeah, I use a lot of humor and I use a lot of bringing my clients to laugh at themselves and not in a mean way, not in a negative way. Quite the opposite, in a very loving and kind way. Because when you are truly able to laugh at your flaws, that's when you become f flossing because are flawed, but you're still awesome because we're all both. So it takes a lot of self-love and come self-compassion and self-acceptance to actually truly from a loving place, being able to laugh at ourselves. And so humor I love. Thank you. I was just going to add, and plus one of the things that I feel, and I've gone to regular therapy. I've done NPL on myself as a client. I've done hypnosis. I've gone through several different kinds of therapy and coaching and humor is, it doesn't, therapy or living with not living, but hiring a coach, working with a coach and personal development has the stigma of having to hurt.

It's like, well, I don't want to go to therapy because it's going to hurt, because I'm going to find out things about my past and it's going to hurt. Well, it doesn't have, there are so many different kinds of therapy that actually don't go in the pain, and you don't have to scratch the booboo until it bleeds. There are strategies to work around them. Now, sometimes it is needed, and I'm not saying that there's never any emotional breakdowns with me when you work with me as a strategist, that's not what I'm saying. But you're not left alone in your pain is kind of what I'm saying. So laughter.


Michelle Henderson :

Oh my goodness. And it's so interesting because I have seen that there's laugh therapy and you see all these people in a big room and they're all laughing and everything. And I have heard that even if you are not laughing at something funny, but you're going through the motion of laughing that it does the same type of healing process. And it


Isabelle Fortin :

Reminds me, absolutely. Yeah.


Michelle Henderson :

And it reminds me as well, whenever I worked at a clinic with little kids, and I didn't realize I was doing this, but my manager came over and she goes, you know what, Michelle? Anytime you're stressed, you laugh. And she goes, you've kind of got that little laughter going on. And I didn't even realize I was doing it. And I'm going, oh, you know what? You're right. I do laugh sometimes whenever I'm thinking, or it just kind of lets down the, I guess, or starts the adrenaline, I guess you could say.


Isabelle Fortin :

Yeah.


Michelle Henderson :

It relaxes you.


Isabelle Fortin :

It does. It does. I have the exact same, and I actually wasn't aware of it on myself either. My chiropractor I've been going to for a long, long time, he's a dear friend of mine now, and he, once a few years ago, he said, with you, it's really easy, so if I'm hurting you a little bit, or if my treatment is a little bit painful, you start swearing. And being in the military, I swear like a sailor, I am being very careful and I try not to do it as, not to use it as adjectives, but to go back to my story, he says, and then if the pain increases, then you're going to start humming or singing. He says, when you start laughing, I know I have to let go of you.


Michelle Henderson :

Oh


Isabelle Fortin :

Yeah. Wow. He says, your threshold of pain, the signal for your threshold of pain is laughter because it's a coping mechanism. It's how my body releases stress. But you know, it's how everybody's body releases stress, right, because it works. Yeah.


Michelle Henderson :

Oh my goodness. See, I just love whenever I have guests on and I learned so much, and I've learned so much from you, Isabelle, thank you so much. Thank


Isabelle Fortin :

You. You're sweet.


Michelle Henderson :

So is there anything else that we did not talk about that we need to bring up?


Isabelle Fortin :

This is your show. I'm listening to you. I'm following your lead.


Michelle Henderson :

Okay. I just want to make sure, are you ready for the will?


Isabelle Fortin :

I am. I can't wait.


Michelle Henderson :

Yeah, you can't tell us an education, can you?


Isabelle Fortin :

Alright,


Michelle Henderson :

Let's go ahead and spin it and see what your question. Last question will be.


Isabelle Fortin :

Love. How did you come up with that idea?


Michelle Henderson :

Oh, first of all, let's go ahead and talk about invention. Okay. Oh my gosh, this is perfect for you. Yeah, no, I came up with it is because I wanted to do something different with the show that would be fun. And I saw this will, that Streamy Yard does and it's different. And then I found this Will and I went, oh, I can do that instead. I can do my own questions. Your question. I'm

I

sabelle Fortin :

Not going to check it on Streamy Yard because I haven't seen it yet.


Michelle Henderson :

Oh yeah. Well it's a different will. Yeah. And it's really cool, but you can't put any questions people put in their name for a prize or something. Okay. But this you can find online and it's free. It's an app. Wonderful. Okay. Likewise. Yeah. So if you were going to invent something, anything, what would you invent?


Isabelle Fortin :

Oh my God. Oh my goodness. I would invent, I live in Canada. It gets cold here in the winter. I don't like the cold. I am not made for the cold, even though I am 52 years old and I have lived my life here. So this is my 52nd winter. I would invent a bubble that you somehow stays around you and it's heated and you could walk around in your shorts and your T-shirt in the middle of winter.


Michelle Henderson :

Oh, I love it. You know what it reminds me of all off from Frozen, he has that little cloud that keeps 'em cold.


Isabelle Fortin :

Yes. So no boots, no nothing. It would magically stay around me. They do that where there's the big, big, big bubble and you kind of climb inside and then they throw you off a mountain. That's not the kind of bubble I'm talking about. It'd be like a dome around me, clear dome that is magically staying put without being attached to me. And as I walk forward, it walks forward and it'd be heated by I don't know what, and it would love never rain on me and never be cold. Yeah. That's what I would invent.


Michelle Henderson :

Yeah. You got a new job, you got to invent that.


Isabelle Fortin :

Oh, goodness gracious. Yeah. It's so funny because I have rosacea and the cold, Michelle. I love my country, don't get me wrong. I love living here. I live in one of the freest countries on earth, but the cold burns my face and I wear glasses. So if I put the scarf over the face, then the glasses all SMUGs up and I can't see Anything.


Isabelle Fortin :

So yeah.


Michelle Henderson :

Oh my goodness. I love it. I love the invention. Alright, I was going to ask you where they can reach you, but it's Izzy


Isabelle Fortin :

For izzy forton.com.


Michelle Henderson :

Dot com. Okay. Is that your favorite place


Isabelle Fortin :

Or on LinkedIn? My name is Isabel Forton, as it is written there. I am very, very present on LinkedIn. So you can come connect with me, come talk to me on LinkedIn. That's perfect. And if not through my website, it's fine too.


Michelle Henderson :

Okay. Love it. Well, thank you. So thank so much for being on the show and I want to tell everybody, if you listen to the show and you feel like you need to share, please share with somebody that really needs to have this message. And I'm going to leave everybody with the main purpose whenever you start feeling low. And laughter is really going to be a solution to many of us, fond the humor and the laughter in life. And that's going to bring you so much joy and so much peace. Well, I will see everybody next week.

 

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