Francine is a licensed DEI Trainer who lives in Ontario, Canada. She was in the very first cohort of DEI licensees, and she is also a Certified Martha Beck Life Coach and yoga instructor. When she is not working in those fields, she fills her time pursuing some of her other talents and passions – gardening, stage acting, and voice acting. Her playful, kind, and inspiring personality lends much to her work with clients and students and she is dedicated to helping others enrich their lives in meaningful ways.
Q&A with Francine Bélanger
What brought you to this work?
I first encountered DEI while training as a life coach and decided to delve further. I read Karla’s book The Language of Emotions and attended a workshop she led at Kripalu in November 2014. From then on, it was a no brainer to register for the very first offering of DEI’s training program.
Many people refer to body, mind, spirit with little attention directed to the emotions and when they do, they generally categorize emotions as either good or bad and see the bad ones as something to be conquered. DEI’s approach – which embraces all emotions equally as important information providers – has been so helpful to me and to people I have taught in exploring the unique and crucial roles all emotions play in our lives.
Francine’s DEI Teaching Philosophy: I am passionate about guiding people in understanding the unique and crucial role emotions play in their lives. Once we learn how to skillfully harness our emotions’ intelligence, we can lead more fulfilled lives at home, at work, and in our communities. It is thrilling to witness the shift we can undergo when we start treating our emotions as allies. It is never too late to grow as a person and claim the life we want.
What other work do you do and do you combine DEI with that work?
In addition to being a Licensed DEI Trainer, I am also a Certified Martha Beck Life Coach and a longtime yoga instructor. When leading workshops and making presentations, I draw from all these areas of knowledge with the intent to help participants achieve a fulfilled, stimulating, and rewarding life.
What are your goals in teaching?
My guiding intent when teaching, leading workshops, and making presentations is to help people achieve a fulfilled, stimulating, and rewarding life. To do so, I work with them on four main areas: 1) Let go of internal obstacles such as thoughts and beliefs like “I’m not good enough”, “What will people think?”, or “I am responsible for the happiness of my loved ones,” and learn to work skillfully with emotions that they are not quite sure how to deal with. 2) Clarify their intentions, their goals, and the sort of life they want. 3) Take care of themselves – of all aspects of themselves: body, mind, emotions, and spirit. 4) Come up with an action plan that allows them to do what they choose to do in a way that works for them and honours who they are.
As human beings, we share similar beliefs, obstacles, and concerns, and it is a relief to know that we are not alone. We are also individuals with our own gifts, abilities, and personal life path, and it is important to honour those when crafting our own journey on this earth.
I know you have a few other gifts and abilities – tell me more!
One of my passions is the theatre. Being an actor at our local theatre has allowed me to rekindle my love of performing from college days. It is so creative and rewarding to bring a character to life. Recent roles have included Laurence in Romeo & Juliet (yes, I did get to marry Romeo and Juliet as the first Canadian woman ordained in the 1930’s), Mrs. Bradman in Blithe Spirit, and Sue in Once Upon a Rocking Chair. What fun! This has led me to pursue work as a voice artist. It is so enjoyable to bring words to life!
Another passion of mine is gardening. Now, you may be thinking of a few asparagus plants and 5 or 6 blueberry bushes. Well, it’s more like 400 feet of asparagus and 280 blueberry plants. I must admit, I tend to dream big. And all of this feeds my enjoyment of cooking using herbs and produce from the garden.
Do you find that DEI informs your acting at all?
DEI is absolutely helpful when rehearsing a play as well as acting. The six essential aspects of empathy are so important when bringing a character to life: understanding who that is, how parts of you are like the character, etc. and when interacting with the other characters/actors. I also ground and focus myself before I step onto the stage so that I am centered, present, more readily available to deal with the unexpected such as a missing prop, another actor or myself forgetting a line, a set or costume malfunction and so on.
What type of clients do you work with?
My clients have been mostly women looking for self-improvement and appreciative of the time to learn new skills, to reflect, to discuss and share in a safe environment.
What are some of the highlights of the work you’ve done with DEI?
I have had the pleasure of guiding a variety of workshops including: Anxiety: Obstacle or an Opportunity, Is There More to Life than Chasing after Happiness, Bring more Balance and Flow into Your Life, Get in Touch with Your Emotional Genius, and Supportive Concepts & Tools at Work and in Life. It is so thrilling to witness the shift participants undergo when they start seeing their emotions as allies.
What are your most recent projects?
Like everybody else on the planet, I have followed Covid-19 restrictions issued by our government and postponed in-person events. My focus has been to study Karla’s latest book Embracing Anxiety and plan for a workshop on that topic. Other projects I am working on are the workshops Self-Care for Healers and Make Friend with Your Emotions. The latter is a 3-hour offering as part of a client’s week long virtual conference.
Where do you see yourself in regard to this work in the future?
In the future, I see myself continuing to share this work through courses, workshops, and presentations. As a people person, I love to connect with others in a way that is relevant to them and it is nice to be able to do so in French and in English.
How has DEI most impacted your own life?
DEI has helped me to clearly identify what I feel and provided me with the tools to engage with my emotions in a skillful way. These days, I am much less likely to explode with my anger and invade other people’s boundaries. DEI has helped me to recognize much of my anxiety as a friendly planner. This gave me peace of mind and improved my sleep. What a relief! Using DEI skills, I have been able to identify old beliefs that don’t serve me anymore and clean house. Letting go of old baggage that was dragging me down restored my sense of freedom and my ability to move forward with confidence. DEI has been a major source of self-improvement. It has had a valuable impact on the quality of my relationships and my life. I believe that it is never too late to grow as a person and claim the life that we want.
Francine Bélanger is a Licensed Dynamic Emotional Integration® Trainer. She offers DEI workshops and presentations in both English and French in Ontario (where she resides), across Canada, and overseas. Francine is also a certified life coach and a yoga instructor. When leading workshops and making presentations, she draws from all these areas of knowledge with the intent to help participants achieve a fulfilled, stimulating, and rewarding life. Her clients are people looking for self-improvement and appreciative of the time to learn new skills, to reflect, to discuss, and to share in a safe environment. Visit Francine’s website: Francine Bélanger.