Friday Femmes: Chantelle Diachina

Let me bring you this beautiful ray of sunshine on this gloomy fall day with our Friday Femmes feature in Chantelle Diachina.

Chantelle and I met in my previous life of marketing and communications. She was an account manager then at a tech firm that my previous place pf employment dealt with, and she was one of those people who made you feel at ease right off the bat. She had this calm aura and magnetic charisma that just pulled you right in, no pun intended.  Like many of my work acquaintances whom I regularly saw in other work socials, Chantelle and I forged an “after hours” affair :)

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We found reasons to meet for coffee and lunch. During one of lunches, we had gotten to know each other on a personal level. Chantelle was a school teacher previously, and she has this innate sense of focus and calm – something that works well in a classroom full of wild and crazy, energetic children. I don’t think I’ve met anyone with quite a sense of razor-sharp attention. When you are talking to her, there is no one else in the room but you. She listens with such intent to what you are telling her – it’s quite a lesson in patience and thought/study. Just as she starts to respond, she brings out her gift of deliberate speech. Not in the sense of extreme prudence or calculation, but in a very gracious and caring manner.  She won’t tell you what you only want to hear, she tells you some painful truths but with an arc of tactfulness and grace.

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I remember one time when I could barely speak through our lunch because of such despair from yet another miscarriage I just went through. Through my silent blobs of tears (we were out in public, and trust me, it was very difficult not to sob), she lovingly told me to allow myself to go through the grief that I was feeling, but I needed to also remind myself that I need to get up and forge on because the world doesn’t stop revolving simply because I wanted it to. She pretty much told me to dig deep within me, because I deserve better. That I am the only one that is responsible for my own happiness – no baby or husband can make me happy or strong, if I am not able to find these traits within myself.

Just like any strong, confident woman – she has so many dimensions to her.  She is very generous with her support. She was one of the very first people to hire me when I launched my photography business. It’s not all about rainbows and unicorns, she is as fierce as she is gentle. She is hilarious as she is serious. Much like yoga – you need to compliment the intensive stretch with the intake and release of breaths. It only makes you realize that there should always be a balance between force and ease. Chantelle is that – in her teachings, and in being.


Name: Chantelle Diachina

Profession/Vocation: Founder/Owner Prana Yoga & Wellness. We offer private and corporate yoga, as well as stress management & well-being workshops & retreats for high stressed professionals.

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Online Presence if any:


company website:

twitter: @paisley_girl73 or @PranaLondon



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1. Where are you from/where do you live?

I’m a global citizen! If you want specifics, my coordinates have me located in London, Ontario, Canada.

2. How long have you been doing your profession/vocation?

I’m in my second year of entrepreneurship and business ownership with Prana. In my other career lives, I was a client relations manager for digital agency, rtraction and before that I was a school teacher for more than 10 years. Wow… I guess I’ve been a “grown up” for a while now!

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3. What are your challenges in your line of work?

Team meetings. We don’t have a central location as our services are provided on site for clients, which means trying to get everyone together is like attempting to catch butterflies; on any given day I can get a few, but not all of them.

4. What do you love most about what you do?

I LOVE helping create positive change in other people’s lives. There’s nothing better than hearing how something you said or suggested helped someone better cope with the challenges they were facing.

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5. Can you tell me about your ideal reader/subject/student/patron? Anyone who is serious about personal change and is ready to take full responsibility for their life. As for corporate clients, we like to work with organizations who truly care about the well-being of their employees and want to help them thrive in all areas of their lives.

6. What surprised you most about being a { entrepreneur }?

There are two things that have surprised me the most about being an entrepreneur:
1) that I would love it as much as I do
2) that it’s not a scary as I thought it would be.

It’s easy to love everything that you are passionate about, but when you throw the business side into it I thought there would be moments that I would hate or dread as far as the behind-the-scenes tasks and workload would go. The funny thing is, while there may be aspects I don’t necessarily enjoy, because it contributes to the overall success of Prana I don’t mind doing them. I also love the element of surprise with entrepreneurship. No two days are alike!

The part about it not being as scary as I thought it would be has to do with being uncertain as to whether or not I could really stand on my own two feet and bring my vision and company to life. I think I put fear to rest the moment I decided there will be no such thing as failing, there’s only learning to become better, stronger and smarter. And failure isn’t an option- it’s pivoting and evolving, but never stopping.

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7. Where/Whom do you find your inspiration from?

My biggest inspiration has definitely come from the partners at rtraction I worked at. David Billson’s leadership style, Shawn Adamsson’s relentless quest to push boundaries and Josh Dow’s quiet and contemplative approach definitely moulded me. I also have to give props to Seth Godin and of course, Mama O (that’s what I call Oprah Winfrey) both are brilliant at what they do, their authentic and they serve their tribes well.

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8. How do you foster your inspiration and creativity/productivity/talent?

I spend time observing my kids play (and joining in, too!) I listen to music with positive vibes. I watch Ted Talks. I meditate. I follow my intuition. I doodle. From late spring to late fall, my weekly half hour drive to a farm to pick up my vegetables is medicine to my soul.

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9. Who/what helps you fuel the fire during your least inspired days?

I’ll sing vedic chants & mantras. I’ll go for a walk around the block or hit the hiking trail. I’ll collect pins on Pinterest or read inspirational texts. If all else fails, I’ll crank some music and dance.

10. What would you tell your 21 year old self today?

Wow. I would look her straight in the eye and tell her, “Girl, you are one strong chick and because of that your life is going to get a whole lot better.”

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Bonus – last thoughts, anecdotes, tips you are willing to share:

If you want to live a fulfilling life, become acquainted with death and what your final thoughts would be about why you existed in the first place. Then live your life in reverse. Live with no regrets and be the best possible friend you can be to yourself. Even if you were to expire tomorrow without arriving to where you wanted to be in this lifetime, you will have at least been well on your way and that is good enough.

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My Impostor Complex is Alive

Full Disclosure: I have no idea wtf I’m doing.

I’ve had people tell me that they see me as a confident, sometimes as bold as brass, no-nonsense person. Nine times out of ten, I’m really just faking it as I make it. I’ve said it more than once that I’m really an introvert with the honed skills of an extrovert.
These days, the voice in my head which tells me I should retreat to my shell because I know nothing is loud and clear.  I don’t know what it is, but I’ve been feeling inadequate: as a photographer, a writer, as a student, an entrepreneur and yes, you guessed it, a mother. I’m surprised I’ve been able to keep another human alive (besides myself) despite my impatience, my anxieties and my quick temper.

Even with my own blog, I come up with these brilliant ideas and topics to write about, and then something happens to distract me, and as I try to regain my footing and gather my thoughts for the task at hand, I don’t follow through because all I can hear is “What the hell do you think you’re doing? What makes you think that’s good and it’s going to work? That’s so stupid.” The worst thing is that I believe all that.

I am in awe of people who just do it. No holds barred, just forging on. I used to be like that. As I get older, I’m getting overly anxious of the what-if’s, and then get so down with myself with the shoulda-woulda-coulda’s. So it’s a vicious cycle, you see. And I need to snap the fuck out of it.
This month, I signed up for a day retreat in Toronto with the always amazing Tanya Geisler. I can’t wait for it – I need the jolt, the PUSH to trust in my experience, my honed skills, and my gut that I am doing what I’m supposed to do; and that I should move forward because I am good at it.

Do you go through the impostor syndrome as well? What do you do to squash the negative thoughts and voices in your own head?

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