An Imperfect Guide to Live Your X

July 23, 2018

As a practitioner at IHI—in acknowledgement of the clinic’s tenth anniversary—I have been contemplating my understanding of our celebration slogan, ‘Live your ten’…

Live your ten.

Automatically I think ‘the perfect 10’. There is a story told in my family about me as a little girl, learning to tie my shoes, and crying when the loops weren’t symmetrical because “it’s not perfect”. As an adult I have worked hard to let go of those perfectionist tendencies, seeing perfection for what it is: a completely arbitrary and, therefore, unattainable thing that keeps me stuck in inaction if I let it.

But, in looking at the Roman numeral, I am able to move past my old nemesis and initial rejection of the concept, and find inspiration for what it means to me.


‘X’ marks the spot. Like a mark on a trail or a mall map, it is indicative of ‘you are here’. In every day, I try to remember that I am in fact here, and to be present in each moment with gratitude for it.

‘X’ is the unknown entity in a math equation. That thing for which we are searching. Unlike math, in which that calculation has a linear formula to find it, in life it is seldom that straightforward. In life, we tend to fear the unknown. And, for those brave enough to embrace it, the path to finding ‘it’ is rarely (never?) linear.

‘X’ is the symbol of multiplication. Whatever is your greatest gift to share, let it shine, grow, and multiply! The truly important things in life can be multiplied by giving them away. Kindness. Love. Compassion. Empathy. Everything that we need to make ourselves and each other better can be multiplied by sharing.

Principles that sound very simple. Be present. Embrace the unknown. Multiply what you have. Simple in theory, but often forgotten in the busyness of life, or neglected as ‘easier said than done’…

Yet it is important to note that life’s questions have many answers (which often lead to more questions!), but also contains unlimited opportunities for continual growth. And, despite the lack of formulas or algorithms, the true joy in living your ‘ten’ can be found with curiosity for where your trail may lead, and what is to be learned along the way.

So, may you remain curious…of where you are and where you are headed. Present in each moment with all that is within you, ready to experience whatever life has to offer, and offer whatever you have to the experience. Being willing to explore the infinite definitions of ‘perfect’, and find the ‘X factor’ within yourself, which makes you truly unique and special.

Shannon is a Physical Therapist with an interest in helping her patients achieve holistic healing from whatever ails them and achieve optimum functioning in pursuing their passions.

Shannon graduated from the University of Alberta with a Bachelor of Physical Education with distinction, and followed with a Master of Science in Physical Therapy. She is licensed with the College of Physical Therapists of Ontario and is a member of the Canadian Physiotherapy Association.

Shannon has trained extensively in John F. Barnes Myofascial Release (MFR), and this is the focus of her practice. She has worked with patients with mental illness, has trained in women’s health treatment, and is a sports enthusiast; MFR allows her a means to assist with all of these issues in a meaningful way. She has also worked across the lifespan, with experience addressing the health concerns of older adults. Through her experience in work and in life, she has come to understand that there is more to healing than just the body. While physical health is paramount, the roles of the mind and the soul in health and healing are of equal importance.

Shannon is excited for the opportunity to work with the talented team at IHI, and looks forward to working with you, in wherever the journey may lead.

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