Creating Light photo adventures & inspiring stories.

Women Creating Light | Tonya

How often are we told by others and the voice inside our own head that we can't do something.

"You can't quit your job."

"You can't make money doing that."

"You shouldn't waste your time."

And for a long time I've adhered to these limiting beliefs. I let them keep me playing small, out of fear mostly. Of what....others would think?

I find the antidote to quieting this unnecessary worrying is to focus on doing the things that make me feel alive. Putting this energy forward into actions and words that might also resonate with others that seek the same in some small way. Or a big way. Actively participating in the world with genuine enthusiasm for living your own truth. As simple as a smile. Or as nerve wracking as quitting that job for something new. When you get clear on what you want you should chase after it, it's as simple and as complicated as that. And when you create something from the heart driven by your own passion, how can someone really knock you for that?


I met the lovely and light-hearted Tonya for the first time over tea. She is clearly is someone who is committed to living out her multiple passions of food, fashion, design and healthy living. She graduated from the Nutritional Science program at the University of Guelph, but in past couple years has thrown herself into the world of trend forecasting in Holt Renfrew’s Fashion Office. This year she has taken the steps to combine her passions through her work at Kit and Ace and her beautiful blog. Her amazing eye for style and her love for healthy foods have come together and she's working on creating some very inspiring opportunities to merge the two worlds.


But enough from me! Read what she has to say about the power of curiosity and finding your passion below:

What drives you? What's your mission?

I’m driven by my curiosity. It drives me to explore, learn, ask questions, meet new people, go to new places and venture into my fears; all with the purpose of experiencing and learning something new. I value growth and development, so when I’m learning and being challenged, I feel most driven.

Healthy living is a big part of who I am; it constantly drives me and definitely sustains my body, mind and spirit.

I’m also completely driven by food! I’m always thinking/excited about what I’m going to eat. Knowing that I have the ability to nourish my body through the foods I choose to consume drives my pursuit for a healthy lifestyle. Right now, my mission is to inspire healthy living.

Was there a key/favourite moment in your journey so far that has made it all worth it or has shaped where you are now?

I wouldn’t say that there has been one specific moment within the journey but rather the journey itself and just trusting the process. I remember graduating university and feeling so completely lost and overwhelmed about what was next. There were some sleepless nights because I’m someone who likes to know what I’m working towards. I wasn’t expecting to feel that way. Trusting the process has been a big thing for me. Working in fashion has definitely shaped where I am now and has helped me discover how to merge my passions for food, healthy living, design and style. Getting into yoga a year and half ago also hugely shaped me. Yoga does that; it totally transforms your life. It forced me to hold a mirror up and truly face myself and my fears.


What is your favourite way to nourish your body and/or soul?

Yoga is my ultimate body-soul nourishing time. I’m always so busy and constantly meeting with people but yoga is my nonnegotiable me-time. It allows me to slow down, go inside, breath and find my balance. Other favourites include making food, travelling, being with those I love, and a big glass of red wine. Oh and how could I forget dance parties?! Never underestimate the power of Beyoncé.

When do you feel the most beautiful?

When I’m laughing.

If you had one piece of advice for the next generation of young women, what would it be?

Slow down and determine what you are passionate about and why. There is this rush and pressure to figure it all out when you’re essentially a teenager. If you can, take time after high school and university to travel, discover what you are passionate about, ask yourself those hard questions that not a lot of people will ask you; who do you want to be, how do you want to make a difference? And realize that it’s a process – you might not know the answers to these questions but you’ll be better off for their pursuit, it will give you a much clearer understanding of yourself. Self-awareness is an art form that comes with age and experience. So go travel! 

Get out into the big, beautiful, boundless world and experience all of the colours and people and cultures and get a little lost.

There is nothing that opens the mind to the world of possibilities quite like it. So when you have the chance, always travel.

Stay curious and open your eyes to the world around you, you will find inspiration virtually everywhere.

Will this matter a year from now? I ask myself this all the time and it quickly helps give me perspective

"Eat food, not too much, mostly plants." -Michael Pollan

"I need the sea because it teaches me." -Pablo Neruda

"It is both a blessing and a curse to feel everything so very deeply." -David Jones