About Me

I believe we all have an inner strength and wisdom beyond our

wildest imagination.

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I believe that with the right tools and support, change is possible

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I work with clients who:

  • are intelligent and articulate

  • are curious about their role in the world

  • are life-long learners

  • are ready to live life on their own terms

  • are action oriented

  • want to have a positive impact on the world

My purpose:

To help YOU make the changes you need to make so that you can live life for yourself without feeling guilty.

What I REALLY do:

I help YOU live life in a way that honors both who you are at your core and your life purpose, so that you feel alive and engaged in everything you do.

The core values that drive my work with you:

Freedom:

the ability to make choices that are in alignment with who you are at your core

Confidence:

speaking out and taking action on things that matter

Compassion:

meeting people where they are at, without judgement

Health:

taking daily action in service of your mental and physical health

Gratitude

acknowledging the privilege of living in abundance

How I am different:

I believe that clear values and a clear life purpose are the foundations of a life well lived. This is the starting point for most of my clients

I believe change happens in small steps - I don’t pressure you to blow up the life you now have and make sudden, dramatic changes

I don’t promise quick fixes – change takes time, so I only work with clients who are willing to sign up for a minimum of 6 months – I don’t offer one off sessions

We will start with a complimentary Life Mapping Session – a 60-minute session to clarify where you are in life, where you would prefer to be, and what is standing in the way. This gives us a chance to confirm that our values are in alignment and that we are a good fit to work together.

I bring humor into my client sessions. The work I do with clients can be difficult and stressful at times. Humor lightens things up and helps my clients open up about themselves, their struggles and their dreams.

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What I bring to coaching:

  • 10 years in the Victim Assistance movement, 7 years as a volunteer supporting victims of and witnesses to crime, and 3 years as a paid Program Co-ordinator
     

  • 3 years as a Social Worker with mentally ill offenders in a major urban city
     

  • 20 years in Law Enforcement
     

  • BA Criminology with a heavy focus on Psychology
     

  • CTI certified Co-Active Life Coach – a one year intensive, experiential certification program certified by the International Coaching Federation.

What people say...

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When I started working with Krys I was feeling overwhelmed. I was starting a new business, I had a dream that went beyond my business and I was not organized. I was worried that I could never balance my role as mother and wife on the one hand and a professional with a dream on the others. Furthermore I felt pressure to be perfect in all the roles that I had in life.
 

Working with Krys gave me a safe space to really acknowledge my feelings and work through them. I acknowledged my worth as a mother and as a professional woman. I gained clarity on what was important and what was not. I learned how to take things one step at a time without getting distracted by all the things that might go wrong. I learned how to say “no” to demands that distracted me from my goals. I gained self-confidence and I learned that it was okay to ask for help to make my professional dream a reality.

-Kristal Barrett-Stuart,
National account manager Fresh Vancouver Magazine, Founder: The Sparkle Project, singer/songwriter

WHY I DO WHAT I DO

My life today is GOOD!

I have virtually no stress.

My decision making is simple: it’s either a “hell yes” or a “hell no”, based on my values and my purpose.

Until the start of the pandemic, I traveled regularly. In fact, I was known as an “adventure traveler”.

I am an avid hiker, and my “happy place” is on some trail somewhere - I have even developed the confidence to do solo hikes when no one is available to head out with me - now THAT was stepping out of my comfort zone!

I am no social butterfly but I have a small circle of friends with whom I am connected, where I am accepted without judgement for who I am and what I represent.

Through my coaching business I live my purpose - which is to help women embrace what they REALLY want out of life and develop the confidence to go after it - GUILT FREE.

Volunteer work is important to me - I recently completed 19 years of volunteering with BBBS and I now drive cancer patients to their appointments. I was also privileged to volunteer with a non-profit in their flood recovery activities after my community was devastated by floods in November 2020.

BUT IT WASN'T ALWAYS LIKE THAT...

On the outside it looked like I had it all:

  • No debt

  • I owned my home

  • I traveled the world

  • I lived on a good side of town

  • I had a steady, well paying job

But on the inside my soul was dying.

I was a people pleaser who lived with shame, lack of confidence, always trying to be invisible.

The career I had spent years preparing for was nothing like I had dreamed of. 

I was a police officer and although all I wanted was to do my job and make a difference, I never felt like I belonged in the agency I worked for, I could never fit the “ideal” image of a police officer that the culture I was in revered, I never felt “good enough”, and I couldn’t see how I could ever make it work.

  • Have you ever felt like you weren’t the “ideal” image?

  • Have you ever felt “not good enough”

  • Ever feel like you couldn’t see how you could ever make it work for yourself?

I would lie awake at night reliving the past and worrying about the future, where I could only see more of the same.

I felt trapped in a life I didn’t like and I saw no way out.

Some days the frustration would get so great that I would drive my police car out into the rural part of our city, make sure that all my radios were turned off, and I would just scream as loud as I could.

It all came to a head one early morning at 5am.

The radio alarm went off and my squad and I were sent to an in-progress call. My task was to do area patrols looking for suspicious persons and/or vehicles.

At 0520 I advised dispatch that I had a suspicious vehicle on view and that I would be pulling it over.

I activated my lights and siren, and the vehicle came to a stop.

I got out of my police car and started walking towards it.

We were in an isolated part of town. It was dark, there were few streetlights, and it was deathly quiet.

Suddenly there was a deafening squeal of tires, and the car took off.

I ran back to my police car. I was closing the door, putting on my seatbelt, talking on the radio, accelerating.

As I was accelerating, I went onto a bridge deck… that was covered in black ice.

My car fishtailed and skidded across the bridge deck, crashing into the far sidewalk.

It bounced off, gaining momentum, and skidded back across the deck, again crashing into the sidewalk. 

And on and on it went, my car ping ponging from one side of the bridge deck to the other, constantly gaining momentum.

When I lost control of my vehicle, it remained in motion for what seemed like a long time.

You know, what they say is true, time did slow down.

And in that time, it finally hit me.

I knew I might not survive this event, and I felt an overwhelming sense of sadness as I thought of all the dreams that I had left on as shelf collecting dust, all the things I’d never done…

Sadness that I had never made a difference.

And I swore to myself that if I survived, things were going to change.

My police car went head on into a concrete pillar at the far end of the bridge. My crumpled and smoking car had finally stopped moving.

The radio log showed that I called a 10-33, the code for officer down, at 0522.

Not only did I have significant physical injuries, but this event came on the heels of other work-related incidents, and I was also diagnosed with PTSD.

What followed were 15 months of healing, 15 months before I was able to return to work.

But you know what? It was the best thing that has ever happened to me!

It forced me to own the fact that my work bored me and my life was unfulfilling. 

And it forced me to own the fact that if anything was going to change, it was up to me to do the changing. I had to take action.

Over the next few years, I attended webinars and courses and I read every self-help book I could get my hands on.

What I found was that most of them were fluff - they let me dream, but they never told me HOW to turn my dreams into reality.

I found a nugget in every 5th -6th webinar/workshop/book that I could actually use.

When I saw how all these useful nuggets could fit together, I used them to create a process that got me to turn my life around.

In the process, I discovered some secrets about life…  and how I had gotten to that place I found myself in the day I crashed my police car.

Remember how I mentioned that I was a people pleaser who lacked confidence and who lived in shame, always played small and always wanted to be invisible?

This is what I discovered…

It all started when I was 7 years old, when I first experienced what I now know to be physical and emotional abuse.

I did not understand until many years later that the problem was not me, the problem was the people who were hurting me.

But the result was the I believed I was bad, stupid and simply not good enough. I was entrenched in shame. I shut down emotionally and withdrew into an imaginary world where I felt safe and loved.

Now you may say “well I have not experienced abuse of any kind” and that may well be true. But what you have been exposed to from an early age is messaging that tells you what a “good girl” should be like: helpful, mindful of others, cute, never angry. 

You KNOW what I am talking about.

And what you have most likely also been exposed to is messaging that if you don’t act “appropriately”, if you don’t put others first, if you get angry, then you are not a “good girl”, you are put down, you are shamed. 

Different source, same impact.

By my early teens I had perfected the art of people pleasing, playing small, and staying invisible. Never asking for help when I needed it, never expressing emotions, even when it was appropriate to do so.

When an opportunity presented itself to go to a boarding school in England, I jumped at it.

For 2 years I distracted myself by studying intensely and I actually did really well. So well, in fact, that the school I was attending wanted to groom me for a prestigious British university.

As someone who wanted to stay invisible, for whom studying was simply a distraction from pain, the very idea sent me into an emotional tailspin. I chose to return home.

  • Have you ever had a once in a lifetime opportunity and for some reason you didn’t say “yes”?

  • If so, how much did that cost you?

  • How much have you missed out on because you did your version of “staying home”?

  • How much longer are you going to put up with that?

  • When are you going to make a change?

This was the start of what I call my “gypsy years”, years during which I fluttered from one thing to the other, never feeling like I belonged anywhere, rarely able to connect with people.

I went to university for a couple of years (university at 16 years old will NEVER be a good idea in my world!), I worked at a bank, I moved across the country to start a new life, and I worked for an airline for several years.

While I worked in the airline industry, I travelled all over the world. I had great adventures - Brazil, Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia, Kenya, numerous trips to Europe.

Sounds great, doesn’t it?

The adventures WERE great, I had some great experiences, but the truth is that each trip was simply a distraction from a life that had no meaning for me, and each time I came home I had a sense of disappointment because nothing had changed.

I always knew I wanted to do something of value. There was something in me that needed to be heard. 

My search took me back to university - when you come from a family in which education is highly valued, that is your default when nothing else works.

Not only was university my default, but medicine was the high value objective, so that is what I aimed for.

 

But it didn’t last. In 3rd year I had enough.

I mentioned earlier that volunteer work is important to me. When I saw an ad calling for volunteers for a new Victim Services Program in a large urban police department I was interested. I attended the orientation and I was hooked.

As a volunteer in that program, I was constantly attending crime scenes to support victims and witnesses, and I had a close-up view of police work. So much so that, after a few months of volunteering, I transferred to a Criminology program to pursue a career in Law Enforcement.

What strikes me most about those university years is that, although I never applied for scholarships, in each of my last 3 years, my university granted me one for academic achievement.

I always thought it was a mistake - that they would realize my results were just a fluke. I was a straight A student, and I still didn’t believe in myself. I was always afraid I would get found out as a fraud.

Have any of you ever experienced that? You are recognized for some accomplishment, and you immediately think “it’s a fluke, anyone could do it, soon I’ll get busted as a fraud”.

In those days it could take up to 5 years to get hired in law enforcement. The competition was fierce and there were so many hoops to jump through.

After I completed my Criminology degree, I worked for 2 years as a Social Worker with mentally ill offenders in Vancouver’s Downtown East Side. That was followed by 3 years as the coordinator of a Victim Assistance program.

Looking back, it is so clear that even after graduating, I was still in gypsy mode - never able to settle down for very long because I never felt I was good enough, even though people I worked for told me otherwise.

In my head I kept thinking “you are wrong and soon you will see I am just a fraud”.

In 1994 I finally got a call from a policing agency with a job offer. I immediately said “yes”.

And as soon as I hung up the phone, those little gremlins started nattering away at me saying “this is a mistake, they made a mistake, you are going to get busted”.

Throughout my career as a police officer, prosecutors would often tell me how much they liked seeing my files cross their desk because they knew the file would be complete, the narrative would be laid out in a logical way, and there would be little follow-up required. They were telling me in clear language that I was a good investigator, and still I doubted myself, still the gremlins whispered in my ear “soon they will discover they are wrong, and you will get busted”.

That feeling of “you are a fraud, you’re going to get busted” followed me for my entire career.

In fact, it was when I started believing in myself that I had the confidence to walk away, literally, and retire to a life where I know what is important and what isn’t, a life lived for myself without guilt, a life in which I feel alive and engaged in everything I do.

I had a victory early on in my journey of transformation.

One of the dreams that had been sitting on a shelf collecting dust had been the dream of hiking up Mt Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. I first saw it while flying from Nairobi to Mombasa in Kenya in 1980. I knew it was possible to hike to the top but for years I kept telling myself “you could never do that, you are not good enough, who do you think you are?”

You could say it took me 26 years to hike up that mountain: 25 years of agonizing, 1 year to prepare, and 8 days to hike up.

I got to the top of the mountain because I realized that the only thing stopping me from trying were the thoughts in my head that boiled down to “no you can’t”.

Changing that ONE thought made it possible for me to realize a lifelong dream.

Hiking to the top of Kilimanjaro was one thing. Creating a whole new life for myself was something else because I had so many years of bad thinking habits to undo.

I would love to tell you that the transformation was an easy one, but that is simply not realistic.

It took time for me to sift through the content of the workshops, courses and books to find the nuggets and use them to create a system of change.

My purpose as a coach is to share that system with others who are tired of being a people pleaser and who want start living life for themselves, without feeling guilty about  it.

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As a Mindset Coach, my mission is to share what I have learned with women who are exhausted from trying to be what everyone wants them to be and who want to start living life for themselves, without feeling guilty