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You’re a professional musician. You’ve spent your entire life honing and refining your art to be able to perform at the highest level. You excel in many areas of your life and are proud of your achievements. All your hard work, the sacrifices you’ve made, the financial investment in instruments and training pale in comparison to the thrill of those moments when you feel perfectly in sync with your life's purpose, the camaraderie with your colleagues, the connection with the public. And yet, despite having gotten to where you are, you feel there is something missing from your life.

As musicians, the very strengths that got us to our level of success can be the same qualities that get in the way of enjoying the life we’ve built for ourselves.

We instinctively imagine how things could be better and are quick to correct mistakes, to continually strive to get closer to our ideals, but then we find ourselves feeling frustrated and resentful when aspects of our lives are not what we wish they were. The passion and motivation that comes from identifying so personally with our art can be a huge obstacle when events outside of our control make us question the meaning of what we do or prevent us from being who we are. The regular stress of performance, managing our confidence, and creating work/life balance, can leave us feeling exhausted, dissatisfied, and wondering if there could be a better way.

Do you ever feel that you are never doing enough and that what you are doing is never good enough?

Do you find yourself spending a lot of energy people pleasing, trying to manage other people's opinions of you so you can feel better about yourself?

Do you ever compare how other people's lives look on the outside with how you're feeling on the inside?

This was me for most of my adult life.

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My Journey

My name is Michael. I am immensely proud to play bassoon and contrabassoon in the Montreal Symphony Orchestra. When I arrived in 2011 it was one of the happiest moments of my life and the realization of my life dream to become a member of a world class symphony orchestra.  However, some years later, I felt that something was missing, but I didn't know what. Things started to go downhill in my health, my marriage, and my attitude towards life. I tried therapy but it wasn’t much help. Then at my lowest point, right after my wife and I separated and decided to get divorced, Covid happened. I felt alone, scared, and depressed.

I reached out for help in the form of life coaching. Within one month it made such a huge difference that I enrolled in a one-year certification program. With the tools, strategies, and coaching I received, I have transformed my relationships with loved ones, my career, and myself and that has dramatically changed how I show up in all areas of my life.

Through coaching, I learned to accept myself first, which removed so much of the negative internal resistance that was holding me back. I was afraid that by refusing to obey my severe inner critic, I would lose my motivation and lower my standards, but instead I started to blow my mind by pushing the edges of my comfort zone in ways I never imagined. I started showing up more authentically in all my relationships and developing deeper connections, all from a newfound place of self-acceptance. It was as if all my life I had been driving cross country with the emergency brake on and never realized it. 

I added business owner to my list of life roles, and through my work have already helped my clients in profound ways. I feel much more in control of my emotional life, experiencing many more joyful moments, and feeling more at peace with the unhappy ones. Coaching has helped me discover a newfound strength, energy, and perspective on life. As a musician, I feel more connected to my art than I ever have.

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My Philosophy

I believe we all have the power to determine the quality of our experience, no matter the circumstances, and that giving ourselves permission to accept ourselves now is how we get out of our own way. It is my mission to help my clients learn these skills so they no longer suffer needlessly in silence.

My Offer

If you are a professional musician or creative artist who resonates with these ideas and you are curious to learn how you can live your life with more peace, purpose, and joy, let's have a chat. I offer a free 30 minute consultation to discuss what it could look like to work together and to determine if we would be a good fit.

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Talking to Michael unlocked truths inside me I had never been able to face, and he made it so easy! Since my session with him, my mindset has evolved to a point where I’m comfortable with myself, and I’ve dispensed with much of the self-criticism I used to subject myself to. I can let go and be myself now. Something about his logic just clicked with me and stayed that way; I’ve had a feeling of relief ever since and have maintained a sense of energy and purpose. I am so grateful to him for sharing his gift of compassion, understanding, and clarity!



Michael Sundell

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