Vanessa Leszczynski B.A.,R.H.N., REIKI MASTER
"Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?"-Mary Oliver
Hi, I'm Vanessa-owner and creator of Sparrow Song Customized Natural Treatments and Workshops.
I am SO passionate about all things natural. I have a deep connection with nature and the earth and believe deeply that nature is here to support us. What we must do in return is: to listen deeply to what nature has to offer, reciprocate and honour that we are able to wake up daily with this natural beauty that surrounds us (like breathing in the smell of pine, witnessing the intricacy and vibrant colour of flowers, experiencing the distinct symbolism that comes with the changing of the seasons...I could go on and on) !! We cannot take any of it for granted.
I established a connection to the land once we moved from Toronto, to live next door to my
Babcia (Grandma) and Dziadizu (Grandpa) on their 5-acre property when I was in Grade 5.
I liked living in the city, I still do find myself inspired differently while being in the city, but moving to a larger property with privacy, woke up a whole other part of me that continues to exist to this day.
Their property was full of flower beds, a large vegetable garden, halfway in the field in which my Dziadziu would happily lug rainwater collected, water jugs to, fragrant lilac bushes, apple trees, pear trees and birch trees, grapevines and a big field to roam in. I remember my Dziadizu lining up paper bags, with seeds he saved, labeling each of them in Polish. He spent his days outside tending to the land, having a mid-day nap on the cushioned swing, bringing home buckets of mushrooms he forged from my Wujek's (Uncle) woods... I still crave those mushrooms to this day. I wish so much I would have been old enough and wise enough at the time to learn it all.
I never heard my Dziadziu complain once about the work. I know deeply he LOVED it and it showed. My Babcia would take care of matters indoors, always cooking up something from scratch and having a homemade pot of soup on the go (my favourite was her potato barley soup)!
From a young age, I remember myself outdoors too. I used to love to wander in the field. My Dad would cut paths through the fields. I would pick wildflowers, eat wild strawberries (the sweetest thing you'll ever try) and I used to love to observe the changes throughout the seasons. I was building a relationship with the plants and the land and evidently some natural herbalist traits. Although 5 acres isn't a huge amount of land, the way it was being used, felt like a peaceful sanctuary despite living close enough to walk to the Mall!
This land was taken away by a large corporation which dramatically changed my life when I was a teenager. I didn't quite realize the grief it caused me at the time fully. But later, witnessing the devastation of the clear cutting of this beautiful fertile land to turn it into a generic shopping plaza, covering the once beautiful soil and landscape with pavement was deeply impactful.
All that time put into the land to nurture it and care for it, was gone, just like that.
It was also weird to witness my childhood home, that my Grandparents built, working hard all their lives for, to be left vacant and spray painted, and ripped apart from people taking anything they could. Its an interesting thing to go through as a teenager. I know my Grandparents both lost a bit of themselves when they were forced to move. They had gone through so many other hardships in their life and once again, they adapted, but it was an obvious massive transition for them, as it was too for me, I think we were all just trying to do what we could to move forward and we didn't talk about it much, but we were all grieving.
I've always been super sensitive and as a sensitive being, this kind of change impacted my life greatly.
I consider myself being classified as a "highly sensitive person" (hsperson.com/) which is said to be understood in 15%-20% of the population. I didn't know about it back then growing up and I know my parents never understood why I was so sensitive, but it all makes sense now. I was painfully shy, incredibly impacted by conflict, needed time to myself after being social and deeply observant of my surroundings.
I feel A LOT and seem to be able to sense things deeply, hence my abilities I am able to thankfully understand and actually work with now (phew).
After we were forced to move, I went on to study Psychology at the University of Trent, I was always fascinated by the human mind and individual differences and how my own mind worked so it seemed like a good fit. I earned my B.A.
Upon my graduation, I didn't have a clear plan. I decided to move to Vancouver, BC to experience the mountain air and I loved the lifestyle that came along with living out West. It was just easier to be healthy (my childhood eats at home fell on the other spectrum away from healthy).
I landed an opportunity to work at the front desk of a Naturopathic clinic, that also contained a large herbal dispensary, amongst four other Naturopathic Doctors. This experience really opened up my next progression for my love of natural health and wellness and being surrounded by it daily with incredible practitioners was inspiring.
I took upon Holistic Nutrition studies at the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition (C.S.N.N.), while working there. I spent 2 1/2 years in BC and then I decided to move back to Toronto to be closer to friends and family which is where I completed my studies to become a Registered Holistic Nutritionist, graduating with merit while working at a Health Food store highly recognized for its professional grade supplements. This was a great combo as I could use the holistic nutrition knowledge I acquired and combine it with the supplements knowledge, I was obtaining from the position.
I continued my studies in 2012 at the Transformational Arts College of Spiritual and Holistic Training. This particular training involved over 700 in-class hours of hands-on work, studying Aromatherapy, Herbal Studies, Homeopathy, Reiki, Chakra Balancing, Crystal Energy Work, Color Therapy and other Energy Medicine and Natural Health Modalities. I understood why the school was called "Transformational Arts" as it did certainly transform me. I was now able to understand the energetic body and its connection to the world around me. The unseen, but felt sense. And finally, it was like I was learning a language I could really understand and relate to and I was starting to understand how I could work with my sensitivities and abilities more instead of how I was working against them, striving to fit with society and the norm and conventional thought systems.
During this time I also obtained certification as a Reiki practitioner, receiving my level I and level II within about six months from each other and eventually obtaining my Reiki Master designation a few years later. The integration of energy modalities along with the holistic nutrition studies and my experience, enveloped a beautiful combination of offerings I was developing.
Over the years, I gained over 15 years of experience working within Naturopathic Doctor's offices and in Health Food Stores in Vancouver, Toronto, Guelph, Kingston, Waterloo & Cambridge (I moved around
a lot)!, as well as seeing clients for integrated in-person Reiki & Distance Reiki sessions.
Working in supplement departments in health food stores, (and eventually managing the supplements department), resulted in helping people and gaining experience consulting daily on numerous ailments on a whim on the retail floor for many years while maintaining a private practice.
I also attended countless trainings over the years on natural health topics and for supplemental knowledge and also attended several personal growth workshops, gatherings, classes and retreats.
Fast forward to today. I have a private practice (Sparrow Song Natural Treatments and Workshops) in Hampton, Ontario, in which I see people for customized, integrated Reiki and Energy Work Sessions (see current offerings here) and I also offer Natural Wellness Consulting stemming from my many years of experience in the industry.
I focus greatly on the sessions to be customized for the individual as I have never believed in a "one size fits all" approach...as when has one size EVER fit all?
I also host workshops that feel more like mini retreats that include ways to connect deeply back to the self, integrating herbals and other components that encourage roads to healing in a supportive, fun setting. I offers these workshops in classroom settings, at breweries, and also privately in the comfort of your own home with friends (little workshop parties)!
I am passionate about sharing my knowledge of natural health that I have acquired over the years.
Growing up, I was always super reactive, had childhood eczema and had so many episodes of random rashes or reactions. I dealt with a lot of mood instability, mainly low mood and anxiety and I had constant fatigue. It was all such a puzzle and dealing with the medical system only led me to being prescribed steroids and suppressants without understanding why I was having these experiences in the first place, it was frustrating to say the least especially when already feeling like garbage.
A diagnosis of Autoimmune Hashimotos and Graves Disease (simultaneously, fun)! opened up an even deeper need to go further exploring the interconnection between systems and understand that the body is communicating that it is in a state of imbalance, (funny enough, I'm a libra too...always striving for balance).
Its complicated and fascinating and also brings a lot of awareness to long standing held emotional states that can manifest in other ways when not expressed and to the many factors that contribute to optimal health.
I believe greatly that our bodies have the ability to heal, physically, emotionally, spiritually and mentally if we really start to look at our perception of our own existence (e.g. how we feel about being alive on a day to day basis and our connection and relationship to our complex inner and external world), how we treat ourselves and take care of ourselves (and those around us) and understanding that everything is interconnected.
We may not be able to see energy, but we are surrounded by it and influenced by it and it is what makes up our existence. Being able to tune into our energy bodies, greatly impacts our ability to connect and communicate with ourselves and life around us...and this in turn, assists healing.
I believe there is a great need to tune into our innermost needs and pay attention to areas in which we are feeling discomfort and question why it exists vs covering it up with something that suppresses it or takes attention away from it. I also feel there is a deep need to trust our intuitive capabilities, and listen to that inner voice when something doesn't feel quite right.
Connecting more to nature and the earth around us often is needed and taking time for ourselves to discover who we really are in order to live a life we find DEEPLY FULFILLING and truly love is beneficial. We don't want to carry with us held regrets or suppressing our full potential in this lifetime and feel less than good for the majority of it. We need to question why we don't feel good, explore it, really go there and get feeling better!
I love working with people who:
I can't wait to meet you exactly where you are at!
A glimpse of some other personal stuffs about me:
I love being out in nature, camping, continuously learning, spending days surrounded by books, dabbling with art, making herbal teas and concoctions, seeing live music and discovering hidden gems on road trips near and far (I tend to be the tour guide when people come visit no matter where I live).
I do still live in the city in a small space I like to call my treehouse, with my fiancée, Adam, and two kitties, Bubs and Pop Pop! We have a small, backyard city garden we share with our neighbours that live below us that has been a great learning experience, it's awesome to grow things!
I dream of one day having LAND! And a beautiful retreat centre and flower and veggie gardens and little nooks and sanctuary spots to sit and nap and mediate in.
I will never stop dreaming! :)