Rachel Whitty

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Registered Pharmacist
Certified Health Executive
Unified Mindfulness L2 Coach

I am a Registered Pharmacist, a Certified Health Executive, and a Unified Mindfulness Coach. I have worked in hospitals since 2009 in both direct patient care and leadership roles in a variety of areas (Pharmacy, Laboratory Medicine, International Partnerships, Organizational Development, General Internal Medicine, Oncology, Renal, and Palliative Care). My formal education includes a Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy and a Master of Health Administration, both from the University of Toronto.

 

I first discovered mindfulness at work. As part of my early leadership training at the hospital, I was invited to participate in a mindfulness program. What began as an intellectual curiosity about how mindfulness could help the patients and staff that I worked with, became a transformative practice that has impacted all aspects of my life. Most recently, as I have become a patient myself, my mindfulness practice has guided me through every part of my experience.

 

A few years ago, I suddenly got a very serious and life-threatening medical diagnosis. Mindfulness helped me cope with that overwhelming and very scary time. After the initial rush to treat the problem (in my case, a major surgery), this was all “supposed” to end so I could go back to the way things were before. Instead, it turned into a chronic illness, fraught with uncertainty. For a long time, my health care team had few answers and there was seemingly nothing I could do to improve or change my situation. And yet, mindfulness was always there. Although I have more certainty than I used to regarding my health, I also know there is always going to be some level of uncertainty for me, and isn’t that true for all of us? I’m so grateful to have a practice and a skillset from mindfulness that will be with me through whatever comes.

Along my journey, engaging in a variety of practices and retreats, I have experienced the benefit of practicing mindfulness in community in different settings, such as with my colleagues at work at the hospital, or through the Mindful Society Global Institute, of which I am a founding member, and now through the Unified Mindfulness community. Yes, we often meditate quietly by ourselves, but it is when we practice together that we can experience meaningful connection and all the benefits of mindfulness more fully. As I was becoming more aware of the benefits of practicing mindfulness with others, I was also discovering the Unified Mindfulness system, which helped me to understand and contextualize the practices I had been doing before, and introduced me to a world of new techniques. Right away, these techniques really deepened my practice and were especially helpful to me in daily life. These two discoveries led to my decision to become a Unified Mindfulness coach through completing Foundations and Pathways in 2021.

I believe everyone should have access to mindfulness in community, and I’m so grateful to all the Unified Mindfulness coaches and teachers for providing this for so many of us. It is such a privilege to facilitate this for others, especially for my colleagues in health care, who have been through so much.

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