Self care with Bliss Your Heart

Published by Angela McConnell on

A facilitator speaks during a group exercise at a self care workshop by Bliss your Heart to empower women through a collective sisterhood in vancouver, by Vancouver workshop and retreat photographer Angela McConnell

An evening of self care with Bliss Your Heart, designed by Dora Kamau to empower women by creating a collective sisterhood in Vancouver.

A facilitator smiles during a group exercise at a self care workshop by Bliss your Heart to empower women through a collective sisterhood in vancouver, by Vancouver workshop and retreat photographer Angela McConnell

About Dora;

Dora Kamau is a mental health visionary, self-care advocate and a student of human nature. As a self-titled, self-care connoisseur and conversationalist, Dora uses her story to empower the lives of others to reclaim their power using some good ol’ self-care.

As the founder of Bliss Your Heart, a collective sisterhood and community-based in Vancouver, BC, Dora creates and holds space for women to be empowered, to be heard and to be seen through honest conversations.

As a woman of color, it is also Dora’s intention to be a conduit and a vessel in the wellness industry for other women of color, and increase the representation of black women of color in mental health.

Whether it is through her online presence, in-person workshops or guest contributions and publications, Dora is on a mission to spread awareness, spark conversation and plant seeds of intention in other beings.

A woman listens to another talking during a group exercise at a self care workshop by Bliss your Heart to empower women through a collective sisterhood in vancouver, by Vancouver workshop and retreat photographer Angela McConnell

Born and raised in Ontario, Canada, it wasn’t until Dora moved to British Columbia, where she experienced a series of unfortunate “growing pains”, that has allowed her to grow into the woman she is today. 

Her curiosity and appreciation for life has gained her a toolbox full of knowledge, and years’ worth of advice which she uses to support and help other women on their journeys of self-discovery.
Along with her lived experience, she holds a B.A in Psychology, with a specialization in adolescent psychology and is currently working to complete her BSc. in Psychiatric Nursing. 

With not a single entrepreneurial bone in her body, Dora continues to create various platforms to share her story and connect with like-hearted individuals.

In 2018, she launched her podcast, Daily Dose of Vitamin D, and has partnered with local Vancouver companies like Basement by Loyal Coalition,  Lorna Jane and UBC African Awareness Initiative Group to reach the masses. 

A facilitator speaks during a group exercise at a self care workshop by Bliss your Heart to empower women through a collective sisterhood in vancouver, by Vancouver workshop and retreat photographer Angela McConnell

In March of 2018, she was selected as a YWCA Young Woman’s Leadership delegate and was chosen to speak on her journey of self-care and self-love among 100 other trailblazing women. In July 2018, Dora will be speaking at the Curious Minds entrepreneurial conference in Victoria, BC and hosting self-care sessions at the conference.  

About Bliss Your Heart;

Located in Vancouver, BC, Bliss Your Heart is a collective woman’s community which focuses on promoting self-care & mental health, and affirms sisterhood and solidarity. The intention is to create connections through honest and mindful conversations.

A woman listens to another talking during a group exercise at a self care workshop by Bliss your Heart to empower women through a collective sisterhood in vancouver, by Vancouver workshop and retreat photographer Angela McConnell

Bliss Your Heart creates safe spaces for women to gather together and share their stores and experiences. Monthly events and workshops are held to discuss topics such as mental health, self-care and self-love, and create solutions for problems we as women face when it comes to loving ourselves deeply and caring for ourselves as a whole.

A facilitator smiles during a group exercise at a self care workshop by Bliss your Heart to empower women through a collective sisterhood in vancouver, by Vancouver workshop and retreat photographer Angela McConnell

I’ve always been the type of person “to make it happen” and what inspired me to make Bliss Your Heart happen was
1) a need for more meaningful connections
2) the need for more sisterhood/diversity in health and wellness, not just in Vancouver but worldwide.

There’s this unspoken competition between women I’ve found and I wanted to break down that mind set, that we always have to be in competition or “my story is more painful, deeper than hers is”.

With Bliss Your Heart, I was just inspired to be the change and be the voice for those unseen, unheard and overlooked.

Women talk together during a group exercise at a self care workshop by Bliss your Heart to empower women through a collective sisterhood in vancouver, by Vancouver workshop and retreat photographer Angela McConnell

Especially in Health and Wellness, there is this fantasy or idea of what health is supposed to look like or what self-care, self-love and mental health should be and I wanted to shake shit up and say “HEY!, self-care can also look like this, from the perspective of a woman of color, or self-love isn’t necessarily this” 

I wanted to build meaningful connections and create a sense of solidarity with the women around me, and inspire us to work together and not always be at odds with one another. 

Women talk together during a group exercise at a self care workshop by Bliss your Heart to empower women through a collective sisterhood in vancouver, by Vancouver workshop and retreat photographer Angela McConnell

Also my boyfriend has been a huge source of inspiration.
He is unapologetically himself, and has created a brand/online and in-person presence from just being who he is, and being so passionate about the things he does.
He has taught me alot of what I know and lovingly pushes me to be the greatest expression of self, he knows I can be. 

His integrity, his words, actions, behaviours, everything motivate me to continue my work and strive to achieve all that I desire.

A woman listens to another talking during a group exercise at a self care workshop by Bliss your Heart to empower women through a collective sisterhood in vancouver, by Vancouver workshop and retreat photographer Angela McConnell

What got me started with self-care, or where my self-care journey began was at birth!
I was born with an ovarian tumor the span of my abdomen. 

My mom was a single mother who unfortunately neglected to care for herself during her pregnancy and this manifested in my fragile body at just a day old. Growing up I was in a few horrible relationships and had some pretty horrible things happen to me, and eventually, enough was enough so I decided to make a change! 

A woman writes in a journal during a group exercise at a self care workshop by Bliss your Heart to empower women through a collective sisterhood in vancouver, by Vancouver workshop and retreat photographer Angela McConnell

I decided to take my power back and reclaim my life, filled with intention and love and not fear or lack. A lack of self-care nearly took my life, but self-care has also given me life. It has allowed me to expand and grow as an individual and change the narrative I believe I was destined to.

With mental health, I have my first degree in Psychology and currently working on my second in Psychiatric Nursing.
What sparked my interest was the lack of representation for women of color in mental health or just people of color in general.  

I had one bad experience when I had went to a therapist for my first time and shared all my secrets, just for her to tell me there is nothing she could do for all the problems that I had. That really pissed me off, and it does even more so now because there is an abundance to resources that mental health care professionals have access to that she could have easily given me.

I still don’t know why but after that experience, I felt extremely called to do the work in this field and be an example or a voice for women of color struggling with mental illness and to spread awareness about mental health and mental illness to minority communities.

A facilitator hugs a participant at a self care workshop by Bliss your Heart to empower women through a collective sisterhood in vancouver, by Vancouver workshop and retreat photographer Angela McConnell

I asked Dora to share what keeps her inspired in creating for Bliss Your Heart

Continually being affirmed by others, whether its a message someone has sent me that says they appreciate my work or just the feeling and energy that I experience when I host my workshops, it’s like no other. 

I had a phrase that I wrote down when Bliss Your Heart had first started and it was, “If the baring of my soul inspires others to bare theirs, I know I have done my job”.

So its moment when people feel safe and vulnerable to share their struggles, or their past, and look to me for answers or guidance that inspires/motivates me to continue to do this work.

A woman listens to another talking during a group exercise at a self care workshop by Bliss your Heart to empower women through a collective sisterhood in vancouver, by Vancouver workshop and retreat photographer Angela McConnell

Some fun facts about Dora;

  • I am a Capricorn, which explains my "just do it/get it done" attitude, hence the creation of Bliss Your Heart
  • I am an introvert, which throws alot of people off because I can be extrovert on demand in social situations.

You can find out more about Bliss your Heart by clicking on the icon buttons below.
Soul Maintenance that was held on July 18th, will also be an online course that I am currently working on and developing.
My hope is that it will ready for use by the end of October 2018! Soul Maintenance will also be an ongoing workshop that I will be hosting throughout the next upcoming months.

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Angela McConnell

I serve small business owners, professionals and entrepreneurs in Vancouver, BC. My clients hire me to create images that will show a more rounded view of their business. To help them show the essence of what makes them passionate about their work, and attract jobs or clients that are aligned with their values. Business portraits | Branding for small businesses | Workshop, retreat or event coverage

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