SPIRO is a FREE service that offers tools, ideas and stories on a weekly basis, and comes to subscribers by e-mail. Each of these installments can be read, reviewed and practiced in about 2-5 minutes. We recommend that you review the installment as often as possible throughout the week, as some of the techniques and concepts can be challenging and may require repeat viewing to digest.

When you receive your weekly SPIRO installment, we recommend that you set aside a specific time when you can be consistently and fully present with what you are reading. This means scheduling 10-15 minutes a week where you can sit, in a calm space, and allow yourself to reflect on the information that is being presented to you. This should be a time in which you allow yourself to step away from your activities of daily living and be fully “in the moment”. It also provides you 15 minutes to relax and give yourself freedom from what’s been on your mind all day. This could be a time at the office when you put your phone on silent and close your door, after you put the kids to sleep, or while sitting on the toilet. It doesn’t matter where you are. What matters is that you take a break from the rush of living to absorb the information fully. Once you’ve gotten a chance to read the document, you might spend the next few days reflecting on how this information may apply to your life and your unique experience. Some of the ideas can take a while to sink in, so it’s good sometimes to let them stew.

SPIRO was created by the clinical professionals who own and operate Ellie Family Services, a community clinic focused on cultivating growth and harnessing resiliency in individuals, families and the communities that support them. As part of Ellie’s initiative, for promoting creativity and innovation in the delivery of wellness services, SPIRO is designed to inspire its readers to deepen and enrich their experience as human beings, as well as provide “life hacks”, which can be used to address common struggles we may encounter. SPIRO aims to promote skills, knowledge and creative problem solving in 5 core areas.


Each letter of the word SPIRO stands for one of the 5 core areas (noted below):

Each letter of the word SPIRO stands for one of the 5 core areas. Let’s take a look at what they stand for, and why they’re important to us.


To put it simply, self-care means, “taking care of yourself”, which is hugely important, in terms of achieving your goals and enhancing your wellbeing. Self-Care is not the same as “being selfish”. Instead, Self-Care means that we take some time to help ourselves regenerate and re-enter our daily lives with a sense of purpose, intention and connection. SPIRO may be incorporated into your self-care routine, as an activity that you allow yourself to engage in, while taking just a few minutes out of your busy schedule. SPIRO will offer some “life-hacks” around self-care, and may help to remind you of things you can do to center yourself.


As human beings, we tend to hold onto old ideas and ways of thinking that can leave us feeling stuck. These “old ways of thinking” may have worked for us in the past, but now they may not be so helpful anymore.  It’s pretty easy to get stuck in our own little worlds. We may be bombarded by critical beliefs about ourselves, about others, about the world, or about our place in the world. This can lead us into conflict, anxiety and frustration. SPIRO content is designed to challenge our perspectives by offering new, fresh and creative ways of looking at things. Sometimes what we need is to “shake things up” and try seeing our situation from a different angle, so that we can develop a new approach to resolving our dilemmas. SPIRO will encourage you to consider things a bit differently than you have before. Some of it will stick, some of it won’t. Either way, we hope to get you thinking “outside the box” when it comes to the obstacles that are placed in your path.


It is our hope that SPIRO may act as a “spark” in igniting your creative thinking. By offering stories, ideas and concepts that challenge your perspective, or move you to expand your mind, SPIRO may be a source of inspiration. SPIRO will not have “the answers”, but maybe it will inspire you to seek them out, and act as a sort of starting point in your daily journey.


Obviously, these are a pretty big part of being a human being. Relationships can be a source of healing, support, communion and validation. On the other hand, relationships can be a source of frustration and conflict. Communication is key to good relationships, and sometimes it can become a struggle when we get stuck in old patterns of communication, that lead us into the same types of conflict and misunderstanding, across our relationships. SPIRO will provide tools for enhancing communication and improving our listening and validation skills.


One of the most important traits involved in learning and development is Openness. Basically, openness means that we are willing to step out of our comfort zone and try something new. Openness is involved in all of the previously mentioned core areas, and plays a great role in creativity. SPIRO content is designed to approach common struggles from many different angles. Some perspectives may feel right for you and some may not. What’s most important is that you be open to considering things in a new way. The opposite of being Open is being Rigid. Rigid thinking means that we only think and act in one way and believe that this is the only way to do things. It also means that we have little room to grow. So, in order for us to adapt and “evolve” we must be open to new possibilities, new ways of thinking and new ideas about the world and our place in it.

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There is a Latin phrase that goes like this, “dum spiro spero”. In English, it means, “While I breathe, I hope.” So “spiro” means, “I breathe”.  Simple breathing in a conscious and active way can help us tremendously. Active breathing can help to expand our self-awareness, keep us grounded and deal with stress. Active, or mindful, breathing is incorporated into many of the tools described by SPIRO. Awareness of breath is the first step in awareness of self, and active breathing provides us with a solid foundation for expanding our ability to manage the struggles we face on a daily basis.