Propagated from the Ashes
Propagated from the Ashes

Propagated from the Ashes

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Propagated From The Ashes: The Story of how My Indoor Garden Saved My Life

In December of 2016, Kristin Topping’s life changed in a fraction of a second. It wasn’t supposed to happen this way. She was an officer in the Canadian Armed Forces, she had a charmed career that took her all over the world as an engineering specialist, and she aspired to do great and important things. A split second was all it took to wash those dreams down the drain. A concussion, or in Kristin’s case a mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) with loss of consciousness, is a serious injury that is accompanied with changes to a person’s physical well-being, cognitive abilities, and can result in an altered mental state. The training and the social pressures instilled over twenty-two years of military service were a deterrent to her seeking help right away for her injury. Kristin wallowed in despair for months before she would admit the significance of her problem. Her relationships collapsed, her ability to function in and out of the workplace deteriorated and her purpose was lost. When she finally admitted to herself that she needed help, she was thrown into a rehabilitation labyrinth with the hope of regaining simple skills that were taken for granted. This isn’t a sad story though; this is a story about how Kristin’s indoor garden saved her life.

Written by Kristin Topping

Kristin Topping is a twenty-two-year veteran of the Canadian Armed Forces where she achieved success as an engineer, academic and educator. She retired in July 2020. In December 2016, she experienced a brain injury that forced her to significantly shift her life’s direction, focus and purpose. Kristin promotes a holistic approach to brain injury recovery with an emphasis on the inclusion of horticulture as a component of a patient’s self-care regime. She is now an entrepreneur and the proud owner of Sweetlife Flora, a rare and exotic plant shop. Kristin lives south of Arnprior, Ontario with her husband, a plethora of animals and, of course, her indoor jungle.

Publishing date: October 10, 2020—World Mental Health Day is observed on 10 October every year, with the overall objective of raising awareness of mental health issues around the world and mobilizing efforts in support of mental health.

Paperback ISBN: 9781988736600

E-book ISBN: 9781988736785

Page count: 200

Trim size: 5.5 x 8.5

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Propagated from the Ashes highlights the benefits of turning an ‘urban jungle’ into an intentional self-care regime by cultivating the less obvious application of mindfulness into daily practice. Sweetlife Flora now teaches others how to integrate plants into their lives and motivates veterans to look forward to their next plant therapy session for it has innumerable health benefits.” -Christina Connelly, CD, CRSP, CRST, CEO | Chief Facilitator of Kompass Health Associates Inc.

“Brilliantly written and inspiring for horticultural therapists and those who know the value of people and plant relationships. Kristin has bridged the gap between negativity and despair to hope and healing, bringing new purpose and life for those who experience trauma and depression.” -Mitchell L. Hewson, HTM, LT, RAHP | Administrator Horticultural Therapy in Practice

“An unabashed account of one’s journey prior to and living with a traumatic brain injury. Kristin embodies the ethos of ‘Never Give Up’ and offers an enlightening story of self-discovery and self-improvement. A testament to the healing power of horticulture.” -Greg Bucci

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