Published on January 4th, 2015 | by Lorraine Leslie0
Georgina Cannon – Finding My Magnificence
From time to time, like many other people, I will sit and research various topics on the internet. Always looking to expand my knowledge and certification in personal healing, I found a fascinating website on hypnosis training. I was delighted when I found an expert in downtown Toronto. Not one to be backwards in being forward I sent an email and also placed a call to Georgina Cannon…a few days later Georgina and I were sitting in her corporate office in Toronto. This is Georgina’s fascinating life story of finding her magnificence.
Georgina was born in London, England on March 21st, the Ides of March; which is on the cusp of Aries and Pisces. She is the eldest of two girls by seven years. As a youngster, her family moved to the small village of Esher in Surrey. She says, “I don’t remember much about my childhood… except for my fear of my mother and father not being around.”
Georgina left school at the age of fifteen. “I gave my first week’s salary to my mother who gave me back two shillings for spending money. My first job was in the mailroom of the British Armed Forces Centre. This is where I learned to type. Someone told me there was a position as a secretary/receptionist to the advertising manager for a company in London. I was sure I could do the job. I’m one of those people that doesn’t know how to say no to a challenge. I got the job but I had no idea what it I was going to be doing. The company was called Underwood Typewriters. I didn’t realize what I was getting myself into…working for a typewriter company where you couldn’t make any errors or use whiteout. Everything had to be perfect! It was my first time working in advertising and marketing. Subsequently I got a job as secretary in the public relations department in an advertising agency.”
I then moved on to various short-term jobs as a typist/secretary until I got a job as a full-time secretary in the public relations department in the advertising agency called Hayhurst Advertising. After covering for my boss’s multitude of absences and extended lunches I ended up doing a lot of his work ─ I worked through a lot of lunch hours This was when I made my first corporate mistake. I went to his boss and asked for a raise .I was promptly fired because you never go over your boss’s head.
Then, while chatting with a friend, she told me about a magazine called Women’s Own (a weekly publication with a three million copy circulation). They were looking for a “beauty” writer. In 1964, I became one of four beauty editors: all called Diana Day.”
“The publisher of Woman’s Own, Phyllis Digby-Morton, was an amazing woman! She was at work first before everyone else and the last to leave at the end of the day. (Her husband was a designer to the Queen of England at the time). This woman instilled in me a work ethic that I still have today (For example: if we had to write about exercise we had to exercise to feel the experience. If we wrote about a beauty product we had to literally taste the product so we could experience the different ingredients and identify what they were so we could honestly write about it). She was very interesting. One day she asked me to have lunch at the very elegant upscale restaurant called The Ivy. I was petrified! I thought I was I going to be fired.”
“We sat down and Mrs. Digby-Morton turned to the waiter and asked for a bottle of champagne. I thought…what is going on? In my state of anxiousness I reached to toast her with my glass and accidently tipped it over. I was mortified! She turned to me, clapped her hands and said, ‘Oh my dear, how lucky is that!” and proceeded to dab her finger in the wet champagne, reach over and put a drop behind each of my ears while saying, “That’s good luck darling, that’s very good luck.” From that moment on I was in love with her; she knew how I felt. This was a moment I will remember the rest of my life… how gracious and kind she was to put me at ease. It was a huge lesson. Still nervous as we continued our meal she turned to me and said. “I want to give you some advice. You have a very good brain and I don’t want you to addle it. Once you have addled your brain you don’t have it anymore.”
She had been watching me and the people I had been chumming with (heavy duty malt scotch drinkers). She continued… “I’m not telling you what to do. I’m just saying respect and honour what you’ve been given. You’ve been given a very good brain, don’t’ spoil it.”
“My mind went through all sorts of emotions around what she had said to me. I thought who does she think she is? Telling me what to do, but by the time I got back to my desk I realized what a gift I had been given. It instantly changed my life. Both her actions and kindness, and the gift of ‘don’t addle my brain’ set me on a path of knowing anything is possible. I eventually moved on and became the fashion and beauty editor for Everywoman Magazine.”
During this time a man who had been a very good friend to Georgina and had just returned from a holiday in Canada told Georgina, “I’ve always loved you! Why don’t you marry me and let me take care of you?” Georgina thought this was a really good idea as she hadn’t grown up in a very caring home. Moving to Canada would be an adventure. “We got married in 1966 in England, had the honeymoon on the ship but by the time we landed in Canada I realized I didn’t love him ─ he was a kind man but it was wrong to be married to him. Our marriage lasted about six months.”
Georgina looked around to see what she could do in Canada that built upon the experience and knowledge that she has acquired in England. “I looked at several media such as Chatelaine, The Globe and Mail and The Toronto Star; but they all had their own fashion editors. There was a new magazine called Toronto Life but I had found that they weren’t hiring. I had called the editor Jeremy Brown at Toronto Life and asked for an interview. I told him I was a fashion editor from England and he quickly told me he didn’t want that type of topic in the magazine. I called him every week for six weeks until he finally agreed to meet me. I remember him saying, “Come and see me and we’ll see what you can do. If I hate it we’re not going to run it.” I’m thrilled to say that he hired me as his fashion editor and stayed there for two and half years.” “I decided that I wanted to work for myself so I opened a small public relations company called Cannon Associates. I built the company until we had twelve people with two offices in Toronto and Vancouver. We had great media coverage for our clients and met lifelong friends .My clients were: The King Edward Hotel, Four Season Hotel, Estee Lauder, The Gold Information Centre and Chanel. We created events and did the openings at Hazelton Lanes in Toronto and many other special events for fashion and lifestyle clients. We did the first ever Fashion Week in Toronto, discovering new talent with Ray Ban Canada, our sponsor. We were up all night doing rehearsals, building sets, planning the music, and doing hair and makeup. Exhausting and exciting at the same time!”
By this time Georgina had met her second husband.
“I got a call from McDonalds US looking for a PR firm to do all their public relations across Canada. You can imagine what a huge coup this was for my company; but the downside was they had always got their PR for free from their advertising agency.”
Georgina knew she had to change that immediately.
“I walked into the Needham Agency with my assistant Jamie and knew right away that I was going to have to sell them the idea of taking away the ‘freebie” from their clients, McDonalds, because the client would be paying us to do the work. The (principal) senior accountant in charge, Tim, and I weren’t seeing eye-to-eye. It had been a long day so I turned to Tim and said, “Why don’t we go for a drink and discuss this further?”. I knew I had to sell him on the ideas to seal the deal. I closed the deal alright and moved in with Tim three months later and eventually married. A few years later I got a call from a senior vice-president at Burson Marsteller. He had heard about the work I was doing and wanted to buy me out but I wasn’t prepared to sell my company. Tim suggested I listen to what they had to offer. I went to the New York office of Burson Marsteller (they were the largest PR firm in the world at the time with offices in all the major cities). They had a SWAT team of experts ─ flying them around the world to work with clients as short-term consultants in various capacities. They wanted me to join their SWAT team.”
“I became their creative director for Canada and after five years I opened up a sister company of Burson Marsteller called Cohn and Wolfe ─ their focus was to take over competitive businesses. During the next two years I built this company…and then I went back to Burson as their managing director for all of Canada.”
“I’ve been grateful to Burson Marsteller for many, many things. I learned a lot about the corporate world, and, I learned a lot about myself. It was very uncomfortable being one of very few senior women worldwide at that time working in the corporate world, but they gave me a gift that was unbelievable. Because of what I had done for their business they wanted to say thank you and offered me a chance to go to an organization called the Centre for Creative Leadership. The program consisted of twelve CEO’s from around the world from different companies. I was the only one from Burson Marsteller and the only woman in the group. There were six industrial psychologists who watched us all day from 6 a.m. to10 p.m. for a full week. We had to previously complete 360 reviews of which we never saw the results. We were asked to bring both business and leisure attire.”
I asked Tim, “What am I going to talk about?” He said, “Don’t worry; they’ll be watching and asking you questions, role playing and playing games. You’ll be too busy to worry about that.” At the end of the week we all felt like puppies waiting to be adopted by the psychologist who had been observing us. One of the psychologists took me aside for a chat. I asked him, “What have I done wrong?” His response was, “Why would you assume you’ve done something wrong.” I replied, “Because I’m here and I’m feeling terrified because I’m being judged.”
The psychologist said, “Let’s get one thing straight…you are the same as all the other people here; you all have a communication problem; you all assume everyone thinks the way you do which is one hundred and fifty… two thousand… five thousand when in fact most people think one… one and a half…two… two and a half… You get irritated when people don’t get you.”
“I thought to myself, “This was a gift in itself…it was huge.” The psychologist went onto say, “The second thing that you need to know is; you were chosen by the group as the second favourite leader.”
“I started to cry. He then showed me a chart which posted my creativity ─ I was off the chart! He then told me, “You go beyond other people who have gone through this course, not just this group but over the last fifteen years.” I asked, “What does this mean, what do I do now?” He said, “Don’t tell your boss, because it means you are unemployable.” He went on to explain that there were always other ways of doing things, better way of doing things that I would create or just do automatically, as my brain was not addled.”
“Coincidentally at the time I had a boss in Chicago who couldn’t face me or deal with me, and I began to find it funny. Even at social gatherings he’d step back to avoid me. I started doing the verbal cha-cha-cha with him. I learned how to draw him in. I had to speak very softly and he would step closer to hear what I was saying…it became a talent.”
“I came away from that training with a chest of gold. I knew for the first time I was absolutely smart and didn’t have to run from my fears anymore. I was still young and still had lots of time to live a happy and healthy life. Burson Marsteller asked me to become managing director for another three years…they wanted me to move to Washington or New York and I said no. I had had enough of being a woman being constantly pushed down. I knew I could climb the corporate ladder in the business world.”
“At that time, Canada was the only country that refused to work with clients in the tobacco industry, the fur industry and the paper industry, but I still had to make the bottom line and my team did it together. I was tired; I was being paid an obscene amount of money but I had on golden handcuffs. At this time Tim and I had split after sixteen good years. I had had enough! It was time to move on.”
Georgina went for a hike in the Adirondack Mountains with a girlfriend to decide what the next of her career chapter was going to be.
“I had numerous offers but I had to make some choices ─ there was nothing like being wanted in industry. They were amazing offers but like working in an ice cream store I didn’t want it anymore. In the end I was paid very handsomely due to the Canadian laws ─ they thought they could just let me go.”
Someone once told me not to lose too many feathers…I thought it was time to lose some!
“I took some classes in Reiki (and became a Reiki Master), Colour Therapy, Gestalt Therapy training and classes in Psychodrama Therapy and then I happened on hypnosis in 1998. The laws were changing in Canada which allowed us to teach and practice. I had been used to facilitating meetings around the world and now I was taking a class in hypnosis. I was sitting there reading a book with six others in the room with a teacher up front who was just going through this 150 page book… reading it out loud which I thought was ridiculous and found myself saying, “Get over yourself! If this book is worth reading, just do it.” So I did. I sat there and envisioned my future…I saw myself being trained; training others, opening a clinic, a school. I followed my vision which grew into Ontario Hypnosis Centre (OHC) in 1997 which became Canada’s largest school of hypnosis. I became a Train the Trainer for the National Guild of Hypnotists. In my first four years I had to educate the medical world about the advantages of hypnosis.”
My mission is to help people find their magnificence
Dr. Georgina Cannon is an entrepreneur, author, speaker and lecturer at the University of Toronto; she is also a certified master clinical hypnotherapist. Today, through her expertise, the OHC became recognized as the ‘public face’ of hypnosis in Ontario. Looking to relax a bit more Georgina sold the school and clinic in 2011.
Georgina is regarded as a respected member of the mainstream health community; often called upon by the media as an expert source on hypnosis and alternative therapies. In 2003, CBC Television produced a 3-part series on Past Life Regression from inside her clinic which aired in Canada, the U.S. Discovery and History channels worldwide.
Having earned her doctorate in metaphysical counseling, Dr. Cannon treats clients from around the world. As an accredited Train the Trainer for Canada, she has thousands of alumni globally. An accredited Life Coach and developer of The Third Circle Protocol, she regularly works with senior corporate clients to assist them to stay focused and balanced in all aspects of life.
Dr. Cannon’s latest book Return Again, published by Red Wheel Weiser in 2012, hit the top metaphysical booklist on Amazon on its launch. Her previous books, Return – Past Life Regression and You reached the best seller list in Canada. Her second book, The Interlife – Discovering Your Life Between Lives gave her worldwide recognition
Georgina also designed a book especially for new business startup – Marketing and Much More for Start Ups: How to Turn Your Profession into a Successful Small Business. In this book Georgina uses her expertise of personally building and successfully selling three businesses over the years. Using the columns she wrote on marketing for a small business for an international professional magazine she launched on Amazon.com in March 2013.
Georgina plans on launching a new relationship protocol that works with families, employees, employers, friends, lovers, husbands and wives – absolutely everyone. It will be used by counselors in schools and therapists around the world.
“I’m writing a book on relationship protocols and building the workshops and manuals, as well as creating a TV show on it…It’s called the Third Circle – Relationship Contract. It’s huge! And this will definitely be my legacy.”
A kind and creative woman, Georgina has a determination and fortitude to succeed in all she does. She not only connects with those she meets and trains – she is consciously aware of whom she is, within herself. She has paved the way for many, and feels her soul thumbprint is that of a teacher.
As we are still on the cusp of the metaphysical world, I know Georgina Cannon’s work will be studied by thousands for years to come.
Thank you Georgina for sharing your life journey with us…Namaste