August 10, 2021

Update: New TEDx Talk Just Posted

“Feeling overwhelmed or mired in uncertainty? In our modern world, the pace of change is ever emerging, relentless and complex. This inspiring presentation introduces three simple questions that can propel radical change in the places where you are stuck in your personal life. Three questions that can transform uncertainty, into possibility.”

Adjusting Thoughts Can Transform Circumstances

Propelled by her child’s experiences with OCD during the pandemic, MEI Class of 1993 alum Lisa Bournelis wanted to uplift children struggling with anxiety during this extraordinary time – by sharing a hopeful message that adjustments to the way we think can transform our circumstances.  From this, “Louie and the Dictator” was born! > Read book backgrounder

Louie and the Dictator” is available online on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Book Depository, i-books, Kindle, etc and Lisa will be donating most of the royalties to BC Children’s, to help other kids and an under-funded pediatric OCD program.

Lisa’s son at Odin Books (who are carrying the book at their specialty bookstore for anxious / neurodiverse kids)

Lisa has just learned that she has been selected to deliver one of the 2021 TEDx SFU speeches and will attend to the message of mental health and transformation.

About Lisa and MEI:
I’m part of the class of 1993.  I have many fond memories of MEI playing sports, including volleyball, basketball, and badminton.  (That love translated into a role on student council as the ‘sports rep’ for our graduating year.)  I have many fun and hilarious memories of being coached by the patient Mr. Bartsch, who drove the junior girls’ team to Kelowna in a van for the Fraser Valley finals basketball tournament.  I was also lucky enough to participate as ‘Cousin Hebe’ in HMS Pinafore, Directed by the talented Mr. L. Nickel.  Again, lots of hilarity and shenanigans amongst the cast and crew that will be remembered for a lifetime!


Professional Role:
I am currently working for Fraser Health as a Leader in their Innovation, Planning and Transformation Team.  I hold the portfolio of projects for all of our patient access and flow initiatives.  During the pandemic, we were deeply tested as patients surged to the hospital to access lifesaving support.  I’m so proud of our team, who led the province in ensuring capacity and accessible, quality care during this extraordinary period of time.  Prior to that, I worked for the United Nations and several humanitarian aid agencies in Kosovo, Tanzania, Uganda, Afghanistan, and DR Congo.


Inspiration for the book:
Feeling stuck during the pandemic, I was inspired by the Parable of the Talents.  From this, I set an intention to write, with an aim to uplift and spread a message of hope.  I began a blog: (and podcast) that focuses on how to apply the change management tools I use in organizational development, to one’s personal life – essentially, how to become ‘unstuck’ when dealing with complexity or feeling cemented.  During that time, I was working extraordinary hours to address the pandemic surge, while caring for a child with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.  (OCD is not the ‘cute’ condition you see in the films where folks are constantly washing their hands – it can be debilitating and show up in many ways. Imagine a voice in your head telling you that if you don’t give in to a compulsion, something terrible will happen to you, or your family.)  With help from the pediatric OCD research clinic at BC Children’s Hospital, (and a lot of prayer), my son benefited from exposure and response therapy.  From my son’s experiences, I wrote an uplifting children’s novella that will help anxious and neuro-divergent children see themselves as heroes of their own stories.  They will be able to apply some of the fun ‘tools’ in the story to help them remain calm, or shift mindsets.  Because pediatric OCD is underfunded, and because therapy is so specialized, I wanted to give back to ensure another child has access to this amazing program – thus, the intention to donate a portion of my royalties.