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And just like that the Sun Returns … AHHH!

And just like that, the clouds separate and the light returns! Ever had that feeling? Like when the sun appears, and you almost want to raise your hands up and sing “ahhhh”. I am having that feeling this morning and I wanted to share my experience. Over the past couple of weeks, well years really but most recently the past couple of weeks I have been getting guidance on different areas of my life and things I need to release and heal. I have been doing A LOT of internal work to allow and release what is arising and today … the sun came shining through! The times that I go through big transformational shifts are ones that are confusing, challenging, and require a lot of my spiritual, mental, and emotional energy. These times feel like I am on a roller coaster where one day I am up the next down, sometimes it is not even a day and I will flip and flop between the two fairly quickly. It is a very unsettling and uncomfortable time and for me anyway, leads to a lot of self-doubt and questioning. Anyone who has been through an awakening of their own can probably relate, this time in between is just that, a void where the old no longer feels comfortable but neither does the new (as it is new). And this flipping between the two makes you feel almost sick at times and definitely makes you question your own sanity on more than one occasion. I realize this will not speak to everyone but to those it does I want you to know you are NOT crazy, you are not wrong and there is nothing wrong with you but rather you are leveling up into a new version of you that can be scary and unknown and unclear. Thus, the flopping that wanting to return to something that you know and can understand, something that feels comfortable. But also, if you are like me there is a part of you that as much as you want to feel safe and comfortable again knows that your eyes have been opened to the new and you cannot return to not knowing, you have to keep pushing forward despite the uncertainty and uncomfortableness. I am blessed that I have been through this many times and can recognize what is happening but that does not take the roller coaster of emotions away it just helps me relax into them a little easier. I am further blessed with having some great energetic tools to help me release and move through what is arising. The flower essences and energy release points guidance that I use in my energy work provide a very logical explanation (well kind of, the best word I could find) to explain and give me clarity on what is being released. It is like they provide me with the puzzle pieces and I just need to put them all together to get the full picture. This last upgrade has been a doozy for me and I could through all the work, see that there was a golden thread that had weaved its way into every aspect of my life but I couldn’t completely put my finger on what this thread was about … then today it finally came .. the clarity that allowed me to release the pattern and beliefs that held it in place. Not to mention the healing that needed to happen for me to come to accept it and not allow it to control my life anymore. Thus the “ahhhh’ as the clouds began to part and the sun came flooding in. I wanted to write this as part of the healing and because it came to me as the sun figuratively was coming in, in hopes that for all of you who are on your journey, (which to be honest whether you consciously recognize it or not … you are), that you may find this helpful and if you are in the depths of a growth cycle and feeling that roller coastering sensation that you will now have a conscious understanding that it is completely normal … uncomfortable but normal and that you are not alone!   Much Love Tara

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You Are THE Authority!

I feel a need to speak about authority because I had an incident this week. I have been in a really good place trusting and loving my Self and my journey. Really being in flow, which is beautiful! Then dropped out of it and I could tell instantly the lower vibrations of emotions came in anger, frustration and fear. Now there is nothing wrong with that but I have learned that means I am out of alignment, so I got curious. I tracked it back to doubting my own authority. I had participated in a conversation with another healer who has helped me tremendously along my journey. We were talking and she told me something that didn’t feel right for me, not that it was wrong, but it wasn’t truth for me. I recognize that now but, in the moment, it threw me into doubt about trusting my Self and my understanding because she is someone I admire.   Old Patterns Repeated I had to go through the process, to figure out why it was that when someone I admire and see as a mentor could trigger me so much and it became crystal clear to me. I was giving up my authority, I was taking her words as gospel and then questioned and doubted my Self. That is where the anger and frustration was coming from, an old pattern of giving up my power to others had reared it’s ugly head again! I feel we all do this at some level and I know that this is one thing this world crisis is calling us to look at. The truth, we are the authority in our lives, we know what is best for us! We have been taught to not trust ourselves but rather to turn to other ‘authorities’ who we feel know better. I want to be clear that does not mean that we can’t go to DR, healers or others to help us but we need to be balanced when we take advice on board. We all need to check in to determine what is right for us! Conditioning in Practice  I think back to when Woody was deciding what to do about his treatment. We were seeing an integrative DR which was more holistic in his views and we were also seeing traditional western DRs too. When it came to deciding about doing radiation Woody did not want to, we consult both DR and he chose to do it because they said that is was the protocol. Looking back, I wish I would have known then what I know now. He DID NOT want to do it but gave up his gut feelings because the authorities told him too! I am not saying that he would have lived, or things would have gone any different but I do know if it was something he wanted to do he would not have felt so conflicted and angry about it. From experience, I know when we feel conflicted it is not good for our mental and overall well-being. Furthermore, I know that Woody really wanted to try CBD oil to reduce his tumors but because it was illegal at the time and Western DR were against it, he again chose to not go with that form of treatment because it was not recommended by the authorities (legal and medical). All I have to say about that is, look at where we are now, it is legal, and is been found to be effective in dealing with cancer. The authorities have changed their tune.   The Truth About Facts I am not saying this to be judgmental but to me it cements my argument to do what is true to you! The authorities that we rely on change their views, as we all do, with new information. So to me we are putting our hands and lives in the word of an ever-changing system. There is no black and white, there is no absolute in anything and that is why we need to be our own authority. To further express this point, had Woody gotten ill in another country his treatment plan would be different, take for example Chinese medicine deals with illness completely different than Western medicine I am not saying either is better I am saying that we need to determine for ourselves what is in our best interest. We need to be our own authority! I know I spoke a lot about the medical system here but this is all over in our society we turn to others to tell you what is best for us, we look to reviews to figure out what we should buy, we look to family and friends to see what we should do in our relationships or with our careers, we even look to others to tell us what and how to eat. We keep looking outside ourselves to make our decisions, to be the authority on us! I know in the coaching world I have seen a lot of people with ‘blueprints’ for this and ‘maps’ for that but to me and what I am adamant about in my practice is I do not know what is best for you, you do! I can give you tools to tap into that wisdom and calm the mind chatter, and my special skill is to hear beyond all of it to the truth of what you are saying, but it is not my job nor could I (or anyone else) ever be an authority on YOUR life! Now What?   My hope for writing this is to remind you that you and only you can be the authority in your life, definitely seek advice, read reviews, consult professionals but ultimately the decision is yours to make and you have to be in alignment with what decision is best for you.       Going back to my incident (that I started out talking about), I still strongly admire the skills

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Insights from Nature

I posted this quick video on social media as I got some clarity on self-care and trees. Check out the video here. As I sat with the information for a while and continued to insights that I wanted to share. Looking to Nature for not only caring for ourselves, but we can also use it to look at playing small; really the 2 aren’t entirely exclusive. When I talked about a tree not sacrificing itself for others. It doesn’t say “oh no you take the water and the sunlight; I’ll just stay here in the shade” It takes what it needs to grow big and strong so that it can take care of the eco-system around it. As a tiny sapling, it cannot support the eco-system but as a big tree, it can. It can shade new saplings, house birds and animals, feed and support the whole eco-system around it. This is the same when I think about playing small. What I mean by playing small is not showing up in your life completely and authentically. It is not speaking your truth because you may hurt others, it is people-pleasing and sacrificing yourself to be accepted, it is not being BIG in life and shading your light for fear of stepping on toes. It could and does look different for everyone. For me, I was playing small when I was in my social work world. What that looked like was me sacrificing myself while striving to be a “good worker”, it was following the ‘rules’ even though I knew at my core that it was only band-aiding bigger core issues, it was hiding my spiritual side because I feared being judged. All of this was me not being true to me, some of these actions I was aware of consciously and some were unconscious patterns. So again, I look at Nature for wisdom, because after all we too are a part of Nature,too! Looking at trees, again the sapling doesn’t say ‘oh no I don’t want to get too big’, I may hurt someone’s feelings’ it just grows to be big and strong because that is what it is supposed to do. It is made to grow into the biggest, best tree it can be; so it does! Even if you look at the animal kingdom. Where in nature does an animal sacrifice itself, or play small and weak to be accepted by the group? Can you imagine a wolf pack where the individual wolves don’t want to be too good of a hunter to spare others’ feelings? Or too good of a tracker so others don’t think they are arrogant? NO! That is not what happens! Each member of the pack has a role that they fulfill for the survival of all! They are the best hunters because that is their role in the pack or they are the best trackers so their pack survives. We are not meant to be meek; we are not meant to hide our talents for fear of being “to big for our britches”. Even that colloquialism speaks to it the cultural programming around playing small … I mean Whose britches? If they are yours then they fit you, period! Why I feel we play small. There are a couple of reasons that I think we play small. These are stories that on some level we have accepted and now they are running our lives. The first is that we will be viewed as arrogant, or egotistical. We fear that if we own our strengths or speak up, others will have a negative view of us; that we are not playing as part of the team. Is this true? Do you ever think that your friends who speak up for themselves, or that own their strengths are arrogant? Do you see someone who is confident in their abilities as being an egomaniac? Of course not! We admire confidence, we marvel at people who are brave and put themselves out there, we cheer on those who have the courage to speak up. So why don’t you do this for yourself? The other reason I think we play small is that we don’t want to hurt others. We feel if we shine too bright, we will shadow others and hurt them. Is this true? Does showing up in your life owning all your gifts and talents mean you are trying to be better than others? Does it mean that you are saying well I am good, so you are crap? Does your dimming your light make others shine brighter? NO! To all of these! These stories that we tell ourselves are directly tied to our cultural and personal programming. The ‘be a good girl’ (aka nice, polite, cooperative girl) programming that teaches us to stay small. But what I think this comes down to on a core level is that we are so desperate to be loved and accepted that we sacrifice ourselves to be understood, to be included, and accepted by the majority.     I also think we play small because we are truly scared of our power, we are scared because we have been playing small for so long, (we have been going along to get along) that we can’t envision anything different, and the thought of how truly amazing we are, is terrifying! I have struggled with this for most of my life, I was partially aware of it before but even now with it being fully in my awareness there are still times it comes up. That is how deep this programming runs. Although I have cleared and healed it on so many levels, it still pops up and it takes conscious consistent work to get me comfortable with showing up BIG in my life. Something to think about I want to leave you with this thought. What would happen in Nature if every tree, every animal, every flower stayed small. We would have no forests, no gardens, and no

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Oh Deer!

I had an interesting experience the other day and as usual, it got me thinking! I was driving and to be honest, I was a bit daydreamy when all of a sudden, a baby deer ran out into the road. I slammed on my brakes and narrowly missed the baby. I was obviously shaken but my initial action surprised me. I just said thank you, thank you to the Universe, I assumed my reaction would have been “oh shit!”. Lately, I have been really working on affirmations around trust and a big part of trusting, for me, is feeling safe, protected and guided by the Divine. So, I was impressed my initial reaction was gratitude which I did feel, at that moment, that I was protected. So yay me! I recognized that this incident had got my adrenaline flowing so I literally shook it off to release the energy and did some deep breaths. When I had calmed my body, I was good! (This all happened within the span of a minute.) What happened next was confirmation on how powerful our minds are and if they are left misunderstood and operating under our awareness radar how much it affects your life. It also was an affirmation that the personal work I have been doing was paying off! Now let me remind you I was completely safe, I had literally shaken off the energy and was again driving. It was at this point my mind kept trying to bring me back into that state of fear and hyper-alert. It kept thinking about what ‘could’ have happened. That started an interesting internal dialogue. My mind, “you could have died” it thought, my response “yes but I am safe”. Next thought, ramping up the fear a bit “you could have killed the baby deer” (and to me that would be beyond tragic) and to make it more impactful this time it added an image of a bloody deer. My response again, “yes but I am safe!” This continued for a while where each time I would let it go, my mind would bring it up again. Trying to remind me I was ‘almost’ hurt and ‘almost’ killed a deer, and ‘almost’ wrecked my car. My mind as it naturally does also started creating scenarios where I totalled my car and tried to get me thinking about how would I get a new one.       I found this all really fascinating, I was the awareness behind the thoughts. I observed how my mind was trying to keep me in a heightened state, it wanted me to be fearful and it did not want to let it go. Observing this I kept telling myself “yes but I am safe”.         What this showed me is that even with all the work I have done on understanding my mind and working with it, its instinct is to keep me safe and not let me forget that I was in danger was still there, and probably always will be. Our brains are hard-wired for negativity, that is why they are great at pointing out dangers. If we let them run on their own with no awareness they are fear-inducing, it’s no wonder people are anxious. Had I not had the tools that I do to be the awareness behind the thoughts, I would have probably been replaying the horrific scene over and over and telling everyone, each time retraumatizing myself. My body would have been stressed and I would (to say it bluntly) be in shit state, ruminating and flashing back to it whenever I got in the car. But, because I understand my mind and have that awareness, I saved myself hours, if not days of stress. I was able to release the energy from my body so it did not get trapped and I was able to remain calm, truly calm, not just faking it! It was an interesting experience for sure one that reinforces to me all the work I have been doing is truly life-changing!

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Lesson in Gratitude

I had an interesting experience the other day, and for me, it was a great reminder of why gratitude is such a life changer! This is how my morning started… I was getting a cold, so was feeling not the greatest. I woke up to a colder than expected morning and was getting ready for work. I went to take my dog for her walk, and a thought popped into my mind ‘you should probably start your car before your walk’ (usually I do it after). So I did, and it didn’t start. It’s 430 in the morning, so there is not a whole lot of people awake to ask for a boost not to mention it is freezing outside. This had completely upset my morning routine! My parents live just around the corner from me, so I decided I would go and pick up their car (as they are out of town) and take it to work and deal with my car later. I walked my dog who I have to say loves the cold, so she wanted to stop and smell, I wanted to hurry up, I was freezing not to mention a bit grouchy about my car! I picked up my parents’ car as I walked past my parents’ house. The car was in the garage… nice it was warm, but to get it out I had to find their keys and the garage opener, nothing that significant just a few minutes and a little frustration added to the already frustrating morning. I drove home feeling a bit frazzled. I went to prepare my breakfast and spilt my almond milk and started thinking ‘oh it’s going to be one of those days!’. When I left for work, I was a couple minutes behind schedule. I got a few blocks from my house and realized I had left my keys at home (as I didn’t have my car) which meant I did not have my work keys, so I cursed, turned around and returned home. Now I was rushing! Of course, on my way to work, I hit all the red lights… this never happens as I am the only car on the road this early. I grumbled at the lights and started to curse this day. It seemed the morning, well the last 45 minutes had been a series of unfortunate events. I realize nothing major, but it was enough at this point, to get me grumbling, grunting my frustration and complaining about the day already! It was at this point it hit me… ‘Really?!? Tara what do you have to complain about’.   That’s when my perspective shifted. I had so much to be grateful for… I had woken up in a warm home, I had tried to start my car before my walk, I had access to a car that was all ready to go, I had completed my morning routine with only a couple of minutes lost. REALLY what was the big deal? This thought reminded me too often we focus on life’s frustrations. I started out my drive to work focusing on the fact that my car wouldn’t start and by the time I got to work the reality of the situation sunk in. Really… it was a great day! Things could have gone so much worse. I could have had to take a cab to work, which would have resulted in me being late, I could not have had time to make my breakfast, I could have gotten all the way to work then realized I didn’t have the keys, and there are so many worse complications that could have happened! By the time I got to work my mood had shifted, and I was ready for the day. In fact, I didn’t even think about my car again until I went to leave work and realized I had my Dad’s car. Now I know that for most of us when we have these kinds of days, we focus on it, we repeat the days’ frustrating events to coworkers, family and friends. We grumble all day about how our day is going, but the truth is if you took a minute refocused and looked at it… really you conquered those little trials, you persevered, and they ended up being minor frustrations rather than big catastrophes! Therefore, I challenge you the next time you are having ‘one of those days’ take a minute to refocus look for the opportunities to be grateful for and I guarantee you, it will change your mood for the day!

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Where Did All the Unicorns Go?

So lately I have been doing some healing work with my inner child and my adult Self around play. IT has been a struggle for me because I have forgotten how to play, not saying I don’t have fun, but it seems there is always a reason or purpose behind doing the things I find fun. When I do the work to uncover a disowned part of myself, I dove headfirst into playing. First, of course, was the analytical … how can I play? What do you do to play? And this led me to reflect on how I played when I was a kid and observing how my niece and nephew played. And I realized a lot of it was around imagination. OK great, start imagining, I thought. So I tried and let me tell you it was like I malfunctioned! There was fear, (panic really) and judgments galore. I dove deep into the feelings and what I realized is my adult brain could not compute imagination. It needed a purpose to imagine, ie visualization. It needed something plausible, it did not like anything non-logical and nonsensical. Which is exactly how children play. Think back when you were a child you had a magic toy that could do magical things. Or you had tea parties, and you completely imagined the tea in the pot and the glasses. It didn’t need to be there because in your imagination it was there. My adult brain did not like this and when I tried to imagine scenarios of like me being swept off my feet by a prince and riding off into the sunset like a princess. My brain was like “NOPE”. It couldn’t let go of its grasp on reality and wanting to figure things out. It went straight to ‘how is this going to happen?’. ‘where could you meet a prince’, logistically ‘how could they sweep you off your feet?’. I found all of this interesting and it got me to thinking, what happens to us that we lose our imagination. Is it gone, or does our mature brain just poke so many holes in our imaginations that it eventually ceases to exist? Or maybe it is that we are ‘smart’ now and we KNOW that there is no tea in the pot. Either way, I found it sad really that I could no longer imagine and play with stories in my head. As with all my personal healing/growth work, I persevered and am happy to report the other day when I was swimming, I imagined I was a mermaid! So slowly but surely my imagination muscle is being flexed and I can play a bit more. Now you may be thinking why would I want to pretend to be a mermaid, or that there is tea… I am an adult! I get it, it does sound weird but there are wonderful things that we can do with our imagination muscle that we are limiting ourselves from doing by keeping this part of ourselves suppressed. Wouldn’t it be nice to instead of on your commute home you could imagine a fairytale story rather than running through your to-do list or judgments about your day? Wouldn’t it be nice to, before going to bed you could imagine anything that you wanted? What if instead of concentrating on self-judgment and internal dialogue you could create fantasies in your head that were probably never going to happen but you could just do it … for fun? What an escape that could be to have the freedom to just imagine anything, and oh your inner child would love this experience. Play and imagination I have found are essential parts of living authentically, to owning all of who you are, to being creative, and to finding hope. See in our imagination we can disconnect from whatever stresses we are feeling and whatever negative anxiety-producing stories our mind is feeding us and instead focus on something magical, something fun, something non-sensical, something that can make us laugh and smile. We can use our creative mind to create positive outcomes, instead of the negative ones it likes to focus on. The impact of this is enormous in the sense of the law of attraction and manifestation. Not to mention in the positive energy that we would be putting out. We hear about this all the time how we need to ask for what we want, we need to visualize what we want and you can create it. I do believe this, but I have to say it wasn’t till I started playing with my imagination did I realize I was missing the one critical component to the formula for manifestation. We need to just let our imaginations soar. See when I used to try to manifest things into my life I would visualize and then my adult brain would kick in and come up with the specifics on how this needed to happen or how it is not plausible (just like with the teapot). Now that I am playing with my imagination, it is not restricted in the logistics anymore, I just get to imagine what I want and truly feel into it and that is the winning recipe for manifestation! I do have to say I am still working on imagination but the more I work the easier it gets, and the more I feel my creativity and play coming back to me and it feels fantastic. Now I know where all the unicorns went, my adult brain banished them into the darkness like it did my imagination (and every other disowned part of myself), and it only took conscious intention to bring them out of hiding!  

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Goodnight, Sleep: A Glimpse into Anxiety and Depression

I am so honoured to be sharing this story it came from one of my clients and more importantly my friend. Since I have known her, she has been dealing with anxiety and depression and she has valiantly been working at reclaiming her life. She has taken every tool and she has worked so hard to face her demons. She truly is an inspiration and for all those suffering with a mind that runs rampant, she is a beacon of hope. I am so blessed to have been along with her on this journey and I admire her strength and courage! Thank you, Michelle, for sharing and allowing me to share your experience. Namaste my beautiful friend! Goodnight, Sleep: A Glimpse into Depression & Anxiety Another sleepless night rears its ugly head. I can feel the anxiety and depression begin to engulf me into the dark corners of hell. At first, I shrug it off. I take a few deep breathes to center myself. It calms me for the moment, but I know it’s not the last I’ll hear of it. This is how my illnesses work. I try and put it out of my mind. I busy myself with small tasks, thinking this will keep what’s coming at bay, and it does for a short time. But I can still feel that twinge of panic in the back of my head. It’s almost bedtime. “Why?” I ask myself. Why now? I thought today was a good day?! I can feel the cycle about to begin. It’s late. I can’t put off sleep any longer, or so I thought. I lay my head on my pillow and wait. Will it be slumber, or will it be something else? I can feel my voice becoming distorted and lost. There is no sound except the quiet chatter of anxiety and depression. I know now what is coming. It starts. The tapes become louder and louder, replay conversations from hours, days, months, even years ago that have long been forgotten by the other party. Hashing out what I could have said. Or chastising myself for not speaking my truth.” Why did you say that”? I hear anxiety say.” You should be ashamed of yourself”! Depression chimes in,” You need to run, hide!” it shouts. My rational mind tries, just for a moment, to offer a crumb of guidance, “People have already forgotten about it.” “Move on, get over it.” But it’s useless, the other two stronghold and gag my rational friend to regain power. I feel myself slipping. I can’t find anything to grasp. The light begins to fade. I can no longer see. The darkness has arrived and with it comes the Beast. Next are the stories. The stories my depression and anxiety have told over and over for years start to run rampant. They fester. Picking and gnawing until I’m so in double of myself, I start believing the fiction. I lose my confidence, but I can’t show weakness, they remind me. I can’t be vulnerable. “Don’t let them see the cracks,” I hear the Beast whisper ever so softly. The hair on the back of my neck stands up, and I can feel my toes curl as I prepare for battle once again. This consumes me. Swallowing me whole. Further, into the bowels of darkness, I go to face my demons. The sleepless night leaves me ragged and foggy. I muster the strength to drag myself out of bed to meet my daily obligations. I’m fragile and exhausted, but I put on my worn, tarnished armour and try again. I look in the mirror, hoping to see a different face looking back at me. Someone strong. Someone who can slay the Beast so I can be free. That person is not in the reflection. I sigh, wipe my tears, lower my mask and hope today will be different. In the beginning, I thought death was the only viable option to tame the Beast. To quiet the obsessive chatter. Releasing me from this swirling black inferno. I could almost find relief. Searching for compassion in the hooded stranger’s non-existent eyes. His scythe in hand. But it’s not my time. I needed to look elsewhere. As I grow older, I find tools. Weapons if you will. The kind of evidence that will not kill the Beast but deter it. All these years I was fighting in the dark with only my hands. I found my voice. My words. What started as only a faint whisper has grown to a mighty roar. So powerful it startles the Beast at first, but as it grows and travels, the creature cowers. It’s disorientated, not understanding where this sound has been hiding. It pushes back. Flexing its muscles. Trying to intimidate. It doesn’t work. The roar escalates to words. Words that are more powerful than anyone would imagine. Words that unveil the darkness allowing streams of golden light into the once windowless room. It’s time to strike. I use every ounce of strength I have. The Beast is wounded. It’s scrambling for any sign of night as the light becomes more powerful, almost blinding. The Beast knows its power is no longer as strong as it used to be. He scurries back to his cage and licks his wounds. I am free. I can feel the tears begin to stream down my face. Not the same tears that came from that dark place. They come so fast and hard. I’m left completing sobbing. I am releasing it. I’m letting out years of pain and suffering. I feel the light penetrating my soul. I remove my armour. I can breathe. My tears subside. My eyes are red but filled with new hope. The tension that once held me together begins to dissipate. This feeling is foreign but welcoming. Sleep comes quickly. My old friend had finally returned, and I’m embraced in its warm folds. Once I emerge from the much-needed slumber, it’s time to tell my

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Thank you 2019: Valuable Lessons Learned!

Thank you 2019 for challenging me to be a better version of myself. I know I am not alone in the fact that at times 2019 seemed really challenging and if I had to capture it in a sentence, I would say … 2019 has been a year of tremendous growth for me. Most of this growth, (like most growth) has come from being challenged and realizing that my familiar patterns were not helping me but rather causing my suffering. There are two important lessons that I take away from 2019 that I thought I would share because they have been life-changing for me. And I don’t think I am alone in having to learn them! The first lesson is lessons of love.   I have learned about love in so many different ways. First, I have learned that I (like everyone) am worthy of love, no matter what my inner critic tells me. This lesson came when I realized I was looking to my relationships to prove that I was lovable, after years of this pattern I finally realized it was not working! Although people have loved me, I never really truly believed it because I didn’t love myself. Which is the second love lesson, I learned that what I really wanted all these years was to love myself. This was not a huge surprise as I had heard it forever, but what I didn’t know was that although I thought I loved myself (and I did to a certain degree) most of this love for myself was dependent on others’ opinions of me. I believe this was the birth of the ‘people pleaser’ personality in me. In my experience, I would ‘please’ others to gain their approval to prove that I was lovable. As soon as I realized this, I knew I needed to make some changes. These changes involved for the first time in my life putting myself first and breaking the pattern of ‘people-pleasing’ and always putting others first. I have to say that at first, this felt really uncomfortable as my pleasing others was so deeply ingrained. With practice and a lot of positive self-talk, this became easier and easier. I am sure as I continue to work on this pattern it will continue to get easier!   I guess you can say that 2019, was the death of my ‘people pleaser’ and the birth of my self-love. And self- love for me, was the acceptance of all of who I am; loving and embracing all parts of myself. Including the shadow aspects of my personality. This too took some effort on my part, as the parts of myself that I deemed as undesirable had been suppressed for so long that they felt foreign to me. To embrace them meant I had to face them and love them for what they are. This means that I can love the parts of me that can be mean, can be rude and can be selfish. They are all apart of what makes me, me and they are loved! Once I stopped trying to hide the undesirable parts of myself and just loved where I was at and who I was, the more I could accept that others loved me too! See that’s the thing when we don’t love our self, then no matter what others say, or do we will never truly believe they love us. Too many of us look to others to prove that we are loveable and worthy of love. But we end up harming our relationships because we can’t accept love unless we accept love from our self first. All of these lessons in love allowed me to open my heart … truly open my heart to others and to myself. Now having an open heart does feel vulnerable but I would rather be open and vulnerable than to not experience love in all of its warmth and joy! Needless to say, this was a journey that took the better part of a year and although I feel like I am on the stable ground these are lessons that I will continue to work on into 2020. The next biggest lesson in 2019 is that life is much better when I live in a state of flow. This one took a lot of conscious work on my part to counteract the cultural lessons that have been ingrained in me. To me living in flow is doing what brings me joy, on a minute to minute basis. Really listening to my intuition and my body on what is the best choice for me. At times these choices felt and still feel like a leap of faith. What I have realized now is that when I am not in a state of flow life is hard work … my body is tense, and my mind is chaotic, and my thoughts are overwhelming. On the other hand, flow to me is a state of inner peace, it is a beautiful, calm, strong trusting place. Mostly this work required me to ask myself “am I doing this because it brings me joy” if the answer was ‘no’ then I didn’t do it! Even though that meant that at the time I was not doing the ‘acceptable’, if it did not feel right, then I didn’t do it. These two lessons go hand in hand. It takes self-love to be able to stay in flow especially when you are going against cultural priorities! Overall 2019, has been a year of tremendous growth for me, at times this growth felt like I was moving nowhere and at times it felt like I was going backwards. There was more than one occasion that I asked myself if I was crazy! But that’s the thing about personal growth if you are pushing yourself into new territory it is bound to feel awkward and uncomfortable. You are moving past patterns, that you have been working with for years.   I like

Thank you 2019: Valuable Lessons Learned! Read More »

The Value of the Season!

What do you Value for the Holidays!

We all have different values and when it comes to the holidays we all value different things! When we live out of alignment with our values it causes us stress. With this in mind, I thought it would be a good idea to reduce the amount of stress over the holidays by helping you with your holiday values. When you understand what you value most over the holidays you can make choices that align with those values and have a more enjoyable holiday! Many of us throw the word value around and really don’t understand how important our values actually are to us. We may say “I value family”, but then when it comes to spending time with our families, we put it on the bottom of the priority list – behind work, chores, and other “have tos”. When we do this, we usually feel a sense of shame or guilt for not spending time with our families.  We are living out of alignment with our values and, for that, we experience stress! This holiday season, why not make it easier on yourself and figure out what your values are? Then do your best to live within those values, honour yourself! Ask Yourself How to determine your holiday values is simple. Take a few minutes to reflect on the past few holidays and ask yourself: What brings me the most joy over the holidays? When am I the happiest during the holiday? If I had to give up something what could I absolutely not give up? What does my dream holiday season look like? Take the time to really feel into the questions, allow your imagination to go wild. Write down a few things that really stick out to you. You will probably notice that some common themes start to emerge. Whether the answers revolve around such things as having family present or having some quiet downtime, to seeking adventure, or maybe it’s even solitude…the possibilities are endless. Whatever the answer may be, really tune into yourself. And most importantly don’t judge yourself for your answers!   Once you have a few common themes, take a few minutes to evaluate if this is a true value for you. For example, the value of peace is arising for you and when you check in with yourself, this doesn’t feel like something you would value. Ask yourself: Is this something that I really want or is it something that I believe that I need? Is this something that really matters to me or is it something that others say I need? Does this feel like a priority to me or does it feel like an obligation? Take this time to really check in with yourself. Does this feel authentic to you? Yes or No If yes, then you have your list of values for the holidays.  If not, then you have identified the things that are most likely causing you stress. You are doing these things out of obligation or out of a belief that you ‘need’ to be doing them. This sense of obligation has overridden your true values and is causing you stress. If this is the case, you need to take the time to re-evaluate what it is that you love about the holidays, use your imagination to identify your dream holiday season. What is it that you are doing? Who is there? What does it look like? What does it feel like? If you can answer these questions and come up with your dream holiday season you will be able to identify your values. The following questions will help you to narrow in on your values: Is it that you are surrounded by family or out at social events? Are you following traditions or are you creating new memories? Is it in a place that you know and love and feel comfortable or is it an exciting new place? Make it Happen Once you have that picture clear in your mind, you can identify what is most important for you about the holidays. Now all you need to do is make the decision to make it happen! How do you make it happen? Well, that requires you to stay true to you! Set boundaries say ‘no’ to things that are not aligning with your values and most importantly be grateful and enjoy taking part in the things you enjoy! Wishing you a holiday season that is all you have dreamed of that aligns you with your highest values.

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What if Everything You Want is on the Other End of Patience

I have to admit patience is really not my strong suit I struggle to stay patient especially when I am passionate about something. This has been a big lesson, that I am still learning, especially with my business. When I started out building TSW Life Coaching I was passionate and felt in my core that coaching was exactly what I was meant to do, I just knew it and still do! The thing that I didn’t realize at that point is that I had my own growing to do and that would take precedence over my business. This was my journey and it has taken me a long time to accept that things happen in exactly the right order at exactly the right time and my only responsibility is to have patience and be aware. I have had so many instances of the Universe providing for me exactly what I need at exactly the right time that I can’t (even when I try to), deny that there is a Divine plan for me, there is for all of us. Where we find stress is when we try to control the situation, and we miss the opportunities along the way because we are so focused on the end goal that we miss the journey. Not to mention that we judge ourselves and compare ourselves along the way which makes the journey at points really miserable. In my example, I am a way better coach than I was because I have taken the time, despite how much of a struggle it was at times to build myself before building my business. The growth and insight I have received on this journey has allowed me to serve my clients at a higher more in tune level and that was the reason for the longer than originally anticipated journey. This doesn’t mean that I think my growth has stopped, I don’t think it ever does and that excites me! What I do think is that too many of us have a goal and all we do is focus on the end. Yes, it’s important to have goals but I think we need to focus on the journey as well and be patient and understand there are bigger things at play. In our culture we are all about doing, striving to reach for our goals pushing to make things happen, very masculine energy. There is nothing wrong with having goals and striving for them but when we only focus on the goal we miss out on life. We judge ourselves according to how close we are to the goal and we miss all the wonderful opportunities to grow along the way. We see this time as a necessary evil to reaching the goal but the perspective shift I have realized is that the journey to the goal is actually the steps needed to make the goal manifest. Even when those steps seem to be taking you in a different direction they simply are a new route to the goal that is even better than we had envisioned. From my life as I have said in working on my business I have been challenged to grow and learn more about myself. This growth and learning have resulted in me creating something even better and more authentic to who I am than I ever could have envisioned in the beginning. Once I accepted this and really tried to lean into having patience (as hard as it is at times), the more I realized that the journey has brought myself and my business to a better place. I guess the takeaway from this is set your goals but remain open to what it looks like to get to that goal. Be patient with the process and enjoy the journey along the way. Stop beating yourself and stressing yourself out because you are not getting to the goal as fast as you would like. Just trust in the journey!

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