mindybodyspirit

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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Fear, Unedited!

I woke this morning to the heartbreaking news that yet another one of our community members had committed suicide. My heart bleeds for my community, my country, and my human family. This is as everyone says a ‘trying time’ and I know a lot of you, are suffering out there. As I went on my morning walk, I felt inspired to write, and even as I sit here writing I am not sure if this is for others or myself. (guess I decided to share!) The first thing I want to say is this virus and the way it has been handled has caused a lot of anxiety and stress. I am mainly referring here to the way the media reports its data. Since the start of it, I have chosen not to turn on the media coverage because I learned long ago that the media is a business like any other. They not unlike Facebook want to keep you tuned in and turned on to their stories. And what sells … FEAR!   Fear sells, fear keeps people coming back, fear stories make us feel vulnerable and frightened and we combat that with trying to control and get more information, so we know how to cope. So we tune in again and again in the hopes of getting more info so we can control the situation. This business, the news, keeps you buying what they are selling by selling more fear. Now I am not going to get into ‘conspiracy theories’ or other things about what is going on, this is not the time or place to discuss that as it takes away from the main point. Which is this …. if you are constantly tuning into the media then you are choosing to consume an unhealthy amount of fear, in an already frightening time!   The media, as mentioned is a business. They get ratings just like any other product or show out there and they want viewers/consumers, so they use their time wisely. One of the best courses I ever took in school was the sociology of media and mass communication. It was the most eye-opening course. And the main thing I left with from this course was that a LOT of time, money, and energy goes into making you buy their product … from what colours are dominant in the show to how they report things. I, for probably the first time through all of this, chose to watch a clip last night it was only a couple minutes but in that time I could see (and was disgusted) at the ‘news’. The clip was warning about the upcoming long weekend, which is fine, (I guess), but to drive home the fear factor they said “in Canada, we have had (I can’t remember the number but it was big) cases of the virus”, they chose to report the overall number. So if you look at the raw numbers, our numbers in Canada have been decreasing for a while, so instead of saying how many new cases we had which were around 630, they reported the big overall number of cases over the past six months! Why? To make it more frightening! They then proceeded to say that the numbers among young people have been on the rise but failed to state the number of cases. Now I don’t know what that number is and I am not doubting that it has increased, somewhat, but my questions are – increased from what? (0?) To what? And what is the total %, in comparison? I suspect they did not report that number because it was not significant enough to cause panic! If you chose to listen to the media and it is your choice then I suggest you counter it with raw data and you consume it with some awareness of how words are chosen, to stress their point. For example, the media will cover a story and say “more than….” Because that sounds better than “only” ie more than 300, our minds automatically (because we are wired this way) go to 390ish, when if you really look at the raw data with no commentary the number is more like 305. The choice of ‘more than’ is the fear-inducing language that keeps you coming back. I think that is enough about that because it is what it is and I write that only to give some perspective that hopefully some of you will take on board and become a bit more of a choosey consumers or at least start to recognize that you need to be cognizant of what you are feeding your mind.         What I also wanted to talk about is fear and anxiety. I have talked about this a lot in my podcast, my blogs, and with clients. Fear only exists in the future it is never in the present moment! And it is always a forecast, created in our mind of some dreadful story that brings on anxiety. We hyper-focus on that story being ‘truth’ and we live like it is inevitable! This anxious energy brings on more anxious energy until we cannot take it anymore. We are fearful of everything and everyone, we have convinced our self that nothing good will happen and that people are judging us and that life is crap! Then comes the depression because who wouldn’t be depressed at the future you are forecasting in your mind, it’s all doom and gloom! This of course is fed by the media and society at large, there are so many, (I would say a majority of people) who are fearful of some disastrous version of the future, especially now. Fear currently, especially is never in short supply! This was driven home to me the other day. I had an interesting interaction in a store. A kid probably about 11 or 12 was standing outside a store I assume waiting for his family. There was a sign saying

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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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Winter of the Soul

It has been a while since I have written, not for lack of trying. What I have found for me is if I force it then I am out of flow and nothing comes together and that definitely does not bring me joy. Therefore, I write when I feel I have something to say. Lately, I have been trying to come up with something and nothing is coming, which is rare as either myself or my clients are always in a state of growth and learning and the Universe is always there with new lessons. But lately, as I said, nothing has been coming together for me to write about and then it struck me last week, maybe that is the lesson (and the blog)! Sometimes we just need to pause, turn inward and reflect.  Although things seem slow and unchanging on the outside, I am sure there is a lot going on under the surface. This is like winter. In winter, Mother Nature goes into hibernation mode. I take that hibernation as a time to turn inward, to slow things down and really get ourselves in a healthy state for the upcoming Spring season. Previously, I have struggled with these times on my journey. They feel stagnant! Probably because in our society we focus so much on keeping our eye on the prize, basing our success and failure on observable measures of movement. We are taught that if we stop, take in the moment, take the time to turn inward that we are not moving forward… we are stagnant. But what is wrong with that! We need this time just as much as we do the blossoming of spring. They are both important! In this space of turning inward, the Universe has presented me with opportunities to heal past hurts, move through blocked emotions and look at new challenges. All of which are supporting me in becoming the best version of myself. Now that doesn’t sound like being stagnant, does it? My big realization is, we need to embrace the quiet times, we need to trust in the process. We need to understand that in life there will be times of quiet solitude where our souls recharge. I am positive in these times that things are going on quietly in the background, preparing us for the next chapter. And this work although not observable is just as important!       As I am sure I am not the only one who struggles in these times, I thought I would share some tips to help: Stop judging yourself by other’s or societies standards Be patient Trust in the process Use this time to really recharge your soul So, the next time you come to one of these winters for your soul, honour it, enjoy it! Spring is just around the corner.

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Beyond the Scale – The Missing Piece

I have been struggling with weight loss for most of my life, well that is what I thought. What I realize now it was not about the weight at all, it was all about getting my mind healthy. As I write this it feels incredibly vulnerable, but I know I am not the only one who struggles with this, so my hope is this blog will find those of you who need it and those of you who are ready for a new perspective on themselves. The thing is that I have always eaten healthy and got an average amount of exercise, but my weight never really changed much. Of course, I would do the up and down like most of us do, but no real drastic changes. The more I tried, the more I would judge and criticize myself, and the more my self-talk would focus on my weight and not being good enough. I constantly would think (and judge myself) about what I was eating, what I was doing and question WHY? I couldn’t lose weight. Having been a long-time believer in the mind-body connection, I even tried losing weight from that angle. Looking back now it consumed a lot of mind space and utilized a lot of energy. In my mind, I could turn everything into a weight issue. Reflecting back, this is a pattern of thinking I had been playing out since childhood, so it was well ingrained and definitely repeated. I know I am not alone observing this, our society has always had a strict view of beauty and for most of us an absolutely, unattainable one! (Although thankfully I do see this slowly changing).  I was fed these messages, and I ate them up! I felt I did not measure up! This all changed after my husband passed away. Overall in my life, I took his passing as a sign from the Universe that I needed to make some changes. One of these changes was I took my Whole Person Coaching course to fulfill my career aspirations. But what it did for me was completely unexpected! In the course, I was coached numerous times and these common patterns, themes and beliefs started to come out. This began my journey to become my authentic self and loving that person no matter the size! And that is when I started looking at weight loss from a whole new perspective. What I learned from my experience is that I was withholding love from myself, I was looking at my weight as a roadblock to my worthiness, as an excuse for anything that went wrong and I created thousands (probably millions) of stories in my head that perpetuated this belief… Unless you weigh less you are not enough, you are not worthy… subtitle… something is wrong with you unless you lose weight. This is pretty harsh messaging, and most of us would never say that to anyone out loud, but most of us, in some version or another, say it to ourselves on a regular basis.   It’s not easy to recall what the first step was in my transformation as the life lessons were coming to me hard a fast at that time. During those few years, the Universe was providing me with lesson after lesson which continually furthered my growth and pushed me further along my path to authenticity in all directions! What is clear though, is the changes that took place to my body! Once I started really looking at myself and truly embracing and loving all of me, the weight just started coming off. The more personal work I did, the more I lost. I stopped judging myself and started loving the reflection in the mirror. I stopped the stories (in my head) that validated how I was ‘not enough’ because of my weight and started focusing on my being enough and being worthy and simply loving myself! The more I continued to move through things the healthier I felt, the more I wanted to take care of myself. Makes logical sense right, the more we love something, the more we take care of it. I can honestly say now, that I am writing this blog from a place of worthiness, from a place of loving myself for ALL of me, a place of strength – mind, body, spirit. My body has responded amazingly to all of these internal changes – because I love it and appreciate it. It works hard with me, and the weight seems to be coming off but more important than that is, it doesn’t really matter to me anymore about the weight. Because before everything else, I know that my body is the perfect representation of who I am at this moment. I am sure though the more I work through my life lessons, the more my body will change. I see it happen all the time the more lessons I learn, the more my reflection changes and the deeper my relationship with myself gets. Don’t get me wrong even with all the work I have done there are still times when these old beliefs and patterns show up (they have been in place for years) but the difference is now they are more like little blips on the radar, and I have the tools to calm them before they get out of control. I understand for a lot of people reading this it may seem a little different, it is definitely not the norm. We are taught if we eat healthy and exercise, we will lose weight but the critical component, in my mind, is that we also need to get our minds in order, let go of our stories, beliefs, and patterns that continually hold us back and love who we are right now! And if you take it outside of yourself (child rearing, plants, pets, relationships etc.) and really think about it, in order for anything to thrive, we need to feed it positivity and

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The Spirit of the Season

I have been working with people for a long time and, for most of my career, I have worked with people who were living in poverty. I started to notice very early that, despite budgeting with them and setting limits on spending for the holidays, my clients would go overboard and purchase things that were way out of their limits buying gifts for family and friends. It wasn’t long until I realized that there was a lot more behind purchasing gifts than just the gifts themselves. For the most part, these clients were motivated not just by the Christmas spirit, but they had a deeper drive pushing them. This pattern of behaviour is not limited to my previous clients. I see this type of behaviour in all people from all walks of life. I have even noticed it in myself! When our spirit of the season is not about the feelings of the season and rather is motivated by some underlying energy, it can take our holidays from something fun and enjoyable to stressful, chaotic and even self-loathing. There are three motivating factors that I have noticed in myself and others that can wreak havoc on your holidays. Any of these sound familiar? Guilt I think this one can be especially true for parents. Guilt is evident when we Exhaustedly scouring stores for hours Fight with shoppers because we NEED that item Go overboard and have a million presents under the tree. Or by putting ourselves in debt to make sure you have everything on the list. In these cases, the energy behind the action is not just wanting a good Christmas, there is something more It feels more like a ‘need’, like you have to, or the holiday will be ruined. I think the guilt comes from personal perceptions of short fallings as a parent, wife, friend etc. Like my clients, they felt guilty about their kids living in poverty, so they compensated by overspending. For others, I think that the driving force is guilt around not being a ‘good enough’ parent, friend, or partner. They perceive that they have fallen short in some area such as too much work, too little family time, too strict, too preoccupied, generally not being a good enough parent, friend, or partner. This guilt fuels the insanity that is Christmas shopping for many of us. We are motivated not by the spirit of giving or the joy of the season, but rather feeling like we ‘need to’ compensate because we don’t measure up in other ways. Perfection Another driving force that I have observed is the need to make the holiday ‘perfect’. Some people NEED the holidays to be perfect, for whatever reason, and they won’t settle for anything less. The results are the same they may put themselves in debt, drive themselves crazy trying to find that perfect gift, run themselves ragged trying to make everything perfect. The thing is, the harder we try to make things perfect, the more we notice that it’s not perfect! Therefore we can either surrender or keep pushing and driving ourselves nuts. I have observed this perfectionism playing out at family dinners. People spend hours to set the table so it looks just right, spending the whole day prepping and cooking, fixing and adjusting, then collapse at the end of the night from exhaustion. Meanwhile, they missed out on the joy and fun of the day! If we are in this mindset, then I hate to tell you, but there is no such thing as perfect and all the energy you use to make it perfect could be spent enjoying the holiday instead! (Sound like you? Learn more about the problems with perfectionism, here.) Compensation This one is similar to guilt and can go hand in hand, but the energy behind it is a little different. From this perspective, gift giving is viewed as a time to compensate. For example, getting the right gift so that your children, family, spouse, etc. know that you love them because throughout the year you avoid sharing your feelings and yourself with them. This can be either a perceived shortcoming or actually not giving them all of you because your energy is focused elsewhere. Whichever it is, you take Christmas as a time to share all the things you haven’t said, how much you care, how grateful you are for them, how much you love them, how important they are to you. And again, you drive yourself crazy trying to find the perfect thing to express all those locked up emotions. The pressure on getting the gift is immense because it is no longer a gift, but the way to communicate your feelings because you haven’t or feel you can’t do it throughout the year.  That is a lot of pressure on a purchase! What we are really doing The ironic thing is if the energy behind our holidays is any of the above, what we are actually doing is spending the holiday doing exactly what we are trying to avoid. Our spirit of the season is not about love, and connection rather it is guilt-ridden, chaotic and stressful! Needless to say less than enjoyable. Now what? There is nothing wrong with wanting a good holiday or to find your loved ones gifts that bring them joy, but if you are finding you are killing yourself and stressing yourself out over it, then you need to ask yourself ‘why am I doing this?’. Then really check into the motivating energy behind your actions. If it is guilt, compensation or the need for perfection, then you need to ask yourself if this is really what you want from your holiday. If it’s not, change it!

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Hope is a Risk

As I sit here and reflect on the night before my husband passed away, I am struck at how much of a risk it is to hold on to hope. That night, I sat there holding (really grasping) on to any ounce of hope I could. I held a positive attitude that he would wake up from his comma, not that the forecast for him doing so was great, and still I sat hoping. I kept praying to myself just one more time to talk to him and to see his beautiful blue eyes. I am sure as I sat there, some part of me knowing the end result, but still I held on to hope, clung to it really. I couldn’t let it go… I wasn’t ready to face the inevitable truth.   Now reflecting, it was not only my husband that I lost that day, but my hope faded away too. I grieved his loss, but it is hope that I was missing. To this day, I am not sure it has completely returned but I am a lot better now, than I was then. Even still, I find myself going into a fear state when I try to hold out hope for anything! I believe that I feel this fear because I felt betrayed by hope itself. That night, I held on so tightly and I felt it let me down. I had faith in my hope (and I needed it), but it certainly felt like a risk to have it at all I feel that when we hold a space for hope, it makes us vulnerable it puts us in a risky place, because we are hanging on for a way to see the good, we are holding out for the fulfillment of a dream, and that feels risky. But on the other hand, if while I sat there in that hospital room, I would have just surrendered to the fact that he was going to die, maybe it would have been easier, but at the same time if I would have let go of my hope I feel things would have felt worse. As difficult as it was to be hopeful, it would have been much worse to be hopeless in that moment! We need hope.  It is our light, it is our optimism. It is what keeps us moving forward in times of despair, it is the light on the path to our future. When we live without hope we live an unfulfilled, depressing life.  I am realizing now that after Woody passed it’s not that hope was lost I was just scared to hope again. That’s the thing there are no guarantees with hope.  That is both the joy in it, as well as the disappointment. That is the risk. It doesn’t guarantee anything it only offers the option for numerous outcomes. So as much as it is a risk, I still think it is worth taking the chance. We all have hope inside of us. Hope for a better life, a better relationship, a better state of health, a better understanding of ourselves.  We risk every day when we dream for these things. That night I was just hoping for him to wake and that did not happen, but I can see now all my other hopes were answered. I had long held a dream for a better life, a more congruent life with my beliefs.  A happier, more satisfying life. I didn’t know it then, but my authentic life and that is exactly what I got! This most likely would not have happened if he did live. I would have returned to my comfort zone and continued to hope that one day… I would be happier and feel fufilled! What I have now is my authenticity, the real me. What I didn’t realize then is that I was holding on to hope for him to live out of fear. If he lived that night, it would not have been in either of our best interests. He was suffering, the last weeks of his life and he had come to peace with his passing (other than his worries about me) and for me, I just didn’t want to face the emotional and life upheaval, that was inevitable. So, the hope I had was from a place of fear which is why it was so devastating when it didn’t happen. My hope on the other hand, could have been for the greatest good for both of us, rather than for him to just live so that I would not suffer.   Suffering, like hope, is a part of life and it is that suffering that provides opportunities for us to grow and evolve. Without it most of us would stay stuck in our OK, comfortable lives, never truly happy. The suffering in my case was a big one, but we are all suffering. If we are in relationships, jobs or a life that doesn’t totally satisfy us, we are suffering. Most times we stay and hold out hope, like me, out of fear of the unknown. What I realize now is that it takes real courage and strength to hold a space for hope, embrace that fear and move forward into life. In our culture, we often associate strength, bravery and courage with standing our ground, and aggressive type behavior; being brave in the face of enemies.  But the thing is, in my opinion, bravery is much more subtle than that. It takes courage and bravery to hold true hope! It takes courage and bravery to face your fears and give them space. It takes absolute strength to truly feel into deeply emotional situations, to question your life and make changes. Following your heart and soul takes courage, strength and bravery. And it is our hope that guides us through. So, to all you brave souls, continue to hope, continue to be brave and face each day with courage and strength; keep moving

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Thanksgiving Promise

I speak about gratitude often, and with this weekend being Canadian Thanksgiving I am reminded of how important it is to have an attitude of gratitude all year round. I have found in my practice, both my own and with my clients, that practicing gratitude is life changing! Here are a few ways how gratitude helps you:   1) Switch your thinking from a negative space to something lighter. We are naturally hardwired to focus on the negative, that means that we spend a lot of our time in negative space. We look for the bad, we look for all the things that can harm us, but the fact is we are not at risk all the time, we don’t NEED to be constantly on guard. Therefore, when you notice that your mind is in a negative place you can retrain it by shifting it towards gratitude. Instead of being focused on the negative, be thankful for the fact that you are safe. Be thankful for Mother Earth, be thankful for your families and loved ones who support and help you; really anything that you can think of. Turn your negative thoughts into thoughts of gratitude and rewire your negative brain! 2) Move through fear. I am sure I am not the only one who has been in an overwhelmingly joyful situation and suddenly a wave of fear rushes over and ruins the moment. We feel this joy, like when we are having a romantic evening with our spouse or a play date with our kids and all of a sudden, this wave of fear comes over us. We fear that our child could get sick that our spouse could leave us … that something horrible could happen to take away our happiness. When this happens, you can turn your mind towards gratitude. Instead of letting fear rob you of the joyful moment you can be thankful and joyful!   3) Recognize the good. Just like training any muscle in our body the more we can turn our thoughts towards the good the stronger that muscle gets. By focusing on what you can be grateful for rather than what is going wrong we train ourselves to see the good. We build that muscle and after a while (when that muscle develops) we will automatically see the good in all situations. This even applies to life’s hard lessons when we are suffering. Because you have trained your brain to be grateful, you will be able to see beyond the suffering and recognize (no matter how small) the good in the situation. There is always something good in any situation, train yourself to see it. With every storm comes the rain that nurtures the Earth.   4) Grounds in the present moment. When we are practicing gratitude, we are grounded in the present moment. Living in the past or forecasting the future causes us grief. When we are ruminating on the past, thinking and rethinking about what went wrong, what we could have/should have done; or, we are forecasting the future, let’s face it, it’s usually forecasting doom and gloom; we are not in the present, we are not living mindfully. When you practice gratitude, you are firmly grounding yourself in the present, you are using your powerful mind to focus on what is good, in the present moment, and that is exactly where we find peace. I can’t speak enough about the power of gratitude, but I also know this can be a struggle when we are in the middle of a stormy time, but that is precisely when we need it most! All I can say is you won’t understand how powerful this practice can be unless you try!       This Thanksgiving make a promise to yourself that you will practice gratitude daily; take that Thanksgiving feeling with you into the future and see how life changing it can be! And remember there is ALWAYS something to be grateful for! With much gratitude for your following, Happy Thanksgiving!  

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A New Reflection – Transformation Mind, Body & Soul

I had an interesting experience in my yoga class the other week. I noticed my shadow when I was doing a pose and at first glance I didn’t even recognize it! I found this interesting, as over the past three years I have been doing a lot of work in the area of personal growth and spiritual awareness. It was at this point that I realized that I didn’t recognize my reflection because it was new, I was new!     Looking back over the past three years I am proud of the steps I have taken to move my life in a new direction, a direction towards creating a life that I love. It has been a lot of work and at times it has been difficult but it has been all worth it…I have a new reflection! Seeing this new reflection has reminded on a literal level how our bodies carry our experiences. What I have found is once I started to sort through all my old patterns and beliefs, my body physically started to change. I see it clearly now that as I was physically, emotionally and psychologically letting things go, that no longer served me, I was changing., my reflection had changed! On an emotional level, I used to get quite teary at times, it was like my emotions were pouring out of me. I understand now that as I was at maximum capacity for stuffed emotions and, when something happened slightly emotional (that really wasn’t that significant), my emotions would run over. I no longer do this! Instead, I have learned to feel through my emotions, I used to stuff them down, so as not to appear weak and emotional, I can see now how unhealthy for me that was. This is something I think a lot of us do. When we stuff our emotions, they don’t just go away. They build up in our bodies and, at some point, we just explode. Perhaps that looks like anger, maybe it’s self- abuse, a “nervous breakdown”, or maybe it is acts of numbing; which I think is most common. On the surface, we may look like we are coping, but really, deep down, we are suffering! Now, that I allow my emotions rather than stuff them, my reflection now shows a less stressed more flexible, happier person. And that is pretty cool!     Perhaps the biggest way my reflection has changed is psychologically. I have learned to love and accept myself; this has probably been the hardest. I have learned that the thoughts running through my mind are not an absolute … I have a choice! I have learned that “I am who I am”. What I mean by this is I have learned to embrace the shadow aspect parts of me. The ones that I was previously, desperately tried to hide. I did this because I worried I would be judged and I was scared to show them. Now, I have learned to be compassionate with myself, to tame my perfectionist, befriend my inner critic and challenge myself. This awareness has been the most profound in my life. If you would have asked me three years ago if I even thought this level of self-awareness and happiness was possible, I would have doubted you! I believed this is just how life is but I realize now that this is just another story our minds tell us! It is not an absolute truth. I think a lot of us play the tape that there is something fundamentally wrong with us, and therefore we hide parts of ourselves and wear masks to try to prove to others we are OK. Without a doubt, this is what I was doing in the past, and it led to a very stressful, unhappy life. The thing is I didn’t even realize how unhappy until I started doing this work. When I stopped playing the tape that something is wrong with me, and I really started to see things clearly then I understood what real happiness was. So, going back to my new reflection I am proud of the work I have done, I am happier because of the work that I have done and I embrace this new reflection! I am now in a much better place in my life. I know that I will continue to grow and learn, but now I am doing it from a place of curiosity and strength rather than a place of thinking there is something wrong with me and “I need to be fixed”. This voyage is something anyone can do! I am no different than any of you. If you are willing to put in the work, willing to dive deep into yourself and willing to question your perceived reality, then you too can have a new reflection! Trust me, it’s so worth it! If you are ready to get a new reflection, join me for a supportive body transformation class. Over the 7 weeks, you will be to given the tools you need to build confidence, love yourself for who you are, and get a new reflection! Ready for your new reflection, just click here. 

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When ‘Thank You’ Just Isn’t Enough!

I had heard the word Namaste and used it at the end of my yoga classes and just took for granted that it meant “thanks”. It does in a way mean that, but it means so much more. What it actually means is really quite beautiful, so I have decided to use it outside of yoga class. It is such a great way to honour others. So what does it mean? Namaste means “I bow to the spirit in you”, I found one explanation that really spoke to me which was ‘the light (beauty, soul) in me recognizes and honours the light (beauty, soul) in you’. Beautiful, right? That is why I have chosen to use it more often!   What I decided This whole realization came from a conversation with a coaching friend of mine, whose relationship has supported me in so many ways. We were having one of our in-depth conversations which was helping me see a new perspective and “thank you” just didn’t seem to be enough. I so value her awareness and wisdom that it felt like “thank you” just didn’t even come close to reflect the gratitude and respect that I was feeling. It was at this point that I bowed and said “Namaste”. This lead to further discussion on how I wanted to start using that blessing in my everyday interactions more. And then I decided I would! At first it felt like I was being a bit of an imposter because, although I practice yoga, I am not a yogi, but the message “Namaste” speaks is so genuine and universal, I don’t think you even have to practice yoga to use it! I am fortunate, (as I am sure you are) to meet and work with so many amazing people and this is the perfect way for me to show my gratitude and respect to them. Whether it be through a casual conversation, an in-depth client interaction or a good chat with friends or family –  whatever the situation – I find that when I want to honour someone for showing up and being authentic, thanks just doesn’t cut it! Now, I have even found myself wanting to use it with people with whom I have less than desirable interactions with (maybe not all the time) but when I come across someone who is in a negative space and is taking that out on me, I still want to honour where they are at in their journey. So, I silently bow and send them the blessing. What I have noticed is … that when I do bow and say “Namaste” the energy that accompanies it is warm and wonderful for both me and them. Maybe it’s because I have this understanding of what it means, but I truly feel like in that moment I am honestly speaking to that person’s soul. Who they are, beyond their stories, challenges and present situations. The message goes so much deeper than all that mind chatter. For me, it is the perfect way to recognize and respect them for their authenticity, for who they truly are at their core.  And really who doesn’t want to be recognized and honoured for their inner beauty and light?! Why am I writing about this? Because I am encouraging you to give this a try. See the reaction you get! It may be a curious look or maybe even a negative response, but the thing is, I am sure you will personally feel the positivity and connection that this simple, yet powerful message and gesture carry with it. The next time you feel you really want to show someone your gratitude, respect and honour them, simply put the palms of your hands together bow your head and say ‘Namaste’. I am sure you will be pleasantly surprised at how it makes you feel. In closing, Namaste!

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