Tuesday, 31 December 2013

New Year Resolutions Are SO Last Year

Making New Years Resolutions has been a January tradition for so many of us.  I WILL eat well. I WILL go to the gym. I WILL NOT smoke.  When I was a gym regular we used to see a huge crowd of new year members every January.  And not that any of us regulars wished anyone to fail but we did look forward to March when things would return to normal. That's because resolutions are usually ridiculous, all or nothing, promises that very few people can live up to.  I am not a fan of anything that sets us up to fail before we even get out of the gate.  Goals, in this girl's opinion, are a way to achieving and getting to the success you desire. 

Goals allow you to stay focused on a target while allowing for the inevitable ups and downs of getting there. You may eat a plate of nachos, miss a spin class or even have a cigarette - yet that doesn't mean you have failed. There will be much written about and spoken of goal setting in these next few days as we all think about starting the new year right. Goals should be SMART (Specific. Measurable. Attainable. Relevant/Realistic. Timed.)  One should also remember to KISS (Keep. It. Simple. Smarty.) their goals.  In fact I shared my thoughts about goal setting a few weeks ago and that is not what I want to speak of here. Click here to go back and check that out

Goals are great. Important even. But there is something about goal setting conversations that always gets lost and that actually frustrates me some times, and that is that all too often we get so caught up in making plans and in setting and achieving goals, that we over look what is now.  NOW is just as important as what has past or what lays ahead.

I encourage you to think about what you want to feel in 2014. What kinds of experiences will give you the opportunity to feel those feelings?? Start there and then absolutely make plans, and work & play towards that goal, but while you are doing all that.....look around at your now and enjoy what you have. Remember that at one point in your past, where you are now was a goal. How would the You that set that goal feel if she knew that when you got there you wouldn't even notice let alone take time to soak it all in in all of its glory.

So as you move forward into this shinny new year full of fresh starts and firsts, mix it up a little and practice being present with what is now instead of always planning what is next.  

Happy New Year!!  

See you in 2014 my Friend

I'd love to hear what kind of goals you have been setting for yourself.  The comment section below was made exactly for that.  Share your thoughts and your plans then share something from your now that you are enjoying.  For me..... I am excited to be headed out for New Years with couples friends.  I remember when this experience was a goal  for myself and HERE it is.  

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Yes Virginia, There is a Santa Clause

There have been so many wonderfully written Christmas movies and songs that remind us of the magic and the emotion that this season is known for. A few weeks ago I shared with you my thoughts about Santa Clause as they are shared in my all time favourite holiday film. In case you missed it (click here to read)

"I'm not just a whimsical figure who wears a charming suit and 
affects a jolly demeanour you know. I'm a symbol. I'm a symbol of 
the human ability to suppress the selfish and hateful tendencies that rule 
the major part of our lives. If you can't believe, if you can't accept anything on faith, 
then you're doomed for a life dominated by doubt." ~Kris Kringle

Yes Virginia, There is a Santa Clause. The spirit of Santa is alive and well and can live in each of us.  With each gift given, be it something wrapped in shinny paper or a smile and a kindness, the magic of the season is passed on between us. If you are enjoying the child-like excitement of the season then I urge you to share your smile and your spirit with all others you pass.  If you are finding yourself frustrated by the commercial rush of the mall, the hazards of the parking lots and the expense of it all, then I invite you to take a small step back and to re-consider the season. The holidays are a symbol not of things to do but of things to feel and to enjoy.  

It is a time to play like children, to hibernate and to cuddle in like lovers, to openly share a cheerful greeting with a stranger, to wish others well, to reflect on the year passed and to stir in excitement of the year ahead, and if you are in southern Ontario, to watch the beautiful Christmas snow fall (Its been years since we had this much snow on Dec 24 and it's a postcard perfect sight)

Christmas story telling legend Gipp Forster passed away this past spring (April 17, 2013). His short stories are another festive favourite of mine. Hearing his voice sharing emotion driven tales of the season (and knowing that he looks just like Santa) always makes the season seem complete. Though I can't find his quote exactly, Gipp says that the Christmas season, with all its lights, is like the jewel in the crown of the year gone by, and is to be a shining celebration of things passed as we move towards the fresh start of the year ahead.  

Merry Christmas my friend.  I wish for you the holiday season to feel warm and memorable as you choose to focus your energy on the things that feel good to you. May your heart feel full as you celebrate all that has come of the year gone by, and as you look ahead to the fresh new year in which your choices and your opportunities will of course be plentiful. 

With much love & a warm smile,

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

5 Things to Remember BEFORE You Say You Can't Set Goals

Have you ever found yourself standing right in the middle of what feels like a giant project only to realize that you have no idea where to begin? Maybe you have let you housekeeping tasks fall to the side because of more important things you have had to focus on and now.....it's all so untidy, where should you actually begin???? Well, of course there are some logical steps you could take to multi task a few big changes but lets not get that far ahead just yet. You first need to get the ball rolling, build some momentum and move towards your destination, and the place to begin is where you are standing right now. 

That's the same approach I take with clients who for some reason or another see their current situations as they might see a very messy house. We all have to begin somewhere, but when it all seems equally messy the idea of any change can feel heavy. So where should you dig in???

Well, we need a goal.  That can be a big scary word when any new direction is being contemplated. But there are a few things to remember about goals that can help to take the fear out of the process. 

1. Goals can be as flexible as you decide they should be.  What that means is that you don't have to carve everything (or anything) into stone.  If you want to change your mind at any time. You have that power. Go ahead. 

2. Goals don't all have to be life changing. Set a small and simple goal just to get yourself going.  Feel successful and then set another. Let them build upon each other and soon you will have a pile of success. 

3. You don't need to have it all figured out in detail to get yourself started. In fact, being really general about what you want or where you want to go can often be very helpful.  It allows you to be open to possibility and opportunity.

4. Often the best place to start is with what you know for sure already. That can include what you know for sure that you DO NOT want. Don't brush all of those past experiences under the carpet just yet.  They have taught you a lot of things. Use that information.  

What experiences did you like and do you want more of?? Maybe there was a part of a job that you enjoyed and would like to have again.....??? And now which of your experiences do you for sure not want to do again?? Maybe there was a relationship in which you felt unheard or unimportant....??  What specifically did you like about that job?? How would you like to feel in a new relationship??  These are all good jumping off points.

5. Emotions are important indicators and should be included in the process.  It can be very helpful to know how you want to feel in your day and then to find the action part that will match.

If you are looking at your messy house, beginning exactly where you are standing now is easy enough advice. If you are looking at your messy feeling life, starting with where you are standing means gaining some real clarity about where that place is.  (Its not always comfortable, but it's always worth it).  Where are you in relation to where you would like to be??? A favorite quote of mine is of of Angela Petitt who said "Don't be afraid of the space between your dreams and reality"Can you think of maybe two small and totally achievable mini goals you could set for yourself as fist steps towards where you dream of being??  

Some of the very best goal setting advice was shared with me (and likely with us all) way back when we were in school. KISS  Keep It Simple Sweetie is always a great thing to remember.  Setting a new course can be as complicated or as simple as you want it to be. It's all in your perception.  

So choose to keep it simple and doable and get excited about celebrating your success as you go.  (Always remember to celebrate along the way.  It's a huge part of what makes the process so enjoyable) 

Do you have a goal in mind?? Is it something simple and doable?? Is it something big and life changing that could perhaps be broken down into smaller pieces?? Or do you have a success story to share?? When have you picked a direction, built some momentum and had it all flow together?? 

I can't wait to hear what you have to tell us.  As always, the comment section below is as much for you as it is for anyone.  Or come on over to Facebook, say a quick hello and join the conversation there. Use the share buttons to help spread the idea of goal setting simplicity. 

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

A Simple Symbol Can Help To Build A Foundation Faith

I absolutely LOVE the festive holidays. That's not new news. The lights, the cheery music, tinsel, all things colourful and sparkly.... but most of all, I love the magical feeling of it all. There is something about the idea of Santa Clause that is of miracle minded importance. I tried to explain my festive feelings this year but I wasn't able to to do it justice.  "Just because" some how wasn't enough, yet I struggled to come up with more. But then.... as I was introducing some of my new favourite people to my old favourite holiday movie (Miracle on 34th Street), it was all laid out for me by Santa Clause himself. 

"I'm not just a whimsical figure who wears a charming suit and affects a jolly demeanour you know. I'm a symbol. I'm a symbol of the human ability to suppress the selfish and hateful tendencies that rule the major part of our lives. If you can't believe, if you can't accept anything on faith, then you're doomed for a life dominated by doubt." ~Kris Kringle

WOW! How great an explanation is that?! Its exactly what I wanted to express. Well done Saint Nick!!

The season's magic is about so many things for each of us. Whether you have family with whom you celebrate or friends, the lights and the magic and the spirit of the season is there for everyone.  It's out in the (frozen) open. If you look you can find it in the hustle and bustle of the street, under a piece of shiny wrapping paper, and in the glow if the trees on your neighbour's front lawn. If you listen you can hear it in the music and if you open your heart you can feel it in the giving and the receiving of best wishes for the new year.

For this kid (me), Christmas giving is not about the tangible gift giving (though picking out a gift for someone I love I find really REALLY  fun) It is about the feelings brought out by it all (there is my friend 'fun' again).  Its about the best in all of us making its way to the surface for all to see. It's about thinking of another and keeping a sweet secret to create a good surprise. It's about showing faith in the presence miracles. It's about teaching kids (and reminding many adults) to believe. It's about being a part of something bigger than myself.

You have to believe it to see it

What a great reminder this time of year can be. When adults can be as wide eyed as children and a small gesture of gratitude seems to carry more weight. When so many more of us are allowing ourselves to flow through our day in our natural state of love and kindness for all. It's all so exciting. 

In Matthew verse 18:20 it is said that "When two or more of you are gathered in my name, there I will be also."  Tis the season, whether we are conscious of our choices or not, that more of our actions are born from a heart centred place (for many of us we just do it that way a little more often this time of year.) and as we feel the extra goodness, we evoke a presence of something greater than ourselves.  Faith, in whatever feels right for you, shall be your rescue from a life dominated by doubt.

Is there something magical about the festive season where you are?? Do you have a feeling about this time of year that is somewhat unique to the season?? Remembering also that this time can be difficult for many, I wish you all the very best that the season has to offer.  May you find yourself basking in the heart centered actions of yourself and of others. 

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

24 Hours of Happy in 68 Seconds

It takes only 17 seconds to create an energy pattern that will attract other similar energies via our thoughts and emotions. Hold your  pattern for 17 sec again and again until you cross the 68 second mark and you will have created energy with enough momentum behind it that the Universe will begin to shift and to align with your new magnetic pattern. The video you are about to experience is F-U-N and having fun will always be enough to start a shift in your vibration, but it is also set up in perfect accordance with the 68sec rule

In case you haven't seen what brilliant musically creative Pharrell Williams has been up to lately, put on your dancing shoes, clear a little space and then click the link below. (I am really excited to share this one with you)

While you're watching look not only at the faces of those featured in the video (they are some really great faces) but also at the reactions of the people in the back ground.  It's interesting to me to see the ripple effect (the action of one directly effecting the actions of another in close proximity) in action as those who are "ready" to join in do just that. As awesome as that is, I am equally as interested in those who watch and those who walk away as if they have seen nothing of interest.  At first I thought that everyone was involved and that they were not supposed to have any kind of reaction but as I see others stopping to stare (and one man who outwardly showed his annoyance with the display) I no longer think that everyone caught on camera is a part of a cast.

You may find yourself unable to look away (even when you try)
This song is totally gonna embed itself in your brain.
The world is about to become your dance floor.

Curious as to what the heck I am talking about??
Have a look for yourself here: 24hoursofhappy.com

Be sure to select different times on the clock face to see what's happening at different times of the day. 

What do you think??

Would you be brave enough to dance??

I know that if I stumbled upon the creating of this video I would want to dance. Maybe I would. Some days yes and some days no.  But I would be ginning from ear to ear for sure and basking in the positive energy being shared.  Nothing beats a dance party for raising your energy levels and shifting your vibration into full on happy.

I remember first being introduced to this little ditty when watching Despicable Me 2. Watching Gru and the minions dance was super cute. But now seeing the same feeling being spread via real people - I feel hopeful about the directions in which many of us are choosing to head and the ways in which we are choosing to share and to inspire those around us.

I invite you to share you thoughts as always. The comment section below is meant for exactly that. If you feel inspired to share this post with your friends, I say go for it! There are social share buttons below to make that easy. Let's get as many people dancing as possible. What a wonderful world it will be when more people dance.

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Have You Crossed The Line Lately ??

We each have a box of sorts. Four sides and a floor and ceiling. It's a cube really. Our comfort cube. Whether we are consciously aware of the our barriers or not, many of us tend to keep ourselves in a space that feels mostly comfortable, or familiar at least.  Most of us have a collection of "sub cubes" as well.  We tend to eat familiar foods, wear familiar styles, watch familiar television and take familiar vacations. Many of us even have a money cube, we will for most of our lives bring home roughly the same income never falling below our glass floor and not breaking our glass ceiling. We risk enough to keep moving on but for many of us we don't risk enough to cross lines or break boundaries.  

Have you ever been about to do something new or perhaps a bit scary, like give that big presentation to your boss and co-workers, and felt a kaleidoscope of butterflies take flight in your stomach?? Did you step out in front of the group anyway?? How did you feel afterwards?? Now that you have been in front of a similar group and given a similar presentation twenty times how do you feel?? Do you feel more natural now than you did that very first time?? I bet you do. Even if you get a few butterflies as you begin I bet they don't start as early in the day and I bet they don't last as long in flight as they did that very first time. 

Those butterflies happen as a physiological reaction to our expansion. They are, not so painful, growing pains. When we are standing at the edge of our current comfort cube and we are contemplating stepping over the line and expanding ourselves, we often have a physical response. Butterflies is a common one but being as unique as we each are we tend to feel our growth in unique and personal ways.   

Now having moved through, despite the flutters in your stomach, your comfort cube has grown to include presentation giving.  

What may have been out of your comfort zone before has become something that is familiar to you.  Perhaps the first time you tried spicy foods you felt a little uncomfortable with the idea and now.....like the Old Lady in the hot sauce commercial, you put that sh*t on everything. Food cube expanded!

Or maybe the first time you talked to a new client about your pay rates you felt a bit anxious and now.....many conversations later, you are comfortable with money coming to you in exchange for you talents. Money cube expanded! 

I remember clearly hoping that the skinny jean trend would disappear. I held out for a long time and even after I gave in a bought a pair I was too nervous to leave the house in them for almost 2 weeks, but now I rock a pair of skinny jeans regularly. My style cube was expanded. 

Like a mime in a box the walls of our comfort cube are invisible and self imposed. Good news is that lines and barriers drawn by you can be moved by you. It's always up to you.  

Take a risk. Put yourself out there. Try something on (and change your mind if it doesn't feel right). Date a new man, try a new food, engage in a new activity. The list of reasons that those butterflies may take flight is endless, but what have you got to lose, really??  Remember our expansion is the reason that we are in this life, and that it is through new experiences that that expansion will happen. So step across the line. Expand your comfort cube.  Start with something small if that's what feels doable, but do something for your own expansion and give yourself something to celebrate (celebrating is an important step not to be skipped) 

I'd love to hear your story. Where have you crossed the line and expanded your comfort cube?? What can you think of that you tried and discovered you loved?? Is there something that you tried and discovered that you didn't like?? Are you glad that you tried it - maybe in a  "now I know for sure that it isn't for me" kinda way?? That still counts as experience and expansion.  

Now - if you enjoyed the last few moments of reading, please use the share buttons. Then jump on over to facebook and say hello. I love meeting new friends. 

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Two Paths to the Same Result Aren't Always the Same At All

When my sister and I were young my Mom used to tell us, among others, the story of the sun and the wind and their argument over strength.  She told it well. The Sun the Wind and the Traveler were all characters and had dialog. The battle back and forth between the two natural forces was fascinating.  It's one of Aesop's fables, and like his tales do, it has a moral (though when I was a kid I just remember enjoying the story part and not being very aware of the lesson woven within, though it clearly impacted me).

Mom told it better, in a much longer and more entertaining way but, in a nutshell, it goes like this:

The Wind and the Sun
The Wind and the Sun were disputing which between them was stronger. Suddenly they saw a traveler coming down the road and the Sun said, "I see a way to decide our dispute. Whichever of us can cause that travelers cloak to come off of his shoulders shall be regarded as the stronger of us. You begin." So the Sun went behind a cloud as the Wind began to blow as hard as it could upon the traveler.  But the harder he blew the more closely the traveler held his cloak to him, til at last the Wind had to give up in despair.  

Then the Sun came out and shone in all his glory upon the traveler, wrapping him in warmth. Soon the traveler found it too warm to be walking with his cloak on and he took it off.

Kindness, Gentleness and Warmth Win 
Where Force Fails

In this story the result was the same, the man made it home. Yet his two experiences, and two paths to the same result, were very different. Picture the man walking in each condition. What does his speed and his posture say about the experience he is having. Now imagine the story the man would tell his family as he arrived home. 

"What a wild walk home. Brrrr. The wind was so crazy that I lost my cloak"  
Imagine his tone and his face. What would his muscle tension be? 

Now the other.

"What a lovely walk home. The sun came out and shone so brightly that I carried my cloak home" 
Imagine his face and his time as he told this tale.

I have often heard people speak of catching more flies with honey than with vinegar. For one moment let us considered just that. I don't mean to imply that you should consider treating others well because you will then be more likely to get from them what you want. But I am asking you to consider that if the end result will be the same, or perhaps even better, why would you not choose to go about the process in a way that makes the experience just as rewarding as the result?? 

Sometimes there are 2 paths to the same destination and sometimes those two paths are each very different.

Shift your perception some. Bend the rules. Create a Win/Win scenario. Practice seeing the situation from the side of light. Be gentle, kind and warm wherever you can. Let that good feeling spread throughout your whole self and spill into the experiences of those near you. Let THAT be the ripple effect that your choices cause. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain by choosing to do what you do in the most love filled way that you can. 

Is there a story from your childhood that you remember not just enjoying but learning from??  How do you feel when you think about it now?? Is there a lesson in the story that still applies today?? Is it one you have shared with generations younger than you?? What do you hope that they learn from your favorite story??  

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

A Beautiful Calm AND a Great Power Discovered Through Words

A few weeks ago I came across an image that I hadn't seen in a long time.  It really brought me back in time for a moment.  This poem I had purchased at a poster sale many years ago, in the start of my first year of University. The poster sale happened every year on campus and was to help students to decorate and to personalize their res rooms.  I was drawn to this one above all others. I wasn't sure why. I had no idea that there were such large and dark feeling struggles ahead of meat the time that I was putting this poster on my wall.  I had no idea that it would become a corner stone of strength for me.  I had no idea it would end up being the first piece a puzzle that I would be putting together for the rest of my life.  I just liked it.

Each time I read Virginia Satir's words I again feel that same calm hopefulness I felt standing in the school lecture hall surrounded by colorful posters and buzzing student life.  And I want to share that feeling with you. I want to share what began my journey of discovery, of healing and of self love. I imagine that many of you have read this poem before, and if so then like me it may be a nice feeling reminder. For anyone who has not yet had the pleasure of feeling these words I am thrilled to introduce you.

Self Esteem 
by Virginia Satir

In all the world, there is no one else exactly like me
Everything that comes out of me is authentically me
Because I alone choose it - I own everything about me 
My body, me feelings, my mouth, my voice, all my actions,
Whether they be to others or to myself - I own my fantasies, 
My dreams, my hopes, my fears - I own all my triumphs and 
Successes, all my failures and mistakes 
Because I own all of ME,
I can become intimately acquainted with me - by so doing
I can love me and be friendly with me in all my parts, - I know
There are aspects about myself that puzzle me and other 
Aspects that I do not know - but as long as I am
Friendly and loving to myself, I can courageously 
And hopefully look for solutions to the puzzles
And for ways to find out more about me - However I 
Look and sound, whatever I say and do, and whatever
I think and feel at a given moment in time is authentically
Me - If later some parts of how I looked, sounded, thought
And felt turn out to be unfitting, I can discard that which is
Unfitting, keep the rest, and invent something new for that
Which I discarded - I can see, hear, feel ,think, say, and do
I have the tools to survive, to be close to others, to be
Productive to make sense and order out of the world of
People and things outside of me - I own me, and 
therefore I can engineer me - I am me and 

Have you read and felt these words before today??  Did today feel the same as you remember it from past or are you reading from a different perspective now?? OR was this your first encounter with these words?? What did you feel while you read???

I would be very excited to have you use the comment section below to share your thoughts. Or feel free to contact me via email or Facebook if public sharing feels like too much. I understand that fear because I have stood in that place also. If something here has resonated with a part of you today I invite and encourage you to share this post with those in your circles, allowing those others to feel something wonderfully strong about themselves. 

Monday, 4 November 2013

Affirmations and Mantras and Quotes Oh My

There is much to be said, and IS being said, about the power of positive thought. There is for certain a lot being shared on all social media in the way of affirmations and mantras and so often quotes. I am on board with it all. I have lots of special reminders posted for myself and I have shared many all over the internet.  

Yet, there are so many people who still don't get it. There seems to be a huge disconnect about what affirmations and mantras are actually meant to do for you. 'Cause yeah, they do have a job - but then so do you. 

There is a population out there who calls someone like myself a little "woo woo". (I feel that I can really truly say that because there have been people who have shared that opinion with me as their own.) And that's fine. It doesn't hold a whole lot of meaning for me. To each their own. If my way of living does not feel comfortable for you that's fine. Your way of living does not feel comfortable for me, and since neither one of us is hurting the other.... I say we agree to disagree and move on.  But before I do I just want to point out one thing.  Yes I DO use affirmations and mantas and at the same time I believe that action IS a required step.

Affirmations and Mantras and Quotes of Inspiration are fun and insightful and they play an often thought provoking role. But they are not magical incantations that once spoken are like spreading sprinkles of fairy dust over my life.  I don't sit in a lawn chair, think good thoughts and repeat beautiful words all day and expect the Universe to drop anything into my lap.  Those woo woo words are only (an important) part of my process. 

What affirmations and mantras do do is help you to shift and to raise your vibration.  They help to inspire and to bring that peaceful place of your soul to the surface.  They are like lilly pads in the pond - a place for you to rest a moment, to catch your breathe and to refocus before moving on. For me they also act like verbal grounding cords. When I find myself caught up in a storm of unhelpful, downward pulling thoughts ( 'cause it happens to all of us) an affirmation helps me to break out of the spiral, catch my breathe and refocus myself. It also brings me back to a space of grounded understanding and love from which to build on as I keep moving. Simply put - it makes me feel good. And when you feel good - you know what happens next.... 

When you feel good you start to notice other good things around you. You are tuned in and turned on to the world. You make better choices. You have more creative ideas. You solve more problems. You laugh and you smile and all of those things make you feel even better. And your feeling even better then goes on to bring to you more of the same kind of good feeling stuff which feels even better still. 

An Affirmation, a mantra, or an inspirational quote are all jumping off points and can most effectively be used sort of like reset buttons to get you back on track. They are not meant to be your solution but they are meant to set you on a path to your best and most positive creating. 

Some of my very most favorite rest buttons are

- I am pure grace and love energy.

- I am figuring it out.

- It is unfolding for me in a way that in mine.

- Its just a thought. (I can change this)

- I may not be there yet, but I am in the process - and I am closer now than I was just moments ago.

Do you have use affirmations, mantras or quotes in your life?? How do you use them and what kind of experiences have you had with them?? Do you have a favorite to share with the rest of us?? 

Monday, 28 October 2013

Meditation For Those Of Us Who Can't Sit Still

Finding a calm space in a busy world is super important. Mediation can be helpful for sure. I get it. I myself and a big fan of a good mediation. I really am.A quiet moment of release is really cathartic. But sitting still is not always in the cards for me.  When I get really worked up and worried about something I have a super hard time with the sitting still and the releasing of it. No matter how many times I tell myself that its just for now and that if I choose, I can come back to those thoughts later, sometimes I just can't get there. 

Law of Attraction states that where attention goes, energy flows. Well, obviously I don't want to feed my worrisome thoughts. I am hoping to lay them to rest calmly or to starve them out. When I feel that kind of overwhelm, either or would work just fine for me. Whatever will get me out of this state of overwhelm and back to the centered and connected place that I have come to adore. 

So here is what I have discovered.  

When my head feels really full and my LOA training tells me that changing my thought track is super important right now, and that mediation is what I need, I have already put too much pressure on myself.  

When my head feels really full and my LOA training tells me that I need to distract myself and change focus, I react like I do when I try to diet. The moment I am told that I can't have something (a dessert or a certain thought) what I CAN'T do is stop thinking about it. Not helpful. 

When my head feels really full my body feels the same tense energy, which makes sitting still next to impossible. There was a time when this seemed like the perfect time to clean the house. I should make use of all of this energy and release it on the kitchen floors.  Yeah, good in theory, but that one doesn't work for me personally.

So, when I know that I can't sit still... I don't even try. 
When I know that I can't clear my head... I fill it instead.
When my busy head is busy getting creative in ways to beat up on me... I stir the pot and let the creative juices flow. 

I go for a walk
I give myself a task that requires thought. (It's impossible for the brain to have more than 1 thought at a time)
I give creative me a creative task. (I allow myself to start small but focus is now on the beauty I CAN see with my eyes.)

Here is what that looks like.

I see beauty to my left. 
(name and describe what I see to my left) 
I see beauty in front of me.
(name and describe something that I see in front of me)
I see beauty to my right.
(name and describe what I see to my right)  
I see beauty behind me.
(name and describe what I see that is behind me)  
I see beauty above of me.
(name and describe something that I see above me)
I see beauty below me. 
(name and describe something that I see below me)
I see beauty in me.
(name and describe something that I see in me)

Then, sometimes I just walk for a bit. Paying attention to the air. The sun. My breathe. My posture. And then I repeat it all again until I find the shift I am looking for. 

When traditional meditation just isn't working for me, instead of feeling the failure of not being able to follow through with a seemingly simple task like sitting still, I go for a walk and I take my creative head with me. I find this helps me to find my way back to a place where I am emotionally equipped to deal with whatever it is that I need to deal with. And from THAT better feeling place my perceptions change, my energetic self is open and flowing, and my creative brain becomes solution focused. It all works within the context of LOA and it does so in a way that doesn't challenge me but instead sets me up to experience success. (Success is of course an experience that I want to have more of, and so it works in creating a whole new feeling to focus on, to build on, and to take with me as I take on whatever it is that has filled my head.)

What do you do when you want switch it up??  Do you have a go-to vibration shifter??

I'd love for you to try the walking mediation that I described. Go for a walk and take your creative head with you. Then come back here, or check in on Google+ or Facebook, and let me know what you experienced.

Monday, 21 October 2013

Make a Change and Have it Stick

Worry Wart. Control Freak.  Neither of those titles make me feel beautiful. Its not who I would choose to be if I had a choice (You can exhale now. That was my old way of thinking, I have moved WAY beyond that. I know that I have a choice and that I was choosing to be that girl, I just wasn't doing it deliberately).

There were so many long and over whelming years where I felt that "worry wart" or "control freak" was who I was destined to be. When I truly felt out of control in my depression I began controlling all that I felt I could control. My hair was spiked and never out of place ( it changed colours a few times too),  I had my nails done my apartment was clean at all times. Later, my way of working around my feelings of overwhelm was to develop those traits into something awesome and name them as a strength. I became the ultimate planner and a multi-tasker extraordinaire.  I thought that that kind of re-naming and re-framing would make it all better. And it did. Kinda sortta. For a little while.

I have been identifying with those titles with a sort of super hero strength for as long as I can remember now. I have even used those identities in job interviews to sell myself as the exact perfect hardworking and dedicated candidate to take on any task delegated to me. In each job, as well as in my personal life, it became a sort of exhausting mantra to think that no matter how full my plate was I must be the one to take on the extra projects because I could do the best job.  Hmmmm sounds confident. But really - that was me undervaluing myself and being really afraid to be under valued by anyone else. I didn't feel like I would be thought of as enough unless I was your go-to person with all of the exact answers to everything.

I managed in a busy restaurant for almost 10 years and I was good at my job. I am smart and I have common sense and after a while, when the same scenarios would replay, I did in fact have many of the answers at my finger tips. But I still came in early and stayed late. I was the manager who had my schedules posted, my files up to date, and my orders placed but I ALSO took care of uniforms, new hires, guest complaints, daily financials that weren't adding up and staff payroll. I went to the bank for change, I bought flowers for the lobby, I planned the extra curricular and team building events, I made a big deal over you on your birthday and I did it for the entire restaurant staff.  Oh, and I put together one heck of a staff party twice a year. And as exhausted as I was, I didn't actually want anyone's help.

Stepping out of my worry wart, control freak shoes has been a real challenge. Giving up that part of me took some real and conscious efforts but once I realised that those titles were not actually rooted in strength but in fear, making a change seemed the only option for me. The more I dug into my Law of Attraction studies the more I realised the cyclical nature of this beast too. The more I felt I needed to worry or to control, the more the Universe would give me to worry about or control and so on and so on. I could be running on this hamster wheel for the rest of my life if I didn't jump off while I still had the energy to do so.

If you have read this far and are still with me I would guess that you know exactly (or something really really similar to) the experiences and feelings that I am describing and may be inclined to know how I did it/ am doing it (it's always going to be an on-going point of growth for me)

So here is what works for me when I want to make a change,

  • First Find clarity about what I want. - Worry wart and control freak titles were not it. I knew that. So I used those as starting places to decide what it was that I did want. Knowing what you don't want can be helpful in narrowing things down to what you DO want. Then you focus there.
  • Second Re-frame my language. -  I began with "Up until now I have been a bit of a control freak in my life, and now I am in the process of realigning my priorities to create the experience I really want".
  • Third  Allow myself to feel the pleasures I expect to find in those new experiences without any strings and do it ASAP. - I wanted to feel more peace and more confident FOR REAL. I knew I was in charge of making it happen. I started allowing myself to feel that way even for just a few minutes at a time as often as possible (tougher to do than to say but that is a whole other thought to be shared on an other day in an other post)
  • Next  Continue to write my story. -  I try really hard to remember to show gratitude for the bumpy road that has brought to me this place where I am now and that makes it easy to get excited about where I might be headed. I write my story now from the point of view of the heroine, an empowering point of view that reminds me that every good story has events that must be moved through and overcome before the quiet girl transforms into the powerhouse she is.

Not one of those steps works without the others. And not one of them is a one time event. They work together like a recipe for the peaceful mind I have found and have brought to the surface my understanding and true knowing of my own value. Whew. It was buried deep but finding it has been better for me than any other hidden treasure I could have unearthed.

Best news of all, that same personal understanding of our real value and love is each of us. Some of us have buried it a little deeper than others, under our many hurts, limiting beliefs and protective habits, but its there. And when we are able to stop working so hard at pushing down the pieces of us that we don't like we will be able to release the good parts of ourselves that are being hidden underneath. To not have to work so hard at staying on that hamster wheel seemed like a distant dream not so many moons ago but boy o boy does being able to relax a little feel even more beautiful than I thought.

Your turn. Are there titles or identities or habits that you have let go of, are in the process of letting go of, or dream of letting go??  What is working for you and/or where are you getting stuck??  If we each use and share our own experiences and work together we can all find our way back to that value filled place of love and peace. Because seeing as many people as absolutely possible be in that value driven and loving place is my dream of us all, I invite you to openly share your thoughts and experiences here in the comments below, over on the Facebook page or email me directly with your question.  I promise to answer each and every note that I receive.

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Picking Traditions

What a great weekend!! There is nothing better than a holiday weekend that is focused on time with my favourite people and sharing good food, except a SUNNY holiday weekend that is focused on time with my favourite people and sharing good food. At my parent's house a family gathering always includes the mixing of everyone's favourite things. That's tradition. That and board games. 

At my parents house there were mushrooms cooked just the way my sister loves them. deviled eggs made two different ways, one way for my brother and his eldest son and the other for the two newest members to our crazy crew. There was pumpkin pie - my Dad, and squash - my Mom. My Grandmother's magic marshmallow salad is my youngest nephew's holiday treat, maple/BBQ salmon for my sister-in-law, and nanaimo bars for my niece  WOW what a feast. We are so truly blessed. 

There is SO much more than great food and great weather to be thankful for. This year I was included in two family's festive feasts. Having been so grateful for the wonderful people that I have in my life has brought me a whole other group of people to love.  Spending time with Dave's family and learning their traditions has been fun (looking forward to Christmas traditions next).

Having multiple family schedules to juggle means that we get to be a bit creative with the calendar. Even though the official holiday day was Monday, our two families got together on Saturday and Sunday. We don't need to wait for any specific day to share time and show gratitude. It feels SO great when we do just that. I get a combination of a cozy feeling, like a big hug from the Universe, and a real rush of energy being in this kind of loving space. 

Q: Why not feed those feeling every day?

A: There is NO reason not to and every reason to do.  

Happy Thanksgiving !
As Canadians we have so much to be grateful for. In southern Ontario this year we are enjoying spectacular weather and brightly coloured trees. We are safe, far from Cyclone Phailin which made landfall as the equivalent of a Category 4 hurricane in India this weekend. We are able to walk into any grocery store and shop as we choose, there is a bountiful selection for all. And for those who are not able to experience that at this point in their journey, there were food bank donation baskets over flowing by the exit of our local grocery store and churches providing a feast and a family to anyone who desires. 

But just because something is traditional is no reasons to do it, of course. I prefer to choose which traditions to keep and which to let go. Keeping focused on the things that feel good and that move us forward is of course what will help to grow our collections of those kinds of experiences in life (that's the Law of Attraction in action). Maybe even adding a new something that is in line with the great stuff that you are already doing will become tradition in future. 

The same theory applies to your daily traditions. You can pick and choose a lot of what you keep and what you release. You may have some regular activities that you can't quite figure out how to let go of, but you can definitely choose what feelings about those activities will stay and what can go.  I mean, maybe you would like to release the activity of going to work, and you can't quite figure that one out just yet, but what you can do is go to work and release the stress and tension that has been there in the past. Do that job with as much love and ease as you can while at the same time, focusing on what is there that doesn't suck.  Like maybe the coffee is tasty. Or maybe there is a photo on your desk that you love, a page day calendar that you look forward to, or a person who is always happy to see you. 

There is no reason to wait for any specific day to enjoy the little things or to show your gratitude and to feel good. You can teach yourself to notice the moments each day that feel good. Let those moments feed that cozy feeling or that energetic rush, and grow your collection of good stuff.

What kind of holiday traditions do you have that you look forward to every year? Are there any daily traditions that you have that excite and energize you? I am always looking for new ideas and fun stuff to add to my collection of good stuff. I'd love to hear what you've got going on and growing in your collection. 

PS. Are we running in the same Google+ Circles?? Let's connect there and share ideas.

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Sometimes You Just Gotta Try The Dress On

I had a wedding to go to this past weekend.  I LOVE weddings.  Food, flowers, dancing and happy people so full of optimism.  I am a sucker for any occasion that includes any of those elements, but weddings have the complete list. And, being unwed myself, they allow me to get a little dreamy and pick out the little touches that I like best. Super fun!

Less fun for me is often the wardrobe headache. And an October wedding in Canada presented me with a special kind of seasonal challenge. I was determined not to let dress shopping get me down. This was an opportunity for me to spend a few (much needed) quality hours at the mall.  That part, in and of itself, was exciting.  It's been a long time since I did any kind of shopping let alone fun "dress up" shopping.

My body type makes dresses a real challenge. I have been blessed with a pear shape physique. If a dress was made to fit 2 different sizes at the same time (small on top and medium->large on the bottom) it'd be easy.  Alas, I have yet to find the designer who has nailed the needs of the pear shaped woman (if you know one, I beg of you - leave a comment below)

I had spent only a few min as I walked through the mall doors, setting my intention asking the Universe to support me in making this as fun as possible and to lead me to a dress I would love.  I went into a store that I don't usually spend much time in (maybe I could find a blouse there but they never have anything that fits hips) The store was almost glowing, and like a fish in the lake I am always attracted by the shinny objects. Sarah, the sales girl who met me at the door and who felt like my own personal attendant for the next hour, was a gift from angels. She asked me a quick couple of questions and then I watched as she bounced around the shop, returned with an arm load and ushered me towards the fitting rooms. 

Long story short - I tried on A LOT of dresses.  All the ones I was sure would be great left me feeling way underwhelmed.  And so I resigned myself to trying on the one that Sarah had slipped in to the collection.  Style-wise and size-wise I was questioning her skills at that point. "This will never work on me." But over the recent years I have learned that I don't have as much to loose as I had once felt I did, and that the possibility of what could be gained almost always tips the scales. 

This current version of Kate will take a bite (unless its still moving - I draw the line and have made peace with my never being a Fear Factor contender). She will touch it (but with a nervous finger is it looks slimy)  And today, she will leave her ego on the shelf and will try on the dress. What is the worst thing that could happen.....

  • I will look silly and I will know that I am right about what I can and cannot pull off. 
  • It'll be over in a minuet or less. 
  • If it is really horrible I don't have to open the door. 

"I like this style on other women" I do believe were my exact words as I took the dress from its hanger. Huh - not horrible. I opened the door.  Sarah disappeared and returned with a smaller size and a different colour. I was gobsmacked. She TOTALLY knows her stuff. Sarah, laughing and smiling as she was, was the tool the Universe used to make my day fun and to lead me to a dress that I loved. Thank goodness I have learned how to listen when the answer is given to me, and to trust that some times shinny objects are attractive for a real reason.

Dave & I Shine Up All Right 
Things change. Maybe my body changed (except I know that that's not true). Obviously it is my confidence and my perception that have changed. It took some deliberate practise on my part to get this perfectionist girl to let go and just try the dress on or to risk taking a bite, but it was worth the uncomfortable effort. Some of my favourite foods have been ones that were basically forced on me (my daring younger sister calls herself my food boss). This scenario is how my best friend became my best friend, how Thai and Indian became my favourite meals out. Its how I know for sure that I don't like the taste of Scotch or running as an exercise. It's how I learned to rock a pair of skinny jeans, how I fell in love with spin and yoga classes, and it's how I found that the Law of Attraction really worked to pull me from my depression.  

Being open enough to try something new and different can really pay off. Other times, it's a "now you know for sure" experience. Feeling uncomfortable means that you are at the edge of your current box. Stepping outside that box and trying it anyway is how we expand our limits, move the line in the sand and grow our comfort zones. And the theory applies to every current, self imposed, limit, including dress styles.  

What personal limits have you expanded by trying something new? What do you know now for sure because your tried? Have you made any discoveries or found any new favourites that surprised you? How did it feel while you were stepping out of your box? How did you feel after?  I can't wait to hear what you have to share.  Use the comment section below to tell your story or join us over on Facebook and comment in the thread there. If you liked the story or think others you know may enjoy and/or learn too, I would be thrilled to have you share it. 

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Are You Plugged In In The Right Places?

How much time to you spend alone in quiet?? Do you drive without the radio?? Do you take a walk or ride the bus with or without your iPod?? When your lunch companion leaves the table to use the restroom do you reach for your phone to quickly check your email or update your status with a photo of that amazing looking lunch or do you sit quietly and soak in your surroundings??

It seems that there are endless options of convenient technology that has us plugged in for business and or social reasons. Many of us seem to constantly be attached to something or other that is electronically connected and battery operated, and its filling the space that is meant to be for our personal expansion. 

The original idea behind the mobile phone and the laptop was freedom. If your could answer your calls or your emails from the comfort and convenience of home, you wouldn't have to be tied to the office. You could go out and do and live. Some have figured out that balance. (Or at least their Facebook status updates lead me to believe that they have.) While others simply have been tied more tightly to their work. Work has invaded home and we are expected to be able to answer/ reply no matter what day of the week or hour of the day it is. And when it's not work, its Facebook. Oh how we love to use Facebook to fill the gaps and avoid the reality. 

The Internet and mobile technology (a match made in heaven) has brought the world to our finger tips in a quick, get-to-the-point, information heavy way. Hollywood updates, breaking news from across the globe, status updates from across the room, the 140 charter tweet or something called Snap-Chat where words aren't even required.  

We are a global community and we are connected like no other generation has been. But, we also seem to be more disconnected than any other generation has been.

Huge amounts of information can be shared in those 140 characters (especially when language, grammar and spelling are not made factors). Sure a picture can speak 1,000 words but when a Snap-Chat photo lasts for only 10 seconds where is the connection?? Heck we are so attached to our smartphones that there are official road rules required. You know there is a problem when one can't wait to reach a destination before checking the notifications on the tiny screen.

We are incredibly connected electronically speaking and we multi-task a plethora of different apps daily, but we seem to be neglecting the in person, emotional connection to those in the room with us, or even to ourselves.

Its become unconscious habit but our "plugging in" at every opportunity is robbing us of much needed silence. It is in that silence that we are able to be fully present with our world and see what is being shown to us. It is in that silence that we are able to hear our intuitive and emotional side speak to us. It is in that silence that we are able to feel the energy that is our being and find its much sought after balance.

Like anything, the more you practise the more skillful you become. Connecting to that feeling place and practising that connection is no different and is maybe even more important. Our emotions are what guide us through every decision. What sandwich to order, what college to attend, who to date.... Knowing how to understand what you are feeling is the way to know what you are creating in your life. Practising that connection is what builds confidence in following it and in yourself.

It feels good to unplug. We did at one time all survive without Facebook and the like or without being able to Google an answer on the spot. Don't get me wrong, I don't leave the house without my phone, I do spend my fair share of time lost in the News Feed and I have a special relationship w Siri, but I do enjoy the unplugging.  More than that (and that is saying a lot because feeling good is super important), unplugging allows for space in your day. Space that is currently being eaten up status updates that are likely not shaking your world. Remember that

You can't have really awesome stuff show up in your life if you don't have room for it. 

So let's put down the smartphone, step away from the laptop, turn off the radio and
unplug a little, allow the space, open up, pay attention to what is happening actually right in front of you, and make room for AWESOME to show up. 

As always, here is where you get to be involved. If you enjoyed what you read, please do share this post with your friends. Leave a comment below or come on over to my Facebook page (for just a min before you unplug) and leave a comment in the thread there. Tell me what you think? Do you have any tips to share that help you to unplug from technology and plug into your Self and your world? How do you find the balance?