Why you’re not happy (and what to do about it)

Not that long ago, I was getting up at 4:45am to teach 6am yoga classes.

I would throw on my clothes grab my coffee and smoothie, and run out the door and drive for 30 minutes to teach a full class of students while drinking my breakfast.

Then I would have a quick workout, teach another class, race home to scarf down an early lunch and rush to my next class and this was all before 11am (most days I taught until 9pm).

This was how my life was, sprinting from one place to the next and my routine was airtight with no room for mishaps or traffic jams.

My life was really busy, and truthfully, even though I was so busy, I was actually very happy, and here’s why:

My energy was focused on being relaxed and present.

When things are busy, it’s so easy to spin out, feel out of control, and desperately want a vacation to get some space from it all…not that I’m trashing vacations, I love a good beach too!

However, taking conscious moments throughout your day to relax, realign, and focus on the present will make you happier NOW.

And isn’t that what you really need? To be happier every day, instead of having to put it off for when you’re away from your life?

So here’s how you do it:

  • Relax – Relaxation slows our thoughts down, so they are no longer racing around in a cluttered space. A relaxed mind is a spacious mind and that’s what we want.
  • Realign – It’s almost impossible to connect what’s most important to us when our minds our racing because everything feels important and urgent. When there’s space, you can realign yourself with what’s important to you and proceed with focus.
  • Be Present – When you are present in the moment, you are accessing your natural state of happiness. There’s no worries, no doubt, you are safe, and happiness is what’s left. This is why mindfulness is so powerful, because the soul rests in the present moment.

One more thing, what I didn’t share with you about my day, was that I regularly took mini RR&P (Relax, Realign, and Present) breaks throughout my day to refresh.

My early morning commute was quiet and relaxed. At the start of every class I sat with them in mindfulness to reset, and afternoon classes I walked to listening to inspiring mindful podcasts.

Yes, my schedule was craaaazy, and I was really REALLY happy in spite of it.

Now, I am married with a toddler, and my life is a different kind of crazy.

I don’t teach 6am classes anymore, but my day starts at 6am to the sound of my little guy holding onto the crib rail jumping as hard as he can into the mattress, yelling, “MOM! DAD! MOM! DAD!”

This is followed by a full schedule between raising my son, working with clients, running my business, and teaching a few yoga classes.

The tools I used over 10 years ago, I still use today because they work. I am adept at taking “mini vacations” throughout my day where I relax, realign, and get present.

The hardest part of this simple exercise is to remember to do it.

So, to start, look at your current routine, and see where you can add this to something you’re already doing.

I used to add it onto my commutes, the beginning of classes, and after my workouts.

Now, I structure it into my day a different way: meditating before work, mindfulness during mealtimes, and gratitude and prayers before bed.

Because it’s structured into my day, it leaks into other areas: I’m less reactive, being present is becoming my default, I’m more grateful, and of course I’m happier.

Remember, you don’t have to wait for happiness. You can have it right now.

I’d love to hear from you in the comments below: What are your favourite tricks to happiness? Do you like beach vacations as much as I do? How do you incorporate mindfulness into your days?

3 questions you should ask yourself every morning

Like you, I have limited time and a lot of stuff to do.

My days start at 6am shuffling into my toddler’s room for snuggles and stories, followed by a day juggling work, childcare, and all the other things that come with managing a family and business.

The biggest challenge I’ve had to overcome since having my son is how to get a lot more done on way less time.

Early on, I decided that I wanted a clear division between work and family time. I know that if I’m trying to “squeeze things in” or trying to multitask, nothing gets done and if it does, it’s definitely not going to be done well.

Not too long ago, I felt like I was running from one task to another and constantly putting out fires trying to stay on top of my life.

I’d drop my son of at the babysitters and eat in the car on my way to my next appointment. Then I’d run up the sitters driveway to pick him up on time to get him home for his nap. Once he was down, I’d quickly tidy up, then try to get some work done in the half our I’d have left while he slept. And on and on it went, running from one thing to another, and feeling like I was sucking at everything.

I was spread out, scattered, and overwhelmed with life.

I realized that what I wanted most was to be present with what’s most important to me. I had to shift my energy from trying to “fit it all in” to prioritizing what’s most important right now, and committing to being fully present with it.

So, I now choose to be present with my family when I’m with them so I can be the best wife and mother I can be. I choose to be focused on my work without distraction so I can fully devote myself to making women’s lives better. I choose to take care of myself because my well being is important for all the reasons.

But I’m also the primary caregiver to my son, which means I have way less time to work and just as much stuff to do.

I learned quickly that I needed to figure out a system to support my choices and my time, so I developed a simple but powerful strategy to help me get more done in less time without the guilt. These are the questions I began to ask myself daily:

  • What do I want to accomplish?
  • What can I leverage to get there faster?
  • What do I need to let go of to make it happen?

These questions help me choose what to focus on to make the biggest impact, in less time, without adding more stuff to do.

Absolutely I use this for my business, but I ALSO use this strategy in all aspects of my life, whether it’s how I’m going to structure my day, how I want to feel, resolving conflicts (seriously, read the questions again, they really do work if your aim isn’t only to win), and taking care of myself.

I can’t control all the circumstances of my life, but I can control how I approach them. Using these 3 simple questions has allowed me to have more control, clarity, and freedom.

I have stopped treading water. As a result, I have time for the things that are most important to me: my family, my work, and what fills me up.

It started with asking myself a few simple questions to clarify my focus, leverage the time I have, and do the things I want, and do them well.

That time I wasn’t very nice, and how to sleep better.

Not long after my son Magnus was born started experiencing symptoms of PPD.

I didn’t talk about it because I felt it shouldn’t have happened to me. I mean, I’m a Life Coach for fuck’s sake, and I specialize in POSITIVE PSYCHOLOGY!!

I should have been safe.

I cried A LOT. I’d burst into sobbing tears for no reason.

Singing to my baby. Reading him stories. Looking at his toes. Commercials. Or “just because” like a Hallmark card: waterworks.

I couldn’t seem to handle life. Everything seemed hard and overwhelming and that there was no end in sight.

I’d sit on the couch with glazed eyes watching endless reruns of “Friends” (or whatever mindless thing on Netflix that I didn’t have to concentrate too hard on), boob out in my hideous nursing bra with a tiny baby with tonnes of hair glued to my breast.

If you ask my husband, you could also add that I wasn’t very nice.

It took too much energy to add “please” and “thank you” to my requests in my exhausted state. I was just trying to make it through each hour.

And not surprisingly, I was extremely sleep deprived.

My beautiful Buddha baby who came into this world holding his own head up from birth and alert as could be, did NOT sleep.

He would be up for 9 hours straight during the day. He would maaaaybe fall asleep nursing for 20 minutes at a time. Sometimes he would fall asleep in the swing. He always fell asleep in the car.

Although he would sleep for 3 or 4 hour stretches at night, it would sometimes take me 2 and a half hours to get him back to sleep, and then I couldn’t fall asleep fast enough before I had to feed him again.

The average day for me was 3 to 5 hours of sleep total (not consecutive) in 24 hours.

I was a zombie, and I was spiralling.

There are 3 pillars to health: exercise, nutrition, and sleep.

The funny thing is that many people don’t like eating healthy and exercise, but really LIKE sleeping.

So why aren’t we getting enough sleep and what does it have to do with my experience with PPD?

On Saturday I was driving to Saskatoon listening to CBC and on CBC’s Quirks and Quarks part of the episode was on sleep.

They mentioned a study that showed that even one night of sleep deprivation led to forgetting about half of the positive information learned, half of the neutral, and remembering ALL of the negative.

Imagine if you couldn’t remember the positive events of your life and only remembered the negative for extended periods of time.

You’d have a strong negativity bias where all you could see is what’s wrong, instead of all the amazing things that are right in your life.

This is how the brain functions with depression.

Also, because the amygdala isn’t inhibited properly when we are sleep deprived, our emotions can’t be toned down to a reasonable level.

This affects our ability to deal with life and it’s setbacks. Even small things seem like a really big deal.

I knew sleep deprivation was a huge contributor to PPD, but more than likely it was what CAUSED it.

As Dr. Robert Stickgold said: “…If you don’t get enough sleep you could end up fat, sick, depressed, and stupid.”

That pretty much sums up how I felt during those first few months.

Like many of us, I have had a long history with shitty sleeps and this was not the only time I struggled with it.

I struggled with insomnia for years in my late twenties. I often pulled all nighters in school. Stress kept me up at night, and racing thoughts often kept me from falling asleep and then I’d wake up unable to fall back asleep.

A big part of our struggle with sleep is related to how little down time we have because we work more hours, and then it even follows us home through our phones.

Something has to give to have at least a bit of downtime, and it can feel like the easiest thing to do is go to bed later. But by then our minds are racing, stressful thoughts burrow their way in, and the little bit of sleep we’ve allowed ourselves gets highjacked again.

Now, I’m lucky to have an arsenal of tools to get back on track when I’m having a hard time. Here’s a few of my best ones:

  • Move daily – Our bodies are meant to move. They need movement not just for weight management, bone density, and strength, but also for it to function properly internally. It helps with regulating sleep, mood, and even digestion.
  • Have a regular bedtime and wake time – Not everyone is a morning person or a night person, but knowing where to make YOUR appropriate bedtime and wake time is key to getting enough sleep. The average person needs 7 to 9 hours.
  • No screens 2 hours before bed – Screens emit a blue light which is similar to sunlight and tricks the brain to want to stay awake rather than sleep.
  • Create a bedtime routine – Routines prep us for what’s coming next. Just like my son knows that bath time means bedtime, our routines help us subconsciously wind down.
  • Meditate – Mindfulness meditation helps lower stress, manage racing thoughts, and improves the quality and duration of sleep.

Guess what dragged my ass out of my PPD and transformed me into the bright ray of yellow sunshine streaming through the clouds like an inspiring Facebook quote that you see now?

Well, the biggest thing was working with a sleep consultant to teach my baby how to sleep, so I could sleep.

But aside from that, it was: daily exercise and naps, and short mindfulness meditations so I could deal with life again.

Mindfulness Meditation is what keeps me calm, relaxed, happy, and emotionally resilient…and that translates into falling asleep easier, longer, and better.

PS If you’re sick of feeling like an exhausted grumpy pants, or sucking at life (you’re not, btw!) I’ve got something for that: The 6 week online Mindfulness Meditation Class starts this week, click here to check it out.

I’d love to hear from you now: Have you ever been so tired “please” and “thank you” were too much to ask? What are your best sleep tips? Please share in the comments, or email me, I love hearing from you.

Also, if you want a fun, easy, meditation class led by me that will make YOU a sunshiny Facebook quote, click here.

And here’s one more reason why:

“I loved learning more about meditation with Tina. Her ability to assist me to visualize and feel is amazing. After each meditation I would feel like I’d have maximum clarity in my mind, I felt calmer and was able to tackle even the most daunting tasks. I would strongly recommend taking anything Tina has to offer, she has a very special way of getting through to people.”

-Allison Gartner, Administrator, Adair’s Demolition and Yoga Instructor at Yoga Ally, Southey, SK

Yeah, what she said. J

Love and Light,

t

3 Easy steps to stop stress in it’s tracks

All of us seem to have too much to do, with never enough time, while dealing with the challenges and unpredictability of life.

Stress is unavoidable and it’s important to learn tools to manage it so we don’t get rocked every time life kicks us in the pants. 

A few important things you should know about stress can make all the difference in how you deal with it.

First, stress starts in your mind from thoughts.

This might sound obvious, but what we think about affects our bodies. When we think about things that cause us stress it affects our bodies, such as raising blood pressure.

Second, stress and anxiety are future based thoughts.

They are characterized by worrying, planning, and playing out possible scenarios. All of them are based on the future, rather than what’s happening in the moment.

Third, stressful thoughts are invasive.

They tend to run through our minds over, and over, and over again, making us feel overwhelmed, and even cornered by them.

When you start to feel the weight of stress on your body, or the busy cluttered mess of your racing mind, here are 3 easy steps you can take before it spirals out of control:

  • Take a deep breath – I know this isn’t revolutionary, but taking a few deep breaths have a lot of positive benefits.
  • It creates space in your mind so you’re not overwhelmed by invasive thoughts.
  • It stimulates the vagus nerve which calms the nervous system down.
  • It gets your attention out of your head and into your body.
  • It brings you into the present moment.
  • Get out and move – When stress feels overwhelming leave your environment and get your blood moving. Changing locations helps your mind change gears, and exercise moves stress out of your body while increasing feel good neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine. As they say, “move a muscle, change a feeling.”
  • Meditate – All meditation is good, but Mindfulness Meditation is particularly helpful in lowering stress and anxiety because teaches you how to be with uncomfortable thoughts without buying into them.

I’d love to hear from you now: Which of these tips are you going to try first? What is your go-to tip for stopping stress? Please share in the comments below.

#daretobeyou

Love and Light,

t

My super simple 3 question year in review…with sprinkles on top.

Well, it’s officially 2017 as of yesterday and I’m still trying to figure out where 2015 went.

Last year was a doozy for me and I’m SUPER excited about this year! When I reflected on what my word would have been for 2016, it would have been “expectations,” because fuck did I have a lot of them, and they sure kicked my ass right back to Sunday.

If you’re new to me and my blog, I have a new(ish) baby, and have been working on balancing being the primary caregiver and running my business.

Well, it ended up that I couldn’t do both very well with full attention, so I have been spending less time on here and more time with my cute, adorable, sweet, funny, and now walking (how did that happen????) little baby.

This year, I will have more time to devote to YOU (hooray!), and I couldn’t be more stoked!

I missed you and have been planning like mad of how we are going to spend more time together, and then it occurred to me that you might be interested in how I plan my year ahead.

Like you, I get excited about fresh starts so New Year is one of my favourite times to take stock, revisit the past year, and set my sites on shaping the year ahead.

I don’t do resolutions, but I do something else that I’d love to share with you.

It’s a super simple 3 question year in review with a little strategy sprinkled on top, and it’s a beautiful way to move into a fresh year.

Click here to read the rest over on the blog…

  • What worked?

List all your achievements (no matter how small, it all counts), what made you proud, your wins, and what made you feel happiest and most satisfied.

We can often get focused on fixing things that aren’t working, and this is a great way to shift that mindset. We can only build upon our successes, and choosing to acknowledge and celebrate them gives us a solid base to expand upon.

  • What didn’t work?

List all the things that held you back, sucked, and left you feeling unfulfilled.

To move past the things that didn’t work, we need to first see them through a compassionate lens. Then ask yourself: what lessons can I leverage moving forward? We can’t change what we don’t see, looking back gives us freedom from continuing patterns that aren’t working for us so we can create new ones that do.

  • What can I do differently next time? What am I willing to let go of?

Now that you have your achievements to build on and you are aware of what was holding you back, you can choose how you are going to move forward. What strategies do you need to consider, and most importantly, what do you need to let go of to move forward? Are there some embarrassments, failure, stories that need to be flushed down the 2016 toilet? Is it time to start building a new habit? What small steps can you take that will give you the biggest results?

Well, that’s it. My quick and dirty 3 questions to start your year off right.

Now I’d love to hear from you: what were your proudest moments of 2016? What was your biggest a-ha for what didn’t work? (Mine was that I didn’t make enough time for friends. Totally changing that this year!) What is the teeny tiniest little thing you can do to start moving towards what you want? Please feel free to share it in the comments below, or over in the Soul Sisterhood Facebook group.

I hope you continue to feel the joy of hope and possibility throughout the year, and that it is filled with loving connections, meaningful moments, and the most delicious eats with people who fill you up!

To you, and 2017!

Love and Light,

t

Easy Button Anybody?

It’s been a while.

As some of you already know, I am juggling my business and teaching yoga with being the primary caregiver to my almost one-year-old baby (can somebody tell me where the hell time has gone?).

Which means I get to prioritize what I do with the little bits of time I have for working and I’ve had some WONDERFUL things that have been prioritized over writing my blog as of late.

I’ve started an online meditation class (which is freaking amazing, I must say! You should totally sign up for the next one!), I’m working with incredible clients, and yesterday I was the keynote for the Pink Earth Angels breast cancer support group’s event The High Tea of Hope.

The High Tea of Hope was a girly event with triangle cut sandwiches, a yummy lunch, and beautiful little dainties. We got to dress up and I met some of the most wonderful women!

What I want to share with you this morning though, is how I almost wrecked my speech, and a simple tool (that you too can use) which saved it and made it great.

I’m one of those funny people who really loves public speaking.

I love bringing people together and sharing ways to inspire them and make their lives better.

I do this daily as a yoga teacher, and also through group coaching, workshops, and the few speaking gigs I’ve had.

But I gave myself a LOT of pressure for this talk, and it didn’t take long for this talk to spiral out of control into the abyss of awful-dom.

I wanted to be sooooo good for these women.

I wanted to inspire them, support them, and make them laugh. I wanted this talk to be perfect.

I also didn’t want to offend anyone by being too careless with my language. I wasn’t afraid of cussing so much, but I didn’t want to say something well meaning that could be interpreted as callous, if you get my drift.

(That being said, I was reminded SEVERAL times NOT to drop an f-bomb…and yes, I am pleased to report that no f-bombs were dropped during this talk. However, “shit” definitely was.)

I spent all my work time and free evenings writing, and rewriting, and then researching, and then researching and writing, and ended up with this big disjointed, mess of things I didn’t really know about and didn’t flow, like at all.

It sucked.

The talk was Sunday, and that mess hot sticky mess was Thursday.

And then Friday morning, I had a moment of insight:

How can I make this easy?

Immediately I realized that in my efforts to make this talk good enough, inspiring, and (hopefully) funny, I blasted me away to an unknown third dimension and away from what I knew best.

I needed to talk about what I know.

I know, I know, you’re probably thinking, “no shit, Sherlock.” In my desire to make it great, I went to other sources, as though somehow my knowledge wasn’t enough.

Ping!

This was a lightbulb moment for me, because this isn’t the first time I’ve done this.

I also did this on my very first talk I did, The Hero’s Journey. I did a bunch of research, but a bunch of random stuff together, and although it was a great learning experience for me to speak, it wasn’t a great speech by any means.

I wasn’t asked to speak at the High Tea of Hope to talk about other people’s stuff or ideas, I was hired to share MY knowledge, MY experiences, and MY expertise, because I really know my shit.

I’ve been doing this work for a decade, and I STILL struggle sometimes with owning that, and it was obvious to me when I was writing this speech.

As soon as I made it easy, it poured out of me like chocolate in a hot lava cake.

I had it written in under an hour, and it was great.

I rehearsed a few times to make sure it flowed, and that there were no gaps in the information, and by the time Sunday arrived, I was SO excited to speak to these 130 beautiful women.

I put on my favourite coral lace dress, with sapphire blue shoes. I spent a whole hour curling my hair and putting on make up and finished it off with a cranberry lip. I felt beautiful, confident, and ready.

When I walked up to the stage I felt a good nervous, excitement coursing through me, and genuinely happy to share.

And do you know what? It went perfectly!

I had fun, they laughed, and I had so many women come up to me after to thank me and tell me how much they enjoyed my talk. I couldn’t have been happier!

I had overcomplicated things initially in the interest of making it “better.”

What I’ve learned though, is that when I choose “easy” it’s usually the right way.

I’d love to hear from you now: Do you overcomplicate things? Do you sometimes forget that you also know your shit? What are your tools to curb the “I’m not enough” voice? Please share your wisdom below or in the Soul Sisterhood Facebook group.

Did you like this post? Then please share the hell out of it on Facebook, Tweet it out loud, and forward it to anyone who might benefit from this post.

Thank you for being the light that you are. Shine bright lovely.

#daretobeyou

Love and Light,

t

The Truth Will Set You Free

I have been thinking a lot about transformation lately.

What it really takes to change our lives and become who we most want to be, and really, who we are meant to be.

This is the best part of ourselves that when it is realized is happy, peaceful, creative, and capable of changing the energy of the world.

Yes, that is possible for all of us, it is our birthright and it begins with becoming honest.

This is the path to spiritual awakening, and is absolutely the catalyst to change.

It often starts in a moment of insight with a voice that says, “enough” and “I can’t live like this anymore” and “I’m done, it’s time to do something different.”

It can be small like a deep knowing, or it can be so loud it fills your brain screaming so its impossible to be ignored.

And it is always about getting honest and real with what’s here.

Too often we try to fix the symptoms of our unhappiness, in hopes that it will create the shift we long for.

So we diet, exercise, try to find a partner, work harder, do more, and over extend ourselves to fix what we feel is inherently wrong with us.

Or worse, we try to numb ourselves with addiction, food, shopping, sex, anything to avoid looking at what is causing the pain.

But that’s just the band aid covering over the symptoms, and not the cure, and what we resist continues to persist.

Those feelings of loneliness, unworthiness, shame, and fear will continue to come back until they are examined.

To change those feeling we need the willingness to look deeper at ourselves and our lives through an honest lens. One that is compassionate, accepting, loving, and truthful.

We cannot change what we do not see. It is by seeing that we can start the process of change.

One of my first moments of truth, and the beginning of my spiritual awakening happened when I was 17.

My dad drank a lot when I was growing up, and if you’ve lived with an alcoholic you know it is a shame filled environment and fertile breeding ground for denial and secrets.

We habitually lied to protect ourselves and each other from what was happening at home and I became so used to lying that eventually I lied about everything.

Even things that were inconsequential like what music or clothes I liked. I lied so much that it felt like I didn’t know what the truth was anymore, or if I did, that it didn’t matter anyways.

I still remember the moment when the truth exploded my brain and changed my life.

I was struggling huge at that time. I had moved out at 17, dropped out of high school, had been on anti-depressants for years, and felt utterly black inside and hopeless.

The shame, lies, and denial were pulling me deeper and deeper into a dark dank well, and I knew in my bones that it was only me that was going to pull me out of the hell I was living in.

It was then that I KNEW my freedom began with becoming honest. Becoming honest about me, my life, and the choices I was making. I HAD to start telling the truth in all ways.

It was awkward at first, because I was so habituated to lying that I would often catch myself in a lie, only to correct myself, saying “I’m not sure why I said that, what I mean is…”

The practice of being honest became my purification, burning away all that had held me down and suffocated me.

It was my liberation and set me free to create myself and everything I wanted in my life.

Even now, over twenty years later (don’t do the math please! Ugh.) I refuse to lie.

If I am late, I won’t blame the traffic (or my dog!) if I didn’t have my shit together in time. I take responsibility for it and apologize. I say no a lot, to avoid disappointing people in commitments I know I can’t fulfill. I don’t take credit for anything that isn’t mine, however minor. I do my very best to be impeccable with my word and say the truth as I see it.

The truth is what sets us free.

Being truthful has become my practice, and that practice now is through Mindfulness Meditation.

It is the practice of being unconditionally present with all that’s here in the moment: the body, breath, emotions, and thoughts that make up our experience.

Sitting still in the moment opens up the doorway to truth.

It lets us get to know ourselves better, it lowers stress, protects our brain from mental illness, boosts immune function (until I had a baby. Now it always seems like I’m sick!), makes us better people, and it even continues to help us when we’re not actually doing it.

 

I truly believe that I am the person I am today because of all the sitting around doing nothing I do, and I can’t recommend it enough!

I’d love to hear from you now: Has truth set you free? What impact has honesty had on your life? Do you get sick all the time too with children? Please feel free to comment below, or in the Soul Sisterhood Facebook group.

Did you like this post? Then please feel free to share it with all your friends on Facebook, Tweet it out loud, and forward it to someone who needs to read this today.

Thank you for being the light that you are, keep shining.

#daretobeyou

Love and Light,

t

3 Quick and Easy Ways to Tackle Overwhelm

Last Thursday my head was spinning. I had way too much stuff on my plate all with a tight deadline, and I’m also the primary caregiver to my baby.

Which means I have less than 3 hours total of mishmashed time to get it all sorted out. This was not even kind of enough time for the projects that I felt needed my attention.

Did I mention that my baby was also teething the night before and decided 4am was as good a time as any to start the day?

I was overwhelmed AND exhausted. Not the best combination for sure.

I could feel my head becoming more and more crowded and the heat of panic rising.

You know that feeling when you almost start vibrating, because it’s like all the stuff inside is trying to race out of you at once?

Yeah, that was happening.

I should tell you that overwhelm and I go waaaaay back, we have a long history together.

We used to date for years. I used to be a chronic work-aholic and I spent most of my 20’s either working two full time jobs or working full time and going to school full time.

(Somehow I still managed to party my ass off in between…)

Now that I’m a recovering work-aholic, overwhelm and I only have a quick make-out sesh before I’m done playing and onto the next thing.

I want to share with you my 3 super quick and dirty tips to get your own overwhelm under control:

1) Get back to homeostasis, asap.

One of my coach’s said to me years ago, “Overwhelm is one or two things over homeostasis.” Meaning, that if I can get one or two things off my plate quickly, I will immediately feel better. This means either delegating, finding something that can be completed quickly, or taking something(s) off the list altogether.

This is like a huge exhale and I can tell you that I instantly feel better.

2) Clear my headspace.

It is impossible to think clearly, make wise decisions, or access creativity when our minds are cluttered…and that’s exactly what overwhelm is: too many thoughts competing for our attention.

I sit quietly for a few minutes and connect to my breath. My thoughts may or may not slow down, it doesn’t matter, I still sit.

Then I lay a hand on my heart to access my inner wisdom and listen as though I’m waiting to hear an answer.

Sometimes I get an insight into exactly what needs to be done next. Sometimes I hear nothing at all, but almost always things have quieted down enough for me to move forward without spinning out or running around my ottoman in circles.

3) Take strategic action.

My coping mechanism for overwhelm, pressure, and stress is procrastination…and you can guess how effective that is…it’s the WORST!

I know that taking action is the only way to keep me from falling into that trap, and being strategic ensures that I am effective with my time.

A quick tip to know what your next best steps are, is to shift your perspective from YOU (the one in the middle of shit), to the larger you, or the “fly on the wall” (the one looking down at the shit).

This is like the old adage, “you can’t see the forest for the trees.”

Instead of looking at the trees, expand your perspective to see the whole forest, and this will give you a better insight of what might be some great possible next steps.

I’d love to hear from you now: What are your best tips for overcoming overwhelm? Do you run around your ottoman like a crazy person too? Tell me I’m not alone here! You can comment here on the blog, or in the Soul Sisterhood Facebook Group.

I hope you found these tips helpful, and if you did, please share this with all your friends on Facebook, Tweet it out loud, and forward this to someone who could use it right now.

I want you to know that I love you and I think you are amazing. Thank you for being you!

#daretobeyou

Love and Light,

t

My secret for “doing it all”

As you may know or may not know, I’ve been married to a wonderful husband for four years, I’m a mother to an eight-and-a-half-month old son, I teach yoga classes around my city, and I run my life coaching business. On top of that I make homemade baby food, vegetarian meals and treats, and fit in regular exercise.

I’m not sharing this to brag, I’m sharing this with you so you can learn how I do it, so here it is:

I don’t do it all ALL the time.

I do a lot of the things some of the time, a few of the things most of the time, and none of the things the way I did pre-baby.

Here are a few key tips I want to share with you of how you can do the things you want and NEED to do when you are struggling to “do it all:”

Prioritize

I cannot stress this enough. We only have 24 hours in a day and 7 days in that week to do all the things we feel are important. If your days are anything like mine, your attention is constantly pulled in multiple directions and unexpected interruptions are the norm.

If you don’t know what is important to you then you can’t do them. Why? Because we will fill our day with the next most immediate demand instead.

All of us have things in our lives that are important. These are the things we are willing to stand behind and put time into no matter what.

I invite you so spend some time evaluating what those things are for you so you can put them at the top of your To-Do list.

You will feel more in control, a larger sense of accomplishment at the end of your day, and you will be happier for it, I promise.

For me, some of those things are: making my baby’s food and our food, not working when my baby is awake, walking the dog everyday (or some other form of exercise), getting in a bit of work time, teaching yoga, and having a few solo hours with my hubby every evening.

Because I am clear on what is important to me, I can implement the systems and routines that allow me to do them.

My baby needs to nap and sleep well for a lot of the above to happen, so we worked with a sleep consultant early on. I leave the house to teach yoga, so I found reliable childcare with someone I trust. My husband has picked up some of my previous tasks like grocery shopping so we can spend the evenings together once Magnus has gone to bed.

Being clear on your priorities will make it easier to plan your day around them, instead of trying to fit them in. Because as we all know, things we try to fit in don’t happen.

Create a “Semi”-Structured Routine

Habits are what run our lives.

Imagine if you had to think about throwing your feet to the floor when you got out of bed, and then placing one foot in front of the other as you walked to the bathroom, only to concentrate on each brush stroke as you brushed your teeth? You’d be fucking exhausted before you even left your house!

Habits allow us to do things automatically so we can use our energy and brainpower elsewhere.

This also means that habits use the least amount of energy and are the easiest to maintain. Routines, are a few habits grouped together in a sequence.

For example, my mornings look like this: Magnus and I get up at 6am. He nurses and cuddles until 6:30am we have a story and then I get in the shower and eat while he plays. He eats again at 7am and then I wear him as we take the dog for a walk. We get home around 8am, he eats again and then he has breakfast. 9am is his naptime.

He naps usually from 9am to 10:30am which is “my time.” I typically use this time to work, however, some days I go back to bed for a nap myself or do laundry, make food, or other domestic shit.

My whole day is cut up like this with chunks of time devoted to specific things, and specific days also have specific task during “my time.” For example, Mondays I write my blog, Tuesdays I prepare for upcoming events, the end of the week I most likely am doing laundry.

Routines are the secret for high productivity.

As an entrepreneur, I learned early that if I didn’t have a regular routine I would get jack shit done.

Needless to say, routines have been a part of my life for a long time and they are how I make sure I work, exercise, and most importantly, have focused time with my baby an family.

What routines can you implement in your own life to do the things that are most important to you?

Be Flexible

This is where being a yogi has been a huge help for me, because it has taught be not to be too rigid and to be willing to make space for things as they come up.

Sometimes this requires me to let go of my plans, like if Magnus doesn’t nap well or he’s sick.

Sometimes, like when my husband is home, it opens up space for me to go for a run or get in a workout.

And a lot of times, it means letting myself have a break and laying down for a guilt free nap.

Everything is in constant change, and being stuck on things having to be only one way doesn’t allow us to see the opportunities available to us now.

(Also, if you have or had a baby, you know that routines are always changing anyways. Good luck fighting it!)

These three principles are what have allowed me to be a fulltime mom and work part-time at the jobs I love AND take care of me and my family the way I want to.

I’d love to hear from you now: Do you feel like you have to do it all? How do you juggle all your demands?  What are your “most important things?” I’d love to read them in the comments below, or in the Soul Sisterhood.

Did you like this post? Then please share it with all your friends on Facebook, Tweet it out loud, and forward this email to anyone who might benefit from it.

Thank you for letting me be a part of your life. <3

#daretobeyou

Love and Light,

t

The one quality you need to make any meaningful change, and it’s not what you think.

Hello Gorgeous,

Last week my live video on Facebook was about the one quality you need to create meaningful change (feel free to watch it here), and because it is such an important topic I felt it warranted a little more explanation.

Many of us are into personal development and truly want to become better versions of ourselves.

We buy self help books and go to seminars and hope that some of it will sink in and then FINALLY we will become the person we want to be.

I want to tell you something really important:

You can’t perfect yourself.

As Jack Kornfield says, “You can’t perfect yourself, you can only perfect your love.”

And news flash my beautiful friend: there’s nothing WRONG with you!

Yes, you might have some not so skillful behaviors like yelling at other drivers on perfect blue sky afternoons when you should be happily basking in the sunshine and enjoying your commute.

Or your impatience with your little one because you’ve asked them ten times to put on their shoes, and you’ve given them tonnes of warning, and now your happy lilting voice is turning into a gritted tooth monster voice and you are ready to lose your lid any second.

Or the fact that every single day you vow to squeeze in some exercise, eat more vegetables, and get to sleep earlier. And everyday you guzzle down a gallon of coffee, work through lunch, and drag your ass to bed far too late.

Or maybe there’s just not enough time in the day, and it’s a constant battle to frantically fit in “one more thing” resulting in you being late for everything. All. The. Time.

But these are just behaviors, they’re not who you really are.

All spiritual practice ultimately comes down to knowing ourselves.

It is by turning our gaze inward that allows us to understand our inner workings, beliefs, and motivations.

When we can see our unskillful behaviors and understand them, we can then work with them.

Often the action of simply looking is enough for some of those unskillful patterns to drop away from us.

But we can’t change what we don’t see, so the willingness to look is super important.

If we don’t, we continue to sleepwalk through life wondering why things keep happening to us, not realizing that we are making them happen through our unconscious thoughts, words, and behaviors.

Now back to the important quality, because it’s not enough only to turn inside.

The HOW we turn inside is just as important and it’s with…dum-dum-dadummmm…drumroll please….

Compassion.

No, I’m sorry to disappoint you, it’s not willpower, self-control, or discipline (although they have their place too).

Compassion is the super power which allows you to look at yourself without judgement.

Judgment kills any possibility of real growth and understanding.

Try this: Imagine a time when you were at a place with a group of people where you felt people were judging you. Were you able to be yourself in that situation? Were you able to be relaxed or open?

Probably not.

It’s the same thing within ourselves.

When we judge what’s happening within ourselves we contract making it difficult to see what’s really going on.

Compassion encourages curiosity and an attitude of openness allowing us to relax to see more deeply.

It is nurturing and loving, and growth can only take place with love at it’s core.

One of my favorite definitions of compassion also comes from Jack Kornfield:

Empathy + Love = Compassion

We seek with the intention to understand, rather than to judge or fix ourselves.

I have said this many times, and I’ll say it again:

You cannot hate yourself better.

The very nature of hate is diminishing. The practice of looking in with compassion and love is the invitation to become the fullest version of ourselves.

You may have heard of people becoming “more of themselves” and that’s what happens when we look inward with compassion:

We shine brighter.

Now I’d love to hear from you: Do you struggle with judging yourself? How do you maintain a compassionate heart? What’s your favorite personal development book, seminar, course? Please share in the comments below or in the Soul Sisterhood Facebook group.

Did you like this post? Then please share it with all your friends on Facebook, Tweet it out loud, and forward this to someone who needs this right now.

Thank you for being a constant source of joy and inspiration.

#daretobeyou

Love and Light,

t