Leaning towards health: how to like more about yourself than just your eyebrows.

Leaning towards health not only makes us feel better, but like ourselves more.

“I used to only like my eyebrows”

That’s what my friend said to me yesterday while we were watching ourselves in the mirror working out at the gym yesterday.

She is in great shape. She’s got 3 boys under 7 and everyday fits in a workout for herself at home. Slowly over the past few years she’s been getting heavier weights and kettle bells and it’s paying off. She looks strong and healthy.

“Now, that I’ve been working out for a while, I have so many things I like about myself!” She said with a big smile.

This is the power of choosing health, and it’s not only exercise, but small shifts towards health in our lifestyles often lead to bigger shifts and bigger rewards.

In her case, exercise led her to appreciate her body and appearance more. It also has influenced her food choices and how she feeds her family. Everyone is benefiting from her choices.

In my own life, I have found that there has rarely been a correlation between my size and how good I felt about myself. I have been 10 pounds lighter and up to 40 lbs heavier (pregnancy and post pregnancy). As long as I was exercising I felt beautiful. Even at my smallest, I didn’t see myself as well as at my heaviest when I was working out.

The lean towards health also influences other healthy behaviors. Often we naturally start to make healthier food choices once we start working out. Once we get a taste of how good we feel, we want to do more things that make us feel good.

Exercise and diet of course aren’t the only ways to feel good about ourselves and within ourselves. However, they are a great starting point because our bodies influence our minds and emotional states. Studies show that healthy bodies hold onto positive emotions more readily and increase more positive moods.

One of my personal mottos for years has been, “health is the best fashion accessory.” Feeling healthy in my mind, body, and spirit makes me feel way more beautiful than a pair of $300 jeans and a hot pair of shoes ever could. Clear eyes and a genuine smile win every time.

I’d love to hear from you now, what makes you feel beautiful? What are your favourite ways to feel healthy? And what do you like best about yourself? Tell me all about it in the comments below!

What does “the spaces in between” have to do with overwhelm?

This morning I had overwhelm.

Everyday I walk my dog at 8am. I put my toddler in the carrier on my back and we head out together rain or shine. We look for blue cars, bunnies, and anything else interesting on the way.

No matter what my morning was like before my walk, or how little sleep I had the night before, I always feel better. But yesterday was different.

When I came in, I unhooked Walter from his leash. Then sat on the couch to release my son, grabbed the vacuum and started cleaning. My mind was on overdrive. Instantly I was in overwhelm hell with all the things I had to do before my parents came to visit later that day.

I could see the To-Do list climbing bigger and bigger. Thoughts were racing. I was starting to feel panicked and anxious at the impossibility of doing it all.

And then, something happened.

I stopped and realized I hadn’t thanked Walter or my son Magnus for the walk. I hadn’t created a space in between.

One of the beautiful aspects of yoga is the nurturing of the spaces in between. The spaces in between the breaths, between the poses, even between the practice and the end: shavasana.

I remember hearing a quote years ago that said, “God can be found in the space between two breaths.” And if you do this yourself, you’ll sense this quiet in the gap. It is a place of non-doing and completeness of being.

These gaps are not only opportunities to slow down, become present, and regroup, but they are also a transition between where you are and where you are going. These transitions are important because they signal the end of something and the beginning of something new.

Yesterday, I woke up overwhelmed and rushed from one task to the next before we even went for our walk. Then it continued when we got home. Typically, once we walk in the door, I thank my dog and my son for our walk. It is the transition from one activity to the next. It serves as a completion.

Without it, there was no closure. I flung myself into the next thing on my To-Do list which created this momentum of doing without the sense of completing which is overwhelming. The bar just kept getting further away instead of closer.

It’s the equivalent of having a To-Do list that you keep adding to and never cross off.  Creating clear transitions is the equivalent of crossing them off.

There are many ways you can implement this into your life.

At work, before changing activities, like going from doing research to going to a meeting, take a moment to connect to your breath to get present and let go of your research so you can be present for your meeting. This can be an opportunity to also get clear on what your objectives are and how you want to serve in this new space.

If you take the stress of work home with you, it’s helpful to do this before you walk in the door. Maybe turning the light off at the office will be your space in between, or opening your car door, or your front door, so that you can let go of work and now show up more present and relaxed with your family.

Creating clear transitions are key to managing feelings of overwhelm.

So, what did I do when I realized I was overwhelmed while vacuuming? I stopped and thanked my son and dog for a beautiful walk.

I’d love to know your thoughts, what might be some great ways you find your “spaces in between?” Tell me in the comments below!

Have you ever wanted to write a book?

Have you ever wanted to write a book? I have.

I’ve thought about writing one…well a few, really…for years.

At one point I thought I’d write an autobiography, but then I realized that aside from a pretty crazy child/young adult hood, my life is pretty lame. I mean, who wants to read about how I only wash my hair twice a week, or how often I wash my sheets and curse every time I put the duvet back on?

Because that’s how exciting it gets right now.

Except for my swimming lessons. OMG, did I not tell you about those?

Yes, something clicked in me last March when I turned 40. It spurred a new fearlessness that is really exciting and pushing my edges, I call it, “Fuck it, I’m 40” (FII40 for short).

So aaaaaall those things that have previously held me back, intimidated me, or I was too scared to do, I’m doing them now, and swimming lessons were one of them.

When swimming levels were colours, I almost made it to life guarding but then I had a traumatic event during a skills test. We were supposed to tread water for 5 minutes with clothes on, so I thought I’d outsmart the exercise and wear the lightest clothes I had, which was a sky-blue Adidas wind suit with white stripes along the sides. My grandma had sent it from Finland, and I was sure I was going to crush this test while everyone else struggled. I was so smug.

Except that’s not what happened.

The wind suit acted like a plastic bag filling with water and started sucking me under. The more I kicked the more it pulled me down. I panicked and looked for the wall to find safety, but the more I swam the more I went down.

Nobody noticed, not even my instructor.

Eventually I made it to the wall and clawed myself up the wall to get above the surface (I may have only been a few feet under water but I might as well have been at the bottom for how scared I was), and burst into tears from the fear and relief of making it out alive.

After that, even though I was a strong swimmer, I lost all confidence and have avoided the water or at least water deeper than my chest ever since.

Then came FII40, and something in me changed. I decided to refuse to be pushed around by old outdated fears from 30 years ago. I’m going to spend the next half of my life more alive, more awake, and more fully than before.

So, I’m taking adult swimming lessons with my neighbor who also struggles with confidence in water and we are getting stronger every week together.

Maybe that’s interesting enough to be a book, but I doubt it. I’ll keep working at it and let you know what I come up with.

Have you ever wanted to write a book? What would you write about?

Oh, and if you have a better acronym or suggestion for FII40, let me know! I’m way better at napping than naming things.

Be Kind to Everyone You Meet, or Else…

So much of who I am is influenced by my mom’s teachings. Some lessons she taught me have been tattooed into my operating system and have become my way of being.

She taught be to be interested in people and their cultures (my parents are landed immigrants). To always buy clothes on sale but NEVER cheap out on skincare. And to appreciate homemade everything (baking, food, socks, crafts, you name it).

I remember one morning going to Safeway with my mom as a preschooler. The cashier had long blonde hair down to her waist like a princess. I tapped my mom to bend down, pushed her short brown permed hair aside and whisper in her ear, “Mom, she’s so beautiful.”

Then, to my horror my face burned hot with embarrassment as my mom TOLD her what I had said. I was livid and felt betrayed. How could she embarrass me like that? And my mom smiled and simply said that it’s kind to tell people the nice things we think about them. Adding that my comment probably made her day.

There isn’t a day now that I don’t tell people the good I see in them. In fact, for many years now every yoga class I teach I ask for guidance to be a lamp to show my students the goodness and beauty that they are. True story.

Some of the lessons my mom taught were more like a stern finger wagging and furrowed brow warning. Like that you should be kind to everyone you meet, because they might be your boss one day. This is still relevant to me, but I’ve put a different spin on it.

It’s important to be kind to everyone we meet, but not because it might come back to us in a bad way if we don’t. We can put positive spin on it, like: be kind to everyone you meet because they might be your new best friend, advocate, business partner, spouse, investor, client, supporter, who knows right? This interaction could be lucky for a million reasons.

Yesterday morning I stopped our letter carrier on the sidewalk. I was curious because I’d seen her and a few others on this route and was wondering if it was a shared walk. I told her about my experience as a letter carrier for Canada Post over a decade ago. She brought me up to speed on the changes since. Wee chatted about the virtues and challenges of the job. We also discovered we have people in common, and the conversation went on easily like that.

Later that day she dropped off a few parcels (a new blue sun hat for Magnus, and new black Birkenstocks for me). Walter stormed out like it was his first taste of freedom after 20 years in jail. He’s such a turkey! She asked if she could give him her peanut butter toast to goad him back. Once he smelled it, he gobbled it up greedily while I coaxed him back into the house.

A warm and kind few minute conversation and a funny interaction brightened both of our days. Now that we’ve met, I’m excited to see her everyday. It’s like running into a friend, not just a nice person I wave to daily.

Be kind to everyone you meet, because you never know who this person might be to you OR how your life will be enriched by this new connection. Tell me now, what lessons did your mom teach you that still influence you?

Procrastinating: Could it be helping you?

Do you ever find yourself procrastinating? I do, and I’ll tell you why.

This morning I had a lot on my mind.

I’m working on a teleconference for the local university, I’m teaching two courses, and taking one of my own. My mind was full as I was trying to formulate the hook for the telecourse knowing that I only had an hour to actually work on it before teaching my own course.

Instead of going straight to my office, I found myself washing the dishes, picking up my toddler’s books, and making tea before making my way there.

As I was doing these tasks the hook I was looking for started to formulate.

So, is procrastinating always bad?

I recently read about an experiment with Chinese College students doing various creative thinking tasks while in different physical state like standing, lying down, and sitting, or walking in figure eights, and walking freely. The experimenters found that out of the first 3 listed, standing got better ratings than seated or lying down, and walking freely earned better ratings than figure eights.

The researchers proposed that more physically active conditions probably use more mental bandwidth reducing the amount of control people had over their thoughts.

The less control we have, the easier it is for our brains to access our subconscious which can put together seemingly abstract thoughts to create those “a-ha!” moments. You know, the ones that usually happen in the shower.

But remember, there is a difference.

Purposely wasting time and avoiding tasks to put them off IS procrastinating and will likely not get you any further.

But, when your problem-solving skills are at a standstill, purposely going for a walk, getting a cup of tea, or going out for a run may help your mind access what you’re looking for.

Tell me in the comments below, where and when do you get your best ideas?

Then join me in the Fearless Facebook group for more great tips to live with more calm, confidence, and control here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/FearlessCourse/

8 simple ways to set healthy digital limits.

The proof is undeniable: our devices are making our lives more stressful, toxic, and anxious.

For many of us, our devices are the first thing we look at and the last thing we see.

Yet they have become an integral part of our lives and in many ways, are improving the way we live.

They allow us to work from anywhere in any time zone.

We can reconnect and stay updated with people who would have otherwise been lost to us through time, and feel like we know them even if we never speak to them in real life.

The answers to anything you can imagine can be found in seconds.

Now you can monitor your health and even find apps to make you healthier.

You can be informed and entertained, and never have to deal with the uncomfortable feelings of loneliness, boredom or awkwardness, simply by turning on a screen.

They have become our constant companions.

Yet, the more plugged in we are, the more disconnected, lonely, and overwhelmed we become.

When my husband and I watch TV, often I’ll sit in front of him and rub his feet while he rubs my neck or plays with my hair.

It’s a nice way for us to connect and each get some loving in after a long day.

The other night while my husband and I were on the couch in our basement, he was watching hockey, and I was snuggled up next to him and decided to check my Instagram.

I had been rubbing his arm, and he my leg, when I felt him impatiently nudge me because I had stopped as soon I checked my phone.

Annoyed by his impatience, I asked him if he was trying to get my attention.

Immediately I realized that I had disengaged…from him: a real person here with me now.

(Sigh, I’m human too.)

When I see commercials of families watching TV together, they look something like this:

A happy family is tangled together on the couch laughing.

There’s usually a dog, some popcorn, and the room is dimly lit to highlight the TV screen that everyone’s eyes are on. The faces are engaged, smiling, and happy in a beautiful yet comfortable living room.

I’ve never seen a commercial of mom and dad trying to catch up on work emails while the kids are on Snap Chat. The whole family all staring at their own device, not speaking, while the TV blares on.

But maybe this one is more honest.

This is the paradox of devices because as humans we are all looking for connection.

And, you can be disconnected, distracted, and disengaged from your life and everything you say you love most…like I did with my husband.

Screens are important, and using limits allow you to enjoy the power of them while still feeling present and connected to what’s important to you.

Personally, I utilize strong limits and I have specific rules for my screens. Here are a few simple ones I try to use daily:

1)Do not disturb.

I have mine set from 9pm to 9am even though I get up at 6am everyday. This allows me to be in control of what and when I see it. Before 9am it’s my time and family time.

2) Out of sight out of mind.

When I’m with my son, family or friends, my phone is away. It’s so easy to be distracted (or tempted) to reach for it so it’s better out of sight until needed it. It actively prioritizes the people I’m with.

3) Time limits.

Social media is like a black hole for me just like it is for so many. It’s too easy to keep scrolling hoping to find something that peaks your interest. But we don’t feel any happier, and often feel worse and more agitated because of it. Information overload is a real thing so, I limit my sessions to under 5 minutes.

4) Boundaries.

I have my work email on my phone, and just like I don’t start looking at them until 9am, I also don’t check them after supper. Looking at email in the evenings makes our minds too active to wind down, so leave it for the morning.

5) Turn off your push notifications.

When I had a Blackberry, I used to get anxiety every time the red light flashed, and it flashed ALL THE TIME. That flashing little light was so hard to resist, and it felt so insistent. So, I turned the push notifications off and have never turned back, continuing to do this with my iPhone. Turning off the notifications puts me back in control, so I am the one deciding when to look at my phone, not the phone.

6) The TV is on for only a few hours.

Before I moved in with my husband I hadn’t owned a TV for over 8 years. We have satellite and Netflix, but I still find TV mostly boring and a time waster that doesn’t do much for me. We have a young son, but even before he came along the TV was never turned on until after supper, and now, it’s after he goes to bed. Now, when we do watch TV together, it feels like something special rather than something to fill the space with.

7) Read books.

Even with all my limits, I use my device for most of my news, recipes, and information, so when evening comes, I read real books and magazines. One of the things we often forget with devices is that we are rarely ever doing one thing. We are often looking at multiple things at a time creating more brain buzz. Reading a book creates more focus, calms the mind, and helps you wind down before bed.

8) Ask why.

Lastly, question your motives when reaching for a screen. Are you bored? Do you want to kill time? Do you want to be entertained? Are you lonely? Are you uncomfortable? Do you want to feel busy? Do you want to tune out? These are all valid and very real ways to feel, and screens can easily be used for coping, but at a high cost. Instead, by putting screens away you’re doing the real work of building resilience, connection, and meaning which are the building blocks of happiness.

These aren’t the only ways to limit your screen time, and it’s a work in progress for me as I try to balance it within my own life. What I do know, is that using these guidelines has dramatically lowered my stress, made me feel more in control, and deepened all my relationships.

Tell me in the comments, how you manage your screen time and what are you interested in trying on the list?

How to have happiness and live a fuller life now.

A 70-year study from Harvard has identified what separates the happiest fullest lives from the least successful and it can be summed up in one word: love.

Our relationships with other people matter, and they matter more than anything else in the world.

Loving strong relationships helps us live longer, and increases our happiness and our resilience.

Our relationships help us bounce back from setbacks faster, accomplish more, and feel a greater sense of purpose.

Research has proven that our relationships matter more than anything else.

Yet, especially for women, our relationships are usually the first to go with things get stressful…when we actually need them most.

Every year around this time, I reflect on the past year and spend time planning out the new one.

Last year, after reflecting on the previous year I’d had, I realized how isolated and lonely I’d felt. My husband was away a lot for work and I was at home a lot by myself with a baby.

It’s not like I don’t have friends, I’ve got tonnes of women I love to hang out with.

But in my struggle to balance everything (especially on my own), I had pushed away the very thing I needed most: my girlfriends.

Our girlfriends are the ones who get our stupid jokes, encourage our crazy dreams, and tell us honestly when we’ve messed up. They love us even when we’re ugly crying, and give us loving advice when we need it.

They are the ones who remind us that we are worthy, and we are deserving, and that we matter.

When you’ve found good girlfriends, even long distances and time don’t stand a chance of breaking that bond.

Last week on the night before New Year’s Eve, I had a dream that I was out for coffee with one of my oldest and dearest friends who I haven’t seen in almost 5 years since she moved to Paris.

I dreamed that it was summer, and we were sitting at a sidewalk table outside a coffee shop in shorts and tank tops. Our tanned legs sprawled out catch the sun as we leaned back in our chairs, heads back laughing about something silly in the sunshine.

Just like we had countless times before.        

When we got up to leave, I was so happy and felt so filled up. Better than I have felt in a long time.

I gave her a huge hug and I can still vividly remember the feeling of hugging her like she was here.

When I woke up I almost cried I missed her so much.

So later that morning on New Year’s Eve, I FaceTimed her in Paris. She was making dinner and we laughed and cried and caught up like nothing had changed.

I was flooded with happiness and filled up.

This is the power of girlfriends.

I’ve seen my best friends go through all of life’s challenges. Big moves. New love. Lost love. Babies. Parenting. Empty Nesting. Retirement. Maternity leaves. Starting over again. Illness. Loss. Entrepreneurship. Marriage troubles. Kid troubles. Life.

You name it. This is life, and it has it all.

We can survive and thrive through anything when we have each other.

If you’re feeling stressed, isolated, lonely, or need a pick me up: call one of your besties. Make a plan to see them (even if it’s just virtually) and fill yourself up.

Then, tell me about it in the comments below. 🙂

Self-care and the ugly side of it.

Self-care is not something easy for me and I apologized to my husband today.

I started to feel a bit under the weather earlier in the week, but by sleeping in an hour and taking extra vitamins I was over it in a few days.

Towards the end of the week my husband started feeling sick. He was moaning and groaning about his head, and stayed in bed for 3 days.

Man cold, I said to myself.

We had company over during the weekend. My brother had come out with his family and I took care of all the meals and entertaining while my husband slept and only came out for the briefest moments to say hi or take a quick shower.

On one occasion he got up just to change the sheets because he said he sweated through them.

Woah, he’s laying it on thick I thought.

Then on Monday, I couldn’t get out of bed.

I had a splitting headache, hot stuffy sinuses, and exhausted like I couldn’t believe.

After getting my son up and ready, I asked my husband how he would feel if I went back to bed.

He looked at me like I was crazy for asking, and said, “I don’t care. Do what you need to do.”

What? I don’t care? His response woke me up.

Why did I care so much, if he didn’t? He didn’t look at soldiering on through sickness as a badge of honor or an alter to die on. In fact, he didn’t think about it at all.

It was ME who was asking permission from him to be sick and take care of myself. To offer myself self-care.

Why?

Here’s the thing about beliefs: we don’t see them, we just believe them.

This belief that I don’t get sick days has gone on since I can remember.

I started examining my twenties when I worked 2 jobs, or worked full time and went to school full time, and the fact that with ALL of my jobs if I didn’t go to work, I didn’t get paid.

Or in the case of being self employed in the past decade: if I don’t go to work I don’t get paid AND have to pay someone else out of pocket to cover me.

But this isn’t all.

As women, we are tough. We can self sacrifice like nobody’s business. We will put everyone else first at all costs regardless of how shitty we feel…and if we become mothers, that amplifies times a hundred.

We tell ourselves that no one else can do what we do and that we are too needed to ever slow down.

So, we look at self-care as luxuries to pamper ourselves, instead of the gritty unsexy necessities of life like listening to our bodies when they are sick and resting when we need to.

That’s REAL self care.

I realized that I have drunk a Kool-Aid I am no longer interested in.

I want to feel like my husband.

He didn’t ask my permission to be sick, he didn’t feel bad about staying in bed when he felt like garbage and needed to take care of himself, and I can promise you that he did not think that it made him any less of a man, father, husband, or anything else. And you can bet that he’s NEVER used the words self-care in his life.

He was sick, so he went to bed. End of story.

And when I was sick, he told me to do what he would do: go to bed, AND he was way nicer about it. He made me meals, rubbed my back, started my car for me when I had to go out, and made me feel cared for.

The belief around what is allowed with sick days is bullshit, and not only that, it’s bullshit I was trying to push onto my husband.

I believed that if I’m not allowed to be sick, he sure as hell isn’t allowed to either, hence “the man cold.”

It’s not fair.

Our unrealistic expectations about ourselves is exactly that: unrealistic and they are keeping us small.

They encourage us to put our needs last, reinforcing that we are less worthy, less deserving, than those around us.

These subtle beliefs, the ones that we are constantly swimming in, are the ones which can wake us up the most because they are the foundation of all the others.

When I realized all this, I apologized to my husband.

I’ll be honest here, I felt a lot of resistance, but I also know that real connection requires a vulnerability to show up in ways that aren’t always comfortable.

I didn’t know if he was going to say, “I told you so,” or if it would start a long discussion of all the things I’ve done wrong, or really what he would do at all.

So while he was feeding my son I approached him placing my hand on his shoulder and said, “I’m sorry.”

I apologized for not being more understanding when he was sick, and explained my realization to him.

He looked at me surprised, and said, “Don’t worry about it. Go get some sleep, it was the only thing that made me feel better.”

So I went back to bed.

I’d love to hear from you now: Do you allow yourself sick days? And how sick do you have to be? Why do you think we’ve believed this nonsense for so long? Tell me in the comments below!

The real reason you’ve got so much stress.

Being a woman is hard work, and maybe that’s why we have so much stress.

As women, we work harder in every area of our lives and then consequently have to prove that we deserve it.

Everything in our culture screams at us that we need to be more:

More sexy, more youthful, more skinny, more assertive, more kind, more compromising, more as a mother, more as a woman, more time at work, more beautiful, more educated, more important, more of a wife/partner, more independent, more available, more involved, more healthy, more active, more inspired, more roles, more open (but only about what others want to hear), more vulnerable, more resilient, more grit, more successful, more ambitious, more of a homemaker, more of a cook, more thoughtful, more of a homemaker, more flexible, more passionate, more vocal, more silent, more understanding, more willing, more wealthy, more compromising…its always more, and it’s too fucking much.

It’s no wonder we are frazzled, overwhelmed, stressed, and anxious.

We have an insurmountable pressure to be all things to everyone AND be all the things listed above. As a result, it’s an impossible situation.

This is why I created the programs and tools I offer: to reclaim yourself.

Anxiety and stress are symptoms of a larger systemic problem within our culture. We have too many pressures (umm, did you see the list above? And it’s not even complete!), information overload, longer work days than every before (with constant contact), less free time, and have less face to face connection. And purpose, meaning? Who has time for that?

Stress is a direct result of the tension between the expectations of others (perceived or real) which are in constant conflict with our inner compass.

We know, deep down that what we are being fed is bullshit.

But we are steeped in it, and then choking down more by the spoonful because we are also trained to be good girls from a very young age.

The tools I teach are universal that anyone can use and they are easy enough to implement for even the most time starved women because they are just simple lifestyle tweaks to make your life better, calmer, and more meaningful.  

It’s not easy to shed the expectations of being the perfect mom when everyone you know is volunteering at the school and you’re working 10 hour days.

Or the guilt that weighs on all women, because we can’t possible be and do all the things expected of us.

Or the insecurity of never feeling like we know enough, are prepared enough, or are good enough, and above all that deep secret that so many of us carry: that really we’re a fraud.

So how do we change this?

It takes a brave decision: to be more conscious in how you live and work. Here’s how to start now:

  • Start questioning why you do the things you do and if they are really serving you on any tangible level.
  • Be more aware of the things that sap your energy and those that revive it.
  • Play more. Do things for the sake of enjoyment and don’t be afraid to get silly. Women start to lose this ability as adolescents and it is a crucial part of our well-being.
  • Be mindful of how much you use devices. Set strong limits, and be committed to seeing people in person, or at least on the phone.
  • Decide that you time is non-negotiable, and stick to it.
  • Nourish your body and move it regularly.
  • Be in control of the media you consume. If it doesn’t lift you up, ditch it, life’s too short for that.
  • Love your dear ones fiercely. Undistracted focused time is the most valuable thing you can offer anyone and is essential for lasting loving relationships.
  • Finally, give yourself a lot of slack. You are a woman navigating a challenging world with impossible expectations, learn to be your own best ally.

I’ve started a YouTube Channel and I’ve got the first two videos already up. They are all quick and easy things that you can use today so that you lower stress and anxiety and live more authentically.

Click here to watch them now.

Lastly, subscribe to my channel and share because we can help change each other’s lives just by sharing access to effective tools and solid information.

I’d love to hear from you now: what would you add to the “more” list? What pressures do you feel the most as a woman? Also, does time fly faster when you have kids?

I can’t wait to read what you have to say in the comments below!

If this post spoke to you, please share it. Let’s help each other live better more honest lives together. <3

Love and Light,

t

I’m coming out of the mental health closet.

We need to talk about mental health.

If you’ve been reading my posts for a while you may have noticed some changes going on around here. 

Yes, I got some new pictures done and am in the process of rebranding. But maybe you also noticed something else?

I’ve been talking an awful lot about stress and anxiety, and there’s a reason why:

I’m coming out of the mental health closet. 

I’m a very what-you-see-is-what-you-get kind of woman. But there are some things I don’t (or haven’t) let people see, and that’s some of the internal struggles I’ve experienced from the time I was 12.

And I want you to know something, it’s not that I’m ashamed or that I’m hiding anything. It’s because I don’t consider myself mentally ill, and I truly believe that’s part of my secret sauce (more on that another day). 

Okay, now I don’t want to leave you hanging, let me start at the beginning.

My first experience with mental illness was when I was 12 years old. 

My GP prescribed me sleeping pills after a 5 minute conversation (I only used them once because they gave me terrifying hallucinations of strange creatures hovering around my bed).

A few years later, from another 5 minute conversation, I left with a script for antidepressants which I took for the next 3 years. 

I finally went off of them after I was misdiagnosed with bi-polar and given Lithium…which was the WORST.

It was one of the darkest times of my life. Lithium made me feel nothing at all. I became a living zombie.

Although it was incredibly difficult, I am thankful. It woke me up to realize that no one could save me but me. It forced me to make some serious changes in my life and I’ve never looked back. 

I wish I could say this was it, but the story doesn’t stop there because I’ve also experienced episodes of mental illness more recently.

Seven years ago after being hit in 3 big car accidents in 3 years, I started getting panic attacks every time it snowed and I had to drive. 

As a yoga teacher who taught 18 classes a week all over the city driving was unavoidable and became unmanageable. Honestly, I believed without a doubt that if I got in another accident I would be dead. I felt I “knew” I was going to die in my car.

One day, HOURS before I had to leave to teach a class it started snowing lightly. It was those big fat snowflakes that gently fall to the ground and leave fluffy white piles on everything.

It would have been beautiful if I wasn’t sitting on the couch looking out the window terrified. My brain was on overdrive, heart racing, and the dread was consuming. 

By the time I stepped into my silver Honda Civic I was having a full blown panic attack. My heart was now not only racing but also jumping at least a foot out of my chest and I could hardly breathe.

When I finally arrived at the studio to let my students in, I couldn’t hold it together anymore and started falling apart desperately fighting back tears. It was humiliating and terrifying all at the same time.

Then, after a difficult delivery of my son I not only got the gift of PPD, but PTSD all over again. 

Crazy flashbacks would haunt me relentlessly and I felt a depression which inspired my best friend to call my husband behind my back because she was so worried about me.

I was in total denial. I refused to believe that it could happen to me. As a coach, yogi, and all the tools I had, I should have been untouchable. 

It wasn’t until she called my husband that I snapped out of it and began making the changes required to get better.

With our society moving faster than ever, more demands on our time, and increased disconnection it’s inevitable that more and more of us are going to be touched by mental health issues. 

Right now, 1 in 2 Canadians will be diagnosed with a mental illness by the time they are 40. If you’re one of them, congratulations: you’re normal!

You might be wondering, why am I shifting courses with my services or at least adding to them?

The first reason is because I’ve already been doing this for a decade. 

Almost all of my clients, whether diagnosed or not, asked for mental health support with stress and anxiety. It is so prevalent that I even added an entire module in my group coaching program the Soul Strategy Sessions at one time.

Now, I’m simply putting together the proven tools I’ve been using for a decade to be more specific about helping women with anxiety.

The second, is that I wasn’t ready to talk about my own experiences with mental health publicly, but now I am.

This is largely because I see so much bad, or overly complicated AND bad, advice out there that I want and NEED to do something about it.

There are simpler, better, and more effective tools out there and I want you to have them.

So what does this mean for you? 

Well, I’ve made a few things to start helping you with anxiety right now:

Fearless Facebook group
A community for professional women to reduce stress and rapidly reducing anxiety while skyrocketing your happiness, freedom, and ease!

Each Monday at 9am GMT, I will be live in the group to share with you a new practice to support your well-being. You’ll receive practical tips and simple tricks to rapidly reduce stress, overwhelm, and anxiety.Click here to join us now!

The Perfect Day Exercise
This is the starting place for overcoming stress and anxiety and it’s totally FREE!

Most people mistakenly focus solely how to get rid of anxiety without a clear direction of what they want instead. Unless you have a compass, you will continue to repeat the same patterns that got you here in the first place.

It’s a simple PDF combined with a powerful video visualization to help you get crystal clear on exactly what you want your life to look like anxiety free.

Click here to download instantly!

Fearless Course
Lastly, I am super excited to say that The Fearless Course will be coming up soon. This is a live online course to rapidly reduce stress and anxiety without therapy, hours of meditation, or pills, in under 20 minutes a day.

Here’s what a few of the participants said after the course:
“I have said before that everyone would be able to benefit from this course. It should be offered to all women and young mothers in general, we try to be all to everyone, and do everything to the point that we have nothing left for ourselves. Truly an inspiration for me!! I now have renewed hope.” 

Brenda Nelson,InnContact Centre Rep, Innovation Credit Union, Swift Current

“Hands down one of the best courses that I have ever taken and I would highly recommend it not only for anyone who is struggling with anxiety and depression but leaders of any type.”

Randell Danderfer, CPA, CGA, ACUIC, Manager, Corporate Finance, Cornerstone Credit Union, Tisdale, SK

Find out first when the Fearless course opens for enrollment again! Get on the waitlist now by clicking here!

In the meantime, if you are struggling with anxiety (or depression for that matter) I challenge you to take action now: join the Fearless Facebook groupdownload the FREE Perfect Day Exercise, and share with the women you love.

Your happiness starts here, right now, take it.

Thank you for being a part of my tribe and letting me be a part of yours. 

Sending you so much Love and Light,
t