Stubborn Gratitude

Hello Gorgeous,

You may not know this about me, but I am not always positive…or cheerful…or optimistic.

Sometimes I am sad, and miserable, and stressed, and lonely. Sometimes even all at the same time…ask my poor husband.

Today, this post is a little late. My sweet boy was up at 2:30am this morning for a snack and then didn’t feel it was necessary to fall back asleep until 5:30am. Our alarm goes off at 6am.

It was a hard start for today, and because of that I opted for a nap instead of writing, so I could manage the day and still teach two yoga classes coherently.

Some days are hard, this one felt like it for lots of reasons. And its days like today that I NEED my gratitude practice.

It is not optional for me, because otherwise in my fatigue I lean towards being weepy and focused on all the things that could possibly be hard right now, and all the things that need attending to.

Yes, me. That’s what I do.

Gratitude is easy when things are easy. We can take for granted the abundance of blessings and feel blessed in those moments, thinking that things will always be this way.

Gratitude can be challenging when things are not easy.

When things are hard, and I am tired, or sad, or all of the above, I stubbornly turn towards gratitude to change what I see.

Gratitude can be hard, and it is not for the faint of heart. Yet it is one of the most powerful tools to shift us from all the shit we may be marinating in, to a place of abundance and joy.

So today, I am choosing to be grateful.

Grateful for the weight of my son in my arms as I sing to him before he sleeps. I am grateful for a man who loves our family so much that he will fight like hell for us. Grateful for a body strong enough to handle what life throws at it. Grateful for spandex that makes me look better than I feel (thank you Lululemon). Grateful for the many women in my life keep me inspired, accountable, laughing, and holding each other together. And I am forever grateful for another day and another chance to do my life better in grace.

If you didn’t already know, you can join me in a free 30 Day Gratitude Practice which starts July 1st.

You don’t need anything but a willing heart and a Facebook account (no journal required, thank goodness!). You can sign up for it by clicking here.

In the meantime, I’d love to hear what you are grateful for today. Please share it in the comments below, or in the Soul Sisterhood Facebook group.

#daretobeyou

Love and Light,

t

The worst thing you can say to yourself.

Hello Gorgeous,

All of us have an inner dialogue that is going on all the time. Sometimes it is commenting on what’s happening. Sometimes it’s deciding what to say next. Sometimes it’s judging or comparing, and sometimes it’s very mean to us.

Our inner dialogue is like the white noise operating in our background and don’t often hear it until we get quiet and then it can feel like it’s screaming at us!

This is one of the biggest hurdles for new meditators because once you notice the noise, like noticing a noisy eater, it can feel impossible to tune it out and become extremely annoying.

We can also be taken aback by some of the thoughts the we notice. As Jack Kornfield says,

“Thoughts have no shame; they will go anywhere.”

Our thoughts, and the language that we us frame our reality. The words we use reveal our beliefs, our models of the world, and our inner life.

What we say and the words we use matter.

What do you think is the most disempowering statement you can make to yourself?

I’ve said all of them for sure:

I’m not good enough.

Who the fuck do I think I am to even try?

I’m too (insert fat, ugly, stupid, young, old, or any other mean thing in here).

I’m a fraud, I don’t know anything.

I’m sure you get the picture.

(By the way, if you catch yourself saying these awful things to yourself, please stop when you catch yourself. Stop, and counter those thoughts with something positive about yourself. They are terrible and don’t belong in your beautiful mind!)

But none, NONE of these are as disempowering as this one sentence:

I have no choice.

As soon as you utter those words you have given your power away and become the victim of your very own life.

Here are some other ways we say those words:

I should.

I can’t.

I have to.

Yes (when I mean no).

No (when I mean yes).

All of these statements give away our power and our control.

And yes, I realize that there are consequences for not doing certain things. However, it’s not the “thing” itself that causes our suffering, it’s the way we are relating to it.

As much as we try, we can’t always control the circumstances of our lives, yet it’s possible to be empowered and free in the midst of it all.

Supposing maybe you don’t want to go to work, and it’s true that if you don’t go to work you will get fired and lose your income.

There is a difference between saying to yourself, “I have no choice but to go to work,” and “I’m choosing to go to work so I can make money,” have a very different feel to them.

You are still going to work, the circumstance doesn’t need to change, but the latter statement empowers you to be in the driver’s seat of your life, instead of the victim of it.

Learning to shift your language into one of choice, even if it’s as simple as how you choose to feel about something, frames your reality as one where you are powerful and free.

Also, this is your last week to sign up for the Soul Strategy Sessions! They start next week on Tuesdays from June 14th – July 19th from 7-9pm at Astra Financial inside A Balanced Approach.

Some of the many fabulous side effects you can expect from the Sessions are:

Not giving so many fucks about shit that doesn’t matter.

BS free friendships with women who genuinely want you succeed.

Living more authentically and honestly aligned with what you ACTUALLY give a shit about.

Lower anxiety, a higher sense of purpose, and totally feeling like you got this!

These groups are popular for a reason, and so much fun to do with a friend! You can learn more and sign up by clicking here.

I’d love to hear from you now: Do you notice your self-talk, and how do you relate to it? Is there a “favorite” disempowering statement that your mind tends to use, and if so which one? What is your best advice for dealing with a “shameless mind”? Post your comments below or in the Soul Sisterhood Facebook group.

Did you like this post? Then please click the little buttons below and share it with all your friends on Facebook, Tweet it out loud, and forward it to anyone who might need this today!

#daretobeyou

Love and Light,

t

4 Tips for a Better To-Do List

This week, I’m going to share with you how I do my own To-Do lists. This is not only how I do my To-Do lists, but also how I coach my lovely clients to do theirs.

I LOVE lists, and I love crossing off my lists, and I love making more lists. I love listing, and I love finding more ways to feel accomplished and successful.

The great thing about To-Do lists is the sense of immense satisfaction and accomplishment of crossing things off as they are completed. I’m super visual, so I LOVE crossing things off.

However, until I learned this important shift of how to do my To-Do’s, I often felt like I wasn’t getting anywhere. It felt there was always so much more to do than was accomplished each day.

Maybe you are as zealous about lists as me, and in your excitement of creating lists, never really seem to complete them.

At the end of the day, all the things that weren’t completed were moved onto the next day, and then those things, get moved onto the next day, and it goes on and on.

Soon, you start to feel the anxiety of ALL the things that aren’t done and more unsuccessful than satisfied. Am I right?

This is the dark side about To-Do lists (particularly the ones that keep growing and morphing into some huge crazy uncontrollable hungry monster):

They never seem to be DONE.

So how do we create a To-Do list that we can feel successful, accomplished, and satisfied at the end of the day?

Start creating lists that we can accomplish.

It sounds crazy right? To good to be true?

Once you start doing them this way I promise you will never want to go back because not only will you feel better, you will complete MORE, and more of the things that will make a difference in your life.

Tip #1 – Be realistic about how much you can do in one day.

If you don’t do anything else, do this: only choose 3 things to put on your To-Do list per day, and they MUST be 3 things you can accomplish within your day with ease.

Having unfinished items that we move over to tomorrow’s list is a confidence crusher and creates unnecessary stress and anxiety. And over what? Nobody died over unfinished items on a To-Do list, unless you’re maybe a brain surgeon that uses To-Do lists in surgery. In that case, please finish ALL the things!

Tip #2 – Break it down.

Break big tasks into smaller manageable chunks.

A long time ago, I actually had “website” as one of my tasks. Seriously, like that was something I would be able to do in even a month! It became this huge daunting thing that I was super resistant to tackle. I felt like I was never getting anywhere with it no matter how much time I spent on it.

If I were to approach that again, I would divide it up into little bitty pieces like this:

  • Write home page first draft.
  • Choose colours.
  • Choose fonts.

Breaking the big stuff into smaller stuff adds up really quickly. It helps push through resistance, and builds momentum and confidence.

Tip #3 – Edit your list.

Do you ever notice that some things are way more important to do on your list than others? In fact, some of those things are on the list for no good reason other than you are obsessed with lists and doing things and you like to cross off lists so you just keep adding more? Good, so am I!

Choose the items that are going to make the biggest difference in your life/work. Prioritize, and let the other stuff go.

Or, you can do what I do with things that I want to do but aren’t important now: make a separate list for later. The great thing about this, is that I can write those ideas down somewhere, and then later when I go back to it, I can check to see if they are still relevant without losing them.

Tip #4 – Remember what the list is for.

If you are like me and are obsessed with To-Do lists because of the immense joy and satisfaction you get from crossing items off, then remember the point of the list is not just DO things just for the sake of doing them.

This attitude not only contributes to the disease of busyness, but creates unnecessary stress and anxiety, creates more resistance, and does the very opposite of what the list is intended for.

The point of a To-Do list is that awesome feeling you get crossing it off while getting the important things done.

Now, I’d love to hear from you: Do you love a good To-Do list? What are your best tips for a great list? What tip are you going to try today? Please share your comments below or in the Soul Sisterhood Facebook group.

Did you like this post? Then please share it with your friends on Facebook, Tweet it out loud, and forward it to your besties. You never know who might benefit from this!

Thank you for shining your light, beautiful.

#daretobeyou

Love and Light,

t

Stop Putting Yourself on “The List”

Hello Gorgeous,

It’s been a while now, hasn’t it? I hope you are doing well and are as excited to connect with me as I am with you!

I had big plans to maintain AT LEAST my blog after Magnus was born, and I did pretty good for a while, and then my plans went to shit. Sorry about that.

I started doing it all, even though I didn’t know what the hell I was even doing, and subsequently my sweet Magnus wasn’t putting on weight because my supply dropped so drastically. Shit got real, and my main focus was on him and me and getting the T&M team nursing team back on track.

Everything worked out fine after a shit tonne of pumping, supplementation, tears (from both of us), and cuddly nursing time. But damn it was a lot of work!

My husband has been away the past few weeks seeding at his friend’s farm (my husband not so secretly wants to be a farmer when he grows up!), so Magnus and I have been largely on our own.

This week I’ve been taking Magnus running with me in the jogger, and when I got home sweaty and happy on this sunny morning I panicked as I looked at the time (babies are on a schedule if you didn’t know) and thought to myself exasperatedly:

“There’s just not enough time to do everything!”

I mean how do we put ourselves on “The List” when there are so many things that demand our attention?

I’m teaching yoga, taking care of a baby and our brown dog, making baby food, the never ending heaps of baby puke covered laundry, planning two new Soul Strategy Sessions, doing a very bad job of looking after the house and yard, and did I mention taking care of a baby?

There is only so much time after all.

Exactly.

Almost immediately after I had complained that there’s not enough time, I realized that there has never been a time in my life that I have not said those words.

I have said them when I was a student, when I worked one job, two jobs, no jobs. I have said them on vacation and in the office. I have said them with a baby and without a baby. I have said those words most of my life, and I would put money on it that you have too, regardless of your circumstances.

So what’s this nonsense about putting yourself on the list?

I hate that term.

Why? Because you ARE the goddamn list!

To say anything else is evil, disempowering, and buying into victim mentality…and if you read my blog, I know you aren’t a victim. You are a grown ass woman who handles shit!

Remember: There is no list without you.

You are the creator and the completer of the list. You are the only one in control of that list, so why WHY do you need to put yourself on it.

Time is limited, it’s true, so we all need to prioritize where we want to focus our time.

Your To-Do list is not where you should be putting your needs and self care, because To-Do lists are fluid and most often never completed (don’t tell me it’s not true, I know how you roll).

So guess what gets moved to the bottom of that list? You guessed it: YOU.

Notice how eating isn’t on the To-Do list? Neither is bathing, brushing your teeth, going to work, or picking up your children. They are givens. So should taking care of you.

You are the most important person in your life, and if you have a family, your family’s life.

The health of everyone around you is affected by your wellbeing.

Please, stop waiting until there’s time to do what makes you feel whole because there will never be enough time.

Make it a habit that is built into your day. Whether it’s first thing, last thing, at noon, it doesn’t matter. Make that time non-negotiable and do what makes you feel good daily.

In the brief time I have been a parent, I can tell you that I am 100 times nicer, more patient, present, productive, creative, and more fun to be around if I’ve had even a short workout or run. It’s never been about appearance for me, it is essential for my mental health and now the health of my family.

I AM the list and I OWN the list.

Nothing gets done until I do me first, then everything else is figure-out-able.

Some might say it’s selfish, but have you ever met a happy martyr? I sure haven’t! So I call it being “self-full” which is a much nicer term, isn’t it?

Next week, I’ll tell you more about my magic list making abilities and how you can become more productive in your own life!

I also have some good news! I’m launching another round of the Soul Strategy Sessions Tuesdays 7 – 9pm June 14th to July 19th.

This is one small step to becoming your list by setting dedicated time for you in a big loving super fun environment with women just like you. You will learn what drives you, your purpose, and gain major insights about yourself and beliefs which is where all meaningful change starts.

There’s a reason The Soul Strategy Sessions have been going on for 2 years, and continue to thrive: they work.

In our 6 weeks together you will gain clarity, confidence, and courage to live more authentically, aligned, and happier.

You can learn more and register by clicking here.

I also have one more surprise for you!

For those of you who have completed the Soul Strategy Sessions, I have created a continuing 12 week program called the Soul Sisterhood.

The Soul Sisterhood is designed with you in mind. It is self directed with a larger focus on coaching rather than teaching, so you can continue to sign up again and again without repeating the same content.

You already have the tools from the Soul Strategy Sessions.

The Sisterhood focuses on implementation and working through the resistance to strengthen the habits that will support the way you want to be and live in the world.

The Sisterhood is your journey of self discovery, living in alignment, and becoming your most authentic self.

If you completed the Soul Strategy Sessions and didn’t get a personal invite from me about the Sisterhood, email me and I will send you everything you need to know!

I’d love to hear from you now: Do you make To-Do lists, and do you put yourself on it? Does it work for you? How do you make sure you take care of your needs everyday? Do you love lists, or hate them? Tell me all about it either in the comments below, or in the Soul Sisterhood Facebook group here.

Thank you for letting me into your inbox and your life. I am so excited to see your beautiful self again so soon! I missed you like crazy and I hope you did too!

#daretobeyou

Love and Light,

t

What we all really want, and why we aren’t getting it.

Last week I saw a video posted on someone’s timeline that made me pause.

I don’t usually comment on videos like this, because I know my opinion won’t be popular and I’m not interested in arguing with someone I don’t know about something they will never change their mind about.

It was a video of a man obviously messed up on something acting erratically. Truthfully, it was kind of scary because he acting so far out of the norm, pushing on his hands to get around rather than walking, and talking nonsense.

The caption of the video was something like this:

This is what my dad had to deal with outside of his carwash this morning.

I know what this video was meant to do. This man was meant to shock, entertain, creep out, and create sympathy for the carwash owner for having to deal with such a vile human being.

I couldn’t help but comment how sad I was for the “scary” man in the video, that he is somebody’s child, and how much he must be suffering.

Someone responded to my comment about how he’s a grown up not a child, that he doesn’t feel sorry for him for his choices, and that he is responsible for fixing his life.

I didn’t bother responding back.

Here’s the thing, it’s so easy to judge each other. We see the result of where someone is, and judge them on it like that’s all they are.

Whether they are an addict, famous, thin, fat, whatever, we judge at face value.

Aren’t we all more complex than what can be seen?

Don’t you have a whole history that is invisible to the world, but alive in every choice you make and everything that you do?

The problem with judgement is that it comes from a view that the person we are judging has had the same life as us, and therefore would have the same perspective as us, same experiences as us, and the same opportunities as us.

If you were never taught that you mattered, would you still think you did?

If you were never taught that your choices will have consequences, would you think twice before acting?

If you were never treated with kindness, would you believe the world to be kind or would you be afraid of it?

If you were never taught you were worthy of love, would you choose relationships that reinforced that or would you respect yourself?

If you were never taught accountability, would you blame the world or would you change yourself?

If you were raised around addiction, would you know that it’s not “normal” behavior and learn other methods of coping or would you do what everyone else in your family and/or community is doing?

If you were raised with shame, would you take the risk of shining brightly or would you try to hide yourself so no one could see you?

We often think that our way of seeing ourselves and the world are universal, but they aren’t. They are taught to us through our families of origin, culture, communities, and experiences.

I have a world inside of me that no one has seen but me.

I have a history that no one lived but me.

I have hurts that no one has experienced but me.

I have strengths that grew from the dark places no one knows about but me.

We all do.

To judge another at their current state is to dishonoring the history that got them there, whether it’s the strong confident person we see, or the desperate one we want to turn away from.

And it is this very judgment that sabotages the one thing we all really want:

Connection.

From birth on we are dependant on each other. None of us came out of the womb driving a car and taking car of ourselves.

Everything around us is the fruits of someone else’s labour. Our roads, our computers, our clothing, our houses, our food, our education. Everything.

We cannot exist without each other and we are also desperate to belong to each other.

We exist because we belong not in spite of it.

Judgement destroys our sense of connection by separating ourselves from others which ultimately causes pain not only to the judged, but to ourselves.

I get it.

I don’t necessarily want to belong to the messed up man outside the carwash either.

But we already do.

If my life had a few different turns, maybe that man could be me.

(Minus the man part of course!)

What I saw was a life that was very sad, and a person who lacked the skills or support to cope with it.

He needed compassion, not a pointed finger.

That also goes for the person of a different size than you, different ethnicity than you, different socioeconomic status than you, different way of life than you.

In the end, we all want the same thing:

To love and be loved. To be connected.

And that begins with compassion.

I’d love to hear from you now: Would you have commented on that video? When you hear other people judging, do you join in, speak up, or ignore it, and why? Are you going to bring me cookies, and when? Share your comments below or in the Soul Sisterhood Facebook group.

If you liked this post, then please share it! Share it with all your friends on Facebook, Tweet it out loud, and forward it to anyone who might need to read this today.

Thank you for being a constant source of love and inspiration. You are a part of my tribe, and I am a part of yours.

#daretobeyou

Love and Light,

t

What do Nioka and Jesus have in common?

You know those times that something happens that makes you angry, and you haven’t had the chance to confront it yet, so you’re just going over and over all the scenarios of how you’re going to handle it?

And all of the situations of “handling it” has to do with losing it and making the person/situation understand how mad you are?

Or maybe it’s not something that makes you see red, but something that has hurt your feelings?

Or maybe you feel taken advantage of?

Or maybe you feel like you have to say something and you know it’s not going to come out right because there are too many feelings in the way?

In those moments you may not know be able to figure out the best way to handle it because you know you are too emotional to respond effectively.

Here’s what you need to do, ask yourself:

“What would Nioka do?”

Or Jesus, if you don’t know Nioka.

Sometimes (or a lot of times) things happen, and we get very caught up in our emotions and may not have the capacity to bring our best self to the surface to handle situations.

I know that my first reaction is blame, and I want them to KNOW that it’s their fault, why, and have a temper tantrum about it.

I want them to GET how I feel, and have them feel very bad for making me feel that way.

Then, I want to have them feel so bad that they get down on their knees and beg for my forgiveness for notputtingthedishesinthedishwasherinsteadofthesinkwhichisrightfuckingnexttoitforfuckssake!

Or something like that…

When you imagine the situation with Nioka (or Jesus, Quan Yin, Mother Teresa, Buddha, or whomever) in your place, you will be able to see another less emotion driven possibility that accesses your higher self and an alternative option that you may not have been able to see in your hurt state.

So instead of losing my mind over something trivial like dishes in the sink, I might imagine Nioka in that situation and what she would do.

I would see her notice the dishes, and keep walking because she doesn’t care enough about them and she cares A LOT about her wonderful husband who does a billion other things for her every single day.

So many things in fact, that she often takes them for granted because he’s just that thoughtful and kind.

In my self righteous angry state, I wouldn’t be able to see that possibility because in anger (and the tail of anger: hurt) is “all about me.”

In Nioka’s or Jesus’s state, I can see things with more clarity and balance.

The other benefit, is that it gives enough space that we can take a moment to decide what kind of outcome to we really want, rather than reacting to a situation in a way we may later regret.

Space is good when we are fired up.

Do you know what else is good?

Babies.

And Soul Strategy Sessions.

They are full of great conversations, tools, and insights to empower you to live with more clarity, courage and confidence to live a happier and more meaningful life.

There’s a reason over a hundred women have gone through them, referred their family and friends, and continue to take them again themselves: they work, they’re fun, and they are life changing.

The Sessions start tomorrow and I have a spot left just for you!

Learn more and register by clicking here.

I’d love to hear from you now: Who would you imagine to be, and why? What else do you think is good besides space and babies? Share in the comments below, or in the Soul Sisterhood Facebook group.

If you liked this post please share it with all of your friends on Facebook, Tweet it out loud, and forward it to anyone who might need to read this right now. You are the light, shine brightly my friend.

#daretobeyou

Love and Light,

t

Why your goals don’t make you happy.

I pretty lucky that I tend to attract incredible women, and you are one of them if you are reading this.

You are probably the type of woman who knows that your happiness and wellbeing are up to you. You want more positivity and love in the world, and you know it starts from within.

You might be a woman who is also goal driven and ambitious like so many of us.

You might want to know your purpose and live with meaning. You want to feel like you know your way and have more clarity about your path. You want to feel that spark in your life, and the confidence that you can handle what’s coming.

You might also be one hell of a goal crusher.

Many of the women I work with are high achieving, successful, smart, and driven women. They can accomplish a lot, and have accomplished a lot.

Yet so many of them are still not happy.

We are taught that if we do certain things our lives will matter and we will be happier.

We are taught that our happiness is OUT THERE so we set extrinsic goals that are motivated by reward or avoiding negative consequences.

My first extrinsic goals had to do with education.

I went back to school five times hoping to find the right fit that would have the status I craved and the happiness I wanted. Apparently commerce was not that fit, shocking I know.

I loved learning when I leaned into what I was interested in, instead of chasing a title.  

I also thought my happiness relied on a partner.

As a woman, we are taught that our relationships and their milestones will make us happy. Once we find that special someone we can finally let go and just be happy right? Yeah…not so much.

I learned I could be just as unhappy in a relationship, and until I learned to be happy alone no one could make me happy in a relationship either.

As an aside, do you know many people about to get married that are happy? It becomes such a shit show that most couples find this to be one of the most stressful times of their relationship. If you are engaged, here’s my advice: forget about making the day perfect. The perfect part is not in the details, it’s the fact that at the end of the day you will be married to the love of your life, and that’s fucking awesome. Let that shit go.

Then there’s kids.

I honestly had people tell me that I HAD to have kids!

I’m thrilled to be a mom now and wouldn’t change a thing, and I also would have been happy being child free.

Creating a family to BE happy isn’t a great reason to start one because it puts the responsibility of your happiness onto your family’s shoulders instead of your own.

And that shit is scary.

Those are the parents that live through their children’s achievements. Pageant moms anyone?

We’re taught that if we get more status or more stuff we’ll be happy, and sure there is a grain of truth to that.

Last fall I got a new car, and it was awesome.

I’ve never had a car newer than 8 years old ever, and when I got into my new Rav 4 and it smelled all chemically and new, I was happy.

Really happy.

And now four months later it’s dirty and full of shit because it’s now just my car.

Happiness from external stuff fades.

We have an immediate sense of happiness and then it’s done, until we get the next shiny thing.

Why do you think so many people shop to “treat” themselves, or to relieve stress? They do it to get that brief happiness high.

Maybe stuff isn’t the thing for you though, maybe it’s status, promotions, more education.

These are goals that often relate to validation, whether it’s for yourself or how you are seen by others.

None of these will make you happier either.

Your happiness can totally be goal driven by choosing goals that are intrinsic.

Intrinsic goals are motivated by self interest and personal growth. They are goals we choose because they make us happy to do them.

How many of us make time for intrinsic goals?

We make time for the second degree, online shopping, and dating, so why don’t we make more time for sitting in nature? Maintaining our current relationships? Meditating? Reading? Hell, any hobbies? Learning something just for the hell of it? Or being present with our lives?

I believe we all know on a deep level that our happiness cannot be found out there, yet maybe it’s easier for us to rationalize putting our time into those types of activities.

Most women don’t spend time on intrinsic goals for these reasons:

  • Lack of time. Who isn’t time starved these days? Many of us are so time starved that we want to feel like we’ve accomplished something even if we know it won’t contribute to our happiness.
  • We believe that we’ll have more time later. You know, when the kids are grown, after this promotion, after we’ve lost 10 more pounds. We imagine our happiness is somewhere in the future.
  • It seems too extravagant. For real, I’ve heard this, and I’ve done this. We are so busy looking after everyone else’s needs first that we feel it’s too luxurious to spend any of that time on own happiness.
  • It feels selfish. Looking after our own needs and happiness can feel selfish because that means also saying no to somethings to say yes to ourselves.
  • We may not know where to even start. You might feel like things are unsettled, and that you know something needs to change but you don’t know where to start.

I’ve been all of the above.

When I started on this path I was either in school full time and working full time or working two full time jobs. I put off my happiness to push through one more year, until I made more money, or until I figured out what I was “supposed” to be doing. It felt way too extravagant to spend any time on me because I was in survival mode ALL THE TIME, and if I had any time shouldn’t I be taking care of other things that are more important? I was stuck and I had forgotten who I was and what made me happy. I was looking out there, instead of putting the time to look inside and ask the questions that make our lives meaningful.

Everything shifted for me when I stopped looking outside for approval and started getting real about what was going to make me happy.

I spent time asking myself the big questions and started living aligned to my values.

I put me ON the list and took care of me first. I still do this with a newborn baby. (Magnus gets a way better mommy when she has a little bit of exercise.)

I surrounded myself with likeminded supportive women who cheered for each other.

But the most important thing I did was START.

Imagine how shifting a small amount of your time and energy to your own happiness and wellbeing would change your day? Transform your relationships? Your energy? How you impact the world around you?

Most of us don’t have an allotted time to focus on ourselves. It’s true, we are time starved, too busy to focus, and have a bajillion things on our plates.

One of the best ways to create that focus is to have a set time to focus just on you, and it’s even better when you can do it with a tribe of awesome women who also totally get it.

The Soul Strategy Sessions start in just over a week, and I don’t want you to waste one more minute on things that are sucking your energy instead of creating it.

I want you to feel the joy of knowing your purpose, living from a place of authenticity, and have the confidence to choose happiness every day.

Over 100 women have gone through this program and continue to refer their friends and colleagues because it works. Here’s what a few of them have to say:

Tina tells it like it is, but more importantly, she helps you figure out what “it” is for yourself. What is it that is giving you strength? What is it that is holding you back? What is it that you need to do today to be happy and peaceful, to live with ease and well-being? If you yearn for the answers, Tina is the life coach for you. “ – Faye Dokken-Bouchard, Plant Pathologist, Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture

“Tina and my ‘Soul Strategy Sisters’ have been there for me and helped support, challenge, and make me accountable for positive changes. Tina’s unique approach to coaching has pushed me to find clarity, strength, and happiness in my life again. The very first night I met her she told me “change has to happen somewhere” and I’ll never forget that because that was exactly what I needed to hear to move forward one step at a time. “ – Danielle Ash

 

“I found the Soul Strategy sessions to be very enlightening. Being a part of such a supportive community with a common goal of becoming healthier, happier and fulfilled women was unlike anything I’ve experienced. I found the courage to fulfill my goal coming into the session- to make choices for myself and to stop being controlled by those around me. Tina gave me the skills to live a more balanced, happy life. I would highly recommend taking part in the Soul Strategy sessions, you won’t regret it.” -Makenzie, Student

You can learn more about the Soul Strategy Sessions and register by clicking here.

I’d love to hear from you now: What types of goals do you normally set? How are you going to make more time for what makes you truly happy? Please share in the comments below, or in our super supportive Facebook group The Soul Sisterhood.

Did you like this post? Then please share it with all of your friends on Facebook, Tweet it out loud, and forward it to anyone who might need to read this today.

#daretobeyou

Love and Light,

t

Can you have balance and a baby?

This morning I have started and stopped roughly four different blog posts and none of them are speaking to me.

They start off like a good idea, and then, well they don’t. I’m just not feeling any of them today.

So I’m going to tell you about Magnus the Magnificent, my beautiful 3-month old baby.

He has the most dazzling smile and he has started babbling endless stories to our delight!

I am also going to tell you about how I’ve been learning how to manage my new life with a baby.

It’s so easy to get consumed by his needs and let everything else fall away because he needs so much.

It also doesn’t help that I have such a strong desire to be with him ALL THE TIME because he’s so much fun to be around! I am crazy about that kid!

I’ve also learned that I don’t function very well when I do that. I am not very kind, generous, happy, or nice.

Yes, it’s true, ask my poor husband…on second thought, don’t.

The worst side effect was that I was losing the ability to enjoy the amazingness of my new family because I was so exhausted and depleted.

It didn’t take me too long to realize that I still needed a few pieces in my life for me.

Most days now I go to the gym for an hour to do something good for me and have an outlet. I teach a few yoga classes a week to stay in touch with what I love and my fabulous students who I love so much. I also work a few hours a week to feel like “me” and contribute to the world in my own way through my passion.

I don’t call this balance because that word insinuates that there is a final state where it all just falls together, and that doesn’t exist.

I like to use the word homeostasis which is a continued process to maintain equilibrium, and that is a better expression of how life actually works.

Everyday is working towards harmony, even though it might look different day to day, and even moment to moment…and its not perfect (as I write this I’ve got a baby on my boob to meet my deadline and get to class at noon). I also know it will change as my baby’s needs change.

As a new mom, I’ve realized that that mommy guilt starts early, and it doesn’t matter what I choose I’m going to feel something about it. I’ve also realized in a short period of time that if I don’t take care of me, I’m not very good at anything, and no good to anyone else.

Some days I feel terrible for leaving my smiling baby to run on the treadmill. Other days I feel great about it because he gets one on one time with daddy.

Some days I feel awful that he’s going to take a bottle because I’ll be teaching a class instead of being there when he wakes up to offer him a breast. Other days I’m so glad that I’m teaching him to take a bottle early so he can spend time with family sans mamma.

Some days I feel selfish for thinking about my business and what I want to create next for you. Other days I let the inspiration flow and know that I’m teaching my son the value of following your dreams.

My life is as it always was:

A work in progress.

Approaching this new chapter with the same compassion, kindness, and understanding as I would any other part has allowed me to enjoy ALL the parts of my life.

This approach has allowed me to be present with whatever I am doing, without feeling like I should be doing something else. I am now able to love it all, with only a “sprinkling” of guilt.

And truthfully, some days are just hard. 

Some days I’m late for appointments, I miss deadlines, I’m distracted, and totally sucking at life.

So be it. There’s always tomorrow!

I’d love to hear from you now: If you’re a mom, how do you deal with mommy guilt? If you are child free, how do you manage all the different areas of your life? If you know how to be totally guilt free, share your secrets with us! Please share in the comments below or in the Soul Sisterhood Facebook group.

If you are struggling with your own lack of harmony, The Soul Strategy Sessions starts in three weeks on March 1st.

Some of the side effects include, but aren’t limited too: increased confidence, knowing your purpose, feeling inspired, knowing exactly what you’re supposed to be doing, and lasting friendships with incredible women just like you.

You can learn more and register by clicking here.

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

#daretobeyou

Love and Light,

t

How mentally strong people handle failure.

I’m going to tell you about one of my most epic failures, and it has to with my coaching business.

When I was a new coach, I tried doing everything I could to build my business. I was fresh, inspired, and I wanted to make an impact in peoples lives.

This was back in the day before social media and the online world as we know it.

As a new coach, I knew I had to get in front of people somehow so I thought I would start doing lunch and learns. I’d never done one before, but I was willing to give it a try.

My mom had been a real estate agent and she said realtor offices regularly held them, so maybe focus on them. That day I emailed every single realtor office in Calgary.

Good news! A few weeks later I got a bite!

It was a small office, and a date was set for the following week.

I worked all week on this presentation. I got an easel, flip chart, wrote inspiring quotes, and practiced in front of all my friends.

Then the day arrived.

I put on my best dress, smart heels, did my hair and makeup, and then nervously drove to their location.

I was there 15 minutes early, and the manager came to get me 10 minutes later than our set time.

While he was walking me into the boardroom, he happened to mention that the realtors didn’t know I was coming until just now.

“Oh,” I said. I had no idea what to do.

So I proceeded ahead with my presentation through their glares, judgment, and apparent boredom.

It was awful.

Afterwards I passed around feedback forms (because I guess I like abuse).

When I got back to my car I went through the forms and read some of the meanest things anyone could have said. They totally picked me apart, right down to claiming I didn’t look professional because I wasn’t wearing pantyhose.

Just so you know, some of them were wearing zip up hoodies.

I was devastated.

This was all new to me, and it was hard, and it was a huge leap of faith for me to even do this talk because I had never done any public speaking before.

I cried all the way home and called my coach.

Thank GOD she was there and available to talk. She was, and still is one of my angels.

I explained what happened through my sobs and she asked me the same 3 questions she always asked me:

“What worked?”

Nothing, I said. The whole thing was terrible. The talk sucked, and I sucked doing it.

“What didn’t work?”

Everything. I didn’t know what I was doing. I wasn’t prepared enough for it. They didn’t like me.

“What would you do differently next time?”

I said there’s never going to be a next time!

This is where she gave me some of the best advice I’ve ever received about public speaking, and didn’t know how to handle a crowd:

They didn’t know you were coming, so they weren’t enrolled from the beginning with what you were saying. Acknowledge the white elephant in the room and give them the opportunity to leave if they want to. Then they would feel that they had a choice in staying for the talk, and would be enrolled in what you have to say.

She also said that this happens to everyone at some point, and that she was sorry it happened to me on my first one.

She gave me a few other pointers, but most importantly she helped me reframe what was theworstthingever to a learning experience that I could build on.

This was almost 10 years ago now, and this phone call is still one of the most powerful memories I have.

This experience could have been one of those times, where I said “fuck it,” and decided to never speak publicly again. Or worse, stop reaching out with my business all together and play small.

Instead, my coach expertly navigated me through the experience and helped me learn, and grow from it, so I COULD do it again and be more confident next time.

This is the number one thing strong people do when faces with failure:

They reframe the experience into one of growth and learning.

Strong people know that failure is just a starting point, not the end.

It is where true greatness starts from, because once you know what doesn’t work, you can build on it to create something wonderful.

Life has never had starts and stops, it is a constant flowing process of giving and receiving.

You giving of yourself and receive feedback, give again, and tweak again, until it shapes something closer to your aim.

This isn’t easy. It takes humility because your ego needs to be set aside for the important work to be done.

It also takes a hell of a lot of courage to get back up, clarity in your vision for motivation, and confidence to not take it personally and persevere.

It also helps when you have support along the way, just like I did and still do, because nobody does this alone.

The next round of Soul Strategy Sessions has been moved up to March 1st and I would love for you to join us! The effects of this group is far reaching, and many of these women are still enjoying the benefits of our time together long after the group is over.

In our 6 weeks together you will learn how to build confidence, live a more meaningful life, handle resistance, and live happier in a community of incredible women just like you.

Click here for more information and registration.

I’d love to hear from you now: how do you handle failure? What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned through failure? Please share it with me in the comments below or in the Soul Sisterhood Facebook group!

#daretobeyou

Love and Light,

t

The big lie that holds us back

I know my biggest challenge has been with procrastination. I would have a light bulb moment, and then…you guessed it: wait.

You might call this “someday mentality.”

It might be that I’m inspired to call someone and tell them I love them.

I might have an idea for a program I want to create.

Or realize it’s time to clean up my eating and get moving more.

But more often than not, it’s about what I KNOW would make me feel more engaged and alive in my life, yet I wait.

I’m putting off the things I KNOW would make me happier, because I’m too busy (fuck I hate that word, it’s the disease of our generation) with shit that doesn’t really matter.

I’m too busy putting out fires. Putting one foot in front of the other. Keeping on top of things. Putting others needs ahead of my own.

Maybe you can relate to this insanity?

It’s the mentality that we’ll get to it someday. Maybe later today, maybe tomorrow, but definitely not right now.

Have I ever told you the myth of why the Buddha went on a quest for enlightenment?

Well, if I have, here’s a refresher for you because it’s a great story with an important message. You’re welcome.

Here it goes:

The Buddha was born of the Brahmin caste and his family was extremely wealthy. His palace was so huge it had a thousand doors, a thousand concubines, and every luxury of that time.

It was so huge that he was protected from ever having to engage with the outside world.

One day though, he became curious and asked his driver to take him out into the city.

As they were driving, the Buddha noticed something unusual and asked the driver, “Driver, what is that?”

The driver responded, “That is a sick person, all of us will eventually get sick. That is the nature of life.”

A while later the Buddha asked the driver, “Driver, what is that?”

The driver responded, “That is an old person, all of us will eventually get old. That is the nature of life.”

(I know, I know, you’re probably rolling your eyes and asking yourself how he could not possibly know this, but that’s why it’s a myth, right?)

The Buddha then saw something else and asked, “Driver, what is that?”

The driver again responded, “That is a dead person, all of us will eventually die. That is the nature of life.”

The Buddha saw one last person that he was unfamiliar with and asked, “Driver, what is that?”

The driver once again responded, “That is an ascetic.”

The Buddha had never seen anyone so at peace before and it inspired him to leave his palace in search of that kind of freedom.

These four encounters are known as the Heavenly Messengers. They are the moments in our lives that wake us up from our trance.  They remind us of the temporary nature of life and bring us back to what matters most.

We’ve all had those moments.

Perhaps it’s the pain of watching someone you love get sick, or your own illness that has brought you back to what’s truly meaningful to you.

Maybe it’s watching your loved one’s age, and realize that your time with them is getting shorter each day so you remember to cherish your time with them.

It might be the pain and loss when someone you love dies, reminding you of your own mortality and to reflect on how you want to be spending your time.

Or perhaps you’ve encountered someone who has ignited the spark for you to live more fully, more engaged, and inspired because of their own freedom and joy.

Each of these messengers are like a reminder from heaven to wake up and connect back to what really matters to us.

So why do we continue to wait?

Why do we keep going back to sleep believing that we can wait until tomorrow or next year to finally get our shit together, to put our happiness first, to get fit, to start a business, to say “I love you”, to forgive, to fully embody our lives, to make a difference?

I know I’ve used every excuse there is, from: I’m too young, too old, not thin enough, not ready yet, don’t know enough, it’s not the right time, I need a plan first, I need to feel it out more, and being scared of being judged.

“The trouble is you think you have time,” is one of my favourite quotes from the Buddha.

We live in the illusion that we are guaranteed more time, and it’s a lie.

It is the most insidious lie because it keeps us from sharing our gifts, keeps us small, and robs us of our happiness.

You have one life, and it passes by faster and faster with each coming year.

Why spend one more moment of your short precious life unfulfilled, unhappy, or uninspired?

Everything you need is already within you, all you need is to shift your focus from later, to now.

There is no “right” time. This is the time.

Right now.

I want 2016 to be your best year yet.

I want for you to feel that “spark” every day of your life. I want for you to KNOW your purpose and feel courageous to go for it confidently.

The Soul Strategy Sessions are a fun way to connect with other amazing women like yourself while taking dedicated time to work just on you, and how you want to be spending your precious life.

Join us on Tuesdays for 6 weeks beginning February 2nd from 5:30 to 7:30pm.

Your life matters. Your happiness matters. Stop waiting, your time is now!

Click here for registration and to learn more.

I want to hear from you now: what have you been putting off that you are going to start doing now? What have you been too scared to do, so you’ve been waiting for the “right” moment? Share with me in the comments below or in the Soul Sisterhood Facebook group.

#daretobeyou

Love and Light,

t