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

Is it possible that your dreams are holding you back?

I want to tell you about one of my most important dreams.

When I first started coaching, I was gung-ho to get my business started. I enrolled in a business building course for coaches and did my homework diligently. I spent hours in front of my computer (this is before the days of social networking) writing and figuring out systems for my business.

I was thoughtful and deliberate with everything I did while trying to make connections to expand my business.

And guess what?

Nothing happened.

Well, not really nothing, but not much, it was mostly crickets.

The one thing that I really needed to do to build my business I was resisting: putting myself out there and asking for the sale.

I would gladly talk about coaching all day long, even coach you for free to get the practice, but I was too nervous to ask people to hire me.

There was no reason for this. I have an internationally respected coaching certificate, my clients got great results, and I was passionate with big dreams of becoming a professional coach.

And that my friends, was the problem: I was passionate with big dreams.

Often the thing we want most, is the very thing that holds us back.

I was eager and happy to do the things in my business that kept me busy, giving me the feeling of moving forward without having to really put myself out there.

But when it came down to actually doing the stuff the would make an impact, I resisted like crazy.

It was too scary, so I created every reason in the book not to move ahead:

I was too young so I had to prove myself first because all the coaches I knew were 50-year-old women in suits.

I was too new, I needed more practice first and more clients under my belt.

Once I knew what I was doing with my business, I could put myself out there.

I hadn’t narrowed down my “ideal client” so I should wait until I figure them out before putting myself out there.

I wasn’t clear on my business model yet, once I got clear I would move forward confidently.

Can you see what I was doing?

I was creating objections to the very thing I wanted most.

I was saying no.

This isn’t the first time I’ve done this, and it definitely hasn’t been the last.

I have done this with every single thing that I really wanted but was too scared to admit. Thankfully, now I see it sooner and act faster.

We all do this to some extent.

I was talking to someone last week about their dream job, and as they were describing it to me they were simultaneously explaining to me why it wasn’t possible for them.

Really? It’s not possible?

This is what fear looks like in action.

It looks like resistance, even rational resistance, but it stems from the fear that the one thing you want most might not work out…and what then?

The fear of failing at something we want so badly is often enough to stop us dead in our tracks and create every excuse we can so we don’t have to try.

Isn’t that sad?

If you are wrestling with fear right now, I want you to try this:

  • Imagine your worst case scenario. Yes, I want you to go there. Most of us have a generalized fear, whether is of failure or worrying, and don’t look at what the worst outcome is. When you know what your worst outcome is, you can deal with it. When it’s a vague scary looming “something bad” you can’t face it which makes it feel that much worse.
  • Pay attention to how strongly you feel resistance. Resistance is good news! The stronger you resist, the more you want it. Your fear is telling you something, it’s saying “pay attention, there’s something important here.”
  • Let go have having the full picture to get started. Most of us feel like we have things figured out before we get started. This is just another trick from fear telling you need to know more, do more, be more, before you get started, and its bullshit. You can’t see the full picture because it will evolve and change as you take steps towards what you want. Each right action will reveal itself to you from action you’ve taken. So get moving and forget about need to “know” first, it’s just holding you back.

Fear is scary, and no one wants it, that’s why so many of us stay in a comfortable place where nothing grows and our lives lose their lustre.

But you are meant for more lovely, and you don’t have to do this alone.

You can join 15 other amazing women, just like you, who are all ready to courageously take action to become happier and more confident through the newly revamped Soul Strategy Sessions!

Here’s what other women have to say about it:

Because of this community, I was able to face my fears, challenge my limited thinking as well as my behaviors that do not help me attain my goals in life. I have found my inner power through the encouragement and compassion from Tina and the wonderful women that I journeyed with during this session. When we find our inner power we truly ROCK as women.” – Suzanne Hehn–Social Worker

“Implementing Tina’s techniques throughout the 8 week strategy session has resulted in positive and healthy changes in my life.  Tina’s coaching gave me the tools to turn thoughts into action.  I look forward to more of Tina’s coaching in the future.” – Lucinda Taylor, B.Sc, Information Technology

 

“Tina has a special way of leading the way through the maze of tough questions and answers that often stand in the way of being the best that we can be.  I appreciate Tina’s inquiring nature, her courage in being able to ask the tough questions in a safe and sensitive way.  “– Lynn Armstrong, Sky Magazine

The Soul Strategy Sessions run Tuesdays, from February 2nd to March 8th from 5:30 – 7:30pm.

Space is limited to 15 amazing women and these always fill up fast!

I want to hear from you now, when has resistance stopped you from moving forward? What did you do to get into action? Share your comments below, or in the Soul Sisterhood Facebook group.

Thank you for being the light that you are!

#daretobeyou

Love and Light,

t

The new (old) thing, that puts my heart at rest.

This morning as I was nursing Magnus I almost started crying because he’s growing so fast.

As I watched his little jaws moving I could almost see into the future of the 5 year old who I will hold close to me because he lost his toy, the 10 year old who is fighting with his best friend, and the 16 year old who lost his first real girlfriend. Time is already moving too fast and he’s only almost 5 weeks old.

He will never be as small as he is today, and I want time to: Slow. The. Fuck. Down.

Last week one of my dear friends Kim came over and as we were chatting she said to me, “You are doing a great job. You’re so relaxed you wouldn’t think this is your first baby at all!”

I laughed, “Really? I don’t know what the fuck I am doing. But I can keep him fed, alive, and cuddled.”

And that leads me to my greatest fear: not being able to keep him alive.

I am scared shitless of him dying.

As I type these words, there has been nothing truer in the world.

I cannot bear to lose him and I am terrified that he will die of SIDS or some other awful thing and that I will never be able to hold him again.

I didn’t even know this kind of feeling could exist until he came along.

So I’ve started doing something that has surprised me:

I started praying.

Now, I don’t typically share my religious beliefs (primarily because I don’t have any), but this has been a source of real solace for me and I thought it might help you too.

I wasn’t raised with religion, and ironically enough, the only things I know about the bible are what I learned in public school.

Yet I am very spiritual.

I believe in something, but I can’t pray to “something,” and “higher power” or “life force” are too cumbersome to say even in my own mind so I use the word “God.”

It’s the most familiar to me, even if it may mean something a little different.

Every night now I pray in my own clumsy way.

As I go to sleep I pray for the health, happiness and safety of my family (among other things), and for Magnus to stay alive.

There is solace in prayer that I didn’t know before.

To me, it’s a combination of a loving kindness practice where I am well wishing for those I love, and also a way to give my worries to something bigger than me so I can let them go, even for a short while.

I also love that my last thoughts are loving my family and wishing them the best, while allowing me to sleep without running into my son’s room every 5 minutes to make sure he’s still breathing.

I’d love to hear from you now, what do you do with your worries? Do you pray? What helps put your heart at rest? Please share in the comments below, or in the Soul Sisterhood Facebook group.

Thank you for being a continued source of strength and inspiration. You are the light of the world, never forget what you are capable of.

#daretobeyou

Love and Light,

t

How to say no without feeling like a bitch.

Do you hate disappointing people? Do you find yourself saying yes to too many things even though you really don’t want to do them?

I know I have.

For me, I remember a time almost 10 years ago (wow, that’s weird to say!) when I had first started teaching yoga and life coaching. I was so keen and eager that I would take on everything anyone asked of me.

“Can you sub my 4 classes this week?”

Sure I can!

“Can you teach weekends?”

Sure I can!

“Can you give up your whole life so you can run around like a crazy person making everyone else’s life easier?”

Sure I can!

It didn’t take long for me to start to burn out, feel resentful of all the things I had taken on, and worst of all: I didn’t do the tasks I had taken on very well.

I was often late, tired, and not happy to be there.

I’m not the typical person who doesn’t say no.

For me, it’s not about worrying that I’d upset people by saying no, or that I am a people pleaser, because that’s not my nature.

I have a hard time saying no when I get really passionate and want more of something.

At one point, I was teaching 22 regular yoga classes a week, aaaand I still subbed for other teachers!

It didn’t take too long for me to figure out that this wasn’t going to be sustainable.

I felt in my heart that I was not doing a good job teaching that many classes, and started saying no to subbing and let go of classes until I felt rejuvenated again.

For many of my clients, they have a hard time saying no for other reasons:

They want to be helpful, and don’t want to be seen as unhelpful or selfish.

They don’t want people to be disappointed, or upset with them.

They feel like they have to say yes, and no isn’t an option.

It’s uncomfortable for them to say no.

They worry how others will see them, or feel about them if they say no.

They like to make others happy, and will often do that at the expense of their own happiness.

Everyone has heard that the word “no” is a complete sentence, so why is it so hard for so many of us to say?

Here’s a few quick tools you can use to say no with more ease

1. Ask yourself what is the true cost of saying yes?

If you feel resentful, angry, or taken advantage of is it worth saying yes to? Imagine you are the person who asked you to do the favor. Do you think that if they knew this was how you felt that they would honestly want you to do it? Do you think it’s worth adding those poisonous feelings to your relationship just because you don’t want to say no?

2. Big picture thinking.

Think about how you want your life to be, what’s important to you, and what living in alignment with that looks like.  Does this request fit into this picture? If not, then it’s easy to say no because it not a fit for you right now.

3. Do not explain yourself.

This is the number one thing I hear people do when they finally do decide to say no, they explain the shit out of why they can’t do it. Don’t do that! Nobody wants to hear it! The only reason we explain our no’s is because WE are uncomfortable with saying it, and want to make OURSELVES feel better about it. They want to know, “are you in, or out?” not why. Also, the more information you give them, the more information they have to bargain with you. Just don’t do it.

4. When you say no, you say yes to something else.

You say yes to your time, your freedom, yourself.  I remember reading a quote that went something like this:

“The most successful people say no 80% of the time.” No shit?

The more you say no to things you don’t want to do, the more time you have to spend on the things you DO want to do.

In a world as time starved as ours saying no, is one of the easiest ways to make time for the things that are most important to us.

I’d love to hear from you now! Tell me, what’s your go-to line for saying no? When do find it most challenging to say no? Are you going to miss me, because I’m going to miss you! Please share it in the comments below or in the Soul Sisterhood Facebook group.

Did you like this post? Then please share it on Facebook, Tweet it out loud, and forward it to all of your friends. You never know who could use your light today.

#daretobeyou

Love and Light,

t

When should you listen to fear?

I was at a yoga workshop led by the fabulous Ryan Leier a few years ago and he said something that has stuck with me ever since.

“There’s the fear that keeps you alive, and the fear that keeps you from living.”

Whoa, mind blown.

Fear is totally healthy.

We should be afraid of things that can be harmful to us and use caution when they are near.

However, how many of us live with the fear that keeps us from living?

I want to tell you about how I fell in love with my husband.

My relationship to my now husband, Dave, started out completely differently than any other I’ve ever had.

I had RULES, you know?

I never made the first move. I made them wait. I wouldn’t get too close too fast. They had to say I love you first. They had to chase me. I kept my hand close and protected my heart. I was in control of how things were going to go.

Sounds like fun to date me, huh?

When I met Dave, all those rules went out the window.

We met while he was visiting friends in Calgary, and I knew within days that he was going to be my husband and that I was now learning who he was.

It was thrilling, exhilarating, and it made me bold and fearless.

For the first time in my life, I didn’t feel the pressure of needing to “know where this relationship was going.”

It didn’t matter.

If he was truly meant to be my life partner, there was no rush because we were meant to be. If not, it was the most alive I’ve ever felt and I wouldn’t regret a damn thing.

I was able to be open with my heart and vulnerable with my feelings. I said I love you first. I was completely myself all the time. I didn’t hold back, and loved him more than I’ve ever loved anyone.

If I had held on to my fear, and my fearful rules, I may never have had the guts to let myself be seen and pursue our relationship.

I would have been too concerned with keeping myself safe.

Keeping ourselves safe from things that we want is where fear keeps us from living.

Fear of failure fear of rejection fear of the unknown fear of judgement fear of being seen and heard fear of intimacy fear of success fear of happiness fear of letting go fear of starting.

Fearfearfear.

All of these fears hold us back from who we are meant to be and shining our lights out into the world.

Imagine if I had held onto my silly fear-filled rules?

I wouldn’t be having a baby in a few weeks with the greatest man I have ever known.

I wouldn’t have moved to Regina and created a life and business that makes me jump out of bed every morning because it makes me that happy.

And most importantly: I wouldn’t be who I am now.

It takes guts to grow.

And it’s uncomfortable, inconvenient, and often painful.

Yet the only way to escape fear is go through it. 

And you will emerge on the other side, promise.

I’d love to hear from you now! When have decided to move past your fear and do it anyways? What nuggets of wisdom did you get from it? How did you meet your partner? Please share it in the Soul Sisterhood or in the comments below.

Did you like this post? Then please share the shit out of it on Facebook, Tweet it out loud, or forward it to someone who might need to read this today!

#daretobeyou

Love and Light,

t

I have something important to tell you…

You may have noticed that I was absent from your inbox last week. Or maybe you didn’t, but I in any case, I was, and I am excited to tell you why:

My best friend flew in to surprise me this weekend (yes, I am so lucky!) and I decided to hang out with her on Monday morning instead of writing to you.

Sometimes you just have to roll with what’s given, you know?

The best part of her visit, is that she also inspired this post for you today, so you can thank Nioka for this one!

One of the side effects of being pregnant is that you are often the topic of conversation.

People ask me frequently how I’m doing, I often get advice (solicited or not, all well-meaning of course), and I’m told multiple times a day how great I look (the BEST part of being pregnant for SURE!).

While Nioka was here we were chilling on the couch and discussing my pregnancy, my life, my fears, and all the other stuff that is in transition.

She listened intently and then she wrapped her arms around me and said:

I’m proud of you for doing this.

There have been no words that have touched me more deeply.

It validated my experience, made me feel seen and understood, and I really felt supported and even held up by that one simple sentence.

I can’t remember the last time someone has said to me that they were proud of me, and it made me think maybe you haven’t heard it in a while either.

So here it is, I’m proud of you for doing this, whatever THIS is.

I’m proud of you for getting up and making the best of things when days are hard.

I’m proud of you for listening to your heart sometimes, instead of always following your head.

I’m proud of you for constantly striving to live better, happier, and more in line with who you truly are.

I’m proud of you for saying no.

I’m proud of you for doing your best every day, and I’m equally as proud of you for taking breaks because you need it.

I’m proud of you for being a compassionate person in a sometimes cruel and unfair world.

I’m proud of you for saying things that are hard and having those conversations.

I’m proud of you for letting yourself be seen and shining brightly.

I’m proud of you for being afraid and deciding to do it anyways.

I’m proud of you for taking risks that challenge you and help you grow.

I’m proud of your honesty and realness in a world that celebrates a carefully constructed veneer.

I’m proud of you for fighting for your family and what you believe is right.

I’m proud of you for making the best decisions you can with what you know is true.

I’m proud of you for choosing love even when it’s the hardest choice you can make.

I’m proud of you for leaving shitty situations so you can thrive.

I’m proud of you for letting yourself be heard even when you are scared.

I’m proud of you for being imperfect and allowing yourself be seen anyways.

I’m proud of how far you have come and how far I know you will go.

I’m proud of you for wanting to make a difference, no matter how small because it’s meaningful to you.

I’m proud of you for being the brilliant, beautiful, and miraculous you…weird moles, bad sweat pants, hairy toes and all. J

On this day of thanks I am so thankful for you and the sisterhood of women who are bravely working to create a better world for themselves and each other by choosing to live in alignment with who they are.

I love and admire you for all that you are…and gorgeous…know that I’ve got your back.

I’d love to hear from you now! Tell me who you are proud of and why in the comments below or the Soul Sisterhood and then share it with THEM. We are beacons for each other my dear, shine your light to illuminate the darkness.

Did you like this post? Then please share it on Facebook, Tweet it out loud, and forward this to anyone you think would benefit from reading this.

#daretobeyou

Love and Light,

t

A simple trick to ride the waves of tough times.

Hello gorgeous,

I just got in from a walk with my puppy in the fresh fall air. I love this time of year. The cool mornings that bite my pink cheeks, the warm afternoons where I can smell the sun warm the fallen leaves, and the bright gold and amber leaves against a bluebird sky, it’s all magical!

The changing of the seasons is a wonderful reminder to reflect and take stock of what is also changing within ourselves.

As I’m getting more and more pregnant (I’m officially 34 weeks now), I notice I’m also in transition. I’m getting slower, more fatigued, and also craving being at home more as I’m preparing for my son to arrive.

Most of us are also uncomfortable with change, myself included.

A few weeks ago I was totally overwhelmed.

I felt like there was ALL the things to do, and it was never going to get done.

The To-Do list felt a mile long, and with baby coming, I definitely felt a deadline, or at least a very limited time to do things and the progress felt slow and overwhelming with my declining energy.

I had also been feeling this way for a while, so the anxiety was climbing every day my due date got nearer.

It felt like this was going to go on forever and I was starting to panic.

Maybe you can relate to something in your own life?

Like when it seems like one thing after another keeps piling up and you can’t seem to get a break?

Or maybe you’re in the midst of learning something new and it all feels hard and it’s like trying to learn string theory in Chinese?

Sometimes it all feels overwhelmingly too much and never ending.

In Shawn Achor’s book The Happiness Advantage he states that when we:

“…start to “overestimate the significance and permanence of the problems they encounter,”(it’s) the fastest route to depression and anxiety…”

Isn’t this the truth?

We tend to view our problems as significant and permanent, which can quickly encourage invasive thoughts leading to anxiety and depression.

Buddhist philosophy believes that the only constant is change.

Just like the constant changing of the seasons, our lives are in a constant state of change, and we too are a part of that because everything is temporary and shifting.

So you can take comfort that even the most uncomfortable times are temporary too.

Just like my rib that’s been out for almost two months.

Just like my To-Do list.

Eventually it will be over and there will be something else in its place.

A beautiful child.

Other things to focus on.

So if you are going through something right now like overwhelm, grief, anger, confusion, stuckness, depression, anxiety or frustration:

“You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf.” – Jon Kabat-Zinn

This too shall pass, as they say and soon enough you won’t even remember this moment because you will already be onto the next.

Learning to get comfortable with change, even simply accepting it, makes it easier to deal with the challenging times and appreciate the good ones.

One of the easiest ways I know how to do this is just to name it and acknowledge that this is now I’m feeling right now, for example:

This feels overwhelming for me right now.

Instead of: I’m overwhelmed.

I’m feeling exhausted with this right now.

Instead of: I’m exhausted with this.

I’m feeling frustrated right now.

Instead of: I’m frustrated.

There’s a few language cues that are important here:

“I’m feeling”, “I’m experiencing”, “this is” rather than “I am.”

When we use“I am,” it implies that this is a way of being which is permanent, fixed, or a part of your identity. This increases our feelings of and helplessness to the situation.

Adding “Right now” instead of ending the sentence as fact.

“Right now” acknowledges that this is being experienced in the moment, and therefore not a persistent situation. We can have confidence that the situation will change and that this is truly temporary (because it is!).

Both of these language cues shifts our perspective to feel more in control and empowered by riding the waves of what is.

This moment may be uncomfortable, but don’t panic, everything is temporary.

I’d love to hear from you now! What’s your best tip for managing tough times? Please share it in the comments below or in the Soul Sisterhood. I love hearing from you!

If you liked this post, then please share it with all of your friends on Facebook, Tweet it out loud, and forward it to someone who could use some love today. We are all a light for each other.

I hope you enjoy this glorious fall day and I look forward to reading your comments!

#daretobeyou

Love and Light,

t

Click here to find your true purpose.

Hi Gorgeous,

So, did you bite? Do you want to find out your one TRUE purpose in life?

If you’re anything like I was, you might be desperately trying to find the RIGHT thing.

The perfect job, the perfect path, the perfect cause that would be your life’s purpose.

That thing that you are meant to devote your life to.

Here’s what I said in this last week’s Soul Strategy Sessions that was followed by silence and then cheers:

Fuck your purpose.

Okay, so that might sound harsh, but hear me out.

Why would we believe that we have only ONE true purpose in life?

What if we didn’t figure it out, does that mean that our whole life was meaningless, that we missed the point?

Or that it was somehow wasted?

I call bullshit.

It’s crazy to believe that we are hardwired for one thing, and one thing only, and then have the impossible task of also having to figure out what it is.

Our purpose is simple: to be happy.

“I believe that the purpose of life is to be happy. From the moment of birth, every human being wants happiness and does not want suffering. Neither social conditioning nor education nor ideology affect this. From the very core of our being, we simply desire contentment. I don’t know whether the universe, with its countless galaxies, stars and planets, has a deeper meaning or not, but at the very least, it is clear that we humans who live on this earth face the task of making a happy life for ourselves. Therefore, it is important to discover what will bring about the greatest degree of happiness.” – Dalai Lama

We are most content and happy when we are living in alignment with our values, and there is not just one, but hundreds of ways to do this.

Whether our values are integrity, freedom, love, learning, or any of the many others, we are always trying to fulfill them in our lives.

When we allow our values guide us to happiness, our lives become meaningful and we feel most fulfilled.

We are most unhappy, disconnected, and unfulfilled when we are living out of alignment with our values.

For example, if one of your values is acceptance, you might notice how happy you feel when you reach out to others and make them feel welcome.

Conversely, you might feel more terrible than others whose value is not acceptance, if you engage in gossip because it goes directly against your values.

We as humans are meaning seeking animals.

We try to make sense of a world that seems random and makes no sense, so we add meaning to it try to understand it the world around us.

Meaning is subjective not objective.

It is completely dependent on the viewpoint, not events.

It’s the same with our lives.

I was generously sent to take the Landmark Forum 2 years ago by Lululemon. (If you aren’t familiar with it it’s a 4 day personal development course in Vancouver.) At one point the facilitator announced:

Life is empty and meaningless.

Half of the audience gasped and started crying.

He continued to explain further that the only meaning this life has is the meaning we attribute it, so choose wisely.

Meaning can be found anywhere if you connect it back to your values.

You don’t need to find a different job, or path, all you need to do is understand how you can fulfill your values in what you are already doing.

Now, if one of your values is honesty, and your job relies on lying to people you may have a problem.

But most of our values can be fulfilled in jobs, paths, and roles that we are already in.

For me, when I was young I loved being a server.

Not because I liked working long hours late into the night, or that I thought it was my life’s purpose to wait tables, but because two of my main core values: connection and freedom were satisfied.

I love connecting with people, and serving for me was all about building relationships so I truly enjoyed doing it.

I also had a lot of autonomy, and tipped out more than my wage every night knowing that how much money I made was up to me.

I felt like an entrepreneur and that satisfied my value for freedom.

As Martin Luther King Jr. said:

“If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as a Michaelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, ‘Here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.”

If you aren’t sure of your own core values or you want to learn more about them, I’ve got a FREE tool for you called the Clarity Crash Course.

Once you are aware of your values, they become your North Star guiding you to your happiness and ultimately will make your life more meaningful.

I’d love to hear from you now: what are your core values, and how do they impact your life? How have your values shown you that you were out of alignment? Do you like cookies? If so, what’s your favorite kind, and when are you bringing them over? Share your comments below or in the Soul Sisterhood on Facebook.

Did you like this post? Then please share it on Facebook, Tweet it out loud, and forward it to those who could use some light in their lives.

#daretobeyou

Love and Light,

t

Practices to keep you sane in uncertain times

Hello Gorgeous,

I’m getting HUGE! Yup, I’m 32 weeks and definitely starting to feel it and show it.

Third trimester took no prisoners and hit me like a brick wall.

I went from feeling motivated, energized, and inspired to feeling exhausted and giving less and less shits about just about everything…except for napping.

I LOVE napping! Especially with all my pets in bed with me.

As I was thinking about what to write this morning I was feeling so grateful for all the amazing support in my life and how lucky I am.

People ask me about 50 times a day, “how are you feeling?” If I’m honest I tell them that I’m good, aside from pregnancy being uncomfortable and inconvenient.

Yes, it is also amazing and a miracle and I’m CREATING a life in my body, but most days it’s uncomfortable and just plain inconvenient.

Life doesn’t stop for pregnancy just like it doesn’t stop for any of the discomforts of life.

I still (just like most women) have all the same responsibilities and full life of pre-pregnancy (and yes I know once baby comes it’s only going to get busier!) and it’s getting harder and harder to maintain.

I read a quote to my Soul Sisters (from the Soul Strategy Sessions) last week from Jack Kornfields book Soul Food:

“It’s not easy for us to accept that there is no cure for living.”

So how do we face the uncomfortable and inconvenient times of our life? Or the ones that are just plain hard and challenging? The times when you just want to go back to bed and hope to wake up to a different reality?

It is possible to face uncertainty and challenges with grace and compassion.

These are the practices I use to keep me grounded and steady when everything else seems to be falling apart:

1) Focus on right now.

Often when we are faced with uncertainty and challenge, we try to control the situation by trying to think of all the possibilities and make a plan. This is also known as worrying, yes? When worrying and anxiety set in thoughts can spin out of control. The best way to work with moments of overwhelm and invasive thoughts is to focus on the task at hand, or the next step. Most of us try to see not just the whole picture, but ALL of the pictures and it’s not helpful. You don’t need to see the whole path to take a step. Focus on right now, and trust that the next best move will be available to you when the time arrives. You will feel calmer, and way more in control.

2) Maintain perspective.

All of our situations are temporary. The only certainty about life is that it is in constant change. The most challenging times of our lives will shift, just like the most joyful. Learning to see things as temporary allows space for challenges without resistance and anxiety, as well as being grateful for the beautiful times when they are here because they too are bound to change.

3) Ask for help, and accept it.

One of the greatest gifts we can give to each other is to ask for help and accept it with grace. It is a brave and bold move, and makes both parties feel good. It’s often hard to ask for help. We worry that we’ll be a burden, be judged, or be seen as less capable than we want to be seen. But the truth is that it is a privilege to be asked for help. I am always so grateful when my friends ask for support, advice, or a hand. I could not be happier than to be “their person” who they trust enough to be vulnerable and feel safe asking for what they need from me. We all need each other and there is nothing more sacred than the relationship of giving and receiving with open honest hearts.

4) Move your body, change a feeling.

My husband is a superstar. He can see when I’m not myself these days and always has a fun idea to get me out of the house, whether it’s to look at new cars or even just to walk through Costco. My back has been giving me a lot of grief and moving makes it better, and it absolutely makes my mind better. I’ve been diligent about walking our dog hard every morning hard and it not only keeps my pain levels down, but keeps my mind more focused and lifts my mood and energy up. When I feel off, moving changes it faster than anything else.

5) Give yourself a break.

Sometimes less is more. I’m a fire sign in everything: I’m an Aries in Astrology, a fire horse in Chinese Astrology, and a Pitta-Vatta in Ayurvedic Dosha’s (or constitutions). Everything about me knows how to move ahead, burn hard, and stay focused. I couldn’t even avoid it if I tried. One of the things I’ve had to learn how to do is to become sensitive to know when it’s time to take a break and balance my fire with ease. It was hard for me to give myself breaks, take naps, relax with a book (other than before bed), or even make time to do nothing. It has become a part of my mindfulness practice to pay attention to when it’s time for me to slow down, relax, and offer the kindness to myself that I would gladly offer anyone else. I’m certain this is why I’ve felt so good throughout my pregnancy and continue with my full life, all because I am present for what I need and am willing to give that to myself.

6) Gratitude

It always comes down to gratitude, doesn’t it? When times are challenging, it’s easy to get hyper focused on what’s not going “right.” Gratitude broadens our perspective and shifts the focus to all the millions of things that are going in our favor at any given moment. I am so grateful for my amazing husband who has been the most supportive, loving, kind, and understanding man I could ever ask for. He has made delicious meals for me 3 days in a row, rubs my back every time I ask, and seems to anticipate my needs while making me laugh all the time. I’m so grateful for the beautiful loving women in my life who have talked me down from the ledge, listened to my tears, and have made me feel so loved, held, and supported. I don’t know what I’ve done to deserve so many amazing people in my life, and when I’m having a hard day, it’s certainly not hard to be grateful. My life has a never ending list of wonderful, beautiful, and amazing things in it all the time, and it never fails to change my mood from what’s not right to how almost EVERYTHING is right.

7) Compassion

This is the game changer for everything in life. Compassion for each other, and compassion for ourselves. As the Dalai Lama says:

“If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.”

Compassion is the reminder that life is hard for everyone. Remember what I said earlier? There is no cure for living. Practicing compassion allows us to see each other, and ourselves, as the humans that we are, who are all doing the best that we can with what we have in the moment. Seeing through the eyes of compassion allows us to be kinder, gentler, and to give each other and ourselves, a break. As I often say:

Life’s hard, and shit’s real.

Compassion is what binds us together, and reminds us that we are not alone.

All of us are on this uncertain, scary, joyous, and beautiful ride together.

My deepest hope for you is that your life is on an upswing, that it feels easy, joyous, and free. And if it’s not, my hope is that these practices can be of some support and comfort to you.

You are not alone, my friend, we are all walking each other home.

If you liked this post, I’d love for you to share it with your friends on Facebook, Tweet it out loud, and forward it to anyone who might need to read this right now.

We are all lighting the way for each other.

#daretobeyou

Love and Light,

t

What do the President and I have in Common that will make your life better?

Hello Gorgeous,

I was lucky enough to work with an incredible woman last Friday for a 3 hour Mastermind around her business.

She is like a lot of women I work with that have their own service based business.

It starts off as an inspiration with no plan, and then the business takes over and starts running their life.

I do these on Friday mornings, and make a yummy breakfast and snacks for us to enjoy as we work.

They are an intensive where we pick apart the business to see exactly what’s working and what’s not, mindsets of how you view money and your business, and how to design a business that works for you, instead of a business that has taken over your life.

Most of us start out in the work force working for someone else making an hourly wage.

Once we start working for ourselves it can be difficult to shake that idea, even though all entrepreneurs work way more “unpaid” hours than working with actual clients.

As small business entrepreneurs, we are responsible for our admin, marketing, bookkeeping, social media, product development, and a slew of other tasks depending on your business and its size.

The other challenge is that we often undervalue what we offer and undercharge for our work resulting in 60 hour work weeks for minimal pay.

So we try to work with more clients for little money hoping that will make up for it. Guess what? It doesn’t.

We need to work smarter, not harder.

I truly believe this is why so many businesses fail, not because of lack of hard work, but because of limiting belief systems and lack of planning that results in burnout.

You may not have a business, but you can easily translate this into almost every other area of your life.

Most of us feel like we are treading water trying to keep up with the life we’ve created, chasing after the dream of “once I  do X, I can relax and be happy.”

However if we don’t ever stop and take time and care to plan how we want to live and work, life will decide that for us, and we will continue to just try and keep our head afloat.

I’ve used these same systems with women in daily life and corporate jobs, just as much as those who are self-employed.

Whether you work with me one on one, in a 3 hour mastermind, or a group coaching session there are a four things we will always cover:

1) Clarity – What do you actually want?

Some people worry that they aren’t ready to work with a coach because they don’t know how to answer this. Most of us, if we’re really honest, know what we want. It’s often based on a feeling like: I want to be happy, I don’t want less stress and anxiety, I want more energy, I want to feel more connected. These are not only valid things to want, this is what our lives are based on!

Although many of us strive for money and things, they have no inherent value except the feelings and experiences they give us. That’s why we want stuff in the first place. They might give us status, make us feel like somebody we want to be, give momentary happiness or sense of accomplishment. It’s all based on feelings we want.

Sadly those feelings are short lived when we expect them to come from stuff. It makes way more sense to build your life upon how you want to feel and doing things that support those feelings, rather than accumulating things that lose their value almost the moment you get them.

2) Systems – What systems do you need in place to support what you want? I remember reading that the American President has a personal chef, and maybe that’s not surprising to you, but I found the reason why intriguing. The President has a chef so he doesn’t have to waste his energy thinking about what he eats every day. His mental energy is too precious to be wasted on deciding on Cheerios or Cornflakes.

This is one thing the President and I definitely have in common, not the personal chef, but I have a full life and cannot waste my time deciding on what to eat every day. For any of you who know me, I eat the same thing A LOT. I make a big batch of something (often the same thing every week) and eat it all week. I like variety, but I also don’t want to think about it. I want to heat up my breakfast and get to other stuff instead of spending my time looking up recipes, cooking, and then eating. I want to eat, and move on.

The White House apparently feels the same way. See, we all have a finite amount of mental energy, and it’s up to us to decide how we want to use it. This is an example of a system that buys the President (and me) more mental space to focus on what we deem important.

Systems are the routines and rituals that support our life, and if you are a business owner, the life of your business. They often are the small mundane routines that will eventually be the backbone of your life and business. They include time management, your physical and mental health, and automation.

3) Plan – What obstacles might get in your way?

For most of us we get inspired with a plan that is idyllic and are gung ho to start…until the following morning when you have to follow through with it. Sound familiar? Like going out for a 10km run every day at 6am when you have never run before and you are not a morning person. Or meditating every night for an hour even though you’re exhausted by the end of the day and you just fall asleep trying.

Asking the question, “what might get in your way?” will have you look at your intentions critically so you can make a plan that you will succeed at. Our aim is not to do a drastic overhaul on your life in a day, because it’s not possible. You are still you.  Aim to make small easily doable adjustments which make a bigger impact on your life. Small achievable goals lead to big (and even more importantly) long term results.

4) Objective – How will you know you got it or did it?

This is the question almost no one asks themselves. They set the goal and set out to do it but have no measureable way of knowing when they’ve completed it. So, they move the bar higher, or to the next thing, which leads to very highly accomplished women often feeling like they’ve never accomplished anything because in their mind, they haven’t. Make sure you answer this question before starting your goals, it is the most important thing to determine besides what you want. Without this, there isn’t any point because you wouldn’t know if you did it anyways.

Time is ticking before baby comes. I’m on the home stretch at 30 weeks and I want to give you an opportunity to work with me before he comes so I have opened up a few more spaces here:

Soul Strategy Sessions in 6 weeks, starting THIS Wednesday.

These classes will be condensed from 90 minute 8 week classes to 2 hour 6 week classes. This is your last opportunity to join us in this fun supportive community. Women love these classes because they are fun, and they work. Don’t worry if you aren’t clear right now on what you want, that’s what the class is for! I promise you will learn so much and have a great time doing it with amazing women just like you. I love the women so much that come to the Sessions, that I often say I want them all to be my best friends! Only 1 day left to sign up! Sign up now to save your space here.

3 Hour Mastermind

I have opened up a few more Friday mornings to work with me. If you are like so many women who offer a service based business and feel overwhelmed, exhausted, and starting to get resentful of the business you love, let’s chat. Together we can design a business that works for you, instead of you being a slave to your business. You can do this, and I can help. Set up an alignment call with me by clicking here to see if this is your next best step for you and your business.

I’d love to hear from you now: are you like the President, and if so how? Share your comments in the Soul Sisterhood Facebook group or in the comments below.

Did you like this post? Then please share it with all your friends on Facebook, Tweet it out loud, and forward it to a friend who could use it!

I hope you have an incredible week ahead of you and I look forward to hearing from you soon!

Love and Light,

t