This will only change your life

Hello gorgeous,

If you’ve been to my yoga classes you’ve probably heard me say at some time:

“Yoga will only change your life.”

And it’s true, it absolutely will and there’s one skill you learn in yoga that is particularly potent and it’s:

Surrender.

This morning when I woke up sick, I thought, “Shit, not today! I don’t have my newsletter written because I was planning on doing it this morning, I have x, y, and z to do today and I just don’t have TIME to be sick!”

This is a common voice I hear, and she’s kind of a bitch.

I have a little slave driver in my head that keeps pushing me along with her frenetic voice and often cracks her whip to keep me moving forward.

And then there is this other voice that I have learned to hear over the years. It’s a quiet one, a gentle one, which often shows up as insight and as truth.

This other voice is the one that reminds me that things are the way they are, and it’s time to surrender to it and let go of the fight.

The ego is our sense of self, and it is very fragile so it’s constantly creating itself by comparing itself to others, and DOING to establish itself as solid.

It also is very VERY afraid.

We have very little actual control over our lives. We don’t control our hearts beating, our health, our job security, natural disasters, or even our relationships.

We can do our best to prevent mishaps, or even disaster, but when it comes down to it we have very little control and we are scared shitless.

So what do we do?

Our ego creates the illusion of control by ruminating, planning, and worrying

Ruminating says: if I think about this enough it won’t happen again, or maybe I can figure this out and prevent it in the future. I can’t let it go because then it might happen.

Planning says: if I plan out all the possibilities and figure out the right way to make this happen, and am really prepared, I can prevent bad things from happening.

Worrying says: If I think about all the possible negative outcomes and think about it enough I can stop bad things from happening. As an added bonus, if the bad things happen, I’ll be prepared for it and I would have been right in worrying in the first place.

The ego loooooves to be right and even more so it loves to CONTROL.

In small doses, the above 3 forms of control are healthy.

They become unhealthy when they become conditions that affect your life:  ruminating and past thinking show up as depression, worrying and future paced thinking show up as anxiety.

And here’s something to think about, the vast majority of women I’ve worked with in the past 5 years have some form of anxiety.

Surrender is the anecdote to the challenges of control we all face with our ego mind.

Truly, it is accepting life as it is, warts and all and still choosing to be happy in the midst of it.

How do I practice this in yoga and meditation?

My time on my mat or sitting, is a practice of awareness and here’s how you can do it too:

  • Notice the discomfort and rather than fixing it or fighting it, hold it compassionately and surrender to it by simply allowing it to be there.
  • Approach the sensations with a friendliness and curiosity instead of judgement, as though you are trying to understand them and feel them more deeply.
  • You can use this same approach with the thoughts and your emotions.

This very simple shift in attitude allows life in, exactly as it is, rather than how the ego wants it to be.

This shift is powerful, and has the potential to change your life.

Just imagine how your life could be different if you didn’t have to manage everything or everybody? If you could just BE and accept life as it is?

To me that feels like freedom, and I’m a freedom junkie!

Now I just want to be clear: I’m not saying that we don’t strive to make this world better, or stop going for our dreams.

However, I believe that when we are able to surrender to the way things are, we are able to approach our ideals with wisdom and thoughtful action.

To do the opposite, is to act out of fear, and what good does that do?

So today, I’m surrendering to being sick and trusting my body to get me well and aiding in its recovery by taking the rest it needs.

I’d love to hear from you now! What are your thoughts on surrender? Is this a new or even scary concept to you? What can you surrender to today? Share it in the comments below.

Also, if you haven’t yet joined the Soul Sisterhood Facebook group, you totally should!

Thank you being the light that you are my friend. Share the goodness on Facebook, Tweet it out loud, or just spread it all over social media after forwarding it to all of your friends!

Love and Light,

t

the two words that make me cringe

Hello gorgeous,

I really hate the words “personal transformation.”

It makes me think of Jeff Goldblum in 80’s movie “The Fly.”

Sick! It makes me cringe just thinking about it!

Why? Because Jeff Goldblum was creepy and the words themselves mean to change completely.

And what the hell is so wrong with us anyways that we need to change into another being?

And why do we even think that it would be better?

You my friend, were born perfect and whole.

It doesn’t mean that we don’t pick up a few unskillful behaviors, and sometimes do things that we feel bad about and regret.

That’s part of the path of being human and having free will.

But you don’t need to “transform” from who you are, you are just fine exactly as you are.

I promise.

True change in your life comes from small consistent efforts with your behaviors, it’s not a weekend kind of thing no matter what they’re trying to sell you.

As someone who has been on this path for most of my life, I can tell you that it’s more like peeling off the layers that are no longer serving you to reveal who you truly are:

Light and possibility.

The layers come off slowly, sometimes painfully, like a slow Band-Aid.

Or sometimes it’s a quick insight that changes how you think and behave in a specific situation forever.

In all cases, it takes self-awareness, vulnerability, and a whole lot of courage to walk this path, and it’s the only way to get the life you truly want and become the person you were always meant to be.

And the other important part?

We don’t do it alone.

The Lone Ranger myth is just that, a myth.

We are not independent.

We are interdependent.

And we need each other, like we need oxygen.

The key is to find your people, who are also on this path and you can walk alongside each other.

Don’t worry, I’ve done the hard part for you and found those people.

You just need to join us.

If you haven’t already come join me in the Lightmaker’s Mastermind. You will get loving support from other women just like you who are walking the path of living better, and shine brighter.

Aaaand I have weekly office hours that you can get free coaching from me in the group. Yup, ask me anything.

You can do that right here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1620467418175337/

Even if you don’t join us, know that you are already whole and beautiful just the way you are, and you are loved.

Now, I’d love to hear from you. Does “The Fly” creep the hell out of you too? Or do you believe in transformation? Share your comments below, I love hearing from you!

We are beacons for each other. By shining our light we bring each other home to their own. Share this on Facebook, Tweet it out loud, and forward it to your friends.

You are a Lightmaker. 

Love and Light,
t

you should totally do this

Do as I say, not as I do!

Have you ever heard that one before?

I’m not totally sure if I ever actually heard that come out of my mom’s mouth, but it was definitely implied.

It was probably more like, my mom smiling at me in a loving way and saying:

“You’re so much smarter than your old mama, so you wouldn’t do this.”

Right.

As I sat in my naturopath’s office last week, she repeated back to me the words I had used to describe my life right now (FULL of should’s, have to’s, and need to’s).

At first I was frustrated with myself, I mean wasn’t I past this shit already?

Then my naturopath reminded me of that voice, the “should” voice, and to be kind to myself.

Gawd, I’m lucky to have women like this on my team!

It reminded of how important it is to model WHAT to do, and not so much what we say.

Let me tell you something: my mom worked her ass off.

She had the pressure of the world on her shoulders while she struggled to support our family. I remember her saying “but I HAVE to do this” more than any other sentence other than “I love you.”

Apparently I learned very well how to do that too.

I want you to know that this isn’t about placing blame, it’s just what I happened to pick up.

(FYI, I don’t have kids, so for me this isn’t about parenting.)

I share this to illustrate how we can significantly show other people what’s possible.

To shed light in a dark space.

To become a lightmaker.

Now, as we all know, it doesn’t work to tell people to do one thing and then do another.

To make a meaningful impact we can only walk our talk. Not because it’s what you SHOULD do, that poisons it, but because it feels really good to act in alignment with our beliefs.

When we are aligned with what we believe, say, and act, life becomes easier and we can let go into the flow of life.

When we say one thing and then do another, there’s always going to be friction.

So, what did I do to shift this predicament?

I’m starting with the easiest thing I know of:

Be mindful of what I say.

It’s quite difficult to “see” our beliefs because we don’t see them, we just believe them.

Most of us have no idea what we actually believe, we just assume things to be true and that everyone sees the world the way we do.

When you listen to what you say it gives you a clue to how you ACTUALLY see that world…and it may surprise you.

So, want to try this with me today?

Listen to what you say.

What do you find yourself saying most often? What do you complain about? What are you noticing? Is there a trend?

Keep a mental note of what you hear yourself saying.

Later today spend some time journaling the phrases you heard.

Reread them as though you were reading someone else’s journal through your most loving and compassionate self.

What do you think this person believes about themselves or others? How do they see the world? What are they afraid of? What do they long for?

Afterwards, from this loving self, imagine that you can give the person who wrote the journal entry exactly what they need in the most compassionate loving way.

Write to them. Tell them you understand.

Tell them you understand how hard they try, how much they want to succeed, to be loved, to be kind. Then congratulate them what a great job they are doing and how much you love them and will be there for them.

We could all use a little more kindness and a LOT less judgement.

The inside work changes our outer reality. You can do this.

I see you, and I know what you can do.

You can change the world with your light.

After you do the exercise join me in comments below and share what you learned! We are all meant to lead, inspire, and teach.

If you liked this post, I’d love it if you share it with all of your friends on Facebook, Tweet it out loud, and forward it to all of your friends.

We are lightmakers.

Dare to shine.

Love and Light,

t

the #1 complaint my clients have about working with me

I’ve got an important question for you, would you ever say to someone:

“I’ve decided that I don’t ever want to be happy.”

Or:

“I’ve decided to be happy in 5 years.”

I hope not.

So why don’t we do anything to ensure our happiness now?

Why do we wait to do something until…wait for it….until we feeeeeeel like doing it?

Or worse yet, why do we wait until the timing is right, or it happens magically for us?

Don’t tell me you don’t, because we all put our happiness off somewhat.

I’ve got a trick that will help you take control of your life.

It’s simple, and you will probably resist it (just like most of my clients initially do), it’s:

Schedule it in.

Sounds simple right?

So try it right now.

That massage you’ve been meaning to get to?  Schedule it in.

That girl’s weekend that you’ve wanted to get going?  Schedule that shit in too.

Want to go to the gym, yoga class, Crossfit, Pilates?  Schedule that puppy in.

Wishing for the past 6 months you could write in your gratitude journal?  Schedule that time in!

Wanting to make time to work ON your business instead of IN your business?  Schedule it IN!

Here’s the thing:

Scheduling makes it real.

This is the one thing that will get you closer to your dreams and the life you want to be living.

If you don’t schedule it in, life will keep on life-ing, because that’s what it does. Shit will still keep happening, and in 5 years your life will not have changed one bit in the direction you want it to.

Scheduling it in ENSURES that you are doing the important things you need to do for your happiness, life, and your business.

I make every single one of my clients schedule in their important things.

At first it makes them nuts, and they want to be vague and give be some bullshit answer like “next week.”

So I press on: when next week? What day and time?

Why do I want to piss off my clients?

I don’t, but I am committed to getting you results, and this is your first step. 

Seriously. Be honest with me, and most importantly yourself:

How long have you been waiting? Whether it’s for the right time, more time, or any time?

This is YOUR time. You get to decide how you’re going to use it.

So, I want to hear from you: What’s the first thing you are going to schedule in? Share it in the comments below, I love hearing from you!

Did you find this post useful? Then please share it with all of your friends, Tweet it out loud, and forward it to everyone who needs to hear this (which is like…everybody). You can be the light in somebody’s life, just by sharing what you learn and love.

Thanks for being the brilliant light that you are and I can’t wait to share with you the exciting goodies I have planned for you coming up!

Love and Light,

t

the fear that holds all of us back

Hi Gorgeous,

All of us have one big fear that holds us back from living fully.

It stops us from getting the intimacy and connection that we crave from each other.

It dims our light from shining brightly.

It shuts down our ability to be our most authentic selves.

It cripples us in almost every single area of our lives.

What I’m talking about is being seen. Really being seen. Letting ourselves be raw and open and beautiful and shimmery.

Our biggest fear is:

Each other.

Here’s the thing, we are ultimately mammals.

This means that unlike reptiles which lay eggs and then leave their young to fend for themselves, we nurture our offspring for a long time and build strong connections and emotional bonds with both our family units and our tribes.

It is essential to our survival to care for and be cared for by each other.

So it’s not surprising that one of the most painful experiences for humans is to be judged, alienated, and separated from each other.

We are built to connect.

It’s no wonder we are so terrified of being seen because there is so much at risk.

What if others don’t like what they see? What if they judge our most authentic self? What if they leave us?

So many of us censor ourselves and only let pieces of ourselves be seen:

The funny part, the generous part, the loving part, the strong part, the quiet part. The multiple parts go on and on depending on who we are with and what’s going on.

When you censor yourself though, a few yucky things happen:

  • They never know who you really are, so you deny others the opportunity to love YOU.
  • You rob yourself of the intimacy that you crave, because connection comes from seeing and being seen deeply.

And here’s the amazing things that happen when you DO let yourself be seen:

  • Being real is super sexy. People want to be around people who are authentic. It’s like a magnet, because we all want to feel connected.
  • You no longer have separate versions of you. You will to lose: the “work” you, the “friend” you the “daughter” you, and all the other “you’s” and you get to just be YOU.
  • Worrying about what other people think of you starts to become irrelevant because you’re not going to be someone else for them anyways.
  • You will genuinely like and accept yourself.
  • When you allow yourself to be seen, you give other people permission to do the same. We become beacons for each other.

You my beautiful friend, are already enough. 

The Soul Strategy Sessions are coming up! Join us in a community of supportive women who believe that the best investment they can make is in themselves and really get that changing our lives comes from changing our beliefs. Click here to read more on how Soul Strategy can improve your life. 

You were born whole and there is nothing you need to fix before you let yourself be seen. In fact, you can start right now. In the comments below, share with me one small thing you can do to share your incredible light. I can’t wait to hear what you have to say!

If you know anyone who needs to hear this message today, please feel free to be their light and share it on Facebook, Tweet it out loud, and forward it to your friends.

We are beacons for each other. By shining our light we bring each other home to their own.

Shine on my beautiful friend. We need your brilliance. Xoxo

Love and Light,

t

a pact we should make

Hello Gorgeous,

I’ve been thinking about you A LOT, and I have an idea…

I want to make a pact with you.

Yeah, yeah, you’re probably want to know what it is first, right?

What if today could be the day that you don’t beat yourself up for all the things you didn’t get around to?

What if you didn’t look for ways that you think you are not quite good enough, wrong, or imperfect?

What if today you didn’t have so many expectations that it would be impossible for anyone to complete even if we did have 36 hour days?

If you didn’t make yourself feel small or less than, to whatever silly standard you’ve been holding yourself to?

What if today was the day you counted your blessings and made yourself the very first one on the list?

What if instead you noticed how far you’ve come and how much progress you’ve made?

What if today your standard is one of holding yourself to a standard of kindness over perfection?

What if today you embraced the fullness of you? Your gigantic heart, your generous spirit, and how hard you try every single day?

What if today you saw yourself as you truly are:

Beautiful. Whole. Enough.

 

It takes courage.

You’ve been telling yourself something very different for a long time, so it can be scary to try this on. But I’m here with you, we’re going to do this together remember?

 

Right now you might be thinking:

But what if I’m actually not good enough?

What if I deserve to be hard on myself?

What will other people think of me if I think I’m already enough?

What will keep me from becoming complacent?

 

Here’s what I have to say to you my beautiful friend:

It’s not even possible for you to be less than enough. You are love, you are light, and you are the world’s wish wrapped up as a human being. All is possible through you, because you are potential itself. You are divine and you matter.

Thank you for being a part of my life, I truly cherish, and love you. So, are you going to join me in the pact? Let me know that you’re in on the comments below!

If you know anyone who needs to hear this message today, please feel free to be their light and share it on Facebook, Tweet it out loud, and forward it to your friends.

We are beacons for each other. By shining our light we bring each other home to their own.

Love and Light,

t

the blame game

Hi Gorgeous,

Earlier last month I wrote a post on taking a stand and I want to share with you what happened while I took my own stand.

The past 6 months I have spent a LOT of time at a desk.

Far more than I have ever spent in my whole life, and it didn’t take long for me to put on some weight, get chronic low back pain, feel exhausted, and lazy.

So I took a stand for me.

I made a commitment to myself to do a minimum of 30 minutes of cardio for 30 days.

That’s it.

It has been just over 30 days now, and here’s my nugget of awesome learning that I want to share with you:

The only one who was making me feel less than awesome is me.

It’s always like that though isn’t it?

If we want things to change, we are the only ones who have the power to change them.

Here’s where I put my blame:

I blamed work.

There are just too many things to do, and only one of me to do it. I felt like everything needed to be done, like yesterday, and I was already working 60 hours a week. How could I possibly fit in anything else?

I blamed my schedule.

I’m one of those people who need routine and consistency or I am all over the place. I’m a creative and structure actually helps me thrive. So how could I possible have a structure when my schedule was all over the map?

I blamed my stress.

I said I was just too tired. I’ve had long days for a long time with lots of learning outside of my zone of genius. I felt tapped out, how could I find the energy when I was already exhausted?

In Brené Brown’s Ted Talk, she defined blame like this: a way to discharge pain and discomfort.

And I was in pain and discomfort for sure. Physically and emotionally and it was time to stop the crazy train before it got any further.

Want to know the slimiest most despicable thing about blame?

Blame gives away your power on a silver platter.

When we blame,  we make our situation is not our fault. So how could we possibly do anything about it?

As soon as I took responsibility for my life I could do something about it.

So how did I do it?

Work: I got more realistic about my timelines. I cannot do it all…at least all at once. I realized that my expectations of what I could do by myself in 6 months was insane and was going to make me crazier. I decided to give myself the time to learn and grow my business while living a life that was also wonderful instead of waiting for my life to catch up to my business.

Schedule: My schedule is what it is, and truthfully, I love it and wouldn’t change a thing about it. Also, one thing I have always known about myself is that if I don’t work out first thing in the morning, I won’t do it. So I got up earlier. Sometimes really early when I had 7am meetings. On days when I taught early morning classes, I drove straight to the gym and squeezed in a half hour run before coming home. I made it happen.

Stress: Well as we all know, stress is lowered by exercise, so that one was easy to convince me. Within my first week I started noticing a difference. Moving hard daily has boosted my creativity, energy, and my mood, all while lowering my stress levels. Totally worth the effort!

Now your turn:

1) Name it and claim it.

Where have you been playing the blame game? Where have you been giving away your power? Lovingly write it down and take responsibility for your life and where you are at with compassion. This is not about making you wrong, it’s about making things better.

2) Take a stand.

Decide what that stand is going to look like and make a commitment to do it. Get really specific of how you are going to do it and when. Intention is nothing without action so make a plan of how you will follow through. Make sure it’s doable!

3) Set a timeline.

I really enjoyed having a 30 day timeline. Not just to have an end date (I’ve recommitted to my intention with a few more tweaks for February), but because it gave me a date that I could reflect on my experience. Once you are at the end of your timeline: look at what worked, what didn’t, and how you’re going to do it differently next time (if it is continuing like mine), or would do it differently. Insight is power.

4) Celebrate!

Once my 30 days were over, I spent some time reflecting on my experience and celebrating all the wonderful things that happened because of it. The big one that I always get from these kinds of personal challenges is: confidence. Confidence is gained by taking risks and doing things that are hard. We prove to ourselves what we are capable of and that spreads into all areas of our lives. Once your timeline is over, write down all the wonderful successes you’ve gained and celebrate!

I want to hear what you are going to take a stand for this month!

Go through the first 3 steps and share your stand on the blog below. If you’re using social media and want to share your journey, use the hashtag #soulstrategy so I can follow you and cheer you on!

Did you like this post? Then please share the love on Facebook, Tweet it out loud, and forward it to all of your friends. This may be exactly what they need to hear today!

With love and gratitude,

t

who are you?

Hi Gorgeous,

I’m inspired to write to you today from a quote I had been reading to my classes last week:

 “We live in illusion and the appearance of things. When we understand this, we see that we are nothing. And being nothing, we are everything. That is all.”– Kalu Rinpoche

What illusion, you might ask?

To understand the illusion, first of all we need to describe the ego. This is not the Freudian ego, or the arrogant ego, but ego as an identity or sense of self.

The ego is very fragile, so it tries to become more solid by looking externally to reference itself. A simple example would be to say that “I’m a yoga teacher.” My job has now become a part of my identity.

My ego can create identity with: my name, if I’m a parent (or not), marital status, family members who are dead or alive, where I grew up, my history, or even my age. These are all used in reference to others to give my ego a sense of context.

It can also go further to define me as: the size of my income, my education, my car, my appearance, how I spend my time, my interests, who I spend my time with, and anything else it can use to reference itself from.

You might also notice that all of these things have to do with comparing.

If my ego can compare itself to others, it can differentiate and solidify who it thinks it is.

Such as: I’m Tina Hnatiuk (married name). I am 36 years old. I am a yoga teacher and Soul Coach. I make $X per year. I have 3 pets and no children. I drive a Honda Civic. I am blonde with blue eyes. I meditate. I write regularly. Both of my parents are still alive. I am a vegetarian and gluten free.

Here’s the thing about the above statements:

They have nothing to do with who or what I am.

I, and you, are something much larger, simpler, and more meaningful than any of the above qualities listed above.

“To define is to limit.” – Oscar Wilde

These are just the ‘externals,’ as I like to call them, they are not who I am or who you really are.

All of the definitions above can be taken away from me, so what would be left? Would I still be me?

A big part of the illusion is that we think that if we get better definitions we will be happier, better, more worthy.

But all definitions are limiting by their nature. They can’t describe the full breadth of anything, just a piece of it.

“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.”―Ralph Waldo Emerson

If we continue to chase after externals to create our identity and our worth, the chase won’t ever stop.

The irony is, that we’ve been sitting on the treasure all along.

Try this with me:

Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths.

Now, allow your thoughts to roll through your mind without engaging with them. You might even imagine that you can see your thoughts moving through your mind almost like subtitles in a movie. They will be there, but you don’t have to do anything about them.

Who’s noticing the thoughts?

What is aware when your thoughts are silent, and there’s no dialogue explain what’s happening, and there is just experience itself?

That is who you really are.

You are smarter, stronger, more beautiful, and bigger than you will ever know. You are source, spirit, soul, God, life force, or whatever words makes sense to you. But ultimately you are an expression of the infinite.

All possibility is within you and you are limitless, because you are potential itself.

This is where your freedom lies and the illusion dissolves. The externals start to lose their value and become meaningless. The chase can finally stop, and living with authenticity begins.

You can live aligned with your purpose, rather than be driven by external definitions.

“And being nothing, we are everything. That is all.”

Here’s a quick little exercise to help you on this road to freedom:

Take some time to sit quietly to reflect on each of the questions before answering. This is a nice thing to do with a cup of tea, or some other yummy beverage when you aren’t rushed.

  1. Who would you be if you didn’t believe that you were your history?
  2. Who would you be if you didn’t believe that you were your job?
  3. You’re income?
  4. Your stuff?
  5. Your marital or parental status, or your parents offspring?
  6. Your age, weight, or appearance?

Review your answers above, and then imagine that you are free of all of your previous definitions and beliefs around them.

  1. What would now be possible for you? Write down as much or as little as you need to describe this new possibility clearly.
  2. What are 2 small actions you can do towards creating this new possibility? Write them down with dates and times of when you are going to do them.
  3. Share your new possibility and your 2 actions in the comments below!

I love hearing from you, so feel free to email me with your thoughts or join me in the comments. If you found this post useful, please forward it to your friends, share it on Facebook, or Tweet it out loud! You never know who might need to read this today.

I love you always, my friend.

Love and Light,

t

you need to hear this:

Hi Gorgeous,

I’m going to keep it short and sweet today, by telling you something you need to hear, and probably more often than you want to admit:

“Your problem is you are too busy holding on to your unworthiness.” – Ram Dass

Ouch. I needed to hear that one too.

You my friend were born already whole. There is nothing fundamentally wrong with you, or missing, and you are doing great at life.

Don’t hang up! I know it’s hard to hear, because you’ve been operating like this for a while now, but it’s true…and deep down, you might be ready to admit it too.

I’m not saying that there aren’t things we can do to increase our happiness or make us more skillful at how we live, but that’s different than worthiness.

That’s all on the outside, that’s just what you do.

Worthiness cuts right down to the core of our being. It is the belief that we are at our very essence: enough.

What we DO (the roles we play, status, our identities), is separate from what we ARE (your soul, spirit, essence).

The fact that you are here the universe already approves of you.

Simple as that.

Imagine how your life would be different if you believed you were worthy:

What would be different in your life?

What would you be doing more of? Less of?

What would you have the courage to do now?

Well sweetheart, it’s time.

It’s time to start making those things different, and making more time for what you want in your life, letting go of what you don’t, and courageously living this blessing of a life you’ve been given.

It’s your birthright.

What’s the first thing you are going to do? Join me in the comments below.

Did you like this post? Then please share the love around on Facebook, Tweet it out loud, and forward this to a friend. We’re all in this together and you might make the difference in somebody’s day. 🙂

Love and Light,
t

go ahead, take a stand

Hi Gorgeous,

I made a huge mistake last week.

I put on jeans.

Jeans do not lie about the 5 extra pounds I put on over the holidays, unlike my stretchy Lululemon pants which will happily keep lying (and stretching) for probably another 15 if I’m lucky.

There’s a quote I heard from Tony Robbins that has stuck with me: “If you haven’t committed, you haven’t really decided.”

So decided, and I took a stand.

I took a stand for me.

I made a plan of what I’m going to do, and I’ve been doing it consistently for 10 days and will continue for the month of January, and recommit in February.

Why? Because I’m the most important person in my life. I am useless to everyone else if I am unhappy, tired, and sore every day.

Taking a stand is an important piece of commitment. It establishes boundaries, lets you know where you are, aaaand believes in something bigger than you.

Women are really good at taking a stand for their families, their work places, their friends, and their commitments…to others.

This year is a fresh start my friend, and I encourage you to start this year by taking a stand for yourself.

Take a stand for your health, your nurturing friendships and partnerships, take a stand for your career, and take a stand for what fills you up spiritually.

Here’s the rough, but honest truth: you cannot give to others what you don’t have for yourself.

You are your primary relationship so if you don’t have compassion for yourself, you can’t give it to others. If you don’t have kindness to others, you can’t give it to others. If you don’t love yourself….guess what?

So here’s to filling yourself up and taking a stand for your life, and here’s how:

1) Decide what you want.

There are roughly four areas of human lives: relationships, physical, career, and spirituality. There’s probably at least one of these areas that you feel you have not been nurturing for yourself.

Do you want to feel healthier? Do you want to feel more connected to your partner, your friends? Do you want to apply for a promotion, start a business, or uplevel your current business? Do you want to make more time for meditating, prayer, or spirituality?

If you focused on one area (that you know if you actually did it) would make you feel more confident and authentic, which would it be?

Write that down, and move on to number 2.

2) Get clear on your why.

This is big, and a very important piece of the puzzle for your success.

Your “why” must be so big that it will get your ass out of bed and onto the treadmill at 5am when it’s -40 and you slept like shit (my “why” is pretty freaking big apparently!).

It must be so big that when you are full of doubt at work and wondering what the hell you are doing, that you still work on applying for that promotion, or taking the next big leap in your business. It must be bigger than your fear, your doubt, and your laziness (just being honest).

Here’s a few questions to help you get clear:

What’s the real reason you want to do this? What is it that you truly want? What are you sick of and will no longer tolerate, and how will accomplishing affect that positively? How will you feel about yourself if you complete your goal? How will your life be different? What will be possible for you now? What is the big win underneath that will change everything for you if you just complete this one goal? Who will benefit from you succeeding at your goal? How will they benefit?

For me, it’s feeling good in my own skin. When I move daily I feel happier, more able to handle stress, stronger, more confident, and feel more capable in all areas of my life. Everyone in my life benefits because I’m less irritable and sore, and I’m happier so I’m a better wife, teacher, and coach. It’s never about the pants.

I can always buy more pants, but I can’t buy a better life for myself and everyone I love.

3) Create a plan.

Now that you’ve decided what you want, the next step is to make a plan to get there. Intentions are fabulous, but they are nothing without a plan to get you there.

If you leave it to chance, or when you feel like it, you won’t do it. Period.

Or maybe I should be clearer: I won’t do it, and I’m pretty sure you won’t either.

Plan for success by getting crystal clear on what your plan would look like. If it’s eating better: when are you going to meal plan and grocery shop? If it’s spending more time with your friends: when are you going to see them? If it’s applying for a promotion: what do you need to do to apply, and when are you going to do it? If it’s meditating regularly, what days and times are you going to do it and for how long?

Know what you’re going to do, when, and for how long.

4) Make that time sacred.

If you wish you had more time to meal plan, take it. Set a time and do it. Set that time aside as sacred that cannot be given to anyone else.

This goes for anything that you are taking a stand for: date nights, prayer, meditation, yoga classes, gym, career goals or nurturing relationships. Decide what you want, and don’t negotiate on that time.

You spend 23 hours a day looking after everyone else, one hour a day for you is essential.  

5) Time is not finite.

You might believe that you don’t have enough time because you are already spread too thin, but it’s just not true.

We MAKE time.

There’s always enough time to do whatever we want to, we just can’t do everything. So be selective of what you are making time for.

Learn to say no to things that don’t align with you or cut into your sacred time. No is an important word to master.

Each time you say no, you say yes to something else.

6) Don’t tell anyone.

This probably goes against everything you’ve heard about goal setting, but here’s what the research says:

Telling others about your goal makes it less likely that you will complete it.

Yup. You see, when you share your goals out loud you get a good feeling, kind of like you’ve already done it. The mind mistakes talking for doing. When you keep it a secret you will likely work harder to attain that goal. If you want to see Derek Sivers Ted Talk on it you can do that here.

You are a beautiful, smart, and savvy women, make 2015 the year you don’t run on a depleted tank, spread out, and exhausted.

Take a stand for YOU because we need you to shine brightly!

I’d love to hear from you now: what are you going to stand for this year? What is going to make the difference for you in sticking to it? Please share your insights below, I love hearing from you!

Did you like this post? Then please share the love around on Facebook, Tweet it out loud, and forward this to a friend. We’re all in this together and you might make the difference in somebody’s day. 🙂

Love and Light,

t