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

get the goods to create your best year yet!

It’s only a few more days until 2015, and I am EXCITED!

This week for me is all about finishing up loose ends for 2014, reviewing this year and then making an epic strategy for the New Year…and I’m not talking about resolutions, I’m talking about a STRATEGY.

Resolutions are for people who aren’t serious about making a change.

They maybe think it’s a good idea, maybe try to make an effort for a while, or wish (that dirty word) this year will be different.

Strategies are for people who are GOING to make 2015 everything they decide it will be and are creating a plan to get there.

So, what are you: a resolutioner, or a strategizer?

If you are a resolutioner, you will have a waaaay better year if let go of making a resolution because they are built for failure.

If you are a strategizer, I’ve got the perfect resource just for you right here.

I still have a few spaces left for one on one clients at my 2014 prices. If you are serious about making 2015 the year where live with focus, big meaning, and authenticity, aaaand skyrocket your confidence: then I want to hear from you! You can book a free alignment call with me here.

NEW package for entrepreneurs:
I have had so many entrepreneurs this last year that I have created a package just for you to take your business to the next level without selling your soul. You started your business for freedom, so why does it feel so…well…not free. You will gain clarity on your business, your ideal clients, and how to start making the money you want while creating the freedom you crave. You can learn more about it here.

Soul Strategy Sessions are filling up fast and I want you to join us before it’s full! You will make meaningful connections with like-minded awesome women, increase your confidence, gain clarity on purpose, and get learn tools to transform your life. The next session starts January 16th. Click here for more information and registration.

If you haven’t already got it, you can click here to get your free Epic Strategy for 2015!

Thank you for letting me into your inbox every week my friend and for being the beautiful light that you are. I love you and love to see you shine!

Oh! One last thing: the workbook is totally free so please share it with all of your friends so they can also get the goods! Send this post, share it on Facebook, or Tweet it out loud, lets help each other create an incredible 2015!

I can’t wait to see you in the New Year.

Love and Light,

t

the gift everyone really wants to get

Omg! Omg! Oh my gawwwwwd! I did it. Yes I did.

It’s only a few days before Christmas and I made my very first video.

Just. For. You.

Don’t worry, it’s not like 45 minutes long of my rambling about how to correctly fold a fitted sheet (although this is an important life skill that I do very well).

It’s just a little 2 minute somethin’ somethin’ about my secret weapon to giving the gift everyone really wants for Christmas that only you can give.

(It only took me about 39 takes before I could get one without cussing like a mo-fo, or doing horse lips. Maybe if I can figure out this video editing thing, I’ll leave them in at the end for outtakes for you. They were hysterical!)

Before I get to the video I have a couple of offerings I want to tell you about, and a few requests.

Yes, requests of YOU!

First of all, requests:

Video Q&A. I am really digging this video thing, and I’d love to do a Q&A with YOU! All you have to do is email me here, leave your name, and ask me a question! Then, I will answer it on video. Easy, huh? Now let’s keep this clean and relevant, shall we lovely?

Blog suggestions. I am starting to look at blog ideas for the New Year, and I’d love to hear from you! What would you like to read or learn more about? Which posts have spoken to you, and you’d like me to expand on? Is there something that you’ve just been waiting for, but haven’t seen it yet? Email me my friend, I love hearing from you!

Here’s the thing: I write for YOU, always.

And….I want the content to be relevant as well as entertaining for you and your life. Feel free to email me your suggestions, questions, and comments anytime…but now would also be good! Wink, wink.

Secondly, offerings:

My prices are going up January 1st, 2015 and I don’t want you to miss out if you’ve been meaning to work with me.
If you book an alignment call or Soul Strategy Session before January 1st, you still have a chance to get in on 2014 pricing. I know, you might be thinking to yourself that you don’t want to be thinking about this right now after all, it’s only Christmas,  and 2015…is like in 2015!!! You’ve got loads of time, right?

But seriously, that’s only a week and a half away.

Give yourself the present that will stay with you a life time.

You can never un-know what you know, and trust me (and the hundreds of women I’ve worked with), that you will gain a deep knowing that will guide you for the rest of your life.

Are you committed to finally getting real, living authentically, and increasing your confidence? Then let’s connect and make that happen for you! My one-on-one schedule is almost full for the next 3 months and the Soul Strategy Sessions are filling up fast! 

One on One Coaching
This is for women who are ready to start living from a place of authenticity, crank up their personal volume, and regain themselves in the process as they build confidence.  I have a few spots opening up in the New Year for one-on-one clients to support them in creating clarity on their purpose, and creating a strategy to get there. Click here for a totally free Alignment Call and let’s create some magic for you this January!

“I have witnessed my confidence and skill set grow, which in turn has helped me to become a more effective leader, both in and out of work, and has allowed me to better focus on what is important to me and how to attain my goals.  Tina’s warm, endearing and say-it-like-it-is coaching style was just what I needed.  She has wisdom and experience beyond her years and I am so pleased to have worked with her”.- Penny McCall, BSA, MSc, PAg

Soul Strategy Sessions
The Sessions are for ambitious women who love to learn and grow together! You will learn how to create goals based on soul, reveal your light, and create action to get you where you are going. This is 90 minutes every week devoted just to you, among a loving and positive group of women, and creating your best possible life based on what you love and value most. Many women choose to do this journey with a close friend as well to share the experience with. Click here for more information and registration. 

“Through Tina’s inspiration and amazing light in which everyone could use a dose of; I have begun my journey through my life as the boss, I have gained back confidence that I am so happy to have back. I have been able to meet amazing women who keep going back. “- Nicole Abott, Social Worker

Okay, now for the video!

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Click the image below to watch the cuss and horse lip free version. 

I always love hearing from you gorgeous, and can’t wait to hear what your thoughts are on presence…and of course my first video! You can do all that here. 🙂

Did you like this post? Then please share it with all of your friends on Facebook, Tweet is out loud, and forward it to everyone you know! We all need support, and this might be exactly what someone you know needs to read today.

Thank you for continuing to let me into your inbox and your heart every week. I love you like a crazy person!

Love and Light,
t

what to do with doubters

My biggest regret of my 20’s was that I didn’t have enough confidence to pursue what I really wanted until I was in my 30’s.

When I was 25, I knew I wanted to be a Coach. I didn’t know what that could look like but I knew that’s what I wanted to do. When I lived in Calgary, I even went to check out Haskayne School of Business’s Coaching program because that’s the only one I knew of.

But I didn’t sign up, and there’s 2 reasons why:

  • The college was a business college and I had no desire to get a business certification and had no experience in business at that point.
  • I was not a 50 year old woman in a grey suit, so I had no idea how I could possibly be a coach.

But the biggest reason, is that I was always encouraged to get a more ‘stable’ job.

You know what I mean: something with a steady income, benefits, and the fancier the title the more secure it would be.

So, kept going back to school and trying to find that right ‘fit’ which never came.

When I was 29, I finally did it, I took my coaching certification and my yoga teacher training!

Now don’t get me wrong, as much as I had pressure to get a more stable career, my mom has been a huge supporter of all my dreams.

Yes, even the one about becoming a famous fashion designer (I could have been a damn good one too. You should have seen the amazing shit I came up with at 9 years old!).

However, we never really escape the fears of our loved ones do we?

My mom supported us from the time I was 6 on commission. I know that was the hardest thing in the world for her to do and she wouldn’t wish that on me in a million years. So naturally she would want me to have a regular paycheck, with low risk, and less demands on my time.

Other people in my life just didn’t understand, because the things that interested me weren’t conventional.

Also the things that interested me didn’t have status, or even seem like a job. (Yes, yoga teaching is an actual profession!)

Here’s the thing about advice: other people’s cautions, are just giving voice to THEIR own fears. Feel free to Tweet that.

They aren’t just telling you what you should be afraid of, they are telling you what they ARE afraid of.

So if you have a dream, and you have doubters, here’s what you should know:

  • Doubters are giving voice to their OWN fears.

Understand that they are giving voice to their biggest fears: instability, fear of loss, what others might think of them, losing everything to pursue a dream, and of course failure. Chances are that if you have doubters, it’s because they love you and want to protect you, but you do NOT have to buy into their story. That’s their stuff, and you don’t have to own it.

  • Even if you have a ‘stable’ career, there are no guarantees.

The average person will have at least 5 different careers, no jobs, careers. Any of us can get fired, laid off, or transferred at any time. Thinking that you have your career locked in just because you are paid by someone else is an illusion.

  • You have 1 life and you will spend the majority of your waking hours at work.

It’s not worth your life to sacrifice it to a job you resent, and/or doesn’t make the most of your talents and gifts. You are in fact ripping off the world. Stop it, we need you.

  • Your calling is a part of your make up.

What you are interested in, your talents, skills, history, inspiration, creativity is unique to you. If you start paying attention, it will start to materialize. Don’t worry if you don’t have it figured out yet, just start paying attention today.

  • Your life is your message.

What are you willing to get behind? The choices you make define your life. What are your choices saying about you, and where you are in your life right now? What do you want it to say? What choices can you make now to start becoming the person you are meant to be?

  • No one can truly know what is in your heart but you.

You are the only one you have to answer to at the end of your life. Will you have felt like you gave it your best? Will you feel like you contributed, like you were able to be used for something important? When you do what is right in your heart, the rest will fall into place. Trust me, there is a market for everything. Fulfillment comes from being used by a purpose larger than yourself.

  • Lastly, hire a coach.

Even if you never work with me, hire someone to be on your team, who gets your vision, and is determined to help you win. Coaches can see the larger picture, help you move through fear and doubt with grace, and keep you in action when you get stuck. You will get farther faster, with more ease and fun with a coach, I promise.

The New Year is fast approaching, and this is a time of renewed commitments and also creating inspired intentions for 2015. If you are ready to take on this year with heart, then I want to hear from you. I have a few spots opening up in the New Year for one on one clients to support them in creating clarity on their purpose, and creating a strategy to get there. Click here for a totally free Alignment Call and let’s create some magic for you this January!

If groups are more your thing, The Soul Strategy Sessions are incredible and filling up fast! The Sessions are for ambitious women who love to learn and grow together. You will learn how to create goals based on soul, reveal your light, and create action to get you where you are going.  Also, the price is going up $50 at 5pm tonight, and I don’t want you to miss out!

I always love hearing from you gorgeous: how do you deal with doubters, whether it’s your own or someone else’s? I can’t wait to see you in the comments below.

Did you like this post? Then please share it with all of your friends on Facebook, Tweet is out loud, and forward it to everyone you know! We all need support, and this might be exactly what someone you know needs to read today.

Thank you for continuing to let me into your inbox and your heart every week. I love you like a crazy person!

Love and Light,

t

how to be a light bearer

Hello gorgeous,

One day while I was still in my serving days in Calgary, I was walking to work along 17th Avenue on a gorgeous summer day.

It was late afternoon and the sun was hot as I was sweating and smiling, swept along the sea of busyness on the sidewalk. This was one of the things I loved most about living in inner city Calgary, I could and did walk everywhere.

Coming towards me was a young woman, obviously high as her limbs swung loosely from her joints.

As she passed by, she whispered in my ear:

“You’re fucking nothing.”

I was totally shaken. I could still feel the warmth of her breath after she walked away, legs swinging off her loose pelvis, probably oblivious to what she left behind.

It was like my worst fears had been confirmed, and by the time I got to work I felt deeply violated.

Not only by her words. But by how physically close she got to me, and most unsettling of all: was how close she got into my own tender and vulnerable heart.

Growing up with an alcoholic parent, I know that what addicts say is actually a reflection of how they see themselves.

But it still stung like an open wound, and to this day it gives me shivers when I think about it.

There’s no way to deny it, just as there is light there is also darkness.

Last week I signed the papers to become a mentor to a girl in grade 8 at Mother Teresa Middle School.

If you haven’t heard about MTMS, and you live in Regina, you totally should. You can learn more about them and their incredible mission here: http://mtmschoolregina.com/

MTMS have an incredible team who are creating light in a dark place.

I cannot tell you how excited I am to be joining them and spreading the light.

“Be the change you want to see in the world.” -Mahatma Ghandi

This is one of the best known, and one of my favorite, quotes by Ghandi. However, I believe it’s incomplete. Why?

Because it is useless to be kind, compassionate, loving, and light filled if we are just sitting alone in our apartment being wonderful by ourselves.

For those qualities to matter, we need to make them meaningful through action.

Light is only helpful in darkness. You can Tweet that.

So this holiday season, I ask you to absolutely be the light, but also to do something with it:

Become a light bearer.

Make a difference for someone. This is a hard time of year for so many reasons for so many people.

Be the light, but also shine your light. Take action. Make a difference.

If you wondering, “Who am I to shine?” or, “What are could I possibly do?” Consider this:

The problem for most of us, is we’re asking the wrong questions.

Instead, ask: How can I be helpful?

Change that language and you will start to get some serious traction in EVERY area of your life. Meaning is found through each other and when we focus on serving we also benefit in a profound way.

And here’s the thing about light, it doesn’t matter how long the darkness has been there, once the light is on, it’s on.

I have 2 glorious ways to turn on the light with me this season:

Celebration of Light

Thursday December 18th from 7-9pm (or better yet, sign up right now!) to join me for the Celebration of Light held at the Bodhi Tree downtown. Last year we kept having to increase our cap of students because it kept filling up, and we expect it to fill again! Click here for more information and registration.

And

Soul Strategy Sessions in the New Year

Gain clarity on your purpose and how to build your life around what makes you happiest. Build courage as you take action every week, and confidence among a sisterhood of positive brave women who really get it. Join us for 90 minutes a week to focus solely on you to let your light shine! More information and registration here.

Sign up before December 15th and save $50!

Thank you for letting me into your heart (and your inbox) every week my light bearing friend!

If you liked this post, please share it on Facebook, Tweet it out loud, and forward it to all of your friends. You could be the light in somebody’s day, like you are in mine. J

I’d love to hear from you now: What are you planning to do this holiday season to shine a little brighter?

I look forward to seeing you in the comments below!

Love and Light,

t

holiday relief guide

December is upon us (how did that happen so fast?), and we are embarking on one of the craziest, most stressful times of year.

The pressure of holiday commitments, shopping, baking and cooking, and family, can start to feel like just way too much in such a short period of time.

This is also a time where we can feel not only emotionally spent and frazzled, but financially. It’s easy to notice everything you don’t have, or can’t afford, when everyone wants your money.

Our family gave up gift giving a long time ago. It’s just too hard to buy for people when you don’t know what they would want, or need, and invariably we would all just end up with more “stuff.” I don’t know about you, but I really don’t want more stuff!

So for us, Christmas has been about getting together, eating lots of mom’s yummy baking, and catching up.

Because I love you, here’s to get my best tips for managing the holidays:

1) Set limits on spending

Before you start your Christmas shop, decide before you shop how much you will spend, and stick to it. Better yet, make your gifts if you have the time!  It’s so easy to go over budget without a plan, and it can lead to the yucky Christmas hangover in January when the credit card bill comes in.

2) Create personal boundaries

Family can be wonderful and exhausting. If you know you can only handle a certain amount of time before your limit is up: make a plan. Decide how long you will be with them, plan for solo outings, and monitor your stress level for everyone’s well-being. It’s better to take a little break than to have a blow out or leave totally depleted. Sometimes smaller doses makes the holidays merrier!

3) Spend a few minutes everyday in silence

Getting quiet is one of the best way to sooth a frazzled mind. Even just 5 minutes is enough to calm your mind, get focused, and reset.

4) Sadness during the holidays

Christmas cannot only be stressful, but for many people it can also be a very sad time of year. For those of us who have lost someone, or something dear, Christmas can bring raw feelings to the surface. If this is you, make time to be extra kind and gentle with yourself, and create some time to honor your feelings and that which has been lost. In Finland, we have a tradition or going to the cemetery Christmas Eve before we start the celebrations as a way of remembering those we love and carrying their spirit with us during the holiday season.

5) Gratitude

Of course I’m going to slip this one in! Because Christmas has become so commercialized it can be easy to focus on getting, buying, and spending: a focus on what we don’t already have. True happiness and wealth comes from being grateful and wanting what’s already here. Spend a few minutes every day counting your many blessings and you will start to feel the wealth and abundance of your life.

6) Spread love

Let the holidays be about spreading your love and light. Be kind. Find ways to help others, and have others join you in it! Give freely (and I don’t mean stuff), give your: attention, your smiles, your warmth, your compassion, we all need it this time of year.

I have some incredible events happening that I want you to get in on:

The Celebration of Light – Thursday December 18th 7-9pm at Bodhi Tree Downtown (more info below)

And

The Soul Strategy Sessions – Tuesday January 6 to February 14th 2015, 5:30 -7pm.

I’d love you to share your best tips for managing the holiday season below:

Did you like this post? Sharing is caring my friend. Share this on Facebook, Tweet it out loud, or forward this to those you love. You can be the light in somebody’s day…you always are in mine!

Thank you for being the light that you are. Keep shining!

Love and Light,
t

can you defy logic, and why you totally should

I want to know, how do you make decisions?

Do you do a list of pro’s and con’s? Do you research all your options? How about ask other people for their thoughts and opinions?

Maybe you do all of the above to find the most logical answer?

I’m going to throw something out there for you:

What if the logical answer isn’t the right one?

Logic is based on making a decision through external factors: other people’s opinions, society’s norms and expectations, and if you think about it: logic is really based on conforming to something outside of you.

But is that what’s really best for you?

I want to share something very personal about me…I hate shopping.

I’ve been teaching yoga for so long that most of my clothes consist of spandex and sports bras with the odd 10 year old push up bra and little black dress crammed into the back of my closet.

So, that’s why I hate shopping, because I haven’t done it in so long I don’t feel like I know what to buy.

I used to love it.

When I was in elementary school I wanted to grow up to be a fashion designer. Before I taught yoga many years ago, I loved clothes, and loved creatively putting together outfits and feeling fabulously together. But it’s really hard to be put together with odds and ends, and I don’t love spending money on things I don’t have much use for: like normal clothes.

When I do go shopping (because let’s be realistic spandex is just not always appropriate), I feel like a deer in headlights.

I don’t get what’s going on in fashion, or what’s cool anymore, and feel largely too old for the clothes I used to gravitate towards.

So here’s what I did. I asked around. I looked at magazines. I started paying attention to what people are wearing and how.

I looked outside of myself for ‘my’ style.

And do you know what? It didn’t fit with me.

Honestly, I always have known what my style is.

I like very particular things, and I know what I feel great in, and what looks great on me. I even had a stylist tell me that!

So why was I looking outside of myself for the answer? The same reason you do: validation.

This summer I painted our front bench a vibrant aqua blue.

One of my family members came over a few days later poking fun at me asking “what did you do Tina?” like I made a horrible mistake and I should probably fix it, and fast. My response? Be nice.

I love that blue. I’m not afraid of colour and have lots of colour in my home also.

I don’t want a beige house any more than I want a beige life. It’s just not me, and I don’t need anyone’s permission.

Taupe or beige might be better for resale, says logic. But I have to live here says, my heart.

If we look inside, we always know.

We know the guy we like but maybe aren’t sure how others will react. We know what we should be charging for our services but are too afraid to ask for it. We know when something feels off. We know what paint colour we like, and we also know which one would be more practical and acceptable.

But practical and acceptable to others, doesn’t mean it’s the right choice for us.

Somewhere along the way we have learned to second guess ourselves, not trust our instincts, and rely on something or someone outside of ourselves for our choices.

Instead, try this next time:

When faced with a choice, or several choices, start by looking at one choice outside of your comfort zone that definitely would be wrong and openly consider it as a possibility. Then notice how your body feels, and there will be a feeling. It will actually feel wrong.

Once you get that feeling you’ll know what you don’t want.

Do the same thing with your other choices, and notice how they feel in your body. Eventually you will feel the right choice, just like when I feel great in the right outfit.

You will just know, and you can’t miss it.

I’d love to hear your thoughts: what do you do when you are faced with choices? Join me in the comments below.

Did you like this post? Sharing is caring my friend. Share this on Facebook, Tweet it out loud, or forward this to those you love. You can be the light in somebody’s day…you always are in mine!

Thank you for being the light that you are. Keep shining!

Love and Light,
t