Why you’re not happy (and what to do about it)

Not that long ago, I was getting up at 4:45am to teach 6am yoga classes.

I would throw on my clothes grab my coffee and smoothie, and run out the door and drive for 30 minutes to teach a full class of students while drinking my breakfast.

Then I would have a quick workout, teach another class, race home to scarf down an early lunch and rush to my next class and this was all before 11am (most days I taught until 9pm).

This was how my life was, sprinting from one place to the next and my routine was airtight with no room for mishaps or traffic jams.

My life was really busy, and truthfully, even though I was so busy, I was actually very happy, and here’s why:

My energy was focused on being relaxed and present.

When things are busy, it’s so easy to spin out, feel out of control, and desperately want a vacation to get some space from it all…not that I’m trashing vacations, I love a good beach too!

However, taking conscious moments throughout your day to relax, realign, and focus on the present will make you happier NOW.

And isn’t that what you really need? To be happier every day, instead of having to put it off for when you’re away from your life?

So here’s how you do it:

  • Relax – Relaxation slows our thoughts down, so they are no longer racing around in a cluttered space. A relaxed mind is a spacious mind and that’s what we want.
  • Realign – It’s almost impossible to connect what’s most important to us when our minds our racing because everything feels important and urgent. When there’s space, you can realign yourself with what’s important to you and proceed with focus.
  • Be Present – When you are present in the moment, you are accessing your natural state of happiness. There’s no worries, no doubt, you are safe, and happiness is what’s left. This is why mindfulness is so powerful, because the soul rests in the present moment.

One more thing, what I didn’t share with you about my day, was that I regularly took mini RR&P (Relax, Realign, and Present) breaks throughout my day to refresh.

My early morning commute was quiet and relaxed. At the start of every class I sat with them in mindfulness to reset, and afternoon classes I walked to listening to inspiring mindful podcasts.

Yes, my schedule was craaaazy, and I was really REALLY happy in spite of it.

Now, I am married with a toddler, and my life is a different kind of crazy.

I don’t teach 6am classes anymore, but my day starts at 6am to the sound of my little guy holding onto the crib rail jumping as hard as he can into the mattress, yelling, “MOM! DAD! MOM! DAD!”

This is followed by a full schedule between raising my son, working with clients, running my business, and teaching a few yoga classes.

The tools I used over 10 years ago, I still use today because they work. I am adept at taking “mini vacations” throughout my day where I relax, realign, and get present.

The hardest part of this simple exercise is to remember to do it.

So, to start, look at your current routine, and see where you can add this to something you’re already doing.

I used to add it onto my commutes, the beginning of classes, and after my workouts.

Now, I structure it into my day a different way: meditating before work, mindfulness during mealtimes, and gratitude and prayers before bed.

Because it’s structured into my day, it leaks into other areas: I’m less reactive, being present is becoming my default, I’m more grateful, and of course I’m happier.

Remember, you don’t have to wait for happiness. You can have it right now.

I’d love to hear from you in the comments below: What are your favourite tricks to happiness? Do you like beach vacations as much as I do? How do you incorporate mindfulness into your days?

The Truth Will Set You Free

I have been thinking a lot about transformation lately.

What it really takes to change our lives and become who we most want to be, and really, who we are meant to be.

This is the best part of ourselves that when it is realized is happy, peaceful, creative, and capable of changing the energy of the world.

Yes, that is possible for all of us, it is our birthright and it begins with becoming honest.

This is the path to spiritual awakening, and is absolutely the catalyst to change.

It often starts in a moment of insight with a voice that says, “enough” and “I can’t live like this anymore” and “I’m done, it’s time to do something different.”

It can be small like a deep knowing, or it can be so loud it fills your brain screaming so its impossible to be ignored.

And it is always about getting honest and real with what’s here.

Too often we try to fix the symptoms of our unhappiness, in hopes that it will create the shift we long for.

So we diet, exercise, try to find a partner, work harder, do more, and over extend ourselves to fix what we feel is inherently wrong with us.

Or worse, we try to numb ourselves with addiction, food, shopping, sex, anything to avoid looking at what is causing the pain.

But that’s just the band aid covering over the symptoms, and not the cure, and what we resist continues to persist.

Those feelings of loneliness, unworthiness, shame, and fear will continue to come back until they are examined.

To change those feeling we need the willingness to look deeper at ourselves and our lives through an honest lens. One that is compassionate, accepting, loving, and truthful.

We cannot change what we do not see. It is by seeing that we can start the process of change.

One of my first moments of truth, and the beginning of my spiritual awakening happened when I was 17.

My dad drank a lot when I was growing up, and if you’ve lived with an alcoholic you know it is a shame filled environment and fertile breeding ground for denial and secrets.

We habitually lied to protect ourselves and each other from what was happening at home and I became so used to lying that eventually I lied about everything.

Even things that were inconsequential like what music or clothes I liked. I lied so much that it felt like I didn’t know what the truth was anymore, or if I did, that it didn’t matter anyways.

I still remember the moment when the truth exploded my brain and changed my life.

I was struggling huge at that time. I had moved out at 17, dropped out of high school, had been on anti-depressants for years, and felt utterly black inside and hopeless.

The shame, lies, and denial were pulling me deeper and deeper into a dark dank well, and I knew in my bones that it was only me that was going to pull me out of the hell I was living in.

It was then that I KNEW my freedom began with becoming honest. Becoming honest about me, my life, and the choices I was making. I HAD to start telling the truth in all ways.

It was awkward at first, because I was so habituated to lying that I would often catch myself in a lie, only to correct myself, saying “I’m not sure why I said that, what I mean is…”

The practice of being honest became my purification, burning away all that had held me down and suffocated me.

It was my liberation and set me free to create myself and everything I wanted in my life.

Even now, over twenty years later (don’t do the math please! Ugh.) I refuse to lie.

If I am late, I won’t blame the traffic (or my dog!) if I didn’t have my shit together in time. I take responsibility for it and apologize. I say no a lot, to avoid disappointing people in commitments I know I can’t fulfill. I don’t take credit for anything that isn’t mine, however minor. I do my very best to be impeccable with my word and say the truth as I see it.

The truth is what sets us free.

Being truthful has become my practice, and that practice now is through Mindfulness Meditation.

It is the practice of being unconditionally present with all that’s here in the moment: the body, breath, emotions, and thoughts that make up our experience.

Sitting still in the moment opens up the doorway to truth.

It lets us get to know ourselves better, it lowers stress, protects our brain from mental illness, boosts immune function (until I had a baby. Now it always seems like I’m sick!), makes us better people, and it even continues to help us when we’re not actually doing it.

 

I truly believe that I am the person I am today because of all the sitting around doing nothing I do, and I can’t recommend it enough!

I’d love to hear from you now: Has truth set you free? What impact has honesty had on your life? Do you get sick all the time too with children? Please feel free to comment below, or in the Soul Sisterhood Facebook group.

Did you like this post? Then please feel free to share it with all your friends on Facebook, Tweet it out loud, and forward it to someone who needs to read this today.

Thank you for being the light that you are, keep shining.

#daretobeyou

Love and Light,

t

The one quality you need to make any meaningful change, and it’s not what you think.

Hello Gorgeous,

Last week my live video on Facebook was about the one quality you need to create meaningful change (feel free to watch it here), and because it is such an important topic I felt it warranted a little more explanation.

Many of us are into personal development and truly want to become better versions of ourselves.

We buy self help books and go to seminars and hope that some of it will sink in and then FINALLY we will become the person we want to be.

I want to tell you something really important:

You can’t perfect yourself.

As Jack Kornfield says, “You can’t perfect yourself, you can only perfect your love.”

And news flash my beautiful friend: there’s nothing WRONG with you!

Yes, you might have some not so skillful behaviors like yelling at other drivers on perfect blue sky afternoons when you should be happily basking in the sunshine and enjoying your commute.

Or your impatience with your little one because you’ve asked them ten times to put on their shoes, and you’ve given them tonnes of warning, and now your happy lilting voice is turning into a gritted tooth monster voice and you are ready to lose your lid any second.

Or the fact that every single day you vow to squeeze in some exercise, eat more vegetables, and get to sleep earlier. And everyday you guzzle down a gallon of coffee, work through lunch, and drag your ass to bed far too late.

Or maybe there’s just not enough time in the day, and it’s a constant battle to frantically fit in “one more thing” resulting in you being late for everything. All. The. Time.

But these are just behaviors, they’re not who you really are.

All spiritual practice ultimately comes down to knowing ourselves.

It is by turning our gaze inward that allows us to understand our inner workings, beliefs, and motivations.

When we can see our unskillful behaviors and understand them, we can then work with them.

Often the action of simply looking is enough for some of those unskillful patterns to drop away from us.

But we can’t change what we don’t see, so the willingness to look is super important.

If we don’t, we continue to sleepwalk through life wondering why things keep happening to us, not realizing that we are making them happen through our unconscious thoughts, words, and behaviors.

Now back to the important quality, because it’s not enough only to turn inside.

The HOW we turn inside is just as important and it’s with…dum-dum-dadummmm…drumroll please….

Compassion.

No, I’m sorry to disappoint you, it’s not willpower, self-control, or discipline (although they have their place too).

Compassion is the super power which allows you to look at yourself without judgement.

Judgment kills any possibility of real growth and understanding.

Try this: Imagine a time when you were at a place with a group of people where you felt people were judging you. Were you able to be yourself in that situation? Were you able to be relaxed or open?

Probably not.

It’s the same thing within ourselves.

When we judge what’s happening within ourselves we contract making it difficult to see what’s really going on.

Compassion encourages curiosity and an attitude of openness allowing us to relax to see more deeply.

It is nurturing and loving, and growth can only take place with love at it’s core.

One of my favorite definitions of compassion also comes from Jack Kornfield:

Empathy + Love = Compassion

We seek with the intention to understand, rather than to judge or fix ourselves.

I have said this many times, and I’ll say it again:

You cannot hate yourself better.

The very nature of hate is diminishing. The practice of looking in with compassion and love is the invitation to become the fullest version of ourselves.

You may have heard of people becoming “more of themselves” and that’s what happens when we look inward with compassion:

We shine brighter.

Now I’d love to hear from you: Do you struggle with judging yourself? How do you maintain a compassionate heart? What’s your favorite personal development book, seminar, course? Please share in the comments below or in the Soul Sisterhood Facebook group.

Did you like this post? Then please share it with all your friends on Facebook, Tweet it out loud, and forward this to someone who needs this right now.

Thank you for being a constant source of joy and inspiration.

#daretobeyou

Love and Light,

t

The worst thing you can say to yourself.

Hello Gorgeous,

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

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

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

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

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

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

What we say and the words we use matter.

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

I’ve said all of them for sure:

I’m not good enough.

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

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

I’m a fraud, I don’t know anything.

I’m sure you get the picture.

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

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

I have no choice.

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

Here are some other ways we say those words:

I should.

I can’t.

I have to.

Yes (when I mean no).

No (when I mean yes).

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

BS free friendships with women who genuinely want you succeed.

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

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

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

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

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

#daretobeyou

Love and Light,

t

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

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

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

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

The caption of the video was something like this:

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

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

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

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

I didn’t bother responding back.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I have a history that no one lived but me.

I have hurts that no one has experienced but me.

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

We all do.

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

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

Connection.

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

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

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

We exist because we belong not in spite of it.

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

I get it.

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

But we already do.

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

(Minus the man part of course!)

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

He needed compassion, not a pointed finger.

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

In the end, we all want the same thing:

To love and be loved. To be connected.

And that begins with compassion.

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

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

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

#daretobeyou

Love and Light,

t

What do Nioka and Jesus have in common?

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

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

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

Or maybe you feel taken advantage of?

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

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

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

“What would Nioka do?”

Or Jesus, if you don’t know Nioka.

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

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

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

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

Or something like that…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Space is good when we are fired up.

Do you know what else is good?

Babies.

And Soul Strategy Sessions.

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

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

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

Learn more and register by clicking here.

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

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

#daretobeyou

Love and Light,

t

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

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