Practices to keep you sane in uncertain times

Hello Gorgeous,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1) Focus on right now.

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

2) Maintain perspective.

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

3) Ask for help, and accept it.

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

4) Move your body, change a feeling.

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

5) Give yourself a break.

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

6) Gratitude

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

7) Compassion

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

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

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

Life’s hard, and shit’s real.

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

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

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

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

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

We are all lighting the way for each other.

#daretobeyou

Love and Light,

t

What does Randy Travis and negative thoughts have in common?

Yesterday as I was painting the baby’s room, my husband was outside shoveling rock for our backyard.

He had his music playing and I could hear Randy Travis crooning, “I’m gonna love you forever. Forever and ever, amen…”

And then it stuck in my head like an earworm.

It’s a catchy song that just kept replaying over and over and OVER in my head, until it started to get annoying. But by then, I couldn’t get it out.

Earworms are similar to invasive or negative thoughts, and this leads me to a great question I received last week from a Soul Sister.

She asked: “I’m wondering if you would consider writing something about what to do when you have negative thoughts or when you can’t seem to get something off your mind?”

Maybe you’re like me and the first thing you try to do is ignore it? Or try and think about something else? Then I usually get to the mad place where I’m arguing at my thoughts to “shut the F#UK up already!”

There’s a Buddhist saying that states: whatever we resist persists.

So how do you control your thoughts then?

Simple answer: You can’t.

But you can learn to work with thoughts so you don’t have to suffer from them.

Jack Kornfield explains that the mind secretes thoughts like salivary glands secrete saliva. It just happens. They have no shame, and will go anywhere!

The good news about this is that thoughts are aren’t personal. They don’t mean anything, and just because they are there, doesn’t mean they are true. Thoughts are just what the mind is secreting.

Try this:

Close your eyes and bring your attention to your breath.

Imagine that you can see your thoughts floating by through your mind’s eye like clouds in the sky.

Notice, that you can notice your thoughts without engaging with them, or actively thinking about them. They are just there floating by like subtitles across a movie screen.

Every once in a while, you will get hijacked by thoughts and start engaging (thinking) with them. When that happens bring your attention back to your breath and notice that you can notice your thoughts once again.

You’ll notice that by viewing your thoughts like this, you create space between you and them. You can watch without getting tangled up in their nonsense.

So, what about the annoying earworm of Randy Travis, or invasive and negative thoughts?

If you begin to meditate regularly (the above exercise is one form of this), you’ll start to notice that your thoughts tend to repeat themselves. In fact, I’ve heard that we have something like 60,000 thoughts running through our minds every day, and 80% of them are reruns from yesterday.

There’s not much new in there.

Our minds tend to repeat the same old tired record over and over again.

When you understand this, it can lessen the suffering of resisting your thoughts which is really what causes the suffering.

Your mind is on a loop no matter what, but some thoughts within that loop seem to cause more suffering than others. Not because some are better or worse, but because of our relationship to them.

We like the thoughts that make us feel good, we don’t like that thoughts that bring us down.

But all thoughts are just what they are: thoughts.

Thoughts aren’t real and have no gravity or power, unless we give it to them by believing them or buying into the story they are telling us.

Now you might say, well that’s all good Tina, but what the heck do I do when I’m spiraling down and can’t seem to get enough space to see them without being sucked into them?

In my course 21 Days to Calm, each day has different bite sized exercises that help shift this kind of thinking.

One of those exercises which is particularly helpful is inspired by the work of Byron Katie:

When you have invasive or negative thoughts that are persistent, ask yourself: Is this actually true?

Most of the time we don’t question our thoughts, we just believe them.

This is another tool to create space between you and your thoughts. Let yourself question the thought or belief and pick it apart. Is it true? Is there a real likelihood of this happening or coming true? Is there any evidence to support this thought? Would other people see this as true? What’s the worst case scenario, and realistically, would this happen?

This exercise is even more powerful if you write it all out and then reading it out loud to yourself.

Thoughts have the most power when they are general and kept silent internally.

For example, say I had a day where I was feeling really bad about myself.

I was feeling ugly, fat, incompetent, and generally not good enough. My mood was low and I couldn’t seem to shake these terrible thoughts.

Here’s the process:

  1. Create space. Notice that I’m noticing. Create space by noticing these are thoughts, not facts and have no bearing on reality.
  2. Question the thoughts. Then, pull out my journal and ask myself: Is this actually true?
  3. Poke holes in the story. If I’m not convinced, I might choose to look at this through a good friend’s point of view: would they agree with my thoughts? Of course not.
  4. Look for evidence. Is there any evidence to support these thoughts, aside from feeling that they are true? Nope again.
  5. Worst case scenario. What’s the worst case scenario? (Most of us never actually go here. We just have this general dread of what could When we don’t name it, it becomes something huge and looming rather than something you can face head on.) So, worst case scenario is: that I will be like this forever and no one will love me and I’m going to be sad and lonely for the rest of my life.
  6. Read it out loud. Umm, crazy town, right?

Yet we’ve all been there.

Thoughts can be very compelling and they don’t fight fair, because they are already inside of us and know our worst fears.

Yet it doesn’t make them true, and you don’t have to give them any more attention than the thoughts that notice the sky is blue, or that your co-worker has cool hair today.

And Randy Travis’ earworm?

Same thing, notice that I’m noticing and let it run through my mind without attachment.

Eventually it gets tired because I’m not giving it energy by fighting it, so it moves on to something else.

I’d love to hear from you now! How do you work with negative or persistent thoughts? What’s the song that always gets stuck in your head? You can share your 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 it to anyone who could use a little light right now.

Thank you for letting me in your inbox and your life my sweet friend.

#daretobeyou

Love and Light,

t

What’s it all for?

If you are anything like me, you can get really focused on “doing” by putting your head down and pushing forward.

I’ll get something in my head, and push towards it at all costs focusing solely on getting it completed.

And yes, sigh, I teach yoga and meditation, and should be “in the moment.”

I’m also incredibly human.

I’m driven, ambitious, and I love the learning that comes from challenging myself.

Sometimes though, I realize that something feels off.

I’m no longer enjoying what I’m doing. I feel like I “have” to do it.

I get resistant, procrastinate, and just want to stay in bed or clean the house to avoid it.

Other times it feels off because I almost feel manic.

It consumes me and I am obsessed with getting it done. I will eat, sleep, and breathe it.

When I feel off, my tool to get a clearer perspective is to ask myself a very simple question which gets to the heart of things very quickly:

What is this all for?

It’s similar to “why” which is what I blogged about last week, but with a perspective that’s closer to home for me.

What it’s really asking, me is: is this worth it?

I get the most joy and renewal from connection because I genuinely love and am interested in people.

If what I’m focused on disconnects me, I suffer.

I lose interest and motivation. I can get irritable and even feel depressed because I need a certain amount of contact to be well.

Maintaining balance is a big part of juggling a business and living a fulfilling, meaningful, and joyous life.

The real benefit of all the years of yoga and meditation isn’t that I’m Zen-like all the fricken’ time, it’s that I know myself well enough to see clearly when my behavior isn’t matching my intentions.

I notice sooner when I feel off, and am able to take a step back and re-evaluate what I’m doing, and why I’m doing it.  This has a lot of value for 2 reasons.

1) I might commit even stronger if it’s worth it but I’m losing momentum.

Resistance shows up within me as procrastination. So, it’s helpful for me to be clear that I’m resistant because I’m sick of doing it, but know that pushing through it will be worth it in the end. I will then recommit to my larger “why” and reignite the spark of inspiration to continue.

2) I might decide to change course, stop, or shift how I’m doing things.

The resistance might actually be a sign that what I’m doing isn’t right, or sustainable, so don’t continue like this any longer.

So how do I know when it’s time to shift gears or stop?

I look at my deal breakers:

  • My core values are my north star. They serve my highest good and always steer me in the right direction. (Take the free Clarity Crash Course to find yours by clicking here.) If what I’m doing brings me out of alignment with them, it’s time to change things up or stop.
  • Another, is if I’ve lost sight of my “why.” If I no longer can attach it to my bigger vision, and am just doing it to get done, it’s time to shift gears.
  • Lastly, if I feel I am sacrificing my quality of life such as: exercise, eating well, family, friends, learning, personal goals, it’s not worth it.

I believe our lives are meant to be lived and lived well. If I can’t balance my life with what I’m working on, my life will NOT be what is compromised.

So, I’d love to hear from you now: What are your deal breakers, and how do you know when it’s time to slow down, stop, or shift gears? Share your comments on the blog below, or feel free to share in the Soul Sisterhood!

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

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

#daretobeyou

Love and Light,

t

I’m exposing myself to you

Hello Gorgeous,

I hope you had a beautiful sunny weekend! My parents came for a visit and we did the tour of Regina and had a great time together.

Most importantly though, our dog behaved with them. A 15 month old lab is a handful, and he was really sweet, calm, and loving which made our visit a LOT different than the last time they came!

Today as I’m writing I’m going to break some rules.

I’ve been told to never teach, or write about anything that you aren’t actually over.

Well, today I’m going to share with you some insight into my own vulnerabilities and fears.

However, I’m NOT going to say this is my most vulnerable post because I read that everywhere and I think it’s tacky.

Yes, this is vulnerable, and I feel exposed, because I’m an “expert” and people pay for my help with this stuff.

Yet I would feel like a fraud if I didn’t share some of my own shit with you, because I have mounds of it…and the days I don’t get sleep because of pregnancy (looooove all these wonderful symptoms, ugh), I have great big ass MOUNTAINS of it to swim through.

Maybe you can relate?

So, here it is:

I’m scared…a lot.

Especially since I’ve been pregnant, I’ve been really scared.

This is the first thing I’ve done in a long time that I am involved with something I cannot control, reverse, or walk away from…and that scares the living SHIT out of me.

At first my fear started within a few weeks when I started to worry that maybe there was something wrong with my baby, because the statistics say that the risks exponentially increase when moms are over 35.

Then I was scared of giving up my life. I love my career, I love teaching yoga, I love the freedom and flexibility of my life and I am terrified of losing everything that I have created.

I’m scared of the strain children put on marriages and I love my husband and my marriage.

I’m scared of my body never being the same, and the mean sounding comments of a few other moms who laugh and say “of course it won’t be” as though they HOPE it won’t be.

I’m scared of labour. I have a low lying placenta, and now am trying to get used to the idea of a higher risk of a C-Section even though I’m terrified of surgery. (I’m also terrified of vaginal birth, the whole fucking thing I want nothing to do with at this point.)

I’m terrified of falling in love to deeply with this child, and losing myself completely into him.

I’m scared of being lonely and desperate for adult conversations.

I’m scared of having a household of two self-employed parents and the uncertainty it brings.

I’m scared that I’m too selfish, and that I won’t be a good enough mom.

I’m also scared that I don’t want this enough. I mean most of my mom friends have ALWAYS known they wanted to be a mom. I’ve been indifferent until last year.

I’m often scared that I’m a bad person because I don’t particularly like being pregnant other than the fact that I don’t feel like I have to suck my tummy in for the first time in my life.

I’m scared of every single unknown there is, because it is ALL unknown. I have never done this before and I have zero control over most things regarding this little human right now. This scares the bejeezus out of me.

So why am I sharing this with you?

Because this is what anxiety looks like masked as fear. We ALL have anxiety at some points in our life at varying degrees.

Anxiety overestimates the significance and permanence of our problems.

Say that with me: anxiety overestimates the significance and permanence of our problems.

The truth is that they will change, and they will pass.

Eventually my pregnancy will be over and I will have a son in my arms and start a whole new beginning that I will get to design and create again.

It will be different for sure, but my life would be different a year from now anyways because that’s what life does, it keeps on life-ing. And seriously, at times don’t you think: “thank GOD it does,” right?

I’m scared yes, and I have a shit-tonne of tools that support me the nights I lay awake or the times it almost takes my breath away.

Over the 8 years I’ve been doing this, most of the people I have worked with have anxiety (whether diagnosed or not, or medicated or not) and I have had tremendous results in helping my clients become happier and calmer.

It saddens me so much that anxiety is an epidemic in our society so I have been inspired to create an accessible course to transform anxiety and help you live a calmer happier life.

21 Days to Calm

As a way to celebrate my new online course 21 Days to Calm, I want to invite you to join me on July 29th at 6pm in a free webinar with my best tool for being with anxiety when you are in the thick of it. It is a process I use with my clients, and one I use regularly with myself to work with my own fear.

I’d love to hear from you now: Am I crazy or can you relate to my fears? What are the ones that are bothering you right now? Are you unbelievably excited to join the webinar and the course? Share in the comments below or in the Soul Sisterhood Facebook group.

We are the light for each other, please feel free to share this with all of your friends on Facebook, Tweet it out loud, and forward to anyone who might need this right now.

Thank you for being such an inspiration to me.

#daretobeyou

Love and Light,

t

Top 20ish rules to live by.

Hello Gorgeous,

Last week was a whirlwind.

Dave’s family had three birthdays and two anniversaries last week, PLUS we worked on the basement most of the weekend. I’m getting super sick of working on that damn thing I have to say, but we are soooo close now to being finished that I can finally see the end is near.

THANK. YOU. GOD!

I won’t keep you in suspense any longer about the top 20ish list though, so here it is:

  1. Don’t wait for permission before you act, or it may never come.
  2. Choose to see the light in others, and they will start to see it in themselves.
  3. Approach your life as though it matters, and it will.
  4. You are one of the few creatures in the whole world that can change their world simply by their will. Don’t forget that.
  5. You may never be totally free of fear, but you will always have enough strength to go through it.
  6. You were born already whole. There is nothing you need to do or get to earn it, it’s a done deal.
  7. It’s okay not to know. You don’t have to decide right now.
  8. There is a reason why you love what you love. If you follow it, you will always live with passion and sparkle.
  9. The greatest gift you can give another human being is to make them feel safe.
  10. Doubt is a natural part of the creative process. Keep going.
  11. The greatest gift you can give to another human being is to accept them exactly as they are.
  12. It doesn’t matter how long the dark has been there, once the light is on, it’s on.
  13. Your life is your message, make your choices count.
  14. Sitting for a few minutes quietly every day will change your life.
  15. Surround yourself with people you want to be like, because you become who you hang out with.
  16. Give freely and generously without expectation and it will feel like giving blessings. If you can’t, then don’t.
  17. Never forget that the BIG questions are not only your questions, they are OUR questions. They are humanity’s questions, we’re all trying to figure this thing out.
  18. You don’t need to know it all to start. The path is created by walking it.
  19. Forgive yourself a lot and apologize if you hurt someone. Making mistakes is a part of learning.
  20. It’s not our job to save each other, it’s our job to love each other as we awaken ourselves.
  21. Listen for life’s sweetness.
  22. You belong, you matter, and you are loved.

I’d love to hear what you’d add to the list! What’s do you live by, and what’s most important to you? Share it in the comments below, or feel free to join the conversation in the Soul Sisterhood and tell me what you’d add.

Did you like this post? Then please spread the love and share with your friends on Facebook, Tweet it out loud, and forward to someone you love by clicking one of the buttons below.

Until next week, my friend…

#Daretobeyou

Love and Light,

t

2 easy ways to become more positive, and they’re not what you think…

Hello Gorgeous,

As I write this, I’m officially 19 weeks pregnant as of yesterday and am slowly starting to get my energy back. Fitness has always been important to me and being too tired to move my body has been one of the hardest challenges of pregnancy so far. The good news is that I’m starting to get out for power walks, jogs, and now finally the gym for the first time this morning! Hallelujah! Pregnancy has turned a corner!

As I was leaving the gym this morning, I was thinking how good it felt to move my body, what a beautiful morning it was, and feeling great about life in general.

However this positivity was not how I was feeling even a few short weeks before.

I was totally noticing everything that was not great: my shitty sleep, the never ending exhaustion, mourning the loss of control and my “freedom,” not having clothes that fit anymore, the weird things happening to my body, and all the things I wanted to do but didn’t have the energy for.

I was totally looking at the world through a negativity bias.

This is when we tend to give more weight to negative information than the positive.

As I understand it, negativity bias is a very primal way of thinking because its purpose at one point was to keep us out of danger.

After all, thousands of years ago we needed to scan our environment all the time to keep us safe. If we heard rustling in the jungle and didn’t consider it a potential threat we had the real risk of being eaten by something.

Even though we don’t have the same kinds of threats anymore, we still have inherited a tendency to look for what’s wrong, rather than what’s right.

This brings me to a study I heard on CBC a while ago with pessimists, and optimists, and their accuracy at determining outcomes.

So, how accurate were each group at predicting outcomes?

The pessimists, were waaaaay more accurate at predicting outcomes. They saw themselves more accurately and did better overall.

But here’s the interesting part: the optimists were happier overall in life.

It reminded me of something I often think about when I’m having an argument: Would you rather be happy, or right?

I don’t know about you, but I choose happy any day!

How do we start to lean more to a happiness bias instead of a negative one?

Here are 2 easy-peasy ways, and probably not what you think:

  1. Savour the good moments. Spending a little bit of time everyday recounting the positive moments of your day and savouring them, helps rewire your brain to look for the good. By remembering good moments and feeling them, makes our brains and bodies feel like it’s happening all over again which is like a double benefit to us.
  2. Conscious acts of kindness. This can be as simple as emailing someone to thank them for something you are grateful for or consciously making someone’s life better such as doing something kind just for the sake of it. Doing good, makes us feel good. Simple as that!

The best part of feeling good, is to share it! Tell me about a positive moment in your day or your conscious act of kindness either in the Soul Sisterhood or below in the comments. While you’re at it, share with us your tricks for staying positive.

Oh! One more way to get bonus positivity points? Share the good stuff around! So feel free to share this email to all your friends, on Facebook, Twitter, you name it! Happiness can only increase by being shared.

Thank you for being a part of my community and being the beautiful light that you are. I often imagine what a different world we would live in if we all spent more time on things that make us happy, instead of just busy. You are a part of that shift, and I love you for it!

Love and Light,

t

How to find your direction when you’re stuck.

Hello Gorgeous,

I hope you enjoyed some sunshine this last weekend and had a chance to do something fun for yourself.

I’m officially 18 weeks prego yesterday and am finally starting to gain some energy back to move my body and get outside. Hooray! Damn it feels good to get out and MOVE again!

Since I’ve announced my pregnancy, I’ve got a LOT of responses…thank you so much, you sure know how to make a gal feel loved! Making a baby is a miraculous and scary thing and I’m so over-the-moon thrilled to have your support.

Last week was also the beginning of the Summer Soul Strategy Sessions, and wow, we have an incredible group of women once again! They have inspired this post, so thank you beautiful ladies.

One thing I heard over and over again last week was regarding direction and feeling stuck.

This post isn’t going to be about the whole process of finding direction and clarity, you can do that in my free Clarity Crash Course, but it is about the next most important step:

Action.

How many of us believe the answers lie outside of ourselves?

We get another book, take another course, watch another webinar, or some other self-improvement nonsense?

Don’t feel bad, I’ve done it too.

We all do, and when we’re stuck we’re ready to do just about anything to get unstuck…except get moving.

It’s easier to hope some guru has the magic answer of what to do with your life and then follow their step by step process to “live-your-dream-life-where-nothing-bad-will-ever-happen-ever-again-because-there’s-a-picture-of-a-young-beautiful-woman-smiling-with-her-arms-spread-wide-in-a-field-with-beams-of-sunshine.”

But it’s a crock.

You are a unique special individual and there has only ever been one of you in all of time.

So, how could a one-size-fits-all solution possibly work?

Direction is a verb that’s done by taking action.

Where we often get stuck, is we believe that there IS a singular solution and our job is to figure out what that ONE way is to be happy.

It sounds a lot like perfection doesn’t it? The belief that there is one perfect way only and you have to keep striving until you find it even though it doesn’t even exist.

It’s kind of crazy.

It would be a very sad joke from the universe if we were born with one shot at a short little life to go after our one possibility of happiness or it was all wasted.

The truth is there are many wonderful and fulfilling directions any of us could take that would lead to happiness and contentment.

You will find which ones resonate with you but getting out there and DOING stuff, not PLANNING to do stuff.

We don’t even know what makes us happy in the first place until we’ve done it.

If there’s one general statement I can say about finding your direction it’s this:

Chase your happiness.

Happiness will lead you to your passions and your purpose.

Chasing it means that you are actively taking action and moving in that direction.

There is no one right direction, no matter what Kool-Aid someone is trying to sell you. That’s just based on scarcity and fear, and we already have enough of that.

So here’s my challenge for you:

Tell me what makes you truly happy, and share with me what 3 things you are going to do to fulfill that happiness either below in the comments, or in the Soul Sisterhood Facebook group.

*Don’t forget to schedule that shit in, or it won’t happen, and why wait another week, year, or decade? Do it now.

So, I want to hear from you now! Do you know your direction? Do you even believe in a direction? Or do you just want to talk more about my pregnancy? That’s cool too! Tell me all about it below.

Make today a good one, and don’t forget to #daretobeyou!

Love and Light,

t

rock bottom as a path to your light

Hello Gorgeous,

Rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life. – J.K. Rowling

I saw this quote this morning and it spoke to me in a way I had to speak to you.

Rock bottom is the most uncomfortable place to be.

It’s dark and illuminates that darkest parts of ourselves: fear, loneliness, exhaustion and everything we don’t want to feel.

And yet…

At the bottom, comes a profound insight that has the power to transform your life.

For me, it was a realization in my darkest moments that no one can save me but me.

I knew in my bones that if I continued the way I was going I would end up with a life I did not want and become unrecognizable to myself.

So I, like many others, began at rock bottom with a choice that often starts with “no more” or “never again.”

Whether it’s leaving a bad relationship, kicking an addiction, quitting a job that sucks your soul, getting off a path that is harming you, or the decision to stop making yourself the enemy: it stars with a definitive decision.

This decision becomes your conviction and guiding light out of the darkness and back to yourself.

It is a promise to yourself tattooed on your heart which becomes the defining moment shifting you from where you were to where you are going.

This single decision will begin the rebuild your life, redefine who you are, what you stand for, and will be one of the most powerful and potent moments of your life.

No one can save you but you because ultimately you have to do the grunt work to get the reward, and it doesn’t mean you have to be alone while you do it.

Finding a tribe of supportive women makes the journey easier, more fun, and of course more meaningful…after all, we learn through each other’s stories.

When you find support in women who are on the other side of where you are, they can become your mentors and teachers.

This makes the rebuilding process easier and faster than if you were doing it alone, and seriously: who wants to struggle longer?

If you are in the process of rebuilding, you have a place with me and a tribe of incredible women who genuinely want to see you succeed in the Soul Strategy Sessions.

“Intention is powerful but ACTION is life changing. Tina’s enthusiasm for life, for coaching and for everyone she meets is an inspiration. Soul Strategies has facilitated so much motivation and direction in my life. Big dreams… HUGE DREAMS, that some of us were too scared to admit even to ourselves before this process are now coming true. These sessions have taken me to a place of no limits. I will carry this with me wherever I go.”
-Tara Rossouw, Yoga Teacher

Through our 8 weeks together, you will gain clarity on what you truly want in your life, what is important to you and how to start living aligned with who you truly are.

Then I met Tina!  And the lights went on, my prayers had been answered.  She offered the guidance I had been asking for years.  She knew how to help me dig down into the mud and pull out the gems that were hiding there.  And instantly things began turning around for me.  Direction, calm, insight, and the achievement of goals I had begun to think was going to be impossible.  I have achieved more in these past few months than I could have imagined before Tina, and achieved them with peace and calm.  I am now on the road to a whole new life – the one I want! “-Daphne Murphy, Breast Cancer Survivor  

You will gain valuable tools to support your growth and increase your confidence.

“The Soul Strategy Sessions have empowered me to pursue my goals with focus and confidence. With the support of your soul sisters and Tina’s guidance and teaching you are able to uncover a clear path to success and live life to the fullest.” –Carly Graham, Graduate Student

You will see the best parts of you shine through and start to live more authentically.

After 8 weeks, I left a much happier and confident person with a greater sense of clarity with my future vision.  Alongside some great easy to use tricks to get through some of those tough long days.   I continue to use a lot of what I have learned and have had a lot of comments from co-workers and friends and family that noticed my transition. “ – Tami Mitchell, Access Communications

If you are ready to start living on purpose, and becoming the boss of your own life, the next session starts next week, click here for more details and registration.

If you are ready to start living on purpose, and becoming the boss of your own life, the next session starts next week, click here for more details and registration.

Even if you don’t join us in the Soul Strategy Sessions, click here to join us in the Soul Sisterhood a free group to support and inspire you to shine brighter. 

Dare to be you. 

In Love and Light,
t

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

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