you should totally do this

Do as I say, not as I do!

Have you ever heard that one before?

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

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

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

Right.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Apparently I learned very well how to do that too.

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

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

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

To shed light in a dark space.

To become a lightmaker.

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

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

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

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

So, what did I do to shift this predicament?

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

Be mindful of what I say.

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

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

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

So, want to try this with me today?

Listen to what you say.

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

Keep a mental note of what you hear yourself saying.

Later today spend some time journaling the phrases you heard.

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

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

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

Write to them. Tell them you understand.

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

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

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

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

You can change the world with your light.

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

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

We are lightmakers.

Dare to shine.

Love and Light,

t

the fear that holds all of us back

Hi Gorgeous,

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

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

It dims our light from shining brightly.

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

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

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

Our biggest fear is:

Each other.

Here’s the thing, we are ultimately mammals.

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

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

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

We are built to connect.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

You my beautiful friend, are already enough. 

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

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

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

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

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

Love and Light,

t

a pact we should make

Hello Gorgeous,

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

I want to make a pact with you.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What if today you saw yourself as you truly are:

Beautiful. Whole. Enough.

 

It takes courage.

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

 

Right now you might be thinking:

But what if I’m actually not good enough?

What if I deserve to be hard on myself?

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

What will keep me from becoming complacent?

 

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

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

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

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

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

Love and Light,

t

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

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

what are you waiting for?

I was lucky enough to give a talk to the beautiful Rethink Breast Cancer group yesterday, and have had some time to reflect on it. Let me share a little gem that popped out of my mouth that has had me thinking about ever since.

But before I get to that, I want to ask you:

Do you bargain with yourself about your happiness?

Do you promise yourself that you’ll start dating once you lose that 5 or 30 pounds? Or maybe you’ll apply for that job once you finish your next training? Perhaps you’ll start taking care of yourself once your kids are a little older? Eating healthier when you have more time? Or maybe when you feel better, have more energy?

Is there a part of you that maybe even believes you have to earn it, or maybe that you will get to it later?

Guess what?

Time is an illusion. You don’t have more of it, and it is finite for sure.

Now here’s my gem for you:

Don’t wait to be happy, your life is now, and this moment is the only one you are guaranteed. You can tweet that my friend.

Happiness is here for the taking, it is here now, and it’s who you are.

I’ll invite you to take action now.

  1. Take a look at what you are believing is holding you back from taking action in your life to being happy.
  2. Then make a choice to do 3 small things this week that you know will increase your levels of happiness. It doesn’t have to be crazy, going outside for a walk with the dog, calling a girlfriend, and meal planning all count as great action steps

Now here’s the most important one…

  1. Schedule those 3 things in. Make them specific actions that you would be able to know if you did them or not, and put a day and time to them.
  2. Then do them this week, and then repeat the exercise next week.

The jig is up my friend. Consider yourself called out. It’s time to enjoy the gift of life you’ve been given because that’s what you are meant to be: happy.

All of us choose our life and everything in it whether we are conscious of it or not, so why not start becoming an active participant in your own joy and happiness instead of hoping it will happen by chance one day.

Today is your day and you are more powerful than you know.

Here’s what I propose, let’s start a happiness revolution, where we all start choosing joy and making choices to contribute to happiness every chance we get.

Why? Because happy people make better choices, not just for themselves, but for each other and our planet.

So, now I want to hear from you: what are your 3 steps this week, and how are you going to choose joy? Share it with me below, I love hearing from you!

Also, the next Soul Strategy is coming up soon and people have already started asking about it, so I’ve decided to open up the January Session today! I expect this one to fill quickly with the New Year approaching so don’t wait too long to save your spot.

I’ve had the pleasure of hosting 3 Soul Strategy Sessions this year, and inspiration has punched me in the genius bone to create a system with even greater and faster results than before! You won’t want to miss it!

Sign up here for more information and to register.

If you liked this post, please click one of the little boxes below to share the love on Facebook, Tweet it out loud, or forward it to all of your friends. Share the light gorgeous, and let’s illuminate the darkness together.

Love and Light,
t

remembering, honoring, and forgiveness

Tomorrow is Remembrance Day.
I remember as a small kid bringing my dollar (it was paper money back then) to school so I could wear a poppy, and then going to assembly to have 2 minutes of silence. I don’t remember much else. There may have been a recording of a bugle, and there might have been a reading of Flanders Fields, but all I really remember is standing for 2 agonizingly long minutes in uncomfortable silence as I tried not to fidget or tease my friends next to me.

Those two minutes of discomfort made the event important and sacred.

Even though I didn’t totally understand, I knew there was something meaningful happening, so I should be still and quiet to honor it.

In Canada, for many generations we have been insulated from war on our doorstep.

We haven’t had to worry about our homes being bombed, food and water rations, or running away from our homes, and lives, with only our clothes on our backs. We also haven’t had to watch hundreds of our friends, family, neighbors, and spouses leave for war to fight for our lives knowing we may never see them again. But this is reality in too many parts of the world right now.

We have heroes among us who willingly join the armed forces to fight for democracy, freedom, and equality.

The very things we often take for granted because we’ve never known anything else. 

We are so lucky to live here.

I have not yet lost anyone to war, but I’ve born witness for students whose sons fought in Iraq. I’ve seen their fear and stress as they waited for phone calls just to know their baby was alive, and shared in their joy when they found out they were coming home.

Both of my grandfather’s fought for Finland’s freedom in WWII.

My parents taught me pride for their country’s freedom (I was born in Canada), and have shared many stories of war that they remember as children.

I called my mom this morning to have her share a few of her memories with us.

She told me about Kemi (her home town) being bombed and having to flee to live with another family in Southern Finland.

When they returned home after the war, Kemi was destroyed.

After the war mom’s dad moved to Rovaniemi to rebuild it, and recalls that there was only 5 houses left standing in the whole city, the rest were simply basements with a chimney. A year later my mom, her siblings, and her mom moved into a rebuilt basement to join her dad in Rovaniemi.

It took 3 more years before they had a home.

My Mom also shared a story of the most beautiful thing she had ever eaten: an orange.

It was after the war when she was six or seven years old. She remembers taking the segments out piece by piece with her older sister marveling at what a miraculous food it was.

To her there was nothing better.

This is still such a vivid memory to her, and she laughs every time she tells it!

The other piece of Remembrance Day I choose to focus on is forgiveness, because without forgiveness there is no hope of anything different.

I dream of a world that no longer has the need for war: a world that is tolerant, peaceful, and free, and that starts in each one of our hearts.

“Forgiveness means giving up all hope of a better past.” – Lily Tomlin

Forgiveness is so crucial because we are tied to whatever we hate or fear. Whatever we are tied to also binds our children, and our children’s children. The cycle just continues.

Let the hate stop here.

It’s not easy. It can be one of the hardest burdens to let go of because our hurts can become ingrained in our identity and how we see the world.

Yet if we really want a world that is free, tolerant, and equal, it starts with each one of us.

As you take your two minutes of silence tomorrow at 11am, I invite you to join me in remembering all those who have died, and those who continue to fight for freedom, and if it feels timely and right, to also open your hands and your heart…and let go.

I always love hearing from you. What are your thoughts, and how do you honor Remembrance Day? Join me in the comments below!

Do you know of someone who should join our Sisterhood? Sharing is caring! Share this on Facebook, Tweet it out loud, or forward 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!

Love and Light,
t

How to change a life

Hello gorgeous,

I want to tell you about a time when I was in my early 20’s, and I had my first real grown up relationship with a sweet young man named Austin.

We met in Jasper, and although my intention was to work there just for the summer and return to university in the fall, we decided to move in together instead and we stayed there another 3 ½ years.

After that we moved to Calgary to go back to school. He took welding at SAIT, and I took graphic design at ACAD. After about 6 months though, we were not doing so well as a couple.

I had recently gotten a job at Lululemon and was really loving it there.

I loved the clothes, but more than that I was loving the culture. At that time, Lulu was still franchise, and Russ was seriously an amazing owner. With 20ish women and the odd man working there, he could have had his hands full, but he created an environment of integrity, authenticity, and a lot of fun!

Lululemon brought me to my first yoga class, taught me how to have difficult conversations, and how to create goals.

Truly, Russ and my experience at Lulu helped form my path as a yoga instructor and coach today. I will always be grateful for that time in my life, because even though I didn’t have a clue what I wanted to “be” when I grew up, I definitely learned about my passions!

One day after I came home from work, Austin looked very sad and stated that things weren’t working with us.

I kind of brushed it off and said, well let’s keep trying.

I come from a family that sticks things out no matter how bad, and one thing I knew how to do very well was how to stay.

So I asked “What do we need to do to make things better?” We had been through this before, and I thought we’d just have a talk and move on.

“I don’t want to try anymore,” said Austin quietly.

BOOM! The floor fell out from under my feet, and I was falling. The reality of what was happening was swirling around me and I had no idea what I was going to do or where the ground was.

“Okay,” I said.

That was the last night he slept there. He moved out the next day, and I was left with the emptiness and confusion of a first love break-up.

I was floored how 5 words suddenly changed everything in my life.

Nothing was the same. Who was I even without him? What did I even like? I knew what WE liked. I realized that I had lost myself somewhere.

I wasn’t just grieving the relationship, I also had the huge task of discovering who I was and rebuilding me. The worst part was, I was totally alone in a big city without him. I had nobody else.

I called Lulu the following day asking for a personal health day, and to see if someone could cover my shift for me. It was Jenn V who answered, she asked if I was alright and what was wrong.

I started crying, and told her that Austin and I had just broken up. Jenn V was shocked, and assured me that my shift would be covered.

I stammered out a “thank you,” and said, “you know what the worst part is? I’m totally alone. I have no one here and I don’t know what to do.”

“Don’t be silly, Tina,” she said “you have 15 of the best friends you will ever have right here!”

Of course I started bawling at this point, because there was a part of me that knew it was true. That store had the most loving, supportive, and compassionate environment I have ever been in. I still have friends from the 4th Street store, and love to see how their lives have grown and developed over the years.

So why do I share this story?

Not because I love sharing my ugly cry moments, but because Jenn V was my light in one of the darkest moments of my life.

She gave me the greatest gift one human can give to another: she made me feel safe.

All of us, are powerful beings. We influence our world with how we choose to live every day. We are interconnected and we touch each other all the time without even being aware of it. I don’t know if Jenn V to this day knows how powerful her words were to me and the effect she had on me.

Life is really hard for all of us.

As much as we try to control everything (you know you do!), and mitigate risks, there’s no guarantees. Every single one of us goes through loss, and a very long list of challenges and tragedies that we also share.

“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” -Ian Maclaren 

To be kind, is to see the humanity in front of you and to also acknowledge your own.

Kindness is the very practice of goodness. It is not being blind to suffering in front of you, but to say “me too” and “I’m in here with you.”

I know who you are, and I know what you can do. You can change the world with your smile, and you can make another person feel safe. You can change a life.

So, what’s one way you can start changing the world one life at a time?

Practice seeing people.

Look people in the eye. Smile at them. See them as friends, or even family, that you just haven’t met yet. Let them into your heart, and let yourself be moved. Most importantly, let yourself be seen by reaching out and saying “I’m in here with you, you’re safe.”

“How close does the dragon’s spume

Have to come? How wide does the crack

In heaven have to split?

What would people look like

If we could see them as they are,

Soaked in honey, stung and swollen,

Reckless, pinned against time?

– Ellen Bass, If You Knew

 

You might be wondering how you can live more purposefully, more impactfully, more authentically.

I’d love for you to join the Sisterhood in the Soul Strategy Sessions. Learn how to design a life that is meaningful to you, and how to live powerfully with an incredible group of women waiting to be the best friends you’ve ever had and all saying, “Me too, I’m in here with you, let’s do this!”

I always love hearing from you! What do you do to reach out to others to make them feel safe? Is that important to you? Share your comments here.

Do you know of someone who should join our Sisterhood? Sharing is caring! Share this on Facebook, Tweet it out loud, or forward to those you love. You can be the light in somebody’s day, just like Jenn V was for me. J

Thank you for being the light that you are!

Love and Light,
t