What Are You Giving Power To?

I have a question for you: What do you want to give power to?

I walked into the gym at 6am sleepy eyed after another not so great nights sleep. Magnus has been sick for the past week and I’ve been getting up with him multiple times a night.

Deb, who is the front desk smiling ray of sunshine said to me, “Boy Tina, you sure are committed.” She sees me here 5 to 7 days a week.

I laughed and said, “I have to, it makes me nicer.” *which is 100% true…

Then we got into a long conversation about how hard it is to establish healthy habits. It’s something everyone battles with on some level because we’re not just battling resistance (which is a dirty fighter to begin with), we’re fighting habits and THAT is crazy hard.

Creating new habits are building new neural pathways is tough work. It going against ingrained behaviors that have been there for a long ass time. If they weren’t, we’d all eat healthy and be fit, right?

So what are we to do?

We keep at it, repeating the desired behavior until it becomes solidified as habit.

In that repetition, when the tricky trickster resistance shows up, ask yourself, “What do you want to give power to?

Your fear?
Loneliness?
Fatigue?
Resistance?
Hopelessness?
Boredom?
Excuses?
Depression?
What????

Let me remind you that you are magic walking around in a skin suit. You can do ANYTHING.
You can create any life you want if you choose it.

Choose it.
Choose you.
Own your power, than go take action.

I’m curious, where do you feel you are struggling with where you give your power to? Mine is often fatigue…go figure…

My Grounding Morning Routine

It’s been over a week since we moved from Regina and over a week that I have been living out of a suitcase at my best friends’ home. It’s been so much fun being on “vacation” while we wait to move into our new home, and also a little out of sorts.

I don’t know a lot about parenting, but I do know that kids thrive in routine.

I also know adults do too.

I’ve done a great job of maintaining Magnus’s routine even when things have been really different since we’ve moved.

Since we’ve got here, we shared a room together for the first week (and the first night a bed!). He’s had access to playmates from sunup to sundown right where he lives. Also, instead of playing at our local playground we head out to a new beach, park, or local festivity every day. It’s been awesome.

Yet our routine has still stayed the same. We get up at the same time the same way, eat at the same times, and go to bed the same time everyday with the same routine.

Routines are what ground us, they help us stay rooted even when everything else is up in the air. Although this past week has been one of the best weeks of my life (is there anything better than living at your besties in a place you would vacation???), routine is what grounds me in staying healthy and connected to myself and what’s important to me.

One of the bonuses of staying at Nioka’s is that we are kind of the same person in a lot of ways (I remind her of this daily). We finish each other’s sentences, like the same food, share clothes (even 10 years later!), and even parent in similar ways.

We also share similar routines despite living 2 provinces apart for the past 10 years. It’s kind of crazy. It also means it’s been easy to keep my routine and stay grounded even though everyday I’m walking into the unknown and taking wrong turns in my car every time I drive it.

I’m a firm believer that how we start our mornings influences how the rest of the day goes, so this is what I do to create the best possible days for myself. By taking care of my needs (self-maintenance people!) I am better able take care of everyone else’s too.

Here’s my routine that I follow religiously, even when I’m travelling or in between places:

Warm Lemon Water

This is the first thing I do after I use the washroom and brush my teeth. I pour an ounce of lemon juice into an 8 oz glass and top it up with warm water. I’ve been doing this for at least 15 years and it’s my trick to not only hydrate and boost my metabolism, but to get my guts going. If you have trouble with your tummy, you might consider it and it tastes yummy!

To keep this simple, I buy bottles of organic lemon juice and really like the Santa Cruz brand.

Sweat Before Anything Else

In the summer I typically just walk out of my house at 6am and head out for a run. Now that I’m in a new place that is on a MOUNTAIN, it’s a bit different because I do not run hills. Maybe you like them, I don’t.

Nioka has done a great job of showing me all the ways I can sweat around here and they have all been wonderful so far.

We’ve hiked up Pulpit Rock which is a 30 minute hike straight up Elephant Mountain to a sweet lookout (my calves hurt for DAYS!).

We’ve gone to the gym to run on the treadmill and done some workout videos.

And we’ve gone for a run along the lake in the rain which was still mind-blowingly beautiful and so much fun when you run with someone who’s company you love no matter the weather.

The first few days after I arrived to Nelson, Dave wasn’t here yet and Magnus needed me a lot so I didn’t get a sweat on for 5 days.

I don’t like to admit this, but I am not as nice as when I get to move daily. I notice my patience running out sooner, I’m not as engaged as I want to be, and truthfully…I start to get resentful about EVERYTHING. Even things I volunteer and WANT to do because I haven’t taken care of myself first.

Lesson learned.

Eat a Real Breakfast

I know a lot of people who skip breakfast or don’t eat a nourishing one. I believe breakfast sets you up for every other meal of the day. When you start off with a wholesome highly nutritious breakfast that is satiating it’s easier to make healthy choices throughout the day.

Also, when you start your day in starvation it’s too easy to make unhealthy choices to manage the h-angry’s, you know?

We usually eat my favourite homemade granola (from the Oh She Glows cookbook) with almond milk and lots of fresh fruit. Another favourite is oatmeal with blueberries topped with hemp seeds, pecans, coconut, cinnamon and a splash of maple syrup. These breakfasts are nutrient dense with healthy fats, low on sugar, and keep me full for a long time.

Quiet Mornings

We rarely watch TV, and it’s never on in the morning and neither is my phone. I have my phone on Do Not Disturb from 9pm to 9am every day and don’t check it in the morning until then. It allows us to connect in the morning and keeps stress and anxiety levels down.

The reality is that I can’t do anything until my son goes to school anyways, so why start worrying about it until then. I choose to maintain a peaceful uninterrupted morning for as long as I can hold onto it. This allows me to stay present with my family and I start work then with a clear head and heart. Win-win I’d say.

Snuggle

Snuggle as much as you can with whomever you can. Touch is such a great way to start the day. Wrap your arms around your partner for a few minutes before getting out of bed, get your kiddos to jump into a family snuggle, cuddle up on the couch together and read a book before heading out for the day, snuggle into your dog or cat and get some loving there too.

Starting the day with snuggles is an easy (and feel good) way to reduce stress and anxiety, as well as increase happiness for you AND the person you’re snuggling.

Stillness

Lastly, this is one of the most important parts of my morning routine: stillness. This doesn’t always mean a formal meditation, sometimes it means 5 minutes of meditation, sometimes it means 5 conscious breaths in the bathroom while Magnus parks cars in the living room. What it does mean is that I get quiet, go inside, and plug in.

The clarity and connection I get from even 5 breaths gives me greater perspective and reminds me of who and what I am and how I want to live and serve in the world. It also helps process big emotions and clears my head when it feels overflowing. It’s everyday magic.

Well, that’s about it. I’d love to hear from you now. Do you have a morning routine? What does it look like and is there anything you’d add to mine?

Why we need to stop the focus on self-care and do this instead.

Do you struggle with self-care?

I know I do. Although I was no superstar at self-care before having my son, I became hopeless afterwards.

I’ve always hated the word self-care. To me, it sounds to indulgent, to expensive, and to be honest…to prissy for something I’m interested in.

It also screams manicures, spa days, and book clubs. None of which I have time for and seem far too sporadic for the daily support I need to keep this mama, wife, and my business trucking.

But self-maintenance? That’s something I can get behind. Self-maintenance is like brushing my teeth. It’s the non-negotiable shit I have to do to keep me healthy and sane.

This is a pic of Magnus and me at 6am this morning heading out for our run. My husband has been out of town for over a week and this mama needs her runs to function.

 

This is not self-care to me, this is as important as brushing my teeth, having a shower, or eating healthy foods.

If I called it “self-care” I probably wouldn’t prioritize it as much as I do. Like the $100 gift card to a beautiful spa that has been burning a hole in my pocket for FOUR YEARS. It was baby gift from Lululemon and I swear, the ONLY reason I used it now is because I am too cheap to throw away $100 and we move out of province next week. (Can you even believe it!!!)

I had been saving it for a facial for “just” the right occasion. You know what I’m talking about, right?

I was saving it for when I REALLY needed it, or when there was something special coming up that I wanted to feel my best for, or…I don’t really know, but I had every excuse not to use it until now.

And yes, I had a facial and it was SO dreamy. Actually, it was the best.

And yes, even while I was enjoying every second of the wonderfulness of the spa experience I was wondering, “why didn’t I use this sooner? I could have come 10 more times and even bring my friends!”

But I didn’t, and I know I wouldn’t. This kind of self-care is not what keeps me ticking and I would never prioritize it. It’s the self-maintenance ones that I do.

This kind of self-care is like guacamole with nachos: it’s an amazing addition when it’s there, it adds another layer of deliciousness that is so good I would eat it with a spoon, and I actually prefer it to salsa.

But the nachos would not be nachos without the chips. The chips are what carry all the other good stuff, they are the vehicle that makes the nachos possible. If the vehicle is not there and happy, it doesn’t matter what toppings you put on them, there’s nothing there to hold them.

We need self-maintenance to take care of the chips to be the best nachos we can be. Personally, I like the Que Pasa brand.

Fuck, now I’m hungry and it’s only 10am. Is that too early for nachos?

A few other self-maintenance items I do everyday to take care of my own chips are meditating, calling my friends regularly (not just texting, it doesn’t count), and doing at least 5 minutes of yoga daily.

I credit my happiness, creativity, and health to this shift in mindset.

So here’s what I wish you for you: that you always make time to take care of your Que Pasa chips (read the blog, you’ll get it), and not wait 4 years to enjoy the guacamole.

How about you? Tell me what you think of the word self-care. Do love it, hate it, or something else entirely?

Things are a big deal…until they’re not

Have you ever not wanted to do the thing you know you need to do because it’s necessary to improve your life, job, relationship, or yourself?

I walked into my house this morning after dropping Magnus off at Montessori with huge resistance.

It was the chest tightening kind that you will do anything to avoid (like writing this blog post) instead of doing the thing you need to do.

The worst part? I’ve already put it off a day.

I was actually supposed to do it yesterday.

Now I feel even more pressure, and of course, more resistance.

What I really should be doing (instead of writing to you) is making a bunch of videos that I can share across multiple social media platforms to give really good free content while expanding my reach.

It’s all handwritten in my messy handwriting on lined pads of recycled paper.

It should be easy, right?

Just a bunch of quick 5 minute videos on personal development, yoga, and meditation…and now that it’s planned…I don’t want to do it AT ALL.

Every time I need to stretch myself it happens.

It’s happened a thousand times within my business and even more within my relationships, and personal growth (btw, it’s the all personal growth).

The last time I my chest was in knots was last fall when I decided to start teaching a live yoga class on my FB page once a week.

It took so much courage because I felt so exposed.

What if people didn’t like it?

What if people didn’t like it and SAID that they didn’t like it?

What if it’s (or I’m not) as good as the fancy celebrity teachers?

All the fears. All the doubt. All the resistance.

I was worried it would mean:

I’m not good enough. People will reject me. It means something about my worth.

And then, I did it.

And do you know what? It was fine…and actually kind of fun!

It was so much fun that I decided to create a whole yoga membership site and already have 100 raving excited subscribers.

Now, making videos is just a part of my week, and I get to hang out with some of the most wonderful women on the internet because of it.

It was a big deal, now it’s not.

But making these NEW videos feels like a big stretch again. I’m casting my net farther, and that opens the doors to more criticism, more risk of failure, more resistance.

And I also know, that once I get over the initial resistance, this will just be another part of how I help people and help them get to know me.

The more we learn how to dance with resistance (who’s true name is fear), the less it holds us back from the lives we want to be living.

We open the doors to more loving authentic relationships, more satisfying work, and more meaningful lives.

And it starts, by starting to do it.

So, I’m hopping off my computer now and heading to my living room to shoot some videos. How are you facing resistance (aka fear) today?

Do you have a story of facing fear? Or just want to give me some encouragement? Tell me in the comments below!

Is Self-Care a Loaded Word to You?

How do you feel about the words “self-care”?

When I see those words, I feel like it’s another thing I’m not doing well at or let’s just say it: failing.

With the enormous tasks of raising a small human, running a business, a household, and trying to take care of the ever-piling To-Do lists, and a husband who is away a lot, self-care doesn’t often make it to the list.

Part of it is that I’ve believed self-care something luxurious or extravagant…a treat, you know?

Like a manicure (I’ve only had one when I was 20) or a pedicure (I’ve only had one of those too, and that was 12 years ago), or a massage (I do that more often, like twice a year).

But before you start yelling at me that I DESERVE these things, I want to tell you something. They aren’t important to me. I could care less if I get a spa day once a month or even once a year or ever.

What I want (and actually DO), is a few daily activities which significantly change my day and my mood.

And I don’t call them self-care, I call them maintenance.

Most days I have a workout at home, do a bit of yoga, and meditation. Not a lot, not like I used to, but I do it.

I also cook all our meals and snacks. This is how I take care of my body and my family’s health.

I have a morning ritual which starts off with a few minutes to get myself together before I collect my son. Not a lot of time, just 5, but it allows me to be ready for him without feeling rushed.

You might actually say I have a lot of self-care built into my day.

But to me, this isn’t optional. This is my routine, this is my life, and trust me, I’m not nice without it.

Nothing takes long, its just little tweaks added into my day that make them better.

Maybe that’s why I’ve done so well at sticking to it, because it’s not optional, it’s just what I do.

If you are struggling with your own self care, ask yourself:

Is it optional? Is it a “treat”? Is it something you feel you “deserve”? Do I believe they have to take a lot of time to be effective or good enough?

These types of views can feel loaded because there’s so much emotional stuff attached to it.

And I’ll bet if it was as routine and expected as brushing your teeth it would be a non-issue.

I know, I know, before you jump all over me because you already have so much to do. Let me remind you that none of my own “maintenance” rituals take a lot of time (except for cooking, yep, that takes up a big chunk of it).

I get up 5 minutes before my kiddo. FIVE, and in that time, I pee, put my contacts in, brush my teeth, and drink warm water with lemon juice.

That’s it. That is self-care. It’s not fancy self-care but it is self-care, nonetheless.

As for meditation and yoga, sometimes that’s under 5 minutes TOGETHER. I stretch and breathe on the floor while Magnus plays, or meditate a few minutes in the car before I pick him up, or even just a few conscious breaths throughout the day.

I work out now at home (despite paying for a gym membership I don’t use. Giving it up just feels too much like defeat. One day I’ll get back to it…). I have kettlebells and dumb bells and lift them to videos while Magnus parks cars.

Is this my perfect picture of how I want things? No, of course not.

But to have things picture perfect for my personal maintenance would mean moving to an ashram in Hawaii (they have those there, right?).

Just kidding…sorta. 😉

But it would mean less time with my kiddo, and spending time with him is what I’m choosing right now. So, I’m working with what I’ve got and let me tell you, it still WORKS.

In fact, it works remarkably well.

Five minutes can change your mood, revitalize and energize you, shift your mindset, increase creativity, and focus. FIVE minutes.

It really doesn’t have to be all are nothing.

A few minutes a day can completely change your day around, and when done with consistency, can change your life.

Neuroscience says so.

I’d love to hear from you now. Do you struggle with self-care? What might some easy ways to incorporate “maintenance” into your daily routines? And most importantly: does Hawaii have an ashram???

To brag or not to brag? How owning your achievements affects your confidence.

Confidence is like the elusive perfect Instagram post that will finally let you feel satisfied enough to stop scrolling, put your phone down, and finally go to sleep. Or is that just me???

Putting together information on CAPTIVATE Vinyasa Training last week made me pause to review my accomplishments as a yoga teacher for the past 11 years.  I did, and was blown away.

Here’s a few highlights:

– I have over 11 years teaching experience and I have taught over 13,000 hours of yoga and meditation.

– I’ve enjoyed being a successful sought-after teacher in 2 provinces.

– I have taught tens of thousands of students, have built a following all over western Canada, and been invited to teach at multiple yoga festivals including Prana Yoga Fest in Calgary, Sask Soul Fest in Regina, and Camp Yoga in Canmore.

– My meditations are featured on Insight Timer, the largest meditation app in the world.

– I have inspired hundreds of my students to become teachers themselves, and thousands more to fall in love with the life changing practice of yoga.

There’s something really powerful about looking at your accomplishments and owning them. When we do something for a while (in my case over a decade), it’s easy to forget, or miss how far we’ve come since we began.

Immediately after writing my own list of accomplishments I felt a surge of pride and confidence for my own list of accomplishments.

I worked hard to get here, and it was exciting to see how far I’ve come since I first started as a terrified new teacher. I would stand there shaking hoping no one would notice how green I was and praying they would like me.

Yet, as women, most of us have learned to minimize our accomplishments, if we even acknowledge them at all. We are often taught that women should be humble, and not “get to big for our britches.”

After all, no one likes a bitch. Right?

I hate to break it to you, but it’s wrong.

If you want to crush your self confidence and keep it there, then keep minimizing your achievements or don’t acknowledge them at all.

When we downplay our achievements, we are essentially telling ourselves a damaging story – that we don’t really deserve our accomplishments. It affects not only how we see ourselves, but how others also see us.

But guess what? If you don’t notice how far you’ve come or everything you’ve accomplished, who will?

Your boss? Supervisor? Family? Anyone???

Nope.

If you want people to promote you, praise you, SEE you, you need to get comfortable with owning your achievements.

The bonus is that it’s also scientifically proven to increase your confidence.

You might not want to do it at first, and resist it like me with chocolate covered marshmallows at any time other than Christmas.

You will fight it with clenched fists, cover your eyes to try not to see the glaring truth of it, and deny it’s very existence, because it goes against everything you’ve been taught. I understand.

But push through it. You will feel more confident in yourself and your abilities, and so will everyone else.

Here’s how you do it:

  • Make a list of everything you’ve done or contributed to that is significant. If you can’t think of any, imagine what your best friend would say about you. We seem to be kinder when we imagine someone else bragging for us.
  • Next, go through it again adding anything else that is brag worthy or you should be proud off that was missed the first time around. Going through this twice often helps trigger more brag worthy accomplishments to add to the list!
  • Then, go through it and let it sink in how much you’ve done and how much you’ve accomplished. Allow yourself to feel pride in yourself and your abilities. You deserve it sister! You worked hard, own that shit.
  • Lastly, tell someone else about it! It could be a family member, friend, co-worker, doesn’t matter. What’s important is to practice saying your accomplishments out loud. Learning how to share your achievements publicly not only will boost your confidence and reframe your mind, but leads directly to workplace successes. A 2011 Catalyst survey of 3000 MBA graduates, showed that women who made their achievements known to their superiors: advanced further, were more satisfied with their careers, and had greater compensation growth than women who were less focused on calling attention to their successes. Let that sink in.

This is also a great exercise to do together with other women! Set up a time to write them out and share your accomplishments with each other while cheering each other on. This is seriously powerful for all of us to improve on.

Now, tell me in the comments: what are you most proud of?

I’m coming out of the mental health closet.

We need to talk about mental health.

If you’ve been reading my posts for a while you may have noticed some changes going on around here. 

Yes, I got some new pictures done and am in the process of rebranding. But maybe you also noticed something else?

I’ve been talking an awful lot about stress and anxiety, and there’s a reason why:

I’m coming out of the mental health closet. 

I’m a very what-you-see-is-what-you-get kind of woman. But there are some things I don’t (or haven’t) let people see, and that’s some of the internal struggles I’ve experienced from the time I was 12.

And I want you to know something, it’s not that I’m ashamed or that I’m hiding anything. It’s because I don’t consider myself mentally ill, and I truly believe that’s part of my secret sauce (more on that another day). 

Okay, now I don’t want to leave you hanging, let me start at the beginning.

My first experience with mental illness was when I was 12 years old. 

My GP prescribed me sleeping pills after a 5 minute conversation (I only used them once because they gave me terrifying hallucinations of strange creatures hovering around my bed).

A few years later, from another 5 minute conversation, I left with a script for antidepressants which I took for the next 3 years. 

I finally went off of them after I was misdiagnosed with bi-polar and given Lithium…which was the WORST.

It was one of the darkest times of my life. Lithium made me feel nothing at all. I became a living zombie.

Although it was incredibly difficult, I am thankful. It woke me up to realize that no one could save me but me. It forced me to make some serious changes in my life and I’ve never looked back. 

I wish I could say this was it, but the story doesn’t stop there because I’ve also experienced episodes of mental illness more recently.

Seven years ago after being hit in 3 big car accidents in 3 years, I started getting panic attacks every time it snowed and I had to drive. 

As a yoga teacher who taught 18 classes a week all over the city driving was unavoidable and became unmanageable. Honestly, I believed without a doubt that if I got in another accident I would be dead. I felt I “knew” I was going to die in my car.

One day, HOURS before I had to leave to teach a class it started snowing lightly. It was those big fat snowflakes that gently fall to the ground and leave fluffy white piles on everything.

It would have been beautiful if I wasn’t sitting on the couch looking out the window terrified. My brain was on overdrive, heart racing, and the dread was consuming. 

By the time I stepped into my silver Honda Civic I was having a full blown panic attack. My heart was now not only racing but also jumping at least a foot out of my chest and I could hardly breathe.

When I finally arrived at the studio to let my students in, I couldn’t hold it together anymore and started falling apart desperately fighting back tears. It was humiliating and terrifying all at the same time.

Then, after a difficult delivery of my son I not only got the gift of PPD, but PTSD all over again. 

Crazy flashbacks would haunt me relentlessly and I felt a depression which inspired my best friend to call my husband behind my back because she was so worried about me.

I was in total denial. I refused to believe that it could happen to me. As a coach, yogi, and all the tools I had, I should have been untouchable. 

It wasn’t until she called my husband that I snapped out of it and began making the changes required to get better.

With our society moving faster than ever, more demands on our time, and increased disconnection it’s inevitable that more and more of us are going to be touched by mental health issues. 

Right now, 1 in 2 Canadians will be diagnosed with a mental illness by the time they are 40. If you’re one of them, congratulations: you’re normal!

You might be wondering, why am I shifting courses with my services or at least adding to them?

The first reason is because I’ve already been doing this for a decade. 

Almost all of my clients, whether diagnosed or not, asked for mental health support with stress and anxiety. It is so prevalent that I even added an entire module in my group coaching program the Soul Strategy Sessions at one time.

Now, I’m simply putting together the proven tools I’ve been using for a decade to be more specific about helping women with anxiety.

The second, is that I wasn’t ready to talk about my own experiences with mental health publicly, but now I am.

This is largely because I see so much bad, or overly complicated AND bad, advice out there that I want and NEED to do something about it.

There are simpler, better, and more effective tools out there and I want you to have them.

So what does this mean for you? 

Well, I’ve made a few things to start helping you with anxiety right now:

Fearless Facebook group
A community for professional women to reduce stress and rapidly reducing anxiety while skyrocketing your happiness, freedom, and ease!

Each Monday at 9am GMT, I will be live in the group to share with you a new practice to support your well-being. You’ll receive practical tips and simple tricks to rapidly reduce stress, overwhelm, and anxiety.Click here to join us now!

The Perfect Day Exercise
This is the starting place for overcoming stress and anxiety and it’s totally FREE!

Most people mistakenly focus solely how to get rid of anxiety without a clear direction of what they want instead. Unless you have a compass, you will continue to repeat the same patterns that got you here in the first place.

It’s a simple PDF combined with a powerful video visualization to help you get crystal clear on exactly what you want your life to look like anxiety free.

Click here to download instantly!

Fearless Course
Lastly, I am super excited to say that The Fearless Course will be coming up soon. This is a live online course to rapidly reduce stress and anxiety without therapy, hours of meditation, or pills, in under 20 minutes a day.

Here’s what a few of the participants said after the course:
“I have said before that everyone would be able to benefit from this course. It should be offered to all women and young mothers in general, we try to be all to everyone, and do everything to the point that we have nothing left for ourselves. Truly an inspiration for me!! I now have renewed hope.” 

Brenda Nelson,InnContact Centre Rep, Innovation Credit Union, Swift Current

“Hands down one of the best courses that I have ever taken and I would highly recommend it not only for anyone who is struggling with anxiety and depression but leaders of any type.”

Randell Danderfer, CPA, CGA, ACUIC, Manager, Corporate Finance, Cornerstone Credit Union, Tisdale, SK

Find out first when the Fearless course opens for enrollment again! Get on the waitlist now by clicking here!

In the meantime, if you are struggling with anxiety (or depression for that matter) I challenge you to take action now: join the Fearless Facebook groupdownload the FREE Perfect Day Exercise, and share with the women you love.

Your happiness starts here, right now, take it.

Thank you for being a part of my tribe and letting me be a part of yours. 

Sending you so much Love and Light,
t

My secret for “doing it all”

As you may know or may not know, I’ve been married to a wonderful husband for four years, I’m a mother to an eight-and-a-half-month old son, I teach yoga classes around my city, and I run my life coaching business. On top of that I make homemade baby food, vegetarian meals and treats, and fit in regular exercise.

I’m not sharing this to brag, I’m sharing this with you so you can learn how I do it, so here it is:

I don’t do it all ALL the time.

I do a lot of the things some of the time, a few of the things most of the time, and none of the things the way I did pre-baby.

Here are a few key tips I want to share with you of how you can do the things you want and NEED to do when you are struggling to “do it all:”

Prioritize

I cannot stress this enough. We only have 24 hours in a day and 7 days in that week to do all the things we feel are important. If your days are anything like mine, your attention is constantly pulled in multiple directions and unexpected interruptions are the norm.

If you don’t know what is important to you then you can’t do them. Why? Because we will fill our day with the next most immediate demand instead.

All of us have things in our lives that are important. These are the things we are willing to stand behind and put time into no matter what.

I invite you so spend some time evaluating what those things are for you so you can put them at the top of your To-Do list.

You will feel more in control, a larger sense of accomplishment at the end of your day, and you will be happier for it, I promise.

For me, some of those things are: making my baby’s food and our food, not working when my baby is awake, walking the dog everyday (or some other form of exercise), getting in a bit of work time, teaching yoga, and having a few solo hours with my hubby every evening.

Because I am clear on what is important to me, I can implement the systems and routines that allow me to do them.

My baby needs to nap and sleep well for a lot of the above to happen, so we worked with a sleep consultant early on. I leave the house to teach yoga, so I found reliable childcare with someone I trust. My husband has picked up some of my previous tasks like grocery shopping so we can spend the evenings together once Magnus has gone to bed.

Being clear on your priorities will make it easier to plan your day around them, instead of trying to fit them in. Because as we all know, things we try to fit in don’t happen.

Create a “Semi”-Structured Routine

Habits are what run our lives.

Imagine if you had to think about throwing your feet to the floor when you got out of bed, and then placing one foot in front of the other as you walked to the bathroom, only to concentrate on each brush stroke as you brushed your teeth? You’d be fucking exhausted before you even left your house!

Habits allow us to do things automatically so we can use our energy and brainpower elsewhere.

This also means that habits use the least amount of energy and are the easiest to maintain. Routines, are a few habits grouped together in a sequence.

For example, my mornings look like this: Magnus and I get up at 6am. He nurses and cuddles until 6:30am we have a story and then I get in the shower and eat while he plays. He eats again at 7am and then I wear him as we take the dog for a walk. We get home around 8am, he eats again and then he has breakfast. 9am is his naptime.

He naps usually from 9am to 10:30am which is “my time.” I typically use this time to work, however, some days I go back to bed for a nap myself or do laundry, make food, or other domestic shit.

My whole day is cut up like this with chunks of time devoted to specific things, and specific days also have specific task during “my time.” For example, Mondays I write my blog, Tuesdays I prepare for upcoming events, the end of the week I most likely am doing laundry.

Routines are the secret for high productivity.

As an entrepreneur, I learned early that if I didn’t have a regular routine I would get jack shit done.

Needless to say, routines have been a part of my life for a long time and they are how I make sure I work, exercise, and most importantly, have focused time with my baby an family.

What routines can you implement in your own life to do the things that are most important to you?

Be Flexible

This is where being a yogi has been a huge help for me, because it has taught be not to be too rigid and to be willing to make space for things as they come up.

Sometimes this requires me to let go of my plans, like if Magnus doesn’t nap well or he’s sick.

Sometimes, like when my husband is home, it opens up space for me to go for a run or get in a workout.

And a lot of times, it means letting myself have a break and laying down for a guilt free nap.

Everything is in constant change, and being stuck on things having to be only one way doesn’t allow us to see the opportunities available to us now.

(Also, if you have or had a baby, you know that routines are always changing anyways. Good luck fighting it!)

These three principles are what have allowed me to be a fulltime mom and work part-time at the jobs I love AND take care of me and my family the way I want to.

I’d love to hear from you now: Do you feel like you have to do it all? How do you juggle all your demands?  What are your “most important things?” I’d love to read them in the comments below, or in the Soul Sisterhood.

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Thank you for letting me be a part of your life. <3

#daretobeyou

Love and Light,

t

Why your goals aren’t making you happy.

I pretty lucky that I tend to attract incredible women, and you are one of them if you are reading this.

You are probably the type of woman who knows that your happiness and well-being are up to you. You want more positivity and love in the world, and you know it starts from within.

You might be a woman who is also goal driven and ambitious like so many of us.

You might want to know your purpose and live with meaning. You want to feel like you know your way and have more clarity about your path. You want to feel that spark in your life, and the confidence that you can handle what’s coming.

You might also be one hell of a goal crusher.

Many of the women I work with are high achieving, successful, smart, and driven women. They can accomplish a lot, and have accomplished a lot.

Yet so many of them are still not happy.

We are taught that if we do certain things our lives will matter and we will be happier.

We are taught that our happiness is OUT THERE so we set extrinsic goals that are motivated by reward or avoiding negative consequences.

My first extrinsic goals had to do with education.

I went back to school five times hoping to find the right fit that would have the status I craved and the happiness I wanted. Apparently commerce was not that fit, shocking I know.

I loved learning when I leaned into what I was interested in, instead of chasing a title.  

I also thought my happiness relied on a partner.

As a woman, we are taught that our relationships and their milestones will make us happy. Once we find that special someone we can finally let go and just be happy right? Yeah…not so much.

I learned I could be just as unhappy in a relationship, and until I learned to be happy alone no one could make me happy in a relationship either.

As an aside, do you know many people about to get married that are happy? It becomes such a shit show that most couples find this to be one of the most stressful times of their relationship. If you are engaged, here’s my advice: forget about making the day perfect. The perfect part is not in the details, it’s the fact that at the end of the day you will be married to the love of your life, and that’s fucking awesome. Let that shit go.

Then there’s kids.

I honestly had people tell me that I HAD to have kids!

I’m thrilled to be a mom now and wouldn’t change a thing, and I also would have been happy being child free.

Creating a family to BE happy isn’t a great reason to start one because it puts the responsibility of your happiness onto your family’s shoulders instead of your own.

And that shit is scary.

Those are the parents that live through their children’s achievements. Pageant moms anyone?

We’re taught that if we get more status or more stuff we’ll be happy, and sure there is a grain of truth to that.

Last fall I got a new car, and it was awesome.

I’ve never had a car newer than 8 years old ever, and when I got into my new Rav 4 and it smelled all chemically and new, I was happy.

Really happy.

And now four months later it’s dirty and full of shit because it’s now just my car.

Happiness from external stuff fades.

We have an immediate sense of happiness and then it’s done, until we get the next shiny thing.

Why do you think so many people shop to “treat” themselves, or to relieve stress? They do it to get that brief happiness high.

Maybe stuff isn’t the thing for you though, maybe it’s status, promotions, more education.

These are goals that often relate to validation, whether it’s for yourself or how you are seen by others.

None of these will make you happier either.

Your happiness can totally be goal driven by choosing goals that are intrinsic.

Intrinsic goals are motivated by self interest and personal growth. They are goals we choose because they make us happy to do them.

How many of us make time for intrinsic goals?

We make time for the second degree, online shopping, and dating, so why don’t we make more time for sitting in nature? Maintaining our current relationships? Meditating? Reading? Hell, any hobbies? Learning something just for the hell of it? Or being present with our lives?

I believe we all know on a deep level that our happiness cannot be found out there, yet maybe it’s easier for us to rationalize putting our time into those types of activities.

Most women don’t spend time on intrinsic goals for these reasons:

  • Lack of time. Who isn’t time starved these days? Many of us are so time starved that we want to feel like we’ve accomplished something even if we know it won’t contribute to our happiness.
  • We believe that we’ll have more time later. You know, when the kids are grown, after this promotion, after we’ve lost 10 more pounds. We imagine our happiness is somewhere in the future.
  • It seems too extravagant. For real, I’ve heard this, and I’ve done this. We are so busy looking after everyone else’s needs first that we feel it’s too luxurious to spend any of that time on own happiness.
  • It feels selfish. Looking after our own needs and happiness can feel selfish because that means also saying no to somethings to say yes to ourselves.
  • We may not know where to even start. You might feel like things are unsettled, and that you know something needs to change but you don’t know where to start.

I’ve been all of the above.

When I started on this path I was either in school full time and working full time or working two full time jobs. I put off my happiness to push through one more year, until I made more money, or until I figured out what I was “supposed” to be doing. It felt way too extravagant to spend any time on me because I was in survival mode ALL THE TIME, and if I had any time shouldn’t I be taking care of other things that are more important? I was stuck and I had forgotten who I was and what made me happy. I was looking out there, instead of putting the time to look inside and ask the questions that make our lives meaningful.

Everything shifted for me when I stopped looking outside for approval and started getting real about what was going to make me happy.

I spent time asking myself the big questions and started living aligned to my values.

I put me ON the list and took care of me first. I still do this with a newborn baby. (Magnus gets a way better mommy when she has a little bit of exercise.)

I surrounded myself with like-minded supportive women who cheered for each other.

But the most important thing I did was START.

Imagine how shifting a small amount of your time and energy to your own happiness and well-being would change your day? Transform your relationships? Your energy? How you impact the world around you?

Most importantly, when are you going to start?

I’d love to hear from you now in the comments below: What types of goals do you normally set? How are you going to make more time for what makes you truly happy?

Did you like this post? Then 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 today.

Click here to find your true purpose.

Hi Gorgeous,

So, did you bite? Do you want to find out your one TRUE purpose in life?

If you’re anything like I was, you might be desperately trying to find the RIGHT thing.

The perfect job, the perfect path, the perfect cause that would be your life’s purpose.

That thing that you are meant to devote your life to.

Here’s what I said in this last week’s Soul Strategy Sessions that was followed by silence and then cheers:

Fuck your purpose.

Okay, so that might sound harsh, but hear me out.

Why would we believe that we have only ONE true purpose in life?

What if we didn’t figure it out, does that mean that our whole life was meaningless, that we missed the point?

Or that it was somehow wasted?

I call bullshit.

It’s crazy to believe that we are hardwired for one thing, and one thing only, and then have the impossible task of also having to figure out what it is.

Our purpose is simple: to be happy.

“I believe that the purpose of life is to be happy. From the moment of birth, every human being wants happiness and does not want suffering. Neither social conditioning nor education nor ideology affect this. From the very core of our being, we simply desire contentment. I don’t know whether the universe, with its countless galaxies, stars and planets, has a deeper meaning or not, but at the very least, it is clear that we humans who live on this earth face the task of making a happy life for ourselves. Therefore, it is important to discover what will bring about the greatest degree of happiness.” – Dalai Lama

We are most content and happy when we are living in alignment with our values, and there is not just one, but hundreds of ways to do this.

Whether our values are integrity, freedom, love, learning, or any of the many others, we are always trying to fulfill them in our lives.

When we allow our values guide us to happiness, our lives become meaningful and we feel most fulfilled.

We are most unhappy, disconnected, and unfulfilled when we are living out of alignment with our values.

For example, if one of your values is acceptance, you might notice how happy you feel when you reach out to others and make them feel welcome.

Conversely, you might feel more terrible than others whose value is not acceptance, if you engage in gossip because it goes directly against your values.

We as humans are meaning seeking animals.

We try to make sense of a world that seems random and makes no sense, so we add meaning to it try to understand it the world around us.

Meaning is subjective not objective.

It is completely dependent on the viewpoint, not events.

It’s the same with our lives.

I was generously sent to take the Landmark Forum 2 years ago by Lululemon. (If you aren’t familiar with it it’s a 4 day personal development course in Vancouver.) At one point the facilitator announced:

Life is empty and meaningless.

Half of the audience gasped and started crying.

He continued to explain further that the only meaning this life has is the meaning we attribute it, so choose wisely.

Meaning can be found anywhere if you connect it back to your values.

You don’t need to find a different job, or path, all you need to do is understand how you can fulfill your values in what you are already doing.

Now, if one of your values is honesty, and your job relies on lying to people you may have a problem.

But most of our values can be fulfilled in jobs, paths, and roles that we are already in.

For me, when I was young I loved being a server.

Not because I liked working long hours late into the night, or that I thought it was my life’s purpose to wait tables, but because two of my main core values: connection and freedom were satisfied.

I love connecting with people, and serving for me was all about building relationships so I truly enjoyed doing it.

I also had a lot of autonomy, and tipped out more than my wage every night knowing that how much money I made was up to me.

I felt like an entrepreneur and that satisfied my value for freedom.

As Martin Luther King Jr. said:

“If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as a Michaelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, ‘Here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.”

If you aren’t sure of your own core values or you want to learn more about them, I’ve got a FREE tool for you called the Clarity Crash Course.

Once you are aware of your values, they become your North Star guiding you to your happiness and ultimately will make your life more meaningful.

I’d love to hear from you now: what are your core values, and how do they impact your life? How have your values shown you that you were out of alignment? Do you like cookies? If so, what’s your favorite kind, and when are you bringing them over? Share your comments below or in the Soul Sisterhood on Facebook.

Did you like this post? Then please share it on Facebook, Tweet it out loud, and forward it to those who could use some light in their lives.

#daretobeyou

Love and Light,

t