Your Most Important Relationship

The most important relationship you can focus on, is right in front of you.

Relationships are a vital part of our lives. Through connection we learn and grow. We find our ability to be compassionate. We build support systems. We face challenges. We discover love.

Our relationships begin even before our first breath. The attention of our parents creates a foundation of how our relationships evolve.

Through our younger years, our need for belonging and connection greatly influences how we experience relationships.

We might mold ourselves to fit in or we might rebel because something doesn’t feel quite right, but we often struggle to just be ourselves.

As we grow older, at some point we often start to reflect and consider how we truly feel and what we need.

You begin to notice relationships and situations and your place within them, and instead of seeking validation from outside of yourself, you begin to look within.

You get curious about your feelings, want you want, and how you’re showing up for yourself.

You might realize you’ve been living your life on someone else’s terms or expectations and now you feel disconnected from yourself.

While it’s not necessarily an easy road to reconnect, it’s an important one.

Your most important relationship, is the one you create with yourself.

As you step onto the path of reconnection, you come face to face with aspects of yourself that you judge, distrust, condemn, and as-is commonly expressed, “don’t like”.

But as I’ve come to realize, with this mindset, that ability to have a good relationship with yourself is compromised, because this path of pressure pushes her away, rather than brings her closer to you.

Instead, she needs to be invited into relationship, by helping her feel your constant connection, giving her the support she needs, and loving her the way she’s longed to be loved.

The relationship you create with yourself is the most vital one you’ll ever have.

When it’s nourished, you can face anything.

Plus, you’ll show up in all of your other relationships in a whole new way; for what you give to yourself, you’ll be able to give to others.

Over the past 10 years, I’ve been learning how to have this loving relationship with myself.

It took looking at myself in the mirror, seeing the pain I was feeling, and choosing to begin to heal that pain, by walking the uneven, rocky, and mountainous path, through the depths of sorrow and anger to recover and reconnect with the beautiful person I am inside.

Now I know, she is the most important person in my life.

For without her, I don’t live. I can’t live, the way I truly want.

By cultivating this stronger connection with her and listening to her fears and frustrations, I’ve come to know her needs, her values, her desires, and I live more freely and openly.

From here, I’m able to hold her close when she’s afraid, help her get back up when she falls down, and remind her that she is loved, unconditionally.

I’m not saying I’m able to do this consistently or perfectly, I’m learning too, but it’s an intention I’m not willing to give up on.

I feel this is the time, for us all to realize the value of our relationship with ourselves.

The more we avoid, repress, and ignore it, the longer we’ll stay in that state of unease and distress.

Join me and let’s create a revolution of self-care and self-empowerment.

Over the past 5 years, I’ve also been helping other women recreate this relationship with their self, and we’re seeing amazing shifts in all of our lives.

There’s no better time than now.

I look forward to seeing you embrace your relationship with yourself.

💞 Brenda

Finding a New Rhythm

After a month in, with this shift in homebound living, I’m slowly finding a rhythm. In some ways I’m grateful for this time, how about you?

While at the beginning of this journey, I noticed myself wanting to keep status quo, to stay productive and in my normal flow. I felt some resistance in allowing this usual flow to unwind, but I’m proud of myself for learning to surrender.

That said, I am grateful that I’ve still been able to connect with some of my yoga students with online yoga and have been doing some coaching via phone and internet. But my days are certainly not as busy or “full” as they used to be.

Instead, I’m tapping into fullness in a new way. As some of my clients have reflected as well, it’s a time for looking within for fullness, instead of outside ourselves.

While some friends who have young ones at home are certainly full in their own ways, I’m seeing so much connection within their days and such joy in their pictures for this precious time together (though I’m sure there are difficult moments, it’s time we’ll never get back, so I say use it as best we can). I’ve been grateful to have my step-children here for the last 3 weeks. While connecting with teenagers is sometimes more challenging, as they’re in their own self-explorative years, I keep looking for opportunities and soaking up the time whenever they’re open to it.

I had one client say she’s so grateful for this time to just be herself. She’s noticing how she’s doing more for herself, choosing what she wants to do, without the influence of others opinions or judgments, releasing the need to look to others for guidance or pleasing others with her actions, and instead tuning more into her own needs.

I relate with this, in that I’m treasuring this time to reflect, to sit with my self and my thoughts, to notice what’s important and what I want for me. Are you?

It’s joyful to find my way to my mat in different ways and times of day; walking in the woods mid afternoon; slowing down in the evenings and choosing to read more, or sitting in my office looking out at the water and journalling. I’m allowing myself to choose differently, and try new things. I even made biscuits from scratch the other day, something I’ve wanted to do for years, and it only took me 30 mins! Who knew? I’ve been exploring more in the kitchen, as I hold a little Home Ec class each week for my step-daughter, we’ve made Nova Scotia oat cakes and cinnamon buns. I even cut her hair and barbered my husbands beard!

There are sweet opportunities to be had during this “great pause”, to notice our needs, reassess what’s most important to us, to release old expectations, and shift into new possibilities and ways of being.

Here are a few ways I invite you to explore…

Live based on your own expectations and realize your choice – Release the judgement of what you think you’re supposed to do and start playing with what you want to do.

Let go of old patterns of behaviour that are outdated – What are you still doing today that really doesn’t serve you any more? Be honest, this is a great time for self-exploration.

Observe where you’re habitually putting your attention – What is your routine each day? When are you doing things out of habit rather than choice? Break the habits and be more mindful of your attention and actions.

Choose today for what tomorrow can bring – When we eventually shift back into the world together, consider you want to have created already to support you on the other side.

All in all…
Absorb each moment, release the expectations you’ve been fighting to uphold, and discover new pathways to what your soul is guiding you toward.


In addition, to help you, I invite you to check out a new self-guided workbook I put together for reassessing and reseting your life in ways that feels nourishing, to lead you on your path for new life fulfillment.

May we all take this time to plant new seeds for growth and happiness.

with gratitude,
Brenda

 

Taking Care of Yourself in Changing Times

As I’ve settled into this past week of social distancing, I’ve gone through many waves of emotion, from numbness, to full-blown tears, to acceptance with new intentions.

You see, as the week started, I felt internal pressure to keep things rolling, to figure out how to keep showing up, to make sure I was doing my part, giving however I could.

I immediately started exploring how to still support my yoga students, how to show up for the changes my life coaching clients would be experiencing, and what I would need to do to accomplish my spring goals.

Plus I was constantly trying to figure out how to manage the changes, from food, to supplies, what would be needed, would I be able to get it.

Then Wednesday morning, I took a walk with a good friend. She easily brings out the rawness within me. About 4 kms in, I was in tears. Recognizing many things about how I was feeling, and one that I want to share with you today.

It’s was hard to realize how outward focused I’ve been lately in my life. I bring myself to my mat everyday with the intention of connecting with myself, but as I broke open that day, I came face to face with the reality that I haven’t been looking as closely as I’ve needed. Focused on others, on our changing situation, on the what if’s of life, and my work… I realized that I wasn’t completely honouring my needs.

This was hard to face, as I share with others so much about why and how to do this. Thankfully, as I took the time to reflect, I knew what I needed to do. If I’m showing up for others and not taking care of myself, I’m not honouring them because I’m not honouring me.

So I decided that day, that I needed some time to slow down, tune in, and reconnect. I changed my calendar, opened space where ever I could, and settled into some time for myself… doing whatever I wanted to do for a few days and processing how I was feeling as I met all these changes, as well as facing some feelings I had been ignoring.

In a way I feel lucky, I have the time and space to be able to do this. I put down my todo list, because really, where was I going? I realized the schedule I had been holding myself to was no longer really valid.

I know this time may not be as available for many of you, especially those with children or those still showing up to their work, but if you can find even a few moments a day to tune-in and recognize how you’re feeling in these changes, you will find more trust, well-being, and inner strength to see this whole thing through.

So, I’m curious, as you’ve taken in this past week of change in our lives, social distancing, working from home, not working at all, or facing work when everything looks so different… how are you connecting with how you feel?

Honour what’s there, whether it’s frustration, anger, confusion, fear, anxiety… allow it, feel it, and it will move.

Each time I’ve found myself processing what I’m feeling, (that means crying, moving the anger, sitting with the fear) I come out the other side lighter and better able to address what I need.

Taking the time to tune into how you’re feeling is so important. If you avoid, neglect, or invalidate your feelings, they will get stuck and cause you more harm in the long run.

There’s no right or wrong way here to address your feelings, as long as you are keeping yourself and your loved ones safe. Find a quiet space.. the bathroom works great… and the sound of running the water is a natural healer.

We can’t avoid the situation we are in. We must take it seriously, so we can come through the other side with less death and illness.

So now is the time to settle into true acceptance, not only in your mind, but also in your body.

Our best force of vitality to meet this pandemic, is to be well in mind, body, and spirit.

Here are a few tips to focus on your whole self and support you along the way:

  • Physically – move your body in some way everyday, eat nourishing food, hydrate often, spend time in nature, and get good sleep or lay down for 15-20 minutes mid-day listening to some soft music or a relaxation
  • Mentally – take time to meditate, find quiet and stillness, put down your electronics more often, engage with your loved ones, lighten your mental load by removing what doesn’t matter right now, reflect on what’s truly important to you
  • Emotionally – observe what feelings are moving through you, pay attention to the sensations in your body, be curious and open, allow whatever is there to be there, trust yourself, and listen to your needs
  • Spiritually – take time to pause, to Be, pray or just tune into the feelings of trust, surrender, and hope, accept that things will unfold, much out of your control, so hand over the reins

I feel this situation we are in is offering us time, time to slow down, awaken to ourselves in a deeper way. Use this time to learn about yourself, cocoon in a sense, to reconnect with what’s truly important to you, so as we come out the other side of this, you can show up more aligned and in tune with you.

And if you need guidance or support, please reach out, you are not alone in this.

Connect with those who support you in your life or connect with me.

All of my offerings have been moved online, as I reset with the changing times, and I create new space for me… and you. 

Take good care of yourself,
đŸ™đŸ» Brenda

The Power of Self-Acceptance

Last month I lost a valuable teacher and transformative healer in my life. He helped me come to know myself even better over the past few years. He taught me the value of accepting myself, as I am, and all aspects of me that contribute to my wholeness.

He helped me learn to truly check-in with myself, to listen to my needs, accept what drives me, and notice what’s longing to emerge.

I’ve learned to accept the young girl who went down the path of addiction simply because she wanted to feel loved and belong. I’ve learned to accept the part of me that feels most valued when she feels proud and validated. I’ve learned to accept the part of me that is feels following through adds honour, and I can be true to that integrity. I’ve learned to accept the part of me that wants to feel free and creative, to nurture the lives of others and make an impact in the world.

Mostly, I’ve learned that when we don’t accept all parts of ourselves, and instead judge and condemn ourselves, it leads to more harm than help.

There’s always a purpose to our actions. We are trying to serve some inner need. Finding clarity about this will serve you in taking supportive and meaningful action in your life.

I pay homage to him for amplifying my self-awareness, not only for how this will continue to serve me, but also for how I’ve noticed it has enhanced by ability to observe my clients underlying needs to serve them.

As I’ve seen the power of acceptance transform my life and the lives of my clients, it solidifies to me how we need to access and allow what’s alive in us in the present moment to meet our needs.

It all starts with an intention of allowing what is to be there and leaning into acceptance of whatever shows up, while approaching yourself with a mindset of non-judgment and compassion.

Gaining access to this wisdom and awareness comes through observing your thoughts, feelings, and body wisdom in the present moment, whether meditating, taking some time alone, or even when interacting with others. As you allow space for this awareness, you learn to honour your feelings and needs as they are now. You come to realize your current truth of how the past still lives in you or how your future self is longing to emerge. This gives you the awareness to make purposeful choices each day in your life.

Your actions begin to reflect a new light. You’ll feel more accepting of yourself, which leads to self-love, compassion, and actions that align with your whole self.

This power of acceptance becomes reflected in the world around you. There are new feelings of ease and happiness that arise and you’re able to approach life with more awareness, trust, and confidence.

How could this gift of self-acceptance influence your life, to help you love yourself fully and take the steps you long to take?

Book a free 30 minute call with me and let’s start tuning into what you need to live aligned in self-acceptance.

In service,
Brenda

Living in the Light of Moderation

After sharing last fall about my history with addiction and unhealthy behaviours, I have felt a reconnection with the part of me that had chosen that path.

It’s interesting because for years I have said that I would never take those experiences back, I don’t regret them, I learned so much about life. Yet, as I openly shared about these experiences, it woke something up inside me which I had not been giving attention to.

For the past 8 years I have worked very hard at cultivating a path of inner strength against these patterns of behaviour that took me down those roads. I felt it was what I had to do to gain my footing in life, and I know I have.

But what I’m noticing now, as that young, carefree part of myself re-emerges more fully and I embrace her in my life again, is that I need her. I need her joy, her vitality, her wisdom.

Without her, I have felt at many times lifeless, overly serious, and a bit rigid.

It’s not that she hasn’t been there at all, she’s shown up in windows of beautiful presence, but I feel I have kept her at bay, not allowing her to experience too much fun, keeping a tight lid on her joy. And now I know why.

I was afraid. I was afraid her desire for pleasures would overcome me and I’d fall back into old patterns that caused me much pain.

But I’ve grown. The part of me that cultivated my ability to be disciplined and integral has made some huge strides in keeping me on track with my goals of self-awareness and overcoming the addictions.

For the past 6 years, I have worked attentively on figuring out how I could enjoy some alcoholic beverages without losing sight of myself and my path. I’ve found balance in enjoying a few drinks socially and no longer condemn or shame myself as if I’ve done something wrong. I know my path of stability can be maintained when I put my heart and mind to the task.

So now as I watch this vivacious inner light of joy open up to her new possibilities, I feel a grander sense of inner trust and more soul-alignment.

I know that I will not fall back into old patterns, because I have drive, commitment, and self-awareness. And quite serendipitously, 8 years to the day when I stopped drinking that summer of 2011, I know I can live a moderate life style, where I can play and enjoy the pleasures of life without falling into excessive and unhealthy behaviours.

I sense as I embrace all of me, even more, I will lean more fully into what lights my heart and soul. 

In yoga, one of the sacred principles to live by is Brahmacharya, which means moderation, pleasure without excess. This principle has a new light of positivity for me today. Instead of a fearful view of constrictive moderation, it’s one of acceptance and trust. I can choose to enjoy some of the pleasures of this life, and not lose sight of my soul.

There is much to be gained by learning to embrace all of you, without shunning any old parts of yourself out of your life. Consider how you can bring those parts of you that struggled, that brought powerful lessons into your life, to serve you now. What have you learned from them? How can you embrace them?

Tap into those experiences that have cultivated your self-awareness, so you know when your choices will serve you, and when they won’t.

How can the light of moderate living help you stay in alignment with your soul, while still enjoying the fruits of this world we live in? What would be possible for you?

Keep observing yourself, as will I, we can learn so much just by tuning into ourselves… past and present… heart, mind, and soul.

How does this resonate with you? Please comment or connect with me anytime you’d like to explore what might be possible for you. Together we will light up the world.

With love,
đŸ™đŸ»Brenda

Why to Add Meditation to Your Daily Routine…and How!

Meditation is the new apple-a-day, though the practice has been around for centuries, it somehow got lost in the external pursuit of happiness.
It’s more than just a buzz word or a fad, it is a foundation for a steady mind, enhanced emotional awareness, and inner contentment. It’s something we all need everyday, just like brushing our teeth, meditation is for cleaning your mind.
Though I was introduced to the act of “centering” when I was 19, it was in my early 30’s that I found and began my journey with meditation and the life changing benefits it provided.
In 2011, I took a 6 week meditation course through a yoga studio I frequented in Calgary. The instructor provided us with a variety of methods of meditation to play with. As a beginner of meditation, this way very helpful, as I find with many things, we need some variety to figure out what works best, even day-to-day, as well as over time. Allowing yourself space to explore methods of meditation brings in a sense of creativity, inspiration and flow.
It is truly a journey inward. For the months following the meditation course, I sat each morning in a space I created for meditation, exploring with different practices. I practiced in the morning which truly set my day. Over time my perception of my world began opening up. I saw things more clearly. I felt focused and engaged in my life in a new way. Within months, I started making the changes to my life that I desperately needed.
I know with my whole being that we can create the changes we desire, we need only truth, support, and discipline to follow through.
All three of these can be discovered in a meditation practice. As you calm your mind over time, you tap into your truth beneath the monkey mind, you cultivate an inner support-system to work through life’s challenges, and find confidence in your dedication to yourself to create your life.
As you begin your meditation practice your external world will show itself to you. Depending on how busy your external world is, this is where the “challenge” will begin. Sitting in meditation, our thoughts immediately start processing everything that is happening on our life, past and future. This is not a bad thing, you need to process life, but with time and acknowledgement of those thoughts you will start to find some space amongst the thoughts to discover clarity and truth in the present moment.
This is why having a focal point is so important in meditation. This a grounding element to help your mind find a steady center amongst the thoughts. The most accessible focal point to start with is your breath.
But before going deeper, here are a few steps to get you ready.
  1. Choose a time of day when you feel alert and not tired.
  2. Find your space to settle into for your meditation. 
  3. Sit with your hips lifted on a cushion or in a chair ensuring you are able to sit upright, so your spine is tall, hips are comfortable, and your head posture is alert. 
  4. Now you will choose how long you wish to sit for and set a timer or guided meditation to follow.
As I mentioned, there are various methods of meditation. I believe it is so important to allow yourself the flexibility, especially at first, to explore them. But most important is finding focus between the random thoughts.
Here are a few mind-focusing methods of meditation to consider. See where you’re drawn, use your intuition:
  • Counting your breath 1-10 over and over
  • Listen to some calming music 
  • Listen to a guided meditation
  • Using a mantra such as “So Ham” (sounds like so hum) which follows your breath
There are many sources for meditation today. Personally I enjoy the app Insight Timer for the multitude of meditation options and tracking system.
If you’re new to meditation, start small, sit for 5 minutes each day and slowly build up the time as you are able. And remember each day is different, sometimes you may feel like you can sit longer, others, you may feel really distracted and disturbed to sit. In these moments take deep breaths to calm your mind and body, but be gentle with yourself. The last thing you want to do is make it overly difficult. Learn to follow your rhythms.
One way to help establish a supportive rhythm is to meditate at the same time each day. This way you create a pattern for your mind to get used to. This will make the process of discipline easier.
Finally, I want to share with you of some of the benefits of establishing a regular meditation practice.
  • Heighten focus and concentration – overtime your mind will begin to “tame” and you’ll find yourself more focused as you move through your day.
  • Discipline and Confidence – when you are committed to an activity such as meditation, you build confidence in yourself to follow through on your intentions, you establish integrity in yourself.
  • Self-Awareness – while you begin to hear and understand some of the thoughts that repeat themselves in your mind, you’ll learn about yourself, what you need and want.
  • Patience – you will enhance your ability to be patient, meet life’s challenges in the moment with ease, as you learn to not react to your minds incessant thoughts.
  • Inner Peace – as you sit for longer periods of time, the space between the thoughts will increase and in turn you will discover the inner peace that has been within you all along, your personal haven. 
  • Creativity and Intuition – the spaciousness that opens up through meditation invites in intuition and inspiration, as well as your unique creative self.
Allow your journey of meditation to unfold with creativity, exploration, intuition, and commitment. ~ Tweet this!
Finally, remember to keep coming back. Don’t let a missed day stop your momentum.
It’s a practice.
If I haven’t convinced you yet that adding meditation to your daily activities is well worth the effort, perhaps recognizing that meditation is the life long medication for a healthy and happy life will.
Do you feel the calling? Are you ready to begin your meditation practice?
Through the month of May, I’m running a Meditation Challenge to help you establish your practice.
Join me in my Facebook Community See Your Bright Spirit to take part or pop me an email and I’ll share the details with you!
May your practice start with grounding breath and finish with a focused mind.
<img draggable=” src=”https://s.w.org/images/core/emoji/11/svg/1f64f-1f3fb.svg” scale=”0″>” /> Brenda

Window to Your Soul

William Shakespeare said “the eyes are the window to the soul”, and I believe it to be true. They reveal the truth of who you are, what you’re experiencing, and if your actions are lining up with your soul’s truth. Are you willing to look?

I have had tough moments in my life when I was compelled to look, I mean really look, trying to see who the heck I was anymore. I was living life cycling through patterns of behaviour that at times I couldn’t even fathom I was doing, while maintaining an external facade that everything was okay. Inside I felt confused and alone, longing to feel differently, to experience change, but didn’t have the conviction or inner-strength to always follow through. I felt compromised, like a major part of me was lost, while another part of me was running the show with only their own agenda at hand.

Then those powerful moments would arrive, when I was breaking down, crying in the bathroom, longing for change, I’d courageously look into my eyes…seeing despair, fear, and the buckets of pain I was causing myself, desperately needing change. It was these instances that I couldn’t deny my truth any longer. I needed support.

Looking back, my soul has always talked to me through my journalling, forgivingly trying to guide me forward. Leaning into what I truly needed, but back then I was afraid. My fearful self was in control and my soul was at the mercy of this.

After years of self-reflection, soulful therapy and guidance, I now know my life was being run by a vulnerable part of me that longed to be loved and accepted. And this is okay, needing to feel loved is natural part of being human. It’s just unfortunate how we sometimes go about trying to fulfill those needs.

Growing through these experiences, deepening my self-awareness, and learning how to create change in my life are all part of the reason I have chosen the path of life coaching. I want to help others see their truth and take action in ways that support their whole self. To know that they aren’t alone and don’t have to figure it out all by themselves.

With devoted guidance, in a safe place to explore the soul’s wisdom and the fears that misguide us, we can all take steps forward to a more self-aligned and loving life.

Can you feel your soul calling? Be sure to look, it loves you and only wants the best for you, just as all of your parts do. Perhaps it’s time to bring yourself into alignment.

Sending you love and light, and know I am here if you need guidance and support.
💖 Brenda