Posted on May 2, 2016
How easily do you notice your similarities and differences to the people around you? We are programmed to see patterns, our brains naturally pick them up. Yet, if we only focus on one side of the pattern we miss something important.
How can our similarities and differences benefit us?
Recognizing the ways in which we are similar can help us not feel ostracized from one another. Over the last 50-60 years, our culture has been cultivating separateness, where we are striving for some ideal that often feels unattainable. Through these aspirations, many people are devaluing each other to climb higher, belittling others to make themselves feel better, or blaming others for their own inequities. Although we will each encounter different struggles or challenges in our lives, we are not all that different. We are all human and have the same needs of survival; food, shelter, clothing, and relationships.
Back in my 20’s when working at a bank in downtown Edmonton, was the first time in my life I noticeably acknowledged so many different types of people. Yet, I an awareness kept popping into my mind about the essence of our similarities, that our physical selves, our needs, were so similar. We are all in this life together. Though we often feel separate because of our individual lives, we all have this thread of connection in our humanity. Through our human connection, we can see that we are all the same. We are all trying our best to make our way through life. When we can see this, the world feels a bit smaller. You can feel closer to people you don’t even know, nor may ever know, but inside can relate to them, even without knowing their personal story.
If we can let go of judgment of one another and recognize our similarities, we can help one another survive, to be better, to do better and create stronger communities.
This is where our differences matter the most.
By noticing our differences, we have an opportunity to encourage each other to offer our unique gifts and talents to the world. Each of us has at least one, if not a few, gifts that are meant to use for the benefit of others. I believe this is our true job; to cultivate our talents, gifts, and strengths by learning and growing with them. Doing this serves our highest purpose and the world around us.
How do we recognize these unique gifts and talents? A while back I read a book called Strengths Finder. In it Tom Rath talked about our innate talents as being those gifts that we do easily that are so natural that we often think everyone can do them as well. It can be surprising when someone tells us that they find that thing we do challenging. These are our windows of opportunity, to learn how to share these gifts. But only through recognizing and acknowledging our differences can we come to value that which makes each of us unique.
When we feel our natural talents at work, it feels good. We are happy. We become fulfilled!
How then, do we keep both of these in mind and not separate ourselves or keep our talents hidden, and instead encourage each other to give our gifts, while remembering we are all doing our very best given what we have learned and experienced so far? One statement stands out to me.
Acknowledge our similarities and value our differences.
By creating a community culture where we remember that we are all in this together, by letting go of old patterns of judgment, and empowering each other to fulfill our individual gifts, we can lift each other up and feel the goodness that transpires for the whole.
What can you do today to help create this mind shift?
Here’s one idea… When you find yourself or hear someone else judge someone for being different, ask yourself or them, “I wonder what makes that person special that they offer the world?”
Only together can we make this world an even more amazing place to live. Are you with me?
with love and gratitude,
Posted on April 2, 2016
Once you have determined that an action is important to you, how do you stick to your decision to do it, especially when it challenges you?
First, it is important to realize the underlying truth of why you need to act on this decision. I remember moments in my life when I knew deep in my heart that I had to do something, even though it seemed challenging or scary to do it. The reason I had to take action was important and in line with what I deeply valued for myself. These kinds of decisions can really challenge us and help us grow. The most life-changing decisions are often the hardest to follow through on. However, if we can remember why it is important to us and what we value about the action, we can fuel our decision-making and follow through.
When we struggle knowing why, we can easy to falter on the decision. Our decision is not connected with our needs nor our will to back it. Here is an example I recently experienced.
I was out for dinner last weekend with family. It was the day after our Easter meal, which I chose to indulged at. Before arriving for our dinner out, I decided I was going to order a salad, because I wanted to feel good about my meal choice, something healthy. I was proud of myself while I enjoyed my salad. It was delicious. Then it happened, one of the children had leftover pizza and did it ever look yummy. In that moment I wavered, right past my inner guidance and my willpower. I had the piece of pizza. Then I went straight for dessert. I fell completely out of my intention. After the meal, I was so full and felt disappointed in myself for my actions.
Reflecting back, here’s what I believe happened.
I was truthful to myself before we arrived, partially. I determined that a salad would be my best meal choice for a healthy meal. I made that decision and stuck to it. But I did not realize the whole truth of what I wanted.
To set myself up for success at the meal, I did not consider the possibility of falling into old habits. One of the children did not finish their meal. I have easily fell into this trap before because of the belief to not be wasteful that is ingrained in me. But I have to remember, how is it my responsibility to ensure all the food is eaten? It is simply not. And I am working on changing this belief, for any meal that is dished up for me.
I faltered on my healthy meal with dessert when I had lost my confidence and gave in to old desires. My power to stick to my decision was lost because I lost touch with my needs.
How could I have succeeded in following my desire for feeling good after a healthy meal?
When driving to the restaurant, and deciding to order a salad, I could have noticed that my true need was to walk out of the restaurant and feel satisfied and energized, by eating a healthy meal from start to finish.
Ironically, a few days later I was at a group discussion. We were talking about decision-making. This is what I walked away with.
The strength of your power
to decide is connected to why you have determined it is important to you. If you have a deep connection to this truth you can decide once that it is what you are going to do and use your willpower to follow through.
Can you imagine never having to actually decide again? It can become routine. When you give the decision your full attention and will the first time, you can eliminate the need to make it over and over. Make the decision once and stick to it. Use your will to eliminate how many times you have to make the decision.
Had I heard this before the meal, I could have challenged myself to understand my needs of feeling healthy and energized after the meal and used my willpower to follow through and only have the salad.
This concept of decision-making can be used for specific instances, but what if you are trying to make long-lasting changes to your life-style?
The practice of sticking to small decision can help strengthen your will. Then when you want to take bigger decisions toward change you have confidence in your willpower to draw upon.
A decision fuelled by truth and values, need only be made once for the will to succeed. Tweet this!
Consider this, what is something you have decided to do absolutely every day that meets your needs and you no longer have to decide to do anymore? It became part of your routine through the power to follow through with your decision.
If we can use our power of decision and our will to follow through, then apply it to all of the needs we have been wanting for ourselves, can we overcome the struggles and just do it? I believe we can!
What would you rate your power to decide? How do you feel about your will to follow through?
What have you determined you need, but have not been able to follow through on your decision to actually do it?
Whether it is an everyday routine you are creating or a decision from time to time, you need to use your will to succeed. Decide once and follow through. No more wavering on what you want, determine what is important to you and go do it. It is in your power and only you can.
Here is your chance, let me know how it goes for you!
Posted on March 3, 2016
How easily do you listen to your intuition? How does it feel to speak your truth? How grounded do you feel day to day?
The answers to these questions hold a lot of power about how connected we feel to our true self and how we interact with the world around us. When we can easily connect to our intuition, we trust our intentions and actions. When we can share our truth easily and effectively, we express our true self. Feeling grounded can bring a sense of comfort in our physical world.
By connecting with our true self and living in alignment with these and other significant aspects of our lives, we are free to open ourselves to possibility and receive the positive outcomes.
But what holds us back? Fear? Uncertainty? Judgement?
Yes, these and perhaps you can connect with a few more blocks.
We need to find way to clear these blocks, to allow our true selves to shine and to feel at home in our bodies.
There are various ways to help us live aligned with our true self. Much of my work focuses on coming home to our selves through cultivating self-awareness, connecting with the body, and releasing the energy blocks that keep us out of balance.
As a life coach, I focus on helping people connect to what they truly want and move through the obstacles keeping them from living their best life. Through yoga, I guide people to connect with their body with mindfulness, movement, and breath. Another tool I have been using to guide people into soul-awareness and energetic balance is Chakradance. This modality is not as well-known.
Through Chakradance we are able to connect our body, mind and spirit through mindful movement to music that deeply resonates with each of the seven chakras, and then integrate your experience with creative mandala art.
The chakras are involved in all of our experiences, both in receiving experiences and how we respond. They receive, assimilate, and transmit life force energy from within us and around us. They are connected with our body’s biological system and influence how we interact with the world. It is through our experiences that the chakras can be impacted and imbalanced energy’s may occur.
Our chakras are constantly interacting with our physical body, sending us messages, and following their natural tendency to seek balance. Sometimes, however, energy can become blocked or stuck and it causes disruption to the flow of energy through that chakra. Typically this causes other chakras to over compensate. When this happens we need to help move the energy blocks to bring our chakra system back into balance. Sometimes this can be done through physical movement, other times it is allowing emotion to move or a new awareness to arise.
Chakradance is a healing dance practice that uses spontaneous dance, powerful music, and guided imagery. It is a unique experience for bringing balance into our energetic body, while also exploring our inner world and receiving insights about our lives.
Chakradance is about freedom of expression, encouraging everyone to follow their own natural rhythm. There are no specific steps, so each dancer experiences their authentic movement as they move to the music and accompanied guided imagery. Anyone can Chakradance and receive the benefits of this healing practice. Each time you experience Chakradance you will gain new awareness, invite healing energies to balance your chakras, and open to living aligned with your true self.
It is growing in awareness and is being shared all over the world. I am one of over 300 people bringing this experience to the world! It was created in Australia and has been shared in many influential places such as The Chopra Center. It foundation lays in Jungian psychology and it encourages people to dance for self-discovery and self-healing.
The most important thing we can do for ourselves is find ways to live our best life, to be authentic and give the world all that we have to offer. In order to do this, we need to keep working on finding our truth, healing the old experiences, and stepping into what is truly possible.
Live your true self,
A great book on the chakras and a reference for some information provided here is Anodea Judith’s book The Wheels of Life.
Posted on February 2, 2016
February, the month with messages of love, offers a reminder that there is a deep desire within us to feel connection and love in our lives.
Feeling love is part of our innate human experience and one that we all deserve to have. The challenging part I’ve discovered over the years is removing the layers of conditions around this sacred experience to truly feel it. Perhaps you can relate?
Our desire to give and receive love is often sought after by external experiences and solutions to try to get it. But what we truly need to bring our attention to is on the inside. We need to notice when there are conditions placed around that love for first ourselves, then for those around us.
What do I mean by conditions? Perhaps you have had an experience where you feel, “only if ‘x’ happens will I be willing to give love to that person”, or, “only when I do ‘y’ will I be loved”. These are conditions, when we only expect to give or receive love when certain conditions are met.
There are many ways for us to work with removing those conditions and connect to the unconditional love that resides naturally within us. The important thing is that you find what feels safe and best for you.
Personally, in the past, I had layers of conditions surrounding my heart and love. So many that the decisions I made trying to fulfill my need for love often led me astray. I felt like there was a wall around my heart. Over the years I have worked with therapists, shamans, energy healers, and coaches, each offering me new awareness and healing experiences to peel back the layers around my unconditional love. I have also discovered shifts in my feeling of self-love though yoga, dance, meditation, and other activities that get me closer to my true self.
I’ve discovered the easiest way into unconditional love is through self-acceptance and authenticity. When we can love ourselves for who we truly are, the conditions begin to fall away. We come home to our true self.
Then we can share our love with others, as we let go of the conditions we place on them as well, welcoming their authentic self to shine.
Today I feel more connected to my unconditional love. I can feel it in my soul. It takes an ongoing effort to notice when I let old conditional patterns slip in or identify a new one, but with compassion and self-acceptance, I can let them go and get back into the true feeling of love.
Every single person, animal, and plant deserves to feel unconditional love. What will you do today to welcome this love into your life?
I would LOVE to hear from you. Be authentic, be honest, and be true to you.
Posted on June 4, 2015
A few years ago I found this beautiful saying on a piece of stone art. It has since sat on my counter so I can receive it’s beautiful message everyday. It has encouraged me through many challenges and new beginnings.
Around the time I bought it, I was embracing some new self-awareness and opportunities. I was riveted by its statement of being grounded and opening to life’s possibilities. Yet over the years, it has given me different messages with its simple words. Here are some of the powerful whispers it offered.
When these words found their way into my life, I had been focusing on my self for about 4 years by seeking personal changes to fall in love with myself again. I had been single for some time and wanted to enter my next long-term relationship knowing who I was, as to not lose myself, and with the intention of finding someone who would compliment me, not complete me. I wanted to create a life together that was even better than we could create on our own.
I planted my feet in my values, my truth, and let my heart have wings to find someone to love, for who they are, and to love me, for who I am.
I was also preparing to take an exciting step into something I loved, by enrolling in yoga teacher training. Yoga had become a constant passion in my life, for how it connected me to my true self. My intention was to embrace those experiences in my life that made me feel whole and grow with them.
I planted my feet in what brought me peace and joy and let my heart fly courageously into expansion and growth.
When I decided it was time to leave my career at the bank, I was not sure where I was going, all I knew was it was time. I trusted that the doors I needed to open would. I was in the middle of my yoga training and longing for a deeper experience in my studies. I was inspired by how yoga was changing me and knew I had more to offer, I only needed to give my self the chance.
I planted my feet in trusting myself and let my heart lift me into new possibilities.
Barely out of the bank, my intuition said my next step was to become a life coach. I was curious about how I could make a difference in people’s lives, knowing my life experiences, challenges, and growth had made such a difference in mine. I took the opportunity to learn more by digging my feet into numerous tele-calls, webinars, and articles. I remember finding the course I would enrol in. That day my heart was soaring in the clouds of happiness and opportunity, while I stood firmly in what was most important to me in this decision.
I planted my feet in my deepest longings and let my heart lead me to the path that connected the essence of my truth and potential.
By now, I had moved across Canada to Nova Scotia from Alberta. I was revelling in the beauty of this new place I called home. I noticed my yearning for new relationships and my eagerness to ingrain myself into my new community. I wanted to grow roots into the soil of my home and connect with the people I would support and who would support me.
I planted my feet in the soil of Seabright reaching deep into the enriched land and let my heart soar over the bay and inland to create connections of trust, joy, and community.
Now here I stand today, feeling the firmness of the ground under my feet, standing tall in who I am, knowing my heart will continue to soar with the clouds bringing me unlimited opportunities, further expansion, and clarity at each juncture. I am grateful for my continued awareness of being grounded in my truth, my needs and desires, while opening myself creatively to the possibilities that life presents.
If you could plant your feet and allow your heart to have wings, how would you stand and where would your heart lead you?
Take a moment to stand with your firmly feet on the floor, close your eyes, and feel your heart. What is it whispering to you today?
Love and light,
Posted on March 27, 2015
“Life isn’t easy” is the old saying, but it does not have to be hard either. It is all in how you perceive it. Are you taking your challenges to heart holding yourself back or sparking your curiosity to fuel your heart towards your most meaningful self?
The struggles we face throughout our lives are not there to cause us harm, they are there to help us grow into an even more magnificent version of ourselves.
Yet we meet new challenges all the time. Sometimes they can feel like we are stuck in quicksand with no chance of recovering. Other times the challenge can feel like a light ocean breeze, with little effort we overcome it. How can there be such a difference?
If your challenges seem easily confronted and overcome, they are simply in alignment with your truth and your values. You know what you want, how to handle them, and can easily do so.
When you come face to face with a challenge, and all you find is resistance, you are given an opportunity. This is your moment to ensure the efforts you are taking are aligned with your values and will help you achieve your own personal greatness. However, it is possible the resistance is showing up to offer a message of new understanding or reveal a possibility that has not been previously considered.
Recognizing the resistance in challenges we face and checking in with ourselves is how we can learn to grow through them. Here is one way you can do this.
First take a moment to notice how you feel and what thoughts are present in the challenging situation. Do you feel good about it or are there any negative feelings showing up? What thoughts are you hearing? Take note of these.
Then ask yourself, what is most important in this situation. Are your actions in alignment with your core values?
If your values are being compromised or are not even present in this situation, the resistance is trying to tell you an important message about your actions. You likely need to reconsider your efforts.
If your values are fully recognized and in alignment, and you still notice resistance, check what the resistance really looks like.
What do you believe about this situation? There could be an old belief that needs to be understood and transformed to serve you now in your current situation.
When you can bring awareness to beliefs that hold you back, and learn to work with them, you will notice thoughts and feelings begin to shift. Those that felt negative or unwanted will transform.
A few common beliefs I encounter, in my coaching practice and in myself, that we allow to hold us back are self-doubt, fear of failure and un-worthiness. They usually stem from something that occurred years ago that were meant to protect us, but today they are not needed in the same way. Overcoming resistance is recognizing that these beliefs can shift and change. They are not set in stone. You only need to bring them into your awareness and begin to work with them to create new positive and self-confident beliefs.
When you are in alignment with your values, bringing awareness to what you resist through your feelings, thoughts, and beliefs reveals the growth towards your dreams.
Resistance is the lesson. Overcoming the resistance is the moment of growth. Tweet this!
Life is an evolution of learning, it never stops. It is part of our nature and the more we work with this, the easier life becomes. Plus you get to live your truth!
What lessons have you grown with the most in your life? What resistance are you dealing with?
Please comment with your stories or how this article impacts you. I would love to hear from you!
Do you want help working through your resistance, getting in touch with your values, or something else? Email me for more information about working with me as your life coach.
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It’s spring, plant your new seeds of growth and see what is revealed!
Posted on March 9, 2015
Having power is often seen as egotistical. However, we are missing an important part of our self if we continue to hold this belief. The power I am referring to here is your inner sense of power. You could consider it as piece of your self-worth.
The two ends of the personal power spectrum I notice are: we often give our power away or can become overly aggressive with our power by demanding of others. Neither of these are healthy for anyone.
Our power is used in varying degrees and for multiple purposes. Consider how power shows up in your life and impacts your self-worth. Here are some ways to notice your power so you can use it in a healthy manner.
Take responsibility for your emotions, your thoughts, and your actions. You have a choice in everything. What ever emotions are impacting you, they are yours. They are for you to work through. No one can do this for you. It is up to you to allow the emotion to move and release. Your thoughts impact your actions, pay attention to them. We may not always be able to control our thoughts, but we can choose which ones we hold. You are the master of your temple, that means your thoughts and actions are yours to manage. Laying blame on someone else or justifying a situation gives your power away. As you learn to own your power you will notice how much control you actually have over your self-worth.
When we have needs to be met, we may look to others to help meet those needs. This is not a loss of power, however laying blame on others is submissive in power and demanding of others is an overly aggressive use of power. Keeping your power and asking for your needs to be met, while allowing the other person to hold their power is not difficult, it simply takes an assertive and kind demeanour. Acknowledge what you are feeling about the situation and know what you need to ask for, then take into account the other person’s feelings. How will what you need to ask for affect them? By asking for your needs to be met with a kind and loving voice you help keep the power in balance, which also helps in having your needs met.
Do Not Steal the Power of Others
Our kind hearts can often do this without realizing. We simply wish to show appreciation. When someone offers a gift, it has become our nature to feel the need to offer a gift back. Here is an example. When someone offers you a compliment, there are two common responses, both of which steal power. You either discount their compliment, maybe saying “Oh, this old thing”, or you immediately reflect the compliment back at them. When someone offers you a gift, they are doing so in their own power. Allow them to keep it by graciously saying “thank you”.
There are numerous situations in life where we can give our power away or demand more than our share. It is up to you to begin to notice them to honour your self-worth and the self-worth of others. We must first become aware of the situations where there is a power imbalance. Then ask yourself, “how will I handle this situation the next time is shows up?”. With anything we are learning in personal growth, it can take time to carry out the new way of being, but recognizing the boundaries of your self-worth is indeed powerful.
Let’s build a community of balance and respect.
Stand in your power and let others stand in theirs. Tweet this!
What are your takeaways from this article? How would a shift in power impact your life?
Please share your comments and experiences, or send me a private note at email@example.com. I would be delighted to hear from you!
Thank you for taking time to read this article! If you would like to learn more about how working with me can help you stand in your power, please email me.
May your power be with you,