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Authenticity, Lifestyle, Wellness

An Urban Hippy’s Toolkit: Flipping The Bird To Perfection

With winter finally subsiding (minus those few April days when I stared at snowflakes fluttering around my sweatered body in utter horror) I decided that this was the month to get active again. Active as in regularly active – not just on the rare occasion that I felt like getting up.

I know how much better I feel when I work out. I know how good yoga is for my soul and to calm a messy state of mind. I know how easy it is to get up in the morning when I’ve been jogging regularly and how invigorating it is to feel my feet hitting the ground as I make my way through the city.

So I set my alarm early every morning and declared April to be the month when Corinne got her fitness groove back.

But instead, I faced massive resistance. Massive, brick wall resistance. And I wasn’t able to think my way out of this one – my brain didn’t want to hear it.

I yoga’ed way less than I wanted to because when my alarm went off some mornings, there were times where I just didn’t feel like it. There were times when I opted to sit on the couch to watch an episode of Lost (currently on repeat on Netflix – of which I’m utterly addicted to) instead of going for a jog outdoors on those ideal weather evenings. Looking back now I realize that what I ended up with was a month filled with procrastination and frustration with myself. And at the heart of it – anger.

I was angry at myself for putting things off.

I was angry for not achieving the goals I set for myself.

I was angry that my body didn’t easily get back on the fitness wagon after having fallen off of it for months.

We feel angry when the world doesn’t live up to our expectations. 

We feel angry when we have an idea of how people, places or things should be for us and they turn out differently. When we get angry, frustrated or try to change things, we give away our power to something outside of our control.

While spring is symbolic of new beginnings and fresh starts, in traditional Chinese medicine, we learn that the predominant emotion felt during this time of year is anger. Along with the change in season, comes a change in light and dark – the yin and yang energies.

Anger is powerful if we can harness it.

It’s a call from our soul to reflect on what’s happening around us and understand where our mindset, beliefs and perspectives are stuck. To realize where we need to move in our lives – what needs to shift to make way for the new. And so this urban hippy has decided to instead gracefully flip the bird to perfection.

I let go of my need to be perfect.

I let go of my tendency to be hard on myself when I don’t fulfill lofty objectives.

I let go of my need to do everything perfectly – right here, right now.

Instead, I choose to lean into my goals. I choose to set them high, try my absolute best and allow myself space to grow into them.

I allow myself time.

My focus is patience and kindness to myself in the pursuit of my goals.

What do you need to shift? What mindsets are no longer serving you? I would love to hear your comments below.

And be kind to yourself. You’re the only you that you’ve got.

Much love, XXX

 

Lifestyle, Wellness

Creating Your Day Through Mindful Mornings

Our days are created in the morning. When we start off our day feeling stressed, tense and anxious before we even get out of bed, everything afterwards will follow the same vibe. When we carry on through our morning activities rushing around to get out the door, we’re starting off on the wrong foot.

It’s a scientific fact that the brain doesn’t know the difference between intention and action.

Think about that.

If you’re getting up in the morning, rushing around and telling yourself that the day is going to be unproductive, crappy and messy, your brain essentially thinks that you’ve already had a day that’s precisely that – unproductive, crappy and messy. So before you’ve even left the house or started your work day, your brain is convinced that the day was pretty awful. It’s no wonder that we have bad days when we get into a space where we’re not enjoying our mornings.

This week’s video includes some ways that we can create great days ahead of us by being mindful in the morning.

Much love, XXX

Learning, Lifestyle

Look How Far You’ve Come

When we’re looking to make changes in our lives to grow, expand or move ahead in any way, we set big, lofty goals for ourselves. We work to achieve big things and set milestones along the way. We might want to:

  • Build a successful solo business
  • Do some good inner work and self-development
  • Have enough money saved in the bank for a much-needed getaway
  • Work out regularly and get back into shape

As we’re working toward our goals, every now and then, we’ll sit back, look around and measure ourselves on our progress. We look at others and compare ourselves to where they’re at. We judge our progress based on friends, family, co-workers or people who are online that we’ve never even met.

We can often get down on ourselves because we’re not ‘where we’re supposed to be’ or we aren’t as far along as we ‘should’ be. And then we feel shitty. We can convince ourselves that our goals simply can’t be achieved. We give up on them or put them on the back-burner. We wonder, “what’s the point?”

It’s important to understand that things take time. Big changes and progress don’t happen overnight. It’d be easier if everything just fell into place, here and right now. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could just snap our fingers and *poof* everything would be done?

Without putting in the work, without having a-ha moments and breakthroughs along the way, we wouldn’t even begin to fully understand why we need to make the changes our soul is calling for and those changes would never stick. 

There’s far more beauty in the process than the outcome. We might think that once we do X or achieve Y, our lives will be complete and everything will be better for it. But more often than not, when we get to where we’re headed – when we reach that destination – we’re hit with the reality that either there’s still more we need to do or that getting to where we thought we wanted to be really isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. We’re left thinking, “now what?”

When we compare ourselves to others, we’re setting ourselves up for failure.

People progress differently. We have different sets of circumstances, different ways in which we see the world. We can’t expect to arrive at a certain place at the same time as another person. Worse yet, when we look at others and compare our chapter 1 to their chapter 12, there’s no reason why we wouldn’t feel crappy for it.

So rather than beat ourselves up for where we’re at, sometimes you gotta stop, take a deep breath and look at how far you’ve come. While you may not be exactly where you want to be, I can bet that you’ve done a lot of work in the process and if you’re not validating yourself along the way, you’re missing out on the best part of the ride.

Much love, XXX

Lifestyle

Well, Hello There Sunshine

I dunno about you but with March 20th being the first day of Spring, I’m gung-ho ready to pack away my cozy down-filled coat, wool mittens and waterproof ‘perfect-for-below-average-temperatures’ winter boots. Dodging puddles made from melting snow and sunsets now making an appearance at around 7:45pm are making me ridiculously giddy. With the promise of spring and warmer air (also known to Canadians as ‘air that doesn’t hurt your face’) I can’t help but think, “Helllloooo patio season.” 

Life and business tend to pick up quite a bit during this time. We crawl out of hibernation mode and get back into the swing of things. The days are longer and we’re not calling it quits on yet another freezing day and curling up in bed by 8pm (just me?)

With the hustle and bustle starting to pick up, we can often let this time pass and miss the transition to a new season – and sadly so! There’s something magical about seeing the trees budding, tulips popping and the grass getting greener. Taking an extra 5 minutes during our day to just take a walk outside to breathe the fresh air without having to bundle up in 10 layers is pretty damn sweet.

When we’re just trying to get through the week, we can also ignore the natural urge to purge that’s so strong at this time. Spring cleaning is THE perfect chance to start afresh – to get rid of the crap and baggage we’re holding onto that we know we’ll never use.

The next time you’re standing in front of your closet, convincing yourself that – despite the 50-some-odd pieces of garments staring right back at you – you have nothing to wear, get honest with yourself. That top you bought 6 months ago. Y’know the one I’m talking about. The one that still has the tag on it. The one you bought because:

  • It was on sale and you simply couldn’t resist.
  • It was actually really similar to another three shirts you already own but you could justify buying it because it was slightly different (not really though now as you’re looking at it again).
  • It was the perfect match to the pair of pants/skirt/shoes you never wear so you thought you might finally have a complete outfit.
  • You absolutely needed something new to wear to that event you had with the big thing that everyone went to (even though you ended up wearing something else that you felt better in anyway).

We’ve all got that shirt. And if we look a little closer, we’ll probably find a couple more items that we’ve worn a handful of times and feel out of sorts whenever we wear it. Apparently, on average, we wear only about 20% of our wardrobe. The rest is in there to make us feel like we have more options than we really want (or need for that matter). And I’ve read about more than a dozen uber-successful business tycoons that wore the same thing day in and out as a matter of efficiency (think Steve Jobs and his infamous black turtleneck). I’ll admit I’m certainly guilty of spending far too much time obsessing over what to wear on occasion, when that time could’ve been better spent doing pretty much anything other than obsessing over what to wear.

So purge that shit. Go through the closet and pull out the items that are taking up room – the stuff you hardly or never wear. Donate it all – give it to someone who actually has nothing to wear for real.

And while you’re at it – what about that kitchen drawer full of junk? The one that you need to squeeze shut and pray that it won’t burst open randomly, full of ‘just in case’ crap that you keep – stuff that you might need, one day, some day, but probably not anytime soon.

While you’re in the kitchen (and this is a BIG personal note to self here) go through your cabinets and check ’em out. Do you really need those five cans of beans that you’ve had for months because you keep forgetting that you bought beans the last time you went to the grocery store? Guess what’s for dinner? You got it. Bean casserole.

There’s power in getting rid of the stuff we don’t need. By getting rid of clutter, we create a clear space to live and create in and there’s no better time than now to do it. Happy decluttering!

Much love, XXX