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Authenticity Lifestyle Relationship

Personal Power, Politics And Principles

September 14, 2016

Trump vs. Clinton. Aboriginal rights. The legalization of marijuana. Just a few examples of hot button political issues that garner local and global attention. The media plays up the headlines – increasing the shock factor consistently and exponentially. Politics attract audiences and readers, after all.

But what about the politics that happen in our day-to-day lives? Y’know. The shit that keeps us up at night as we replay conversations and situations. Power struggles. Defensive protestations. Misunderstandings among friends that we get reluctantly pulled into. Family members bickering over insignificant details. Managers at work who ignore people for profit.

Where there are people, there are politics. It’s inevitable. And let’s be honest. There’s always gonna be a bad apple in the bunch (and sometimes there’s more than one).

When we’re faced with politics in our personal lives, we can sometimes begin to question our own seat of personal power. We may begin to question our skill set and talents, where we were once so sure of what we’re capable of. We might begin to question our place in the shuffle of things. We might begin to feel small, ignored and slighted. This is precisely when we need to reframe our power and be real.

Reframing our power is about sticking to our principles. Not bowing down. Not giving in and choosing to ‘play the game’. It’s about meeting political bullshit with a clear commitment to what we believe in. We might find ourselves dealing with backlash when we stick to our guns. But when we choose not to stand behind our principles, when we choose not to be real to what drives us, our passions and what we believe in, we’ll eventually find our energy depleting. We’ll build our confidence on faulty foundations.

Reframing our power is about recognizing that we choose how we feel in any given situation. That others can’t make us feel anything about ourselves that we don’t choose to feel. Reframing our power is about reclaiming our power and calling it into our lives with the clear intention to not sacrifice our principles to fit in with the crowd. To walk with our chins held high – not in a ‘holier than thou’ way but with a sense of healthy confidence.

Rather than meet fire with fire, we can choose to cross the line in politics in a good way – to create a stir by believing in ourselves and standing up for ourselves and doing the same for others. We can choose to make a positive impact around us and we can rewrite the rules of the game.

We can choose to meet politics with respect. And love. Never forget the love.

Authenticity Learning Relationship

Feeling Guilty? It’s Bound To Happen So Hug It And Let It Go.

September 1, 2016

We’ve all been there. After making a choice to do something we know we need for our own happiness / sanity / serenity / growth, a foreboding sense of guilt begins to slowly creep in.

We leave the person who hooked us up in our career. We end a relationship on its last legs because we know deep down we’re simply not connecting anymore. We leave the kids with a sitter to treat ourselves to a day at the spa.

After weeks of dreading about having to stick to plans we booked and knew we weren’t really feeling in the first place, we bow out gracefully. We do too much. We don’t do enough.  

All of these situations express our need to feel more free in our lives.

When we feel guilty, it’s a call from our soul to move more freely, choose more freely and be more real and open about our own needs and desires. It’s a call to set boundaries, expectations and speak from a place of authenticity.

We reach for more. We work harder. We work less. We reach our goals. We do more than people expected of us or ever thought could be achievable for themselves.

Some of us live with a constant sense of guilt because we know no other way. How could we possibly NOT feel guilty about doing something that feeds our ambition, soul or desires? Maybe we grew up in a household where guilt pervaded everything we did.

So then, we begin to feel guilty about feeling guilty. And so goes the vicious cycle.

We need to pause for a minute and recognize that, rather than trying to eviscerate the guilt or trying to ignore it, we need to simply let it be and let it go. We won’t magically start feeling less guilty one day.

We’re going to feel guilty. It’s literally the price we pay for being brave and acting on behalf of our soul. So I guess what I’m saying is that I’d rather feel guilty than feel nothing at all.

xo

Authenticity Relationship

What It Really Means To Be Vulnerable. Because Intention Is Everything.

August 15, 2016

Vulnerability.

Authenticity.

We toss these terms around when we talk about what real and solid connections are made of and there’s a lot of merit in being wholly open with the people in our lives. When we share from a space of authenticity and vulnerability, we’re speaking to the very things that bind us all. We’re sharing thoughts, feelings and impressions about the deep-seated fears and desires that we don’t always easily divulge and in turn, we connect on a level of truth and trust.

We connect on an authentic level when we trust another soul enough to say the things that are hard to say.

We connect when we admit to the things that make us feel weak, confused, embarrassed or lost in this world and when we admit to the things we fear the most.

Rather than pretend that everything’s perfectly a-ok, we recognize that there’s something we need to face – a hurdle to overcome, something we aspire to, a fear to annihilate – and when we say it out loud, we take ownership of it. We take our power back. We own it for what it is and we begin to see ourselves in others when we begin to realize that we’re all afraid of something and often the same things.

But here’s what we need to remember when we think about being vulnerable, real and raw:

When we constantly repeat our fears – hoping to connect – we begin to weave those fears into stories and stories stick. Stories imprint in our DNA.

When we sit too long with the stories we tell ourselves, they become truth and no longer something to overcome or move beyond. They become part of our identity.

When we sit too long with these stories, we’ll often feel weighed down, defeated, restless and constricted. And when we begin to recognize that something has to give – that something has to change – these stories creep in as we’re trying to move along without them, reminding us why we can’t do what we know we need to do.

We need to recognize our fears for what they are and share them with someone we trust wholeheartedly with the intention to set them free. To let them go. To move ahead.

There’s magic in setting an intention to release and move beyond our fears. There’s magic in grabbing someone we trust, looking them square in the eyes and saying:

I’m afraid to…
leave this relationship
quit this job
accept this promotion
create this piece of art
take a chance on love
change

Because I…
might fail
don’t know what I’m doing
am afraid I might make the wrong choice
don’t think anyone cares
might get hurt
might have to do some really, really hard work

But once we say it, we must do so heart-fully, honestly and with intention.

Let the words brush our lips so as not to make a firm defining statement about ourselves but rather express it to allow it to leave our bodies.

And then keep going.

xo

Lifestyle Relationship Wellness

A Love Letter To Friendship

August 11, 2016

It was a brutal week for me and while typically I can easily spot the silver lining, I was finding it really hard to develop the negative into a positive picture. You brought me back to a place of calm despite the storm and practically spoon fed me poutine because you know that somehow that gravy-laden magnificence can make everything right in the world again.

We were both utterly exhausted (you were probably more so than I) but you stuck to our plans because you knew how much it meant to me.

You squealed with delight right along with me when I landed that gig.

You reminded me to keep going even when all I wanted to do was bury myself under the sheets, admit defeat and never try again. You reminded me that all the effort was worth it and that I was a better person because I put myself out there. You reminded me that you would love me all the same and I could see it in your eyes that you really, really meant it.

We danced like our lives counted on it and walked home arm in arm in the early morning sun.

You think I’m hilarious and witty and kind and brave. (I love that you see the very qualities I appreciate about you in me).

We cried together.
We prayed together.
We meditated together.
(All of which make you kinda uncomfortable but you did ’em anyway).

You always get the most thoughtful gifts.

You were straight-up when I asked for your opinion. You knew what was best for me and often know me better than I know myself. Gently shaking me out of my self-denial you unfailingly deliver the truth with kindness and respect.

You forgave me when I found it impossible to forgive myself. 

We don’t always agree or see eye-to-eye but that doesn’t stop you from supporting me because you love me for exactly who I am.

And you. My dear friend, you. I wouldn’t be the person I am today had it not been for you – had you not been a part of my life to remind me of everything that is good and pure and simply fabulous in the world. And for all this and so much more, I fucking love you.

xo

Image by Brittany Connell.