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Lifestyle Spirituality Wellness

The Magic In Rituals

September 30, 2015

It’s easy to keep up with the things that make us feel good when we’re feeling good.

Early morning yoga class is cool when things aren’t too busy and we can quiet our mind long enough to really get into our bodies and connect to the practice. Daily meditation is easier to settle into when we don’t feel rushed through our day, when we can spare a couple of minutes to sit still. Taking a long hot bath at the end of the day is easier when we aren’t slammed with work that feels like it can’t possibly wait until tomorrow.

When we have the time and mental space to do the rituals that make us feel good, we imprint those feel-good vibes onto our body. Every cell associates that yoga class, meditation practice and self-care action with a feeling of peace, connection and calm. The more we do it, the better. We reduce the stress we feel from day-to-day. We remind ourselves of what it feels like to feel good and that’s contagious. Our positivity rubs off on everyone around us.

When we do those things regularly, they become things that we look forward to – things that become ritual and automatic. When this happens, we don’t have to think twice, do we? We instinctively know what we need to get into a good space.

But more often than not, we drop all that stuff when shit hits the fan. Things get complicated in life and work and we stop making the time for those things because we’re stressed, tired, burnt out, frustrated, etc, etc. And that’s when we need those things the most. And the more we can make those things ritualistic, the more we’ll be able to incorporate them into our lives when we need them the most. They become the things we know are tried, tested and true to get us back in our groove.

Some of the things on my list of feel-good, get-myself-centred-again things include jogging, yoga, meditation, walking, dancing, painting, journaling, anything related to water and bare feet, crystals, smudging, candles and the occasional poutine (Hey. Nobody’s perfect, right?)

What are your non-negotiables? What are the things that you know can get you back on track? How can you incorporate them into your life some more to make them more easily accessible when you really need them? Let us know in the comments below!

Much love, XXX

Authenticity Learning Spirituality Wellness

Happy New Year! (Well, Kinda)

September 23, 2015

I dunno about you but there’s been a lot of shifting, changing and craziness happening lately. Ladies and gentlemen, the proverbial shit has hit the fan. Can I get an amen?!

Six months ago, I decided to throw caution to the wind and make my business my full time endeavour. Living off savings that I carefully stowed away like a squirrel, I declared that come hell or high water, I was going to make it work. Well, the universe has been sending me carefully crafted love letters reminding me that Rome wasn’t built in a day (or six months for that matter) and I finally got the message.

I’ve also received a clear message from the gods to move out of my current condo (a flood from the air bnb’s next door was the perfect swift kick to remind me of the nudge I was feeling to move out). And so went my Reiki studio and in came questions about how to move on with my business and how I define ‘home’.

Along with all this came questions, doubts and fears – all bubbling to the surface – as I tried to navigate my way through the myriad of choices and opportunities I had laying at my feet. And to be quite honest with you, along too came an overwhelming sense of failure. Like a ‘what the heck have I been doing for the last year’ kind of feeling where I wondered if I had made all the right moves to get me where I need to go.

You might be wondering why I’m telling you all this. It’s certainly not because I think I’ve got something to brag about. (This whole thing has been far more humbling than I can say). It’s not because I’m looking for sympathy. (I sat in my own muck and reached out when I was ready to ask for support).

It’s because I know I’m not the only one hitting brick walls right now.

It’s because I can see how other people around me are redefining, rediscovering and reimagining their lives. Not necessarily because they want to – but because they have no choice in the matter.

It’s because I know how powerful it can be to hear someone say ‘yeh, I’m going through my own shit too, thanks for getting real with me.’

It’s because I realized that now, more than ever, I need to remind myself to practice what I preach.

It’s the first day of Fall and naturally, things will be changing. The days will get shorter, the air – crisper. The leaves will be turning all wonderful shades of red, yellow, orange and everything in between.

And with this transition, I’ve decided to start all over again – to uncover a fresh slate.

I’m starting with the easy stuff. My ‘stuff’. Like those books I’ve read once and have been collecting dust on my shelves for years now – they’re getting donated to my local library. Like the blazers I’ve been hanging onto in case, one day, I decide that I’m a blazer kind of chick again (I’m so not anymore). Starting with this stuff is easy but it also creates an energy of simplicity. And I certainly could use some simplicity right about now!

Then I’ll move onto other stuff. Like the need to figure things out in my own head when everything feels like it’s falling apart at the seams. Like the need to control things in an attempt to make the hairy and messy parts of life feel a little less stifling. The more I cling to the need to get it all figured out right now, the more I make rash decisions, move in directions out of fear and hush the little voice inside that already knows what I need.

So you with me? Ready to declare a new beginning? A fresh start? A tossing out of the stuff that may have happened recently to knock you off your centre?

Intend it.
Demand it.
Declare it.
Know that you can have it.

Let’s do this.

Much love, XXX

Learning Lifestyle Spirituality Wellness

28 Things I’ve Done That I’m Proud Of

August 11, 2015

1. Decided to nurture and trust in my own understanding of self, the world, and my place in the universe.

2. Created energy in my home that reflects who I am, is welcoming, and feels good. Purge what no longer feels good regularly. Invite in only what does – that includes people as much as things.

3. Get my clothes dirty playing with paint and the soles of my feet caked in mud, have impromptu dance parties in the kitchen and try to not take myself too seriously.

4. Accepted that not everyone will like me, agree with me or see my perspective. Surrounded myself with like-minded souls and share a mutual respect despite not always seeing eye-to-eye.

5. Gave myself the permission to let my crazy out.

6. Came to the realization that my feminine energy feeds me, guides me, and inspires me. Nurture that shit.

7. Got that divorce.

8. Quit that job.

9. Decided to never look back in regret. Declared that every decision I’ve made and every action I’ve taken has resulted in the person that I am today and I wouldn’t change a thing.

10. Became the kind of person that my mother is super proud of.

11. Decided that I would start loving myself now, here, today, and not when I achieved X, Y, or Z.

12. Took a chance on myself and my dreams. Realized that I’d never know what I was capable of until I tried. Then saw how those decisions inspired others to do the same.

13. Started trusting and listening to that inner part of me that just feels her way through things.

14. Share my home with two amazing soulmates disguised as cats.

15. Bought that Haagen Dazs bar. Devoured it.

16. Fell in love with myself all over again.

17. Made a conscious effort to rid my home and body of chemicals and toxins. (Hello coconut oil body lotion, natural toothpaste and deodorant, baking soda and vinegar cleaning agents.)

18. Taking the time to breathe and check-in with myself everyday goddamn day.

19. Recognized the things that were hard to say because of fear. Fear of being misunderstood. Fear that what I thought might be seen by another as trite or insignificant. Fear that being honest and vulnerable would make me feel weak. Said those things anyway.

20. Realized that I can often put people on pedestals and decided to instead realize that people are people.

21. Let myself feel through the empty, sad and lost moments.

22. Let my soul and body get carried away with music.

23. Took responsibility for my own shit.

24. Consciously tuned into the fact that sometimes, it’s other people’s shit. Let that go.

25. Surrounded myself with other women who know the strength of lifting each other up.

26. Sleep with a hunk of rose quartz under my pillow. Take stones and crystals in my purse or pocket, or stuffed in my bra that feel good for that day or evening. Pick up random stones on the beach. Connect with the innate healing power of nature.

27. Began my own journey of self-healing, on my terms.

28. Chose to focus on the good stuff not because I don’t know bad stuff exists but because I know that good begets more good.

What are you proud of?

P.S. I’m proud of you too.

Lifestyle Relationship Spirituality Wellness

Gimme More

August 4, 2015

The more we get. The more we want.

We finally land that promotion we’ve been working hard for, for the past 2 years or we hit that business goal we set and we’re happy. For a week. Or a month. Then we begin to think of the next big thing we want to achieve.

We finally meet an awesome man or woman who we can really be ourselves with – warts and all. Then after a couple of months, we find he or she has this little insignificant annoying habit that begins to grate on our nerves. Before you know it, it’s all we can focus on as all the other amazing things fade into the background.

We manage to shave time off our weekly run, lift more weight, master that yoga pose and immediately set a new goal to crush.

Rather than sit back and soak up our hard work, give ourselves a pat on the back, appreciate the fact that we achieved what we set out to do, we want…

Stronger. Better. Faster. Harder. Newer. More.

And to the detriment of ourselves and others around us, we begin to judge our own journey and path. We look at others and compare ourselves to them. We size ourselves up to measure how we’ve “surpassed” another or how they’ve “surpassed” us. Or we judge that either we or the other person might be “lagging behind”.

But that’s really all a matter of perception, isn’t it? What’s right for one person isn’t necessarily right for the next. How one person defines success may not be the way another one does. And while we may see things way differently than another person, it doesn’t mean that either one of us is right or wrong. It’s just different.

What would happen if we just took the time to appreciate the good around us instead of focusing on all the negatives?

What would happen if we gave ourselves a break from the grind and rat race instead of constantly striving for the next best thing?

What would happen if we allowed the people around us to see the world through their own eyes instead of trying to change them? 

This isn’t about settling, giving up or becoming apathetic. This is about understanding that sometimes, when we’re so set on achieving a goal, we can dismiss the work along the way. When we finally achieve it, it can be positively anti-climactic because we miss the process – the point of it all. So we rush to meet the next goal.

This is about understanding that no single person can possibly be absolutely everything we think we need. We’re all human after all and asking a person to fit our idea of perfection is unrealistic, unfair and setting us up for dissatisfaction and disappointment.

This is about giving ourselves the permission to be in a space where we can give ourselves a break from setting unrealistic expectations on ourselves and others.

We’re all entitled to living our own lives. We all have views of how the world works, what works for us and what we need.

If you’re reading this right now, that means you have a computer, laptop or smartphone, and an internet connection that allows you to connect instantly with people half-way across the world and brings the world to your fingertips. So let’s start there.

Before we get back to our days, the next thing on our to-do list, a pressing urgent matter, let’s stop for a minute and just be cool with the fact that we’re pretty damn lucky to be able to connect like this. Let’s appreciate that the lives we’re living today – the conveniences we have – were unimaginable only a short while ago.

And on that note – I’m handing this over to Louis CK.  Because the man, sure as shit, has a helluva way with words.

Much love, XXX