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Lifestyle, Wellness

How To Kick Stress To The Curb

We all have doses of stress in our day. Whether it’s running around to get to meetings, juggling family and social demands or just worrying about the future, we’ll all find ourselves sitting in a puddle of stress, anxiety or tension at one point or another. So what do you do to feel better in that moment?

This week’s video is all about understanding how you can deal with stress when you’re in the thick of things. I’d love to hear about the things you do during your day to de-stress. Feel free to comment below!

 

Authenticity, Lifestyle, Relationship, Wellness

Why Searching For Happiness Will Leave You Perpetually Searching

Our passion, purpose, soulmate – whatever it is. That thing we’re searching for the hardest because we think it’ll be the answer to everything – our problems in life, business and love.

We work hard to find it because we’ve been told and subconsciously sold on the idea time and time again that without it, we can’t possibly be happy and complete. Without it, we’re spinning our wheels and living an empty existence. Without it, we’re wasting our time.

Well, I call bullshit.

We get disappointed when our dream job or business turns out to be not so dreamy. Long hours, personal differences and conflicts arise and we suddenly see that things aren’t all they were cracked up to be in our squeaky clean vision of life.

We get disappointed when our significant other, best friends or family members let us down. Missed birthdays and anniversaries, differences of opinion and contrasting priorities. All of a sudden, the people we counted on the most are nowhere to be found. (Or so we tell ourselves because really – in the big scheme of things – I’d love to know I’m supported when I really need it and not only to celebrate a single day of the year).

The problem with searching for happiness in other people, places or things is that we’ll always be searching. When we look for something outside of us to keep us fulfilled, we’ll always be dissatisfied. 

Nothing will ever be perfect. We can try to find the ideal job, marry the ideal partner and make the ideal friends but inevitably, in some way, something will arise to taint that vision of perfection and the ideal. The question is how much imperfection we’re willing to put up with in any given scenario. Or as Mark Manson so eloquently puts it:

“WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE FLAVOUR OF SHIT SANDWICH AND DOES IT COME WITH AN OLIVE?”

You can read more about his brilliant insights but he’s pointing to a very true fact that often gets overlooked:

“…here’s the sticky little truth about life that they don’t tell you at high school pep rallies: Everything sucks, some of the time… Everything involves sacrifice. Everything includes some sort of cost. Nothing is pleasurable or uplifting all of the time. So the question becomes: what struggle or sacrifice are you willing to tolerate? Ultimately, what determines our ability to stick with something we care about is our ability to handle the rough patches and ride out the inevitable rotten days.”

When we’re relying on something or someone to make things better for us, we often forget that we’re all out for our own agendas. So that person we’re looking for to complete our lives – he or she also has their own dreams, goals and opinions, which may not always be aligned with ours. Those coworkers, bosses, employees and clients we hope will always do and say the right thing? They may have a different idea altogether of what ‘right’ means.

So as you contemplate your shit sandwiches and which ones come with an olive (and I hope that most of them do!) also consider the following.

Since it’s inevitable that everyone and everything will at some point in time mire your idea of perfection or what you think you truly want and need in this life – find your own happiness, fulfillment and support FIRST. 

Back up and figure out what lights you up and go do more of that stuff.

Find the hobbies and interests that fill your soul with adventure and creativity rather than assuming that your job and others around you will always be around to fill in the gaps.

Take the time to take care of yourself so when issues and problems arise, you’re in a better emotional, physical and mental space to deal with them.

When we’re constantly searching for things outside of ourselves to make everything better, we’ll be constantly searching in vain. Because really, true happiness starts within.

Creativity, Learning, Lifestyle, Spirituality, Wellness

Motivation, Inspiration and Self-Care Product Reco’s

The best thing we can do for ourselves is find the stuff that really light us up – that motivates, inspires and takes care of us – and make that stuff a part of our everyday life.

First, connect to self. 

Call this whatever you want – connecting to your soul, spirit, your higher self, intuition – regardless of its name, it’s all the same. Before we can do any quality work in this world, we have to be sure to fill ourselves up. If we get to work or life feeling packed to capacity, we don’t have room to let the good stuff in. And you can’t fill an already full container, can you? We have to empty some stuff out to create a space for creation.

Extreme gratitude. Reverence. Intention. 

I don’t get out of bed without tuning into a vibe of gratitude. I feel gratitude for the littlest of things that I might otherwise takIMG_5560e for granted. Even my crazy part-Siamese cat who has a nasty habit of bellowing on the top of his lungs like the house is on fire to remind me that it’s breakfast time. This isn’t about running through a list of things because someone once told me that gratitude is super powerful (and I know it is). This is about actually feeling grateful for the little things that make up my life. It’s about creating the day through mindful mornings.

For me, showering is my time to set an intention. Call it prayer, divination, manifestation – whatever you like – I set the firm intention to be present in my day. I let myself be fully aware of the warm water running over my skin, the fact that my feet are firmly planted on the ground and I try to take that vibe with me everywhere I go.

Focus and tarot love.

Being intentional also has to do with setting focus. When I’m questioning my focus for the day or evening, I’ll pull a card with the intention to understand what I need to concentrate on. This isn’t about predicting the future or some crazy voodoo shit, this is just my way to shine a light on what I might not be seeing. I like to have a choice of decks depending on how I’m feeling at the moment. They all have a different way of communicating what I need. That’s why I have a pretty phat collection of tarot decks to play with. When I’m looking for a gentle reading, I reach for my Doreen Virtue angel cards. When I want to get lost in a visual and focus on how to feel for the day, my goddess cards will do the trick. And my Wild Unknown deck is a favourite when I’m feeling for a straight-up intuitive hit. I have other decks too. I used to think that I needed to stick to one but now I know I’d rather have a selection depending on my mood.

Simple self-care. 

I have to be honest, the first time I attempted oil pulling, I was totally grossed out. Putting a spoon of coconut oil into my mouth just felt weird. But I wanted to see if all the hype to it was true. So I stuck to it for a week and I’ve never looked back. I’ve noticed a huge improvement in my teeth and gums (not to mention that my dentist asked me what I was doing differently too). I’ve also chucked my department store-bought toothpaste and substituted for a natural clean. I’ve been on a real kick to rid my body of harmful chemicals and coconutextra non-essential ingredients in my self-care routine (hello natural deodorant, diy body lotion (aka coconut oil), skin cleanser and facial toner).

And finally, I refuse to buy hundreds of dollars worth of skin-firming, wrinkle-defying, age-enhancing products chock full of ingredients that I would never ingest let alone shouldn’t be shovelling onto my skin. Instead, I’m keeping myself hydrated. I start my day with a tall glass of room temperature water with either lemon or apple cider vinegar, which clean out impurities, signal my digestive system to wake up and start my daily hydration. I make it hard for myself to ‘forget’ or ‘get too busy’ to drink water throughout the day by bringing a metal container of H2O with me when I’m on the go and keeping a tall glass filled with water at my side when I’m working.

Meditation. Silence. Mindfulness.

I might not have a huge chunk of time every single day to mediate but I sure as hell take time every day to get quiet. My sanity, creativity, relationship with myself and others depends on it. Meditation and mindfulness is all about achieving a moment of mental inactivity – where I don’t get carried away with my never-ending judgements and thoughts and can have a chance to get mindful to what’s happening in my day.

Accidental altars.

I didn’t set out with the intention to create a pretty little altar in my home, it kind of just happened. I intuitively began to collect little somethings that had a lot of meaning to me – all in one spot beside my bed. What started as a stark night table is now a collection of my favourite things. From books to candles, to stones and crystals, feathers and bodhi beads, I have a small space that holds energy for me. It doesn’t have to be anything more than a love note to yourself or a photo of your dream home – but it’s super powerful to hold a space of meaning that’s just for you. And change it up every now and then – make it a living expression of your essence.

Music. Dance. Move.

Music is medicine for the soul. It doesn’t matter what kind of mood you’re in, there’s something for everyone. Wanna temporarily brood over a rough day or failed romance? Go for it. Wanna solo impromptu dance party kinda of evening? Do it. Listen, soak it up and let your body move if you’re so inclined. Speaking of movement, there’s no better cure for being stuck than getting moving. Yoga, walk, jog, or sweat it out. 10 minutes or 1 hour, it doesn’t matter. Just. Move.

Much love.

Learning, Wellness

4 Things To Free Yourself Of Right Now

Try to wander through a bookstore without spotting a self-help title about improving yourself, your career, or your relationships with others. I bet you won’t make it past 60 seconds. There are countless documentaries and videos out there promoting a new food or fitness fad, each positioned to be the next best thing. While I’m all about self-improvement and creating a life you love, let’s get one thing straight.

You are not broken. And you definitely don’t need to be fixed.

It’s human nature to strive for more. We work harder to move up in our careers and businesses. We align ourselves with the things we want in our lives. We work with others to achieve a sense of understanding and balance between us. We work on breaking bad habits. But there’s no single book, person, place or thing that can make everything all better in one fell swoop. If you come across someone or something that claims to be the answer to all your woes – run. New people, places and things can introduce you to new ideas. They can inspire you and they can show you a new perspective on things but they’re there to enrich your life, not fix it.

If you’re feeling the weight of things that are keeping you stuck as you try to move forward in life, here are 4 things to free yourself of right now:

1. The perpetual search. If you’ve done any level of work on yourself, you’re likely familiar with the onion analogy. We uncover one thing to tweak in our lives, face it head on and deal with it, and inevitably uncover another and another after that. If we’re in tune with ourselves and really looking to grow, it’s a lifelong process.

Sometimes this can become exhausting and overwhelming. This can happen when we’re constantly ‘on’ – looking for the next thing to change, shift or transform. In this place, we’re analyzing every situation and circumstance and questioning our response to them, trying to figure things out. When we’re constantly trying to figure things out in our heads, we’re actually doing the exact opposite of what this process is all about. We need to let go of our need to control and fix stuff. When we let go, tune in and allow things to flow to and around us, we’ll often find the very things we’ve been longing for.

2. The need to compare. Is there someone you know (personally or even a celebrity) whose life you’re convinced is the absolute best? Maybe there’s someone you aspire to because you think he or she has it together more than you ever will. You might be looking at someone who appears to be more successful than you in their business or career and you can’t help but think that you’re falling behind.

Do me a favour? Screw all that. I can guarantee you that they all have their own bag of bullshit to deal with. We can easily look at others and romanticize them in our minds. We begin to think that others have it better than we do. I used to think this way a lot until I started my business and approached other entrepreneurs who I thought were past all the ‘what the heck are you doing’ chatter we often face when we’re putting ourselves way out there. And you know what I learned? We all have our own version of insecurities, doubts and fears. For God’s sake even Beyonce gets nervous before a concert. So instead of comparing yourself to others, give yourself a pat on the back for being amazingly you. Which brings me to #3.

3. Beating yourself up. Sometimes when we’re busy comparing ourselves to our own ideas of why others are better than we are, we slip into judgement mode. We decide that we’re not good enough the way we are. We convince ourselves that we need more, better, bigger, faster X, Y and Z. Along with this judgement comes a feeling of lack. And when we come from a place of lack, we look around and see and create only more lack and less of the good stuff we want.

Start today by being kind to yourself. Rather than move through the thoughts of what you could or should be doing differently, or how you can become a better this or that in your life, focus on what makes you great. Grab a paper and pen and write out 10 things that you’ve done until this very day in your life that you’re proud of. It can be anything from winning that Spelling Bee in grade school to that time last week that you rocked someone’s world. We can often downplay the amazing things we’ve done and forget how awesome we really are.

4. Tunnel vision. Sometimes when we’re feeling stuck with something and can’t move forward, it’s because we’re blind to all the possibilities and opportunities around us. Feeling stuck or getting a case of the blahs is often a sign from our bodies that we need to shake things up a little, do something new and have some fun.

Go for a walk. Take a vacation. Book a staycation. Join a networking group. Pick up a new hobby. Journal out your thoughts. Paint something. Read a smutty mindless novel. You get the picture. Just do something different and have some fun. When we’re in the space of trying to make something happen or figure something out, we get bogged down with the details and get stuck running through them over and over in our heads. When we do something different and fun, we get our heads out of that stuck spot and allow ourselves to focus on something else. By seeing that there’s more to life than the stuff that’s driving us nuts, we can see beyond our limited perspective.

What can you let go of right now to help you move forward? I’d love to hear more about it in the comments below!

Much love, XXX