On Conformity: Words to my Daughter

Last night I went to bed before my kids. That’s what happens when you raise teenagers; they outlast you more often than not.

My daughter came into my bedroom to say good night and I could tell there was something on her spirit. I have learned to elicit the truth of her heart, I simply have to ask one question.

“How are you feeling right now?”

In the split second after I ask, I just have to look into her eyes to understand the answer.

With tears in her eyes, she explained to me that she was feeling bad about fitting in and that other kids don’t always “get her”.

You see her heart is deep and pure. She has so much compassion for other’s within. She often befriends the new kid as soon as she sees a hint of uncomfortable. She will turn back to help another if they fall. She will make those around her laugh if they are sad. She reads me too after work, and sometimes even when I tell her my day was ok, she’ll come and give me a long hug within perfect timing.

She’s expressive, creative, loving, and artistic.

I inwardly asked for guidance last night to find the right words to make her feel better.  Not words that will placate or pacify; but rather to give her a long-term perspective. Words I wish I knew as truth when I was a teenager.

These are the words my heart urged me to say to her…

These teenage years; JR. High, High School, are so minute on the scale of life, but also important in that you have many choices.

Work hard, get the grades which will give you many options to build the future of your dreams. If you decide to go to college, you will meet so many people who have the very same interests and drive. It’s a little more specialized.

Do not conform. You know who you are, and you are also learning about yourself. You are growing and evolving in character. Hold your head high. It’s ok to be “weird”. Everyone is a weird, some just wear masks to hide it.

These people who you want acceptance from; they will probably not be in your life after school is over. I promise you’ll look back and wonder why you cared about their opinions. Just do you, and build that future which is so very bright and full of hope.

You are kind, and loyal. Your true friendships will adore and cherish you. I had one main ride or die friend in high school, she is still my best friend today (and we are going to visit her and her kids soon). It’s not quantity, but quality.

But whatever you do, please don’t dim your light for anyone. Walk proud and understand your worth. You are so very worthy of all you want in life.  Study hard, and use your brain. Use your words for love. It’s OK to walk away from anyone who doesn’t show you respect. Because you respect yourself.

The entire time she just held my head and nodded. This morning as she was eating her breakfast I asked her “How are you feeling this morning?”

And she replied with a smile  “I’m good” and her eyes spoke that truth. I lifted my chin up with my finger, pulled my shoulders back, and said “Head high my girl”

From my heart to yours,

Christine

 

A Post of Uplifting if you Need it

Life has ebbs and flows. High highs and low lows.

Often, I didn’t even recognize one of life’s Highs until after I passed it. Like when I’m driving to work, and I see a group of Moms huddled together with their coffee’s after dropping the older kids off at school. The younger kids are chillin’ in wagons drinking juice boxes while the Mom’s talk about life. I recognize now, that stage was one of my highs in life. Simplistic and beautiful.

However, when I am in a low…oh man, do I know it.

The times of adversity in life are easy to spot. Where it’s hard to lift the head off that pillow every morning and darkness settles in. THEN you miss those light times and wonder why you didn’t recognize that light.

So, if you find yourself in a low, here’s what I want you to know (because I’ve been there).

While it may not feel this way, you have been handed the gift of expedited growth of Mind, Body, and Spirit if you choose that. It’s easy to feel confident, strong, prideful and loving to others when you are in a high time; however, when life’s rug is pulled out from under you…that’s the true test.

You will learn so much about yourself and others. Who your true friends are. The tricky part if letting go and moving forward without holding onto anger and resentment. Let go, for nothing is personal to you. You never know what others are going through too. And sometimes our tricky times in life is simply like holding up a mirror to another.

The only person you can change is you. So now that you are in this place..

Who are you?

Who do you want to be?

What life do you want to create?

The answers to those questions are found within the lows. I realized my lows were a gift to my spirit and my character. They were and are a time of awakening. The phase I can actively choose love over fear. To rise up and meet the challenge to be extraordinary within ordinary pain. Because pain is ordinary. We all have it in some form or fashion.

We are actually not separate at all, we are one in suffering.

Be intentional with your time. Find these elements in life which make you feel alive! If the true joy in life is feeling fulfillment, purpose, and meaning…then where do you find that? Seek purpose. Identity what is meaningful to you.

For me, I find fulfillment and purpose within true giving. I expect nothing in return. It’s not “what can I get?” but rather “What can I give?”.

Develop your intuition to listen to your body/mind/spirit. Rest when you need to and then use that energy for purpose YOU believe as fulfilling.

Rebuild with quality.

Quality relationships built on respect, acceptance, and genuine care.

Quality career where you just do your best. Actions + Words = Integrity

Quality down time. In the lows there is hermit time…that’s OK! No guilt there! Rebuilding is tricky business, but recognize that you will feel recharged to go out into the world again and do the things that make you feel empowered.

Find the fun in life.

Try new things.

Explore.

Find the fun within movement: kayak, hike, go paint-balling, throw a dodge ball at  a trampoline park, swim, waterslide…find that inner kid again. Remember when you were a kid and you couldn’t wait to create and play every. single. day?

I want to encourage you to frame the lows with this truth: All the experiences in your life have brought you to this place. There are no mistakes. You are faced with forks in the road, and choices to make. Choose Love over Fear. If you choose love, you’ll mould yourself stronger than you’ve ever been. That love has to start with yourself. Treat YOU as well, or hell…even better than you treat those you love most.

You will become an elevated version of yourself.

You 2.0

The lows breed compassion and empathy.

All that pain and discomfort will transform into peace, understanding, and happiness. Anxiety and fear of the unknown is replaced with inner calm and assurance. But you have to choose that. 

Remember, you always have a choice.

Choose to stay within the discomfort and not run from it or numb it with external factors. You won’t find purpose within food, alcohol, material possessions, insert numbing facet here. Numbing just forces you deeper into the pit of self-loathing and you deserve better than that.

You deserve to feel accepted, loved, and appreciated.

Choose for yourself exactly what you hope for your children.

Choose love my friends.

Rebuild with quality.

And then one day you’ll be minding your business, and you’ll recognize the familiarity of a low within another. Some strangers. Some friends you’ve grown with for years. Some you let go of. But you’ve now been gifted and equipped with tools to uplift another because you are one within that low.

It’s also within those moments you’ll realize how far you’ve come. How much you’ve grown. How beautiful this life is and how wildly unpredictable.

One life.

Create whatever you wish it to be.

Fulfilled.

Purposeful.

Full of meaning.

All within your power.

Lift your head, it will all be OK. Better than OK!

Extraordinary. Exceptional. Top Shelf.

You got this!

From my heart to yours,

Christine.

The Two Questions That Can Change the Trajectory of Your Life

Over the past couple of weeks, I have started my day by asking 2 questions which have translated into more knowledge, faith, and in turn action.

These two questions, while they sound similar, are actually very different within their intention.

  1. What do I need to know today? Show me.
  2. What do I need to learn today?  Show me.

Show me what I need to know…

There is a rooted knowledge within which is an inner strength…your intuition. A flame that’s always ablaze although at times it may feel like just a flicker. You know what you know. It’s a part of your being and it’s strengthened through your experiences/choices. Your value systems live within your intuition. While you may be open-minded to other’s points of view, your intuition will always guide you to what is right for you…if you listen.

Asking: What do I need to know today? is like asking for your intuition to kick into overdrive so you take the right path for you and in turn those who depend on you.

Show me what I need to learn…

There are elements within each facet of life which require more knowledge to truly find fulfillment.

Careers, relationships, parenting, health & fitness, etc.

Like when you start a new job; Obviously there is a learning curve that you will climb if you seek knowledge and put in the work to retain the information.

Listen.

Observe.

Learn.

Retain.

You can approach life the very same way. By putting out the intention that you are hungry for knowledge and willing to learn, I promise you…life will hand you lessons all day. It’s crazy how that works. Please try it. I would love some company in this experiment. 😉

Those lessons will come to you through opportunities, people, circumstances, challenges, and adversity. It will be uncomfortable. Sorry, but it will.

At one time, I was disillusioned with thinking if I put out good, I would always receive good in return. While a whole lot of good came my way, there was also a whole lot of shit too (for lack of a better word).

It dawned on me, that all the tricky stuff carries with it something I need to know and something I need to learn. I’m talking about lessons about myself…not others. I can only change me.

You do you. I do me.

And I will take responsibility for my life, and the steps I take to reclaim it. Onus on moi.

Step back.

Look at the big picture.

I have this 2 and 5 year plan. I have always been a goal setter, but my goals have changed to quality of life and I have taken time to name what makes my life feel rich in fulfillment of mind, body, spirit.

Quality: High standards. Rich in experiences. Focussed on values, and the hierarchy of those values. Conscious choices. Top shelf living. Intentional and with care.

When I started asking those two questions, it also came with the realization that there’s so much I don’t “know” and need to learn. Surrender to that humility.  Be humble within my inner strength and areas requiring growth.

As simple as it sounds to start the day with those two questions…which it is…I was blown away with the experiences that came my way. Almost immediately. I could write several post about it, but to simplify…here’s a few.

~I was approached at work (bank job) with specific areas I could grow and be more successful at reaching my targets. Not just broad suggestions/ideals, tangible skill-sets that allowed me to exceed those targets and gain constructive feedback.  It’s a very empowering feeling to have knowledge that can translate to success within your career. It builds confidence and you just walk a ‘lil taller.

Show me what I need to learn: If you seek knowledge, opportunities will come to you. Ask questions, and even more comes your way. Ask the right questions, be specific.

~A bunch of things broke down in my home, and I had to find ways to structure my budget to pay for those things. It made me more hungry because it came from necessity…not just “want”. We are not talking “mamma needs a new pair of shoes” here, we are talking about plumbing, transportation, and a roof over my head…literally I need shingles.  ha!

That very month, I booked more photography sessions than I have in the earlier 4 months combined.  The right people came to me at the right time and it worked perfectly into all of our schedules. I also feel fulfillment in giving them photos/memories while being able to better support my family.  At the same time, I learned ways to save and be smart with my money via bank job. I learned to ask for help, which is intensely uncomfortable for me. Like level 10 discomfort.

Show me what I need to know: There’s a simple beauty within the moving parts of synchronicity. Trust in myself and my abilities. It will all be taken care of. I have a support system. I don’t have to do it all alone.

~The other day at my bank job, a woman came to my wicket whom I’ve served before. She has the most beautiful joyful vibe. She wore a bright tie dyed shirt, a big wicker brimmed sun hat, and a smile that lit up the entire place. She is rich in experiences and many years my senior. I respect her, and I hardly know her. We look eyeball to eyeball when we talk; and there’s always a smile that travels right to our eyes. After her transaction, she said to me: “You remembered what I told you weeks ago about my travels, my family. Thank you for your care. You have a very peaceful loving spirit”

Show me what I need to know: The true joy of life is connecting with another in a pure way through genuine care. Good eye contact, a sincere conversation where you are actually investing in learning about another. Loving kindness. It matters…oh yes it does. The gift of time and attentive interaction, even if it’s for a few minutes, is important and felt by others. One spirit to another.

I challenge you to ask those 2 questions before you start your day today.  And then open up those beautiful eyes and take it all in. Let those life lessons pour in and enjoy the change of life’s trajectory. Top shelf.

From my heart to yours,

Christine

13 Years at Goal

I missed my 13 year anniversary of reaching my goal weight as I went away to the lake to visit family.  Last year was the year of Law of Attraction (thankful that has continued) and this was the year of Course Correction.

Keeping with tradition, here’s a few lessons I learned in year 13. I’m going to write this just as I would in my morning journal. Like a little wisdom letter from present me to past me (and hope for future me).

Course Correction

Time is a gift. Use it wisely. If something within my life isn’t working, correct my course. Even if it’s a small correction…it has the power to eventually change my entire trajectory. Align my actions with my values. I already know what those are.

Develop and Trust My Instincts

Listen to that inner voice within that guides me. Make good choices. Choices that matter! In order to truly listen and tune into that inner voice, I have to build it. I have learned that meditation, prayer and quiet time can strengthen instinct. Ask questions, be still and listen. Tune out distractions. Observe and pay attention.

Carve Out “Me Time”

Stop being addicted to busy. Busy is the new buzz word. “I’m soooo busy”. Ok, so is everyone else. But there’s always time for what’s important. And it is also important to take time for myself. Even if that means getting up earlier. Learn to centre myself so that no matter where I am, I can bring back that sense of peace and calm. Create my own little zen zone. Within my home and within my mind.

Be Quiet

This is still tricky for me! I adore good conversation. The kind that makes me think and re-evaluate my position. Question my past thought patterns. I respect those who make me think (and if you make me laugh, that’s double adore). But sometimes, I get so caught up in formulating a response, I miss the point. I also enjoy those who check me when I’m not listening. Thank you. So Listen to understand. Be quiet. Someone once told me that because they were so shy and reserved, they found out so much information about others because most people are uncomfortable with silence. They will fill it with truth talk. Be. Quiet.

Love is Not Attachment

Oooh this one almost needs it’s own dedicated post. But it’s all about knowing my worth and loving others purely without conditions.  Giving others freedom to walk away if they wish, and because I value myself, my worth is not dependant on another. When others walk….is there sadness? Will I miss them?  Sure.  But that doesn’t mean I feel bad about myself in any way. Everyone deserves love without conditions or expectations placed, and if I’m truly authentic…I’ll attract my tribe. And I will KNOW what is right for me and what is not. I can create a cool little circle of trust and connection. But it’s not attachment. Love is freedom.

Give without Expectation

Give with a thankful heart. If it’s rooted in guilt or to appease another…it’s not pure giving. Giving is a wonderful thing! It’s a way to give back to another I care about. So if I’m going to do it, make sure it’s pure unconditional giving with no strings attached. It’s one of life’s happy little gifts that costs nothing, and the rewards are always great.

Do What You Love

I have a shirt I bought years ago that says “Do what you Love”

Farm girls make a wood pile. May Long 2018

That phrase didn’t mean a lot to me until I became very intentional with my time and energy. I shifted careers in search of balance with my children. I work, they school, and together we meet after the day is done. It’s been an amazing shift for my kids and I. I truly do love what I do. I literally get paid to visit and help people. No matter where I am, if it’s in service of others, I’m all about it.  I find fulfillment within giving.  I’ve learned a lot about serving others at my job. I still come home with energy and that’s a wonderful thing!

Find the Ways My Body Enjoys Movement

The best form of exercise is the one you enjoy. Run. Jog. Walk. Kayak. Go for a bike ride. Lift heavy  things. Play a sport. Just play. Enjoy the freedom of challenging the body. That feeling of being alive within movement….oh it’s so good! Because if you don’t use it, you will lose it. That’s the truth.

Sit in Grief and Then Build the Good Stuff

No more running from the tricky stuff. Do I have the courage to sit within loss? Grieve. Let go. Actually feel the feelings, no more numbing anything.  Become comfortable within discomfort. And then focus on creating positive memories. Intentionally bring conscious awareness to the good stuff by bringing all the senses into an amazing moment. You see, that’s where a memory is built. Drink it in. Mindful and with intention.

Be Ever Mindful of My Energy

Energy is infectious. If it’s off, take time to get it right agin. And then spread the happy, uplifting, positive. You never know how that may impact another. I do know how uplifting energy has impacted my life. I am so grateful for the energy-givers in my world.

Find My Voice

I think I say this every year, but finding my voice has been a very long road. Sometimes the voice I use is not authentic; and I feel it in my soul when I don’t speak my truth. When I would rather appease than speak up. When I stay silent rather than standing up for what’s right for my heart. Check myself.  Words + Actions = Integrity.

Thank you to all who continue to uplift, support, and encourage me. I hope I do the same for you. I will keep on trying to do my best in that area.

I found a whole lot of happy and fulfillment this year, and I’m excited to keep on learning and growing. I don’t even fear the tricky stuff anymore. I do not fear loss or discomfort within the new. I’ve intentionally sought ways to be uncomfortable and challenge myself this year, and surrounded myself with others who do the same.

The challenge within transition builds a strength of character. You not only find out who you are in your spirit, but also who stands tall beside you.

And whatever you do…

Stand tall and proud.

One precious joy fill life.

Live it well my friends.

From my heart to yours,

Christine

 

 

 

 

Lifting the Veil

I read an article today that really made a whole lot of sense to me (thanks Patti): https://www.elephantjournal.com/2016/05/what-kurt-vonnegut-taught-us-about-the-science-of-happiness/ 

I will wait here while you read the article so we can be on the same wavelength. Insert elevator music here.

Neuropsychologist Rick Hanson explains that positive and negative experiences accesses different memory pathways within the brain. That negative memories are like velcro, and positive experiences are like teflon.  The positive experiences don’t hold within our memories the way the negative do.

In his book, Hardwiring Happiness: The New Brain Science of Contentment, Calm and Confidence, Dr. Hanson says that most of us don’t stay with positive experiences long enough for them to be “encoded” into our brain’s neural structure.

“The longer the (brain cell) neurons fire, the more of them that fire, and the more intensely they fire, the more they’re going to wire that inner strength—that happiness, gratitude, feeling confident, feeling successful, feeling loved and lovable.” Dr. Rick Hanson

You have to feed the positive memories. Give breath and life to them. Bring all the senses into that experience as you weave it into a memory. Consciously focus and remember the textures, sights, sounds, aromas, touch within that good experience.

Tell the story.

As a photographer, I can appreciate that! While I’m shooting, I often think about that. This one hour together is just like any other hour this family might have in their day. A little walk down a sun kissed pathway where trees bend to form arches (if you are lucky to find that scene). Yet, it becomes a tangible memory because it’s documented within a photograph.

It allows us to capture and freeze a fleeting moment. To lift the veil on the ordinary. Create beauty and meaning within the everyday.

Within the article linked above, a quote from Kurt Vonnegut left an impact with me. I will carry it with me into my days…

If this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is.

There are so many tragic events within the world. It makes no sense. While it’s important to stay informed and focus attention there, I choose to do so in a way that breeds compassion and empathy.

The true gift in life is to celebrate and cherish all the beauty. Give meaning to it. Soak up the good. View life as a beautifully ever-shifting evolving cycle.  The terrible can also be a reminder of what it is to cherish the little moments of good within every single day. Because there are no guarantees. Life is precious and fleeting.

Even a tiny moment of connection with a stranger can tell you that we are all ONE. We can be united within understanding that we all grieve, laugh, and experience the high highs, and the low lows within life.

But truly living…is meant to come with feeling and creating memories out of moments.

Give life and breath to the positive ones.

I think that’s why I love lifting so much, I feel the entire time. It’s a challenge I can tap into at any time. How much do I feel when I’m tuned out on the couch, watching TV or scrolling over the daily FB highlight reel?

I have to remind myself to WAKE UP! Feel this life in all it’s phases…inhale the good stuff, exhale the bad stuff.

If this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is.

From my heart to yours,

Christine

On Passion

At a very early age, it was in my nature to question everything. At times it was fuelled by self-doubt, but mainly to get to the root of Why.

To give purpose to.

I’ve always sought the purpose for my life. There HAS to be more to this life than work, eat, sleep, repeat.

I will spin it back to one word: Love.

To explore passions and empower/encourage others to do the same.

I do not choose a mediocre life. Now, the word “mediocre” can mean something completely different to me as it does to you. Perhaps a more accurate statement is that I choose to be conscious and intentional with my time, energy, and words. I want my words to match my actions: which is integrity. I seek Quality living which is not found within titles or things or status.

As a child, I recognized I had the power to transform any “perceived” reality within my mind’s consciousness.

On my childhood farm, we had this path lined with towering spruce trees. The path was not well-worn, so wild grass grew freely. I know I was very young, because I remember the childhood clothes I had on before I reached double digits. I would lay down on that path and stare up to the sky. I still have that scene in my mind’s eye…the tips of spruce trees reaching up to expansive blue skies where birds surfed currents of freedom. The advantage to living so rural is there is pure silence there. What you do hear is nature. And I remember realizing how small I was, but there was a big world out there. That scene reminded me that I will find freedom one day. My own wings.

I didn’t have dreams to be a Ballerina or an Astronaut.  I had dreams to just love, accept, support and empower others. I know that’s who I am not only since it lives within my first memories, but also because during my darkest hour, I chose that.

I chose that within some of life’s trickiest times when I could have chosen revenge, insecurity, bitterness, and negativity.

Bring it back to Love.

What does that mean for the everyday?

Choose Quality.

What makes you feel alive?

What makes you feel most in tune with your spirit side?

WHO makes you feel alive?

What makes you laugh, and feel true happiness?

Where does your passion lie?

For me, I have become very intentional with my time, words, and creating a harmonious, loving, peaceful environment.

I identified my feel-good elements and in my free time (because we all have a 9-5 that carries an environment not always full of awesomeness), I choose those! Not even feel-good…some are feel-amazing.

I find it within my Miracle Morning.

Moving and eating the way my body is designed to work best. With balance; not lack or restriction.

Going for a walk or run outside.

Soak up the sun, feel it on my face. Breath in some air. Take in some nature eye-candy.

Explore.

Finding beauty within the ordinary and the extrodinary: Photography

Meet new people, because absolutely everyone who crosses your path can teach you something. Both in what you want, who you want to grow to be; and who you don’t want to be. When I meet a closed off/guarded person, I’m curious with genuine care how they came to be that way. I feel empathy for it, because it’s a pretty lonely existence to never trust and go through life denying the connection with others. I refuse to choose that nor do I take it personally if it’s directed my way.

You do You. I do Me.

Most importantly, I choose strong links in my chain. It’s easy to see who those people are. Not only will they stand beside you within your low-vibe days; but they are truly happy for your successes. They want as much happiness for you as they do for themselves. That’s called being secure within yourself.

Find people who remind you not to take yourself or life too seriously. Carve little moments of time out for those people. We are all “busy”. Give me an hour with my girls, I’m energized for days.

It’s cold for spring, but I can turn on my fireplace with a good book, talk to my bestie Darina on the phone for hours laughing about nothing and everything, buy some tulips for my table. I don’t actually have to wait for them to pop out of the snow on my neighbours yard. Turn up the music…whatever makes me feel something. Dance in my kitchen while I cook high-quality foods I know will give me energy for my busy week. Open a window, pull back the drapes, let the sun shine in.

Good Vibes Only.

Fill my home with little mementos that remind me of my goals and values so I’ll never lose my way.

The stack of vintage books from the old Windermere school in Vermilion my Mom gave me: Never stop learning or dull the quest for continued knowledge.

The hand-painted canvas of owls my daughter made me: Freedom and creativity.

Allan Sapp’s painting “Baby is Sleeping”: My roots and my Grandma Perkins

The Buddha photo I took while visiting with soul-food friends: Harmony

The WW bobble head on my mantle that was gifted to me by my Kismet spirit/truth-teller/mini gang: Know your fackin’ worth and embrace your inner power. Own it.

Whatever you choose to do with your time, I wish for you Quality.

Top-Shelf living with passion, love, and Zen Joy.

Life is beautiful and you have the power to create an amazing one.

From my heart to yours,

Christine

 

Strength vs. Softness of Spirit

My goal for a very long time was to be strong.

Strong of body, mind and spirit. The power of all 3 working together.

Go to the gym, lift heavy. Repeat.

Have moments of grief privately, but try my best never to let others see that.

My focus has shifted as I have listened to my instincts and changed the direction of my path.

Shifting away from strength and falling authentically into delicacy, softness, tenderness.

As I invested time into identifying my values, and the hierarchy of those values, I came to the understanding that although there is strength, there is also a softness of my spirit that I’ve protected for a very long time.

If I truly want an authentic life full of joy, connection, and harmony…how can I always be strong, and deny the softness that is the very core of my soul?

You see, I understand now that boundaries are a sign of self-love and respect.

I know who my circle of influence and support is and the more I know WHO I am, the more expansive and true that circle grows.

No more ambiguity.

No more two faces.

No more hiding who I am so that I can make someone else “comfortable”.

I’ve let go of so much….with much respect for what they’ve taught me. I do not live in the shadow of regret, but embrace the wisdom of each step I’ve taken. I own that. There is no blame. I take responsibility for my choices.

Within that loss, I found myself. I found so much more within my truth.

And the truth is, I’m able to connect with others through honesty and transparency. Which is a tenderness of spirit.

I also found out who I am alone, and spent time growing my happiness my way.

The world if so full of disconnect already.  It’s easier in many ways to be a rock, protecting yourself, than it is to be a rose.

Whenever I feel that grief of loss, or pain of what once was, I also know that’s the past talking. I do not live there anymore. No one does. All we have for certain is this present moment. How much of the present is wasted within focussing on the past, or worrying about the future?

My question now is this: What quality of life will I create within this moment?

Because it’s about the quality.

Top-shelf living.

I want my home to peaceful, harmonious, full of love.  Full of safety to be yourself. Authentic living.

The only way to have a home like that is to be those values.

Loving

Peaceful

Harmonious

Accepting

That doesn’t mean I run away from the pain, but rather I deal with it.

No running from it.

No numbing it.

With forgiveness.

Authenticity of my spirit.

With patience.

Bring it back to love. The truth of my heart.

Which is soft, gentle and kind.

I wish the same for you, that you embrace the truth of your spirit. Whatever values you hold true. And just be exactly who you are inside. If you’re not another’s cup of tea, no worries. You are still awesome tea.

From my soft heart to yours,

Christine

 

 

 

 

 

Anxiety knocked me off my feet today. On getting back up…

Anxiety stemming from fear is a funny thing.  It creeps up on you in the most unexpected times.  I had a moment today that almost knocked me off my feet.  I never struggled with anxiety until I was assaulted as a very naive teenager (which I rarely talk about, I’ve worked through that for the most part).  After that experience, the fear started building like layers of frost on a window. Contracting like a snake around my vocal cords.

I go inward.

Calm myself with affirming words.

Bring it back to love.

I can do it fairly quickly now. And most around me are not aware it’s happening.  And it’s so rare now, that when it DOES happen, it’s like a betrayal to my soul. Like when you get your car fixed and it’s running perfectly and you start trusting in the mechanics and then it stalls on the road.

Today it happened during my workout, so I went upstairs to the running track and found a stairwell full of cement stairs waiting to be climbed.

You see for me, exercise is like an antidote for the fear. It elevates my heart rate and labours my breathing just as the anxiety does. Until it matches it and then takes over in a physical way.  Biology of strength over the mind. So I ran those stairs, urging my legs down to the bottom, and then pushing my way back up. With each step up, I’m climbing out of the hole of fear. Taking control over what I initially feel little control over. I reassess at the top, and then do it again until I am calmed. Until the pain of lactic acid in my legs is greater than the tightness in my chest.

Fear is replaced by empowerment. I can do this. I can climb out of this. My heart is rooted in love. There is no room for fear.

Bring it back to love.

It took about 10 minutes to get my mind right again, and I went back downstairs and had a great workout, I love lifting. It’s my jam. It centres me. Makes me feel alive and full of feeling. I could feel my spirit returning to my heart.

To the person I am inside.

Kind, compassionate, empathetic, loving, patient, giving, honest, accepting. And sometimes the person that’s hardest to accept is myself. Because I didn’t know my worth for a very long time. And my decisions were rooted in fear. I wore a mask. I learned what people “wanted” me to be. What made them comfortable. I was disloyal to my spirit.

But not today, not anymore. I do not accept that for my life.

Never dim your light to placate another’s insecurities.

I have this one precious life in which I am the designer of my environment and the people within my inner circle. I will always fiercely protect my inner harmony, but not at the cost of being guarded and closed off.

I committed to wholehearted living. I’ve written that one word “Wholehearted” more times than I can count. Because to live wholeheartedly, takes courage. It takes honesty. It’s vulnerable and transparent. It’s the whole of my heart. My kids deserve to have a Mom that lives with the entirety of her heart.

And I will do that, one step at a time. I will climb back up to the top. Always.

From my wholehearted spirit to yours,

Christine

 

On Intuition

Intuition…

That feeling within that guides me. When to pursue opportunities. When to say no. When to trust, and when to let go. When to push further, and when to rest.

For some time, I wondered if I had numbed that inner voice to the point that it no longer spoke to me. To some extent, that was true. Just a frail little thing in the corner of my mind.

Until I…

Started listening again and feeding that inner voice. Quieted my mind to the chaos. Chose to feed the positive and laugh at the negative lies I told myself.

Changed my self-limiting story. I let go of that victim mentality and took some responsibility for my life and the environment I created. Yes, that’s on me.

Pushed out the fear and brought my thoughts back to Love.

Put up boundaries where I needed to which is an act of self-love.

Created a strong circle of influence in which I was not the strongest link in the chain. I want links stronger than me so that I can too become stronger. If I am always the strongest link in the chain within my circle of influence…that will lead to complacency. How can I possibly be challenged to evolve? That means surrounding myself with Mentors. People who know more than me in areas I want to pursue.  Is this uncomfortable? It can be if I were to compare myself to them, but rather I look up to them to teach me something with humble gratitude.

Most importantly, I learned to live in this present moment.

Regret and shame are feelings rooted in the Past.

Worry and anxiety are feelings rooted in the Future.

Right this second, life is top-shelf. I’m typing this from my warm home. There’s food in my fridge. My kids are happily sleeping in. I have the day off from my new job, so I get to focus on my more creative work. I will get in my trustworthy car, and drive to meet a friend for coffee and then go to the gym after.

I’ll be ever aware that whatever energy I carry is easily transferable, so I choose to wear a genuine smile and uplift those I cross paths with.

Now that I’ve found light, I am so grateful for it. I know I talk about light often; but oh my my…it’s so brilliantly amazing when you have spent any amount of time in the dark.

I respect that perhaps others are living in dark days now, and although there are seasons and light is inevitable…you can’t see that when you are in it. So I can empathize now, which is different from sympathy.

Anywhoooo…about intuition.

When I dreamed of working towards my personal training certification, I asked other personal trainers if it was something worth pursuing.  Almost every single person I asked, started off with the negative aspects/challenges of it. Clients not showing up and riddled with excuses. Ignore advice. Blame the trainer for lack of progress. etc.

I began to doubt the dream, and delayed my progress. I didn’t doubt the validity of that dream, but rather whether I could be effective at igniting that fire within another to change and grow. I never cared about the “excuses” part, because I was that person. I lived a long time on a couch, eating and numbing. I was my future client, and I understand the power our minds can have in the area of sustainable change.

When I finally did become certified, I wish I had done it sooner.  I wished I had listened to my intuition that this was my right path.

Now that I have taken a different path into the world of banking, this might seem like a contradiction. But it too aligns with following my intuition. I’m planning, writing, dreaming, growing…all the while with security of a salary and benefits. Stay tuned! 😉 It’s so amazing the road life can travel down if you listen and act on intuition. Push out the fears, and try something new.

I stopped putting myself into these little self-limiting boxes of stereotypes: Too old. Divorced. Not strong enough, intelligent enough, knowledgeable enough. Just not enough.

Why did I do that to myself? I couldn’t imagine saying any of those words to my children. Using ageism as an excuse to stay stagnant. Using the “not enough” lie to rob them of growing in knowledge and skills. Of course they are enough, and I am too. And so are you by the way. 😉

Step out of your box my friends.

I want to encourage you today to listen to your own intuition when you’re faced with a fork in the road. If you aren’t sure what to do, take some time to go over your hierarchy of values. We all have values, but what is at the top of your triangle? Align your actions there. If you don’t like one aspect of your life, you can change it. We all have a choice.

But please don’t stop yourself from going after an opportunity because of doubt or fear. Those two emotions will keep you stuck. They are lies of the ego. And you deserve better than that. One life.

From my intuitive heart to yours,

Christine

 

 

 

 

7 Reasons Why Being Over 40 is Ridiculously Awesome

Since I started my Miracle Morning routine, I have read a whole lot of books on a variety of subjects. As I started keying in topics that interested me into Amazon, I stumbled across a devoted topic interest group in the health over 40 and up category.  I decided to google the topic as well.  That’s what I do when I’m confused…I do the google.

Here I am gracefully (and not so gracefully some days) now in the 40’s demographic, and I had no idea that I was supposed to feel doom and gloom about my advancing decline to my health due to aging bones and decreased muscle mass. ha!

I wake up feeling more vibrant and alive than I did in my 20’s, so maybe I am missing something.

Once I started becoming more “informed” on the ways my body would increasingly defy me as the hands of time tick on by, I decided that perhaps knowledge is not power. It was in fact, disempowering.

Perhaps I should have awoken on my 40th birthday with a manual on how to live differently, like in Beetlejuice when they realize they might be dead.

The more I read, the more I wanted to devote a blog post in support of my fellow 40 somethings and up. Because this age is awesome! And it just keeps getting better.

What I’ve decided today is that I’m no longer going to google, but rather live the way I want to and can.

Can you be fit at 40?

Of course you can.

Are there more obstacles in your way?

Perhaps

But youth and vitality can live within the mind. Just ask my 21-year-old who many days is more adultier than I am.

So here are a few ways in which being 40 (actually I had to do math I’m 41 almost 42) is…in fact…ridiculously awesome.

Numero Uno..1

You give less of a F$ck what people think of you. You really do. You settle beautifully into authenticity as you’ve navigated some tricky times by now, and you are still here kicking and screaming. 😉 And I hear from others it gets even better and conversation less filtered and more real. I wish I had this confidence and self-assured nature in my 20’s and 30’s; but then again I probably wouldn’t have understood it without that younger naivety and the quest to live up to a standard that just isn’t sustainable. So I just do my best and forget the rest. The more authentic I’ve become, the more people learn the real Me. It’s always exciting when someone tags me in a ridiculously weird video and says “this is something you would do” because they are always correct. Let your weird flag fly.

Numero Duh…2

If you have laugh lines on your face, it means you are pretty stellar at laughing and smiling through your days. Yay you! It’s Ok to have too much fun and laugh at yourself. The other day in the gym, I had a new water bottle with a screw cap and as I bent over I poured the whole thing all over myself and then screamed. Meh. Clean up on aisle 3.

Numero twat…3

You know how to do a bunch of stuff now and you can teach other people some stuff too. People naturally think you know stuff because you have those laugh lines and know how to dress the part. I giggled as I was training within my new job this week as people thought I was the manager supervising because I looked adultier than the person training me. ha! You probably have a reliable car to get you places and a house you can host fancy dinner parties if you feel so inclined.

Numero Kitten…4

You realize those “perfect” people who look very put together and seemingly have it all are no differently disheveled as you are at times. In fact, nothing is ever as it seems. Everyone, including me, is a ‘lil screwed up and you can now identify with them and have some empathy and compassion. That perfect marriage you were envious of can end in divorce the next month. That family with the impeccably dressed kids and well-behaved demeanour have a raging house party ending with police intervention. That business professional fancy-pants who walks into the gym, they are a hot sweaty mess just like me after the hour. Sweat freely, but separately (headphones in, don’t approach lol) We are all imperfectly perfect. Rather than judging, let’s sing kumbaya and exchange war stories over a glass of wine and some laughter…you know, work on those laugh lines a bit more.

Numero one hand…5

You aren’t really afraid of failing, starting over again, or to learn new things. With the advancing of age, comes the knowledge that you have this one life. If it’s not fun, create your own fun. You probably failed at a few thingies by now, and why not just keep trying?  Redesigning your life on your terms becomes exciting. At least that’s where I’m at now. Starting over in a new career. Tweaking earlier career’s as I’ve learned. Course correction with excitement.

Numero half a dozen…6

You learn to let go and move on with a smile on your face (even if that smile takes some time to appear). At this stage, you are no longer interested in changing anyone. You accept others as they are (because you get that it’s impossible to change someone else). If it doesn’t align with your way of life, no worries. All the best to you. Metaphorical scooter away.

Numero my favourite #…7

You can in fact, be in the best shape of your life. Speaking from my experience: I’ve tried the fads. I’ve eaten the wrong foods (I still will cut a bitch for a plate of nachos so I refrain from ordering for safety of all involved) and learned how they made me feel. I’m not afraid of hard work. I want to be a better version of me. Stronger. It’s so freeing and beautiful!  I actually have the confidence to try a new program and hold my ground in the meat-head section…we pay the same membership people..please move over.

Here’s to growing, evolving, learning and continued confidence and laughter along the way. Growing older is nothing to fear, but rather to embrace with grace and wisdom.

Just do your best!

This is me by the way, for those new blog followers. Hi and thanks for reading/following 🙂

From my 41-yr-old heart to yours,

Christine

p.s. step away from the google