Life Advice from a Stranger ~ Peter

After my workout this morning, I stopped at the Leduc Farmer’s Market to pick up some fresh produce. I was walking by a pot pie booth (who doesn’t love pot pie) and this enthusiastic man told me to come over and try the samples. ¬†I’m also a fan of free samples of anything. lol Now at first, because of his enthusiasm, I thought he was employed to sell pot pies, buuuuuut it turns out he just really loves pot pies and conversing with strangers. ūüėČ

We got to talking, and immediately I knew he was a Zen Joy person. ¬†I have met only a few of those types of those sunshiney people in my life, so I just had to know about his story. One thing I’ve learned about all the Zen Joy people I’ve met, is that they have gone through hardship and have transformed their spirit through adversity. ¬†Through the ashes of tribulation comes beauty, deep gratitude for life, inspiration, authenticity and joy.

After we talked awhile, I asked if I could tape him, so I will always remember. I was so excited when he agreed, that I didn’t press record. So he did this twice for me (at the end he says “I hope it works this time” ha!) He told me I could share this on my blog.

So this is Peter who works driving truck in Texas. Lover of Harley’s. And perhaps one of the most generous and happy people I will ever have the pleasure of meeting in this beautiful life. I hope you take away as much positivity and inspiration from him as I did.

Thank you Peter.

From my heart to yours,

Christine

The Power of Accountability and Friendship

A few of us ladies, all on our own unique path of health and wellness, have decided to combine the power of accountability along with camaraderie.

We are friends who sweat together; yet separately on our own time. lol Like active introverts.

What started out as a way to motivate some of my clients to get their cardio in when they are not in the studio training; has trickled its way right into my heart (and kicked my butt in the process).

The deal was, they were going to text me a photo of their sweaty faces after their workout. With each beautiful sweaty faced text I received, I felt this urging in my spirit to run. I have been very focussed on strength training and less on running my 5K’s¬†which are as important to my soul as it is to my heart.¬†Heart healthy in all the ways.

Run…

Away the daily stresses.

To feel alive.

To feel the sunshine on my face and the wind in my hair.

To feel thankful that I have the ability to run, walk, sprint; when others do not have that luxury (love you Janice).

To remember the strength of the human body and spirit.

To feel that rush of endorphins; even through the uncomfortable.

To live outside my comfort zone. Nothing grows in comfort.

So I ran.

And then I ran again.

With each text I received, I made the time to run. Because I’m just so proud of them it makes my eyeballs leak.

I am so thankful for the genuine connections I have made because of fitness.

These relationships are forged on authenticity, vulnerability, positivity, laughter, and pride in one another’s tenacity to never give up.

To keep pushing through the hard days.

To challenge not only ourselves; but one another.

To fight the urge of complacency because there’s a better way to live. There’s no going back.

Live actively, wholeheartedly, and with determination.

Run on my soul sisters. ‚̧

From my heart to yours,

Christine

Offering to lift a giraffe at a gas station, backing up a trailer, and other random insights. Reclaiming Life

I’ve done my Miracle Morning routine for over a year now. I get up an hour earlier than usual to read/write/meditate/goal-dream etc. It’s starts my day off focussed on positive and travels right along side me through out the day. Like the trusted family dog. All loyal and happy.

I have this list of things I want to do. To learn. Ways in which I want to grow.

Little goals, and big goals. All in one big list. Some might seem ridiculous, like make a cardboard car (like the Flintstones) and go through a drive through with my girlfriends. I would have already done this, but I need to find a fridge box or something largish because we need a bit of real estate.

There’s also some actually progressive-to-my-future goals on there too, but there’s always time for ridiculous in life.

I add to it, and check off the things I’ve done as life’s adventures unfold. I’ve been able to tick off some pretty cool things which have come about in the most surprising of ways.

I’ve learned that’s how it works, this Law of Attraction stuff…

Simply.

In perfect timing.

Put out what you want to do. Who you want to be. Dream big.

Give it breath.

Be not only open to the idea of it; but believe with all your senses it will happen.

Put action towards it. (you can’t just sit on a couch and wish for bubbles, rainbows and lollipops)

And poof! It’s no longer a dream, but a reality.

You see, that’s where I went wrong before, I had these tiny seeds of doubt that would creep in, and I didn’t give my goals and dreams the action required. ¬†Even if it’s just little forward steps (emphasis on forward momentum).

It’s within my control to water the seeds of doubt; or the seeds of self-efficacy.

On my list from April 22, 2017: Find a little tent trailer so I can camp with my children again, and then obviously learn how to back it up. Because you can’t always camp in a straight line.

I had this idea that backing things up was hard because when my kids were small, I had this bike trailer I would jackknife all the time. My kids would yell “Mom! You made us go sideways again”

Anywhoooo, I found this tent trailer on Kijiji and it turned out, they knew who I was because I’d taken pictures at their neighbour’s acreage. They were really kind and helpful. For the first time in my life, I didn’t consult anyone but myself. I gave them my monies and left with a trailer.

I’ve worked so much that I didn’t have time to figure out how to set it up, pull it, or back it up until the night before we left for our first camping trip. So at 10:30 p.m. my oldest son put on his patient hat and we pulled it to a school parking lot where he instructed in very soft tones how to think backwards so I could back it up. And I did it. ūüôā ¬†I pulled it all over that parking lot into random stalls which I pretended were lined with trees. lol

I realize for many, this whole process is ridiculously simple…the whole independent camping deal. But for me, this is a new chapter of independence and relying on myself in a way I used to depended on others. That’s on me. I set my life up that way in the past, but I don’t live there anymore. ūüėČ

So this past week-end, I packed up that little¬†trailer with a week-end’s worth of camping gear and treats and headed out with my kids to meet up with the rest of my big crazy family.

You have to be creative when packing a tent trailer, because it basically unfolds like a clown car, once a sandwich and then a magic hut which holds many bodies. I channelled my inner MacGyver.

We sang on the top of our lungs for much of the trip, or at least I did while they put in earphones. I shoulder car danced.

We stopped at a gas station at the Alberta/Sask border and I saw this elongated stranger trying to reach fire works from the top of a tall shelf.

The store clerk came over and asked him if he needed a ladder and I blurted out “no I will just lift him”. She said “cool” and turned on her heels and marched away.

And he looked at me with a blank expression…because stranger danger…and asked: “Are you really going to lift me?”

I didn’t blink at all and said “Or course” like it’s no big deal to lift strangers in a gas station. ¬†I do it all the time.

But he just stood on his tipey-toes and got it down just fine. I wondered in my head after if I actually thought I could lift him. He was tall like a giraffe, with super long legs. There was no reason why he needed a ladder.

Random stranger gas station story.

We kept on travelling and my son remarked how I was getting more confident hauling the trailer. When he said that I realized I forgot there was a trailer behind me. I really should have put a sign on it “Never hauled anything in the history of ever before”. ¬†You know like those “new driver” signs.

We arrived with smiles, and together (minus one rogue child who ran off to have fun with the cousins) we parked and set up our new-to-us little tent trailer surrounded by family at the lake.

My divorced parents have adjoined lake lots because they are awesome that way and besties. And my sisters have their own trailers which we set up like the adult version of a pillow fort.

My sister’s husband parked their motor home and I looked at Brenda and said, “But our awnings don’t face each other. How are we going to wake up and poke our heads out the door in the morning and have coffee together if you are facing the opposite way.” And she told me I had creative freedom to tell him that, but she wasn’t (because that’s annoying, which I get but I have nothing to lose). I have to give him the patience award because he listened to my request and said “oh right, you two like to do that” and reparked.

My little sister gifted me matching onesies back when my life was at its trickiest, so I found a way to repay her with matching camo pants. Because we are so roughing it camping in trailers?! ūüėČ

I had an amazing week-end with my family celebrating Canada day.

As I was laying on the beach, watching the fireworks while my niece played with my hair, I realized one of my big goals was to be happy. My benchmark for reaching this state is to be as happy as I was as a kid, when I had not a care in the world.

When I returned home, I went to my list and ticked off…

  • Buy a tent trailer and go camping again with my kids
  • Learn how to back up a trailer without jackknifing it.
  • Be happy.

check. check. check.

From my happy grateful heart to yours,

Christine

 

12 Years at Goal

Today is the 12 year anniversary of reaching my goal weight. Every year, I write a blog post of what I’ve learned through another year of maintaining. I don’t think there’s enough time to articulate¬†all the lessons I’ve learned this year, but if I could sum it up, it would be the year of Law of Attraction.

You attract what you think about. Thoughts become things.

Further to just “thinking” about the elements you wish to attract into your life, you have to put in the work. The action. So I think it’s more accurate to say my thoughts turned into actions this year and I stopped simply dreaming and starting putting those dreams to work.

I have a better understanding of who I am as a Mom, sister, daughter, friend, trainer. I focussed less on what I knew well…my escape and comfort zone of photography, and more time on the act of being purposefully uncomfortable. Nothing grows within your comfort zone. I have spent every morning for over a year focussing my thoughts during my Miracle Morning.¬†It has transcended into every facet of my life in a way I could have never imagined.

It has definitely not been easy to focus on my thoughts on the positive… every. single. day. ¬†Nor has it been easy to turn my thoughts back to Love¬†when negative emotions creep into my day. We are rooted within two emotions. Love and Fear. What am I choosing in my day? That has been my soul seeking quest for months, to not only find answers; but to always bring the answer back to Love.

Among the most important life lessons of this past year¬†is Happiness is a Choice. When I take the time to get up early and set my mind up in a positive, goal-dreaming/action orientated way… my day (most often than not) has aligned itself magically right along with whatever I have focussed on. ūüėČ

I still seek balance…

There’s always an hour in the week¬†to MAKE time for a glass of red with a friend. The kind of friends who support and uplift you and want the best for you. They celebrate your successes, and support you through the hard times. Pick wisely the energy you are around. It’s contagious.

The 80/20 rule still works for me. I’m on point with my nutrition 80% of the time, and the other 20% I relax and just eat mindful (even if it’s a nice meal out).

If I have nothing to laugh about in my life, or if my life isn’t that “fun”…. I¬†can create fun. Live a little and laugh at yourself. Seek out positive, uplifting people who share the same mind-set as you. Just be yourself, and like-minded people will be drawn to you. Authenticity attracts authenticity. Let your weird flag fly.

If you are over 30, start lifting weights. As we age we naturally lose muscle mass, and the only way to get it back is to build it. You will not get bulky, but rather think of it like you are building a home on a foundation of bricks. You walk taller with better posture, and you won’t hurt yourself doing mundane tasks….because of the bricks thingy. Don’t know how to lift with proper form? Go hire a personal trainer. ūüėČ Oh and your metabolism will thank you too.

I have definitely become more humble this year. I have been knocked down a peg or two, and I’m so grateful for that.I’m more outgoing in some ways, and more protective in others. I have laughed a lot, and worked through a lot too.¬†I am more grateful, compassionate and empathetic. I love deeper and I’m more open; however, I learned the important lesson of putting up boundaries to honour what I need at this stage in my life. It’s an act of self-love. You can’t give so much to everyone and not take care of yourself. You will pay the consequences if you do, in your body/mind/spirit. And those who truly love you will understand and respect those boundaries.

Most importantly, I go into another year uplifted, hopeful, and thankful. Being at my healthy weight still feels new to me, even 12 years later. There’s no going back, only forward living with pride and a gratitude.

From my thankful heart to yours,

Christine

 

 

Weight Loss is a Byproduct of Self-Love

I had an epiphany this morning as I was journalling.

Taking good care of myself, and in turn others, is the highest form of self-love. ¬†Long-term weight loss has been possible for me, not because I have attempted¬†to fit into a certain size clothing nor because I was striving to achieve societal standards of what a woman “should” look like. It truly is a byproduct of Love…simplifying the way I am¬†intended to live.

~Within Love~

This is how we are designed right from the moment we were but one single cell.

To ignite the fire of change within your lifestyle, all it takes is a shift of your perspective away from the pressure of aesthetics and instead onto love. 

I’m going to attempt to explain my thought pattern here; however, it’s tricky to articulate a feeling.

I show respect for my body by eating foods high in nutritional value (vitamins, minerals, nutrients) so I have the most energy for my life and my kids as possible. I understand there are certain foods that trigger emotional eating for me, so I create a no-fail environment. If I’m tempted to eat my trigger food, I actually put myself in the emotional state that I feel after I eat them. Sluggish, self-deprecation, loss of control. ¬†Those are not the thoughts I want to live within, so no thank you ūüôā

I have the ability to pick my fuel, and so why would I pick low-quality fuel such as simple carbohydrates which quickly convert into sugar and have me on a roller coaster of temporary energy only to crash moments later? My goal is to feel my best physically, emotionally, and spiritually. So I will choose foods that come from the earth and have an expiration date. ūüôā

I am thankful for my health and the ability to move freely.  Think about the times when you are sick with the flu and bed-ridden, how grateful are you when you feel better? You have this new lease on life, and you breathe deeply with gratitude. Those feelings can fade quickly however, and we fall back into complacency and forget that our health is a gift.

I will always be reminded of this as my sister is confined to a wheel chair because of MS. She would give ANYTHING to get up and run again. ¬†To take that for granted would not only be selfish of me; but a huge disrespect and disservice to my sister. I know¬†exactly how she would be living today¬†if MS had not robbed her physical health. She would run circles around me with her characteristic Janice laugh. So I will run because I’m able. And I’m so very grateful for the ability to run, jump, move, and grow in strength.

The human body is a miraculous machine, the more you challenge it with new movements within your abilities, the stronger and more agile you become. How amazing is that?!

I will drink lots of water as we are made of water. Common sense tells me it’s essential for optimal health. And truly, what an easy way to maintain health. Just march right up to your tap and pour yourself a glass. Further to that, I am blessed that I have running water and a fridge stocked with food. Many are not afforded that luxury. ¬†I remind myself of that often when the most ridiculous excuses creep into my mind and out of my mouth “I don’t have time to eat right and I don’t like the taste of water.” ¬†I can’t imagine saying that to someone who does not have access to clean water nor a grocery store down the street (and money to buy a weeks worth of groceries).

And finally, I will strive everyday to live a life of purpose, gratitude, pride and love. Invest in my spirit so that I can love others wholeheartedly. Give of my time and abilities to those who need it most; just as I have needed it so many times in my life when I was unsure about my future and overwhelmed with sadness.

Listen more, talk less. Connection with others lies within meaningful communication which is a two-way street. How many conversations have I had that are ego based, formulating my response without listening to the words of another? Be aware.

This is a my journey to love myself because I need my kids to love themselves too.

This is a call to be the best version of myself because I have this one precious life, and time is valuable. Use it wisely.

What kind of life do I want to live? Even during times when I’m not exactly where I would hope to be at certain stages, I still had the luxury of time and the ability to turn another’s day around with a little uplifting and kindness. Giving is so good for the heart and soul. ¬†It connects us to one another.

Spread a little positivity.

Laugh freely.

Smile for no other reason than the fact I have my health today when another maybe living in a hospital bed. My happiness does not come from others; but rather from within and a higher power.

Run or go for a walk today because you are able.

Eat healthy foods today because you have the ability to make a choice in the fuel you put into your body.

Living in gratitude and love is a choice. Today (and everyday) I choose a life of wholehearted living. How ridiculously amazing is that my friends?!!? ha!

I hope this post made sense, I had quite the morning of thinking. I wish for you a life full of pride, joy, and purpose.

From my grateful heart to yours,

Christine

 

 

 

Is Fasted Cardio Dangerous?

I received an email to submit content for an article in relation to the Dangers of Fasted Cardio. At first I wasn’t sure how to reply, as I really don’t have a passionate opinion on the topic either way (nor do I think it’s necissarily soooo dangerous)…but after sleeping on it, I can speak to¬†what works best for me within my lifestyle.

Personally, I need fuel to get me through my workouts after a night of sleeping…which is in essence fasting.  I eat a mixture of lean protein and complex carbohydrates (with a bit of healthy fats) at least 30 minutes before my workout so that my food is transformed into energy which translates to a great work out.  I look at food as fuel. Complex carbohydrates are my energy source, and protein is a tool to build and repair muscles.  In order to perform my workouts the way I want to at high-intensity, I require energy! I have tried working out on an empty stomach before, and I hit a wall half way through. So common sense tells me, this is not how my body performs best. This is about what works best for ME, not what works best for my neighbour on the treadmill beside me.

What if you aren‚Äôt hungry before your workout? For me, this has been the case some mornings, so I opt for a smoothie. ¬†I use a protein powder that also has carbohydrates, non-sweetened greek yogurt, half a banana, a bit of avocado, spinach, and blend with a mixture of water/almond milk. After my workout, I understand that because I have broken down my muscles, I need to repair them so I make sure to have some lean protein. This not only repairs muscles, but feeds them so they grow. The more muscle you have, the better quality of life you have. Your posture improves (you‚Äôll walk with your head held high!), you’ll burn more calories at rest even while you‚Äôre chillin‚Äô on the couch, your metabolism improves, and of course clothes fit better.

The diet/fitness industry is full of conflicting information, and it can get overwhelming and defeating. I simplify it all by focussing on the facts I know about my body, how it performs best, and what I require to live my best life. I remember once a fitness professional told me to be careful how many cherry tomatoes or apples I was eating because they are higher in sugar. And I thought to myself….I have never woken up covered in apple cores and regret. Who binges on apples and tomatoes?!  ha! So I will eat foods that are grown from the earth and pay attention to hunger cues. Intentional eating.

Taking care of your body with workouts and eating right is a big part of self-love. Take away the pressure to fit into a certain size of clothing, and instead focus on the release of endorphins as you workout. Eat quality food to fuel your busy active life. And feel pride each step of the way as you reach your goals. Positive out, positive in. Take care of yourself the way our bodies are designed to function. Move more, eat well, and be grateful for improved quality of life. It’s as simple as that to me.

I’m off to make my smoothie now and get my workout in for the day. ūüôā

Have an amazing day!
From my heart to yours,
Christine

The Importance of Framing your Day

I have written about “Miracle Morning” by Hal Elrod a few times on this blog. ¬†The reason this book resonated with me so much, is because the practice of getting up an hour earlier to frame my day the right way has become an integral part of my life. I used to roll out of bed, jump right into the shower and get swept up by the rush of my morning. My mind was overtaken with to-do lists, and all the tasks¬†I had in front of me. ¬†That became overwhelming most days.

Fast forward to this stage of my life, I start my day off with reading/writing/dreaming/thinking/positivity. I focus on gratitude. On the good. On the I CAN’s and I WILL’s. On pride and acceptance. ¬†I dream with a thankful heart. I set my goals. Along with the cascading rays of the rising sun that seep into my living room, positivity floods my mornings and that Zen Joy lives in my heart. How amazing is that?!

Here’s my newest read, I highly recommend it. It’s a badass book, and I’m having a hard time putting it down. When I do put it down, I think about it. I’m addicted to reading it. Go ORDER it.

My Mom can attest to this fact: I am not a morning person. I will reframe that statement now, I have LEARNED to become a morning person. I can’t believe all these years I held the power to change that about myself. I lived with many self-imposed labels. Overweight. Negative. Fearful. Procrastinator. Comfortable. Complacent.

Why did I do that to myself? I was living within destructive limiting beliefs. I type-casted myself and resigned to a false sense of self-image created within my mind.

Well now, that is just unacceptable.

So now, each day I ask myself some pretty important questions.

~Who do I want to be?  Go be that.

~What do I want to achieve in life? ¬†Go do it. It’s so much more than dreaming; I have to put in the work. Believe in my abilities and tenacious spirit. Set SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely). Revisit each goal as I make progress. Set new goals. Be proud of my progress. Get excited about future work. Repeat. ūüôā Think about someone you are envious of in regards to the way they live their fabulous life. You can live your life that way too if you want. Exciting fact!

~What am I thankful for today? ¬†No matter what is happening in my life…there is ALWAYS something to be thankful for. ¬†I have a warm home, food in my fridge, amazing kids/friends/family/clients. I have my health, the ability to lace up my shoes and go for a run in the sun. I have freedom to make choices, to learn, to live out-loud.

I was talking to my friend Joe at the gym today, and I asked him how he was doing. He replied with the most emphatic enthusiastic “GREAT!” Ooooh really….that’s amazing, what is so great about your life now?! I asked. ¬†He then explained that he just ran into a long-time¬†friend who was diagnosed with Prostate Cancer, and had his prostate removed. This friend is younger than he is, and here they¬†were both working out along side one another at the gym, with thankful hearts and positive spirits. He told me that he was so grateful for his health and he had absolutely nothing to complain about.

His words touched my heart and I became overcome with gratitude that I too had my health. I worked harder than I usually do. I even did burpees, and I detest burpees; however, Joe does them all the time. Because he uplifted me today, I sucked it up and did them too. And then I came home and did a bunch of meal prep with all the nutritious foods in my fridge so I can fuel my body with quality.

I hope you all have an amazing day, and maybe tomorrow you will set your clock and get up an hour earlier to frame your day YOUR way. If you do, drop me a line and let me know. Positive momentum is in fact infectious.

From my thankful heart to yours,

Christine

The Zen Joy Project

Many years ago, I was sitting in an airport waiting room along with other travelling-waiters. I noticed this woman sitting across from me, and I was struck by her peaceful nature. Her young kids flanked either side of her. Her one son laid his head on her lap, and she slowly stroked his hair. Her other son, laid his head on her shoulder. All around her the impatient energy was palpable in the air. No one wanted to be waiting in this holding cell of anxious travellers. Yet, it appeared there was no other place she would rather be. Her energy was one of joy, peace and gratitude. ZEN JOY. It was one of those life moments you carry with you in your memory bank.

I inwardly vowed that one day…I too would find that Zen Joy. Not from any external sources, but truly from within.

Now, I should tell you, at that point of my life, I was struggling with so many inward battles. None of which were known to many who loved me. I was neither zen, nor was I happy. But I pretended to be.

Airport Mom was the first person who introduced me to the possibility of true inner happiness.¬†It’s not to say that she didn’t have trials and adversity in her life, I also understood that she most likely¬†dealt with the same tricky balancing act all of us Moms face.

After that I was acutely aware of that energy when I saw it.

And then I met another Zen Joy girl in Jamaica. Amanda…

jam__074r-web

This time I was more determined to figure out how she carried such zen joy, so I had a long conversation with her. She was very thankful and grateful for her job. She traveled two hours there by bus, worked her shift at a 5 star resort for very little money by Canadian standards, and traveled two hours home. Repeat. Yet, she was so ecstatic for this amazing opportunity to work and she did so with joy. She was surrounded by privileged travellers complaining about room service options and wait times for dinner reservations. I will always remember her and her infectious smile. What a beautiful soul.

Through out the years, I have encountered more Zen Joy people.

I met a girl at the gym named Michele, who incidentally is now a good friend of mine; she attacked each workout at the gym with so much energy and joy. It always stood out to me. And now in getting to know her, I understand that she has overcome a lot in her life, and she truly appreciates the blessings in her world. She strives everyday to work on herself and raise her kids to be stellar people. She exudes authenticity, positivity, and gratitude. She lives passionately and vivaciously. She’s also brutally honest with herself and with others. A character trait I have come to appreciate and need in my life.

An¬†enthusiastic woman named Patti came into my world at life’s perfect timing. She’s an¬†amazing Zen Joy person. Every. Single. Day. she works on her character, heart, body, and soul. She gives freely. Loves deeply. Is so empathetic to other’s emotions. One day as we had unexpected time together, she presented me with a hand-knitted infinity scarf. What she said to me will always live in my heart. “I thought of you with love within ever inch I knitted of this infinity scarf”. When I wear that scarf I feel loved! ha! How amazing is that, and what a gift to my soul. Thank you.

And then there’s Linda Lou, another Zen Joy woman who gracefully traveled into my heart at perfect timing. Oh my, if you have the privilege to be around her energy, you WILL smile and feel joy. It’s impossible not to. She uses her time to uplift others. In fact, we will be working together; and she will drop everything to march up to another just to tell them something she genuinely appreciates about them. ha! It’s fascinating to watch honestly. And then she marches back to me and continues to work with every ounce of energy she has.

There was one more instance of a Zen Joy person that stands out within my mind. I was going to Farmer’s market one day, and this guy¬†rode by on his bicycle. He was so happy, ear to ear smile! He walked around the market, talking to people, and I immediately saw his Zen Joy in how he treated others. He took the time to visit, laughed effortlessly, and looked people in the eye as they talked. I often give people nick names if I don’t know them, I called him Beautiful Jesus. He kinda looked like Jesus and his energy truly was beautiful. ha! ¬†I don’t know how Beautiful Jesus is so zen and full of joy; but in talking with other Zen Joy people, I have noticed a common theme.

Their lives are not without adversity and tails, quite the opposite. They have grown in grace and beauty because of the problems in their lives. They perceive it differently, grateful for lessons learned as they navigate the storms in their lives (which they understand will pass).

They live with sincere gratitude.  A thankful heart. They know that nothing is guaranteed in life, so enjoy the good times. And if good times are few and far between, create it.

They see each day as an opportunity to live passionately and with joy. A gift.

They understand this life needs to be lived out-loud, using their voice wisely to uplift and encourage and not complain and discourage.

They CHOOSE joy. They laugh freely. Give more than they take.

They are at peace with who they are as people. Authenticity rains within their spirit.

I waited a long time to blog about these Zen Joy people, because I was only going to do so when I felt like I too was becoming a Zen Joy chick myself. I’m so grateful to say, that while I may not encompass that every single day…I can feel that zen hugging at my spirit often now. And Joy is something I feel often. My smile is one of gratitude for every shred of happiness I encounter in my day.

When you spend some time in darkness, the light is so sweet. Oh man is it sweet.

I wish for you Zen Joy, and if you are at a place you don’t feel that…I hope you will open your eyes and heart to the possibility of it. It does not come from “things”; nor does it come from others. It’s all you my friends. And within your control to feel it. Perception is your reality.

From my Zen Joyful heart to yours,

Christine

 

 

 

 

10 tips on Staying Sane Through a Divorce

Further to my last post (which was pretty heavy, I promise this one is back on track with the uplifting), I was thinking about all the helpful tips and advice I received from others who have traveled this path as well.

So if you are on this road too, here’s some tips that just may help you too.

1: Put on lipstick everyday. ¬†This is just an euphemism for getting up out of that comfy bed, getting dressed in whatever clothes make you feel awesome, and walking out the door with your head held high. There’s a saying to dress for the job¬†you want. It’s kinda like that, but it will make you feel put together. Trust me, it helps. This tip came from a very dear friend courtesy of her divorce attorney. lol

2: Watch this: http://www.littlethings.com/truth-bomb-mom-good-enough/  So good.

3: Listen to amazing music, the kind that lifts your spirit and you can’t sit still. Your shoulders dance on their own. Music is pretty healing to the soul.

4: Surround yourself with uplifting people. ¬†I have the most supportive, uplifting circle of friends and family. And believe me, when you go through this, you won’t have to wonder who your true friends are. It will naturally evolve. The ones who want to walk out of your life will, and let them. Wish them well. Never chase anyone. ¬†Aaaaand you will make new friends…like-minded ones because you are finding yourself and becoming more authentic. I recently had coffee with a new friend who reached out to me, once a stranger, simply because he wanted to surround himself with uplifting people. He told me¬†I carried that positive vibe, and that’s how our friendship started. Though the power of positive. And we only talk about positive uplifting thingies every now and then when we need a pick-me-up. So go find those people who¬†make you feel awesome, and make them feel awesome too.

5: Give Zero Fucks what anyone thinks of you. Seriously, that time has past…there is nothing more humbling than going through a divorce and the stigma that goes along with it. lol Spend time every. single. day. on your goals and aspirations for your future. And then trust your inner instinct. The haters are going to hate. That’s just how it is. This was a fact before you got divorced. So let it go…
toodalooo

6: Give it a year. Oh man, I heard this from so many people, and at the beginning a year sounded like 10 years. It’s so true though! Trust that within one year’s time, you will feel better. You will have a confident¬†handle on your new normal. And you will have fought to etch out your very own life built the way you want it. You may not be there now, but you will be. You will be OK. Better than OK.

7: Give yourself permission to nap. This was a hard one for me, because I felt like I was failing and couldn’t understand why I was so tired all the time. But you have to understand that this process is the most emotional draining process I have ever met. So be gentle with yourself. Rest when you can. Don’t feel guilty about it. And then get up and put on lipstick ūüėČ

8: There’s a time to hermit, and there’s a time to get out and have fun. You’ll know when it’s best to do either one. Trust what you need. But whatever you do, weave some fun into your life. You need to laugh just as much as you need solace. Remember there’s a season for both.

9: Reach out to others, ask for help when needed, and talk about it. Your loved ones want to be there, and if they haven’t reached out in the way you thought, it doesn’t mean they don’t care. Many people don’t know what to say, or what you need. So be blunt about what you need. Talk. Talk. Talk.

10: Start saying No. You are in a different season of life, you can’t give to others like you used to. It feels selfish, but think about your energy reserves like a gas tank. You only have so much of it for the day. Use it up on where you NEED to. Your kids, your career, life tasks, the essentials in life. And whatever you have left, make sure you give to yourself too. Staying on track with my fitness was essential in this process. It empowered me. Made me feel alive, even when I was numb. ¬†You will get back to a place where you are able to give again, but give it time. And everyone around you will just have to deal. lol

I wish you much healing, self-love and discovery through your journey! Be kind to you. You got this. ūüôā

From my heart to yours,

Christine

Your Morning Motivator

This week I’ve¬†struggled with staying motivated. If you struggle too, let me help you out today. ūüôā

During my Miracle Morning, I was writing/thinking about ways to give to others. I realized one simple way I can contribute to the happiness of others lies within the energy I carry.

I think there are two types of people (and I’ve shifted between both):

Energy-Givers and Energy-Suckers.

We all have the power to give positive energy to others simply in the way we¬†carry ourselves. The words/ideas¬†we¬†choose to give voice to. How we deal with adversity. We can give literally give the gift of positive energy to another person. Just think about how you feel when you spend time with someone with an infectious laugh, it’s impossible not to laugh too. It’s contagious. ūüôā

Just as we can give it, we can also take it away.

Have you ever woken up happy and uplifted and throughout the course of your day dealing with negative people, your mood slowly shifts? Discouragement seeps in, and even the smallest annoyance in life transforms into anger. That shift in energy is then transferred to another. It’s a virtual wave of negativity.

The exciting news is that it doesn’t have to be that way. If you want to change a negative environment, you can right this second. ¬†All it requires is a shift within your perception and mindset. THAT is within your control.

On the heels of Thanksgiving, I’m starting this day out with gratitude. I’m grateful for so much in my life, but most importantly the hard stuff. As I look back on the toughest times in my life, I’ve realized it’s uniquely prepared me for this stage of my life.¬†From my day-to-day living with a gracious heart, to raising my beautiful children (who were born with a sense of good and wonder), and within my career which means the world to me. Everything I’ve learned, I can now transfer it to¬†living an authentic life.

Even on the bad days, I will greet it with a smile because I am very aware how much another person’s kindness, positive energy, and uplifting attitude helped me during my darkest of days. It really is a gift. There are no words to adequately describe how much small acts of kindness touched my heart during times of struggle.

It’s a shiny patch of sunshine within the darkness. And because I deeply appreciate and understand what others gave to me, I can now be that shiny sunshine if I want to. That’s ridiculously amazing.

I think because I spent some time grieving in silence, I can instantly recognize it. So I smile. Big crazy smiles. ha! I can clearly see another’s strengths, pain, desire to just be better, doubt that lives within their abilities…all of it. And I know that I can at least remind them of their worth. There is no one on this earth more worthy than another. We are equally deserving of happiness and pride. Isn’t that the heart of the pursuit of life?

So today I choose to be an Energy-Giver to all I come in contact with. To start a small ripple of uplifting that can transform into a tidal wave of positive. You never know how that energy can transform and take momentum. If you ever doubt this, just think about how someone else helped you move forward when you were stuck.

too-often

I hope you all have a great day ūüôā

I hope you choose to smile even if your heart is hurting.

I hope you choose to rise above whatever adversity you are dealing with.

I hope you recognize your worth. Your strengths. Your natural gifts of talent.

I hope you feel gratitude every time you look into the eyes of someone you love.

I hope you give the gift of positive energy.

And when you do, Positive OUT becomes Positive IN.

There’s ¬†a whole lot to smile about.

From my heart to yours,

Christine