Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Movement – what it has come to mean in my life.

boudercove scarf dancing (2)After I published my last blog, I have to admit, I had a lousy week. Instead of feeling relieved, I panicked and well… ate.  Ate (what I now call) my emotion dulling foods.  I indulged in this for a few days and now I’m over it.  The greatest gift I give myself these days is understanding and self-forgiveness.  Now, on with my journey.

In the last few months, I have become fascinated and curious about this word, “movement”. Here is one definition: “an act of changing location or position”.  After a lifetime of taking this for granted, I’ve realized how much this word has come to mean for me.  After my knee injury, I was stagnant and sat around for months on end.  Of course, I did my daily chores but I spent way more time sitting or lying down than standing or moving my body in any way.  We’ve all heard the studies indicating that “sitting is the new smoking”.

All that being said, I have come to intuitively know that it’s much more than that for me and, I suspect, for some others. Lack of body movement has dulled my emotions and my enthusiasm for life; it’s even more effective than over-eating!

So, over the last while, I have begun moving more, both physically and emotionally. I realized, during all that time sitting, how emotionally disconnected I had become – even when I was moving more.  My most important focus is now one thing: health and wellness.  I believe I have always understood it but, as I shared before, I was not utilising the wisdom in my heart much in the past few years, which speaks to me in every moment.

I have made a commitment to move my body several times a day. Because of my health issues (which I will no longer speak of very often because I do not want to give them space in my mind (lol)), I am very limited as to what I can do – which, for the past couple of years, is why I felt sorry for myself and consequently did nothing!  Thus, the reason I have so many more issues today.

I am doing my chair yoga, qi-gong and, most importantly, dancing everyday. I am also doing other exercises as recommended to me by my physiotherapist, but I want my life to have more fun, so dancing, for me, is that FUN!

I have also committed to doing more journaling, so to move my spiritual journey again. I am embracing gratitude everyday and laughing more!  I want to know myself intimately, in a way I have never known.  I am now willing to embrace my fears and doubts with curiosity and look forward to landing in a new and deeper place of knowing.

Everyday is about moving again, in anyway that I can. It’s time to feel deep emotions which, yes, is very vulnerable for me at times but it’s the only way out of this cage I have bound myself in.  It’s time to change locations in my body – from living mostly in my mind, to living in my heart.

Here is to a new and an incredible adventure in the New Year. I wish you all a glorious and happy New Year that is filled with all kinds of positive life-giving movements!!

 

 

 

Embracing Vulnerability. I no longer want to just settle for the booby prize.

Businesswoman shouting her victory to the world

“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”― Howard Thurman

 

 

 

 

 

At 56 years old, I’ve accumulated an abundance of knowledge.  I have spent the better part of my adult life being, what I would call, “a seeker”.  I have always been curious about life – all sides of it.  Life is a contrasting mixture of pleasure and pain.  We are not able to truly feel joy without feeling pain.  To deny one, is to deny the other.  Meaning can only be found through accepting “what is”; then feeling the feelings and emotions, allowing them to flow through us.  Only after allowing the pain, can we find the adaptive ability to create new visions which enable us to create and have more joy and creativity along the way.

 When I don’t allow my pain to surface, it becomes stuck inside my body and surfaces in various destructive ways.  For me, one of those ways is self-destructive eating.  I have to remind myself of this over and over.  Like so many, my default of compulsive eating came from a survival instinct at a very young age, to resist or deny pain of any kind – physical or emotional.  I learned to shove it away, so not to be perceived as weak (or what I thought as weak) by others.  I learned quickly that being stoic was greatly valued by my family.  I was often accused of being “too sensitive”.  When I was really young I learned not to talk about my pain or show my emotions.  Vulnerability of any kind was not acceptable.  I still wrestle with this beast even now, from time to time, though I know better.  I have known for many years that these stoic values are not true strength.  I was simply unwilling to open up to this truth in myself.

 Jung says, “What you resist not only persists, but will grow in size”.

 It is a paradoxical quandary,

 “Unexpressed emotions tend to stay in the body like small ticking bombs—they are illnesses in incubation”, Marilyn Van Derbur.

 Coming from a difficult childhood I never wanted to be a victim of; in my early twenties I set out on a journey of understanding.  I was not afraid to ask the hard questions of myself or others, when it really counted.  I am afraid of many other things but not that.  I have always been curious about humanity in general and how we end up thinking and doing the things we do.

 I consider myself spiritual, although, sometimes I lose sight of Spirit.  However, no matter how far I’ve ever felt from Spirit, I always knew it was there, waiting for me.  I would eventually manage to find that stillness and land in that space of clarity, in the depth of my soul.  This sustained me for many years.

 Through the years, I kept reading and learning.  Taking course after course, I became certified as an Integrative Shadow Life Coach and, for the most part, I thought I had figured out who I was.  I was not particularly what society would call “successful”, neither in my career nor my health (especially with weight issues), even though I had learned from some of the best spiritual teachers on the planet.  None the less, I felt somewhat content in my life.  I always felt one of my greatest gifts was empathy and I enjoyed helping others find their own light in the world.  Little did I know, it can also be a powerful way for us to keep from looking inward at our own truth. Crisis has a way of holding a mirror unlike anything else.

 Then, in July 2014, we had a hurricane.  What a wonderful metaphor for my life that has turned out to be.  During that time of no electricity for 96 hours, something happened that sent my world into a whirlwind. While running from the barn to the house in the rain I slipped and fell on my wet deck and my then body of 245 pounds came crashing down onto my knees, injuring one of them to the point of extreme swelling and temporary debilitation.  Fortunately, the pain and swelling only lasted a couple of weeks, however, a month  later, while walking on the beach, the swelling returned, this time worse than the first.  From that time forward, my knees continued to cause me intense pain and, at times over the next two years, were bad enough that I had to rely on crutches or canes.  After many physiotherapy sessions and chiropractor visits (for a painful spine from my large body being so out of alignment from limping so much), I became bitter and somewhat reclusive.  Oh, I put an outward positive spin on things because I was very good at that game for a while – I was raised that way, after all, and I reinforced that mask with all the knowledge I had accumulated over the years.  I had to walk the talk, right?

 Much to my frustration, I felt more and more helpless and steadily grew angrier toward my condition.  I hated feeling like a victim; that’s what I thought vulnerability was.  Mostly angry at myself for the weight I still carried, for knowing all this knowledge and living only part time in what I was teaching others to do full time. I discovered just how much out of integrity I truly have been throughout most of my adult life.  It’s so strange, the illusions we can create to keep ourselves unseen.  I spent most of my life warning others about what would happen with their health if they lived a life that was unauthentic but, really, all that time the lesson was mine to hear.

 I constantly see examples of this in service careers; men and, more often, women suffering from exhaustion and stress related illnesses.  People who both care for others and teach them how to take better care of themselves, behind closed doors beat themselves up either consciously or unconsciously and secretly carry out their own destructive habits.  Do you ever wonder what you truly believe about yourself?  I was taught: “Just look at how you show up to yourself when no one is looking.  Listen to the thoughts you have about yourself.”

 This winter of 2017 I realized that for a couple of years now, I had been just barely moving – literally and emotionally -, each day for over a year.  I hated who I was becoming.  I could no longer play the game very well and became that person who I did not like. The person you want to walk away from who is constantly complaining about their body ailments. Last year, I had gained an additional 40 pounds and suffered in a mild to moderate depression through the summer of 2016.  My health had continued to decline.  I could write an entire chapter on what is going wrong in my body but that is not the point of this blog.  I knew something had to change.  Little by little, I began to listen to my own inner voice more often, once again.  I am now very slowly coming back to life, even with all the body issues, and I realise that, maybe for the first time, I have not truly been living authentically most of my life. I have only settled for a mediocre life.  I have carried a vision of who I would love to be and even managed, at times, to uncover her and live in that passionate place – but only for so long before I reverted to that false frightened self.  One can possess all the knowledge in the world but without the wisdom of self-care and self-love in action, it doesn’t mean a damn thing.  If I’m not willing to do the daily practices that enhance my life and health, I am only talking a talk.  I’m regurgitating knowledge.  My mentor, Debbie Ford, used to say that “knowledge is the booby prize” and I have come to understand that I have only settled for the booby prize for most of my life.

 I really did not want to admit that I have been way too afraid to really own all of who I am.  I have come to discover things about myself which very few people get to see.  Who I am underneath the fear is someone with an insatiable appetite for learning new things and seeking new adventures!  I am a spiritual, wild, passionate, whimsical and intuitive woman who is a mystic in the modern world.  I am someone who needs lots of alone time to maintain my health and wellness.  I love to move my body with dance, qi-gong and yoga!  I love walking barefoot in the grass and spending time at the beach just listening to the waves.  I love to laugh and play and I don’t do this nearly enough!   I love to write and I desire to create more in my life!  I am an introvert, not the extrovert that I have tried to convince myself and others of all these years.  I have been too busy trying to help others to protect and care for myself.  I know that I am very sensitive.  Oh, how I have hated to own or to be called sensitive.  Society teaches us that it is wrong or that it’s a weakness and yet it is the most beautiful part of me that I am still learning to embrace.  I am a woman who is deeply affected by the energy of others and by what I see on TV or read on social media.  I am an Empath.

 I can be rude, uncaring and disconnected, as well.  More often, when I am those darker things I am usually feeling overwhelmed and unprotected, so I lash out at others.  All these things, I am learning to love more – the dark, as well as the light.  As my teacher once told us, “there is gold in the dark”.  That is what true self-love is. I have accumulated a lot of knowledge from reading books, listening to many wonderful spiritual teachers in my training and throughout my life, but in reality, I did not consistently do the daily self-care practices.  Especially we need to do our daily practices when we are in crisis for this is when we gain the wisdom of knowledge in our bones that eventually brings us back to joy.

 This blog is the beginning of a new book, not a new chapter for me . I began last year with Brené Brown’s course, “LIVING BRAVE SEMESTER™”, learning to open up more with my heart and not my head.  I learned from Brené that vulnerability is beautiful and a sign of strength. I want to move forward in a new and intentional way that is radically different in some ways, the same in other ways, but healthier and truer to my heart.   The way I can finally take that long journey from the knowledge in my mind to the wisdom of my heart, using knowledge as only a tool, to become authentically me.  I want to open up and land in this, vulnerable place in my heart.

 “Vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity and change.” – Brené Brown

 “Vulnerability is the birthplace of love, belonging, joy, courage, empathy, and creativity. It is the source of hope, empathy, accountability, and authenticity. If we want greater clarity in our purpose or deeper and more meaningful spiritual lives, vulnerability is the path.” -Brené Brown

 I then took a course online at Amen University called : “The Brain Warrior’s Way”. I learned from Dr. Daniel and Tana Amen just what all these years of obesity and destructive over eating was doing to my brain and therefore my thoughts. What a wakeup call!  Again even after all the years of accumulated knowledge of healthy eating I had learned over 30 years I was still not implementing on a consistent basis because I had not brought it into my heart. Only from the heart  can I give myself permission to love myself enough to let go of my weight and trust that I could live in my body with strength through vulnerability. Healthy eating is only accessible on a consistent basis if we integrate it into our hearts and truly believe we are worthy.   Thank you Tana for all your words of encouragement. Our mind is only as good as our daily practices. Without diligent healthy practices our negative thoughts can take over our lives.

“Don’t believe everything you hear—even in your own mind.” -Dr Daniel G Amen

“My mind is a neighborhood I try not to go into alone.”- Anne Lamont

Over the next while, I will be writing about this journey here in my blog.  Join me, if you like.  It’s going to be a hell of a ride and I am ready!  I want to be more fully alive! 

“I don’t believe people are looking for the meaning of life as much as they are looking for the experience of being alive.” – Joseph Campbell

 

 

 

 

 

Summer Hiatus

Summer is here and I have not written in a while in my blog,  Just letting you know that I am only taking a summer hiatus but as always lots of opportunities are happening for evolutionary growth!  I am excited to share them with you the wonderful insights that are coming through and will connect with you again in August!! Enjoy your summer!

 

paul gillian 006

Learning to be the observer

The past 2 weeks have been difficult but very useful.  It started off when I began to not feel well, I had no energy or ambition.  I managed to do only what was needed but nothing more, I was not prepared or organized and so it began a perpetual cycle of eating what I could grab, eating things that were often not way healthy which created more ill health and more low energy etc.  This is an old cycle, and no matter how things have changed in my life I easily slip into old patterns when I am not feeling well.  I love how this time I have stayed conscious enough with this journey to learn.  I have learned another layer and that is part of being organized and prepared enough that when I am not feeling well or when life becomes very busy and chaotic that I will be prepared better.  Life will always give us challenges but it is how we show up and what we do with them that counts.

Glad to say I feel more connected today and I will concentrate on moving forward again.  Learning to be the observer in our lives instead of being the critic is the most powerful gift we can give ourselves. When we give up the old story of blaming others or ourselves we are free to make changes that empower us.

self reflection

Week 6. Making a commitment to our future selves from the classroom of our past.

I asked a question recently on  my private FB page

“If you could share wisdom with yourself 10 years ago what would it be? What commitment to your future self-10 years from now do you need to make?”

This is my answer. “I would share with my 10 year younger self that I did not have to put so much pressure on myself. I was so busy trying to figure out life and understand it all. I would invite her to relax and enjoy the mystery and that I could love all who she was and is; both her light and her dark. I would let her know she could simply trust the process of life. I would like to commit to myself in the future that I will learn to listen to my body more fully so that in 10 years we will have integrated the intuition of both my mind and body.”

I think it is good to reflect every now and again on our past, not in any way to cultivate guilt or regret but to forgive ourselves and most importantly learn from the past. I believe our past holds some clues for our future.  We can find great treasures in the past as long as we simply observe and learn.  We are our own greatest teacher if we are willing with love and compassion to reflect on our lives. Then if we listen with our hearts we will understand Maya Anglo’s wonderful quote “When we know better we do better”. If we are willing to learn from our past we can create a wonderful future. <3

classroom

What my mom never told me about ageing!

indego butterfly

Now that I am in my 50’s (52 to be exact) I find interesting dichotomies.  I love the fact that I have evolved enough now to love being in my own skin.  I allow far less, fear, drama and stress in my life and for the most part feel wonderful inside and out.

But there are those days when look at myself in the mirror and I see a mature women looking back at me and for a moment feel sad; sad, only because I feel younger and more vibrant than at any other time in my adult life.  When I see my breasts with my headlights (vernacular for nipples :)) looking for night crawlers instead of looking ahead,  :) I wonder where has the time gone.  When I look at my face and see a mustache and hair growing out of my chin I wonder why mom didn’t tell me these things may happen!  eeeek! :)   Yet inside even on these days I feel a sense of peace; peaceful because I have this deep knowing that I am so much more than a body.

Even more strange I have come to love this body more than ever even with all the extra weight.  I take time with my body now, I eat fairly healthy, (although I love having an organic chocolate bar with a hot cup of tea or bag of chips every now and again) but over all I feel good inside.  I move my body as I have shared in ways that feel wonderful to me such as qigong and yoga!  I love stretching and keeping my body more flexible now than in many years.  Recently I started making my own organic face and body cream and I lavish my whole body after a shower, mmmm this feels so yummy!! This part my mom did not tell me either but I have come to love.  An acceptance to what is. With this acceptance though comes the profound wisdom of the importance of caring for my body, mind and spirit.  This is the gift of ageing that I have given to myself.   This is the GIFT we all need to give to ourselves no matter that age.  This is a wonderful legacy to mirror our granddaughters so that maybe just maybe it will not take them until old age to learn.

Storm days; perfect time for self-care!!

Windy cold snow days often gives us permission to stay put!!!  Have you ever thought about why it is that a lot of us love snow days?  I hear things like  “ I am going to curl up by the fire and read a book”  or “ I am going curl up on the couch and watch my favorite movie”.  Sound familiar?  I say these things too!  I think it is a wonderful time to take a second look at why we need to be literally stuck in our homes before we give ourselves permission for some R@R.

If you are in today or stuck home on a storm day any time in the future ask yourself  “ how much calmer and more relaxed am I afterwards”? Then connect with how much smoother the rest of your day or even the week goes.  There is the clue.  When we realize the benefits of taking time for ourselves we then can begin to do it more often.   I don’t know about you but when I do I am less bitchy, much more calm and present to the other things I need to be doing afterwards.  I actually get more things done and I am nicer to be around!!  Our dog Aragon and my dear hubby both appreciate the later!!  :)  So let storm days be your teacher.   Don’t wait until you are stuck in your home to have a self-care day!

book and fire

Dare to shake up your day, just a little!

jumping-for-joy

Do you ever ask yourself “why do I feel so flat or blah inside today”?  Or maybe you have challenges going on right now and you feel as though you have lost yourself.   I know how this feels and I have learned to be creative when I need that shift inside.

Sometimes we need to take simple but drastic measures to shift out of our day-to-day mind numbing routines.  When we do it brings us back to ourselves!   Dare to step out of the box you have created.  Find ways throughout your day to have fun and do something self-nourishing.  It may be to stop what you are doing and crank up your favorite tune and have a private dance party all by yourself! You know the saying ‘Dance like no one is watching!”  (one of my personal favorites) .  Even if you have to sneak into the bathroom at work and plug-in your iTunes!   Find a way to move your body that is fun and different from you are used to.  Take a 5 min laugh break, have a joke book under your desk and read a few or watch a really funny video, (watch the video on my daily practice page of the baby laughing) Make your favorite cup of tea in a fun mug that you never use, you know the one that is way in the back that you give to special guests.  Make sure you do something that is out of the ordinary and fun each day.  It only takes a few moments to shake your day up in a positive way.  You are worth it, who knows what this will create inside you.  I have found the more I do this the more everything around me changes.  These maybe baby steps back to yourself but in time what I have found is I uncover more and more of my authentic self and then these lead to ways of creating lasting and powerful changes!! Dare to shake up your day!

Live on Purpose!

Businesswoman shouting her victory to the world

 

To live is not just to survive, but to thrive with passion, compassion, some humour and style.”
Maya Angelou

What words of wisdom from a woman who is such an inspiration for us all!  This New Year started off with a few challenges but as I have learned there are always gems of wisdom to be found when we are willing to look for them!

For me I am learning to embrace all of life!  This is what living life on purpose is! Not to simply survive but to thrive!! Most of us reading this have lived more than half of our lives.  We have loved, learned, laughed, cried, we have been hurt , lashed out, we have hated, felt guilty, felt deep joy and passion, and much more.  All of it is perfect! Why?…. because it has brought us to this moment! It is not about having a perfect life, it is about living fully the one we have!  No matter what circumstance we find ourselves in there is always a way to find the gift in it.

My New year is about living more fully in the moment and no matter what is going on around me to find ways to thrive!!! After all the best is yet to come!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

Want to learn how to live more on purpose? Visit www.sacredsharing.ca and view how I support women in stepping more fully into their lives with passion and purpose!

 

Who do you have on your team?

women laughing

Just recently I was having some pretty intense symptoms that I was pretty sure were peri menopauseal in nature.   I contacted my Naturopathic Doctor (Lois) and sure enough she was able to give me some wonderful herbs and great supportive words to help with this roller coaster ride of transition.  I really do look forward to the next chapter of my life but there are times when I find myself out of sorts and need to reach out to other women on the journey.  Thank goodness for good friends who are wonderful reflections of compassion wisdom and hope. Read the rest of this entry »