Integrity: making no apologies for who I was born to be!

“You took my light, you drained me down. But that was then, and this is now. Now look at me. This is the part of me that you’re never gonna ever take away from me, no. Throw your sticks and your stones. Throw your bombs and your blows. But you’re not gonna break my soul.”   -Part of Me (Katy Perry) I recently wrote a post on my facebook page about authenticity (the act of being genuine/your true self). A friend of mine messaged me today and said “You already are the most authentic person I know!” For me, that is a huge compliment! I strive to live as (and accept) the person I want to be – faults and all. It’s not always easy that’s for sure, but it’s very important to me. Why is being authentic such a big deal for me now? When I was younger, I often felt misunderstood. Here are a few examples: I remember getting in trouble when I was in Grade 1 because as the “bathroom monitor” I had told the others kids to ‘shut up’ instead of ‘be quiet’. The teacher yelled at me and spanked me. I didn’t really understand why I was in trouble; I thought I was just doing my “job”.  When I was in Grade 6, a girl in my class was surprised to find out that I lived in a “regular” house. For some reason she thought I was rich and lived in a mansion. She said she had always been kind of jealous of me – until she found out that I was just a “normal”...

How not being right can make you really happy

“So let’s leave it alone, ’cause we can’t see eye to eye. There ain’t no good guys, there ain’t no bad guys. There’s only you and me, and we just disagree.” -We Just Disagree (Dave Mason) Have you ever had a really awkward, uncomfortable conversation with someone – the kind where they confront you over something you said? Where you felt like they misinterpreted what you meant? Or where you felt like you needed to defend your character because your thoughts on a topic differed? Well, it’s happened to me twice within the last week or so. One was in person, and the other was via the internet. Both situations made me realize how much I have changed (in a good way). When I was younger, I was extremely argumentative. I loved to voice my opinion, I loved to have the last word, and I loved to be right. When someone said something which I knew was incorrect, I felt obligated to point out their mistake. I didn’t care if I made people look stupid or feel bad. I wanted to prove how smart I was – how much I knew about the world. For me, having knowledge made me feel good about myself – like I had something  to offer. “I realized that I could be right or I could be free.” ~Byron Katie~ In my early 30’s, I started piecing together why I did what I did. I came to know that my behaviour was caused by a lack of self-confidence. I had based my self-worth on whether other people thought I was smart. Because I didn’t...

Let’s talk about shame – that dirty five letter word.

“Tell me – did I go on a tangent? Did I lie through my teeth? Did I cause you to stumble on your feet? Did I bring shame on my family? Did it show when I was weak? Whatever you see, that wasn’t me. That wasn’t me, that wasn’t me.  -That Wasn’t Me (Brandi Carlile) I recently read Brene Brown’s book “The Gift of Imperfections”. I spoke about perfection in an earlier blog, but I had never thought about it in relation to shame – until I read this book. (Ironically (or not), Brene used the exact same quote in her book when talking about perfectionism as I did in my blog on it.) Brene defines shame as “the intensely painful feeling or experience of believing that we are flawed and therefore unworthy of love and belonging.” She expands on this by saying: “Shame keeps worthiness away by convincing us that owning our stories will lead to people thinking less of us. Shame is all about fear. We’re afraid that people won’t like us if they know the truth about who we are, where we come from, what we believe, how much we’re struggling, or, believe it or not, how wonderful we are when soaring (sometimes it’s just as hard to own our strengths as our struggles). This is why shame loves perfectionists – it’s so easy to keep us quiet.” “For women, shame is: do it all, do it perfectly, and never let them see you sweat. It’s this web of unattainable, conflicting, competing expectations about who we’re supposed to be. For men, shame is one thing: do not be perceived as...

Be willing to let go of who you think you are; become what you want to be.

“Do you ever feel already buried deep? Six feet under screams, but no one seems to hear a thing. Do you know that there’s still a chance for you? ‘Cause there’s a spark in you, you just gotta ignite the light, and let it shine. Just own the night like the 4th of July. ‘Cause baby, you’re a firework. Come on, show ‘em what you’re worth.” -Firework (Katy Perry) 2 days ago I did something that I thought I would NEVER do! My friend and I attended the Beachbody Canada launch in Calgary. That in itself is a milestone for me – just attending a big fitness event…say what?! But the real kicker is that I participated in a group work out with Tony Horton– AND I survived! (even when he came around to correct my form -which in a previous life would have caused me to die from embarrassment! (because I was sweaty, and the expert was pointing out my “flaws”). Honestly though, being sweaty showed that I was actually doing the workout and who better to learn from than Tony himself?) Why exactly is this so shocking you might ask? Well, I spent years telling myself that I wasn’t good at sports, that I was uncoordinated, that I would never be fit, that I couldn’t run, that I was fat – and many other negative stories about my body and physical ability. I have a few friends that are runners, and I always loved the idea of running, but could never actually get into doing it consistently. I used to tell myself I was lazy because of that. I would...

Forget perfection; be yourself, and discover true joy.

“Made a wrong turn, once or twice. Dug my way out, blood and fire. Bad decisions, that’s alright. Welcome to my silly life.” -Fuckin’ Perfect (P!nk) I have been working on my website for months with little progress. I was really stuck on what I wanted to say about myself. Why? Good question! I think part of the hesitation was in wanting it to be “perfect” – i.e. to describe me, to feel like me, to portray who I am, etc.  And then I thought to myself – of course it’s perfect – whatever I write about me, my coaching, and my life is perfect. After all, who knows me better than ME?! (This didn’t stop me from re-wording it MANY times.) I think those of us with perfectionist tendencies sometimes worry so much about making the “right” decision that we often paralyze ourselves. All we really need to do is listen to our instincts, make a choice and then accept the consequences. What’s the worst thing that can happen? We don’t like our decision, and we then make a change. We’re going to make a lot of “mistakes”. So what? It’s all just learning. All of our experiences in life are here to teach us something – to show us what we didn’t know before. Stop waiting for “it” to be perfect. You have everything you need right now. I spent a lot of time in my life trying to be “perfect”. For example, as a teenager it was even very important to me that I style my hair perfectly (I would spend 2 hours and a can of hairspray trying...

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