In life and love, you get what you give

I always say that the reason nuns and monks are so peaceful and blissed out is that they have no one up in their face on the daily stirring up their shit! (Imagine for a moment what your life might look like if you could just spend your days chanting and reading prayers – or if it were me, hiking through the woods, sitting at the beach, listening to music and doing yoga.) However, that’s not the life most of us signed up for. We signed up to be in relationships with others so that ultimately we could learn and grow emotionally and spiritually. But, dang – it’s hard sometimes! You could look at any relationship you’ve had (and I’m not talking just romantic partnerships) – this could be a friendship, marriage, between siblings, with your parents, on a sports team, etc., and I imagine at some point at least one of these people has triggered you. Maybe someone said something you didn’t agree with or they have a different way of doing things than you do, and it drives you crazy! It may even make you feel sad or insecure. No matter the feeling, I can guarantee you, if it’s happening, it’s meant to be teaching you. The best thing you can do in any relationship is to not make assumptions. The mind will try to convince you that you know the answers – that you know how someone else feels and what they are thinking. But you must ask – and listen – to what the other person says. When you get triggered by someone, you have a choice...

When there’s good in goodbye

“I regret ever meeting you.” I looked at the text message on my phone and thought ‘Are you fucking kidding me?!’ I couldn’t believe a year and a half later I was even receiving this – never mind the fact that (in my humble opinion) I had been a great girlfriend. My next thought was ‘Trust me – the feeling is mutual!’ I was mad, bewildered, and amused all at once. After a little reflection, I knew I had to dig a bit deeper for a lesson or the good I had learned from the relationship. (Being stuck in regret doesn’t bring about a sense of bliss.) And it came to me…all the things I learned from previous relationships that will help create a better relationship the next time around. Now: I have faith in The Universe’s Divine wisdom and timing. I pay attention to the red flags. I speak up for myself about what does/doesn’t work for me. I set boundaries. I’m not afraid of being rejected for who I am (or who I’m not willing to be). I do not shrink my personality to make someone else feel comfortable. I also do not attempt to expand my personality to impress someone. And, most importantly, I love myself through it...

Musings on love, acceptance, and the present

I was looking through some journals recently and thought I’d share a post from July 23, 2012. I was in life coach training at the time and was working on what my business name would be and who my ideal clients are. I think I was writing about what “problems” I could help people with and what my clients want when they come to me for coaching. (Really I was talking about myself because we always teach what we need to learn.) I’m not sure if I was writing about affirmations, gratitude, or the power of positive talk, but here’s what was on the paper: “I don’t have all the answers, but I truly believe everything will be ok. I’m not in a job I love right now, but someday I will be. I’m not in a relationship right now, but when the time is right I will be. I’m not rich (financially) right now, but I believe I can be. I don’t have all the things I want in life, but I have a great life. I live alone, but I’m not alone. I haven’t run a marathon yet, but I can train for one. I don’t have it all figured out, and that’s ok. I didn’t do everything perfectly, but I did the best I could at the time. I only need my own approval. I need to love myself. I can’t receive from others what I can’t give myself. I don’t worry about what I can’t control.” If any of these things resonate with you, here’s what you need to know: I still don’t have all the...

Travel the world, and find the unexpected: you!

“Rover, wanderer, nomad, vagabond. Call me what you will. But I’ll take my time anywhere. I’m free to speak my mind anywhere. And I’ll never mind anywhere. Anywhere I may roam. Where I lay my head is home.” -Wherever I May Roam (Metallica) Anyone who knows me knows that I LOVE to travel! I love everything about it! Well, almost everything… If I’m going to be honest, I don’t really enjoy the packing – except that I know it means I’m going somewhere! 😉 I love being in the airport, getting on the plane, ascending above the clouds, flying through the skies, arriving at my destination, heading out to explore, meeting new people, trying new foods – you get the idea. A few years ago I noticed an interesting pattern in my behaviour while on vacation, particularly when I traveled alone (like when I went to Costa Rica by myself on a ‘learn Spanish and do yoga for a week’ trip). I was more relaxed and at ease, less self-conscious, kinder, less judgemental, and more curious. I didn’t feel the need to schedule anything or know how things were going to turn out from day to day. I was able to just wing it and follow whatever my heart desired (i.e. what felt like fun). I was completely present in whatever was happening at the moment; it was pure bliss and freedom! For the first time in a long time, I felt completely alive! I’d get back home and people would comment how great I looked; I felt totally rejuvenated! “When people went on vacation, they shed their home skins, thought they could be a new person.” ~Aimee Friedman~ At first...

Here’s the truth: Self-love isn’t selfish. Ever.

“I decided long ago never to walk in anyone’s shadows. If I fail, if I succeed, at least I’ll live as I believe. No matter what they take from me, they can’t take away my dignity, because the greatest love of all is happening to me. I found the greatest love of all inside of me. The greatest love of all is easy to achieve. Learning to love yourself is the greatest love of all.” –The Greatest Love of All (Whitney Houston) “I want him to be himself – to have the happiest life he can.” my client said, referring to her husband. What did she really want? She wanted him to go out and do things he enjoys with his buddies – so that she wouldn’t feel guilty about getting together with her friends once a week. She wanted  the freedom to be herself and to live her happiest life.  I noticed that she wanted for him what she wanted for herself (but wasn’t doing). It sounded eerily familiar to me. I had experienced this in my own marriage over 10 years ago. It was 2002. My husband and I had just moved to a new province, and I wanted to go out exploring – taking in all that the ‘big city’ we now lived near had to offer. I met a bunch of amazing, fun people through work and was really excited about developing new friendships. Connection with other people is very important to me, and I like being outgoing/social. My ex was content (most of the time) with staying in and watching tv. I started staying...

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