The writing on the wall

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The writing on the wall

There is a poem that writes about the “dash” that says what matters is not the day we start and end our life as much as what we do in the ‘in between’.

I have been thinking about this a lot this week as I had the privilege to honour the passing of my husband’s grand father Alan who had lived 97 years.   And in those 97 years he managed to accumulate 13 children, 34 grandchildren and 47 great-great children.  If you are doing the math,  that’s 94 direct descendants.  Aka a lot.

Needless to say, it was quite a celebration of life.

And although I don’t know a lot of people who would say that funerals are easy, but I think the rituals surrounding a death are an important part of the grieving process.  I find them to be beautiful and poignant and this one was particularly so.  Every step of the way there were personal items, stories, collections and photos to remind people of the ‘dash’ that had been lived.

But it is what was behind the scenes that is maybe the best part of this story.  In Alan (and Vera’s) home where they raised and gathered this epic family for the past 72 years, there is this fantastic door in the kitchen.  And on this door you will find the names of all the children who ever lived or came into this house and the dates when they got "measured up".

It was an important part of coming to Nana and Papa's house.

Children who came into this home were seen.  Noticed.  And stood by the door to see how much they had grown since their last visit.

Seen.
Noticed.
And celebrated.

And isn’t that what life should really be about?

These three things can be found at the heart of anything successful and good.  Families.  Friendships.  Companies.  Communities.  Corporations.  Organizations.  Groups with humans.  When people feel significant and appreciated, well, magic happens.

I think Alan would feel pretty proud to have the ritual of truly seeing and celebrating people to be the legacy he passed on.

So here’s to remembering what matters (writing on doors optional but recommended!).
Beth

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The bus.

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The bus.

This past weekend people from across the country and around the globe learned that a bus carrying a junior hockey team from Humboldt, Saskatchewan was in an accident. A really awful accident where 15 of the 29 people on that bus died.

Half the team.

Like many parents who have kids in sports, this is a worst nightmare come true.  Coaches and kids board buses every day and hit the highways to play games.  Driving late in the dark in every road and weather condition.  Our own daughter played field hockey for the past four years and each season she traveled over 5000 km’s on a bus.

And having been the support vehicle that travels behind said bus I can tel you this: the bus is the best part.

Oh sure, everyone complains about the bus and how cramped your muscles get from trying to sleep on it but make no mistake.  The bus is where everything that matters happens.

The conversations.
The cards games.
The homework.
The motivational speeches.
The de-briefs.
The celebrations.
The magic.

Ask any kid, one thing is true for sure: the more time you spend on a bus, it changes your team from a bunch of players to a family.

On Friday a hockey family was devastated.
Horrifically, traumatically and irrevocably devastated on their team bus.

I just want to drive to Saskatchewan and start hugging people.

I do not have the slightest idea what the families of the victims and survivors need right now to get through this but I know there are many people, including me, offering prayers, food, funds and support any way they can.

In the end, the team chaplain said it best:

"Can we heal? Yes. Will the scars be there? Yes.”

If you have been personally affected by this tragedy, then I send you buckets of love.  If your heart is breaking as this unfolds from one human to another, then I send you love too.

Pain.
Love.
Healing.
Hope.

To the things that connect us all,
b

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If you build it, they will come.

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If you build it, they will come.

In 1987 Kevin Costner made a baseball diamond.
And that famous movie line was born…
“If you build it, they will come”.

Movie quotes aside I feel that this is the heart of every business.
The dream to create something  - a product or a service - that people will get excited about it.
Some ‘thing’ that will make you life better, richer or just easier.

This is my favourite part of being an entrepreneur.
Making stuff!

Last year I created my first online course  - the ALIVE Academy and if you have ever created one, then you know how much work it is.  I have learned a lot this past year - about curriculum design, about technology and about myself as a creative.

I think one of the best qualities about being an entrepreneur is flexibility and being willing to change and adapt when you need to.  The Academy has been awesome *and* over the past 9 months we have learned a lot better ways to do things.

Like making it 90 days instead of a one year course.
Like making it more user friendly.
Like making it even simpler to shift the areas of your life that could use some tweaking.

On March 12th the new ALIVE Academy rolls out with all the ways to help you get un-stuck and uber-supported so there is way less “meh” and a whole lot  more “Yes!” to how you do everything.

*Saturday, March 3rd is the last day to take advantage of the early bird special and save $100!

Reserve your seat today!
http://www.thealiverevolution.com/the-alive-revolution-academy/

It is all built.
I hope you come!

And if you are building some baseball fields of your own you are proud of, I would love to hear about it!

To choosing ALIVE,
Beth

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Up for Aging Wildly?

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Up for Aging Wildly?

I have been writing, coaching and speaking on how to be more ALIVE for the past nine
months and a few things have become very clear to me.

There is not a lot of support for aging wildly.

Instead we are bombarded with images of aging gracefully.
Aging responsibly.
Aging “normally”.

I do not even know what that means but if there is one thing I know for sure it’s that not a lot of us are  aging happily.

Instead we seem to be aging tired-ly.
Exhausted-ly.
Worried-ly.
And overhwlemed-ly.

Not exactly the way we planned our lives to be.
But there is a better alternative.

Aging Wildly.

Join me and my partner Linda Edgecombe where we will dish on the best practices to age more wildly in our favourite way to teach stuff: simply.

Plus we will also share about how you can age wildly with us in March.

Join us Monday, February 26th at 10:00am PST for all the goods.
Register here to claim your spot:
https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_RjMgY0ZYTsChYL9YQHet7w

(And yes it will be recorded if you cannot make it live!)

To aging on your terms,

B

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Are you tired of this?

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Are you tired of this?

 want to ask you a question.
It’s a common question.  Ready?

“How is it going?”

Chances are your response is what 90% of what people say.
“Fine”  or “Good”
The other 10% of people are “awesome” or “terrible”.

The truth is, whatever your answer, I am quite certain you did not set out for your life to be merely fine.  “Fine” is not the dream you had.

“When I grow up I want to be ‘fine’”.
Nobody had that dream!

And yet, here we are so very, very busy.
Busy working,
Busy being a great parent.
Busy getting in shape.
Busy cleaning our house.
Busy running our business.
Busy trying to eat well.
Busy tying to find time to stop being busy!

That is where fine sneaks in the back door and moves into our life.

For the past year I have been asking people how they are doing and getting them to take the “alive audit”.  A simple litmus test of 10 areas of your life.  If you have not taken it, go here to download yours:

http://www.thealiverevolution.com/aliveaudit/

(FYI…if you take it the most common score is between 50-60%).

Most of us have some areas of our life rocking
and some areas not so much.

This is normal.

But if we never stop to look at those areas, we end up being simply “fine”.
But….
you can chose to be alive.

I am so dedicated to people getting their alive mojo back my partner in crime Linda Edgecombe, created the 14 day alive activation.   A free, fun way to kick-start your alive-ness and bring a little energy into all of the areas of your life that matter.

This month, a whole bunch of people (70 have already signed up yesterday!) are joining the ALIVE revolution and saying yes to ALIVE.

You can register here:
http://14dayaliveactivation.com/

It’s fun to be alive with other people on the same path.
So jump in!

Every other day you will receive a little ALIVE challenge - some easy-peasy, some a little harder.  But I promise you will definitely feel more alive at the end of the month if you are willing to take just a little action.

All of January I have been writing, filming and creating so much stuff for you.  I cannot wait to share it with you! 

To choosing alive,
b

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Ho-ho shut down

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Ho-ho shut down

Yesterday I put in my last day of work for 2017.
Whew! What  a epic year it has been for me.

Lots of travel.
Lots of speaking.
Lots of new stuff launched.
Lots of learning curves.
Lots of milestones.
Lots of fun.

I hope as you are reading this, you are also taking some time off
and stopping to celebrate
all the wins
and and all learns you had this year.

Both are really important to note.

Thank you for being a part of my community, reading my oh-so-inconsistent-blog and even stopping to reply when a particle subject moved you so.

Here’s to an epic 2018!
May our paths cross often.

My very best to you,
Beth

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My best tips to end your year with JOY!

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My best tips to end your year with JOY!

Just a quick question before you slide into your weekend:

ARE YOU READY FOR 2018?

There are heaps of ways to close your year but personally I think there are better ways than others.  I don't know about you, but I have often found myself this time of year being so hard on myself and feeling bad when I focus at all the things I did not do or did not do well or failed to complete.

Naturally this beating-thy-self-up ritual is not recommended!

 There is a better way.  This week my business partner Linda Edgecombe and I laid out our best year-end rituals with our private ALIVE Academy members but we thought…

“Why not share this with everyone”? “

So we are.  This Monday, December 18th, you have the chance to get the goods on The 4.5 Things To Do Before New Year's Eve including how to cast your vision for the year ahead!

No sales pitch (you cannot actually join the Academy until next year).
No fluff.
Just our gift to you.

Here is how to register (and yes, it is totally free):

http://14dayaliveactivation.com/nye/

See you there!
Beth

 

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Surviving the holiday season

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Surviving the holiday season

It feels like the holidays commercialism comes earlier and earlier every year.
It used to sneak in right after Halloween
but I swear I thought I saw a Christmas tree in Costco before that.
Regardless, unless you live off the grid, it is pretty hard to avoid the pressure to do it all.

To shop.
To buy.
To wrap.
To ship.
To go out.
To host.
To drink.
To bake.
To eat.
To find the perfect gifts for everyone.
To trim the tree.
To put up the lights.
To decorate the house.

And on and on it goes.  The holiday vortex.

I am not sure why this season comes
with so much pressure to get it all “right”.
But here is my two-cents for getting through it with a little more of the spirit  
and less of the stress.

It’s pretty simple.

Each time you think of a task, an invite or some to do on your list, ask yourself this question:

Does this make me feel good?

That’s it.
Insert your very own joy barometer into all your decisions.

Does baking Christmas cookies make you feel good?
Then it’s a yes.
What about baking 12 dozen for the Christmas exchange?
Hmmm….not so much?
Then no.

Going to friends for a beautiful dinner or drinks?
That sounds nice…yes!
Having somewhere to go until you are exhausted at the thought of one more night out?
Hmmm….maybe good time to say some no's.

Sending cards to everyone you know because “that’s what I do”.
Not a good yes.
Sending cards with joy? Better yes.

Buying gifts for everyone out of obligation?  Just. Say No.
Mixing up tradition with opting out, giving more to families in need or just spend time instead of money.  Yes.

There is no right or wrong here.
The important thing to notice the traditions you have and check in on whether they actually make you feel good.
My coaches challenge is to be brave enough to toss out the ones that make you grumpy.

Wishing you a joyful December!
b

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It took me 50 years to get this…

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It took me 50 years to get this…

Even though it feels like I have been turning 50 since August,
yesterday it was official.
50 years on the planet.

I was very intentional about how I spent my day
and the very first thing on my to-do list was go to yoga.
I cannot even adequately describe what happened in that room but I shall try.
One of my favourite instructors was teaching
and a few days before she asked me what my favourite songs were to make a “birthday yoga playlist”.

It was so incredibly awesome to have every one of my favourite songs
cranked out in the studio.
But that is not even the best part.
Because I has chosen some classics - Simon and Garfunkel, Michael Jackson and Neil Diamond to name a few - they were songs everyone knew.
And as each song played, everyone in the room broke out into song.
A room full of singing yogi’s in a class the teacher dedicated to me.
Words cannot express how it felt to be in that room.
And by the time Joni Mitchell’s “Both Sides Now” played us into savasana
I was reduced to a puddle of grateful tears.

For this beautiful room of people.
For this space I am at home with my yoga family.
For the life I have created.

And this is where the big aha came to me
which I feel truly took me 50 years to learn.

The secret to happiness lies in letting LOVE in.
In mastering the art of receiving.

I wasn’t always good at this.
I am by nature, really good at giving.
And I have also been very good at over-giving (and people pleasing and resenting).
I have excelled at over-committing, over-doing and over-sacrificing.
I have even been outstanding at deflecting compliments, generosity and attention.

But I have learned, with practice, to graciously, humbly and sincerely receive.
And  this simple act of self-love has been one so unexpectedly beautiful.
I think I secretly worried that if I became good at receiving I would become selfish.
Or I would somehow give less to the people and work I love.
But the opposite is true.
The more I am willing to receive, the more capacity I have to give.
The more I have to give, the more I can receive.
It is a delicious cycle.

So as a brand new quinquagenarian (the period after 50 years!),
my coaches call to action to you is this:

Become an excellent receiver.

Let love in.
Let kindness in.
Let all that is good knocking on your door... in.

xo,
b

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A very happy birthday

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A very happy birthday

In November I turn 50.
Yep the big 5-0.
There are lots of ways to celebrate this milestone.
A huge party.
An epic trip.
A crazy adventure.
But when my friends asked me what I wanted to do to celebrate this milestone birthday,  I knew it was none of those things.
I wanted just one thing.

A summer dinner party with my favourite people.

And so my beautiful husband and dear friends planned the whole thing.
The food.
The theme.
The costumes.
The decorations.
The table.
The songs (I had not one but two songs sang in my honour that evening. Over. The. Top.)

It was about as perfect as any party could be. 

The moral of this story?
This party was no accident.
The table of love I got to experience on this evening didn’t just “happen”.
The evening was filled with relationships I have had for years…decades even.
Relationships that I nurture and cultivate and bring my whole, real self to.

This can only happen if you spend lots of time with people.
Like actually make the time to get together.
Not be “too busy” or “too tired” to follow through on plans.
(For the record we do have “sweatpant saturday" potluck dinners for when we are feeling particularly sloth-ish!).
The point is, we get together.  Often.
We break bread and have conversations that matter.
And that’s how tables of love are made.

So here is my coaches invitation to you:  plan a party.
Invite your favourite people.
Celebrate, laugh, eat, drink and dance together.
Repeat as necessary!

You do not have to wait for a special occasion.
Make one up!

To tables of love,
b

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Feeling Broody

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Feeling Broody

 

Slow down.
You move too fast.
Looking for fun and feeling….broody?

Okay that is not exactly how the famed
Simon and Garfunkel song goes.

But do you ever feel broody?

I had never actually heard the term broody
until I became a backyard chicken farmer.
So in the event, you do not know the term either,
here is basically what it means:

A chicken becomes broody when she decides she wants to hatch an egg.
Your once egg-producing happy-go-lucky-hen suddenly gets totally bitchy
and will just sit in the nesting boxes (where eggs are normally laid) all day.
She will squawk and carry on anytime any of the other chickens try to come lay an egg and basically stop all flock production until she can hatch an egg or somehow “snaps out of it”.

This is broody.
And this can last for weeks.

When broody is applied to humans, well it looks kind of similar.
Unhappy.  Over-thinking.  Non-action.  Unmotivated.  Stuck. 

When I feel broody it can catch me off guard.

What is going on?
How come I am feeling so unmotivated?
What’s wrong with me?
How long is this feeling going to last?

I used to get quite worked up about it.

Like any pattern that repeats itself, there is a gift here when it shows up.
Now, if I feel broody, I recognize it right away and have learned not to panic.
Instead I simply notice it.
I keep an eye on it.
And I check in with ‘it’.

Am I pushing myself too hard?
Am I missing something important that I am barreling through on?
Am I going in the wrong direction?

I simply ask my ‘broody-ness’ what is called for here.

Rest?
Re-set?
Re-direct?
Re-evaluate?

I do not judge it.
In fact, I have learned to accept it just like an inspired or happy mood.
I invite it in for metaphorical tea and ask it what it wants.
I do not expect myself to be inspired, energized, positive or uplifted
every moment of every day.

I allow tired, sad, and broody to be a part of me too.

In the words of an old Persian proverb I remember:
“This too shall pass”.

With all things that show up in my life,
I can resist them or use them to ask myself new questions.

Broody or groovy, it is all part of my human experience.
And yours too.

To simply allowing,
Beth

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September is perfect for this….

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September is perfect for this….

Can you feel it?
The nights are getting a little cooler.
The wind has just a chillier air to it.
Like it or not, fall is coming.

Back to school season.

When I was a kid I absolutely loved back to school day.
Everything was new.
New classes.
New teachers.
New backpack.
New pencil case.
(obviously school supplies were a big part of my joy!)
I loved everything about it.

And I still do.

There is an energy about September that is super motivating.
As my friend Linda would say “September is the new January”.
There is something about this time of year where you just feel like starting new things.  New fitness program.  New book.  New hobby. New habits.  New starts.

This is the question I am asking all of my private clients right now:
“What do you want to be celebrating in December?”

Often the tendency is to set multiple goals.  Lose some weight.  And make more money.  And fall more in love.  All at once.  But my suggestion is to just pick the MOST important goal to you.  ONE thing you are absolutely committed to for the next 90 days.  Just one.  Of course you can still work on other things but put your focus on just one.  And then begin.

To September starts,
Beth

ps

Want some support with your goals?  I currently have a few openings in my private practice.  If you would like a complimentary 30 minute session to see if coaching is a fit for you, book here:  http://mindsetcoaching.genbook.com

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A quote to live by

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A quote to live by

If you spend anytime on social media
- or really any media for that mater -
there is no shortage
of inspired quotes with motivational sayings to live by.

I confess, I am a collector of great quotes myself.
I bet you have your own fav’s of quotes, movie lines
or excerpts from speeches that you know in an instant who said them.

But like anything, a quote is only really useful if it inspires action.

Here is one I love:
“Your enemy is expectation. Your ally is detachment”
-William Whitecloud

Ah…. the art of detachment.
I spend a lot of time coaching on this with my private clients.
Think about it, when it comes to the humans in your life
how often have you been upset about something
someone has said or done
that was not what you thought they should say or do in that situation.

The “should” here is key.
This is expectation.

Anytime you have a should rolling around in your head,
it is a recipe for disaster.

“They should have called me”
“I should have gotten the promotion”
“They should have invited me”
“They should have sent a gift”
“They should have asked me”

And a million other “should-have’s” we can think of.  When we think in ‘should-have’s’ we are imposing what we think is the “right” or “proper” or “appropriate” or even “kind” thing to do.
I might even agree with your but whatever we think is “right” is based on our own values, beliefs and moral compass.  And when we impose what we think it is “supposed to be” we pass judgement on anyone who might have a different way of seeing or doing things.

And the world is filled with crappy ways people are handling value conflicts right now.

The solution?  Detachment.

This where you can practice not being attached to how or what or when something happens.  Instead of expectation, you embody “expectancy” meaning an energy of what you hope will happen without getting “attached” to all the details.

Take a simple date with a friend.

You really want to get together and you are only free Tuesday so it must be Tuesday.  And you really want to go to your favourite restaurant because you really love it there.  And you do not want to drive so you want your friend to pick you up.  And there is this movie you really want to see after dinner.  And you have a favourite place you like to sit in the theatre.  And you really want to share the popcorn.   And you want to go for coffee after to de-brief.   And you really want it to be at your favourite coffee shop….and….

Can you see the problem with this scenario?  How many places can you spot the expectation?  This example might seem far-fetched but I challenge you to think of the last time you were attached to how or when or where something had to go and when it didn’t go your way, you were upset.  This is expectation and disappointment is right around the corner when people fail to meet them.  Especially if they have no idea you even have them!

Expectancy or detachment does not have rules.  Expectancy is an energy that is simply excited to be getting together.  An expectancy that it will be fun no matter what you do or where you go or what activity rolls out where.  This allows for space.  This honours that two people might have an idea of what might be awesome or desired in this shared experience.  There is no attachment but instead the space to simply connect without any judgement or terms of how it ‘should” go.

Can you not ask for what you want?
Of course!

Just don’t be attached….

To staying open,
Beth

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Time for a mid-year re-set?

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Time for a mid-year re-set?

Perhaps you have forgotten the goals you set in January.
Or maybe you have been over- enjoying all the indulgences of summer (or winter if you live in Australia!).
Either way, you may have let a few things slide in your life.

Totally get it.
And here is your chance to re-set.
Because the only time it is too late to hit the re-set button is when you are dead.

For the past few months I have been talking, creating and doing a lot of things alive.
The Alive Audit.
The Alive Revolution.
And now, the "official" opening of the Alive Academy.

Because we all know, great intentions only go so far.
It you want to really up-level your life, two things are key:

Awareness and Accountability.

 First awareness.  Even if you have already done, go download the Alive Audit and do it again.  That way you have it as a template to do ANY time you want to re-set or re-evaluate your life.  Go here to get your very own copy to use over and over anytime you want to assess your life.

http://www.thealiverevolution.com/aliveaudit/

Now for the accountability part.  Get yourself a support system.  A group of friends.  A coach.  Or a whole community around your goals.

Want all three?
Then I wildly, enthusiastically invite you to join the Alive Academy and spend the year with me and Linda Edgecombe- coaching, community and accountability all rolled into one.

Did I mention the savings?  Right now, you can opt in for your “re-set sale” discount of $100 off the pay-in-full option which is valid until midnight, August 20th.

http://www.thealiverevolution.com/the-alive-revolution-academy/

Of course, you can always pay by the month or full price anytime too (but not why be supported and save money?)

So jump in.
Say yes.
Let’s do this alive thing together all year long.

One caveat, whatever you do, do not sit on the fence.  That is wasted energy.  Say yes. Say no.  Just don’t say maybe.

To choosing alive,
b

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"That's not right"

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"That's not right"

So I am in yoga yesterday in my favourite class -
“Funky Friday”.

It’s still hot yoga and we definitely do yoga poses
but it has a twist.
The vibe is looser
the poses have lots of variations
and the playlist, well it’s funky too.

I love it.
Well, usually.

Yesterday the theme was “hip hop” - which is not my favourite genre -
but I am in funky Friday mode so willing to stay open.
But by the third song, there were f-bombs cranking out
and I am was like “Whoa….”.
“F-bombs in yoga? That's not right".

It threw me off.

Which is weird, because f-bombs are not words I normally shrink back from.  I am not usually daunted by this word at all - frankly I am kind of a fan of it when it comes to making a point.  But clearly I felt f-bombs had no place in this sacred space.

Interesting.

By the time Beyonce and savasana rolled around I had figured it out.
Yoga is designed to stretch you - physically, emotionally and spiritually.
Yet clearly in my "branch out" Funky Friday class I had some preconceived ideas about it and how yoga is “supposed” to do done.
Mixing it up is the invitation of this class in the first place.
From my mat I was able to notice the limitations I have for what yoga (and yoga playlists) should and should not be.
Can yoga and hip hop belong in the same room?
Of course.
Did it push my buttons?
Oh ya.

And that is kind of the point.

I can stay in my cushy little comfort zone
or I can find a new edge.
Which is precisely the essence of my newest program which you will hear more about in a few days but for now,
I invite you to think about your own hip-hop-type buttons.
 This weekend mull over where your comfortable zones are
and ask yourself this question:

“Can I find a new edge somewhere?”

Join me in having a look how we do things - especially those cushy little routines and habits of ours.

To stretching,
b

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Could your life use a detox?

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Could your life use a detox?

I talk a lot of positive things.
How you have more joy.
How to have better relationships.
How to simplify your life.
How to be happier.
And I speak of all the positive steps you can take to get there.

But today I am going to talk another super important ingredient if you truly want a life you love with a slightly more negative spin.

Detoxing.

Now of course, body de-toxing is great. Illuminating sugar or coffee or alcohol or starch or whatever is making you sluggish is always a good idea but that is not what I am talking about.

I am talking about a life-detox and it is actually simpler to do than you might think. Here is the steps to life detox:

1.   Take STOCK.  Look at the most important areas of your life and asses them.  How good is your life right now?  If you want a tool to do so, pop on over and take the ALIVE Audit (or create your own assessment).  Either way, it’s time to get honest about where *and* how your life is less than stellar.

2.  Find the PROBLEM.  Look for all the people, things, habits in your life that are negative, toxic or truly suck the joy out of you.  Be ruthless.  Look for all the places negativity lives - in guilt-ridden conversations, gossip, complaining, dream stealers, toxic television, social media obsessing, couch potato-ing, spending money you do not have, eating like crap - you name it.  Look everywhere.

 3.  Take ACTION.  This is the most important step.  To detox you must be willing to do new things- like, for example,  setting serious boundaries with the people in your life.  Unfriend, block and/or do not spend time with anyone who is negative, judge-y, or feels compelled to send you crappy msg’s, texts or emails.  Do NOT tolerate dream stealers, emotional vampires or trolls.  Detoxing people too tough for you?  Start with one.  Preferably the person who makes you feel the worst and go from there.

One wee caveat…. you do not have to detox every negative person or bad habit you have all at once.  You can of course, but the most important thing is to make your detox list then one item, one person, one habit, at a time,  tackle it.   Be brave.

And slowly but surely, your life will look, feel and be decidedly better.
Promise.

To your joy,
b

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"It tastes the sky"

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"It tastes the sky"

Once upon a time
there were two boys.

One lived in BC.
The other in Quebec.
Unbeknownst to each other they both agreed to partake in “Experiences Canada” - a student exchange where each would take turns traveling to live with each other’s families for one week.

They were nervous.
Unsure.
The outcome unknown.

But they said yes.
And as a result of that yes, an extraordinary friendship was born.
Not just with each other and between both families too.
The two weeks were very magical and lots of tears were shed at the last goodbye (okay mostly mine but never the less it was a messy airport departure).

But this year, our official “adopted” son returned and brought his parents with him.  Again, it was magical and the connection between us all is now even deeper.  There were so many awesome moments during their visit but one of my favs was a phrase they would use whenever food tasted particularly good.  They would take a bite and suddenly “Ca goûte le ciel!” which does not make total sense in English but loosely translates to “It tastes the sky!”

It tastes the sky?  How exquisite to have a phrase so expressive that when you eat the enjoyment is so vast it involves the whole sky.  I love this phrase so much I made them say it over and over and write it down for me so I can learn to use it too.

The moral of this story?

Well twofold.
#1.  When in doubt, say yes.  Say yes to things that scare you, make you nervous and you are unsure about.  Yes’s are full of possibility that can lead to extraordinary outcomes.  And if you want your life to be extraordinary than say more yes’s than no’s.

and

#2.  This summer (or winter if you are reading this in Australia), my wish for you is that you take the time to be intentional about how you spend your days. Because when you do that, you might end up using that wonderful, delicious phrase too.

 “Ca goûte le ciel!”

Happy July!

l,
b

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Things don't always go as planned....

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Things don't always go as planned....

And with the sound of the first beep, the test begins.
I am sending Grace good vibes and strong lungs was she begins her test.
It’s a big day for her.

But first a bit of back story.

Three and a half years ago a year of injuries ended her gymnastic dreams.
Which is when she looked at field hockey differently.
Instead of something she did a little of on the side,
it began to be something she committed to.

She played with the high school team in grade nine.
She trained in the regional and provincial development programs.
But try as she might she was never selected for the BC Provincial Team.
It is an incredibly competitive field and the very best athletes are selected each spring.
But this year Grace stood out.
At the train-to-compete U18 tournament she was noticed by the selectors
and was invited to the BC Team training camp with one caveat.

She must meet the provincial fitness requirement in order to stay on the team.

In BC Field Hockey the standard is level 15.8 on a yoyo test.
If you have never taken such a test, then imagineyou have to sprint 20 meters back and forth at timed intervals resting for only 10 seconds in between each one.  At each sprint is a beep which the athlete must cross the line in order to meet that level.  As the test progresses, the beeps get faster and faster as the levels get higher (and waaaaay harder to make).

It is no easy feat but doable for an elite athlete.
But Grace had never made the required 15.8 level in any of the set testing days prior to the tournament and only once during a practice run despite giving it her all in cardio, sprint and endurance training sessions.

She had to make it count on this training day.

And so the first beep starts.
And she runs.
And she keeps up with the pack looking strong.
The levels get faster and faster.
She reaches level 12, then 13, then 14 and finally level 15.
Her spot of the BC team is within her grasp.
15.8 is all she needs.
But then she falters and fails to get back in time before the dreaded beep.
Each athlete is permitted one miss.
A second miss and they must stop the test and that is their final score.
She misses a second time and is not permitted to continue.
And her BC Team dream for this year ends…
…at level 15.4.

.4

This is not the story I wanted to write.
I wanted to write about how all this perseverance paid off.
How on the day it counted she rose and beat the odds.
And we celebrated her achievement
all the way back from Vancouver.

But that didn’t happen.
Because sometimes you don’t win.
You give your all and you lose.

We all love a good comeback-happily-ever-after story.
And it’s not easy to watch this kind of story unfold.

But while the ending to this story is different than was planned
it doesn’t mean it can’t be a good one.
We just don’t know the ending yet.
All we know right now is, this particular chapter sucks.

So if you are still reading this and happen to be in the midst of your own non-winning chapter, do not give up.  

The moments when you falter and stumble is not the whole story.

The grit and guts that has brought you this far,
will be your greatest asset in your next chapter.

You’ll see.

“May the odds be forever in your favour”

ox

*Post script.  Three Okanagan athletes did not make the test level that day however since the training season is significantly shorter in this region than teams in the lower mainland, they were given one more chance to repeat the test by the head of BC Field Hockey.  On this day Grace ran a 16.2 and was named to the BC team.

 

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Can you do this?

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Can you do this?


The other day I was walking along with my dogs
and it was a hot day.  A sure sign spring is on the way.
And as the three of us ran and walked along the path
I noticed they were looking pretty tired (truth be told
it was the perfect excuse for me to stop and rest too!).

So we did.

I let them off leash and they bounded into the creek to cool off.
As I stood there watching them I noticed they immediately looked up
to see if I was carrying on our walk or waiting for them to swim a little longer.  To note, the creek is getting a higher and faster with the spring run off and I had the urge to haul them out the moment they got in.  But I noticed they were in a safe eddy and so I waited and let them simply be in the swirling water until they were ready to get out.

Then we carried on.

In that momentI realized that I had just "help space" for my dogs.  'Holding space' isa common jargon-term used frequently in the personal development world.

But what does that mean?  
And how do watching dogs swim apply to that?

Well to me, holding space is simply allowing someone to do what they want or need to do.  Without helping.  Without demanding.  Or insisting they figure it out on your timeline.  It is allowing someone to struggle a little even and doing the most important part of holding space: seeing them as capable.

Holding space often has few or no words or even action on your part and yet gives the unmistakable energy of “You got this!”.

I am not saying help is never required.  Let's be honest, coaching as an industry would not exist if we all could figure everything out on our own *but* holding space comes first.  So the next time you see someone struggling, hurting or looking really stuck, try this:

Stop (resist the urge to rescue)
See them as capable (truly)
And 'hold the space' for them to swim to shore (metaphorical or otherwise).

ox

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I decided this today.

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I decided this today.

I write a lot about relationships.
Tough relationships.
Struggling relationships.
And all that it takes to have amazing ones with other humans.

But I do not talk a lot about a really important one.
The body relationship.

I know a lot of women (and some men) do not have a great relationship with their body
and the size of one’s body has nothing to do with it.
I have known ‘skinny girls’ with an incredible amount of self-loathing
just as much as the ‘not-so-skinny-girls’.

My body has not changed a whole lot in my adult hood.
I always seem to wear the same size clothes year after year.
Sometimes with a bit more flow-y tops and
and a lot less hugging waist bands but the same size all in all.

You would think with the reliability of it's size and shape
me and my body would be pretty close
but the truth is, I take it for granted.
I treat it more like a neglected friend than a close BFF.

Sure I move my body.
I eat some salads.
I semi-hydrate it.
I do just enough to not be accused of abusing it.
But today I woke up and decided I could do (much) better.

So I am officially embarking on a deep-honour-my-body journey.
I am going to move…more.
I am going to hydrate…more.
I am going to eat better….more

I am even going to dig out all the cleanse I have in my cupboard
and actually commit to 30 days of clean eating.

Goodbye toxins.
Goodbye crappy sleep.
Goodbye refined sugar.

Hello love.
Body love.

Of course, if you want to join me
I would LOVE the company!

Yes, I use a system.
Yes, I use nutritional products.
Yes, I can hook you up.
Yes, we can do this together.

All it takes is a decision.
It is after all the only body we’ve got.
And since mine is turning 50 this year
I figure it is time to be a whole lot better to it.

Here’s to finding a few more ways to love our bodies more!
ox

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