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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 How often do you feel this?

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How often do you feel this?

One of my favourite all-time places to be is near the ocean.
I love the smell of the salt and the seaweed.
I love the sounds of the waves and the cry of eagles overhead.
I can sit on a beach and watch for the blow of a whale going by for hours.

And I especially love the unpredictabilty of the sea.
Some days calm and inviting.
Some days huge, crashing waves.
Stormy.
Sunny.
Swirling.
Changing.
Receding.
Moving.

The ocean feels a lot like me.

I am not the same every day.
My moods change (just ask my family!)
My energy changes.
My direction is not always going only one way.

But my power?
It is the same every day.

Now do I harness it every day?
Not even close.

But when I am mindful I can tap into it.
And that is why I love being by the ocean.
Because it reminds me of my smallness
*and* my power.

Somehow grounding me and inspiring me at the same time.

And it makes me feel alive.

I have been thinking about alive a lot lately.
I have been hiding this winter writing about it,
sequestering myself in cabins creating about it,
and talking about it.

This week (if all goes well!) I am launching a brand new program
and I promise you will be the first to hear about it
but for now, I am curious about this one question:

When do you feel most alive?

I’d love to know.
ox

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A case for breathing

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A case for breathing


If you follow my musings and movements at all, then you know, I go to yoga,
Moksha Hot yoga specifically.
If you have been than you know what it like to practice in the hot room.
But in the event you do not, Moksha is basically a very specific sequence of poses (35-40), done in a room set to 38 degrees celsius (100.4 fahrenheit), 50% humidity and alongside 40 or 50 bodies lined up alongside each other moving, breathing and sometimes kind of dying, together.     

Hot. Sweaty. Challenging.

This is absolutely intentional.
There is a reason why these conditions are created - a very beautiful reason in fact. The vision of the Moksha founders is to cultivate world peace.  The thinking is if you can learn to breathe, pause and stay present when you are struggling in the heat, your muscles are screaming to get out of a pose and you want to bolt from the room, and then somehow find your peace at the end of it all by the time you arrive in savasana, THEN chances are if you can cultivate peace in those conditions, than you can bring that into the world when you get OFF your mat.  

But it is a practice for sure.
Being able to find calm amidst challenge (rather than when conditions are easy to do so) is no easy task.

It comes down to respond or react skills.

Can I get real here?

We would all like to think we are the ‘responder” type.
You know, that we always remember to take a moment, pause before speaking, texting or sending that ‘reactive’ email. You know, 100% of the time.
Sound like you?
Me neither!
But I certainly aspire to be the kind of person that responds over being the kind of person who reacts before thinking.
But it is tough to do.
And I have definitely learned the hard way what happens when I do not insert pause.
However, if I am tired, stressed or just feeling triggered by something or someone, one of the toughest things is to NOT react and just say or do whatever pops into my head.

Thus, yoga.

Yoga has taught me so many things.  About my mind, about my body, about my strength and community.  About rest.  About silence.  So much.
One of the greatest gifts however is that it has taught me how to breath - especially when things are hard.

So even if you are not a hot yoga fan (although I would invite you to try it!),
you can still practice yoga off the mat.
The next time you find yourself in a challenging situation, just pause.

Breathe.
Breathe.
Breathe.

And then choose.

Do I want to react right now?
Or can I wait a few more seconds....and respond instead.
Just breathing through the panic, the feeling or the urge to say or do something right now.

This is 'life yoga'.

And in our own way, contribute to world peace.  :)

To breathing,
ox

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150 minutes later...

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150 minutes later...

When my kids were in elementary school
they used to bring home report cards with three possible categories:

Exceeding expectations
Meeting expectations or
Not meeting expectations

Pretty simple.

I think these are fairly useful categories for pretty much any area of your life.
As I move into the last days of February, I have been thinking about these
and asking my self this question:

How can I exceed expectations?
Not anyone else's, just my own assessment.

I mean we always know when we are slacking,
 doing the minimum effort
or really killing it right?

Yesterday I decided to apply this to yoga.

Now I go to yoga regularly or semi-regularly.
Sometimes just once a week but whenever I go 2-3 times in a week I feel amazing.
But I know even this is still ‘meeting expectations’ of what I am capable of
or what might serve me even more.

So last night I went to Sunday night yoga at 5:30pm.
And it was no easy class.
Long, held poses where your are digging deep for your breath.
And it so very tempting just to leave as usual feeling proud of myself for doing it.
But, surprising myself, I stayed for the next yoga class too.
60 minutes of moksha yoga followed with 90 minutes of yin.
150 minutes of moving, breathing, sweating and going beyond my comfort zone.

It was pretty epic.

So it got me thinking of other places I might “exceed expectations”?
How about you?

Is there an area of your life where you can s-t-r-e-t-c-h a bit more?
Comfort zones are cozy and warm.
But outside of that zone….
well that is where the magic is.

That is our potential lives.

I invite you to try it on for yourself.
In the moment you are just about to stop where you usually do,
can you reach just a little further?

Let me know how it goes!

To finding a new edge,
b

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My take on VD

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My take on VD

The Grinch figured out that you can’t “stop Christmas from coming”
and the same is true for Valentine’s Day.

Love it or hate it,
It will come (and then go) on February 14th.

Here is my take on three ways to approach this day
no matter what your relationship status is.

#1: LOVE thy spouse

Obviously if you are in a relationshipthis is a good day (but not the only day!) to express your love but I encourage you to go beyond the "traditional" version and get outside the flowers, chocolate and dinner box.  Can you personalize your love today?   You know your spouse better than likely anybody so give this some thought.  Think of what they love to do, who they really are and come up with something creative that truly says “I know you.  I have been paying attention”.
Real love is not a noun- make it an unexpected and beautiful kind of verb today.

#2:  LOVE thy people

There is so much hype about romantic love, but what do you do if you do not have a lover on Valentine’s day? This is a chance to go beyond the Greek “eros” mad kind of passionate love and spread some “agape” or love for everyone.  This is a great day to love on your kids or a family member.  What can you do to say "you are so awesome"?  Is there a friend who you just love who is always there for you?  Never once says "are you sure you should be eating that?" kind of wonderful?   This is great day to do something for them.   Or maybe you can extend love to a complete stranger? Buy someone a coffee in line or shovel someone’s driveway just because. 

#3 - LOVE thy self

This, I believe, is the most important kind of love.  The ancient Greeks (who by the way have SIX different ways to describe love) call self-love- philautia.  Perhaps this day you can dedicate to you.  So set the table, prepare your favourite food, adorn yourself and let this be a day where you just honour how amazing you are.  No need to wait for someone else to validate, woo or give you love in some commercial cupid-kind-of way.  Fill your own cup until it overflows by choosing something you really love to do or eat or drink or wear.   Be your own Valentine.  

However you spend the day, sending you lots of love,
ox

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I am sorry...

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I am sorry...

Yesterday my son was pulled from his hockey game.
As a goalie, this is how it goes.
When the score gets away on the team, they switch out the goalies -
hoping a fresh injection of a new player will turn the tide of the game.
On lots of levels this makes sense.
You cannot really switch anyone else.
You cannot ask the forwards to play defense or vice versa.
So the goalies are the one player they look to ‘mix it up’ with.

Make sense, unless you are of course the goalie they are pulling from the game.

Rarely is this a moment of logic but instead a feeling of dread sinks in.
The things my son says to himself in these moments are:
“It is my fault”
“I let my team down”
“I suck”

Or worse.

I do not worry so much about what Jack feels in the moment
but instead worry about what he believes long after the game is done.
About himself.

I have learned a lot over the years watching jack in net.
Loving it when all the stars align and jack and his team put on a stellar performance.  And equally hating it on days when everything falls apart and my son leaves the rink feeling devastated.
When you are the goalie it seems to be an all glory or all shame kind of deal.

So as a ‘goalie mom’ - which I assure you is infinitely harder than a ‘hockey mom’ - I have employed various strategies that might help you if you have ever have to support someone in your life who is feeling like they suck.

Strategy number 1: The cheerleader.  This strategy only allows you to be POSITIVE.  Say nothing negative.  Just keep your spirits up and they will follow suit just by your enthusiastic view of life.

Result: Rarely works.  In fact totally disallows the person you are supporting the luxury of simply feeling like crap.  Or just feeling something other than happy.

Strategy number 2:  The coach.  This is where you hit them with personal development right away.  Say things like “Lean into the lesson here or "what is the gift of this game-or-thing-gone-wrong?”

Result:  Even worse than the cheerleader.  As a life coach you know I am have employed #2 waaaaaaay too often in my mini-van-lecture hall and basically rushed the whole process of well, processing it for more than a nanosecond.

Strategy number 3: The witness.  This is where you simply witness what is happening and are just there.  Not for motivational speeches, cliche sayings or to fix anything at all.  You just show up and say very little other than “I am sorry you had a tough game” or simply "I am here for you".

Result: Super effective.  I am not saying there is no place to cheer-leading and coaching (there is) but one of the key factors of time.  In the heat of the moment or crisis or heartache, if you truly want to help, “say” little and just “BE” much.

In the spirit of full transparency, it has taken me a long time to even discover the importance of #3, let alone remember to use it.

I love fixing.
I love cheering up.
I love coaching.

But I also know there is value in pain, loss and hardship and if I swoop in with my super-mom-cape and make everything all better right away, well then I rob my kids (or my clients for that matter) of the resiliency that comes from actually going through some stuff.  The wisdom on the other side can be pretty rich mining.

I have learned to honour pain - mine and others - in the same way I honour joy.
Both are valuable teachers.

So if you are in a season of pain
*or*
in a season of joy, honour it.
Witness it.

Later you can decide how to get less (or more) of it. On the other side of feeling it.

ox
b

ps
This post published with Jack’s permission.  While it is about me and life lessons, it is also about him and in a world of social sharing, I think permission about this kind of thing is important when people are named.

 

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If you want a great year, this is key.

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If you want a great year, this is key.

I have been binge watching lately.
Not my usual vice, old episodes of Grey’s Anatomy on Netflix,
but a new obsession.
TED Talks.

I watched many TED Talks over the years but for some reason,
this week I have been watching a ton.
I have to say, it feels like guilt free screen time
when I put all this inspiration into my head
as opposed to less-inspired TV.

Anyhoos…one of the TED Talks I watched
focused on creating new habits
which isn't that what we all tend to want to create
when the new year rolls around?
It is like we are swept up in a universal motivation.
Everyone is inspired in January… well for a week or two at least!

Which is why this TED Talk is so relative.

According to behavioural scientist BJ Fogg,
it is not big changes that create new habits,
but tiny ones.
Even seemingly insignificant ones.

Here is the key:
create a new habit after something you already do ritually.
Like take a shower.
Brush your teeth.
Have a cup of coffee.

These are the perfect time to create your normal routine
with a new habit.

Fogg tried this with push-ups.
He wanted to get into better shape so he made a deal with himself.
After he went to the bathroom (old ritual)
he would then do 2 push ups (new habit).
Pretty soon 2 pushups became 5 and then 10
and now he does between 50-60 push ups a day.

Pretty cool!

Ready to put this to work for you?
Here is my coaches challenge:

Simply decide on ONE new habit that is aligned with a goal for 2017.
Then insert it into your normal routine.
It looks like this:

After I _________________ (usual thing you do)
I will _________________(new habit you want to create).

Voila!

Try this with me and let’s see what happens by the end of the month!

“Finding the right tiny behaviour
helps you defeat giant self-sabotage” (BJ Fogg)

If you want to watch his TED Talk, go here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AdKUJxjn-R8

To tiny habits,
Beth

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And the winner is...

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And the winner is...

Thank you for writing to me.
I am touched by your vulnerability,
honesty and frankness about what is truly challenging you.

Lots of themes in the response I read.
Overwhelm.
Not taking consistent action.
Not believing in self.
Not clear on what will make a difference.
Knowing what to do but yet not how to do it.
And that darn procrastination.

Do you know what I think helps with all these things?
Support.

So even if you do not win the private coaching session with me,
I invite you to see where you can beef up your support.

A friend.  A mastermind.  A forum.  A pocket of inspired people.
Somewhere where you can be seen and heard
*and*
be held accountable.

This I feel is key.

I am thinking of creating a coaching group this year
for just this sort of thing.
If you would like to hear more about it,
simply replay with “tell me more…”
and I will keep you in the loop.

And the winner of the private coaching session?
Jo Ann Beliveau!  Congratulations! (email me directly about how to set up your call)
If you did not win, stay close and
watch for other ways to get more connected this year.

In the meantime, keep the fire stoked for your 2017 dreams.

ox
Beth

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Last chance to win!

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Last chance to win!

I love hearing from you.  Truly.
It makes me happy just to know you are out there
reading my emails and creating your own best life.
But when you reply to my emails,
it makes me doubly happy!
And I want you to reply to this one.

On December 31st I sent you an email
inviting you to take part in my two-question survey
and just by responding, you get entered
to win a private coaching session with me.

Here are the questions once again:

Question #1:
When it comes to your life and work, what is your greatest challenge?

and

Questions #2:
Now thinking about your answer to question #1, what is your perfect solution to it?

Simply hit reply and I will get your answer and you will be entered into the draw.

Wishing you a great start to 2017!
Beth

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A question, a prize and a wish

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A question, a prize and a wish

[Two questions, a prize and a wish]

It’s New year’s eve so I am sending you a quick note
before you say goodbye to 2016 and hello to 2017.

Hopefully by now you have had time to do you year in review.
What went great, what you learned and
how you will course correct for next year.

I too have been doing the same and have some new ideas,
projects and plans in the works I am excited about.

Which brings me to my question (actually 2!)  This is my way of aligning
my ideas with what will actually serve you where you are at.

Question #1:
When it comes to your life and work, what is your greatest challenge?

Be as specific as you can.

Questions #2:
Now thinking about your answer to question #1, what is your perfect solution to it?

And to sweeten the pot for you, I will add your name into the draw to become eligible to win a one-hour, vision casting for 2017 private coaching session with me. Just hit replay with your 2 answers and voila! You are officially entered.)

And last, my wish for you is a wonderful close to your year tonight and whatever is in your heart for the year ahead - may your wishes, your desires and your dreams, be manifested in spades for you!

My very best to you,
Beth

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