“Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire!”Saint Catherine of Siena

I heard this wonderful quote this week on TV watching the Royal Wedding of William and Kate.  How fitting that these words would be part of the homily in their ceremony.  Even as we come together in marriage we are still individuals with gifts and talents that are meant to be brought into this world.  Yes having a supportive and loving partner can mirror who we are but we still have 100% responsibility individually to be all of who we are meant to be.   

We get caught up in life from time to time, we get so busy that we lose ourselves in others and in life and then forget that there is something very unique in all of us.  This uniqueness needs time to be nourished and fed in order for it to be brought into the world.  We need time to feed our body, mind and our souls.  This opens us up and creates the desire to move in the directions of our dreams.  It gives us the time to reboot and replenish our energy so that we can go back out into the world with that fire to make change and be in service to others.  

I know for me when I do this I have that fire! There is something that wells up inside that I cannot put into words.  Last summer I spent a lot of time in nature gathering wild herbs ,walking in the warm sun and cool breeze of the ocean.   It nourished me in ways that nothing else can for me.  I was very present in my body and nourished my cells with amazing herbal infusions and fresh veggies from local gardeners and from my own hothouse.  I had the most productive and creative summers in a very long time because of this and this wonderful quote from Saint Catherine reminded me.  It felt like I was setting the world on fire.  That fire came first from within and then spread out into the world.

Over this past winter I lost sight of this fire by letting those things that most nourish me to be set aside by all too often using the old excuse “not having enough time” or worse forgetting or plain indifference .  Of course this leads me to a place of self-pity and frustration at times and little by little I was doing very little of those things that fuel my fire.  Within a few short months my fire went from a roaring bomb fire to a small flicker!  The change in us can be so subtle unless we are diligent about this inner flame it will go down to nothing more than a small spark. This spring I have chosen to once again each day fuel my inner flame and I feel that I am waking up that fire again.  I have to remind myself everyday that it is a choice. 

I invite all of us to find out what fuels our inner flame and make a commitment each and everyday to keep adding that fuel.  Remember unless we take care of our emotional, physical and spiritual health we soon find ourselves burnt out caring for others.  As one of my favourite authors Iyanla Vanzant says “Who we are is so is important to God, Who you are is so vitally important to life and to God that you owe it to yourself to take care of you.  To give yourself, to nurture, support and care for yourself before you attempt to nurture support or care for others.  All you desire to be…to give… to do… cannot and will not happen unless you take radically good care of yourself”

Take care of your inner fire and then go out and set the world on fire with your life!!

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Living life authentically

This word “authentic” is used a lot by people who want to follow a more honest life that reflects more of who they really are.  I believe it is what most of us want but have a hard time to live.  There are so many reasons why most of us do not live authentically, we are caught up in what others think of us, we have patterns of thoughts and habits that we adopt as normal, we need to fit in or be accepted, etc. On a day-to-day basis we rarely speak or act from our own truth.   How many times do we ignore that small wee voice that is telling us something we need to do or not do? How many times do we lie to ourselves or others in order to not have confrontation or disapproval? We often appear on the outside completely different from what we feel on the inside.  Living life authentically is a practice that we can become committed too.  A client shared with me 2 words today that spoke miles to me, “noise” and “voice”.  Noise being all that we hear that has been programmed by others and society about who we are supposed to be or do and our own voice which tells us more often to follow another path.  

One way I have learned to let go of some of the “noise” is by doing shadow work.  Spending time learning to uncover and love those darker parts of me that have been patterned by a life time of what society and people taught me.   Those parts of me that judge, get angry and blame others, or parts of me that say yes to things I know I should not be doing and then being angry at the person for asking! There are wonderful gifts from being honest about how much of our lives that we are not happy about comes from our own choices.  There is so much freedom in taking full ownership of all of who we are, both the light and the dark.  When we do we shift through the noise and hear our own voice.  It begins by being willing to look at yourself and others through a filter of compassion, love and forgiveness.  Without this filter we spend too much time beating ourselves or others up through guilt, anger, frustration or shame.  I have heard the phrase “keeping it real” a lot these days and to me when I hear people using that saying it is all too often projecting pain on to others.   To me being authentic is listening to that inner voice that does not need to hurt someone’s feelings or project pain onto others.  

In my own life I have learned that by being authentic with the filter of compassion, love and forgiveness I no longer need the approval of others in the same way I once did nor do I spend needless hours blaming myself or others for my life.  I can set much better boundaries and follow through with what I feel lead to even when it may not make sense! 🙂  Because of this when others get angry or struggle with those boundaries I do not take on their projections in the same way I once did either.

“Listening”… truly listening to our own inner guidance can create more passion, love and service to others that comes from a genuine heart not out of some obligation that we end up feeling resentful about.   

Today I invite us all to become more authentic where we are following less noise and more of our own voice.

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Let Japan’s beautful example be our wake up call!

The crisis in Japan is bringing back our focus on Honour.  I heard it said last night that it is not just compassion that the people of Japan are demonstrating but honour, something here in the West we have lost sight of a generation ago.  Some of the words that are associated with the definition of the word honour.  “Personal integrity, respect, dignity, source of pride, moral character or strength, or adherence to ethical principle”.

This topic has left me pondering this word.  The fact is that this horrific crisis is reminding the world what honour looks like, people are not only helping each other but they are honouring and respecting each others property. They are not taking ownership of anything but sharing the resources without any personal agenda attached.  People’s homes are left unlocked with signs outside inviting strangers in to fill their water jugs.  Others are coming home to find food and water left on their door steps anonymously.

This is something that this generation of Westerners are losing.  We all get angry because we say that the young people here are spoiled and feel entitled.  Who created this? 

I have a 95-year-old neighbour who speaks of a time in his youth when everyone in the neighbourhood left their doors unlocked and the porch light on for anyone who needed a place of shelter and a bite to eat.   He would think nothing of waking up to find a person on the couch needing rest.  Everyone in the neighbourhood took care of each other.  This was a time when a handshake was the contract and your word was binding.  The majority of his generation could not even think of stealing.  Objects were not your wealth but family values and service was what made you rich.  

In our over zealous to keep our children from suffering too much hardship we forgot that those hardships taught us to need and respect each other.  We have deeply failed our youth, and as our generation gets older we have become cynicical and angry because of what our world has become.  Everywhere I turn these days whether it is in business or social gatherings all you hear is gossip, anger and frustration about this generation that has turned us against each other and into a cynicism for humanity. Honour can only be taught through example, and this can only be done if we first honour our own lives.  We first must be willing to own and heal our own wounds and then we can become that beckon of honour and show them through our actions the power of such a society.  

We forget that what we are putting out into the world grows.  Most people are like a fertile field, and what we plant will grow.  If we plant poisonous plants, anger, judgement, entitlement that is what will grow.  If you want nourishing plants then plant seeds of love, service, non-judgment and compassion.  Plant an honour system that not only values others but mirrors what is possible for our youth.  Be a reflection that takes the light off of things and put it back on people and community.  I invite each and every one of us to let go of this disease of cynicism, and over consumption and step into the honour society once again.  If we want to teach this generation honour then become honourable.  Let your words and actions be a becaon of light that shines on the concept of honour that was our grandparent’s legacy that allot of us failed to pass on.

 Let Japan’s beautful example be our wake up call!

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One thing I know for sure I will and do make mistakes.

One thing I know for sure is I do and will make mistakes.  Sometimes they are small and on occasion they are big.  Just this week I made a whopper.  It was one of those weeks when life hands you a whole lot , I was emotionally and physically burned out and was not as mindful I would be normally! There are wonderful lessons we can learn by being humbled from time to time. 🙂  

Normally I know better to write anything in this kind of condition but I did anyway. I usually take better care of myself during times such as these but ignored my inner wisdom.  I had my normal period of regret along with beating myself up and finally today I found the lesson and realized I had to let it go.  Once again I learned to better listen to my inner voice when it is telling me I need rest instead of work.  

This journey we are on does not always unfold as we would like and we are all given challenges along the way.  There are always lessons in life to learn and it’s important that we realize we all make mistakes.  They really are not mistakes at all if we are willing to learn from them and move forward.   

Forgive yourself today, take yourself of the hook and learn the lesson.  Life is much to short to spend too much time in regret. Mistakes only need to be a detour not a dead-end.

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Hint of things to come!

Last night around 6:30pm I realized that it was still light out! I got so excited as I know that although it is still very cold (-7) spring is coming!  Also in the past couple of weeks I have noticed the flower and veggie seeds out for purchase! As an avid gardener these two signs literally give way to a shift for me inside.  I found this winter even though it was not long we had a lot less sun than last winter and I have felt down inside a bit more than usual.  

I love the seasons and have shared how I follow their rhythm inward on a spiritual journey more and more as I get older.  Winter is a time of contemplation, a time to slow down and be still more. A time of reflection and introspection.  Spring for me is a time I feel an awakening, a time to start to till the soil of my life getting it ready for new seeds in the form of new plans for myself; it is time to step out of my comfort zone by taking action steps and for me this is with health and well-being and my career.  Both of these are my main focus at this time in my life.  

My health is the number one primary goal for without my health everything else I want to achieve is not possible.  I am refocusing my life back to the things of love in body work.  Qi Gong, yoga, walking in nature, eating more alive food!! I have been all over the place this winter and my body feels very sluggish because of lack of routine and consistency.

Also I feel so blessed to have been trained to bring this extraordinary work in this world.  As I lead others on their transformational journey I am constantly being reminded of my own.  When I hold others to their highest I have their mirror to remind me of the same. I will refocus my efforts to bring this work to my community for I have witnessed the lives of others and myself change in magical amazing ways!

Let the hint of spring be a catalyst to make changes that will refocus us in ways that will help us and others live life to our fullest.   Change can be frightening but without it we will never know just how much we are capable of or how glorious our lives can be!

I will end with a couple of quotes from Mahatma Gandhi that always inspire me.

“You may never know what results come from your actions, but if you do nothing there will be no results

“Be the change you want to see in the world.”

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My favorite granola recipe

Here is my favorite granola recipe that a couple of you had asked for!  Of course use organic ingredients when ever possible ENJOY!!

 6 cups of  quick oats 

1 cup of barley flakes

1 cup of spelt flakes   

2 cups of  sunflower seeds

1/2 wheat germ

1 cup silvered almonds

1 tsp salt

1 cup of olive oil

1 cup of honey or maple syrup

Mix all of these ingredients together and bake at 350 for about 15 – 20 minutes. Stir occasionally until the cereal is golden brown.  Then add

1 cup of shredded coconut

1 cup of raisins

1 cup of walnuts  yummy!!!

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“Mountain out of a Mole Hill”

Remember this quote that some of us heard as a child and maybe even passed on to our children.  In early childhood sometimes it is to hard to process painful situations no matter how small or large. So as children even those times when a simple disappointment might send us into drama overload! 

It is very apparent today that many of us adults have that same tendency. We are still sweating the small stuff!  During a few days of the month I still find myself standing by these mole hills that I could simply stepped over but I still insist these little hills are way to big to climb and have to make sure everyone around me knows. 🙂

Just recently 2 more of our friends have been struck down with very serious illnesses, one with cancer and another with a heart attack.  This is becoming too common among our friends and family yet it serves as another reminder that until we have an actual mountain to climb breath in deep when we feel over whelmed by life’s little challenges.  Mountains are hard enough to climb and we need our strength and faith to reach the summit and back down!  For now step over the mole hills and see them for what they are.  Laugh at yourself when you feel these tendencies to fall into drama over them.   Stressing out over the little stuff only serves to weaken our immune system and make those around us unhappy. 

Find ways to laugh this week when ever you find yourself taking life to serious and realize your mountain will come soon enough so “Don’t make mountains out of mole hills” Step over them and laugh!  

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Simple pleasures of life!

Winter is here finally, the first part of January was odd to say the least with some days with the temperature as high as 15 C.  Now the normal -15 C makes more sense.  Although I have learned only in the most resent years to love winter as an adult this winter is beginning to slip back a bit to old memories of dislike.  It is not about the cold temperatures or the snow but it is about how little sun we have had all winter.  This begins to get me down.  I am sure I suffer a bit from SAD.  One of the things I have on hand and will start taking is Saint John’s Wort tincture, the sunshine herb. What is so special is that I gathered the flowers and made it this summer.  The tincture reminds me of summer and all the bright sunshine we had.  

Simple special memories are wonderful things when we anchor them in with being really present to them.  My mentor Debbie Ford speaks of this and how important it is to stop periodically during our day to breathe in the simple pleasures of life.  I must admit I am not always diligent at this but today as I remember just how present I was to Mother Earth last summer when I gathered herbs and walked barefoot each day helps me on days like today when I am a bit blue.   I was so present to those moments I can actually relive the feelings I felt.  Feelings of contentment, such an inner peace that was indescribable! I remember the warm ocean breezes on my face and the smell of the salt air as it came in on the tide as I gathered rose hips.  I remember sitting on a huge cool rock under a very old large tree and feeling the cool shade it provided after gathering Yarrow and Saint John’s Wort flowers.  I remember the feel of how cool and velvety soft the grass was on my feet when I gathered Plantain off my lawn.  I remember hearing the birds waking up and smelling the morning air as I did Qi gong outside as the sun rose.  

Our brain is hard-wired to automatically anchor in the painful or more extreme pleasurable experiences but it is up to us to anchor in the simple special moments by doing something like stopping for just a couple of seconds and taking in a deep breath as you feel the pleasure of being alive!  This week as we have yet another snow storm my intension is to breathe in this side of Mother Nature also.   I will not be able to get to work tomorrow but I will sit down during the worst of the storm with a hot cup of herb tea and read a book.  Ahhhhh I am excited about the storm already.  I will have a peaceful day to anchor in to my simple pleasure library of memories.  See I have had a shift in my energy as I write this.  

Remember the more we anchor in the simple pleasures the more we have to  drawn on when we feel disconnected.  Make an intension for the coming days to be more mindful and present and be willing to take moments throughout your day to breathe in and anchor to your library of memories.

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Celebrate this moment!

Lately all you hear is New Year resolutions.  Although I am sure that for some this is something that is powerful and life changing,  but for most of us though it becomes a quickly passing phase of regrets and “should ofs” or “could ofs” and so on.  Like the enviable“first thing Monday morning I will start …….”. 

Recently I was sent this wonderful message about instead of making new resolutions by wiping your slate clean take a moment of gratitude for the year.  Don’t be only grateful for all the wonderful things that is easy but also be grateful for all the hard things that taught us to be stronger to strive harder! Mostly be in deep gratitude for this “moment”.  The moment you are in right now as you read this! 🙂 

This really is the only thing that matters.  No matter what faith tradition you follow this message is at the center.  Take a deep breath and drink in that you are alive and that life is really full of possibilities !   

The strange paradoxical thing is that only when we are able to accept and love all of who we are and others in this moment can real change happen.  So for today practice gratitude, love and acceptance in the moment you are in and watch the magic happen!  This is your invitation to celebrate this moment  🙂

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Get over yourself!

This holiday season I really over indulged much more this year then in past years.  Lots of reasons I found for doing this but mostly because I simply wanted to.  Much like a rebellious teenager I found myself eating chocolates and pastry and many many other goodies we associate with the Christmas season.  I have come to realize that my body cannot tolerate this kind of eating anymore and up until about 3 weeks ago I normally eat really well for the most part.  About a week ago though I found myself one morning in pain all over.  Every joint in my body hurt and I was exhausted!  I hit the preverbal tipping point of over indulgence!! Although I understand that to feel guilty is down right self destructive I found myself none the less feeling frustrated!  For many years my dear body held allot of extra weight and my joins took a beating.  Even though I have lost a good amount of weight I still find I cannot tolerate a lot of inflammatory foods such as sugar. (Which is a great thing for we really shouldn’t have it anyway! 🙂  I went into see my chiropractor for a much needed adjustment and she continued to chuckled as she commented on just how much my poor body was out of aliment!  She noticed my frustration and as always in her wonderful wit she told me to stop beating myself up over it.  She said “So what, you simply took a body vacation for Christmas and GET OVER YOURSELF! Get back on track and don’t look back!”  I love her wisdom and the humour she uses to impart it with.  I laughed all the way home, some body vacation, I am really glad to get back to work!!

As a coach I am hired to hold people accountable for the changes they want to make in their lives and feel so privileged and honoured to do so.  Times like this week I am humbled and reminded to practice what I preach and how important it is to not take ourselves to seriously even when we slip into not so healthy behaviour.  I took her council and within 2 days of eating cleaner and yoga I felt 90 % better, laughing at myself each time I think of her telling me the same thing I remind clients often to get over themselves!! Getting frustrated with ourselves only serves to make the problem or challenge bigger and therefore we get to play victim again and stay stuck in it.  I am so blessed that I have several close friends and a couple of amazing health practitioners that remind me of what I already know.  This is why we need each other in this world,  to be mirrors of recall when we forget!!

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!! Make an intention this year to laugh more regret less and to get over yourself more often!!

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