Happy International Women’s Day as women all around the world celebrate the large and small gains we have made towards being granted identity status, equality, reducing violence against women and children, improvement in healthcare for our families and access to education to name a few.
I remind myself of the quote by Laurel Thatcher Ulrich “well behaved women seldom make history”, which is a wonderful play with words, however, as I understand it, is Thatcher’s ‘tribute to the silent work of ordinary people’ (wikipedia). And isn’t this sentiment relevant in these times? It will be the silent work of ordinary people, not only women, coming together to organize and organize some more, to push forward, to challenge, to not remain silent.
So, yes, today is a wonderful day to remember and celebrate all the work of the women who have gone before me who have fought for the rights I have today and to understand that as our world grows smaller, conversations including intersectional theory will become more important. To inform my thinking in this I am happy to say I have three fabulous daughters, one of whom particularly is my mentor. She even accompanied me on the Vancouver Women’s March a few weeks ago. So, today is also a wonderful day to acknowledge and celebrate all the women and girls who follow us, who are our future and our hope!
Walking Toward the Sun
As my 60th birthday nears, I’ve been engaged in frequent conversations about ageing and how I’m going to ‘mark’, celebrate or recognize this transition time. The stale language of ‘over the hill’ has never worked, however, this morning on my beach walk, ‘walking toward the sun’ seemed like ideal phraseology.
‘Walking toward the sun’ implies that each day is fresh and new as indeed it is and while life is a continuous journey, one’s life can be re-imagined each morning.
I feel energized by the sun and nourished by the moon. I walk towards the sun and am drawn towards the moon. While certainly Ageing and the cycle of life is in play, these words and images feel much better than imagining I’m on a continuous downward slide.
Using ‘sun’ as a destination is also kind of intriguing for me.
So, I continue my life as a day and a journey filled with fiery light and soulful nights.
Mindful Self Compassion for Health Practitioners
It is my great honor to share information about an upcoming workshop in Nanaimo, BC, facilitated by two skilled and experienced friends.
March 31, 2017
hosted by Compassion Inspired Health
I have had the experience of contracting Victoria and Carolena to present a similar workshop to a mixed group working in the non-profit sector and the response was overwhelmingly positive.
Recently in a conversation, ‘self compassion’ was described as ‘applying salve to a burned out soul’; doesn’t that resonate for many of us who have been working in the helping professions?
Please feel free to share this widely and wildly!
Taking some time in Mexico for renewal with long time female friends and planning for the next phase of life and business. Gotta love the Los Cabos ‘surf shack’ brunches. ‘Buzzards’ serves a fabulous Eggs Benedict with shrimp and avocado, I’ll be back for sure!
Conversations That Matter – Conversational Intelligence
We have had a lot of deep and powerful conversations in our home this weekend and early week, discussions that matter. It’s been quite the weekend and I find myself waking up again, even this Wednesday morning feeling drained, with my heart broken, awash with emotion. Emotions that bounce around between sadness to hopelessness to incredulousness to patriotism and back to sadness, then again to hope as I see my grandson.
In my almost 60 years, I have never experienced such observable racism and xenophobic actions so frequently displayed and with such chilling and heart breaking consequences.
I am so proud to be Canadian and although my knowledge of Canadian political ideology has needed some ‘refreshing’, seeing the leaders of all political parties, all faiths and Canadians all across the country come together to support the families of the Quebec City terrorist attack victims brings tears to my eyes. It is in acts of ‘coming together’ in spite of differences, to talk from a place of ‘curiosity and inquiry’ that ultimately elevates thought and connect hearts.
We are in times of world political upheaval and uncertainty. We are all being challenged to move beyond the construct of ‘competition’, ‘either/or, ‘winner/loser’ to the constructs of community, ‘we’ and ‘both/and’ in both our personal and professional lives. In my opinion as we engage in powerful and intentional conversations anchored in higher paradoxical thinking, we elevate our minds, connect our hearts and show up in a different way, in compassion and empathy, with a fierce resolve to forward movement but in a ‘new way’.
For me, the discussions occurred in my family, primarily with my daughters, all three of whom have a slightly different perspective and are mighty skilled at sharing it! Friends and the friendship relationship can enhance your journey and provide a wonderful environment for deeper exploration and learning as well as just plain fun!
Here are three ways to make sure you have powerful conversations:
- Make eye contact
- Listen really well, give pause, don’t interupt
- Speak from your heart
Enjoy your day my friends and remember that the world is truly filled with good people and we get to choose who we engage with and how deeply we do this!
Inspired Living: Where Is Your ‘Just Enough Place’?
Are you one of those people who is always striving to do better, who would feel dissatisfied by ‘just enough’? Are you striving to be better, get better; achieve five year plans, learn the next new thing and so on? There is nothing wrong with a healthy dose of ambition, in fact, it helps you get things done, however, it needs to be balanced with an equally dynamic and seemingly mutually exclusive energy of ‘I am enough, I know enough, I have enough’ or what I, as a life coach call, your ‘just enough place’.
If the balance isn’t there, if you move beyond your ‘just enough place’ frequently enough, people can become highly wound perfectionists, never satisfied with their life. On the other hand if one totally misses the ‘ambition or life long learning gene’, life is devoid of forward growth and learning. The concept of ‘just enough’ then, is integral to life balance and fulfillment.
The concept of ‘just enough’ is also woven into many spiritual traditions, where ‘living lightly on the earth’ is valued and the notions of discernment and generosity are also highly valued.
Again, it’s calling for the use of higher thought, for the ability to hold two seemingly mutually exclusive ideas and ways of being in mind and action … just for today, I am enough, I will take just what I need, I will eat just enough to satisfy my hunger, I will share any extra I have … while working with heartfelt and heart centered intention towards your goals, anchored in clear and strongly held values and guiding principles.
Be mindful and play with these ideas in your own life and see what unfolds. Here is another article on the topic you may enjoy.
life, leadership & mentor coaching to set your heart on fire and soothe your soul
Word of the Day: Resiliency
I just read a great quote about failure and resiliency on Twitter, it was something about how you haven’t actually failed until you stay down after a fall.
How many of you have failed at something or had a less than stellar work or life experience? It feels awful right? Yup, I’ve been there too!
In life we are taught that failure is to be avoided at all costs. Even the word ‘failure’ is emotionally charged and can trigger feelings such as shame and anxiety. I have heard it said that as parents we need to teach our kids to ‘fail better’ and this brought a smile to my face.
Research shows though, that tough times really do make you stronger. The flip side of failure is resiliency. Developing resiliency is a key indicator of a deeper sense of life fulfillment and meaning. Whether it’s in the area of personal growth or professional leadership skill development, having resilience, the ability to learn from all manner of experiences is a trait common to successful people.
Yes, we will all fall. It’s what we chose to do after that makes the difference!
Your Morning Cup of Self Care
So, many women I know feel that they don’t have time for meditation and yoga first thing in the morning, yet, even ten minutes directed to these self care activites can provide a positive start to your day and elevate your emotional health and mood.
Set a timer and do five minutes of mindfulness meditation. I like using Pinterest for great visuals and instructions. I also like the quote that 99% of meditation is showing up!
Then, pick three yoga postures or stretches and hold each one for one minute and do one minute on shivasana to complete your self care routine for the morning. Another way to incorporate the yoga is to create a simple flow of a few standing postures and do these in sequence.
Starting your day with the intention of directing loving self compassion your own way is the best self care there is!
Women’s March, Vancouver women come together in powerful solidarity!
It was a great day for the Women’s March when one of my three daughters and I joined thousands of other women, men, girls and boys and headed down to Jack Poole Plaza. I was struck by the diversity in ages and also by the sense of joi de vivre from the lively and respectful crowd participating in the Women’s March of Solidarity in Vancouver.
I ran into many friends from the yoga and coaching communities as well as friends from previous work environments. It felt like a homecoming!
I left feeling jazzed, exhilarated and exhausted.
It seems like the real work begins now, that of maintaining and living the principles of unity, hope, inclusiveness and mutual respect.
Onward. Ho. In Love.
Healing the Heart
I’ve talked before about my personal health ‘adventure’, having a spontaneous coronary artery dissection (SCAD) which precipitated a heart attack in 2008 and subsequently being diagnosed with what’s been considered a rare condition Fibromuscular Dysplasia (FMD). It’s now thought that FMD is under diagnosed and may not be as rare as originally thought.
Regardless, I have been instructed by my cardiologist to avoid emotional stressors. Indeed, my heart is a fabulous receptor to the level of stress in my life and seems to be becoming even more finely tuned. My heart sends me messages. I have learned to listen to these messages … right away … without fail!
I have also learned how toxic negative emotions are to my physical body. I can not hold onto negativity or those ‘messages’ from my heart start up really fast!
As a means of keeping my heart soft, open and loving, I have learned, how important it is to be clear about my personal values and needs. I know that I alone am responsible for ensuring my needs are met in ways congruent with my values. I need to practice forgiveness and release ‘old stuff’ that feels anything but caring. I know my signature strengths and create a life that allows these to be woven through out. I hold my friends and family close.
It comes full circle as by engaging in the above practices my heart is healed and I have more love to share.