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Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

The Power of Gratitude

On the last day of our Mindful Self Compassion program last week, we were asked to list some things that we are grateful for, this ‘gratitude exercise’ is one that is used widely in personal development work of all kinds. One of the items on my list was the ‘ability to feel’.

Although, many times it has been painful to feel so deeply, I also feel incredibly blessed to have had the experience to be able to deeply and passionately love another person. I realize now, from the benefit of middle age, that not everyone has the opportunity to experience this and I feel sad for them.

Another item on my list was my cognitive function as an extended family member is experiencing dementia and ‘staying in my reality’ feels precious. Following through with this thinking, I am grateful for the ability to appreciate the beauty of art and poetry.

I am also immensley grateful for my family, who anchor me, keep me humble and never cease to challenge me to ‘take the higher road’. The Mindful Self Compassion program has been so helpful in this area as I have noticed myself being less reactive, less tied into long standing behaviour patterns, more able to ‘pause’ and make a choice of actions and words coming from a place of loving kindness.

The exercise of finishing one’s day by listing three things one is grateful for is simple yet powerful. I encourage you to try it.

namaste,

Zoey

Inspirational Quote to Fire Up Your Heart and Soothe Your Soul

mindfulness

Self Compassion

“Walk with the dreamers, the believers, the courageous, the cheerful, the planners, the doers,

the successful people with their heads in the clouds and their feet on the ground.

Let their spirit ignite a fire within you to leave this world better than you found it.”

~ Wilfred Peterson

Autumn Energy: Use it For Renewal

Even though I don’t have ‘kids’ returning to school, September continues to feel like a time of new beginnings. In nature, Fall is a time of harvest and the beginning stages of renewal.

Some of my favourite Fall memories include walking down tree lined streets and the smell and sound of crispy leaves, recently fallen.

You can use the changing energies of the Autumn season to let go of what no longer serves you and to take time to reflect on those activities that recharge and renew you.

I’m using the Fall season to recharge through an eight week ‘mindfulness and self-compassion’ program similar to what my friends and colleagues at ‘Compassion Inspired Health’ offer.

Summer Holidays Good for the Soul

 

I am slowly feeling re-energized and have been reminded how important it is to take time off for Summer holidays!

Recently, and totally unconsciously, I got back on the treadmill, albeit, a ‘health’ treadmill. I over did ‘life’ by over scheduling and even though it was all activities I love, my energy was depleted.

Life coaches should know better, right?

Now, I feel my energy returning after days of being on the water, rocked to sleep by gentle waves.

I’ve also re-committed to my loving kindness meditation practice which was very easy to do with just two of us on the boat, however, was worried I would have a challenge as numbers on the boat swelled recently with the addition of one of my daughters and my grandson.

These are two people I love dearly, so the loving kindness is actually flowing! No need for worry.

I’m fortunate to live in an area of the world that is breathtakingly gorgeous. Being in Nature, taking long forest walks, beach walks, attending local Farmers Markets, kayaking, these activities spell Summer to me. I can feel by engaging in these summertime activities that I’m slowly beginning to ‘regreen’ the dry and parched areas inside.

While I may at times yearn to live in a perpetual summer holiday, feeling nourished and re-energized allows me to return to daily life.

Wisdom About Our Weird Everyday Lives

Rock Statue

Weird and Everyday

Words of Wisdom from Pema Chodron

Pleasurable vacation time gives an ‘interrupt’ to ordinary life, which allows our inner wisdom to break free. I find that some of my best ideas and intuition about life changes arrive during times in nature.

The following quote from Pema Chodron, in her wisdom, really speaks to me.

 

Awakeness is found in our pleasure and our pain, our confusion and our wisdom,

available in each moment of our weird, unfathomable, ordinary everyday lives.’

 

~ Pema Chodron from ‘When Things Fall Apart – Heart Advice for Difficult Times’

Enjoy your wonderful day!

in peace & mindfulness

namaste,

Zoey

 

Loving Kindness Meditation

Loving Kindness Meditation

Family Love

Loving Kindness Meditation: 3 Easy Steps

I first learned about ‘loving kindness meditation’ when I read the book “A Path With Heart” by Jack Kornfield. My friend Victoria Pawlowski recommended the book and Victoria and another friend, Carolena Ranger have gone on to found ‘The Center for Compassion Inspired Health’ which incorporate the tenets of loving kindness meditation and self compassion.

Reading “A Path With Heart” was life changing as it was with the reading that I started a daily meditation practice. I found the way Jack Kornfield writes about meditation clear and heartfelt.

For myself, the most effortless way to evoke the feeling of love and good intentions is to bring to ‘mind and heart’ my children when they were little and my grandson Madz. Thinking of Madz never fails to bring a smile to my face and crack my heart wide open. I can then include myself and a wide variety of others in my best intentions for good health, happiness and a life filled with peacefulness and ease.

You can try it for yourself with these three easy steps:

1. Sit comfortably in a quiet space. Take 3 deep in and out breaths.
2. Bring to mind a person, animal or environment that evokes feelings of love.
3. From the ‘feeling place’ of love send out to yourself and others wishes and intentions for good health, contentment, peace, a life well lived.

While this is a very simplistic, basic model, it gives a taste for what can be incorporated easily into one’s life. In addition to Jack Kornfield’s fabulous book, there are other wonderful books to help you with your practice. Another one I would highly recommend is “Lovingkindness: The Revolutionary Art of Happiness” by Sharon Salzberg

Why practice Loving Kindness Meditation? In addition to the obvious real time blissful feelings one experiences, research conducted by Barbara Fredrickson at the University of North Carolina found that folks who had done 7 weeks of loving-kindness meditation experienced a significant increase in positive emotions, personal resources and good health.

Like any new behaviour, practicing helps, so try to set aside 10-20 minutes every day for your meditation practice.

Dreams | Inspirational Quote of the Day

Dreams

dream catcher

Dreams …

If your dream doesn’t scare you, it isn’t big enough.”

– book title by Kristine K. Stevens

 

It is very easy to think that dreams are for younger people and I’ll admit, when I read this quote, I get a bit of a knot in the pit of my stomach, perhaps as I’m comfortably ensconced in midlife.

However, current research on neuroplasticity and maintaining cognitive function clearly shows that learning new skills, having new experiences or generally working that gray matter is a very very good idea.

So, it’s time to brush off the ‘virtual vision board’ and start imagining this next phase of life albeit with dreams not quite as edgy as previously held. And fun too!

Many folks get caught up on semantics and in my life coaching practice, I find that if I ask ‘what are your dreams’ rather than ‘what are your goals’, there is a completely different response and almost a relaxing into the answer with a sense of ‘joie de vivre’.

In addition to my family, I have a dear friend I travel with and we are currently planning a trip slightly more ‘exotic’ than usual. Traveling with her is like having my personal life coach continually by my side, even so, this next trip feels a little scary. Great I say!

I’ll have time to ponder and plan as we embark on our annual sailing holiday soon. Hmmm, I wonder what ‘dreams’ I’ll return with!

Life Coaching Tip:

Allow yourself some downtime to ‘just dream’ with no restrictions and ‘as if anything was possible’. It might be fun to see what you come up with! There are many ways to do this, no wrong ways and most require no structure and lots of white space. It might be fun to keep a journal just for your ‘life dreams’ and add pictures, quotes and ideas as these spontaneously arise. If this is a new concept for you or one you haven’t engaged in since childhood, it might help to ‘chunk’ your life into categories and ‘dream’ within a category. Have fun with this and catch some great dreams along the way!

 

5 Simple Health Tips You Can Use Right Now to Improve Your Energy

Health Tips

Meditate and breathe

5 Simple Health Tips You Can Use Right Now

Its the simple and seemingly obvious health tips, if incorporated on a daily basis, that can have the greatest long term sustainable impact on your health!

Research indicates that for individuals to maintain a new behaviour, there needs to be at least one of the following factors: enjoyment, easy to incorporate, in line with life values, able to be self regulating and effortless. Check out the following health tips to see if there is a fit.

1. Stop every hour and take 5 minutes for gentle movement and deep breathing.

2. Eat only when you are hungry, not when you feel you should eat.

3. Sweat! Sweating on a daily basis is healthy and detoxifying. Since it is warm summer air in most parts of the world this should be fairly easy to accomplish!

4. Do some type of physical activity, sport or exercise that you enjoy.

5. Be mindful of your thought patterns and when you find yourself ‘creating stories’ and ‘getting lost in your thoughts’ simply focus back on your breath … taking three deep in and out breaths with soft focused attention can calm all your internal systems.

Happy 150 Birthday Canada | A Woman’s Perspective

Canada Day

    Happy 150th Birthday Canada

Canada turns 150! This past year particularly has provided plenty of opportunity to reflect on what it means to be Canadian and live in a country that currently is strongly supported by the values of diversity and inclusion. Sure there is a vocal small minority of hate mongers and yes, the Indigenous peoples have an absolute right to further reconciliation and reparations and health care needs must be addressed.

The majority of my Canadian ‘neighbours’ are friendly, open minded, open hearted, respectful, curious, genuinely great people with a subtle and sly sense of humour, possibly undetectable to those who don’t speak ‘Canadian’. This may be why we are considered polite, which of course we are, just on occasion with a bite to it (only if deserved of course).

Just as I love my fellow Canadians, I also love getting to know folks from other Countries and feel that mutual awareness and understanding is critical to a sense of collegiality and collaboration which can shift our world and worldview.

I’m going to revel in my Canadianness today as I do every July 1st, Olympic hockey final game and when I hear the National Anthem.

O Canada, here’s to you today!

Inspirational Quote | Courage and Belief

Words of wisdom

Darkness of the unknown

“When you walk to the edge of all the light that you have and take that first step into the darkness of the unknown, you must believe that one of two things will happen. There will be something solid for you to stand upon or you will be taught how to fly.”

  • Patrick Overton

 

This has long been one of my favourite inspirational quotes as it speaks to courage and a belief in a power greater than ourselves.

If one can stay in the darkness for a bit, there is a fair amount of mystery, magic and great personal learning to be had.

As the photo above illustrates, there is shimmery moonlight on the sea in the midst of a dark night.

I and clients have used the inspiration from this quote for self awareness, introspection and then to help move into a lighter place and space.

Enjoy this quote and your day!

 

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