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Posts Tagged ‘life coaching’

Life Balance 3 Tips to Improve Your Holistic Health

Building on the theme from recent posts about summer energy, poetry and living in alignment with nature and her cycles, let’s weave in some of the teachings of the Tao Te Ching as a foundational theme in creating life balance.

Being brought up in a Western family spiritually grounded in Christianity, I wasn’t exposed to the Tao until my 30’s while on a spiritual quest following a family crisis. Do you find that crises often lead to spiritual growth? It was after reading The Life of Pi by Yann Martel that I decided to go deeper with the learning about the Tao. This may be a funny way to deepen learning, ie from a very enjoyable novel, however it worked for me! Since that time, the books that have helped my western mind understand the Tao have been ‘The Tao Te Ching of Lao Tzu’ translated by Brian Browne Walker, ‘Change Your Thoughts-Change Your Life: Living The Wisdom of the Tao’ by Wayne Dyer and ‘A Thousand Names For Joy: Living in Harmony With The Way Things Are’ by Byron Katie.

Byron Katie’s book I found to be particularly powerful.

As a life coach and executive/leadership coach, the women I work with are often challenged to find a balance or equilibrium between making conscious and strategic changes on the one hand and allowing the gentle flow of life on the other hand. Another way to describe this dynamic is seeing the balance between striving towards change and being drawn towards your future. The Tao seems to be very helpful for the second part of this equation. The Tao reminds us that life is like water, it resides in the low places, over time it carves out deep valleys and can move mountains, and it is hard to grasp. I have found that the more I try to figure the Tao out, the more complex it becomes and if I allow my entire self to be open to it, I ‘grasp’ it more easily. So, the life balance learning is about honouring the Tao of life and the Tao of you.

Life Balance Tips Using the Tao, remember the second part of the equation above, :

1. Read something about the Tao Te Ching, you can pick one of the books above or simply do a quick search on the internet.

2. Ask yourself how your life is or isn’t like the Tao?

3. One of the dominant themes of the Tao is about water and flow, spend lots of time in the water (for fun) and ask yourself what you feel drawn towards? Interesting imagery is to imagine that ‘life’ is a gently flowing river and you are floating down in a beautiful kayak, can it truly be this effortless? Might you run up into a log jam or two? Might the current of the river move you beyond it? Play with this image and sink into the energy of the Tao to bring more balance to your life.

3 Self Care Tips to Enhance Your Life

Happy and free

Do you ever find your self wondering exactly what does ‘self care’ mean? In my life coaching practice,  when discussing self care, I have many women ask me, “but isn’t it selfish to put myself first”? I like to ‘unpack’ and ‘repack’ the meaning of ‘self care’ together with my clients. My thinking about self care has been informed by the writing of Pema Chodron, Buddhist Nun and teacher.
In previous posts, I have included the phrases ‘motherly love’ and ‘compassion towards yourself’ as capturing the essence of self-care! Another word that fits into this discussion is “maitri”. Maitri is a Sanskrit word often translated as unconditional friendship with oneself. As mentioned, I first heard the word ‘maitri’ in the writings of Pema Chodron.

 

What strikes me is that as we can develop ‘unconditional friendship’ with ourselves, we bring compassion and a gentleness into our ‘self-care’ practice. Starting from gentleness and respect allows life to flow forth in quite a different way than striving towards the completion of projects. This is the practice of self compassion and anchors our lives in quite a different way. You can learn more about self compassion through the Center for Compassion Inspired Health.

 

So, explore the practice of unconditional friendship and self compassion with yourself and from a soft and gentle place, experiment with the following :

 

Self Care Tips:

1. Explore the concept of friendship, and consider if you hold yourself to a higher and different standard than you hold your friends ie are you more critical of yourself than you are of your friends?

2. Be extra gentle with yourself and notice when this is easy or difficult.

3. Mark the changing of the seasons in some way. You may wish to buy a new journal or prepare your garden or design another ritual that helps you say good bye to the season ending and ‘hello’ to the season on it’s way in or, if you are in an equinox, notice the uniqueness of the season.

 

“May your life be like a wildflower, growing freely in beauty and joy each day.”

 

– Native American Proverb

Inspirational Quote Your Wild and Precious Life

Summer Flowers

Wild and Precious Flowers

One of my favourite poets is Mary Oliver and on this summer day her fabulous poem is a luscious read. I can actually hear the grasshoppers and feel the warmth of the sun on my skin while reading. As a life coach, I particularly love the last sentence about ‘your wild and precious life’ as it is a wonderfully inspiring quote and a great coaching question … :

The Summer Day

Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean–
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down–
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
With your one wild and precious life?

By Mary Oliver

If you feel so inspired, try out some of these summer self care tips to enhance and elevate your ‘wild and precious life!

 

Three Daily Habits to Make Happiness a Life Goal

Cultivate happiness

Can Happiness Be A Life Goal?

Do you have the ability to create happiness? How many of you believe that our emotions are beyond our control, kind of like we are passive recipients of our emotional state?

While acknowledging that the full range of emotions, including sadness, hurt and despair contribute to a well rounded and balanced life, I believe that it is possible to not only change our emotional state, but to also ‘prime’ our thoughts to make a positive emotional state or happiness more likely.

Drawing on the work of Barbara Fredrickson PhD, in the area of ‘Positive Psychology’, doing three small things daily can have an impact:

1. Remembering and savouring a positive social interaction, perhaps with a family member, friend or even your local barista.

2. Feeling gratitude for something or someone in your life.

3. Taking a few minutes to sit in mindful meditation each day.

In total, these three things could take as little as ten minutes a day, yet the impact would be mighty.

So, yes, cultivate happiness and enjoy the bounty that will flow your way.

Conversations That Matter – Conversational Intelligence

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:

  1. Make eye contact
  2. Listen really well, give pause, don’t interupt
  3. 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!

namaste,

zoey

Celebrating a 21 Year ‘Sobriety Cake’

O
Celebrating Sobriety

Its a tradition in the recovery world to celebrate the anniversary of one’s ‘sobriety’ with a cake, like a birthday or anniversary.

I’m excited to say that I have been sober for 21 years today.

I don’t believe I have written much about the years immediately preceding July 2, 1994, that’s for another time, however, I say a prayer of thanks every morning I wake up sober and am incredibly grateful for the deep learning and growth my recovery has given me. I am humbled by and have such respect for anyone working through an addiction. Take it easy my friends.

love and light

zoey

Topaz Lotus Living: Evening Prayers

Evening Prayers

For the joy of a summer day, we give thanks.

The the sound of the wind and the waves, we give thanks.

For the love of family and friends, we give thanks.

For the honor of being alive, we give thanks.

And so it is.

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Topaz Lotus Living: Evening Prayers

Topaz Lotus Living: Evening Prayer

May we be protected together.
May we be nourished together.
May we work together with great vigor.
May our study be enlightening.
May there be no hatred between us.
Om peace, peace, peace.

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Topaz Lotus Inspired Living: Vancouver Yoga Teacher Training at Open Door Yoga

Vancouver Yoga Teacher Training: Open Door Yoga Vancouver

 

I recently completed my 200 hour hatha yoga teacher training at Open Door Yoga in Vancouver and I highly recommend this intense and incredibly well designed program!

With a conveniently designed program of meeting once per week on either a Saturday or Sunday, this course can easily fit into most schedules.

The quality of the instruction, I found to be exceptional.  As a adult learner, I often find myself bored to tears in many seminars and courses.  Not so, with the Open Door Yoga Teacher Training.  With a range of instructors and subjects, and utilizing a variety of multi-sensorial teaching methodologies, the program was transformational.

I started the program with the intention to deepen my personal practice and to add to my skills as a yoga instructor.  I finished the program with these goals met and as a somewhat different person.  I’m unable to find words to describe the difference, I just ‘feel’ deeper and broader and with real concrete something – the practice of yoga, to ground me daily.

For my next training, I plan to do the “Restorative Yoga” teacher training at Yogacara in August.

in peace & mindfulness,

zoey

health coach for wise women

yoga &  healthy life coaching to set your heart on fire and soothe your soul!

Women ~ Health ~ Life: Words of Wisdom About Letting Go

‘Words of Wisdom’ to start your day:

‘A bird cannot hold its perch and fly. Neither can we grasp anything and be free.’

~ Deborah Adele

Deborah, in this chapter of her book ‘The Yamas & Niyamas: Exploring Yoga’s Ethical Practice’ is writing about
‘Aparigrapha’ or ‘non-attachment’ and also says ‘Nonattachment does not mean that we don’t care. In fact, no attachment freeze us up to be immersed in appreciation of life and one another.’

I find the practice of ‘aparigrapha’ to be an interesting dance of observing and separating cultural and familial conditioning and expectations from the present moment.

Enjoy this moment in time.

zoey

zoey ryan BSc., PCC

personal certified healthy life coach for wise women

hatha yoga instructor

yoga & life coaching to set your heart on fire and soothe your soul

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