Unleashing Your Potential: Change & Transformation, Part 2.1

(aka unleighshing on the konmari method)

In my latest post in my series, I talked about how the KonMari method helped to propel me through the readiness phase of Change ‘n’ Transformation.   People will tell you that there is magic in the KMing process, and for me, I discovered it once I had completed 80% of my spaces.

Truthfully, it didn’t feel like sparkles and stardust right away because like most changes, it was chaotic and uncomfortable at first.

Marie Kondo is the author behind Spark Joy–  the call  to North Americans to look inside their homes to eliminate things save for the items which are joy-sparking.  The process, whether you’ve just begun or are already a KMing expert, will set you on the path to tidiness.  I can attest to the helpfulness of the method & the end result which catapulted me into massive transformation.

While I have been apprehensive to the magical things that would take place (and believe me, I so so so want to criticize the methodology), I must now admit that it’s true; there is magic and I’ve experienced it first-hand. It has truly been life altering.  In her True Account of the life changing magic of tidying up Sarah Fought writes: “There is a spirituality present during the KonMari experience, if you want there to be.”   It has so much to offer about looking into our personal lives when forced to consider what it is that does and does not bring us joy.  And what Marie Kondo didn’t prepare me for was the full-blown Eat Pray Love effect which ensued as a result of inviting the spirituality into the process.

With many of the nooks and crannies in my home KM’d it left me with time and space to think.  I mean really think, almost meditate, if you will.  I didn’t believe it would be possible with two runts ruling my roost because I hadn’t really stopped to think in years.  I don’t mean that I was void of thought, but once I started to rid all of the physical crap from my life, I was left with the other muck; the less tangible stuff I needed to sort out in my mind.

Yeah, my noggin needed a good pruning and so I started contemplating everything.   I’m not talking about whether I loved my sock collection and nail polishes, but rather my thinking extended to the darker, unkept corners of my life, like personal pursuits, hobbies (you can see how I turned this around to develop things, things, things!) and even my life work.  After years of  emphatically denouncing change, because I didn’t see any way my life could, I was rethinking everything in a way that was completely new.  I wondered as the post KMing process began to settle and fewer categories needed my attention, whether I was in the throes of a midlife.

Only I wasn’t.  Because what then ensued was eighteen months (and still counting!) of KMing my life- people, beliefs, desires and goals.  This, for me anyway, is the true magic because it opened me up to the possibility of true change.  As a result, I’ve been able to tap into some embers of goals I’d buried for years under diapers and bills. I embarked on a spiritual journey of awakening.  I (re)found Jesus, for realz.  I picked up some hobbies- real, actual things I do for myself and not others, and something I will get to later in this series is the fact I discovered the sparklingest-big-effing-deal-key to my weight loss success.

All of this, and so much more happened when I first tossed my gnarled sweaters onto my bed and proceeded to toss them one by one into the donation pile.

Magic.  Who knew?

Want to know more about ways to change your life?  Stick with me, there’s more to come!

Xo, unleighshed potential

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Unleashing Your Potential: Change & Transformation, Part 2

Unleighshing Ready

“You wanna fly, you got to give up the shit that weighs you down” -Toni Morrison, Song of SolomonThis, well, Tony’s words are the cream of the freaking crop advice when it comes to change & transformation.  After my own Crash ‘n’ Burn, which I discussed in Step 1 of my series last week, I knew that there was a lot of stuff  I needed to be rid of in order to truly soar.   Of course, acknowledging this detail was one thing but doing it was an enormous process unto itself.   Ladies and gentlemen, I give you step 2 of the change process:  Readiness.

You gotta be ready to change.

Sure, you might want for the svelte body, or a bank account bursting at its seams, or a fleet of calendaresque firepeople ready to fan you poolside, but are you truly ready for those things? Like, really really ready?

Wanting for something is a dangerous beast because it’ll mess with you every time you try to achieve it, if you aren’t truly ready for it. You will become so fixated on the dream – particularly the good parts, that you’ll gloss over the less glamorous parts where you must ready yourself via the hard work.

Getting ready requires pure grit. And this isn’t only physical, I’m afraid, no, the blood, sweat ‘n’ tears to which many refer is the mental stuff: breaking down walls, old ways of thinking, and unlocking the secrets behind old patterns. Until you can smash the old, systematic stuff that’s been weighing you down to smithereens, you won’t be able to release the icky heavy stuff.

This could include, but is not limited to,

  • Things you were taught to believe or
  • The ways you were instructed to act, or
  • How you were encouraged to vote, or
  • The controversial stuff like whether to put boiled eggs in a potato salad or not. Just sayin’.

See, if you don’t go back to where you started coming undone, the band-aids moving forward are just that- simple fixes that can pull away the next time you’re about to have a meltdown. So getting ready to transform comes by way of being at peace with your past, which can be a grueling task if you haven’t prepared yourself for it.

Examining the old stuff will be exhausting. And if you’re not ready to go there, and I mean really go there, in a whole-hearted-Oprahesque kind of way, believe me I understand. It can be a daunting task. But if you don’t undo the old programming in your life required to move forward, anything you do to change will eventually backfire because transformation is a complete undoing of the old you.  And you have to be really ready for that.

So how does one get ready? Here is a list of 5 steps I took to rid myself of the stuff that was weighing me down, complete with some budget-friendly options as well.

  1. I got hard core about KonMari and the joy-sparking-process-of-ridding-my-home-of-junk. Getting rid of the crap in your life, be it people or old telephone bills, will SET YOU FREE and open you up to more change possibilities. You don’t have to buy the books to get started, though, a simple internet search will give you the pertinent how-tos like this goopy example.  
  2. I unloaded my personal baggage from the past with visits to an Energy Practitioner, whose expertise is in reiki treatments and chakra balancing KM’d my energy fields. I dare each of you to seek out someone who specializes in this practice and see the difference one good treatment will make in your life. I literally floated away in a namastesque glow after my first session.  You can do some of this work yourself by finding free meditations online which focus on chakra work like this one by Davidji.
  3. I sought clarity from professional counsellors who get paid the big bucks to tell you your shit aint right. No money for a counsellor right now?  No problem.  Pick up a pen and some paper and start journalling your thoughts.  You might be surprised by how resourceful and capable you really are.
  4. I found re-Jesus and did some spiritual pruning. I dug out the indoctrinated stuff that wasn’t working for me and found a spiritual community of people whom I felt right about laying down my roots. If you’re not ready to physically join a spiritual community just yet, start listening to podcasts about different ideas you’re open to exploring.
  5. I got real with The Universe: positive intentions, vision boarding and meditation all allowed me to turn inwards for more answers and clarity which helped propel me through the transformational stuff. This is all free.  All of it.

After a few months of doing these things, I felt so much lighter. I had clarity of thought and a clear sense of the direction I wanted my life to go in. I started to spread my wings which is where the transformational magic really took place.

Want more tips and advice on how to transform your life? Stay tuned for the next blog post in my Change & Transformation series, Readiness 2.1.

Ready? Set. Go.

Xo, unleighshed potential

Unleashing Your Potential: Change & Transformation, Part 1

Getting Started (aka How to Unleighsh Your Potential)

A few weeks ago I was enjoying a visit with my very magical Osteopath, whom I love very much, when she remarked out of the blue:  “You finally get it.”

“Get what?”  I asked through my hazy relaxation.

“Life,” she answered.  “You understand the purpose of it.”

I looked up at her quizzically and she added, “you’re starting to figure out what life is all about.”

I marveled in her words for a few minutes when she threw in this last part:  “and out of all of my clients, you are certainly most deserving of an award for having turned your life around.”  

I basked in her astuteness, because yes, the me from 2016 looks and feels nothing like the woman who is writing here now in 2017.

iphonesyncjan72017-006

On the left, a few weeks before my life went sideways.  On the right, one year into the change & transformation journey.

At the start of 2016, Old Me had barely survived the Christmas season and was experiencing serious aftershocks into the first week of January.  I weighed somewhere in the ballpark of over 230 pounds and had a sneaking suspicion the number would only continue to creep higher as I numbed the post-holiday emotional overwhelm with food.  It seemed to make all things better, at least temporarily, and food had become my carby crutch.   I wasn’t overly happy, though I was putting on a good front, my personal life was shaky, I couldn’t enjoy my work day, and coming home to my kids was stressful. I was experiencing debilitating migraines nearly once a week and sometimes more and I was plagued by a dizzying sensation all the time.  Plain and simple, I wasn’t deriving any enjoyment from much of anything because I didn’t feel well.   The kind of life my Osteo had remarked on earlier wasn’t remotely close to being on my radar; not a single speck of it.  And as I had been trudging along, as one is “supposed to do” in the face of adversity, the ground started giving away a little bit each week and before the month was through, I got to have a firsthand look at the grimy, sludgy rock that I crashed into.   

The Bottom.

Scared, this dank place which I had flippantly referred to in a hyperbolic way for storytelling purposes was suddenly my new reality and served as the backdrop to my change and transformation story.  My feet were being pulled deeper into the silt when I made the decision to step away from my work, then significantly tied to my identity, and I found myself reeling in a whole lotta holy shit because I found myself in the inescapably lonely place of having just hit rock bottom, or as I shall refer to it, Step One.  

Crashing isn’t an overly glamorous way to start, I’m afraid.  And while I don’t recommend the discomfort of it, particularly as a strategy to change your life, I actually do in an ironic way because any wellness expert will tell you emphatically that the only way to truly transform is to crawl your ass out of the depths of a personal crisis or trauma.  I am sure that if you dig around a bit on the inter web you will be able to find other effective strategies for how to change your life, and if you can do so by avoiding a breakdown or crisis, then good on ya.  Go that route.  But for me, true change was only possible once I was cornered into this-isn’t-working-anymore and was forced with the decision to stay or get the eff out.  

I chose the latter and more than a year later, my Osteopath is ready to hang my picture up on her Client of the Month wall.  So yeah, change is entirely possible and I want to help show you how.   But first, you’ve gotta hit The Bottom.

Before signing off, it would be irresponsible of me not to talk about mental health.  If you’re experiencing some of the symptoms I discussed, please see a medical professional or seek counselling to rule out any underlying mental health complications.  There’s no shame in it.  None whatsoever.  The talk therapy alone can provide oodles of good insight but more importantly, visiting a doctor can help you to identify whether any medications are necessary to proceed forward.  You owe it to yourself to explore all the possible culprits if you’re feeling unhappy, so don’t be a weenie about it and go ask for help.

Now, if you are in a rut and interested in how to go about transforming your life, this little writing series I am embarking on will give you a some pointers on the wildly effective stuff I have done to make my life a whole lotta awesome.

Stay tuned for Part 2!
Xo, unleighshed potential

Flowing into September

(aka unleighshing the Flow)

The temperatures where I live right now are slowly dipping, trees are beginning to molt and the sun is relinquishing its powers to the moon a few minutes earlier, with each passing day.  Fall is upon us, which for me, is a time that has always represented new beginnings more so than the New Year’s which occurs on December 31st.  

 

In preparation for the fuller and busier days ahead, I’ve turned back to some sage advice I received a few years ago on the importance of staying in the flow, which is something I will need to be mindful of in the coming weeks.  

“You can either go with it, or resist it,” my clever therapist told me one afternoon while I sobbed my way through a trying postpartum counselling session.  “But either way,” she cautioned, “you need to lower your expectations.”

She was referring to the flow, particularly going with it and being one with it.  The Flow.  

Ha, flowing is not something I was particularly good at 4 years ago when I found myself sitting cross legged in front of Norma, my counsellor.  I was anti-flow.  And miserable.

My high school self was as uptight as I’ll get out- always thinking to the future and what I wanted it to look like.  I couldn’t do anything without overthinking it or imagining how it could be better.  So I didn’t do much.  I was a yawn-fest of epic proportions.

“This is just how your life is right now,” Norma added gently, bringing me back to the present.  “One day you’ll get back to your pre-kid-self, but for right now this is your life.”

“Yaaaa thinnnnnk??!” I wailed through an uncomfortable pause.

My twenty-something-self was just as ridiculously tame as the aforementioned teeny bopper.  Nowhere close to tapping into the flow, I experienced everything with a ten foot pole by wishing it were altogether different and far more exciting, and all from the comforts of my safety bubble.  Safety first, rang my proverbial mantra.

Sniffling, post blubber, Norma nodded towards me and proceeded to talk:  “when you lower your expectations, you will never be disappointed.”

Huh?

“When you lower your expectations to accept things as they presently are, you know-  as they are happening, in the flow, if you will,” she said air-quoting, “you will be infinitely happier.”

Total.  Lightbulb.  Moment.  

Holy efffff.  See, for as long as I could remember, my mind was rarely 100% on the actual activity I was engaged in, because it was often frolicking away under a canopy of freedom and fireworks somewhere else.  And it was making me miserable.  

And with that, I changed on the spot because Norma had called me out on one of my biggest flaws, and one that bugged the shit outta me, and I was determined to rectify the situation pronto by tapping into The Flow.

Naturally, Norma’s advice took some getting used to because I needed time to rewire my brain to be in the here ‘n’ now, a concept which I talked about a few weeks ago in a different post which you can check out here.  And as I practiced mindfully being in the moment, my mindset greatly improved.  Things happened as they happened, the end.

Night-time-waking sessions to feed my newborn became something I looked forward to, sitting at home all day with a toddler who wanted to play with Thomas trains and crash Hot Wheels didn’t drive me bonkers and  I made the most of the exhausted mom situation I was in.  Was it stimulating?  Fuck, no.  But it was where I needed to be and I accepted it.  Wholeheartedly.  And over time, my brain stopped gallivanting to the fabulous other things I could be doing and settled into the comforts of being present.    

It’s my goal this September to be mindful of the benefits available to me when I channel The Almighty Flow so that I am consciously present through the mundane and chaotic, and in order to roll with the deadlines and routines.  Who else is with me?

Here are a few tips to help you get into the flow this week:

  1. Accept it.  Go with it.  You have to double back to pick up your kid’s science project sitting at home on your kitchen table when you are seconds away from school drop-off?  Just do it. Turn the car around and drive home.

 2. Deep Breaths.  It is really the most cleansing thing you can do for your whole body at any time of the day, but take a few of these now because you’ll need to conserve your energy through the following steps.

 3. Don’t analyze.  It’ll be hard to avoid over thinking the Science project , trust me, but don’t do it.  I mean it. Once your brain gets going on how irritating it is to be heading back home and how it might make you late for your next meeting and how the project is all your hard work anyway, it will most certainly send you into a tailspin of anxious anti-flow thinking.

 4. Present Focus. Think about everything around you.  What does the air smell like?  What does the car’s upholstery feel like? How many birds are in the sky?  What shoes are you wearing?  What words if your child actually using?  Listen for them.  All of the now- focus will keep your brain from the aforementioned tornado and keep you centered in la moment.

 5. Practice gratitude.  Think of something you’re thankful for in the present moment, like how this is a time in your life when you kid still wants your help and relies on you to be Super Parent Extraordinaire; these days are fleeting, we all know.  Or think about how your detour is saving your kid from a detention or unnecessary flack.  When you’re grateful, the universe delivers, so no harm in stockpiling some gratitude for the rest of your day.

 

Xo, unleighshed potential

 

The importance of Not Tracking

I love my Fitbit, and for those of you who know me well, it isn’t a surprise that I always have it on me. I love the accountability, the challenge, and instant feedback on progress.

I’ve put a lot of value on this little tracker, so much so that when I got halfway through my day today, having started before the crack of dawn no less, and realized I didn’t have any steps to account for all my movement, I had a mini panic. Tapping on my wrist like a madwoman, triple checking for the colourful lights that reward me for movement, I was disappointed that there weren’t any. Nada. Turning my tracker over revealed an empty shell.

Effffffff.

Just, eff.

But wait- did not having my Fitbit on me mean I hadn’t completed any steps? No.

Was I any less active because a device wasn’t keeping track? No.

Am I any less accountable to myself today compared to other days? No.

Would the world crumble? No.

Would I? Hell no.

So what?

So get on with things, I told myself. Your worth doesn’t change simply because you forgot to wear a step tracker, you silly girl. Like, honestly.

And so I moved as I normally would knowing there was no way of tracking it, because, well, that’s what I would normally do. And that’s what we are supposed to do in life- keep operating with good intentions- whether it’s physical fitness or RAOK or simply trying to smile more when we are out and about, we need to operate as best we can regardless of who is watching because at the end of the day, positive vibrations have the incredible ability to infiltrate the emptiest of shells.

So keep on keeping on, #vibrationraisers!

Getting Back to Basics

(aka Unleighshing the Basics)

 

What if you could be a kid again?  No, wait — what if you could be kid-esque but still able to set your own bed time?  

 

Now we’re talkin’!

 

But, seriously.  Have you ever watched a child enjoying something simple for the very first time like falling snow, stars in the sky, rain drops on a lake, or toes in the sand?   Their eyes dance, mouths turn upwards and they exude joy, like legitimate untamed delight.  It is truly special watching kids loving life, because they aren’t inhibited by societal ideals about the way things should be because they simply exist in a remarkable state of awe. And now.  Kids are almost always in the present moment.

 

This child like wonder is a place I’ve been mindfully working on getting back to, because I’ve noticed that when I start to observe the world as the magical place it is, everything is infinitely more divine.  And as I appreciate the divine, the universe blissfully delivers on more and more thrilling enchantment.

Last month I was out on a run with my sister and just as we were closing in on the finish line, the ominous clouds which had followed us all morning released a deluge of fat drops unlike anything we had experienced all summer.  Catching the glint in each other’s eye, in an instant we rid ourselves of our hats ‘n’ buffs, laughing and running through the rain.  Throwing in the odd skip between our paces, we sprinted recklessly through puddles.  Completely in the moment, my sister let out the most joy inducing whoop as we flew like airplanes towards home.  My heart was so full, nearly bursting as we connected to this childlike excitement.  It felt like the universe was tapping me on the shoulder and whispering, see, life is fun!  This singular moment in time was filled with pure, unadulterated gratefulness and joy.  And I want more of it.  

 

I think deep down we all do.

 

Never mind the futuristic thinking that can lead to stress like the laundry which is waiting to be folded or the bills needing to be paid, no,  that stuff can wait for its own time while you simply give yourself a few moments to be exactly where you are, doing what you are currently doing. This is why I have created this list of steps to help get you totally hooked back on life, connecting to the wonder in the minutia.

 

Try to:

 

  1. Stop what you’re doing & take five deep belly breaths:  this will help you to center.
  2. Observe your surroundings by really noticing everything which is around you.  Doing this at a stop light can be a fun way to start:  simply observe all the different things that are happening around your vehicle while you wait for the green. Chances are, you’ll see something you’ve never noticed before, especially if it’s a stop  you come to often.
  3. Find joy by picking out one thing that brings you happiness in your current state, whether it’s in the way the sun hits your countertop, or a flag waving in the wind, pick something from your surroundings and love it.  Seriously just focus on loving it.  See what happens!
  4. Pour your whole self into a moment.  Chopping veggies?  Give it all the attention you possibly can.  Notice the smell, feel, and length of your cuts.  It will put you smack dab in the center of what you’re doing and you might actually find some serious enjoyment in what you previously thought mundane!

 

I promise that if you can take a few moments to step back from the have-tos and breath in the awesome moment-o’s, even for the briefest of time, you’ll start to notice the divine that kids see everywhere.  And it really is quite extraordinary.

 

Xo, unleighshed potential  

Unleashing on Low Vibrations

In my quest to be love ‘n’ light and high vibes, I must admit that I fell off the wagon this week.  I know that hiccups will happen occasionally, but I’m disappointed in myself because despite all my positive work to be better and do better, I lost sight of the bigger picture and began thinking and acting like the masses instead of consciously promoting good when I had the chance sitting right in front of me.  Literally. I took the easy road instead of the right one and I did it just so I could have a spectacular view of Niagara Falls.  

 

Yeah, that’s it.  A view.

 

If you haven’t been to the iconic falls before, you really should go; they’re stunning.  With both the Canadian and American falls visible from the side ‘O The Maple Leaf, there are two views to choose from.  This, in and of itself, is well worth the drive to Niagara.  However, if you are looking for an even more intimate experience than a walk alongside the misty promenade, the Maid of the Mist boat tours will take you for a 15 minute up close and personal tour by positioning you within feet of the roaring falls. The majesty and grandeur will remind anyone, not preoccupied with snapping selfies, of nature’s spectacular awesomeness.   

 

I opted to be awed and found myself in line for the tour with 50ish people ahead of me, where it was certain that I would have a front row seat.  When I finally reached the ramp to the boat, madness ensued as people started getting pushy and aggressive.  

 

There was a bit of a lip between the pavement and ramp which was presenting as an obstacle to a gentleman pushing a woman in a wheelchair.  Obviously concerned about holding up the line, and likely feeling the pressure to secure his own good viewing spot, the man was clearly struggling to get the wheelchair over the bump.  I could tell by his face that he was slightly panicked, likely from the overwhelm of the crowd.  He was bent slightly as his arms attempted to encourage the wheel up over the bump and at the same time his neck craned upwards, pivoting;  keeping a nervous eye on his surroundings, no doubt.  He had very little room to work with as the eager crowd squeezed past him.  Once one of the wheels had yielded to the man’s efforts, there was even less room to maneuver around and people were contorting all stealth mission like between the chair and handrail.   I was no different, choosing to contort my body a la mission impossible to keep up with my party so that I could have the very best seat possible.  

 

Too consumed with my human need to get the most out of the $94 I had spent to take the boat tour, I ignored the voice in my head which was urging me to help the man out, and b-lined to the upper deck for the tour.  Glancing back confirmed that everyone else was doing the exact same thing, so I settled momentarily with the unsettling notion that I wasn’t the only a-hole running rampant at the falls, no, other people were ignoring the duo with the wheelchair, too.  But truth?  None of this matters because at the end of the day, I had the choice to make a better decision and instead, I chose greed over love and I’m a donkey’s backside because of it.

 

I’d be lying if I told you that I didn’t enjoy my ride to the falls.  It was just as majestic as I remembered it being when I first took the voyage as a kid, perhaps even moreso now because of how much more in tune I am with Mother Nature and her amazing vibration.  But in the back of my mind, shame was percolating.  Back at the ramp I had the choice to do something right and in alignment with the person I’m becoming and instead I operated incongruently to fulfill a meaningless desire to get ahead.  

 

I’m not proud of the decision I made and if I could go back in time, I would do things entirely different.  One thousand percent.  I can’t presently time travel, nor can I personally apologize for my actions.  So now what to do?

 

I’ve made the following list of things to do to help me get back on track.  Given I’m not the first or last person in the history of the world to miss an opportunity to do good, perhaps if you find yourself in a similar situation,  you too might find this action list helpful:

 

  • Forgive yourself.  Sitting in regret isn’t very vibe-a-licious.  

 

  • Meditate.  Particularly if you need some guidance on how to forgive yourself or even some reflection on the situation in question, I suggest a good dose of ommmm to put everything back into perspective.

 

  • Set a positive intention for your future self like, “I am a helpful, contributing member of society.”  or “I help others when I can.”  Chances are the universe will throw something atchya so you can perform.

 

  • Be kind.  Consider completing a good deed like holding the door open for someone or a random act of kindness.  It won’t change what happened in the past, but it will certainly help to raise your vibration.

 

  • Practice self compassion.  You’re human, you effed up.  So chin up, soldier; now you know where you can improve the next time; don’t go too hard on yourself.

 

Xo, unleighshed potential

Unleashing the Things

(aka Unleighshing the Things)

Everyone needs a thing.  To be without one is extremely dull.  I would know, sadly, because I went nearly twenty years without having a thing.  


So what exactly is it?  I define a
thing as

  • the special interests you have that totally get your mojo going,
  • the activity you fall asleep thinking about doing the next day,
  • the fun project you make time for despite how berserk your life is,
  • the activity that revs your internal motor, growling for more fuel whenever it can, and
  • the pursuit of delirious excitement

I now have a thing.  In fact, I am the proud owner of several things.  But up until two years ago, I had nothing.   And it wasn’t that I didn’t enjoy doing anything, quite the opposite, really, it’s just I didn’t give myself permission or time to cultivate any one thing which was just for me.  And that life- well, it was rather drab.


In hindsight I can see that my
thinglessness was pretty obvious to others and I’ve been able to date it as far back as university when I was seeing this uppity brainiac-turned-politician who first pointed it out to me.   One afternoon he annoyingly interjected his thoughts over a cup of coffee:  “You know what your problem is,” he started, “You don’t have any passion.”

Gulp.

“Yeahhhhh, I doooooo,” I said all sing-songy.

“Like what?” he shot back.

Silence.

“Seeeeee,” he replied.


I dumped his ass the next day but his words resonated for years and came back to haunt me half a decade later when I found myself in the hot seat for a new job position.   I panicked when the cursory chit chat began and I was asked to tell the panel a little bit about myself.  Double gulp. The realization hit me square between the eyes that between awkward giggles and stupid attempts at flirtation, I was making shit up.  Like, complete rubbish.  I wasn’t even embellishing as one tends to do in an interview when they’ve canoed the Grand River with a guide and go on to boast in an interview that they are accomplished at solo portaging in Algonquin Park.  Nope, I didn’t even have that kind of thing to hold on to as I found myself making up total crap.  I’m sure my prospective employers saw right through my
thinglessness, and surprise, surprise; I didn’t get the job.


At this point, I was wise enough to know that I had to find a
thing. But instead I got all busy with seating charts, mortgages, and diaper changes until I found myself, now a good decade past my university date, face-to-face with a new acquaintance.  Still oblivious to the fact I didn’t have a real thing yet, we were discussing his love of music when he very simply inquired about what I like.  

Like?  

Through an uncomfortable silence, a light flickered to a spot in the Rolodex of my mind as it dawned on me that there were several things I had once enjoyed doing in my youth that I had long forgotten about.  

Holy moly, I thought, I have things!  

I wondered how I had forgotten about all of the things.  The aforementioned life is to blame in part, because let’s be honest, after kids it can be difficult to get back on track.  But if I am being truthful with myself, my thinglessness developed because I didn’t make myself a priority.  As such, I hadn’t given myself the gift of time or even the necessary permission to have and develop things.  That old way of thinking dissipated once I realized how much richer life would be with a slue of things to do and enjoy.


Assisted by some meditation which helped me to further discover my interests and passions, I had this spectacular, life altering, opening up where creative pursuits began flooding into my consciousness.  In less than a year, I was experiencing a great deal of
things which have now become some of my most favourites like: becoming a runner, taking on RAOK projects, falling in love with meditation & mindfulness, starting to write, creating a blog, returning to my piano and – and – and ….


My list of wonderful
things is ever expanding.  


Once I gave myself permission to have and cultivate
things in my life, the opportunities to do more of these things appeared, and I am now the proud owner of many things.   

Here are some quick tips to helping you identify your thing:  

  1. Think back to what totally got you all jazzed up and excited before you were 10.  Do those things.  Do them now.

  2. Without thinking about it, jot down a list of things you currently derive enjoyment from.  Like binge watching Scandal, dusting, or organizing your trinkets. Go back to said list tomorrow  and see if you notice any common themes between the items.  They might be pointing you in the direction of your thing!

  3. At the end of your day, take a few minutes to write down the stuff you did.  Give some thought to any items in particular that made you happy.   Even if it was mundane like folding laundry, it could be that you’re destined to experience origami projects!

Listen, it’s entirely possible to go from thinglessness to someTHING and it can happen rather easily, if you’re open to it.  And, if you’ve already got a thing going on, celebrate it.  You’re lucky to have found it, so hold on to it and practice it every single moment you can find to do it.
Xo, unleighshed potential

Why No is really a Yes (aka Unleighshing More Yes)

I embarked on a business venture with a skin care line back in May which lasted all of 48 hours before I bailed.  I’d struggled with whether or not it was the right move for me for several weeks before committing and in the end I wound up taking a giant leap of yes, because I had just finished Rhime’s book that I talk about in first post on yes and I figured I didn’t have anything to lose by joining the business.  Thing is, I didn’t feel right about the gains either. Not one bit.  A few hours into my new venture I realized I wasn’t operating in a way that felt congruent to my most core beliefs and I couldn’t continue on a journey selling people a product I wasn’t wildly passionate about.  So I up and shut the whole thing down by saying a big enormous no to something that very well could have been one of my seven strains of income and the rest is history because as it turns out, I was really saying yes to a deep desire to be fully aligned with my most core beliefs.  My true self.
When I delved into the concept of yes-ing: which is essentially a step towards allowing ourselves to take full advantage of  the opportunities to thrive, some readers weren’t overly thrilled about the idea, particularly those who work diligently to maintain healthy boundaries for themselves by using the sacred no.  I wasn’t suggesting people shouldn’t have boundaries, no not at all; they are absolutely critical for everyone’s well being.  But what I do believe is that when you’re handing over a no on certain things, what you’re actually issuing is a mighty YES to something else.  
Lemme break it down for ya’ll. 
Let’s say you’ve kind of always had a deep seeded desire to live dangerously on the edge and you’re asked to hold for a random acquaintance.  Stay with me.  Chances are it’s not going to to feel entirely right to you, even though you know it could be a super exciting opportunity trying not to get caught, and you know that there is some quick cash waiting for you on the other side, and you’ve also never done anything like this in your life, so it’d make you feel a bit bad-ass to take advantage of something completely out of the ordinary.  Deep down it probably doesn’t feel super good to you, so chances are you’re going to say no to the weird acquaintance and go weed your garden instead.  Now, technically you have said no to something that could make a hilariously awesome story in a few years, when you remember back to that time you did something so unlike you, but that’s the point, really.  It’s so unlike you because it doesn’t align with your core beliefs.  So in actuality what you have done is gone ahead and said yes to something in your life that you hold more important, like, say, your moral compass.

 

There’s nothing wrong with maintaining your personal boundaries.


Now suppose you are a hard core vegan who has never handled a firearm in your life and you’ve always wanted to shoot pop bottles when suddenly your buddies invite you out for a beer guzzling hunting trip.  You know that shooting a gun is on your bucket list and now you have the opportunity to do so.  Awesome.  But hold on a sec, killing an innocent animal goes against your belief system because it’s so-not-you.  I’d venture to say you’re going to take a pass on the trip with your bros and look into booking some time in a shooting range instead.  See, you haven’t said
no to an incredibly awesome weekend, you’ve said yes to honouring your beliefs whilst finding a way to make your bucket list a reality.    
See, most nos are probably yes’ in disguise, especially if “the thing” doesn’t align with your core values.
It’d be like when your boss asks you do a gazillion more things that are kind of exciting and could advance your career, but you say no so that you can focus on the career jetting stuff you’ve already got going on and ensure you get your quality 6 hours of sleep each night.  Sure, it’s a boundary you’re sustaining with your employer, but it’s an even bigger YES to the chance that the stuff you’ve currently got on the go is going to produce results too.  
Butttttt: if on the other hand you’ve been dying to try public speaking and someone offers you the chance to hold a mic and address a crowd, that’s a big freaking YES waiting to occur.  Even if your brain is saying no because you’re shy or worried you’ll eff up, at your very core you probably know it’s the right thing to do, even if it’s really scary at first, because it’s something that completely aligns with who you are and what you’re all about.  The same would be true for joining a slow pitch team.  If it’s been on your bucket list and a neighbour mentions they’re starting a team and need another player, but you’re freaking out because you’re not an athlete, the chance is there for you to seize it.  So do.  
Saying yes is all about maintaining your boundaries, but also expanding them at the same time.  So by all means, have boundaries because you will feel a million times healthier if you have some that you can maintain.  But know that just because you’re declining one thing, it probably really means you’re just really psyched about another that totally gets your mojo going and is representative of the awesomest version of who you really are.

 

Bottom line, folks: if the thing you’re invited to do doesn’t align with your core values, then say yes to something more fitting like that tap dance class or hitting send on that scintillating text.

 

Xo, unleighshed potential

 

High Vibes ‘n’ Hiccups  (aka Unleighshing the Hiccups)

With a tiny brood at home, life can sometimes feel chaotic.  Mornings are especially hectic and seem to be the time when the vast majority of hell breaking meltdowns occur.  As we currently have 3 different start times to our day and only one adult who can get each party to their appropriate locale –  on time, on time is key – things can start to come apart rather quickly.

 

If I embraced an entire laissez-faire approach to life, we’d be skipping with flower halos into our various drop off locations at whatever-the-eff-time-we-felt-like-it,  but that’s not our reality… yet.  So there are still humanly expectations by which I must adhere to, like being prompt, and with that comes some stress in my routine, and I must admit that I sometimes vibrate low.

 

Truth is, I’m not fluttering around in bubbles ‘n’ glitter all the time.  Shit gets real sometimes and I have to work extra hard to stay at the high, positive vibration I wanna be at.

 

When one child won’t put their socks on moments before take off, and it’s like the 8th time in the week where I’m repeating myself like a banshee on crack, it’s not all zen up in our house.

 

When someone is missing their ball cap and can’t seem to find it in the exact location I know it resides, not even my salt lamp can calm the teeming lunacy lurking under the surface of my otherwise rational mind.  

 

And when the offspring decide to pummel one another seconds before the ignition turns, I’m not exactly vibin’ high on anything but sheer frustration.  I have low vibrational moments but I think it’s quite normal.  

 

While I believe at my very core that a high vibration is a choice I need to make in every moment to maintain the happy-happy-joy-joy which I admittedly feel the best at, I’m not always able to achieve my highest vibrational goals.  But I know that, and knowing is half the battle.  See, if I didn’t know what the alternative could look like, the banshee squeals and fumes rolling from my brow would be the only thing my children would recognize as their mother.  And it’s not ‘cause I work extremely hard in almost every other moment of my day to be disciplined in my quest for happiness and calm.  So the brood sees and feels high vibrational moments, but they also experience the low ones too, sometimes.  But I know the difference and I’m able to recognize what needs to be done to start living at a higher level of positivity.  Life is a quest for betterment, and I’m on that path indeed.

 

So if you’re a human being who recognizes your own need to be at a higher vibration, know that it is work which takes time to develop.  I’m not here to tell ya’ll that if you choose happy and have a hippy-dippy mantra that your life is going to change right away.  It probably won’t.  I’ve been on this journey for 18 months now and I’m still working at finding my ommmm in the oh-hell-no moments.  But stick with it because there will be times when you realize your old self would have completely lost their shit because the produce aisle was out of celery, and instead you choose to pick up a cabbage and skip contentedly to the register.  

 

Point is, you will start to notice a difference in your life if you stick with high vibrational intentions instead of the low mucky stuff.  Just sayin’.

 

xo, unleighshed potential