Unleashing your Potential: Change & Transformation, Part 3

(aka Unleighshing your Character)

In part 3 of my Change ‘n’ Transformation Series, I delve into how it’s never too late to think about the kind of person you want to be and to begin taking steps to redefine yourself.

I woke up in the middle of 35 to find a lethargic, anxious, underactive, and miserable person staring back at me. By the time 36 had rolled around, I found myself in a perpetual state of stress coupled with fatigue. As I conducted a personal inventory of my life, I was shocked by how many negative characteristics I’d adopted over time which were then wearing me down to the point of my crash ‘n’ burn.

I wanted calm. I wanted happy.

I decided that I was going to have those things by the time 37 came around so that I could look on the subsequent decades of my life without cringing.

Having recently completed a good 6 months of readiness work which I talk about here, here and here, I was all awesomned-up and ready to start changing. Problem was, I wasn’t clear on how to begin.

I knew I needed a high impact, digestible way to organize my thinking through this time, without the pressures of having to define exactly what it was that I wanted to achieve. See, I’d never set out with any definite plans for what I was hoping to accomplish when I woke up at 35 and I wasn’t about to create one in the thick of the messiness that was about to ensue.

Instead of putting a cut ‘n’ paste wish list together of crap I’d never appreciate like a Labradoodle or jet skis (aka, my first ever vision board) or adopting an incongruent fake-it-till-you-make-it-mantra, which had also failed me in the past, I focused instead on the questions of What will make me a better person? or, What kind of person do I want to be?

These open ended questions were easy to navigate as I was getting my feet wet in the pools of change and I soon discovered how liberating it was to think about my character opposed to arbitrary life benchmarks. These two questions created for some amazingly reflective dialogues to have with myself and were interesting conversation starters to begin having with my kids too.

The question about what kind of person you want to be skirts away from the terrible pressure associated with needing to know WHAT you want to be. Hell, even after all this transformative work I’ve done, I’m not always sure about the what. But WHO? Yes, who I want to be, now that’s a question to which I can clearly articulate an answer which is super consistent with who I’m becoming and feels right to me.

So what kind of humany characteristics would you like to exude to this world?

I suggest documenting the positive qualities you would like to adopt on something tangible which can serve as a working document as you grow. Pen & paper seems to works best for me in the form of a journal, but honestly, if you’ve got a cave and some charcoal, start where you’re at.

Here are some ideas to guide your thinking around the kind of person you wish to be:

Focus on all things good. If you put it out to the Universe that you want to be a less aggressive driver, for instance, you’re likely gonna end up with some obnoxious tendencies. Try spinning it to something positive like “mindful driver.”

List characteristics you admire in a TV character, or narrator in a book, or politician, etc

Write down your interests, the stuff you have time for and the things don’t. When you look at these items, do you see any common characteristics that exist?

Name your biggest life accomplishments (think highlight reel): often our most positive selves and the characteristics that got us there are hidden behind our gold stars

Consider how you want your kids, partners, or neighbours to remember you by when the sands of time run out. How do you want people to speak about you when you’re no longer here?

Having these lists as a starting point can help you to focus in on the qualities of the kind of person you want to be and keep you centered on your own self-improvement through the day.

And start small.

If you’ve always wanted to be more giving and find yourself with some change in your pockets, drop it into a charity box of some kind.

If you’ve thought about being more encouraging and find yourself mindlessly perusing Facebook, positively comment on someone’s post with words instead of an obligatory like.

If you’ve wanted to be more involved in your community, offer an hour of your time to help someone out.

Over time, this handy little list – by virtue of the fact it exists in the first place- will make you a better, more conscientious human being and you’ll wake up one morning realizing you’re living exactly the way you’ve always wanted to.

 

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35 on the left, 37 on the right.

 

Change is always possible and you’ve got it in you to be your most spectacular self!

XO, unleighshed potential

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Unleashing Your Potential: Change & Transformation, Part 2.3

(Unleighshing on the Big J C)

Still in Part 2 of my Change ‘n’ Transformation Series, this post, alongside the last two installments, offers a look at the steps I took to Ready myself for my life 360.  

In today’s post, I delve into how I (re)found Jesus and how it readied me for change.

Halleluja!!

#praisebe

When it comes to the Holy Trinity, I’ve done it all.  Or a lot of it, anyway.  It all started on an uncomfortable wooden pew in the 80s at my uppity Baptist church. Between the stick figure doodles drawn to the soundtrack of drab music and drawn out homilies, I learned that the fear of freakin’ God is what makes you a big-C-Christian.  The only thing going for church in those days was Sunday school, a reprieve from the pontification and a time for ugly arts ‘n’ crafts.  Being the church-goin’-type had its perks though, don’t get me wrong, because I was also privy to the exclusive invites to my friends’ churches where I got to feel the full blown humiliation of not having memorized obscure Bible verses. #lotsofun

Into my teen years, my family made the drastic switch from the fundamental to liberal.  For several years we attended a new agey community church that met in people’s homes.  Here the music was phenomenal and the youth activities meaningful, but the community was small and there were no actual credentials behind the folks who led the services.  Still, it was better than the wooden pew and it got me through the awkward teens years by offering me something meaningful upon which to lean.  

Of course, there comes a certain age where church is no longer appealing, at least this was the case for me, and upon realizing very little street cred was attached to attending,  I quickly abandoned the community style of church for a more big-bang- trendy approach. You know, “cooler”.  Through my early adulthood, I rocked out to secular songs whose lyrics were altered to be more God-abiding and enjoyed the freedom of a hand raising, palm reachin’ good time.  Clapping ‘n’ carrying on is what made this style of worship fun, but when people started falling to the ground, speaking in tongues and writhing, I quickly tagged myself out of the entire idea of church.

For a very long time.

In the decade that passed, I would occasionally reminisce about spiritual delights, but I’d push them to the back burner, completely ignoring the quiet whispering of an invitation to return to my church goin’ ways.

But there in the full blown monotony of life, flailing about centre-less in the midst of my crash ‘n’ burn, aka Step 1 of my Change ‘n’ Transformation journey,  I found myself desirous of putting some Jesus back in my life.  I’m not talkin’ about any born-again business, because truthfully He’d never really left; I just really felt strongly that with all the suffering I’d endured through the past year that I was in need of an anchor- a something-bigger-than-myself upon which to ground and center.  I needed something to hold on to through the tides of life, a light upon which to focus through the darkness, and an energetic being far greater than I to whom I could turn in the upheaval.  I knew through this dark time, more than I’d ever known before, that there is power in the inexplicable spiritual, solace in the divine, and grace for the weary.  I needed in on that.  

As my words crossed Jen Sincero’s talk about Source Energy in her book You are a Badass – a title which positively changed the trajectory of my journey completely, all of the spiritual dots in my life aligned and I knew I not only wanted back in on God, but that I wanted a community with whom I could lay down some roots to grow.  I was hungry to be a part of something spiritual – to get in on the devotionally sacred- to be moved by the sublime and to walk my journey with a Holy compass.

I didn’t get fanatical or all new aged Bible thumpin’ or anything reminiscent to a Baptist Throwdown, but I did get real about feeding my soul.  And in turn it changed my life because I started to crack the happiness code which entails filling up on the good stuff in order to continue to attract more good.  And good made me happy.  And good made my ready.  And good brought about positive change.

Xo, unleighshed potential

Unleashing Your Potential: Change & Transformation, Part 2.2

(aka.  Unleighshing energy)

By March of 2016 I was in a full blown readiness phase and prepared to change my life, which you can read about here.  After KMing my home of unwanted stuff which I talk about here, I was ready to start pruning away at my emotional well being.  The universe had dropped several hints my way for a good 6 month about how I should consider visiting an Energy Practitioner, and after wrapping my head around what that would entail, because yeah, it is a bit ‘out there’,  I booked the appointment which quite literally saved my life.   

I was ready-ready.

As my Energy Practitioner worked for an hour, sans any physical touch, gently clearing away my energy fields and balancing my chakras, I felt the heaviness of years (yes years!) of carrying around other people’s crap lifted. Through this initial healing session I became acutely aware of the dangers associated with excess negative energy.  And weight.  And I finally saw how the two were intertwined.

Left- March 2017                   Right- May 2016

See, over the years I had unknowingly accumulated negative energy and had been taking things on that weren’t my own like problem-solving issues that weren’t mine to solve, worrying about other people’s emotions and states of being, and caring far too much about other people’s opinions.  In turn, I was bulking up to protect myself against it like the shield described in Margarita Tartakovsky’s “Wearing Your Weight As Armor“.  But here’s the thing:  it’s not like I was consciously seeking negativity out, like waking each morning, coffee in hand, looking to interact with people who would eat away at my positive vibes.  It doesn’t quite happen like that so it’s not as though I was operating with a mindset to protect myself against it either.  So instead of truly dealing with it, I was relying on food.  

Armed with some serious homework given by practitioner on ways to be more well,  I floated out of her office feeling lighter than I had in years.  In possession of a KM’d home and now newly KM’d energy fields, I had the focus and wherewithal to start creating a healthier version of me.  Like the pristine corners of my bookshelves and neatly folded drawers a la Marie Kondo, that’s what I wanted my body to reflect:  clean, organized, efficient healthiness.

It would take me another 2 months and one more visit to the Energy practitioner until I was ready to begin shedding the physical weight, something I’ll delve more into later in this series.  But with the heavy, dark energy lifted, I was truly ready to soar.

And who doesn’t want that?

Unless you’re in an immunity bubble of some kind, everyone gathers unwanted energy from time to time, whether you’re consciously aware of it or not; it happens by virtue of the fact you’re a human being who is endowed with the most glorious glowing orb of energy who also happens to  interact with other humans who possess the same.   In any event, the occasional negativity you can get surrounded by amounts to the same thing: weight- the kind you can see and the kind you can’t.  

Here are 7 signs it might be time for you to consider visiting an Energy Practitioner:

  1. You sense that you’re feeling drained all the time
  2. You are in a constant state of being rundown
  3. You find yourself tending towards overly negative thought processes
  4. You notice similar negative life patterns repeat themselves
  5. You can’t separate yourself from negative people
  6. You rely on negative habits as coping strategies (shopping, eating, gambling, drinking)
  7. You don’t feel like yourself, despite your best efforts to change nothing does
If seeing an Energy Practitioner isn’t in the budget right now, this new-agey list of energy protection strategies might work.

Give it a shot, the results might surprise you as they did myself.  Now 64lbs lighter, I’m a big believer in the transformative power of neat and tidy – whether it’s your home, chakras or energy fields!

Xo, unleighshed potential

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

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