Surrender is not giving up.
Surrender is not giving in.
It’s trusting in something so much bigger than yourself.
Something you can’t quite see.
In your favour.
Behind the scenes.
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Something you can’t quite see.
In your favour.
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At a recent leadership conference, student leaders from St. Clair College’s Student Representative Council SRC had the opportunity to ask questions live during the final portion of the virtual training event.
What Advice Would You Give Your Younger Self?
Even during COVID-19.
For the pandemic has not changed my optimistic perspective on life and learning.
Growth is the only evidence of life.John Henry Newman
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Especially during the holidays.
And if you’re anything like our household, it requires a whole new level of relationship skills.
A deeper level of empathy and compassion for the pressures of the people we are living with.
Helpful Tips: Psychology Today
How does this show up in our home?
Emotional Intelligence: Resources
One approach that has helped tremendously is how I ask to have my needs met.
Not what I say but how I say it.
Power versus Force
Kindness versus Conviction
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Mirror Exercise: Waking Up with Love
I used to think of life purpose as some great big grand scheme for life, something we spend our whole life chasing after. Daunting for sure. At times overwhelming.
Then one day I realized that life purpose was a series of small, fleeting events, rather than one great big span of life. Bite size in fact.
It’s the one thing we love doing, time and time again. Over and over. Day by day. It’s the one thing we love sharing. Moment to moment. Breath by breath.
RELATED POST: Don't confuse purpose with occupation
For me it’s making the person right in front of me (no matter who they are) feel like the most important person in the world.
Engaging fully, completely, in every conversation I have.
No matter how long. No matter how short.
REFLECTION QUESTION: What makes you come alive?
More than you’ll ever know.
Sometimes we need a quick, fun, and easy way to elevate our mood. Suggestion: Angel Cards A simple, soulful practice that takes a (bite sized) moment. Now my friends ask me to bring angel cards to all our coffee talks. Even if we’re sitting 8 feet apart! These light-hearted cards guarantee a shift UP in conversation. From the mundane to the magical.
What lights your way today?
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Especially at the start of a brand new day.
Step One: Awareness
Begin by WAKING UP to your inner dialogue tomorrow morning.
Is it loving? Is it kind?
Step Two: Mirror Affirmations
Write an encouraging quote for yourself on your bathroom mirror.
Pick any one of the quotes you’ve shared with the world on social media this past year and post it for yourself on your bathroom mirror.
It only takes one thought, one word, one smile, one song, to change a life.
You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe deserve your love and affection.
I see your light.
And your darkness.
That’s what makes you complete.
Whatever the day may bring.
Ring the bells that still can ring. Forget your perfect offering. There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.
Yesterday someone asked me what my philosophy of psychology was. And the one word that kept coming to me over and over again was: Integration.
All the parts of ourselves. The scars and the stars. Just like coal and diamonds. Same element (carbon). Different manifestation.
Wholeness is the goal. Perfection is overrated.
Especially now with so many people experiencing pain and trauma in escalating ways.
Something we all need right now, more than ever before.
To be witnessed. To be heard.
Only then can we transformed by what we learn. 🌎💞
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WHY ARE WE SO HARD ON OURSELVES?
One that I’m asked often. And one that I often ask myself.
The answer is multifaceted and includes several factors including how we were parented (when internalized superego and conscience first develops) and eventually how we parent ourselves.
When something goes wrong, how do you respond?
1. Self Criticism versus Self Compassion
2. Self Control versus Self Love and Understanding
How do I make the shift from self criticism to self compassion?
1. Pay attention to where your self judgements originated.
Is this your personal measure of worthiness or society’s expectation of success?
2. Investigate how truly arbitrary the standards you set for yourself are.
For example, who said you had to weigh 125 lbs, have a million dollars in the bank, and be married by 30?
3. Don’t Believe Everything You Think!
Including my own.
Our Recap of That Day:
Don’t chase the destination my dear, chase the feeling.
Because the feeling will always bring you home. 💗
Share how you have fun together
Related Post → Who Inspires You?
Change your life.
Acceptance and peace go hand in hand.
Consciously accept the good and the bad that exists in your life.
The rain and the sunlight.
Quite the opposite.
Strengths that were fostered in the eye of the storm. ☔️
Courage. Creativity. Wisdom. Perseverance. Faith.
And it’s that good feeling that motivates you to strive for more of what’s right for you. Instead of fighting against what’s wrong for you.
Begin by accepting what is.
Moment by precious moment.
The 3 to 1 positivity to negativity ratio is one way of applying this post in your everyday life.
Specifically, each time you criticize an area of your life (or something about yourself personally), write down three positive aspects about the very thing you condemned. Hence, the 3 to 1 positivity ratio.
For example, each time you get down on yourself for not working during the COVID-19 pandemic, write down three benefits of sheltering in place. (E.g., more time for fitness, the space to try out new hobbies, meaningful conversations with family members). This daily practice helps to dampen the adverse impact of negativity bias, a type of cognitive distortion, common to all of us.
Likewise, stop comparing your lowlights to other people’s highlights. You never know what’s happening behind the scenes in another person’s life. Good or bad. FOMO is “a story” fabricated in the mind based on snippets of observable behaviour (video below).
You Can’t Add More to Your Life Without First Letting Go
And calm in your heart.
The goal is to change our response to them.
To transcend them when the time is right.
Mental calmness, composure, and evenness of temper, especially in a difficult situation. “She accepted both the good and the bad with equanimity”.
Let Your North Star Guide You
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Follow Your Breath Become aware of each inhalation and exhalation. Focus on the sensations you feel as air passes through your nose and throat. When you feel your thoughts drift, gently redirect your attention back to your breath.
Stand Up Straight Posture is especially important for breathing. Being upright enhances the rhythmic movement between the diaphragm and ribs. Hold yourself straight. Shoulders back. Feel the power of your breath.
Think Reassuring Thoughts While Breathing With each breath, think soothing thoughts (“I am inhaling calm”). With each exhalation, imagine that you are expelling your fears and worries (“I am exhaling worry”).
Abdominal Breathing Breathe through your stomach. Start by inflating your belly by inhaling, as if to fill it with air, then swell your chest; as you exhale, first “empty” your stomach, then your chest.
Balanced Breathing At the end of each inhalation, pause briefly while slowly counting “1, 2, 3”. Hold the air in. Then slowly exhale counting “1, 2, 3”.
Source: Scientific American
What brings you peace during uncertainty?
What gives you strength?
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Merely an idea 5 years ago.
Again and again and again.. 🙏💛 🚀💫
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We’re on a trip to California for our December birthdays and wedding anniversary and I couldn’t imagine a more mindful place to be.
Fresh ocean air.
Sunshine in every nook.
Just outside our hotel room door.
Waiting to be climbed.
December birthday blessings of the highest kind.🎄💚
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This was the case for Sarah and Jack, two unique individuals with vastly different circumstances. But they each experienced the same emotion: loneliness. An emotion that is heightened during the holidays.
Original Source: The Drive Magazine
Sarah was a 42-year-old recently divorced woman who was about to face her first holiday season alone. Living in a new town, miles away from friends and family, she was waiting to begin a new job in January. Hours felt like days.
Days felt like months. Sarah had tried everything to fill the void inside. The mistake she made was running away from the one thing that would help get her to the other side: loneliness itself.
We need to first understand an emotion before we jump to the conclusion that it’s either good or bad, because in reality, emotions are almost entirely physiological in nature.
There’s not a negative or positive to them. It’s in our mind that we make it one or the other. This concept is supported by Schachter-Singer’s theory of emotion:
This theory of emotion explains why two people can experience the exact same event and have completely different emotional reactions to it.
What matters most is the person’s interpretation of an event, not the event itself. After all, as they say, one person’s glass-half-full is another one’s glass-half-empty.
In Sarah’s situation, she interpreted her physiological response to idle time as loneliness, while another person might label it as much-needed relaxation. Ultimately, Sarah has a choice. One interpretation debilitates; the other empowers.
Now that Sarah understands the interpretative power she holds over her environmental triggers, the next step is to witness loneliness in a neutral, curious state rather than fighting it at every turn.
In doing so, Sarah neutralizes the intensity of her emotions, allowing them to flow through her, rather than getting stuck in a repetitive loop of pain.
Taken one step further, each time that Sarah experiences a challenging emotion during the holidays, rather than running from it she needs to lean in and ask that emotion, “What are you trying to teach me?”
The final step for Sarah is to learn how to reframe the situations that trigger her loneliness, and understand why sometimes she overreacts, while other times she lets go without a second thought.
Solitude is perceived as isolation by one person and freedom by another.
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At 55 years of age, Jack was also feeling the pangs of loneliness. His wife of 25 years died suddenly of a heart attack two years ago.
Unexpected was an understatement. They had run in three marathons together and had spent their weekends sampling new vegan restaurants in their local community. Ever since his wife had died, Jack struggled to face the holidays alone.
Jack’s story is as much about him as it is about the family around him. His family and friends’ automatic response was to feel sorry for him, a response that compounded his feelings of disconnectedness and misunderstanding.
As much as Jack missed his wife, he also missed his ability to connect authentically with friends and family. Having been treated with kid gloves since his wife died, Jack longed to be seen as a victor rather than a victim
As such, I encourage Jack to connect with like-minded individuals who had been through a similar situation: widows and widowers. Specifically, ones who had been on their own for several years.
The benefits are twofold. One, Jack would learn new ways of relating to friends and family. And two, he’d be given the green light to grow and acclimate to his new circumstances.
The other component missing in Jack’s life was fun. Simple, cheerful, good-time fun. Everything had become so serious since his wife died, with almost every conversation beginning or ending with his wife’s death.
There was no doubt that he missed her with all his heart. But equally, he longed for moments where he could be free of the loneliness and pain.
I recommend that Jack reintroduce sports into his life. Something non-competitive that would get him out of the house on a Wednesday night. Better yet, if it involved people that he had never met, it would allow him to continue his journey of reinvention and rediscovery.
Equally therapeutic for Jack would be joining a cinema group or regular euchre meetup—both would offer him a chance to be in the moment and enjoy the simple pleasures in life.
Finally, I advise Jack to examine the memories and traditions that he wanted to keep alive during the holidays—and, equally, the ones of which he was ready to let go.
Jack took the practice one step further. Declaring December a month of renewal and reinvention, he revived a strength and peace inside that radiated out to his entire family.
Jack and Sarah have a lot to teach us about loneliness and how important it is to honour the unique ways in which we process adversity.
One size does not fit all. Fellowship and fun were vital for Jack’s growth and recovery, while Sarah needed a more analytical approach to processing difficulty.
Disclaimer: This post and article are for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment. To protect the privacy of individuals, names and identifying details have been changed.
The ability to be maintained at a certain rate or level.
CPR includes three simple steps as outlined in the video below:
Catch yourself before a stress response escalates by becoming more aware of what triggers you.
Pause and take a 60 second time out when you feel the physical sensations of stress begin to escalate.
Repair the root source of the heightened stress response which is often physiological in nature.
This was the first time I’ve been approached to make a video for a third party. And it was so much fun!
More Tips → Thriving Under Pressure
The sun rising.
Taste every morsel.
Dance with abandon.
Stroll by the moonlight.
Peace lives here.
This one simple sentence helps me to remember that tomorrow is a brand new day.
Illuminating the possibility that what looks like the end in that dark moment, could in fact be preparing me for a whole new destiny.
And how during treatment she often says that it’s my positivity and upbeat nature that brings her to a higher place.
My friend knows what’s wrong.
I remind her of all that is right.
”Together we rise.” 🙏☀️
What gives you hope during difficult times?
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You finally understand WHY the job, the partner, the degree, the house, the friendship, the ______ didn’t work out.
BUT what about in the “here and now”?
How do we make the leap of faith during the darkest of days?
t h r o u g h ..
into a place of trust and belief.
Your journey is unfolding in the most magical and mysterious of ways.
“What if I fall … oh my darling … what if you F L Y..”
Related: Optimism Bootcamp Workshop
Holidays heighten social anxiety of every kind.
Consider these questions as you explore what’s going on below the surface.
1. Do you remember the first time you experienced FOMO?
2. How did you cope with the anxiety of missing out?
3. What if anything would you be willing to give up in your life in exchange for the fantasy of someone else’s life or experience?
4. What about your life do you cherish above all else?
Please share in the comments below, including your own strategies for handling FOMO. I’d love to know!
Savour this moment.
1. What would you stop doing if you only had one year to live?
2. What would you start doing if you only had one year to live?
3. What do you need to let go of to feel a sense of happiness, well-being, and peace?
4. What and who do you no longer want to be obligated to?
5. What joy do you wish you had more time for?
Take a long deep breath and meditate on your answers. You’ll be surprised at what your soul has to say.
This video is equally a note to you + me reminding us to live with discernment and wisdom. For not everyone in our life appreciates the limits of our time and energy. And that’s ok. For we are the magic wand. We have the power to make choices. We have the ability to overcome social conditioning. We have the authority to change what and who we want in our lives. What and who we give our energy to unnecessarily, repeatedly, unconsciously.
WE HAVE THE POWER TO CHOOSE.
This ^ is freedom.