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💥💖The key to your happiness

💥💖The key to your happiness

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As we are bidding 2019 farewell, it is time to ✨welcome 2020 ✨and start on a loving note!  ❤️

The year is ending and you find yourself feeling tired, depleted, burnt out, lost your passion for life and you’re just going through the motions. 

You tell yourself that there has got to be more to life than this!

Let me tell you this. Every single choice you make matters!

Are you spending more time taking care of other people than of yourself?

 As a result of being such an independent, fierce, productive woman, who can do it all, does it seems like you are not getting the support that you need?

 Self-love is at the core of all the choices we make. And boundaries are the foundation for proper self-care. 

What are you willing to accept from others and where do you draw the line?  

 We teach people how to treat us. And if we don’t value ourselves, our time, or our health, why would others? 

 Your actions speak louder than your words. Your boundaries are a reflection of your level of self-love and self-esteem. 

 If your boundaries are loose, you are signalling that you value others more than you do yourself.

 Having healthy boundaries means asking for what we want in all spheres of our lives: work, family, kids, partners, friends. 

 To be happy and successful at anything in your life you need to put yourself first and then you can take care of everyone else. 

 If you don’t love yourself, you will betray yourself over and over again. With time it will wear at your mind, body and soul…

This is why, as Caroline Myss says, people don’t heal. Because they are not willing to face the truth.

Did you know that self-esteem, boundaries and choices are all inter-connected?

 If you’re not sure and want to experience it first hand, try this out for a week  or two and notice if there has been a shift:

  • First step: Awareness. 🍃Start paying attention to ALL the choices you make throughout the day, big AND small. And notice the consequence of the choices you have just made. If you can journal about it to keep track. We easily forget! 

 

Every single choice we make has an impact. Trust me!

  • Second step: Stop and think. 🍃Now that you realize how many choices we make in a single day. Take a second or two and notice the choice you are about to make and ask yourself this question:

 

Is what I’m about to do reflective of self-love or love of the other, or is it a choice based on fear or guilt or a sense of obligation? 

  • Third step: Action. 🍃Now it is time to actually go into action. You’ve determined if this choice was out of love or not. If it is not, are you willing to pass, say no, set a boundary to honour yourself? 

 

Still hesitating, then ask yourself “If I wasn’t scared or did not feel guilty or obligated, what would I do?” And do it!

  • Fourth step: Taking responsibility. 🍃 If you were able to make a choice based on self-love. That’s awesome. Keep it up. You will reap the benefits, no doubt about it. 

 

If you still struggle with fear, guilt or sense of obligation, and let these emotions make the choices for you. That’s awesome too! 

Huh? You wonder. Well yes. Now you know the source of your stress, overwhelm, burnt out, depression, anxiety… you name it. 

You get to turn your life around NOW! 

Before I let you go, keep this quote in mind:

The life you have today is based on the choices you made yesterday and the life you will have tomorrow is based on the choices you make today.

If you want to find happiness, be mindful of the choices you make. They matter more than you think!

🌿P.S.: Don’t miss my bi-weekly podcast episodes and submit questions or topics of interest. Episodes 6 & 13 are relevant to today’s topic. A review on iTunes would help people find us!!

🌿ANNOUNCEMENT.: I’ve been working diligently on my membership site. It will be chock-full of resources of all kinds (online courses, audios, videos, PDFs, helpful lessons AND an online community where we can connect and ask questions, Q & A calls). All at a really affordable monthly price for those who cannot afford one-on-one coaching. 

Those who know me, know that I aim to serve, so please submit any suggestions of content you would love to see in there or in my newsletter.

Wishing you all a ✨Happy New Year ✨and Health ❤️above all else. The rest will naturally follow!

With gratitude,   🌿

Gina

 

⏰ Do you feel like time is passing you by?

⏰ Do you feel like time is passing you by?

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I get it. In this day and age of instant gratification, everything moving at the speed of light and the pressure from peers and society to be highly productive, you might be wondering…

”Where does the time go?”

For me, I get caught up in the busy-ness of being a mom and my career. I can easily get distracted with a pile of chores and obligations and an endless to-do list.

We compare ourselves to others and feel we need to keep up, leaving us energetically drained, overwhelmed and possibly feeling as though life is passing you by. 

Am I striking a chord?

If I am, I want you to know there IS a better way! Let me explain…

The first step is to stop the spin cycle and start making YOU the priority in your life again.

Admittedly, life was simpler 100 years ago. With no technology, things moved much slower. Not that people didn’t work hard, it was more about fewer things distracting us and filling our mind on a 24/ 7 basis.

For example, what’s the first thing you do when you lay down to rest after work?

Maybe close your eyes for a minute – and most likely pick up your phone/ tablet to check messages and surf the net…am I right?

Here’s the thing…just like a hundred years ago, we still only have 24 hours in a day. Yet we try to cram in more than is humanly healthy or even possible.

We spend more time up in our heads than we do in our hearts – no wonder you might be spinning all the time.

If you haven’t unplugged and taken the time to just BE present, there’s no way to access what’s truly in your heart.

How do you do that? Well, let me tell you how.

Take time to “smell the roses”. Stop and actually notice what is right in front of you and take it in. I mean it, truly take it in!

Savour that coffee and taste it. Sip it slowly. Smell its aroma. Pause. Close your eyes and really taste and smell it. Don’t multitask.

Take a moment to notice your beautiful space, that smile on your child’s face, your partner lying next to you. Be in that moment fully. Be truly present.

This simple daily ritual will make you feel more grounded and connected to the people around you. If you do this throughout your day, your stress levels will go down.

The next step is to carve out 15-30 minutes just for you first thing in the morning. If you have to, get up before everyone else. Don’t grab your phone as soon as you open your eyes.

Before you dial into production mode, create a morning ritual as a gift to yourself. Doing things just for you. Be in the receiving mode.

You’ll notice the benefits add up over time.  It will set the tone for the day. You will feel energized and you will take better care of yourself.

As the last step, a few times a day, start noticing what you are thinking about and how you are feeling. 

Half the time we are not present and we are lost in our thoughts. Worrying, planning, ruminating, replaying. You name it.

Stop the time travelling and bring yourself back to this moment in time. Just immerse yourself fully into what you are doing without allowing your mind to wander elsewhere.

 The easiest way to do that is to place your focus on the information inputted by your five senses. Right now

Stay there a while. You’ll see. In that place, there is no struggle or resistance.

See your relationships improve. Life has more meaning. You will be happier.

Try these steps out and keep me posted on the results you notice.

P.S.: Don’t miss my bi-weekly podcast episodes and submit questions or topics of interest

With gratitude  🌿

🌋 Reduce the overwhelm taking over your life !

🌋 Reduce the overwhelm taking over your life !

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🌿 You barely woke up and you’re overwhelmed before the day even started. 

What’s the first thing that pops into your head when you wake up in the morning? You can be guaranteed that it will set the mood for the day ahead.

Mindset is everything! 

Our mindset impacts our mood, our behaviours and the choices we make.

When we consciously make an effort in the morning to keep our mindset in check, it will start your day on the right foot. And it makes all the difference.

Our mind in an incessant chatterbox. It never stops and it’s wired to pay attention to the negative

Did you ever notice that?

Did you know that we have between 60 to 80 thousand thoughts a day? Imagine if most of your thoughts are negative. It can weight down on your mood and your energy pretty quickly.

You’ll hear me say this over and over… pay attention to the present moment. It’s the only moment that really exists.

I want you to focus on what happens in your inner world and your outer world, at this precise moment. Yes, right now, as you read this.

You might not realize it but one harsh thought can lead to a storm of more negative harsh thoughts. Next thing you know you are sad, angry, resentful, frustrated because of the ongoing monologue going on in your head. 

Remember that you hold the key to changing what happens in the privacy of your own mind. You can’t control people or external events but you can control how you choose to react to them. 

On the path to a better life, we need two things: self-awareness and being kinder to ourselves.

How do I do that? You wonder.

The first thing I recommend is to live, as best you can, in the present moment.

When we are truly present, we pay more attention to what happens inside of us and outside. We are not lost in our minds. The by-product will be increased self-awareness. 

The sooner you can incorporate living mindfully, the sooner you will calm the monkey brain. The less stress you will experience.

Mindfulness is not another fad technique, it is a way of living. You can’t change your mindset if you are not self-aware.

The second thing you need to do is to let go of judgment of yourself and others. Positive AND negative.

Judgment is a mind trap. Replace those judgments with self-compassion or just let them go. Try to resist the urge to judge.

Then shift your attention back to the present moment. Even if it is a difficult moment.

Just see and feel things as they are. Right now. Don’t resist, don’t label. Just observe what IS.

When you start doing that your mood will improve, your overall mindset will be more positive and you will be more productive. Overwhelm will be reduced drastically!

So, try this out for the next week. Combining noticing your mindset in the present moment and dropping all judgments. 

Use certain cues to remind you to do this several times a day.

Until it becomes a habit, you can set an alarm on your phone a few times a day to start, or you can use walking through doorways as a reminder.

Pay attention to how you feel after a while. Chances are, the struggle will have gone.

P.S.: Don’t miss my bi-weekly podcast episodes and episode 3 is about letting go of judgment!

With gratitude,  🌿

Healing with Forgiveness…

Healing with Forgiveness…

Photo by David Marcu

Photo by David Marcu

Here is video 2 of a series of videos I have found that were quite inspirational. This one is about forgiveness. Living in unforgiveness  (if there is such a word !) can be a heavy burden to carry to the point that it can affect of physical and mental health. Forgiving a person who has hurt or wronged us in the past is something we do for ourselves, not for the other. Living in anger and resentment hurts us, not the person we are angry with.
Here are a few quotes from the video, which also contains beautiful pictures, as always.
“The practice of forgiveness is our most important contribution to the healing of the world”. Marianne Williamson
“Forgiveness is the final form of love”. Reinhold Niebuhr
Let go so that healing can begin
Hardened stories have worn grooves in your mind and heart
Hardness becomes a habit long after the event has passed
You hold on to the story hoping that some day it will make it right but the gift comes when you decide change is within you
The whole story falls away, all is new again, you invite the light in, you see what is reality
Forgiveness is a letting go, not accepting a wrong or going against your basic values
It’s to heal yourself so you can soften, so your body can open to new space within, to places you never knew before existed
It will set u free
One day u may come to forgive yourself and allow others to forgive you too… this is an act of bravery and the first true act of great love
Enjoy the video!

 

Fitness for Busy Moms

Fitness for Busy Moms

Fitness for moms

Image courtesy of markuso at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I know how precious time is for busy moms… even more if you are a single mom. Sometimes it feels like you are taking care of every one except yourself. Even going to gym might seem like an onerous task, but you keep hearing left and right how you need to exercise for good health, and it seems like you can never fit it into your schedule, or you are simply too exhausted to do anything!

What happens, if you’re like me, is you start with good intentions and then there’s a hick up and it all falls on the way side, and then you are down on yourself for not being able to sustain it.

So let me share what works for me. It has to be simple, doable and not take 2 hours of my time.  The idea is to do a little bit every day and build it into a routine.

I try to do stretches in the morning using a quick yoga routine, and then I do an intense 5 minute workout. Depending on my work schedule, I will also work into my schedule a relaxing night time relaxing yoga routine (or just stretch). And I do all this from the comfort of my home. This is my new routine  and I am hoping to work my way up to a 15 to 30 minute routine 2 to 3 times a week in addition to the 5 minute routine. When I get to that point I’ll keep you posted.  Thing is, it’s not perfect yet but it sure is better than doing nothing. And when you see the links that I will send you to, you will understand that these short intense workouts, although brief offer great benefits.

I love Anita Goa for her yoga/fitness/palates routines. She is a personal trainer and offers a variety of videos for all types of levels (beginner to advance; relaxing to more challenging). She also has Philosophy Friday where she offers great wisdom and tips.

Here is a brief description of what she offers on YouTube:

 

Fitness Vinyasa™ is a dynamic flowing workout that connects traditional yoga poses, plyometrics, strength training and aerobics into creative combinations (vinyasas) linked to ones breath.

Fitness Vinyasa™ is a wholeistic approach to working out. It’s a workout designed to get your body strong, flexible, enduring and toned while having a lot of fun.

By using yoga as the foundation for this yoga inspired fitness workout you will flow, breathe, sweat while connecting to your body, mind and spirit. Fitness Vinyasa™ is not a yoga practice trying to give you a fitness workout or a fitness workout trying to give you the yoga feeling, it’s a workout that is thoughtfully crafted fusing the two into one. On the mat you are put in positions where you will learn organically about your body, mind and spirit so you can trust yourself enough to follow your own flow whether it’s on the mat or off the mat to live your life to your fullest potential.

Here are two videos I really like, the night routine and a quick 10 minute stretch routine:

 

 

I also really enjoy the intense and short workout videos that Zuzka Light has to offer.

Here is how she describes her workouts that you can find on YouTube:

Short, high-intensity workouts get your heart rate up and your metabolism moving fast. The idea is to push yourself with max effort for a short period of time, 10-20 minutes. I implement an innovative wrapping format of cardio exercises with other complex move-based exercises. This puts the body in a state of stress management to break plateaus and get real results. The exercises alone are not always complicated, but put into this complex wrapping format, the exercises together become challenging and body-changing. I like to change my workouts on a regular basis and program different move-based exercises to focus on specific areas like abs, butt, core, upper body, etc.

Here is one of my favourite leg exercise:

 

Finally, another type of quick but effective workout routine is called Tabata. It is a high intensity interval training. completed in 4 minutes.

 

Tabata training was discovered by Japanese scientist Dr. Izumi Tabata and a team of researchers from the National Institute of Fitness and Sports in Tokyo.

Each workout lasts four minutes and 20 seconds (with 10 seconds of rest in between each set).

Here are a couple of example you can find on YouTube:

 

 

Anyhow, try it out… schedule these in. Keep me posted and tell me what works for you!

Be accountable for your life!

Be accountable for your life!

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Audio Version of Blog Below:

When you realize that your reality is created by all the choices that you make, maybe you will make better or different choices for yourself, and maybe you  will stop blaming others for the outcomes of your life.

Take a moment and look back, carefully put down that defensive wall. For a moment step away from that perception of yours that tends to blame the other person, and consider that you might be responsible for the outcomes that come before you. Except for unique circumstances (e.g., being a victim of rape, of a robbery,or reckless driver, or a natural disaster), we rarely are victims of other people, especially if it seems to have become a pattern in your life.

Your choices, or the lack thereof (e.g. your passivity),  do have an impact it is unquestionable. That is just the reality, for all of us. If you look carefully, usually there is a chain of events that have lead you to where you are now. At every crossroads you have a choice to take road A or road B, and with every choice is attached a different outcome. At times you need to weigh your choices more carefully. When we make choices out of fear, or guilt, usually these are choices we regret later in the future.

If, at times,  you choose to perceive  a situation as having a negative outcome, as being a negative situation, or a trauma, or an injustice, how you respond to that situation is  your choice and your choice alone. You can choose to be victimized by a situation or you can choose to find the gift in adversity and grow and learn from it, and subsequently make better choices in the future. You can select to break negative and dysfunctional patterns. Your past is over and done with. It no longer exists but you are the only one keeping it alive in the present moment. It is no longer. Move ahead.

As long as you look outside of yourself for answers, as long as you blame others for the life you are living, you will continue to make the same mistakes and place the responsibility of your life in the hands of others. Know that you always have a choice. Even in jail, you have choices. You can make the gates your prison and let it consume your internal or external freedoms, or you can decide that the confinements of your space will not rob you of the freedom of your thoughts and of your spirit. Deep inside, we are always free.

It is quite an act of courage and of growing up to take responsibility for our own lives and our own choices. When we cease to blame others, it means that only we can be accountable for the outcomes that ensue… not everyone is ready to make themselves responsible in such a way. It is much easier to blame others, our past, our circumstances. This way we don’t have to grow up…and we can continue to be angry at the world.

However, the flip side of doing this, is that the price to pay is high… loss of freedom, loss of joy, loss of happiness, missing out on wonderful opportunities, big and small.

There is no failure in my book. Mistakes, poor choices, are simply life lessons that can make us stronger and wiser, and in the end better people.