Love yourself

The Power of Suggestion

Today I stood in front of the mirror.

Completely naked.

I looked at myself.

I slightly twisted my body to pose in positions that smoothed out those places that had a little extra "padding".

And I was okay with my body.

In fact, I actually smiled.

I found this quite interesting.

Because yesterday morning, I had looked at my body and been disappointed about those areas that weren't shaped exactly how I wanted them to be.

Yesterday, I was fearful about going to a friend's cottage next weekend, because I thought about being in a bathing suit and looking "gross".

Yesterday, I had slightly twisted my body into positions that smoothed out those places that had a little extra padding too.

But instead of smiling, like I did this morning...

Yesterday, I had actually said "ugh" out loud.

Yesterday, I had turned away from the mirror in shame.

So, what the hell happened in just 24 hours that caused such a difference - to create two opposite reactions?

Photo by  freestocks.org  

Photo by freestocks.org 

The power of suggestion.

Yesterday afternoon, I had a session with my coach, Tina Mai, and to my surprise, part of my homework was to look in the mirror and appreciate my body, and all it does for me.

And to pose in positions of how I want my future self to look.

Not gonna lie, it kinda blew my mind that I had randomly done mirror work yesterday morning, because it was before Tina had even assigned the task to me.

And while yes, yesterday I had chosen to focus on the negative parts of my body, none the less, I had studied it in the mirror - which is something I rarely do.

So this morning, I took her suggestion to heart.

I looked in the mirror and instead of seeing my "faults"...

Today, I saw a stomach that somehow looked flatter.

Today, I saw that my "back fat" wasn't actually as bad as I had thought it was yesterday.

Today, I saw poised shoulders.

Today, I saw my beautiful tattoos.

Today, I saw hips that curved and added shape to my body.

Today, I saw two strong legs that support me every day.

(Sidenote: I had recently listened to a podcast where a woman talked about losing both her legs to a random infection, so I appreciated my legs even more this morning.)

And the trick of this assignment is that...

It's a bit of a mind fuck.

Because after I took in all the amazingness of my body - and felt appreciation for it carrying me through life, day in and day out...

I spent almost zero time slightly twisting my body into what I want it to look like in the future.

I smiled at my reflection in the mirror almost immediately after doing a few quick poses.

All I felt was love.

Not disappointment.

Not fear.

Not being gross.

Not saying "ugh".

Not feeling shame.

I was content with my body.

I was okay with the shell my soul lives in.

And while I still have goals to make myself healthier...

They're now coming from a place of love.

They're coming from a place of gratitude for what I already have.

And a desire to consistently enhance the badassery of me.

Mind. Body. Soul.

All this, from a simple homework assignment from my coach.

So I offer you the opportunity to look in the mirror.

And appreciate what you see.

Look for the beauty.

And feel love.

The power of suggestion...

What an amazing mindset shift.

 

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A Love Letter Over 30 Years in the Making

Photo by  Thought Catalog

It's my birthday this weekend.

And as a gift to myself, I decided to write a love letter.

This love letter is over 30 years in the making.

This person has been in my life forever.

She has been my best friend.

And she has been my worst enemy.

She has been my cheerleader.

And she has been a hurtful critic.

She has made me laugh.

And she has made me cry.

But through it all, she's helped me become who I am today.

She deserves this love letter.

She's waited a long fucking time for it.

I need to get it all out on the table.

And she needs to know how I truly feel about her.

Here it goes...
 

First off, I want to say I love you.

Even though we've had somewhat of a love / hate relationship, love always comes out on top.

You've been my best friend. 

No matter what has happened, you've been there when I truly needed you.

Even in the darkest days, you whispered about hopes and dreams to inspire me to more.

If I'm honest with myself, you've always been there for me - whether it's to encourage me, or to call me out on my bullshit.

But you've also been my worst enemy at times.

Like when Dan died and I didn't know how to deal with losing a parent, so you told me the best way to handle things was for me to drink my way through it.

If you're drunk, then you don't have to deal with it.

I listened to you.

And today, I choose to forgive you for that incredibly shitty advice.

Because you simply told me all you knew at that time.

You wanted what you thought was best for me.

To numb the pain.

You've also been my cheerleader.

Like our trip to BC, where you convinced me to spend the summer with my brother, and get a change of scenery.

"Trust me, this will help", you said.

And it did.

That summer was when you helped pull me from the depths of my darkness, and show me all the amazing things the world had to offer.

You cheered me on as I rose from the ashes of my old self, and stepped into a totally different woman.

And yet, after going through that, you've still been a hurtful critic sometimes.

You've said words to me that I wouldn't dare say out loud to anyone else.

And today, I choose to forgive you, because you didn't really mean it.

You were scared and insecure.

You didn't know any better.

But now you do.

You have made me laugh.

Oh man, have you made me laugh!

We share laughs that no one else would even understand.

They would probably think we're crazy - but that's okay, because we're living true to ourselves.

And we're hilarious.

Yet still, you've also made me cry.

You've told me I'm not good enough.

That I won't be able to be successful.

That no one cares what I have to say.

And today, I choose to forgive you, because you were trying to keep me playing small.

You thought that with success, I'd change into someone else.

Someone you didn't recognize anymore.

And you know what?

You're right.

I'm not the same person.

And neither are you.

Throughout this adventure we call life, we've grown into something much more than we realized we could be.

And despite it all - whether it's been love or it's been hate - we've been inseparable.

And today, I choose to shower you with gratitude and love.

Because now, you choose to stand up for me when you know I'm not standing up for myself.

You choose love, over hate.

And I do too.

With everything we've been through, we deserve to be happy.

We deserve to be living this amazing life.

Knowing that our past does not determine our future.

This authentic relationship we have now...

This was worth the wait.

And today I choose to thank you, because you encouraged me to follow my passion of healing women who have that bullshit mindset we used to have.

It was you who told me I could do it. 

Who made me believe in myself.

You are the one who stepped up, to be a light for me, so I can be a light for other women.

You are the driving force behind everything I do.

I love you.

And I know I don't tell you that enough.

You've been patient for me to forgive you.

You've been patient in waiting to accept the praise you deserve.

This may have been 30 years in the making...

But it was worth the wait.

And I promise you...

The hate is gone.

There is only love for you now.

I truly love you.
 

So there it is.

All out on the table.

I've finally authentically honoured our relationship.

In this love letter.

30 years in the making.

This love letter.

To myself.

 

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The 10 Commandments of Loving Yourself

I'm currently running a free 5 day challenge within a private group on Facebook called I Don't Need a Man (or Woman), and we have some AMAZING ladies in there (shout out to all my badass babes - get it, girl). And yes, if you want to get in on the action, there's still time!

We are loving on ourselves and learning new ways to implement self care, self awareness and overall confidence in who we are.

To help inspire even more of these positive vibes and important daily practices, I introduce to you, the 10 commandments of loving yourself.

Because let's face it - we can ALL love on ourselves more than we do.

As women, we tend to put others first and let our maternal instincts kick in (whether we're actually moms or not), by taking care of everyone around us.

But who takes care of us?

WE DO!

(Yep, we really do it all, don't we?!)

So read through this list of 10 commandments and make note of which ones resonate with you, so you can either implement more of it in your life - or maybe even start incorporating it, if you haven't yet, and you know you can benefit from it.

*Spoiler alert - we can all benefit from more of each of these.*

Photo by  hannah grace

Photo by hannah grace

The 10 Commandments of Loving Yourself

  1. I shall lovingly accept myself as I am right now.
  2. I shall appreciate all the beauty that makes me who I am.
  3. I shall regularly give thanks for all the blessings I have in my life.
  4. I shall trust in my ability to take care of myself.
  5. I shall not criticize myself.
  6. I shall not criticize others.
  7. I shall forgive myself when I make a mistake.
  8. I shall be kind to others, without sacrificing my own needs.
  9. I shall take responsibility for my life.
  10. I shall love myself to the best of my ability.

Shit... pretty deep stuff.

Honestly, I will be practicing all of these commandments because they are all equally important to me.

How about you?

Which of these commandments will make their way into your daily practices?

 

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50 Ways to Practice Self Love

So, I looked up synonyms for “self-love” on Thesaurus.com.

Here’s what it said:

  • Conceit
  • Narcissism
  • Vainglory
  • Vanity

Ummm... What?!

No fucking wonder people think self-love is selfish.

Is that really the only synonyms they could come up with?

How about:

  • Happiness
  • Freedom
  • Worthiness
  • Authenticity

These are the kinds of words I think of when I hear self-love.

But all too often I hear my clients say they feel GUILTY for practicing self-care.

Self-care is one of the BEST forms of self-love.

Yet here we are, thinking that it’s vain to take care of ourselves.

That’s complete bullshit.

Photo by  Tim Mossholder

After recently realizing I wasn’t practicing enough self-care for myself either, I set out on a mission to learn more about what other women are doing to invest in themselves for self-care.

Here’s the list I compiled from all their amazing recommendations:

  1. Meditation
  2. Unplug / tech-free time
  3. Sleep / napping
  4. Bubble bath (add essential oils to kick it up a notch)
  5. Reading
  6. Journaling
  7. Good nutrition
  8. Drinking water
  9. Taking time off
  10. Vacations / travelling
  11. Drinking tea
  12. Healing crystals
  13. Listening to podcasts / audio books / music
  14. Saying no to things that don’t serve you
  15. Daily movement / going to the gym / running
  16. Walking in nature
  17. Reflecting on your day and what you’re grateful for
  18. Going to the spa / getting a massage / reflexology / acupuncture / reiki
  19. Drinking a glass of wine
  20. Date night with yourself
  21. Watch TV / movies / Netflix
  22. Have a good laugh
  23. Have a good cry
  24. Using essential oils
  25. Meal prep healthy options for the week
  26. Breathing exercises
  27. Connect through women’s groups
  28. Lighting scented candles
  29. Visualizations
  30. Skin care / moisturizing
  31. Be barefoot in nature
  32. Have an orgasm
  33. Getting a manicure / pedicure
  34. Downsizing / decluttering / organizing
  35. Tapping
  36. Set boundaries
  37. Guilt-free down time
  38. Forget the negative, and choose to focus on the positive
  39. Schedule your day / week to feel less overwhelmed
  40. Positive affirmations / create a vision board
  41. Dance
  42. Create a sacred meditation space
  43. Write a love letter to yourself
  44. Morning stretching
  45. Prayer
  46. Dressing well – even if you work from home
  47. Set “office hours” – and stick to them
  48. Swim / hot tub / sauna
  49. Pay attention to your body and practice self awareness
  50. Start your day with 5 minutes of quiet

I challenge you to choose at least one thing from this list each week to help you get more self-care in your life.

Maybe you can even choose one thing each DAY to step it up even more!

Because the more self-care you bring to your own life; is the more self-love you get to experience.

As a society, we need to stop promoting the idea that self-love is narcissistic.

Because true self-love is a beautiful thing.

And there’s certainly ways to express it without being conceited.

So this is your permission to start incorporating more self-care and more self-love into your day.

Not that you need permission.

But typically, we’re more likely to do something when we get permission from someone else.

So there it is.

No more excuses.

We’re going to begin adding more self-love into our day.

And we’re going to love every minute of it.

Guilt free.

Because we’re amazing.

 

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Food Shaming

food-shaming_4460x4460.jpg

SHAME! I want to address something that I had an epiphany about earlier this year. The shame that people (including myself) place around food. I was watching a video and the woman was talking about our relationships with food - and she asked us to consider the feelings we have around food. That is when it hit me like a truck - SHAME and GUILT were the two main feelings I had associated with food for as long as I can remember. 

And I'm not the only one - there were muffins in the kitchen at my office, and three separate people walked in and made a comment about how they wanted one, but they shouldn't have one because they're watching their weight... that right there, ladies and gentlemen, is SHAME in disguise. Your mind is shaming you for wanting something you know isn't the healthiest of choices. But in moderation, there's no reason why you can't have a damn muffin every once in a while!

Through becoming more self-aware, and acknowledging my struggle with weight and body image, I noticed whenever I ate something, I subconsciously judged myself. When I wanted to treat myself, I typically had the urge to sneak it or hide the evidence, so people didn't judge me - but what I realized is that I was the one judging myself - and feeling shameful! I told myself I "shouldn't" be eating that, or that I didn't "earn" it... umm, last time I checked, I'm not a dog - I don't do tricks for food, so why do I feel like I need to earn a treat - or that I'm not ALLOWED to have something? Why did I associate shame and guilt with food? 

That's what I set out to uncover! Since I had that revelation, I wanted to learn what was behind these thoughts and these feelings, so I could educate myself, set my mind straight, and improve my relationship with food. 

Considering the fact that I eat healthy about 70% of the time, I should have been congratulating myself - but instead, my mind focused on the bad - a very common human tendency. Picking yourself apart, and putting yourself down seems to be the instincts we feel - and that is because it's been our inner dialog for a really long time...

BUT that doesn't mean we can't change it. And I work on that every single day. We need to be our own biggest cheerleader - because if you don't love yourself, how can you give your best self to those you love? When you're a happier, healthier person - mind, body, and soul - you make your own life better, and also the lives of those around you. And everyone deserves to be happy. Yes, even you!

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