This week’s blog post comes to you from Womentum member, Katrein Ruehmland, who we introduced you to a few weeks ago through a Q & A Following the Seasons: A Different Approach to New Year's Resolutions In the past, most (or all) of my New Year’s resolutions/intentions have either faltered or faded away by February. Because of this, I am trying something different this year. I could have done away with resolutions/intentions completely, but I am choosing to change my approach instead. What if the energy of the season affected the success or failure of my resolutions/intentions? I am not saying that it’s impossible to achieve great success or change during this time of year. But if you are struggling with your resolutions/intentions, this might be an alternative. Last year, on the first day of fall, I was feeling the strong energetic pull of the season. I wanted to tidy things up, tie up any loose ends, slow down my social schedule, say NO way more often than I was used to, and get ready for winter. For stillness and quiet, going to ground, moving slower, doing less, resting and recharging my batteries. For the record, going slow and doing less is not part of my natural makeup. I am a DO-ER. I wear my to-do list, my productivity, and my busyness like merit badges. I don’t like to slow down. But I couldn’t shake the feeling that slowing down was exactly what I needed. When New Year’ Eve came around this year, I was already feeling post-holiday burnout and the upcoming Mercury Retrograde. So, instead of thinking up a grand plan and trying to implement big changes on January 1st, I chose to experiment and try something different. I wanted to honour the energy of winter and incorporate the five steps of transformational change. Step back. (Overview & Assessment) I got quiet and asked, “What is working well in my life? What do I want to let go of? What do I want to experience more of? How do I want to be this year? What do I really want and what is important about that?”I checked in, sat with myself, and made lots of notes. And, because the Universe knows me so well, I caught two back to back colds and one sinus infection in January, to make sure I did stop and reflect. I had no choice but to slow down, do less, rest, and allow more time and space to the process. AND I limited my list to five items: Financial health; physical health; following my curiosity; being in alignment with my integrity; and releasing shame. Let go. (Create Space) In order to have the change I want, I needed to create space for growth and change. Instead of trying to add more to a busy life, what did I need to get rid of first?Taking the time for this step, and following through, was not easy. However, the less I have engaged in “doing”, the easier it has been to let go of mental, emotional, and physical clutter. I’m inside anyway, so why wait for spring to clear out my space? Say yes to self. (Receive) By letting go and creating space, I now have room to receive what I need to support the experience or change I want. Think of it as creating a foundation. My foundation includes a morning ritual of meditating, journaling, hot water with lemon. It also includes taking a Get Out of Debt course to improve my money habits and working with a holistic practitioner to improve my health. Take empowered action. (Express)Being more contemplative and reflective instead of reactive is stretching my comfort zone, so I am splitting this step into two parts. This winter I will think about what I want my empowered action steps to be and then implement those steps in the spring. When I start to take those steps, I will be mindful to follow my own pace, not someone else’s agenda or timeline. Set up accountability. (Support & Stretch) I like to do things by myself, but having people in my corner that support and gently stretch me is a blessing. I am so thankful to have a money coach, a holistic practitioner, my Womentum group, and a coaching mastermind group to share my process and ask for help I need it. By trying this different approach, I am discovering why my past resolutions failed. I didn’t get clear as to why I wanted the change I wanted. I didn’t create space for the change I wanted. I didn’t create a foundation to support change. I didn’t have a support network. I tried to implement change in a season when my energy levels are naturally lower. I am working on being patient with the timing and with myself. I am also working on embracing the coziness and quiet of winter and be mindful and aware of when my natural habit of trying to do too much wants to take over. This winter I will look for the blessings and the light in the darkness, and remember that the days are getting brighter from here on out. Curious about how Katrein's new approach is working? If you enjoyed this post, you can find Katrein on Instagram @katreinr. In February, she will be doing a daily post of things she adores and appreciates. Katrein Ruehmland is a Master Certified Coach, Torch Songstress, and Clairaudient. To find out more, please visit www.katreinr.com & www.katrein.ca
Have you ever embraced someone knowing it’d be the last time you would see them? How was it different from all of the other times you had held them? I imagine you were fully present. I imagine you were fully aware of how your shirts touched and you could almost feel the fibres of their clothing through your own. I bet you could feel their heart beat in their chest. You probably noticed their own unique scent and can recall upon that very moment, in every intricate detail, whenever the memory of them crosses your mind. How are you living your life? Are you embracing every moment like it may be the last one? Are you fully present? Can you feel your lungs fill with air as you breathe; feel your heart pump life through your body? Are you living? Or are you waiting to take your last breath to fully see your life, your potential, your gifts, your gratitudes? I, for one, had been living my life for others. I’d put my own agenda and dreams on hold. I’d forgotten how it felt to breathe. I abandoned myself. And I did all without that deep, longing, forever memorable embrace. Luckily, I’m still here. And so are you. So, I’ll ask you (and myself) this... What is your dream? What big, small, puny, enormous, significant, stretchy scary step do you want to take in your life to make it memorable? What senses do you want to evoke in another when they think about you? How do you want to leave your mark? What are you waiting for? That blog you want to post, letter you want to send, relationship you want to leave, job you want to quit, job you want to get, course you want to take, man you want to ask out, woman whose friendship you are coveting, business you want to start, course you want to write, book you want to publish, poem you want to read out loud, weekend away you want to take, song you want to sing on stage, art you want to create,amends you want to make, prices you want to raise, client you want to fire, clients you want to hire, project you want to let go of, garden you want to grow.... Those things are waiting for you. With arms open, fully present, longing for you to hold them like this was the last opportunity you would have to do so. If you are present and intentional with your life, your life will hug you back. And it won’t let go. I dare you to, not only embrace your life in such a way that you will remember that moment forever, make mad passionate love to your life like it’s the last time. You know how that feels. You know how it felt to make love to that perfectly compatible partner the very last time. And... You know how it feels to clear off the countertop with one swoop of the arm, and have your lover throw you down and take you. Or vice versa. Harness that energy and watch what happens with your life. Go. I dare you. ~ In our last months of this season at Womentum, we are asking our members to name what it is that they most want to do to make a difference in their lives. It can be as small as a life altering phone call, or as big as packing up and moving to a new country. The goal is to have them step fully into their life, fully into their potential, fully into their fear and light their lives on fire. Please join us in doing the same. We’d love to hear from you. Tell us what steps you are taking, big or small, to make love to your amazing life ~
I took a bit of a writing hiatus over the holidays; thoroughly enjoyed it, too! It was fun (albeit a bit disconcerting) to forget what day it was and sometimes, forget to shower. IT.WAS.AWESOME. I watched a whole TV mini-series in 3 parts, broken into 10 minute segments on Youtube. I wish I could hug whoever took one of my favorite book series and uploaded it for me, and thousands of others, to enjoy. I no longer have to look over at the VHS set I have and wonder “How the heck am I going to watch that now?” I went to Vancouver and ran around with my heart beating out of my chest with love for all the friends I got to visit with; phones off, no selfies, in the rain. I pondered. I slept. I wrote poetry. I cried. I cut energetic cords. I repaired a friendship. I felt amazing. I felt hopeless. I felt grateful. At one point, I found myself feeling REALLY alone. I mean really. I was alone, but I felt like I was facing the world on my own. Everything was my responsibility and I was giving, but not getting. And that sucked. At one point, even as recently as 2 days ago, I threw up my arms and said “F*ck it. I’m done being generous.” I realized that I expect others to step it up, stop complaining, make a plan, commit to themselves, commit to something, keep their word, walk the talk. And... I noticed where I wasn’t stepping it up, where I was complaining a lot ( it was part of my “story” don’t ya know?), where I failed to plan, where I didn’t keep my word (mostly to myself) and where my walk could have been a little less “talk”. I have high expectations of people. I will fully have your back if you are willing to do what it takes to make your heart soar, or your tummy queasy ( in a good way). If you show up, I’ll show up too. If you take the leap, I’m there with a net (even though you won’t need it - you got this!) I have high expectations of myself. However, I rarely had my own back last year. I did what it took to make my heart smile, but not soar. My tummy rumbles were usually because I didn’t follow my instincts, not because I was taking an exciting leap of faith. At many times this past year, I often found myself feeling like others weren’t showing up for me. And then it registered that I wasn’t showing up for me, so there was no room or invitation for others to either. I have high expectations. AND I will always meet you where you are at. I will show up for you if YOU show up for you. And if my hope is that you’ll show up for me, I have to show up for me. Let’s agree to show up for ourselves and for each other. xo Lana Watch our blog next time with a contribution from Womentum member Katrein We asked her some important questions. Here’s what she had to say.... Have you discovered what lights you up? If so, what is it/are they? A few things light me up: Spending time with my husband and son. Singing, be it in the car or behind a microphone. Travel, adventure, and creativity. How are you currently bringing your passions/desires into your life on a daily basis? To bring my passions and desires into my life on a daily basis, I follow my curiosity and intuition. I also focus on remembering who I am by releasing, letting go, and doing less. Would you like to share one practice in your life that has invited positive results? Stepping back. It's so easy to get caught up in the negative emotions of a moment. Practicing stepping back helps me to be more neutral and present in my life. It has also helped me to be mindful of what meaning I am attaching to my experiences. Describe one of the biggest risks you’ve taken in your life. Slowing down, doing less, and letting go. I based a lot of my self worth on being productive and how much I could get done in a day. I judged and should-ed myself so harshly. I wore my busyness like a merit badge. What I learned was the more I slowed down, trusted my intuition, shut out the opinions/ approval/validation of others - so much abundance came my way. Doing less helped me to receive more. Moving from a state of doing into a state of being is a daily struggle, but it is getting easier. What impact do you feel you are having on the world? My desire is to lead by example, to walk my talk. To show that doing things differently from how it always has been done can be a path to personal freedom. That being myself means that I am different - and that's okay. Who, in your life, inspires you? How? I am inspired by the people I meet who want to be their truest selves, to want an authentic life - even if they haven't figured out what that is yet. They want to unplug, wake up, be present, dream big! I am inspired by their courage to go against "the norm", society, media, social media. Their commitment to focusing inward instead of outward is inspiring. What has been your greatest take-away from being a part of the Womentum community? That it's okay to be myself. Being myself will mean I will be different, somehow. However, I won't be judged, ridiculed or excluded. There are no cliques within the group. We appreciate each other for who we are. It's safe to express our truest selves without having to edit or revise. How do you manifest your dreams and desires from being instead of doing? My present is where I create my future. How my past is affecting my present, will affect my future. How I am being in my life makes much more of an impact on my future that what I am doing. Focusing on what I am doing creates a state of busyness for me. Focusing on how I am being in my life brings me closer to my desires and dreams.
We were driving home from Canmore along the 1A highway’s picturesque winding roads. As we neared our home in Cochrane, my husband and I were both in awe of the ice jams on the bow river. We discussed how the ice looked like it had been churned into a frosty icing on top of the briskly moving water, some of which we could see charging east as we were driving. We marvelled at the power of water. The way it makes it’s own path when there is none. The speed in which it carries sustenance. The way it flows freely when it has no obstacles. It lives and moves without apology. Water is a force to be reckoned with. It’s life giving. It’s free flowing. Water is powerful. The human body is comprised of a large percentage of water. We are water. We are also human beings with the power to make our own path, when a clear route isn’t available. We carry life and sustenance, literally and figuratively. We have the ability to go with the flow, when we choose to. We are powerful. When you feel as though you can’t break through, or are having difficulty moving forward, take a deep breath and look around for a different path. It’s there waiting to be found. If you are feeling low on energy, or like you have nothing to give, surround yourself with water; drink it, bathe in it, sit near it. For those times, when the flow is good (and even if it isn’t) go with it. Go with the flow. BE the flow. Let it be easy. Enjoy the ride. Live your truth. Forge your own path. Without apology. Be Water.
This week’s blog post comes to you from Womentum member, Clarissa Khan, who we introduced you to last week through a Q & A Purposeful Work A lot of people are searching for their singular purpose like it is a magical unicorn. With the hopes that when you find it, you will get the keys to the kingdom, all the wealth in the world will be yours, all of your challenges will cease to exist, and all will be well so you can retire and stop doing what you don’t want to, and live out your days in a blissful existence. This unicorn searching helps us to figure out what work we need to do to get us there, we start off with one concept or idea, then it turns into doing that work, then that other work, then this new work, never knowing which one is the best one to be doing or not doing. Confusing right? Do you meditate? Say affirmations? Spin in clockwise circles 16 times in a row? Follow Deepak or Louise? At some point someone you know has done something that has been labelled ‘The Work’ and has garnered them some level of success, so you will for sure try that out right? Because at some point ‘the work’ has got to work! It should be giving you positive results, you should feel better almost immediately, money should certainly show up in your bank account by the end of the day, you should be walking around like that blissed out hippy chick that you saw the other day, you should totally meet that really amazing guy who has all of the qualities off of your really amazing guy you’re manifesting list, your dream job should become apparent and the universe will bring you a job offer right away right? So why isn’t it? Why don’t you have those things? Are you worried you’ve done it all wrong and the universe just isn’t listening because you’ve asked for something you don’t want instead of something you do? I’ve been there too, it’s all part of it. It’s not bad or wrong to have those desires, I know you want all of those things, because I want them too, you aren’t human if you aren’t striving for or desiring them. But here’s the secret, the work isn’t about getting stuff or things, purpose isn’t about finding the most acceptable way to make money, having all of those external things in perfect place and order won’t bring you the fulfillment that you are actually seeking. You, my dear, are the work. You are your purpose. Say it with me now, I am the work. I am my purpose. What if your purpose was you? What if it was to uncover who you are, so that you may be your unique self and bring your ideas, perspective, and way of living, being and loving into the world? What if it was about BEING YOU INSTEAD OF DOING WHAT OTHERS HAVE DONE? What if your work was about you deciding how you want to be in the world? Does being a vegetarian work for you? If it does, great do that, if not, eat all the meat you want but do so without feeling guilty for who you are. Does sleeping until 10 am appeal? Or are you the 5 am rise and shine kind of person? Do which ever time feels good to you. You will never fit into someone else’s ideal life plan so stop trying to fit their life plan into yours. Instead, take what they do that appeals to you, then figure out how to modify it so it feels good to you, then do that. Devoting yourself to yourself is hard, it’s messy, it’s uncomfortable, it creates situations and new challenges that often don’t feel good or fun, but it is the only way to get to the wise and unconditionally loving part of who you are. Happiness and abundance can be a by-product of this, but it is not the way to measure the result. It also isn’t about finding the career that fulfills you, it’s about finding out how to feel fulfilled in life, it may require a job or lifestyle change, it may require you to find fulfillment in the job or life you didn’t think you liked all that much. The external world is here to challenge you, to teach you the most beautifully profound lessons that are sometimes wrapped in the ugliest wrapping paper, and to show you where you are not in alignment with yourself. It isn’t here to tell you what your worth is or is not, or how much you are loved, the more we work to have the external world validate us by bringing us shiny pretty things or fleeting happy feelings the further away from fulfillment we get. The trick is to begin focusing on the internal you, and seeking the validation from the inside instead of outside, we do this by becoming the work. I am the work. The work is my purpose. Curious about Clarissa’s work and purpose? Check her out at Omnia Wellness Clarissa Khan Sacred Holistic Healer & Intuitive Guide www.omniawellness.ca xo Lana
Ah, the holidays are upon us. For many of us, that means that we'll be invited to celebrate the spirit of the season socializing with family, work colleagues and friends. For so many of the extroverts in our midst, this is often most welcome. For the introverts, this can be sometimes paralyzing. For all of us, committing to all of the invites sent our way can result in overwhelm and exhaustion. When I entered the sales industry 20 years ago, I relished in all of the parties (holiday and otherwise) and in the chance to drink, party and flirt (and most of all, goof off to take my mind off the stress of the job). It was a fun perk and a way to connect with people on a casual level for a brief period of time. Nowadays, the thought of even a christmas party with the small number of fine people in my office makes my tummy turn. What happened? I believe the change of pace has a lot to do with my values. What I used to value about the connection I felt to my fellow party goers has evolved into a value around deeper connection and the desire to have conversations that weren't solely based on "So, are you busy?". What I loved about drinking, loosening up and showing up as an introvert morphed into a deepened value about meaningful presence and showing up as me, not a "liquid courage" version of me. Oh, and it turns out that I LOVE sleep, and need it to function as a normal human being (in other words; I'm getting old!). It doesn't make the people who still party wrong. In fact, I have a lot of envy for those people who have the energy to participate in the fun goings on! I miss the old me that loved doing that stuff. I had a lot of fun. And, year by year, my FOMO gets less and less. But its still there. The holidays inevitably bring up the delight, or angst of family commitments and expectations. For some of us, it's easy to forgo the company Christmas party, or even a friends' Christmas open house. But Family? That can be a different story. Some of us, myself included, have extended family trees (mine is actually a huge shrub!) that sometimes “require” us to spend the holidays bouncing here and there to see this side of the family and the other. It can be exhilarating AND tiring! And, if we include the topic of where the economy is right now, can add some financial stress or expectation stress about gift giving. Most of us reading this have made a commitment to personal care, soul growth and showing up bigger. The history we have with family can sometimes just shoot us right back to old ways of doing things. Showing up as your new self may seem like a lot of work, and you might receive some push back from your family. Stay curious about that! If you aren’t an extrovert or find the holidays a bit taxing, how can you Say Yes from a place of Grace? When you are asked to do something around the holidays (or anytime, for that matter), when your presence is demanded at an event or gathering, when you are asked or expected to exchange gifts, you might consider the following: Check in with your current direction, values and what is currently lighting you up (aka your sweet spot, your passion etc) does this request honour where you are at and the direction you are heading? if it doesn’t and you can gracefully decline, do that! That extra time you’ve just gifted yourself can be spent focusing in what is valuable to you. if it doesn’t and you absolutely, positively cannot fathom saying no, set your intention to show up with grace, and be absolutely present. You might bring a handmade token, or food, or just yourself. Ask lots of questions, be interested in others, practice gratitude for being included. Set boundaries and time limits be sure to schedule in time to recharge your body and soul. If you look at your calendar and you feel like you might suffocate, consider taking a few of the extras out of it, or agree with yourself that your calendar is now full, and all requests will now be met with a loving no, thank you or a revision* (see below) No explanations needed. set appropriate time limits on your commitments. Build in some flexibility if you are just having way too much fun and your soul is being fed by the activity. AND, do your best not to already be leaving before you get there! *try scheduling phone calls instead of face to face visits. This can be so welcome on both ends! You can arrange skype and wine dates with friends, or have brainstorming phone calls in your sweatpants! 3 hour appointments (including driving and meeting) can be narrowed into a nice 1 hour, fully present appointment with your friend or loved one. Above all, choose to be present. Presence is the absolutely most priceless gift you can give someone. If you say no, do it with love and grace. If you remember that sometimes a no to someone else is a yes to you (or to other friends, family, passions), it often reframes the decision and how it lands for you, making it easier. If you say yes, do your best to show up as a yes. People can sense when your yes is a no, even if you follow through.... If you say yes, choose to say yes with all of your being. Show up with grace. Stay present. Be curious. Make room in your heart for others to show up the same way. Happy Holidays! xo Watch our blog next time with a contribution from Womentum member and facilitator, Clarissa We asked her some important questions. Here’s what she had to say…. Have you discovered what lights you up? If so, what is it/are they? There is a lot in this world of mine that lights me up! Right now eggnog chai lattes are on the top of my list. Short answer: My intuitive healing practice, meditation practice, spiritual practice, creating my world to fit me instead of the other way around, honouring my natural sleep and creativity cycles (I like to sleep until 10am and create until 1 am!), being a part of a supportive community with shared intentions, floating (being in a sensory deprivation tank) at least once a month aka self care, furry creatures (namely cats, dogs, and horses but that is only because I often can't get my hands on much else!), writing mostly everyday, crystals and gemstones especially in jewelry form, burning stuff under a full moon, eating delicious food, reading books that inspire me, finding the lesson and the love in challenging experiences, talking about the magic and woo that exists in the world, witnessing other peoples growth, and finally, doing my own self growth/healing/discovery work. How are you currently bringing your passions/desires into your life on a daily basis? I'm a very determined person, once I decide that I want to do something or create something in my life, I find ways to make it happen. Right now I have three big passions in my life that are competing for attention - my spiritual practice, writing, and my healing "job", my practice and writing are something I've committed to doing every day, and I had to figure out a schedule for work that really aligned with how much I can work while still maintaining my zen demeanour. Would you like to share one practice in your life that has invited positive results? I've recently decided to begin a year long intensive spiritual practice that involves meditating with each member of my spiritual council, since there are currently twelve of them, I work with one per month. Last month was Quan Yin the Goddess of love and compassion, this month is Jesus. I begin every day with sitting in meditation and from that I end up working throughout the day on various spiritually based concepts (love, expectations, manifesting, being vs doing etc) that come up in the meditation. It is the one thing that I am devoted to and diligent with. It's only been two months and it has helped me to understand what I want out of my life and taught me how to be love. Describe one of the biggest risks you’ve taken in your life. I don't feel like I am really a big risk taker. There are certainly things that I have done that may look like a risk (starting my own business/creating and teaching a workshop) and have certainly hit my vomit line (the big scary stuff usually makes me feel like I want to vomit which is how I know how big and important it is), but they are usually the things that I'd be bummed out by if I didn't do them so they don't actually feel like a risk. What impact do you feel you are having on the world? I like to think that I am bringing in more loving kindness to those around me. I also want to be a living example of the change I wish to see in the world. I do, however, feel like my worldly impact isn't as big as I want it to be yet, which is a great motivator for me to do and be more. Who, in your life, inspires you? How? I honestly feel like everyone I meet gives me an opportunity for inspiration. I feel like everyone is my teacher and there is something wonderful to learn from everyone whether it's through positive example or (most often) through challenge and being triggered. The people who inspire me to be the best version of me are those who love anyway, who choose to be and do better, and who keep going even when the part of the journey they're on is hard and not so fun. What has been your greatest take-away from being a part of the Womentum community? My greatest take away has been uncovering who I am, and being able to be me around other amazing women. I didn't know the power a supportive and loving community can have, before Womentum I hadn't experienced one. Since I have been a part of it, it feels like I can do anything, be anything, and accomplish anything. If I was Popeye, Womentum would be my spinach. What was your biggest challenge this year? Figuring out how to put my self love and care first, which is still a challenge. I really like to help people and have a hard time saying no, even when I need to. I've also learned how amazing my life becomes when I do care for myself first and how much more I can actually do for others from a space of being full. Right now it is still a back and forth game, going until I have nothing left, then realizing I have to do self care again, feeling good, overdoing it, back to self care... my challenge for next year is becoming proactive instead of reactive when it comes to me!
This week’s blog post comes to you from Womentum member, Whitney Alexandra, who we introduced you to last week through a Q & A I am. Two innocent yet powerful words. What follows them, shapes your reality. December 29, 2014, just days before the New Year and I am wrapped up at home in one of the creative projects that I have on the go. One of the many that I always have on the go! That day turned out to be life changing. I had two close friends over that evening and they both remarked how much they loved my new piece of crystal art. The catch is that neither of them knew that I had made the piece they were admiring. Nor did they know that every other piece of art that was hanging in my home was also handmade by me. Once I told them, they returned to all my artwork with fresh eyes and some disbelief. “I had no idea that you were an artist!?!?” I had not heard those words from anyone let alone my close friends. Surprisingly, it weighed heavy on me. Am I an artist? Over the course of the next few days, I revealed my artwork to other people I was closest to and again, they made the same comment. Finally, a moment of truth occurred. I have these passions, interests and gifts that I have kept hidden. I never talked about them; never thought of showing anyone; never claimed my works of art as mine. Reflecting back, I really can’t tell you why this was the case… it just had been that way for years. Life confronted me with this same question at our January 2015 Womentum meeting. We kicked off the year with the theme: Who am I? That night I chose to make the declaration: I am an artist. And, I am ready to be seen. From that point, my priorities changed rapidly. Within a few weeks I had launched a website, created more products, and started sharing both my art and the inspiration behind it with the world. To those outside my circle of family and friends, this new venture appeared to have come out of thin air. But, to those in the circle and in my own head, this was actually a long time coming. There was never a strong enough calling or enough urgency to put forward my work in the world. Not until that meeting in January! The initial declaration was associated with a sense of freedom and boundless inspiration to continue creating and allowing the artistic momentum to propel me. Part of this meant attempting new forms of creative expression that further allowed me to grow as an artist and as a creative entrepreneur. Over the past 10 months, I have unveiled my custom crystal art, my initial jewelry launch, held a full jewelry collection launch this fall…and that’s just the start of what’s to come. I am so thankful for the meaningful conversations that we have at Womentum and for the positive results and support that emerge from belonging to this amazing community. My hope is that by hearing my declaration, seeing my actions, and through sharing my passion that you too will be inspired to become who you really are. I can’t wait to see what hidden gems you have for the world. Nearly a year has passed since I decided to uncover this new path…and I am so thankful for the day that I had the courage to declare my arrival. Looking forward at 2016, I have a business that I love, I share my passions with the world, I have the freedom to create, I love everything I work on and, most importantly, I proudly introduce myself. I am Whitney Alexandra and I, am an artist! XO - Whitney Curious about what Whitney’s reality looks like now? Check out her sparkly and inspring company Flora Italia Website: floraitalia.com Instagram: @floraitalia Facebook: facebook.com/florainc
“Nothing worth having comes easy” “Work Harder than you think you did yesterday” “If it wasn’t hard, everyone would do it. It’s the hard that makes it great” Sound familiar? This is a message many of us have had handed to us over and over again. Our parents, teachers, the media, movies, books, social media....they have all contributed to this belief that Life.Is.Hard. This is a perspective or belief that I adopted at an early age. By watching my parents’ marriage end, to witnessing my mom work so hard and, seemingly, never really get ahead. I started to understand that I would have to work really hard to make my relationships work, to earn a decent living and to have a fulfilling life. What is interesting is that while I was working hard on those aspects of my life, I was missing out on it. I chose partners or friends that were unable or unwilling to be emotionally available, thus making it hard to connect or communicate ~ and feeding my perspective that if I just worked a little harder on the relationship or on myself, that we’d walk into the sunset hand in hand, or be besties forever. I worked really hard, keeping late hours and throwing myself emotionally into every aspect of any business I’ve ever run, never asking for help because I believed that my reward of financial freedom was directly tied to literally working myself to the bone (and making myself very sick for 2 years, at one point). The fascinating thing is that, for a very long time, I didn’t really feel like I was getting ahead. I felt like I was working really hard to maintain what I’ve always had, or less, in a few cases. I’ve been recently invited, by Shandra Carlson (a fantastic coach and facilitator) to remove the word “hard” from my vocabulary. I must tell you there was no hesitation on my part to do so. After 41 years of hanging out with hard, I was ready for a break. In considering whether or not that was possible for me, I took stock of all of the ways I was complicating my life; not asking for help when I needed it taking the “long way” round when a fairly easy solution was available not having systems in place to create ease in my life saying yes all of the time explaining myself when it truly wasn’t necessary performing autopsies of every single painful conversation or interaction engaging with people who were not respectful of my values avoiding important conversations with those who matter adding last minute “to dos” to events or meetings, when simplicity is all that was required. engaging in drama everytime I was invited to do so ...and the list goes on. Removing the perspective that everything worthwhile must be hard was actually easy. Imagine that! Reframing my outlook was actually quite simple. I have found it quite liberating, in fact. I now look for ways to for me, and others to allow ease in our lives.... asking for help (and getting it!) looking for ways to cut out the middle man (our “let’s make this hard!” gremlins) and slowing down to consider all reasonable options. This also means getting out of solution’s way exploring ideas to create some systems in our businesses saying sacred “no thank you” a lot; to events, coffee dates, distractions putting ourselves out there as authentically as possible and realizing that no explanation is truly necessary for those who “get” us deciding which conversations are worth having, and which are not. Not everything needs to be dissected choosing with care those people in our lives who align with our values in relationship risking (almost) everything to deepen our connections with those who we cherish keeping it simple and beautiful recognizing drama and declining the invite to participate, in business and in our personal lives taking a look at our values, what lights us up, little things that keep us moving and choosing every day to honour those things, first and foremost. That last one is a biggy. By understanding who I am at the core; my values, dreams, desires, and the legacy I want to leave behind, has helped me to create a new reality about the effort it takes to create a life worth celebrating. I truly invite you to do the same. I appreciate that life has it’s challenges. It offers us opportunities to really check in, dig deep to get through the murky parts. Not everything is rainbows and unicorns, BUT, by rooting ourselves in ourselves (that is to say, knowing who we are and surrounding ourselves with people who look to create ease in our life) we are more capable of steering our ship into calmer waters. I invite you to consider that.... You are allowed to walk away from situations that are not fulfilling for you. With ease. Conversations don’t have to be deep or difficult to have meaning. You don’t have to work your ass off to make ends meet. Intimate relationships can be super fulfilling. Nothing has to be a struggle. You are important. The things you love are important. Do what is easy and brings you joy. What is your outlook on life? How do you invite ease and simplicity into this beautiful life you are creating for yourself? What is one thing you can choose right now that can shift a belief or perspective that isn’t serving you? Watch our blog next time with a contribution from Womentum member, Whitney. We asked her some important questions. Here’s what she had to say.... Have you discovered what lights you up? If so, what is it/are they? Absolutely! I have discovered that most of my joy comes from meaningful connections, creative expression and sharing stories/lessons learned. How are you currently bringing your passions/desires into your life on a daily basis? I have embraced a life very full of my passions and desires. Earlier this year, I channeled my creative pursuits into my business, Flora Italia where I create custom crystal art, jewellery with intention and all sorts of beautiful things. It has not only given me a platform to share my creativity but also share my thoughts around creating a meaningful life from the inside out. Would you like to share one practice in your life that has invited positive results? One practice that has always invited incredible results for me is simply saying “YES!” I find I meet the most interesting people, find hidden gems of places, and often am led down a new, exciting path because I’ve been open to experiencing something totally different. And it’s this complement of experiences that uniquely shapes each of our lives. Describe one of the biggest risks you’ve taken in your life. Hitting the reset button. I’ve done this a few times after relationships, career paths that didn’t suit my passions and lifestyle changes that needed to happen. The reset is essentially clearing the deck of all things not serving you anymore and rebuilding from the ground up. Terrifying at times, but also very rewarding to create a life that is more aligned to what you truly desire. What impact do you feel you are having on the world? I’d love for my impact to be sharing more love & joy and also helping people to live an authentic life. I also hope that I’ll have an impact by following my own bliss and encouraging others to find and follow theirs. Who, in your life, inspires you? How? I’m particularly inspired by Marianne Williamson, Louise Hayes and hearing stories of everyday triumph. I am so in love with stories from anyone who has pursued their passion and created their own dream, business or social enterprise. I recently heard a story of a 6 year-old boy who raised thousands of dollars towards cancer research with a small lemonade stand. Amazing stories are all around. What has been your greatest take-away from being a part of the Womentum community? Beyond building a community of really outstanding women, my greatest take-away from Womentum has been the momentum that it has helped me to create. Having meaningful conversations about what I really wanted led me to start a new path and the Womentum community has helped to support and encourage me along the way. 2015 was a transformational year for you. What are you planning for 2016? I have had a great year personally and also in creating my business. Much of this year was spent learning what I wanted most and asking the tough questions to figure out exactly what and who I want to create for. Next year I’m delighted to expand with new product offerings, creating more free content for my audience and growing our tribe of amazing women.
Hurry, hurry Do this quick! Grab a scrap of paper Anything will do Even the back of the receipt from the gift you bought your friend last week or the groceries you filled the pantry with or the long distance bill from calling your mom Hurry, hurry Find a pen Remove the cap click the button Hurry, hurry Write this down TO DO Underline it Beneath that Write 1. Beside that Write YOUR NAME Underline it TWICE Hurry, hurry Do it fast Do it now DO IT FIRST. Collect every “To Do”list you have Admit it, You have many On the top of each one Write YOUR NAME Underline it TWICE Everything that follows on that list will wait for YOU. Make yourself a priority. HURRY.
When I was 15 years old, I had my heart broken by a boy. What I made up about that was that I was not worthy of being loved. I was not good enough. From a logical, mature place, it doesn’t make sense that I would have expected my first love to last forever. I mean, come on. We are talking about the hormones of a young man who hadn’t used a brush before dating me and, once he did, everyone found out he was gorgeous - it wasn’t just our little secret anymore. It’s totally reasonable for me to have expected that, despite the fact that we ended up attending different high schools and he was being showered with attention by equally hormonal girls at his school, we would stay in love (or whatever it was) for ever and ever and our hearts would forever stay intact. Regardless of the insanity of that assumption at such a young age, my soul attached serious meaning to the end of our relationship. I decided I wasn’t good enough. And I was going to prove it. Over and over again. I took that belief and wore it like a tattoo. I took it with me into almost every relationship and situation for the next 26 years.... Feeding your beliefs is important. If they are positive. Feeding your beliefs, if they are negative, can be fatal. The interesting thing is that the positive ones, if they’ve been neglected, need a lot of nourishment, reassurance and care. They are starving and almost insatiable. It doesn’t take much to feed a negative belief. Those little buggers run on very little fuel. And even less proof and evidence of truth. They often need a fraction of the energy. They grow, spread and infect your soul and, if you let them, everything around you. ...Fast forward to this year. This has been a year of intentional curiosity, growth and change for me, and many others in my sphere. At times, it almost felt easier to give in and prepare a smorgasbord to fatten up the negative beliefs that kept inviting themselves over to my self-acceptance party. At one point, I decided that enough was enough. I wasn’t going to carry my figurative backpack around anymore. It was well stocked with unfinished business, relationships that had no closure, and my tokens of unworthiness. I hired a bouncer to keep the negative thoughts at bay. I got curious for myself. I reintroduced my “I am” practice into my life. I remembered how much my soul soaked up every positive word and turned it outward into the world and into my own life. One thing kept me hung up though. It was the “I am good enough” affirmation. I could write so many other things down and they would resonate and, on some level, I could feel my soul nodding and embracing the positive words flowing from the page and passing over my lips. But not “I am good enough”. For some reason, my body tensed up and basically said “Hell No”. It was puzzling. Until a couple of weeks ago. One of the women in our community is a hypnotherapist and I was pretty curious about her practice, so I went to check it out. The stubborn me really wanted to prove that I wasn’t suggestible (which my session proved otherwise). The curious me wanted to find out if this could help me detach from the past wounds of relationships that helped me prove I wasn’t lovable. I went with the intention of letting go of those painful beliefs of “I’m not good enough”, “I’m not worthy of love”, “I am not worthy”. We sat together and reframed some of my old, old, old beliefs. When Belynda suggested, “I’m good enough” as a new idea or reframe, I was triggered. I said “No. That’s not it. It’s close, but that does not resonate with me. At all.” I went on to discover and explain that “I am good enough” felt like I was a defiant child, digging my heels into the ground and declaring that I am good enough, and not believing it. I can almost picture a 6 year old me, a 15 year old me, a 41 year old me, saying that as a way of proving that I believed it. And, worded that way, I didn’t. To me, (and this is just me - I am good enough might be your jam - that’s up to you to decide) it entered my cells as “I am good enough even though I’m not perfect. Or have it figured out. Or as pretty, or smart, or talented.” To me it landed like “I am good enough even though I am not good enough” Yuck. I blurted “I am good.” “Yup. THAT’S the one”. My heart leapt. And we rolled with it. I.AM.GOOD. So, from that day forward, my mantra has been “I am good” and I AM. It’s amazing how changing one word; omitting it, has changed my perspective, my relationship with myself and how my soul and cells in my being absorb that truth. Words are so powerful. Thoughts are so powerful. Bringing them together is an art, that practiced, can change your life. So, now I know that I am not good enough. I am good. Period. AND SO ARE YOU.