While the holiday season can bring forth loving, joyful moments, it can also bring stress and tension. With the additional holiday events in our calendar, the pressures that can come with gift giving, the desire to create and experience magical moments, and extra time spent with family, it can be even more difficult to carve out “me-time” to unwind and recharge. Without the time to reconnect with ourselves, we can feel easily overwhelmed and sink back into old habits and behavior patterns that no longer serve us.
To help you better manage the holidays so you can embrace the magic, warmth and love that comes with this time of year, I’ve outlined four simple tips and mindfulness strategies.
1. Practice Self-Love: Make a conscious commitment to honour YOU. Commit to bite sized nourishing practices and set healthy boundaries.
Even when time isn’t on our side and we can’t make room in our schedules to do our usual routine of self-love rituals, carving out time for the bite-sized practices is always possible. You may not have time to do your 10K run or your 2 hour yoga class, but you can carve out 20 minutes for a brisk walk or some sun salutations and favourite poses.
When it comes to indulgences, you know yourself best and you know exactly what your triggers and default patterns are. Perhaps you are a person who likes to drink and with the abundance of holiday parties, you find it difficult to turn down the extra glass of (mulled) wine or glass of bubbly. Or maybe you are a person who struggles with saying no to just one more of your favourite holiday sweets and savoury treats. Rather than over-indulging in these things (and, in all likelihood, feeling crappy and/or beating yourself up afterwards), create healthy boundaries around enjoying them. For example, decide how many drinks feel good for you before you hit the party and stick to it! It’s helpful to ensure you drink ample of water before you go out and in between beverages. As for food, fill up on healthy foods before you go to the party or family event so you already feel nourished when you get there. Then you won’t feel the need to fill up on the less healthy options. Another option (if possible) is to bring along your favourite “healthy” treat to share so you have something ‘guilt free’ to indulge in.
It’s not about saying no to practices that nourish you and cutting out all indulgences. It’s about saying yes to enjoying them in a bite sized way that lets you remain true to honouring YOU!
2. Practice Acceptance: As much as we love them, one of the most challenging aspects of the holidays can be spending more time with family. It’s easy to revert back to the old family dynamics and patterns you thought you grew out of :). Instead, embrace the holidays as a perfect time to practice acceptance. Work on accepting your needs and what’s most important to you, as well as accepting where others are at in life and who they are. So, instead of pandering to outdated dynamics, ask yourself if you need to speak out about what’s most important to you at that moment. Or, consider whether it would make more sense to change your perspective and simply accept that they are who they are – your choice is to take it or leave it. We cannot change others BUT we can change ourselves and how we react and respond to things, situations, or people.
3. Release Expectations: There are a lot of expectations at this time of year. Expectations to be, do and give.
I invite you to feel free to say NO if you need to. Sometimes curling up with a book or a favourite movie will serve you better than going to a holiday party. Similarly, hold a compassionate perspective if someone can’t attend your party or a party you planned on going to together.
Likewise, exchanging gifts is a significant part of the magic and beauty of this season. However, this can also become a rather stressful and daunting task. This stress is created when we feel bogged down by concerns with finances, finding the perfect gift, and whether the recipient will like the gift. The truth is, the act of giving is about the exchange of love, and the purest form of love is void of expectations; by this, I mean your expectations of yourself as well as the expectations of others.
So, I invite you to release expectations this season and instead be mindful that the essence of this time of year is about sharing love, joy and meaningful moments. When we open our hearts and minds, we are able to stop holding expectations for ourselves and others.
4. Remember to Breathe: Even when you practice self-love, acceptance of yourself and others, and you release expectations, it can still be difficult to remain calm and ‘zen.’ When you feel your blood start to boil, your tolerance dwindling, and stress and overwhelm building, remember to BREATHE. By simply taking 3-5 deep breaths we can release a tremendous amount of stress, agitation and overwhelm. By focusing on your breath, you are giving yourself the opportunity to remain in the present. When you’re in the present, it’s easier to keep calm and carry on!
My deepest wish is for you to have a holiday season where you remain true to yourself and enjoy all the magic, wonder, love and laughter the holiday season has to offer.
Sending big love today and always.
Happy new moon day!
Each and every day brings a powerful opportunity to start something new. This new moon brings an extra breath of freshness and energy of positivity and abundance.
We were called to do a lot of growth and some “tough work” over the past year. Now, we are being called to expand our perspective and open our hearts and minds to the light. It is time to take a fresh step into the space we’ve cleared and created. Watch for gifts and opportunities from the universe that are here to support you. It’s time to release what we’ve let go of, release the old story, and step into where we are now.
Take some time today to acknowledge and celebrate where you’ve come from or how far you’ve come. Afterward, consciously step toward what you want to change.
This new moon is an ideal time to put plans in place, to think big, to embrace optimism and focus on possibility. Whether it’s about work, relationships or life in general, this is a potent time to listen in, dream big, believe and receive the new moon’s energy of positivity and abundance.
Happy Full Moon!
We’re blessed this month with a super moon, which means the moon is close to the earth’s surface and it’s healing effects are amplified. Interestingly, the moon hasn’t been this close to the earth since 1948!
This moon is all about inviting us to embrace and come eye to eye with our inner warrior; to step forward into a deeper expression of our truth. It’s about connecting to our inner fire, our individuality, and our inner leader. The moon invites us to stand proudly in who we are, giving us the confidence to know where we need to go and be.
I suggest you take a moment to write down the changes and awarenesses that have surfaced over the past few months and/or days. Then, allow the energy of the moon to illuminate the action steps you need to take in order to move into the places you most deeply desire; the places you feel called towards.
There is great strength and power with this moon. Allow it to help you step into all you are so you can clearly connect to your sense of self; and where and how you want to move forward. This is about standing up for and standing into the fullness of who you are and what you believe in the depth of your heart.
Happy full moon day!
Full moons illuminate what we need to see/do in our lives so we can remove what is no longer serving us, and they bring with them a powerful time for healing. This moon is all about giving us the confidence and support we need to take action on what has come to light over the past several months.
It’s important to note that this full moon is extra special since it’s a super moon! Super Moons are closer to the earth, which means that everything the moon brings forward will feel amplified. So be mindful of this as things for you, and those around you, come to light.
With this moon comes a perfect time to embrace your inner warrior and stand for/take action on what feels right. As you take action, stay connected with your ‘unlimited’ ego, leaving the ‘limited’ ego out of this process. This is about staying in your light and being confident in all you are – as opposed to acting on themes related to you being ‘better than’ or ‘powerless.’ This is a beautiful time to express your authentic self and make a stand for the life or reality you want to create and move forward with.
Take time to write out or journal about what action you feel called to take in your life. Through this process, you’ll feel a deep level of clarity and depth of intention. Trust in this process and have faith that everything is unfolding as it’s meant to.
This New Moon is extra special because it’s a black moon, which means it’s the second new moon this month. The New Moon offers us a beautifully fertile time to step into possibility and new beginnings. The magic of this time stems from what the ‘seed of possibility’ experiences before it begins to grow and blossom.
This Black Moon is said to bring with it an extremely positive force, supporting us while we step into our truth and manifest our dreams, wishes, and desires.
If you are looking or feel ready to change or shift something in your life, have been building new ideas or projects, or feel ready to step into new learnings or studies, this Black Moon is going to give you an amazingly supportive push in the right direction. This moon has the power to bring clarity and release any doubts or confusion you may have.
I invite you to be open to the positive, refreshing and inspiring energy brought by the energy of this moon. It will help open you up to the changes and clarity that will come. It’s all leading you down your “meant to be” path.
In order to harness the energy and teachings of the Black Moon, I encourage you to write out what you are ready to release and welcome in.
With the summer winding down, we can find our schedules begin to ramp up. The list of to-dos’ continue to grow and we can feel powerless to our schedules. We can get so caught up in our “should do’s” and “have to’s” that we lose sight of the fact that we are free to make choices. The freedom of choice is so powerful. We are fortunate enough to live in a society where we can make choices for ourselves every single day.
You might be wondering what I mean by choice. For me, choice ranges from the smallest thing, like deciding what I’m going to say to my husband or children when I wake up in the morning, to the biggest things, like what type of life I want to live. We get to choose what we eat for breakfast, what coffee we want at our favourite coffee shop, what book to read before we settle down for bed. We choose how we respond to the stranger who asks for directions, to our grumpy friend’s angry text message, or to our toddler having a meltdown.
The freedom of choice can feel inhibiting for some and be left unrecognized by others. Choice can scare us. When we start exercising our right to choose, we start carving out our own path, leading our own lives, becoming responsible for our actions.
But, there’s nothing more terrifying than losing your ability to choose. When we start feeling like other people are making choices for us, when we feel like followers rather than leaders in our lives, we feel overwhelmed and can become fearful. We can feel out of control and lose a sense of agency.
We should be fearful of a fearful society. For fear breeds anger, anger breeds hatred, and a sea of unhappiness that no one wants to live with follows suite. In our society, we see the results of fear everywhere.
I believe erasing fear begins with embracing freedom of choice. It begins with how you choose to wake up and how you choose to embrace each day and each moment. These choices translate into how you are choosing to spend your day and week. Then, they eventually translate into how you are choosing to live your life. For some, it’s easier to start with the question: how do I want to live my life? And work back from there. And for others, it’s all about the baby steps and easier to start with: how am I going to live today or in this moment?
We all need to consciously work on choosing positive responses filled with love, joy, and happiness. Once we start choosing love, choosing happiness, choosing bliss or joy, we transform our lives. When we start living a life we love, we stop living in fear.
I talk more about the power of choice in the video below.
Take a peak, especially if you are someone who feels overwhelmed by life’s to dos’, someone who easily conjures up excuses, or if you’re someone who simply wants to be more in touch with your wants and desires and don’t quite know where to start.
School has been out for several weeks now and, boy, was the change of pace was welcomed by all! My crew and I love summer time and all that comes with warm weather living.
I, personally, adore change and love the opportunity to create more of our “own” schedule. Although, in many ways, I feel this break and change has been most beneficial for my eldest. Russell had a teacher this past year who was very by the book and seemed to be laser focused on academia. She is a “good” teacher but seemed to excel at teaching to colour inside the lines and didn’t tolerate much deviation from this.
Russell sees life through an incredibly coloured lens, he thrives when looking at the depth of people, places, situations, and things and spends much of his energy thinking and talking about the several movie series (with elaborate plot points) he’s creating. For this incredibly creative and imaginative boy, this classroom environment stifled his spirit and some of his confidence (never mind that she brought into his vocabulary, “shame on you” – something she said to him when he didn’t behave as she wished).
I’m not raising my kids to fit inside a box. My husband and I both shine brightest and feel most comfortable outside of the box. However, I do want them to understand what’s inside it and how to negotiate it. His lack of interest to fit inside of the academic box was seen through “poor listening skills” or him “not paying attention”. As I read over his final report card, which I had no interest in sharing with him, I felt like I was reading about a boy that didn’t sound like the Russell I see, live with, and watch interact with the world. And I was left wanting to offer him some skills and strategies that would invite him to play “this game” and maintain his spirit.
My husband and I brainstormed some strategies to figure out how we can use our skill set to help invite him to shine his brightest and recognize how amazing he is. Among simply letting his free spirit have experiences to be wild and free, one of the ideas I had was to share more meditation with my two eldest littles. Meditation has the power to be truly life changing and is so amazing for helping us:
– Be more comfortable and confident in our bodies
– Awaken our compassion and empathy for self and others
– Improve focus and concentration
– Bring more peace and calm
We began this more conscious practice as soon as school ended and it was positively amazing to watch how much his spirit and sense of self completely changed (even after just a week). Now that four weeks has passed, he’s more himself than ever. It’s pure magic to see his spirit shine in all it’s brightness and remarkable to see how much better he listens and pays attention (for what it’s worth, I would not have said these qualities were deficient but a marked improvement has definitely been noticed!).
I know the meditation practice has been healing and therapeutic for him on so many levels (and for my daughter, too). I believe there are amazing benefits for every human to learn from meditation! Teaching my littles to take this quiet, still time when they’re young feels like a super important foundation – what a beautiful secret ingredient to help them connect to what makes them shine and invite them to step into that with confidence.
I have made a conscious choice not to watch or listen to the news. I assure you, I don’t miss what’s happening in the world. I just hear about the news differently.
I choose each day to do my best to love, trust and create joy. The media’s emphasis on negativity and fear takes me away from being able to do so.
It’s never been more important to find the happy and be with love. If not for our sake, we must do it for our children. Life has so much amazing and so much love, bliss and joy to savour. Let’s be models for how to live by taking it all in. Let’s spend our energy on these expansive emotions and states of being, as opposed to fear and negativity.
Let’s do the work we need to do to love unconditionally, so we can live with strength in everyone’s hearts and lives. If for no other reason, let’s do it for our children.
You may be wondering what exactly it is…
Yoga Nidra is for everyone – even those that “don’t practice Yoga.” It has nothing to do with flexibility, balance or doing upside down handstands. All you need to do is lie down on your back and listen. Yup, that’s it! Simply by lying down and listening for 30 minutes, you receive the equivalent of 3 hours sleep. In today’s world, no matter who you are, what your interests are, or what job you have, sleep is something we can all use more of.
I first fell in love with Yoga Nidra 15 years ago and continue to practice it daily (or as often as I can). It’s one of the most magical practices I know. Yoga Nidra has helped me manage periods of tremendous stress, the fatigue that comes with pregnancy, life with a newborn and mamahood, the overwhelm that comes with being a boss babe and mama to 3 littles, and heal a fairly serious autoimmune issue. It simply keeps me feeling my very best each and every day.
Although this practice is ancient, I love that “they” have begun to study its benefits. This means it will get into more people’s lives!!
So, why is it so effective?
Yoga Nidra is defined as “Yogic Sleep.” As you engage in the practice you fall into a deep sleep-like state that quiets and releases tension from your mind and body. This practice works systematically to relax your entire nervous system. With all life’s to-dos and demands, we spend an unhealthy amount of time in our fight or flight mode. When your fight or flight instincts are constantly turned on (or activated) we have a difficult time sleeping, processing emotions, feeling settled in our bodies, retaining information and thinking clearly.
The benefits of Yoga Nidra are significant.
I am so thankful Yoga Nidra is growing in popularity! This is definitely a result of its wide-reaching and long-lasting effects. It improves sleep, enhances memory, awakens creativity, reduces anxiety and counteracts stress.
Sleep is an integral and vital human function. Without it, we are unable to maintain our physical, mental and emotional health.
Study after study proves that by frequently practicing Yoga Nidra you can cure psychological disorders like anxiety, hostility, insomnia, and more. Since Yoga Nidra is used to help cure PTSD and traumatic brain injuries, even the military is practicing it! I could not be happier knowing that more people have access to this magical tool.
This incredibly rare occurrence, where the full moon and summer solstice join forces on the same day, brings with it magic and the power for beautiful healing (apparently the last time this happened was in 1967).
The illumination brought by the moon and the sun simultaneously brings incredible potency for shedding light on, healing and releasing points of struggle, resistance and old patterns. By inviting in the light and energy of the full moon you invite in the possibility of new awareness and pathways for a road that better serves you.
Truth is a big theme, alongside clearing relationships and/or aspects of relationships that are no longer working. Connecting with and being true to your truth is very important. Stay with your intuition as a way to connect to your deepest truth. The teaching around this time indicates there may be the desire to avoid, run from or deviate from your path and soul’s truth. This will not serve you. Staying on course is huge for arriving into the new growth places of letting your heart’s desire lead, and inner light shine in the world. Find time for stillness and be open with a grateful heart so you can receive the power of the full moon solstice. This is not about the rational mind. It’s all about listening to the heart.
Enjoy the power and magic! It’s said that we won’t experience these two powerful happenings on the same day again until 2062
I didn’t have “proper” running shoes or running clothes but I did have 20-minutes at the end of my work day and the motivation to feel my best. So I threw on what I had and took 15 minutes to jog to some super fun tunes.
It made me feel ah-mazing, energized and mentally clear – I love the way bite sized things can make all the difference! It was the perfect fuel for a solo evening with the 3 kiddos!
I recently made two new commitments to myself: to turn my devices off by 10pm (I’ve love this so much I’m now working to get that to 9pm –I’m about 50% there!) AND to get to my mat every single day, even if only for 15 minutes (this practice is my calm, balance and inspiration but can easily wane as work picks up – no longer!). The truth is, even though I know the way these things work, I am so in love with how much inspiration theses commitment are bringing to my work and how beautifully they’ve blossomed into me getting out for additional moments of goodness (like my quick jog).
It truly is magical the way making ourselves a priority and committing to ourselves can create the most beautiful domino effect of holistic goodness. I bet my kiddos and hubby have also noticed the effects! There really is such power in the bite sized steps, the realization that you are the only one standing in your way and the awareness that you’re worth it. We need to say goodbye to the “I can’t”, “I don’t have”, and “I’ll do it later” because cant’s, don’t haves, and laters mean you’re not. It’s all about just doing it, knowing it can be bite-sized and that consistency is what brings the gifts of awesomeness into our life.
Action creates change. Change creates our ability to live a life we love. What bite sized commitment can you make today for YOU? You’re worth it…
The New Moon on June 4th touches on themes connected to understanding our past and invites us to think about what we want for ourselves, our relationships, and from the universe moving forward.
I love the moon for the powerful teachings and insightful lessons she offers. She always gifts us with friendly reminders to connect with where we’re at and think about what we want.
This New Moon will help us express our truth and communicate how we are really feeling. It’s encouraging us to take a breath and think about what we want for our next chapter in life. The themes of this moon invite us to follow our intuition, resolve any stressful situations, connect with people you feel distanced from, and most importantly, understand what you feel and what you want. This is a beautiful time to step into something new, something you may or may not have wanted for a while.
The Yoga video below will help you connect to the energy of the New Moon. I invite you to release what’s no longer serving you, and create the changes you need and want.