“Love whoever is around to be loved.”
- Kurt Vonnegut
Hello My Fabulous Folks!
I’d like you to stop for a moment and ask yourself this question: Am I feeling enough love in my life right now?
If the answer is “no”, then I’m here today to help you tune into the world of love that’s surrounding you right here and now.
You see, we’re often so focused on finding that great love affair or the perfect friendship or on having kids before cultivating love in our lives, that we are blind to the opportunities to cultivate love with the beings all around us each and every day in the grocery aisles, on Twitter, at the gym, and in the park.
I love the story of an anthropologist who once asked a member of the Hopi Tribe in Arizona why so many of his people’s songs were about rain. The Hopi replied, “Because water is so scarce. Is that why so many of your songs are about love?” Oh SNAP from the Hopi dude!!
In this society and to the detriment of it, we tend to confine the giving and receiving of love to a select few in our inner circle. Not only can this create a cold, warring world, but it can leave us feeling alienated and painfully alone because we can’t have our chosen loved ones surrounding us 24/7. The thing is though, love is a product of having an emotional connection to others and that connection to others is actually available to us at any given moment – with that man riding beside you on the bus, or that bird chirping at you from the tree, or that person you’re interacting with on Facebook. You know the song “Love the One You’re With?” Well, as far as I can see you’re actually “with” 7 billion people and countless other beings in this relationship called life.
So, how do you start cultivating this love? Well, you can start with the simple but powerful act of eye contact today. I originally hail from “Friendly Manitoba” (seriously, that’s actually what’s written on Manitoba license plates), and when I first moved to the big city of Toronto I couldn’t believe that people here didn’t make eye contact and say “Hi!” when they passed each other. Well almost 20 years later, I’m still determined to look people in the eye when I pass them and even say “Good Morning!” in some cases. Sure, some people look at me like I’m just a wee bit crazy, but I can still feel their heart cautiously smiling from being reached out to and acknowledged.
So today Dear One, your mission (if you choose to accept it!) is to make eye contact with everyone you encounter today – on the sidewalk, in the elevator, from your car, in the line-up at that bank – even if just for a brief second. And if making eye contact feels really uncomfortable for you, just breathe deeply into that discomfort and remember this: we are all made up of the same energy, so in a way this person/animal is just an extension of you, and you are an extension of them, and it would be pretty damn silly not to be able to look in your own eyes now, wouldn’t it? As you are making eye contact, you could even say to yourself: I send you my love. I receive your love or simply: We are connected.
Whaddya say, Love Warrior – will you take the challenge?!
Of course, eye contact is only the start. Below I have some other simple tools (including an audio visualization) to help you widen your circle of love and begin connecting to others everywhere in a deeper, more meaningful way.
That’s right, Folks – make room ‘cause we are letting the love IN!xo, Kimberly
P.S. If you’re really serious about cultivating love, connection, and meaning in your life, then you better get signed up for my LIFE REBOOT PROGRAM. This 7-week DAILY body/mind/spirit intensive is designed to help you deeply connect to your inner self, transform your life, and ignite the world around you. My summer program starts Tues., July 7 in-person in Toronto!
“A strange passion is moving in my head.
My heart has become a bird
Which searches in the sky.
Every part of me goes in different directions.
Is it really so
That the one I love is everywhere?”
5 Ways to Widen Your Circle of Love
1. Visualize It – Prep the soil for some love-growin’ by doing this quick 5-minute guided visualization excerpted from Day 28 of my Life Reboot Program. CLICK HERE to listen.
2. Connect – Choose one person you regularly encounter but perhaps don’t know that well and ask them to share with you one awesome thing about them that you wouldn’t already know. Be sure to listen to them so they feel totally seen and heard and treat them in that moment as the most important person in the world to you. You just might find out that your 80-year old neighbour does Tai Kwon Do or that the bike courier gave one of his kidneys to his mom. You can do this with someone via phone or online too if you don’t have in-person contact with anyone today.
3. Be Curious – Take 5 minutes to do a little research on a group of beings you don’t know much about and do this with the intention of trying to put yourself in their shoes. Maybe you get to know more about the Syrian people today or delve into the secret lives of chickens or find out more about Buddhists. Just check in and see what people/animals/groups are calling out to you to learn more about. Look for the aspects of these beings that you can relate to and connect with.
4. Energy Exchange – In whatever conversation you have today, envision a beam of love flowing from your heart into theirs and from theirs into yours. Even if you’re engaging with others online, see that beam of love connecting you across the great distances (this includes people via online comment boards…in fact, this is especially needed with online comment boards ; ).
5. Up Your Hug Quotient – Actively engage in more hugs today. Embracing and being embraced by another being is a very tangible reminder of your connection to everybody and everything. Soak up all the affection you can from those hugs and let them open your heart even more.
“The worst sin toward our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them.”
- George Bernard Shaw
Kimberly in the National Post
On the theme of widening our circle of love, I wrote this article in Canada’s national newspaper last week about why and how I have widened my circle of compassion to include all animals. READ HERE
In this fun, centering, and interactive workshop retreat (and with the help of the furry sages at the sanctuary), I will teach you a variety of techniques to decrease and release stress and its nasty cousin anxiety. We will also develop a strategy for self-care to avoid burnout.
CLICK TO REGISTER *deadline for sign-ups is Wed., June 19
Toronto Grad Circles
Small workshops for grads of my programs:
Wed., July 31 – F&!k the Fear!
Wed., Aug. 14 – Establishing Healthy Boundaries
Life Reboot Programs
This inspiring, practical, and sometimes rowdy body/mind/spirit program combines DAILY work for 49 days (powerful audio recordings, exercises, & email check-ins to create shifts on a tangible real-life level) with intimate and exhilarating weekly workshops that will center, heal, and power up both your personal and professional life. Take advantage of to a $100 savings on tuition by registering by June 28. Get ready to ignite your life from the inside out!
TUESDAY Toronto Program
begins July 9 – runs daily for 7 weeks
8 in-person workshops – Tues. Evenings
begins Sept. 9 – runs daily for 7 weeks
8 phone workshops – Mon. Evenings
If you’ve made it this far, I want to leave you with a song to inspire your Love Circle Widening today. Love IS indeed in the air!
One regret dear world, that I am determined not to have when I am lying on my deathbed is that I did not kiss you enough.
Hello My Spectacular Souls!
Finally the world is coming alive with spring! There’s no holding back those buds from blooming, those birds from building nests, or those gals from wearing open-toed shoes. They are in full carpe diem mode…seizing the day! So, how about taking the season’s cue and partaking in a little carpe diem action of your own?
The spirit of carpe diem is refusing to let another day go by without sucking the juice out of it. It’s about breaking out of automatic pilot and engaging in activities that make you feel ALIVE. And you don’t have to up and move to Morocco to seize the day…you can do it within the life you’re already living. An enlivening action today could range anywhere from asking out that special someone you’ve been admiring from afar to cuddling that cozy cat lying in the sunbeam to taking a small action in launching that business you’ve been dreaming of to singing on the top of your lungs in the car.
I can already hear the litany of excuses running through your head for why now isn’t a good time to seize the day: I’m too busy, I’m too tired, I’ve got 10 pounds to lose first, I’m broke, I’m waiting for someone to seize the day with, I’ll play with my kid tomorrow, someday soon I’ll start planning my dream trip…Well m’dear, snap out of it because “tomorrow” and “someday” are not days of the week, life is finite, and at this rate you’re going to procrastinate living until you’re DEAD!
For me, nothing hits home the concept of carpe diem more than cherry blossoms. I live in Toronto and for a few precious days each spring, 2000 cherry trees here in High Park burst into breathtaking powder puffs of pink and white petals…nature’s cotton candy! Now, spring is always a crazy busy time for me so I spent many years procrastinating away my opportunity to take in the cherry blossoms. Three years ago though, I played hooky in the middle of a workday to finally take a stroll under the majestic arches of fluffy blossoms and couldn’t believe I’d waited so long to experience this…it was like magic in petal form! Afterwards, I started thinking about how even if I am blessed with a long life, I might only have 40 or so more chances to see the cherry blossoms. A mere 40 more chances to experience something so beautiful! Well, that realization has gotten my butt into gear to get out there every year since. And even though a weekday stroll in High Park seems like one of the last things I have time for right now, when I get word that those buds have begun to bloom, I will drop everything and go drink in their fleeting beauty.
Isn’t it time for YOU to start drinking in the fleeting beauty of your life? If you’re ready to start carpe diem’ing it up (yes, I’m taking great liberties with Latin here), I’ve got a list below of enlivening activities to help get the juices going!
But there are also two very important questions to start posing to yourself at every turn today:
What will help me come more alive in this moment?
WHAT THE HELL AM I WAITING FOR?Alright Precious Ones – go out and Seize the May!
P.S. If you’re struggling with being present to and fully savouring your life, my Life Reboot Program just might be the carpe diem bootcamp you need. Each day of the 7-week program is a new adventure in deeply engaging in your life and igniting your world. New Toronto in-person programs and an online-tele-program start in two weeks! And be sure to SEIZE the early bird price…on for just a few more days!
Seize the Day Ideas
1. Treat yourself to a pleasure you’ve been “saving” (that special bottle of wine, that long bath, that new album you downloaded) and give it your singular focus.
2. Take time out to play with your kids or animal companions and really absorb their unbridled enthusiasm
3. That project you’ve been dreaming about starting? Give it a working title or write a paragraph about how it would feel bringing it to fruition.
4. Book a reservation at that restaurant you’ve been eyeing all year.
5. If you have a musical instrument in your house, take it out and damn well PLAY IT!
6. With the next person you encounter today, ask yourself, “What’s awesome about this person?” and then really savour them.
7. Do 10 minutes of research into a trip you’ve been yearning to take.
8. Use that gift card you’ve had in your drawer for eons.
9. Try an art class or an African dance class or a vegetarian cooking class!
10. Play hooky midweek to take a long meandering walk through spring in bloom (bonus points for doing it barefoot!)
Resolved, To live with all my might, while I do live.- Jonathon Edwards
LIFE REBOOT PROGRAMS: This inspiring, practical, and sometimes rowdy body/mind/spirit adventure combines DAILY work for 49 days (powerful audio recordings, exercises, & email check-ins to create shifts on a tangible real-life level) with intimate and exhilarating weekly workshops that will center, heal, and power up both your personal and professional life. Take advantage of to a $100 savings on tuition by registering by May 10. Get ready to ignite your life from the inside out!
TUESDAY Toronto Program
begins May 14 – runs daily for 7 weeks
8 in-person workshops – Tues. Eves
WEDNESDAY Toronto Program
begins May 15 – runs daily for 7 weeks
8 in-person workshops – Wed. Eves
begins May 27 – runs daily for 7 weeks
8 phone workshops – Mon. Eves
GRAD CIRCLE – Toronto: Thursday, May 23 – more details to come!
Spring is nature’s way of saying, “Let’s party!”
- Robin Williams
This week ushers in the official start of Spring and we’re ready to drink it in like we have a winter-long hangover!
Yeah, I know winter is invaluable in the way it forces us into that place of deep inward reflection where…blah, blah, blah… I don’t know about you, but I’ve had enough ruminating…I’m ready to kick winter’s butt to the door and start seizing the revitalizing energy of SPRING!
Nature is about to begin renewing itself with great magnificence…why not jump on that powerful bandwagon of awakening, invigoration, and action?! Here are 5 simple and practical ideas to kick-start your own personal Spring renewal…1. Bringing Meaning to Spring Cleaning – You can use this regularly pain-in-the-ass household tradition to not only renew your outer environment, but your inner world. Choose an area or items to clean that you can attach some symbolic meaning to leading into spring. If finances have been suffering, zero in on cleaning up the home office. Or, if you’ve been single for a tragically long time and are itching for some spring lovin’, how about washing those grimy windows in your bedroom? Choose a mantra to accompany this task that will help connect the outer cleansing to inner cleansing like: “I’m clearing the way for sparkling love to pour into my heart!” and then feel the inner sparkle increase with every inch of window you buff up…put your whole body and spirit behind it!
2. Shedding Your Winter Skin – You might be a little grossed out to realize how many layers of dead skin have built up on your body over the winter. Dry-brushing is a simple, inexpensive, but amazingly effective detox technique to exfoliate dead skin cells and help your skin BREATHE again. So before you shower, take a brush (a natural fibre brush is the optimal choice) or if that’s not available to you even a rough towel can work. Start at your feet with brisk upward strokes and make your way all the way up your body. Be sure to use lighter brushes on your neck and face to avoid looking like you got attacked by a raccoon. Then jump in the shower to slough off all the dead skin. A cold rinse at the end perfectly seals the deal.
3. Revitalizing Habit – How about choosing a specific thing you can commit to doing each day of the spring season that invigorates and enlivens you? It could be stretching every morning for 5 minutes or eating an extra serving of organic raw vegetables. Or how about playing with your dog or cat for 10 minutes a day or wearing a colourful item everyday? What about drinking 2 jugs of water a day or having a daily dance break? Make the commitment manageable and measurable and keep track of your success in doing it each day on your calendar or in a journal.
4. Cyber Clutter-Clearing – Nothing ushers in the lightness of Spring better than a good de-cluttering. Well, there’s a new kind of clutter in our modern lives found jammed into our inboxes and computer desktops that can be as much of an energy-zapper as a living room on “The Hoarders”. If your laptop is full of empty mislabelled folders, unused icons everywhere, and important files hidden somewhere it takes you two hours to find, it’s time to approach your computer as you would an unwieldy filing cabinet. Take a couple of hours to identify the files that you need and use, get them organized in a variety of folders, and “recycle bin” the rest. Enter your Spring feeling electronically fit and trim!
5. Equinox Welcome – What’s more renewing than experiencing the great cycle of nature push the “reset” button? Schedule some time this week to officially honour the transition from the restorative slumber of winter to the rebirth of spring. Take a little time away from your normal routine to sit in stillness outside and tune into the rhythms of nature. You could choose to review in your mind the gifts that you gained from this past winter and then transition into the spring energy by envisioning yourself as a butterfly emerging from the cocoon or as a snake shedding its skin and truly dive into that sensation of fresh vibrant beginnings. Dancing naked under the moonlight is entirely optional, but enthusiastically encouraged. ; )
It’s spring fever…. You don’t quite know what it is you DO want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so!
- Mark Twain
P.S. If you’re looking for some serious revitalization in your life this spring, than you’ve got to check out my LIFE REBOOT PROGRAM starting in-person in Toronto May 7 and 8 and via the Online/Tele-Program May 6! Small groups, big experience. Get ready to undergo your own personal revolution…
“People don’t notice whether it’s winter or summer when they’re happy.”
- Anton Chekhov
Hello My Saucy Souls!
It’s already been a long winter and spring still seems too long away. The relentless cold, the sun fickle with its affections, and all the colourful vibrancy of the summer a very distant memory…even the hardiest of us can find winter kicking our lethargic butt.
Unfortunately, that leaves a lot of people wishing winter a way and I say it’s a damn shame to have any time of this precious life wished away. So instead, how about we find ways to savour and energize the winter we have left? Here are a few little tips sure to rouse you from your winter cave…
7 WAYS TO BEAT THE WINTER BLAHS
1. Vibrant Foods – We tend to dive into the heavy carbs at the first sign of cold weather…further beaching us in our Winter Blahs. Instead try choosing foods that are colourful (AKA vitamin-rich), fresh, or spicy! Enliven your taste buds, enliven your mood.
2. Unpredictable Day – Shake yourself out of a hibernation rut by embarking on a “Day O’ Unpredictability”. If you usually dress in dark colours, go for red or hot pink. If you always use humour as your fallback, try having some really serious interactions. Take a different route to work, eat something completely different for lunch, or try a little something new sexually and sizzle away the blahs.
3. Heat Up Your Exercise – The treadmill and stationary bike don’t have a chance against the pull of hibernation, yet physical activity is imperative for energy boosting in this season. Try supercharging your body and soul with more exotic and pleasurable exercise pursuits like salsa lessons, swimming, belly dancing, or hot yoga. Not only will this wipe out the Winter Blahs, but it could also help you bypass the need for the scramble to lose 10 pounds before bikini/Speedo season.
4. Laughter Injections – Never mind Vitamin B shots…inject yourself with an awesome Will Ferrell movie, youtube video hijinks, or a good tickle! Laughter has been proven to increase energy, reduce food cravings, bust stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline, fight illness, and provides the benefits of a light workout.
“Laughter is the sun that drives winter from the human face.”
- Victor Hugo
5. Take it Outside – If you hide indoors from November to April, you’ll miss tapping into the energy of nature that is powerful in any season. Sure, it’s hard to compete with summer’s symphony of colours, smells, and tastes, but there is a beautiful stillness to be found in this season… One that invites you to catch snowflakes on your tongue, crack ice under your feet, and breathe the crispest of air in to wake up your system.
6. Margarita Therapy – If you don’t have the privilege of going away for a winter vacation (or yours is already long gone), head to the nearest festive Mexican resto and let the margaritas and mariachi music massage and ignite your sense of celebration, freedom, and fun.
7. Doses of Hibernation – This is the season when all of nature goes into hibernation and being part of nature ourselves, we need to honour this inner change in rhythm. Choose a morning or afternoon once a week when you don’t schedule a thing and just allow yourself to curl up in your big fluffy robe and read, meditate, drink tea, cuddle, or nap at will. Be ferocious in guarding your lair of downtime.
I prefer winter and fall, when you feel the bone structure of the landscape – the loneliness of it, the dead feeling of winter. Something waits beneath it, the whole story doesn’t show. - Andrew Wyeth
So, my Winter Wonders – get that big cozy sweater on, breathe deeply into that crisp air, and remember to BE HERE NOW.
P.S. My LIFE REBOOT PROGRAM in Toronto begins in less than a week! If you want to be rejuvenated and brilliant in time for the spring, I still have a few more spots available… Take a look below!
LIFE REBOOT: My 7-week Life Reboot Programs begin Feb. 26 and 27 in Toronto.
This inspiring, practical, and sometimes rowdy body/mind/spirit adventure combines DAILY work for 49 days (powerful audio recordings, exercises, & email check-ins to create shifts on a tangible real-life level) with intimate and exhilarating weekly workshops that will center, heal, and power up both your personal and professional life. Get ready to undergo your own personal revolution!
FROM STRESS TO SERENITY Workshop: Thursday, Feb. 21 -Toronto
Is February stressing you out? Do you find yourself starting to collapse under the weight of the world? On-going stress often leads to that insidious general anxiety that, if left unchecked, is sure to strangle all the life juice out of you. In this fun, soulful, and interactive workshop, I’ll help you test-drive a variety of innovative approaches and practical techniques for releasing anxiety — from on-the-spot cathartic exercises to music therapy to powerful visualizations. You will also develop a personal strategy for managing potential stressful situations in your life.
Presented by the Soul City Social Club — everyone is welcome. CLICK HERE for details or to sign-up.
“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.”
- Oliver Wendell Holmes
Hello My Lovelies!
Only three short weeks ago masses of people (maybe yourself included?) made New Years resolutions. I hate to be a buzzkill, but according to stats most of those resolutions have already bit the dust.
I have a feeling this brilliant annual flameout has a lot to do with the stale, surface resolutions most people pick: I’m going to lose weight…stop biting my nails…cut out carbs…get out of debt… Well, My Tribe – I say we declare a RESOLUTION RE-DO!!! This time though, let’s bypass resolutions that are just about changing our actions and go straight to the place from which all actions sprout… Let’s resolve to shift our energy.
Below you’ll find 5 juicy resolutions that directly cultivate the qualities we all so crave in our life – joy, peace, power, and love. These resolutions cost nothing, don’t take a lot of time, and are even a little fun. I encourage you to choose ONE immediately and schedule its daily or weekly execution in your day planner/calendar (rule of thumb: if it doesn’t make it into your daytimer, it most likely won’t make it into your life)
By the way, a delightful by-product of shifting the inner stuff is that the outer stuff almost always ends up falling in line…clever trick, huh?
Ok Team – let’s make this year stand and be counted, shall we?!xo, Kimberly
P.S. Oh…and if you have been killing it with your New Years resolutions, you have my huge congrats – Go Tiger!
“It is never too late to be what you might have been.” – George Eliot
5 Resolutions From the Inside Out
1. Unplugged Day – Modern technology, as wonderful as it can be, is seriously strangling all the SPACE out of our lives. The natural pauses/breaths we used to have built into our day – walking to work, waiting for the kettle to boil, standing on an elevator – are all now filled with texting, mobile conversations, and checking email. As a result, we’re becoming a society of doing rather than being. So, how about swearing off the devices (computer, PDAs, iPads) for a day or even just an afternoon a week? Sunday is a great day for this and if you want to get really wild, you could even declare an afternoon of SILENCE (no talking, email, watching tv, or texting) while you’re at it. Trade in multitasking for being present and give that little inner being of yours a chance to refuel!
2. Gratitude List – Resolutions often focus on all the qualities/stuff you don’t have. How about waking up to the awesomeness of what you already do have? Try making a list each day (morning or right before bed are optimal times for this) of 10 things you are grateful for right here and now. Gratitude items can range from little things (“that steaming vanilla soy latte” to “the cashier who greeted me with a warm smile in that awful line”) to big things (“being able to dance” to “the support of my best friend”). The powerful thing about a gratitude list is that you start noticing the gifts in your day as opposed to just obsessing over the crappy parts. And what you focus on in life expands… so you figure out the math on that one.
3. Morning Stretch – We spend so much of our lives in our heads that sometimes we forget we even have a body! Even just one minute of stretching every morning when you get up can significantly increase your daily connection to your precious body which, in turn, connects you to the precious moment. A few robust raising of your arms above your head and folding over towards your toes will open up your physicality and have you approaching the day in a much more relaxed, expansive, and powerful way. Bonus points for doing it naked! ; )
4. Daily Giving – Sometimes the best way to shift the energy in your life is to help shift the energy in somebody else’s. And don’t wait until you have the time, money, or a cure for cancer to be of service to this world. Take one small action each day (starting NOW) to be of service: phoning an elderly aunt or uncle who would be delighted to hear from you, signing an online petition, smiling at people you pass on the street, spending some extra time playing with your kids (human or furry). To stay accountable to this practice, write down at the beginning of the day how you plan to be of service or record at the end of the day the service action you took. By the way, if being of service starts to feel like an obligation…be of service to yourself and take a break from being Mother Theresa for a day or two.
5. Laugh Break – How crazy is it that we used to laugh 100 times more as children than we do as adults? Yet laughter is one of the healthiest activities we can take part in! Not only does laughter create such an open energy in us, it increases our stamina, decreases pain, fights disease, and *reduces food cravings*. In other words, instead of dieting, how about just LAUGHING more? So, resolve to build more laughter into your days. You could set aside 5 minutes a day to watch funny youtube videos, tell your co-workers a daily corny joke and ask them to return the favor, or get a close someone to tickle you every morning…tee-hee.
Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself. - Unknown
***And finally, if you really want to make an awesome go of this year, consider doing my new Life Reboot Program. This inspiring, practical, and sometimes rowdy body/mind/spirit adventure combines DAILY work (powerful audio recordings, exercises, & email check-ins to create shifts on a tangible real-life level) with intimate and exhilarating weekly workshops that will center, heal, and power up both your personal and professional life. I’ve got both Toronto and Online/Tele-Programs starting at the end of February and am offering up to a $100 savings on tuition for those registering by January 30. Get ready to really rev up your life/world from the inside out!
Success isn’t a result of spontaneous combustion.
You must set yourself on fire.
- Arnold H. Glasow
HAPPY NEW YEAR My Fab Folk!!
2013 is in full swing… Can the same be said for your new year goals?
Every new year our entire population experiences a wave of hope and resolution to make positive changes in their life. Unfortunately, most lose their steam by week two. ; )
Let’s make sure that doesn’t happen this year. Regardless of your new year’s goals, the first step toward the life you love is to fan the flames of possibility around you and start creating momentum. Maybe you’re yearning to ignite a career goal or a romantic relationship? Perhaps it’s a creative project or ramping up your health/fitness level? Or do you want to cultivate more passion or serenity in your everyday life? Well, get ready because I’m pulling out the motivation big guns for you…
The best way to get something done is to begin.
- Author Unknown
10 Ways to Light the Fire Under Your Butt
1. Procrastination Shake – Stuck in procrastination-mode? Put on a high-octane song and literally shake off the paralysis, overwhelm, or lethargy. Think of the procrastination as a heavy gooey substance that’s been weighing you down and then start jumping and shaking it the hell OFF!
2. Baby Step – Decide what your number one intention is for this year and then choose one small step that you can take towards it today… Not tomorrow or next week, but TODAY! Even the tiniest of steps can create powerful momentum. As Zig Ziglar said: “Do it, and then you will feel motivated to do it.”
3. Superpowers – Think of the biggest challenge you’re facing in achieving your 2013 goal and imagine a superhero version of yourself with special superpowers that could obliterate this challenge. For example, last year when I was feeling scattered and sluggish around a project, I created my alter ego “RocketGirl” a sexy babe who has jet-force propulsion to power me and my goals forward and keep me uber-focused. A friend of mine even created an image of her for me to use as my desktop (and yes, speaking of derriere flames, she has fire shooting out of her butt…please keep your bean jokes to yourself)
4. Goal Buddy – Using the buddy system as part of your new year goal strategy makes you more accountable, gives you somebody to celebrate the little victories with, and a place to vent if it all starts going very wrong. You don’t even need to share the same goal – just declare your intention to each other and decide when and how you will support and hold each other accountable in your individual pursuits (ie. Daily email? Weekly coffee? Gold stars?)
5. “To Do” List Dry Run – If you’re feeling paralyzed by the list of actions you need to take to achieve your goal, try going through your “to dos” in the morning, spending a few seconds to envision accomplishing each one and how that feels. Whether it’s writing those 5 pages of script to making those 20 cold calls, visualizing their completion takes some of the overwhelm and mystique out of each step and sends a concrete image and feeling to your brain that this can be accomplished. It may not sound like much, but I’ve actually found this technique to be incredibly effective.
6. EmBODY your goal – What quality do you need more of to realize your goal (ie. power, tranquility, enthusiasm, focus)? Try taking on this quality in your body for a day. Start in the morning in front of the mirror and see what “powerful”, for example, would look like on you… What would your expression be like if you were powerful? What would your stance be? How would you walk, sit, talk? Keep returning to this physicality all day and start to feel the accompanying emotional shift.
7. Signs – How about some passive kick-ass motivation? Write a cheerleading message about your intentions/goals on colourful pieces of paper and post them in your environment hotspots (ie. fridge, desk drawer, car, bathroom mirror, etc.) Each time you see a sign, take a moment to breathe in the energy of that intention.
8. Excuses Begone! – On a big piece of paper, write down all the negative thoughts that are getting in the way of you achieving your goal — all the excuses, fears, and old stories. Then, with a sense of great determination, urgency, and gusto black out each one with a big ole marker and tear the piece of paper into as many pieces as possible. Extra bonus for yelling at and then burning that nasty little pile of limiting beliefs!
9. Tickle-mentum – If you’re feeling low energy, heavy, or just plain stuck, get someone to tickle you (preferably someone you know, but hey – who am I to judge?) It’s a great way to shock your system into a state change. Besides, it makes me giggle heartily to picture you all getting tickled.
10. Commit– Choose a first tangible goalpost for your 2013 intention and pick the date you will reach it by. If finding a romantic partner is your intention, a goalpost could be to create your online dating profile. If your goal is to write your memoir, then you could schedule reading a first excerpt to a group of trusted friends. If tranquility is your goal, your first milestone could be having a complete tech-free day. Mark this date with neon lights in your calendar and – come hell or high water – honour that date!!
Ok Team — wishing you your finest year yet!xo, Kimberly
To change one’s life: Start immediately. Do it flamboyantly. No exceptions.
- William James
“Be content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.”
Hello My Saucy Souls!
I was out for a run yesterday and found myself getting melancholy about the losses autumn brings — dying flowers, falling leaves, a deep chill in the air, earlier darkness, heavier sombre clothing (yes, just call me Mary Sunshine! ; ) I was so caught up in this feeling of loss that I almost missed the tree filled with spectacular fuchsia-coloured leaves radiating in the sunbeam…a precious once-a-year sight to behold. Then, as soon as I stopped to breathe in this ephemeral delight, I also began to tune into the rich harvest smells of the fall, the gentle breeze in the air, and how the trees’ yellow leaves arching over the streets created a great golden cathedral above me. My energy felt expansive again.
This brought to mind the concept of what you focus on in life expands. I do believe it’s important to acknowledge and feel the pain of life, but always focusing on what’s bad or lacking creates a heavy energy that will keep you stuck in this painful, colourless place. However, when you begin to be passionately grateful for who you already are and what you already have, not only does the veil lift on all the abundance around you, the abundance is perpetuated. You see, fabulous people are drawn like magnets to those who radiate gratitude, and fabulous people bring fabulous opportunities with them.
I like to think of myself as a pretty appreciative person, but the truth is I struggle with gratitude. I’m a recovering perfectionist who can be so focused on what’s not done, what’s not good enough (including in myself), what’s lost, etc., that I am in constant danger of eclipsing what is right and good about myself, my life, and the world around me. That’s why I need to practice gratitude like my hair was on fire.
And practice I do… In the years of doing my daily centering exercises, the one tool that I consistently come back to is my gratitude list – 10-20 things I am grateful for in each day. My gratitudes range from little things (my fluffy warm robe fresh from the drier, the stranger who opened the door for me) to big things (having loving parents, my body’s mobility) to even some challenging things (the angry cashier who gave me an opportunity to practice tolerance and compassion today, missing the bus so I was forced to take a deep breath and collect my thoughts). When I’m in a good mood I find this list incredibly easy, but for those times of feeling tired, angry, sick, depressed, or very very alone, the gratitude utterly transforms my mood. Another awesome thing that happens with listing gratitudes daily? I start drinking in the blessings throughout my day instead of just passing them by to obsess on the deficits. As Melody Beattie says, “Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns chaos to order and confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.”
Today I want to share with you some of the tools for tapping into the power of gratitude that I teach in my program and in my individual coaching. And while we’re talking gratitude, I want to share how deeply grateful I am that you have spent the time to connect with me here…it means the world to me.
And no, it’s not just the wine talking. ; )xo, Kimberly
“The happiest people don’t have the best of everything.
They just make the best of everything.”
- Author Unknown
6 Ways to Cultivate Gratitude
1. Gratitude Exchange – Start a tradition where you share with another/others your daily or weekly gratitudes. Maybe at bedtime you and your sweetie can list to each other 10 things you’re grateful from your day. Perhaps you end your weekly office meeting by having everybody share one thing you were grateful for in the workplace this week. Or, at dinner each night with the family, everyone could share a unique gratitude from their day.
2. Gratitude Alert – During your work hours set an hourly alert on your cell phone. When it goes off, stop, take a breath, and quickly identify 5 things to be grateful for in this very minute (from your cozy sweater to the laugh of a co-worker to the exhilarating project you’re working on). Breathe deeply into this.
3. “Where’s Waldo” Gratitude – When you feel yourself starting to get frustrated by a person today, look really hard to find some good there and ask these questions: What is unique or amazing about this person? Is there anything I can learn from them (even if it’s what not to do ; )? Can I appreciate what they might be experiencing and open my heart a little to them?
4. Gratitude Meditation – Seated (cross-legged if you can) with your back straight, open your arms widely to the sides and imagine the love and blessings of the world in the air. Powerfully gather them up with your arms and draw them into your center with a big inhale. Do this at least 15 times.
5. Spread the Gratitude – Every day share your appreciation for another with them. Thank the bus driver for being so chipper or write a short email to your Aunt thanking her for something she did for you as a kid that’s stuck with you. We don’t express our gratitude for others enough and it means so much to people (just think how it feels when people tell you how much they appreciate YOU)!
6. Self-Gratitude – Whenever you catch a reflection of yourself today, instead of critiquing and fixing, find something to be thankful for in that reflection. Send love and appreciation to that precious person in the mirror (make sure you wipe the kiss marks off the mirror in public bathrooms ; )
“If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is ‘thank you’, it will be enough.”
– Meister Eckhart
For you are the beloved just as you are.
- Denise Linn
I’ve been watching with curiosity as the coming Valentines Day invokes sheer giddiness in some and downright annoyance or melancholy in others. I’m wondering which end of the spectrum you land in this year?
Personally, I’m not in a romantic relationship right now so the bitter-single-person’s directive tells me I should hate this holiday. I have to admit though…I actually really like Valentines Day. Sure, it’s partly because it gives me a great excuse to drink good red wine and eat expensive dark chocolate on a Tuesday (awesome), but it’s also about getting a day dedicated to the celebration of LOVE – one of the most transforming powers in the world.
However, do you know who we are least likely to share that transforming power of love with on Valentines Day or – let’s be honest – any other day? Got a mirror handy? That’s right, most of us not only don’t love ourselves, we’re positively mean, cold, and ruthless towards ourselves! Think about how you deprive yourself most days at work of decent food or even just a deep breath! Or, how you constantly and silently berate yourself (“That was a stupid thing to say!”, “Why do you look so fat?”, “You’re such a big fake”). How about the way you withhold all joy and validation from yourself until that fabled day when you’ve attained the perfect weight, the perfect amount of money, the perfect purpose, the perfect mate, etc.? This is the way you treat the only person who’s been in your life since your first breath and guaranteed to be with you until your last?!
If you yearn to be accepted and loved by those in your life but that’s not happening as deeply and satisfyingly as you crave, you need to consider two things:
- The way you love yourself models how others should love you. If you’re not connecting, cherishing, or showing true affection to yourself, don’t expect it to come from anywhere else.
- When you haven’t learned to accept and love yourself, it doesn’t matter how much others try to love you, you will never quite believe them and that love will never seem like enough.
Of course like any relationship, learning to accept and deeply love yourself takes commitment and time (it’s a huge part of what I work on with folks in my 6-Week Soul Coaching Program), but as Valentines Day approaches I want you to at least start flirting with the idea. ; ) It begins with stopping and listening when your body is calling out for attention, being kinder with yourself about where you actually are right now versus where you should be, and more often celebrating the uniqueness of you.
So in that vein, I lovingly offer you some simple and practical ways to get this love affair with yourself off the ground…
Instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers, plant and harvest your own garden…
5 Tools for Cultivating Self-love
- Date with Self – A love affair begins with courting. So, schedule in an afternoon or evening to go out and consciously be with your own company. Be sure to get gussied up for yourself… Women, wear something that makes you feel really good and put on your favourite perfume. Men, shave and pull out your best boxers. Take yourself somewhere you’ve been longing to go – that charming café you keep passing, that movie no one but you seems to be dying to see, an art gallery, sky-diving…. Treat yourself to a decadent snack or buy some luscious flowers for yourself. Be on the lookout for experiences that will make you feel pampered and appreciated.
- Mirror, Mirror – After reading this Inspire-letter, I want you to go look at yourself in the mirror and do something other than pick yourself apart. In fact, I want you to look deeply in your eyes and regard that person in the mirror with the same compassion and acceptance you would give a beloved friend or family member who needed your love. Then, I want you to begin telling yourself some of the things you’ve been longing to hear from others in your life. It may feel really awkward and artificial at first, but try and pull every word you say from your heart and gut. You could start with easier stuff like: “You know…you actually have a really nice smile” or “Hey Buddy – I’m proud of you for trying something new…that takes a lot of guts”. As you get more comfortable, you could try things like: “I saw how kind you were to that person today…I really love you for that” or “I know you’re really hurting, Sweetheart…just breathe out and relax. I’ll never leave you.” I recommend trying a minute a day of mirror work for a week. Try not to think of Stuart Smalley. ; )
- Self-Haters be Gone! – Make a list of all the things you’re constantly assaulting yourself over – ie. my nose is ugly, I’m always so poor, I’m not a good dad/daughter/husband/etc, I don’t have enough muscle, I haven’t changed the world, I’m too uptight, I can’t hang onto a mate, I’m a terrible speller. Look at the paper and consider all the crap you endlessly throw at yourself…you wouldn’t talk to your worst enemy like that!! I’ll also bet that a lot of the things on this list are just plain not true or are a result of situations beyond your control. Of course, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to grow beyond these limits, but nobody can grow when they’re constantly being beat up. Start protecting yourself from this hateful behaviour… With great gusto, destroy that piece of paper (rip it up, burn it, stomp it) with the same ferocity as if somebody had written this nasty list about your own child. Tell yourself there’s no room for this kind of hate here!
- Love Song for One – I spent the first part of my life listening to love songs envisioning my future soulmate singing them to me or me singing them to him. Now some of the favourite love songs on my playlist are ones I regard as an ode to myself. When I hear Erasure’s “A Little Respect” and the line “Soul, I hear you calling. Oh baby please give a little respect to me.” I imagine my precious little soul pleading to me to be kinder to it. So, reclaim a romantic song for your relationship with yourself – anything from Pete Townsend’s “Let My Love Open the Door” to Beyonce’s “Halo” to The Cure’s “Friday I’m in Love with You” – and get ready to swoon.
- “Why I’m So Damn Lovable” List – On a nice big clean sheet of paper, start making a list of all the things – big or small, grand or quirky – that are unique and awesome about you. Things like: “I ran my own company at 25”, “I look good in hats”, “I helped nurse that pigeon back to health”, “I can hold my breath for a minute and a half”, “I went to a foreign country with no money and no plan”. Try to come up with 100… Oh come on, you can do it! Have that list handy to pull out and read whenever you start losing sight of why exactly you’re so damn lovable.
In case you haven’t guessed it by now…YOU are the soulmate you’ve been waiting for. Don’t make your precious self wait any longer.
Happy Valentines Day, my Dears!xo, Kimberly
A strange passion is moving in my head.
My heart has become a bird
Which searches the sky.
Every part of me goes in different directions.
Is it really so
That the one I love is everywhere?