Turn on a radio or listen to Songza and you’re sure to hear a song that is about longing for love, finding love, or losing love. Yes, just what we need…more messages telling us that love is something completely outside of ourselves and that we need someone else in order to feel accepted, loved…“complete”.
Well, I say that it’s time to say “screw off” to that disempowering fairytale. The reality is (and in some ways you may be loathed to hear this) that you’re never going to feel truly accepted, loved, and complete until you begin loving yourself.
Right about now you might be thinking, ‘Yeah, yeah…self-love…blah, blah, blah’, but after many years coaching folks from every walk of life, I’ve found this to be one of those universal truths…if 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 their love will never seem like enough.
Now the path to self-acceptance and self-love can be a long and demanding one requiring courageous exploration and new approaches, but you can take a step down that path TODAY with one simple and fun tool…claiming one of those aforementioned love songs for your relationship with your self!
See, I don’t know about you, but I spent the first part of my life listening to romantic songs envisioning my soul-mate singing it to me or me singing it to them. Now, though, some of the favorite love songs on my playlist are ones that have become an ode to myself. For example, 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 little soul pleading to me to be kinder to it.
So, let’s find you a song that your precious self would love to have sung to it – anything from soft and sweeping ballads like “Have I Told You Lately That I Love You” by Van Morrison, “At Last” by Etta James, or Cyndi Lauper’s “True Colors” to heart-pumping tunes like Guns and Roses’ “Sweet Child O Mine”, Rihanna’s “We Found Love”, or “Wild Thing” by The Troggs. Once you’ve claimed your song, play it at least once a day over this next week and envision singing this song to your self…make sure to really drink it in.
If nothing comes to mind immediately for you, here are some websites to help you find “your song”.
Old school love songs: http://stereogum.com/4607/the_100_greatest_love_songs_according_to_the_ny_da/list
Songs a little more off the beaten path: http://www.nerve.com/music/best-love-songs-of-all-time
If you’re needing some auditory inspiration, this site allows you to listen to the songs right in the list: http://www.timeout.com/newyork/music/50-best-love-songs
***And I’d love to hear what you choose as your love song to your self, so please come share over on my Facebook Page!
Alright, M’Dear, get stoking that love affair with your sweet self!
“We’re waiting for a ship to come in that never went out.”
– Luci Swindoll
LIFE REBOOT PROGRAM
This inspiring, practical, and daring body/mind/spirit program combines DAILY work for 7 weeks (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 ignite your next SPECTACULAR chapter!
TUESDAY Toronto Program
begins Sept. 16 – runs daily for 7 weeks
8 in-person workshops – Tues. Evenings
WEDNESDAY Toronto Program
begins Sept. 17 – runs daily for 7 weeks
8 in-person workshops – Wed. Evenings
“What can’t come through you, can’t come to you. When you are filled with love within, you tend to draw in experiences and relationships that are loving and nurturing.”
– Katherine Woodward Thomas
Here’s one of my love songs to myself that I mentioned…enjoy!
It’s undeniable that when we have a sense of purpose or mission in our life we tend to live more passionately, feel more fulfilled, and affect the world around us more powerfully. As Eileen Caddy, founder of the Findhorn EcoVillage said:
“A soul without a high aim is like a ship without a rudder.”
All the talk these days, though, of finding one’s “life purpose” has left a lot of people feeling like big ol’ losers for not managing to “locate” their great purpose yet. They wait for the magical day when the clouds will part and a lightning bolt will deliver the truth of their life purpose, the perfect career to go along with it, and everything will finally fall into place.
Well, I have a secret to share that could get me arrested by the New Age Police… Life purpose isn’t often found in a sweeping epiphany. Instead it gets identified and cultivated through the hard work of life experience and self-reflection. I also believe the way you manifest this purpose will most likely evolve and change many times throughout your life AND won’t necessarily be how you make your living.
However, you can powerfully begin today to explore and cultivate your life purpose by writing a “mission statement”. I wrote my first mission statement about 12 years ago and it changed the course of my life. I had been going in so many directions energetically that I wasn’t really doing anything all the way. My mission statement was not about what title I wanted to attain or role I had learned to play, but instead it declared how I wanted to show up in my life — what qualities I wanted to realize in myself and the world. It was an exploration of how I wanted to apply my inner truth to my outer world.
My mission statement became like a precision laser in my life – cutting away that which did not serve my purpose and continually putting the focus on my soul’s intention. In just over a decade, my mission statement has transformed my energy and many aspects of my life and continues to inspire my daily steps. I have rewritten my mission statement (shared at the end for those curious) a few times over the years and will continue to do so because it keeps my life path alive and glistening.
If you’re looking to have more purpose activated in your life, don’t wait for some mystical unveiling. Grab a pen and paper and use the exercises below to help you start crafting your mission statement. As Howard Thurman said…
“Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and go do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”xo, Kimberly
P.S. If you’re longing to redefine yourself and your direction or activate your sense of purpose, my LIFE REBOOT Program is a perfect mission igniter! Check out my May LIFE REBOOT Program in Toronto starting May 27.
1. Take Stock – To get some clues to what elements could form your mission statement, answer these questions:
– What unique or awesome qualities, talents or background do you like most about yourself?
– What do you love to do that comes naturally to you? (If you have trouble with this, think about the activities you do in which you feel really in alignment)
– What is your idea of a perfect world (for you, for others, for the planet)?
2. Crafting – Experiment with how you could combine items from the three different categories above for maximum effectiveness. In other words, how can you use your favorite abilities, characteristics, and attributes in activities you feel drawn to in order to cultivate your vision of the best world? Start crafting your mission statement from there. It can be as short as two words (ie. Be present) or longer and more specific (ie. Using my enthusiasm for nature to inspire green lifestyles in the world around me).
A word of warning… It can sometimes be very limiting to attach your mission solely to one job, talent, ambition, or role. For example, if you say your mission is “To be a good parent to my son”, you could find yourself completely lost when your kid gets to a stage where he wants nothing to do with you. However, a mission like “To playfully nurture growth in myself and others” can be expressed at any age and anywhere from a family picnic to Facebook to running a business. Also, be mindful that your mission statement isn’t coming from a place of guilt, need for approval or prestige, or childhood programming, but instead from your most centered and expansive self.
Examples of Mission Statements:
– To uphold truth and justice with a sense of humanness and humor
– To love and be loved
– To use performance and laughter to cultivate joy in this world
– To surrender and live in the mystery.
– To help abused women find their power through financial mastery
– To wake up myself and others
– To bring warmth and compassion to unlikely places
– To use my power as a writer and influencer to help end animal suffering
Your mission statement might come in a rush of sudden inspiration, or you can just keep coming back to it and refining it over the next few days or weeks. You’ll know you’ve got it right when it feels just amazing to say it…when you feel expansive and rooted all at the same time.
3. Declare It – Once you’ve nailed your mission statement, energize it by posting it all around your environments and sharing it with those close to you. Start weighing your daily decisions against your mission statement.
Oh and in case you are curious, my current mission statement…
Using compassion, authenticity, humor, style, and soul to wake the consciousness, love, power, and joy in myself and others, and create a kinder, healthier, and more vibrant world.
***Now, I’d love to hear yours! The sharing is happening over here on my Facebook Page!
“Find out who you are & do it on purpose.” – Dolly Parton
TORONTO GRAD CIRCLES
Small workshops for grads of my programs:
Wed., May 14, 2014 – Cultivating JOY
Thurs., May 15, 2014 – Cultivating JOY – sold-out
8 people maximum – $40 – please email me to register.
* This month’s Grad Circles are open for grads to bring a guest! If you have been looking for a good way to introduce your brother/spouse/best friend/mom/etc. to my workshops, this is an ideal opportunity!
LIFE REBOOT PROGRAM
This inspiring, practical, and sometimes rowdy body/mind/spirit program combines DAILY work for 7 weeks (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 ignite your next SPECTACULAR chapter!
TUESDAY Toronto Program
begins May 27 – runs daily for 7 weeks
8 in-person workshops – Tues. Evenings
Creativity is not a talent; it’s a way of operating.– John Cleese
Hello Creative Being!
I hear people say far too often: “I don’t have a creative bone in my body”
. They see creativity as this mystical energy reserved for a handful of poets, painters, and dancers. My answer to this…B.S.!!
We’re ALL creative people…we’re creating our lives every day! And cultivating even more creativity might be just the key you need to take your work or personal life to the next level. Research has shown that those who succeed in business often have a high level of creativity, and Harvard psychology professor Ruth Richards says that engaging in creative behaviors makes us more conscious, dynamic, open, observant, collaborative and courageous.
The best thing is you don’t have to become a full-time sculptor, join a drum circle, or move to Paris to cultivate creativity (although all of those would be AWESOME)… You can start sparking your creativity in your everyday life through even the most mundane activities, like cooking or making a business presentation or getting dressed. Creativity is about exploring and expressing who you are and your feelings about life through some sort of medium, whether that medium is gardening, rapping, jewellery, or journaling.
So, this week I’m going to challenge you to do an experiment… Each day I want you to try and add a creative flair to something you do regularly. I’m going to help you jump-start this mission with a bunch of simple ideas below on how to bring juicy creativity into your everyday life.
Creativity is one of the most effective ways to come ALIVE in this life, so let’s bring on the creativity injections!!xo, Kimberly
“Every child is an artist, the problem is staying an artist when you grow up.”– Pablo Picasso
2. Check into your strongest feeling today, put on a song that reflects that feeling, and dance it out!
3. Have a 5-minute brainstorm session for names of that project or business you’ve been wanting to grow.
4. Dress with a creative twist – maybe there’s a vibrant scarf you could turn into a skirt or some vintage cufflinks you could add to a modern jacket.
5. Compose your next email using multiple colors and fonts.
6. Do some cloud gazing and see what images you can find (looking at clouds…not just for children!)
7. Try answering the phone with a different greeting for every call today. Extra points for being a little naughty!
8. For dinner tonight, arrange the food on the plates creatively.
9. Write a short story about something that happened in your day.
10. Start your presentation at a business meeting with an interactive exercise.
11. Get that old guitar/drum/tuba out and just do a little playing around.
12. Take an object and break it into parts…whether that be an old cell phone, an acorn, or an engine.
13. Doodle a feeling: tune into what you’re feeling in the moment and draw a visual representation of it.
14. Ask yourself a question and then brainstorm a list of at least 10 answers.
15. Do an interpretive dance to tell someone a story (maybe don’t try this with your boss).
* Keep reading to the end for 8 websites that will help spark your creativity
“Remind yourself that this moment is not merely happening to you. It is happening through you.”– Ralph Marston
Kimberly on Green Majority Radio
Friday, Feb. 21, 2014
Listen at 89.5 FM in Toronto or online.
Kimberly will join Green Majority Radio Host Daryn Caister to talk about approaching activism from a body/mind/spirit perspective.
My favourite author around the topic of creativity is SARK (Susan Ariel Rainbow Kennedy) and any of her books – Inspiration Sandwich, A Creative Companion, or Living Juicy…are guaranteed life creativity injectors: http://planetsark.com/buy-stuff/sark-books.
That’s right, your book spark is from SARK…and I just exercised my poetic creativity!
8 WEBSITES TO HELP SPARK YOUR EVERYDAY CREATIVITY
Make Beliefs Comix – Create your own comics strips online: http://www.makebeliefscomix.com
The Creativity Post – Non-Profit site featuring fascinating content on creativity, innovation, and imagination: http://www.creativitypost.com
Crank It Up – Compose and record multi-layered rhythms using samples featured on-screen and on your keyboard. It’s a site supposedly for kids ;), but can be a nice little time-out for anybody: http://pbskids.org/arthur/games/crankitup/crankitup.html
Creativation Space – Get visual inspiration from artists around the world: http://www.creativationspace.com
99U – Daily insights on creativity, productivity, and making ideas happen: http://99u.com
Shidonni – Draw animals online, give them names and design backgrounds for imaginary worlds: www2.shidonni.com
Ted Talks – Short videos of world-class speakers on creativity and innovation: http://www.ted.com
PSFK – Creative product and business ideas that inspire: http://www.psfk.com
If you’ve made it this far, here’s a song and video to give you a nice little creativity injection. Yael Naim’s New Soul
“Lighten up while you still can…”
– The Eagles, “Take It Easy”
My Precious Peeps!
We are in the thick of holiday season and according to the endless loop of festive songs on the radio and in stores, you should be oozing with joy, peace, and light right about now. So…how’s that working out for you?
Yes, between the darkness of winter, the financial demands of Christmas, and the exhaustion from increased social demands, it wouldn’t be surprising if you’re actually finding yourself feeling decidedly serious and un-festive right about now. This feeling might even be the culmination of a whole year of taking on too much, making everything into a huge super-serious deal, and feeling generally weighed down by life. Well, not only is this a recipe for an anxious and cranky state, but for eventual total burnout. Fortunately, I have an immediate emergency prescription for this state: Lighten the Hell Up.
Don’t get me wrong… I applaud focus and drive, but sometimes you’ve just got to take an afternoon nap. I’m one to encourage really sitting with your pain to explore and heal it, but I also think you sometimes need to watch a silly comedy and have a big belly laugh. I admire how living with purpose can move mountains, but how about taking a nice leisurely walk through those mountains once in awhile?
I’ve observed that life and the world as a whole is richest when we can balance work and play, effort and surrender, seriousness and humour, exertion and rest. So, if your life is full of gravity and woefully short on the lightness half of the equation, check out my hints on how to start lightening up right here and now. Then, start implementing one lightening up activity per day immediately. Do it for the sake of cultivating joy, peace, and light not only in your holidays but your whole year ahead.xo, Kimberly
P.S. The most powerful way to find balance in your life for 2014 would be to do give yourself a LIFE REBOOT! My 7-week daily program will help you reset your life and balance your body, mind, and spirit. My next Toronto Life Reboot Programs start Jan. 14 and my Life Reboot Online/Tele-Program begins Jan. 13.
P.P.S. I’m aspiring to do more lightening up myself, so I took a nap in the middle of composing this blog. ; )
“A light heart lives long.”
– William Shakespeare
15 Ways to Lighten Up
1. Read the Comics – Once a week, bypass the headlines and go for the comics! When was the last time you read Calvin or Hobbes or picked up an Archie Digest? Probably when you were little and carefree and laughed a helluva lot more. If you don’t get a newspaper, here’s your online fix: http://www.gocomics.com/explore/comics
2. Let It Go – Once per day resist the need to make it “perfect”, the urge to criticize somebody or something, or the need to be right. Just one tiny time per day try to LET GO…you’re giving yourself and the people around you a headache. : p
4. Tickle Fight! – Start declaring tickle fights today! The more tense or boring the situation is, the more tickle intensity needed!
5. Dash of Irreverence – What if you interrupted that worry loop that weighs you down? On a sheet of paper write down 5-10 things causing you anxiety or shame. Then, beside each one write beside in thick black marker: “SO F*CKING WHAT?” (except no asterisks in your version ; ). By the way, it feels SO much better to also say it out loud as you write it. You could even use this as a silent saucy mantra to invoke for the rest of your week if you start feeling way too uptight about something.
6. Somersault – When was the last time you did a somersault? Do one today. Better yet…do multiple ones down a hill! If you’re one of those fancy-pants people, you could do a cartwheel instead (says the bitter girl who can’t do a cartwheel).
7. Lighten Your Load – I’m afraid to break it to you, but the world won’t stop if you’re not at the helm. Say “no” one more time per day this week than you regularly would, delegate to others, and then partake in #8…
8. Play Hooky – Take an afternoon, hour, or even just five minutes off today to do something completely unproductive. Watch videos of babies laughing, go bowling, have a hot bath in the middle of the day, phone up a fave friend for a 10-minute convo…anything that breaks you out of Seriousville even for a few moments.
9. Let It All Hang Out – Maybe you can’t lighten up because you’re wearing too many clothes! Turn up the heat in your place, peel off the parka and the toque and walk around naked as a jaybird for the evening.
10. Belly Laugh – Laughter immediately lightens the soul, so a deep belly laugh is lightening gold! Get a group of people (ie. family, roommates, book club) to all lie on the floor in a circle with each person placing their head on the belly of the person to the right of them. One person begins the laughing process (fake it if you need to) and once one stomach starts to jiggle under another’s head, a belly-laugh-wildfire will commence.
11. Swivel Out of Your Worry – Move your hips and speak seductively while talking about what’s worrying you right now.
12. Unloading – This one take a bit of prep, but it is very satisfying… Put a bunch of old tennis balls in a backpack and try running with that on. Then, open the zipper on the backpack and as you’re running grab one tennis ball at a time and throw it with great gusto as far away from you as you can until your backpack is empty. This also makes the dogs in the neighbourhood very happy!
14. Phone Games – Every time your phone rings today, answer it a different way. Bonus points for using funny voices.
15. Dance Break – Feeling heavy? Put on a high-octane song and literally shake off the overwhelm, stress, or blues. Think of the emotional heaviness as something tangible that’s literally weighing you down and with great gusto shake it off of you… shimmy it out, pull it off, stomp it down!
“Now and then it’s good to pause in our pursuit of happiness and just be happy.”
– Guillaume Apollinaire
Toronto Grad Circles
Small workshops for grads of my programs:
Wed., Jan. 8, 2014 – Igniting 2014
Life Reboot Programs
This inspiring, practical, and sometimes rowdy body/mind/spirit program combines DAILY work for 7 weeks (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 ignite your next MAGNIFICENT chapter!
TUESDAY Toronto Program
begins Jan. 14 – runs daily for 7 weeks
8 in-person workshops – Tues. Evenings
WEDNESDAY Toronto Program
begins Jan. 15 – runs daily for 7 weeks
8 in-person workshops – Wed. Evenings
begins Jan. 13 – runs daily for 7 weeks
8 phone workshops – Mon. Evenings
The kind of To Do List we should all aspire to…
If you’ve made it this far, I want to bring you full circle to “Take It Easy”…
“Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.”
– Jim Rohn
Hello Beautiful Being!
Have you happened to notice today that you’re a body and not just a racing mind? If you haven’t, I want you to stop right now and draw a great big expansive breath into that magnificent bod of yours… Ah yes — that’s better. : )
I spent the first part of my life living in my head and tragically detached from my body. This was partly because I didn’t like my body (I let myself be convinced that it wasn’t “good enough”), but mostly because I was taught by the world around me to value thinking over being. I was so preoccupied with the mental wheels turning that I let my body go numb. Sure I got shit done, but this robotic state thoroughly robbed me of the sensual experience of life…the richness of this world that can only be experienced through our senses courtesy of our bodies.
And I’m certainly not the only one… We are a society of people divorced from our bodies. And not only does this have us missing out on life’s sensual delights, but it also has us too disconnected to hear the important messages our bodies are constantly sending us to cultivate our well-being.
Our bodies start by talking with us gently hoping we’re listening – a slight ache, a wave of calm while stretching, a bit of indigestion after eating particular type of food, a surge of euphoria from exercise, a subtle fatigue that comes over you when you spend time with a particular person. However, if you’re not listening and don’t respond to these cues, your body will get increasingly more serious and insistent in getting your attention – sickness, sprains, fat, dehydration, disease, and depression. Psychologist Geoffrey Norman was bang-on when he said, “A lot of what passes for depression these days is nothing more than a body saying that it needs work.”
You see, it’s hard for your life to IGNITE when you’re weighed down with a body that is exhausted, rigid, overwhelmed with chemicals, or numb. So, if you long for a more fulfilling life, you’ve got start engaging and nurturing the vessel that allows you to experience that life.
In the last decade, I’ve chipped away at this reconnection to my physicality – through yoga and deep breathing, by listening to and quickly acting on messages from my body, by trying to let go of constant thinking, through being in nature, and by showing gratitude for the miracle my body actually is. There are still days when I go on auto-pilot and desert my poor, wonderful little bod, but for the most part I can say I am finally pretty “at home” in this temple of mine.
So, today, how about getting out of your head and back into your body?! Below you’ll find 7 quick and easy ways to start reconnecting to your precious body, including a visualization of mine you can download for FREE.
Come home to your body, Dear One!xo, Kimberly
P.S. My LIFE REBOOT PROGRAM is all about bringing you home to your true self through body, mind, spirit, and heart and then creating an amazing next life chapter from that place. Every day for 7 weeks, you will be learning and practicing new tools to break through anything keeping you stuck in your life and to cultivate a future full of joy, power, peace, meaning, and love. My last Life Reboot Program of 2013 starts Oct. 16 in Toronto and my early bird rate is still on until Oct. 9! (Click here to find out how so many other awesome folks’ lives have changed doing my programs.)
7 INSTA-WAYS TO RECONNECT WITH YOUR BODY
1. Dialogue with Your Body – If you’ve been ignoring your body, here’s a 10 minute visualization to connect to your body and find out what it has to say firsthand… CLICK HERE TO LISTEN OR DOWNLOAD.
2. Respond to Your Body – Write down any information or action steps your body recommended in the visualization. Initiate one of those steps TODAY. So, turn down the music in your iPod if that’s what your ears asked you to do, get that hug your heart is yearning for, or walk barefoot if that’s what your feet said they longed for.
3. Stretch Breaks – Set an hourly alert on your smartphone, watch, or computer to remind you to take a big stretch. When it goes off, stop whatever you’re doing and very simply clasp your hands above your head or behind your back, stretch out from there, breathe deeply into all corners of your body, and feel your consciousness drop out of your head and into your body. Let go of the stretch with a nice big sigh.
4. Body Care – Are there any health appointments (doctor, dentist, physio, colonoscopy, audiologist, etc.) you’ve been putting off? Make that appointment TODAY.
5. Feed or Rob? -Take a moment before all your choices today to tune in and see how your body responds to this direction by asking yourself: does this feed or rob my body? For example, some days a nap is exactly what your body needs, and other days it’s an unhealthy escape that dulls your energy. So, if you’re thinking about a nap, check-in and ask your body if this would feed or rob it. *The important piece is that you actually TAKE the direction your body gives you, otherwise it will eventually stop trying to help your sorry ass!
6. Massage it Up! – Book a massage with a pro. If you can’t afford one, get a loved one to give you a hand or foot massage or go to a yoga class for self-massage. “Restorative” and “Gentle” classes are the best for this.
7. Follow Direction – Today when your body begins feeling thirsty, get water immediately. If your shoulders are tense, roll them out. If you have to pee, don’t put it off for another two hours (you know what I’m talkin’ about!) Let your body be the boss today — when it gives you direction, hop to it!
“Our bodies are the hosts of our great spirits and the home of our grand souls. They house the vastness of the life force that moves in and through us, and grant us the gift of life itself. To relate to them as anything less than this miracle is a distortion of who and what we are.” – Katherine Woodward Thomas
Starting Oct. 16 in Toronto, this inspiring, practical, and occasionally rowdy body/mind/spirit program combines DAILY work for 7 weeks (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 Oct. 9. Get ready to create space for you next SPECTACULAR chapter!
WEDNESDAY Toronto Program
begins Oct. 16 – runs daily for 7 weeks
8 in-person workshops – Wed. Evenings
If you’ve made it this far, I want to leave you with a song to celebrate that awesome bod of yours!
Hello Precious Peeps!
Who here feels like summer is passing by in a heartbeat?!
Well, maybe you can blame that on summer’s late start or the so-so weather, but then is it also possible that you haven’t managed to create enough SPACE in your days and life this summer?
These are supposed to be the lazy crazy hazy days of summer, yet I’m going to bet that many of you barely have room to breathe in your life right now, never mind be lazy and crazy.
And you would come by this life suffocation honestly… We live in a society that demands a lot of DOING but not a whole lot of BEING. We’re encouraged to cram our calendars to the brink, banish silence from our environments, and hold up multitasking as the ideal. (I’ll tell you a secret about multitasking: when you’re doing a bunch of things at once, you’re not really present for ANY of them.)
Also, modern technology, as useful as it can be, is seriously strangling any last vestiges of space in our lives. All the natural pauses and breaths we used to have built into our day like walking to work, waiting for the kettle to boil, or standing on an elevator are now filled with texting, mobile conversations, and checking email. We’ve gotten so addicted to constant stimulation and busyness that many of us actually feel deeply uncomfortable with space and silence, and we end up doing our damndest to fill it up any little space that comes our way.
Yet space is exactly what we need in order to truly reconnect to ourselves, the world around us, and tune into the richness of our life. Without it, we are robbing ourselves of much of life’s juice.
“I am here alone for the first time in weeks, to take up my “real” life again at last. That is what is strange — that friends, even passionate love, are not my real life unless there is time alone in which to explore and to discover what is happening or has happened.” – May Sarton
So, let’s start tangibly creating more space TODAY.
First, see how you score in the short quiz below about space-filling habits. Then, if you find you need some work in this department, I follow up the quiz with 10 simple and immediate space-creating activities.
Before any of that though, do me/you a favor right now: STOP whatever you’re doing and take a big luxurious BREATH!………………(Remember, I can see if you don’t do it! ; ) Then, raise your arms up, clasp your hands and take a nice opening STRETCH – widen that diaphragm, open that chest, and give yourself a big sigh out. Doesn’t that spaciousness feel delicious? See, when you have breath, you have life.
Wishing you beautiful breathing room today, Dear Ones!xo, Kimberly
“You don’t even need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Don’t even listen, simply wait. Don’t even wait, just be still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked. It has no choice. It will roll in ecstasy at your feet.” – Kafka
How do you fill up space in your life? Here’s a look at the objects, habits, and thoughts with which we compulsively fill up space. Please count the ones that apply to you (count it if it is MOSTLY true).
1. My home environment is filled with a lot of knick-knacks and clutter.
2. I always tend to have the tv, radio, or music on in the background at home.
3. I am constantly checking texts or emails.
4. When someone else is in a space with me, I feel compelled to fill up the silence with chatter.
5. I tend to over-schedule my weekends.
6. I am constantly planning a few steps ahead in my mind.
7. I eat the majority of my meals in front of the tv or computer.
8. I am constantly “on the go” and use terms like “I don’t have a second to breathe”, “Life is insane”, “I’m so stressed!”
9. I spend a lot of time replaying past happenings in my mind.
10. I often catch myself with my shoulders clenched up towards my ears.
11. I rarely just sit and take in what is happening around me.
12. I find myself snacking a lot out of boredom or anxiety.
13. In conversations I often tune out of what the other is saying to figure out what I’ll say next.
14. I use drinks, cigarettes or drugs to deal with negative feelings or to make things more interesting.
15. I’m always reading, listening to music, or playing games when traveling via transit.
16. I have clothes in my closet that I haven’t worn in more than two years.
17. I avoid meditating.
18. When I walk from point A to point B, I am often talking on the phone.
19. I can go for days before taking a deep breath.
20. When I’m alone or when it is quiet, I feel uneasy.
If you circled:
– 0-5 – You’re doing pretty damn well with cultivating some space in your life…yay!
– 6-10 – You are a product of our space-filling society, but still hanging on to some breathing room
– 11-15 – You’re in the “big squeeze” space-wise
– 16-20 – You’re starting to energetically asphyxiate!
1. Breath Breaks – Set an hourly alert on your smartphone, watch, or computer during your waking hours to remind you to take “breath breaks”. When the alert goes off, immediately stop, take in a deep breath, and savor the air and spaciousness being drawn into your body. Your breath is one of the most convenient but effective tools for connecting to yourself, the moment, and expanding your energy.
2. True Listening – Have a conversation each day in which you mostly listen and try your best not to let your mind wander, judge, or pre-plan what to say next (you KNOW what I’m talking about ; ). Really tune into the other person and try to breath out any discomfort around not filling the space with words.
3. Internet-Free Zone – With smartphones and tablets, going online has never been easier and more tempting. Try declaring an internet-free zone daily — perhaps after dinner or at least in the hour before bedtime.
4. Stretching – Take 2 minutes in the morning or during your work day to do some simple stretching to open up more space in your body. Doing a yoga class three times a week takes your body’s spaciousness to a whole other level!
5. Making a Meal Of It – Eat one meal per day at a table with no distractions. ie. no TV, reading, or surfing the net.
6. Space Clearing – Declutter a very small area… I’m talking a desk drawer, car glove compartment, bathroom medicine cabinet, purse or wallet. Choose something you can clear to completion within 15 minutes.
7. Take your Schedule Back – Look at your calendar and choose one commitment you could cancel to allow a little extra breathing room this week. If you feel resistant to this, ask yourself: Is it more important for me to show up to everything or for me to show up to select things feeling centered and present?
8. Space in the Ringtone – Zen teacher Thich Nhat Hanh (who is in Toronto this week, btw!) uses answering the telephone as a way to create space. He teaches that when your phone rings, to just wait, breathe in and out and then slowly go to pick it up so that you are at ease when you answer. This energy may even help create space in the person on the other end of the line.
9. Snack Brakes – Before unconsciously grabbing a snack, take a deep breath and tune into what your body is truly yearning for.
10. Silence – Choose a few hours this week to have a morning, afternoon, or evening of silence — no talking, no television, no music, not even any texting or emailing. Put it in your calendar and honor that appointment like your sanity depended on it…because it kinda does.
“The Warrior is not afraid of space. The coward lives in constant terror of space: afraid of darkness because he can’t see anything, afraid of silence because he can’t hear anything. The setting-sun world teaches you to wear a suit of armor to protect yourself. But what are you protecting yourself from? Space. The challenge of warriorship is to step out of the cocoon, to step out into space, by being brave and at the same time gentle.” – Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche
If you’ve made it this far, I want to leave you with a song to inspire you to create some space for these Lazy Crazy Hazy Days of Summer!
“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.
“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
NEWS for June 2013
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 Paris or Bali 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, almost a hundred 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. Five 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!
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
“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.
“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
It’s September and “back-to-school” time. This is perfect time to ride the energetic wave of “new beginnings” towards your own big goals even if the “first day of school” is many decades past.
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 current 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 current 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 September yet!xo, Kimberly
To change one’s life: Start immediately. Do it flamboyantly. No exceptions.
– William James
To REALLY Light the Fire Under Your Butt…
This inspiring, practical, and daring body/mind/spirit program combines DAILY work for 7 weeks (powerful audio recordings, exercises, & email check-ins to create shifts on a tangible real-life level) with intimate and exhilarating weekly workshops (8 people maximum) that will center, heal, and power up both your personal and professional life. Get ready to ignite your next SPECTACULAR chapter!
Life Reboot ONLINE/TELE-Program
begins Sept. 22 – runs daily for 7 weeks
8 phone workshops – Mon. Evenings
TORONTO Life Reboot Program
begins Sept. 23 – runs daily for 7 weeks
8 in-person workshops – Tues. Evenings
“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 week day (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 7-Week Life Reboot 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?