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THE BEAUTY OF THE STORM



"I have seen many storms in my life. Most storms have caught me by surprise, so I had to learn very quickly to look further and understand that I am not capable of controlling the weather, to exercise the art of patience and to respect the fury of nature." - Paulo Coelho

The past week, not surprisingly, had me thinking a lot about storms. Weather storms most certainly, but emotional "life storms" also. For example, do you ever notice that when you're really busy and overwhelmed it's like your body is jacked up on 50 cups of coffee and you just keep moving forward like some impervious tank? Then, once you have a moment to breathe (perhaps you have a day off or have gone away for the weekend), your body crumples up like a frail paper ball and you get sick as a dog?

(Insert nod here)

Yep, me too. I'm convinced that storms, both physical and emotional, pop up from time to time to get us to pay attention, to slow down, to listen. The overwhelmed body that gives you the flu instead of time to get more things off your to-do list is saying, "Hey! Hello! Remember me? I need some help here!" Perhaps even the winter storm that shows up on the day of the big meeting is also telling us something. Maybe it wants us to slow down, pay attention, take a moment to think about what's REALLY important.

For example, when a blizzard showed up in my city last week, instead of being frustrated that traffic was moving slow, I chose to be incredibly grateful that my son's school wasn't far, my fellow drivers were being considerate of one another and that I had a warm and safe home office to return to.

At the end of the day, the challenge is to start seeing these "setbacks" as moments to get quiet, to listen to life and hopefully get in touch with gratitude. In the blur of your busy life, your mix of conflicting emotions and priorities, what is life telling you? If you sit still for a moment, what do you hear? What can you be grateful for?

That's the big question, isn't it?

Wishing you a day filled with calm and purpose.
Anna

#1 THING YOU CAN DO WHEN PEOPLE DON'T "GET" YOU



I'm sure that by now, the picture above has given you a clue. If not, you're too young for this post and will probably not "get" me! Just in case, and with inspiration from Rhett Butler (played by Clarke Gable - one sexy MOFO - in Gone With The Wind), the #1 thing you can do when people don't "get" you:

STOP GIVING A DAMN

That might sound a bit flippant, but hear me out.

Most of our personal suffering stems from a fear of what others think of us. Do we fit in, do we measure up, do we matter, do we seem smart/important/accomplished/successful enough? Here's the real kicker, though: for all of your worrying YOU HAVE NO CONTROL over what others think of you. In fact, others' opinions often have little to do with you and A LOT more to do with how they view themselves. Messed up, but true.

Here's an example. Susan decides she wants to attend a Barre class once a week. She signs up, gulps hard, walks nervously into her first class and...loves it! She loves it so much that, eventually, she starts going twice a week. With all of her new-found energy, she even starts going for a walk each morning before work. Susan is feeling better than she has in a long time and this gives her a lot of confidence. These changes have now influenced other areas of her life: she sleeps better, eats better and finds that she is more focused and productive at work. You would think that, with all of these positive strides, Susan's friends and family would be quick to cheer her on. Stop right there. While some may be on the "you go girl!" train others, sadly, will not. Why? Because Susan's changes will have positively influenced how she sees herself and, due to that, she has boosted her self esteem. When this happens, she becomes less interested in negative chatter, bad habits, sedentary living. The other people her life, however, may not feel so hot about this change. They may be uncomfortable with the "new" Susan who doesn't want to gossip at the water cooler. They may not like it when Susan says "no, I won't be picking up your son's best friend's dog from the vet next Monday - I'll be at my Barre class instead."  Consciously or not, they are quite invested in the "old" Susan and they feel betrayed. Unless Susan is committed to ditching her new-found zest for life, she will have to hope people with eventually come around or, with love, go away. The only thing she can do is continue to make good choices for herself. THAT IS THE ONLY THING SHE CAN CONTROL.

I know, I know. "That's great Anna. I'll be a happy, healthy outcast. F-ing great!" Hang on a second. When this starts to happen, it's actually a good sign! No, really...

As I've said before, real change requires change. If you're not satisfied with something in your life, you can't expect to safely live the way you've been living without any change. That's just...um...insane! While some people may not on board with the new, evolving you, you will find that others gravitate toward you. These people will replace the negative and, before you know it, a whole new tribe of people will emerge to surround you with the support you need. These people will be your people and, when you find them, be sure to treat them like gold - they need you to be part of their supportive new tribe too!

Sharing the journey,
Anna

6 WAYS TO KICKSTART YOUR MOJO FOR A FAB 2017



Ah...a fresh new year. Overwhelming, isn't it? December 31st, drink in hand, this was gonna be your year. You were gonna be a rock star and epic shit was gonna happen. Then, January 1st came. Oh well, better sleep off the the weekend. Things don't really start until Monday, January 2nd, right? Then Monday came and went and you barely hung on as you tried to both catch up and recover from the holidays. So here we are, a few days in and you're feeling a bit defeated already.

Deep breath.

I've either been in that same spot or heard that same story a thousand times. If your "year of awesome" hasn't quite started yet, let me help you with these simple (yet powerful) suggestions. Please remember...you don't need to climb Everest to have an epic year. Small moves lead to big rewards.

Here we go!


1 - FIND SOMETHING YOU LIKE TO DO

Before we begin, let me be clear: I'm not talking about finding your passion or your ultimate purpose in life. For heavens sake, take the pressure off! All you have to do is find something you enjoy doing on a regular basis. Not sure what that might be? Congratulations! By being open to the process and trying new things, you will find out a TON about yourself and will probably be surprised by what you really do and don't like. Booze-laden paint class? Sure! Dancing to Latin hip hop with grown-ass women wearing neon shirts? Sign me up! Visiting art exhibits where everything looks like scribbles from a 4 year old? Why not?!


2 - COMMIT TO ENJOYING YOUR WORK...TODAY

Whether you've landed your dream job or are toiling away at something you hate, you can't change the fact that TODAY, this very day, you are there. Since that's the case, don't harm your mental game by throwing up your hands and taking a victim stance. Show up on time. Arrive alert and ready to take on the day. Avoid the negative chatter. Eat a healthy and hearty lunch. Take a mind-clearing walk. Say something nice to a co-worker. It all adds up.

Don't get me wrong...

If you truly hate your job deep in your bones, you need to make a plan for change ASAP! You will find, however, that it will be nearly impossible to make that change while you're stuck in a negative loop. Give the hours of your life the respect they deserve and you'll find that positive change, whether at your current workplace or a new one, will come together quicker than you expect. Promise.


3 - MAKE A KICK-ASS PLAYLIST (and keep it close!)

Whether you dig Mozart or Metallica, Ricky Martin or The Ramones, Pitbull or...okay, I'll stop there. We all have songs that make us go "hell ya!" Music that makes us want to dance, do something rebellious, shout out loud. Gather at least 12 songs and then, whenever you feel "meh", press play and rock that soul medicine - hard!

Don't forget to give your playlist an awesome name. Some suggestions:
  • Crush It
  • Sanity Saver
  • Oxygen Mask
  • Badass In Charge
  • Own This Town
  • Damn, I Look Good
  • Let's Do This
  • Scream Into My Pillow
  • Gonna Burn This House Down
  • Go To Sleep...Momma Needs a Cocktail
Whoopsie! Got a little real near the end!


4 - SAY "THANK YOU"

It's ridiculously simple, has a huge impact and is often not done enough! This one thing alone could change the game for you. Send out the good karma and it will definitely come back to you in ways you never anticipated. Do it a few times a week, without expectation, and see what happens. Whether via text, email or snail mail, contact at least 1 person and thank them before your head hits the pillow tonight. (Yes, I'm always watching...)


5 - PERFORM RANDOM ACT OF KINDNESS 

Want to give that good karma bank and your mental game an extra boost? Start performing random acts of kindness! Why? Not only does it feel good, it can be scary! Yep, scary, because we don't know how others will react to or receive our gifts. So what, do it anyway! Traveling away from your comfort zone is the only sure-fire way to find the path you should be on.

To be clear, it doesn't have to cost a thing. Elderly neighbour? Shovel his/her driveway. Overwhelmed co-worker? Offer to help. Impressed by someone's art/efforts/accomplishments? Write them a little note and let them know. The more you do, the more you will find joy in the act of doing rather than the expectation of reward. Your brain will start to become so positively focused on opportunities to do good that you will invite all that good right back to you. (I know it all sounds a bit hippie dippy, but this stuff really works!)


6 - JUST DO IT

Not feeling the love yet? That's okay. Fake it 'til you make it! Yes, I said that. If we always wait until we feel like doing something, we may never make a move. Action leads to more action. Something powerful happens when we just DO. Don't overanalyze it, don't overthink it. Just do it. Try the new vegan restaurant down the street. Invite a new co-worker out for coffee. Dare a friend to join you at the gym. Slap on your favourite lipstick before heading out to the grocery store. Again, take the pressure off. You don't need to make a 10-year plan. All you have to do is make an effort to enjoy today, this very day, and the rest will eventually take shape.

2017 THE YEAR WE STRUT


Oh 2017, you have no idea what's heading your way! When we shed expectations, close the door on negativity, create a space for health/wellness/dreams/adventure (without apology), take on big/hairy/audacious goals with confidence and come together for the greater good...whoa! That's a powerful recipe for pure alchemy! It's a strong, unstoppable magic that turns everything it touches into gold. You may not believe it yet - that's okay. I'll believe it for you. When you're ready, I'll be waiting...

Don't miss out! Follow via email (top of sidebar) and feel free to connect via social media as the journey begins.

Wishing you the courage to ditch what keeps you down, release your inner awesome and STRUT.

With enthusiasm and respect,
Anna