Does this seem familiar?

Sometimes I wonder if there are any new ideas… Ok that’s an over simplification. But really, many things in life are theme and variation.  Watch this video for a striking example!

Same four chords. Hits galore.
But do you ever get stuck on putting something out there in the world because it’s already been done?

Recently I’ve been wanting to take this whole blogging thing to another level. Yet, as I receive some of the daily emails from Life Coaches/Motivators/Bloggers-extraordinaire I begin to question: Does the world really need another one?

Listening to that video, I laughed in so many places and was surprised by the number of songs that I enjoyed and would never have linked together like that.  Of course that may be due to my poor musical knowledge, but let’s skim over that shall we!

What sets each song apart, is the same thing that will differentiate what you are doing.  YOU! It’s what you bring to what you are doing.  When you infuse your passion, your heart, your brilliance, your talent, your creativity (perhaps in this example it’s about lyrics versus chords etc), your joy – that’s what resonates with people.

Think of this in another way.  Rainbows.  One is brilliant. Two is… a DOUBLE RAINBOW. Which is way more than doubly awesome!

So go out today, and bring your own version of magic to what’s already been done!  You might just be the next #1 HIT!

Mirror Mirror

Currently, I feel like a bit of a hypocrite.  I use this blog as a forum to share inspiration and positivity, and yet recently I haven’t been practicing what I preach.  I’ve been dwelling in the negative, not thinking with abundance and have been to self-critical.

In order to break out of my funk I do what most people do when they need something.  I talked to my mom.  She has this way of shifting how I’m viewing the world, so I realize that what I’m seeing as problems are easily solved with just a change of thinking.

How do you see yourself?
For the majority of my life I have been either a gymnast or a contemporary dancer.  I am always trying to be perfect: to match someone’s ideals or what the exact image should be/look like.  Just the other day a choreographer I was working with wanted to show us the video of the piece we were going to perform.  Video work is often used in art/sport as a tool for feedback and refinement. I hate it.  I hate seeing myself on the screen.  I dislike mirrors in dance classes.  I prefer to feel things.  When I see myself on video or in a mirror I can only ask myself “Do I really look like that?”, instead of using it as a device to improve.

The trick is – this whole seeing myself issue carries over to other aspects of my life.

I’m here in Oxford, England surrounded by likely some of the most brilliant minds and accomplished people on the planet.  Attending a formal dinner feels like ‘future nobel prize winners’ dinner… seriously!  I often think to myself “one of these things just doesn’t belong here“.

And yet, if I stop and think rationally about it I’m a pretty smart little lady even if I’m not the one currently attending Oxford (Dean’s List in Uni), I was quite accomplished when I was competing (Most Medalled athlete at 98 Commonwealth Games), I was fortunate enough to take some risks and reep some pretty amazing rewards (travelling, working with different dance companies, meeting incredible people).  As it turns out – a lot of the things I admire about other people are things that I have done too!

How do you see yourself now?
The next time I begin to question my value, or I start to diminish my worth and accomplishments I will see myself through someone else’s eyes.  I will imagine how my mother sees me.  I will picture myself through my husband’s love goggles.  I will think of the sweet image my niece has of me, or my best friend.  And if I was a mother I would think of how my children see me – full of love, gratitude, openness, and acceptance.

I’m not saying we should be soft on ourselves, and think everything we do is wonderful.  But a bit of generosity and kindess can enable us to treat OURSELVES as we treat others. Yes you read that right.

Do you ever notice that you forgive others for little things they do.  For being late, for forgetting something.  Like the other night I forgot to turn both knobs on the oven on, and so the lasagna wasn’t cooking.  And because I was not in my happy place, this contributed to me feeling like a failure – simply because we had to wait an extra half hour for dinner… But if my husband would have done it, I would have thought it was no big deal.

We need to show the same compassion for ourselves as we do to those we love (and hopefully to perfect strangers too!)

Perspective creates understanding
As a teacher/coach I have the privilege of guiding other’s to achievement.  The most rewarding aspect is to see what someone is able to overcome.  Knowing someone’s struggles and what they have accomplished in spite of it makes the result seem even greater.  From the outside it may not seem like a big deal but the bunny hill to some is the Everest for others!

See others with this eye of empathy but remember to keep some of that understanding for yourself too!


Not all skies are blue

This post has been on the back burner for a little while… In fact it was inspired my sister-in-law’s father as we skyped on Christmas.  I always love to philosophize with him, and debate ideas/concepts/ways of being/life.  He mentioned that he read my blog periodically and then asked “Do you ever have any bad days?” Amused, I replied of course.  And promised him I would write about/on one of them.


Some days we get up and I’m not even sure what side of the bed it’s on but it seems worse than the bad one!  Some days (like this morning) when all you’re trying to do is love, life gives you pain/hate (for example when my cat bit me this morning as I was petting him).  Some days it feels as if you could take on every bully, danger, demon, or villain that comes your way.  Other days it feels like if someone even looks at you the wrong way you could break.

I’m not sure why that is. Desiderata says “many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness”.  Perhaps it’s because I’m battling a little cold.  Perhaps it’s hormones.  Perhaps it’s because it’s a Thursday. Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps.

We can rarely control what happens to us in life.  Sometimes it’s even difficult to control what we feel.  What we do have power over is how we react to those things.  I’m not saying to swipe away the bad or negative events or emotions, but if we’re not satisfied by those things we must recognize that we can change some components.  And perhaps by doing so the tides begin to change.  Today I decided I had to take command of my poopy feelings; so far I have done a yoga class, told a friend I’d love to chat, and am writing this blog.  Do I feel fantastic. Nope. Not even close. But I laughed and cried in the yoga class.  I’m sure seeing my friend’s adorable baby will remind me of my perspective. And by processing my thoughts and feelings in this blog I begin to work through what’s helpful and let go of what’s not.  I’m sure we all have different coping strategies for days like these (if you’d like to share I’d love to hear them!)

I think a lot of life is a delicate balance.  We must find harmony between our reality (feelings/events) and our desires or what’s best for us.  Before happiness one must find contentment.  I believe that involves a level of acceptance.  Not giving in mind you, but honouring what is in order to let go.  Yet, one must not dwell here…  One of the biggest reasons I write about things that are uplifting, positive, happy and inspiring is because that is what I want my life to be.  I want to be a giant magnet for good. For love. For happiness. For bliss. With all of my thoughts, feelings and actions I attract exactly what I am thinking, feeling and doing.  What do you want to attract to your life?

So David, there you go.  It’s not all sunshine and lollipops.  But even when the skies are grey I know there is a huge rainbow waiting to surprise me just around the corner!


365 Opportunities

Tis the season… you know Champagne, Resolutions, Life-evaluations. That sort of thing.
Since I aspire to those things on an almost daily basis, this will and won’t be one of those kinds of posts.  New Year’s resolutions seem a bit funny to me.  Once a year goals are wayyyyyy to few and far between.  But it does seem like a convenient time to look back at the year that is soon to pass… perhaps it’s because generally speaking we finally have a bit of time off!

I feel that way too.  In fact I did a lovely Gratitude exercise today at the end of my little Yoga Session where thought over everything/one I was thankful for… It has been quite a remarkable year – for myself and my dear husband.  There were many firsts, many moments that took my breath away/made my heart swell/brought tears to my eyes (ok a lot of those!)/and that I learned and grew from!  There are things I never would have imagined – announcing at the Olympics or being in Oxford to name a few!  None the less these opportunities and adventures are what make life so rich and interesting.  Being open to them and listening to the lessons of the universe is what helps me live fully, learn immensely, and feel so deeply!  To be open is one of my missions in life.  (And it is always on top of my resolution list – that is if I had one!)

This year, my wish for you is to OWN YOUR POWER.  You are in charge of your destiny.  You command your happiness.  Each day is an opportunity.  Each moment a choice.  Perhaps this may seem like an over-simplification but I believe if you’re not happy with the choices you have made – the life you are living – you have the power to change that.  You may feel like you don’t have the will power, resources, ability or strength. But you do.  If you look around you, or search the internet you will see incredible people taking charge of their lives.  There’s the old adage: Where there’s a will, there’s a way.  How badly do you want it?  How much do you believe in your dreams?  Do you think you are worth it?

I hope you know that you CAN be everything you ever wanted.  It may not happen over night. It may not happen easily.  But then again, the best things in life never do – do they?!  So keep your dreams close to your heart.  Listen to the universe for clues, signs and support.  This is your year… and even though there are hardships and disasters, disease and misfortune – all around there is also kindness, beauty, love, friendship.  We have a choice with what we focus on.  And in doing so what we attract to our lives.  What do you want to draw to you with magnetic force?

It is our choices, Harry, that show us what we truly are, far more than our abilities.
~ J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets)

What you do speaks so loudly that I cannot hear what you say.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

And so, as this New Year and its 365 days of possibilities hover on the horizon I wish for you a few simple things: love, peace, faith, challenges, opportunities, learning, growth, laughter, triumph and BLISS!  Two questions for you… what’s in your heart? And what are you doing New Year’s Eve?

(I’m having a fun little party a la moi – which means me+Basil+a bottle of bubbly = 2013 here we come!!!)

HAPPY NEW YEAR! Here's to an amazing 2013!

HAPPY NEW YEAR! Here’s to an amazing 2013!

I believe…

Deep within my heart I believe that people are good.  I believe that our nature is one of  peace, hope and love.  One need only look at children to see the innocence and caring they display.  Or how we treat animals, or those who are sick or injured.  Being good to one another simply feels good. Loving creates more love. Generosity creates more giving.

In the aftermath of today’s tragic shooting in Newton, Connecticut it’s easy to become pessimistic and expect the worst in others.  I am in no way trying to downplay the heartache, sorrow, and dispair in regards to the lives that were devastatingly lost; however I urge one and all to remember that one bad apple needn’t spoil the bunch.  During many of the most difficult times in history, there have been numerous touching and beautiful acts which stand out as beacons of light and hope amongst the darkness.  If you need to be reminded about some of the best of these please click on the link below – just maybe grab a tissue first!

Events in 2012 that restored our faith in humanity

Every moment we live is a chance, a choice, an opportunity.  We can plant a seed of goodwill, support one another, be patient and kind, show love and generosity, and inspire others to do the same.  What legacy do you want to leave?

We often diminish our value. People tend to think that their lives are not important, or at least less important than others. We see others and appreciate their intelligence, ability, beauty, accomplishments. Yet what if we saw ourselves through someone else’s eyes?  You are an incredible, powerful, capable, talented, and full of beauty, potential and love kind-of-person!  Be what you want to be. Be the good. Be good to others. And together, let’s create the kind of legacy that doesn’t make people question what kind of people we are – but instead remark what kind people we are!

Tell those you love how much you care for them.  Hug them as often as possible.  Light and love ~ eh.

Give some MO!

As November comes to a close you can see the women of the world a little more jovial and optimistic.  Why? you ask… Well the last day of Movember is upon us, and as a wise man once said: [It’s] A day of much rejoicing and grief all wrapped into one. The ladies cheer and the men shed a tear for the lip fur coats worn at this time of year.  (ps. check out Dave’s Mo Space for his sweet manscaping skills)

I myself am filled with mixed emotions. Pride that my dear husband’s ‘lip fur coat’ is coming on stronger than ever, and relief that it will soon be gone (please no Decembeard).  [Husband Note: at least by the time I’m back! Thanks!]

How convenient that the Boat Race photos were taking during Movember!

This cause is something near and dear to our hearts as Malcolm’s father battled Prostate Cancer.  I know that most of us have known someone closely who have been affected by Cancer. If you’re able I’m asking you to donate whatever you can.  Please feel free to check out Malcolm’s page and donate there (or if you’d prefer go to Dave’s page – the link is above, or even on the Movember site).  Together, we can make a difference!

For more information check out Prostate Cancer Canada!  Thank you for your generosity and support.  My philosophy is: If your Mo can’t be big and full, at least your donation pot can be!

My Mo… putting the boys to shame

What if money didn’t matter?

I often feel a yoyo of emotions regarding this topic…. I feel so very blessed that I have been able to follow my passions and have been able to make a living at it. Although sometimes that living is a struggle and so I question what the appropriate path actually is (what I love versus .  I think the most important aspect of choosing what we want to do is that feeling of fulfillment and joy.  There are ups and downs to every ‘job’.  Even if we’re doing something we love, it is still work and perhaps not every aspect is a rainbow/puppy dog/fairy tale. But in the overall, for me it has to move my soul. Recently I discovered what my MUST HAVES are for a career. I was coaching in BC, and as I worked with a particular group of young women I saw a transformation within them. They started to believe they were capable of anything, they were focused and determined to achieve their goals and they were responsible for achieving them!  It made me realise my passion is helping people become their best self – in whatever capacity that is.

I love sharing my passion for love, happiness, and health.  I know that using that compass as I guide I can never go wrong.  At times I have wondered “does the world really need another yoga teacher/another happiness blog/another positive quote…” But then I thought – if we’ve seen a rainbow once does that mean we never want to see another? Or have another delicious meal? Or dance to another incredible song? Sip a tasty wine? Savour a chocolate? Ok you get the point.

I’m happy to be part of a revolution of sorts… We CAN be the change we want to see in the world. And I am proud to contribute to that with (hopefully) everything I do!  So, the question is What do YOU want to do?

Weathering the Storm

My heart, along with so many others, goes out to the people and communities on the Eastern Coast of Canada and the United States as they face the wrath of Hurricane Sandy.

In times like this it’s hard not to think of the message that the Earth is trying to send us. Recently we’ve experienced a great number of Earthquakes, Hurricanes, Tsunamis… and we are at the mercy of the powerful forces of Mother Nature.  It all feels very humbling to me, and makes me think and question:

  • What do we really have? What do we really need?
  • What is power? What is control?
  • What is our impact/influence on these forces of nature?

A fellow yogi/writer I enjoy David Romanelli wrote “The Native Americans would say that ‘the forces of nature are always in alignment with the Great Spirit’s will‘.” We need to use these situations as wake up calls to what is truly important. I believe all we have is love, and all we need is one another. We need to be good to each another and be good to the Earth.

I’m sending all of my love and good wishes to the people who are on the path of Sandy. Let’s help one another and protect this sacred place in which we live.  In the meantime, here are some storm inspired tunes 😉


Books + covers

A friend shared this article with me recently, and it got me thinking about the concept of “You can’t judge a book by its cover”. 

The article is about just that – not being able to tell about a person’s capabilities by how they look. I appreciate the language they use in it “can’t tell” in lieu of judge. But the issue is – we judge. We compare. We size-up. And why? When I went to a ballet class yesterday (which prompted many likes/comments and the sharing of this article) I did just that. I looked around the room at the pink tights, ballet shoes and buns and thought “oh brother I do not belong here” (with me wearing my lulu running tights, my Morning Crew CrossfitZone Shirt flipped inside out and grey socks!).  I felt the need to explain that I was a modern dancer, and it had been a while since I had taken class. But why? Why in society must we always feel like there is this invisible measuring stick we need to compare ourselves to. Why, in new surroundings, do we immediately check out the situation and see where we fit in?

My psychology classes in University were a while ago, but I believe there is likely something in terms of how our brain processes things that actually facilitates this grouping and comparison phenomena. But if it is in our nature to do this, how can we avoid it?

I aim in my life to be open. That’s why children are often a huge inspiration for me. They don’t enter a room a say to themselves “oh I have a disposable diaper, and she has reusable – I’m a bad person” or “her onesie is soooooo cute, and I’m only wearing this old thing”. They are simply present. Doing their thing, in that particular moment in time.

And can we not take pride in our quirks, in our history, in our uniqueness? One of my favourite lines about this is from an Ani Difranco song called my iqIn it she says “I’ve got highways for stretch marks to see where I’ve grown”  It resonated with me after I ended gymnastics, put on freshman 15++… it resonates with me as I look to my various scars (from knee surgeries/accidents etc)… it resonates me as I touch my husband’s calloused hands.  What some may consider flaws or imperfections I see as a landmarks that tell stories about experiences, hardships, challenges, opportunities and triumphs.

I suppose this all comes together for me to say we should be proud of who we are – in all of our forms.  We need to recognize that each of us is limitless.  Life is challenging enough without imposing “I can’t do this/shouldn’t do that” on ourselves or others!  

That reminds me of a spectacular dancer Jacques Poulin-Denis who I saw perform in Melanie Demer’s Les Angles Morts.  Take a look at this video and be amazed for yourself.

Every thought is a cause and every condition is an effect. Change your thoughts and you change your destiny. — Joseph Murphy

A new kind of tune…

They say humour is one of the hardest things to pull off.  I have to agree. But I also have to say that when someone is able to combine talent AND not take themselves too seriously it’s often a winning combination. I came across this today and it made me smile. I just wish I had some children to sing to…

(The performance begins around 1:30 if you’re in a rush…)