What would be possible if you approached the world the way a toddler does?
I had a chance today to sit and do my writing in a coffee shop (normally I write at my kitchen table watching as the sun comes up). And right across from me is a little girl and her dad. The little girl looks like she is about 2 and her sweetness really catches your eye.
Just imagine this – she is sitting at a chair with her head just high enough over the table that she can reach her plate. Her plate has a muffin on it that is, honestly, about as big as her head!
While her dad walked a few steps away to get something else for them, she picked up and began to examine the muffin – clearly trying to figure out how to tackle something so yummy looking and yet not knowing what might work the best. Do you start where walnuts are studded across the top? Or at the bottom where it looks easier to take a bite, or maybe around the edge, just nibbling all the way around? Suddenly she moved in and took her first bite! The smile on her face was infectious! Such joy at the first taste. But then she kept trying new things – one bite here, one there. Was one way better than another?
Beyond a cute small person, what I saw was a person who was motivated to succeed (that muffin looks delish), was prepared to examine the situation (the muffin) from all sides, and had no fear about trying one thing and then another (one bite here, one bite there, and so on!) to reach her goal.
What if we all did that? Approached new things from a place of curiosity rather than fear?
We know that fear of failure is the #1 killer of grand plans and good ideas.
When has fear most recently gotten in your way?
I know that most recently fear has prevented me from reaching out to some experts in my field to get their perspective on my coaching practice, and has prevented me from actually setting the date for my upcoming 3-month course…because, what if no one registers???
But what if I (and you) were to take some lessons from the toddler across from me?
I don’t know exactly what will happen, but if I try and fail, I will probably have learned something that I can use to do differently next time - kind of like "failing forward".
What about you?
Comment below and share with me the one thing that you’ll try using the small girl as a catalyst! I commit that I’ll reply back with the one thing I tried that day or week too!
To your bravest you!
I’ll never forget the day I burst into tears when I was asked the simple question, “What’s for dinner, Mom?”
You can only imagine the look on my child’s face when she saw my reaction. And I suddenly found myself sobbing while sitting on the ground, my daughter trying to comfort me.
What had happened? Something terrible? Something unspeakable?
From the outside, I had a perfect life. A supportive spouse, two amazing kids, a beautiful house, a good job.
But I had reached a point of exhaustion. Trying to keep up with all the expectations I’d layered on myself. And then I made things even worse by layering shame and guilt on top of the exhaustion – because why couldn’t I manage as well as or better than everyone else I knew?
Fast forward some time and reflection…
Since then I have realized that I was also suffering from something else – something completely human – called “Decision Fatigue”. My job, home life, parenting, being a partner, owning a small business – it was all filled with decisions to be made. All day every day, and that day I just fell apart.
Ever heard of or experienced decision fatigue? While I don’t always refer to Wikipedia, I thought their page on decision fatigue was useful.
Essentially, humans have a limited ability to make decisions each day, and when your life requires that you make decision after decision, both big and small (if you’ve ever shopped in the cereal or yogurt aisle you know about too many small decisions :) ) it is easy to end up experiencing a decision exhaustion, which ironically can end up resulting in things like:
To limit your risk of decision fatigue, take these relatively easy ideas from some successful others (e.g. Steve Jobs and Barack Obama) and see where you can make less decisions:
I hope that this info helps you as much as it did me when I first heard about decision fatigue. It is one of the things that helped me to springboard into a simpler life. I’d love to hear your thoughts.
PS. At the end of my summer holidays, I had a chance to listen to a speaker whose blog I have grown to love.
I was really excited to learn that Courtney Carver from Be More With Less was going to be in Victoria BC on her Tiny Wardrobe Tour while I was there as well!
She was talking about her Project 333 Challenge – where people are challenged to have 33 items or less in their wardrobe for 3 months, including all clothing, jewelry, accessories AND shoes, with a full shopping ban on fashion for the 3 months.
(NOTE: this doesn’t include underwear, sleepwear or workout clothes – unless you wear those clothes for your day to day work – e.g. you’re a yoga teacher).
Yes, that’s right – 33 items in total! I was totally inspired when I heard her speak about the lessons she learned from the experience herself!
I’m sharing because I think that this idea is one that will be helpful with further reducing decision fatigue!
I won’t go into the details of how to do the challenge – if it sounds appealing or interesting to you, check out the link above. I will be starting the challenge this next month, though, and will let you know how it is going. If you want to join me, email me! Having an accountability partner always makes things easier and more fun!
PPS. Please comment below on the blog. Join our private Facebook group (Life You Love Inspiration Lounge) to share about your experience and insights or just hit reply and the message will come directly to me!
Find gratitude through living in THIS moment NOW!
Ever wished that some part of your life would just be done – complete – finished?
I regularly feel that when I’m doing laundry – even though I do laundry every week – and have done for over 20 years. When I’m surrounded by loads and loads of dirty clothes, I inevitably find myself saying under my breath – “Man, when will this ever be done? When will I be done with laundry forever?”
This sense emerged again when my husband and I were cleaning out our rec room yesterday and we discovered at least 4 boxes of garbage/recycle/donate items that had either been missed the first time around or had been left down there, and I wondered when I might ever be actually done with cleaning out the house and minimizing belongings…
And then it hit me that being done probably means being dead. And I know I’m not ready for that yet!
So, what did I learn again? (and by again, I mean, this isn’t the first time I’ve learned it but glad for the reminder :)).
This life is all about being in the process. Appreciating this moment and this life is about the small things. Laundry isn’t my favorite job, but I am thankful that I can do it with relative ease.
Wow – it is so easy to live in the future, wishing away this moment now.
What is just one thing that you might be able to appreciate a bit differently if you change your viewpoint?
For me, realizing that if I didn’t have a home, doing laundry and having clean clothes might be impossible. Gratitude brought me back.
I invite you to experience this moment right now and share it with me. Just hit reply and let me know what you are prepared to embrace with gratitude as you live in this moment.
To peace and gratitude,
PS. I do want to acknowledge that there are parts of our lives that can and will end no matter what – a vacation, a season, childhood. This message is about not wishing away parts of our lives but rather living every moment the best that we can.
How do you pay attention to mindful self-care, even on that holiday weekend?!?
Summer holidays with family and friends! Lovely, warm (hopefully), and fun! Being from Canada, I can say most of us wait all year for the few wonderful weeks of summer to arrive and then try to pack in as much as we possibly can!
But how often, after a week or weekend, do you go back to “regular life” regretting that your pants feel tight or you’re feeling exhausted from lack of nutrition and sleep?
Sometimes it is all worth it – but if you’re like many of my friends and clients, weekends in the summer are often spent with friends, enjoying the company and the food and by the end of the summer it sometimes starts to feel too much!
Being mindful of healthy self-care can often get forgotten in the moment, leaving you wishing for something different.
Since we’re now half-way through the summer, take a moment to consider how you want the rest of the “holidays” to go.
Here are a few tips I’ve found have worked for me and my clients:
Have a wonderful rest of your summer! I would love to hear how you found balance this summer. Comment below to share your best ideas!
To a sun-kissed, relaxed you!
(Blog first written and sent to the Life You Love Email Community in July 2017)
I just arrived home from my morning walk. Being outside early in the day, before most people are awake is a gift I like to give myself.
It is quiet, peaceful and cool (this time of year :)).
Reflecting on my walk I realized that the true gift is that of my attention.
When I’m out, on my own, my breathing changes and deepens. I actually notice the birds singing and the squirrels climbing the trees. I see the flowers and plants – the colours and shapes and smells. It nurtures a part of me that I don’t always even see or realize is there.
I recently learned about Forest Bathing on the BeMoreWithLess blog and then did some more reading. – the tradition and some of the benefits. Check out this article in the Boston Globe.
Apparently, you don’t have to be in a much of a forest to Forest Bathe – while there is much more to it, if you start with being mindful, and notice your surroundings, you are beginning the process. You can even do it in the city.
A connection with nature (even when it is a tiny space in the middle of the city) leads to less stress and more peace – and if you struggle with over-scheduling and busy-ness like so many of us do, making time to SLOOOOOOWWWWW DOOOOWWWWWNNNN and be in nature supports you to be more purposeful and quiet. You can even do it at lunch time or step away from your desk in the early afternoon.
So in the hopes to connect more with the power of nature:
PS. Comment below to share your experience with me. I love to hear from you about how you are creating your intentions in your life.
Physical clutter (that stuff all around us) can really get you down!
As you might know, my family downsized last year – no, we didn’t get rid of any people, there are still 4 of us :)! But we moved from a large house to a small one, and in the process, had to let go of lots and lots of stuff that we had accumulated over the years in our large house.
Once spring came, I thought I was done – no more decluttering required. Then my husband asked the dreaded question, “where do you want me to put this bin of shoes I just found in the shed?”
Turns out – in the move, I had filled a bin with shoes I wouldn’t need until spring. Good thing we found it now, and not next year, BUT, what to do now with the shoes when there was no extra room for them?
I decided to TACKLE MY SHOES! (NOTE: For you, this could be tackle your shirts, or candles, or kitchen appliances or papers on your desk, rather than shoes, but the message is the same.)
If you’re ready to have less of something, and you want to have more breathing space (it is amazing how much more we can all breathe when there is less unwanted stuff around), use the following tips to make it easier:
Pay attention to how often you decide to keep something based on “just in case”. Just in case is really about FEAR. Consider what you’re afraid of losing if you don’t have that item in your life – is that real or a story you’re telling yourself? Try to push yourself to say goodbye to it. When that item isn’t taking up extra space in your life, you open up space for other good things to come in!
Oh, and take a “before and after” picture too!
My one wish is that I had taken a before and after picture, but I’ll have to remember that for the next time I clear something out!
If you take on the challenge to tackle some clutter in your life, take a before and after photo and then come and post it in the comments below or on the Life You Love Inspiration Lounge Facebook page for others to see!
I can be a very distractible person. It drives me crazy sometimes! And the people around me too! Sometimes I can’t even finish a full sentence because I’m so distracted.
Being focused and mindful is both very hard AND very fulfilling.
Here are 2 tips you can use to actually get things done if you’re as easily distracted as me:
Tip #1: Set a timer for your task. This used to be more difficult, but now with smart phone timers EVERYWHERE, there is no excuse! Need to tidy a room (or write an email, pay the bills, etc.), set a timer for 10 minutes and don’t stop working until you’re done.
Easier said than done, say some of you, what about all those great ideas that come into your head when you’re cleaning that room? Go to tip #2…
Tip #2: Write down the ideas that come to mind and continue with the task. Keep a pad of paper or a small book and a pen with you so you can write down the things that come to mind while you’re working and then let them go while you continue your task. You can even use said smart phone for this purpose; but I personally find that distracting in itself (have you heard of Instagram?), so I suggest the low-tech pen and paper technique – even a scrap will do!
Now that you’ve completed that task, leave the TIDY room with your notes and decide what you’re going to do next!
PS. If you’re an extrovert and find yourself talking more than you want at meetings, writing down the ideas that come to you during discussions can actually be better than saying all of them as they come to mind. At the end of the meeting you can then decide which ideas are worth sharing with the rest of your team.
I was having lunch with some friends today and we got to talking about when we head to bed. Not surprisingly, we were all different – one woman goes to bed when her kids do – she is a mess otherwise – but then is up at dawn – ready to go for the day. The second prefers to get up later but has lots of focus into the evening; and me, I can do a bit of both – but if I burn the candle at both ends, I end up wishing I hadn’t!
It was interesting, because all of us seemed to envy the person who had a different way of being. Why is that? What is it about us humans that the grass is often greener on the other side?
Not sure, but I want to acknowledge that the best way of being is the one that works for you. So, consider you in your life right now, and answer these questions:
When am I most full of energy?
When do I do my best stuff (work, parenting, creativity, etc.)?
Once you know the answers, try this:
Now, head off for the rest of your day or night knowing that you’ve honoured that energetic time of day!
PS. I recently learned from Craig Ballantyne, Author of “The Perfect Day Formula” that if you set aside ONLY 15 minutes each day to focus on the #1 priority in your life, after a year you will have spent 72 hours on that activity! Wow! Imagine what you could accomplish in 72 hours!
PPS. Want to get a weekly post in your email, sign up on the side!
A couple of weeks ago I got together with some friends for our annual “girls weekend”. Four of us have been meeting once per year for the last 16 years or so and every year we reconnect, tell stories, shop, sightsee, and LAUGH. And every year I nearly throw-up I laugh so hard! My stomach and my cheeks hurt. And I rarely feel as inspired and as invigorated as after I’ve laughed that hard. Even when we are telling tough to hear stories, we find ways to laugh and change how we look at the world.
It is way too easy to have a life that is weighed down with blah, and rarely or never laugh.
I’ve spent today focused on how to create Abundance and Joy, and I was reminded how much laughter can make a difference when it comes to how we approach the world.
Another story…I have a child who sometimes struggles with the morning routine. It can really send her “out of sorts” which then sends me “out of sorts” – and that can last for way too long and lead to tears. One day someone told me about laughter yoga – where you spend time deliberately making yourself laugh “Fake It ‘Til You Make It” style, and where after a couple of minutes you’re actually really laughing because the feel-good chemicals have kicked in.
I decided to try it with my child. She thought it was hilarious – us sitting there fake laughing – until it wasn’t fake anymore.
The tears dried up, laugher happened, and then tears from laughing fell again.
What a way to head off for the day.
Here’s a link to a TedX talk, Happier in 5 Minutes Per Day about Laugher Yoga. Follow her steps and you’ll be laughing soon too.
All you need to do is try.
Let me know how it goes! (Giggle, giggle…Ha Ha Ha!)
I’m very fortunate to be on holidays at our local ski hill with my family this week. Today I went out with my 13-year-old daughter and some others. My daughter and I have similar ski skills but she is much more interested in skiing the “black diamond runs”.
Today was a perfect day for me to experience the unexpected. We ran into some crazy weather, various ski expectations in the group, and in the end, the run that was to take us back to our condo, closed, with only a “black diamond” run option in front of me.
At other times, I might have become quite irritable with the way things went, but found myself following the three ideas below and have returned for lunch with a very sunny attitude. I have to admit that it really was the kids in the group who showed us the very best way of being!
So, the next time you find yourself in an unexpected (and perhaps unwelcomed spot), try these first and see what happens for you!
1. Find Gratitude
In most situations, you can find a silver lining – if you look for it. Keep an open mind and ask the question, “what can I be grateful for here”? At the top of one of the chair lifts, the wind and snow were blowing so hard that we weren’t sure if we’d be able to get off the lift. “It’s so beautiful here,” I heard from my daughter with a smile in her voice. And that gratitude took the sting of everything else away!
2. Jump In
The worst time in an unexpected situation is often just as it happens; even before we’ve had a chance to do anything. Many of us freeze at this point and begin to get caught up in “What If…?” and “Why Me…?”. But more often than not, if we actively stop that train of thinking and jump into the situation, the outcome is usually way better than we might have imagined! Today, when we found ourselves with only one way to go – down a steep and unexpected trail, I could have stood at the top and let my mood take me down. Instead, I watched as Alexa headed down the slope, took a deep breath, and followed her. While not my preferred choice, I made a choice to jump in and see what might happen, without judgement. And it worked – when I got to the bottom, I felt proud that I hadn’t stopped myself before I started!
3. Be Ok with Imperfection
How often has it happened in your life that you’ve held yourself back from doing something because you didn’t have the confidence that it would be perfect? Being ok with imperfection is about purposefully letting go of that idea. If you find yourself in this situation, close your eyes and take 3 deep breaths. With each breath say: “action is more important than perfection”. Then open your eyes and start. If I had been worried about looking perfect on that ski run, I would still be standing there now! Say that mantra and go! You’ll thank yourself for it in the long run!
Remember, even though I’ve been using skiing as my example (e.g. personal life), these tips are effective in your work life as well! Give them a try this week and let me know what happens for you! You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment below.
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