Busy – the new cancer

busyWhat the hell is it with us and “busy”?  We all have it, everyone says they don’t want it and yet, here we go cramming our lives to the top!  I have so many clients that ask for help with their scheduling or organization of their lives and 9 times out of 10 it has NOTHING to do with the scheduling, the paper or the mess and everything to do with our attitudes.

If you are finding you are constantly busy and want something different, take a look at some of the ways to ending the madness:

  1. Appreciate that busy is a choice.  Yep, it’s a choice and you can choose differently.  Our schedules are arranged by us for us and for the ones we love.  If you are filling your life with things you don’t love, look at that.  If you are filling it with things you love, look at that.
  2. Clean up your environment.  If you are walking into a bomb every time you step into your house, even if you aren’t actually busy in your timing, you might be scattered by the chaos around you.  Get your family on board and attack the areas that will bring you the most peace in your day to day life.  Once you have done it, put something beautiful in the space – a photo you love, a vase of fresh flowers, a gorgeous candle and let it be a reminder to keep it clean and the peace that it brings you.
  3. CUT it out!  Where can you cut some crap out of your day?  Stop a volunteer position that doesn’t fulfill you, do laundry only once a week, car pool with another mom to dance class, get your partner to make dinner twice a week.
  4. Watch your language.  Stop saying how busy you are.  We get it, you’re important, you’re needed, you’re super woman.  When you glorify busy, you make the rest of us glorify busy and then we in turn glorify busy and the cycle continues.  Stop the madness and let’s start being vulnerable and letting people in to our lives that does not glorify our busyness.
  5. Fun is #1.  Yep, top priority.  Fun.  Make it part of EVERYDAY!  Have a dance party when you get home, take a walk over your lunch break, spend 15 minutes knitting, enjoy a glass of wine in your backyard, get on the floor with the kids and build a castle of blocks.
  6. Make your top priority being present in everything you do.  Put your phone down, let voicemail answer your phone, take a breath and ground yourself when you find yourself running in a million directions.
  7. When you wake up in the morning, check in with yourself.  Ask yourself what % you are at.  If you are high, you have the availability to give and give.  If your # is mid-range, you can give, but make sure you take time to receive, if your # is low, you have no business taking from a dry well and you need to take care of yourself first and only do the bare minimum required.  You’re levels on a daily basis help you check in for the day and if you start noticing your levels at telling you more about your life, it might be time to really look at what you have going on.

Busy is the new cancer.  As you cut that cancer out of your life, step into your healthy new vibrant way of being and enjoy some fun, freedom, friends and family! Slow it down

 

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Let’s get the F outta here!

Be Nice

Wednesday was “May Days“, International Workers Day, in Seattle, a commemoration that has much history all over the world for centuries.

Keri-Anne and I came down to Seattle for a girls mid-week working getaway (from the everday) and we walked out of our hotel to go for a much deserved dinner out and smack downtown was thousands of people, police everywhere – on bikes, on horses, in cars.  Packing machine guns and riot gear.  Yes, I said machine guns.  *pause*  Yes, I said machine guns.  Wow, even recalling this I am experiencing the physical sensations.  While most people would not call me sensitive, I have learned that I am incredibly sensitive to certain situations.  It’s like I can feel the energy.  I often describe that I can smell it in the air before it happens.  There’s just the feeling that “fuck – something is about to go down here and I need to get the hell out.”  This is the 3rd riot style circumstance I have found myself in.  First time was in 1994 following Game 7 of the 1994 Stanley Cup Finals in which the Vancouver Canucks lost to the New York Rangers, 2nd time was in 2011 when the Vancouver Canucks lost the Stanley Cup to the Boston Bruins (apparantly we get very anger when we lose hockey games ~ someone should teach us how to play nice), and now in 2013 at May Days.  Trust me, I’m not 19 years old anymore, I know when shit is about to go down and I’m not gonna wait around to get pepper sprayed to see if I should listen to my instincts.  I’m getting the hell out.  I remember walking down Richards street away from the riots in 2011, heading home after the disappointing loss and masses of people walking towards the chaos.  Primarily teenagers and early 20-somethings and I wanted to tell them to turn around.  But they are young and need to live and experience their own lives and learn their own paths and make their own choices.

It’s not just riots, media sensationalism kills my sensitivity.  1997 Princes Di accident and subsequent death – 3 days home glued to the TV crying,  Columbine High School shooting in 1999 – on the internet every 10 minutes at work unable to focus on anything else, and then in 2001 ofcourse 9-11 happened – at home 9 months pregnant, glued to the TV crying watching planes crashing into buildings, wondering about the future for my unborn child, weeping for all of us who suffered that day.  There have been many more tragic events in the last decade, but I again learnt about what is good for me.  The recent tragedy of Sandy Hook elementary school could have easily torn me apart for days, requiring days and weeks of repairing my broken heart, but I couldn’t do it.  Obviously I heard about it – with social media, how could I not?  But I limited my watching time.  Choosing instead to wait until stories were confirmed and media stories were more factual and less sensationalized.  I instead spent the time to care for myself, going for walks, hugging my beautifully safe daughter, volunteering, writing, working.  Does it change the enormity?  Never!  Does it change the tragedy   Never!  Did it save my heart break?  A little.  Probably a lot.

I know me.  I know what I can handle.  I know when I need to trust my sensitivity and get the fuck out!

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Confession ~ I like to doodle on my feet!

So I have totally found a new thing I love to do.  It’s not something I have done before and I’m not sure where it came from, but I have discovered that I love to doodle on my feet.

896486_10152724058000430_779858685_oOkay, doodle might be a bit of a stretch.  I am currently ‘working’ the May Cause Miracles book by Gabrielle Bernstein.  The reason I say working and not reading is because it’s a 1-a-day book where you have a morning meditation and intention setting and an evening reflection and meditation with some reading squeezed in in between.  Any who…I digress.  So I am working this book and find myself sitting crossed legged a lot and looking at my feet a ton in yoga.  Meditation ~ Yoga ~ Feet ~ Doodle!  Right?  I’ve lost you haven’t I? 895466_10152749623020430_453639746_o So here’s the thing, I’m not doodling per say and there is no henna involved, but what I am doing is writing my intention down on the inside of my foot and ankle.  And it’s made a crazy big difference for me.  It’s kept the intention alive.  Which is really all that matters.  It’s become a structure for me to keep the book alive throughout my day.  It reminds me of times that I have said “tomorrow I am going to eat better” and then tomorrow comes and I half asleep make a coffee and some toast, sit down and eat, made a half decent lunch (always good, but rarely great), sit down and eat and then shout, “SHIT – I FORGOT, I was going to start eating better today!”  What went wrong?  I had no structure in place.  A reminder of the ‘why’ I was doing it was missing.  So I’d love to hear something you want to do and a structure that could support you in getting it.  Be creative.  Doodling on my feet certainly wasn’t on my agenda, but now that it is, it’s working like crazy!896757_10152749686005430_1334710322_o

With Love,

Michaella Signature

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Shut up ~ we got this!

Close your eyes for a minute.   Squueze them shut.  Hard.  Now I want you to focus on the darkness.  I’m going to ask you in a moment to open them, but I want you to ignore that request and keep them close.   (Okay, now that you’re done reading, do it now and imagine me saying “Open your eyes.”)

Oh right?  You can’t open your eyes.  You’re blind.  Blind people can’t just open their eyes.  Thank you for indulging me.

Did you know that according to the National Coalition for Vision Health, over ¼ of a million Canadians are visually impaired and over $100,000 are legally blind?  And how about that according to Autism Ontario over a ¼ of a million Canadian families are affected by Autism?

Autism Awareness

In 2007 the UN declared April 2nd (today) as World Autism Awareness Day and finally in November 2012 the House of Commons passed an act that made today World Autism  Day in Canada too.  6 years later.

So why give a crap about these stats?  As some of you may have heard, in two weeks, we will be fostering a seeing eye dog puppy name Konner through  BC Guide Dog Services.  Fostering is a 1 year,  24 hour a day, 7 day a week volunteer position.  Puppy raisers expend their time, energy, money, love and caring for the puppies to move on to advanced training in hopes that they move on to assist a blind or visually impaired person.  And if they don’t do that, that they go into the Autism Support Dogs program and get matched with an autistic child.  As mentioned this is a volunteer position, but according to Autism Support Dogs each dog costs the program approximately $20,000 to raise each support dog.

Konner

Our family is super excited to meet and raise Konner (yes, Konner O’Connor ~ the irony).  I have always said I love babies, kittens and puppy, just not kids, cats and dogs.  So I guess I get some of my own needs met through this program as well.  lol.  I’ll admit, I am a little concerned about what we are taking on.  Have you had a puppy before?  Remember how much work it takes?  But do you know what I’m most bothered by?  Is the number of people who are so concerned about giving the dog away at 15 months.  “ohhhh…it will be so hard”, “I could never”, how will your daughter be?”  Well I can tell you what she won’t be.  She won’t be blind.  She won’t be autistic.  She can walk across the street and look both ways with no assistance.   She can open her eyes if I ask her to.

But what if she was?  What if she was blind?  What if she was autistic?  Wouldn’t we want the kindness of others to raise these puppies?

So shut up already.  On today World Autism Awareness Day, I ask for one thing.  Stop asking if it’s going to be hard to give Konner back.  Stop telling me how you could never do it.  Just shut up.  We are a loving family, with big hearts.  Yes, it’ll be sad, but what great isn’t?  So shut up already, really. I didn’t ask for your opinion.  We got this.  We got this.

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Alone on Valentine’s Day? Are you a loser?

Valentines Day Loser

Whether 16 or 66 I hear women (particularly) complaining about being alone on Valentine’s Day.  LOSERS! I so often hear them calling themselves.  What the hell is it about Valentine’s Day that makes them need a “sig other” to be worthy of love and belonging?  You don’t hear the same people publicly shaming themselves about being alone on April 14th?

Anyone in a committed relationship knows that if you need Valentine’s Day to be in love, then you’re not really in love anymore, or are at least not connected to the love that once was.  So why is it when you’re single you think Valentine’s Day you need to pair up?

What can St. Valentine offer to the single gal?
–          A wake up call to love.  Want love?  Then you gotta put yourself out there.  I don’t mean the “in da club” kinda out there, I mean be open, vulnerable, available to be loved kinda out there.  Get out of your stuck ways.
–          A chance to love others who want to be loved.  You get the chance every day to connect.  Do it.  Connect.  Have meaningful conversations.  SMILE at the person at the checkout.  Say thank you to your delivery guys – an eye to eye contact thank you.
–          Celebrate your single life!  Yes, celebrate it.  I was with a guy in my early 20’s on Valentine’s Day, and trust me; I’d rather have been alone.  No really.  Next day ~ over.
–          An opportunity to really get clear on what you want and what you are doing (or not doing) to get it.  You want a man who will shower you with love and affection, but you are guarded?  Good luck.  You want someone who will take charge, but every date you feel the need to pick the time, date, location.  Good luck.  You want someone who wants to show love and financial support, but you won’t let someone buy you a coffee.  Good luck.

–          Show yourself some luuuuuv sista!  What gift can you give yourself this V-day?  Time, pampering, kind words?  You decide.

So if you think you’re a loser because you’re single this year on Valentine’s Day then take the opportunity to view it another way.  If you feel the need, go out and buy yourself a big ole red heart box of chocolate, pop on a movie and enjoy spending time with your most important life partner – YOU!

So, how are you spending this Valentine’s Day?  Post in the comments below and let’s keep the conversation going.

P.S. I love you,

Michaella Signature

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A Weigh In on Shame

Image

“I look gooooood!  No seriously, I really look good!”  I look in the mirror and I truly think, “you rock this girl”  Naked, in yoga pants, jeans.  Doesn’t matter.  I like what I see.  And yet…………………………..

I feel shame for what I’ve done.  I’ve lost 50lbs.  And gained it all back.  Yep, every last pound. Okay, so I didn’t lose it overnight and I didn’t regain it overnight.  Never one to crash diet, I lost it the sensible way.  Eat less (and better) and move more.  But you know what it was – a goal. Once I lost the first 50, I thought, “I got this.  I can lose the last 10-15, but I can also cut myself a little slack.  Put more focus on other goals.  I got this.  I got this – what’s 5 lbs gained?  Must be water weight.  Hmmmm, strange, I’ve gained 10lbs.  Gotta get back at it, on Monday.  Oh crap, I’ve gained 20 – starting to hate myself, avoiding the scale.  I still look pretty good in the mirror.  I can still kill it in the gym, during a run.  I’ve got new goals – focused, loving them, I can miss this run, I can eat this (2nd) piece of cake, I can weigh in next week, next week, next week.  Hmmm…my jeans don’t fit.  Let’s put on yoga pants again today.  After all, they’re more comfy.  Okay, time for a reality check – I need to get on that scale.  What?!?!?!  I’ve re-gained 40lbs! Is this scale broken?  Must be water weight.”

Nope here I am cloaked in the shame.  How could I do this to myself?  How am I going to un-do this?  This is not guilt.  Guilt doesn’t shatter me.  This is shame.  Brene Brown defines shame as “the intensely painful feeling or experience of believing that we are flawed and therefore unworthy of love and belonging – something we’ve experienced, done, or failed to do makes us unworthy of connection.”  I am flawed as a coach.  I coach people to reach for their dreams, to take chances, to do the hard work.  I am flawed as a mother – what kind of example am I being to my pre-teen beautiful daughter?

WAIT!  WAIT!  WAIT!  What kind of example am I being to allow this to define me?  What kind of example am I being to my daughter if I shame myself because of some weight gain?  Trust me, it’s the least interesting thing about me.  I am not FLAWED, I DID SOMETHING flawed.  I forgot that my decisions were life choices, not a goal.  I forgot to stay on track and reassess.  I forgot to make loving choices for my body.  But man, did I love the original journey.  I loved watching my body change into a more powerful machine.  One that slept well.  One that had new muscles popping out all over the place.  One that did triathlons, one that did ½ marathons, one that did 4 day bike trips with a pack on my back.  I just forgot how much I loved it.

I am not perfect.  I am human.  And in that I am worthy.  Worthy of love, of connection, of belonging.  I sit here with tears falling down, like pounds melting away.  Pounds that don’t matter.  Shame that is shedding.  This is the most interesting thing about me.  This real, vulnerable person who makes mistakes and learns from them.  Who loves fully and who is learning to love herself even more than yesterday.  And who picks herself up after she falls.

With Love,

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The answer my friend is blowin’ in the wind… and it’s MONEY

Logo Design Contest

For my fancy pants graphic design/artistic/tech saavy friends and followers!  It’s time to up my coaching game and I’d love to have a LOGO that kicks ass and represents my coaching!  I decided to host a contest because y’all look so talented that you could come up with something awesome and way better than someone who knows nothing about me.

Here is the skinny:
Design a logo for Coach Michaella, delivered in a format I can: put on my website, blog, social media, on business cards, print etc.
Qualities:  fun, clean lines, modern, unique, colours that women respond to, but aren’t too girly girl

Prize: $100 OR 2 months of free coaching (way better value and transferable to someone else…give the gift of coaching?) and ofcourse credit on my website, Facebook page, an overload of loving tweets and so many high fives your hand will hurt.  OR if you are an awesome pro and want to gift if to me (cause it’s my birfday), I’d be tickled pink to donate it to the charity of your choice!

hundred dollar

Entries must be received by February 9th, 2013 ~ cause it’s my birthday and I think that’d be the best present ever!

I can’t wait to see all the magic and thanks for participating!
Mad love,
Michaella

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