Category Archives for Uncategorized

Are your friends really your friends?

I have had a question circulating in my mind very recently. Are my friends really my friends. You see I have had some really bad friendships in my life, of people who were never really true to me, so I’ve always kept people at a distance.
I’m the type of person that when I love, I love hard. And because of that I often got hurt. I let people in and let people get close to me who didn’t deserve to be there. I trusted people that didn’t deserve my trust. I realized that I was carrying around all this hurt and pain and keeping people at a distance. I didn’t like that I was doing this, because this wasn’t who I was. I wasn’t a person who operated from pain first, I was a woman who operated from love first before all else. But that love had caused me pain, so what was there to do.
When I saw that this was the case, that I was operating from pain first, keeping people at a distance – so they couldn’t hurt me, I knew this had to change. I wanted this to change. So I did. I started healing the hurt and pain that I had. I started to notice that not everyone wanted to hurt me. I started to realize that some people were genuine. As I began to heal and find evidence of people who were genuine and cared for one another, my circle began to shift. I found women that truly cared for other women. Women who weren’t threatened by women that were in the same, similar or completely different careers. Women who wanted the success of others as much as their own. This was all new to me. I thought I made it… finally!
Then a few weeks ago, it all came crashing down. The realization that even some of these women who claimed to be there, empower women and want to lift each other up was false.
And it broke me.
There was women who I received and saw the warning signs for but I ignored them. I turned a blind eye and acted like I didn’t see their behaviour, even making excuses for it. And when they were called out, I justified it – their brokenness speaking to me and not wanting to judge another person.
So there I was stuck and confused. I could either keep people at a distance never letting anyone truly close to me because no one could get through the way I had up or let them in potentially getting hurt again. Was there a happy medium? How could I honour the woman inside of me by not shutting myself down completely?
Here’s what I came up with.
Just because someone comes into your life doesn’t mean that you have to let them in fully but it also doesn’t mean that you have to shut them out either. This was what I had to and still have to practice fully. You can let people in, without fully letting them in until they have proven themselves worthy of being there. Get to know them; openly, honestly and genuinely. Look at their actions and how they treat others. You will learn a lot about people in the ways that they treat others. Because they may be nice to you just for the sake of being nice to you. They may be nice to you because they see something they can get out of a relationship with you. They may be nice to you because you’re the new shiny object, until you’re not. Have a list of criteria that people need to meet before they enter your fold and no matter how long it takes to discover, keep them at a distance.
Always examine your current and new relationships. Are there things that are taking place in the relationship that you tolerating or settling for? Often we don’t realize and aren’t aware that we are settling, so when something bothers you examine it. It may be uncomfortable because you may realize that the friends you thought were yours aren’t actually. So get uncomfortable and look at them, openly and honestly. Then call it out. Speak out on it. It’s not your responsibility to coddle your relationships. If there’s something taking place that you don’t like or makes you even a little bit uncomfortable, it’s unacceptable.
This doesn’t mean that you have to be a hard ass, but this does mean that you do need to have boundaries. And having boundaries is OK
. These aren’t the type of boundaries I had and explained above, that are concrete barricades not letting people in.These are the boundaries that while still letting people in keep us and our hearts protected.
Our circle of friends is sacred and we need to be careful about who we allow into them. As a last tip I leave you with this. Ask yourself honestly if this person/people are honouring you and your growth? If the answer is no, then you need to respectfully move on.
I hope this has served you on your journey. As a recap:
Get to know people who you’d like to be friends with openly, honestly and genuinely.Have a list of criteria for your friendships that people need to meet.Examine your current and new friendships.Speak out on the things that either bother you or make you feel uncomfortable.Ask yourself if this person is honouring you and your growth.
Photo by Ryan Dam on Unsplash

A Call to Heal US – Women of Colour

A lot has transpired over the last few days. One thing is certain, is that when we make a decision to stand, take action and create change we get results. It may not be the result that we want. It may in fact be more bypassing, gas-lighting and centering but it’s still results.
So when the chips have fallen and the damage is done, what do we do?
We need to heal. But first I want to go over some facts. We can’t change them. We can’t change their thoughts, their feelings or their lack of understanding. This is not our job. Our job is not to support, coddle or help them understand. We can’t do that. All we can do is bring awareness and continue to highlight these issues. This job belongs to white people. Only they can dismantle and educate their fellow white people on these issues.
It is important that we know when it’s time to take a step back. These situations can not only be exhausting they can also be very triggering and when it becomes this way, we need to walk away. There is no shame in walking away and we aren’t doing a disservice by it, because it’s not our job to educate anyone but ourselves. This is not a space for us to help anyone unpack their privilege, tendencies and mindset on our stances and experience. At the same time we do not need to tolerate people centering themselves based on our experience. Our experience is our experience, it isn’t about anyone else and we don’t need to apologize for it.
Once we have taken a step back and removed ourselves from the situation, call in your support team. This team may be one comprised of your peers, teachers, leaders and even your Divine support. Call on them to help you. Your team is one that is meant to uplift you when you are down. They are also there to love and hold space for you through this time of healing of ourselves. Once you’ve connected with your team take care of you. You are the most important person in this scenario. You and you alone! Connect with and listen to your body and what it needs. It could be anything from a moment to breathe, reflect, write, take a bath, drink a tea, going for a massage, taking a nap or all the above. Don’t discriminate your self-care practice. There is nothing wrong with the practice you choose, as long as it fills you up and restores your energy level. Do what you need to do to ensure your self-care is the number one priority. If you need help with kids, housework, cooking or whatever endless lists of tasks we have each day, once again reach out to your support team.
Then delete, delete, delete! And when I say delete, I don’t mean delete your comments, posts or any other way you chose to speak your truth. I am referring to releasing the energy that is wrapped up in the situation. Release any attachment you are holding towards an outcome or resolution. The energy tied to these conversations isn’t serving you and it can suck you in and leave you in that space for days, even weeks. Do what you can to release the energy magnified in you and keep moving forward.
I hope this has served you and your healing. As a recap please see below points:
Know that our job is only bring awareness to and highlight issues. We can not educate.Know when to step back and remove yourself from the situation. Call in your support team.Practice self-care and if needed call in your support team again.Delete, delete, delete!
Photo by Doug Swinson on Unsplash

Six R’s to Self-Love

While going through my memories on Facebook earlier this morning, I saw a post I created a year ago today that inspired this blog post.
I woke up one year ago today and heard reduce, reuse, recycle. And it made me think of our self-love practice. When it comes to self-love it’s a lot of uncovering. We are constantly peeling back our layers and as we evolve, we learn to accept, understand and embrace ourselves.
It takes time to peel back these layers and begin to uncover all that is you. And it’s a process that takes compassion towards ourselves. But in order to peel back those layers we need to reflect on our life, who we are and stock of our pain.This is where it can get really uncomfortable but we need to be aware of what’s going on internally. We can’t grow if we aren’t aware of the areas that are inhibiting our growth. Through this process of reflection, identify what’s no longer serving you and holding you back from living the life you desire that’s full of joy and happiness.
Once we’ve become aware through the reflection process of what’s holding us back and the pain that we are holding on to, we need to let it go. We need to reduce the amount of pain that has become our baggage. “P.A.I.N. Pay Attention Inward Now! – Iyanla Vanzant” Our pain is our comfort blanket and we use it to keep people away or at a safe distance and build protective walls over our hearts. When we feel like our defenses are being penetrated we go into fight or flight mode. You may have discovered in the reflection process that you have more pain than you’ve realized and some of that pain you may not be fully ready to let go of. And that’s okay. The key here is not dropping all the baggage at one time if you aren’t comfortable it’s about reducing it in steps that you are comfortable with. In reducing the amount of baggage that we are carrying we are taking back our power – taking back our control. Give yourself a break and let go of what you feel comfortable letting go of today and what you aren’t yet ready to release leave it for another day.
As you may have realized during the reflection step that not everything in your life has been painful. While our pain is holding us back not everything in our life has been all bad. There are memories, events and experiences that we’ve had that have brought us joy and love and made us happy. It’s these memories that we need to hold onto and reuse as often as possible. The journey of self-love can be hard on us emotionally; we may have avoided it for so long that once we starting digging, we’d rather avoid it all together. But running away isn’t doing us any good and quite honestly running away from it is what got us to this point. During this process you may need reminders of who you are deep down- the kind, loving, caring, friendly person you are. Gather up all the evidence of what makes you who you are and reuse it on a daily basis. I have even taken this a step further and created a self-love box. Every nice thing that is ever said about me goes in there, whether it’s a compliment, appreciation or comment on my character. I take it and tuck it away in my self-love box, so on the days that I don’t feel so great, I can open that box and read about how awesome I am. When we are hurt and damaged we can become a product of that pain, but we must realize, that’s not all we are. We are happiness, we are joy, we are fulfilled. Find all the memories that accentuate happiness and reuse them as often as you can to remind yourself who you really are.
Once you have reflected, reduced and reused now is the time to recycle. It’s the time to recycle all you are ready to let go of by releasing it to the Divine. Now some people may use the word Divine, Spirit, God, Creator, Universe. When I use Divine I mean all the above, swap out the word Divine for the word you are most comfortable using. By releasing it we are giving up control, putting our trust in the and allowing the Divine to do what it will. The Divine wants to help us but will only do so once we ask. Allow the Divine to help and support you in recycling what no longer serves you,taking it back to the earth to be renewed and made into positive energy. As you release the pain and emotional baggage that’s held you back from living, be grateful. Express gratitude for all that you have uncovered and released. The work that you’ve done should be celebrated.
Rinse and Repeat.
I hope that this has served you well. As a recap here’s what we discussed.
Reflect on your life, who you are and take stock of your painReduce the emotional baggage you are holding toReuse the good memories and experiences you’ve had in your life to bring you joyRecycle and give it to the Divine for it to be transmutedCelebrate yourself for all the work you’ve done
Photo by Dev Benjamin on Unsplash

Quick Steps to Find Balance when You’re a Mom

Some days we have it all together. The house seems to be magically in order and you’ve showered, brushed your teeth, gotten dressed and had a tea all at in the same day! And then there are those days where it seems the world is on off its axis, it looks like a tornado has hit the inside of your home and your kids have been at each other’s throats for hours.
These are the days when you should prioritize taking a step back. I know what you’re thinking, this girl has gone and lost her mind. I don’t have time for that, who has time for that? I know, I know, but these are the moments when you need it the most. These are the moments when you need to breathe, take a timeout, go for a walk or let’s be real lock yourself in a closet to cry.
It’s in these moments that it matters the most. 15 minutes can go a long way. Take a 15 minute break to breathe, relax or like I said cry. Allow yourself those 15 minutes and do your best to keep them uninterrupted. I realize when you’re with your kids they don’t need you and as soon as you disappear for even a second they’re on the hunt, trying to find where you are. So you have two choices here you can either sneak away, knowing they are going to come looking for you or you tell them you need just a few minutes by yourself. If this is new to your kids they won’t understand it at first and you may only get 5 minutes, but with consistency they will begin to understand and soon you will be up to your 15 minutes.
After you’ve most likely cried it out, wipe up those tears and choose the most pressing task at hand. What is it that needs to get done right now to help you feel good and accomplished? Maybe it’s the 4 baskets of laundry that are sitting in the middle of your laundry room that need to be folded and put away or maybe it’s the dishes or making the kids lunch. Once again take 15 to 30 minutes and dedicate it to that one thing. Maybe it is making the kids a snack or lunch so you can wash the dishes while watching them. Or maybe it’s giving them crayons and paper while you fold the laundry, make your bed or clean the washroom. Whatever it is that is the most important get it done and if you still have time left over, move on to the next task.
Now here is the most important part – Celebrate yourself and what you’ve accomplished. Give yourself a round of applause, pat on the back or dance it out to some music. With only 30 minutes you’ve accomplished two tasks; your very own self-care and whatever task you chose to do.
Not everyday is a walk in the park but that doesn’t mean that those days that aren’t need to break you. Make some time to prioritize
you and the task at hand and things will start looking up!
I hope this serves you well. To recap:
Prioritize you by taking 15 minutes to breathe, relax or cryWipe away those tears and take another 15- 30 minutes to accomplish one task or more if time allows.Celebrate yourself and what you’ve accomplished

Is Self-Love Selfish?

There’s a misconception that self-love or anything self-love related is somehow selfish. To be selfish by definition means being devoted to or caring only for oneself; concerned primarily with one’s own interests, benefits, welfare etc. regardless of others. It’s this idea of self-love that keeps people from pursuing a love of themselves because it somehow feels arrogant or egotistical, when in fact it is neither of those things. It isn’t about feeling or thinking that you are better or more superior than someone else. It’s about knowing who you are and what you deserve to have in your life and relationships.
When you know who you are, you are able to discern and not be distracted by all the things and shiny objects around you. You are able to know and understand what is for you and be happy for, not triggered by others who may have the things you want or desire. Self-love doesn’t mean that you are self-serving or that you only care about or love yourself. In fact, it means the exact opposite, when you love yourself and know how to love yourself you are then able to love others without condition.
Self-love is the best love because it helps you be true to yourself. When you love yourself you are connected to who you are at your core. You stand firm in your beliefs. You do the things that are right for and meaningful to you. You say no or yes when you feel the need to. You please yourself before others. You make time just to be with you. Of course these aren’t all the ways, there’s lots more. These are just a few. We get caught up in wanting to change who we are, so we can be approved of by others. Throughout our lives we are told all the ways we are “too much”, all the things that are wrong with us. As adults, we become distracted and lose ourselves. We think that something is wrong with us, that something needs to be fixed, that we are somehow broken, when in fact, we just don’t love ourselves.
Ideally, self-love should be a daily commitment that we make to ourselves. It takes commitment to learn and uncover all that makes us who we are. In this time, take a few minutes to connect and be with yourself in silence. I know this probably sounds intimidating but it doesn’t have to be. Don’t over complicate it, keep it simple. It doesn’t have to be sitting, laying down or even in a meditative state, if you aren’t comfortable with that. If this is your first time or even if it isn’t but the thought of connecting with yourself makes you overwhelmed or uncomfortable, start where you are! Start while you’re in the shower, washing the dishes or doing something else where you can just be with yourself.
When you become comfortable with connecting with yourself begin to take inventory. Start looking at your life and who you are. Begin to recognize all the ways that you are you, right now – good, bad and ugly. This process is similar to peeling back the layers of an onion, because as we get older, we evolve and change. We go through phases and have life experiences that cause us to change, compromise and adapt who we are. It’s these compromises and adaptations that can become problematic and take us away from who we truly are at our core.
As you take inventory, it’s easy to get caught up in the drama of our thoughts. To judge ourselves for the ways we’ve let others influence, control or manipulate us. This is not what taking inventory is about.
Taking inventory is just about bringing awareness to all these things, so just allow yourself observe without judgment. We can’t become better if we don’t know what exists within us.
I hope this serves you well on your journey to self-love. Here’s a few key takeaways:
Make a daily commitment to love yourselfTake a few moments to connect to yourself in silence – start where you areIdentify ways you have compromised who you are
Photo by Leon Biss on Unsplash

Do you struggle with judgment?

Judgment is a tough one because it’s so ingrained in our lives. Early in life, we learn to judge and that judgment can be OK, because it helps us survive. For instance, we are taught to judge scenarios and situations as to whether or not they are safe, We are taught not to speak to strangers. We are told which people to trust and which ones not to. These are all safe judgments and most likely have kept us alive.
It’s the judgment of ourselves and others as individuals that tends to become an issue. It’s easy to judge others, but it’s even easier to judge ourselves. And it’s often that loop of judgment of ourselves that goes unnoticed, stays unchecked and is the most damaging.
So the question then becomes a matter of how do you release the judgment of yourself? And that is through compassion.
It’s easy to fall victim and become prisoner to those negative thoughts of self-judgment. It takes a lot more effort to learn to observe and become aware of them, without further judgment. "Don’t get upset by your negative self-talk, just observe it without judgment. Like birds passing it will fly on by. – Lolita Guarin" We are our own judge, jury and executioner and we know how to justify the guilt and shame as it arises from those judgments.
An important factor is learning to become your own best friend and treating yourself as such. If your best friend came to you hurting, in tears and pain you wouldn’t be mean, call them names, or kick them while they were down. You would lift them up, encourage, support and love them. You would listen and tell them what a fool they were being for thinking such negative thoughts about themselves. We change these formed habits of self judgment by being compassionate towards ourselves.
Looking back on your past from your present isn’t helpful. You have evolved and grown from the person you used to be, so looking back with the skills, experience and knowledge that you have today doesn’t serve you. "Good judgment comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgment."- Rita Mae Brown You did the best you could with the skills you had, if you had better skills you would have made better decisions. Don’t be so hard on yourself. If you knew better, you would of course – have done better. Affirming this to yourself can help to stop the blame game, release the burden and support you in feeling better about yourself and your past.
"Love is the absence of judgment." – Dalai Lama It takes love to heal judgment, which means in order for you to heal the judgment of yourself you must love yourself. I hope this serves you well on your journey to healing judgment.
Here are some key takeaways for you below.
1. Observe and become aware of your judgments
2. Once you are aware of your judgments be gentle with yourself.
3. Treat yourself like you would your own best friend.
4. Affirm to yourself that you did the best you could with the skills that you had

Is forgiveness actually important?

Short answer… Yes, it is important but not only is it important it’s necessary,
The truth is people are afraid to forgive. But it doesn’t have to be something we fear. When I was going through my healing journey and learned of the areas and people I needed to forgive, myself included, I didn’t want to. In truth, I would have probably done anything else but forgive.
You’ve probably heard the saying "Forgiveness isn’t something you do for someone else, it’s something you do for you." Jodi Picoult.
Forgiveness is about releasing the emotional bonds you have and taking your power back. It’s removing the hold they had over you and standing firm in the belief that this person can no longer hurt you, have power over you, control you and/or manipulate you. It’s about placing an invisible boundary of what you are no longer willing to tolerate in your life.
For me, I was afraid to forgive because I thought that by forgiving a person for what they had done to me meant that I would be giving them permission to hurt me again. I thought it made me soft, vulnerable, weak and defenseless. In my mind forgiveness equaled doormat. And that was what I actually feared, being a doormat.
I had been a doormat for so long, in my life and relationships that when I had become aware of it, I refused to ever be taken advantage of again. Which is where my own forgiveness came in. I had to learn to forgive myself. I had to release the anger that I had towards myself, for making poor decisions, trusting, putting my faith in and loving the wrong people. To be honest it was harder to forgive myself than it was the other people. I judged myself and had tremendous amounts of guilt and shame that I had held on to. And all the pain I had turned into shields of armour, so that I didn’t get hurt again, if I even let them in. Forgiveness took me learning compassion – compassion towards myself and others .
Once I learned that "Hurt people, hurt people" Sandra D. Wilson

it somehow made it easier for me to understand. People didn’t hurt people purposely. They did it because they didn’t know better. They didn’t have the skills to do better. We are all just doing the best we can with the skills we have and if we aren’t continuing to work on ourselves and heal our wounds we are going to continue to hurt people.

Now I’m not making excuses for anyone’s behaviour and these statements aren’t a cop out. If your parents never gave you love, it’s likely because they never received it themselves and weren’t taught how to give love. If people didn’t understand you growing up, it because they weren’t shown or taught understanding.
Forgiveness after all, is a choice and one that everyone has the ability to make. Maybe you aren’t ready yet, and that’s OK. But if you know this is only causing you pain and making you angry and frustrated, then I hope this serves you as a great reference to begin the journey.
Forgiveness is for you, not them.Forgiveness doesn’t make you a doormat, excuse any behaviour or mean that you will be taken advantage of again.Be compassionate with yourself and others.Forgiveness takes time so be gentle with yourself.

Are you trying to be Superwoman?

The concept of Superwoman although interesting and poetic isn’t realistic.
As women today, we believe that we have to be and do all for everyone around us. Our kids and our families are our number one priority and we are a distant last if we even make the list.
When it comes to all the things you have to do and all the people you need to serve; are you being served?
More importantly, are you serving yourself? The answer is probably not and if it is probably not, and you feel guilt about adding yourself to the list- this is for you!
Women are serving themselves last, if at all, and are feeling massive guilt about it. But the truth is you are a priority. And you should be the number one priority. Because without you, your household is incomplete. Without you things won’t move cohesively, so you and the role you play is important.
I attended a funeral recently and the siblings were discussing who would take over the role of being the glue that held the family together. Know that you are the glue that holds your family together.
We are natural nurturers, even women who aren’t mothers are nurturing, caring and loving. We tend to take care of everyone around us, making sure everyone is OK. We also, take on problems that do not belong to us because we want to help. We want to be the fixer, the pleaser, the doer.
But we need to realize that we can’t do it all! It’s impossible to be a Superwoman.
We can only do what we can do. Trying to do more and pushing yourself beyond your limits leads to burnout, exhaustion, stress, depression and worse.
If you drive your car with no gas it’s going to shut down and if you’ve been running yourself down without taking care of you or being taken care of you will eventually shut down too.
I often hear people say this is selfish. This is not selfish. This is self-full. It’s about ensuring that you are at your best, so you can be and serve at your best in all areas of your life. This is about you knowing that you have to give to yourself before you can give of yourself.
Times have changed. We aren’t just in the home, cooking, cleaning and rearing children anymore. We’ve added to our job descriptions. We are employees, CEO’s, Entrepreneurs,
Founders, Activists, Philanthropists all while still running homes, taking care of children and being support to our friends and family.
Give yourself permission to stop trying to be Superwoman and remove the cape. Know that you are enough as you are, perfect as you are, doing the best you can as you are.
Post in the comments and let me know how you will be removing your cape.
Photo by Joshua Rawson-Harris on Unsplash

Sing Louder!

A few months ago, I had a live class on Self-Care and I was in my zone of Genius, if I do say so myself. During the live class I said if you enjoy singing- sing! If you sound awful, sing louder! I wanted to elaborated on this point because I think it’s important!
As children, while we were growing up, we did the things we enjoyed. We laughed, played, and shouted! We didn’t care what people thought; if it brought us joy, we did it! If we didn’t like something then we wouldn’t do it. As children, we knew how to be in our power, to say yes or no. As we grew up we started to take notice of people’s opinions. The things people said or thought of us began to matter and we started to feel small, intimidated, different and maybe even inferior. In some cases, we lost confidence and stopped believing in ourselves.
It’s time to get back to who we are! Not who we are on the surface, that society has led us to be, but the person we were created to be. The person that exists deep within, that we’ve been to scared to expose in fear of what others may think. That person needs to come out, the person who has her middle fingers up, that doesn’t care what other people think or say. She knows her destiny and she won’t let anyone stand in the way of her ultimate happiness.
So I close by saying this, if you love to sing- SING! Sing like you’re by yourself in the middle of no where and no one is around to hear . And if you like to dance -Dance! Dance like nobody is watching! Who cares! Life was meant to live. Are you ready to take your life by storm?