Monday, February 27, 2012

What's Your Motivation?

Tyson and I getting the morning started...
What gets you going in the morning?
What has you giving 100% on the days where 75% is all that you've got to give?
What drives you?

I've been thinking a lot about motivation lately.  I've got dreams (some big and some small) and my motivations are what I use to propel me towards attaining them.  What’s interesting to me is how much my inspirations have changed over the years.  The things that motivated me back in high school are indeed a far cry from the things that get me revved up today.  For that alone I am grateful!

Now in my thirties, my priorities to myself and to others have shifted.  My son motivates me to find new ways to nurture and love.  My job motivates me to push myself and find ways to add value to the work that I’m producing.  The people closest to me provide me with a motivation to stay strong and true to the woman that I’m becoming.  I work hard every day to try and take one step closer to each of the goals that I have laid out for myself.

One thing that I’ve noticed is that having an audience is highly motivating.  It was initially nerve-wracking because I didn’t want anyone to see me be anything less than good.  Then I took a step back and realized that if people are watching, it’s because there`s something to see and maybe, just maybe I can get people motivated about something, too.

I take pride in a lot of the things that I do and in so many of the challenges that I have faced.  I’m proud when I “get through it” whether it’s an intense workout, a grueling day with a ticked off toddler or a seemingly impossible project at work that has me working overtime.  I find it rewarding to master a tricky recipe or to finish writing a strong piece of work. Outside of my son, feeling good has to be one of my biggest motivations. What’s yours?

"One day your life will flash before your eyes. Make sure it’s worth watching."
- Source Unknown

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Random Thoughts

Heed the impulse to expand. Embrace the logic of letting go. 
~ Danielle Laporte 

Take a deep breath and dive right in.  Your life is waiting for you.  Don't allow yourself to be desensitized to the point that you fail to hear your own voice and fail to see your many gifts.  You are one of a kind and the world needs to get to know you better.  Convince yourself that failure is not an option.  If you say it enough times, you'll start to believe it.

Trust me.

Expand.  Open up your heart and mind.  Look within yourself because that's where beauty, answers and confidence can be found.  

Until next time, friends....

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Waiting and Other Procrastination Pitfalls

"The most pernicious aspect of procrastination is that it becomes a habit.  We don't just put off our lives today; we put them off until our deathbed."

Never forget:  This very moment, we can change our lives.  There never was a moment, and never will be, when we are without the power to alter our destiny.  This second, we can turn the tables on Resistance.

This second we can sit down and do our work"

~ Steven Pressfield (as written in the War of Art)

These words ring ever so true for me right now.  I've been away from the blogosphere for a few days coping with many things that occasionally come up in an average mother's day like caring for a sick toddler.   Tyson came down with what started as a sniffle last week but quickly evolved into a wicked virus on Saturday morning and I haven't looked back since.  A sick toddler increases laundry, decreases sleep intake and throws many pre-scheduled events out the window (or sets them back significantly).  While nothing is more important than the welfare and well-being of my child, by the time the weekend came to a close I was left feeling depleted and rundown.  

Then I received a text last night with a request to go for a walk.

Not a leisurely stroll but a nice brisk cardio pumping adventure.  It wasn't planned or anything.  A fellow mom that I met through Tyson's daycare called me up at the last minute after our respective kids were set for bed and asked if I wanted to join her.  I was exhausted and relatively uninspired; however the word "yes" escaped my mouth before I had the chance to put this opportunity off.

I'm so happy that I went.

There are so many good things that can to be said about looking Resistance in the eye and indignantly pushing forward.  By the time I returned home my heart was pumping me, my mind was humming and my legs thanked me.  Not because of the calories I burned but because I accomplished something that I could have easily but off until tomorrow.

I’m so glad that I didn’t wait.

What "feel good" thing are you going to accomplish today?

Until next time, friends.....

Thursday, February 16, 2012

I Went Out Walkin'....

So I decided to take a walk a couple of days ago.  It was a nice, mild night out.  The kind of night that tells you that winter is slowly winding down and that spring is just around the corner.  What made the night even more special was that it offered some self indulgent "me" time.  Time to break away from the daily roles that I impose on myself such as "employee", "mother", "wife", "friend", "sister" and "daughter".  Time alone is a scarce resource in the frantic pace of life, but I now recognize the importace of taking some space for yourself and relishing in all of the glory that doing so can offer.

As I walked briskly through the streets of downtown, I tried to make a point of staying present and being aware of what was going on around me.  It's so easy to be distracted by our destination and lose sight of the proverbial journey itself.  In this case, I had no real destination in mind when I stumbled upon something beautiful.  The Crystal Garden at Confederation Park.

The Crystal Garden is a part of the Winterlude festivities in Ottawa.  It's a place where international ice sculptors gather to compete at their craft and proudly display their impressive results.

I went out walkin' and was happy that I didn't have a destination in mind.  Here's to the beautiful things that you can find when you take the time to just "be".

Until next time, friends...

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

On Your Mark, Get Set.....

So I have been working towards getting back into a workout routine again but to be perfectly honest inspiration has been a bit of a challenge for me. Before I became pregnant with Tyson I was in a pretty disciplined workout regimen. Throughout my pregnancy,  I bumped up my activity for as long as I could before I had no choice but to slow it down.  It took about a year after having Tyson to get to a place where I was ready to accept that my lifestyle and physique had been forever changed and I learned that that isn't necessarily a bad thing.

When faced with change your choices are to resist it or accept it.

I choose not only to accept it but to embrace it for the scary free fall that it is.

In an earlier post I let you know about the online project that I joined called Move More, Eat Well. This is a great way for me to work towards my health and workout goals while being creative at the same time.  I have been feeling like I need to be more accountable for the progress that I make, so I enlisted my sister, Joan, to join me in a 5K run this May for Ottawa Race Weekend!  I have never considered running as exercise that I might enjoy.  As a matter of fact, I can't recall a race in my youth that I ever finished.  That is exactly why I'm doing this.  It's time to finish what I start. I'm actually 80% excited and 20% nervous.

In the upcoming days I will be doing a few posts about my initial baby steps towards this goal and in the following I will be doing interviews and soliciting guest posts from women that have been leading by example when it comes to healthy living.  My mind is whirling and the ideas keep coming.  I'm excited to form some thoughts and make some fresh, new and exciting sentences.

More news at 11...

Until next time friends.....

Monday, February 13, 2012

"Can't" is a Myth

Today I feel compelled to explore the words "can't" and "won't".  I think that so many of us are quick to reach for the word "can't".  It's a comforting go-to word when we experience fear about possibly trying new things or stepping into new situations.  Let's take a look at a few examples, shall we?

  • "I can't pursue a new career path.  I have too many responsibilities to take that kind of risk.  The market is SO unstable..."
  • "I can't quit smoking.  I tried a few times before and not only did I fail... I packed on 20 pounds!"
  • "I can't just say no to chocolate.  I have absolutely no willpower and I need it when I'm stressed out."

I am going to be blunt.  Not only with you, kind reader, but with myself. 

"Can't" is an excuse.

I have used it many times and upon reflection, I have found that "can't" puts us into a tiny box stuffed with a series of other self limiting beliefs.

"Can't" stops your journey before it begins.

"Can't" (for the most part) is a myth.  With very few exceptions, we can do anything.

Now, "won't" on the other hand is a different story for me.  I feel that "won't" has a ring of honesty and truth to it.  When I won't do something, I feel empowered by the fact that I'm exercising my free will and ability to choose.

The word "won't" doesn't always have to have a negative connotation attached to it.  Take the following sentence for example:   "I won't use the word "can't anymore."

I like it.  As a matter of fact, this may be a new mantra of mine....

There are times when I feel that we pigeon-hole our potential to "become" due to our belief systems.  We are so busy identifying the things that can't be done, we have little time to really test and prove the theory.  Nothing tried is nothing gained couldn't ring more true.

We need to start small and give ourselves credit for simply showing up for the life that we've been given.  This morning you may have felt like you couldn't get out of bed but you did.  Celebrate each and every accomplishment.  Each day presents a new opportunity for growth, change and healing.  It's a clean slate and what you decide to do within 24 fast hours creates a blueprint for tomorrow.

Imagine all of the things that CAN be done.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

What Do You Love?

With Valentine's Day around the corner, I'm inclined to write a bit about love.  There is something to be said for doing what you love.  I used to think that not doing something that I was passionate about as a career defined me as less than successful.  Thankfully, I have come to realize that making time in my life to do things that I love is very rewarding.  Creating space for creativity and experimentation with things that capture my interest helps to bring me one step closer to the balance so many of us strive for in our "everyday".

As February 14th draws near I hope that you take a moment to step away from the chocolates, Hallmark cards and the like to find time to cultivate and spend time doing the things that you love, too.

Monday, February 6, 2012

The Evolution of a Cocoa Goddess

I can't remember a time when weight wasn't an issue in my life.  I was chubby for the better part of my childhood and I carried that with me into part of my adult life. Looking back I recognize that I was overweight not because of a love for food but a disdain for myself.  I can't remember half of the food that I put in my mouth back then because it never stayed on my plate long enough for me to fully appreciate it.  Eating the amount of food that I did provided me with the what seemed to be gratification and comfort that I felt I wasn't getting at home or at school.

When my parents were fighting... I ate.
If I was made fun of at school... I ate.
If my heart was broken... I ate.
When I was feeling lonely, bored, angry or sad.... I ate.
You get the idea, right?

There weren't alot of things that I was sure of in my youth but I knew that food and writing were always there for me when the world seemed to turn its back. I was a diehard overachiever.  In my mind if I was going to be a fat girl, I was going to be a smart fat girl.  It wasn't until I progressed into adulthood that I started to understand that there were choices that I could make for myself that didn't involve frequent trips to the fridge. I didn't have to accept the 250 lbs. that the scale read and I didn't have to cloak myself in the familiar surroundings of plus size pants and a painful smile of acceptance.

Weight was an all consuming topic for me.  I thought that if I wished hard enough or clipped out enough pictures of pretty skinny girls, the weight would magically disappear.

As the old adage goes, "You get out, what you put in". The life that I was living while I was extremely overweight was a reflection of what I felt about myself at the time. After suffering a few bouts of depression I decided that it was time for change. 

While I have been successful in keeping my promise to never go back to the lifestyle that made me so unhappy, I still have a bit of unrest within me.  I know that I haven't pushed myself as hard as I can.  If I did, I don't know if I would recognize myself anymore and that scares me a bit.  I can't let that fear keep me from trying. 

Taking care of myself isn't about vanity anymore. It's about my self-worth.  The scale doesn't have to show a specific number as long as I know that I have nourished my insides with good things and moved enough to work up a bit of a sweat. While difficult on some days, becoming accountable for my own well being is helping me to appreciate more and more of the simple things.  For that I am eternally grateful.

Until next time, friends,

Wednesday, February 1, 2012


Beauty is not in the face; beauty is a light in the heart.
~ Khalil Gibran

I always feel beautiful when I listen to this song.  I hope that you will, too.  Until next time, friends...