Life

How to Persevere When Your Plan Doesn’t Unfold Perfectly

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  I speak a lot on my blog, in my newsletter and with my clients about the importance of leaving some wiggle room in any plan. Having a game plan is important and helps keep you on track and pushing in the right direction, but it’s inevitable that something somewhere along the line isn’t going to unfold as perfectly as you’d like. And that’s OK. Heck, sometimes that’s when you really strike gold and find an even better path to fulfillment and happiness than you could ever have dreamt of.

With all that being said, I’m not going to sit here and tell you that speed bumps and U-turns on your road to living an authentic, fulfilling life aren’t discouraging. Sometimes the bump’s not so major and it’s easy enough to keep jugging along. Other times it’s a much larger wrench that gets thrown into things and it can feel as though you’re never going to achieve what you’re trying to, or you may even sit and wonder if you’ve made a huge mistake trying in the first place.

Friend, I want you to know that taking steps (even backwards steps) on the path to living the life you are called to live is major progress. It’s more than a lot of people on this planet wind up doing in their entire lives, so take a moment to celebrate your very intention to take the journey.

The universe is never going to stop throwing you curve balls. It’s also never going to stop presenting you with prime opportunities to leap forward and experience an abundance of happiness – it’s all about being ready for when it happens and not pumping the brakes on your momentum. To help you persevere when times get tough and stay motivated, I really want you to take note of the following three tips and do your best to put them into action.

1. Have an Attitude of Expectancy, But Don’t Allow Pessimistic Thoughts

Acknowledging that life’s filled with opportunities and obstacles is one thing. Assuming that no matter how hard you try, you’re never going to get anywhere is another. Move forward in life and in your goals with an “attitude of expectancy.” Expect obstacles, but focus on how these speed bumps will push you to seek creative solutions and be even better. Expect greatness of yourself, even if that greatness is getting your butt to the gym once a week or doing a little DIY juicing.

If you can visualize overcoming a problem and achieving your goals, you can make it happen.

2. Be Authentically Positive

I urge you to seek out the positive in situations and do so authentically which in my books, means dropping what feels fake positive and moving toward what feels genuinely positive. When you build a new relationship, encounter a new experience or find yourself dealing with a dilemma – truly look for the positive elements. When you put this into practice on a regular basis, you’ll find yourself feeling happier and forming stronger bonds with others, developing a greater self-appreciation and will be able to more easily envision your future achievements and have confidence in your goals.

3. Know When to Ask For Help

Knowing when to leverage the skills and expertise of others is a sign of exceptionally great leadership and entrepreneurship. If you’ve hit a roadblock and feel as though you can’t trek forward alone – don’t! Reach out to a fellow college alumni, dial up your mentor (or find a mentor!) or even bounce some ideas off a friend. Humans aren’t programmed to be entirely independent all of the time. We need discussion, collaboration and interaction. In fact, we greatly benefit from interacting with our peers.

I’m going to end this post with a quote I like and feel is especially relevant to this post. It goes, “The greater the obstacle, the more glory in overcoming it.” As you begin a new day, chapter or venture, I encourage you to keep this in mind. Recite it, write it down or just let it run through your mind every once in a while. Every step is worth celebrating and every speed bump should remind you that you’re moving.

To your authenticity,

Love, Christine

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How to Become a Juicing Master at Home: Cold-Pressed vs. Vitamix and Beyond

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You might be wondering why I'm writing about juicing. Well, I like to write about personal, relatable experiences as often as possible and this one has been on my mind for weeks. I have been trying to master the art of juicing and creating awesome smoothies for months now and have made a ton of mistakes so decided to look into what I might be missing in the equation. One of the big things that happened is I went into a local juice spot and didn't really look at the prices until it was too late and I found myself paying $14 for one-single-juice! In my mind, I could've purchased at least 5 bags of spinach or 6 bunches of kale so I concluded, I need to figure out the at-home version and also figure out what's better for me in the world of juicing (little did I know there's lots of different ways!) “Juicing” is a term that’s become incredibly popular in the last two years. While it’s been a way for many to ensure their bodies receive the nutrition they need for much longer than two years, it’s gained huge mainstream popularity more recently. With home juicing and mixing machines readily available, and becoming increasingly affordable, why would you subject yourself to a $14 bill at a juicery anymore? (oh and I am loving the entrepreneurial spirit around all the juicing spots popping up, I just want to balance my budget with juicing at home too!)

Looking after yourself from the inside out is something that’s super important to me. But, I know there must be a way to do this for less money and from the comfort of home. So, I did a little research and want to share with you today how you can start becoming a juice-making expert yourself to balance out the days you treat yourself at a juice cafe.

With the right equipment (and a certain amount of patience), you can absolutely recreate most of your favourite juices at home. When I say “the right equipment,” it’s important to understand the difference between things like a “juicer” and a “mixer.”

When you purchase juice from a juicery, it’s usually cold-pressed – particularly if the price point seems high. In true juicing, there are two juicing methods: centrifugal and cold-pressed. The first, centrifugal, is more like your traditional mixing machine like a VitaMix. It uses a fast-spinning blade to pulverize fruit and veggies and extracts the juice. With that being said, it’s not the exact same as throwing everything into a blender and calling it a day. For myself, it's a two step process where I drain the VitaMix creation through a cheese cloth to just enjoy the juice. The second, cold-pressed, involves a slow pulverizer and hydraulic press. This method is more popular with specialty juicing companies or those offering juice cleanses.

With the cold-pressed method, it’s often said that the process doesn’t create heat. However, natural heat is created when anything is being crushed and grinded. To truly maintain the label of “cold-pressed,” the standard rule of thumb is that the heat created does not venture over 50 degrees Celsius.

When it comes down to which method is better, you should consider a few things like ease of use, maintenance, end nutritional value, shelf life and how much juice you can make at once. A cold-pressed juicing machine tends to be more expensive (to both buy and maintain), takes longer to use and produces smaller batches. However, the nutritional value also tends to be higher and the juice itself can last longer.

With a centrifugal machine, like Vitamix, you see larger batches, slightly lower cost and better ease of use. While the end result may not have asconcentrated of nutrients, you are still fully capable of making delicious, nutritious juices that are much more packed with healthy ingredients than your standard grocery store OJ.

For me, I think I'm going to stick with Vitamix at home and then treat myself to a coldpress juice now and again. There's less clean up with a vitamix and the cheese cloth really does do the trick.

Once you’ve chosen your machine type and are ready to get going, you’ll be glad to know there is an endless supply of juice recipes online. From those that teach how to emulate popular juice cleanses like Blueprint Cleanse to easy, everyday juices featuring nearly a single ingredient – you’ll have a blast learning, growing and treating your body to a healthy dose of delicious whenever you wish.

To your authenticity,

Love, Christine

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Nemophilist: One who is fond of forest or forest scenery; a haunter of the woods.

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I’ve written before about my love for nature and its unparalleled ability to calm, soothe and rejuvenate. Whether it’s a day spent by the water or an afternoon spent wandering the woods, nothing helps you realign your goals and hit “reset” like Mother Earth. If you have recently felt overwhelmed, anxious or without direction, I’m hoping this post can offer you guidance and get you back on a path towards healing and joy. Since I’ve been drawn more than normal to the forest lately, let’s start there.

There’s something very powerful about being reminded of how small you are as you bob and weave throughout trees so tall they create a canopy, blocking out the sun and immersing you in wildlife. Many forests are home to plant life that began growing hundreds of years before you were born, a welcome reminder of how easy it can be to get so caught up in the craziness of right “now” that we forget it’s fleeting.

Breathing deeply and trekking through even your local park is a surefire way to bring things into focus and give current problems better context. Come the end of your journey, you’re sure to feel more relaxed, at ease and with a better grip of your next move. In the city, I currently live in, Toronto, I've found a nice route within High Park that takes me in and out of a few 'foresty' trails.

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Another element of nature I love is water and, specifically, large bodies of it. If you’re able, I encourage you to travel to the sea or ocean. Salty air, natural formed cliffs and hardly being able to make out what’s beyond the horizon is an awakening experience. I could spend hours sitting by the water watching it ebb and flow.

If you’ve been having trouble sleeping or city life’s got you down, make sure you take a break but without making it too complicated. My view is if you make it too complicated, you won't prioritize it. Lots of cities have local "beaches" whether they rest on a lake, river or ocean. If you have the time, take a drive to a nearby town or community where water is a bit more accessible. Whatever you do, try to leave some time that is free of planning and "doing" and allow yourself to simply enjoy the sounds of the water and its rehabilitating abilities.

Last but not least, I’d like to talk to you about simply stepping outside and enjoying the bright warmth of the sun. If you live in an area of the world with four seasons, you can go a long time without really being able to enjoy the sun. Then, once summer comes, we sometimes get so wrapped up in vacationing plans and the day-to-day that we forget to get outside and just enjoy the warmth.

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Now, I’m not suggesting you go and lay out under the sun until you’re red and crispy. Maybe you’ll sit under the shady canopy of a tree. Perhaps you’ll be on a patio. Or, maybe you do want to lounge out with some SPF and soak up the rays. Whatever you do, know that the sun has been an element worshipped by people for centuries. Sometimes, all you need is a 15-minute break to a quiet place out under the sunshine and you’ll feel brand new and ready to take on your day. If you spend a lot of time at work under fluorescent lights and struggle to break away from the grind, you’ll likely find this to be especially true for you. Take a beat, take a breath and allow nature to heal you, friend.

With summer drawing to a close, my mind is already racing to think of all the ways I can continue to enjoy nature once the temperature drops. If you’re a nemophilist and love the forest, or are someone who’s drawn to all types of nature, I’d love to hear how you plan on embracing the cooler months.

To your authenticity,

Love, Christine

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How Your Happiness Delights the World Around You

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We’ve all heard the saying, “A smile is contagious.” But, when we’re so immersed in our day-to-day lives, it can be easy to forget the powerful impact our smile can have on not only ourselves, but the world around us. Can you think of a time you saw someone smiling or laughing and it made you do the same thing? Even if it was just a small "corner of the mouth" smile. Contagious! :) There have been times in my life and particularly in the last 2 years, where I literally wanted to tell a person or even a stranger how much their smile meant to me. It sometimes seemed odd that I didn't share their impact but often, I just quietly accepted the gift and noted the impact. Knowing that a lot of people are shy to share the impact, I try to approach my interactions with others like "you just never know what is going on in their life so a good approach is a genuine smile and kindness."

When you are living a truly authentic, grateful life and seek to recognize the privilege of your life, this radiates from within. Your friends, family, coworkers and even strangers on the street can sense you are on a journey of seeking peace within. Your happiness and even your desire for happiness affects them. Here’s how, and why, it works:

Your Happiness Expands Your Thinking and Tolerance Levels

When you are in a positive mind space, you are more likely to practice a greater level of tolerance and acceptance than when you’re thinking negative thoughts. Your mind is more open to new experiences, cultures, people and ways of life. I believe lack of tolerance has a major affect on the global levels of anger, hate and war.

Your Happiness Inspires Others to Live More Happily

When other people see you smiling, laughing and enjoying life, it encourages and inspires them to look at how they can do the same. It's rarely an overnight switch but think of times you have left interactions with a positive person and have felt better about your current situation. If not better, than maybe a shift in perspective will eventually lead to better. We all need people in our lives to inspire us to look at things differently.

Your Genuine Nature Draws People to You

Nothing is more attractive than genuine happiness. Your authentic smile draws people in and your positive, upbeat attitude welcomes new friends, acquaintances and even relationships. In fact, over the years, I've had many clients comment on how being genuine is increasingly important in new and lasting relationships. It's like you can fully relax around someone who is being genuine. Many of us feel vulnerable when we are being genuine but trust me, it's the best place to be and draws like-minded people to you.

Your Happiness Comforts Others

Everyone loves having a friend they can depend on when times get tough. Your ability to seek out the silver lining and bright side of things provides comfort and reassurance to those around you. When you yourself are then going through a rough patch in your own life, those same people will be there to offer the same comfort and reassurance to you. People want to be there and support someone who routinely lifts them up in life.

To your authenticity,

Love, Christine

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How to Discover Happiness in Your Everyday Life… Starting Today

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Happiness. It’s the goal we strive for and how we measure self-achievement. You may believe you’ll be “happy” once you get that raise you’ve been after. Perhaps your happiness rests on buying a new house or trading in your car. It might mean a certain salary, number of friends or the freedom to travel as you please. Or, maybe, it’s in a strong relationship with an amazing partner. Whatever the cause, chances are that you, too, are chasing happiness. The thing about happiness, however, is that it’s the product of making a conscious decision to experience the feeling. No amount of money, no beautiful home and no perfect partner can truly make you happy if you don’t choose to be so. The same can be said for the reverse – I’ve met many fantastic, over-the-moon happy people over the years that are incredibly humble and content to live within small means. It all comes down to choice.

In this post, I’d like to share with you a few ways to make the conscious effort to live more happily. You might be surprised at how much happiness is just sitting there waiting for you in your everyday life. Read on, friend!

5. Take Inventory of Your Surroundings

When you woke up this morning, was it in a reasonably comfortable bed with covers and a pillow? Were you able to choose from a closet of clothes and brush your teeth with clean, drinkable water? These simple, basic things are so often taken for granted when other people are quite literally praying for them. You are incredibly fortunate, probably more than you’ll ever know, and have the unique opportunity to choose how you spend your life.

For 3-5 minutes a day, I urge you to sit on your bed and stay quiet. Take a mental inventory of the many fortunes you’ve experienced throughout the day – from a meal at lunch to a safe and reliable way to get home. Look around you, right in your very own room, and take inventory of your belongings and ability to feel at ease in your own space. I’m betting that you’ll begin to appreciate your surroundings and start to feel happier.

4. Go Exploring… on a Trail or in Your Own Backyard

Nature has the remarkable ability to remind of us our smallness in the world and yet motivate us to see the beauty in nearly everything – including our own lives. Head out to the local trails for a relaxing walk or even just toss on those gardening shoes and head out to your own backyard. Allowing yourself to focus on nature and your surroundings will free up space in your mind for positive, happy thoughts. It’s pretty hard to focus on anything negative when there’s so much beauty and life surrounding you!

To kick it up a notch, slip in a comfy pair of ear buds or grab a portable speaker and listen to your favourite tunes. An upbeat, happy song will help make the most of the experience and have you feeling energized and ready to conquer just about anything in no time.

3. Tidy Your Space

Remember back when you were in high school or university and found it difficult to concentrate in a messy space? How we keep the spaces around us strongly impacts how we feel inside. A messy, cluttered room can leave you feeling anxious and down. A clean, tidy space can have the opposite effect. If you want to re-energize and start feeling upbeat, I recommend doing a little cleaning. Once the clutter’s cleared, you’ll start to feel happier and more accomplished almost instantly.

If your life’s simply too hectic to keep a clean house, consider hiring a cleaning service to come by even once every couple of weeks. The delight and surprise you’ll feel when you come home to a clean house at the end of the day can make all the difference sometimes! Just be sure to carefully review the cleaning rates ahead of time because a big bill will have those happy feelings flying away just as quickly as they arrived.

2. Sleep More

This one’s so simple. Just sleep more! Our bodies are under a ton of stress on a daily basis, both conscious and subconscious. Sometimes, we simply don’t get enough REM sleep and deep, restful Zs to help us fully recharge. When you start the day feeling sleepy and irritable, you can bet it’s not going to improve as the hours wear on. So, why not put in a little effort and try to catch a few more winks?

Hit the hay earlier during the week and allow yourself to hit “snooze” a couple of times come the weekend. The world will keep turning while you enjoy an extra thirty minutes of sleep and you’ll awake feeling more refreshed, and happier, because of it.

1. Talk it Out

Have you ever heard the expression, “Just let it all out?” Sometimes, people just need to vent. This is when it’s great to have someone in your life, like a friend or family member, who you can call up or meet with to talk it out. Was your week especially tough and you really feel as though you need to get a few things off of your chest? Do it! And, if you don’t feel as though you have anyone you can call up right this moment, consider leaving a comment on this post so I can hear your thoughts.

Friend, happiness is waiting for you. In fact, it’s really already here – it’s up to you to see it and allow yourself to feel it. If you have any other tips you’d like to share, please leave them in the comments section! I’d love to hear from you.

To your authenticity,

Love, Christine

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The Power of Travel & How it Helps You Grow

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While travel is often regarded as a fun way to escape everyday life and experience new things, the benefits it offers to your mind and soul reach far beyond just that. Travel can be a liberating experience; an opportunity to step outside your comfort zone and experience life as you never imagined. It can be a teaching experience – a chance to immerse yourself in a new culture or different way of life. It can also be an eye-opening experience and one that leads to great personal growth, change and even re-evaluation. Let’s look at just a few of the ways that travel is so powerful and how it can help you grow.

1. Strengthen (and Challenge) Your Relationship

We’ve all seen at least one movie or read one book in which a couple heads out on an adventure, only to wind up questioning everything about their bond along the way. In a sense this is true, as travel puts both partner outside of his or her comfort zone and challenges you both to experience different challenges, obstacles and joys. However, travel can be an excellent way to strengthen your relationship. You’ll have to work together to find your way, challenge yourselves to overcome language and cultural barriers and will have memories – good and bad – to look back on for the years to come.

2. Learn Patience, Understanding and Acceptance

Nothing teaches patience quite like exploration. You might find that you miss a bus, your train is delayed or your flight has been cancelled. Perhaps you’ll struggle reading a local map and take a while to make it to your dinner reservation or find your way back to where you’re staying. Depending on your travel destination, the situations will be different but the need for patience and understanding will remain the same.

To truly build your patience, understanding and appreciation I would encourage you to travel to somewhere that you do not speak the language. As a society, we’re generally very used to getting what we ask for. Experiencing difficulty communicating with words and having to rely on patience, understanding and acceptance will help you grow as a person and develop non-verbal communication skills like never before.

3. Change Your Perspective… or Get Some

How you view the world does impact how the world views you. Most often, our perspective on life and all that it encompasses is highly dependent on those we choose to surround ourselves with, our upbringing and our cultural experiences. To truly develop your own perspective, or break away from the routine and find some to begin with, I encourage you to travel.

Visiting a remote village in South Africa or a bustling street in Thailand will allow you to see how other people view the world, daily life and you. Watching people in routines similar to your own, but carried out in immensely different ways, is a highly rewarding experience. You’ll quickly learn how fortunate you are to have such easy access to things such as clean drinking water, delicious foods and even somewhat dependable public transportation.

4. Meeting new people!

Travel is a unique bonding experience. Chances are you’ll come across all sorts of people you would never have met in your everyday life. Travel has this fun ability to take different people from completely different upbringings, with totally different views, and create an incredible bond. This can be especially true when you choose to travel alone.

There are tons of travel tour groups that can create planned trips for small or large groups of people. There's also niche tour groups, but most commonly the groups are based on age. If you’re craving a change, are looking to do a little soul searching or just need to step outside of the norm – consider a group tour. I know that sometimes when I travel, I go partially with a group and then partially on my own. You'll walk away with spectacular memories, strong new friendships and immense personal growth. You may be surprised at the new friendships you build or even the opportunity to meet a new romantic partner. Truly, anything is possible!

To your authenticity,

Love, Christine

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P.S. The photo above is from a recent trip to Sedona. Isn't it beautiful? Be sure to follow me on Instagram for travel adventures, everyday words of advice and more.

Is the “7 Year Itch” Real… Not Just in Relationships but in Life?

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There’s often talk about the “seven year itch.” The idea is that, when you’re in a relationship for seven years, you start to second-guess yourself at the seven-year mark. Maybe you begin itching for a change. Perhaps you’re compelled to re-evaluate your relationship (and yourself) with more scrutiny than before. While American data points to the seven year itch being quite real for American marriages, I’d like to discuss the possibility of the “itch” being more about one person and his or her life than the relationship as a whole. Let's look together to answer the question, "Is the 7 year itch real?" once and for all. Like I mentioned, American data (specifically the financial data compiled by Credit Donkey) shows a clear trend: the majority of divorces that happen in the USA actually occur in the eighth year of marriage. Then we have Rudolf Steiner, an Austrian philosopher, who created a theory in which humans physically and mentally change every seven years. If one person in a partnership is on a different, or even the same, seven-year development cycle, it makes sense that things may get a little rocky – especially when the changes happen to be large.

Now, friend, I’m absolutely not saying that every relationship and every marriage will become intolerable and result in divorce after seven years because we all know that’s not the case! What I am suggesting, however, is a need for both single people and people in relationships to better understand their personal growth, development and goals. This will help us not only better navigate through life, but it will make us better communicators and partners as well.

Speaking from personal experience, I can look back at my life so far and easily identify periods of change. And, you know what? They happen about every seven years. Who you are at 21, just coming out of your teenaged years, can be vastly different than who you are at 28 – just about ready to enter your 30s. Who you are at 35 is likely different, again, from who you are at 43. It’s natural and healthy to grow a little restless and to experience a change in your outlook and goals. Also, who you are at 21 vs 43 can be very similar but it might just look different. In my own life, I can definitely see that the quest for adventure was there at 21 and still is but it just looks different now.

Think of your immediate group of friends for a moment. It’s likely, much like I do, that you know at least one person who hates the idea of change – perhaps they’re even scared of it. They likely find great comfort in things staying exactly the same and waking up each and every day to the same routine. If, one day, they were to wake up and begin to crave great change, without even understanding why, I’m sure it would be unsettling. Their life perspective would shift, their relationships may become strained and their personality may evolve.

Now, think back to your group of friends – or even family members. Again, much like I can identify this personality trait, you likely know someone who regularly seeks change and grows restless extremely quickly. Perhaps this person doesn’t really know what they want and figures they won’t know ‘til it’s right in front of them. Perhaps they’re afraid of their life becoming “stagnant.” Whatever the case, imagine how this person may feel if they had a partner with a similar lust for constant change only to find, one day, that one of them now just wanted everything to slow down and settle. Naturally, it would create challenges.

What I recommend doing regularly, not just every seven years, is sitting down and really connecting with yourself. Ask yourself these questions:

“How happy are you...really?”

“What could you be doing to lead a happier, fuller life today?”

And, if you’re in a relationship, ask yourself these as well:

“Why do you love your partner?” (asking "Why" brings you closer to the positive feeling of all the reasons you chose your partner)

“How could you reinforce (or remind!) yourself and your partner the positive reasons you chose each other?”

"Can you identify the areas of growth and frame them as that, as opposed to seeing change as a negative?"

A strong understanding of not only who you are right now, but who your partner is as well, is necessary for success. But, you also need to leave a good amount of space for changing and evolving. Just as you’re not the same now as you were seven or fourteen years ago, it makes perfect sense that who you’ll be – single or as a partnership – is bound to change seven years from now. The key is being able to see the positive in that –the space for growth as a partnership instead of growing away from the partnership.

To your authenticity,

Love, Christine

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How to Live Healthier, Both Inside and Out

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One of the current largest topics of discussion is that of healthy living and how to live healthier. Talk of organic lifestyles, holistic health choices and detoxifying our lives is everywhere. But, is there any truth to it all? Can you really live healthier simply by making the choice… and without spending a fortune? Friends, the answer is yes. In early May, I'll be taking part in an a reinvigorating, exciting and soul-filled series called “Detox Your Life and Step Into Your Purpose.” I’m a firm believer that everyone holds the power, and the choice, to make strides towards healthier living. Whether it’s the breakfast you eat before you start your day or the people you choose to surround yourself with – you truly do have control. In this series I shared my philosophies and advice, and that’s why I’d like to speak a bit more on the subject in this post.

At the core of it all, it comes down to making the conscious decision to live in the now and invite positivity, healthiness and love into your life. For many people, however, it can be difficult to find where to start. Don’t feel alone if you’re one of those people. I’m here to support you!

So, let’s discuss a few ways that you can start living a healthier life today.

1. Stop Worrying

At times it can feel like the world is crumbling around you. You might be in an argument with a friend or family member. Maybe your career isn’t where you’d hoped it would be by now or a new business venture is on rocky ground. Worry can be overwhelming and can, quite honestly, overtake your life. In order to make room for healthiness and positivity, you need to push worry out of the way.

Accepting the things that are beyond your control and allowing yourself to focus on only the things you can change is one way to do this. Regularly reminding yourself to stop and appreciate what you do have is another. Thirdly, take a moment to look around and ask yourself if your worst fears are really coming to life. Chances are that they’re not, and that you’re worried about things that will probably never happen. Let it go, friend!

2. Focus on the Now

As a people, we are so busy planning for the future and reflecting on the past that the “right now” passes us right by. You know how people often say “time flies!” or how you can hardly believe it’s already May when it feels like it was New Year’s just yesterday? This sort of loss of time can be blamed on not allowing yourself to live in the moment. You plan for the future so much that, when the future arrives, you can hardly believe it. Break away from all of that and allow your mind and body to celebrate the amazing things that are happening in your life this very moment. You are alive. You have many accomplishments. You are going to continue to achieve great things in both love and life.

3. Be Mindful of Your Food

One major culprit of sluggishness, tiredness and unexpected weight gain is “mindless eating.” This sort of eating happens when you’re watching TV or on the computer and what you’re eating becomes secondary to what you’re doing. Sometimes, you’re not even really hungry – you’re just bored. I encourage you to be more mindful of what you put into your body in the coming days and weeks. Your food is your fuel!

Try switching out Toaster Strudels for a green smoothie in the morning or packing a salad and snacks instead of zipping through the drive through over lunch hour. Nourishing your body with healthy, nutritious food will in turn nourish your mind.

4. Reward Your Body with Exercise

While exercise may be the last thing you equate with “reward,” your body craves being in motion. When you allow yourself to become sedentary for too long a time, your body doesn’t really know what to do with itself. You may gain wait, feel more tired more often or just simply feel “not like yourself.” Give your body what it wants and get it movin’.

If you haven’t tried yoga before, I would highly recommend checking out a yoga class. Start with something basic and for beginners so as to not overwhelm or hurt yourself, but pay close attention to the instructor and ask for assistance if ever you’re unsure of a pose or stretch. A gentle, calming exercise like yoga will do more for your body than you might expect. Some benefits include calming, improvement in posture, deeper sleeps and even increase in happiness.

5. Praise Yourself and Others

Lastly, try not to be so hard on yourself. Getting down on yourself about skipping the gym or enjoying a chocolate bar can be all it takes to send you back to the beginning. Becoming healthier, and making any life change really, happens in stages and steps. It’s not an overnight transformation and, chances are, you might have a slip up or two. But that’s okay. We’re all only human and I’ll be here for you when you need some encouragement. Give me a follow on Twitter or Instagram so we can stay in touch.

To your authenticity,

Love, Christine

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Life Coach Advice: Avoid These 4 Self-Sabotaging Habits

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There’s a time old adage that teaches that happiness begins within. While it may seem at times that finding happiness in the right now is impossible, I can’t stress enough how much control you truly have in your own emotional well-being, in the path your life takes and in your experiencing of true joy. To help you achieve joy and happiness, I want to share my list of four self-sabotaging habits you need to stop now. One of my greatest joys as a life coach is seeing first-hand how my clients are able to effectively change their outlooks on life, personal happiness and achieve success. I won’t say that it’s an instant change, because it’s not. But, it’s a change that is entirely possible and that I believe that you, too, can make.

Avoid Autopilot Behaviour

What do I mean by this? Well, there are many behaviours that can easily achieve autopilot status under the right (or, in this case, wrong) circumstances. Some examples are mindless eating, binge watching television, losing hours to vying over your ex boyfriend’s recent trip with his new girlfriend… these are all examples of actions or behaviour that happen without a deliberate intention. They just get into autopilot.

Allowing yourself to carry on a life in which you regularly simply tune out and allow yourself to engage in autopilot behaviours can have a negative, direct impact on your happiness. It’s so incredibly important to be aware of this "brain habit" and consciously catch yourself. This way you can, in the moment, choose different thoughts.

When you allow your life and your mind to be filled up to the rim with unintentional thoughts and actions, you end up without any room for positive intentions. A life filled with deliberate, thought-out and intentional actions will ultimately lead to a much more fulfilling and happy day-to-day.

Avoid Criticizing Yourself

Believe me when I say that everyone experiences self-criticism, just simply of varying degrees. At the end of the day, we are all only human. With that being said, regular self-criticizing behaviour can have major negative impacts on your self-esteem, self-confidence, outlook on life and happiness.

When you feel yourself beginning to pick yourself apart, take a moment to breathe. It’s imperative that you follow that breath with a self-affirming statement. For example, not feeling beautiful today? Remind yourself that you are special (and gorgeous) in your own unique skin. Feeling down because a presentation you delivered at work didn’t go as well as you hoped? Remind yourself that you are capable, intelligent and will rock the next presentation twice as hard.

Avoid Isolation

When you’re feeling down, it can be tempting to throw on the sweats and retreat to a weekend filled with Netflix, delivery food and just about nothing else. Allowing yourself to remain in isolation, particularly when you’re feeling especially down, can have more negative impacts than healing ones. While “me” time can be very fulfilling and productive, the difference between that and “isolation” really comes down to purpose.

The next time you’re tempted to cancel on friends with plans or decline an event invitation, ask yourself if you truly intend to spend the time working towards greater self fulfillment or if there is now a larger likelihood you will feel worse through isolating yourself. Again, I fully believe in recharging by spending time alone but we just have to be careful of when and how we do it.

Avoid Putting Everyone Before Yourself

Have you ever been called a “people pleaser” or thought of yourself a “yes man” or “yes woman”? Generosity and devotion to others is not a characteristic to be ashamed of, nor is it a negative. However, if you regularly put everyone else ahead of yourself to the point that your own needs and wants are not being met – chances are that you’re not as happy as you could be.

Spending time focused on working towards your own happiness will result in a lift in happiness of those around you. Everyone wins when you put your own happiness as value numero uno. This joy has influence and will emanate to those around you.

To your authenticity,

Love, Christine

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What have you said “Never Again” to?

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So I joined the gym this week. This was something I was avoiding…out of principal. You see, the last time I was a member of a gym, they went out of business and took over $400 of my money with them. I said to myself, never again, there’s no way I’m ever giving money to a gym again. All of them are notorious for ripping you off”. So for the last year, I wouldn’t commit to anything more than a 10-card pass for CrossFit or, in the case of the yoga studio I go to, a one year membership where I knew the end date and it was clearly stated in the contract.

A few weeks ago, a friend of mine was going for an appointment to sign up for a gym and my last words to her were, “pay cash, don’t give them any payment information!”. She laughed, probably not knowing how committed I was to my principal.

Then the day came when she and I decided to be fitness accountability partners. Uh oh, how was I going to do this? How was I going to actually avoid the gym and still be her partner? My first thoughts were,” I would just keep buying my 10-passes and exercise outside. But winter is on it’s way and as much as I used to love winter running, it’s a different climate here in the east then when I lived in Alberta.  Plus, was I really going to be her partner and then just exercise by myself?”

So I picked up the phone…

“It’s a wonderful day at Good Life, how can I help you?”

(oh gawd, really, I can’t turn back now)

Me: I was wondering if you have any appointments for tonight. I’d like to…..sign up for a membership.

Her: (super friendly) Sure, how about 7:30pm?

(maybe part of me was hoping they wouldn’t have a time slot and I could have more time to think about it)

Me: (hesitating) Yes, thanks, I’ll see you then.

I got off the phone and the funny thing is, I thought “well, when I sit down with the membership guy, I’ll strike a deal, maybe even play hard ball. We’ll find a way for me to re-coup the funds I lost from the last gym”

When I arrived, Shane greeted me, told me his own fitness story and took me on a tour. He had clearly done this over 1000 times and I wondered if he could walk the tour in his sleep. My brain started to tell me I shouldn’t sign up because he was too “salesy”. But….really Christine? What if he just likes his job and it shows. Stop looking for excuses! J

So when we sat down and he had me start filling out the membership form, my little “never again! Never again!” voice came up and I outright asked him “so what can we do about the price of membership. Are there different prices?” Shane has also likely been asked this 1000 times so he respectfully said, “the price is the same for everyone but I can give you your first month free”.

Sigh…okay. I got to the part of the form where they needed banking information. Big, huge gulp and I wrote out my numbers.

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaah, went my brain.

I looked at my friend who had come with me and I knew that the fact we were now going to be able to go the gym regularly outweighed my “never again’s”. And at the end of the day, my investment in my health was a good one... even though I may only admit it here. :)

COACHING EXERCISE FOR YOU

Think of the things in your life that you’ve said “NEVER AGAIN” to but at the end of the day, it really only ends up hurting you.

Share what you discover in the comments below!

To your authenticity,

Love, Christine

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How to Stay Calm and In Control in Any Situation

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Everyone handles stress differently. It can be hard to learn how to stay calm. Some people can breeze through a last minute deadline without breaking a sweat. Others get anxious at the mere thought of having to drive to the airport for specific time. No matter what your reaction, understand that it’s entirely natural. Also understand that there are universal coping mechanisms that you can employ to help you stay calm and in control, because losing your cool is never fun. To help you stay calm, cool and collected I’m sharing my top five tips to keeping calm. So, keep calm and read on!

1. Remember to Breathe

When you receive a passive aggressive text message, vague email asking you to keep your manager in the board room, last minute notice that your in-laws are coming to town tonight or when you realize you hit “snooze” a few too many times and are bound to be late – take a second to breathe.

In fact, take sixty seconds to breathe.

Concentrating on your breathe and getting your heart rate back to normal will help you conquer whatever the situation may be with a cooler head and clearer mind. There’s nothing worse than a knee-jerk reaction in a stressful situation!

2. Tell Yourself It’s Temporary

It can be easy to let the situation swallow you whole and lead you down a path of panic. Remind yourself that what you’re feeling is just a temporary reaction to the situation now and that it will pass. Sometimes letting yourself see that there’s an end in sight will bring you back to the present and let you charge forward instead with your day.

3. Take a Walk

Putting your body in motion can be incredibly helpful in combatting a case of “losing my cool”. Take a five-minute walk to the nearest coffee shop (if you go inside, opt for a caffeine free option… you don’t need to hop yourself up further!) or even walk inside of your office building or home. Get yourself moving and you’ll feel the thoughts in your head start to shift just the same.

If you can, take this opportunity to hit the gym or get in a thirty-minute workout. The natural hormones your body produces during and after a workout are mega mood-boosters.

4. Phone a Friend… but Talk About Something Else

If you can, phone a friend or family member who isn’t involved in whatever the stressful situation may be. Let them know that you’re having a tough day and want to chat and get your mind off whatever’s bothering you. Whatever you do, make sure that you don’t spend the phone call dwelling on the issue – it’s only going to fester and make you feel worse.

5. Play Your Favourite Song

If you work at an office, it’s helpful to have a set of headphones handy for stressful days. Hearing your favourite music will help you keep on track and stay calm. Whether it’s just an average day or you’re working your butt off trying to wrap a project up by five o’clock – your favourite tunes will help you through it.

When do you feel yourself starting to lose your calm? How do you cope? I’d love to hear your take on things!

To your authenticity,

Love, Christine

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Do What You Love, It's The Key to Happiness

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We hear a lot about how we’re supposed to follow our passions, but what does that really mean? What does it look like to follow your passions? Passion is that feeling of excitement and optimism that we feel when we’re living authentically. How that shows up in our lives is different for each of us though. How come it's more difficult for some of you to really do what you love? Some people are passionate about things like dogs or cats. In much the same way, our passions present themselves in our work, our relationships and how we live every aspect of our lives. It’s not so much about what our passions actually are, but that we follow them.

Joseph Campbell, the renowned mythologist, is often quoted for his famous words saying that in order for us to be truly happy in life, we must ‘Follow Our Bliss’. What is it that truly excites you? When do you feel the most vital and alive?

To follow your passions means to take that leap, even when you don’t know what lies on the other side. It means to be willing to trust that there is some divine plan at play that is inviting your true potential to manifest itself in the world. Passion inherently contains within it, some element of risk.

Many of us take the safe bet in life though. We choose the safe relationship, the steady job with a guaranteed income and the quiet predictable neighbourhood to live in.

There’s nothing wrong with those choices if they allow you to follow your passions, but if you are choosing them only because it’s safe vs what you really want, then you’ve denied yourself the chance to follow your bliss and to authentically step into who are meant to be.

Here’s what I recommend:

Ask yourself what your passion is. If you could do just one thing today, right now, to start following your passion, what would that be? Then switch to imagining that you’re already living your passions. How does that feel to be living that way? Notice making decisions becomes so much easier because you are trying to line up your life with that feeling. All the choices you make every day somehow come more naturally. Everything just flows and there is no resistance.

Give it a try!

That is why we should follow our passions, because following our passions allows us to honor ALL of who we are, not just the beliefs that we have inherited from others.

To your authenticity,

Love, Christine

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5 Ways Your Body is Telling You It's Stressed

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We all know that stress is bad for us, but we don’t always recognize when we’re feeling stressed. Our bodies are like relay towers. They’re constantly taking in information through the environment, the food we eat, and the chemicals and toxins we’re exposed to. Then our bodies translate that raw data and let us know what’s working, and what’s not working, by how we look and feel. Stress comes in many forms though, which adds to the difficulty in identifying when we’re experiencing it. Someone who is under a chronic amount of stress will exhibit more noticeable, outward signs of stress in their bodies, then someone who is experiencing stress as a result of a passing situation. The distinction being chronic versus acute stress is the latter is temporary but quite intense.

Often stress is an underlying chronic condition, contributing to a multitude of symptoms, which also has an acute element to it. For example, you may experience an underlying low level of stress in your life as a result of social anxiety. That low level stress can then be triggered by a social situation that happens each year at the same time. Every year you may find yourself preparing for the acute flare up in your anxiety that increases your stress, and takes a greater toll on you than the rest of the year.

So how do you know that you’re under stress? What can you look for to start preparing yourself before your stress becomes a chronic condition?

Here are 5 ways that your body is telling you it’s stressed.

1. Most people when they are stressed experience sleep disturbances. That doesn’t mean that it you have no trouble sleeping that you’re not also under stress, it just means that’s a good place to start looking for signs that you are. Every body responds to stress differently, some require more sleep and some less. When you’re restless and anxious you tend to have more trouble sleeping. Start to notice if there has been any change in your sleep patterns, either sleeping more or less, having trouble falling asleep, or waking up in the middle of the night unable to get back to sleep.

2. Notice what your eating habits are. Many people overeat when stressed as a way to disconnect and shut off the stress, or numb out. Others will stop eating as away to gain some sense of control over feeling not in control of the situation causing the stress, and the impact it’s having on them. Either one is possible; the key is to notice what is different than usual for you. Much like changes in your sleep patterns, you’re looking for what’s new or out of the ordinary for you. Your body may also crave different foods as a result of stress.

3. Regardless if you’re eating more or not, stress produces cortisol in the body which tends to make you put on weight around the belly. So even though you might have a loss of appetite as result of stress, you may also be carrying extra weight around the middle.

4. Cortisol also affects your immune system, big time! So when you’re stressed, you’re more likely to get sick. You’re body will have less resistance to fight off infections and will take longer to get over a cold when you are sick. Cuts and bruises will heal more slowly and will also be more susceptible to infections.

5. Stress can also present itself in the body as dull and lifeless skin, hair and eyes. Your usual shine or brightness can be become faded, much like your spirit feels. The body is expressing outwardly what is going on inside.

Commit to paying attention to the language of your body. It’s always speaking to you.

To your authenticity,

Love, Christine

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When it Comes to Re-Inventing Yourself, do you Need to Go all the Way?

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Last week I spoke with a group of women on the topic of “inventing yourself or re-inventing yourself” after a significant life event. It could be at any level from changing careers to the loss of a loved one but the discussion really focused on:

When you feel like you have to make big changes, how far do you need to go to really feel that change?

Here’s an example – after leaving a job we’d outgrown or could no longer stand, we decide that since baking is our passion, we are going to go all the way and open up a bake shop so that we can do our passion all the time. We didn’t consider all of the other elements of owning a bake shop that are not our passion and we end up dissatisfied because we’re left with zero time to create a life.

Another example is we really love yoga so we think that ultimately, it’s about teaching yoga so we enroll in teacher training only to discover that actually, we just like going to yoga classes and don’t really care about advanced anatomy. I’ve shared these examples to highlight the pressure we put on ourselves to go all the way

When I returned from Portugal this summer, I was quite convinced that I needed to move to the countryside, build a sustainable home and grow most of my food in my garden. Hello hippy life!

After spending such an amazing time in nature, I was having difficulty adjusting to being back in the city and the hustle and bustle was really getting on my nerves. So I researched all the different options and became pre-occupied with how I was going to pick up and leave my life here. I had bookmarked tons of websites and envisioned my dream home but what this was doing was creating a lot of pressure, not the freedom I desired.

So I had a chat with my soul and pretty much said, “I know this is a huge desire and I am going to re-visit it over the years to see where I stand.” What I was doing was acknowledging that this desire is real and not some hippy dream and that one day, I may just do it. That’s all your soul wants is the acknowledgment that this is real and true for you.

In the meantime, to avoid unrest I decided what I could do is make my city life a little more country. I love Pinterest so I created some boards that get in touch with that feeling of one day. I pinned some of the Adobe homes I would love to learn how to build. For food, I shifted my shopping to include weekly visits to the Farmer’s Markets because there’s something about purchasing right from the hands that helped pick or deliver the produce that makes so much sense to me. And I started following whole food chefs on Instagram to learn more about how they work with all natural ingredients.

As I was describing to the women I spoke with, these are ways of putting your desires on simmer as opposed to turning the oven right off.

My philosophy is that “one day” will arrive and we want to be fully prepared.

Do you have a Pinterest board of dreams and desires? Share them below! :)

You can find me on Pinterest here: www.pinterest.com/myhartsings

To your authenticity,

Love, Christine

The Truth Behind Your Personal Growth Plan

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You’ve likely heard about personal growth plans, whether it was on a talk show or within the pages of your favourite glossy magazine. If you’re unfamiliar with the concept, it’s essentially a way to map out the next month, year or other period of your life in order to achieve specific goals. Making a plan, especially when you have specific goals you want to achieve in your career, love life or on a spiritual level, is a really good idea. However, what you have to remember to plan for is for your plan to sometimes go out the window.

Life is a journey. There are ups and downs and a whole lot of course correction, no matter how perfect your roadmap and compass may be. And that’s okay. Sometimes we learn the most from situations we didn’t or couldn’t anticipate happening. We’re forced, however willingly, to re-examine the situation and find our way back onto our paths.

As children, we’re regularly told that we should “learn from our mistakes”. We’re told, “it’s okay, you’ll get it next time!” and encouraged to get back on the horse when we fall off. Why is that, as adults, the thought of making a mistake can be petrifying and we no longer see the obvious option to just get back on the horse?

The biggest, number one, most effective way to shake off your fear of failure is to stop seeking recognition outside of yourself. Your personal goals and personal growth plan are just that – they’re personal. If you want to write more, write more than you did last year. If you want to make more money, aim to make more money than you did last year.

Most importantly, try your hardest to stop comparing yourself to others and chasing someone else’s goals and accomplishments. You’re your own person, and you’re pretty amazing.

Lastly, remember to give yourself some recognition at the end of the day. You’re allowed to fumble and fall, just as long as you continue to learn from the low points and reach for the high ones. You can do it

I’d love to hear what happens when you try this so be sure to share your experience with me in the comments below.

To your authenticity,

Love, Christine

How to Feel Happier, Think More Positively & Be a Better Person

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There’s a lot of talk these days about why it’s so important to have a positive attitude, how thinking positively can impact both your health and your life. Our environment and the company we keep heavily affect our moods, and therefore our ability to think more positively. Have you ever known someone you just always liked being around, someone that you would describe as having ‘good energy’? Feeling happy radiates a positive energy outwardly that in turn allows oneself to think more positively inwardly. This is why it is so helpful (if not absolutely necessary!) to become aware of what makes YOU feel happier.

Feeling happy is actual work and maintenance for a lot of us. I have always found this a bit ironic but I know that many of you can relate. Our mind just seems to somehow enjoy hanging out in the negative world until asked to leave.

For some of us, feeling happier might mean being outdoors in nature, it may mean being physically active, for others it may mean taking time to be alone or doing something creative. Good music is another great way to shift your mood and makes you feel happier almost instantly.

Think about that person again that you always enjoy being around. Wouldn’t you like to be that person in someone else’s life? Committing to being happier doesn’t mean that you have to be ‘Miss/Mr Chipper’, it may just mean that you’re someone that other people just like to be around.

Here are few things to consider:

What can you do today that will support you in feeling happier? Who can you spend time with that makes you laugh and feel good about yourself? And if being alone is what makes you feel happy, then where can you go to be alone and how will you spend your solo time?

Having spent some time focusing on activities that make you feel happy, start to notice your thoughts. What you’re likely to find is that it’s pretty hard to think negatively when you’re feeling joy and happiness. That’s the beauty of feeling happier - it positively impacts everything you do. When you’re feeling happy and all your thoughts are focused on positive outcomes, you become a better person by contributing to the well being of others with your good energy.

If you’ve ever gone into a government office that was full of lines of angry, impatient people waiting to be served, then you know what it feels like to have someone else’s energy affect you. In the same way that we can be negatively affected by someone’s anger or frustration, we can also feel like we’re being up-lifted by those that possess a positive attitude, and who are genuinely happy.

It’s our choice, what kind of person we decide to be each and every day. :)

I’d love to hear what happens when you try this so be sure to share your experience with me in the comments below.

Why Women Are the Velcro of the Universe

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One of the problems that women have with men is that when a man is busy doing something, he disconnects – and we give meaning to that by thinking he is disconnecting from us. We don’t know that’s what a single focused person, a hunter, does.

As women, we’re gatherers, otherwise known as the Velcro of the universe.

We’re used to being the ones that hold everything together. Whereas a hunter will remain focused, because he always has a result to produce.

Think about how different having a conversation with your girlfriend is compared to talking to your dad or your brother.

When a woman reaches out to one of her friends to talk, she’s looking to share, to be heard, and to process her feelings.

What a man hears when a woman opens up to him though, is that there’s a problem and it’s his job to fix it. See, single focus + task = result to produce.

So how does all this make us, the women of the world, the Velcro that holds it all together?

Because a woman’s job within the tribe was to hold it all together while the men were off on the hunt, she developed the skill to be the glue, or Velcro.

And because a man is single focused, when he’s finished with one task, he needs time to transition before moving on to the next task.

Here’s a scenario that might sound familiar, either because it’s happened to you, or because you’re witnessed it with your friends or maybe even your parents.

A man comes home from work and he wants to know what he’d like for dinner, when he wants to eat, and if he picked up the dry cleaning.

And his response - is silence.

As the Velcro of the Universe, the woman had it all covered, but the man is focused on only one thing at a time. In the Attract An Amazing Man Tele-series, I’ll share exactly what he needs before he can be available to her, or anything else that needs his attention.

Don’t believe me? Try it for yourself and see.

The next time you want something from a man, any man, watch and wait until he is finished with whatever task he might be focused on.

Then give him just a little bit more time, and when he’s ready to be available for you, he’ll let you know.

Of course as women, this can be much more difficult than we’d like. Because we’re so accustomed to doing ten things at once, we get frustrated when the men around don’t do the same thing.

And that’s where our trouble begins.

We make him just being who he is wrong, because he isn’t like us.

But seriously, do you really want to date or be in a relationship with someone just like you? No, of course you don’t.

Both men and women are looking to one another to find that balance that only the opposite sex can provide. That’s why just being yourself is all you need to do, to attract an amazing man.

But, and this is the key – you also have to be willing to allow him to just be himself as well.

Next week I’m going to take this one step further and shed some more light on how men and women communicate differently.

Want to get even more insight and understanding on how to attract and amazing man? I guarantee you’ll love my new soon to be released live tele-series. Click on the link below to find out more.

See you next week!

To your authenticity,

Love, Christine

Why You Should Follow Your Passions… No Matter What

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Steve Jobs once said, “The only way to do great work is to love what you do” It’s a quote that’s been said many times before Jobs and many times since, and in many different ways. But, the essence remains the same. Find work and activities you feel passionate about as it’s really the only way. Now, with regards to work, I know that many of you may think, “How could I possibly love what I do?” I know it can be hard to imagine loving your job at times. There are likely a lot of days where you feel you work to live, not live to work. I’ve heard it from many people before and I know I’ll continue to hear it again – but I’m telling you that it doesn’t have to be that way.

While it can be scary to think of changing your career, or even making a small change in your current one, your passions are worth following.

Here’s WHY:

You Only Live Once

I hate to be the one to remind us of the infamous “YOLO”, but there’s some serious meaning behind the acronym t-shirts and radio hit pop songs touting You Only Live Once. If you have one life to live, why would you live it doing anything you don’t truly love? Sometimes it isn't convenient or wise to just drop your career cold and follow your passions but in the meantime, you can control how you spend your time outside of your work and those feelings of happiness can change your actual work life. This could mean doing something as small as attending a painting workshop once a week (even though you haven’t painted in 12+ years) or finally buying the guitar you’ve been eyeing for months or something big like going on a tour through Peru and making your way to Machu Picchu!

Happiness Breeds Happiness

So what if you take a job with a slightly lower salary? If it’s a job you love and you leave the office feeling fulfilled and happy every single day, can you honestly put a dollar value on that? Yes, there are financial commitments in everyone’s life and we all need to pay bills – but you may be surprised to learn you probably don’t need as much money as you think you do. And I know you’ll be surprised at the amount of intangible wealth your happiness will breed.

You Might Miss Your True Calling

We’re all born with talents. Some of us discover them at a ripe, young age. Others figure them out later in life. Whatever your case may be, making sure you’re not too sucked up in your daily routine (and that goes double for those who dislike their current daily routine) that you totally miss out on your calling. Sometimes years can go by where you think the same thoughts on your way to work, at work and on your way home from work but you're so busy, it's impossible to create space to try something new! It's important to give yourself some room to discover what your true calling is.

As Dr. Seuss said, "Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You".

I’d love to hear your thoughts so be sure to leave a comment below. :)

To your authenticity,

Love, Christine

5 Steps to Achieving Greater Self-Love

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We all have bad days. It’s normal. How you deal with those pestering, bad feelings is up to you, though. For me, I’ve discovered that taking steps to feeling a greater sense of self-love has completely changed the way I see the world and how I see myself. I have fewer “bad” days and way more good ones. If you want to achieve a greater level of self-love, you completely can. All it takes is commitment, time and reflection. You already are amazing by the way. :) Now it’s time for you to continuously recognize that amazing-ness within yourself and really let it shine. You might be surprised how your life changes!

To get you started on the path to achieving greater self-love, I’m sharing 5 steps. To continue your journey, I’d recommend picking up a copy (or downloading an eBook!) of Gabby Bernstein’s Add More ~ing To Your Life. It’s a great, easy read that’s sure to shift your perceptions on self-appreciation and celebration.

Step One: Cut the Negativity

This one’s hard to do but probably the most impactful. You’ve got to stop criticizing yourself! Whether it’s while you’re getting dressed in the morning or washing your face at night, don’t let your negative thoughts drag you down. Notice a new wrinkle? Shrug it off. Don’t feel like a total ten in your skinny jeans? Slip into your favourite dress. Whatever you do, don’t let yourself focus on the negative – just move on.

Step Two: Forgive Yourself

We’re all human and mistakes happen. When they do, forgive yourself. Did you arrive somewhere late? Miss an exit on the highway? Forget to call your sister back? It’s OK – you’re human and worthy of forgiveness. It’s harder to forgive ourselves than it is to forgive others at times, but with enough practice you’ll start to forgive and forget much quicker.

Step Three: Praise Yourself

When you accomplish something, beat your personal best or just feel great – praise yourself! It’s OK to show yourself a little bit of self-love. Whether it’s flashing yourself a smile in the mirror or writing a positive mantra on a sticky note and putting it in your purse for later – you’re worth it.

Step Four: Reward Yourself

By “reward”, I don’t always mean chocolate. But sometimes chocolate absolutely does the trick! Reward yourself, and your body, with proper nutrition and exercise. A health body will help you maintain a healthy mind and emotional state. Exercise boosts our “feel good” hormones and nutritious food helps us stay calm, boosts our energy and fills us up.

Step Five: Take Care With How You Surround Yourself

Be mindful of those you surround yourself with. It’s often been said that you become the average of the people you have in your life. Whether or not that’s true is up for debate, but it is true that the people around you can seriously drag you down – or boost you up.Choose to spend time with people who inspire, motivate and truly love you. Rethink your relationships that have the opposite effect.

I’d love to hear your thoughts so be sure to leave a comment below. :)

To your authenticity,

Love, Christine

Do we need rituals to feel good?

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"Good Morning Yoga Mat. Didn't I see you here yesterday?"

Lately I’ve been exploring the concept of rituals. I’ve always been someone who thrived on the variety of life and the unexpected so I suppose up until this point, I felt that rituals = BORING. The idea of doing the exact same thing every day was such a turn-off so I’ve rarely even entertained the idea.

I recently had a trip out to Calgary and visited with some old friends. Both have a strong yoga practice and start almost every day with time on their mats. It’s very inspiring but the idea of getting up even earlier than I already do to drive to a studio to practice yoga, just didn’t appeal no matter how many ways I tried to look at it. In the end, I knew I wouldn’t stick with something I had to push myself to do.

Then it struck me that they have created rituals that work really well for THEM. I need to create rituals that work for ME.

I have started with combining these activities every single morning to create a customized ritual:

Leisurely exit from bed which means setting my alarm for a little bit earlier

Drink a big glass of water

20 minutes of yoga. I only do my favorite poses to keep myself motivated.

Steep my tea while I cut up oranges, apples and sometimes an avocado

Drink my tea while on the back porch checking in on my potted garden

Light breakfast

15 minutes to tidy up

Work day begins

When I sit down to start reading and composing emails, it feels good that I have taken this time for myself in the morning. I see it as a gift of kindness I can give to myself.

There is a book that I’ve recently added to my reading list,Daily Rituals by Mason Currey. It details nearly 200 routines of some of the greatest minds of the last four hundred years – famous novelists, poets, playwrights, painters, philosophers, scientists and mathematicians. It sounds fascinating to me so I’ll definitely be incorporating a page or two soon into my own daily ritual.

A blog post I recently read by a woman by the name of Kathryn Nulf had this to say:

Rituals can have a profound impact on us, they calm and ground us, soothe the spirit, slow us down, remind us to live in the moment, nourish our soul and remind us we are responsible for our own well-being. Rituals have a calming effect on our nervous system because it gives us something to look forward to, that is at once both freeing and grounding. It brings us out of our heads and back into our bodies. It gives us a break from the overthinking mind and lets us rest right here, right now.

COACHING EXERCISE FOR YOU

Create your very own morning or evening ritual. I find morning is a little easier to control but it’s up to you. Set your alarm clock for 30-60 minutes prior to when you normally wake up in order to start giving yourself this extra time. If you are having a hard time figuring out what ritual might work for you, think about what grounds you and brings more balance into your life. Start by choosing one activity and doing it every day for 1 week to see how you feel. If it’s positive, try another week, if it’s not your thing, try a different ritual.

I’d love to hear your thoughts so be sure to leave a comment below. 

To your authenticity,

Love, Christine