What are your first thoughts in the morning?
For most people, their thoughts have something to do with lack.
More likely they make you want to burrow deeper under the duvet and hit the snooze button.
How can you shift those thoughts so that you want to get out of bed, no matter what kind of night you had?
In my experience, Gratitude.
If you can change your first thoughts to be ones of thanks, your day will start off with abundance and 'plenty' rather than 'not enough' and lack.
I've automated my thoughts to begin with gratitude each morning so that I can start my day by feeling thankful, even when I'm in that place in between sleep and waking.
Does it take courage to be in gratitude? Absolutely.
It would be so easy to follow my old habit where my mind...
Ever since my kids started speaking, I've been recording funny and insightful things they've said.
I thought it would be fun to share them with you on my blog every Friday. Part of Courageous Self-Care is learning to lighten up, be more playful and laugh more often. My intention is to help you do that today, to get your weekend off to a great start.
This one comes from Zoë ( now 12) when she was 20 months old.
She knew hundreds of words and loved using them. Her memory was astonishing.
My parents, Omi & Grandpa, took her to the Calgary zoo, which was one of her favourite things to do.
Omi said, "Zoë, look at the goats."
Zoë said, "Ibex."
Omi went to check the sign. Indeed, they were ibex.
Next, they saw monkeys, according to Omi.
Zoë said to Omi, "Not monkeys-Macaqs!"
The sign confirmed it.
Later they went to see the hippos, who swam in an enclosure filled with fish.
Omi and Grandpa said, "Look at the fish, Zoë!"
Did you try the mentality shield practice? It was the solution for dealing with negative people and irksome incidents.
Last time, I talked about 2 different ways to protect your mentality (also known as your vibration, thoughts or energy).
I promised I would tell you Zoë's version of the mentality shield. In case your new here, she's my 12 year old daughter.
First, though, a little background. Zoë is a remarkable person, if I do say so myself. Warning: Proud Mom Alert
She's incredibly wise, a deep thinker and very intuitive. She writes poetry and song lyrics that are well beyond her years.
She's one of those people who are really good at everything they try. When she did gymnastics, she got invited onto the competitive team. She does martial arts and got invited into the enrichment class. She started cross country running last year and recently won the City Championship for her age group.
At school, her teachers comment on her excellent leadership skills, her advanced...
As people are learning to increase their vibration and maintain it, I often hear the questions: What about the negative people in my life? What do I do to maintain my vibration and energy when I'm around them?
Earlier this year, I learned a practice that has answered that question for me. In fact, it's been one of the most powerful practices I've ever implemented. It's called a Mentality Shield.
The original idea came from the book 3 Simple Steps by Trevor Blake. For a deep discussion on the mentality shield, I highly recommend his book. It's been a game changer for my whole family.
The brief summary for the mentality shield is this: every morning, before you begin your day, imagine a large, thick-walled glass vessel descending from the sky to surround and protect you from any energy, comments, media, incidents or criticism that don't match your vibration.
When something ruffles your feathers, pushes your buttons or brings you down, imagine it bouncing off the walls of the...
Yesterday, I sent out a post about our family practice called Peacock Day. I had some questions come in and so I thought I would answer them today. (I can't tell you how lovely it is to receive questions, because it means that people are reading my writing. I'm so happy to answer questions!)
When we first started doing Peacock Days, we would do one a week, on Fridays. I scheduled them into our calendar to keep track. It looked something like this:
October 6: Paul
October 13: Christina
October 20: Zoë
October 27: Oakley
Makes sense, right?
We maintained that schedule diligently for over a year.
Nowadays, we don't do them every Friday. We do them mostly on Sunday mornings when we have a bit more time and we don't do them every week.
I have a recent experience to share with you about how powerful our Peacock Days continue to be.
The other day, I was getting ready for the Speakers Club that I facilitate and I had left it to the last minute. There were two talks I was supposed to...
We have a practice in our house called Peacock Day.
Of all the things my husband I have done to cultivate loving relationships between us and our two kids, Zoë and Oakley, this practice is one of the most powerful.
Peacock Day is when we take turns saying meaningful, loving things to each other. If it's Zoë's Peacock Day, then Paul, Oakley and I say things that will result in Zoë feeling as proud as a peacock.
Most sentences begin with "I love how you..." or "I'm proud of you for..."
On more than one occasion, I've felt my eyes brimming with tears from the recognition and acknowledgment we've given and received.
There have been several surprising benefits to our Peacock Day Ritual. The first one is that it's particularly fulfilling as a parent to hear what my kids see in me and what they love about me. They have said things like "I'm proud of you, Mommy, for being so persistent in your business," and "I love how you support us and are always there for us when we need...
Last year I attended a retreat where I was guided through a Shamanic Journey. At one point, the instruction was to imagine myself in a place where I felt powerful and grounded.
The image that came to me (after I decided what outfit I would be wearing) was of me standing on red earth, overlooking a huge canyon, with the wind blowing my skirt and my hair. I did indeed feel powerful, grounded and strong.
Since then I've thought of that image occasionally, but not too often.
While in Kauai this summer, I had a remarkable experience. While sitting for guidance one day, the message that came through was that I would be experiencing the real life version of my visualization. (I didn't have the right outfit with me, but the long skirt I had envisioned would have been impractical for a hike anyway.)
Our destination was Waimea Canyon, also known as the Grand Canyon of the Pacific.
Once we climbed to the top, sure enough, I found myself standing on red earth overlooking a vast canyon....
What is courage and why do so many people want more of it?
Recently, I gave a talk for 150 women about courage.
While researching, I came across some information that has influenced my life every day since.
Although bravery and courage are presented as synonyms, there is a profound philosophical difference.
Bravery is an innate quality that signals an absence of fear. There's nothing to overcome. For example, when it comes to speaking in public, I'm brave. I don't have a fear around it. In fact, I LOVE public speaking!
Courage is different because it means acting in spite of fear (such as in this leap my daughter Zoë took 7 years ago).
I once had the opportunity to swallow fire. Let me tell you, there was definitely fear around putting a flaming rag into my mouth and extinguishing the fire with my lips. I actually did it (pretty amazing, right?!?) because there was something greater than the fear.
Courage occurs because we are moving towards an ideal. It might be love,...
The way you do anything is the way you do everything.
That phrase has helped me learn so much about myself.
It means that the way you show up in one situation is exactly how you're showing up in every area of your life. It's a powerful mirror.
While in Hanalei Bay in Kauai this summer, I had an experience where I learned valuable information about myself thanks to that useful phrase.
At one end of the picturesque bay, there is a pier. On my family's first day there, we saw all sorts of people jumping off the pier into the turquoise ocean.
Because of my power word "adventurous", I decided that jumping off the pier would help me expand my comfort zone.
Zoë and Oakley, my kids, enthusiastically agreed that we should jump off together. My husband, Paul, was surprised when I announced my intention because I've spent many years being the opposite of adventurous.
Once I stood on the edge of the pier, I realized that it was a lot higher than it looked. From a mile away, the jump...
I have 6 power words that I use as guides along the journey of the person I want to become.
One of those is Adventurous. While in Kauai this summer, that word helped me on many occasions to expand my comfort zone.
On the ziplining platform that towered above the trees, the guide asked me, "seated Position or Flyin' Kauaian?" I really wanted to reply seated because I knew I could do that. I'd done it twice before- once in Jamaica and once on the warm up line a few minutes prior.
Then my power word reminded me that I am Adventurous and Adventurous People benefit from flyiing through the air like SuperMan.
"I suppose I will do the Flyin' Kauain," I replied unenthusiastically.
My kids cheered. The guide laughed and said, "You don't sound very excited."
He was right. I wasn't excited. I was scared.
He got me all clipped in and explained that I would now stand on the edge of the wooden platform and leap into the air like I was diving into a pool.
"I changed my mind!" I said...