I first learned about visualization when I was 7 years old. I was a competitor in the Parkland Tap Festival, where each child performed the same tap dance solo and then received their placement.
It was my first year in the competition and much to my dismay, I placed 3rd behind two other girls from my studio. I received a bronze medal. What I really wanted was the trophy that was awarded to the winner.
I shared that goal with my mom and she told me about visualization. The process involves getting clear on what you want and then imagining it in your mind's eye frequently.
For the next year, as I drifted off to sleep, I imagined myself on the stage, receiving that shiny trophy. I reeeealllllyyyyyy wanted that trophy and so I devoted my bedtime thoughts to that image.
The other important part of visualization is taking action in real life, so as soon as I learned my dance routine for the 8 year old category, I practiced it religiously.
I practiced the dance in my mind, which is...
I was on my way to a business meeting recently and found myself with a few minutes to spare. Woohoo! I love it when that happens!
I had missed my morning meditation so I decided to pull over on a residential street and meditate there.
Several minutes in, a lawnmower that had been running turned off.
The silence that ensued was profound. The funny thing was, I hadn't noticed the noise until it stopped.
That's just like energy drains. We generally don't notice our energy draining away until we take care of the leak. Once we do that, the resulting energy boost is noticeable and transformative.
In the Courageous Self-Care model, there are 10 ways that we tend to drain our energy without noticing it. I've created a mini-course on those energy drains and I would love to give it to you as a gift.
If you're curious about where your energy leaks are, click on this link.
Once we take care of the energy drains, we shift from running on empty to renewable energy.
Just like the lawnmower...
Do you know the metaphor about crabs in the bucket?
In case not, here's the synopsis.
When several crabs are placed in a bucket, generally, one will start climbing, in pursuit of freedom.
The other crabs don't like that, so they pull the freedom-seeker back in with rest of them.
It's such a powerful metaphor, when you think about it in terms of mediocrity.
People can be like crabs. Often, when someone has the vision to change things, the rest of the group can fell threatened and they'll do everyting in their power to bring the visionary back into a more common, non-threatening state.
The ego also works like those clawing crabs.
Your intuition may urge you to reach beyond your current circumstances. It's your guide to expansion and fulfillment.
When your ego catches your intuition making a break for it, it does its utmost to reign you in and settle for the familiar, back in the bucket, where it's familiar. It may be unpleasant circumstances, but at least...
I'm curious... what do you want?
What do you really, really want for yourself?
For many people, the answer to that qestion is elusive and so they stumble through life feeling unfulfilled.
When I was younger the only thing I had clarity around was my hair. I had a hair plan in high school.
First I would grow it long.
Then I would get married.
On my honeymoon, I would get it braided into cornrows.
Then I would cut it short.
And guess what? My plan unfolded perfectly! I could see each phase in my imagination before it actually happened.
I knew that this practice of visualization worked because my mom taught it to me when I was in grade 4 and I manifested my biggest dream as an eight year old.
Visualization has worked well for me because it helps bring me clarity on what I want in life.
I do my visualization practice every morning before getting up and in the evening before bed.
I've studied visualization intensively from a variety of different teachers, including...
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...