|When I mention “green things,” what do you think of first?|
Last week in my free FB community, Level Up Your Mom Life, we were chatting about incorporating more green foods into what we eat each week, so that’s where my mind went first.
But then I started thinking about the radio program I was listening to on the weekend and it was all about the environment and things we can do to create more green spaces to enjoy in urban areas and how often they are missing in community developments.
And next I thought about how I have to file my income tax return (argh!) and began to ponder financial wellbeing (people often refer to money as “green”).
Finally my mind settled on health and wellbeing and how the colour green is often associated with physical health.
SO MUCH GREEN-NESS!
And St. Patrick’s Day wasn’t too long ago and my ancestors are from Ireland so that was thrown into the mix in my brain too, lol!
It’s funny how a colour can have so many different things associated with it. And how important ALL those things are!
So here’s a few tips to support each of these:
1. Green-Finance: do you work with a budget to manage your household finances or do you wing it? There’s no shame in not having a plan! It can be hard to face your money situation sometimes and we might just subconsciously chose to ignore it and hope for the best (believe me, I’ve been there!). This week, how about if you simply write down on a piece of paper what your monthly income is (estimate if it fluctuates). Include all sources. Then, if you feel like it, you can come back to that number at the end of the month to see how accurate it was and maybe consider looking at your recurring monthly expenses next.
2. Green-Environment: do you use reusable shopping bags? Many places are doing away with single-use plastics and shopping bags like the ones at the grocery stores are included. If you don’t already use reusable bags, you can find some lovely ones (shameless artist promotion here… I have created a line of canvas tote bags with my art on them if you are interested. Just give me a shout and I’ll send you the info.) I also use some big rectangular shopping totes/Rubbermaid bins. They stack nicely in my car. Saying bye to single use bags will help the environment. It might seem like a small thing, but remember, those small things all add up!
3. Green-Health and Wellness: have you been making time to do something to support your own health and wellbeing lately? When things get busy it is too often ourselves that get shoved to the end of the attention line, right? One simple thing you can do to support your physical health this week is to make sure you are going to bed on time. What’s on time? It’s going to be different for everyone, but ideally setting yourself up for 7-9 hours of sleep will do you a world of good! See if you can get your household on board with you on this and start quieting things down a good 30-45 minutes before bedtime so you have a better chance of easing into a good sleep when you actually hit the pillow.
4. Green-Food: I shared a recipe for a green smoothie bowl (yes bowl) with my group last week which I’m sharing with you as well. I hope you enjoy getting more greens into you! It is quite yummy 🙂
Green Smoothie Bowl
(Makes 1 serving)
2 cups (60 g) spinach1 frozen banana½ cup (125 ml) unsweetened non-dairy milk½ avocado1 tbsp chia seeds
Ice (optional)Toppings of your choice.
Place all the ingredients in a high-speed blender and blend till smooth. If you want a thicker consistency, add ice.
Pour into bowl and add your fav toppings: fresh fruit and pecans work great!
So what do you think? Are you into greening things up a bit? Let me know by replying to this email (easy peasy) … and also let me know what you’re looking at in the list of green options!
Always from the heart,
PS – if you want to check out the online wellness coaching programs I’m offering to support women’s health and wellbeing, head on over to my website and click on The Real Life Reset System. I’ve taking my group coaching program and have shifted it to be self study (you can still get private coaching with me!). I’ve also broken the full program into bundles covering specific topics so you can choose what is best for YOU!
The Times They Are a’Changing…
I know it’s not just me.
The past few years have been chockablock full of new things, different things, weird things… you know. You’ve been here too.
The world has changed a lot. My life has changed a lot. The women I know and work with experienced a tonne of changes too. When things change, we can either fight against the changes, or adapt to the changes. I’ve experienced both situations. There’s been excitement and despair. Hope and fear. Learning and unlearning.
It’s been A LOT!
Personally, I’ve had to adapt to loads of changes in a short period of time (but also over several months and years), and one of the most challenging things for me was having an injury followed by a serious illness that absolutely knocked me flat. It was the proverbial one-two punch. Both the injury and the illness affected my nervous system. It took almost a full year to start feeling like myself again and even still, I am very aware of the sensations that are now recognized by me as the “signals” that I’ve been doing too much or that there’s been too much stress in my world. In the past, if needed, I could always just power through and then rest later if I still felt I had to. But now, I’ve learned (the hard way I have to confess) that if I don’t mind these early-warning signs to rest and recharge, then my body will force me to do so. For several days. Not just one or two.
It’s not the only major change, although it has directly impacted a multitude of other aspects of my life; things such as my ability to work, my finances, my home life, my educational goals, my relationships…
I’ve also dealt with situations with loved ones who have been ill, loved ones struggling in other areas of their lives, and the stresses that those events leave in their wake not just for the loved ones themselves but also for everyone who cares about them as well.
I’ve found that options that were previously always available to me to teach have become less available or viable, and that various employment opportunities changed or disappeared as well.
It’s been one bump-in-the-road after another, and as I mentioned earlier, I know I’m not the only one.
One of my favourite quotes of all time is:
BLESSED ARE THE FLEXIBLE, FOR THEY SHALL NOT BE BENT OUT OF SHAPE.
Am I ever grateful that I am flexible!
And you know what I’ve learned? In all the turmoil of the last few years, there’s been gifts to be found.
I’ve gotten very clear about what I’m willing to spend my energy, my time, and my money on. I am far more focused now than I’ve ever been before. I’ve been paring things down to their simplest, most basic, achievable goals and actions. At first it felt as though I was being severely limited, but now I feel just how freeing it has been for me!
So here I am. Rolling with Life’s punches and adapting in ways that work best for me and my loved ones. And in ways that, I hope, will serve all those I care about (including YOU)!
I’m focusing on ease-of-access. Making things easier for the women who I love to work with. Being true to myself.
Back in 2015 (how long ago was that?!?!) when I was teaching up to 12 yoga classes a week, I started to dream about how I could better serve the women I so loved teaching and working with. The reality was that not all locations or class times worked for everyone who wanted to take part. Far too often I’d hear “oh, that sounds great but I can’t make it…” It was then that I started looking into online offerings and took a few virtual training programs myself with mentors/teachers such as Seane Corn and Hala Khouri, so I could not only continue my own education while being a single mom with little time to travel, but also to find out for myself what it would be like to be an online student. I loved it! Opportunities that I couldn’t take advantage of because of taking care of my young family were now open to me because location wasn’t an issue anymore. I wanted to do the same for others. There was skepticism and a bit of disdain from some fellow practitioners in my local community who felt you couldn’t properly serve people unless you were in the same room as them, but I knew we weren’t reaching a lot of people who wanted to connect with us but couldn’t because they couldn’t be in the same room… at least physically.
I wrote my first online program in 2018. It was far from perfect, but I got great feedback from the participants. I listened to their suggestions and made changes. Then did it again. More suggestions, more changes. That was the process.
And then… 2020… well, we all know what happened then, don’t we?
Suddenly everyone was putting their classes and programs online and things got super saturated but they allowed for more acceptance and accessibility. Technology improved. It was then that I took time to expand my coaching programs, continue my own education, and kept adapting to better suit the times.
So, moving forward, and always being open to change of course, I’m putting a pause on my group coaching program, The Real Life Reset System. It’s both a pause, and a re-do. I’m not going to put it on the shelf completely because I know how helpful it is for moms who are done with feeling frazzled and tired, and those who want to level up their energy and enthusiasm to make the most of their Mom-Lives.
I’ll be offering The Real Life Reset System as a self-study program with optional individual coaching. That way, people can chose what works best for them, and it will be more financially-friendly! #betruetoyou I feel that after connecting with so many women in the past few months who are wanting the knowledge but who are facing a lack of time, finances, or both, that the self-study option is a better fit for the current times. As well, I’m working on a selection of shorter programs so that the women in my world can choose what they feel they need the most support with right now. The Real Life Reset System covers so much, and I developed it to touch on the many aspects of Mom-Life so it would be a one stop program, but we all have different needs at different times in our lives. So I feel strongly right now that offering shorter, more specific programs will allow me to help more women.
The first of these shorter, more focused offerings will be on MINDSET, GOALSETTING, and CONFIDENCE BUILDING, and will be followed by options such as Sleep Well, Stress-Less, Organize Your Life, and Nutrition & Active Living.
I can’t even begin to say how excited I am about all this. I’m currently making the changes to my website to support ease of access to the online offerings and I hope to be launching the new options in the next couple of weeks! This signals a return to my original vision of how I wanted to evolve my health and wellness business.
So that’s what been “a-changing.” Here we are, together, at the start of something exciting! My heart is full, my vision is clear, and I’m feeling fantastic about where things are headed… I hope you’ll be joining me on this new wellness adventure!
Always from the heart,
It’s the Shortest Day of the Year!
Yes, today is the Winter Solstice here in the northern hemisphere! The days have been quick and the nights have been long and many people I’ve spoken with have commented on how the darkness has been so intense so far this season.
But that changes tonight as slowly and surely the days will lengthen in the amount of daylight we receive – YAY!
So that’s put a big smile on my face today.
But also, I slept great last night! Woke up feeling fabulous & festive this morning which is such a blessing.
As a sleep coach & yoga teacher I’m always exploring new ways to support better sleep for myself and those I’m working with. And my continuing education on the subject has led me to some really cool discoveries, so I’m excited to be adding another goodie to my sleep-well toolkit!
In the new year, I’ll be sharing some of my revamped programs and offering with you, so please stay tuned here at my website and over on my Facebook business page Breeze Wellness for all the updates… Including expanded services to help women get a better night’s rest!
If we don’t connect again in the next few days, I wish you a very Happy Holiday season! And I truly thank you for being part of my world.
Always from the heart,
Dreaming About Getting Better Sleep?
You’re not alone! But fear not.
I’m so excited to announce the return of my Sleep Well Yoga classes!!!
Classes will be online making it easy for you to join from the comfort of your home
We begin this series on November 1, 2022.
I’ll be doing pre-recorded sessions for November due to my daytime work schedule, but I will release a new class beginning November 1st every week for 4 weeks.
This way you can do the class at your leisure depending on what your bedtime is and what your energy levels are.
There will be four classes for this series and the cost will be $45. I will post the classes in a private Facebook group so that you have ongoing access to them throughout the series and that way you can do them every night if you like!
The classes are geared towards setting you up for a great night’s sleep and will be a blend of slow-flow yoga, restorative-based yoga, and yin yoga. Ideally, you’ll do the classes at a time that has you wrapping things up about 2 hours before bedtime.
Just email me to get all the registration details. firstname.lastname@example.org
I’m so excited to share this with you!
Always from the heart,
The Other Kind of Flexibility
I’m a yoga teacher, so when I bring up flexibility, people usually think I’m talking about physical abilities and how far someone can get into a particular pose… which, let me just say, is definitely important for your general health and wellbeing. But you DON’T have to be flexible to begin a yoga practice!! Your flexibility levels are highly individualized. Start where you are. Leave comparison at the door. Tune into your body and you will notice the changes in it when you begin.
But that’s not the flexibility I’m talking about here. I’ve been pondering more and more about the kind of adaptability that we can tap into when something unexpected happens. THAT type of flexibility.
I recently wrote a post called “Chaotic or Calm?” about how planning ahead and having a routine in your daily life can help ease stress levels. Time management and budgeting are super important and I’ve found that having some set structure in one’s day can help us get more done and make the most of the hours we’ve got in a day, AND make the most of the dollars we’ve got in our bank accounts too!
So yes, having a regular routine can have a huge impact on the quality of life we experience.
That said, total rigidity in our schedules and habits can negate the benefits of set structure because, let’s face it… shit happens, crises occur, and surprises (both happy and challenging) can spring up at any time. And when that is going on, we need to decide how to deal with those unexpected events in ways that work with the time management and budgeting habits we’ve put into place.
So, you might be wondering how that can even be a thing?
Listen to me here, there’s freedom to be found in structure!
How…? First off, its crucial that you are able to recognize what your biggest priorities and non-negotiables are in your life. Which daily and weekly things are at the top of your list? You know the ones. Those things that if they don’t happen, everything else seems to slide sideways real quick. Those are the ones that you strive to keep in place on the regular because taking care of them and knowing you have a plan in place to support them will definitely lighten your daily decision making load and there’s been studies that show that having to make less decisions can reduce stress and feelings of overwhelm. Oh yeah! And that’s going to set you up for success!
So let’s call those things your baseline. It’s what sets the tone and structure of both your days and weeks. A few less things to have to actively think about because they are part of your everyday habits. Check!
Having that kind of routine in place frees up your decision making for the secondary levels in your life. These are typically things that pretty much have to happen at some point, but not necessarily in exactly the same way every week. So maybe this might look like deciding what groceries you are going to buy that week (and subsequently knowing what meals you’ll be making), or maybe you have time blocked off to work out but you need to decide what that will look like based on the weather. You know, stuff like that.
Those are the sorts of habits I’m encouraging you to put in place so you’ve got some sense of routine in your life that happens without you having to think on it too much.
There is, however, one big caveat I want to put out there though… you need to let go of complete and utter rigidity in your routine (wait, what?), because that can actually work against you in the long run. This is where flexibility can be your best friend!
What does this sort of flexibility look like?
Well, first of all it doesn’t mean that if something comes up and you can’t avoid dealing with it in a way that won’t disrupt the regular flow you’ve got in place that you end up abandoning all that you’ve worked so hard to put in place. Please don’t do that.
Rather, tell yourself “this is temporary, but unavoidable,” (like an illness or injury) or “this is a special opportunity that we don’t want to miss out on,” (such as family visiting from out of town or winning tickets to an amazing show) or “this is something that I wasn’t expecting to buy or pay for, but its necessary or a very good deal on something we use all the time,” (say if the furnace breaks, or the jars of pasta sauce your family loves is on case lot sale and you can save a bundle!) You know, those times when someone is ill, someone is visiting, or there’s an amazing sale on something you use all the time or something has broken and absolutely has to get repaired or replaced.
You’re allowed to make exceptions when you really have to, and this doesn’t mean you’ve failed or you’re weak, or you’re undisciplined.
When and if you find yourself in this situation, check in with yourself and your family if needed. Then take a moment to properly assess what’s going on and how important it is. Be super honest with yourself. If it is something that you really can’t ignore or put off, then make your decision, act accordingly, and get back to your regular routine as soon as possible.
Structure, flexibility, and freedom. Make the best use of them!
Chaotic or Calm? What’s the vibe as September rolls in?
How is it September already???
I absolutely love the summertime – it feels free and more fun and spontaneous! Where I live, the days are LONG so it feels like there are actually more hours in a day, but I have a strong appreciation for September and getting back to my tried & true routine. A fresh start if you will.
The energy in September feels like a Second New Year to me!
When everyone in my house is back to the daily and weekly schedules they need to adhere to, whether it is work or school, my time management and budgeting tools get put into use full force.
In the past, when I tried to just wing it when dealing with everything my family had to do… well, let’s just say things didn’t go well!
As far as my TIME MANAGEMENT goes, my planner is how I keep things together for sure. I’ve tried many and have found one that works best for me (and it is creative and inspirational too). For me, its a physical planner that I write in but you need to Be True to YOU and if a digital planner is a better fit for you then go for it! But it really REALLY helps to have everything in one place for easy reference when life gets super busy.
I also use my calendar and reminders function in my phone to help with it all.
And this year, more than ever before, BUDGETING is happening big time to help me make the most of my family finances since things have gotten more expensive across the board this year.
What does this look like?
I know how much I bring in as far as income sources, it doesn’t change too much so I have that in mind then I deduct my monthly expenses (like water, hydro, gas, car) so I have a pretty clear idea what I’m working with for everything else.
Groceries have been the most challenging the past few months but I’ve been working on trying new recipes, and I definitely shop the sales! This week my grocery store is having a case lot sale so I was able to stock up on some of my staples for a much better price and because it is a bulk-buy I won’t have to buy those things as often as I usually do freeing up a bit more money in the next couple of months.
I know a lot of people aren’t fans of planning ahead. Heck, I used to be one of them! But I’ve found that doing so actually reduces my stress because I’m not feeling like I’m spinning out of control trying to deal with the next crisis. I found FREEDOM in having a solid routine to set the foundation of my days.
That said, flexibility matters too… more on that in an upcoming blog post.
I recently asked the women in my online community a question: On a scale of 1-10, how much does time management and budgeting impact your quality of life?
Do you feel like you’ve got a good handle on it? Or are you caught up in the chaos?
Here’s some tips to help make it a little easier on yourself:
- Have a consolidated space where all your and your family’s activities, etc. can be viewed (planner, digital app, wall calendar… whatever works best in YOUR world.
- Make use of the calendar app and set reminders on your phone.
- Clean out and assess your pantry, fridge, and freezer. Make a “cheat sheet” of the items you use and need to buy regularly and get into the habit of checking your stash before ordering or going to get groceries.
- Try meal planning. It can seem overwhelming when you want to get started, but once you have a firm grasp of what you’ll be making for dinner in the coming week you’ll know what you need, how long it will take to prepare it, and if there’ll likely be leftovers to make use at another mealtime.
- Take a good look at your finances. (I know, this can be tough sometimes.) Do your best to determine your usual monthly income, what your set monthly expenses are, and how much you have to cover all the rest after that. It might be a real wake up call for some, but it will help you plan ahead. If money is tight, be firm about what you can let go of either temporarily or permanently. (I paused our Netflix and Audible subscriptions to help make ends meet during a recently financial set back… little things add up!)
As a Solo-Mom and as a Life Coach, finding solid useable practices to help lessen stress levels is super important to me. The tools shared here are all things I personally make use of and can say they’ve helped improve the quality of my mom-life immensely!
Always from the heart,
A New Way to a Familiar Destination
I was planning on writing a blogpost about boundaries this week; their importance, why we struggle with setting appropriate boundaries, tips on how to get going… but this morning I realized that one was going to have to wait.
Instead, I feel the need to write about the “baby-steps” I’m taking to rebuild my strength after a crappy experience of being very ill this past winter.
So BABY STEPS it is!
Those who follow me on social media or who receive my newsletters might remember that I came down with shingles after injuring a nerve on the top of my head last November. (If you’ve ever had the chickenpox, you have the virus that can cause shingles sleeping in your nervous system. With all my heart, I truly hope it never “wakes up” so you don’t have to experience shingles.) Anyway, I was surprised as the only people I’d known of who had shingles were all women in their 70s – I’M NOT THERE YET – and I didn’t realize a nerve injury could trigger it, although in hindsight it makes perfect sense.
So, I had shingles on my scalp, my face and in my right eye. I have never been so ill in my life. I literally laid on the couch for almost 2 full weeks. I didn’t even sleep in my own bed because I wasn’t really sleeping. The pain was incessant and unpredictable. I’m not one for taking medications if I can help it, but let me tell you I was keeping track of every painkiller I took so I knew when I could take my next dose and even then they just dulled the pain they didn’t eliminate it.
My rash didn’t clear up until 5-6 weeks later and my eye is almost completely healed. There is a small patch in my vision where it feels like I’m looking through a smudge on my glasses but it is very tiny and I can live with it!
I barely ate. I barely slept. The pain was unimaginable. I’m so fortunate to have loved ones nearby who could help me out with groceries and getting to appointments as I wasn’t able to drive for weeks.
Recovery was slow. Especially given that it had gotten into my eye. So I tried to go slow as I eased back into my “regular” life.
It took so much longer than I expected!
I should also mention that while not single, I am a Solo Mom and the past few years – even before the pandemic – had been very challenging. I went into this illness already maxed out as far as stress-levels were concerned.
The first time I really realized how hard everything had been on my body was when I went snowshoeing in early January (almost 2 months after getting ill). I have been very active during the winter for 10 years now so going snowshoeing wasn’t anything new to me. We weren’t doing anything difficult, just a nice little loop that would take us less than an hour. Well, my body did NOT enjoy that and I ended up getting extremely ill afterwards which set me back a little bit as far as getting back into the swing of things to say the least.
My nutrition was up to snuff (I have the BEST supplements and shakes which truly got me through the worst of my sick days because I honestly could barely eat anything but my body desperately needed the nutrients to fight the virus and heal), so no worries there. However, my physical stamina was nowhere to be found.
How could this be? I didn’t understand fully because I’ve never been that ill before, so I started asking questions and looking into options to help me heal to a point where I feel stronger and more capable than I had been for a few months.
WHEN WE FIND OURSELVES IN NEW SITUATIONS WE NEEDTO BE OPEN TO FINDING NEW WAYS OF APPROACHING THINGS.
I found I could not do a full yoga practice as I am used to doing. After about 25 minutes I would feel drained (and while I am a yoga teacher and have been for many years, I typically practice a slow-flow sequence so it wasn’t like I was Power-Yoga-ing and then feeling pooped, lol!) So I created mini practices for myself #babysteps. Depending on how my energy levels were, they are between 10-20 minutes which I am just now able to combine to enjoy a half hour practice. Yay!
I discovered that my cardio strength had really diminished and it was keeping me from hiking all the gorgeous trails near where I live. But the weather, my family responsibilities, work schedules, etc made it challenging as to when I could actually get outside while it was daylight. I’m the kind of person who likes to have a regular routine as it makes things so much easier to stick to!
What new way could I build my cardio and stamina from home? One that DIDN’T cost a fortune or take up a lot of room as my home is tiny… I found an old-school stationary bike! And I love it! It is compact, easy to use, and didn’t cost me a fortune. To be honest, I found it for $50 on Marketplace. Yay!
I started slow, because I had experienced what happened when I tried to push myself too far too fast. Ten minutes in the morning and 10 minutes after work. Just enough to get my heart rate up a little! The next week I did 15 minutes twice a day. Now I’m up to 20 minutes before and 20 minutes after work and I’ve been able to increase the tension for a better workout! Again, #babysteps to the rescue!!!
Do I feel bad about myself because of how I’ve had to scale back what activities I do or how long I do them? NOPE. I feel proud of myself that despite coming up against new challenges and obstacles, I’ve been able to find ways of healing and improving my health that work with how things are NOW.
Things change. We need to be able to change too.
Different isn’t bad, its just different. And sometimes as we shift into something new and different, we need to do so gently and let ourselves take Baby Steps.
Always from the heart,
PS – if you’re looking for some help figuring out your own best next-steps to make positive changes in your life, I’m here! I’m certified in wellness, life, and sleep science coaching and I’ve been teaching yoga for almost a decade. Give me a shout at email@example.com
What Is “Normal” Anyway?
I’ve heard a lot of talk lately about how people are looking forward to getting “back to normal” these days.
- 1.the usual, average.
I get it, things have been unpredictable to say the least for quite awhile now.
But to be honest, I’ve never been much of a fan of normal.Continue reading “What Is “Normal” Anyway?”
LET THE TEARS FLOW, but don’t drown in them…
I’m a crier, make no mistake about it. I cry over all sorts of things: happy, sad, overwhelming… the tears will flow.
Until about a month ago.
I’ve not been able to cry for a month. Not because of some stoicism, not because of an emotional block. I’m physically not able to cry because it actually hurts. A LOT.Continue reading “LET THE TEARS FLOW, but don’t drown in them…”
Just Tell Me What to Do!
Yeah, I knew…
- I knew that I was supposed to eat well.
- I knew that I was supposed to drink enough water.
- I knew that I was supposed to rest.
- I knew that I was supposed to make time for play & self care.
But even though I knew all of these things it was like being caught in a whirlwind of “supposed to’s.” I had all the information but what I really needed was for somebody to just tell me what to do!
I was so caught up in the chaos of all of the “shoulds,” that I couldn’t do any of them at all. And I paid for it. In every area of my life…
What changed for me? I reached out for help.
This wasn’t easy for me, I’ve always been very very independent. I’m still very very independent. But I got to a point where I simply couldn’t keep spinning my wheels any longer. I was feeling like I was totally missing out not only on my life with my kids, but my life in general.
What did I do?Continue reading “Just Tell Me What to Do!”