Cannonballing into my (dis)Comfort Zone: A Lesson in Leadership

I’ll be honest: lately, I’ve been struggling.  I came back from Jamaica with a fire in my belly but it was extinguished by the snow and grayness at home. I could feel my creativity and inspiration faltering and I didn’t like it one bit.  I knew I was feeling lackadaisical and complacent and it was showing everywhere.  I was tired and grumpy at home with my kids and husband, I was unmotivated and lackluster with my business team, and I was feeling bored and restless with pretty much everything.

Fast forward a couple of weeks, when my friend approached me about doing a training for a leadership retreat for our businesses. (For those of you who don’t “know” me, I’m part of a fantastic health and wellness company which has been a total blessing in my life.) Now, training to me is not a problem, but I knew that I had to change my attitude and FAST.  I have a team of friends and colleagues looking for inspiration and I sure as hell wanted to be the one to get them pumped up and ready to change the world.  But here’s the real kicker, Stacy also wanted me to teach a yoga class to the group.  Gulp!

Sure, I’m a trained Yoga Teacher, confident trainer and have no problem speaking in front of big groups, but for some reason, this request had me shaking in my boots.  As soon as I had completed my YTT, I took my certificate and figuratively ran for the hills. While my fellow graduates were out finding jobs and setting up their own studios, I was avoiding the teaching part of yoga at all costs.  Telling myself: teaching’s not for me, I have other things going on, and whatever other excuse I could come up with that would keep me safe in a comfort zone.  I responded with a “sure, maybe, let me think about it” type response, fully intending to fluff her off and get out of the yoga class.  But of course, the more I sat with it, the more I realized I wasn’t been fair to anyone with that shitty-lame, never try anything new or scary or uncomfortable attitude. How could I sit here and call myself a leader and coach people on how to step out of their comfort zones, be vulnerable, feel the fear and do it anyways- when I wasn’t prepared to take those steps?  So I agreed.

I put on my big girl panties and with my heart racing, I stepped onto the mat at the front of the group and taught my very first yoga class.  And you know what? It was awesome, incredible, empowering, exhilarating and EXACTLY what I needed!  I was so jazzed up about the success of the class that I could’t wait to do my training presentation. I had to take a serious leap of faith (out of my comfort zone) and trust in myself, but it was so worth it.  I was left feeling of accomplished, proud and pumped up.

Am I ready to step out and become a full blown teacher of this ancient, moving, freeing practice? Maybe not quite yet, but I’m taking baby steps to get there. There being along the path of discovery, awakening, leveling up, challenge, vulnerability and growth.  Sounds like a good path to be on- so I think I’ll keep blazing the trail and be mindful to stop and smell the flowers.

Now I’m off to change the world! Namaste fellow trail blazers and leaders. 🙂

Here’s a some pics from the beautiful leadership
retreat I was blessed to be a part of! 

The V word: Talking about Vulnerability

Vulnerable. Just saying the word leaves me feeling exposed. What does it mean and why does it have such a bad rep?  Online, vulnerable is defined as “susceptible to physical or emotional attack or harm.” Yet Brené Brown, trailblazer and pioneer of the vulnerability movement, says “It is the birthplace of everything we’re hungry for: innovation, creativity and change.” She claims it’s the one thing that can lead to living a wholehearted life of compassion and connection. Yet, in our culture of consuming, photo-editing and ‘busy’ as a status symbol, it seems we’ve forgotten why vulnerability is such an important emotion.

Vulnerability is what makes us human. It’s the core essence of life, the nitty-gritty, the chewy parts, the part of humanity that can bring tears to your eyes because of it’s rawness and truth. Vulnerability is letting the real and authentic you be seen and not giving a damn what other people think (or perhaps giving a damn and still doing it anyway.) It’s the courage to apologize, the chance to right a wrong, the bravery to change your path, to make a craft, to sing a song, the grace to tell the truth, to open your heart, the humility to put yourself out there. Maybe, it’s even starting a new blog like I did.

I’ll be honest, I thought blogging would be a cinch because I’ve always kept a journal . But here’s what I didn’t consider: journaling is something I’ve always kept private, my musings have never been on display before and now they will be.  So I’m faced with a dilemma. How do I release my fear of vulnerability and this perceived need to please everyone, to not piss anyone off or even that old familiar rat, having to be the best: the best blogger, the best writer, the best person?

But then I still my breath and listen to my yogi voice reminding me to take care, to let it be, to be honest with myself and others, and I know that none of those feelings of competition and over-achievement are necessary. I breathe in another glorious, delicious breath (oxygen is the best addiction!) and I let it all go.  I don’t need to have my shit figured out, nor do I need to become an all mighty healer or channel my inner psychiatrist. All I need to be is me. To be vulnerable in my writing, imperfect in my wandering and open to learning and growing everyday, knowing I’m never going to know everything, nor am I expected to.

So with that, I’m putting this blog out to the universe. It’s time.

Together we can sigh, cringe, laugh and cry at this beautiful ride we call life.

“We cultivate love when we allow our most vulnerable and
powerful selves to be deeply seen and known.”

— Brené Brown

If you want to read more about how you can embrace your vulnerability, I highly suggest you check out some of Brené’s work: Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead

And of course, her Ted Talk:

 

 

 

Namaste mes amis!

 

 

O-live a little; Adventures in snowga!

Recently my dad gave me one of his recent food creations inspired by Thug Kitchen, made with swiss chard, balsamic glazed chickpeas and so much other deliciousness, that I couldn’t wait to try. My dad, a vegan for close to 5 years now and a man of little words hadn’t mentioned any other ingredients, so after a yoga flow in my living room, I eagerly warmed it up and dove in.  I found a mushroom, speared it with my fork and brought it to my mouth. A slightly rubbery texture with a bitter and almost salty flavour met my tastebuds instead.  It was delicious! I started looking for more of these briny rascals and after several scrumptious bites, I had figured it out: These weren’t mushrooms but olives! Hold up- now normally, I don’t like olives.  In fact, I avoid them at all costs.  A “thing” I’ve had since I was young. To say that I was stumped by this unexpected twist of events (I like olives- what?!) would be an understatement. How could I have spent all these years on this planet, thinking one thing (olives are yucky), yet completely oblivious to the truth (they’re actually downright tasty)?

It got me thinking about other things in my life that I’ve linked with my personality or have been quick to dismiss because of an outdated and possibly even ignorant notion. What other delicious, incredible, fun and possibly heart-thumping experiences have I turned my nose up to for no damn good reason?

Inspired, I decided to try something new.  I live in snowy Canada and though it’s certainly not the snowiest part of this beautiful country, for this sun loving bunny, it can be a bit much.  In other words, I’m not overly passionate about the snow. BUT could that be my ego and other passé ideas playing tricks on me again, holding me back from life experiences I may otherwise really enjoy? With this in mind, I bribed my bestie with a cinnamon dolce latte from Starbucks and we set out to the forest behind my house for a little snowga. Have you heard of this? It’s essentially Yoga in the snow. Yogis love blending their love for nature with practice so this new way of flowing isn’t really a surprise. But it was a surprise to me (and my bff) when I showed up with this great idea at her door! And similar to the olives, it was far better than I originally thought. Fresh air, two friends, coconut milk lattes and a heck of a lot of fun!

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In trying something new and letting go of my stale thoughts which no longer served me, I pushed my own boundaries and got out of my comfort zone.  (Because let’s be real, comfort zones are not that comfortable!)  I expanded my definition of ME! I gave myself the gift of new experiences, new tastes and new laughs, all while enjoying the bountiful scenery provided (free of charge) by mother nature. I just had to open my eyes to it and see all the possibilities in saying “yes”. So now the challenge is to remember this lesson and apply it every day.  Want to try a new cafe? Sure! Invert into a challenging yoga pose? Totally! Should I wear that mustard-coloured shirt? Why not! How about some winter camping? Eeek, I’ll get back to you on that one! (Baby steps right?!) 😉

What are some of things you do when you feel those familiar walls holding you back? What haven’t you tried? And hey, what are you waiting for- Get out there and try something new! You’ll love it and I’ll bring the olives!

Namaste daring ones!

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The Yogahhh Project!

Hey everyone and welcome to my very first blog post! I’m totally diving into a new world for me. To be honest, I’ve never imagined myself as a blogger but the more I sit with it, the more it feels right.  And really, that’s the whole point of this blog: Finding what feels right. I’ve made a commitment to myself to move my body every day through yoga, exploring ALL it has to offer, knowing/ hoping that it will make me a more connected mom, wife and friend.  I’m already a lover of yoga (and a certified yoga teacher, but more on that later) but recently I seemed to have to lost my voice or my passion or maybe even my mojo for it. Then one day, it hit me (and I know, it seems like a no-brainer): I can invest in myself for at least 20 minutes a day, no matter what, and it can be something I do for me.

But as it so often goes with yoga, it awakened something in me (hallelujah!) and in a true aha moment, I knew I could share this love and my transformation with other people needing a kick in the butt, a wiggle or a giggle.  I promise to be transparent and not take myself too seriously through out this journey of yoga exploration. I’ll be honest and frank about this adventure in play, life and love.  Because that’s Yoga’s secret sauce: how the journey you take on your mat translates off it. So while I bump along during my day, being human and all that, I’ll take these lessons and blend them into my life.  I’ll share the nitty-gritty, the mess, the mistakes and of course, all the beauty with you here on the blog. So peace out my friends and Namaste.  I’ll catch up with you soon!

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This is me, not taking myself too seriously, carving out my little yoga space in my bedroom.
(I moved the mess off to the side for the pic! Lol)