Gratitude

I woke up feeling grateful Easter Sunday.

Despite having a cold, I’m still healthy.

I have a roof over my head, running water, food. The basics are covered.

I looked a little deeper and realized my heart was full.

I had done sports psychology sessions with ski clubs again this winter and continued on with my private clients.

I also worked at the ski hill doing something I love. I met some great people at the shop and I had fun. Being a social animal I enjoy interacting with customers and am good at it. I became shop mom to the kids working at the shop, plying them with muffins and other baked goods.

It’s a rare occurrence for me to find work I truly enjoy outside of sports psychology but I was in my happy place at the hill with all the skiing I could manage. A blessing.

As I looked out the window at the blue sky and the sun shining, I had this profound sense of contentment and peace. Life is good.

Even though my beloved ski season is drawing to a close in a few short weeks and I have to seek employment elsewhere, I’m happy with a job well done. Truly.

A former client has just come back to work with me which makes my heart sing.

Spring is unfolding and with it the promise of growth, renewal and change.

I’m looking forward to seeing what comes.

Happy Easter with your loved ones.

 

 

 

 

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Gratitude

Thanksgiving is almost here. It’s my favorite holiday because to me it’s about being grateful.

I am giving thanks for all the blessings in my life:

The freedom and opportunity of the country I live in.

The beauty of nature that surrounds me.

The love and support of my family and friends.

The safety and comfort of my home.

The fresh, nutritious food I eat.

The comfort and love of my darling cat Tabby.

The work I do with athletes, helping them find confidence in life through sport.

The wonderful art I create.

The list is endless.

What are you grateful for?

I do a gratitude practice every night. I list all the things I am grateful for every day.

I also have a gratitude jar on my kitchen table where I put notes of things I am grateful for.

Going to gratitude when life seems too much or things get hard reminds me of just how much I do have to be grateful for. What you focus on expands. Choose wisely, choose gratitude.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

Love

Five weeks ago I met a man who changed my life.

We fell in love on the spot, the stuff movies are made of, even though I didn’t know it at the time.

I wasn’t looking for once, I was dating someone else. He was also in a relationship.

You can’t explain attraction can you? We were magnets for each other.

As much as I tried to understand, to resist and deny, my heart shifted.

After six years of trying to make a relationship work, this just was. We were tied from the day we met.

He doesn’t live in the same city as I do and so for four and a half weeks I didn’t see him. I can’t begin to explain or describe the ache I felt.

We texted and spoke daily for a while. Then he asked for silence as he couldn’t be in two relationships at once.

All the while, being the eternal optimist that I am, I banked on the best outcome.

The best outcome has come to pass. He is going to go do the work he needs to do on himself. To learn to like, accept and love himself. Whatever we were is over.

I am a change agent, It’s what I do. I shift people. I shifted him.

What I didn’t expect is for him to shift me.

Thank you for loving me. For helping me see that love is possible. For cracking open my heart and bringing in light.

My heart is shattered. I am gutted. I’ve forgotten what pain like this feels like.

Even in this thick blanket of fog that surrounds me and pain so deep I don’t know what do when the waves hit but allow it, I know something is being worked out in me. Healing is happening on a grand scale.

I will come out on the other side of this with insights and lessons learned like I always do.

Be well love. Thank you.

Compassion

Compassion.

What does it mean to you?

Lately I’ve been challenged by finding compassion. Compassion for myself, my cat and those around me.

I grew up on a ski hill. Call it nature and nurture I turned into a ski racer. A decent one at that. Along the way I developed something called perfection.

Ski racing is a sport where hundreths of a second make the difference. Where I constantly sought to improve my strength, technique and tactics. It’s a sport where your mettle is tested.

I flew down hills faster than most people drive, constantly seeking speed and a winning line. I was a consistent podium finisher. Always pushing myself to be stronger, faster and smoother.

I lived for speed and for flying down courses with gates coming at you as fast as possible. Always seeking to shave time and to win.

Ski racing was my life and my job. I had teammates, some I liked, others I tolerated. On race day all that fell away. It was time. Time to put all the training I’d done along with mental preparation and make it happen.

Sometimes it did. Sometimes it didn’t. Always I learned. I watched my competition’s lines. I ran the course in my mind and in my body countless times. When the starter counted down I was like a tiger, ready to fly. To lay it all down and give it my all.

That drive is still in me. The passion too. I constantly seek to learn, to better myself and to be the best me I can be.

Sometimes compassion is lost in the process. This hardness appears. The itty bitty shitty committee activates. Sometimes I can pull myself out, sometimes I can’t. I call it the swamp. That icky place where fear, anxiety, sadness and negativity lie.

I coach my clients on how to pull themselves out of that space. To reach for a branch. To grasp at something positive to draw themselves out.

I tell my clients there is no such thing as perfection. It’s something we create to punish ourselves. To keep ourselves stuck. It’s a terrible weight to carry.

I teach them there is no such thing as failure, only feedback. I ask them to highlight what went well and what was challenging. Then I ask them to draw lessons they can take with them the next time they are faced with an experience.

In the end, I am teaching them compassion. Compassion for being human. We are spiritual beings living a human existence. I fundamentally believe that.

My clients give me the opportunity to reflect on the words that come out of my mouth. The chance to apply those lessons to my own life. They give me just as much as I hopefully give them.

I love what I do. I value the trust parents and my clients put in me. It is the greatest gift to be able to work with young humans who never cease to amaze me. It’s my juice.

Heart full.

Gratitude

Gratitude. How does it show up in your life?

I had planned on writing a post on gratitude this week, it seems especially timely after the events here in Ottawa.

A city has been changed in a single day. A loss of innocence has occurred. My heart goes out to the families of both Cpl Nathan Cirillo and Michael Zehaf-Bibeau. Two people died tragically Wednesday in our peaceful city. Things will never be the same.

On the weekend, I was at a conference at the National Arts Center, steps away from the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. I had remarked to a friend how wonderful it was to see the military honor our dead by having sentries stand guard at the monument. As a former officer in the Canadian Armed Forces, I felt it a lovely gesture.

I was in an all day business planning session ten minutes away when shots were fired Wednesday, ironically our original location was to be blocks away from Parliament in the lockdown zone.

Shock. Horror. Anger. Sadness. I experienced all of these feelings when I learned of events.

Gratitude. I’m grateful to bystanders who stepped in to come to the aid of Cpl Nathan Cirilio. He was surrounded by people before he died. To emergency responders who run to and not away from danger to keep us safe. I’m grateful to the members of the Canadian Armed Forces who put their lives on the line daily abroad so we can enjoy our freedom here in Canada.

Gratitude. For the simple things. For friends and family reaching out to make sure I was safe. For my home, in a country where events like these are the exception and not the norm. For this beautiful city, our nation’s capital, and the strength of its people.

30 day abundance challenge

It’s been a while since I’ve written, there have been a lot of changes. I remember my yoga teacher saying change is constant.  How true.

I’ve gone up and down and finally, blessedly, leveled out.  Feels good to be where I am, back to my self.  Like flying, life is about going to higher elevations and sometimes along the journey you hit those precious air pockets that make you drop before you level out again.

Feels like a calm ocean now.  Sometimes waves come but I flow with them or do my best to.  There has been much to be grateful for in the process.  A new job I truly enjoy and align with.  Increased exposure to my passion in sports psychology and a return to more frequent calls with my clients.  An injection of energy and passion into my art.  A return to self which has had a ripple effect in all areas of my life, personal, relationship and family.  Overall, it’s been a pretty rich experience for which I am truly grateful.

In this vein I have taken on the 30 day abundance challenge set forth by Tonya Davidson, a pretty cool lady and fellow artist.  Here are the details:

My 30 day challenge to you is to give away something every day for the next 30 days starting today for the goodness of others and ultimately bringing you abundance.

If you seek love, give love. Give away a hug a day.
If you seek money, give money, even if it’s a dollar or a quarter a day.
If you seek time, give away some of your time every day to help others.
If you seek happiness, give gratitude and thanks to others each day.

Are you in?

I love this idea and will set forth, as of today, to give away every day.

I will count my blessings, feel truly grateful and amazed for all the beauty, love and peace around me because it is around us all. You just have to look.

Blessings

As I sit here after a wonderful Thanksgiving long weekend I think about all the things great and small I have to be grateful for.

For one thing the time spent with the man I love in a place we both love.  The ride up the chairlift and the hike down to see the fall colors.  The spectacular view across the Gatineaus.  The delicious turkey dinner we shared afterwards. 

Hanging out, cuddling and watching movies together.  The quiet early mornings to myself, a cup of coffee and the paper.  Taking pictures of the frost covered fields.  Relishing in the cold temperatures and the need to wear gloves, a sure sign another ski season is just around the corner.

The prospect of doing meaningful couples counselling with a very skilled, trusted and good man.  My great hope that somehow we manage to bridge our differences, open our hearts and find a way back to us.  The us I know we really can be together.  The us that will allow us both to grow strong roots together.

A lot of things great and small to be thankful for this Thanksgiving.  What are you grateful for?