TOP 6 LESSONS I WILL TAKE INTO 2016

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Happy New Year!! Today is the first day of 2016 and I must say New Years Day has got to be one of my most favorite holidays.  I love the promise of a brand new year, to create anew, to fill blank pages with my dreams, desires, and goals, and to gratefully experience another year of life.  What a privilege it is to have more time to enjoy another 365 days of life.

2015 was pretty epic for me: we had an amazing vacation in Barbados, I became pregnant with our first child due in 8 weeks, and we moved across the country back to my husband’s hometown for a new job and to be closer to family and friends for the baby. 2016 is going to be exciting, life changing, and one of the BEST years of our lives!

Every year I do a deep contemplation of my year and make intentions and goals for the upcoming one. Here are the 6 top lessons I learned in 2015 that I will carry forward with me as we start this new one:

1. Life has great plans for us – When I think about all the major events that happened in 2015, I am in awe of the Universe and all it provides for me to experience an amazing life. To conceive a child, move across the country, and my husband getting a dream job, are all such blessings that prove life is a string of big experiences waiting for us to create, manifest, and enjoy.  The bigger we dream, the greater the plan life hands us.  Always go after the concept of “what else do I want to experience” and open up to receive it.

2. Body is everything, movement is life – Perhaps the biggest challenge throughout my pregnancy is not being able to workout and run like I normally do.  I love my heavy weights and my half marathons, and with the slew of pregnancy symptoms…I’ve had to drastically cut back on my amount and intensity of exercise.  I’ve also had to deal with gestational diabetes, watching my carbohydrate intake and monitoring my blood sugar 4 times a day. I’ve never been so aware of the power and vulnerability of my body, and how precious it is to take good care of it so that my baby can be healthy. I’ve always valued the movement and wellness of my body, and now, with a life inside me, it’s never been more important.  Because of this, I am dedicating 2016 to my wellness and my wellness coaching work.

3. We are CREATORS - Anyone that has created a baby will agree with me when I say it’s such an amazing miracle of life to create a human being. To create a human life has given me a brand new perspective into the creative power we have and I’m feeling so pumped to create some more! My second book, a new phase of my wellness coaching business,  a new job position in wellness/athletics/recreation at McMaster University, and a trip to Taiwan are on the top of my list to create for 2016 :) You too, have this creative power, and I hope you harness and express more of it this upcoming year.

4. Don’t mind the unhappy people – Moving to a small town across the country has made me see people in a new light. I realized that there are A LOT of unhappy people out there. I see it day in and day out at work and sometimes it really disheartens me.  But I’ve decided that there will always be people who are unhappy, and that I choose to be in a different lot.  I will focus on creating my own light and happiness and hopefully that energy extends to those around me. If not, I will still continue to shine within myself.

5. Surrender the control – This is probably my biggest lesson learned as I go through a pregnancy filled with so many physical symptoms I cannot control.  It drives me crazy that I cannot control it, but it is the way it is.  There are some things we get to decide and there are some things we don’t.  It reminds me of the greater power of life and how we must discern the difference between when to exert power and when to let go.

6. What feels best is to nourish and love – Aaahhh…to end and begin on this note…when I focus on nourishment and love, it makes everything all better.  All the uncomfortable symptoms of pregnancy, the fears and anxieties about moving cross-country and having a baby, and facing the unknown about work, finances, and “would I be a good parent?” make some days pretty stressful.  I’ve remembered to slow down, to take deep breaths, and to focus on what’s most important. I’ve let myself have more self compassion, more space to be ok with what is, and remember that I am on this new journey as a Mommy to love my soon-to-arrive child.  When I remind myself of that, I relax and I smile, knowing that everything will fall into place as long as I focus on giving as much nourishment and love as I can.  Because that’s where my strongest power lies, and that is what my new year will be, one filled with deep nourishment and genuine love. I so wish the same for you :)

THANK YOU for being a part of my journey and for letting me be a part of yours. I can’t wait to connect with you in 2016 and GLOW some more together :)

Sending you love,

Lola

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3 WAYS TO EMPOWER YOURSELF THROUGH RUNNING

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There are so many things I love about running and I know I be a runner for the rest of my life. Of course this wasn’t always the case, since I used to hate running, always coming in at the back of the pack during those awful mile run tests in P.E. class during highschool. Luckily since then I have found my love for running as I run along our beautiful beaches on the Seawall, doing the Maui Half Marathon under the hot Hawaiian sun, and now training for my 6th half marathon with the Scotiabank Vancouver Half Marathon in June. Many things keep me running, but the way my runs keep me feeling empowered is how I know I will be a runner for life.

Here are three simple but powerful ways to empower yourself through your runs:

1. Use your running time to be present and connect – Take a break from the craziness of daily life and use your running time to finally tune in to yourself. Use the rhythm of your breathing to clear your mind and let yourself feel your own presence as your stride connects with the ground. During this time, you don’t need to worry about anything or anyone else except yourself, your body, and your heart beating. As you run, you are reminded that you can put yourself first, that your needs are important priorities, and that you could use more time to be present for yourself.

2. Practice pumping up your positive self-talk – I am a big fan of affirmations, especially while I run! The combination of heart pumping, sweat dripping, and thinking thoughts that make me feel strong and powerful is the biggest adrenaline rush I get on my runs. Whatever I am wanting to achieve at that point in my life is the soundtrack I play in my head. I look forward to running because I know I’ll come back even more pumped. Each time you run is a chance for you to practice positive self-talk.

3. Run through the items on your gratitude list – When we feel good, we do good, and this is one of my favorite side-effects of running. Especially on days when I’m not feeling strong physically, I’ll focus more of my energy on feeling grateful for all the things in my life, including being able to breathe and being out there pounding the pavement. When you can remember that there are others struggling simply to take a breath or who lack the privilege of being able to move their legs, you quickly appreciate your own ability to be out there, enjoying this excruciating thing we call running.

When I am gasping for air during the Scotiabank Vancouver Half Marathon as I push myself to run my sub-2:00 goal, I know I’ll be relying on the strength I have built from some of these tips as well as those kilometers I will log between now and race day. From one empowered runner to another, see you out there on the road! Happy running!

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