4 WAYS TO GATHER ENERGY FOR YOUR DREAM PROJECT

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I know how it goes. You have a full-time job that takes up most of your day, you have a family that demands your care and attention, you have a partner that you want to spend quality time with, you have a house full of chores to do, you need to find some time to exercise, and if you’re lucky, you get a little bit of ME TIME once in a long while to enjoy some down time for yourself. I know, because I have been there…many times.

How, then, you ask…do I find the time and energy to even begin thinking of working on a dream project, let alone carve out actual time and energy to complete it. Sometimes this question is the very thing that stops us in our tracks, and projects never get started and dreams never even get the opportunity to take flight.

Here are four ways that have helped me get through the challenging yet exciting transition of working on dream projects while balancing a full-time life. These strategies have allowed me to actualize many dream projects into reality and I am enjoying the blessings of living my dreams full-time. I hope these tips help you to do the same.

  1. Have tunnel vision on what you are trying to create: The only way to get shit done when you’re already so busy is to have absolute focus and dedication in the direction you are trying to move towards. There’s no wishy-washy-ness about it. The rest of the world may not know what you’re working on after the kids have gone to bed, but YOU know, and you think about it every chance you get. You are hooked on what you’re trying to make happen and you come back to your project day after day, night after night, even if you only get to work on it for 15 minutes at a time.
  1. Take care of yourself well: Dreams are for the long haul and you are going to need energy that will sustain you for a long time. Taking good care of yourself is not a luxury, but an essential necessity if you want to achieve anything worth doing. You will need physical stamina from exercise, you will need nourishment from healthy foods, you will need fuel from good sleep, and you will need refreshing energy from having fun, de-stressing, and enjoying love and connection from those around you. The more you take care of yourself, the more positive energy you have, and the more motivated you will be to keep working on dream projects at the end of a long day.
  1. Focus on the knowing that your dream project will serve someone: Whatever your dream project may be, if it’s something you are passionate about and something that gives you joy and inspiration, most likely it will also do the same for those who get to see and experience your dream project when you’re done. When you can remember that there will be people benefiting from the awesomeness of your project, you will be reignited to keep going! Your dream projects are bigger than yourself…it will carry a momentum and purpose beyond boundaries when you keep in mind of the people you will impact and serve.
  1. Learn discipline and consistency: Not my strongest suit, but I’ve had to learn how to sit myself down to work on my dream projects when friends are out enjoying drinks on a sunny patio or when my husband sits there watching TV. You must be willing to put in the work and to crank out results one day at a time until your project is complete. Each day that you work on your dream project is a day closer to you living the life of your dreams. It won’t happen overnight, but it will happen when you put in the time, day after day.

Keep your vision in front of you everyday and be relentless about making it happen. Believe in yourself and your ability to get things done and work hard. Soon you will be enjoying the fruits of your labor and nothing will ever taste so good! Enjoy and celebrate your journey!

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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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MY FAVORITE QUOTES FROM ‘7 HABITS OF HIGHLY EFFECTIVE PEOPLE’ TO EMPOWER YOU

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7 Habits of Highly Effective People by the late Stephen Covey was a pivotal book in my personal growth journey in my early 20’s. Today I was flipping through my old quote books and came across these favorites that I just had to share with you. They ring true to me today as they did all those years ago, and I hope they offer you some great inspiration and motivation for your own journey:

1. Our lives are the result of our choices.  To blame and accuse other people, the environment, or other extrinsic factors is to choose to empower those things to control us.

2. What does it matter how much we do if what we are doing isn’t what matters most?

3. We may find it convenient to live with the illusion that circumstances or other people are responsible for the quality of our lives, but the reality is that we are responsible – RESPONSE ABLE – for our choices.

4. It takes humility to seek feedback, it takes wisdom to understand it, analyze it, and appropriately act on it.

5. It’s not a matter of when to do things, but whether or not to do them at all.

6. If you’re not sure why you still do some things that you know are harmful or self defeating, analyze it, process it, write it down.  It builds awareness of your scripting. It helps you to make wise choices.

7. The only real mistake in life is the mistake not learned from.

8. Develop your imagination – you can use it to create in your mind what you hope to create in your life.

9. You have the power to look at your own involvement, to observe your own response, to change it.

10. The key is not to prioritize your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.

11. Self awareness involves deep personal honesty. It comes from asking and answering hard questions

 

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4 WAYS TO BUILD STRENGTH & COURAGE FOR YOUR LIFE

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Strength training came into my life one afternoon in highschool when my friend Chris asked me to spot him while he bench pressed in the school weight room.  It was LOVE at first sight even though I didn’t start lifting weights regularly until university, and it remains my big love to this day at age 37.  There’s no feeling more empowering than an awesome sweat session from lifting weights and getting stronger everyday.

As I got more into strength training, those of you who lift will know what I mean when I say it is such an important metaphor and teacher for life: the more we practice lifting heavy things, the more strength and resilience we cultivate for handling the heavy things in life.  Soon, I was asking myself ‘how can I do strength training for other aspects of my self and my life?’

The more we can make a regular practice to build strength physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually, the more this strength becomes internalized in who we are and COURAGE is what we become.

Here are four ways to build strength in your life in ways that will serve you:

1. Physically – Get physically strong! The body-mind-energy connection is so incredible that by getting strong on the outside, we start to get strong on the inside. It takes determination, tenacity, discipline, and self-belief to cultivate a strong body, and in that process, you start to embody those qualities.  Lifting heavy weights is always good, but if traditional weight training is not your thing, find other ways you enjoy getting physically strong.

2. Mentally – Just as we practice flexing our physical muscles on a regular basis, we should do mental training on a regular basis as well.  Daily affirmations, journaling positive things, reading inspiring books, making goals, are all great ways to build mental strength. When life gets challenging, will you have the mental strength to stay positive, think empowering thoughts, and make great decisions? Here is a great affirmation practice if you are looking for something to get started.

3. Emotionally – Let your walls down and take risks from the heart.  Just like tearing apart muscle tissues through lifting heavy weights helps to rebuild the muscle into something bigger and stronger, a heart that breaks is a heart that is open and able to rebuild itself  into a stronger one.  When you are willing to let yourself risk heartache and disappointment in order to stay true to love and compassion, you build up your emotional resilience.

4. Spiritually – There is no power stronger than the energy of the Divine Universe.  The more we can stay connected and interact with it on a daily basis, the more we draw from this infinite and all-loving power source.  Create rituals and routines to connect in your own way. Every morning as soon as I wake up, I step outside to my patio and offer a thank-you prayer to the Universe for me being alive and for blessing me and my life.  I journal and write thank-yous for all the things I’m grateful for as well as for the things I would like to manifest and achieve.  When I run, I pay attention to how my feet connect with the Earth and enjoy the nature around me.  Cultivate your own relationship with the Divine Source.

The strength you need and want is already within you.  

The courage that is your life is there for you to cultivate and nurture.  

Believe in the power that you have what it takes to craft your amazing and powerful life.

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3 WAYS YOUR FITNESS WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE

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We all know being fit is important for our health, but are we doing enough so that it’s serving our lives in more ways than just a number on a scale or how we fit in our clothes?

Here are three ways upping your overall fitness will not only change your body, but ultimately, change your life:

1. You seek out new challenges to help you grow – Let’s face it, either we challenge ourselves, or life will find a way to challenge us.  If you can step up and try new experiences and challenges through fitness activities, you learn to take challenges head on and develop strength and resiliency that you can apply to all aspects of your life.  Fitness is more than just physical, it’s mental, emotional, and spiritual; the strength you build from challenging yourself will become the backbone that supports you when life throws you a curveball.  You learn to rely not only on the endurance of your physical body to get through tough times, but your mental and emotional fitness as well.

2. You see opportunities and possibilities beyond the status quo – Moving and sweating through physical fitness clears our heads and opens up our senses. Over time we build the capacity to receiving new ideas and being open to new things.  You energy is no longer stagnant and life takes on new momentum because of your efforts to stretch, move, play, and sweat.  Mentally you become more optimistic and see things in a new light. Emotionally you start to be more open with your heart space and allow for more connection and love in your life.

3.  You take on new definitions for yourself – Not only will your body start to take on new muscle definition from upping your physical fitness, but you begin to form new beliefs about who you are, what you can do, and how you present yourself to the world.  There’s new found confidence and a subtle surge of pride as you begin to see yourself differently.  As you carry yourself in this new fit way of living, you almost go through this metamorphosis of who you are, and people start to respond to you differently.

Power up your fitness, inside and out, and watch it enhance all areas of your life.  You will be stronger, happier, more confident, and generate new positive energy.

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