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Happy Holidays

Happy Holidays

We have endured much this year. We feel vulnerable, tired.

The Embrace your Life community is composed of mostly women and I am sure you can identify that we often carry a lot this time of year. We place pressure on ourselves to create a beautiful, memorable experience for our family and friends and take the opportunity to really show them how much we care.

We love to see our loved ones happy!

But this year we aren’t able to be with our loved ones. While we don’t have to put on the big dinners and plan the extravagant gatherings, the emotions are swirling.

We are being asked to remain at home. 

No home is the same. Some homes are supportive and loving and some are strained and challenged. And some fall in between. 

Home is connected to Relationships.

And if you live alone, the relationship in your home is with yourself.

If your emotions are swirling and you feel consumed with stress, give yourself permission to stop and tend to your most important relationship – the one with yourself.

Do what you need to do to get grounded and clear.

Take time off. Set an intention to be gentle in your thoughts. Restrict intense media, movies, music and instead be mindful to flood your environment with sensual soothing sounds, smells and flavours.

Carve out uninterrupted time to rest and recover. Assertively communicate with the people in your home that this is what is needed right now. 

Let the simplicity of wrapping yourself in a soft blanket and observe the twinkling of your lit tree, be enough to fill you up. 

Avoid the fight in your head with what isn’t and embrace what is. (Yes, we are talking about letting go of control…the greatest challenge of all.)

To get grounded you have to get out of your head and into your body and listen to what it needs. Basic survival – food, shelter, sleep, rest. 

Get back to the moment. 

Let your environment soothe you -. Here’s another tip!

Download our  Cluttered to Clear workbook to help you do just that! 

If you are struggling to see the light through the darkness, I offer you the ingredients to embrace change and additional links for support.  

And THEN… after you have intentionally shifted your focus and nurtured the relationship with yourself, you will have enough to share (in person or virtually) with your loved ones. All while giving them a gift of showing them how to nurture themselves.

Wishing you peace, love & health during this holiday season.

May you be filled up with the goodness that exists and with hopes for all that is possible!

With love!
Kelly 

How to Find Peace in Chaos

How to Find Peace in Chaos


Resilience.

I can’t think of another word that is more vital to embrace after what we have gone through in our world this last year and continue to navigate.

Wearing Masks are the Norm

I don’t know about you but the anxiety I felt for the first time, wearing a mask in public and seeing masked people driving around town, was so alarming!

There were moments in the grocery store, where my glasses would fog up and then my mask would breathe in way too close and I would try to move it away without touching it directly with my hands and I felt panic rising up in my chest. I avoided public spaces for weeks because of the fear.

Eventually I found masks that allowed me to breathe. And I absorbed the reality of how we are doing our part for public health and saw my discomfort as a small price to pay for the betterment of the whole.

Glaring Need for Food Banks

I am fortunate (and I know it and am grateful) that my work allows me to work at home. In the early summer, after gearing up to leave the house for the weekly shop, the roads and the sidewalks were virtually empty. The emptiness felt creepy.

On my way home, I turned to go into my neighbourhood, there was movement. I watched this tall woman quickly cross the road with her little baby in a stroller to get in line at the pop-up Food Bank at the local school that I didn’t notice before. Time stopped. And the reality of this picture haunted me. And then I cried. The pandemic is real. People are hungry, this is real.

Amazingly, almost right after that, our community filled a whole stadium with donated food. Heartbreakingly beautiful and simultaneously heartbreaking.

Racial Inequality and Unrest

First, I am not qualified to speak intellectually on this topic as I am still unpacking and unlearning and learning. But after the murders of unarmed black people in the US caused a global movement, I felt rage and then hope for humanity. Seeing people come together, united for justice was inspiring. I signed up for webinar after webinar and crammed my mind with education on the history of slavery and colonization and systemic racism, I felt guilt and shame of my white privilege and ignorance. And then, my dearest person was targeted with racist hate language, which brought it home, literally. It is our duty as humans to learn from the past and do better. When we stay in the dark, we are never free.

Gender Inequality, Lockdown and Mental Health

The abruptness of closing the schools revealed the gender inequality that exists and persists. The she-cession has impacted women globally and brings me to my knees in overwhelm and how to make change and help people cope with it all, in its unique and varying ways. Families are hurting. Single parents, grief, suicide prevention, depression, work life balance, emotional labour and pay inequity have been consuming my mind and my reading list.

If you have children under 14 right now with no one to care for them, how do you go to work? Many women in food and hospitality have lost their jobs and many others are in precarious situations. Women in the labour market is the lowest it has been in decades. Universal child care has been touted as a possible solution, along with equal pay and education on gender bias but we need the vaccine. 

The pressure to do it all, be it all, have it all, is proving to be impossible for many and that realization is either liberating or crushing.

Over the weekend, we began to unpack our Christmas decorations, eager to start celebrating, even if its just our immediate family this year. I lifted my favourite snowmen family from the box and squeezed them to me like a child and then I touched the area in my chest and remembered the cyst that may or may not be growing, the one the doctors are “watching” every 6 months.

And I became acutely aware of how unknown the future feels, how unreliable, unsteady, unfamiliar, unsure everything can feel … when we look at the weight and expanse of all that we are facing. It is all too big. I held my husband and daughter — rather they held me, as I cried. It’s a complicated gratitude, that we simply have each other and our health, holding the awareness that not all are as fortunate.

I feel like it is a normal occurrence right now, that I cry, my friends cry, my family, my clients. We tell each other (virtually) how much we love each other. We have been quite bold. If you are waiting to say these words in your life, now is the time!

A global pandemic, political unrest, polarization, economic instability, borders closed! This is all real, so get real with the love you have in your life and don’t waste another moment! Share it! There is little else that is as real and transforming as love.

I am used to feeling things deeply. I always have been highly sensitive, intuitive, empathetic and being this way requires boundaries and time to rest. But this year has taught me that…

We must actively strive for equality for all, to promote and live with respect and civility in our own minds, at home with our spouses, children, family, at work with our colleagues and clients and in society and demand the same from government.

Even as I write this you see when you start from the inner world, it extends out and shifts – EVERYTHING can be reduced to love ~ to learn, to choose to give and receive love. Practice.

If you feel compelled to create more meaning and change your life and align with your life purpose, practice getting really good at giving love and receiving love. 

Whether you are a taxi driver, doctor, teacher, politician — your purpose is to clear out the clutter, to perform your work mindfully (to be present) and give and receive love in the process.

Really, that is it.

So, while the bigger global pictures are bringing us to our knees, as I see I have repeated throughout this post, it is our love that will heal us and our commitment to equality for all. We are resilient — we are capable to recover after stress.

So, if this is overwhelming or confusing about what to do next — approach it like this: Whoever is in front of you, beside you, listening or talking to you, choose mindfully to love them, look into their eyes and start this healing that we need to do, every day, one ripple in the ocean each day, one interaction, one thought at a time.


We are planning some really soul nourishing workshops this month, I invite you to join, connect and find some peace. If you need assistance or guidance on how to create change and begin your journey, I also offer one-on-one coaching services at Embrace Your Life coaching. If I can be of any help to you, I would love to schedule a complimentary session to discuss your goals.

What the Heck is Clarified Butter?

What the Heck is Clarified Butter?

How much do you prioritize professional development in your life?

Does the thought of entering a classroom setting make your stomach bubble and churn? Are you so busy you haven’t even thought about learning a new skill or developing a new professional contact?

Living your life purpose is not just one big bold move and the rest of the journey is smooth sailing, there is a commitment to the excavation of self and your journey in the world at each stage in your life.

Does that sound exhausting, or what!?! We are so busy!

————-

In marketing, they say connect with your audience by sharing a story… So here is a story.

Over the weekend, I participated in a 2-day workshop for a course I am taking on Creative Responses to Grief and Loss. We played with different mediums: music, poetry, mindful movement, story writing and the process was very beautiful.

The principles are of Person-Centered Expressive Art Therapy by Natalie Rogers and through this course, I realize how art has been a pivotal part of my healing in my adult life. You may say, “I was a poet and didn’t even know it.”

This weekend, I became very aware that I am firmly in middle age at 45.

As I looked at the group of mostly early 20 somethings as I presented my collage, one area that stuck out were the words “THE LIFE” – and over top of the “THE” I cut out the word “MY” and glued it over top.

You see, I no longer want “THE LIFE” – I am focused on creating MY LIFE.

I only have one.

ONE – if you believe in reincarnation, this is the cumulation of others… but only this one life – with this group of people, with this purpose, with this sphere of possibility.

I looked into the eyes of each of the people in the group, trying to emphasize that insight to them, so they will know that it is not about going after the life but really making a life for yourself. Then, I shared with them the images of unsmiling women – bold, unapologizing and again UNSMILING women looking back at the camera.

There is anger, fierceness and restrained disgust. There is a lot to process in the world right now.

And that is how I feel – anger, fierce and restrained disgust, all laying just below the surface.

When I looked into the eyes of my fellow students, regardless of age, experience, gender, culture, I felt such a closeness with them. 

The feeling was familiar, it reminded me of when I facilitated vision board workshops, the Artist’s Way group and Goddess workshops. I was using the principles of Art Therapy and gentle movement and I didn’t even know it!! 

So by taking a course, it has ignited a new awareness, a new vigor in how I want to share my love and purpose in the world. 

In marketing they also say, be sure your copy answers this: “What is it in for me?” Because that is what the reader thinks when they scan your site, do an experiment, try it yourself. 

My intention is always when I write is that you feel inspired or empowered use your intuition to express more joy and love in your life and through your work.

VIRTUAL MONTHLY MEETUPS 

As someone who loves to connect with people and see them shine it has been a real challenge to do this solely online. So I invite all who are interested in injecting a little refresh into their work and do a career audit and then listen to our presenter Dr. Marni Bruni speak – Learn More & Register Here!

 

AND…. clarified butter is when you heat it and then separate the milk part from the top, leaving the pure product below. That is what professional development does, it gives you a chance to go deeper and get rid of the excess.

Surround yourself with people who seek truth, purpose, light, in a pure form.