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Well here we are – it’s 2013 and I although I haven’t written on my blog in over a year, it seems that somehow the amazing world wide web has continued to bring people to my site.  As I received my blog stats via email, I started to reflect on the past – when I started this blog, why I started it, and why I stopped writing.

I think it was a mix of things… I got busy (coaching)… I got very busy (moved, got engaged)… and then I got even more busy (work, travel, wedding planning).  In fact, being busy is the exact reason I have for stopping most things in my life that I probably should keep doing.  I’m not saying that writing a blog should continue forever,  but there was something very important and perhaps cathartic in expressing my thoughts, feelings and ideas.  Maybe it was simply creating something that I could reread, or getting thoughts out that I had pushed away in the process of being productive.  but I think that more likely, it was taking a moment for myself- to leave the outside world for just a moment, and create a little world by myself in a small cafe.

I’ve tried to fill the gap with things like yoga, running and lazy days watching Madmen, but in some ways these relaxing endeavors have taken a life of their own and have become sweat sessions at Bikrams Yoga, half marathon training, and a little too much online shopping to find outfits like Betty and Joan.  It’s funny how “productive” these little moments for myself have become!

So here find myself in another cafe being “unproductive”… and it feels awesome!  As I sip on my americano, and watch the misty rain drizzle on the window, I can’t help but reflect on this past year of successes, and announcements, triumphs and tears.  One thing is very clear- it was an awesome year!  It wasn’t perfect, but I grew and I changed.  And to be honest, it’s taken me till Jan.1, 2013 to really appreciate and think about that.

My resolution next year is to take all of my goals and ambitions and plans and relationships, and find ways to create moments to reflect on and appreciate what is happening with them right then.  I’m not sure exactly how this will change any of the outcomes, and maybe it won’t… but I do think that in the moments of craziness and busyness, if I deliberately take time to reflect, I will be reminded to stop, breathe, and notice that there is goodness and beauty in all of it.  The wins and the losses.  Because at the end of the day, it’s all about learning and growing.

 

I’ll leave you with an amazing little 5 step program! A daily resolution of sorts 🙂

 

The Five Reiki Principles

BY DR.MIKAO USUI

 

I – Just for today, I will not be angry.

Anger at others or oneself or at the whole world, creates serious blockages in one’s energy. It is the most complex inner enemy.

Letting go of anger, brings Peace into the Mind.

 

II – Just for today, I will not worry.

 

While anger deals with past and present events, worry deals with future ones. Although worry is not always a negative phenomena, endless worries may fill one’s head, and each one bores a small hole in one’s body and soul.

Letting go of worry, brings healing into the Body.

 

III – Just for today, I will be grateful.

Be grateful from your hart inward. Inner intention is the important element in this principle. Simple things as thanks, forgiveness, smile, good words, gratitude can improve others life and make them happy.

Being thankful brings Joy into the Spirit.

 

IV – Just for today, I will do my work honestly.

Support yourself and your family respectably, without harming others. Earn a respectable living, live a life of honor.

Working Honestly brings Abundance into the Soul.

 

V- Just for today, I will be kind to every living thing.

Honor your parents, honor your teachers, honor your elders.

Being Kind brings Love into the Will.

 

Happy New Years and all the best in 2013 – something tells me that this year is going to be a special one…Unknown-1

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From bad to worse..

8-1

That was the score of the Canucks loss last night.  The players looked visibly shocked, the coaches had no idea what to do and a city bustling with Olympic-like pride and gusto was immediately humbled.

Predictions were generous before the game – Canucks were getting better every game, every series.  Luongo seemed poised and confident, and our record was improving – 7 games in the first round, 6 games in the second, 5 in the 4th… and what was left?  A Four Game sweep of course!

So, if not a sweep, now what?

As an athlete and now a coach, I’ve often gotten caught up in the energy of “perfection”.  It’s what makes athletes, coaches, GM’s and franchises excellent – seeking perfect performances and doing every little thing that it takes to accomplish that.  And here’s where it gets tricky… we can train with perfection in mind but the second we try to play games perfectly is where things go wrong, because it’s very rare for a game to go exactly as we planned or envisioned…  We then miss opportunities as we search for the perfect play; we get caught up in our own mistakes, failing to move on from them; and when things don’t go well  we start to play with fear and caution.

There are a couple of ways to analyse why it happens that way- For all of those “The Secret” believers out there- Law of Attraction is the source of this. What we think about we attract.  Fear breeds the manifestation of fear.  Worrying about making mistakes breeds mistakes etc. etc. etc.  Our minds do not know the difference between what we want and what we don’t want.  It just produces what is on our mind.

And for those scientists out there, it’s pretty simple what happens.  Fear and nerves cause blood flow to pool in the stomach, thereby starving the extremities (aka arms and legs!), and so movement is not only restricted but our reflexes are much slower.  Looking back on last night’s game, does that sound familiar?

This is the “perfectionism trap”.  Perfectionism is great when things are, well, perfect.  But it quickly breaks down when things go wrong as it seems that there is no way out as we have already failed to be perfect.

So what now for the Canucks?  How do you regroup and come back from that performance?  I can’t say that I have the exact answer, but I think that the worse thing that they could do is overanalyze their performance.  They could go into strategy and technical aspects of the game and get caught up in what to change, but the truth is that the change that needs to happen is within them already.  They need to be okay with not being perfect, and have a little humour about the lesson they were given.  Trying to avenge a loss, or prove something to their fans will give them just that – a game spent trying and proving.  it’s uninspiring to watch, and even more uninspiring to play that way.

But I imagine they already know this.  They play week after week, in do or die situations.  They experience the best and worst of themselves on that ice day after day and so they are used to this and get coached through it.  They know how it goes.  But what about everyone else?

I’ve always said that the reason I was addicted to volleyball was because I could go through years of growth in 1 hour on the court. There is a start, middle and end to the game; you see what kind of teammate/partner you are; you see how you think and react when things are close- do you make the right play, do you get scared, do you blame your coach, yourself or teammate?  And then you finish the game, debrief, need to forget it and move on, while implementing new better ways to be in the future.  If this is not life, I don’t know what is!

But normally we don’t get to do the whole thing in such a short time.  Usually it gets stretched out over weeks, months, years and it feels neverending.  A bad play in hockey may see your team at a disadvantage for 5 minutes, but in life a bad decision could cost us years of discomfort, which really wears people down.  And so it gets really tough to forget the mistake and move on… to move past it with the information we learned and make different choices.  In fact, often there is so much time between the action and the result that we often lose sight of what caused what.  And then we (accidently) keep making the same mistake over and over and wonder why we ended up in the same place again.

It happens with work, money, dating, and family.  I’ve seen numerous friends find themselves in relationships with THAT guy that they tried to avoid.  Or people that keep ending up working with terrible bosses or who are perpetually broke no matter what kind of money they are making.

The question is, do we need a referee and a coach around or can we figure it out on our own?  When we make a mistake, do we know ourselves well enough to call the penalty, put ourselves in the box for 5 minutes, and then get back on the ice and play differently?  Or do we keep trying to play “through it” and force our game plan no matter what the other team is doing?  And though the Canucks got to walk away after 2 1/2 hours of playing with an 8-1 loss, what does that transfer into in real life?  Losing 8 things in real life is a much bigger deal – it may include a relationship, a house, a job, confidence, trust, time.

For me, I get stuck trying to be a perfectionist for sure.  Because it has served me in the past.  It has made me great at things and yet there is no doubt that there is a cap that it places on my life and so it’s important to look at my current situation and have a sense of whether I’m learning and changing myself or if I’m just trying to change the game.  Because 5 minutes in the penalty box may just be the perfect little time out – I mean, who knows what can happen while you’re in there… !

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These guys dont have a chance 🙂

Oh to be in the dating world – so much fun, so much excitement, so much craziness… SO MUCH.

The last 13 years of dating for me has been somewhat of a blur – there was an 8 year long term relationship stint (3 in a row!) that defined my youth.  First the crazy rugby player, completely opposite to me in terms of values and beliefs but that caused so much excitement and turmoil, it must have been love!   Then there was the one I thought I would marry at 21 which of course didn’t pan out (I mean, I was 21!) … followed by the first real grown up relationship I had that ended with a cross-country move.

So I was by definition a “relationship person” by 26 and followed that with 5 years of singleness, of which I account all of my dating saavy to.  Am I actually dating saavy?  Probably not.  I mean, I’ve come  a long way from the naive 18 year old from the prairies, but I have figured a few things out along the way.  Maybe it was the actor who declared his commitment to me, immediately followed by a month being MIA, the California born-and-bred art director who believed that he had talked to mermaids, or the pro basketball player who had all the wrong moves, here’s a little about what I learned that’s out there for the ladies these days 😉

Of course, I’ll use a little sport analogy – what else would you all expect?!  Maybe you’ve dated one of these guys, or married them but feel free to share which you think has the most long term potential, which is a flop, and definitely let me know if I missed any (I mean, I haven’t ever watch a cricket match… maybe they are the holy grail of men?!)

The Pro Basketball Player : 

Okay, we all know it.  He gets all of the chicks, and I mean ALL of them.  He looks at us from the corner of his eye (as he’s being interviewed of course!).  He has fans and admirers around him always. We think we are the special one, that he’s somehow been looking for a long term, committed and stable relationship all along and had to go through ALL of those women to find US.  We start imagining our fairytale futures which he obviously has the looks, money and social connections to provide.  The problem? He never really had to work in a relationship before so he doesn’t do all those things we want like call back, plan dates and ask us questions about ourselves. And a few months after he notices that other girl and she starts planning their fairytale life too…

The Pro Basketball Player Wannabe: 

He’s the guy at UrbanRec who wears the bright yellow jersey, a bandana and has the armband tattoo.  He’s playing coed to meet the ladies but he never passes to the girls (even though he misses most of his shots!).  About once a month he gets into a fight with one of the guys he’s playing and we watch with disdain as he treats this fun league like the NBA playoffs.  But then the UrbanRec social happens.  And for some reason we had one too many drinks and we start talking to Wannabe and he’s actually nicer than we thought.  In fact, we had such low expectations that we are totally blown away by him, and mistake our average conversation with a massive connection.  And then we get a response to our “it was great meeting you” text with “fo sho”. Oops.

Next.

The Volleyball Player:

Hmm, this one may be a little touchy since I have loads of wicked volleyball friends out there (and many of my lucky girlfriends married them!!)  but hey, I gotta be fair 😉  You see the volleyball player competing.  He’s tall, he’s hot, he’s possibly without a shirt on the beach…. he hits the ball so hard but still – there’s a net between him and his competition.  He doesn’t really like body contact and is he hugging his partner after a play?  So in spite of that you make a date for Saturday…and how perfect- the sun is out when you wake up!… you can go to the park, or for a walk… BUT nope – a pick up beach game happens and the date is cancelled.  Well, not cancelled, it’s postponed and maybe you can help him ice after and replay every single point he scored during the game. But no big deal right?  There’s always next weekend (oops, is that the volleyball BC season opener?  or the following one (a Cliver tournament? – ah, bad luck!) – well, what about a weekend in July?  Oh, right, Corona Open followed by Centre of Gravity Tournament.  So you are officially in a winter only relationship 🙂  The thing is that this guy is the ultimate guy in so many ways.  He’s got great genes and he’s smart.  He isn’t going to ever get in a bar fight.  And he’s so wellkept, even his fingernails are perfect… so perfect… I mean, seriously, how did he get his nails to look like that, is it a french manicure? I’m a little jealous…

The Swimmer:

Swimmer’s have always been confusing to me.  They are the most fun people to hang out with, but they are willing to stare at a red line on the bottom of a pool for 5 hours a day.  You meet a swimmer and he’s awesome.  Funny, outgoing and smart, he’s the perfect catch (it seems).  But he has some weird things that just don’t feel right.  Maybe it’s a small obsession with training or the fact he is in bed at 8, but you start to feel like you are simply along for the ride, and that he is only available when it’s convenient, which is between 10am-12pm mon/wed/fri.

The IronMan Triathlete: 

My boyfriend claims that this is the ultimate man 😉 Not gonna lie, I think I may agree with him on this one.  The ironman is a rare breed of man.  He dedicates his life to something that very few people follow (though there is a cult following).  He doesn’t do it for the admiration or the fans or the glory.  He does it because there is something about racing for 10 hours that fulfills a personal journey for him.  But here’s the question.  Does the IronMan triathlete ever feel truly fulfilled or is he seeking forever?  And can you ever move to the top priority or is this semi-obsessive sport forever in his mind?  On the bright side, endurance is a great thing in many areas in a relationship!

The Cliff Diver: 

This athlete makes for a fast and furious relationship.  He will take you places you have never been, you will try new and novel foods, locations and experiences constantly.  He’s the most fun we’ve ever had. But is he safe?  I mean, literally and figuratively, will he take care of us?  Or does he coax us to always jump, even if he’s unsure where we will land?  This guy, though flashy and fun, bores of everything after one or two tries and can you blame him?  He’s so much more exciting than…. us?  So some of us try to be as cool and fun and carefree as CliffDiver but it never feels quite natural and we’re pretty sure once it’s not as fun, he’s gonna move on.  And then fun becomes kind of boring and we just want to sit and have a tea.

The Rower: 

Yep, we’ve found the perfect athlete.  Physically gifted, probably went to Yale.  Other than the morning practices, he’s a keeper (though he never fails to bring us home a latte! ) He’s perfect.  Just so perfect. And yet why is perfect so darn boring?  Can we have a little more drama please?  Or a joke? Okay okay, I know how that sounds but the rower is the guy that we know we should want but for some reason we don’t.  We call it “lack of chemistry” or “he’s nice”.  Whatever we call it, we feel we are lacking something and I’m not sure whether that’s about him or about US.

The Decathlete: 

A jack of all trades, the decathlete does it all.  He can run, jump and throw and he does all of these things well, but he’s a decathlete because he never really excelled in one thing.  And I’m not saying that as a bad thing, but this guy is always doing 10 things at once!  His computer is on, the tv is going, he is texting and folding his clothes.  There’s so much to talk to him about but his mind is everywhere else and you never really feel like he’s focused or present. Everyone tells him how much potential he would have if he just focused his energy on one thing but he can’t decide what he likes best and what he wants to do. It seems his life is always in the “in-between” stage as he searches for the next gig, the next relationship, the next ______. And 3 years goes by and he’s still not sure how he feels about a long term commitment 😉

The MMA Fighter (not including GSP of course!): 

Tough, strong and fierce, this guy turns us on because he scares us a little!  We know he’s bad for us but for some reason we see his soft side and we want him to see it too.  Our friends warn us, and we don’t introduce him to mom and dad because deep down we know that they are right – he’s trouble.  So we start hanging around with his friends instead of ours, and as we get to know him more, we learn that he too has a pattern of bad relationships.  And he helps us see that we aren’t perfect either and that the two of us really deserve each other. As time goes by we start to wear cutoff shirts, short jean shorts and clear heels and we wonder how we ever lived without a spray tan before…

The Rugby Player: 

He impressed you with his beer bong world record and he’s that guy that everybody loves!  Centre of the party always, you are the IT couple.  There are people around you always – and lucky for us, it’s mostly the guys.  Actually, the guys have been around every night this week and it’s another boys night this friday…  But it’s cool because he always comes home to us (even if it’s 5am) and somehow he always makes his 8am game warmup and kicks butt on the field!  He’s totally exciting and up for anything and when he casually jokes about a potential threesome, we laugh, give him a punch in his amazingly defined shoulder, and then casually wonder if he’s talking about adding your friend or his?

The Figure Skater:

Move on ladies, he’s just not that into you!

But all jokes aside, each one of these guys is awesome in their own way – and I am sure we could easily do some female categories to even it all out (perhaps that’s a later blog!).  I want to make sure everyone does know that I am using these sports as analogies – I’m not actually saying we should or shouldn’t date a decathlete!  I know many decathletes that act like rowers or basketball players in “real life” 🙂

For some reason, I have never really had a type – I’ve dated every kind of “athlete” listed above, but for others, they keep finding the same ones over and over…

The question I pose is this:

Is there a cheerleader for every football player?  And if so, what type of a woman is right for each of these men? Any ideas as I’m currently trying to set one of my best friends up and she is almost always attracted to the MMA Fighter or Decathletes.  I kind of feel like she would do best with a swimmer or ironman but do we just have a type and that’s it or is chemistry negotiable?

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I think I’ve said this before, but I love love!  Every part of it intrigues me, inspires me and challenges me.  As any and all of my friends will attest to, I love to analyze relationships, give advice (asked for or not!), and above all, I love to learn about the elusive chemistry that we are all ultimately looking for…

I mean, we are looking for that, right?

I think that it boils down to one thing, no matter what stage we are at in our lives- we look to connect in a world that is largely disconnected right now.  Whether we are looking for a life partner, a date, or a passionate finish to a tequila laden night, there is something in us that yearns for connection with another human being.

I always think it’s interesting hearing the point of view of a man on this, and I listen intently when I have the chance because I think it would save women a lot of time and energy if we just listened!  It’s why “He’s Just Not That Into You” became a raging hit.  If we truly listen (and not to the voice in our head), people will tell us how they want to connect.  It will always appear the way we want it to appear until we open our eyes and ears.  At the start of every relationship (whether it’s for the long haul or for a long night) people show interest, laugh, flirt, touch, text.  It’s all the same, which is why it becomes confusing!  When our own desires, hopes and perceptions start getting involved in defining another person’s intentions, that’s when we stop seeing the signs and absorbing the important information.

My friend Mae just went through this.  Tall, wildly bright and stunning, she would never know it if you asked her 😉  And though her humility is one of the things that makes her amazing, it gets in the way of her dating life.  She recently was seeing a man who, after giving her various signs of inconsistency and unreliability, told her “I will never be the man you want and need”.  PERFECT!  He gave her the information, right?  She can smile, thank him for an amazing time, and walk away to find what she is truly looking for…  It’s that simple, of course…(sure…!)

Well, here’s where it gets a little tricky (and it always does in love) – what if her goal is to have a relationship with a great communicator? She could take this statement as an act of great communication and personal introspection.  I mean, he kept calling and telling her she was great so maybe, just maybe, he’ll figure out that he actually could be the man she wants!

And then 4 years goes by and she realizes he told her 4 years ago…

I don’t exclude myself from this, by the way.  But I’m learning.  I’m understanding more and more everyday and I notice myself constantly interested in discussing love and dating with my couple friends, and helping out my single friends.  In my heart of hearts I’m a matchmaker, and I’m a coach 🙂 And like all coaches, usually the best ones are the ones who had to work harder, and be more technical about it.  The ones who just naturally and innately did it have trouble teaching others.

So I’m going to find a way to take this passion of mine, this deep down feeling of wanting others to have amazing, connected and fulfilling relationships and lives (whatever type of relationship or life they want!) and build something around it.  I’ll start with answering questions- sometimes with my own perceptions, but if I don’t know I will figure it out (I do have a pretty solid council of amazing women that needs something to do now that The Bachelor is over!).  Sort of like a “Dear Abbey” column on steroids…

Loving my new project and excited for where it may lead. Please feel free to send me any and every question you’d get a kick out of getting an “answer” about 🙂

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The thing about love is that we use one word to describe a million different feelings, a gamut of experiences, a choice, a goal, and a way of being.  We love ourselves, we love our friends, we love a joke, we are in love with our partner, and we love our hair…  It’s an action and a verb.  It’s permanent and it’s passing. It means a lot and it can mean a little.

And we wonder why we are confused about love.  Why when one person says that they love you, it means something different than when you do…

I’m one of those people that “love” love.  I feel like it’s the answer to the age-old question “what are we here for?”  I think that people find purpose in caring deeply about our planet, and there’s something about feeling so strongly for another human being that we risk being heartbroken.

And as I’m sitting here days before Valentines Day, where love is certainly in the air, I wonder what love truly means to me and how my perception of love has changed and developed through the years.  I mean, it has changed, hasn’t it?

I remember the first time I fell in love.  I was 19, and it was my first boyfriend in university.  I remember this sort of passionate, impatience to how I felt- we literally spent hours, days, and then weeks solid together.  I experienced my first fight, first makeup, first intimate moment, first “I love you”, first betrayal and first heartbreak.  I got it all in that relationship.  And I quickly after met the guy that would be my longest-term relationship so far.  4 years that finally ended in a bittersweet realization that we had outgrown each other.  Tears flowed on and off for months and I literally felt like I might not make it.  I felt physical pain, I questioned my decision, regretted it, then accepted it.  And he soon found somebody new, and 6 months later when he told me he was getting married, I relived it all once more.

I remember thinking “I will never feel like this again”, and meaning it.  I remember the moment- crystal clear, that I decided to never get hurt like that again and I haven’t.  I’ve played my game defensively since then.  Always careless at first in my excitement, “forgetting” the lesson I learned, and then when I noticed what was happening, I would  pull back just as fiercely.  The guys I have stayed with are the ones that were willing to deal with the dichotomy, and that would endlessly forgive my ambivalence.  Those guys, though unbelievable people, I’ve realized aren’t actually the right ones for me.

So now with that awareness has to come change.  If there isn’t change then it means I am operating with the same mindframe as a hurt 23 year old…

The coach I work with uses a quote “what’s in the way is the way” and I think it applies here.  The way to truly be in love is to put ourselves in a position to truly be hurt. For people that have had similar situations to me – every instinct will have us do what we’ve always done, and so it’s important to notice our instincts and feelings, but honour our commitment to changing.

So upon reflection about what love means to me and to answer my initial question – yes, it has changed.  For me, love used to be a feeling that I had.  I needed some way to describe the warmth, connection, and vulnerability that I felt.  Now, it’s changed a little.  It still describes that feeling but unlike a passing emotion, love for me is a choice to keep doing actions that cause me to feel love.  It means choosing to treat my partner with respect even when I’m frustrated, it means making sure people are taken care of and it means deciding not to pull back when I start to feel like I may get hurt.  And it’s the only way, in my opinion, for love to last a lifetime.  I let anger pass, sadness floats away, but love is what I’m committed to keeping.

So this Valentine’s Day I am going to remember how far I’ve come from the 23 year old who decided to be tough.  And maybe after the cinnamon hearts and chocolate truffles and sappy love songs, we can all take a moment to reflect about what love actually means to us and what we want our experience of it to be.  And then do it – put in into action… because at the end of the day, doesn’t Valentine’s Day always end with a little action anyways?  😉

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I remember being 8 years old, sitting in front of the tv completely fixated on and enamoured with She-Ra: Princess of Power.  I’m not sure if it was her beauty, her strength, or the idea that she could totally take care of herself, but she was special… my superhero.

For those that don’t remember, She-Ra is the alter ego of Princess Adora and the twin sister of He-Man. She was abducted as a baby and grew up as Adora… a seemingly normal girl (not unlike myself of course…!).  When she discovers her power and transforms into She-Ra her destiny is uncovered and this normal girl becomes “The Most Powerful Woman in the Universe”.

But She-Ra was more than just a warrior.  She was nurturing in nature (as opposed to her brother’s more aggressively-based powers), was empathic,  understanding and was able to communication with animals.

Not a bad role model to have, right?

I don’t think that I’ve thought about She-Ra since I was 12 or so.  Today I walked by a Lululemon bag that said “Unwrap your Super Powers” and of course she came to mind.  Which led me to the question: what happened when I started growing up that I forgot that I once had this character that I dreamt about being and perhaps even truly believed in at some level?  Did I replace it with something else or did I just stop imagining?

I’m not sure what the answer is, but something tells me that it’s a combination of both.  I have a feeling we are encouraged to get “realistic”.   Do we stop believing in the magic of transformation and do we cease to see our own unlimited possibilities? Maybe we start to succumb to the societal assumption that we can only hope for that which our parents had, only experience 50% of our marriages being successful and grind our way through our 30’s,40’s and 50’s in hope of security only to realize that we forgot to truly live life along the way.

And while I had a relatively awesome childhood I still struggle to see past some of my own limiting beliefs about myself. I notice that I sometimes buckle to my own insecurities and the more I do it, the more normal it becomes.  Many of the people around me do the same thing and  it becomes so engrained in who I become that I stop seeing that it is not true, it’s just the reality that I’ve surrounded myself with.

See, the thing about She-Ra was that I let her into a place in my imagination that defied my own reality.  And I think I knew deep down that I didn’t have the magic that would transform Spirit into Swift Wind (a talking winged unicorn), but it opened up a part of my mind to start believing in things outside of my own experience, circumstances and existence.

One of the most unusual and creative sport psych tools I have ever heard about was with the sliding team prior to the 2010 Olympics.  They individually met with a Shaman who helped them connect with their own spirit animals.  John Montgomery, skeleton Gold Medallist had a turtle.  With the symbol placed on his helmet, he visualized the turtle sliding with him down the track- smoothly, effortlessly and quickly…

I think there is something about stepping outside of what we consider our own limits, our own bodies and our own minds.  In times where our inner excellence is tested, a fear is being realized or a limit is being set on us, what if we connect to our own inner superhero?  Whether it is one that already exists that possesses all of the qualities that we yearn to have, or perhaps one that we create on our own, why not step into their world, even just for a moment, and see if solutions appear and goals are met.  AND at the same time creatively play in this world!

So in my life, She-Ra has been rediscovered.  I see her differently now than I used to.  Where I used to take her battles at face value, I now see how similar they are to my own.  I see how she never uses her magic sword on the offensive, but only to defend herself if need be.  She never hurts human beings, and she always finds time to connect with family and animals.  Sure, she is beautiful, but it’s no longer about her long blonde hair- her beauty is more about how she finally knows who she is.  And lastly, where I used to notice what she was doing, I now notice how she was doing it.  There is an art to the way she moves and the way she handles a challenge.

So what is my Super Power?  Today it is unleashed imagination!  I’m not sure that Swift Wind will show up on my doorstep, but the fact that I don’t know what will show up means I’m on the right path…

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As I sit here at Oz Coffee (my current favorite coffee house) sipping on a long americano, listening to the soft hum of the music in the background, I realize how long it’s been.  How long it’s been since I’ve set aside some time to reflect, to relax, and to write.  The truth is, things have been awesome.  I’d say I’ve spend the past few months living life rather than dissecting it, but with all things, balance is key and so here I am again at my keyboard.

As New Years Eve looms, I realize how perfect my timing is.  It’s the time of reflection, the time of creation, the time of….. resolutions?

I’m on the fence about resolutions.  Most people feel really strongly YES or NO about resolutions.  I’m not sure why it elicits such a strong response but something tells me it’s about people’s experience with keeping their resolutions.  I mean, not many people are actually against goalsetting but maybe in putting it out there and not following up with it, things become a little more personal.

I do a lot of goalsetting with teams and the golden rule is that accountability needs to be in place to consistently accomplish a goal.  Why is that?  Well, for one, I think we forget what our goal was.  It’s usually not already a part of our life, and studies have shown it takes 40 days for something to become habitual so a friendly reminder from another person, or even on your bedside table makes all the difference in keeping the goal (resolution) current.

Secondly, I think that we tend to keep more promises to others than we do to ourselves.  For some reason, we are willing to do things like cancel our workouts and fill our “me” time with work, breaking our promise to ourselves.  This is why the buddy system works so well when working out.  Not because it’s more fun (which it is) or they push us more (which they do).  It’s because we are more likely to show up for them than we would on our own.  We show up so that we don’t let them down.  It’s a beautiful thing, really…. but maybe something to consider that we function like that.  Why don’t we show up so that we don’t let ourselves down? As if breaking our word to ourself doesn’t have consequences in how we view ourselves and our confidence…  I mean, imagine how many promises we break to ourselves on a daily basis- if we did this to a friend would the friendship continue?  Would they trust us?  Would there be a lot of love in the relationship?  And yet we do this over and over to ourselves and we think we are fine.  And we wonder why we date people who treat us poorly, why we sabotage our own goals, or work in a company that makes us miserable.  We search our past, get angry at ourselves, are unforgiving with ourselves, and keep doing it over and over. And we’ve missed the whole point.  We need to be own very own best friend.

For me this past year, goalsetting has become a random, everchanging system where I really couldn’t assess whether or not I accomplished my goals.  There was no list I can go back to of things I wanted to achieve, no milestones to assess whether or not my path was taking me to the goal, and no criteria that I met that I could actually say, “YES, I did it!”  Did I accomplish goals last year?  Yes.  For sure I did.  But how cool would it be for me to be able to say I want______, I did ______, and I got ________.  Not just to pat myself on the back, but when things aren’t going well, it is really really good to know and to have practiced what works to get what I want.

So when it comes to resolutions, this year I’m a YES.  But not some blue-sky one-off mention of something I want.  A plan, a project if you will, so that I can actually actively pursue a path, rather than just seeing what I get.  I’ll treat my life like a business – not as in being super serious about it, but to be deliberate and have intention within it.  And then see what happens and what I get!  And if what I want changes, I will change my plan, but at least I’ve got one.

For people that know me, it won’t shock you that I’ve created this massive goalsetting spreadsheet.  I’m a nerd that way and my boyfriend will attest to how I will probably analyze and graph my results at the end of the year 😉  And I’d be happy to pass it along to you if you want a template…. BUT, for those of you that want something simpler, I’m below is a little goalsetting process that you could do in 5 mins.  I mean, why not?   Just see if writing it down helps you to create it in your life, because there is nothing worse than sitting down a year from now with the same resolution.  Maybe it’s time to keep a promise to ourselves simply because we matter…

GOAL:  make your goal specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely- S.M.A.R.T)

Goal 1: ______________________________________________________

MILESTONES: Make them time specific if possible… Basically, what is the path to your goal?  how will you know you are on target.

Milestone 1:

Milestone 2:

Milestone 3:

REFLECTION AND ASSESSMENT: This is the date where you either cross off the goal if you have accomplished it, recommit yourself to it, or change your goal if it no longer serves you.

Reflection Date: _______________________

 

Example:

Goal 1:  Lose 10 lbs by May 1, 2011 (notice it is a S.M.A.R.T goal)

Milestones 1:  Jan.1 – Buy a gym membership, and begin tracking workouts

Milestone 2: Feb 1- Complete 15 workouts

Milestone 3:  March 1- Weigh 195 lbs (-5lbs)

Reflection Date:  March 1, 2011

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