Walking the dragon.
In our house, I'm affectionately known as a dragon.
This very fitting description started when my kids were really small and needed imagery to help them listen when Mommy was compromised and about to breathe fire over all the things!
It helped them connect to the intensity levels that we all feel at times.
I am an awesome tea dragon!
When you follow the guidelines and listen to the boundaries, I am a magnificent creature capable of all manners of awesomeness.
When you disrespect the boundaries and ignore the warnings that intensity is building, you will then get to choose if you wish to have your face ripped off, or have fire breathed, or acid spewed, or whatever level of communicative humour that will defuse the situation and remind us all that we all have limits and need space sometimes.
Please note that I do not endorse actual face-ripping or fire or acid.
They have their uses, but not for children please.
We promote warning systems and boundaries, and talk about how everyone gets compromised sometimes and needs compassion in those moments.
There is a script to follow with each person, so our needs can be met and the days can proceed as smoothly as possible.
Boundaries are important, and communication is important.
But what do you do when life walks over and hits you with a ton of pain?
Death of a loved one, unexpected trauma, expected trauma, the past reminding you it is still there?
How do you navigate through these times, these episodes of grieving, with the most grace?
How do you still function when all you want to do is curl up and self-medicate and feel incapable of anything except pain?
My lovelies, this is grief.
It comes in waves and may show up at random times and anniversaries and reminders for the rest of our lives.
These waves will be tsunami-esk at first and gradually, over time, will ebb into a series of smaller waves that don't hurt as much, but still exist.
So what do we do?
We have to create a way forward that allows healthy room for these episodes. Episodes of grieving that can range from mildly annoying to extraordinarily overwhelming.
We call this way the Full Dragon Protocol.
Useful in those moments when everything seems too hard or sharp or painful or sad or dumb or unfair (or all of those together).
The point of this protocol is to allow for enough space and gentleness through the grieving process to maintain the most function. Because we can't just skip out on life and ignore our responsibilities.
Each persons' protocol will be different as each person has a special set of gifts and talents.
To develop your own Dragon Protocol, strip each aspect of your life to its very basics. Pretend you were actually taking care of a simple pet.
A baby dragon if you will.
This serves to remove the personal thought process.
When we are compromised, it is easy for us to blame ourselves or others and over-think everything. Stop thinking for a moment.
Put the brain on pause and follow these steps:
Nourish. Hydrate. Walk. Sleep. Entertain appropriately.
That's really all a baby dragon needs.
It's important to plan out what foods will properly nourish you and have those on hand. Make a list and tell your support friends to help by bringing those items.
Remembering to nourish your physical self is important to make it through this episode with minimal damage.
It will be tempting to eat all the junk food and grab whatever is on hand, but try to include equal amounts of healthy.
Yogurt and frozen berries is easy and snack-like. Snap peas, cheese and crackers, cucumber slices, carrot sticks can all be consumed in front of the tv while you numb and distract (for a time).
If you are one of those lovelies who prefer not to eat when stressed, please have some bone broth simmering and sip at it when you can.
It will give your body the nutrients it needs to make it through this time.
If you are going to be compromised for a while, at least you don't need a dehydration headache to compound the pain.
Fill water bottles and keep one on your desk and by your bed. If you wake up in the night, have some water to ward off the grossness in the morning.
You've got this! This also has the added benefit of being a really simple action item that you can tell your brain you are accomplishing something! YAY!
The change in perspective and the fresh air is vital.
It doesn't have to be for long. But again, it is an action item that we can wade through.
If you had a pet dragon, you would have to walk it too.
Now you are the dragon - get on out there lovely!
Have you tried turning it off and on again. Remember even Jesus took naps!
This is a beautiful gift to help your subconscious process the new normal. Humans (and dragons) are amazingly resilient. Your body knows what to do and will move through this if we let it.
Sleep should be used with care though and not entered into as an escape for too long. On the days where grief is a tsunami, yes.
But not as a long term solution. It will rob you of joy otherwise.
Any healing tool used inappropriately will cause more pain in the long run. Tsunami days get a pass.
I say appropriately because there are many ways to entertain unhealthily.
I am not talking about self-medication. I am talking about a healthy balanced amount of distraction to move you through the dark times.
Light humour. Cheesy vampire flicks. Whatever you are drawn to, just be mindful that it isn't being used to pull you from your ultimate goal of health and wellness and capable.
As you practice the protocol it gets easier and more fluid.
It doesn't make the grieving process suck any less, but it does help remind us that it is temporary. It gives space to move through the motions with health.
That even though it feels gut-rippingly hard and heart-wrenchingly awful, that there are still beautiful moments. And that we are still worthy of love and belonging. Even if we don't feel awesome, it doesn't change the fact that we still ARE awesome.
So, here's to awesomeness - even when it feels dark and pointless.
Allowing the proper space and putting the serious thinking of hold for an allotted time will make the process easier.
Often, when we are overwhelmed with grief, it doesn't feel like we will pass through this time, but I promise you, it will shift.
It will clear and joy will creep back in.
What do you do to wade through the grieving process?
I would love to hear any tips of nourishment or entertainment to add to my collection. May this season of grieving be kind and courageous.
Holding you in my heart and wishing us all gentleness,
Andrea, the awesome tea dragon.
Welcome to a new you.
Welcome to Spring lovelies!
This wonderful season that calls creatures out of hibernation and into the wild.
Let's all listen to our inner sleeping bear and wake up to the fresh season of wonder.
Let's look for our new way forward this season and enjoy the process of becoming who we are meant to become!
May this beautiful season bring growth and nourishment.
May you flourish and thrive!
May the work you do on your path be rewarded in due season.
Here's to a marvelous and bright Spring!
Thoughts on delicious pi
Happy Pi day!
Thank you to that wonderful mathematical constant for all its continued awesomeness.
And YAY mathematics!
Honest confession time:
I don't really like pie (except pumpkin pie - I love me some pumpkin pie).
I especially dislike apple pie. I try every apple pie that I can to determine why, but nope. Still don't. Shudder.
Whether pie is or is not your thing, and whether you appreciate that marvelous constant pi or not, we can all learn to work with a little more comfort and constancy. Because let's face it, humans are creatures of habit.
We like predictable and familiar and expected (or at least I certainly do!).
This can be frustrating when we live in an ever-changing, evolving and chaotic society (or if you are a parent of small children).
That's because each of us goes through life with a comfort zone. We are each born with a temperament that is best suited to certain conditions.
Think of your best self.
Imagine you are feeling lovely - what are you doing, what is the temperature, sounds, smells, experiences like in this state?
That's your ideal comfort zone - like your favourite pie.
If we could make that a constant state, wouldn't life be so much more wonderful?
If we strive to re-create those boundaries, we will likely end up shutting out new opportunities and stay stagnant. This drive for comfort and constant can be used to our advantage if we re-frame it a little.
If we redefine our comfort zone as an ever-expanding area rather than a fixed state, we can make room to include the growth process in the edges of the area.
When we go to the edges of our comfort zone, we find a vague uneasiness - a resistance to change. If we go farther out, it can feel like a threat.
Our goal is to increase our tolerance at the edges in the uneasy parts and push the boundaries of our comfort zone to minimize the threats.
In our sessions, when we get to the path development stage, we work to create a series of micro-habits that work with your comfort levels to increase the tolerance for growth.
We work with tiny changes to our daily lives that allow us to safely experience growth with minimal discomfort.
These habits are so small, that you don't need a heap of motivation to complete them.
The act of completing them gives you a gold star and you feel rewarded.
This increases the likelihood of continuing and soon, like brushing your teeth, it becomes second nature.
Over time, these small changes can show us that we are capable of bigger changes and that growth isn't all that scary.
When we allow ourselves to explore our comfort zone and expand our constant zone, we grow powerfully.
How are you going to celebrate your powerful self today?
I looked in my cupboard to find that we are out of pumpkin, but we could always do some math!
Wishing you a beautiful Pi day,
Keeping it real.
Resistance is strong today.
I am sick. But not as sick as yesterday, so that's cool.
I am sad about unexpected life events, but know it will work out in the end.
I am annoyed, but have time to sit through this emotional weather.
I am running the laundry, so at least I am doing something right?! Huzzah for robots.
I know the steps I need to take, but I don't want to take them at.this.moment.
I am choosing to whine instead of actually working.
Now that I have acknowledged that, I am going to set a stupid timer and work.
And take my own advice and use it. FINE.
I am not going to look at a Facebook group in hopes that I will magically be inspired to take action when it is really a form of procrastination and resistance feeding.
I am not going to go through my notes and summarize in the name of working.
I will make myself another cup of tea and take action.
I will sit with discomfort and start.
Future Andrea will thank current Andrea.
How is resistance treating you today?
Set that timer and focus on starting - this resistance will still be there next time, but at least you will be moving towards your desired outcome!
Remember that resistance isn't something that will go away, it is something that needs to be acknowledged, put in its place, and made a cup of tea.
Spring forward! Finding motivation to move through the season.
This week is rough for a lot of us.
We stumble about with that vague jet-lag feeling of where are we and what time is it really?
Until this shift becomes normal, it is easy to feel unsettled.
This is a great time to do some spring cleaning in our lives!
What, seriously? I'm tired and grumpy, I'm not moving from this couch!
No worries! This isn't physical work I am promoting.
I want you to ask yourself a few questions. The answers to which will give you some clarity on where to focus your energy this season.
Take a few minutes to answer the questions below and re-energize your week!
3 cobweb-clearing questions to start your season right!:
1. What areas of your life need a breath of fresh air?
Write down the areas of your life that you think need a bit of tending.
Acknowledging these areas is a good way to blow the dust off and set aside some subconscious brainspace to move it along. Just having a list breakdown can bring on clarity.
2. What is cluttering your mind?
Just like we have areas in our homes that attract clutter (like that clothes rack/exercise bike or the computer desk/paid bill holder), our minds can hold on to clutter too. Imagine a beautiful wall of storage bins with pretty labels. There - set your mental clutter in these bins and enjoy your mindspace again! (at least until the next bill is due, or laundry needs to dry).
3. Is there something that you are holding onto that is preventing you from fully enjoying life?
I know this is an intense question, but give it a chance, it is a powerful way to cut through the societal conditioning that can paralyze us!
Now, I know I said no physical work, but is there ONE action that you could take this week to remove that energy zapper from your life?
Doesn't that feel nice?
If you have a fun way to zap the zapper, leave a comment below!
May your week be restful and kind,
Showing up and signing off.
Happy new week lovelies!
I am down with a wretched cold today.
I thought I was getting the better of it, and I was wrong. Today, the cold is winning. Ugh.
Last week, I wrote about 5 ways to step out of failure.
Those ways are also excellent for bringing on health. I am going to focus my energies on healing and returning to the powerhouse I am!
Last week, I wanted to add a bonus tip that helps with perceived failure and promotes health. You are all familiar with it and, if you are anything like me, could do with a little more.
Bonus step #6: Sleep.
Rest is a vital part of being alive.
Sometimes turning it off and on again IS the best solution.
Many problems seem easier to cope with after a nap.
I set my timer for 28 minutes - I read somewhere that the average person takes 7 minutes to fall asleep and then 20 minutes to cycle before they run into groggy gross nap hangover times.
I wake up refreshed and ready to tackle the problem.
Giving my brain some space to process without my compromised thoughts getting in the way.
I intend to spend the rest of today listening to my body and trying to provide all the tools for health.
May this viral season pass you by without an attack!
Forgive me for the short post today. I'm healing.
Yay for moving forward!
Bringing wisdom to mind.
Happy International Women's Day!
For today's post, I would like all of us to take a minute to bring to mind all the strong women in our lives, past and present.
Let's bring our focus to creating balance in our lives. It starts with us.
We can be the change and continue to strive for equality.
There is still much work to be done.
Visit www.internationalwomensday.com for inspiration and action.
May strength and love and resilience fill the world.
Wishing you peace and goodness,
What to do on a Crabby day.
Let's give a round of applause for irony.
I write about showing up for intentions and showing commitment and then voila! my household is struck by a nasty virus (hello 104 degree fevers) and I am unable to show up to much else. So as much as I wanted to write, I had to attend elsewhere.
My kids are on the mend today (YAY virus-slaying fevers), and I am hopefully not going to catch it (YAY immunity!).
While I still have health, I am writing today's post a little bit early.
Often when life gets messy, our thoughts can take a negative turn.
Society has conditioned us to dive in to black-and-white thinking:
Oh look! You didn't show up for your blog today.... That means you are a failure and you should just quit... let's be honest, you shouldn't have even started in the first place (totally random example).
To which I respond, "Wait, what?!".
How is that helpful, or kind, or true?
How is that at all accurate?
Spoiler alert: It isn't accurate.
Taking note of your compromised thoughts is a good indicator to shift focus from production to self-nourishment.
This is where permission re-enters.
Permission to take a day, to be flexible with how we navigate or changing reality (as I wrote about last week - oh life).
It is easy in these moments to feel that tickle of "failure" creep in.
I put failure in quotes, because it isn't accurate.
It is a construct.
It is a comfortable grossness that we are trained to wallow in.
Society rewards this: go have that drink, you clearly need it.
Here's the latest season of show... you should numb yourself and binge watch all the episodes because hey, your time isn't worth much else.
Self-medicate in all the ways! Super fun times!!!
The societal push that tells you it was foolish to even bother.
In moving through the post-illness reality of my day, a good friend reminded me about the fantastic British comedian Susan Calman and what she calls the Crab of Hate. In her book, Cheer Up Love, Susan confronts the stigma surrounding depression and the adventures therein.
*Important note, this information is not a substitute for mental health care.
Please see a professional health worker if your thoughts of failure are more than conditioning. A list of resources if linked at the bottom of this page.*
We can think of the Crab of Hate as the gremlin that tells us inaccurate lies about ourselves. The one that society and social media feeds with comparisons designed to show us how little we are actually worth, or how little we measure up.
However, as the awesome-fierce-powerhouse beings that we are, it is up to us how we handle the "failure".
Again, there is absolutely no shame in needing proper help. Here we are talking about behaviours we can choose and not illness.
If your crab of hate is societal and not a health concern, the following tips are a few of the ways we can boil the crab.
5 ways to step out of "failure":
1. Talk a walk.
2. Step into funk - for a set amount of time.
5. Talk to someone outside your head!
At life coach online, we work on ways to develop a support network of people who can lift you up. Write a list of those people and post it in your tea cupboard to remind you when you need a boost. You've got this!
Today, when my brain was being crabby, I reached out to an accountability partner. She was able to remind me of those set intentions and the normalcy of low moments. Most of the time, this reminder is all I need to power through to the next time of inspiration. Because a next moment WILL come.
So, if you are battling a low moment yourself, I hope that some of the 5 ways above will speak to you and you will soon be on your way back up to the dynamic and accomplished person we know you are!
Here's to a renewed way forward!
Mental Health Resources:
Or maybe this post should be titled: Making time to commit to your goal.
Yesterday, we talked about the importance of setting an intention.
In any project, having a goal in mind is a key feature of actually producing something. Moving towards a desired outcome is fulfillment in action.
But can we just get there from setting the intention?
I wish it worked that way.
I intend to be a productivity queen! And poof - done.
Unfortunately no. Just setting the intention is not completing the goal, but it certainly speeds the process up!
In setting the intention, we realign our focus with the overall goal.
There are many ways to succeed in goal achieving, but the fastest way to fail is to not even start.
The act of setting an intention IS starting. (Yay us!)
How we feed that intention determines the timeline.
The second key element in goal achieving is showing up and doing.
Once the intention is set to work towards a goal, it is important to show that intention how serious you are about the goal.
You have to show up and do. The steps can be teeny tiny, but they have to be taken.
When you show up and do, you will encounter resistance.
Resistance is going to meet you and try to pull you from your actions.
For me, resistance comes in the form of making sure my work space is set up the way I like, of making sure the tea is made, or checking Facebook because a group member might have posted something important!
Even other work items can be resistance disguised - the accounting, the other elements of the website, reviewing client notes, etc.
Tuning in to our purpose and sitting with our renewed intention provides motivation to help push us past the resistance.
Waiting until conditions are perfect will result in little work towards you goal. You need to show up and show it what is important.
Showing up consistently will add to the enjoyment of the final goal.
And you will get there!
How are you showing up today?
How are you pushing past resistance this week?
Wishing you an intention fed day,
Moving forward with mindfulness.
A beautiful new start to the week is here!
As I sit in front of this blank screen, I begin the creative process by forming an intention.
Setting a fresh intention, or reminding yourself what is intended, forms the momentum that will carry you a little easier through the week.
Wouldn't it be wonderful if all our desires to grow our business or publish our works and master our goals were fulfilled? If we could simply by setting an intention, move quickly to completed project and desired outcome?
That would certainly make life easier.
I desire awesomeness - and BAM! - awesome!
But it DOES work like that.
When we get really clear about our intentions, it moves us towards engagement, which in turn propels us towards accomplishment. We move forward with a sense of empowerment and alignment. (this feels great!)
Accomplishment is usually thought of as the completion of the end goal.
But what if the act of accomplishing is where the joy is.
Not only in the desired outcome, but in the very act of creating.
Of carving our way forward towards our intended goal?
As we set the intention, it is important to breathe.
To allow that intention to take root in the garden of our subconscious and begin to be nourished. To be kind to time and trust in the process.
How we direct our thoughts and actions surrounding that intention will lead to a healthy and beautiful crop that you can stand by and say, "Wow! Look at this amazing growth!".
My intention in this blog is to share the process and the joys along the way.
It is amazing to me that it was two weeks ago when I posted my first post.
I am still proud of how brave it was for me to press publish.
I am honoured that you continued reading.
Setting the intention daily has allowed me to create a collection of points that are meant to inspire and uplift.
I am grateful for the readers. I am grateful for this small piece of the Internet to use to help lend a voice calling for validating the wonderful aspects of you.
For celebrating how brave we are all being in our own way. So huzzah us!
Today's reminder is to check in with yourself.
Where are you in relation to your desired outcome?
How are the actions you are taking this week propelling you forward?
What is working for you?
I wish you a mindful and kind week.
See you tomorrow!
To welcome you to the weekend.
Hello lovelies! Happy Friday!
Today has been a truly kind day. I have a good friend visiting. One of my top 5 people. So today, rather than a new content post, I want to present a recap.
Maybe this will be a weekly feature!
This week, we took a look at how the people you surround yourself with shape who you are (and you're beautiful).
We went to the edges of our comfort zone and explored ways to trick our discomfort to working for us! (Yaaasss queen!)
And finally, we embraced grace. (Deep breath)
So thank you, lovely reader, for working with me.
And a big thank you to those who sent me an email with ideas for next weeks posts.
May your weekend be filled with warmth and grace!