Get your Om On: Spread the word about OM T.O 2014

12:36 am / Blog, Your Best Self / 5 comments

Get your Om On: Spread the word about OM T.O 2014

Get ready to ‘get your OM on’ when OM T.O offficially welcomes Summer to the city of Toronto on Saturday June 21.

Inspired by NYC’s Mind over Madness event, where thousands gather to practice yoga on June 21 in Times Square, Om T.O. was created to bring people from all walks of life together with Toronto’s best yoga teachers to celebrate strength of body, mind and community.

Last year, 1,000 people practiced their asanas in the sun at the inaugural event and this year event organizers are hoping to double that number and bring yoga to the masses.

Whether you’re a seasoned yoga enthuasist or get your yoga fix by practicing poses that you see on instagram, OM T.O is a great way to experience classes from top Yoga studios all for FREE.

Between 9 am to 5 pm, BYOM (bring your own mat) and choose from eight specially-themed outdoor classes taught by Toronto’s most dynamic and popular instructors from top yoga studios across the city.

To help spread a little good karma, I’ve teamed up with the awesome folks from OM T.O to offer a special contest to win a fun prize pack to help you step up your yoga game in style. Sorry to my International friends, this is for Canadian Residents only.

Here’s how you can participate

OM T.O is on a mission to double participation this year and we can help them reach their goal by spreading the word about the event to Toronto Yoga enthuasists. Spread the word by sharing this post on Facebook, or using the click to tweet below to receive a ballot entry for my OM TO prize pack.

What’s up for grabs?

-  1 B-Yoga mat (valued at $85)

- 5 classes at Spynga, the yoga and cycling studio (valued at $100)

- Kashi cereal and granola bars (valued at $10)

The Contest is open until June 20 at 11:59PM EST. A winner will be randomly selected from the ballots.

Good luck and I hope to see you at #OMTO2014.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Ready to Step up your Game? Ask yourself this first.

2:20 am / Blog, Your Best Self / 3 comments

Ready to Step up your Game? Ask yourself this first.

Have you ever read the book Turning Pro by Steven Pressfield?

If I had to describe the book in one sentence I’d say it’s a manifesto for stepping up your game. In other words – If you want to accomplish something that’s meaningful for you, knowing what you want is important but success is far more likely when you pay close attention to your actions and how you’re navigating the mindset battlefield.

Sounds easy in theory, but when you think about your own goals how would you rate yourself? I recently came face to face with this question as I sit in the middle of my own #goingPro mission (yes..I created a hashtag for it)

Recently my friend Liz attended an event by the Institute for Integrative School of Nutrition that featured various thought leaders as speakers. Marie Forleo was one of the presenters and Liz shared a key question from her talk that made me take a closer look at my own practices

“How would you behave if you were best in the world at what you do?”

Pause and take that in for a minute.

It’s one thing to create a hashtag, read a book and SAY that you’re going to do something, but how are you actions truly lining up to your intentions.

If you were to ask yourself what would you do if you were best in the world? What would your responses be? Maybe you would

So what would you do? Share below what your #GoingPro mission would look like. Create your own list of habits and behaviours that will get you closer to your goal.

Remember, no matter what endeavour that you’re pursuing, especially one when you’re trying to ‘go pro” you’re bound to encounter some resistance, self-doubt along the way and I want to help with that.

I just created a new exciting way for us to connect called Happy Thru the Hustle and it’s absolutely FREE. #goingpro can feel a bit overwhelming but it doesn’t have to be. Click the link below for more details and I look forward to chatting with you soon.

 

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#MayaTaughtMe – 10 Reflections on Thriving, Love and Living

12:27 pm / Blog, Your Best Self / 0 comments

#MayaTaughtMe – 10 Reflections on Thriving, Love and Living

“The desire to reach the stars is ambitious. The desire to reach hearts is wise and most possible” – Maya Angelou 

To say that Maya Angelou touched my heart would be an understatement. Her wisdom wrapped their arms around me through difficult times. She opened my eyes to new possibilities of who I am and who I could be and showed me that words are things when used well can inspire, empower and move us to greatness.

I consider Maya Angelou to be one of my greatest teachers. Her calm yet confident demeanor reminded me of my grandmother and I often imagined her as an extended part of my family who passed down gems of wisdom when I needed it the most.

Although I know death is an evitable part of our journey, somehow Maya felt like an angel that would always just be. Hearing of her passing brought a wave of sadness over me but it was quickly replaced with gratitude and a wonderment of possibility. I thought about how much she truly lived in her 86 years. She was a poet, songstress, playwright, professor, mentor, civil rights activist, mother, and teacher who spoke 6 languages, travelled the world and used her life and voice to inspire the world. She didn’t just live – she left a legacy.

With a life as full as she led, it wouldn’t be impossible to capture the fullness of the lessons that Dr. Angelou left us. In the wake of her death I find myself reflecting on her greatest gift – her words. There will be never be another Maya Angelou, but there will always be another day for each of us to be RISE to the best versions of who we are and to be the rainbow in someone else’s cloud.

Thank you Dr. Angelou for teaching me…

To leave my Imprint on the world

“When you learn TEACH, if you get GIVE”

That our testimony can be the answer to someone’s test.

“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”

We deserve to Thrive instead of Survive

“My mission in life is not merely to survive but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor and some style.”

To be good to ourselves

“If I’m not good to myself, how can I expect anyone to be good to me?”

To learn from the past

“When you know better you do better”

 To celebrate the journey

“We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the change it has gone through to achieve that beauty.”

To Love what we do

“Making a living, is not the same as making a life”

To embrace the beauty of who we are

“If you are always trying to be normal, you’ll never know how amazing you can be”

 To throw something back

“I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw something back.”

To Shine

“Nothing can dim the light that shines from within.”

Thank you Dr. Angelou for being the rainbow in my cloud and inspiring and me and many others to rise.

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Food for your heart & soul: 8 inspiring books to guide your self-care practice

10:38 pm / Blog, Your Best Self / 4 comments

Food for your heart & soul: 8 inspiring books to guide your self-care practice

“We read to know that we are not alone.” ― William Nicholson

I don’t remember exactly when I developed a love for reading, but my passion for books has endured for several years. Nowadays it’s not uncommon to find a book in my purse or find me losing myself in the pages of a great fiction novel, my favorite genre of personal development or deepening my spiritual practice with a book from that niche.

My tell-tale sign of an awesome book is one that I can return to again and again for inspiration, comfort or to uplift my spirits. There is something about getting caught up in the written word that makes me feel at peace and it appears that I’m not the only one that feels this way. Research conducted by the University of Sussex, showed that even six minutes of reading can be enough to reduce stress levels by more than two thirds, so it’s not just good for your heart, it’s great for your health.

I used to believe that if I took a day off to get a manicure that I should get a gold star for taking care of myself. But I’ve learned over time that no amount of gifts to yourself can count as self care if you still struggle with trying to be perfect,  disrespecting your body or struggling with self-love

Over the years, I’ve gathered a cherished set of books that have enlightened my definition of self-care and have become trusted guides that offer words of encouragement and a great read.  Here are a few of my favorite self-development books that I hope inspire your own self loving practice.

The Gifts of Imperfection: Let go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are – Dr. Brene Brown

One of my all-time favorite books and one that I return to again and again. I view The Gifts of Imperfection as a manifesto for breaking free of trying to conform to ‘what you think should be’ and recognize that ‘who you are is enough’. The book uses honest storytelling and Dr. Brown’s research to discuss powerful topics such as shame, vulnerability, self-compassion and gratitude. Each chapter offers advice on how you can learn to DIG Deep in your life to get Deliberate with your thoughts and behaviour, be Inspired to make new and different choices and get Going by taking action.

I love the book so much that I even took the online course based on this book last year. I highly recommend this book as a guidepost to your journey to a wholehearted life.

A Return to Love – Marianne Williamson

This quote says it all:

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world.

There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

**Exhale**

A Return to Love inspired me to begin exploring A Course in Miracles and is one of my greatest teachers on how to re-linquish fear and choose love instead.

Self-Care for Life – Skye Alexander, Meera Lester, Carolyn Dean

Self-Care for Life provides a year’s worth of practical tools and inspiration to help you nurture and nourish your mind, body and spirit. If self-care is typically an after-thought instead of a priority, this book offers daily wisdom designed to help you transform your life moment to moment.

Each day provides an inspirational quote and a wellness tip for the mind, a nutrition or fitness tip for your body and spiritual wisdom.

The Emotional Eating Plan for Smart Busy Women – Dr. Melissa McCreery

If you’ve ever struggled through the shame of emotional eating, diets and willpower are not the answer. Dr. Melissa McCreery’s book offers encouraging advice and a day-by-day rescue plan designed specifically for high-performing, busy women who are ready to take control of their self-care. I had the honor of interviewing Melissa about her book which you can check out here.

I Thought It Was Just Me (But It Isn’t):  Making the Journey from “What will people think?” to “I am Enough” – Dr. Brene Brown

Based on seven years of interviews and Dr. Brene Brown’s groundbreaking research, I Thought It Was Just Me (But It Isn’t) dives into the silent epidemic of Shame and how courage, empathy and compassion are the key to resiliency.  The key message of this book is – You are not alone. If you’re ready to stop shrinking and start shining, this is another must read.

The Four Agreements – Don Miguel Ruiz

If you struggle with self-limiting beliefs, the Four Agreements offers 4 powerful lessons to end your suffering. My favorite agreement and the one that I admittedly still struggle with sometimes is ‘Don’t take anything personally’. Ruiz explains this agreement by saying ‘Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering”

#truth

One Minute Mindfulness – Donald Altman

One-Minute Mindfulness offers 50 simple ways to feel more connected, change unhealthy habits and savor routine tasks. If sitting down to meditate for 30 minutes is not your style but you still crave to feel more at peace during the day, this book is focused on finding the peace in the midst of chaos with simple challenges you can start today. Self-Care is a moment to moment practice so use this book to take a minute to get off autopilot and focus on you.

The Power of Now – Eckhart Tolle

A powerful book about the importance of not lingering in the past, The Power of Now asks us to be more present everyday life, to see if we can make every moment mean something. Here are a few great lessons  from the book:

Pleasure cannot be found in the outside world. What brings you external pleasure today may bring you sorrow tomorrow. True joy can be found only within. True love is not the duality of joy and pain. Pain cannot come from love.

We are not our thoughts; our thoughts are not who we are. Yet we tend to associate ourselves with our thoughts… This is a common error. To equate our thinking with our Being, is to live in a separation.

Happiness will come through you, not through other people. Do not wait for others, as you may wait forever.

:: Over to You ::

What are you favorite spiritual and self-development books? Share in the comments below

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