2013 Review: Unraveling a year of Bliss, Vulnerability and Learning to live in the Moment

Posted by on Dec 23, 2013 in Blog, Your Best Self

2013 Review: Unraveling a year of Bliss, Vulnerability and Learning to live in the Moment

Celebration, Tears, Anxiety, Joy and Forgiveness. That’s a snapshot of the emotions that I’ve felt this month. There is something about December, especially as we get closer to the end of the year that pulls at my heart. As we enter the final days of 2013, perhaps you’ve been on an emotional rollercoaster of your own as you reflect on the last twelve months. If so, that’s a good thing. You can’t know where you’re going unless you acknowledge where you’ve been. Maybe you accomplished all of your goals or maybe you didn’t. Or the friendships that were going strong at January 1st are barely recognizable now. Perhaps you’re still trying to figure out what you truly want to do with your life. A year ago around this time, I was reflecting on what could be best described as a transformative year. It took me a long time to realize this but if you’ve ever felt anxious around this time of year know this: You don’t need to have all the answers, discover your life’s purpose and plan your life out by the time the clock strikes midnight. Take a deep breath, exhale and remember that YOU ARE HERE. As I entered 2013 I was hopeful that it would be filled with new lessons, growth and opportunities and I wasn’t disappointed. Instead of a detailed list of goals I was armed with my core desired feelings: Bliss, Vulnerability and Presence. When these words appeared to me in December 2012 I had no idea how they would manifest in my life. There was no plan, no roadmap or any idea of how they were even connected. Looking back now, I’m glad that was the case. Mainly because there was no way that I could have predicted that choosing to feel more vulnerable would lead to experiences like this one. I definitely had no way of predicting that this blog could be recognized by a National Magazine and provide opportunities to connect with people around the world and smash a former fear of public speaking to pieces. 2013 was a year of leaning in to challenge, celebration and discomfort. Stepping up, instead of falling back and affirming what I want and more importantly what I don’t want. Even as I reflect on the days and weeks that I rather forget, I can still appreciate the wisdom from those wounds. Best of all, I’m walking into 2014 not only with a set of lessons but practices that I will start, stop and continue next year and beyond. Rather than review them all, here are 3 practices that made 2013 memorable and that I’ll continue as we step into 2014 1. Remixing your wellness plan Daily meditation, hot yoga sessions and even my first experience with tapping or ‘EFT’. This year brought an amplified focus to training my mind in the way that...

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Is it time to lighten your load?

Posted by on Sep 14, 2013 in Blog, Your Best Self

Is it time to lighten your load?

When you hear the words ‘self care’ what does it mean for you? After leading a workshop for a local women’s group on the importance of investing in their health, I learned that the definition might not be as intuitive as I thought. “What’s self-care?” asked an attendee at the event with a puzzled expression on her face. “Is it like taking a retreat or something? I don’t have time or money for that kinda stuff”  Then another person chimed in and said “it’s too hard when I have my kids. Isn’t getting a manicure enough?” I’m not surprised by their responses. The reality is that when it comes to taking care of ourselves it’s easy to over-think what that actually means and undervalue the importance. This misinterpretation can be best summed up by a comment made by Psychologist and Author Dr. Melissa McCreery in a recent interview that we did together this week. According to Dr. McCreery, the best way to know that you’re approaching self-care in the wrong way is this: if thinking about the time to do a self-care activity makes you feel overwhelmed or tired, whatever you’re planning is probably too much. In other words, you’re over-thinking it. Scale back your plans and remember that whatever you believe that you have to do is probably not what you need to do. The reality is that most of us avoid thinking about self-care until we are forced to. We recognize it as a priority when we begin to feel so overloaded and overwhelmed that important things in our life start to fall through the cracks. As someone who juggles multiple commitments and is a self-admitted recovering perfectionist, I know first hand how easy it can be to push your needs down the list. But at some point there WILL come a time when the hustle of putting other needs before your own catches up to you. It’s the moment when you recognize that you appear to be a thriving success in public but in private you feel like a fraud. So that’s why I created this video…. I know so many people who go through life just waiting for ‘someday’ when things will slow down. But you know deep down that someday doesn’t just magically appear. You have to make things happen. You deserve better. Self-care isn’t optional. It’s a part of your survival and you cannot thrive without it.No one’s going to give you permission or do it for you. You’ve got to take the first step. Start today by acknowledging that you’re worth more and releasing the loads that are weighing you down. This October I’m launching a special 21 day e-course designed to help you make putting yourself on your to-do list one of your highest priorities. There’s no point in trying to hustle to do more if you’re not giving the same attention to yourself. Check out http://www.chivonjohn.com/lightenyourload/ to learn more and stay tuned for more updates...

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When I chose vulnerability as my theme I never thought this would happen…

Posted by on Aug 20, 2013 in Blog, Your Best Self

When I chose vulnerability as my theme I never thought this would happen…

When I created my themes at the beginning of 2013, I would have never imagined that it would have led to this moment. I was filled with hope that this would be a year full of bliss, feeling more present and allowing myself to be more vulnerable. Never in my wildest dreams did I envision that choosing vulnerability would lead me to a discussion with two of the biggest influences in my life and thought leaders in this area. I’m elated to share that I’m joining my friend and creator of Sistertalk Karlyn Percil and 3 members of her Sistertalk group – Ingrid Hart, Komal Bhasin and Shereen Ashman on an upcoming episode of Oprah’s Lifeclass with Dr. Brene Brown! The episode will be taped live on Monday August 26 at 6pm EST. The topic will be focused on the power of vulnerability and sharing stories from guests on the role it has played in our lives and what it takes to find the strength to be vulnerable. Sistertalk is an amazing group created by Karlyn where every month 10-15 women meet to have to have raw, authentic and vulnerable conversations about life, love and our careers. Each one of us was hand picked for the group and I’ve always felt very grateful to be apart of this inspiring force of women who are passionate about getting real and saying yes to self-love. Not only has it helped me connect with amazing women who undoubtedly will be lifelong friends, it reminds me that our journey with vulnerability is ongoing. You can’t encourage others to get raw and vulnerable if you don’t do the work yourself. It’s not easy. There are times when you are paralyzed by fear, there are tears and you’ll question the process but please believe all of it is worth it. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m still on my vulnerability journey. To be honest I don’t think it ever ends, but the first step is acknowledging that love is stronger than fear and that vulnerability is a sign of your strength and not a weakness. The show will officially air in September but you can tune in to watch the taping LIVE on Monday Aug 26th on the OWN Facebook Page (http://www.facebook.com/ownTV) or on Oprah.com! Click here for the official announcement about our appearance on the show. Even though we’ll be on air we want you to tweet your a-ha moments to us during the show on Twitter using the hashtags #lifeclass & #sistertalk. The strength of the discussion of Lifeclass is through the social interaction and you can even share your thoughts on vulnerability before the show! Here is my challenge to you: Check out the Oprah’s Lifeclass Social Lab Prep work and I encourage you to explore what vulnerability means to you. Here’s how I responded: Vulnerability is: Raw, scary, empowering and worth...

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4 questions I asked myself on my birthday

Posted by on Aug 14, 2013 in Blog, Your Best Self

4 questions I asked myself on my birthday

“Every birthday, you decide whether to mark it the end of your greatest days or the beginning of your finest hour.” – Oprah Winfrey   From the moment I switch my calendar to August I get a little misty eyed and reflective about the past year. I think about the moments that I’m grateful for. The friendships that I treasure and also the ones that have changed in ways that I hadn’t anticipated would. The lessons that I needed to learn..sometimes most times the hard way. And the dreams that I wish to make a reality in the next year What I’m most grateful for is the ability to take my life by the reigns and decide where I want to go. I’m happy that I’m peeling away the armour that I built around me and welcoming love, vulnerability and ease into my life. I don’t have the exact blueprint of where I’m going to go next but that’s ok because I can remind myself of something that Oprah (also known as my mentor in my head) recently said at an event I attended: “I don’t know what the future holds for me, but I know who holds the future.” (Tweet this) This year I celebrated my birthday a couple of days early with a few of my beautiful friends. The “plan” was a small brunch that evolved into almost 6 hours of jokes, tears and some deep conversation about our past, present and future. I walked away with a full inspiration tank, gratitude and a set of reflection questions that I will constantly refer back to. It was a wonderful experience of vulnerability, trust and manifestation of what we commit to making possible in our lives. A few of the questions we discussed were: What is one turning point or breakthrough moment in your life that has shaped who you are today? What are you grateful for? What are the special gifts that only you can give to the world? Manifestation Exercise: Visualize and list the things that you will have in your life in exactly one year. What are the actions that you are going to take to make this happen and what are some of the things that you will stop doing? Here are 2 Bonus Questions that I reflected on by myself inspired from the Book Do Cool Shit How do you define success and do you feel successful? Why do you want to be successful? So on this Birthday, my gift to you is the reminder that… You don’t need to ask for permission to be who you are There will never be a right time. If you find yourself asking “Am I ready?” The answer is likely always NO, so do it anyway The strongest relationship in your life should be the one with yourself.  It’s not easy by any means but fight for...

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