The sexiest time of day…

Meditation.

Years ago when I first started taking responsibility for what was going on inside of me I, of course, ran into this concept and all the suggestions to try it.  Because I’m here in the west I had access to every type of meditation you can imagine, and this post isn’t a guide to them cause I am about the furthest from an expert on ‘meditation’ there is.

Because although I have joined meditations groups, sat in on different types of meditation practices, read books, instruction manuals, listened to piles of audio, etc, this word meditation means something very specific to me.

Meditation to me means:  Deep personal intimate quiet sensual connecting with myself and spirit listening figuring out totally incredible loving time that might also include a mind blowing epiphany or energy moving.

When I first started meditating years ago I tried to sit up straight in a quiet room and clear my mind and breathe, and clear my mind and breathe and clear my mind and breathe…
When that didn’t work I finally gave up, turned on some music, leaned up against my bed, closed my eyes and let my mind do it’s thing…until one day….BAM…it felt like my heart literally opened, I sat up, felt as light as a feather and like I could stay there forever.
“oh…” I thought.  It was like floating in a bath of golden light.

Cause that was so #$%^ing amazing I kept going back for more, deepening my connection, releasing, and eventually started bringing thoughts and ideas to this state.  I gained clarity around my life and my problems that I couldn’t find anywhere else.

I have heard it said that prayer is talking to God and meditation is listening.

This sacred place that I had discovered rapidly became one of my favourite places to go.  It was here that I discovered my spirit guides, my connection to God and Goddess, my deepest love for myself and the world, forgiveness, and my sensuality.  In the meditative state I have learned to love my body, myself, my soul, this journey called life.  I have discovered my purpose, my power, my prosperity, my intuition.

What’s not to love?

Sure, sometimes it’s flat, and sometimes it’s a struggle, and sometimes I get busy and don’t do it.  But when I do, when I commit to sitting with myself, whatever that experience may be, it’s always worth it.

Here’s what I do.  I sit down, light a candle, take a breath, and be with whatever is there.

So go for it, however you want, and enjoy the fruits of your connection!

How do you meditate or commune with yourself?

Love you all!!
Ann

Learning from the retreat

I decided to take a retreat.  Right after the holidays.  Which felt indulgent at first.

I like retreating….

But I am coming around to the truth that this has been the most very right thing to do.

Here, nestled in the warmth of a cozy home on the sunshine coast, in Robert’s Creek of British Columbia, surrounded by giant cedars and rain…so much rain…I have learned a few things.

It takes several days to slow down, even if you think you have balance in your life

Because I am self employed I constantly work.  For a life coach who teaches others about boundaries and self care I am pretty lame at taking my own advice.
Mostly it’s cause I love my work, I can’t seem to help responding to the calls, emails and text messages from clients and colleagues, even friends and other loved ones.  My brand of life coaching is pretty ingrained in everything I do, and it’s HARD not to take care of those around me.  Even if they don’t need taking care of.
And I know how to take care of myself, I just don’t always do it.
After about 5 days I have started to slow down.  It’s not even that I am DOING anything different.  I mean, come on, I’m blogging…but my energy is slow, calm, peaceful.
It takes time to shift gears, to let go.

It’s often difficult to know we are stressed out or moving too fast.  Unfortunately it’s the pace we go at in this modern world, fast and stressy.  And with all the pressures to survive and thrive, it can be a lot for our systems, and then we forget that we are okay.  We think we have to be in control of everything, well, at least I do.

I have a life many would love, spending much of my time doing things I love.  Most of my time in fact.  But that doesn’t mean I don’t burn out!

I would say one of the most basic tools I use in life is to schedule in times of retreat and down time so that I have to slow down and get conscious of where I am, emotionally, physically, mentally and spiritually.

Writing is so much more than writing

I am in the midst of writing a book right now- my first one.  And, even though I am writing it with my mentor, Janice Savage, and really just following her lead to learn from her, which takes off so much pressure, it’s still one of the greatest challenges I have taken on.
Part of the reason I came here was to get back into writing this book as it took a bit of a back burner over the holidays.
And it has been great for that, I am back into it and really juiced about getting it written and out there as both Janice and I feel it has important information for what is going down in the world.

I have coached a writer as she was writing her book, and you think that would’ve turned me off it forever.
I’m sort of kidding, I was inspired by my client and curious of doing the process myself.
There are just so many levels to writing a book…even a little e-book.
I have a background in theatre so I am pretty comfortable with artistic process, and all that goes into it, but this is new, and well a performance comes and goes…a book can last forever.  And for a lady who often changes her mind, every 20 minutes, this thought is daunting.

Playing and following my heart are harder then they should be

I know that there is so much value in playing and following my heart.  I named my coaching company BlissFlow after Joseph Campbell’s quote, “Follow your bliss…”  Yet, I am so susceptible to the pressures of life.  This retreat has given my heart some fuel.  I feel like 2012 is going to be a year for me to follow my heart, as scary as that is.
Scary because many of the beliefs I have around work and play are very old, passed down from generation to generation.  Beliefs that tell me to do more, all the time, and I’m not doing enough.  Beliefs I am conscious about, yet still slave to at times.  Especially if I get on a roll in the city and surround myself with amazing go getters.  It’s catching, ambition.
It’s also scary because I followed my heart recently and it was hard!!  I learned so much, but I am feeling pooped.
Although I think my heart wants to take me to rest and rejuvenation, so I trust it.

I will never overcome old those beliefs if I don’t try new ways.

Innnnn conclusion…retreat=good.

Lots of love from the trees!

I hope you are finding time for retreat this winter…tell me about yours and what you are learning or hope to learn :)

Having fun yet?

The other day someone posted on facebook, “If you feel like you progressed spiritually this year, go home for the holidays.”

It made me giggle, but it’s SO true.  Every year my clients come to me with these looks on their faces, it’s the same look, “I love my family, but I don’t love how I feel when I’m around them for too long.”  I totally understand.  Over the years I have watched my relationship with my family change and grow in so many ways, but I still run into challenges, so I know how it can feel to be nervous to spend time with your family.  That said, I feel like I have been watching and taking notes for awhile…so allow me to share a few of my thoughts.

I’m very lucky, my family is smart and loving.  We have tried so hard to overcome our challenges with each other and find the best ways of relating.  But even with that commitment, we run into trouble.  You don’t choose your family, not on a conscious level anyways, so it can be difficult to get along.

We all have roles that we take in the family, and no matter how much we have changed in our lives, we tend to fall right back into them when we go home.

I always marvel at how at 31 years old I can end up on the floor sighing loudly and complaining about how hard I have it (youngest child).  I have to work at helping out in the kitchen, and have made it a goal to do dishes and help clean up when I go over.
The long of the short of it, I regress.

And then there is the way my family sees me.  They give advice to me that is so misaligned with my belief systems it’s not even funny.  I catch myself getting exasperated.

I lucked out with my family, and I know many people really struggle with theirs.  But, if you are still actually going home for the holidays, likely you can resonate with my story. As usual, this is about you.  How you react to your family, how you can accept the mirror they give you and learn and grow from it.  How you stand up for yourself, or turn on yourself.  Family can be the most incredible teacher.  But we need help!  It’s so easy to get lost in the feelings and forget who you are.

Keep in mind, this is coming from my perspective, I would love to hear the perspective of moms and dads and grandparents- all roles!!

1)  KEEP YOUR SENSE OF HUMOUR.
Without a sense of humour, I wouldn’t be able to walk a spiritual path.  I have to laugh at myself as I am lying on the floor with my foot in the air as my mother puts my shoes on.
My family laughs a lot.  We find ways of gently teasing each other about our ‘isms’.  I find when I am getting frustrated I have lost my sense of humour.

2)  Forgive and forget.
You don’t want everyone to remember every little thing you have done and hold it against you, do you?  Try and be the bigger person.  I know.  It’s hard.  We can do it.  Take a deep breath and let it go.  And hey, forgive yourself too.  I’ve been known to hold a grudge or two ;)

3)  Be conscious.
Don’t just fall asleep.  Stay conscious and watch yourself.  It’s easy to just let it all go and fall right into roles when you get home, but if you can stay awake and aware, you can stay true to yourself.

Which brings us to….

4)  Don’t believe everything you hear.
Just because they are your family.  Just because they care about you.  Just because you have grown up with their advice…it doesn’t mean it’s right for you now.  You are your own person and just because the majority of your family thinks one way does not make it right for you.  Stop, take a moment, think about what you believe.  Instead of just reacting and arguing or giving into them, reflect and decide if you don’t agree if you need to voice that or not.  Sometimes, it’s not necessary and sometimes it absolutely is.

5)  Help. 
Be of service.  The best way to feel good about yourself and participate is to help out.  Give of yourself and you might be surprised at the interesting conversations you have over the dishes, or finishing up the cooking, or helping dad with shoveling snow, or going for a walk with grandma.  Basically, get out of yourself.

You are a strong, unique and brilliant person, remember who you are and have fun!!!

Out with the old. Understanding the change.

If you are reading this blog, it’s because the world is changing and you are either at the front lines of that change, or you are feeling the push of it and trying to figure out how to make that change without completely falling apart and losing everything.

I bet people are tired of hearing, “Wow, so much is shifting.”  :) BUT, it’s true…so much is shifting.  But what and why- and how do we be in that shift?

I have been working with people for years and I have been reading, watching and listening to what’s been going on…recently all this ‘change’ is come to a head.  Much like when our parents woke up in the 60′s, something’s happening here.  That movement was bold, and good, but it was fulled by a lot of drugs and resistance.  Eventually most of them, “grew up and got real jobs”.  But, many of them have tried to bring into their work some echo of that momentous revolution, the beginning was made.

My work is personal, not political, my work is about healing, not economics, but I believe that I have an understanding about what is happening and what needs to happen if we want to keep our little planet and the people on it.

With some exceptions, humanity has been on a pathway of get your piece of the pie and get out, and, that is destroying us and our home.  People have been waking up to this for awhile now, and groups have been putting their best efforts to try and stop the destructive momentum, with some gains, but the train moves fast and it’s heavy and hard to turn around. Our history is full of inspirational individuals voicing something different among the norm.  More and more you see the words of these inspirational people being sprayed all over facebook, twitter, Ted talks, blogs, websites, quotes at the bottom of emails…we know the truth.  But if that’s the case, why are we still hurting each other?  Going to soulless jobs?  Dying from stress and anxiety?  Popping more pills than ever?

Why do we say all these things and then keep on keeping on?

My coaching clients are all people who are trying to make changes.  Who recognize that we can’t keep on keeping on, because it’s not working.  They are the brave ones in their families and social circles trying to do it differently, often the black sheep, the rebels, or the ones who have toed the company line for too long and aren’t willing to play anymore.

But they are scared.  They are coming up against generations of fear.  Fear of lack and loneliness.  Trying to resist or change a system that is VERY ingrained and isolating.

We WANT to believe we can make change.  We WANT to believe there is a different way of doing it.  But, we are afraid we won’t:
Make enough money and end up on the street or God forbid depending on others
Be accepted by our family and peers.
Make a difference anyways, so what’s the point?
There are voices in our heads that say we are just:
Lazy
Stupid
Slow
Not good enough
Selfish
These are the fears of the bravest people I have met.  The smartest most creative individuals who have risked everything to create something new and helpful.  Who have taken the leap to STOP the madness and start working towards a sustainable healthy world.  Those who understand that they must face their pain and wounds in order to heal, and that if we don’t heal, we will keep creating from pain.  Which results in numbing and taking what we can get from a place of fear, which has destructive results.

When someone who has stopped working in a job that they hate, for a company they don’t feel passionate about, finds out what their passion is, faces the blocks that hold them back from admitting all that, risks everything to change their lives and start giving back their gifts instead of trying to reap a little bit of reward from a corrupt system, in the face of nay sayers, fear mongers, caring scared family members they take a stand and stop running the race and start putting what little money they have or borrow into re-education and building a business or practice that offers something good and real without any real guarantee of financial return stands in front of me after all this work and development and personal healing and tells me they are afraid they just aren’t good enough because they don’t know how they are going to pay their rent next month…well…that really pisses me off.

Here’s what I say…to you who is this person, to you who resists the change, to you who tells these people they have to ‘get real’…I say GET REAL.  I say, much like when recycling was a new idea and people just didn’t have the time to separate tin cans from garbage, there is no excuse and there is no more time.
Our planet is hurt.  Our people are hurt.  We are hurting ourselves and each other.  This world is in trouble and the only way we are going to change that is to start with ourselves, to heal our own pain.  If you haven’t figured out yet that WE ARE CREATING OUR WORLD then you are asleep, wake up.  We create our world…we, the people, all of us, not some group above us, all of us, and we are living in a painful world…we shake our heads at the news, but we should be shaking our heads at ourselves.
It is no longer a luxury to start working on yourself…it is a necessity.

Think about it…if we are in pain, we create a painful world.  So, all the things we want to do to fix the world, they cannot be achieved while we are numbing our pain and trying to survive.  We must make our healing a priority.  AND, we have to start supporting the people who are trying to do things differently.  We have to stop telling them they are lazy, stupid, irresponsible.

And, it WON’T look like it did, so stop trying to create that!!!!

This is going to take time to change things, it won’t happen overnight, you won’t make a million dollars in the first year, and that’s not the point anyways!!  So stop beating yourself up and realize that you are on the front lines of ‘being the change you want to see in the world’.

We have so many resources, but we are ignoring them, we are afraid and ashamed to use them, because we think we are supposed to do it all alone, well, that got us where we are now.

It doesn’t make sense to gain success in the old way, with a new way of living!  We need to change our idea of success.

I am surrounded by incredible people who are successful and happy doing what they love.  I am surrounded by people who are struggling and trying to survive.  I am surrounded by a world that is in the midst of now or never.  We all need to look around and see we aren’t alone.  And please, stop beating yourselves up because you haven’t recreated what you were trying to break out of.

Value.  Something.  New.

 

Thrive

So, I’ve been seeing this movie Thrive all over facebook and I have to admit at first I was like, “sigh, another film that’s going to overwhelm me about the state of the world”.

It can feel depressing to think of all the work we have to do.  And we do have a lot of work to do, just ask Paul Hawken. Waking up and changing our lifestyles, the way we relate to each other, money, the world, nature, these are big issues, and they are not going away.

Thrive had been recommended by a few people I trust and I felt like it was worth the watch, and it was.

This man, Foster Gamble, and his team, including his wife, Kimberly Carter Gamble, outline a plot for world domination by the rich and powerful few and that aliens had come to earth in ancient times to teach us everything we know, knowledge that includes a code for free energy, a free energy that the powerful few will do anything to repress.  That the ancient Gods were actually aliens is a theory I have to admit I have been secretly researching for the last year.

I found my social norm protection was triggered when he started talking about FEMA camps (concentration camps that are ready to detain unruly American citizens when the ‘new world order’ achieves world domination) and crop circles.  It’s not that I don’t think these things hold some truth, I actually do, but I am wary of conspiracy…as much as I am wary of government.  I am wary of information, especially because I am sensitive, and gullible, and easily emotionally manipulated.  And I love that about myself…still, I have to be careful.
For me this movie says important things, and that’s my opinion, it may not be yours.  That’s okay!!

BUT- there are a few things that this movie articulates in a powerful way, things that need to be communicated to the masses.  Things that I spend my days talking about.  Things I want to articulate here:

1)  The individual is important. 
The movie argues that we have been brain washed through our education system, media, hegemonic belief systems, religion, etc to believe that the whole is more important than the individual.  We have been brain washed to respond to authority in a certain way that perpetuates hierarchical power systems which keep the majority in slave like existences.  Or, into survival lifestyles, just hanging on.
Good little workers who don’t think for themselves and are willing to die for beliefs they have been brainwashed into owning as their own.

Basically, don’t listen to yourself.  A problem I come up against with mostly every client I work with is the fear of what others will think of them.  A fear to focus on themselves.  A fear of being selfish.  I say over and over in every way I can, if you know yourself, and love yourself, you will follow your inner wisdom and that will lead you to being of better service to others.  By being selfish you will naturally become caring.  Yes, you will be a rebel!  Yes, you will do things that others may gawk at!  You might lose friends, be ostracized by your family- but, you will be healthier and happier and you will be in integrity.  The whole matters, and so does the individual, but not in an ego sense, not in a take what you can sense.

The individual is so important right now, because it is the individual that can and will change the world.  If each of us wakes up to our brilliance and creative ability, to our natural tendency towards organic processes and care, the earth will heal, our values will shift.  As long as we are a slave to the tribe, we will do what we are told, we will follow rules that are being enforced by people who don’t really know why they are enforcing them.
The masses are made up of individuals.

2)  We are focused on the wrong things. 
I remember the moment I realized I was going to have to be very careful with what kind of work I do.  That much of the work I was involved in was violent in one way or another.  It was a big leap as most jobs had a destructive, wasteful nature to them.
In a new world that honours the rights, health, and well being of everyone our interests will change.  As of now we are focused on getting what we can, in a new world, a world where everyone matters, we will be focused on protecting our earth, not destroying it.  We will focus on education that helps the student to discover their purpose, not drive it out of them through shame and standardized testing.  Our work will benefit each other, ourselves, and the planet.  As of now most of us are a cog in a destructive machine.  That has to stop.  Now.

3) Important discoveries are being repressed.
Duh.  It just makes sense, why would the pharmaceutical companies want us to find a cure for anything?  Keeping us sick and getting sicker makes money.  That’s not conspiracy, that’s bottom line business.

Why do we trust companies who are developing products that do more harm then they do good to care about our health?

The problem here is not money, something we often lay blame on.  Money is neutral.  The problem is that we have decided Money Equals Power, and that is our worst mistake.  Placing our power outside of ourselves and putting it into something that doesn’t even really exist is a big problem, the biggest one we have.

This movie looks at many conspiracies as very real things that are happening, yes, and perhaps they are true and perhaps not.  What is true is that people are starting to wake up, and question things that have been taken as truth and in our best interest, that just are not.

What is true is that you, yes you, are the saviour.  You can change this world.  You.

What is true is that we have access to a lot of information now, almost too much, but that is leading us somewhere and very fast.  Where?  I am not sure, but I do know that I have to participate in this movement that is becoming more and more cohesive, I need to share my voice and take a stand in my own life.

How are you taking a stand in your life?  How are you saying enough is enough?

So that’s how I feel about that.
Ann

 

Are you brave enough to tell the truth?

Even if it’s not pretty?

In this world of FAB bestselling personal development divas it’s easy to feel like something is wrong with you if you aren’t smiling all the time and feeling good.  Have we taken superficiality into spirituality?  SURE!  It’s human nature to put our best face forward.  But what if our best faces didn’t always have to look so good?  What if they were allowed to look like they were struggling, vulnerable, and scared?  What if they were uncertain?

But true.

What if our true selves were our best selves?  And sometimes that is happy and excited and blissed out and powerful and strong and amazing.  And sometimes it’s scared, nervous, insecure, poopy.  How can we allow that to happen without ruining everything?

How can we stand in the fire of the icky times and still love ourselves and feel like we can come out from underneath the covers?

It’s an issue I run into time and again with myself and clients.  The feelings are there, fear, doubt, pain, sadness, confusion etc etc etc…and we are terrified of them!  Especially if we have learned a thing or two about gratitude and positive thought.  Especially if we believe that we create our reality.

But, and any therapist worth their grain of salt will tell you this…repressing those feelings is going to get you into trouble.  They’ll get ya one way or another.  And by that I mean, if you are always trying to get out of those feelings then you are not grounded in yourself, you are afraid of parts of yourself, you are therefore not completely standing in your power.

Is there nothing to learn in our dark times?  Thomas Moore seems to think so in his book Dark Nights of the Soul

Life is about ups and downs, and I believe that a constant barrage of messages that tell us (not only in mainstream media that is trying to sell us something, but in personal development and spiritual circles) that something is wrong with us if we feel negative is only making us feel worse about ourselves.

It is normal to feel negative!  It is okay if you get sick!

I am not saying wallow in your victim archetype and be a martyr.  That is not what I am saying.  I am saying that if you feel some negative emotions, don’t be afraid of them, learn with them.  Accept yourself.  Ground into it.  Breathe into it.

Groundedly Negative.  This is a term that I got from my best friend, business coach, resident techy, and ultimate all around consultant and amazing writing coach guy, Jeff Sararas coined. (did I mention you should get him to help you with your writing)

You aren’t toxic and bad…you are human.

That doesn’t mean you are fun to be around in those moments, that doesn’t mean that you won’t create some poopy reality.  Hey, if we are walking around under a rain cloud then yes, things tend to look rainy.

But if you are kidding yourself that the weather is always gonna be sunny, then you are gonna be one dimensional and I don’t really want to be around you either.

Negative Feelings are challenging, here are some tips for grounding into them:

  • Slow down.  Take some time to listen to yourself.  What are you feeling?  How are you avoiding those feelings?
  • Write about it.  Sometimes we are just full of some negative energy and we need to clear it.  Writing can move energy, can give us perspective, and even help us to discover the gift of our pain.
  • BREATHE.  We don’t breathe enough.  And, when we are feeling negative feelings they can cause physical symptoms that hurt.  Tight muscles, soreness, heightened heartbeat, blood pressure…oxygen is good for all those things.  Feel your feelings but breathe.
  • Talk about it.  Don’t let your negative feelings silence you. AND, don’t worry if someone shuts you down, they might be afraid of their feelings.  Be yourself and stand in your truth.
  • Try not to take it out on others.  It’s no one’s fault, so try and take it where you are safe to feel it.  And, also, just because you are feeling crappy doesn’t mean you have to be mean.
  • Forgive yourself.  And, learn from it.  How did you act in the world while you felt those things?  Were you a jerk?  Were you vulnerable?  Did you learn anything?

It’s important to be able to feel the spectrum of feelings and know them.  To know yourself.  And, can you let it change?

Once you surrender to your grounded negativity, can you let it go when it’s time?  Or, do you wallow and look for attention?  That’s passive aggressive.  Ask for the help and attention you need, let yourself feel it, and move through it.  Let it change when it’s time.

But let’s stop feeling bad about feeling bad.

LOVE
Ann

Occupy

There’s something happening here…

All over the world people are starting to come out and move into the public spaces of their cities.  They are saying ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.

I think this is a big outward expression of our inner experiences.  Enough IS enough.  We are tired of being asleep, or medicated.  We want to be awake, committed, engaged in community!  It’s a break out and break free that is taking over the world. We are sick and tired of repressing our humanity.

The collective lightworkers, motivational speakers, authors, personal development gurus, guides, teachers, astrologists, and conspiracy theorists have been going on and on about a shift that is going to happen and now IS happening in the world.  It’s undeniable that something is going on here.

It feels like a collective snap out of it.  I like it.

It’s clear the power of the community is important right now, and at the fore front, but what does this mean for the individual?  I think it means it’s time to occupy ourselves.  To fill up the whole of who we are and not listen to the counsel of jerks going off in our heads telling us to shhhhhhhh or behave or sit down or we aren’t good enough.We are and we know it!  We have rights, the right to live and be ourselves.  The right to our lives.  To having purpose.  Enough of the time card punching bull#$$^ it’s time to step into our destiny.

I know this time has been one of upheaval within myself.  As though I am being forced to really face my own denial and repression.  I am being asked and guided to really confront the places where I am still afraid, and not stepping into my power.  I believe this is happening so that I will be prepared to step into an even greater space.  To occupy my full self, and step into my power like I never have before.

So although this time seems violent and volatile, it is a shaking up of our apathy and a time of growth, which means we will emerge stronger and wiser.

Be you.  Be powerful.

Yours in Growth
Ann

 

Welcome to BlissFlow 2.0

A new chapter in the BlissFlow adventure!

I am a life coach and intuitive and have been practicing since 2007.  I offer coaching and readings online or by phone.

My new site is under development so stay tuned for all kinds of BlissFlow information…in the meantime you can contact me at ann@blissflow.ca or 604-339-9600.

Looking forward to connecting!

Ann