This article appeared in the Times Colonist Fall 2018 issue of Capital Home Magazine
This article appeared in the Times Colonist Fall 2018 issue of Capital Home Magazine
This article appeared in the Times Colonist Fall 2018 issue of Capital Home Magazine
Transitions can shatter your identity, or at least put a few cracks in who you believe you are.
Transitions can be the push you need to finally commit to greater vitality.
Transitions can provide the opportunity to live bigger, more authentically, more joyfully.
Whether your transition is the loss of a loved one, becoming a new parent, the end of a relationship, the start of a new job, relocating to a new community, or entering retirement, it will serve you to spend some time investigating who the new you could be.
My daughter Bronwyn turns one next week! As a new parent, I've struggled with my identity.
My identity before becoming a parent was that of someone who was energized, disciplined, present and positive.
The past year has presented many unforeseen challenges, and in the beginning I barely had the time or energy to care for myself. I was overwhelmed, undisciplined, stretched in a million different directions. Anxious. Pessimistic.
To put it lightly, the transition into parenthood shook my foundation.
Despite my years of education and experience practicing and teaching wellness, I really had to rethink things.
How could I maintain the self-care practices I held so dear? I couldn't. I had to stage a reinvention.
On February 1 to 3, 2019, come retreat at the beautiful Oak Bay Beach Hotel for an all-inclusive weekend dedicated to your wellbeing.
You’ll be provided with the tools, time and space to rethink your life; to add more energy, more presence, more connection, more peace.
You’ll be nourished with delicious food, pampered at the seaside spa, and treated to your own luxurious suite.
You’ll be joined by an incredible group of people who are on the same journey.
You’ll be presented with The Life Delicious' 5-module curriculum, and led through a series of engaging lectures, solo exercises and group discussions, so you can digest the information on a deep and personal level, allowing you to take the necessary actions that will create instant and lasting positive change.
This transition has provided me with even more excitement, certainty and confidence in what I teach. I can’t wait to share my updated curriculum with you! It’s been carefully revised through new eyes to be even more concise and easier to implement.
Nothing is more valuable than creating a solid foundation to live and lead from.
Spring has sprung, and the sun is shining as I write this (and baby naps)!
More daylight and more sunshine make such a difference to my mood.
Mood (the way you feel) is always on my mind, as is mindset (the way you think) – and how much power we have to influence both.
I created The Life Delicious curriculum following a very dark period in my life.
I struggled with negative thinking, sedentary behaviour, an unhealthy diet, poor sleep hygiene, and loneliness for years.
When things began to turn around – when I became happier, healthier and more productive – I reverse engineered how I'd arrived, realized there was a reproducible strategy to it, packaged it into a shareable form, and called it The Life Delicious!
Practically EVERY DAY I return to these principles, review and practice them.
It's not a one-time thing to go to the gym, be grateful, take a breath before you retort, or eat a salad!
Your health, happiness and productivity are a summation of small, consistent practices.
But once you do the work of establishing healthy habits, it's almost effortless.
Imagine the ease with which you could live if you thought better, moved more, ate better, slept better, and connected more deeply.
I'm as excited as ever to share my work because I don't have to imagine the ease anymore, I'm living it!
And I want you to live it to.
How I share my time has changed.
For now, I'd like to offer more shorter and local events (in addition to a small selection of overnight retreats at incredible locations).
This is where I'd love YOUR thoughts!
Thank you so much for sharing.
Okay, now to the INTEL! Happy reading/listening/watching!
1. VIDEO: Core Activation - Why We Lift Before We Wrap | The Bloom Method
2. ARTICLE: How bacteria are changing your mood | BBC News
3. VIDEO: How Not to Die: Dr. Greger’s Daily Dozen Checklist | nutritionfacts.org
To live the life you want – to fuel your goals and realize your dreams – you need two things: clarity and power.
You need to know exactly what you want, how you want to feel: CLARITY.
And, you need the capacity to act, the energy for action: POWER.
When clarity and power come together, your head and heart are aligned.
If this sounds like what you need right now, we’ve created an event for YOU!
Aligning Your Head and Heart is a 5-day retreat at Hollyhock Leadership Learning Centre (June 1-6, 2018) combining 2 renowned curriculums:
INGREDIENTS: (everything available at SPUD.ca):
Why has The Life Delicious newsletter been on hiatus since October?
Our little girl, Bronwyn Elizabeth Roscoe Barr, was born October 29!
Read more about our parenting adventure so far HERE.
In a nutshell: it’s been busy, overwhelming, wonderful, frustrating, delightful and filled with excruciating love and uncertainty.
It has stretched us further than we’ve ever been stretched.
Our hearts have expanded (we spend all day with her and then look at photos and talk about how cute she is as soon as she's gone to bed), while our nerves feel more raw.
It’s opened our eyes to the incredible challenges so many people around us face that we had no idea of pre-baby.
Now, at 4 months postpartum, I feel a positive shift.
I’m sleeping more.
She’s laughing, giggling, cooing and babbling.
I’m laughing more.
She can entertain herself for short periods of time. She naps from time to time!
I have short periods of personal time (hence this newsletter)!
I am more committed to and excited about the work I do now than ever.
Time invested in mental, physical and spiritual wellness isn’t a luxury – it’s a necessity.
You can't thrive without it. Heck, you can barely survive!
Expanding responsibility requires creative self-care.
It doesn’t have to take much time. It can’t, at times.
As I go back to work this month (I have just 2 spaces left for corporate workshops in April – get in touch if you're interested!), I’m excited to present an even more concise, easy and doable curriculum with strategic tools to hardwire healthy habits – in just minutes a day.
If you want to learn how to clarify what you truly want in every area of your life and create healthy habits that stick, join me at Hollyhock Leadership Learning Centre on Cortes Island for Neuroscience + The Desire Map: Aligning Your Head And Heart, a 5-day retreat facilitated by myself and self-leadership coach Jenny Xenos.
1. VIDEO: Input vs Output | Emelia Symington Fedy
2. ARTICLE: The key to mental clarity might just be about getting a better sleep | BCLiving
3. VIDEO: Wendy Suzuki on The brain-changing benefits of exercise | TEDWomen
Bring a friend, share a room, and get 15% off your room and meal package at Hollyhock Leadership Learning Centre on Cortes Island this June 1-6.
Ocean-view and private rooms are limited, so make sure you book soon!
Aligning your head and heart will give you the tools to fuel your goals with soul at this transformative retreat. Neuroscience + The Desire Map is an international first combining these two curriculums! You’ll be nourished in mind, body and spirit as you create a blueprint for an extraordinary life.
Enjoy delicious nutrient dense meals, energizing physical activities, and plenty of personal time to think while you enjoy the magical grounds at Hollyhock. Plus, you’ll be joined by an incredible group of people just like you, seeking to create the life they dream of.
Bring a friend, share a room, and get 15% off your room and meal package at Hollyhock on Cortes Island this June 1-6 for my retreat with self-leadership coach Jenny Xenos!
Aligning your head and heart will give you the tools to fuel your goals with soul at this transformative retreat.
Grounded in mindfulness and neuroscience, The Life Delicious program helps you hardwire healthy habits across five pillars of wellness: Mindset, Movement, Nutrition, Sleep and Connection.
Created by best-selling author Danielle LaPorte and presented by self-leadership coach Jenny Xenos, the Desire Map is a program for clarifying what you truly want in every area of your life, and using that powerful awareness to guide your choices.
You’ll be nourished in mind, body and spirit as you create a blueprint for an extraordinary life!
Enjoy delicious nutrient dense meals, energizing physical activities, and plenty of personal time to think while you enjoy the magical grounds at Hollyhock.
Plus, you’ll be joined by an incredible group of people just like you, seeking to create the life they dream of.
At the 2017 event, I had the honour of being the closing keynote speaker, where I challenged attendees to capture the inspiring energy shared by the day’s amazing speakers and take it forward.
By practicing daily rituals – like gratitude, movement and connection – you can stoke your inner fire to keep the flame burning bright, and affect beautiful change in the world!
Were you all fired up in January to make this an incredible year?
Now, how can you keep the inspiration going?
You can choose to stoke the fire by creating energy in your mind, body and spirit!
You can create energy by creating rituals.
I’m excited to share these 3 daily rituals with you, and hope they’ll give your inner fire some spark!
Did you know that your brain has an innate negativity bias?
That’s right, you’re hardwired to expect the worst, jump to negative conclusions, assume it’s just you, and believe there’s danger lurking around every corner.
This is an amazing built-in safety mechanism that we’re lucky to have!
I like to think of this inclination as negativity antennae – on high alert to protect us from danger, whether it’s mental, physical or spiritual.
However, these robust negativity detectors can take over, making life seem like an overwhelming assault on our mind, body and spirit.
What can we do? I believe we’re also born with positivity antennae!
For most of us, they’re just little buds we must consciously grow so they’re just as robust as our negative ones.
When we choose to grow our positivity antennae, we choose to be open to all the good that surrounds us, so we can be both inspired and inspiring to others.
MINDSET RITUAL: GRATITUDE
It’s so simple: just think of (or even better, write down) 3 things you’re grateful for every day.
Miss a day? Don’t worry about it! Just do the best you can.
The ritual of scanning your day for good hardwires this habit and grows your positivity antennae!
Did you know that moving your body releases chemicals that improve learning and memory? Amazing!
Physical activity also literally stokes your inner fire, by raising your metabolism.
It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, lengthy or pricey – just move however you can, wherever you can:
MOVEMENT RITUAL: Start your day with movement and weave it throughout (at least every 60 minutes).
You know that feeling of being in flow? That buoyant energy of inspiration? Of being on a role? Of things going your way?
That’s being in alignment.
When your deepest inner desires are reflected in your outer actions, you’re in alignment.
We’ve all felt the opposite feeling of nonalignment, when we have an ache in our gut or a heaviness in our chest when we’ve done or said something that doesn’t reflect our truest self.
When we’re in alignment we feel lifted, expansive and drawn forward.
When we’re in nonalignment we feel depressed, contracted and held back.
CONNECTION RITUAL: Start your day with the intention to think, speak and act in alignment; and when faced with a decision, ask yourself, is this in alignment with my best, true self?, and listen to the answers that your mind, body and spirit provide.
What’s good for your brain (and therefore your mood) is good for your body!
SLEEP >>> In the early days, sleep is the most important thing.
Obviously it won’t be consecutive, but try to get 7 cumulative hours - ask for help so you can squeeze in as many naps as it takes.
Did you see my previous post where I talked about sleep deprivation? It's not good for your mood. It's torture. Literally.
Plus, sleep deprivation messes with your appetite, metabolism, pain tolerance and more.
MOVEMENT >>> Any kind of movement is great! Here are a few tips:
******* Your unique birth story and body dictates your unique postpartum journey. Don’t worry about what anyone else is doing, do the best you can and give yourself a break. You just created life, you are absolutely amazing and totally incredible! P.S. go see a pelvic floor physio 6 weeks postpartum before you begin any exercises!!*******
Try the above 3 exercises for 1 minute each, 1-3 rounds, for 3, 6 or 9 minutes (depending how much time you have).
These 6 exercises (core, stretching, walking, squats, reverse flys, back extensions) not only boost your mood (SO IMPORTANT for those stressful early days), they help your muscles by counteracting the poor posture that breastfeeding and cuddles require, and rev up your metabolism to help you lose the baby weight!
Check out my Global BC chat with Sonia Sunger on practical tips to setting achievable goals!
Setting goals is great but when you start too big or too impractical to fit into your life, you’re likely to fall short and feel like a failure. But you’re far from a failure. If you’re doing ANYTHING to better yourself, you’re a GREAT SUCCESS!! Seriously.
Take your goals and slash them in half! Then it will be easier to create the habit, which you can expand once it’s in place.
Would love to journal every day? Start by writing down just 3 things you’re grateful for once, twice or even three times a week.
Would love to sleep better? Go to bed 5, 10 or 15 minutes earlier than you normally do.
Focus on what you want, not on what you don’t want. It’s like driving or cycling into a curve - you have to look where you want to go or you might go off the road you’re intending to go down.
Want to eat healthier? Set a goal to eat at least 2 vegetables per meal.
Have physical goals? Focus on how you want your body to FEEL and how strong and beautiful it is, not on what’s wrong with it.
Banish the all-or-nothing mentality! If you miss a step in the morning, the whole day isn’t a write off!
Create a Plan A, B, C and D for your goals so you can reroute when things don’t go according to plan.
Miss your morning workout? No problem! Go for a run on your lunch break. Miss that? Go snowshoeing after work! Miss that? Restorative yoga before bed!
When you change your mindset, you remove barriers to the behaviours you want to adopt.
Make 2018 your best year yet by creating small, constructive and flexible habits to achieve your goals!
With a newborn daughter that’s certainly what I’ll be doing! Creating teeny tiny goals, being constructive by keeping focused on the positive, and being super duper flexible.
✳️ Getting outside or to the gym every day, no matter how exhausted I feel, because it always gives me more energy, even when I think it won’t
✳️ Eating more vegetables and less sugar. I’ll admit that I let my usual nutrition rituals slide a wee bit while I was pregnant 😜
✳️ Creating new PM rituals. I haven’t read a single book since Bronwyn was born (I used to read a book a week), and I’ve only written in my journal thrice since she was born (I used to write every day) because sleep wins every time
She is just like her daddy: totally chill and gorgeous.
We had a very speedy beautiful natural labour and delivery at home, but once she arrived mom and baby had to take a ride to BC Women’s.
For as-yet-unknown reasons my placenta detached early and my body knew I needed to get sweet little B out fast - there was no pre-labour prep: strong contractions started 2min apart, 1min in duration, and she was born 10hrs later, not breathing and I lost over a litre of blood.
Our incredible midwives from Pacific Midwifery resuscitated her while my rockstar birth partner, Mr. Barr, calmly called 911.
By the time paramedics loaded us into the ambulance we were both stable.
We stayed at the hospital overnight for monitoring, and have been home together, our little foursome with Charlie dog, just recuperating and bonding in bed.
Mom and baby just had another home visit from midwife and are both doing GREAT.
We are so in love with this little person, having her feels PERFECT. 💕💕💕💕
I think it's my greatest struggle so far as a new parent. Sleep, one of #TheLifeDelicious 5 pillars of wellness, drastically affects the other 4: Mindset, Movement, Nutrition and Connection.
Sleep deprivation messes with your mind, depletes your energy so you don't feel like moving your body, puts your appetite hormones out of balance so you crave sugary carbs (and nothing healthy), and hurts your connection to yourself (you don't feel like yourself, you feel like a terrible version of yourself) and others (you act like an impatient, unkind version of yourself).
In a recent Maclean's magazine article titled, "Yes, sleep deprivation is torture", the author says, "Medical science has demonstrated over and over that there is serious physical and mental harm caused by sleep deprivation."
In fact, the CIA authorized sleep deprivation for up to 180 hours (7.5 days) but later reduced the threshold to 48 hours (2 days), stating that sleep deprivation over 48 hours would now be considered an “enhanced interrogation technique.”
So if you, like me, have experienced this "enhanced interrogation technique" and felt completely unable to cope, I feel you. It's awful.
Get/accept help so you can have naps with earplugs and tune out your (looked-after-by-someone-else) screaming baby for at least 90-minute intervals. The change in outlook I have after these brief periods of reprieve is massive.
Movement is one of #TheLifeDelicious 5 pillars of wellness - an essential daily ritual no matter how big or small.
At 14 days postpartum I’m only just starting to go for short brisk walks, but I’ve been incorporating some form of movement since day 1, starting with pelvic floor and core exercises, and around day 7 I added some postural exercises like standing and sitting cat/cow, shoulder blade squeezes and chest stretches. Even though it takes extra mental and physical energy at first, and I’m next-level-exhausted, I want to train my body to be in proper alignment during the MANY hours I’m spending breastfeeding. These little movements take just minutes and have a huge positive impact on my energy and attitude.
And grateful Bronwyn and I got a gold star at our day 17 postpartum checkup 😊
We’re so lucky in B.C. to have midwifery care covered. Did you know you can give birth at home under the care of TWO midwives, who bring everything you’d need in case of an emergency - so you can feel safe to labour and deliver in the quiet, peaceful sanctuary of your own home. Even though we had to go to the hospital after Bronwyn was born, it was an amazing experience to labour and deliver at home.
Watch the video below now!
Rituals are habits, elevated.
Rituals are habits, prioritized.
Rituals are habits that serve you.
In the video above, I share tools for creating:
What powerful rituals are YOU already practicing?
If you focus on adopting just ONE new ritual that serves you, you can transform the quality of your life, and experience greater vitality in the present that will gain interest and grow with you… until you become your vibrant future self!
WNORTH is a boutique-style conference focused on providing a forum for women who are aiming for, or already on, a senior executive leadership track. Top female business leaders in corporate, public and entrepreneurial sectors, will come together to enhance their leadership training, engage in high-level networking and witness inspirational talks from global leaders.
Check out the amazing, first-to-be-announced speakers for 2018!
I've attended WNORTH Conference the past 2 years, and can't recommend this event enough!
In addition to totally inspiring speakers, empowering ideas, delicious meals, and a beautiful location, the networking opportunities are invaluable.
The collaborative, warm and welcoming atmosphere is apparent from the opening reception to the Scandinave social and closing keynote, with ample time to have real, authentic conversations and make meaningful connections.
To get a feel for the positive energy at WNORTH Conference, check out the 7 previous speaker videos below:
Hello! How are you?
I'd really love to know.
Arianna Huffington just said something (actually, a lot of things, but this one thing in particular) that I totally agree with on The Tim Ferriss Show podcast (see link below in my top 3 picks):
"I really believe that our stories can help others in a way that goes beyond science and data."
Sharing our stories is truly a gift – to ourselves and others.
Sharing stories is one of the most powerful and profound parts of the work I do through #TheLifeDelicious, whether it's private coaching, wellness retreats, corporate workshops, or lifestyle writing.
Do yourself, your friends, family and colleagues a favour, and share a personal story with someone you trust and care about today.
Then, take a moment to reflect on the positive ripple effect your actions put into motion!
Read/heard/watched something awesome lately? Please share!
Back to school, back to work, back to business!
Don’t you just love September for it’s new-year, new-start vibe?
It's exciting to gain new knowledge that helps set even clearer intentions for how you want your life to be.
As always, I get so much pleasure creating these roundups with you in mind!
I truly hope you get a few sweet nuggets out of the resources below, and are inspired to prioritize what you need in your life right now.
Watch the video below >>>
Forest bathing is translated from the Japanese shinrin yoku, which means, to take in the forest atmosphere with all of your senses.
Since the beginning of time, humans have sought out and benefited from the healing power of nature.
Many traditional cultures, like the Japanese, understand the incredible benefits to mental and physical health that come with being present and fully aware in beautiful, natural surroundings.
Modern science is finally catching onto this ancient wisdom and providing data on why nature is so critical to our overall wellbeing.
Chronic stress is a significant detriment to our mental and physical health.
Nature can provide an antidote.
Spending mindful time in nature helps reduce stress.
It's like taking a little time-out from the chronic busyness and urgency of work and life.
Chronically elevated cortisol levels can deplete our immunity, mess with our digestion, dull our libido, slow down our metabolism, and dampen our creativity.
Spending mindful time in nature boosts mood, and much more.
Nature Bathing, especially the physically-active kind (walking, running, swimming, cycling, etc), increases serotonin, which has been shown to improve mood, digestion, desire, metabolism and cognitive function.
I first met Jessica Slonski, owner and founder of the Pilates, yoga, physiotherapy and massage studio, last year when she came highly recommended as an expert for a postnatal exercise story I was working on (see link below).
Slonski was a professional dancer and teacher in Toronto before moving to Vancouver, attaining her Pilates certification from The Physical Mind Institute, and leveraging her understanding of proper body mechanics to specialize in mat work, apparatus, and pre- and post-natal Pilates.
Pilates has been the perfect addition to my prenatal exercise routine because of it's focus on posture, pelvic floor, expansive breathing, and core activation.
"Practicing prenatal Pilates will improve pelvic support and can allow for a more speedy recovery after childbirth," says Slonski, who leads a team of more than a dozen experienced Pilates and Yoga instructors, physiotherapists and registered massage therapists (RMTs).
Speedy recovery after childbirth? Yes, please!
"It may also help prevent injuries that are associated with the incredible process of growing a child and giving birth," she says. "Through supported workouts and poses, prenatal Pilates can be used to maintain good posture and alleviate recurring aches and pains associated with pregnancy."
"Prenatal Pilates also focuses on breathing and relaxation. As your baby grows, it is important to maximize rib expansion to allow for easier breath, while relaxation is particularly important in the pelvic floor to allow for the necessary expansion during birth."
Pilates will be the perfect addition to my postnatal exercise routine because of the aforementioned prenatal reasons (posture, pelvic floor, expansive breathing, and core activation).
"After childbirth, postnatal Pilates can help new mothers strengthen and recover from the incredible stresses that pregnancy and giving birth can have on the body," says Slonski.
"Having a child is a miraculous event but this process is hard on your pelvic floor and it will require rehabilitation."
In the postnatal story I mentioned above (see link below), Slonski shares tips on:
Plus, she shares 5 equipment-free exercises you can do anywhere, anytime to "target the areas new moms can struggle with the most":
I hope you’ve been soaking up a little sun, fun, and summer serenity!
Our summer has been jam-packed with incredible long weekend adventures, and productive short weeks at work.
Water is the theme that’s tied everything together – we’ve tried to dip our bodies in as many bodies of water as possible, from swimming in the ocean, to paddling around lakes, to icy-cold dunks in refreshing rivers.
Now in my 7th month of pregnancy, the weightlessness and invigoration of swimming feels like total bliss, and the feeling is significantly heightened by the natural environments we’ve traveled to.
What are you doing to elicit bliss? It’s so important to make time for bliss!
I hope this month’s edition of TLD Intel with give you a boost of inspiration to create space for mind-body-spirit invigoration in your life.
September 15 - 17 >>> Get Delicious Wellness Retreat at Four Seasons Resort Whistler
Reset mind, body and spirit this September at Whistler’s only Forbes Five Star resort with a pampering, transformative, all-inclusive weekend that guarantees you’ll leave with the tools, tenacity and drive to take action in creating the life you desire.
September 29 - October 1 >>> The Luxury Wellness Retreat at Victoria's Fairmont Empress
Treat yourself to a luxurious weekend of self-discovery, self-care and inspired action. Get unstuck and catapult your life to the next level! Following a dramatic $60 million transformation, the Fairmont Empress boasts a revitalized pool and beautifully renovated Willow Stream Spa – with exclusive access and treatments for retreat participants.