Shed Your Skin In A Mindful Way

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As I have said before, I think that the human body is an absolutely brilliant mixture of art and science. Your mind may live in the past, present or future, but your body lives only in the present moment. It is constantly shedding its previous form without you even being aware of it. When it has finished with whatever it may have needed at a point in time, it gets rid of it immediately so that it can continue to grow and flourish and do its main job which is to get you through another day in your life. For instance, when you eat or drink anything, your body has a multitude of specialized systems to process what it needs and then rids itself of the unneeded waste.  It literally gets rid of shit.

Your mind could definitely learn something from the body. Sometimes it likes to hold onto things for days, months, years or an entire lifetime. If your body behaved that way, you would see the illnesses and diseases appear in a very short amount of time. Your mind is at its best when it is in the present moment. It is clear, focused and doing what it does best which is dealing with what is in front of you at this very moment. Unfortunately too many people prefer to live either in the future or in the past which are the worst places to be since both are really only in your imagination. Think about it, you really can only imagine the future. It hasn’t happened so all the dreams, plans, wishes, expectations or fantasies do not currently exist and may or may not ever come into existence. The same goes for worries. Worrying is just an imaginary thought process that you are spinning into things that will probably never come to fruition. Again, your imagination is at work and your imagination can be your best friend or your worst enemy. Don’t let tomorrow’s worries take away today’s peace.

The past on the other hand can keep you imprisoned in doubts, regrets, positive or negative memories that are no longer relevant or useful. All of which are again in the imagination. We have to use our imagination to bring back those memories because the events are no longer with us except through our minds. When we look back at something we usually remember it as something different; much better or worse than it actually was. Just ask 2 people who experienced the same event to tell you the story. You will get 2 different scenarios and memories.  Could haves, would haves, wish I hadn’ts, why did I do that’s, and remember whens. That is not you NOW and there is nothing you can do to change or re-live what has already happened. It will never be the exact same time. Your mind can keep you there in a make believe game of different endings but the show has already finished and everyone has gone home. All you can do from the past is remember through your imagination or hopefully bring any lessons into the present and pull them out in the future if need be.

Both are tricks of the mind. The body would never hold on to anything it can’t use now nor would it anticipate things that will probably never happen. Could you imagine if it did? You would be in a constant place of stress; racing heart, constant dilated pupils and quick and shallow breaths. You would not be able to function if the body behaved as stupidly as the mind’s ability. The trick is to try to get the mind and body on the same level or in balance. There are a few ways to do that with the most important being meditation. When you meditate the intention is for your mind to calm down. It doesn’t always work that way but it is the intention.  Another way that you can do that is by consciously making the intention to let the past go and stop thinking about the possibilities of the future. Live in the moment. That is your mind working for you a positive way like the body would.

I took this advice months ago when I made a bunch of drastically needed changes. It started with a big time haircut. For years, I had long hair which people used to love. It was nice, thick and strong and most importantly for me, easy to care for. People always identified me by my golden mane. I no longer wanted to be identified by any one part of my body so I chopped it off and you know what? People seem to love it even more. Funny, isn’t it? For me it was letting go of a part of me that was rooted in the past. I also made other big changes as well including shredding all of my diaries that I had kept from the age of 16.  I am no longer that person. I had a lot of fun in the past but I don’t carry around the same body, thoughts or ideas so off to the recycling world they go along with other reminders of the past including letters from past loves who are no longer relevant in my life, cards from friends and others from a long time ago and hundreds of photos. After much thought and a bit of hesitation( as I am a sentimental ,romantic type)I decided that if I was going to live in the moment then I should practice what I preach as it were so I let them all go and you know what? It feels great . Everything that surrounds me now is being used and has a purpose in this present moment. Like the body, my mind was ready to get rid of the waste.

We’ve all heard “The past is gone, the future hasn’t happened and the present is your gift.” Well treat it like that. Don’t miss the moment of now, good or bad. Be grateful for what is right now.  It is here to teach you something if you let it.

Which of the three do you spend most of your time and thoughts in?



The Best Of You

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Every time I hear someone say they are a perfectionist, I cringe. I actually feel bad for them and yet they  seem to wear it as a badge of honour. I think that we are all perfect imperfections. That is what makes us unique.

We all have amazing talents and gifts to give to others and the world; many have just not discovered theirs yet. When you go inward you will see just how perfect you are and the need for wanting to project a false image of perfection to others will simply dissolve.

I think that instead of claiming, “I am a perfectionist” one should declare” I try hard to show up and do the best that I can in every situation. Sometimes it happens and other times, not so much but I will keep trying.” That I think is a much gentler way to live.

We humans need to learn. That is why we are here, isn’t it? We need to make mistakes and we need to learn how to fix them. We need to fail and we need to fall.

Show off those bumps, bruises and scars that you have earned. They show that you had lived and you have experienced life. We need to grow into ourselves and we don’t get that chance if you perceive yourself as anything other than perfection just as you are;  a human being, being human. Let’s hear it for Impurfekt   PERFECTION.YAAAAAAY!

What’s been your biggest screw up lately?

Fear and THE EGO

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ego_fearThe EGO gets all caps because it thinks that it is THAT important. It only is if you allow it to be. Everyone has their own opinion of what the ego actually is and where it lives.

I think of the Wizard of Oz when I think of the ego. Do you remember the scene where Dorothy and her friends get to the Emerald City to see the Wizard? There is a huge impression of this all empowering man with flames and an amplified powerful voice to match. Well the smart little dog, Toto opens up the curtain and reveals this little man who is no more powerful or magical than any other person. In fact, at the moment when he is revealed he is actually more cowardly than the cowardly lion. I think that the wizard represents fear and the curtain protecting him is the ego.

In your life, you are the boss and you have an assistant, named Fear. Fear’s assistant and the body guard of you both, is named EGO. They both are so well known that they each only need one name. There is no need for EGO if there is no Fear because there is nothing to protect. You, without fear need no EGO. The best thing is to fire both of them because they really are of no help to you.

Fear is a tricky one; he is constantly in disguise like a rock star or head of state. He can check in anywhere and anytime under an alias like worry, insecurity, hate, anger, jealousy, envy, resentment. It doesn’t matter what he calls himself though because he is still just plain old Fear. He may fool some, but not all.

Mr. Fear doesn’t want you to stray too far from him because then you may come to the conclusion that his days are numbered  so he keeps distracting you and telling you negative, scary stories to keep you under his thumb. When opportunities arise for growth, he’ll push his friends Worry, Doubt and Indecision forward to do his dirty work. They will convince you that you’re not smart, attractive, educated, creative, rich (or many other falsehoods) enough to succeed. ” You’re attempting something where you’re gonna fall or fail so why bother even trying. Don’t do it, don’t go there or try that. It’s scary. It’ll never work; you’re going to get hurt.” And then to top it off, they’ll all scream in unison, “WHATEVER YOU DO, DON’T LOOK BEHIND THE CURTAIN!  Stay here with us. We can make some popcorn and watch TV and do nothing so that WE, um I mean YOU don’t get hurt”.  That’s Fear’s main job; to stop your growth by keeping you unbalanced, unstable and always questioning yourself.

Then there’s bodyguard EGO. He is the” yes” man; always ready to boost you up. When you’re wrapped up tightly in the insecurity blanket that has been woven by Fear with echoes from your past as well as doubts about the future, EGO will step up and state the complete opposite of what Fear has told you.  “You’re more attractive, smarter, faster, richer, BETTER than anyone else in the whole wide world. You’re different, special, THE BEST. In fact, you are sooooo special that I will keep you separate from all others. That’s my job.” And that is usually all it takes to fool and confuse you while keeping you under his control.

Fear and EGO are both doing what you are allowing them to do, which is playing mind games with you so that you won’t leave them behind. They don’t want you to know the truth and the truth is that you are as special or non- special as everyone else. We are all the same and the only things that make us believe otherwise are Mr. Fear and bodyguard, EGO. The biggest fears that they have are you  throwing the  well -worn blanket away, taking the step forward and away from them and pulling back the curtain to find a shiny, new superhero cape with the word LOVE embossed on the front of it.

As you gently pull it over and around your shoulders, everything changes because Fear and Love cannot co-exist in any situation; they are not even acquaintances. You can think and act out of love or you think and act out of fear but not both together. It is as impossible as trying to sneeze with your eyes open. Can’t be done.

The best thing about all of this is that you have the choice and when you choose to think, act, and live in love, Fear and EGO , like the Wicked Witch of the West, will simply melt away. BE GONE!

Pay Attention!

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I heard a great quote a while back that really stuck with me.

“The greatest gift you can give another is the fullness of your attention”

We all know how you feel when someone is really listening to you and we know what it’s like when someone is not listening to you, especially when they think they are.

There is a really good reason why we have 2 ears and only one mouth. We should be listening twice as much as speaking.

Communication is hard at the best of times but when you are trying to express yourself verbally and the receiving party is distracted, interrupting, talking over you or interpreting what you are saying in a completely different way, you know there is a communication breakdown.

I believe that one of the reasons that the wisest people become wiser is because they have figured out that when they speak, they learn nothing but when others speak and they listen, they learn everything.

For the most part people will not remember much of what you said or did but they will remember how you made them feel and people feel validated when you truly listen to them.

Speaking of communication breakdown, there are a few good bands that wrote songs in the 70s with that title; one being a legendary British band and the other by a Canadian band. Do you know who they are? If so, score some bonus points with me and list them below in the comment section. Songs that have talk in the title? You’ll still score some points.

It’s time to use that imagination muscle. I have faith in my music friends that follow this post. You can find both songs on Youtube and they are in my opinion, best played really loud. Always getting some music references in when I can. YAAAAY!

My Journey Into Meditation

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Meditation cartoon

Many thoughts and images can be conjured up by just hearing the word meditation. It can be intimidating to some and for that reason they will never discover the many benefits of spending quiet time with themselves.

Just like everyone else I had a time where it seemed like everything was going wrong and I needed to do something different. At a point like that, there are many options to deal or not deal with the struggles and knowing myself the way I do, I knew that I had to deal with mine head on and in a positive way. I kept seeing these quotes that resonated with me and all of them were supposedly said by Buddha.

Being an open and somewhat adventurous person, I thought that going within to help with the struggles on the outside might be a good place to start. I also thought if I’m going to do it, do it right so off I went to a Buddhist temple for a meditation class. As soon as I walked in, I could feel the calm surrounding me like a comfortable blankie. I had no idea what to expect but remained open to whatever the experience was going to teach me. It was a midday class so there were only a few participants. I figured that was good; the less distractions that there were, the better.

What I realized about meditation is that you’re going to have thoughts going through your head but just like when you are working out your body you are exercising your mind when you pull it back into nothingness. Use that muscle to get back into it. The more it pulls away the more you gently pull it back. You will get stronger and it will become easier to clear your thoughts each time you do it. There is a reason why CEOs and other leaders are taking up meditation; the reward value. You need nothing more than a commitment to do it. They say that the people who complain that they have no time to meditate are the ones that need it the most and should be doing it twice as long.

Another thing I found was how emotions may come into play. A few times while meditating I could feel a tear rolling slowly down my face and had no idea why. It really surprised me. I just accepted it and realized that there was something way down deep inside me that needed to be released so I let it. I just let what was going to happen, happen.

A few times I have felt a warm ray of light like a sunbeam on my face. Initially I was surprised when I first felt that because some days when it was happening it wasn’t sunny out. I am certain that the warmth and light that I am feeling during those times are not coming from the outside but are pouring out from the light within. Depending on the day, my results with meditation are very different. Sometimes I really get into it and other days my mind is everywhere but where it should be so for those times I just am grateful that my eyes are closed and there are no visual distractions for a few minutes.

I try very hard to get meditation in at some point during the day and the earlier the better. It makes things clearer and I have become much more creative and thoughtful. I pay attention to everything including what I say, what I want to say but don’t, how I see myself,others and the world. No matter how I enter into meditation, I always get something positive out of it.

Calming the mind used to be difficult for me because my thoughts are always racing.I think our world has sped everything up-including our minds and we really need to just step off this crazy ride called life at some point every day and just be. We are human BEINGS after all so I think we need a little bit more BEING and less DOING.


The Monk who teaches at the Buddhist Temple always says, “A doctor can give you the medicine but it can only help you if you choose to take it.”

I say the same thing to my Personal Training clients.” I may spend 3 or 4 hours a week with you. I can educate, motivate , work your body and give you the tools to make the changes that you want to see but the other 164 hours of the week are yours to choose whether or not to implement that advice”.

I am a big proponent of personal responsibility. I always tell people that I chose the name of my fitness company for a reason. I believe that the “First Step to Maximum Wellness” is commitment and that the second step in any direction will take you somewhere. The direction and the destination are up to you.

What are you committed to in your life?

Do you meditate? If not, are you open to going within yourself?

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