12May/15
How to Lift Your Mood

How to Lift Your Mood

Have you ever been in a situation that dragged you down and left you feeling heavy? We’ve all had those and it’s usually difficult to shake off the bad feelings. In the following video, I describe a small strategy that will show you how to lift your mood.

I like to call this strategy the human helium balloon. We all know how light a helium balloon is and you’ll use this mental image to make yourself feel lighter. This strategy combines effective breathing and visualization and much more since it uses your other senses.

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08May/15
5 ways to live an impactful life

5 Ways to Live an Impactful Life

5 ways to live an impactful life

Image courtesy of dan / freedigitalphotos.net

Most of life passes us by in a fairly uneventful way.

We are woken up by our alarms, digital or living, and then we proceed to shake the haze that is morning. We wash our face, dress for the day’s activities, eat some kind of breakfast or drink our life-sustaining beverage of choice and head out the door.

From here we interact with many different people, some of whom are predictable and others unanticipated. Most of the interactions are cordial at best, covering only the deepest level of interaction necessary to propel us forward to our next assignment for the day.

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05May/15
A Day of Mindful Eating

A Day of Mindful Eating

After filming my video on mindful eating, I wanted to take one day to film or photograph all of the food I ate in an effort to be more mindful. I also ate all of my meals and snacks sitting at our kitchen table, where we eat a majority of our meals.

As you can see, eating mindfully doesn’t mean eating in solitude. My family was around for most of the meals (and my son was there for the meals I didn’t post video of) and we enjoyed conversation and time connecting together. Eating with other people can definitely be a practice in mindfulness if conscious attention is being paid to your food and the sensations that are connected with it.

Do you practice any aspects of mindful eating? Share with me what you do, when you eat or things that you’d like to change to be more mindful. It is a process for me to be aware of the food I’m eating and to stay connected to the experience.

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28Apr/15
Why I hope I'm never the smartest person anywhere

Why I hope I’m never the smartest person anywhere

Why I hope I'm never the smartest person anywhere

Hal Brindley / freedigitalphotos.net

The other night while watching some playoff hockey, JF and I saw an advertisement for a game show called “Canada’s Smartest Person”. I haven’t seen the show so I can only presume it is a trivia and challenge show intended to test different types of intelligence, the prize being both money and bragging rights of being deemed the “smartest” (by a Canadian game show anyways, but that fact might remain unsaid).

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23Apr/15
parenting like a poker player

Parent like a poker player

Parent like a poker player

Stuart Miles / freedigitalphotos.net

Mornings with kids are tough. Especially when one of your kids isn’t a morning person and she has to be on the bus to school for 7:40am. Last week was particularly difficult. Every morning since Monday, the very first words out of our daughter’t mouth were: “Is it the fin-de-semaine [weekend] yet?” With which I had to reply with a sympathetic, “No, sweetie. It’s Monday” and again with each day of the week thereafter.

Thursday night, out of the earshot of the kids, JF and I said that we would keep her home Friday so that she could get some rest and then we could all sleep in (7am, lets be realistic here). So, we settle in Thursday night hoping for a long, restful sleep.

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20Apr/15
How to follow through on your commitments

How to follow through on your commitments

How to follow through on your commitments

Image courtesy of Toa55 / Freedigitalphotos.net

This past weekend I attended the 14th annual YMCA-YWCA Connexion Fitness Conference for fitness professionals. It was a full day of seminars, workshops and networking with personal trainers, volunteers and fitness industry leaders. The keynote address was delivered by professor of Sport Psychology and author Terry Orlick. Terry talked about the keys to excellence, and how there are seven factors to achieving excellence in life: Commitment, Belief, Full Focus, Positive Images, Mental Readiness, Distraction Control and Constructive Evaluation. He combines these together as a wheel, in which each one plays an important role and cannot bring success by itself, but must be working in harmony with each of the other factors.

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17Apr/15
Mindful Eating

Mindful Eating

We all need to be more mindful in our lives. Many of us eat our emotions, when we’re bored, or we are dis-engaged from our food. Eating mindfully is a way to connect more with the practice of eating, re-enforce a healthy relationship with food and it allows you to be fully present while eating. Here are five simple ways to eat more mindfully:

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13Apr/15
Life is a Restaurant

Life is a Restaurant

Life is a Restaurant

Image courtesy of Naypong / Freedigitalphotos.net

Life is like a restaurant, you have to choose what you’re going to get.

Have you ever been to a restaurant where nothing on the menu appealed to you? Or perhaps you experienced the opposite — you had so many options that you were overwhelmed and couldn’t decide what to eat.

Life can be a lot like that. Have you ever looked around at your circumstances and nothing appealed to you? Or perhaps you saw what everyone else had and wondered why your life couldn’t be more appetizing. The difference between a restaurant menu and your life is that you get to decide what gets prepared because you’re the chef. Sometimes life puts us into situations where we feel we don’t have any choices but to stay depressed and stuck. But the truth is, we can create choice.

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30Mar/15
Ode to a cribe

Letting Go of Sentimental Furniture

An Ode to a Crib

Our crib, vacant and ready to move on

Our crib, vacant and ready to move on

This past weekend I dis-assembled our crib. The crib that we picked out at the beautiful baby furniture store when we were expecting our daughter. The crib that we used for our son for almost two years after that. And now, our first-born is in school and our youngest is so definitely not a baby, with his parrot-like repetition of everything we say and his mouth-full-of-teeth grin. And so, the crib had been sitting vacant for over a month, like the baby clothes and infant-seats that went before it, no longer needed for it’s intended purpose. Without need of it, and with it taking up so much valuable-real estate in our home, you would think that I, a purge-happy minimalist, would have been thrilled to part with it.

The thing is, I wasn’t.

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23Mar/15
60 Seconds to Fitness

60 Seconds to fitness

“I don’t have the time” is an excuse we’ve all used for why we don’t exercise. It is true that it can be difficult to take the recommended 30-60 minutes each day to dedicate to exercise. Fortunately, studies* show that even 10 minutes of exercise a day is enough to reap the benefits, such as a reduced risk of heart attack, diabetes and lower stress levels. So try this quick tip to incorporate exercise seamlessly into your day: Write a variety of exercises on pieces of paper (some sample exercises will be at the end, but hundreds can be found by searching “bodyweight exercises”) and place them in a jar. At various times throughout the day, reach into the jar and pull out an exercise. Aim to perform each exercise for either a set number of repetitions (10-20) or for 60 seconds, time well spent improving your health. Make time to incorporate exercise into your daily life and not only will your body reap the benefits, the endorphins released during activity will improve your mood.

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