Get out of the Self-Hatred Rabbit Hole

Today’s post is about self-love. This morning I realised I was being ultra hard on myself. I knew I was disconnected from my ‘true self’ because I felt anxious, angry, and defeated. Both my heart and mind were jumping and feeling jittery.

Do you ever feel this way?

I could hear the negative voice inside my head going over every detail of what is wrong in my life and what I am doing wrong and what the people around me are doing wrong. I was headed down the self-hatred rabbit-hole.

It feels so suffocating when we head down that rabbit hole, isn’t it?

Dr. Darren Weissman ( recently had on a radio show 17 Ways to Improve Self-Love. I would like to share these with you today:

  1. Acknowledge and verbally praise yourself. Remind yourself to be happy. Smile and be happy.
  2. Have fun. Laugh. Don’t take life too seriously.
  3. Learn ways to relax. Go for a walk in nature, meditate.
  4. Practice conscious deep full body breathing.
  5. Think inspiring thoughts – “I can do it” “Anything is possible”
  6. Dialogue with your body. What is your body telling you? Is your heart or mind jumping or jagged? And begging to be calmed down?
  7. Fill your life with beauty. Silence, flowers, nature.
  8. Take daily small achievable actions. Be forgiving.
  9. Acknowledge your efforts and successes.
  10. Reward yourself daily.
  11. Listen to your intuition and follow it.
  12. Let yourself succeed and own it. Be proud.
  13. Nurture yourself by imagining desired outcomes. You deserve success.
  14. Offer yourself affection – with actions, words, thoughts.
  15. Choose to think thoughts that bring inner peace.
  16. Gratitude is a way of life. Gratitude is who you are in motion. Look for what is good in your life.
  17. Nurture your inner seed of self-love. How can I be more loving to myself today?

Do any of these resonate with you? Do you have any tips on how you get yourself out of the self-hatred rabbit hole? Please comment below!

Namaste, Shannon

Add intention to your ‘to-do’ list

Happy Monday to you! Do you have a lot going on in your life right now? 2012 feels like the year to ‘make things happen’, doesn’t it?

I’ve been overwhelmed recently with the changes that are happening in my life. Starting a new business with my husband (was just an idea two years ago and we launched if officially last week), pursuing my own business venture and creativity, studying for a program that I need to finish by the end of the year and taking on new responsibilities at work.

These expectations to “make things happen” occassionally leave me feeling powerless and scared. What if I’m not doing it right? Am I going in the right direction? Am I setting myself up to fail?

For a few weeks now, I’ve been focusing on the work to be done. The steps I need to take in order to accomplish some lofty goals I’ve set for myself. I try and have my day planned out the night before to maximize productivity. I have schedules, to-do lists, action items, reminders. I’m set to make stuff happen.

What I have come to realise, is that when we get so focused on accomplishing our goals, the stuff that is already beautiful in our lives can get pushed to the back seat.

In the pursuit to cross items off my to-do list, I forget how far I have come. In the pursuit to help my husband launch the new business – I forget how far he’s come. I forget that a leap of faith can be very scary and takes immense courage. I forget that it is perseverance, hard work and faith that have taken us to this point. Courage, persistence, hard work and faith – these are such wonderful traits to have.

Today, instead of focusing on ‘getting things done’, I will switch my intention to nuture, support and encourage, because that is what I need to give myself today. I’ll add them to my to-do list, just to be safe!

Have a wonderful week!




Go ahead, get weird.

Are you ok with being considered weird? This morning, I realised I am not.

As I wrote in my journal this a.m., one of the things that came into mind a few times was I wanted to get my house cleaned and organized. As I sat and contemplated in my living room, my eyes were being drawn to the dirt and cat hair on the big picture window. “I should really clean that” I repeated to myself.

I decided, instead of going down the regular negative thought pattern that convinces me of my lack of time and domestic ability, that I would just get up and clean the damn living room window.

But, it’s 6:30 in the morning? What kind of nut-case cleans their windows this early? What if the neighbors see me? They will think I am weird.

Then, my epiphany – I don’t want to be considered weird. I don’t want to stand out. I don’t want to be different. I don’t want to rock the boat. Wow, if something as simple as an early morning window wash has me nervous – what else have I been holding back on in order to not stand out?

Are you scared to stand out? Do you recognize your strengths and full potential? Do you take action even if it raises a few eyebrows?  Today, let’s decide to stand in our own power – honor who we are as individuals, be authentic.

Sending you peace and blessings as I look out my sparkling clean window!

What devil have you been carrying around?

While on a run this morning I was listening to one of my favorite artists, Florence and the Machine. The song was Shake it Out. The lyrics from the song that stopped me in my tracks was “It’s hard to dance with the devil on your back”.

These words resonated so deeply that I couldn’t contain my emotion thinking about the devil that I’ve been carrying around for so long. And by devil, I mean thoughts, fears, stories, excuses etc. My devil has been telling me that I’m not good enough, I’m not worthy, I’m just in the way, annoying people. I still have lots of work to do to find out where this specific devil came from – I suspect a lot of it is from being bullied in school, never feeling like I fit in or was accepted – judging from the self-help section at the local book store, I have a hunch many of us feel the same way.

How can we shake these devils off of us when they’ve been with us for so many years? I’ll start by being compassionate. Our devils are so powerful, they must have something important to tell us, right? If I didn’t have my devil, I wouldn’t be sitting here typing this in a hope that it will resonate with someone and help them shake their own devil off so we can all step in to the people we are meant to become.

So many of us want a sense of freedom – are we all really looking for freedom from work and responsibilities? I doubt it. I suspect the freedom we are all longing for is to be free of our devils that are weighing us down, so we can dance, run, sing, write, play, love and laugh freely.

Yours in the pursuit. 



Reach for Compassion First

It’s amazing how travelling can teach us compassion. I was recently on an airplane returning home from a wonderful (and much-needed) vacation. My girlfriend and I ended up at the very back of the plane and I was sitting directly across from the bathroom. Not the best seat considering most people flying back were 65 plus and had the bladders of five-year olds.

Needless to say, that bathroom was a popular spot on that 3-hour flight home. At first, I sat trying not to focus on the continuous flow (pardon the pun) of flushing, squeezing by me, doors opening and closing, tripping, bumping my chair etc. We all know what it’s like in those cramped spaces. At one point, an older man had been taking quite awhile in the bathroom and the line up kept growing, 3…then 4…then 5 people stood in the isle waiting their turn. I sat in my chair, trying to ignore the tension as we all thought “what the heck is taking this guy so long!!?” I could feel everyone’s annoyance level creeping higher and higher, including my own.

Then a woman who was sitting a couple of rows in front of me got up. She had a sad and scared look on her face as she squeezed by the people in the bathroom line up. It was the wife of the man in the bathroom. She looked nervous. She was embarrassed that she had to come back for him. Her face became flushed as she knocked on the door and opened it to help him come out. He wasn’t capable of opening the door himself. He needed someone to help him.

All of a sudden I could feel my throat tighten. The annoyed feelings disappeared – I had an overwhelming sense of compassion. Compassion for this man who couldn’t open the door himself and the wife who was nervous and shy to come back for him. I stood in their shoes for a moment. I put myself in the place of the wife. Being married to a man for so many years and maybe he had had a stroke or something years ago and wasn’t capable of doing the things he used to do. How would I feel if that was me having to squeeze by all those people or what if it was me that was stuck in that bathroom, not knowing what to do.

At that moment I decided I need to reach for compassion first in any situation. In today’s world there seems to be so much disconnect between us humans – we get annoyed at each other so quickly. We don’t have patience. We don’t like people getting in our way or wasting our time. We get angry when people drive slow or walk slow. It’s time to flex our compassion muscle and reach for that first. Put ourselves in other people’s shoes – Maybe they are having a hard day? Maybe they have a sick family member they are worried about? Maybe they feel alone and scared?

Are you with me on this? Can you tell me about a time when you could have reached for compassion? I’d love to hear your ideas on how we can be more compassionate to one another. Please leave your comments below or click “leave a comment” under the date above. Namaste.

Are you pushing through your day?

I’ve been on “energizer-bunny” mode this past week with a couple of major projects due. I haven’t stopped. I realise that there will be weeks like this – working hard to achieve the goals  I set for myself – so I’m ok with it.

What I noticed though,  was once the projects were done, my body wanted to keep going and going. Here I had free time to relax and rejuvenate and my body was telling me to clean bathrooms, do laundry, wash floors, pay bills etc.

I really had to force my mind to stop pushing through the day. My back was killing me from spending a very long week hunched over a keyboard – I even took a couple of Tylenol it was getting so bad and I had kicked that habit years ago…You know, the habit of reaching for a pain reliever at the slightest twinge of pain…instead of listening to what your bodies telling you?

Anyway, after much debate with myself, I left the dirty laundry in the hamper and came to my yoga mat. Sitting on my mat about to start one of my favorite rejuvenation videos – I can feel my body wanting to jump up and “do something” – it took everything in me to stay put.

Well I did and it was the best thing I’ve done for myself all week. Taking time to stretch out and connect with my body. My back feels much better and my mind 100% clearer. The remainder of my day feels so much lighter now that I’ve stopped pushing through the day.

How about you? Are you pushing through your day? Are you jumping all over the place without tuning into your body? Is your body telling you something – or maybe it’s screaming at you now by showing you pain somewhere. Please comment below and tell me how you handle it. Namaste, Shannon

Simplify Your Life – Acquisition of Things (Part 1)

Everything we possess that is not necessary for life or happiness becomes a burden, and scarcely a day passes that we do not add to it.  ~Robert Brault

Spring is here! It’s a time for new beginnings. Time to bring new and fresh energy into our lives. A great time to simplify so you can really focus on the areas of your life that you want to grow and expand!

What does simplicity mean to  you? Could you remove “stuff” from your life (material or otherwise) to create a more simple life-style? Spring is always a great time for that, isn’t it?

I believe that simplicity is knowing what you value and using life’s wealth (time, money, energy etc) focusing on what you deem to be important. When we understand what we value most in life, we don’t waste this precious life wealth by following advertising or keeping up with the Jones’s.

I am in my 30’s. I once heard it referred to as the Acquisition Years. It’s the decade that we bring so much into our lives – the wedding, the spouse, the kids, the house, the cars, the toys, the debt and the careers to pay for it all….pressure, or what!!??

In order to avoid this pressure & maintain a sense of balance (financially & with material things!), I’ve given a lot of thought to what is really important to me. Here are some of the things I’ve realised:

Keep my Home Simple – I love a modest well-kept home. I don’t want a huge house to clean. A couple bedrooms and bathrooms, a good-sized kitchen to cook & entertain in. A must is a private backyard that I can garden and spend time relaxing in. Big house means more stuff to buy to fill it with. How much space do you need? According to US Census Bureau, 60 years ago the average new home was 800 square feet, today it’s over 2,300!

Where I live is important – I love living in a city. My grocery store is within walking distance and so are many local amenities.  I work from home, but it takes my husband less than 10 minutes to get to work. Years ago I lived over an hour away from where I worked and so did my husband – we spend about 2 hours each day driving to and from work & the stress from these commutes would leave us tired, miserable, and irritated by the time we go home. Never again. Here is an interesting video I’ve watched on this very topic –

Older Furniture is OK – I would say 80% of the furniture I have is second-hand. My bedroom furniture (minus the bed!) was given to us when we bought our first condo (10 years ago), the elderly man didn’t have a use for it anymore and asked if we wanted it. We took it; sure it’s a little old fashion, but it was in perfect condition. Plus, we kept it out of the landfill & we were able to save the money we would have spent acquiring all new furnishings.

Older Vehicles OK Too – Would you give money to a stock-broker if he told you he would put it in an investment that was guaranteed to drop 20% in the first year? You’d think he was insane, right? Well, that’s what we do when we buy brand new vehicles. Did you know that Warren Buffet, one of the wealthiest men in the world – worth $44 Billion, still drives the Lincoln Town Car he bought… in 2001!!?? Oh and his license plate is “Thrifty”.

Get a library card – I only buy a book if it’s something I want to read over and over again. Otherwise, I get it from the library. Most libraries have an on-line search where you can search & hold a book right from the comfort of your own home & an email comes when it’s ready for pick-up!

Clothing – I’m still learning with this one.  I don’t have a lot of clothes, but I still have a habit of buying clothing I don’t really need. I recently went through all the summer clothing that I have and got rid of anything that doesn’t fit or I didn’t like how I felt while wearing it. I then thought of a few items that I could buy that would help utilize what I already had (i.e. a new pair of shorts that would go with 3-4 different tops that I have). Shopping with an intention helped me focus on what I was really after & I ended up coming home really happy about my purchase and a fatter wallet!

Stay tuned for more ideas on simplifying your life!

Do you make purchases with intention? Do you have any tips on simplifying your life? Did any of the above resonate with you? I’d love to hear your comments or ideas, please post them below.

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