The top 3 secrets moms need to know for more money with Luci McMonagle

Meet Today’s Guest:

Luci McMonagle

Once having to choose to eat crackers to feed her son and keep a roof over their head, Luci McMonagle understands the choices that some moms have to make. She struggled for over 18 months. Finally, she was able to break free and transformed her poverty stricken life that as filled with tragedy into a life of abundance, wealth and joy. Despite all odds Luci has risen to become a highly sought after Miracles and Magic Abundance Coach, Author and Speaker that hosts the renowned Wealthy Wednesday Show.

For more info:

Money is such a sensitive topic for most of us, fraught with limited beliefs, social mores and judgment. In this episode of Vibrant, Powerful Moms, Luci guides us in setting the stage so that money can flow to us easily and in abundance.

Making friends with money is the first secret, Luci explained, even when you have a very busy and hectic life. It’s so common for women to notice when they don’t have enough money, without really giving the time and energy to understanding how their money is flowing. If you want more of it, you have to open yourself up to see how it is coming and going in your life.

Secret two, says Luci, is to get stress under control. Too much stress blocks abundance from flowing your way! You simply must have tools to calm and center yourself on a regular basis. These don’t have to be fancy or complicated – deep breathing can have a positive effect. What’s important is that you actually use them!

Here’s a tip that Luci shared to help moms deal with not having enough time in the day:

Join your thumb and pointer finger (or any other finger that feels comfortable) while at the same time putting the tip of your tongue on the mound right behind your front teeth.  Breath in deeply through your nose 3 times, holding after the inhale, then exhaling everything out still through the nose.

As you breathe, think – Focused, Balanced, Centered – and see these feelings flowing through you all the way to your toes. On the exhale, release anything that doesn’t align with those 3 words.

This simple task actually slows down time – which means you’ll feel calmer, less stressed and find yourself with more time to get things done.

Luci shared her thoughts on intuition and what we can do to reconnect with this important messenger. She touched on meditation and provided simple ways every one of us can bring some of this important quieting of the mind into our daily life.

She even provided a tool to help clear traffic so that you can make it to your destination safely and in perfect timing when late for something!

“Amazingly lights will change, cars will get out of your way and your drive will go as smoothly and as safely as possible. Sometimes, even though you still arrive late, you’ll get there to find the people you were rushing towards aren’t quite ready for you so you truly are right on time.”

The 3rd secret to attracting abundance with ease centers around getting into the flow of life.  You are moving towards having a life filled with abundance, joy and happiness when you use your tools to decrease stress, reconnect with your intuition and calm your mind in your everyday life.

Luci shared ample tips for doing all of these things, so listen to the podcast to get all the goods…you will be abundantly grateful you did!

One final note… Luci closed by sharing a wonderful and surprising gift for moms so that they can enjoy crafting and attracting abundance with their kids.  Be sure to check it out!

Resources mentioned by Luci:

Book: Magical Money Manifestation – blog;

Check out the Wealthy Wednesday show – podcast and youtube videos

Pick up your Wealthy Bohemian Money Pouch instruction here and start attracting abundance today!

If you enjoyed this podcast/article please like/rate/review and subscribe… that’s what keeps us going! Click here now to enjoy our other podcasts.

Interested in the names & products we talk about on the show? Check out our Vibrant Mentions Pinterest Board!

Controlling Your Ego

Originally posted as: Stopping Your Ego From Running the Show [August, 2016]

Today I would like to discuss something that some of you will be more than ready for it, while others might hesitate to go there with me. This doesn’t make anyone ‘better’ than the other – this is simply where we are at in our individual journeys and there is nothing good or bad, right or wrong, better or worse about it.

My hope is that if this conversation is new to you, you’ll hear it with an open mind before deciding how you might or might not integrate it into your life. On the other hand, if you are already well into understanding and playing with this idea, I hope you will enjoy hearing my thoughts on it and see how what I share supports and perhaps even adds to what you already know.

Now that I’ve got your curiosity flowing and wondering what this exciting topic is… I hope you’re not disappointed to learn that today we are looking at the difference between your ego and your Higher Self. Specifically I’d like to share why you need to know about these two different parts of who you are, how they influence your behaviour and how you can get them working like the team they are meant to be.

This is an important topic to be aware of because left unchecked your ego will try to run things which is a problem, because it’s better equipped to ruin things than to run them when working on its own. You’re likely familiar with people who allow their ego to run the show, as well as those who have really big inflated egos – often it’s the same person!

These people are hard to be around, because they are constantly trying to build themselves up at the expense of other people. They take credit for things that don’t belong to them, refuse to take responsibility for their mistakes and really don’t care who they step on to get where they are going. They believe the world owes them something and they are determined to collect. They tend to buy-in to scarcity thinking – the idea that there is not enough to go around…so they are afraid that if they someone else excels in life, there will be less for them.

Thankfully most people aren’t ego-maniacs. They have enough social awareness and empathy for others to recognize that living as if the world revolves around them and them alone can result in a very lonely existence. So they learn instead to refrain from bragging all the time or forcing their opinions. Perhaps they even figure out how to accept responsibility for their own actions and buy into the notion that hard work pays off, so keep your nose out of other people’s business, work hard and you’ll be fine.

Despite this, they often still find themselves believing in scarcity rather than abundance, or feeling others are sometimes to blame for their difficult situation. They react strongly when they are hurt and might experience jealousy when someone around them does well for themselves.

On the flip side of this thinking you might also find the person who believes they aren’t good enough – certainly aren’t worth talking about much less bragging on – and refuses to stand up for themselves because to do so could illustrate to others how unworthy they are. When this happens the ego is still running the show – only it’s bought into victim thinking.

If you want to lead a vibrant and powerful life, you must become aware of the different aspects affecting who you are and know how you can plug in to that part of you that has your best interest at heart. In other words, if you haven’t already, it’s time to switch off of autopilot and move more permanently into the realm of conscious living.

Let’s meet the ego…

Several years ago I heard Sonia Choquette, a gifted intuitive, speaker and author, talk about the ego as if it was our faithful companion – a loyal pet like a dog – to be loved and enjoyed. “You don’t go home and kick the dog,” I remember her saying, “but you also don’t let the dog run the show.”  These few words literally changed my understanding of the ego and my ability to keep it in its place.

Your ego is the human side of you. It feels, fears, gets jealous and reacts. Just like a dog, it might bite when threatened or curl up in dread and pee on your shoe. Left in charge, the dog will run the show the way it thinks the show should be ran. If you’ve ever had a dog that decided someone shouldn’t be in your house when you wanted them to be there (maybe the guy fixing your air conditioning; your new romantic interest; or your sweet, little aunt whose come for a visit), then you know what it’s like when a dog uses its own limited perspective to make decisions.

Because the ego is the human side of you – and therefore the part you can feel most easily – it will naturally try to be in charge, unless you teach it otherwise.

Your ego is in charge when someone says something to you and you feel a need to correct them, excuse your behaviour, compete with what they have said or blame someone else. Only the ego will take things personally, become defensive, act overly confident and try to bring others down a notch.

Despite this, your ego is not something you would be better off without. In fact, the ego is what makes you human, so to get rid of it would not be desirable at all!

Introducing… Higher-Self

On the other hand, the Higher Self is the spiritual side of you; it is the soul. If you believe in this idea, it is the part that is connected to all. The Higher Self does not judge, blame, feel or panic. It is not limited to your human body – so it has no fear of getting hurt, dying or even doing things wrong. Every experience is a learning opportunity to the higher self so it doesn’t take things personally, or get upset if it’s ignored.

Your Higher-Self has access to Divine wisdom – which means you know (or at least have access to) way more information than you think you have. You may have experienced this when you’ve suddenly had an idea, solved a problem or given an answer to something and then wondered, “How did I know that?”

Of course, this doesn’t mean that your Higher-Self will automatically answer all questions for you  – you are here to learn and it will help you do that. It also doesn’t mean it will protect you from all challenges in life…sometimes the path you must go down will feel anything but pleasant.

If there is something that needs to happen in your life for you to evolve, the Higher-Self will not help you avoid it. It always has your best interest at heart, but at the time you might not agree with what it labels as best for you.

I find it helpful to keep this in mind and when something happens where I would like to flip into that place of “why me?” or “It’s not fair!” To instead remind myself that – as yucky as it might be – it is happening for a reason and the sooner I accept that and start whatever healing needs to happen, the faster I will get past it.

Just because you’re Higher-Self is a part of you and it has a connection to the Divine, doesn’t mean you are constantly plugged in to it. It can send you messages through your inner wisdom/intuition; but to really guide you it requires your permission and request. Free will is a real thing and it can easily get in the way of you living your best life, if you let it.

Interesting side note that fits in with this…last year was reading a book called Prime Threat; Shattering the Power of Addiction (Joan Peck). This book is about her son who was addicted to drugs and in 2005 (at the age of 36) died of an overdose. What’s amazing about the book, is not what she learned while he was alive and she was desperately trying to help him conquer this challenge, but instead, what the son shares through a psychic – Medium (Cheryl Johnson)- after he is gone.

It’s a pretty amazing way to learn about addiction so if your life is touched with this hurdle in any way you might want to check out this book, but that aside, the reason I bring this up now, is because of something he shares about our world. He says that it was never expected for the density on earth to be as challenging as it is. The idea of negativity had never really occurred to the collective because that simply didn’t exist in their experience.

So, even though life is meant to be an adventure which means there will be ups and downs, challenges and karma to work through, it appears it was never imagined that people would be so fully disconnected from the collective and so strongly pulled by this negativity that they would feel super alone even when deeply loved and experience a sense of emptiness or immense void that they are searching to fill – which is where things like drugs, alcohol and other addictions come in.

Two things came to mind for me when I read this… one, addiction is not a willpower issue as many people believe, but a spiritual crisis of sorts, and two, that the separation between ego and Higher-Self was never meant to be as complete as it is for so many people.

To Sum it Up…

In summary, your ego makes a lot of decisions out of fear – fear of rejection, fear of embarrassment, fear of pain, fear of loneliness…and so on. It lives fully in your human body and as a result has a beginning (birth) and an end (death). Your Higher-Self experiences no fear, always has your best interest at heart, but it needs to be asked to be involved and it’s always focused on the bigger picture for you (namely – what you’ve come here to learn in this lifetime).

Also… and this is important, while the Higher-Self is a beautiful, pure, loving energy…it does not know what it is like to experience life on earth – only the ego really knows what if feels like to live in these dense energies. I remember, one of my clients back when I was working as a counselor at a woman’s shelter telling me her husband was so heavenly focused he was no earthly good. I think these wise words fit into what I’m sharing today.

To live a balanced life you need to learn how to get your ego and your Higher-Self working together. Choosing one or the other to do everything will not help you live a full and satisfying life. So keep this in mind as you work your way through this part of your awakening.

How do you reconnect with your Higher-Self?

As I already mentioned, the ego will naturally try to be in charge if it thinks it’s the only option. I was surprised many years ago now when I heard a fellow on an internet show say that if I wanted I could simply ask my Higher-Self to be in charge and it would comply. That sounded a bit too simple, but I decided I had nothing to lose and I quickly discovered I actually liked how it made me feel when I did this.

After listening to Sonia, several years later, explain the ego side of this equation, I learned my ego was not the enemy to be silenced and overcome, but an important part of my team that beyond all else was here to protect me. I learned to guide my ego to sit when it flared up because someone hurt my feelings, or threatened me or the people I love in some way, while still appreciating it for its efforts to help.

This has served me well and allowed me to learn how to be more objective; to turn on curiosity where normally stronger feelings like anger or jealousy might have been in control; and even to switch to love and compassion rather than attacking other people with strong harmful emotions. This was much harder to do when I believed my ego was opposition that had to be beaten into submission.

None-the-less, I am definitely still a work in progress – with good moments and bad rather than continual enlightenment. Let me share an experience from my life that really illustrated for me how the ego and HS can work together as well as how we are continually growing – no matter how far we might feel like we have come.

My Story

Not too long ago I had a close friend surrender to depression and take her own life. I was devastated. As you can imagine, the pain, confusion, hurt, denial … were all pretty intense.  Then anger flared up… I was disappointed in the system for not being able to help her; I was frustrated with the people who I believed weren’t as supportive as they could have been with her; I was hurt that she had left me without so much as a good-bye; I was shocked that she left the way she did. There was so much going on for me.

I allowed myself to process some of these feelings, but the moment my ego shifted into a negative zone –  blaming, wanting to strike out, holding a pity party – I recognized it for what it was and I would ask my HS to take over.

As soon as I did this I felt myself shift to that familiar place of calm acceptance. I was able to carry on with my work, talk to other people about what had happened and send love and light to others who were grieving her loss.

I processed a lot of feelings and shed many tears, but every time my ego jumped into anger, hurt or blame…I would pull myself out.

On the day of her ‘celebration of life’ I was in the shower thinking about my friend, feeling the loss and truth be told, kind of dreading the upcoming service – when anger surged through me again. It was so intense, it took my breath away.  While I was experiencing it though, the objective part of my mind had a thought, which was – wow I really have to work hard to keep my Higher-Self in charge, this is kind of unusual for me.

Suddenly my inner wisdom piped up, loud and clear… “Grief and loss are human feelings… your ego is the human side of you. The only way you can process these very important feelings is to allow yourself to be in ego.”

So it was actually my Higher-Self that kept guiding me back to ego!

Now this might sound obvious to some and a bit too much for others, but for me it was a huge ‘aha’ moment. Of course, my Higher-Self didn’t need to grieve – to it life has no beginning and end – death is nothing but a transition …but my ego very clearly needed time to feel and to work through each feeling as it came up.

Although I still miss my friend dearly, this experience turned out to be a huge gift as well. It helped me to see that part of integrating these two parts of my SELF meant asking my Higher-Self to coach my ego through strong feelings, like grief, and help it to process these emotions without giving way to them and allowing them to dictate my behaviour.

The death of my friend highlighted the next step in my ego-Higher-Self evolution.


Being the Bigger Person

Before I wrap up today by breaking up all I have mentioned into a step-by-step process, there is one more topic I want to touch on. A huge part of our evolution and learning comes to us through our relationships with other people. This is very difficult for the individual ego to deal with which is why it’s so often seen as the problem.

Being able to see relationships from a more objective perspective can really help to calm the ego enough to keep it in check, when you are ready to hear it.

You’re likely familiar with the idea of being the bigger person. This is when two people aren’t seeing eye to eye and rather than continue to fight, one person will decide to lay down their weapon… accept responsibility for their part in the disagreement and open themselves up to hear the other person’s side.

This is a tool we often teach as a way to help people understand that emotions feed off one another so if you continue to battle, the only way out is for one side to be severely injured. Laying down your weapon, on the other hand, allows you to stop this escalation and hopefully work through things in a more productive way.

The late, Dr. Stephen Covey referred to this idea in three of his 7 habits of highly successful people (seek first to understand before you are understood; think WIN-WIN; and synergize)

Your relationships with other people are critical to your success in this lifetime. Some people are in your life to push you to grow in very specific ways; others are connected to you so they can mirror things about you that are holding you back – like maybe a pattern, a wound, a limited belief; and still others are in your life to help you work through karma you’re carrying around.

They have agreed to help you in this lifetime and you in turn have agreed to help them.

It’s not important you identify what your connection with them has been set up to teach, but instead that you accept them despite the pain they might be causing you. To do this, you will have to be the bigger person quite a bit. This means asking your higher self to be in charge so that you can remain open to the learning and put your energy into evolving through what that person has come here to help you discover.

Sounds easy-peasy right? Not really… Just remembering to ask your ego to sit and using positive communication when you are hurting, or someone is pushing your buttons is a huge undertaking never mind all the other stressors in your life that you are dealing with at the moment.

Turns out, for this trip your ego will require a lot of patience, understanding, compassion, acceptance and a willingness to go deep – thankfully higher self can help you with all of that.

The Steps:

If this topic has resonated with you and you feel ready to give it a try, here are some steps for how you might put it into action:

Step 1: Ask your Higher-Self to be in charge and instruct your ego to allow this to happen. This is as simple as thinking or saying aloud: Higher-Self please be in charge; ego please support it in this role (simpler = Ego – sit!). When you tell your ego to sit, it will; however, you might have to remind it more than once like a puppy. Ego is the human side, we are here for a human experience…it will react and forget it’s not in charge, especially when you are just learning this.

I suggest you start with unimportant moments – like going grocery shopping; going on walks; having an easy conversation with someone (child, sweetheart, mother). Ask your Higher-Self to be in charge and your ego to be a support. Then as you continue with your task at hand, notice if you slip into judgement, feel friction from something that was said (anger, jealousy, resentment, fear) and, if that happens, re-assert that you want your Higher-Self in charge and ego to sit. This will help you recognize how often you allow ego to be in charge.

In time, work your way up to tougher situations:  parent-teacher meetings; difficult conversation with others; asking your boss for a raise…

Step 2: Start noticing the difference in how you feel, how you react to things and how things work out when Higher-Self is in charge. Often it’s easier to notice what happens when ego runs the show and then compare that to moments when you instructed Higher-Self to be the boss.

Example: Let’s say in the past you’ve had meetings with your boss or your child’s teacher that haven’t gone well – you’ve ended up overreacting; blaming; getting angry which means ego was in charge.  You have another meeting coming up, so before you go in, take a few deep breaths and ask your Higher-Self to be in charge. Remind your ego of its supportive role and then go in and rather than control your thoughts – allow things to flow as they come to you (you will be just as surprised by what comes out of your mouth as the other person).

In other words, don’t try to sound smart; to catch the other person up in a lie; don’t feed your emotional states with negative thoughts – just trust that your Higher-Self will guide you through. This is not easy in the beginning, but once you try it out a few times, I think you’ll see that things move in a positive direction pretty quickly and you actually sound smarter and better prepared than you would have if you had armed yourself with information and then put your ego in charge.

Afterward compare how things went – not just the outcome (because the other person could easily have been in ego), but the whole feel of the meeting (if you accidentally allow your ego to flare up, pat yourself on the back for recognizing it and try it again next time).

Step 3: As you become more aware of the differences between how the two feel, start noticing when ego is barking and take charge in the heat of the moment. This takes a bit of practice because once your emotions start to escalate it’s much harder to turn them off.  Once you get the hang of it you’ll be amazed at how much calmer, controlled and connected (or smarter) you feel. At this stage you’re starting to notice the difference between conscious living and being on autopilot!

When you find yourself getting ready to bite someone’s head off, judging, blaming or maybe you’re already yelling at them … take a deep breath, tell your ego to sit and ask your Higher-Self to be in charge. You might find it helps to say to aloud, “Wow, I’m getting pretty riled up about this, give me a moment to calm myself.”

Notice how it feels when you switch from the emotional ego to the objective Higher-Self, and make sure you celebrate as this is a huge step in your soul’s evolution.

Step 4: After you’ve got the hang of catching yourself in the act and switching to Higher-Self being in charge and practiced it for a year or so, start asking your Higher-Self to coach your ego when it’s dealing with something big. In other words, rather than asking your Higher-Self to take over, ask it to lead your ego and help it deal with the situation. To me this is like training a difficult yet talented apprentice. Thankfully your Higher-Self has oodles of patience… it’s only the ego that gets frustrated at how much work it takes.

I’ve only just begun this exploration myself so I can’t tell you much about it, except to say that we process emotions best when we allow them in and embrace them without allowing our thoughts to interfere or cause them to escalate. This is a pretty high level of awareness so it’s a starting place if you’re just new to tuning into your feelings or asking your ego to sit.

What I’ve found, however, is at this point I don’t seem to need to call in my Higher-Self as much… as she’s just always there walking with ego. The two pieces are integrating which ultimately is our goal.

As you play with all of these steps, you’ll find your Higher-Self slipping into the lead role more often and your ego quite happily running by its side. Like the master with a well trained dog, the two make an excellent team and are content when they know their place plus feel loved and appreciated for what they have to offer.


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What to Do When You Don’t Know What the H*** to Do: Key strategies for keeping you successful and sane, with Dr. Maria Nemeth

Meet today’s guest: 

Maria Nemeth

a psychologist and Master Certified Coach, helps purpose-driven people everywhere see their greatness and bring it all to life.

Designed and refined over decades of work with people all over the world, her Luminous Life Method™ turns timeless wisdom into practical skills that have helped tens of thousands to live and serve with clarity, focus, ease, and grace.

As Founder and Director of the Academy for Coaching Excellence, she has trained thousands of people worldwide in the nonprofit, for-profit, and governmental sectors.

She is a leading expert in leadership excellence, personal/professional development, and financial empowerment, whose work has been featured on The Oprah Winfrey Show. A lifelong agent of social change, Maria has contributed in areas such as civil rights, racial justice, women’s empowerment, health & human services, LGBTQ rights, and climate justice.

Maria is the author of two highly-acclaimed books: The Energy of Money, available in five languages, and its follow-up, Mastering Life’s Energies, both of which have given people everywhere a way to begin putting success principles into immediate practice in their lives.

In this half hour interview with Dr. Maria Nemeth you’ll learn how to give the brain a break, the four aspects of success, how to avoid “Trouble at the Border” and so much more. I’ve captured some of the wisdom here, but I suggest you listen to the show for all the goods.

Give the Brain a Break!

When your eyes are tired and burning, what do you do? It’s likely you take a rest from whatever you are making them do and help them recharge. Maybe you put on sunglasses, stop reading for a while or even close them for a moment to give them a break. The same is true when you notice your arms, feet, shoulders, or back are tired. You hear the message that they are running out of steam and you do what you need to in order to help them refresh.

What do you do when your brain is tired? Do you even notice and if so do you take action to do something about it?

When your brain gets tired you start receiving error messages instead of the information you seek. Similar to the “404 page not found” that occurs when the internet can’t find a page you are looking for, your brain sends you an error code in the form of  incorrect information, confusion, doubt or uncertainty.

It’s important you tune in when this is happening and take action to refresh the system. How you do this can be as simple as listening to music you enjoy for 5 minutes, taking a 10 minute walk outside, or reading something short and inspiring.

When you rest your brain it changes its operating state which means you can switch from stressed out or overwhelmed to refreshed and recharged. Similar to shutting down your computer so it can reboot and work out the errors, the brain is strengthened by a few minutes of disruption.

“Even 5 minutes can make a really big difference to your operating state. If you’re sitting for a long time, stand up and walk around. If you’ve been standing for a long time, sit and listen to 5 minutes of music.  The fight, flight and freeze part of the brain (amygdala) actually hijacks the creative part of your brain. By changing the operating state you take this primitive part of your brain off line.

Know that when you don’t know what the h*** to do, change the operating state of the brain and you will allow your voice of wisdom to come through and show you what to do next.”

The Four Aspects of Success

Maria has a fresh and interesting take on success which she uses to help people live a more meaningful life. She shared a brief overview of what this means in the interview.

“Success is not about how much you do, but about the quality of your results in life.”

Success is doing what you said you would do consistently with clarity, focus, ease and grace.

Clarity – is about becoming clear on what you really love to do, rather than just doing what you think you should be doing.

Focus – once you have clarity, learn to focus all your energy and attention on what is important to you. It’s easy to become distracted in life…so make the effort to focus your attention on what you truly value.

Ease – take small but definite steps towards a particular dream that you have. Taking small steps like this will produce ease, rather than struggle. Yes this will take you out of your comfort zone, but that doesn’t mean it has to be hurtful, overwhelming or too much for you to handle. Success is growing with ease.

Grace – the definition of grace is ‘unearned blessing’ and when you can bring this into your life in the form of gratitude you will be successful .

Trouble at the Border

There is something Maria calls “Trouble at the border” which is a natural phenomenon that we all go through when we are trying to do something new or different.  This can get in the way of us trying new things and actually implementing them into our lives.

For example, imagine you are looking for an exercise program you can do with your new baby at home. You’ve never tried yoga before, but when you read up on Baby Yoga and Me you decide it sounds perfect.  Although it looks rather easy, the moment you try it you realize it’s harder to do than you thought it would be. Your Monkey Mind kicks in (a Buddhist term that refers to the part of your mind that’s always chattering at you) and suddenly you are filled with doubt, uncertainty and a strong desire to put away the Baby Yoga DVD. I’ll try it next week, you decide, when I’m less tired or baby is more agreeable, or my new shorts arrive…

We all know that, when this happens you are very unlikely to ever try Baby Yoga again.

What is being experienced here, Maria says, is Trouble at the Border. Because you are trying to learn something that requires a new skill set it will take a lot more energy than you originally thought it would take (about 10 times more)! This extra effort awakens your Monkey Mind which is often focused on keeping you firmly in your comfort zone. Excuses arise to rescue you from this extra effort and, if you allow it to derail you, your new undertaking will wind up in the trash.

Instead of allowing this to happen Maria says, scale back the project to make it achievable, but don’t give it up completely. If you do you will miss out on many new and exciting things that if you stuck to it, would develop your skill set and allow you to grow.

When you try anything new…be it baking, painting, writing a book, learning a sport, taking a course, starting a job… expect it to feel awkward and challenging at the beginning and be gentle as you guide yourself through the process. Keep at it and before you know it you’ll be able to do it with ease and grace.

Maria shared nuggets about the one thing great moms always do, why being a busy-aholic will not help you raise great kids and even a great tip for what you can do in any moment of overwhelm or exhaustion to change things instantly. Listen or download the podcast and get it all!


Gift:  To pick up your FR*EE Life Blueprint Guide from Maria as well as access many other wonderful resources  sign up at


Why Kids Fight and How to make it Work For You

Original posted as: Sibling Rivalry [December 2016]

Today I thought I’d talk about Sibling Rivalry…definitely a parenting topic and certainly something that can help you be a vibrant, powerful mom.

So this is one of my few podcasts that will be most relevant if you have more than one child… however the ideas I’m sharing will also help teachers, daycare workers, coaches, grandparents and even those with only one child, but who often likes to invite over other kids.

In the case of Sibling Rivalry… There is so much emotion around it – it’s irritating, it’s hurtful, “someone is hurting my cub… but wait the monster who is hurting my cub is my other cub…what did I do wrong to raise such a monster?” The result, sibling rivalry itself can cause plenty of  GUILT – CONFUSION – FEAR, etc and awaken both your protective instincts and your moral alarm. If others are watching us it’s even worse!

2 common ways to view sibling rivalry

The way we look at Sibling Rivalry is going to influence how we feel about it and what we’re going to do about it… here are a couple of dominant beliefs around this topic:

1) Kids fight. Let them work it out and all will be fine… survival of the fittest….

The truth is kids are resilient and learn a lot from working out disagreements with their siblings.  Coddling and over-protecting our kids sends a message that they are not capable which means it damages their connection to their own resiliency and is not a good thing.

The problem is this way of thinking comes with a whole host of presumptions:

  • Kids come here with the skill to work things out
  • Parents have the self-control and ability to stay out of it or… If/when you do respond as a parent you’ll have no trouble ignoring your Mother Bear instinct and deal with it objectively!
  • The kids are equally matched

This way of thinking typically results in one or more of the following:

  • The one who is bigger or willing to hit lowest will win! This desensitizes the winner to “crushing others” in order to get their way = Bullying
  • The smaller or nicer one can often slip into victim and/or revenge mode
  • The kids grow up to hate each other and never have anything to do with each other once they leave home.
  • One or both kids develop trust issues

2) Sibling rivalry is bad and it is our job to stop it!

This is the exact opposite of the first way of thinking and it too has its problems. First it assumes a parent has control over their kids i.e. they can hit a  button on a remote and they’ll stop fighting with each other.

The second problem, is that anytime we believe we should eradicate something and move into FIGHT mode, we attract more of that negative (battle zone) type energy into our homes, which leads to punishment thinking and often causes the parent to feel like a failure when their kids fight.

A family that forces their kids to follow their every rule in a MILITANT style, is not teaching their kids how to think or helping them learn how to get along with others.

A new way to look at sibling rivalry

One of my main goals today is to help you form a new belief around this topic and specifically that sibling rivalry is not bad. Instead, it is an opportunity for your kids to practice skills that they will need throughout their lives. They need your guidance to learn how to do that, and you will need to set limitations on what is okay in your home, but having disagreements with others is a natural part of life.

Kids fight for a variety of reasons and how we deal with it is going to change depending on the reason.  For example, if they are fighting to get your attention (#1 reason kids fight) you will deal with differently than if they are fighting because they have excessive energy and simply need an outlet for it.  Becoming aware of the underlying cause of the struggles guides you in how to proceed.

Common reasons kids argue:

  • To get attention
  • They feel an injustice has been done (it’s the principle of the matter)
  • They spend a lot of time together
  • The family is a safe group to vent frustrations on
  • Their social skills are still developing
  • They are tired, hot, hungry, stressed, grouchy or otherwise bothered
  • They are full of energy and really need the physical release
  • They are not getting their way and they really want their way

Possible red flags of a bigger issue:

  • The have a personality conflict and simply do not like each other. Could be karma, could just be personality, in either case they have chosen this family to learn how to deal with this, so it’s a great idea to help them work through it.
  • To feel powerful; they may be being treated poorly elsewhere (and feel powerless there) so they take out on sibling or they may be learning that it is fun to bully others and get their way. In some cases, it is learning to manipulate rather than bully (like the cute little sister who everyone thinks is too sweet to hurt anyone!)
  • They are jealous or resentful of their sibling. Often this arises from things like one child having health issues and sucking up all their parents love and attention. Maybe they have special rules for some reason that seem unfair or it can even be clear parent favoritism.
  • They have a chemical imbalance that is interfering with their regular behaviour and causing them to enjoy hurting others (sociopath); or their brain is wired differently and cannot empathize, pick up on social cues or feel remorse.

These situations can be red flags and often suggest the need for more help. If you suspect any of these are relevant to your situation it would be a good idea to seek out further assistance in the form of parenting support, school social worker, mental health worker, family counselor, psychologists, etc.

Sometimes changing how you parent by participating in a parenting program or hiring a coach can create enough of a foundation for things like jealousy, resentment, bullying tendencies or personality conflict to correct themselves (or at least teach the skills needed to tolerate one another). Sometimes you will need to learn how to protect one child without severing relationships with the other one.

My point;  sometimes more intensive support will be required.

The Role of the Parent in Sibling Rivalry:

  1. Establish clear family boundaries; It is perfectly fine and in fact necessary for you to decide what is acceptable and not acceptable behaviours in your home. The problem is often we are not clear on what those boundaries are and we do not always share them with others. It’s not easy to enforce a boundary or abide by a boundary you don’t really know about.

So the first step to dealing with sibling rivalry is actually becoming aware of your bottom-line behaviours: What is okay, what is not, why is that important to you and how are you going to enforce them,these are the questions to ask yourself.  Talk them over with your partner if there are two (or more) of you involved in raising the kids.  If you miss out this part of the step, there can be confusion, inconsistency and over-reaction.

For example let’s say you have a 12 year-old daughter and a 14 year old son. Your husband also has a 13 year old son who lives with you alternating weeks. In your mind there is a rule that says boys do not hit girls and when it was just you and the kids you simply did not allow hitting.

When your husband joined your family 5 years ago the boys were often rougher with each other than your kids ever were, but your husband felt this was normal for boys and you let it ride. On occasion their roughhousing got out of hand, but overall they seemed to enjoy it and as long as they were in the basement you didn’t fret about it.

So what if one day you walk in the room right when your 14 year old son hits your 12 year old daughter?  The chances of you REALLY reacting in that situation are huge… in your mind it’s clear… he’s bigger and should know better, boys do not hit girls, that has never been okay and just because he does this with his step-brother does not mean he can act out in this way.

The problem: you think you have a clear boundary when in fact it is not clear at all. This allows for confusion, testing of the limits (which kids tend to do even when the boundaries are clear) and overreaction – even misguided anger at your husband – is very possible.

Make your rules as clear as possible and be prepared to explain them (especially in blended family situations). Have friendly discussion around them rather than introduce them as ultimatums.

In my house the rule was very clear:  You hit, you sit.  This applied to everyone and every love tap.  It had to be clear for it to work and it had to apply to everyone. As a result my husband had several time-outs for tapping my bottom in front of the kids as I walked by.  The clearer you are with rules like these the better it will be for all involved.

You do not need or want a rule for every possible bad behaviour… just be very clear on your bottom line.

For example:

  • We treat each other nice – nothing physical, hitting, biting
  • Respect each other’s property – we do not destroy things that belong to each other (creates trust issues and one-up revenge)
  • This is a Bully-free zone – you are bigger and stronger than your little sister…if you use this to hurt her or get her to do things she doesn’t want to do you are bullying.

2) Teach your kids social and emotional skills – often we are taught these kinds of tools in our work environment (getting along with problem customers, conflict resolution, being assertive…) yet we don’t always recognize this is something we need to teach at home. Your kids will be more open to the idea of learning these skills when they are younger, and modeling is the most effective way of teaching it.

Kids will benefit by being taught all kinds of skills, such as;  I messages, problem solving, empathizing, compromising, synergizing, active listening, being assertive …

If you don’t know what these are or how to teach them it’s a great idea to start learning. We become comfortable with a lot of these skills in the Sisterhood of Vibrant Moms, so please check out that option if you are looking for a way to do this.

3) Be aware of how you might be adding to the problem – if your kids are fighting to get your attention or to get the other child in trouble and you react, they score. This means you have become a weapon they are using to get their way and get the other in trouble. If this is the case you want to remove yourself from playing referee as much as possible while teaching them how to work it out together.

In my house it was clear, if you want me to be the ref I will put you both in the penalty box, so it’s in your best interest to work it out (following the boundaries we have in place) on your own.

You might also be the igniter, which means you add fuel to the situation by overreacting, stepping in when you were not needed, always siding with the one you see as weaker, etc.

Once you know what role you play you can decide whether or not what you are doing is okay with you. As long as you are oblivious to it, you will continue to create the very thing you are trying to eliminate.

4) Give them permission to disagree – Anytime you give someone permission to do something, you remove the power they could get by doing it without your permission.

What this means, is by saying something like: “You guys have the skills for working out disagreements with each other and from here on in I’m going to let you practice them.  Remember our house rules and understand it will always be in your best interest to work things out without involving me.”  When you do this you remove part of the “temptation” for fighting with each other.

If listening to them disagree drives you crazy, go to a different room, tell them to take it elsewhere or put on your headphones.

Some final tips

So those are 4 things to keep in mind when it comes to decreasing the amount of sibling rivalry in your home and even helping your child get along with other kids when they come over. The more you understand this challenge and work to use it in a positive and skill-enhancing way, the less your kids will fight and the more peaceful your house will be over the holidays.

There is a lot more I could say on this topic, but in the interest of time/length… here are some final tips to keep in mind:

  • People always believe they have a (good) reason for what they are doing
  • Any time you are dealing with sibling rivalry it is always in your best interest to stay calm and deal with the problem in a matter of fact way. The way you behave anytime an altercation occurs between your kids is always going to influence the learning, the potential outcome and the memory of the situation.
  • It takes two to Tango…even the sweetest, most gentle seeming child is fully capable of starting a disagreement and lying to you. If you allow this to happen you are teaching your little sweety how to manipulate others…which isn’t a life-affirming skill.
  • When you hear the words “I’m telling Mom!” know that you have become a power card in that interaction. It doesn’t mean you aren’t needed, but it is possible you are being played.

If you become the neutral zone – home free – no judgment, just a sounding board willing to give suggestions, they will stop coming to you except when they really need you. When my kids were young, my first response was – do you need a hug?  And my second was – What do you need from me?

  • Having a preset consequence will help you stay calm when you have to step in.

To supplement all I have shared with you today I’ve decided to share my sibling rivalry e-book as a gift! Be sure to pick it up before I put it back in the store.

If you enjoyed this podcast/article please like/rate/review and subscribe… that’s what keeps us going! Click here now to enjoy our other podcasts.

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Reconnecting with Your Secret Power

Original posted as: Taking Back Your Power [October 2016]

On my last two shows I shared some of my deeper (often more hidden) thoughts about living an awakened and therefore more vibrant and powerful life.

I know some of the things I’m sharing are a little out there for some of you, but it seems to me that we need to start talking about these things more – which is why I felt so drawn to connect with Transformation Talk Radio – because they get this and a lot of their shows are willing to go there.

“You can’t plant seeds if you don’t ever take them out of their package,” is the thought that pops into my head when I talk about this… and I’m letting this idea guide me.

So today, I’m going to share a bit more on this topic of awakening and give you a 3 step process of how you can reconnect with your secret power.

First though, I feel I need to address the question of Why Awaken Now – so that if you’re uncomfortable with the idea of rocking the boat, you might understand why it’s important we all do our part anyway.

Just for the record – I never would have described myself as a ‘boat rocker’ when I was younger. My personality is the peaceful amiable and to top that off I’m a Libra, so I’m all about harmony and helping people get along…and yet here I am, as Shirley McLean would say, out on a limb, sharing information and guidance to help people wake up and start rocking.

Where our world is at…

You likely heard about the shift in 2012 when the Mayan calendar ended and nobody seemed to know for sure why. A movie was made about it being the end of the world and all kinds of theories were put out there about why this was happening – everything from the Mayans simply feeling the calendar had to end somewhere to a zombie apocalypse.

What I really tuned into though was people like Greg Brayden who were talking about the amazing energies occurring at this time which suggested it was a sort of tipping point for humans where people can either wake up and start to remember their real reason for being…or they can allow their ego and the density (or heavy energy around them) to keep them disconnected and head into a very dark age.

December 2012 came and went and while it wasn’t a big deal in the news amazing things did happen. People started waking up. Women especially started stepping out of the shadows and refusing to settle for a mediocre life. If you doubt this do some searches on books, TED talks, reclaiming the feminine – summits, retreats, healing, and so on.  Not all of these women released their works or started their programs after 2012, but the number of women interested in this work and really feeling pulled to change things in their life has risen substantially.

I, myself had experienced a pretty intense accident in 2010 and for the next two years found I was opening up and receiving information like I never had before.

In November 2012 I released my book, Standing in Your Power which was based on the blogs I had written while I was healing from a major concussion and whiplash …some of them on topics I’d never even looked into before.

My sources tell me, this time span (2010 – 2014 ish) was thought of as the awakening of the lightworkers…people who had agreed to help guide others in this lifetime to awaken and live their passion. Some were awakened through major health scares, others through accidents and still others through miraculous moments (a visit from an angel). Many started to feel an intense unhappiness with their current life situation – especially work – resulting in thousands (maybe more) leaving their jobs to pursue a life in a different venue (like entrepreneurship). This was a big surprise to them and their loved ones since they had worked so hard and achieved success in a male dominated work environment only to now completely shift gears.

Tipping Point Take 2

Going back to Greg Brayden’s comment that humans have reached a tipping point…I remember a couple of years ago I tuned into a summit with guests who channeled some very strong entities. It was the start of the year (likely 2013) and although they weren’t doing predictions, they were sharing information about where we were headed if things did not change. One of the women was said to channel Mother Gaia herself – which we know as mother earth – and while I’m not very familiar with this particular channeler, the words she shared definitely struck a chord with me.

Before I tell you what she said let me take a moment and address the idea of a person channeling an energy from another dimension. For many of you this will not be a new topic…but if you are unfamiliar with this idea being real, then I recognize it could be hard to accept without some sort of explanation. 

When I say the word channel – if you’re not familiar – it’s very possible you’re only experience of it is with television and movies…where the person seems to be momentarily possessed and their voice changes, their eyes roll back and when all is said and done they don’t have any memory of what happened. This has not been my experience at all.

The channelers I’m familiar with; tend to hear messages, some feel a strong urge to write, draw or paint, while others feel a certain knowing or kind of see the message in pictures. A medium I saw last year could even smell and taste certain things when messages came through.  In every case, they don’t have to consciously think about what to say. In fact if they did they would block the message… so they are still fully aware – kind of like the 3rd person in a conversation where the other two are doing all the talking.

For example, if you are familiar with Ester Hicks who channels an entity called Abraham and markets her sessions as Abraham-Hicks, it sounds like Esther talking – she has a certain tone of voice, way of speaking and choice of words that is consistently there when she channels Abraham, but she, Esther, is still present and listening/interpreting the whole time she is sharing the information. 

Because she has been doing this so long and does it so often, I’m sure Abraham is with her more than not, but she could still at any time tell it to go and it would have to listen. In other words while Esther is allowing these words to flow through her, she is still in charge of what she allows to flow. Thankfully she trusts Abraham and you can tell by the amazing things that come out of her mouth she does not censor, make things up or hold back.

This is my more common experience with channelers. Often their voice changes slightly, although lately I’ve heard some who channel many different entities and sound unique with each one; sometimes they talk in a totally foreign language; or talk in very clipped words and so on. Some will go into the channeling state and not come out until the conversation is over and others will jump back and forth between the entity they are channeling and themselves. In every case though, they are aware and involved in the sharing of information.

In case you’re thinking this provides a channeler with too much leeway to deceive I’d like you to think about what’s happening when you read a non-fiction book. Although research and references might provide some ‘proof of truth’, we all know that data can be massaged, misinterpreted, and even misunderstood.

So when you read a non-fiction book you are simply trusting that the author is being honest and sharing what they believe to be true in that moment in time. For example, if you’ve read Elizabeth Gilbert’s book, Big Magic…one of the things she talks about is ideas bouncing around out there in the ether looking for someone to connect with.  She believes that if they choose you, you’ll be struck with this great idea…and if you don’t act on it the idea will shoot off to find another host. She has no proof of this, but she gives a very convincing argument as to why we should believe it.

Because Liz awakened a curiosity and built trust with many of us with her previous works– Eat, Pray Love (NOT the movie; but the book) – we are willing to read these much bigger, wilder thoughts and suspend our need for proof.

This is not that different from listening to a channeler speak except that they are speaking what comes through them and trusting it will make some sort of sense the first time round, whereas an author has more time and an Editor to help ensure their words at least read well.

If you’re struggling with the idea of this information coming through a channeler, try to let that go and just hear the words…as if they were from a book, a speaker, a documentary…or some other source of information that you are willing to hear, if not trust.

Okay…so back to Mother Gaia; In a nutshell what I heard her say was that humans cannot ruin the earth – nothing is happening that wasn’t agreed to in the beginning, BUT they can ruin it for themselves. When the earth can no longer sustain the damage humans inflict, she will shut down and go inwards to repair herself… just like we all do when we really need to heal. People would be wiped out because the earth cannot sustain life when she is doing major healing herself.

It could take many, many years for her to rejuvenate, but that is nothing for a non-linear energy like Gaia herself – it only matters to those who live in linear time like humans.  She ended by saying that humans would benefit by waking up and realizing that when they damage the earth they damage themselves as all is connected and a healthy connection is both very possible and impossible depending on our own evolution.

Whether these words were ideas being presented by the channeler herself or I was actually listening to Mother Gaia coming through this connection, I could feel the resonance of what she was saying right down to my toes and that scared me – because we truly need the earth to survive and yet we continue to abuse her in so many ways.

AND this is just one aspect of life…never mind the human relationships with each other (war, acts of terror, hate crimes).

So, in sum, this is where we are at – a tipping point, and I am talking about it… and you are listening, because these energies are pushing us all to awaken.

Reconnecting with Your Secret Power

Kari  Samuels says, “As you exercise your right [of free will], with every choice you either bring yourself further from your true divine nature, or closer to the truth of who you are.”

Awakening is quite simply when you move in the direction of your truth.

Some of you might be thinking this movement involves a huge moment, a ritual or initiation that will awaken you from a deep sleep and create instant, major changes in your life. That might be what it feels like for people who have a near death experience and it changes them forever or who live through a major trauma and find nothing looks the same after… but that’s not what we’re going to do here.

Those things are like taking a person to the edge of a chasm (a cliff where you can see the other side) and saying, “jump…I promise you will be okay.” When you have no choice because you’ve just choked on a piece of food and the light is coming at you – you might be willing to jump, but in our everyday, typical life…we need something a little easier to traverse. 

Instead, we are going to take the switchback (for the non hikers in the group that’s the trail that heads back and forth up or down the side of the mountain – it’s the long way, but it also feels a lot safer and gives you time to process).

If you find this trail is too easy and you are ready to accelerate or intensify the process, send me a message and we’ll discuss a more intensive journey where you control the pace but we can move a lot faster.

To finish off today I’m going to share a brief overview of one big idea that is affected by everything you do in your life – it is your secret power. I’ve spoken on it before a while back, but it’s worth talking about more than once and in different ways.

The idea that I’m talking about is Raising your vibrational energy…or at least becoming aware of it.

Everything in life is energy – including us. There is lower level energy and higher level energy and you have a fair amount of influence over the frequency you are putting out. When you practice compassion, seek to understand someone else, put your higher self in charge, allow yourself to dream, believe in the goodness of yourself and others, practice gratitude on a regular basis, and so on…you raise your vibrational energy.

When you criticize, blame, demean, give the cold shoulder, focus on the negatives, stuff your feelings, judge others, see only badness, strike out at others, etc,… you lower your vibrational energy.

The vibrational energy you put out into the environment, draws things back to you of the same basic frequency. Like attracts like… So if your Vibrational Energy is low because you are having a crappy day…you’ll likely notice even more crap starts coming your way.

Abraham-Hicks likens this to a radio frequency…even when wonderful music is out there, if you aren’t tuned into that station you will not hear it. That means the higher energy you sent out just that morning (before everything went bad), even though it might be bringing higher energy things back to you…you’ve now changed the station and will miss it!

This is the #1 reason people think the Law of Attraction doesn’t work!

Please understand, no one is saying you must always be happy, chipper, positive… that is not realistic – remember it is the major challenges in our life that help us grow the most and that means life will be difficult at times.

But, the more aware you are of how you react to things, where you are adding to any negativity by responding with your ego – blaming, shaming, framing; or holding onto hurt, anger, frustration…or how you are feeding negativity with your thoughts or even when you are trying to save or change others… the more aware you are of this, the more able you will be to lighten up, let go, search for the good and/or practice those things that help to make you feel better.

So, notice how your thoughts, your actions towards others, your self-care practices and your ego-driven moments influence how heavy or light you feel. You’ll find that feelings like relief, curiosity, acceptance and gratitude… are all raising points when you get stuck in lower energies.

For example, if you’re feeling frustrated because you are stuck in traffic, instead of focusing on the fact you are going to be late and feeding the fire, you might do some deep breathing and focus on the relief it brings as it releases some tension. You also might try singing or humming to a song you like to shift you into relief.

Don’t stop there…In good moments, focus on compassion, gratitude and trust, because these are feelings that will raise you to your highest frequency and ultimately that’s where you want to spend most of your time.

For those who like sequence – here’s are 3 steps to get you started:

Step 1: Notice where your Vibrational Energy is at (give a number from 1 –very low to 10 – super high) and become aware of what makes it fluctuate. For example, if you are filled with gratitude, feeling loving and compassionate towards yourself and others and believing you are looked after no matter what… you will be at a 10. If you’re angry, impatient, irritated, annoyed… you’re likely under a 5.

Step 2: Seek out skills, strategies and practices that help you raise your energy on a regular basis and especially when things happen to drop your level down. Shoot for the simple – breathing, movement, looking at puppies or kittens, going outside for a moment, stretching.

Step 3: Become aware of how things outside of you influence your Vibrational Energy and what you can do to avoid them if they bring you down or include them if they bring you up.

In the meantime continue to listen to my show, because everything I talk about is geared at helping you raise your Vibrational Energy and live your life on purpose.

If you enjoyed this podcast/article please like/rate/review and subscribe… that’s what keeps us going! Click here now to enjoy our other podcasts.

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The Game of Life

Originally posted as: Awakening [September 2016]

I’m thrilled that you have tuned in to today’s podcast because last week I was guided to launch a pretty big topic and my ego was a bit concerned it might scare some people off.

If you missed last week’s podcast and just happened to start listening in now, you might want to go back one week and give the previous one a listen first.

Assuming you feel you are in the right place, let’s continue our discussion. What we started last week was really a paradigm shift – a different way of looking at the world as we know it. Opening your mind and seeing beyond the fear-based, limited version of life that has been widely spread and accepted, is not an easy thing to do, so congratulations for sticking with it.

In case you think I’m just placating you, let me speak a bit more on this topic – there are many, many people so afraid to question the status quo, rock the boat or even stand up for their own opinion…this is why it’s so important we all reconnect with our power and remember how to stand in it confidently and proudly.

Their fear is not unfounded – in the past we know people were punished, killed and silenced in many terrible ways…and it’s actually quite likely you experienced that in a past life (perhaps more than once), which means the memory of it is still there in your subconscious mind – it’s part of your programming. I’m not telling you this to scare you, but so that you understand why you might feel fear, panic or anxiety as you continue on this journey AND there are ways to release those memories.

Thankfully, things have changed a great deal – at least in the Western World and it is time for us to take back what is rightfully ours and right the wrongs that have been happening. You might have heard that the Dali Lama said, “Western women will save the world.” This sounds like such a big project, but really it’s just about awakening, sharing what we learn so we help others awaken, and taking back our power – in loving and appropriate ways.

So today, let me start by sharing some of my path towards enlightenment.

My Story

My journey of awareness began when I was quite young with a really strong sense that there was more to life than was meeting the eye. My mom was a bit of a radical in her day because although she didn’t act out publicly (at least I don’t think she burnt her bra!), she did openly question things and still does. She read a lot of ‘edgy’ works at the time like Jane Roberts channeling “Seth” and all of Shirley MacLain’s books.

Although she was a fully trained RN, she quickly figured out hospitals were too restrictive for her and started her own journey outside of the medical system. It was my mom who solved my migraines that the doctors said I’d just have to live with (even though I was only in elementary school), and it was also her that started me down the path towards fixing my irritable bowel syndrome rather than just settling and taking the daily sedative my doctor thought was the answer.

She practiced Reflexology and Myotherapy – which back then (around 30 years ago) was barely talked about in Western culture. My point is, I chose my mother well as she taught me to question, wonder and seek answers. She also challenged me to not just blindly follow something because it made sense, but to look at it from many different perspectives and even then to keep my mind open to new possibilities.

My dad taught me a lot of things, but two pieces really stand out as relevant now. First, he taught me that I could do anything I really wanted to do and secondly, he showed me what it felt like to be loved unconditionally.

Another aspect of my life that spurred me to look for big answers was my confusion around religion. My parents took us to church when we were young and taught us to say grace (actually we usually sang it) and gave us each a bible. I was baptized in a United Church, but beyond that was encouraged to develop my own understanding of God.

As a teenager I often slept over at a friend’s house whose father was a born-again Christian and as a result an avid church goer. Often we were required to rise early (at least it felt early) on Sunday morning and attend their Baptist church with them. The conversations here seemed a little more punitive than I remembered from my younger years in Sunday School classes, but I wasn’t sure if it was me, the kind of church or something else that had changed.

When I met my Roman Catholic boyfriend at 16 and started attending church with his family I found myself surprised yet again. Now before I offend anyone listening, let me quickly say, it wasn’t the content of the service (this was all in French and I barely understood a word of it). What shocked me was the hypocrisy I was witnessing…like it was okay to be a mean, angry or selfish person all week and then to go church on Sunday and think all was forgiven.

Attending University further opened my eyes as I explored God and religion in a Philosophy course and then learned all about things done in name of the church throughout my degree in social work. In the second instance I was learning about a very punitive and small minded God and that did not work for me at all.

One final chunk of this puzzle fell into place when my husband and I bought a house in a small town with a very strong Mennonite community. If you’ve ever read the book, “A Complicated Kindness,” by Miriam Toews, let’s just say, I could understand it a lot better after living there and seeing some of it firsthand. Don’t get me wrong – they treated us with nothing but kindness, acceptance and appreciation – it was just some of the stories of what was happening within their ranks that I found shocking.

All of this encouraged me to do a lot of soul searching – quite literally. To create my own understanding of what God, Creator, Source, Universe means to me and how I can use that information to help me be the best possible version of myself while still being accepting and understanding of the beliefs of others. It was an interesting journey of acceptance, rejection, understanding, reconnection (with a paradigm shift), intense spiritual development and so on.

When you really acknowledge that our journeys are unique you suddenly realize that labels like right and wrong, good and bad (or better yet good and evil), Christian or nonbeliever… are not really relevant, much less guidelines for life.

The more I searched, the more I came across people like Sonia Choquette, Ellie Drake, Wayne Dyer, Louise Hay, Neale Donald Walsh, Lisa Garr, Greg Brayden and so many others…I would be remiss not to mention Jennifer McLean and her internet show called Healing with the Masters which introduced me to so many of these people.

As I connected with my higher self and intuition, I could sense myself remembering. More and more amazing people arrived in my circles (mostly my inbox) and as I started listening to psychics and channelers like Bernadette Koroscil (I did a weekend workshop with her where we cleaned up energy from several past lives), Eva Gregory (Theos), Esther Hicks (Abraham); Kari Samuels (who has a direct line to our spirit guides and the Arch Angels) and the like. The more I opened my heart and mind the more I remembered…the more awake I felt…the more I tuned in and eventually found I could do some channeling myself.

I also left a really great job that I loved, but that was totally draining me. I think this was because I never would have delved so deeply into my topic if I had stayed working there. The job was in the school system which is limited by government, community, health authority and so much more. By now I was tuned in enough to know it was time to move on.

I recognize that what I am sharing could have a very eccentric ring to it that could almost make one think of cult-like behaviours…so let me just say, that none of this is about brainwashing, limiting free will, controlling or creating ‘sameness’. Awakening happens in your own life, on your own terms, at your own speed with you firmly in charge of every aspect of your journey.

Throughout all of this I was still living my life, dealing with challenging people and situations, worrying about money, wondering if I was making everything up and trying to figure out how to live my passion and get paid for it. In full transparency…I’m not there yet. Yes I’m living a life I love, I’m filled with gratitude, compassion and (most days) am pretty understanding. But my journey, like your journey continues to push me to grow.

The Game

Regrettably, in order to properly play this game called life we have to start by forgetting everything we know about why we are here, what life is really about and how connected we really are. Apparently we’ve tried to do this other ways (while staying connected), but this did not provide a quality human experience so we started again with these new rules in place. Bernadette Koroscil talks about this in her book, The Learning Curve, in case you are intrigued and want to find out more.

As a result, a big part of being here on earth is affected by the fact we have to deal with all the confines of being human without the knowledge that we can be anything more. We feel pain, we fear the unknown, we are limited to linear time and, unless we make a point of doing things differently, we are governed by our ego’s.

I tell you this so that you can come at your life from a place of compassion and desire to awaken. I guarantee you are already started on this journey or you would not still be listening. You are not late or bad for not tuning in sooner…you’re timing and the place you are at in your journey is absolutely perfect.

If you are in the middle of a difficult part of your journey, that too is divinely inspired and your awakening is meant to help you make your adventure more fun.


Let me share a little exercise you can do if you are chomping at the bit, ready to awaken and getting tired of just listening to me talk. Once again you might want to pause the podcast once you understand what you are supposed to do and return when you are finished. You are also welcome to just listen and save it as a task to do later.

You might have noticed I talk a lot about self-awareness in my podcasts and that is because this is where awakening begins. You must tune in if you don’t want to be tuned-out. Over the next week (or perhaps from your recent past), start noticing the sign-posts. Anything that comes up more than once is worth noting, three times is definitely a pebble – so if you want to avoid getting a rock chucked in your direction you should start to investigate.

The investigation…

There is no right or wrong way to do this, simply recognize the sign and figure out a way to look into it some more. Here are some ideas for how:

  • Tell the Universe you’ve seen the signs but are unclear what they mean. Ask for the next signal to be super clear and include guidance for how to proceed. Then – pay attention! If a neighbour comes over and starts talking about something that seems totally disconnected from your previous conversations, rather than write him off as rambling, start looking for possible connections. If a certain ad keeps popping up on TV, in your magazine, in the margin of FaceBook, explore if there could be any connection there and look into it. Remember you are still in charge so you do not have to follow the path the Universe is offering, but you do need to go off autopilot and recognize that some kind of action will likely be required.
  • Access information through meditation. Get in a comfortable spot where you will (hopefully) not be disturbed for a few minutes. Sit comfortably – preferably with a straight spine, close your eyes and breathe deeply into your belly. Quiet your mind as best you can by focusing on your breath. Ask your spirit guides of only 100% pure light to join you and share some more information about the signs you’ve been noticing. Relax and breath and see if you see anything, hear anything, sense information…ask questions as needed and enjoy the experience. If you don’t feel anything coming ask your spirit guides to help you translate the information they are sending and breathe some more. Whether you receive anything right now or not, when you feel like you are done, breathe deeply, thank your guides, wiggle your fingers and toes to come back into your body and open your eyes. If you received info, make a note of that, if you didn’t carry on with life and see what comes up in the next day or so.
  • Take the sign you’ve been seeing and write it, draw a picture about it, created a story about it or say it aloud. If writing, take a clean sheet of paper, write the word (or description), empty your mind and just write anything that comes. Don’t worry about it making sense, just write and see what comes. The task is basically the same for drawing, painting or creating story – just let things flow. The word breakdown involves saying the word aloud and allowing it to morph as you speak it; the word might alter, turn into a different saying, become a chant, turn into a jingle – before finally revealing itself to you…see what comes up.

Awakening does not mean everything will suddenly be easy and there won’t be any more bumps in the road. Even trying these simple tasks in the exercise might seem like a heck of a lot of work. Do not force the issue – when you are going with the flow, things move along easily – so if you feel like you’re paddling upstream, you are quite unlikely to find what you are looking for. The hardest part will be going off autopilot and being aware. Most of us do not have access to ‘magic’ in this lifetime – because it would rob us of the human experience that we came here to live.

I also don’t want you to think everything is destiny and we have no control over the route we take – this is totally untrue. Free will allows us to choose our path…if it somehow connects with the one we have come here to fulfill things seem to just fall into place. This doesn’t mean everything is rosy…it just means you don’t have to search for where to go next.

It’s also important to note that there is more than one way to reach a destination. We have come here to explore, to create, to clear things, to inspire each other and to find answers. You could be way past the simple exercise provided above, but my guides are suggesting this is a good place for many to start.

It is a great idea to search for guidance – those who can help you remember, realign, release and reconnect. Not because these people have all the answers, while you don’t, but because that is how the game is meant to be played. It is a team effort – where we share our wisdom and tools; help others who are ready to hear what we have to say; use our relationships with others to evolve and do what we have come here to do for the good of the whole.

Something to keep in mind…even those who have come here as guides with gifts to help others (psychics, channels, energy healers, light workers…) are still here for a human experience and while they might seem more connected to the bigger picture they are still evolving (ouch) and limited by human restrictions.

Kari Samuels talked about this in her Soul Salon in a way that made such sense I just have to share it here – I touched on it last week, but it’s worth repeating. She said, we are all at different places in our soul journey – which doesn’t make things right or wrong, good or bad – it’s more like how a child in kindergarten is not expected to have the same knowledge and understanding as a student in grade 12. We don’t think less of the Kindergarten student because of where they are, we simply recognize that is where they are at and support them in moving to the next level.

AND while we are on this topic, we all are here to guide and help in some way. It’s not just a chosen few who have come to save the day – this is a group effort of very evolved and savvy souls. You are part of this group – simply because you are here.

If you’re wondering about your own gift – I guarantee you have at least one (maybe more). Seek out your passion and your gift will find you.

Since you are listening to my podcast I believe I have something to share with you that will help you move to the next level in your game. What that is, I don’t know, but I’m ready and willing to explore the path with you.

I’m surprised to find that I still have more to share on this topic. So next week I will share why the time is right to take action and talk about some simply things you can do to start taking back your power – at least I think that’s what I’m being guided to share.

If you’ve enjoyed this podcast please like it, share it or write a review. Your words help guide us too!
With much respect for you and the journey you are on… This is Debbie Pokornik, wishing you a vibrant and powerful day.

If you enjoyed this podcast/article please like/rate/review and subscribe… that’s what keeps us going! Click here now to enjoy our other podcasts.

Interested in the names & products we talk about on the show? Check out our Vibrant Mentions Pinterest Board!

It’s Time to Awaken

Originally posted as: It’s Time to Awaken [September 2016]

Today I’d like to share some of my deeper thoughts about being a Vibrant, Powerful Mom. This is about looking both inwards and outwards with a discerning and questioning eye.

One of my books is called, Standing in Your Power; A Guide for Living Your Life Fully Awake…and that is my real reason for being – to help as many people (women especially) to embrace all of the wonderful pieces that make them – them…and to let go of any of the things they might be doing that stops them from being who they have come here to be.

For some of you – you are basically happy and content and other than this little nagging idea that there might be more to life than you have been led to believe – overall things are good. This can result in a thirst to try new things and explore new ideas which is an okay place to be…unless you decide to ignore that nagging idea and just accept your life for what it is.

When that happens it’s like you are ignoring the sign-posts, refusing to acknowledge the guidance you are being given which means the messages are going to have to increase in intensity and severity. It’s kind of like a person throwing little pebbles at you to get your attention and when you ignore them using a rock or boulder to get you to tune in.

So if this is you – happy, yet pulled to learn more – I encourage you to not just note those things that come right to you, but to start noticing all the signs (if you aren’t already) and rather than just observe and delight in them – actually use them to steer your course and push you out of your comfort zone.

For others, you might find yourself reacting to the idea of standing in your power and living your life fully awake as if this information does not apply to you because there is simply too much wrong in your life to ever fix it. This can surface as overwhelm, apathy, exhaustion, a belief you’re cursed, victim mentality, etc, which often comes out in statements like… Forget it I’m too messed up, broken, confused, unlucky or I don’t have the energy, I’m too tired too weak.

If this is you (and even if it’s not), here’s what I want you to know before anything else – you are already a vibrant and powerful being. You might not think so because your brain is so bogged down with information that has been programmed into you…things that were said to you often by well meaning adults in your life; instilled in you in church, taught to you in school or even internalized through advertising. Similar to the software running a computer, as long as you allow that program to run things, you will find it hard to see or do anything else.

The problem is all of this programming is running in the background (your subconscious mind) in the form of limiting beliefs, internal blocks or other hang-ups and you don’t even realize they are running. These programs are typically created in the first 7 years of your life when your brain is busy creating millions of pathways from your experiences, your relationships and your environment.

Now before you go blaming your upbringing or thinking that nothing can fix the damage that was done in those first 7 years (or major traumas that have happened since)… here’s the 2nd thing I want you to really grab a hold of… these things weren’t done to you… they were done for you.

Think about that for a moment. If all the ‘bad’ things in your life were not meant to hurt you, but to help you grow in very specific ways, then it’s impossible for you or anyone to truly be a victim! It means that all that time one puts into dreaming about the “if onlys”, regretting a missed opportunity or lamenting a bad situation is not just a waste of time and energy, but misleading as well. The idea that these things were done for you – changes everything.

Now, I know some of you might not feel ready to hear this. I totally get how challenging it can be to accept that something you’ve always thought of as bad, unnecessary or a mistake (like a fork in the road that you missed) is really hard to see as a valuable and important part of your personal development…but it is! The fact that you are listening to this podcast further confirms that you are ready to move beyond that outdated belief.

Here’s a little exercise you can do either now or later when it’s safe to do so. Feel free to pause the podcast when you understand the task and are ready to begin…

Think about one thing in your life that you’ve always thought of as a bad thing – it could anything, an opportunity you missed, a way you were treated by another, a loss that you still feel the impact of. ..anything you wish hadn’t happened.


After you’ve pulled it out of your memory banks I want you to shift into an objective stance – like you are an inspector (not the person it happened to) who has been tasked with the job of deciphering the advantages of this situation.


If you’re struggling to get into this role, take a deep breath, tell your ego to sit and ask your higher self to be in charge. When you feel the emotions release you know you are ready to start the exercise.


Take a moment and reflect on any benefits that arose from this experience… any way that it changed your life – including people you met as a result, places you went, opportunities that arose, any skills you developed, life lessons it helped you with (i.e. used to be afraid of confrontation, but because of this situation you aren’t any more), character development (I’m smarter, more business savvy…). Be thorough, stay open to any ideas that come to you and take creative license to get things flowing.

If you’re still not clear let me share an example from my life.

I had a boyfriend in my teen years who was emotionally unstable. I know you can say that about most teenagers, but this was different, this guy had a very bitter mother and was super insecure as a result. This insecurity caused a lot of fights and misunderstandings between us. Despite this he was my first real boyfriend and we stayed together for over 3 years – in fact we even moved out together.

When I think back to that time with him, I learned so much about myself. As an inspector I would write down, confidence, relationship awareness (what my boundaries were), how difficult addiction could be to deal with, it helped me understand how women could get in an abusive relationship and stay, it helped me become a better communicator.

Now, I could end there, or I could take it even deeper – I could pretend to interview people around me and ask them what they thought I gained from this experience; my dad would say an ability to handle herself in difficult situations; my mom would say clarity on what she was willing to accept in life; my friend would say, a deep interest in what makes people tick along with an understanding of how people strike out when they are hurting…in fact, it’s probably that relationship that helped her develop her skills as a social worker. It also taught her that sometimes love isn’t enough – you can’t change someone who doesn’t want to be changed – and it gave her empathy for people who are in that situation now (back to the social work thing!).

As I sit with this further I realize that I would not have moved out if my boyfriend hadn’t insisted – which helped me to become independent. It also taught me how to financial responsible – especially when I found out my employer wasn’t taking income tax and I would have to pay a large sum at the end of year plus my weekly pay was now going to drop. These felt like bad things at the time, but it made me much more aware and gave me confidence that I could handle difficult situations.

I could go on, but I think you get the picture, so if you haven’t already this is a good place to stop the podcast and do the exercise yourself.

When you are finished and if you gave it a really fair try, you’ll likely notice that there were actually a lot of benefits to what felt like a bad thing at the time. So take a moment now and send a message of gratitude and appreciation to that situation/person – because even though it didn’t feel good at the time, you now recognize how it helped you to become the person you are today. It made you stronger, smarter, more capable…it forced you to dig deep, to learn coping skills you might not have had otherwise, to be creative. This process alone can help you do some very deep healing and lead you on another journey of discovery.

Before you came here…

Your life was specially designed – by you and your soul group – to help you and all of humanity evolve in a certain way. To do this, life can’t just be all joyful and easy – it is the really big challenges in your life that force you to grow the most.
But, when your soul group (which included you) set up your contract in this lifetime, it took into account what you already knew as a soul, what kinds of supports you would have to deal with your challenges, how evolved humanity itself was…and so on. What it couldn’t account for was how complete your disconnection from your SELF might be (i.e. how strongly you would stay connected to your ego versus your higher self); how humanity’s current energy would affect you (negative energy of others can pull your energy down too) and what you might do with your free will (whether you might embrace the journey towards living your purpose fully or fight it at every turn).

And this brings us to our next big idea: your soul group does not see your experience here as success or failure whether you complete your contract or not, there is much to be learned and every single mission is considered a success.

So, if you feel like you’ve been dealt a tough hand in life, it has happened for a reason. Everything that happens to you is within the realm of what you can handle. It may not seem like it at the time, but it is absolutely true. In fact, one of the people I follow and absolutely love – Kari Samuels, is a psychic who can communicate with the angels, amoung others, and she says that if you have a really tough life then you are a very evolved soul already…because you don’t give a Kindergartener Algebra and expect them to figure it out.

Incidentally, anyone who is alive right now has been specially chosen to be here – which means you are not broken, weak or unfixable – but the soul who was thought to have the most promise by your soul group to achieve the goals sought after in this lifetime. This is thought to be a very important time in our history and WE are here…doesn’t that make you feel special?

I’m going to stop here for today as I feel like this is enough information for those of you who are hearing some of this for the first time. I hope what I’ve shared today has ignited a spark for you a sense of connection, maybe even a sense of remembering. If it hasn’t, do not be alarmed, how easily you reconnect depends on a lot of things – but ultimately, the fact that you have found my podcast in the sea of other podcasts is confirmation that you are ready.

Over the next week you might want to play with this information a bit. Feel free to share what you’ve heard with
others (this is a great way to break down what you have heard into understanding chunks), journal about it, do an internet search, do the exercise shared a few times on different experiences you’ve had…

All I ask is that you open your mind to the tiniest possibility that life as you know it may not even be close to what it is truly meant to be. There is plenty of evidence out there to, at the very least create reasonable doubt – and hopefully enough to help you turn on your curiosity and find the evidence to prove or disprove this idea.
Just a reminder of the really important points I shared:

  • you are already a vibrant and powerful being
  • ‘bad’ or challenging things weren’t done to you…they were done for you
  • it is the really big challenges in your life that force you to grow the most
  • your soul group does not see your experience here as success or failure
  • it was the soul who was thought to have the most promise by your soul group to that was allowed to come here at this time

Next week I’ll share more of my story with you, flesh out some more of my thoughts on this very deep topic and, if we have time share some things you can do to start realigning with your power
With much respect for you and the journey you are on…this is Debbie Pokornik wishing you a vibrant and powerful day!

If you enjoyed this podcast/article please like/rate/review and subscribe… that’s what keeps us going! Click here now to enjoy our other podcasts.
Interested in the names & products we talk about on the show? Check out our Vibrant Mentions Pinterest Board!


Discover the Secret to Deep Inner Presence with Laura Baxter

Meet today’s guest: 

Laura Baxter

the American opera singer and performance coach has studied the effects of the voice and body on non-verbal communication and leadership for over 25 years, and she brings this experience together to help her clients perform and communicate better.

In addition to her many stage performances, Laura was the singing voice of Faye Dunaway in the feature film “A Handmade’s Tale.” A recipient of the prestigious Louis Sudler Award for the Arts at Emory University, Laura is coauthor of several German books, and her new book

Dealing with Divas and other Difficult Personalities: A Mindful Approach to Improving Relationships in Your Business or Organization 

is releasing May 15th  2017!

Laura lives and works in Germany with her husband and two children.

Have you ever found yourself having to deal with Divas and other difficult personalities?

Although Laura Baxter wrote her book, Dealing with Divas and other Difficult Personalities, to help people in the business world, she is first to admit that moms are the ultimate leaders in our society and the family environment is often the most difficult organization we’ll ever encounter.

There is no more important leadership role than that of a parent and there is no role that demands better leadership skills than parenting.

As a tribute to Mother’s Day coming up on Sunday and all our wonderful mom readers and listeners, Laura and I decided to take this wonderful information she has developed and talk about it as it relates to life on the home front.

Laura’s most prominent role model for both work and home was her mother. Although her mom has now passed, Laura shared that she taught her a lot about who she is as a woman.

The message from mom that stands out the most …You can have it all if you want it – career and a happy home life!

Having said that, Laura totally appreciates how challenging the life of a parent can be and shared a story about performing on the road in TelAviv. She was pregnant with her second child and her husband was at home in Germany looking after their (toddler) daughter. The other performers were complaining about how grueling their schedule was, but Laura couldn’t agree. She found herself smiling and thinking her colleagues had no idea how challenging life as a mom could be. To her, this experience felt like a vacation because she didn’t have all the parenting stress to deal with.

There is so much overlap between your career experience and life at home. A lot of the skills you use at work can be extremely helpful at home and what’s going on at home can help you in the world of paid employment.

One of the tips Laura shared that she originally learned for the stage, but has found super useful for keeping herself centered at home, is to slow down, deep breathe and connect with your inner resources. Repeating a simple mantra such as, “I Choose Love” can help you clear your mind, calm your nerves and focus on what’s at hand.

I Choose Love

Moms are often made to feel like they are doing things wrong, which means self-doubt, worry and uncertainty are never far away. This tool can help you push those feelings aside and focus on what really needs to get done.  When you repeat this mantra without over thinking or reading too deeply into it, you are left feeling like you can take on the world.

Laura went on to share that there are 4 Powerful States and Love is one of them. She shared the other three and explained how we can use these states to shift out of fear and into a more inspired state.

Mom the Leader

The moment your child is born you are taking on the role of educating the child, teaching values, being a mentor and guide so that your child can be a successful person.

Leaders who are parents tend to have better leadership skills quite naturally.

The most challenging situation in being a leader and a mom is that your child may not always listen to what you are trying to get them to do. You are trying to guide them to follow your lead even when they don’t want to.

Some executives struggle with this as well and try to just order employees instead of trying to figure out how to motivate them. Our goal is the same …

In both cases you want people to grow into responsible and self-motivated individuals so the answer is to look for ways to communicate this and motivate them towards appropriate action.

Often this requires creative thinking and is well worth the effort.

Dealing with Divas and other Difficult Personalities; a Mindful Approach to Improving Relationships in Your Business or Organization

The goal of Laura’s book is to provide the reader with the tools that she needs to stay centered, calm and focused while she’s working with her Diva and at the same time still reaching her goals. Organizational structure (think family!), personalities and self-awareness all come into play in being able to do this.

Laura shared what the DIVA acronym stands for and how we can use our own awareness to work effectively with other people – even when they are being difficult.

It really comes down to great relationship building techniques – asking the right questions, being curious, coming from a centered place and not taking things personally. It’s not about being friends with everyone but about understanding yourself, the other person and your goals better, so that you can accomplish what you set out to accomplish.

The most important part of building that bridge with the other person is first finding your own center (calmness) so that you can ask questions without escalating the situation.

Listen to the podcast for all the secrets…


Resources mentioned by Laura:

Book: Love is letting go of fear

Dealing with Divas and other Difficult Personalities; a Mindful Approach to Improving Relationships in Your Business or Organization – by Laura Baxter

Kindle version releases May 15th, 2017 and you can get it for FR*EE on Amazon for a limited time! Sign up for Laura’s gift below and have the link for the book sent right to you.

Special Gift for Vibrant Powerful Mom Community

Tips & Tricks from the Stage to Your Home; How to Stay Cool as a Mom

After the FR*EE Kindle opportunity expires, buy the book for regular price and send a ‘proof of purchase’ to  and receive a link to a special webinar geared at helping you apply what you learn from the book.

If you enjoyed this podcast/article please like/rate/review and subscribe… that’s what keeps us going! Click here now to enjoy our other podcasts.

Interested in the names & products we talk about on the show? Check out our Vibrant Mentions Pinterest Board!

Ideas for Decreasing Stress and Increasing Calm

Originally posted as: Getting Stress Out VS Stressed-out! [August 2017]

Today we are going to talk about stress and changes you can make that will start decreasing how stress affects you.

This is an important topic for you to be aware of because not only can stress have a negative impact on your health making you susceptible to everything from the common cold to life threatening illness, but it can also be damaging to your relationships – which translates into your over all happiness. It tends to eat up your patience and make it much harder to recharge your batteries. All told, stress can definitely get in the way of you being a vibrant and powerful being.

Why stress is important…

I love to use the analogy of an elastic to illustrate why stress is important, because if you take a plain old elastic and set it on the palm of your hand, what do you have? A piece of rubber sitting on your hand. It does not serve a purpose. It has a lot of potential, but at that moment it is not purposeful.

The only way to give that elastic meaning – or purpose – is to add some stress to it. You have to force the elastic to grow or stretch for it t give it meaning. We all know that when eased gently an elastic can often deal with more stress than we would have originally thought, but if you pull it too far too fast and when it reaches its limit – SNAP…it is done!

When you take this elastic example and apply it to human life, you can see that some stress helps you grow. It gives you purpose and pushes you to expand beyond your current circumstances (or comfort zone). But too much stress, or totally uncontrolled stress, can result in irreparable damage.

Where does stress come from…

There are several different categories of stress which are good to be aware of because they can help you monitor and understand how they sneak up in your life.

The first are those things you do on purpose that add stress into your life – such as; anything new that you do whether it be starting a new relationship, getting a job, having a baby, moving, travelling, taking a course, learning to play tennis or to cook…

The first category of stressors is anything new that you do, that takes you out of your comfort zone. These give your life meaning and are required to live a fulfilling life.

Let’s think about that for a moment. All the things in life that make it worthwhile; relationships, children, travel, 
adventure, learning, careers, add stress into our lives. This also includes other acts of vulnerability that might not be new to you, but put you in the spotlight, such as: performing in front of others (speaking, acting…); putting on a big event; writing a book, etc.

These are the things that make life worth living so we do not want to stop doing them. Sometimes we recognize we need to sever a relationship because it’s no longer healthy for us or end a career that is no longer inspiring us, but beyond that, these are not things we want to give up.

The second category includes the unexpected and less welcome elements that force you to make changes: major health concerns, accidents, taking on too many tasks (causing overwhelm or burnout), losing something or someone very precious to you, major money problems (bankruptcy, eviction, foreclosure), and of course, those relationships that aren’t so easy to sever (like the one with an imposing and disapproving mother-in-law).

The 2nd category are big things that are unexpected or typically unwelcome in your life. They are often a more long-term part of your life whether you like it or not.

A third category of stressors are things that tend to be momentary, but still wear you out: being late for a meeting, traffic jams, flat tire, missed bus, short term sleep deprivation, a momentary unexpected expense (ticket, car repair, school trip), photocopier getting jammed, spilling coffee or lunch on your blouse, reacting to food you’ve eaten that didn’t agree with you, listening to horrors in the news…

Category 3 are not a big deal on their own, but if not recognized for the stress that they bring, they can often be the straw that breaks the camel’s back.

A final category of stressors are those things you don’t even know are stressing you out, such as; food intolerances, the disruption of electro-magnetic fields on your body, dealing with a virus (without feeling sick), breathing in toxins or molds, negative thoughts (inner critic; paranoia; self-loathing) or being surrounded by negative people.

Category 4 are things that stress your body making it harder for you to deal with difficult situations and stay healthy, however until you are aware of them, there is little you can do.

Back to the elastic…

It’s when our stress builds to the point of overwhelm that life stops being fun and negative symptoms such as, relationship break-up; job loss or major health concerns can occur.

So, if the elastic sitting in the palm of your hand has 0 stress (on a scale of 0 – 10) and the elastic snaps at a 10, it makes sense that you would want to be aware of your current stress levels. Even more importantly, you’ll want to become aware of what your sweet spot is for stress.

In other words, what’s the amount of stress that gives you purpose, keeps you growing, helps you move forwards…without hurting you and those around you?

My sweet spot is around a 3-4 which means that when I feel myself starting to go above that I need to take action and bring it down.

Just to be clear I’m not saying my stress level is always around 3 or a 4. I am saying that this is where I want to be most of the time and with awareness I have a better chance of making that happen. Otherwise I could be sitting around an 8 (like I was during exam time at University, which meant tears and anger were never far away, my health issues flared up and my relationships felt strained) and then if something else happened that brought me any higher I would have been in danger of not being able to cope at all.

You need to have a lot of tools that you can use in a lot of different situations so that as soon as you feel things building you can start releasing some of the pressure.

How does stress feel in your body?

Most of us recognize stress as tension. Maybe your shoulders are up around your ears; or you experience headaches from clenching your jaw so much. Something worth noting about this is that tension is kind of a catch 22 – stress causes tension and tension increases our stress.

Some people don’t even notice their tension until their back goes out or there digestive tract goes wonky and they start getting diagnosed with irritable bowel, ulcers, or other problems. Our goal with self-awareness is to avoid these kinds of issues by noticing things like tension as soon as they arise.

My story…

I’ve been learning and teaching about stress for quite a while now.

I get it. I pay attention, I have lots of tools for dealing with stress and I take action. This is the formula I teach and totally believe in.

When my husband and I were first married (about 24 years ago), we moved to a country lot 45 minutes out of the city. I was going to University in Winnipeg and he worked twelve hour shifts from 6 – 6 either over night or all day. This meant we could go days without really seeing one another.

As I was driving home one wintery evening on the dark, icy highway, feeling really vulnerable and alone,  I realized that I was holding a lot of tension in my body. In fact, it felt like my legs were made of granite and my shoulders were growing out of my ears.

Suddenly I had this little epiphany; the tension in my body was not helping me be a better driver. It would not make a positive difference should my car start spinning off the road…in fact, all it was doing, was making it hard for me to enjoy the drive. It could even be argued that if I relaxed my muscles I would be better able to deal with any difficult situation should it arise.

Now, I know this sounds obvious. But for me (at 25), this was a real moment of enlightenment. I realized right then and there that I was making my life way more stressful than it needed to be.

So, it was it was that many years ago that I tuned in to the tension in my body and started making conscious efforts to release it. I learned all kinds of breathing techniques, stretches, progressive relaxation tools, yoga, meditation…all of which I use to keep tension out.

But the story doesn’t end there…

About ½ a year ago my osteopath suggested I go to a physiotherapist to see if she could help me fix my posture. My health team includes a chiropractor (who I love, but don’t see often right now); a massage therapist (who is fantastic); an osteopath (who I see at least monthly)… plus I’d just finished going for 20 rounds of acupuncture. The idea that I needed to add someone else to my team seemed a little over the top, but I trust my osteopath implicitly so I made an appointment and went.

And guess what?

My physiotherapist told me I’m carrying far too much tension in my back, neck, shoulders…my muscles are set to perma-fire (my term for never relax) and need to be retrained in order to learn what should come naturally to them! She even started by telling me how to breathe properly!

At first I was a little angry. What the heck, I know this stuff, I teach this stuff and I practice it…I have tools! Yet here I am, with enough tension to make my physiotherapist raise her eyebrows at me.

Why am I sharing this? Because I want you to understand that life is an ongoing journey. Knowing, being, doing…doesn’t necessarily make problems all go away.

I would imagine that without my knowledge and awareness I might be in really bad straights right now as I’ve had a lifetime of anxiousness, experienced accidents that have caused my body to tighten up and not want to let go again and so on. Despite this I’ve managed to cure my irritable bowel syndrome/leaky gut, almost completely eliminate the headaches, have built strong relationships and overall really love my life.

Of course I also have periods of time when I get lazy and don’t want to put so much effort into what seems like it should be automatic (like breathing!); or when I enjoy the wine a bit too much, I call these my rebellion moments and they can be refreshing too.

So hopefully, you can forgive me for my imperfections; recognize I too am living much of what I teach; and most importantly, give yourself lots of leeway to learn, be, do, ignore, adapt, forget and make mistakes.

In summary…

  • Start to notice how stress presents in your body
  • Notice what patterns you fall into as a result of stress. For example I had a pattern that every time my husband was leaving on a trip I would become cold and distant the day before he left. This was confusing to me because I really didn’t mind him being away (at least not always). Once I recognized it was a stress pattern I could be more compassionate with myself and take steps to stop it from happening.
  • Beware of health cues (eating/digesting, sleeping, patience level) that arise
  • Tune in to your elastic. Give your elastic a number (from 0 – 10); identify your sweet spot (where you want to be most days); and learn tools, strategies and practices – for all kinds of environments (work, home, elevators…) so that you can decrease it as soon as it starts to rise.

Listen to the show (last 5 minutes) to find out how you can dump your stress into a worry container and stop it from draining you unnecessarily.

With much respect for you and the journey you are on… I wish you a vibrant and powerful day.

In the meantime, if you are enjoying my podcast/articles I would love for you to subscribe, rate it, give me a review, leave a comment and or share it with others.

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Going Off of Auto-pilot and Taking Control of Your Life

Originally posted as: 3 Tips to Soothe Your Soul [November 2016] – Revised

Today I want to share some ideas for going off of autopilot and instead living your life on purpose.

There are definitely times when doing things automatically is beneficial – you’ve probably experienced days when you are learning something new and had to think all the time…it’s absolutely exhausting and most of us need about a week to recover when that time is finally over. Unfortunately though, if you live in this ‘auto-space’ all the time, especially in areas of your life where it doesn’t serve you (like relationships), you allow life to happen to you rather than living your life the way you want.

So today, I want to give you three ideas that you can use to live your life on purpose and by doing so, raise your vibrational energy, attract more positive things to you, get more done and feel much more vibrant, powerful and fulfilled.

Let me zero in for just a moment on vibrational energy. Everything in life is made up of energy including us.  What you think and how you feel influences the level you vibrate at which in turn affects what you are attracting into your life. This is what the law of attraction is based on, which many people learned about from The Secret and now roll their eyes when they even hear mention of it because it didn’t work for them. The law of attraction is not wrong, it will produce results 100% of the time, when used properly…it’s just understanding how to do it properly and then living in that space or flow most of the time, that is challenging.

To stay at a high vibrational level you pretty much have to live in a place of compassion, love, faith and gratitude. Think about that…do you spend most of your time feeling grateful and loving, accepting of everything and everyone around you… absolutely convinced you will be looked after no matter what happens in life?

Probably not. Most of us have not figured out how to do that yet.

So you go about living your life…often on autopilot – responding based on how you feel, which is tied in with what you think, skewed by what you believe and influenced by your social environment.

Living life – especially on autopilot – has a way of bringing us down on a regular basis. The density around us provides a constant pull – like gravity multiplied by 100 – meaning we have to stay tuned in and aware if we don’t want to allow our energy to drop and attract back low level things.

If you really want to attract beautiful and positive things you have to practice living in that space of gratitude, faith, compassion and love.

Today I want to share 3 tips that will help get you started…or, if you’re already consciously striving to keep your vibes up, then will help you continue on that path.

3 Tips for Going Off Auto-pilot & Raising your Vibrational Energy

Tip #1: Move out of the shadow and into the light.  Tune in to who you really are and let her shine!

What makes you tick, what are you passionate about, where are you holding back? Tuning into who you really are is a huge undertaking. Your personality, astrological signs, communication modes, learning style, love languages – even your eyes and the pattern in them (iridology) are just a few of the things that can help you understand yourself a little better.

You truly are unique and that is a wonderful thing.

So let’s just focus on one little aspect of this… holding back.

Most of us have been trained to hide a little bit (or a lot) of who we are. Maybe you’ve been told you laugh too loud or you’re too quick to trust other people. Maybe it’s been suggested you daydream too much and need to spend more time focusing on getting things done. Labels like; you’re lazy, scattered, impulsive, lack self-control… all influence who you are and what you believe about yourself. Even positive labels such as; she’s the friendly one can affect how free you feel to be you.

You also could be in a job you don’t really like, but are there because someone else felt that’s where you should be. It’s possible you feel afraid to course correct at this point in your life because you took schooling to get where you are or you’ve worked so hard to climb the ladder at work and to change now would seem like such a waste. Or maybe you’re afraid if you stop you’ll be seen as a quitter – a failure or people will think you’re not smart enough, strong enough or committed enough to see things through.

Becoming aware of the areas of your life that are within your control and then using this awareness to help you make positive changes in your life is conscious living. Noticing where you feel stagnant, uninspired or held back and then thinking about what you might do to make things just a little better can be a really great starting place.

Living your life to please other people, pushing aside your real dreams and desires because you think (or have been told) they are too fanciful is stopping you from reaching your full potential.

When you consciously detect something is amiss, don’t disregard it or push it aside because it’s inconvenient. Instead, notice it, journal about it, explore it fully and see what comes to light.

We are at time in our evolution where we are all meant to awaken and start making things happen if we aren’t already.

Sometimes the challenge is that we aren’t consciously aware of the pattern or programming that is holding us back because it is only running in our subconscious mind (SCM).

I like to think of this part of the brain as the attic or storage room. There are all kinds of things you’ve put in there and forgotten about or maybe you’ve stored it without realizing because most of your programming was done in the first 7 years of life. It’s even possible some of your storage isn’t from this lifetime, but is leftover challenges from past lives.

The problem is the SCM computer runs in the background – all the time. Similar to a lot of software nowadays, your SCM pulls out your favorite programs and runs them for you. You don’t even know they are playing, yet they influence somewhere around 95% of your daily existence.

The good news…

In the same way that making a trip to the attic and looking through that old album reminds you of that day you spent baking cookies with Grandma back when you were 4 years old…by shining a light into your SCM you can bring a program from the attic into your living room or conscious mind and, once you are aware, start making changes.

Some tools that can help pull memories out of your SCM; meditation, hypnotherapy,  past life regression, dream analysis…

Sometimes, it’s like the attic door gets left open and something falls out… in reality the trigger might be a smell, sound, song, taste or emotional charge that shakes loose a memory and just like the meatball on top of spaghetti it rolls on out the door.

I recovered a repressed memory this way when I was in high school spying on a boy I liked. I was in the library pretending to be engrossed in a book on the shelf, my heart was pounding out of fear the boy might figure out I was watching him, when I suddenly realized the book I had picked up was on sexual abuse. At first I was super embarrassed and wanted to put it down, but I was also curious and something made me start flipping through the pages.

Within seconds I forgot all about the boy and suddenly found myself remembering situations with an adult in my life when I was young that were inappropriate and would qualify as abuse. Later I realized that these memories were shrouded in that same heightened emotion of ‘getting caught’ which is likely what triggered this repressed memory to surface. The abuse had stopped several years before, but that moment in the library suddenly brought it out of hiding.

Now that I had pulled up the memory I could delve into it which I did many times over the next several years.

Obviously these kinds of retrievals are hard to create – unless you’ve already noticed a pattern or problem that keeps coming up and decide you are ready to get help to deal with it. Otherwise it would be like trying to find ‘something’ in a haystack – because you wouldn’t even know it was a needle you were look for.  I’ll come back to my retrieval story later, but for now let me share a much simpler tool just to show you how you can start cleaning the attic on your own.

  • Choose a feeling that arises for you fairly often and seems to hold you back in life. It could anything – a desire to run from commitment; fear of abandonment; difficulty allowing yourself to love; fear of being tested, etc.
  • If you want to (and it’s safe to do so) close your eyes, empty your mind and breathe deeply to set the stage for this. For some you might do better with a piece of paper and writing utensil and others might prefer to walk while working through this process.
  • Now think back to the first time in your life you can remember feeling this way.

For example, the feeling I decided to work on (many years ago now), was a sense that I wasn’t as quick or as smart as others and that this is okay. I was happy to be mediocre.

When I started exploring this feeling I was taken back to my kindergarten days…

My kindergarten teacher created a train and when a student learned to tie their shoes their name was written on a train car and put up on the wall. A big deal was made when this happened and we checked in regularly to see who was on the train and who was not.

I can remember squirming about this because I wasn’t able to consistently tie my shoes yet, but I also didn’t want to be put in the spotlight by achieving this goal. We were supposed to show the teacher we could do it and being tested like that (especially if it was in front of the other kids) felt very scary to me.

What I realized when I discovered this memory was that I had internalized the idea that:

  • The smart kids are at the front of the train
  • Being smart meant being put on display and tested
  • Being slower meant not being singled out
  • I’m content to be slower than the other kids

Pulling this out of my attic as an adult allowed me to correct my faulty thinking.  As an adult I know that the ability to tie shoes has to do with fine motor skills – not how smart you are. Being 4 years old when I started school was the likely cause of struggling with some fine motor skills…this did not make me slow or stupid. I could be in whatever section of the train I wanted to be in.

Exploring this further I also learned I’m an introvert so I don’t crave the spotlight, although I’ve realized that when I feel ready and go of my own accord I don’t mind it as much. Going even further I recognized my intense fear at raising my hand in a class like setting was also connected to this…

The point that I’m making here, is that just a little exercise like this, can help you understand yourself better and change some of the patterns, beliefs or programming that are holding you back.

So commit to finding and revealing the real you – I guarantee you she is wonderful and worth exploring.

Tip #2: Open yourself up to receive – gifts, compliments, love, healing, a helping hand…

This sounds like such a simple thing to do, yet it is not. Most of us have been taught that to need something from someone else makes you weak, immodest or sets you up to owe them (principle of obligation) and we do not like to be indebted to others. This stops us from being a true team member and collaborating effectively, plus it robs us of the pleasure receiving can bring.

It’s also common to struggle with guilt – which is often tied to vows of poverty you’ve taken in past lives! Many people feel unworthy of what they are receiving or feel concerned that their good fortune might make someone else feel bad because they aren’t in the receiving lane with them.

The ability to receive is actually tied to the divine feminine. We will talk about this more on future shows, but for now, let me just say that if you struggle with receiving you can end up blocking everything you’ve ever desired from coming your way. Receiving and the pleasure it brings are two key pieces to filling up your tank so it’s very important you learn how open up to it.

Here’s a really simple task to increase your awareness in the area of receiving:

Tune in to what you do or say when someone tries to give you something. Let’s start with a simple compliment or praise. Really notice your response (even if it’s just in your head!).

For example, let’s say you just ran a meeting at work and I came up to you after to say, “I just want to say you did a really awesome job chairing that meeting.:

How might you respond? Many people will do one of the following without even realizing it:

deflecting  – It was okay… so about the new system…
correcting – It was the team, not just me
denying  – Actually I had little to do with it, Bridgette looked after the food- and we all know good food makes for a good meeting.
reciprocating  – Well thank you for coming – it’s people like you who participate fully that make meetings work
minimizing  – It was nothing, it’s amazing how much software can help with something like this
rejecting  – Well thanks, but I actually really messed up when I forgot to introduce Tom
questioning – Really? Did you think it was okay? I thought it might have been moving to slowly, but we did end on time…

If you’re honest with yourself, you’ll likely find receiving a compliment can be quite a challenge. If so, that’s where you’ll start… see if instead of falling into any of these (or your own special) pattern, you can consciously absorb the moment and fully receive what has been given.

Feel the compliment, take it in, smile and respond with something like, “Thank you, it feels great to hear you say that.”

Now, don’t stop there. Just because you open up to receiving compliments doesn’t mean you’re ready to accept gifts, a helping hand, a loving gesture…etc. Keep at it and for bonus vibrational energy, don’t forget to express gratitude for all you receive.

Tip #3: Practice forgiving – every situation you encounter in life is meant to help you evolve as a soul.

This can be a hard pill to swallow if you’ve been abused, abandoned, traumatized, tortured or experienced other things in life that feel very personal and hurtful. So I say this with much compassion and love…forgiveness is a gift you give yourself.

Forgiveness allows you to take back the energy you are investing in being mad, hurt, ashamed, disgusted or revengeful and to instead surround yourself with the positive energy of compassion and understanding. You see, as long as you refuse to forgive someone – even yourself, you make it impossible for that relationship to evolve.

When it’s someone else you refuse to forgive, you are giving them space, rent free, in your head. When it’s yourself that you refuse to forgive, you stop yourself from healing and ever truly loving yourself.

When I first recovered the memory that I had been sexually abused by an adult I loved dearly I blamed myself. Why didn’t I know it was wrong, why didn’t I tell him to stop and what had I done that had led him to believe I was interested? This made me feel bad, wrong, faulty, dirty, broken, unlovable. For many years this feeling stuck with me. The few people I told about it reacted strongly typically with disgusts towards the man which only made me feel worse because deep down I believed I had caused it (although I never told them that).

It wasn’t until I figured out it was me I had to forgive before I could move on in life that I was able to release this. This was more than just saying I forgive you – you can’t fool yourself in that department. This involved finding little Debbie, taking her on my knee, hugging her and letting her know it was okay that she had manifested that experience. I told her we were stronger, smarter and better able to live our life fully because of it and thanked her.  We cried together as she expressed her fear and then we danced through a whole array of emotions as they surfaced and released.

Once that was done, we shifted our focus to seeing all the benefits that had come from this experience and sent love, forgiveness and gratitude to the perpetrator and all the adults who, had they known, would have wanted to protect me. This released the emotional hold of the memory so completely that I often forget it ever happened.

When you feel like you’ve been wronged or done something wrong …you carry that energy with you in your heart. As a result, you push yourself harder, are less trustful of your own guidance, you create impossible and inflexible standards for yourself AND you lower your vibrational energy.

Your mission, should you chose to accept it is to think about one thing you might be refusing to forgive yourself or someone else for. It doesn’t really matter what it is… all that matters is that you bring it out of the attic and into your awareness so you can recognize how it is stealing power from you.

When you are able to forgive and learn to appreciate how that situation helped you become who you are today, everything changes.

The ability to forgive will help you plug a drain that is stealing your vibrancy and stopping you from fully owning your power. I know it feels like you are flexing your power muscles by refusing to forgive, but – as counterintuitive as it seems – the exact opposite is actually true.

By tuning into where you are disconnected from yourself and becoming aware of programs that are holding you back by running in your SCM, you open the door to all kinds of good things to come your way. By opening yourself up to receive those good things, you increase your vibrancy and refill your pleasure tank. By remembering to forgive both yourself and others when things don’t go as you might have liked, you are benefitting from the lessons and plugging a drain that would otherwise put you back in your shadow. You’re also reminding your ego that winning doesn’t always look the way you had imagined.

These 3 practices will help you go off autopilot and raise your vibrational energy which means you will be there when your vibes attract great things back to you…and because you are open to receiving it they’ll raise you even higher.

With much respect for you and the journey you are on…I wish you a vibrant and powerful day.

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