Where BIG conversations are born.

Life Lessons

Filter: VIDEO | CALLS | WRITING



The Gifts of Giving and Receiving (Day 24 & 25) #25DaysOfPresence

The Gifts of Giving and Receiving (Day 24 & 25) #25DaysOfPresence

My hope for #25DaysOfPresence was to attempt being more present and share the gifts of presence as I went. I saw what I needed to see and felt what needed to be feel. I’ve done and undone. I’ve course-corrected when I slowed down during the busiest time of the year in a completely different way. And I thank you for coming along for the ride. Today, I received a gift this morning via an email from a friend who shared a story of seeing the portrait child prodigy Akaine painted of Jesus (featured in the book and movie Heaven is For Real). I saw the movie and remembered it clearly. It reminded me of the original and true story of Christmas about people coming together to celebrate and give whatever they had – out of the spirit of giving. And their gifts were fully received and rejoiced. They were truly grateful. In thinking about the simplicity of this, something opened up in me and a rush of emotion had me sobbing amongst my wrapping paper and ribbons. Not tears of sadness or melancholy. Of love. The love that happens when we slow down and receive the gifts all around us – not just in the packages we open. Thus, I was inspired to write… First, on Gifts. This year I’ve received many gifts and now see how they can take many forms, so pay attention. The more present and aware you are, the more you find. First, there are the obvious gifts you open and appreciate. There are also gifts in written and spoken words that touch your heart or wake you up, get your attention and point you in a new direction that feels right. There are gifts of experiences and gestures that tell you someone sees you and that you matter. Gifts can even show up in fights, disagreements and ‘life-is-happening-to-me’ moments that can be opportunities to clear the air and begin again, stronger and clearer. On Giving. There are so many gifts we are waiting to receive from others outside ourselves.  Something to help us feel seen, to feel better or change our situation. In the past, when I waited to receive this from others, my life stood still, stuck unconsciously asking, Do you even see me over here? Do you know what it’s like for me? Do you even care? Beuller? We never think to give the gift of being seen and acknowledgement to ourselves, FROM ourselves. This is one of the greatest ways we can receive. I never realized that I was the very person I needed to be seen and loved by. Turns out this is the best gift I’ve ever received is my own loving attention. To celebrate, document and acknowledge the things I’ve achieved, moments I’ve learned and ways I’ve changed for the better. As the year comes to a close, I’m asking you to take a moment and find as many things as you can to celebrate, acknowledge and give yourself credit for. Whether you do this silently or write it down in literal love letter to yourself. Simply let yourself know, Hey, you did that thing. I saw it all. And you are amazing. In line with this, in the book A New Earth, Eckhart Tolle suggests that whatever we are missing or wanting in our life – give it to others. Give without without expectation, attachment or obligation. That this has the power...

Read More

I Lied to My Kid and It Sucked.

I heard a podcast this week between two famous life coaches , Debbie Ford and Cheryl Richardson, where they laughed about how ironic it is that the very issues they work around (fear, courage, self-sabotage) show up continuously in THEIR life as ‘beautiful teachers’… and I thought “Hmm, Ya. Funny.” Until this morning, where I got SERVED by my own work through a wide-eyed 4 year old in his monster jammies. You see, the last few weeks since Halloween (and even beyond, if I am REALLY being honest), I’ve watched certain behaviours surface, particularly around getting busy in the “doing”, straying with my food choices and meal planning and more specifically…. EATING MY KIDS CANDY. Now it hasn’t been a lot. But a little everyday .  Just enough for me to notice and think to myself “Come on Keri-Anne, what are you doing?” but not enough for me to stop and back away from the candy bowl! So I’ve been simply brushing it off as no big deal but the truth is, I’m not okay with it because when I let go of the steering wheel, although it doesn’t affect me at first, later down the road it does – and I’ve worked too hard to go back to that chaotic and unhealthy place. Honestly, the candy is a symptom of a bigger issue which is I’ve been so busy “doing” that I’m not super checked-in with me and how I’m feeling these days. So here’s what happened. Last night I ate the last piece of “good” Halloween candy my kid had. Meaning it had chocolate in it. I ate it and as I did, heard my awareness say “REALLY? He’s going to notice that one, Ker. What Are You Doing?” But no, I ignored it, ate the candy, put my two boys to bed and along with it, the day to begin again tomorrow. No big deal. This morning as I’m cutting the crusts off D’s sandwich, he walks into the kitchen in his fuzzy monster jammies and blurts innocently “Hey, what happened to my chocolate spider ball Mom?” I froze. Faaack! I left the foil wrapper on the counter in plain sight and there he was holding it in his little hands waiting for an answer. Without looking up (or thinking), I shrugged my shoulders and quickly tried to go back to making his lunch with “Ya, I found the wrapper from your Halloween candy and meant to throw it in the garbage. Can you put it in the bin for me?” And as the words left my mouth it was like I was watching the situation in slow motion and yelling inside my head “Oh my god, are you really doing this Keri-Anne? Are you really lying to him? You encourage people to be REAL with their shit girl!” I wanted to throw up. The thing is, having held onto my own secrets in life and witnessed the lying of others along the way, I am super familiar with the impact bullshit has on a room. You know, where the air is suddenly sucked out only to be replaced by this heavy invisible elephant that everyone knows is there, but no one speaks of.  Where underneath the deafening silence you get a sense from those around you thinking “hmm.. that’s weird.  Something’s going on but I’m not sure what. And why isn’t anyone saying anything about...

Read More

Suck it Fear. I’ve Got This (for now).

This posting is dedicated Verena, a woman and mother I never met, but whose life and unexpected passing will forever keep me moving forward in gratitude, committed to  ‘daring to suck’ at EVERYTHING I attempt or want in my life. I hope her story does the same for you. I started a book club two weeks ago to follow the May Cause Miracles 40 day guide by Gabrielle Bernstein. The book is geared to present small but powerful shifts in recognizing how fear holds us back from living life fully and how to choose love instead. Do the work and watch the miracles show up. With all I’m daring to do these days and being a self development addict, it was an easy sell. The first week asked me pay attention and be willing witness fears that show up and honestly I couldn’t come up with anything – at least nothing obvious. It was like there was a blockage of denial resisting the possibility that I had fear in my life after all I’d done to get away from the bottom of my ‘well’ over a year ago.  By the second day, with all this talk of love and fear, I was coming up with very little, and even bitching about the wording she was using. Then it hit me, ‘ahh, more resistance…  hmmm, I must be close to something because I think this may be my troll (aka ego, inner self saboteur) trying to distract/confuse me hoping I give up and forget about doing the work entirely. Think again buddy. So, I buckled down and leaned in figuring something would show up, and boy did it ever. Whether it was the leaning in or exposing myself to the subliminal impact of the daily messages to raise my awareness but by day three and four I was hit between the eyes with a FEAR cyclone that included ALL moving parts of my life. You see, this month also marked the end of my maternity leave and me grabbing the reins of my new coaching practice, no more back up. This is really happening and I felt the intense resistance of putting myself ‘out there’. The simple question of ‘how am I going to do this?’ opened the door to feed this beast of a storm that included self doubt, frustration and the dreaded unknown around childcare, financial security and future, completing my coach certification, maintaining my commitment to healthy eating / exercise, time, money (or lack thereof). It felt even worse when I heard about other coaches’ success because in would walk jealousy, comparison and ultimately paralysis (aka pity party). On top of this all, I noticed in my current state, my exercise and healthy eating was at an all time low and pulling me back into familiar and self sabotaging habits. I felt panic and desperation thinking “’I’m barely treading water here, how will I ever do this?!!” In the midst of this shit storm, I received a very sad email from my local Mom Meet-Up Group, letting us know that one of the contributing mothers, Verena, had died suddenly. She was a 37 year old local high school teacher, with a five year old daughter who had given birth to her second daughter a month ago and there were no complications following the scheduled C-section. An article in the paper stated she went to bed the night...

Read More

My Adventures in Sucking.

This past weekend I attended the Advanced Speakers Academy in Kelowna, presented by the incredible Hugh Culver and boy did I get my money’s worth! When I was asked to go with my cousin, Mo (a kickass keynote speaker and community engagement rock star), I definitely felt in over my head, to say the least. The part that made me laugh was the literal fact that I was daring myself to suck – in front of a dozen seasoned speakers and doubted my performing experience from high school was worth mentioning… *gulp. I had no idea what to expect and designed an alliance with myself to approach the two days as an open-eyed learner – no faking it till I made it – that I’d be open and honest about my newbie status and would drink in the experience and wisdom I was about to receive. Doing this made it a WHOLE lot easier to walk through those doors. Immediately after introducing myself to the other attendees I felt this reassuring sense of how we are all just people wanting to spread our messages to a bigger audience and make an impact on the world. My nerves began to calm a little bit more. Let’s do this. Hugh dove in with his infectious enthusiasm, humour and ridonkulous experience on the subject and I was fascinated by the world of professional speaking. With every story he told there were invaluable how to’s, tips, tricks and helpful templates and systems to build a solid, organized business as a speaker and facilitator. He consistently delivered ‘one-two punch’ after another. I couldn’t stop writing and was glued to his every word. And then, it was time for us to give it a go… on video. Faaack. As we were handed random numbers I quickly ducked out to use the ladies room and gather myself. It was as if my heart was trying to beat its way out of my chest. When I returned I discovered I was number 11 out of 12… SWEET! And then found out he was going in REVERSE! Son of a…! My head was spinning and as much as I’d tried to rehearse my 3 minute story, it felt as though it was slipping away, one sentence at a time… oh crap. The first speaker began and she was incredible – clear, powerful, articulate and smooth…. uuggh. (AM I REALLY GOING TO DO THIS?!!) Let’s just say the universe decided to hit fast forward and it was my turn. So up I got with a huge smile on my face and a nervously giddy came over me as if the sucking had already happened. Something inside just said “Well, you’re here now lady… just LET GO and enjoy the ride!” I told the story about how I chose my theme this year of “Daring to Suck” – that this past year was one of huge transformation for me as I embraced my passion to become a life/business coach and help others make BIG things happen. I relived the moment I first heard this phrase during one of my training workshops, when our instructors noticed we were trying to make the coaching look “pretty”. I remember she stopped the exercise and said “Don’t be afraid to get messy. Your messy could be exactly what your client NEEDS to have a breakthrough. Swing wide, take chances, look foolish for THEIR sake!...

Read More

Daring to Suck!

In my quest for living a bigger, more purpose-driven life, my theme for 2013 is “Dare to SUCK!” which was a phrase I took away from one of my weekend coach training sessions challenging us to swing wide with our clients and take risks. So this approach is going to be perfect for me this year, where I plan to put myself in situations where I don’t have all the answers and seek to try new things. To expose myself to new experiences, new people and to do it all being unattached to the outcome – meaning I could completely fall flat on my face, in front of a LOT of people… and it not MEAN anything, other than I gave it a go and (hopefully) learned something. The more I think about this, the more I wonder “What the hell are you thinking??!! You know the Universe is listening, right?” That being said, I developed the following strategy to help keep me moving forward when I get stuck and want to retreat (anybody who’s read Scaredy Squirrel to your kids might recognize the approach): Step 1: PANIC! (aka Let Go and Feel it all) – Surrender to the discomfort, messy, ugly cry, frustration of being stuck and say all the irrational crap out loud that I am telling myself. Leave no stone unturned. Exorcise that shit in a big way and clear the way for what lies underneath, which is hopefully, rational thinking and my true inner voice of reason and wisdom that wants more for me. Step 2: Take a deep breath, figure out what I need and (ahem..) ASK FOR HELP! I choose to draw on the richness of experience and wisdom from others around me (friends, colleagues, family) and if it’s not there then I commit to seek it out – research, expanding my network, reading, classes. I choose to be an empowered participant, for the sake of walking into awesome! This step is a toughie hard, especially because I really want to look good, do things perfect the first time and appear to have my shit together, but it’s amazing what happens when I don’t rely on others to read my mind, or better yet, test them to see how well they know me – because they SHOULD know, right? Been there, done that and it’s a dangerous game I no longer want to play. Step 3: TAKE THE HELP, I asked for it! Shut off the voices of resistance/pride/ego in my head, say “Thank You” and open up my mind, ears and take in what I don’t know. I need to remember that NOBODY ever did anything worthwhile or impactful ALONE. Nobody. I will find comfort in this fact and consider tattooing it somewhere I can see it anytime I need to. Step 4: TRUST AND LEAP INTO THE UNKNOWN! Whatever it is I want to do or try, I will take what I know, suck up some fierce courage and TRUST that no matter what happens, trying and failing miserably (worse case scenario) is truly better than not trying at all. And who knows, I might not only inspire others to do the same but inspire MYSELF to keep going! I can also sense some hilarious stories to come from this place and I love me a good story to share J This thought is almost exciting… where I can practically feel...

Read More

My Journey Out of the Well

This past weekend I completed ‘Balance’, the third of five courses in my training to become a certified life coach. As I’ve been living my life bigger and bigger these days, friends and family ask me what ‘grabbing the reins of my life’ is all about and why I am taking on so much since having my second son, Beau, just 6 months ago. Since that time, I’ve started coach training, a social media revolution in my community, a running / exercise program and began a nutrition class. What I respond with is something along the lines of “I used to live in a well” which obviously gets some confused looks, but in a nutshell I use to be very stuck in my life and I’m learning so many others can relate to this perspective. And seeing as the course I just finished was all about shifting perspective, I came across the original journal entry after my first coaching session with Peter back in February that can explain it better, so here it is “We began our session by having me review several aspects of my life and grade them from zero to 10 on how satisfied I was with each section – my health, marriage, money, physical environment, fun, career, friendships etc. When I looked at the completed diagram I clearly saw how much I limit myself in almost all the aspects and how over the years, created a smaller and smaller life for myself. There are areas I’m more satisfied (5-8) in – my marriage, my home, my family and friends – but anything to do with me like my health, work, fun (what’s that again??) and happiness were practically non-existent (0-2). I saw that my life was very safe, cozy and familiar but on the other I feel jealous of others for having the energy and courage to live much bigger lives doing something they care about who are making an impact on the world. So I openly ask ‘why don’t I allow myself to break free … what am I waiting for? What I heard come out of my mouth was automatic and thoughtless, but profound. I am waiting for someone to see me sitting here and tell me what to do! I’ve never felt so stuck … and intellectually I know that I am the only one who can make a change in my life so why  on earth would I expect someone else to tell me what to do? And then Peter asked me to answer my own question, again… (what am I paying him for?? haha ) and then it even got crazier. I responded Because nobody ever does and nobody ever did ….which was made me burst out laughing because it was a childish thing to say but that was where it was coming from. As I explored this perspective, I realize growing up, the topic of dreaming or even figuring out what I wanted to do was not something I ever learned to talk about. I had loving parents and family but my household had its own priorities and dramas that made for a fairly unpredictable environment – so this makes sense. We had too much other shit going on..haha. I know in my heart and head that we were doing the best we could, all of us. The unpredictability taught me work with what was in front of me...

Read More