This is a talk I did at Speaker Slam in Toronto in May, 2018.
The universe is always speaking to us, it’s just whether we are actually listening or not.
How does the universe speak to you? Are you listening?
There are a number of ways that the universe and your inner guide (the deep, knowing voice within you) will speak to you. Maybe it’s through seeing different visual signs with the exact message or image you needed to see, or a conversation with someone who provides the exact insight you need, or maybe it’s a nudge to reach out to a person, or that “tug tug” feeling to apply to write for a blog. Whatever it is, it’s when we are following these nudges and signs that life starts to feel magical.
The reason why life feels magical is because things are in complete flow. When we are in flow, things seem easy. It seems like everything is conspiring in our favour to make our dreams happen. In this state, the next step is clearly laid out for you, and you just need to say yes. You meet the exact person at the exact moment that you need to. The money that you need is provided right in the moment that you need it. As a result, things feel like they are unfolding in one magical flow, and you are simply paying attention and acting on the puzzle pieces until you learn where they are all leading. This is the beauty of the journey – all of the nudge nudges and hints and signs telling you where to go next in order to make your vision come true.
If you feel that you’ve gotten out of the flow, ask the universe to show itself to you.
Ask for signs. Ask for the answer that you need. Be specific about what you are seeking clarity and guidance on right now.
Many of you know that the sign that I look for, to know I’m on path, is a rubber ducky. It’s a completely random object, which is why I chose it. Sure enough, every time I am travelling for something work related, I see a rubber ducky. On my most recent trip to LA, I couldn’t keep up with all the rubber duckies I was seeing, which indicated to me that I had made the right move in choosing to go on that trip and join a business group that meets there.
You might ask the universe to show you that you’re still on path, or to you show you what your right next move is. After you do this, your job is to pay attention to the signs. Pay attention to your body’s cues about where it’s nudging you to go. Pay attention to the conversations that you are having or the people around you. Pay attention to the things you feel called to research or look into. Trust that these are all the gentle winks from the universe, showing you, helping you, and guiding you to make whatever it is you desire come to fruition.
This doesn't have to mean that the Universe is going to show itself to you in the most epic, life changing way. Often the Universe will show itself to you in some seemingly random moments where you feel "okay, yes. I am exactly on path."
The other weekend I sought guidance on what I needed to do next in my business. A day later, I got this nudge: “Update your website with testimonials. Go work at the coffee shop on Queen.” What an interesting message, I thought. I sat down at the coffee shop to work with my laptop, when a guy across from me sat down. He asked me what I was working on and I replied that I was updating my website to have testimonials. As it turned out, he is a marketer and used to work for massive companies doing their testimonials pages. He was exactly the person I needed to meet at the exact moment that I needed to meet him.
As he went to pull up my website on his computer, a woman walked by. She saw my website and recognized my picture because she had been following along on my social media. She is a break-up coach that works with men in the 30s after they have gotten divorced to learn how to navigate that heartbreak. “I knew I would run into you eventually!” she said. We were able to connect, and it was amazing we met because we both coach individuals going through transitions, but have different niches.
Those two nudge-nudges, first to add testimonials to my website, and then to work at a particular coffee shop, at a particular time, led to me getting expert feedback on how to update my website for free, two new friends and connections, and someone steadily referring me new clients. Had I not followed the nudges, I would have been without the support, guidance and connection that I needed in order to help me on this next stage of my journey.
Follow the nudges. Follow the signs. They are always leading you to exactly where you need to be.
“Sometimes letting things go is an act of far greater power than defending or hanging on” – Eckhart Tolle
I was walking home the other day looking at the trees. Trees in the dead of winter. Trees with no leave on them. Trees in their rawest, most vulnerable state. But then there it was – the tree with several brown, dried up leave still clinging onto it. They looked out of place. It was so apparent that the leaves served no purpose anymore, and yet the tree hadn’t let go.
Letting go is vulnerable. It leads you to your own winter. That time in your life where you’ve let go completely and are standing bare in facing the unknown, but trusting that by letting go, eventually the new buds will appear come the Spring.
Is there anything that you haven’t let go of yet? Think of yourself as that tree. It seems so foolish, so obvious that it should just let the leaves go. The tree doesn’t realize or remember that eventually the Spring will come and new buds will come, making the tree more beautiful and larger than it was before.
Each time the seasons pass, the trees grow larger. Every time something is released in nature it is so that something larger and more expansive can come from it. Trust that you, like nature, are only going to grow into a better, more vibrant, and beautiful version of yourself by letting go of what is stagnant.
So as we are, still in winter, take cues from nature. Winter is a time for us to go inward, to reflect, to think about what we want to create but also what we want to release. What have you still not let go of?
Now can you set the intention to release it?
My favourite way to release is through ritual. It makes it more ceremonial and this act alone can be deeply healing.
Write out a letter stating whatever it is that you’re ready to release. A behaviour. A past situation. An idea of the future that you’re clinging onto too much. A past relationship. An idea that you have to be a certain weight or size. Then sign the letter and say “thank you inner guide/soul/spirit/heart (whatever word works for you) for helping me to release what is no longer serving me.”
Now here comes the fun part: set it on fire. The act of setting the paper on fire really does add a ritualistic element to it that can be so helpful.
This exercise can be particularly helpful about a job or relationship that ended abruptly. Write out all the memories you have about the job or the person: all of the good, and all of the bad. When I did this exercise over a past relationship, I realized that while I had previously released all of my negative memories about this relationship, I hadn’t been ready before to release the positive memories. I was still holding onto the good memories we had together, but in doing so, I was still holding onto to that relationship, that person, and that version of me and my life.
As such, I was called to write out all of the beautiful memories I had with this person. It was sad to write it out. It was so bittersweet to remember all the amazing memories that we had together, but it was only through releasing the good memories that I was able to release myself of my attachment to this person and this relationship. I had to set myself free.
Perhaps, similarly, you’re holding onto good memories to a past situation that you need to release in order for something new to come into your life. This doesn’t mean that you are going to forget about this person or place or job, but it does mean that you’re going to rid yourself of your attachments to it.
But let go of all those amazing memories of that job you once loved alongside the bad memories. Let go of how light you felt when you fit a certain size, so that you can allow yourself to love on where you’re at now and instead focus on how healthy your body feels. Let go of your good memories at a certain vacation spot so that you can allow new memories in new locations to call out to you.
Letting it go is not just for past hurts or too much attachment to the future, it’s for anything that’s keeping hooked, thus keeping us unhinged from the present moment.
Set yourself free.
You may say that I have some experience in learning to love myself unconditionally. Last year, I decided that it was the right move for me to uproot myself from a business that was steadily growing, a law practice I loved, and the friends and family that support me in order to enter into the entirely manufactured world of reality television.
At the time I left in April of 2017, I was in a deep space of self-love. I had done years of internal excavation to really connect with myself. Hours on the meditation cushion. Pages and pages in journal reflecting. Time of being single, living alone, learning who I really was and wanted to be, what fuelled me and inspired me, connecting with my inner light and determining who I was and who I wanted to be in the world. I had been hitting soul-cycle and yoga like it was my job and was feeling super healthy and strong. I had just gotten back from an epic vacation in Tulum, Mexico with a new group of friends that felt like family followed by another trip to Florida with my family. I felt like I had really hit my stride in my law practice to feel that I was truly capable of handling any and all challenges at work and had a strong professional reputation. My business of coaching, leading corporate meditation and happiness workshops, and leading the Circle was really taking off.
“So we’re just going to put that on hold and head into the unknown” said my heart.
My mind, obviously, had a lot of resistance: “what in the god damn hell??”
“Why give up a good thing? Life is really flowing and feeling amazing!” The amount of love I was feeling each day for myself and for other was off the charts. Why mess with a good thing?
“Tug-tug” my heart kept on saying, “this is the next right move.”
Here’s what I’ve learned: we should always follow our heart/gut/inner guide and the voice of the mind, the fear voice, is primarily there to keep use safe, comfortable, and otherwise stagnant. Knowing this, I decided to bust through my mind’s fears and uncertainty and take a risk.
The beauty is that there will forever be footage of how that experience ended for me. My jaw drops and my eyes bug out of my head. Ever been blindsided before? Let me tell you – it does not feel good. Ever had your heart broken? Ever had that breakup replayed to millions of people? Let me also tell you – it does not feel good.
The summer when I got home from that experience I was in the smoke, as I call it. I did not yet understand why my heart led to something that was ultimately painful. Doesn’t your heart just always lead to the magic? The magic comes in the suffering too, I learned. Of what it feels like to learn to love yourself more deeply from an even more raw place.
When we fail, when things don’t go to plan, when we are blindsided or life throws us a curveball – we have a choice. We can choose to berate ourselves, get down on ourselves, play the victim, and otherwise make ourselves suffer, or we can choose to love ourselves through it.
Initially my mind, the ever-inner-critic, wanted to berate me. “How did you not see this coming?” “Why did you choose to do that experience?” “You’re going to look so foolish, and you DID THIS. You chose to put yourself into that experience.”
I was really “in the smoke” as I call it; those times when things have happened and you’re just not sure why they have happened yet. While I stood in the smoke and waited for it to clear, what could I do?
I chose to learn to love myself anyway.
To choose to love myself even though I had uprooted my life, flung myself into an insane experience, and come out the other side of it with a broken heart, the impending unknown of watching a wider audience evaluate my experience and share personal things I knew were going to be misconstrued (#soulmatechris), shaken confidence from having aspects of my personality made wrong, fears around my reputation and a business that had stalled by being put on hold.
I chose to learn to love myself even when my body fought back from all the stress with an autoimmune issue this summer.
I chose to love myself even when I had no idea why I had put myself through that.
I chose to love myself for not having seen it coming.
I chose to love myself from having chosen to take a risk and having had it not work out the way I imagined.
I chose to love myself when I was told aspects of who I was weren’t okay.
I chose to love myself when I was met with criticism online when the show aired.
I chose to love myself through my heartbreak, through my fears, through the unknown and through the uncertainty.
It’s one thing to love yourself when things are going well, and there’s beauty in that. It’s next level shit to learn to love yourself when things aren’t going to plan. That’s true, unconditional love for yourself.
I got tested, and maybe you will too. If things are going amazing right now, love yourself there. Soak it in, baby. However, if life is really testing you right now, can you learn to love yourself there too?
Here are my top tips for learning to love yourself:
1. Love where you’re at
Don’t resist where you’re at. Fully accept the present as it is. Resisting what is will only create dissonance. Be all in with where you're at. It's only by radical acceptance of what is that we can learn how to navigate it. When you are in a difficult time, admit it, but then don't expect to know why that is happening. Trust that this struggle is teaching you things, and it's your job to wait it out for the smoke to clear in order to learn why this has happened.
2. Fake it til you make it - train your brain to think more loving thoughts
Tell yourself every day one thing that you appreciate about yourself or your life. This will create neural pathways in your mind that will eventually trigger to find more and more things to love and appreciate about yourself.
3. Drop the F Bomb - Forgive Yourself - HARD
That thing you did in the past that you regret?That action you took? The person you hurt? That time you drank too much? That time you screwed up?
Forgive yourself. Let it go.
You were doing the best you could then with what you now know. What lesson were you learning? Why did you act in that way? Now forgive yourself and move on. Love yourself for being how you were - how you didn't know better or how you knew but but you still faltered and love yourself for that. You're human. We all are. We make mistakes, we learn from them, and we let them go.
Forgive yourself and then forgive yourself some more.
4. Do the things that light you up
What makes you feel your best? What lights you up the most? When our energy is up and our vibration is high, we naturally feel more vibrant, expansive and loving. The more that you focus on doing the things that light you up, the more that you'll find there are things lighting you up and the more loving you will feel.
I hope this serves you.
I am typing this from the jungles of Costa Rica with shoddy internet in a break from my retreat because this message came through loud and clear for you: you are complete because you are complete.
Again - You are complete because you are complete.
Not five or ten or fifteen pounds from now. Not when the relationship comes, or you end the relationship. Not when the new job comes or your boss starts to appreciate you more. Not when your friend starts to text you more, or when you launch the website, or when you can feel comfortable enough to post more regularly on social media. No, now.
You are complete right now, in this very moment, simply for being you.
You are beautiful. You matter. You are deserving of everything that you wish to have for yourself in your life.
Yes, you are on a journey. A journey of growth. A journey to know yourself more deeply. A journey of expansion. But along the journey, you won't become complete. You are are complete, whole and perfect. Our issue is just that we forget how beautiful, special, and whole we already are.
Look outside. See those trees? You don't walk around looking at the trees thinking that it should be taller, or stronger, or deeper, or different than it is. You just appreciate it. You appreciate it for being exactly as it needs to be. The way that its age has changed it. Wisened it. Made it grow.
Appreciate yourself. Love yourself. Even if you don't believe it yet, say to yourself: "I deeply and completely love and accept myself."
If you needed reminding, here it is: your life doesn't begin the second something shifts - it's happening right now, in this moment. You are already complete. You are already whole. You are already on the adventure. You are already magnificent.
I've outlined below a tool for you to use to "fake it until you make it" if you feel like you're faking having a deep, overwhelming and pure love for yourself below.
Step One: Acknowledge the Negative Thought or Feeling
What we resist, persists. How are you feeling? Guilty? Like you aren't worthy? That you're imperfect until your body changes? That you should've known better? Whatever it is, it needs to be heard, even if you wish you could silence that voice completely immediately.
Step Two: Choose Again
Choose to over-ride that thought with one that is from your higher self - the part of you that actually does completely love and accept yourself.
Step Three: SAY IT AGAIN
Now say to yourself in meditation, or with your eyes closed, or just focusing on your breath: "even thought I feel X (guilty/ashamed/like I could have done better, etc.) I deeply and completely love and accept myself."
Say it again - and again - and again - and again.
Eventually our brain will be tricked into believing this to be true, and will override the negative thought pattern more quickly, but more importantly, we will choose to allow the voice of our heart/soul/inner guide that is unconditionally loving and accepting of ourselves to guide us instead.
Your positivity is going to piss people off, Your realness will rattle others, and that’s okay
I arrived at the airport yesterday to go on a new adventure and lead my retreat and I ducked under the partition to go and drop my bag off. “What are you doing?!” the young flight employee barked at me. “Where’s your flight? You don’t even have bag tags on your bag.” Her words and energy carried the same dull blue colour of her uniform.
“Whoa.” A small smile emerged from me. “It’s okay. I’m just trying to drop my bag off. Everything is okay.”
I’ve shared with others my career aspirations, and I’ve been met with criticism: “You’ll work all the time. You’ll have no time to spend with your family. You’re never going to meet a guy if you’re doing that.”
I also work as a litigator in a profession that is inherently combative and adversarial, where individuals are swept into the legal process and under extreme stress, which can the perfect breeding ground for low-vibe behaviour.
The week prior I had a person involved in one of the litigation files I am counsel on insinuate that I was I incompetent to handle the file because of my age. I get it – I look young – but it doesn’t take away from the legal degree hanging on my wall or my six years of experience practicing.
Or let’s talk about that time where I put myself on national television to be subject to people repeatedly commenting that I was “crazy” and “desperate” and “too much” for being in touch with my emotions in an isolating environment or having an expressive face.
As you, my love warriors, continue to rise, you’ll be met with more and more negativity. Your light and authenticity can be blinding or uncomfortable for others. Your positivity will piss some people off. Your realness will rattle others, and that’s okay.
Here’s the thing with negativity: it’s always their own stuff. You are simply a mirror. The more that you can stay grounded in that, the more you become able to let negativity bounce off of you.
Step 1: Is it true?
If you feel affected by the comment, ask yourself: is it true? The only way that a comment can really bother us is if somewhere deep down we believe it’s true too. If there’s a part of you that still believe it’s true, it’s time to do some reflecting on why you believe that limiting story. At the same time, it might also be time to reflect and see if you need to clean up some of your own behaviour. Maybe you have gotten caught up in your ego and need to connect back into your heart.
When I was first practicing law I would get comments all the time about my age. It used to trigger in me a whole spiral when I would get those comments because part of me still believed that it was true that I was too inexperienced or young to be able to do my job well – which wasn’t true at all. I had to do some work around unravelling that story.
Step 2: Find the compassion – you are simply a mirror
The next step is to find compassion for the other person. It truly is someone who hasn’t healed an area of themselves, or opened up to a new way of being, or is failing to be honest about how they are feeling, that is going to project undue criticism or negativity.
Your positivity is too much for someone who is in victim mode, or your passion for life might be too much for those who are lacking clarity around their own life and failing to take responsibility for it. The way you look might trigger someone else’s own insecurities. Your authenticity might bother people who find it difficult to be real. Have compassion for where they are at, knowing that you are simply triggering something in them, and forge ahead. It’s not personal.
Step 3: Hold Space for the Negativity without Reacting
Someone else’s fire does not need to be met with your own fire. They also don’t need to be told to just “be more positive”. Instead, be the mirror. Acknowledge how the other person is feeling and hold a calm, open presence, letting the negativity bounce off of you. Eventually their own negativity will stop in that mirror.
A Course in Miracles says: “in my defenselessness my safety lies.” Meaning, when someone is being negative, we don’t need to react back to it, fuelling the fire.
Step 4: Remove Yourself from the Negativity
Remove yourself from the person who is negative, or the space that breeds that negativity. Remove the negative comments from your feed, or delete the negative text. Your space – whether it’s in your physical surroundings or online – is sacred. Remove the negativity from it.
Step 5: Clear the Space
If you’re still feeling funky about it, you can clear your energy through any number of ways:
- Putting your hands on a tree or the earth to ground the energy off of youl
- Using a sage stick or palo santo smoke to get negative energy off of yourself;
- Taking a long shower or bath and picturing the negative energy washing off of you as you wash yourself;
- Going through a movement practice and set the intention to shake off whatever energy from other people is still stuck on you.
I hope this helps you. Keep SHINING, my friend. The world needs your light.
Ask and it is yours. Truly. It’s now no secret that I love manifesting. I am a true believer that while we cannot control everything in our lives, and all outcomes, there is a lot that is within our power. Our mind is powerful, and our free will to execute on the ideas that are presented to us is incredible.
One of the biggest stumbling blocks that I see with my coaching clients and at the Circle, however, is our mind getting in the way by trying to figure out the “how” of how things are going to happen. Our minds love to think linearly, and make assumptions based upon prior experiences as to how things are going to unfold. When our minds cannot conceive of how something is going to happen, it gets tripped up: “that’s impossible.” “that’s wishful thinking.” “there’s no way that’s a possibility.” “give up. pack it in. who are you to think that is possible" - thereby sabotaging us from receiving the very thing that we wanted.
Our mind limits us from seeing and receiving the infinite possibilities for how what we want to have happen to materialize because it wants to only believe in what it knows and can control. However, you have the power to choose again and choose a new story - a story where anything you want for yourself in your life is possible.
There is a set process to manifest things:
1.Set the intention and get super, crystal clear on what you want and why you want it.
Ensure that the ask is coming from your heart and not from your ego. Get clear on why it is that you are asking for this. will it create more feelings of love and expansiveness in you, or are you asking from a place of scarcity, lack of, or fear?
Believe it is possible, with conviction. Mantra:"everything I want for myself in my life is possible.";
2. Let go - both of the HOW this is going to happen, as well was in what WAY it happens
3. Act as if it's already happened. Focus on the feeling. How would it feel when this thing happens? Embody that energy now - because it's already happening. You are becoming an energetic match for what you want to call into your life.
4.Take inspired action as you feel called.
Step two is often the hardest part. Our mind wants to control, and wants to believe that it knows what’s best for us. How do you let it go? Firstly, trust that the universe is conspiring in your favour and will make what you have asked happen. I know that seems hard at first. The mind thinks it knows what's possible based upon prior experience, but the Universe makes the tides turn and trees grow so I'm pretty sure it knows what its doing. Universal intelligence that is far smarter than your mind.
There are an infinite number of ways how what you want to have materialize could show up. You just need to trust it will - 100%. All in.
Then let go - surrender completely. Do not spend energy trying to control how this is going to happen. Instead, trust that the wheels are already in motion, and you just go about your life – do the things that keep you feeling good. You act as if the thing has already happened. You embody the energy of the person you will be when that thing arrives. For example, if you want more money, then start respecting money even more by paying your bills on time, paying off debt, spending within your means, or donating a portion of your current earnings to charity, like someone with lots of money would. If you want to date someone amazing, then start treating yourself like you want that person to treat you.
When you feel good, your mind is clear to receive the inspiration and wisdom it needs to execute on to bring your vision to fruition. You will take action as you feel inspired to.
Your heart/soul/intuition/inner guide might tell you to go to another coffee shop where you sit down beside someone who happens to be reading the exact book that you need to educate yourself for your dream job, or you might feel more open to reaching out to a contact when someone suggests it to you. You might feel the pull to walk down a new street where you run into a friend going to an event that changes your life, or you might feel super creative and begin to start writing a book. Each day, be open to receive from your inner guidance what your next step is.
Do not spend your time and precious energy dwelling on how to make things happen for yourself, and instead let things happen for you. Trust that life can work out for you. Trust that the Universe is friendly and not fearful - and wants to make your dreams come true. Trust that life is working out for you. Trust that the game is rigged in your favour.
And so it is.
New Year’s Day 2014 I woke up hungover.
I remember everything about the night before. I decided that I wanted to forgo hanging out with my girlfriends and their boyfriends because I wanted to party.
Instead of spending time with the women who have championed me every step, and misstep, of my life, I ended up in a stranger’s house party speaking with people I barely knew, popping champagne, and making out at midnight with some guy who’s name I don’t remember.
The make-up. The blow-out. The fancy dress. The party. The new guy I just wanted attention from. All of it.
All of it was me masking what I didn’t want to feel inside, which was that I was lonely and disconnected.
Sometimes it seems obvious in retrospect. If I wanted to feel connected, why did I choose to go to a party instead of spending time with the people who care about me the most?
What I know now is that sometimes our soul leads us to places that make us feel even more disconnected, more detached and lonely so that eventually we’ll wake up again.
2013 had been a whirlwind year for me. It was the year that I admitted to myself that I wasn’t happy with my objectively perfect life, got out of a relationship with a person who loved me so deeply that I feared I would never meet anyone who would love me as much, and spent the remainder of the year running from answering the question of “if I’m not THAT person and THAT life that I always pictured for myself… then who am I? and what is my life about?”
It was a heavy question.
While I could admit that life didn’t feel as good as it wanted to feel, I had no idea what this new vision for my life was, or even once I had it, how I would make it happen.
I knew from previous experience that I could manifest anything, but the truth was, all I really wanted was just to feel happier.
So 2014 was going to be the year. The year that I would start to motivate myself to become a better person again. To stop the spiral. To stop running from myself and my own bullshit stories. It was time to go deep, get dirty, and sort through the muck like the lotus blossoming from the mess around it, find the light in me again.
It worked. Over the course of 2014, my life profoundly shifted. I felt happier than I ever had. I felt more connected and sure of myself than I ever had. I had a powerful vision for my future.
At the end of the year, I spent New Year’s Eve 2014 in Vietnam, all my myself, but feeling so truly, completely at peace with myself, where I was, and how much I had grown.
I gently laid a paper boat lantern down the Mekong river and watched it float away and thought to myself “this is just the beginning.”
So let’s begin. This is your year. Your year to get unstuck, to love yourself more, to release what’s holding you down, and to remember that you can create anything you want for yourself in your life. I’ve got your back. We’re in this one together.
In this Vlog I share how to start your year by coming up with three or four words that will guide your year.
How do you want to feel, most of the time? What theme do you want active in your life, most of the time?
Last year mine were: COURAGE, POWER, SWEETNESS, SURRENDER
This year mine are: PRECISION, GENTLENESS, EASE
What are three things that you can do this month that will help you feel the feelings that you have written out?
If you wrote: healthy. Cool. What is one thing you can do this month to feel healthy? Hit that spin class? Check.
If you wrote: beautiful. Okay. What makes you feel beautiful? Can you commit to doing that once this month?
If you wrote: inspired. Neat. What places make you feel most inspired? Can you go there once this month?
Keep remembering - small hinges swing big doors. This is the hinge, and you're about to swing the door for 2018 right open.
Get Support. Accountability. Who is going to be your life "running buddy" for the year? Commit to what you are cultivating right now and this year out loud, to someone else.
If you want to join our community in Toronto, head over to the events page and I'll meet you there to keep you accountable (January 10, 18 and 24 are our upcoming Circles).
I knew 2017 was a year to level up and put myself out there in a big way. I had been doing so much growth, unravelling and learning for years prior that I was ready and so pumped to share all that I learned in a way more massive way.
As such, I set the intention of having a year filled with power, courage, sweetness and surrender.
I then set unrealistic intentions/goals that came from my heart in my journal (obvi):
- I want to encourage 20,000 women to love themselves more unconditionally
- I want to be featured in more media
- I want to run a retreat
- I want to live as an example of compassion, grace and courage
- I want to run goddess circle twice a month
- I want to transition to a plant based diet
- I want to fall in love with an incredible man who supports me to level up
- I want to have a consistent Mysore yoga practice
- I want to have 3-6 coaching clients I work with a month
- I want to do several speaking engagements
And holy F. Was I not given crazy opportunities by the universe to do all those things. Did they all happen the way I thought they would? Absolutely not. This year was massive about surrendering - trusting that if I was following the signs - that the things I wanted to happen just would.
Let’s look at how the Universe, spirit and my soul took me on a wild ass ride that ended up in me having all the things I VERY CLEARLY ASKED FOR come my way. Having a tall, blonde, athletic Chris was only a tiny drop in the ocean of the things I actually asked for.
This year, I started Goddess Circles. I originally got the idea back in December to start them and wanted to put it off, but then my intuition actually yelled at me, “no. you’ll start now. You’re starting in January.”
I was not ready, but I also felt really passionate about the idea. I felt like when I was first exploring self-reflection, meditation, and personal growth it was so isolating and I couldn’t find a conscious community that resonated with me. I decided I would create what I wish existed, and what I still need today.
Entire the Circle.
It has blown my mind to see the events sell out, for anywhere between 20-40 women show up every month to bear with me and one another their hearts and their dreams. The transformation I have seen in myself and the women in this beautiful community has blown my mind. Truly. It is incredibly powerful. If you haven’t come to one yet, please come join us.
It also took a lot of power for me to lead a group like this. To own my leadership. To know that I could lead because I had a lot I had studied, and could teach from that place and share my experiences, and was able hold the energy of the group. I was so nervous at first, but now I feel in such a flow with it. Power.
Power also manifested in opportunities to start to share my story of learning that outward success was never going to lead to inner happiness. I shared my story on stage to larger and larger groups. Power. I did a number of workshops on meditation and stress hacks for different corporate and University groups. Power.
This really came into play with my intentions for the year. I wanted all of the above to happen, but had no idea how in the eff any of it was going to happen. In particular, how I was going to inspire 20,000 to love themselves more unconditionally. I knew I was doing the goddess circles, but I mean, how would I ever reach that many people?
Also, I knew I wanted to be featured in more media, and had been asked to do a number of podcasts and interviews on mindfulness, meditation, and self-love earlier this year, but then….
Enter going on national TV, connecting with an audience of millions and the media storm that ensued subsequent to that experience.
I did fall in love with incredible men who supported me to level up – twice. Did either of them work out? No. The thing is with an open heart, you can extend that love to someone else truly unconditionally. That meant that while I extended that love in a big way to two different men this year (you can have a quick guess as to whether they were both named Chris, and both blonde, and both athletic… what are the chances?!), it can from a truly unconditional place of not expecting anything in return. I loved them because I did and wanted to extend that love. Did my life end when it didn’t work out with either of them? No.
I had done so much personal work in the past few years about learning to have a truly open heart that it was beautiful for me to look back this year and see that I was rooted enough in my own self-love to be able to vulnerably extend it twice this year to guys who ultimately could not give me what I was looking for. Being single is such a gift for the growth it brings.
I knew I wanted a regular Mysore yoga practice. When I was filming the Bachelor, I did mysore yoga every day when we were in Costa Rica because I couldn’t do anything else. I finally did realize my daily yoga practice, if only for the month that we were filming there. Since that time, I still do mysore a few times a month, which is technically still “regular”, but I just prefer Sheldon Shannon’s classes at Downward Dog because they are truly incredible and inspire me so much.
All of the other things happened in ways I couldn’t imagine – I was approached about sharing my story of achieving all my goals by 25 and realizing that no external “thing” was ever going to make me happy and that true happiness and success are an inside job at a large speaking gig in the Fall, and led several workshops on how to incorporate meditation into your daily life where I share my story about why I am so passionate about it.
The plant based diet came easily as a bi-product of my vibration continuing to change over the course of the year. Ram Dass says that eventually things fall away as we evolve, so to not try and push things like fasting or eating more plant-based until it feels natural. I found that my appetite for non-plant products naturally waned as my conscious continued to shift.
I changed the way in which I coach, and transitioned it to “soul coaching/soul sessions”, and sure enough, now regularly have 6 coaching sessions a month.
I wanted to lead a retreat, and then two girlfriends of mine who had both run retreats before asked if I wanted to collaborate with them. Yes, please. See you guys in Costa Rica next year.
This year was filled with so many sweet, magical moments. Sweetness for life. Amazing, beautiful trips to NYC, LA and Tulum with new and old friends. Finding myself watching the moon rise in Tulum on top of a hotel, or dancing in a warehouse in NYC with other love warriors. Going to one of my best friend’s weddings this summer and staying in a house in Niagara with my girlfriends. Spending time at the cottage and in Florida with my family. Welcoming new, amazing, sweet souls into my life.
Sweetness came from learning, more and more, to be gentle with myself and sweet with myself, particularly as I navigated these new edges of radical self-acceptance and honesty.
Sweetness also came from loving myself through having this insane stress rash that broke out all over my torso in the summer just in time for bikini season after I got home from filming. Turns out, you cannot flip your life upside down and the plug back into normal life and pretend everything is okay. Your body will fight back. To be sweet with myself while patiently waiting for this skin flare up to go away (it took seven weeks) in the middle of the summer, was work.
Lastly, sweetness came as I sat beside my ailing Nana, a woman so pivotal in me becoming the woman I am today, in our final moments together in Sunnybrook Hospital, holding hands with her, my mom and I in a circle, three generations of strong women, and telling her how much we loved her, how much she inspired us, how her legacy would live on, and how it was okay for her to finally let go.
With that in mind, that whole "courage" thing I was seeking this year really manifested in a profound way. Try uprooting your life for two months just as the Circles were really grooving and I had a bunch of speaking engagements and workshops flowing my way, to go into isolation with strangers and film a TV show, then catapult yourself back into your "real life", and then watch it, and your most vulnerable and raw moments, get played back to a national audience.
I had no idea what doing reality TV would be like, and suffice to say, it took way more courage than I could have ever imagined at the time. If I really want to inspire other people to love themselves more unconditionally – that means loving the beautiful, exciting, polished parts of yourself – and also loving the uncontained, unpolished, and unsavoury sides of yourself too – then I had to embody it in a huge way. It takes tremendous courage to love yourself so fiercely. All sides of you. To get up every time that you’ve been smacked down. To love yourself when things aren’t going to plan, or when you’ve made a decision and you’re not sure why you have. To love yourself when you're stressed. To love yourself when you feel regret.
To actually have my jaw actually drop on national TV, but still exit with grace, and still be able to face Chris Leroux and the audience with an open heart, with compassion for where Chris is at and his decisions, as well as myself for how the experience unfolded, took a lot of courage. To be completely authentic and real and open, and to have persevered from an experience that was marked by a lot of pain for me, again, took courage.
I had a lot of time where I “in the smoke” this year – that stage where things are not going to plan, or something has happened and you just don’t know why it is happening. The answer is not supposed to come yet. All you can do is love yourself through that, turn to your faith and grounding practices (for me that’s meditation, yoga, soul-cycle, deep connection with friends and family, nature and journaling) and wait it out until the smoke clears. Courage.
The path of the love warrior is no effing joke, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. If you're doing to do life, why not try really being all-in, you know?
I hope this year review encourages you to remember that anything you want for yourself in your life is completely possible for you, but that doesn’t mean it is going to be easy. Are you ready? If you ask the Universe, be prepared to level up. Be prepared for it to fuck with your shit. Be prepared to watch everything that is holding you back to be ripped from you. But also be prepared for more love, more joy, more excitement and expansion than you have ever experienced before.
And also be prepared for the best feeling – that feeling of looking back at all – and thinking “I DID THAT. I CREATED THAT.”
You are incredible. You are so powerful. You can have anything you desire.
You got this.
HAPPY END OF 2017!!!! This is my favourite time of the year, truly, because it gives you time to reflect on that has been and all that is to come.
There is such power in OWNING our story, whatever the story was of 2017. What happened? Maybe you feel like a lot didn't happen, but when you take a moment, and really remember the person that you were at the beginning of this year and what you were doing, and then reflect upon all the tiny shifts and changes and things that unfolded all year, you'll realize that here you are - a completely different person. It's amazing.
In this video, I share what we did in the last Circle of the year, which was to go through and reflect on:
1. What were your five highlights of the year?
2. What were your five downfalls or things that did not go to plan?
3. What were the the curveballs or totally unexpected things that happen, and ultimately, what were you learning from those things? What lessons did you learn?
PS. My next GODDESS CIRCLE is JANUARY 10 at Misfit - tickets are online at Eventbrite now.
There's an UPTOWN Circle happening at BOD studio on January 18, andddd there's a SUNDAY NIGHT Circle happening January 21.
We normally sell out and our capacity is a sweet 35 people (talk about GOOD VIBES) so if you want to join message me so i can reserve your spot.
how are you?
but really - how ARE you?
be honest, but then also be honest about whether you're choosing to stay in the light or choosing to to complain, dwell in negativity, or fear, or run a bullshit story you don't need to anymore
if you run the script that life is amazing. that good people come into your life every day. that you are supported. that your family loves you. that life feels exciting
that's what's going to show up
we just had winter solstice ❄️ which means it's time now to go inward. into the darkness so you can cruise back into the light. notice whether any of your narrative about life needs some cleaning up
Because life IS magical
boots on. parka on. tights on. ear muffs on. try not to freeze. try to make it into the office. try to focus in on the work on the laptop in front of me
we can get caught up in thinking we want to be anywhere other than where we are, right now, in this exact moment, but it's a trap
your destiny is in front of you right now. it's not some elusive moment ahead of you - some experience or place or person that's going to shift everything into place and then your destiny becomes realized
no, your destiny is right now. looking you in the face
if something feels wrong, change it. but if you take a pause, take a moment, wait there just a minute and think "oh yeah. oh right. okay. everything's just fine right now." take a moment and love on that fact. love on where you're at right now. you're just on your journey. love on the places you've gone and the places you'll go. love on the people you've met and dream of the people you've yet to meet. love on what's to come, by loving what's happening right now
I love to read. While I think there’s a balance between inputting new information and actually applying those principles to our life (if any of you have been in information overload, endlessly listening to podcasts, cruising the internet, or otherwise consuming content – it might be time to pause and take it all in instead).
One of the top questions I get from people is: what are my favourite books? In particular, what are my top self-help or spirituality books.
My top books of 2017 were:
- The Surrender Experiment by Michael Singer (top pick of the year)
- Daring Greatly and Into the Wilderness by Brene Brown (on vulnerability and the courage to be yourself)
- Be Love Now by Ram Dass (on spirituality and being a more loving, open, present person)
- The Sun and Her Flowers by Rupi Kaur (poetry on he human experience)
- Journey of the Heart by John Wellwood (on conscious relationships and true partnership)
The Surrender Experiment by Michael Singer topped it all off. Michael Singer has led a truly inspiring life, building everything from a spiritual retreat centre in Florida to a 3 billion dollar company to a meditation program for incarcerated individuals.
He would trust his heart, never listen to his mind’s preferences about opportunities, and instead would simply surrender to where life was flowing.
In short, he decided to be completely open to life instead of closed and has been living an incredible like marked by success, ease, joy, and magic, which is the exactly the type of life I want to live.
As such, I went ahead and decided that 2017 would be my year of being completely open to life. In other words, I was having my “year of yes.”
I said “yes” to new experiences like the Bachelor when my mind was like “wtf”. I said “yes” to going on a trip to Tulum with people I didn’t know who then became some of my closest friends. I said “yes” to starting goddess circle when my intuition pulled at me to start it, even long before my mind felt like I was ready.
Even to more innocuous things; saying “yes” to 7 am spin class when my mind always wanted to say no and had the preference to sleep, “yes” to a more organic diet when my mind said it was more expensive, “yes” to meeting up with new person after new person, trusting that they had been brought into my life for a reason.
For this reason, this book was my top pick of 2017. It truly changed my life and how I live it – ushering me into a new way of being that is filled with more ease, flow, and excitement.
What are your favourites of the year? Let me know!
Remember in grade school where there would be those posters on the wall that said “if you can dream it, you can do it” alongside other posters that stated “aim for the moon. If you miss, you’ll land among the stars.” I think most of us got used to seeing these motivational posters lining our classroom walls that we forgot to let the messages really sink in.
In 2006, the book the book the Secret came out and it was a total game changer. I was nineteen and the idea that our thoughts could create our reality, and that merely by coming up with a powerful vision for something, we could magnetize it to us, blew my mind. At first I started with small things: I wanted to make $20.00 through only spare change and found pennies, then dimes, then quarters, and then random dollar bills floating along the streets. I next experimented with grades at school, followed by the types of guys I wanted to date, followed by the type of job that I wanted to get for the summer, to more innocuous things like finding the perfect jumpsuit for an event.
Eventually, I decided to write out the whole vision for my future life. Back in 2012, I took stock of where I and felt amazed that I was standing with two feet firmly planted in the life I had envisioned so many years prior. I really do believe that we can create anything we want for ourselves in our lives and that our power to manifest things is real.
As many of you are aware, in the summer of 2016 I decided that I wanted to create a new vision of what I had been looking for in a partner. This was not the first time that I had done this. In fact, I had been doing this since I first came across the law of attraction when I was a teenager.
After dating a bunch of guys who were basically one shade off from another for several years, I decided I was going to date outside of my box and started to joke with my friends and family that I was simply looking for “soulmate Chris” after my intuitive told me that my soulmate was named Chris.
Eventually some of my friends tired of this non-descriptive description. In the span of one week in the Summer of 2016 I had three dinners in a row where three different friends asked me, “okay, but seriously, what are you looking for?”
I absolutely love dating and getting to know people, but the issue was that in the summer of 2016 I was about to launch my business and knew that the coming year was going to be busy as I would be juggling practicing law full time with running workshops. I decided that I was going to put dating on hold for the most part, and instead came up with an idea of what I was looking for and vowed that I would simply recognize it when I saw it.
Yes, that person might be tall and athletic, but more importantly, I wrote out how this person would make me feel, what types of things we would do together, and how we would inspire one another
Nearly a year later, after a series of things aligned, I ended up on the Bachelor. When I met Chris Leroux, he absolutely met the physical description I had carefully written out months prior, and there was always an ease between us. “This is insane,” my mind thought. "Here I am on this TV show, and the guy meets my description of what I wanted to manifest, his name is Chris, and we get along like old pals." Just like that, I allowed myself to get swept up in my mind instead of staying grounded in my heart about what was actually happening.
Yogananda (who brought yoga and meditation to the West) writes in Autobiography of a Yogi: "Attachment is blinding; it lends an imaginary halo of attractiveness to the object of desire."
I got blinded.
There were several conversations we had where I started to get that similar “tug-tug-something is off” feeling in my heart, but chose to ignore it because I was letting my mind run the show. Chris advised that he was not self-reflective at all. He was super awkward about yoga, which is a huge passion of mine. He repeatedly said he was intimidated by me and my life. At any point along the way I could have chosen to see the situation clearly, but was blinded by my attachment to the story. With that in mind, Chris also gave me a lot of validation to suggest that my story was correct and that we would be together at the end of the journey (or jour-naayyyy as I exclusively called it), so it further evidenced to my mind that this all made sense and was right.
Because I was so wrapped up in the story, I forgot to connect to my heart and discern whether this was actually what I wanted, whether this person was a good match for me, or whether this person was even on the same wavelength as me. I forgot to evaluate whether I should stick around with someone who repeatedly suggested that my enthusiasm for life, which is my favourite quality about myself, was too much. When we get attached to the vision we have created, it truly does create this light that blinds us from turning inward and connecting with our heart to evaluate whether something actually feels good and should stay in our life.
When we get blinded by a story and project it onto whatever is in front of us – be it a partner, the job we always wanted, the place we thought we wanted to live, or the life that we thought we always wanted – and get caught in believing our mind, which will confirm to us that it whatever it is “makes sense” instead of tuning in with our heart to determine whether it actually feels good, eventually the Universe will typically give us a SMACKDOWN. Our lives are not supposed to be a series of things that unfold linearly and make sense to the mind. Rather, our lives are meant to be marked by the flowing of things that make our heart feel happy, secure, and joyful. The heart will help you design a life that feels magical and fulfilling. The mind will create a life that makes logical sense, but often leaves you feeling disenchanted and searching for more. I knew this, but I allowed myself to forget it.
After all, this was not my first rodeo with this issue (see “My Story”). Here’s the thing with lessons: you keep learning them until you get the point. The universe will repeatedly humble you the second you get a spiritual ego of “having it all figured out”.
In this situation with Chris, I got a smackdown alright. The look on my face was pure shock. I have truly never been so shocked in my life, but it goes to show just how blinded I was. In that moment, the illusion lifted and I had to face the fact that I had allowed myself to be blinded. As I exited, I felt bewildered but also mad. I was infuriated. Instead of taking full responsibility, I was first mad at him for making a decision I was not expecting. Relationships are only mirrors, however, and I soon realized that I was actually frustrated with myself for not having not seen it sooner. I really didn’t know this person that well, it had felt off, and I had been swept up in the story because he met the description of what I was manifesting.
When I got home, it was immediately clear just how blinded I had been. It was easy to see the truth that while this person may have been a soulmate as we went through this wild experience together, he was truly not supposed to be my life partner. Friends are amazing mirrors to hold space for what you already know to be true. What I grappled with for a long time, however, was not getting over this person (that was easy), but rather, debating with myself how I could have been so blinded to the truth.
It became an opportunity for me to witness again how strong my ego mind can be, and how clearly the voice of the ego or the mind will take over the voice of all-knowing, loving, intuitive heart.
How did this happen? One of the biggest ways that I learned to silence the mind and drop into the heart is through regular meditation, yoga, and journaling, which were all practices I found difficult to do while filming given the schedule and the fact that we are around each other all the time. I came back from this experience to remember that these things are truly non-negotiable for me. If I fail to practice them, my mind will take over strongly, and I will believe whatever crazy story or idea it tells me is true.
I also learned that the Universe has your back so hard that when you’ve gone astray and you’ve listened to the ego mind’s voice for too long, it’ll give you a spiritual smackdown to land you on your ass to force you to get quiet and drop back into the heart. Talk about tough love.
I realized that I truly am a powerful creator. We all are. The fact that I ended up on the Bachelor with a guy who actually met the description of what I wanted to manifest and was named Chris is insane, but it goes to show how we can manifest anything we want into our life, often in the most unexpected of ways. The key, however, is to make sure that you are creating your vision based on what your heart wants as opposed to what your mind thinks "makes sense". Our mind can only create based upon things that it has seen or experienced before, but the heart can tune into what would feel good, what is for our highest growth, or what we actually want, deep down.
Here's where I’m at now: give up the story and surrender. Interestingly, I set the intention at the beginning of the year to learn how to give up control and truly, truly surrender.
When we surrender the story and instead focus on how we want to feel when that thing we want to manifest arrives, we become a vibrational match for that or something better. At this point, I realize that there is so much more magic that can unfold where I let go of the details of what I want to show up in my life and instead trust that the Universe will give me something far beyond what my mind can picture if I just stop trying to control what it looks like. Surrendering the story keeps me free to continue release other the things in my life that I am holding onto because my mind has created a story around them and tells me that I "should" want when my heart says they no longer resonate any longer. In other words, I have to continually remind myself that my mind doesn't know shit, and that as long as I am following my heart and doing the things that may me feel good, I'm always on path and the right things will show up for me at the right time
I always trust that life is unfolding for my highest good. The Universe always has my back. I trust that the opportunities that align with the things I love to do, like share my stories publicly, write, and support people to get out of their heads and back into their hearts, will always flow to me in truly magical ways if I’m paying attention to the signs and making sure that I embody happiness and love.
If you want to learn how to begin the practice of connecting with your intuitive heart and your soul, and how to start unravel the fears and the crazy ideas of your mind, start working through my free soul map. Remember, it's a journey. The learning never stops. The surprises never cease. But one thing I know, for sure, is that it is always a wonderful, fascinating, magical ride.
P.S. I completely trust that I will be sent the most amazing partner far beyond what my mind could envision now that I’ve learned to let go of the image of what the person looks like or what their GD name is. Let the magic continue...
Last week I was shown on national television bawling my eyes out. Wailing. Ugly crying. Several GIFs were made of me with tears streaming down my eyes. There were mean tweets about me along the lines of "can Catie just stop with the crying already? Ugh she is annoying me." Articles were written in national magazines about whether it was appropriate for me to have been crying as much as I was. While part of me wanted to defend what was happening and share more of the background about why I was crying, such as the things that I had been told or how extreme the isolation is in filming or how unable to access the tools like yoga or journaling that I usually use to temper my emotions, I decided not to. Instead, I decided to fully embrace the beauty of what I was seeing. The raw humanness that I was witnessing.
I decided to remember to tell myself, and to tell everyone else, that to feeling feelings is okay. That you can be powerful and also vulnerable. That you can be strong but also soft. And that in fact, to feel feelings is one of the biggest gifts that we get to experience as souls on this wild journey.
When we put a stop button on certain feelings, we press a stop button on our ability to fully experience all life has to offer. Without pain and sadness, we wouldn't appreciate big joy or the waves of bliss that follow after. Without allowing ourselves to dive into the sweetness of life when things are going well, we would lose hope when things get difficult or bleak.
We are told that some feelings are okay and some feelings aren't. But it's all okay. It's all beautiful. It's all divine. Life is messy. It's imperfect. It's also impermanent. That's where the beauty lies. Our ability to experience each feeling as it arises and feel it fully is what is the juice of life. That's where the magic is.
I spent several years not crying. I mean that. Not even once. I hated the way that crying felt. I hated what I looked like when I cried. I hated the feeling that would swell in my chest. As a child, whenever I felt like crying I would run and hide underneath my bed so that no one would see me or know. Luckily, my Dad figured out my tactic and would quietly sit on my bed until I was ready to come out and talk about what I was feeling. I hated uncomfortable feelings, so I just avoided them. The issue is that when you avoid what's uncomfortable, you slowly start to turn down the light on your life. You mute it. The colours slowly start to fade and the magic dwindles.
A few years ago I decided that I wanted to access greater levels of joy, bliss and enthusiasm in my life, but in order to do so, I knew that I had to learn how to sit with and feel into uncomfortable feelings too. It's a pendulum. The more uncomfortable you allow yourself to be and feel into, the greater the joy you get to feel on the other side.
Seeing myself cry so openly and so vulnerably on national television was a massive gift. Because I worked hard to be her. The one who feels. The one who is okay to embrace whatever is arising, knowing that it'll pass. The one who learned that there's no shame in feeling uncomfortable feelings and being honest about it. The one who knows that only by feeling into what's uncomfortable is what allows it to be released. The one who knows that each feeling is a gift, designed to take you deeper into your heart, deeper into your knowing, and deeper into your soul. The one who knows that being vulnerable can be difficult as hell, but there's no greater gift than to allow yourself to experience your humanness.
My wish for you is this: don't be scared to feel uncomfortable feelings. It's okay. Putting a stop button on your feelings will only quash the magic that is available for you in your life. And I want you to have magic. You deserve all the magic.
Be easy. take your time. you are coming home to yourself. - @nayyirah.waheed
Impermanence has been one of the biggest lessons for me this year. The idea that all things - good and bad - are transient. Here one moment, gone the next. The work becomes not getting too attached to what IS - whether we see it as good or bad, and rather to be fully present in each moment as it arises, in a state of equilibrium.
As I've been reflecting on this concept all week as I take stock of the year, I found myself having to practice it again. I had one of my best days of the year yesterday, and then woke up this morning feeling totally blocked and sad for a reason I couldn't put my finger on at first.
Yesterday I was fully present with all the joys and the bliss I felt. I was fully present with the beautiful company that surrounded me all day, I drank in each word I read, I savoured every morsel of delicious food, I laughed big and loud at things that delighted me. Today I was fully present with the shadow in my psyche that was revealing itself. I stayed fully present with my sadness. I felt into the constriction in my chest.
In either instance, the key is to allow yourself to feel each feeling and soak up each flavour of each moment - knowing that the winds will pull you in a new direction again. All you have to do is soak it in while it's happening in the moment.
All feelings - joy, bliss, sorrow, shame - have a place. Be with them. Get curious about them. They might stay a while, or they might not. Either way, they won't last forever. Be present with what IS and unlock an entire new level of dimension to your human experience.