It’s funny how often we get in our own way of our wants and dreams. Fear can creep in and that inner self critic whispers sweet nothings until we give in to its charm. I find myself in a battle with my inner self critic most often when I’m trying to level up in life and step out of my comfort zone. Like the time I decided to volunteer for my son’s class events or that time I decided to travel alone across the country.
I like to tap in to my intuition or my inner guidance when I feel stuck in fear or when I feel like I need some direction. I think of this inner guidance as an all knowing version of myself that is ready and waiting to provide subtle or not-so-subtle synchronicities along my life path. The important part is finding ways to listen or pay attention to those clues.
Here’s how you can follow this practice:
Set an intention, do something that lights you up, listen to your intuition, take action.
Step 1: Set an intention for what you want. It doesn’t have to be huge, just declare what you want. Write it down, say it out loud, or hold the vision in your mind.
Step 2: Do something that lights you up. Take some time to for you to nourish your mind, body, soul or all three!
Step 3: Listen to your intuition. Listen from your heart by focusing on your breath and bringing your attention to your heart. At first this can seem tricky. Your mind might try and take over and look for clues and signs or over-analyze your thoughts. Try and release the need to know and just observe. Usually the first thought that comes to mind is your answer. It does not have to make sense in the moment.
Step 4: Take action. This is the big one. Once you receive your guidance, take action. It could be to make that call, say yes to that opportunity, take that course. It might not even seem to align with your initial intention but it just might the first step to receiving what you want!
Here’s an example:
Since I started the practice of reiki, I have been wanting more opportunities to work with people because I feel so amazing after each and every session. I found something I am aligned with. Something that truly lights me up! My intention for this year was to increase the number of clients so I can do more of what I love and help more people.
Before trying to figure out a plan to do this, I grabbed a soul sister, some tea, and oracle cards and drove to the beach to catch the sunset. Sunsets, oracle cards, and good company are all things that bring me pleasure.
Not long after I returned from this hour of pleasure, I looked at my calendar and had the urge to reach out to a specific reiki client to book her next session. This is something I never do. I question whether I’m being too pushy or sounding desperate. With a few deep breaths I did it in spite of my inner self critic whispers. I took action and reached out to this client with a few dates and released the outcome to the universe.
After a few hours I received a message back. She said yes and thanked me for thinking of her. The real magic is when she called back asking if she could invite a friend. A new client!
My first new reiki client of the year was booked and my intention was fulfilled.
Where in your life can you step out of your own way and take bold action? The magic is waiting on the other side.
P.S. Want to learn the process I used to manifest things like money, new relationships, jobs, and a new car? click here to sign up for instant access to my FREE manifesting funshop
One month ago I was admitted to hospital completely healthy to be released four days later with five stitched incisions and one less kidney. I left feeling pain, dizziness, nausea, exhaustion, and pure joy. I made a decision a year prior to donate one of my kidneys to a stranger. This decision came after some research and deep soul searching. You can read more about that here.
After making the decision to donate, there were many times I felt unsure and a little scared about my decision. I trust this is a normal process for someone donating to a stranger. I did not have a loved one in front of me who needed a kidney. I didn’t have anything tangible to keep my decision strong. I could only imagine if someone I loved was suffering, I would have no second thoughts about giving them one of my kidneys. I barely knew about kidney disease and I probably still don’t even know the half of what people living with the disease experience. I’ve never knowingly met anyone in person who has. I didn’t have a team cheering for me and even after telling my family and friends, we rarely even talked about it. This decision was mine and mine alone. I knew if I decided not to go through with it, my family would support my decision 100%. We wouldn’t have to watch someone become disappointed when they were told the news that their donor was no longer giving them a kidney. I had to dig deep and rely heavily on my spiritual beliefs and the support of something I could not see.
I chose to trust in the deep urge I had to do this. When I choose to do something, I almost always see it through to the end. And this choice came out of nowhere and from the very beginning I had an inner pull guiding me. The year it took for me to officially decide was purely to ease my logical mind, but my heart knew what she wanted. I believe in a higher power that some call The Universe or God and also that each and everyone one of us have a Higher Self. I often turn to this belief to help make decisions and to give me reassurance.
A few really cool examples of signs from my Higher Self that have showed up for me during the past year:
My blood pressure during my medical exam at the donation hospital was 111/60. I love receiving guidance or assurance through numbers. Many meanings show up for 111 and this is one of the first sequence of numbers that have shown up for me. Joanne Sacred has a fun online resource if you are interested in attaching meaning to the numbers that show up in your life. This was a clear message to me in this moment: “Angel Number 111 also encourages you to assist and inspire the human race via your natural abilities, relying upon your inner-wisdom and intuition to guide you. Be an inspirational guiding light to bring illumination to others and to help raise spiritual awareness. Trust that the angels support you in your ‘lightwork’.”Exactly the message that I needed in that moment.
I connected randomly with some affected by kidney disease. I fell in love with a company that offered clean living products and would purchase from them when sales would pop up. My cousin invited me to an online sale that her friend hosted. I purchased a few items and made a connection with the woman who was selling the products. We became facebook friends, mainly for ease of communicating in regards to the products. After a few of my facebook posts about organ transplants, she reached out curious to know what my story was. I mentioned I was signed up to be a living kidney donor and worked for an organ donation agency. Turns out her sister received a kidney from her brother and kidney disease and donation is something their family is passionate about. We now have future plans to connect in person and now share a passion! Note that I have not met anyone, to my knowledge, that has been affected by kidney disease before this moment.
My surgery date was scheduled for the summer. The process from my first test (summer 2017) to the actual surgery (summer 2018) took much longer than usual as the chain of donors and recipients, I was told, was a complex one. Trusting in the wait and knowing my healing would be in divine timing had me believing from day one that my surgery will likely be spring or summer. Historically, I have a difficult time during the winter months as I typically cope with seasonal affective disorder and anxiety triggers surrounding flu season. The universe had my back once I found out in February that my surgery would likely be scheduled 2-3 months from then. This was such a blessing and, even better, my surgery was pushed to mid-July allowing me the perfect amount of time to prepare and heal during the best time of the year for me mentally. Being in nature has made my healing process an absolute joy.
Oracle cards. These beauties have pulled me out of some dark moments. The messages resonate with me about 90% of the time in the moment I read them. If I’m feeling fearful, lonely, or unsure I will pull out a deck of oracle cards, breathe deep and ask from my heart for a message. The messages always led me closer to love and certainty for my decision.
The most consistent thing that kept me on my path was the reassurance I would receive when I needed it most. Some nights while laying in bed, I would think about giving up a kidney. I would think of all the potential risks involved with surgery. I would think of life afterwards and the thought of my remaining kidney failing. I would think of the time in hospital and shortly after coming home and panicked about feeling nauseous, feeling pain, wondering if my husband would be able to take on the extra load of keeping up the chores and taking care of our five-year-old. I held strong in my decision right up until surgery because every single time I had a worrisome thought come through my head something would happen shortly after to reassure me I was on the right path. All of the things I mention above and so much more. It was magical!
I have learned that I can’t control every aspect of my life but I can control how I react and I can choose to believe in a Higher Power. I can rely on this Higher Power to support me through the greatest and worst times of my life. The belief holds me strong and allows me to forgive quicker and easier. It helps me feel supported and loved. It helps me feel like I have a purpose in this lifetime. It helps me trust in my gut and believe that I can make decisions that will serve the greater good. It helps me to learn how to forgive myself for anything I’ve ever felt shame or guilt for.
Have you ever had signs similar to mine? If not, try asking for a sign. It can be something simple and fun! My mom was trying to make a decision before going on a road trip so I told her to ask for a sign like an animal. She picked penguin. There are no wild penguins where we live so she knew not to expect to see a penguin in the living breathing form but a penguin in any other form would do. Her trip lasted one day and she saw two penguins. One was on a shopping centre sign and the other was a little stuffed toy penguin that a little girl randomly handed her during her visit.
We are always surrounded by love and support. Ask for guidance and you will receive.
I believe in biodiversity, never in a one size fits all approach to dieting and healthy living.
Once you learn how to listen to your body and recognizing how it reacts to certain foods, you will feel so empowered when choosing what to fuel it with to feel your best. Connecting with our bodies can feel foreign or uncomfortable after a lifetime of being immersed in a a society of body shaming and feeling like you’re never enough.
Eating anything with intention and a feeling of empowerment is much healthier than eating with a restrictive and punitive mindset, no matter what the food is.
Next time you have the option to eat something you might consider unhealthy or “bad” for your body, try saying YES to that food while switching your mindset and recognize your feelings when taking that first bite. Tell yourself that you are choosing to eat this food because you love the taste, texture, smell and the enjoyment that comes with this bite. Be WITH your food and really notice the taste, texture, smell and gratitude that comes with that first bite. You might start to realize that you don’t feel the need to finish that entire bag of chips, or you might decide to put half of that slice of cake back in the fridge for another time. With a restrictive and punitive mindset, we might think if we sit down to a “cheat meal” with the intention that we are being bad, then we might as well overindulge because it will be awhile before we allow this food into our diet and we’ve already failed so why not push it to the max. We might even can attack ourselves for cheating and sabotage any healthy eating efforts by just finishing off the day or weekend with a junk food binge. Even if we took just one bite and left with a feeling of guilt or shame, we are just adding another layer of stress to our mind. We see the dangers of stress in our own lives and in the world we live in so what is the benefit of subjecting ourselves to extra stress?
The same reasons apply when we are choosing to eat healthy. How often are your meals based on a restrictive mindset like only eating this food because it’s healthy and not because you enjoy it? Eating with intention can be a beautiful approach when deciding to eat something nutritious. Take a moment to understand why you are choosing to eat this food. Notice the colours, the texture, the taste and how it makes you feel. You might be surprised when tasting a food for the first time with intention. The first time I experienced this was with a raw almond. I took one almond, admired the texture, and tried to connect to how this almond came to be in my hand. Where did it grow? How far did it travel? Who was involved? What was involved? How am I so lucky to have this abundance of almonds already shelled and ready for me to eat at my will? I took a bite. I admired the texture and the smoothness of the white flesh and noticed the sweet creamy texture as I chewed that bite. Almonds are sweet! Before that moment, almonds had a completely different taste to me. I would always eat them mindlessly with the only reason being that they were good for my health. I wasn’t enjoying the full experience of the almond and completely taking it for granted. With a little mindful eating, I now realize almonds are simply delicious and can experience whole food in an entirely new light.
Convenience and an abundance of choices has helped wash away many of our inner appreciation for simple and whole foods. If you are reading this, then you are among those that live in a privileged society. We have grocery stores stocked full of fresh produce year round and loads of packaged convenience foods available for cheap. We are disconnected from our food on so many levels. We rarely stop to think of the journey our food has taken before it ends up in our mouths and it is easily taken it for granted.
The human mind is so powerful! Mindful eating is available to you every single day. Challenge yourself to eat mindfully with intention just for one meal. Note how you feel and how the food tastes. Be grateful for every bite. Try and connect with your food. Try not to judge your food choices and allow yourself to enjoy. The more you practice mindful eating, the more you can start a deeper connection with your body. You might start to recognize some foods your body doesn’t react well to. You might start to understand your cravings and how your body reacts when you satisfy those cravings. You might start to make a connection to what emotions trigger your cravings. Each day is an opportunity to be kinder and more forgiving to ourselves. Treat your body like you would treat your best friend because you are together until your last breath.
My 30th birthday hit me across the face like a ton of bricks. It came as a surprise because I don’t view aging like some do. I embrace the grey hairs and don’t believe that getting older equates to getting physically weaker. I always aspired to be fitter, stronger, happier and healthier as I aged. I wasn’t worried about leaving my 20s and moving into my 30s.
Ha, was I wrong! This was the year my physical health started spiralling downhill. After being tested for lupus and a few other diseases, I landed with a diagnoses of fibromyalgia, then endometriosis popped up, and through it all I was having heart palpitations with anxiety triggers creeping out from all corners of life. I had more days of chronic pain than days of feeling okay and more days spent in fear than in love.
When I look back, I can say that I am grateful for all of those experiences. I am grateful for the emotional turmoil that triggered the physical manifestations of chronic stress. I have learned so much since then. I feel stronger and healthier, I spend more days in love than in fear. I believe it’ll just keep getting better as long as I stick to my game plan and embrace opportunities to grow. Growth isn’t always comfy, it’s actually almost always scary and uncomfy for me, but the other side of a soul growth spurt is always fan-fuh-king-tastic!
After working through a few years of healing my mind and body, I started feeling an itch. A strong itch to start crossing things off of my bucket list, an itch for adventure, an itch to find my purpose and actually live it! My 30s brought me some challenges and some great opportunities. One of these opportunities was this great job I currently have now. I want to share with you just how I believe this job came to be.
The job I didn’t know I wanted…
At around 33 years old I shifted from a focus on fixing me to a focus on sharing what I’ve learned with others. The itch was stronger than ever at 33. I’ve heard a few stories of people going through this phenomenon often referred to as the Jesus year. I don’t subscribe to a particular religion but can 100% resonate with the feeling of the stalled-life crisis. For me, there was a sense of urgency to move away from the daily grind towards a more purpose-filled life.
With this, I was wanting to move away from the job I had at the time. I loved the people I worked with and I felt secure with a steady pay and great benefits. I would be smart to hang on to this full-time job until retirement. My brain was telling me to stay but my heart was telling me to move on. I had no idea what that was going to mean for me but I knew I had to try to figure it out. I started following my interests and took a course in integrative nutrition, I started learning about essential oils, and deep diving into spiritual books.
Since I was a child I was learning about how to manifest through my dad, books i’ve read, friends i’ve connected with, online personalities and by experimenting myself. If I was to move away from the safety and security of my current job, I wanted to feel like I was moving towards something that would offer me a sense of safety and security but with more freedom. It was tough for me to believe that I could attain something so quickly so I turned to a tool I had used in the past to manifest something big in my life…
A letter to the universe
I like to use the term universe here because it seems to resonate with most. You can insert whichever higher power you believe in (God, spirit, higher power, angels, etc.). I wrote a letter to the universe. I was sure to keep it vague enough that I could believe in my request. The key to manifesting your desires is with your feelings and beliefs. If you doubt it and feel unworthy, it might not work out for you as quickly as you hope.
I decided to write down a typical weekday and what I would love to be doing with my time each day, right from the moment of waking until the moment my head hit the pillow before falling asleep. My letter looked somewhat like this:
I would love my typical day to look like this:
wake up and do morning routine
walk my dog
leisurely make & eat breakfast
get ready for the day
bring kids to school
take intentional work breaks
have time to make nutritious lunch and eat with intention
pick kids up from school
have time to make a nutritious dinner
spend quality time with my family
include self-love into my day (yoga/meditation/journaling)
I want my days to be filled with love and intention and I want to be living my purpose right now. I am grateful for the opportunities that are now coming my way to help make this happen.
We often say we want something different but we rarely spell it out or even know what it is that we want. Writing it down gives you something to work with, something to visualize, and something to feel in to. As I wrote and read each point in my letter, I was feeling the feelings of waking up excited for the day, not stressing about how my kids will get to school, not rushing through the time I have with my family, the feeling of being in the kitchen preparing healthy meals, and the feeling of just living life with intention.
I felt a shift immediately and was able to find things in my current moments that I could see where I would be able to feel those feelings I was longing for. Stay grateful for the moments you have now and your dreams will come faster. I was grateful for the opportunities I had up until that moment, for the forever friends I made at work, for the connections I had made with others that ended up indirectly helping me in ways that I can’t thank them enough for. I was grateful that this job had helped build my confidence and personal power and put food on my table and kept the lights on.
The true magic happened when I saw a job posting twice. It had to come through my inbox a second time before it clicked. This was something I needed to pursue and see what happened if I applied. Sure enough, after moving through the interview process, I got the job offer and accepted! Before accepting I exercised my personal power muscle and negotiated the salary. This is something I have never done before but I knew I wanted to move into this new part of my life knowing I started off on a confident foot (even if it felt fake at the time).
I didn’t really make the connection until a few months into my new job. This was the answer to my letter to the universe! I couldn’t think of a traditional job that would offer the flexibility that I was looking for so my mind thought I would need to be an entrepreneur before I could attain this. I work remotely (mainly from home) and my boss is amazing! I am able to shift my hours around so I can do all of things I need and want to do. I can drive my kids to and from school, cutting out daycare costs and increasing the time I get to spend with them. I can use my breaks to catch up on housework, do a yoga session, or have a tea with my mom. My days are more intentional now and I can now use my vacation days to actually take vacation!
If this idea is new to you but it peaks your interest, give it a try! Start small if you have doubts but the important part of manifesting is to feel the feelings as if it has already come true. I would love to hear what you were able to manifest so leave a comment or send me a message.
This is a question I’ve been asked many times over the past two years. It’s a question I’ve had to ask myself a few times too.
Since starting this journey, I’ve read many stories of people doing exactly what I’m about to do. I resonate with each of their reasons. Many of them don’t really have a solid reason why they chose this path and I resonate with this too. I’ve tried to explain to my family members, friends, a psychiatrist, and the transplant team but can’t really pinpoint where this urge comes from.
I can’t remember how old I was but I was at least 17 yrs old because I was able to drive on my own. Somehow I found out it was possible to volunteer to donate bone marrow to a stranger and it seemed like a cool opportunity to help someone in need. I decided to sign up. The process involved me driving to a clinic about 40 min away, getting my blood drawn and my cheek swabbed. I filled out a few forms and anxiously waited for a call. I told a few people and their response was, “I heard that donating bone marrow is painful!” I’m not sure I have the best pain tolerance but the thought of helping to save a life outweighed the thought of the pain I might experience for a short time so I kept the hope I would get a call. The call never came and after a few years I forgot about it.
From then until the moment I decided to donate I became a mom, went through a separation, dealt with anxiety, post-partum and seasonal depression, was diagnosed with endometriosis and fibromyalgia and tested for cardiovascular issues due to fainting spells and heart palpitations. I went through some traumatic emotional events that turned my world inside out and upside down. I spent the past six or seven years figuring out how to feel my best in this body and this mind. This has been crucial because I know I will need to tap into all of the resources I have been gathering over the years to help me heal and deal pre and post donation the best way I know how.
Since I got my licence and knew that being an organ donor at death was an option, I had signed my card, had registered online and let everyone know my wishes. I thought it was a guarantee that my organs would give life to someone in need. I felt satisfied and happy with the thought of something good coming out of my death. I signed up to donate my blood and tried a few times before being told that my being there was actually using too many resources because I would almost faint every time and they needed to abort mission or have more than one volunteer distract me during the withdrawal. I felt proud of the handful of times I was able to make it through to the end but felt sad that I couldn’t be a part of this amazing life giving service.
After working many years at the same facility in the same department I was starting to feel an itch to do something different with my life and my career. I started with taking an integrative nutrition course then experimented with building a website in hopes to one day start my own business as a health & wellness coach. My boss at the time asked me where I saw myself in fives years. This was a serious question during my serious performance appraisal meeting. My response, “not here”. I wasn’t being sarcastic or negative, I was being sincere. I told my boss I was getting ready to make a change, I saw myself in a career that was in service of others in a bigger way. I wasn’t quite sure what that looked like yet but something was burning inside me to make a change. A job opportunity fell into my inbox twice before I really noticed it and became interested. This job was for my provinces organ donation agency and it was a remote position! After a quick chat with the hubby, I cleaned up an old resume and applied. I figured if I got an interview I would move through the process and just see what happened. After a few weeks, I got the call for a phone interview. A week or so after that, I got the call for an in-person interview. A day or so after that, I got the job offer! It all happened so quickly but it seemed so right. I put a request out to the universe for something different and it answered.
I’m still with the agency and love the job and the people I work with. I get to work from home and have opportunities to travel to different hospitals across the province, allowing for new experiences and finding new places to eat (I love food!). Through this job I have learned quite a bit about organ donation. It has highlighted the low percentage of people who actually have the opportunity to become organ donors at death. I started to understand why there is such a long list of people on the waiting list for organs. This fact was shocking. In 2016, over 4500 canadians were waiting for organ transplants, a little over 2900 organs were transplanted, and 260 people died waiting. I always thought that by registering to donate my organs, it almost guaranteed one or more of my organs would help save a life. The number of deaths in 2016 here in Canada were 268,932. In most provinces, only about a third of the residents are registered to become organ donors so there is still so much room for growth. Just a quick glance at these numbers shocked me. I was becoming more interested and was starting to read stories in the news about recipients and their families and how amazing the gift of life truly can be. I read a few stories of people donating their kidneys to loved ones and even strangers. This got me thinking so I did a bit of research on becoming a living kidney donor.
I called my local transplant hospital to get more information, I joined a living kidney donor facebook group, I started asking for any and all spiritual guidance. It took about a year before I truly decided to sign up as a living kidney donor which involved lots of conversations with family and close friends. I’m writing this now only two weeks away from my surgery date and feel more sure about my decision now than ever before. The idea of starting a chain of potentially many recipients across Canada lights me up inside. I know there are risks to any surgery and I realize that it’s not impossible that someone in my lifetime who I am close to may need a kidney. I have read some negative and sometimes scary stories of what has happened with living kidney donors. Even after digging through those dark thoughts and moving through the what ifs, I still feel a strong pull to do this. What I am sure of is that I will be in some pain, I will be moving slower for a few weeks, I will be more aware of things that could potentially harm my remaining kidney, my family will have to step up and help out with chores, and some people I love will be worried about the outcome of my surgery. The thought that gets me through this is the discomfort and inconvenience I will experience for a short amount of time is absolutely worth knowing families will be able to celebrate a better quality of life with their loved ones for many years to come.
Choosing to become a living kidney donor is a major decision and should not be taken lightly. My main reason for sharing is to shed some light on the area of organ donation as a whole. We still have a long way to go before waitlists become shorter and less people have to spend their lives on dialysis machines or die waiting. The easiest way to help is to register to become a donor at death and tell your family members your wishes. Currently in Canada, your next of kin has the last say even if you have previously registered.
Want to know more about the Kidney Paired Donation Program: click here
Want to register your wishes to become an organ donor at death: click here